I saw that she wasn’t kidding and, in shock, I let the greasy plate I was still holding fall to the floor. It smashed into a million pieces.
Because you see, guys, that was the last thing I was expecting, the last thing anyone would have expected.
My mother took no notice of the disaster on the floor. She walked towards me, arms full of shopping bags, with a suspicious look.
– You’re a friend of Julie’s, right? You seem pretty old. Anyway, she’s not back yet.
She put her bags down on the table and added, in a firm tone:
– No one ever taught you to wait outside? Take your things and get out of here.
She pushed me to the door, and before ejecting me, made a point of warning me:
– Don’t do that again! Otherwise, I’ll call your mother.
Wham! The door slammed and I was left with a bewildered expression on my face, slippers on my feet and The War of the Worlds in my hands, kicked out of my own house. I thought for a moment and decided to ring the bell.
My mother opened the door in a rush.
– What do you want now?
– Come on Mum, look at me: I’m your son.
I tried to sound confident, but, I must admit, I found it difficult.
My mother looked at me, indeed, like one looks at a crazy person who escaped the psychiatric ward.
– If I had a son, I would be the first to know.
She took my arm and quickly dragged me to the front gate which overlooks the street.
I had seen her grab someone like that once before; a little snot-nosed neighbourhood idiot who had picked on Nestor the spring before. The kid had squirmed like a worm and screamed.
I now understood why.
My mother released her iron grip and unceremoniously propelled me onto the pavement. Then, without a word, she turned on her heels and vanished into the house I could no longer call home.
Wham! slammed the door a second time.
I paced the pavement and massaged my sore arm. Obviously, I didn’t dare cross the gate and go back into the garden, but I stayed well in sight, arms swinging, my face – quite certainly – appalled and pitiful, keeping hope in my heart that my mother would come outside with a big smile on her face and yell at me:
– Come back, my darling. It was a joke!
But she didn’t come out, even though I saw the living room curtains move once or twice.
(Go to PART 4)