Asia always wanted Kolby to fall in love, live on his own, and grow up to be the awesome young man she raised him to be. The dream she conjured up for his life played out mostly how she wanted, but things changed. He changed. Their dynamic changed, and truthfully, she struggled with all of it.
Kolby had given her a key to use whenever she wanted to come visit. She didn’t visit much, but even when she did, it felt weird to just walk in unannounced especially given it was a studio apartment. But, one fateful day, it happened. Kolby called and asked if she could call first before visiting. Of course, she never wanted to walk in on her son and his girlfriend in compromising positions, but it still bothered her. This girl had to be factored in all their equations, and now Asia had to consider and respect her privacy. It didn’t seem fair.
Tuesday night, she called Kolby to schedule a visit on Wednesday afternoon. It bothered her all night and even the entire way to San Myshuno. But, when she arrived and laid eyes on her son, and wrapped her arms around his muscular torso, she forgot all about being upset.
“Hello, my handsome maestro! Are you ok?”
“Yeah. We’re good.”
Apparently he was in the “we,” “us,” and “our” phase now. In Asia’s dream, she would have thought it was so cute and would have gushed about it for days. But, in reality, she wanted to roll her eyes. To make matters worse, the girl was there. She was always there. Why? Because she was still unemployed!
“Hi, Mrs. Pruett.”
“Fernanda. How are you?”
“I’m well, thank you. How about you?”
Poor thing. She looked so eager. Did Asia emit negative vibes? Or, was she just the eager type? Maybe being eager to please your boyfriend’s mother was a thing Asia never got to experience because Jared’s mother had already died by the time she came around the Pruett family.
“How’s Kaiden?” Kolby asked.
That was another part about this she didn’t like. Fernanda was not family yet, and Asia didn’t want to discuss family business in front of her. But, in Kolby’s mind, they were all family, and Fernanda was privy to everything that went on. Ugh! “He’s good! He’s not talking much, but he seems good.”
“Good, good. I know we’re all glad he finally broke it off, but it’s probably different for him.”
“I’m sure he’ll come around soon. Soooo, tell me about your music. I so wish I could come hear you play sometime. That’s the only thing about working night hours!” She had to change the subject. Fernanda probably knew Kaiden’s entire life story already, but there was no way Asia was going to discuss Mr. Sweet Face’s private life with her around.
“Oh, Mrs. Pruett! Kolby sings now!”
It took everything she had not to get visibly bothered. “Is that right?” Asia was trying to converse and catch up with her son, and this girl stole his thunder! But, she was in the conversation, and she did live there. It wasn’t like she had another room she could excuse herself to.
“Yeah, I’ve been singing a little bit. Not all my songs have lyrics, but sometimes I hear words while I’m playing. I figured I should start letting them out.”
“That’s wonderful, Kolby! Gosh, I can’t wait until you begin recording. I would listen to you every day!”
“I’ll play for you right now! I was working on this one when I woke up.”
A private concert from THE Handsome Maestro himself? What a treat! Kolby sauntered over to the keyboard and began to play a wonderful melody. It was so cold outside, but the little jaunty was so lively and warm like spring. The other children had no musical gifts, so the Pruett household had been void of such spirit for a long time. He wasn’t the best singer, but the words he sang were so honest. If he kept writing songs like that, there was no reason he couldn’t make it as a singer-songwriter.
Something in the kitchen kept stealing her attention though. A smell. A very foul smell. Clearly the two residents were nose blind to whatever crawled in the trash can and died. At least that’s what it smelled like. She couldn’t take it anymore and got up to carry the trash to the chute.
“Oh, we’ll get that, Mrs. Pruett.”
Asia tried not to snort and disregarded that statement. It was well after noon. If they hadn’t taken care of it by now, they probably had no intention to. Fernanda was not the domestic type, it disappointed Asia to see. Even though she recognized not all relationships were created equal, she still felt on some level the woman should care for the man and their dwelling. In her own marriage, Jared did the cleaning because he was better at it and actually enjoyed it. He was a neat freak while Asia had more lax principals. But, that didn’t mean she never cleaned. She didn’t leave work for him to do. If Fernanda didn’t keep the apartment clean, what did she do for her dear Kolby? It’s not like she had anywhere to go every day. Smelly trash was unacceptable, but in a twisted way, she was glad to be able to still care for her son when his girlfriend failed to do so.
Whoever Kaiden ended up with next had better be an improvement a thousand times over because Asia so wanted to be proud of her sons’ women. Maybe down the line, things would get better. In the meantime, she would continue to try being friendly toward Fernanda.