His life had finally hit the shitter. He was sure of it this time. And if Yhestin Rosenbude was sure of anything in life, it was heaping piles of manure.
He slung his backpack against the marble floor extra hard when he got home and slammed the door behind him. He stood, silent, counting inside his head. He wondered if she would break her record.
One, two, three, four, five.
On five, he heard the click of stiletto heels. He was surprised; his mother was getting up herself to tell him off; not one of the servants. He had been looking forward to being an ass to the new maid.
A shadow filled the floor of the hallway and got bigger Moxey Pickle, leading scientific mind in neruo-physics at the University, she studied her son with a hard and cool glare. “Now, Yhestin Gafelta Hershel Oldenfeld Rosebude.”
Shit, Yhes thought. She used all of his names. He must be in big trouble now. “Yes Mother?”
“Is that how we behave when we are home?” She asked.
Though he supposed there were some people who thought his mother pretty, he didn’t see it. All he saw was a hardness. “No, Mother.” He said.
“I have told you time and time again how to behave when you are under my roof. I know that young men your age can be difficult and dangerously unbalanced. Did you know that the male mind thinks about sex every thirty seconds? And at the same time, the brain sends a signal to the nipples and the penis?”
Yhestin stared at his mother open mouthed. “What?”
“I mean, well, that means that the male mind is always thinking about sex.” She walked towards him. “Look at it this way my little turtle dove. The male nervous system is a little slow. There are certain things in the male mind and body that make men inferior. It is just natures way.”
She smiled as she said this, but Yhes could hear the icicles melting, could hear the air around him freezing in her wake. “Yes Mother.”
“And, well, if the male brain is slow, then that signal is coming another ten seconds after that first initial attraction. But the brain is limited, Yhestin. There is only so much it can absorb. A man’s mind remembers only two or three things at one time, it is a simple truth. A man is thinking about sex almost continually.”
She reached out and touched his face, ran a finger down his jaw, a soft touch like a feather. “Yes, Mother.”
“That’s my Special Little Boy.” Yhestin groaned inwardly. “I love you Yhestin.”
“I love you, too, Mother.”
She leaned down and kissed him, a soft peck on his forehead. “Mommy loves you very much.”
Yhestin said nothing, he did not know what to say. He watched her leave, the heels of her shoes clacking against the marble floor. He always knew when his mother was home; he could always hear the sound of her voice as she talked into her Dictaphone in her office. He could hear her heels clacking and echoing. Sometimes, it was like the house was talking to itself.
His forehead was still warm from where she had kissed him. It was the first time he had seen his mother in a year.
* * *
As he was getting ready for bed, his Nanna McKanda came in.
She wasn’t really his grandmother, just someone his mother hired to take care of him. But She had been with him for five years now. She was all the kindness he had known.
“You have a nice time after school today?” She asked him.
Yhestin nodded. “Yes McKanda.”
“What did you do?”
“I talked to Hasenpfeffer Finklestein.”
“Yeah?” She turned out the light and pulled back the cover of his bed. “And how is she doing?”
“She wants to kill David Hasslehoff.”
McKanda regarded Yhestin for a moment, blinking her large, kind brown eyes at him. Then she let out a laugh loud enough to wake the dead. “Oh, I like that girl.” She said. She wiped a tear from her eye. “That girl has sense.”
She chuckled and motioned to him. “You get into bed.”
He did as he was told, knowing that she would fuss until he did what he was told. She had no family left and the only family he had was his mother. But in a way, Yhestin realised, McKanda was his family.
He heard her footsteps but wondered at the strange glow that proceeded her. He felt his heart leap when she came back into his bedroom bearing a small cake. It had thirteen candles on it.
“Happy birthday, Yhestin.” McCanda said. “You’re a man now.”