Their mothers are delighted to hear that they are dating. They’ve been waiting for months for them to realize that they are in love. However, with this realization comes the cold hard fact that eventually their relationship will progress.
Libby’s mother was sitting in the living room, something they hadn’t expected. Usually Grace was working or already asleep if Libby came in after nine.
“I wanted to talk to you kids and I knew I wouldn’t have another chance for a few days. Sit.” She patted the couch on either side of her.
They sat down and she took both their hands, clasping them in her lap.
“I know this isn’t something you want to talk about,” she said in her matter-of-fact tone.
This was the voice she used when she didn’t want them to argue. Libby had come to dread that voice because it always meant an uncomfortable conversation.
“I’m talking to you because I know Connie can’t. She’s not made the same way I am. It doesn’t bother me to be frank and open with you.”
They both knew that was true. When they had turned twelve, it was Grace who had told them both the facts of life. Bobby’s mother was too shy and prudish.
“I know right now you’re not fooling around. I can see it in your faces and the way you hold one another. And I’ll be just as able to tell when your relationship progresses.”
She gave them each a pointed look, green eyes penetrating. “Connie and I won’t be mad, so don’t think we will condemn you for what’s only natural when two kids love one another as much as you. Why it took you so long to see it, I can’t imagine. But now that it’s real, we need to face facts.”
“Mom, we know how it works, okay? We aren’t stupid.”
“I’m not talking about that,” her mother countered firmly. “There are some things you haven’t considered and I’m going to tell you about them right now.”
“Mom, please!” Libby tried to stand up, but Grace held her none too gently.
“Elizabeth Pearl, sit down. You, Roberto and I are going to talk about this, no matter how embarrassing. I will not have happen to you what happened to Chase and me.” For the first time, Grace blushed slightly.
“What do you mean, Mom?”
“Honey, I never told you exactly the truth about yourself. I told you that you were a little premature. The truth is, I was already pregnant when we got married.”
Libby sat heavily, turning bright red with shame at her mother’s confession. Bobby shifted uncomfortably on the couch.
“I loved your father more than my own life,” Grace said quietly. “And he was so damn handsome and sexy, you can’t even imagine! A Marine! He was the most dashing, gorgeous hunk of man as ever crossed three States, and I fell desperately in love with him the moment I met him. But my father wouldn’t let us get married. He said I was too young and put his foot down. Chase and I came up with a plan so we could be together forever. So I got pregnant. I was lucky Grandad didn’t kill your father and throw me out on my ear! We got married on the sly and that was that.”
“Mom, you don’t have to tell me this, really.”
“The point is, many girls have been caught up short because they let their hormones get the better of them. I don’t want to see that happen. So this week we go to see my doctor and we’re putting you on the pill. And Bobby, your mom said she’ll buy condoms.”
“Oh, my God, Grace. I didn’t even think you could embarrass me more, but you just did.” He wanted to melt through the floor.
“Mom, you and Connie are acting like all Bobby and I want to do is fool around! We haven’t even gotten that far. All he’s ever done is kiss me! We do have some self-control.”
“I know, honey. But you have to prepare for the times when you lose your head and can’t stop yourself. You’re a pretty girl and Bobby’s got a man’s needs. The combination is fire and oil. Sometimes, no matter what you know you’re supposed to do, you can’t help it. Believe me, I’ve been there. Even now, a good looking man gives me the eye, it’s enough to turn my head.”
“Mom!” Libby was horrified.
“I’m a widow; I’m not dead! I still go out from time to time. I just don’t say much about it because I don’t want you to get all upset. I’ve been alone a long time, Libby. I loved your father, but he’s dead and he’d want me happy.”
“Mom, this is too much for me right now. We just started dating!”
“And he’s already had his hands all over you,” Grace said, her lips forming a tight line. “Don’t think your mother missed that, Roberto. She saw. So did one of the neighbors. From now on, you say your goodbyes inside, with the door closed. That does not give you permission to fool around in my house, however. I put my foot firmly down about that.”
© Dellani Oakes
To Buy Under the Western Sky