I had to share this picture. Molly has been keeping Peanut warm.
Gotta love ’em.
A Very Short Story follows.
A Perfect Secret
Jack checked his reflection again. Yep, there it was, a new zit.
“Oh geez, that’s just not right. Not another one. I’ve had three this week,” he mumbled as he toweled his freshly washed face.
“Mom”, he yelled as he sprinted down the stairs. “Mom, where are you?”
“In the kitchen, Jack.” Mom winced at the slightly whiny note in Jack’s voice.
Jack skidded to a halt in front of his mother, left index finger pointing to the spot near his left eyebrow, right hand on his cocked hip, an accusatory expression on his face.
“That is not my fault.”
“You promised me these would go away soon. This is the third one this week! I look like a pizza. All the kids will laugh at me. You don’t care,” he wailed.
“Want me to kiss it and make it better?”
Jack scowled harder. “That doesn’t work, Mom.”
“It did before you had your 10th birthday.”
Jack shook his head. He was so much smarter than his mother. Reaching the ripe old age of 13 was a milestone met with superb reasoning ability and enhanced intellectual capability. He”d left his mother in the dirt. And now he merely lifted his upper lip in disdain.
“I am no longer 10.”
“Oh really?” Mom thought better of pointing out his rather plaintive wailing of mere seconds before. “Here, eat your breakfast,” and she handed him a plate of toast and eggs.
“I don’t want eggs,” he whined. “And please don’t mention starving children.”
“No problem, Jack. Eat your breakfast. Or go hungry. It’s your call, son.”
Jack sat sullenly.
“So what do I do about the zit?” he asked as he toyed with his toast.
“You haven’t done the research? Studied zits and their cause and treatment? Found the miracle cure for teenaged acne and angst? Surely, Jack, you have the answer to this dilemma and world peace.…”
Jack’s eyes rolled to the back of his head. He could tell she was teasing him. She did it mercilessly.
“Mom, I do have the answers. I just want your opinion.”
Mom dropped the dishcloth, her eyes grew wide, she clasped her hands to her mouth, and sighed.
“Are you kissin’ butt, Jack?”
“Just checking, dear.”
Mom watched him shovel eggs onto a piece of toast, fold it over, and chow down. Her sweet little boy was quickly becoming a man. His beautiful baby complexion was going through growing pains. His perfect legs had become spindly; his little Michelin Man arms were too long now, his hands too big. Mom’s eyes misted. She turned slightly and caught a glimpse of Jack, the man. It took her breath.
“Uh, Mom? Uh, really, do you know what I can do about this?”
“Did you use the wash we bought?” She spoke gently, brushed the mist from her eyes, and leaned across the counter.
“Unh huh,” he garbled out around the last of his egg and toast.
“It’s just a little red Jack. I think we can touch it up a bit and you’ll be good to go.”
“Touch it up with what?” He looked a bit skeptical.
“Just a bit of make-up.”
“You’re kidding, right Mom?”
“Come with me,” she said.
Mom straightened and held out a hand to her son. She led him up the stairs into her bedroom to the old desk she had refurbished as a dressing table and seated him.
“Face me, Jack. Don’t worry, this won’t hurt.”
She opened a compact of concealer, picked up a brush and lightly loaded it, turned to her son, and dabbed and brushed at the three bright red spots on his beautiful face until they diminished to nothing.
“Take a look,” she said.
He turned to the mirror.
“Wow,” he exclaimed. “You can’t see a thing. Thanks, Mom!”
He jumped up and ran, in a hurry to start his day, and stopped abruptly at the door.
She grinned. “I won’t tell a soul about this, Jack. It’s our secret.”
He bestowed her with a gorgeous smile, turned and left.
Some secrets are perfect, she thought. Absolutely perfect.