I'll admit it's kinda weird, thinking about marrying Caleb. I mean, it's not a bad weird, ‘cause I love the guy and all. Just... well, I'm not as overwhelmingly emotional and sweet as Max. The guy fucking proposed after what, three months of them going out? It's cute, don't get me wrong, but y'know, they were both ready enough for it. Mostly. I'll say nothing about the amount of panic attacks Maxxie didn't tell anyone else about.
But Caleb's still in school. And he has the mental age of a five year old. The more I think about the two of us getting hitched, the more I like the idea, but the more uneasy it makes me feel. He's a wonderful guy and all, but I can't help feeling like he expects it, and not any time in the distant future. It feels weird, and kinda like I'm gonna be pressured into it at some point.
If I'm gonna propose to him at all, I'm gonna wait until he's at least in college and out of his mum's house first. Or in a job, whatever he wants to do. I'd just feel fucking weird marrying a school kid, y'know?
The next morning, thinking about marrying Caleb, and what his mum said about it is still bugging me. I mean, Caleb might have the mental age of a five year old, but he's clever enough to know what he wants by now; it's not really any of his mum's business to tell him who he can and can't be with.
I leave Caleb asleep in my bed and head back over to his place. His mum answers the door, looking vaguely unimpressed when she sees it's me stood there.
"Oh, it's you," she says.
"Hi, Mrs. T. I was hoping we could talk?" I'll admit now that on the drive over, I didn't actually prepare anything to say. I just kinda wound myself up about it. She stands back and lets me inside, walking into the kitchen.
"Uh, yeah, thanks."
"What did you want to talk about, then?" she asks once she's made a coffee for both of us. I lean against the kitchen counter with it, cradling it in my hands as I look up at her.
"What you said to Caleb about me. I know you don't like me - and that's fine, you don't have to like me. I'd just like to know why."
"You're too old for him." Is that it? Really?
"There's gotta be more to it than that," I frown a little, "people with bigger age gaps have happy, healthy relationships all the time."
"I don't care what other people get up to, you're too old for my son."
"Why? I don't understand what the problem with my age is. It's not like I'm taking advantage of him or anything."
"You might as well be."
I frown. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"Caleb doesn't think before he acts and he's easily led on by other people."
"Yeah, I've noticed. But I'm not leading him on."
"You're still too old for him," she insists. I can't help the exasperation I'm feeling from creeping on my face. "It's not healthy for him. He needs to be with someone his own age."
"I'm really trying to understand this, Mrs. T, but honestly, how is it not healthy for him?" If anything, someone his own age is more likely to fuck him around than I am.
"It just isn't," she says, pulling out the bitch face.
"Okay, so what is it aside from my age that you don't like about me?"
"The fact that you slept with him when he was barely eighteen."
"He lied about his age," I tell her irritably. When I fucked him, I was under the impression that he was nineteen. And despite that, he was still legal when I fucked him, so the difference it makes is very small.
"Fine then, the fact that you slept with him when you barely knew him."
"If I'd slept with him and then just fucked off, I could maybe understand that, but I'm still here. I love him, Mrs. T. I'm sorry that the way we got together isn't perfect, I'm sorry I'm older than him, but I really care about him." I kind of blurt the words out in a bit of a rush. I can't help it. I just want to get it through to her that I'm in this for the long run and I'm not gonna hurt him. She glares at me, and I sigh, fixing my eyes on the floor.
"I just don't think you're right for him."
"But what's not right about me? Forget about my ages for a minute here, and tell me what's wrong."
She lets out a sigh. "He needs someone that can calm him down. When he's around you he just gets worse." Bitch, he's cute when he gets all excitable. He's the most adorable person I've ever met.
"What makes you think he won't just grow out of it?"
"I know what he's like."
"Can't you just give us a chance?"
"Give me one good reason why I should."
"I really love him. If I didn't love him, if I didn't think this could work out really well, I wouldn't be here trying to make you see that." She looks kinda thoughtful at that, and I feel this bubble of hope beginning to rise in me. "I changed my career for the guy so I'd be in a better position to look after him. If that doesn't swing it for you, nothing will," I laugh nervously, "I didn't even do that for Maxxie, and I was with him for seven years."
"I don't like it but I suppose there's nothing I can really do," she says huffily, and relief swells within me.
"I'll be the best for him that I can be, I swear."
"You better," she warns and I nod, smiling.