“Speak of the devil,” I said, smiling wryly before accepting the call. “Hey, Mom. What’s up?”
“Where are you?” This was the harshest I’d heard her speak in a while and her tone made me visibly flinch. I’d been good since I got out of the hospital, though, and I didn’t know what I’d supposedly done this time to deserve such treatment from her.
“I’m on my way home. I’ll be there in, like, two seconds.” With Ezra sitting right next to me, I didn’t want to be the bitch I normally was when my mother spoke to me like that. “Why?”
“Where were you before that?” Of course she’d decide to completely brush off my own question. If there was one thing I should have learned growing up, it was not to ask questions that I actually wanted an answer to.
“I…was at Elemantra’s. I had a date.” What the hell, I was already in trouble now and I figured that if I just fessed up to lying, I’d probably get a lesser punishment than if it came out in the middle of a fight. Hopefully, anyway.
“Okay, one. You said you were out with friends. You lied. That’s…” I could practically hear her clenching her manicured fists over the phone. “Two, why the hell would you go to fucking Elemantra’s? Of all the places in the world to go, you intentionally pick there?” I must be in some serious crap if she was cursing. She hated sinking down to such a “vulgur level”.
“Well, I didn’t want Molly to know I was going out on a date so I lied and it sort of…carried over to you, I guess.” No matter what excuse I would be able to come up with, I knew she wouldn’t accept it, but I still had to try. “And I didn’t pick Elemantra’s. Ezra…my date did. He paid and everything.” It was one of the most adorable things I’d ever seen. While I was getting my coat, he managed to convince the hostess to seat one of the couples who were sitting at the bar desperately waiting for a table to open up. He also convinced her that, in addition to the unused table, they should have the leftover wine and the food that we’d ordered. All on his card.
My mother snorted ungracefully, as though this were one big joke to her. “Uh-huh. Sure he did. Hey, Wilhelmina, why don’t you put this Ezra person on the phone so I can talk to him and find out exactly how much of a liar you are.”
“Oh, I’d be perfectly happy to let you talk to him, Mom,” I said sweetly, glancing over at Ezra, “but unfortunately, he’s driving the car right now and I don’t want to distract him and get in another accident…”
“It’s cool. I can talk,” Ezra said, snatching the phone out of my hand and grinning at my scowl. “Hello, Mrs. Percival. It’s so nice to talk to you. My name’s Ezra Payne.” There was a brief pause and he winced. “Vincent. Right. Mina didn’t tell me you were divorced.” Another wince. “Widowed and remarried. That’s…good information to know for future reference. As for your other question, I did happen to have reservations. I’d made them for my sister, but she decided not to use them at the last minute. I’d seen that Mina was very pretty and obviously smart so I asked her out.” Just watching his facial expressions and over exaggerated tones as he spoke to my mother was enough to send me to quiet laughter. I was going to get absolutely zero brownie points for this. “We went to Elemantra’s, left before we could eat anything, and we’re just about to turn onto your street. I paid for the meal and with any luck, I ‘ll be able to take your wonderful daughter out again sometime on a true and proper date.” There was a longer pause as Ezra pulled up outside of my house and he laughed suddenly, although I wasn’t sure why. My mother was not a funny person, nor did she particularly enjoy joking around. “Alright, Mrs. Vincent. You make sure to have a nice night, too. Of course I’ll tell her. Goodbye.”