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idioms...sayings understood by native speakers part twenty eight
The game was over and Charlie emerged from his nap. Jenny got up and took him to the bathroom. Carl's cellphone vibrated and seeing who it was, he shook his head but picked up.
"Carl? Where are you? You did not come home last night."
"Mother, I am thirty years old. Give me a break. I put in a long week at work."
"Carl? Can you come home?"
"Mother, it is not like I ran away or anything." Noting something odd in her voice. "Is there a problem."
"Well, I.. don't.. "
Hearing something fall, Carl asked, "Mother?"
"Oh, it is all right. Your father is..."
"Give me that phone. I told you not to call him."
"Um, okay. Carl, I have to go."
"Mother? Go see Aunt Millie. Okay? I will go over there."
"Okay, Carl. If I can, he is really in one of his bad moods."
Carl heard something smash.
"I told you not to call that no good son of mine. You, it is all your fault for spoiling him like that... and then you gave me another son, defective. All of this is your fault."
"Um, Carl, on second thought, don't come home... ever." and the phone went dead.
Carl hit his speed dial... "The number you have called is out of service."
"Damn." Carl muttered as he hit another number.
"Hello? Uncle Oscar?"
Jenny and Charlie entered into the room, Carl turned and walked out.
"Charlie, you up for a walk? I thought we would go to the lake."
Carl came into the living room. "I am sorry but I have to go. I hope to come back later."
Jenny noted the strangeness in his voice, "Sure. Is there anything I can help you with?"
"Um, no. Just a family thing."
Family thing... she swallowed hard. "I think I should go with you."
"No need for that, besides, Charlie needs to be taken care of."
"Charlie is up for a road trip. Aren't you, Charlie?"
The man stood up and smiled, nodding.
"Look, you two..."
Jenny was out the door with Charlie, yelling "First one to the car is a rotten egg."
"Ah, jeez." Carl hit his speed dial. "Rick, my parents are at it again."
"I know. But what else can I do? She is my mother."
"I will be careful. Jenny and Charlie are coming with me. I plan to meet at Oscar and Millie's house."
Lynn heard her phone go off. She had pulled up beside Rick as he had stopped to answer his phone.
"Jenny? What's wrong?"
"So you and Charlie are going with Carl to his aunt and uncle's house?"
"Do you know what happened?"
"Okay, I trust you with my life, ya know?"
Hanging up she looked at Rick's face. His concern and worry written all over it, until he noticed her. Like a mask of a great actor, he smiled.
"Guess you already know. Carl is taking Jenny and Charlie over to my aunt and uncle's house."
"Yeah... but is there anything I should be worried about?"
"No. With Jenny there, Carl will be okay." He put his cell away, "The store is just a little ways up." And took off riding.
Lynn followed. The scenery that she had been enjoying seemed to become duller as now all she wanted to do was to finish this and get back.
"Rick. so glad to see ya, son. How have ya been?" An old rotund woman stood behind the counter as one of her favorite customers entered.
"Hi, Gertie, I have been good. How are you doing?"
"Ah, this old rheumatism of mine kicks in every now and then, but I'm good." Spying a petite brunette with glasses coming in behind Rick, she smiled. "And who might this be?"
Lynn looked up at the kindly smile of the woman. "Hi. I am Lynn, Lynn Johnson."
"In all my born days, I have never seen Rick with a girl." She smiled bigger, realizing what she thought had been said out loud, "Um, er, I mean..."
Rick laughed. "Gertie, when you are right, you are right. But mom always said I should be picky."
Gertie laughed, "God bless your mom. She was a wise one, that's for sure." Remembering, then she turned to Lynn. "Well, Miss Lynn, it is good to meet you."
"Hey Gertie, I am sorry but I have to make this short. Did those packages come?"
"Sure. Rick, here they are."
She handed him two large packages. "Thanks, Gertie." He placed them to the side of the counter.
Rick smiled. "Lynn, our Miss Gertrude Wilcox here, is not only the proud owner of this store, but our post master, too."
"Rick, you're making an old woman blush."
Lynn smiled at the woman.
"Just give me a second, okay?" Rick stated as he went to several aisles and got the needed supplies, paying Gertie for what was owed, he said, "Keep up the good work, Gertie."
"No problem, Rick. And Miss Lynn?"
Lynn stopped and turned back to the woman behind the counter. "You come back anytime. Any friend of Rick's is a friend of mine."
Tying the boxes on back of the old trailer and placing the other items into Lynn's basket, Rick stated, "That should do it." He hopped on his bike. "Ready?"
Lynn shook her head and hopped onto the bike. Returning to Rick's little two bedroom house, as the sun slowly started to set on the lake, Lynn felt the peacefulness of the whole day settle into her soul. As they parked the bikes and deposited the boxes and supplies, Rick told her, "I will put up the bikes. Could you put away the groceries?"
"I don't know..."
"Put them where you like, if I cannot figure it out. I'll have you show me."
Rick stood outside of the little storage shed. He let the phone ring and ring.
He hit speed dial and finally his Uncle Oscar answered the phone.
"Is Carl there, Oscar?"
"Yes, his mom, too."
"Is everything all right?"
"Well, looks like he only blackened her eye this time."
"Yeah, but well, ya know, she won't divorce him so...."
"Hey, um, not to interrupt but Jenny and Charlie went with Carl. Are they ... okay?"
"Yeah. Millie is having a good time with Charlie."
"Yeah, they are playing dominoes, Charlie style."
Rick heard a small crash and giggles that could only belong to the man in question.
"Is Carl's mother going to spend the night there?"
"Yes, that is the plan, after all, as I reminded AJ, he would not want the Chairman to hear about this... nor the others, it would weaken his seat on the board."
"Yeah, Thanks Oscar, Carl knew he could count on you."
"I am glad he feels that way. I hope you feel that way, too, Rick."
"I do. Oh, and tell Carl it is a fish dinner tonight, I wlll be expecting him and the rest."
"No problem, Oh, and Rick, knowing you, I should not have to say this, but be careful. There are a lot of sharks around you, you know."
"Ah, but the thing about sharks is they have to smell the blood, and I don't intend to bleed, Uncle Oscar."
He entered the house to see Lynn sitting on a kitchen chair with a cup of tea in her hand. Yawning loudly, looking beat. She saw him, smiling, "Guess, I should help you get dinner done."
"No. I just called Carl. They should be back in time for dinner, and you, " taking her by the hand into the living room, "Are going to relax." Pushing her onto the couch, removing her shoes, placing her head down and her feet up. He grabbed a throw and stood over her.
He covered her up including her head, and then sat down on the edge.
"What the?" as she pulled the throw off her face.
"Get some rest." He leaned over and kissed her forehead.
"What? Haven't you ever been tucked in before?" He whispered, looking into her tired eyes.
"Not in a long time." As he got up, he smiled and said, "Go to sleep. Relax. Supper should be down in about an hour or so."
Jenny rode silently beside Carl. He had somehow maintained his anger during his meeting with his mother, but, Jenny could see he was fuming... and irritated by just about anything.
Charlie kept playing with the windows in the back seat.
"Charlie, STOP that!" Carl exclaimed.
"Yeah. That's right, take it out on the one who cannot defend himself."
"What?" Carl hissed.
"I know you are upset about your mother. But remember who you are flinging your angry arrows at. Charlie did not do anything to deserve being yelled at," She whispered.
Carl looked at Charlie who seemed like he was going to cry.
"I am sorry, Charlie. I am just mad, I guess. You did nothing wrong."
"Who are you mad at, Carl?"
"Oh." he paused, "Charlie throws his legos when he gets upset... But Charlie does not have them with him for you to throw."
"It will be okay, Charlie. I will make sure Carl calms down." Jenny gave the man at the wheel a sideways glance.
to be continued...