Lunette knew her mother would not approve of Chester, but she had to tell her the truth.
|Lunette's clothing, even her hair, smelled of coffee and she hated coffee. The sooner she could get out of her uniform and take a shower to wash that smell away, the better. It might seem odd for someone who hated coffee so much to have a job serving it, but the pay was not bad and Mag was very good about scheduling her hours around her classes.
She opened the door of her small apartment and walked in. Chester was on the couch, watching television. "Hi, Chester. How's it going?"
Chester did not seem to notice her at all. One look at the television told Lunette why. Some NASCAR race was on and when he was watching that she might as well be talking to a rock.
"I'm going to take a shower, then I'll fix us something to eat." Without waiting for any response, she went into the tiny bedroom and started to get undressed. She could not understand what was so great about watching cars drive around in a circle, but she was glad Chester enjoyed it.
Lunette had just thrown her uniform in the hamper when she turned around and saw Chester standing in the doorway, watching her.
"I wish you wouldn't do that, Chester. It's kind of creepy. Go back and watch your racing."
Instead of going back to the couch, Chester walked over, laid down on the bed and winked at her.
"Oh sure, is that supposed to be better?" Lunette smiled at him and continued undressing. "Maybe I should be flattered that you think it's such a thrill to watch me take my clothes off. You know, I'm going to have to tell my parents about us. Ugh! My mom's going to have a fit when she finds out you're living here with me."
It was just at that moment the Lunette's phone rang. She checked the caller ID on her cell and answered, "Hi, Mom."
"Hi, Dear. How was your day?"
"Not too bad. It was really busy at the coffee shop. And that chemistry course is actually getting kind of interesting."
"Didn't I tell you you'd like it?"
"Yeah, you were right. That reminds me. I had a meeting with my advisor today and he was talking about you."
"Well, you and Dad. He was complaining about helicopter parents. You know, parents who hover over their kids. He says we don't get to be independent that way."
"Do you think we do that, Lunette? Hover over you?"
"Me? No way. But he kept going on and on that when he was in college, he'd go months without talking to his parents. So I told him he should stop living in the twentieth century."
"You didn't really tell him that?"
"No, of course not. I just nodded politely and ignored most of what he said."
"That's my girl."
Suddenly, Lunette started to giggle. "Chester, stop that! You know how ticklish I am." She tried to push the pest away with her free hand. "Now let me talk to my mom."
"Who are you talking to, Lunette? Who's Chester?"
"Uh, well, he's sort of moved in with me."
"You don't have to do that, dear. If you can't afford that apartment, you can always move back home. It's only a twenty minute drive from here to the college."
"It's not about money, Mom. I just like a little, you know, companionship."
"If you want a companion, we'll get you a dog. The Felderstein's dog just had puppies. Wouldn't you like a cute, little puppy."
"I don't want a puppy. I want someone who understands me."
"And you think this Chester understands you?"
"Yes, Mom, I know he does. It's like we were meant to be together."
"I suppose you are old enough to make these kinds of decisions. Why don't you ask him to come home with you this weekend, so your dad and I can meet him."
"There is one thing I got to tell you about him. He's a cat."
"What does that mean, that he likes jazz?"
"No, Mom, he's a real cat. You know, a furry, little, four-legged mouse-chaser."
"A cat! Are you telling me you've got a cat?"
"Yes, Mom, a cat."
"Louise Annette Werde! You can not have a cat! I hate cats!"
"He's very well behaved and he's very affectionate."
"Cats are nothing but a nuisance. They claw up the furniture. They make your home smell like a litterbox."
"This is my apartment, Mom, and I can have a cat in it if I want to."
"Well, just don't think you're ever going to bring that thing home with you."
"I won't! I won't ever come home myself if that'll make you happy."
Lunette shut off her phone and flopped down on the bed, letting the phone slip out of her hand and drop to the floor. Chester crawled up beside her and started nuzzling her cheek. She started to laugh in spite of herself.
"I did get a little out of control myself, didn't I?" She picked up the phone and set it on her nightstand, but left it turned off. "I'll call her back and apologize. But first, I'm going to take a shower. Get rid of this coffee smell and let us both cool off a bit."
She picked up the gray cat and held him tightly in her arms. "But don't worry, Chester. No matter what my mom says, you're staying here with me."