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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2257797-Tainted-Love
Rated: ASR · Short Story · Dark · #2257797
Kristen's parents just don't under her love for new boyfriend Bobby

“Honestly, Mom, I don’t see what your problem is,” Kristen said, following her mother into the kitchen. “I don’t think you’re really giving Bobby a chance.”

Her mother paused as she opened the refrigerator, pulling out a bowl of carrots. “Honey, I’m just not sure that Bobby is the right boy for you.”

“How can you say that? You just met him,” Kristen replied, grabbing the bowl of carrots from her mother and carrying them to the sink to rinse them as her mother got the lettuce and tomatoes from the fridge. “Honestly, you and Daddy can be such knobs sometimes.”

Mother shot her a withering glare. “Don’t you take that tone with me, young lady. I just don’t think anything good can come from this kind of relationship.”

Kristen dropped the bowl into the sink, swinging to face her mother. “If Bobby were black, would you have a problem with him?”

“Of course not.”

“If he were in a wheelchair?”

“Certainly not.”

“If I were to bring home a girl and said she was my lover, would there be a problem?”

“No, Honey, so long as you were happy . . .”

“Then why are you so against my seeing Bobby?”

“Kristen, honey,” her mother stepped closer, clasping both of Kristen’s hands in her own. The look of near-panic was almost comical. “Bobby is dead!”

Kristen’s sigh exploded from her lungs. “The term is zombie, Mother. Bobby prefers to be called undead.”

Rebuked, Mother moved to the counter and began slicing the tomatoes for the salad. “Honey, I’m sure Bobby was a very nice boy . . . once.”

“There you go again, holding his handicap against him! He can’t help being what he is.”

From the doorway, Kristen’s father poked his head in. He looked distinctly uncomfortable. “Umm, Krissy? Bobby’s eating the dog.”

Beside her, Mother just about sliced her thumb off with the knife. Kristen ignored the drama. “That silly boy! I told him we were all vegetarians but he just refuses to convert. Go back and sit with him Daddy. I’ll come talk to him in a minute.”

Her father looked from his daughter, to his wife, then back to his daughter. With a nervous smile, he disappeared back into the living room.

Kristen turned back to Mother, who was still trying to slice the tomatoes despite her shaking hands. “You just don’t know Bobby the way I do. He’s not like the other boys. He’s gentle and considerate. He’s a terrific listener, and he doesn’t talk my ear off about football or cars or some other silly stuff.”

Mother slammed the knife down on the counter so hard she rattled the dishes in the cupboard above. “He doesn’t talk your ear off because his tongue falls out every time he opens his mouth! He didn’t even bother to pick it up from the welcome mat before he walked in!”

“That’s it,” Kristen screamed, storming from the kitchen and into the living room where her father sat in his easy chair across from where Bobby was sitting on the couch. The boy was using the clasp of a dog collar to pick fur from his teeth. “Come on, Bobby. We are leaving.”

Kristen grabbed him by the hand, pulling him from his seat, and leading him to the door. Bobby threw a limp wave goodbye to Kristen’s parents before the door slammed shut behind them.

They got into Kristen’s car and she pulled out of the driveway with tires squealing as she fought back tears. They drove in silence a few moments before finding a secluded spot to park. Shutting the engine, Kristen turned to Bobby. “Bobby, sweetie, give me your hand.”

Bobby looked unsure for a moment before reaching down with his left hand, and snapping his right off at the wrist with a pop. With his gap-toothed grin ―another tooth fell out at that very moment― he placed his hand in hers.

Choking back tears, Kristen held Bobby’s hand to her heart. “My parents just don’t understand us. They don’t understand the love we share. I won’t let that stop us. I love you, Bobby. I always will.”

Reaching up, she pulled him into an embrace, his mouth resting against the soft flesh of her neck.

“Bobby, are you nibbling? That’s so cute. Hehe, it tickles. Umm, Bobby? Bobby, that’s a little rough, Sweetie. Ow! Bobby, I’m not into that kinky stuff. Ow! Bobby, no biting! Ow! Quit it!. I’m serious Bo…OW! Bobby!

***

Thanks for Reading! You can find this, and other fun tales in my short-story collection, Other Worlds: A Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy, available from Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L0R7D1G
© Copyright 2021 Author Joseph J. Madden (authorjjmadden at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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