I know I said that I was giving this story up. But I changed my mind. I won't give up on this until the last story is told. This story means a lot to me and I see now that I've disapointed too many people that have stuck with me for the last three years. Even if I have to lessen my load and give you shorter chapters than trying to keep up with my collegues that right ten thousand word chapters, than so be it. I'm not going to force anything.

I love you all my dear fans. Please forgive me and keep reading and reviewing. I will not disapoint you again.

Chapter Sixty-Four: Perfectly Good At It

These children learn from cigarette burns

Fast cars, fast women and cheap drinks

All these asphyxiated self medicated

Take the white pill you'll be alright

There was an awkward silence around the dinner table. The only sound was the clinks of silverware against the plates. It was the night that my mother was coming over to meet Vivian. The four of us were sitting at the kitchen table. I was across from my mother and Jackson was across from his mother. Jackson wasn't speaking very much. He was still reeling over the trauma that had occurred almost a week before. Mom wasn't paying much attention to him, so I was silently thanking whatever God who watched over me.

My mother had showed up thirty minutes early to the dinner. That threw Vivian off. Not having a chance to put on her make up or finish cooking dessert, she was more nervous than usual about impressing my mom. I'm not sure why Vivian was so anxious. It was just my mother.

Then again, Mom wasn't making it all that easy for Vivian. It seemed to me like this dinner was going to be a taste of flashbacks to when Sam had come to dinner one night when we were in high school.

"So, Jackson was from your first marriage?" Mom asked Vivian as she looked at her.

Jackson looked up from his plate and glanced at Vivian before he returned to eating.

"Yes, he was," Vivian answered, keeping that smile on her face.

"Where's his father?" Mom asked, staring at her.

"Mom," I warned, looking up at her. I told her not to do that before she even came over.

"No, it's fine," Vivian said as she took a deep breath, "Tony died."

"Oh?" Mom asked innocently, "What happened?"

I glared at her one more time.

"He was killed in a prison," Vivian said, calmly, "Pass the bread, Freddie."

I picked up the basket of bread and passed it over to her. I wasn't going to make Vivian lie about her life, but damn it, she wasn't making this easy for me.

"Oh, prison? How charming," My mother stated as she looked over at me, disapprovingly.

I took in a deep breath before I resumed eating.

Click, click, clank

"What do your parents do?" Mom asked, giving a purely false smile.

Vivian returned the false smile, "My father was a Desert Storm Veteran and my mother is somewhere in Finland, cutting fish I think. What about your parents, Marissa?"

"What about your parents, Marissa?" was Sam's snide comment after establishing her dominance. The only difference was there was no falsehood smile on her face.

What was it about women that they seemed to make a competition out of anything? They're so vicious, it's unnatural. I have never seen boys act that way. I mean, they are competitive, but they aren't cruel and vicious about it. And women make everything so personal.

I quickly come up with a change of the subject, as I did over five years ago, "So, Mom, what do you think of Vivian's cooking? Pretty good, right?"

My mother wiped the edges of her lips with the napkin before saying, "It's very good for a novice."

Vivian seemed to tense up, immediately. She gripped her silverware and tried to take a deep breath. I don't think that anyone has ever insulted her cooking before. She let out a shaky breath before looking at Mom, "Well, I do try my best."

Mom's fake smile grew larger, "If you want to, Vivian, I can pay for cooking lessons. Because if you are just going to try your best instead of doing your best, then it is no wonder you're a cradle robber. Or is it cougar? I can never keep up with the slang. What exactly are you doing with a twenty three year old? How old was your last husband? Forty-five? Someone has Daddy Issues, don't they?"

There was a loud clank as Vivian dropped her fork to the floor.

I glanced over to see that Jackson's eyes had widened, as he looked at my mother in pure disbelief.

"I'm sorry," Vivian started, her voice a pitch higher than what it should be, "I need to lie down." She stood up and her legs quaked like jelly. She turned and left the kitchen, stumbling on the way there.

Jackson stood up from the table and went after his mother, concerned for her well being.

"Awfully moody, isn't she?" My mother asked, keeping that smile on her face.

"You had no right to ask her that," I sighed as I continued to pick at the food before me.

"I like you to be with girls that can handle the truth, Freddie, is that really too much to ask, all things considering?" Mom asked, "Does she know about Sam?"

"Only what I told her," I said. Vivian didn't know the worst of it and I prayed that she would never know. I struck it lucky with her and I wanted to keep it that way.

"When are you going to press charges against her? Freddie, she belongs in jail," Mom continued, "Or in a mental institution."

"I'm not putting her in an institution," I said, through gritted teeth. There was no way I would force drugs down her throat. No, not again.

"Well, you need to do something. Each minute you procrastinate on this is another minute she could hurt you," My mother said. And deep down, I could see the concern in her eyes. I softened, knowing that despite everything, my well being was all my mother wanted.

I sighed and looked away from her. My fingers drummed on the table.

"So, who's your lawyer for the divorce proceedings?" My mother asked as she took it upon herself to wipe my mouth.

As I felt the napkin brush my lips, I squirmed away from her like a defiant child, "Mom, stop it…" My mother leaned back into her chair and I went to answer her question. "Actually, I haven't filed any papers."

"What?" My mother asked as her mouth seemed to stay open due to magical means, "You haven't filed for divorce? Then what have you been doing? That should have been the first thing you did when you left her! That was the first thing I did when your worthless father left us."

I shifted away from her glare. To be completely honest, I did not want to do it at all. I just wanted to push that situation out of my life. I just wanted to forgot the last ten years of my life. Was that so hard to ask? If I went to a lawyer, if I got papers drawn, it would become real. Everything would hit me. And I really don't think I'm ready for that. Call me immature or whatever, but that was how I felt.

Is that bad?