Bobby's Catching a Feeling

Bobby pulled up in front of his mothers house and flicked the butt of the cigarette out of the window.

It was a warm day and he looked around before he got out to see if he recognized any cars parked nearby. Nothing! He wondered if Jack had arrived yet.

This whole family cookout thing had to have been Jerry's idea. Hell, they had bonded years ago, he didn't need to come back here for a hamburger to prove it.

He got out the car and walked towards the front door. He could hear noises in back of the house and decided to walk around back instead.

He found his mother scrubbing the grill. She looked up and broke out in a big grin.

"Bobby!"

He grinned back at her. "Hi, Ma."

She dropped the rag in her hand and ran to him embracing him tightly.

"You came" she said almost as if she truly believed that he wouldn't come.

"Of course I came, Ma. Didn't I tell you I was coming? Hell, where is everybody?" he asked looking around.

"You're a day early. The cookout isn't until tomorrow. Besides I asked you to come today because I wanted to spend some one on one time with my big baby."

"Ah, Ma" he said but he was secretly pleased. He loved this woman so much. There was nothing he wouldn't do for Evelyn Mercer.

"Come in the house." she beckoned walking into the house with him following close behind.

She ushered him into the dining room. "Sit sit! I'll get you something to eat."

He watched as she began to prepare a quick breakfast. Bobby smiled. He liked her fussing over him. He missed it. A part of him always craved this woman's attention. He could never get enough of it. She always had time to talk to any of them whenever they needed her. Secretly he knew he was a Mama's boy, but he'd clock any asshole who called him one to his face.

"Heard from Jackie?" he asked as he sipped the juice she placed before him.

"He'll be here later on this afternoon...so will Angel" she replied sitting the plate of eggs and bacon in front of him. The toaster popped up four slices and she quickly buttered them and placed them on his plate.

"Thanks Ma" he said grinning at her with a mouth full of eggs.

Evelyn smiled and pulled up a chair.

"Charity's back in town." she ventured not looking at him directly.

Bobby stopped chewing. "Ah, shit Ma!" He didn't come back here to talk about his old girlfriend.

"You watch your mouth, Robert Mercer." she snapped back.

She only called him Robert when she was pissed off and Bobby knew better than to continue down that path.

"Sorry Ma. But I don't want to talk about Charity." He began eating again avoiding her eyes.

Evelyn watched him eat. "I don't know why that woman scares you so bad. What's the problem?"

Bobby pushed the empty plate back. "There is no problem, Ma. I didn't come back here to talk about Charity McNeil! I came back to be at the family cookout you've been talking about for months. I hope you didn't invite her over here!"

Evelyn smiled and didn't reply.

"Ah, Ma!" Bobby said standing up screeching the chair against the floor. "Why you doing this? For all you know I could be in a relationship or married. What if I'd shown up here with a woman? Then what would your matchmaking have accomplished? This is bullshit!"

Evelyn stood up deciding to ignore his outburst. "You haven't loved any other woman but Charity and you know it." She picked up the empty plate and walked over to the sink. "I think you still care about her."

Bobby stared at her back. "You don't know that!"

"I know you, Bobby Mercer. You boys have never been able to hide anything from me when it comes to your feelings. I can read each of you like a book. You wouldn't have reacted like you did if you didn't care."

Bobby took the opportunity to brush the crumbs from the table into his other hand and walked over to the trash can. He had broken it off with Charity because he didn't think that he could handle being in a real relationship. She ended up getting too close...he found himself caring far too much. It made him feel weak and helpless and he didn't like the idea of a woman having that kind of power over him.

"Ma, isn't she married? What's the deal? It's been over between us for years. Why are you doing this?"

Evelyn turned around. "Her husband's been dead for a year Bobby. I told you that last Christmas. If you don't want to see her, then don't. If you want me to, I'll call and uninvite her to the cookout. I'll tell her that the situation will be too awkward."

"And make me the bad guy? Thanks a lot Ma" Bobby protested.

Evelyn followed him into the den.

"She's moved back down the block in her mom's house you know. She bought out her sisters and brothers when Julia passed, you know. She didn't have any family in Lansing."

Bobby didn't reply but reached for the remote. He didn't want to think about Charity but now with his mother's meddling, he couldn't help but think about her.

"You bring any clothes?" Evelyn asked changing the subject.

"In the car" he said not looking at her. "I'll get them in a little bit."

Evelyn didn't respond but walked back into the kitchen.

Bobby tried not to brood. Charity McNeil...
His mind wandered. She had been his first love if you wanted to call it that. She was a few years older than he was with a body that seemed to call to him the moment he laid eyes on her.

He had been working on his GED when he met her. Evelyn had insisted that he complete his education and he had complied; not because he agreed with his mother, but because he wanted to play in the local league and a high school diploma was required in order to do so.

Charity had been an assistant to the teacher in his reading class. He was twenty years old, embarrassed that he could barely read and angry at anyone who would point out the fact. He wasn't stupid and he wasn't going to let anyone call him stupid! Charity had picked up on his dilemma early on in the class after he had a brief altercation with another classmate who had snickered when he tried to read out loud. She quickly volunteered to coach him when the class was over asking him not to do any bodily harm to his classmates. She had even smoothed things over with the teacher who had threatened to put him out. He was suspicious of her intentions at first. Nobody did something for nothing, but she quickly won him over. She didn't look at him with pity or treat him like he was stupid. She didn't ask him a million questions or try to get in his business. She simply stuck to the lesson. He liked that and she did help him improve his reading and get his GED.

He would meet her every Wednesday in the library to go over his homework before class on Thursday and he found himself looking forward to those evenings. She was always patient with him and seemed interested in what he thought. She wasn't pushy like some women and yet he knew that she had no problem standing up for herself either.

She was not a small woman, but she wasn't huge either. She was thick with a behind that was just begging to be squeezed and full round breasts, and boy did she smell good. She had a pretty face and wore her hair short and curly. She had deep dimples when she smiled, which was a weakness of his. Her dark brown skin was flawless and her brown eyes reminded him of his brother, Angel. It didn't take him long to learn that she was single and he was surprised to find out that she only lived five blocks from his house.

He knew that he was attracted to Charity from the beginning, but hell...he'd been attracted to lots of women before. He was no virgin. After all, who could remain a virgin in the shit holes he'd been in. He was just grateful that no one had molested him considering the situations he'd been in and as much as he had been shuffled around. Still, he'd had the crap beat out of him on enough occasions and had the scars to prove it.

The thought of being in an actual relationship scared the hell out of him so he didn't rush things with Charity. He knew that she wasn't like the other women he'd been with. Bobby knew that he couldn't just push her against the wall and lift up her skirt, this was different. He had engaged in sex numerous times, however he had never fully undressed in front of a woman and he'd never slept in a bed with one all night. Quick, unemotional fucking was all he knew...getting quick relief and having some fun.

Bobby realized that he had trust issues and he felt that removing his clothes and getting in bed with someone involved a certain amount of trust. Hell! He'd know guys who had been with hookers who had their pimps hiding in the closet that would then rob the unsuspecting john's blind after they were naked. Bobby had decided long ago that he wasn't taking any chances and he always kept his guard up and never relaxed when he was fucking a woman.

When he was younger, a few of his foster sisters had fooled around together from time to time. He had been in three different homes between the ages of eight and fourteen and someone was always willing to experiment and show him how it worked, even some of the so called 'moms'. He learned quickly that everybody wanted something. There were no free rides.

Things changed when he moved in with Evelyn at age fourteen. Unlike his previous homes, she acted like she really cared about him. He didn't trust her either at first, but she had continued to shower love and attention on him which he so desperately craved. At first, he wondered if she would approach him for sex like some of his other Moms. She never tried to touch him 'there' or never tried to kiss him on the lips or make him kiss her back. She didn't ask for oral in exchange for food. She just gave and gave, showering him with the motherly affection he had never received before. He fought returning her affection, thinking that all of it was too good to be true and afraid that she would use it against him in the end.

After a year, she sat him down and told him that she wanted to talk to him. He knew for sure that she was going to send him away. He had been expelled from school again for fighting even though he hadn't started it this time. Fear gripped his guts. He had begun to feel like he had found a place that he could call home. He felt safe and loved. He knew that he was no good...he always messed things up and he knew that she must be tired of him and was ready to send him away like the rest of his foster parents. Instead she asked about adopting him and he was floored.

"Why in the world would you want to do that?" he had asked totally shocked. "No one adopts a fifteen year old boy!"

"Because I love you. I want you to be mine forever." Evelyn had replied simply.

He stared at her as if she had two heads.

"You can't love me" he protested still trying to understand why she wanted him.

"But I do." she replied. "Bobby you are a wonderful son." Her eyes softened as she saw the fear and confusion on his face.

"B-but I'm trouble. I get into fights. I'm not that smart-"

Evelyn cut him off by coming up behind him and embracing him in a bear hug as he sat at the table. "You're mine and I won't give you up. I want you to be a Mercer, Bobby. I want you to always be my son. Say you want it too. I love you so much."

Something in him cracked and he felt the tears fall. No one had ever loved and wanted him. No one made him feel valuable, but Evelyn. He had never allowed himself to cry in front of her like a baby before, but at that moment he couldn't help himself. At that moment a part of him became whole.

Bobby stopped reflecting for a moment and got up and went to the car to get his bags. Evelyn was nowhere in sight when he returned so he went upstairs to his old room that he shared with Cracker Jack.

He looked at his watch and wondered when his brothers would arrive. He heard his mother moving around in her room.

"Ma, I'm gonna go out a while. What time you think Jack and Angel will get here?"

"Sometime this afternoon, Bobby." she said sticking her head out of the door.
"I need your help getting the things out of the shed for the cookout. Don't go off and get drunk now."

Bobby was indignant. "Really Ma. I was going over to Jerry's. I'm not going to get drunk!"

"Alright then. Say hello to my grandbabies Daniela and Amelia for me."

Bobby headed down the steps. He was glad that she didn't say anything else about Charity. He walked to the car and got in. So now Charity is back in her Mom's old house, huh? Maybe he would just drive by there out of curiousity. He wasn't going to try to see her or anything.

Charity reminded him of Evelyn in a way. She had a kind heart and he was surprised that she would even waste her time with him. He had been nervous when he first kissed her and he had to admit that he had been a bit rough and held her too tight. He was sure that he had fucked up any chance of being with her after that. He had immediately released her when she protested and he then apologized and looked away humiliated saying that he wasn't the Romeo type.

To his surprise Charity had laughed at his remark and told him that maybe he was out of practice and that she'd be happy to give him kissing lessons along with his reading lesson. He knew then that she liked him too and couldn't believe his good fortune. Later he basked in his good luck and looked forward to her kissing lessons at the end of their time together in the library each week.

He slowed down about a half block from her house and parked. Why did he stop here? Didn't he just say he was going to Jerry's? There was a car in the driveway of her Mom's house. He could stop by and say hello for old times sake. Hell, who was he fooling? He was now acting like his fool brother Angel. He was not going to chase after some woman that had a fling with years ago who had most likely moved on.

Even as he argued with himself, he knew that he wanted to see her. Hell, she was most likely looking old and fat by now since she was four years older than he was. It had been fourteen years since he'd seen her. After all, people change. Damn!

Still it would be nice to see her after all this time. He pulled up in front of her door and debated whether or not to just leave or to get out and knock on the door. Just then a woman came out of the house and he could hear the jingling of keys. She walked towards the car and he knew instantly that it was Charity. She had shoulder length braids and had on shades, but he knew it was her. He quickly tapped his horn and she looked up curiously and took the shades off.

Bobby opened the door and walked over to her.

"Hi Charity" he said wiping his hands on his jeans. "I was just passing by and I saw you come out of the house and decided to stop."

"Hello, Bobby" she said staring at him as if she'd seen a ghost. "This is a surprise. Your Mom told me that she didn't think you were coming here for the cookout."

Bobby looked surprised. "I told her that I'd try to come! She's been talking about it for months!"

Charity continued to stare at him. "Oh..."

Bobby noticed that she appeared to be quite nervous. His eyes roamed over her. She had put on a few pounds, but it only made he look even more delectible to him. "You look good, babe."

She smiled showing her tradmark dimples and Bobby felt his heart skip a beat. Why did she always have this affect on him?

He noticed that she quickly looked around and he wondered if she had a man. He wasn't about to cause any trouble.

"Look, Charity. I'm not going to hold you up. I was just saying hello. I'm not going to bother you or cause you any trouble." He turned and walked back to the car ignoring the fact that she was calling out to him. He should have known that a woman like that wouldn't be without someone for too long. What was he thinking? What was his mother thinking?

He got in and saw that she had hurried to her car. He heard her slam the door and he wondered if she was going to meet whoever she was involved with now. Why did he even stop here in the first place? He cursed under his breath for not going straight to Jerry's in the first place and quickly pulled off, screeching his tires as he went.