“Huh..wha…oh hi sweetie. Did you have a nice time?”
“Yeah mom, swell. Want me to help you to bed?”
She managed to get vertical and went to him and gave him a hug.
“I’m fine son. I’ll manage.”
He watched her stagger to her room. She stopped as she remembered something.
“We gotta talk in the morning, ‘kay?”
“Okay mom. We’re taking off again?”
“Yeah, hon. I know we ain’t been here long but I got a call.”
He nodded and went off his room to get ready for bed. Dwayne. As if they didn’t have enough problems Dwayne had been obsessed with her all these years. The one that got away was how he looked at it. People didn’t walk out on Dwayne, he walked out on them. Why he wasn’t doing life without parole somewhere was a mystery.
Derek brushed his teeth and then pulled his clothes off and climbed into bed. Sleep was slow in coming and he couldn’t help but wonder where they were off to now. It was a drag having to establish a new web connection every time they moved but he was used to it.
He wondered if Dwayne had somehow found a way to check on where her disability checks were sent and was finding her that way. He finally drifted off to sleep by concentrating on the sound of the crickets and letting his mind go blank.
The next morning he woke to the smell of bacon and eggs and he knew she was doing her usual ritual of trying to assuage her guilt over the move by making him a nice breakfast.
“Good morning mom. Smells good in here.”
She turned and smiled at her handsome young man as he sat down at the table.
“Hey hon. Listen, you been keepin’ up with your studies? I hate that you can’t go to a regular school and all, you know that don’t you?”
“Yeah mom, it’s okay, I learn more on my own.”
He was very intelligent and could easily get a diploma if needed but it didn’t concern him. He was glad he could concentrate on what mattered to him. One of her ex’s had bought him a laptop when he was twelve and he had never looked back. His mother didn’t know about his hacking skills and he liked keeping it that way.
She put the plates on the table and sat down.
“Yeah, so anyway, we gotta go again. We should do it today. I wish I knew how that bastard keeps finding us. He don’t know exactly where we are, but apparently he knows the area.”
He took a bite of scrambled eggs and bit into his toast.
“So where we headed this time?”
“Adele has a place outside of Phoenix that’s sittin’ empty. They been tryin’ to sell it but the market ain’t no good right now so she said we could use it for as long as we like. How does that sound?”
“Sounds swell mom.”
He kept his head down and continued eating. There really wasn’t anything to say. After breakfast he washed the dishes and went to his room to pack his meagre belongings. When he was done he helped her get the rest of their stuff together and then pack up the station wagon. They’d learned a long time ago not to acquire too many things.
Within a few hours they were ready to go. They got in the car and as she was about to turn the key she stopped, leaned across the seat and kissed his cheek. He smiled at her and then turned and stared out the window as they drove away.
Part 3 Tomorrow