Benny wanted to crawl in a hole when Keith showed up at his house. They'd just had supper and his mother was yelling at his little nieces and nephews about cleaning up. Since his sisters weren't here to yell at them to keep them in line..it was his mother's duty. There was always such tension around her. Benny wasn't sure if he wanted Keith to witness this.
But there he was on the steps.
"Why are you here?" Benny didn't mean to be so gruff, but this was the manner in which they spoke to each other at home. Especially, after dinner. His mother took no grief from anyone. She fed them. Now they cleaned up. She expected a spotless house. Generally, Benny did the kitchen clean up.
"OH...Benny...you have friend?" His mother's chilling voice gave him goosebumps. He grimaced back at her as if he wanted her to shut up, but she shoved past him to get a good look at the stranger standing there all innocent and with that silly grin.
Benny shoved his hands in his kakis' pockets, harder. What had Keith done? He'd never had anyone over..all his life.
"You're not suppose to be here?" He moped.
"I'm not?" Keith was slightly silly.
"Well?" His mother's wicked voice hung in the air like a lonesome yelp. "Aren't you going to introduce HIM?"
Benny was closed lip for a moment. Thinking. Thinking what he should tell her.
"He's just a friend." He gave her an evil look. She gave him a hard look back. "He's Keith, Mom. His name is Keith."
"KEY?" It sounded as if her hearing might be going. She might have been all of four feet and nine inches and wearing cargo pants that Benny had wore in elementary school, but she knew how to smack him where it hurt.
Benny shook his head, no. He rolled his eyes. She croaked something in Korean to him as he belted down the basement steps with Keith.
"You shouldn't have come." Benny hugged himself tight.
"All the more reason to take you away from here, then." Keith grinned as he looked around at the dark paneled place. "Its your Lair, right?"
"My mom thinks I have a fat girlfriend. She's afraid she's pregnant." Benny felt himself gritting. He couldn't let himself relax.
"I might have a chance then, to get in her good graces." Keith shrugged. Benny held in a laugh.
"Oh, come on," Keith said as she touched Benny's shock of hair hiding his eyes. "Let me find you a coat or something."
Benny kept staring at Keith. He couldn't believe Keith was here and Benny's mother hadn't scared him.