“Before you say anything, I had to tidy my school stuff, before Mom would let me come out,” she began as soon as Mikey opened the old, front door.
“I wasn’t going to say a word,” he teased.
“Sure you weren’t,” she replied disbelievingly.
He grinned. “Come in.” She walked through the door, slipping her shoes off and leaving them in the cluttered hallway. “You’re wearing a skirt,” Mikey commented, his voice tinged with astonishment.
She looked down. “Oh yeah,” she replied as if noticing the knee length black skirt for the first time. She shrugged. “My jeans are in the wash.”
“Didn’t know you owned any skirts,” he grinned. She rolled her eyes.
“My mom’s determined to make a proper girl out of me.”
I love Mikey’s house. It seemed welcoming and his parents were friendly. Unlike mine. Couldn’t comment on Gerard. He was never there. He went to art college in New York and, according to Mikey, spent a lot of time with his girlfriend.
“Joanna. Hi. Lovely to see you.” Donna was in the kitchen, cooking something that smelt delicious. “Are you staying for lunch?”
“Um, yeah, if that’s okay,” Joanna replied, as Mikey snickered at the fact that she was still scared of his mom. She turned round and hit him on his arm. “Shut up.”
“Michael,” his mother said warningly. “Be nice to Anna.”
His mouth fell open. “But, but you’re my mom. You’re supposed to stick up for me!”
Joanna snorted. “Where’d you hear that one? In your dreams?”
“Ha-ha, very funny,” he dryly remarked. “Anyway come on.”
I wasn’t completely scared of Donna. I just always expected her to suddenly comment negatively about me; like my own mother. Or she’d tell Mikey that he shouldn’t be friends with me. Or something along those lines that my mom was forever doing.
“Grandma?” Mikey asked, as he walked into the living room. “Are you okay?”
“Of course I’m okay,” the elderly woman who was sitting on the sofa smiled. “My youngest grandson is here.”
Mikey smiled before crossing the room and engulfing her in a hug. She messed with his hair for a second before she spotted Joanna. “And who is this pretty young lady?”
“Grandma this is Joanna,” Mikey explained crossing the room to bring Joanna across. The two females shook hands.
“Nice to meet you,” Joanna offered.
“You too,” the older woman smiled. “Come and sit here and talk to me. It’s all very well having two grandsons, but sometimes it’s nice to have a girl to talk to.”
As Joanna sat down, she smiled at the old woman. “Mikey’s always talking about,” was her opening remark.
She was very nice. Interesting too. We talked about Mikey, school, cheerleading, the fifties, England, food, Italy. Then after lunch me and Mikey went up to his room.
“So?” He asked, as he dropped onto his bed.
“So, what?” Joanna queried, as she sat on the floor, after moving his bass guitar.
“ What do you think? Do you want to share her?” he explained.
“Yeah.” Joanna smiled. “Your grandma’s really nice.”
Mikey grinned. “Thanks. Oh, I learnt figured out the bass to Depression? You know. Black Flag song?”
“Cool,” se remarked. “Anything you don’t know the baseline to?”
“Um…” He pondered for a moment. “Some stupid pop group?” he guessed.
She grinned. “Nice.”
And that was how we whiled away a cold Saturday in December. Just talking about nothing in particular and laughing at jokes that weren’t even funny. I was disappointed when I had to go home.