“Mom, this is Phil,” I said.
“I know,” she said. “Barry’s dad.”
I reached back and grabbed his hand, and pulled him up next to me. “Mom, I’d like you to meet my boyfriend, Phil.”
“Oh. You’re her Phil.” She seemed to shrink a little and she put one hand on her throat.
Phil nodded. “I’m her Phil.”
I liked the way that sounded. Especially when Phil said it. I wished I got a few seconds to enjoy it.
My mom sank down onto the bottom stair. She looked confused. I couldn’t tell if she felt upset, uncomfortable, or in shock. I didn’t know what to do. I sat down beside her on the stair and put my arm around her shoulders.
“You okay?” I asked.
“It’s an unpleasant surprise.” She shook her head.
I pulled my arm back and leaned away from her. So this is how it would go.