Chapter XXII: Pidgin Roost

“Let’s move this upstairs.” Dilly whispered into her date’s ear as his strong hands gripped her in a passionate embrace. Lang pulled away and Dilly looked into his light blue eyes and smiled before turning to the stairs and walking to her bedroom. She heard the thump of Lang’s footsteps and she knew he followed.

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She was glad her mother had taken Billy out to the park tonight. She needed this time off to blow off steam and just relax and have fun, she planned on a hot bath and a good book at first but at the last moment she changed her mind and invited Lang over.

The two of them were never officially in a relationship, they never really went out, it was hard to move Lang from his couch as it was and Dilly didn’t really have any interest in conversations with the man. He was young, much younger than she was, and more importantly she didn’t find him even remotely interesting, all he talked about were video games and computers, Dilly knew little about either of those.

She however did now something about Lang most people didn’t. He was a good hacker. And Dilly knew how important that skill was in today’s world. That is how the two met. Dilly worked as an editor for the Twinbrook’s local papers but from time to time she would write a freelance article as well. And Lang had helped her out a few times, enabling her to get the information she couldn’t get otherwise. She also knew she wasn’t the only one who knew about Lang’s talents, or how useful they were.

The local crime family, the notorious Racket’s had Lang on their payroll as well. Dilly was sure Lang had no idea how dangerous Max, Marigold and their offspring were. And she was not the one to tell him that, having an ear inside that organization could mean a lot along the way. Exposing the Racket’s in the paper…. That was pretty much what every journalist in Twinbrook dreamed about…

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She let Lang lower her down on her bed and returned his deep kisses with equal passion. There was just something about young lovers one could never replace she thought. She did really enjoy her romance with Harwood Clay, he made up his age with experience and it was very hard for her to break things off with him. But her mother was right. Harwood should have married her after Billy was born.

It wasn’t that Dilly necessarily wanted to be married. She enjoyed her life as it was, but he should have at least asked, it would have been prudent. But that ship had sailed, there was no use thinking about it. It was over, Dilly was now seeing Lang’s roommate Justin. He was of the same type as Lang, young, tech savvy but he had a more captivating mind and could actually lead a kind of intelligent conversation Dilly had craved.

It didn’t help however that any time she looked into her son’s eyes, she saw Harwood…. It didn’t help he had taken a job with the paper this summer… There was an epidemics of chicken pox going around and all the children usually delivered the paper were out sick, they had put out an add and look who answered… Harwood and his damned purple bike…

Lang was gone before her mother had come home. That was the deal. Dilly didn’t want her to know she was seeing someone other than Justin, especially a dead beat like Lang. She didn’t hide many things from Milly Pidgin. As long as Dilly remembered it was the two of them against the world, and apart from Dilly’s days at School of Peace and Love they had lived together, at this very house, sharing everything. Dilly had learned to lean on her mother for everything in her life, including raising her toddler son. But talking about her love life would just earn her scorn from her mother who had high expectations of her only daughter. It wasn’t as if Dilly agreed with her mother’s choice of lover yet she said nothing to her…

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She woke up with Billy’s excited little face staring right at her. Billy was holding his bottle in both his hands, seated on the floor between her bedroom and the nursery, wearing nothing but his diapers and smiling adorably.

“Come here love.” She said sitting up in bed and tapping the space next to her. Billy dropped the bottle and crawled to her. Dilly lifted him up in her arms and placed him onto her lap. “How was the walk with grandma, did you two have fun down at the park?” She asked and got and excited little babble in response. It made her smile. Everything about her son made her smile. Dilly felt she could spend the whole day just laying in bed and playing with Billy but she had to get up and go to work.

She lowered him gently on the floor and watched him hurry off to play with his toys while she got down to the kitchen to grab a quick breakfast. She found J.J, the family’s cat sleeping on one of the kitchen counters. It always amazed her how J.J picked this very spot out of all the warmer and softer surface around the house. She guessed it was because he knew where all the food was and was intent on being close to it at any given time.

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“Shoo.” She yelled at him but the cat barely registered her, just slightly raising one of his pointed ears. Dilly sighed and left him be. She hoped her mother would give this counter a healthy scrub while she was at work, less their evening meals be filled with cat hair.

It was an uneventfully day at work. Dilly arrived a bit late so she missed Harwood which was good. She hoped to miss him when he comes into office later as well. They might have been broken up but still her heart would do a little summersault when she would hear his deep but enchanting voice or look deep into those green, intelligent eyes. He had shaved off his beard and his hair had gotten so long that keeping it down in the ever growing heat and humidity was not an option so he would tie it in a short ponytail. Still he looked dashing. Dilly sighed wiping sweat of her own forehead. Thinking about Harwood Clay would do her no good. Not today, not any day.

When she got home first thing she did was start with dinner. She knew if she got out of her sweaty clothes and into a shower she would never force herself out and they all needed to eat. Her mother joined her dropping tiredly into one of the chairs.

“Hi mum, tough day?”

“Not at all.” Her mother said and smiled. Milly Pidgin was one of those person who never complained, she was the kind who found light in every situation, she could stare at a train wreck and find something positive and uplifting.  It was why her answer didn’t surprise Dilly one bit. But she didn’t fail to notice how tired her mother seemed these days, she chucked it up to this damned heat, and taking care of a growing toddler but still sometimes she worried…

“How was Billy?” She asked.

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“Fine, fine.” Her mother said. “He is always such a good boy, we learned some new words and now he is upstairs watching cartoons.” Dilly nodded. She hoped her mother was careful with what words she was teaching her son, just the other day Dilly overheard her telling him about death, and how someday it would come and claim everyone he knew and loved, his grandmother first… Dilly had a serious talk with her mother then and today she was not up to repeating it so she said nothing more.

She fed Billy and then had dinner in the foosball room while her mother went to finish a phone call. Dilly assumed it was to her beloved, the local freak, Juan Darer, who also happened to be Harwood’s best friend. Her mother joined her moments later with a huge smile on her face.

“They would come today, they finally called.” She said cheerfully.

“Who would?” Dilly asked frowning slightly, she hated when her mother spoke out of context like this.

“The people who will install the hot tub of course, I told you about them, I have called them in last week.” Her mother said patiently, as if speaking to Billy not her. Dilly kept on frowning.

“You didn’t tell me anything about that!” She said annoyed.

“I am sure I did.” He mother continued calmly. “The hot tub will be a great relief in this heat trust me.” Dilly didn’t see the point in arguing further and she went upstairs to play with Billy a bit before her mother came to get him ready to bed. She didn’t put much thought into this since she already had a lot on her plate.

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The day she started worrying she came home to find her mother seated on the couch reading the paper.  Not a weird act by itself, her mother was usually in the house when Dilly came home from work, once she had taken Billy the older woman would go out and enjoy her new hot tub. Thankfully alone, on most nights since Dilly could hardly stand her giggling like a teenager when Juan joined her there. Those were the ordinary things, what was out of the ordinary was what her mother had said when she saw Dilly enter and lowered the papers.

“I think I am going to join Bill Racket’s campaign this fall.” Dilly narrowed her eyebrows completely lost for words. Bill Racket was a local politician, successful only because he was so heavily founded by his family, with money obtained illegally of course. All this was so unlike her mother Dilly just didn’t know how to react… “Don’t look at me like that Dills.” Her mother said at last. “I have always wanted to make a difference in the world, it Is time to start on that path, while my health still serves me.”

“What kind of difference will you make with Bill Racket?” Dilly asked annoyed.

“Even the blackest of hearts can be healed, and even the most astrayed can be lead to a righteous path.” Milly Pidgin replied peacefully.  Dilly frowned. What could she say when her mother was like this? She  knew the Racket’s were bad news… And she was old, and  lucky enough never to work a day in her life, what she would do with Bill Racket it was beyond Dilly…

“And what about Billy? He still needs you?”

“Who?” Her mother asked a look of confusion passing over he lined face. “You will be at school then love, I will need to occupy myself in some way…” Dilly felt something cold pass trough her.

“I won’t be at school mum… I left school long ago. Billy is your grandson, the one you are babysitting while I am at work.” She muttered.

“Yes of course.” Her mother said. Still she seemed mildly confused. “He was crying earlier, the TV broke while he was in a middle of a cartoon. He is better now, I consoled him.” She smiled. “Still we would need to call someone to take a look at that old thing.”

And just like that the conversation had ended. Her mother was back to normal but Dilly couldn’t forget that strange conversation….

/* Thank you all for voting in the poll! Harwood won so we are going back to him in the very next chapter! */

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