As much as she loathed his family, in the interest of peace, love and calenders, Tracy consented to a week in their moldy old mansion with their moldy old selves. Thomas assured her that they would be on their best behavior for the holiday season, and though she didn’t believe that he had any control over his domineering father or his mother’s infectiously low self-esteem, she didn’t want him to suffer alone. She didn’t want him to suffer at all. Were it feasible to legally seperate him from their bloodline, she would gladly file the paperwork.
“They’ll be fine, I promise. They’ve mellowed with age.”
She would become a notary if it would speed up the process. A quick law degree from a small, local college should be easy enough, if that would help.
“I worry that if I don’t maintain good relations with them, they’ll write me out of the will.”
His mother greeted them at the door and hugged her only son violently, with the full body contortions of a fish accidentally flopped up onto land. She embraced Tracy more gently. “Thank you so much for coming. You don’t know what this means to us.”
“Oh, great,” Tracy affirmed. The woman needed constant affirmations, as she recalled. “Glad to be here.”
“Daddy’s in his study, but I’m sure he’ll be out for dinner.”
She insisted on carrying Tracy’s bag through the labyrinthine corridors of their empty home. With the added weight, she moved slowly, but she would not allow Tracy to take over.
“I’m fine,” she insisted, with a sudden burst of venom. Tracy did not push the issue. She glanced at her husband, but he didn’t seem to notice anything was wrong.
“Aren’t you going to say, ‘Thank you?'” he prompted as his mother dropped her luggage at the foot of a bed. Tracy swallowed and repeated the words, which the old woman didn’t seem to hear.
“Oh and Mom, can you make me a hot chocolate? You make the best hot chocolates.”