Cement Heart(9)

By: Beth Ehemann

“That’s the plan,” I answered.

Mike tilted his head to the side, smiling slightly as he watched her frantically open drawer after drawer. “What are you looking for?”

“My credit card. I can’t find— Here it is!” She grinned, holding her gold card up in the air.

“Where are you going anyway?” I asked.

She shoved the card into her purse. “Book club.”

I frowned at her. “Why do you need a credit card for book club?”

Mike looked at me and rolled his eyes. “Why do they have book club at a pub?”

“Correction,”—she held her finger up in the air—“it’s at a martini bar. Way classier than a pub.”

“Mmhmm, if you say so.” She walked over and stood up high on her tippy toes to give Mike a kiss. He smacked her ass as she walked away. Her perfume tickled my nose and I realized I’d never really seen her dress up before. Not like this. She actually looked… hot.

“Okay, baby…” She threw her purse over her shoulder and walked over to Matthew, then knelt down next to him and kissed his cheek. “I love you. Have fun tonight.”

“Love you too, Momma.”

She wiped her lipstick off his cheek with her hand and whispered something in his ear, making him giggle. Then she left. Again with the damn perfume.

Perfume on a woman is like a secret weapon against men. It flies up our noses and heads straight for our brains, making us completely pussy drunk. We suddenly turn into bees that need to stick our little bee dicks into a woman’s flower for a taste of that sweet, sweet nectar. Intoxicating.

“What did Mom say to you?” Big Mike asked Matthew.

“She said you and Uncle Viper are crazy, so I’m in charge tonight.” He giggled again and shoved a huge bite of noodles into his mouth.

“Oh, really? Then what are we doing tonight, boss?” Mike walked over and picked up Maura, who had started fussing in her swing. She was six months old already but still so tiny in Mike’s huge paw.

“We’re gonna…” His little face twisted and contorted as he thought about what he wanted to do. “Let’s eat lots of cookies and watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!”

I shrugged. “Sounds good to me.”

AN HOUR LATER, Maura had eaten, puked weird white shit all over Mike’s shirt, and passed out in another baby apparatus in the corner of the family room while Big Mike, Matthew, and I each lay on a different part of the sectional, watching the Minnesota Twins beat the crap out of the White Sox.

“So this is what you do with your Friday nights, huh?” I asked Mike as I glanced around the room, fascinated by the simplicity of the evening.

“Pretty much.” He smiled proudly. “Awesome, huh?”

“Sure.” I shrugged. “If you don’t like women with tits.”

“Really?” Mike glared at me before looking over at Matthew, who was too busy watching TV to pay attention to us. “Come on, Finkle, you know one day you’ll be an old married man like me with a wife and house full of little kids.” He picked up the remote and changed the channel from the baseball game to some obnoxious cartoon with a singing yellow sponge.

I stared in disgust as the porous little bastard danced around the screen and poked his big pink friend in the gut. “Not if it means having to watch this shit.”

Matthew gasped, his mouth hanging open as his head twisted quickly toward me and then over to his dad.

Big Mike tried to hold in his laugh. “Try not to swear, okay?”

Jesus, it would be easier not to eat for a week than it would be not to swear.

“Sorry. But no, you and Brody live in a different universe than me.”

He frowned. “What do you mean?”

“He’s like you now. Busy with the family all the time and preoccupied.”

“He’s not preoccupied, he just has different priorities now. Unfortunately, being your wingman at the bar has taken a backseat to his wife and kids.”

“I know, and trust me, the last thing I need is a wingman. It’s just weird. I hardly see him anymore.”

“It hasn’t been so bad, though. You and I have been hanging out a lot more.” He smiled a big, goofy grin at me.