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Two brothers give their mother a unique holiday present

Two brothers give their mother a unique holiday present. “This town hasn’t changed a bit,” Tyler said.,Curt took his eyes from the road to glance at his brother, who lounged in the passenger seat of the car, looking out the window at their hometown. Tyler had a point. Time had not been kind to North Meadows. The outskirts of the city were still mostly dank industrial wasteland; the downtown area, gentrified and slowly decaying. The house where they had both grown up lay between the two extremes, in a narrow belt of mostly-abandoned suburban housing. Since the closing of the mills and the moving of the army base, North Meadows had slowly been inching toward its death throes.,Not that Curt felt any less nostalgic because of it. As they drove toward the center of town, he had begun to recognize the streets he’d explored as a kid, the playground where he’d sprained his ankle falling from the jungle gym. Even if his hometown was going to pot, Curt felt good to be home again.,“Maybe it’s just the Christmas holiday,” Curt said. It was, after all, Christmas Eve, and the roads were slick with snow and ice. Most of the businesses they’d passed had been closed; a few were outright shuttered.,“I friggin’ doubt it,” Tyler said. Of the two of them, he had always been the more cynical, the more rebellious, and the more daring. In the years since they’d graduated from high school, Curt had taken the stable route, getting a degree in engineering and an office job out of state, while Tyler had moved to Clark Hill and started a pop band. Tyler’s arms and wrists crawled with expensive tattoos; Curt had considered getting one, but refrained for fear of repercussions at his job. Curt had had one relationship all through college that had ended badly, while Tyler’s string of one-night stands was a mile long, each more extreme and perverse than the last. Tyler enjoyed relating the stories of his conquests to Curt in great detail, knowing that it made him uncomfortable.,In short, they were about as different as brothers could be, but had always remained close despite their differences.,“No,” Tyler said, “this place is a shithole. I wish Mom would move the hell out of here. The whole town’s in its death throes.”,“Where would she go?” Curt asked. Their father had disappeared when both the boys were only fifteen, leaving behind only a garage full of junk and a mountain of debt. Their mother, Donna, worked as a night manager at a supermarket, and her income barely covered the mortgage and bills, let alone room to move. “And how would she get there?”,“Yeah, well,” Tyler said, lighting a cigarette. He blew out smoke, scratching the stubbly growth of his five o’clock shadow. “I’ve got a plan to take care of that.”,Curt raised his eyebrows. “Care to tell me what it is?”,“It’s too early to talk about it,” Tyler said. “But when our new album drops, I’m going to have come money coming in. Enough to get Mom out of debt, maybe get her out of this dead-end burg.”,“I see,” Curt said. He had his doubts. Tyler was rather famous for diving into things without thinking through the repercussions, of forming plans that didn’t seem to have a clear end in mind. His heart was in the right place, but he was, in Curt’s opinion, far too impulsive. It was a trait he usually frowned on, but occasionally envied.,“I hope you’re right,” Curt said. “Mom deserves to be happy.”,“Yeah,” Tyler said, his tone distant as he gazed out the window. “She really does.”,# # #,The house seemed even smaller than he remembered — a tiny, single-story ranch-style house on the corner, two blocks from the North Meadows downtown. The porch light glowed a dim yellow as Curt pulled the car into the freshly shoveled driveway.,The brothers unpacked their luggage and presents and shuffled to the front door. Both hands full with bags, Curt reached out to ring the doorbell. Before he could press the button, the door swung open.,“My boys!” Donna said, and beckoned them inside.,The brothers hustled in out of the cold and put down their things in the narrow entryway. As he stomped the snow off his boots, Curt took a look at his mother. Unlike North Meadows, time had been kind to her. She had always been shapely, with full hips, large breasts, and smooth, tanned skin, but her best feature was probably her full lips, which were still as red and lush as he’d remembered them being.,Curt had always felt a little odd thinking of his mother in such terms, but even throughout high school and college, he’d heard “your Mom is hot” often enough from his friends that he’d finally acknowledged it himself.,“Hi, sweetheart,” Donna said, drawing him into a hug. She wore snug jeans and a red sweater with a low scoop neck that showed off a considerable amount of cleavage, and Curt found himself self-consciously aware of her breasts pressing against him as she hugged him.,“Hi, Mom,” he said.,Donna pulled back and kissed him on the lips, a habit she’d never broken no matter how much either of them had begged growing up. Most mothers settled for a peck on the cheek. Not theirs.,“You cut your hair,” Curt said, reaching out to touch her curly brown locks. Once long and flowing down to her waist, her hair was shorter now, falling just past her shoulders. “It looks nice.”,“Well, aren’t you sweet,” Donna said with a bright smile.,“Hi, Mom,” Tyler said, and stepped in for his own hug and kiss. She pressed herself against him with equal abandon, planting a big kiss on his lips afterward.,“Speaking of haircuts, I see someone’s in need of one,” she said, tousling Tyler’s shaggy head of hair. He squirmed away a little and grinned.,“You know me, I have to preserve my bad-boy image,” he said.,“That’s you, all right,” Donna said, and touched his cheek. “You’ll always be my bad boy.”,# # #,Never straying from her motherly instincts, Donna ordered them to take off their boots and coats and stow their luggage in the guest rooms. The house, though small, had three fairly generous bedrooms, and she had kept both the boys’ rooms unchanged. Curt returned to his old room to find his posters still on the wall, his books still on the shelf, and his bed made. It was as if he’d never left.,After putting away their things, Curt and Tyler emerged with a small handful of presents, which they stowed under the meager plastic Christmas tree their mother had set up in the living room. A small pile of them already lay stuffed underneath the tiny tree, tags showing both their names in their mother’s precise lettering.,“Something sure smells good,” Tyler said as he wandered into the kitchen, where Donna was preparing dinner.,“I told you I’d give you boys a nice Christmas dinner, and I meant it,” she said, taking a sip of wine as she stood at the stove. Curt smiled at the familiar memory. Whenever she cooked, Mom always had a glass of wine on hand. Something about it made him feel grounded.,Tyler stepped in behind Donna and hugged her from behind, putting both arms around her stomach and squeezing tight. Donna made a pleased sound and reached back to touch his hair. In the back of his mind, Curt thought that perhaps the two of them lingered on the hug just a tad too long, but then decided not to worry about it.,“My goodness,” she said. “What did I do to earn all this affection?”,“I’ve just missed you, that’s all.” He kissed her on the cheek.,Pages: First -1 – 2 – 3 – … – Next → – Last


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