“Happy birthday, Jason!” It was indeed Jason’s eighth birthday and the one-month anniversary of Uncle Truck and Peter Frampton; her longest relationship since her relocation to Colorado. The stupidly happy twosome did an artistic collaboration and made Jason a cake that looked like panda bear lying on its back. An ecstatic Jason, who had lost track of the date weeks ago and was beforehand unaware that it was his birthday, thanked them and situated himself in at the kitchen counter, anticipating the sugary creation. Peter Frampton sliced off a bear paw for Jason, revealing the red velvet texture below the cream cheese white and dark chocolate ganache icing.
“We used red velvet so it would look like he was bleeding when we cut him into pieces!” Peter Frampton giggled; despite his politeness, he did have an occasionally dark sense of humor. At this point, Uncle Truck’s young friend had practically moved in. He would run home to check on his mother in the early mornings and evenings, but he spent the majority of his time that wasn’t spent at work with Uncle Truck. With his side job selling marijuana, he had been gladly helping Uncle Truck pay the bills. Though the two of them were only in the early stages of a relationship, Jason viewed them as the mother and father figure he wished he had. Oh goodness! It was Jason’s birthday and he was not in the company of his wretched parents. Jason, being the little shit he happened to be from time to time, was most pleased.
The unconventional family celebrated Jason’s birthday in a sparkling reservoir just in front of the permafrost-patched mountains. Uncle Truck and Peter were being disgusting as usual and kissing each other with only their heads visible atop the gentle wrinkles of the waves. Jason enjoyed the sound and sight of water but was terrified of swimming; he instead sat with his feet sunk into the sand, attempting to fly the Chinese-dragon kite Peter had given him as a birthday gift. He did only attempt though; as there is rarely a windy day in Colorado and this was not one of those days.
“I’m going to build you a house, right there, in between the water and the mountains. Your two favorite things… next to a gray sky and a gentle wind,” Peter Frampton lifted Uncle Truck slightly above the water, clasping her from beneath her thighs and letting her legs wrap around his lower torso, “And every day there is a gray sky and a gentle wind, we’ll sit on the porch, only listening to the wind chimes above us…” Uncle Truck waited for him to continue, but Peter Frampton had forgotten what else he was going to say. After a pause, Peter Frampton gazed up at her with his childlike cerulean eyes, sending Uncle Truck into an unvoiced infatuated high, “I’m crazy about you, Trakina. I’ll take care of you.”
Uncle Truck’s insides were screaming “Impregnate me now!”… But she was terrified… and trying to be realistic. Peter Frampton was the most perfect creature she had ever known. After all she had been through in her love life, how could she be sure that Peter truly cared for her as much as he seemed to? How could he be so perfect? Oh wait, he wasn’t perfect…
“You really are young, Peter Frampton.”
Peter, as usual, was confused, “Is something wrong?”
“Nothing’s wrong, hon,” Uncle Truck lowered herself back into the water without making a splash, draping her wrists over the tops of Peter’s shoulders. “You’re just young. You don’t say those kinds of things to a woman you’ve only known for a few weeks. I can’t help but wonder how many women you’ve even come close to… in my eyes, you’re still a boy.” Peter was slightly embarrassed and Uncle Truck felt like a jerk and tried to cover her tracks, “You’re the most wonderful person I’ve ever known, you really are… I just think you need to have your life a little more together before you talk to me like that… I don’t care that you sell drugs, but later down the line I’d like you to do something else.”
“Is there anything you could suggest I do, Trakina?”
Uncle Truck, fearing that she had scared Peter off but refusing to show it externally, pecked a kiss on his cheek and held him close, “I’m happy with things the way they are. If you still want to do all the things you said you would when you’re… say, twenty-five years old? Tell me so.”
Uncle Truck emerged from the tiny fizzing waves of the shore and laid herself down on a beach blanket before she fell asleep in the cream-sickle orange, late afternoon sun. Like a chameleon, her snowy skin quickly darkened into an Italian olive tone. “She is fascinating,” Jason said to Peter as the two of them repeatedly let the Chinese dragon crash into the dunes on behalf of the stagnant air. “Just look at how she changes colors! She’s a rainbow!”
“She is fascinating,” Peter said with a tinge of gloom in his voice, “and she is more loved than she will ever know.”
“You love her, Peter Frampton?” Peter was silent, combing his hands through the brown-sugar sand beneath him and gazing out into cobalt sheet of water. “Well, do you?”
“It’s too early for me to say anything like that.”
“Oh, come on! She just has her guard up – she’s not used to meeting nice people like you. She’s probably just scared you’ll hurt her.”
Peter Frampton shook his head, “It’s more than that, Jason. I’m too young. She deserves a man who can provide…” Jason tried to argue that Peter had been providing; Peter wouldn’t admit to the child how he was able to provide. “I’ll have to wait until I’m her age and I’ve done something with my life before she takes me seriously…”
“Well, if you love her, can you wait? What will it be, four years? Is it worth it?”
“Four years would be fair. I’d wait longer… I’d have to wait longer… I just don’t think she would.” Jason didn’t understand; why would she have to wait longer? “I’m entering my senior year of high school in a few weeks. I’m not twenty-one.”
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