1. Mothers Always Know
"Alex!" Mortimer bellowed, as Alex was busy staring at his reflection in the mirror - once again. He wanted everything about his appearance to be perfect because in a few minutes he was setting off to meet David, and if he was lucky, he'd be coming back home with aching lips! That is if my hair ever behaves itself, Alex thought to himself, as he touched up his appearance one last time and wondered to himself how much a pair of hair straighteners would cost. "Alex, unless you are pregnant, then I suggest you finish up whatever it is you're doing in the bathroom and let other people use it." Alex's dad popped his head into the bathroom, as Alex rolled his eyes and followed his dad down the stairs.
He quickly dashed for the door. "I'm off out now." Alex casually said. He'd already told his dad he was meeting a friend in town for something to eat, but he hadn't said who it was and neither had his dad asked.
"Alex!" Dina called out, as she watched Alex about to leave.
"Yeah, it's all yours, Dina." He replied, thinking she wanted to know if the bathroom was free.
"No, come here." She asked, and Alex stopped in his tracks, rolling his eyes again.
"What is it?" He turned around and asked.
"What time did your dad tell you to be home by?" Dina enquired.
"Nine." Alex replied, a little unsure where his step-mother was going with this.
"How about we make it ten." Dina offered.
"Why?" Alex wondered where Dina's sudden generosity had come from.
"I just want you to have a nice time tonight, and I think you're old enough and responsible enough to stay out past nine 'o clock." Dina explained.
"Well, thanks." Alex offered, but before he could go, Dina stopped him again.
"Just promise me you'll enjoy yourself and have fun on your date." The two of them alone, Dina couldn't help but blurt it out. She had been dying to talk about what she had seen taking place the other week in her front garden. Alex and his nameless boy-friend holding hands outside when they thought nobody was looking. But she didn't really have anyone to gossip with - she could hardly talk about it with Mortimer. When she saw that Alex was going out, she figured it must be with the same boy, and it must mean that Alex was gay. But Alex didn't know this. He was unaware Dina, or anyone from his family had seen him with David, and this sudden revelation came as quite a shock.
"It's not... I'm gonna be meeting a few people." Alex stuttered, as he tried to make up an excuse.
"Alright, well whatever you decide to do - it's okay with me." Dina said with a wink that sent a chill running down Alex's spine.
"Um... I'd better go." Alex said, as he quickly made his way out of the house before Dina had another chance to stop him. He had planned on taking the bus, but after that awkward and very weird exchange, Alex felt like he could use a walk to cool off!