Drew still remember getting to watch his mom fall in love again. He remembered what it was like to watch her become happy.
Not that she wasn’t a happy person. He could laugh and joke and play with the best of them. But she was missing something. Before Drew could even remember, his father had died, and that had left a cloud on his mother’s life. A slight darkness that Drew didn’t even realize was there until it started to disappear.
But when Charlie came into their lives, Drew had seen a change in his mother. Slow and subtle at first–but growing every time they saw Charlie. She smiled more. She laughed more. She was just–happier. And Drew remembered thinking he would do anything he could to keep his mother like this.
And he knew that he first part of that was making sure that Charlie was going to stick around.
His mom called him out on that about two weeks in to his plan to make Charlie stay. Drew’s room had never been so clean or his table manners so kind or his homework done so expeditedly. It took a lot of needling for him to admit it, first trying to claim that he just wanted to do these things now—which his mother didn’t even believe for a second. When he finally confessed that he didn’t want to scare Charlie away, his mom got very serious.
“You are my number one man, Andrew Samuel. Now—I appreciate that you are happy I’m happy, but I am telling you right here right now. If Charlie can’t handle you the way you are—I don’t want to have Charlie. Do you understand me?” It was the voice his mom only used when she really needed him to listen, used so sparingly that it carried a weight that Drew could not ignore.
“Yes Ma’am,” he answered softly.
“Good man.” She ruffled his hair in a way that made him groan and duck out of her reach. “Now—if you want to keep getting your homework done before 4:30 every afternoon, don’t let me stop you,” She added for good measure. But they both knew who Drew really was, and she’d rather have him back then his homework done in a timely manner.
So—Drew became himself again, and was glad to see that Charlie didn’t seem to be running for the streets at the usual middle school antics that Drew got himself into. And his mom was still happy. Getting happier by the day.
So, when his mom came to him and asked if it was okay if Charlie moved in with them, of course he was going to say yes. He made a joke about making sure that he was still her “number one man,” but he certainly wasn’t going to stand in his mother’s way. Not with how happy Charlie made her.
And yes, it was nice to have a father figure in his life. But it wasn’t about him. It was about watching his mother fall in love. And that was all that mattered.