"Jordan! Jordan!" his mother yelled from the living room.
"What is it Ma?" he said with a sigh.
"Your car! It's parked too near my roses!" she screeched.
Jordan reached up, pinching the bridge of his nose.
"Don't mind her." his father said, reaching over to give his son a comforting pat, "She spent twenty minutes this morning nagging me for crookedly hanging the bathroom towel."
Jordan smiled softly. It was always the same when he came to visit his parents. Well, when he came to visit his father. His mother was just an irritating part of the package. He never could figure out how his father had managed to stay married to the woman for the past forty odd years.
"Jordan." his mother said sternly, hobbling into the kitchen, her cane violently stabbing at the floor.
"Are you going to go move your car or not?"
"I think," his father interrupted, "that his car will be alright where it is for today, Gladis."
Gladis eyed his father sternly for a moment, but then turned back to him.
"Jordy," she said in a suddenly sweet voice, "I was at the grocery store yesterday and you won't guess who I saw!"
Jordan knew by her tone of voice that this wasn't going to be pleasant.
"Why, that darling Loretta!"
He suppressed a groan, glancing over at his father in supplication to stop this before it went too far. Loretta was his ex-wife, and his mother had never quite accepted the fact that Jordan wanted absolutely nothing to do with the woman anymore.
"She looks so good these days! I asked her how she was doing, she said quite well but she's been a tad lonely. Isn't that sad?" she said expectantly.
"Terrible." Jordan said morosely.
"Oh shush, Charles!" she said, "I wasn't done telling Jordy about Loretta."
"Ma, I think I have to go now-
"Oh, but you can't go now, Jordy." she said, pouting.
"Why not?" he and his father said together.
Gladis' brow knit in consternation for a moment and she eyed them suspiciously, but soon began smiling again.
"Because, silly, I've invited her over for tea."
"You..." Jordan blanched, "You invited, Loretta, over for tea?" he croaked.
"Of course! After the poor dear told me how lonely she'd been lately, and I mentioned you would be over for tea yourself today - she so wants to see you again Jordan dear - I just had to."
"Ma, I really don't think that was a good idea." he said, suddenly on edge.
"And why not?" she said, crossing her arms like an upset child.
"You know I can't be around her Ma, not after what she did." he said, getting up to look out the kitchen window, "When is she supposed to be getting here anyway?"
"Oh Jordan, you overacted, it was just a little stab wound."
"Ma, she tried to kill me!"
"Jordan!" his mother said, shocked.
"Well she did." his father said.
"Ma, when is she supposed to arrive?" he hastily asked again.
"Any minute actually-" and the doorbell rang, "That must be her now! I'll get it!"
Gladis bounced out of her chair and down the hall, cane happily stabbing at the hardwood floor as she went.
Jordan suddenly felt his knees go weak and he sagged against the kitchen counter.
"Dad. Dad get me outta here." he begged.
His father rose from his seat, grabbing his son by the arm. Jordan could feel cold fear sweat dripping down his face.
"Come on, we'll go by the sliding door out back. You can circle 'round to your car from there."
They snuck out through the laundry room, his father giving him a hasty hug, watching as Jordan wobbled down the steps to the gravel driveway just as he could hear the two women coming into the kitchen.
"Charles? Jordan?" Gladis called askance.
"I'm afraid, ladies," Charles said as he wandered back into the kitchen, "that Jordan suddenly took sick and had to head home."