Chapter Twenty-Two

The son and Storm are rudely awakened

"You fucking whore! You little bitch, you goddamned SLUT! You get your teenage soul mate OUT of my fucking house before I kill you both and get electrocuted twice! You motherfuckin' WHORE!"

Regaining consciousness, the son realizes that there must be some misunderstanding between Storm and her husband regarding the terms of their marital relationship. Evidently it is not quite so mutually free and open as she described it to Bo that morning after the night they met.

When he opens his eyes, the son sees the husband, with the first light of dawn in the curtains behind him, standing over the couch, shouting and stamping his feet violently. The son wants very badly to get up as the husband suggests, but he (the son) is pinned between Storm and the back of her couch. His left arm is still stretched straight out beneath her neck, his hand hanging off the couch and almost touching the husband's pant leg. The son tries to hide this incriminating hand somewhere in Storm's hair, since he cannot move until she does. Unfortunately, she is always slow to wake up.

"What in the fucking hell," her husband continues yelling, "are you doing in my house while I'm out working my ass off all goddamned night long to keep a roof over your head and support your freeloading hippie friends, you goddamned little whore?"

"Be cool," Storm finally mumbles, opening one eye and yawning. "They're your friends, too. What are you so freaked out about?"

"My friends, my ass. I'm 'freaked out' because I just came home and found my wife sleeping on my couch with another man . . . BOY, who'd better get the hell out of my house before I get my goddamned gun and we both have a dead-assed 'friend'!"

"Are you doing speed again?" Storm asks with sleepy curiosity. Why won't she get up? "You remind me of your grandfather when you talk like a redneck," she says. "We were just listening to some music . . . [yawn] . . . waiting for you to come home so we could all get high together. We fell asleep waiting."

"Doesn't smell like you waited," the husband counters. "Smells like you got a good buzz and fucked yourselves silly and passed out! Have you ever heard of statutory rape? Women can go to jail for that, too!"

"We have our clothes on," Storm points out. "Can't you see?"

"Damned white of you to get dressed before I got home! I guess I should be happy I didn't find you both buck-assed naked! Thank you very much!" The husband now makes a move to pull the son from the couch, and Storm finally stands up to intervene. With a flick of his hand, her husband pushes her to the floor.

"What happened to peace?" Storm asks, looking up in bewilderment from where she sits involuntarily on the carpet.

"The only piece around here is the piece of ass you just gave your little soul mate on my goddamned couch!" the husband shouts. "Why didn't you just screw him on the waterbed? Huh? You know I hate like hell for a man to be uncomfortable while he's fucking my wife!"

The son gets up now and stands staring at Storm, who still sits on the floor, groggy, pushing hair from her face, while her husband glares maniacally back and forth from his wife to her guest. The son wants to rescue Storm from this situation, but doesn't know how.

"I'll be all right," Storm says quietly, giving the son permission to go. "Everything's cool."

"Cool, my ass! GET THE HELL OUT!" her husband screams at the son, who is rapidly pulling on his moccasin boots. The husband stands between him and the front door, so the son goes out through the kitchen, coatless, cursing the January cold and himself for leaving his fatigue jacket in Tonya's closet.

As he backs the Bel Air out of Storm's driveway and maneuvers it through the curving streets of her subdivision, he hopes the rising sun will melt the ice on his windshield, which he did not take time to scrape. He turns his wipers and defroster on full blast, but the air blows out ice-cold into his face, so he turns the defroster back off. In spite of his distress, he laughs to remember that he came here last night, chilled and shaking, in search of serenity, comfort, relief from anxiety. Now, driving in the opposite direction twelve hours later, he is more chilled, more anxious and shaking harder than ever. Still he finds that he regrets neither the night with Storm nor this morning's scene with her husband. The former was pure goodness in and of itself, and the latter, though deeply disturbing, he wouldn't have missed, either. He would not choose now to have avoided feeling the frightening anger of Storm's irate husband.

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