Hello Dolly

Devin’s mother’s house was on top of a hill in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania about an hour and half from campus through a million corn fields off some random country road.

His driveway began at the gate and continued upward past a sign that read “Brooks Manor”.  There was a walkway from the driveway to the house – a custom-made home with a wrap around porch, granite countertops and stained-glass windows.  It was like a museum – rooms filled with beautiful objects that were never to be touched.

The thing I found most peculiar about their “humble abode”, aside from the fully illustrated color copy of the Masonic Bible, was the room directly adjacent to Devin’s.  It was a room designed for a girl that never came – filled with porcelain dolls, parasols and floral sheets with curtains to match.

Jacqueline, Devin’s mother who always insisted I called her Jackie, was the owner of “The Doll House” – at least that’s what the divorce papers indicated.  And that is how she treated me – as one of her dolls – dressing me up, making me up and taking me out.  She’d often steal me away from Devin, take me out to lunch and complain about her disappointing sex life as though we were girlfriends.

Truth be told, I didn’t mine.  Jackie was the mother I had always wanted – she worshipped me.  Her only desire was to make me love her and it was that desire alone that made me love, and pity, her.

Jackie was a professional housewife – salary courtesy of Devin’s father, whom she divorced shortly after Devin turned five.

Devin was sent to military boarding school at the age of thirteen so Jackie could pursue her second husband, Tony, full-time.  Tony was a well-to-do banker with a personality problem but the wallet to make up for it.

***

Devin’s room was equivalent to the entire first floor of my humble, working-class home.  King size bed, LCD flat screen TV, killer sound system and weapons everywhere.

Devin collected samurai swords (not the ones you buy at theme parks – I’m talking shipped from Okinawa, legit swords).  He also had an affinity for old-fashioned and modern-day assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons.

His right wall was covered in medals and trophies he had won from military school and from the dojo where he practiced martial arts.  It was upon looking at all this my thoughts drifted to Camden…it was a miracle he was still alive.

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