I stood in front of the sheet-covered mirror over my dresser. I had shut off the light, a cool breeze blew in through the window.
The door to my room opened, and the silhouette of my mother's head appeared against the light in the hallway.
"Yeah, I'm here," I said.
My mother flipped on the overhead. "What's with you and the dark?"
Fastening my belt and banding my shoulder-length hair back into a tail, I glanced at her with my good eye. I figured she should know the answer to that by now.
She watched me closely, one hand on the doorknob, the other covering the light switch. Her graying hair and blotchy skin made her look ten years older than the thirty-eight years she was.
"I like it that way," I said, walking past her and picking up my brown work shirt lying on the bed.
My mother jerked her head at the mirror. "I can't stand when you do that."
I kept my eyes on my shirt as I buttoned it.
My mother went over and pulled the blue sheet off the mirror, tossing it over her arm. "You're a beautiful boy," she said, patting it down.
I hated when she coddled me which was, at least, once a day. "I'm eighteen," I said. "I'm not a baby."
I walked over and closed the window, shutting out the fresh air.
Her hand fell on my back, curling like a claw.