Mitchell Womack wasn’t a tall man. It was surprising, really. His father had been large and his mother was a veritable giant at just over six feet. His younger brother, Colin, played center for a university basketball team. But Mitchell was much smaller, the runt of the litter. Things never seemed to be in his reach.
This particular Monday, he had to yell for his mother to come and retrieve the glass-bottle, Yuengling six-pack from its resting place atop the refrigerator.
He waited a few seconds, but heard no movement from the adjoining room, just the sound of the television set. He yelled again. “Mom! I want a beer! Who the hell put them up there anyway?”
After a sigh and the thump of footsteps across the cheap carpet, his mother appeared in the doorway, clothed only in a robe that was far too small for her large frame.
“Colin moved them,” she said. “He gave me cash to go get them, he can put them where he likes.”
“He’s not even old enough drink.”
She just snorted and laughed.
“I’m serious, mom! Why does he get to do whatever he wants?”
His mom gestured to one of Colin’s basketball hoodies that lay draped across a chair.
“He’s in college, Mitch. Ain’t none of us ever been to college. Who’s going to stop him?” She walked to the fridge and took down the six-pack. “Anyway, it ain’t hurting no one.”
Mitchell grabbed a beer and popped the cap off on the edge of the kitchen counter. “Dad would beat the shit out of him if he was here.”
“Yeah. Well, he ain’t.” his mom said. She turned around and went back into the other room. The muffled sound of voices from the television continued.
Mitchell stood in the kitchen for a while, enjoyed the Yuengling, then had a few more. Then he took the rest and poured them down the sink.
On his way out the door Mitchell grabbed Colin’s hoodie and put it on. He knew it was far too baggy for his small frame, but he never gave it back.