Spoon answered the door. His face fell.
“I knew this time would come,” he said flatly.
Lady Ladle held out her arms. “You don’t have a hug for your mother? After all this time? After she’s come all this way?”
Spoon didn’t move.
“Who is it?” called Dish from the living room.
“Nobody,” said Spoon.
“Cereal’s getting soggy,” called Dish.
“In a minute!” Spoon replied. He stepped out of the apartment and pulled the door shut behind him. “You should go,” he said coldly.
Lady Ladle reached a hand to touch her son’s concave face. Spoon froze. A tear sprang to his mother’s eye.
“How did you find us? Was it that cat? I bet it was that cat.”
“It wasn’t the cat. He was asking about you only the other day. He’s got a new album out. Mozart violin concertos.”
“Whoopee. The little dog, then.”
Lady Ladle blushed. “Yes. A spoonful of snacks and he blabbed. Said you were living up here now. And that you were still with… him.”
“He has a name.”
Lady Ladle snatched her son’s hand. “You can come home. Right now. With me. Put this sorry business behind you. Please!” she implored him. “Your father – he’s not well.”
Spoon recoiled, shaking his head. “You won’t guilt me out of this, Mom. I love Dish and he loves me. Why don’t you come in and say hello?”
It was Lady Ladle’s turn to recoil. “You stick a knife in my heart,” she sobbed, holding a handkerchief to her mouth. She tried another tack. “When I think of you, in there, spooning – with him! Listen, son; you were young. Those were crazy times. You got caught up in the moment. Everyone went a little bit crazy when that silly cow tried to launch herself into outer space. There was something in the air. Let’s chalk this up to youthful mistakes, shall we? Come home! Find a nice spork girl. Someone top drawer. Think of your inheritance!”
Spoon shook his head. “I’m sorry, Mom. Dish and I belong together. And that’s all that matters.”
He turned to open the door.
“But – your father…”
Spoon looked back with a sneer. “Tell him to go fork himself.”