Once everyone had left, Luke started mopping the deck. His mother might like the ‘lived in’ look but they still needed their home to be habitable. Besides, the rhythmic repetition gave him time to think.
Today had been the craziest of his life. To think barely a few hours ago he had wielded the power of a miraculous and had fought beside Ladybug and Chat Noir. And that hadn’t even been the craziest part. The craziest had been their band being watched by Jagged Stone! The man had been his idol ever since he was little. Getting to watch one of his shows was difficult enough in of itself. But getting him to watch a performce of his own was a miracle. Yet somehow Marinette had pulled it off, asking him to watch them despite his guitarist returning. She was kind of amazing like that.
However that wasn’t what was weighing on his mind. Despite growing up surrounded by his mother’s love of rock music, he couldn’t remember her ever playing one of his songs, having any posters of him, or just mentioning him at all. Even though he was arguably the most famous artist in the genre. He’d had to discover Jagged for himself after watching him on MTV one night when he was younger. And since then anytime he brought him up, she would quickly change the conversation to something else. Originally he had thought that she just didn’t like him music but didn’t want to tell him because he was such a big fan or because as a rock fanatic it would a crime not to. That was until a few hours ago when Jagged showed up on their figurative doorstep begging for help from an old friend. Luka knee his mother could hold a grudge, but for her to not even mention that she knew him meant that whatever had gone down between them mustn’t have been good.
“What are you doing with that broom? Leave the cleaning to the river!”
Startled from his thoughts, Luka turned to see his mother standing on the deck.
Before he could change his mind, Luka took a deep breath to gather his thoughts. At least Juleka was at her girlfriend’s so she wouldn’t be around if things kicked off.
“Mum, what happened between you and Jagged?”
Anarka sighed, her shoulders curling as though she was a shell, before sinking into the bench. All his life she’d seemed as hard and unbreakable as the music she loved. He’s never seen her look anything close to vulnerable before.
She motioned the bench so he carefully put the mop down before sitting beside her. In the minutes it took for her to speak, Luke’s head warped with possibilities and what he would to Jagged depending on how badly he had hurt her.
“I never thought that I would see Jagged again. So I wasn’t planning on telling you until you were older. But when he settled down in Paris and your friend started working for him, I knew that I would be having this talk sooner.”
She brushed his dyed hair out of his eyes, so that she could look into his matching eyes.
“Jagged is your father.”
Time froze. Part of him was elated that his hero was his another. Another was confusion. Anger at his mother for not telling him. Guilt for feeling angry. He was so lost in his own mind that he almost missed it when she continued talking.
“We first met at a festival in England. We were both just aspiring musicians then with two guitars and a dream. That summer, we travelled all across Europe going to different concerts, trying to get signed to a record label on the way. He was the lead singer whilst I wrote most of the songs. But we both knew that it wouldn’t last forever. So I broke it off when I returned home to Paris. It’s wasn’t until a few months later that I released I was pregnant with you. He could have been anywhere in the world so I had no way of telling him. So I raised you by myself which I would happily do again a thousand times over. Still, I assumed I’d never hear from him again. You have no idea how much of a shock it was when I turned on the radio one night to hear his voice coming out of it. Then he became an international superstar and I wasn’t sure what to do. Contacting him wasn’t any easier, the only numbers I could find was for his agent and they would probably just assume I was some crazed fan. So when you fell in love with his music I couldn’t tell you, because I knew it would break your heart that your idol was your father but you would never be able to talk to him. That was until Jagged made Paris his base and worked with your friends. I knew he would find me eventually. I just didn’t expect it to be so soon. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you before.”
“Hey, it’s ok.” Luka said wrapping his arms around her, holding her like she used to do it him when he was little, pressed against the heart that had loved and raised him. She hugged him return, her chin resting on his head, so that he couldn’t see the shame on her face.
“Are you going to tell him?” She whispered.
“Are you?” He replied.
“I’ll do whatever you want.”
“Can I have some time to think about it?”
She removed her chin so that she could place a finger under his own. Her shame now replaced with love.
“You can have the world sweetheart.”
Luka smiled. No matter his decision or Jagged response, he knew that he would always have his mother.