“My, my, you have been eating your string beans, haven’t you, Stevie?” she whispered, and Steve felt his eyes fill with tears.
“You always told me they’d make me big and strong,” he whispered, and then threw himself forwards into her welcoming arms. “Ma.”
“You’re so big,” she mumbled against his shoulder, before pushing him back to hold at arms length for scrutinization. “My precious little boy, all grown up.”
“You’re… I know it must be confusing,” he replied, batting at his damp eyes quickly. “It’s… complicated. You’re in the future, Ma.”
“Of course I am,” she sighed, as though it were obvious. “I see a bright light like something straight out of one of Stevie’s – your – comic books, and then I wake up to my boy all grown up. Of course this is the future, Steven; I’m not stupid.”
All over again, Steve had to hold back tears. He had missed his Ma’s whirlwind personality and fierce intelligence.
“The more pressing matter,” she continued, taking his hand and holding it up so his wedding ring glistened, “is when you were going to tell me about this?”