He is simple. He likes red grapes but not green or purple. He understands the difference. Some are green some are purple. Then, good ones are red. His laugh is an expulsion of bliss. It is childishly direct, utterly devoid of the self-awareness an adult laugh has. He doesn't cover his mouth if it is full of food, just lets bits fly where they may and rides the bliss. He openly cries at sad things. If he saw a stranger crying, he would walk up and gently hold her hand and ask what was wrong. He loves Barney, (the purple dinosaur,) because Barney loves him.
Warren is getting close to 30. Technically he's only 26, but someone at a party once told him that "30 sneaks up on you." He kept checking behind the shower curtain and around the corner, nervous for weeks until his mom explained that it just meant that time goes quickly. He still lives with his mom. He's been working on her for months. He thinks he's ready to move out on his own. But she's afraid. Her emotions are not simple. Her fear is dark and deep. The lists of her fears is long and complex. He thinks she's just scared he'll do something dumb or that someone will call him dumb.
"Don't worry, mom. I know I'm not dumb." He said. "And I know what to say if someone calls me dumb. "Dumb means you didn't try. I try. I might not be smart, but I try. I'm not smart in the ways you're smart but that's ok. I'm nice. That's better. But if you call someone 'dumb' that's not nice. I'm sorry you're not nice." Member how I said that that one time when that mean boy called me 'dumb'?"
She did remember. The swell of pride she'd felt. The truths he knew sometimes, they were so deep. Sometimes those extra IQ points she felt just seem to complicate the world. Nuance is overrated. She knew this truth when she saw Warren laugh. Her beautiful genuine son. That laugh was gold. But it didn't pay the bills. It especially didn't pay the bills for Holly Creek Sheltered Living's adult apartments. See? Nuance.
She started teaching Warren to drive after 10 months of daily nagging. He was perfect. He took every rule as law and followed her instructions perfectly. Until she got to the part where she told him to hit an animal in the road. Then he pulled the car over and asked her to drive while he cried and said he didn't think he could drive after all. She hadn't wanted him to drive until then. Then, it was too late.
Maybe she should let him tour Holly Creek after all. It couldn't hurt to look. Plus he could use some of his money for rent. It would help. She doesn't know about his savings. He's been saving money for nearly 10 years and plans to use it to move and to pay his own way. He's got close to fifteen grand. He can't count it, doesn't know that total, or the value. But he saves it just the same.
He moves in 6 months later. She's still afraid. Old fears, new fears, mixed up fears. She's afraid to enjoy the freedom of her own house. Afraid of facing the fear of what will happen to him when she's gone. But he's happy so she tries to simply, simply focus on that.
He's been planning this and its finally worked. Warren has never had sex. He's hoping to change that before "thirty sneaks up on him." He got an apartment. He heard you can't get laid when you still live with your mom, so he got an apartment. Now the girl. The girl...
He and his roommate try to talk to women. They follow advice from the internet. They go to bars and the library and the grocery store. He liked the librarian. Wanted her to have a soda with him and come to his apartment but she'd said no. That was a very strict rule. If a girl says no, you have to stop. No matter what. No means no.
Warren is a kind soul. He is just the sort of soul a woman like Cameron needs to show up when he does. He finds her on his walk home from work. She is laying on the ground crying. He gently holds her hand. She has cuts on her face, her hands. Her leg is turned a funny direction. No one has ever been so gentle toward her. She doesn't report the attack to the police; just asks Warren if he can take her to the hospital.
She has a car. He knows how to drive it. But he is afraid. He knows if there's an animal he won't be able to hit it. And the rule is, if an animal runs in front of your car, you hit it. He won't though. So he's afraid to drive. Also, he only has his permit and his mom told him that he can only drive with her. He tells her this and she nods. She promises there won't be an animal this time. Tells him his mom will understand that it was an emergency. He carries her to the car.
He's still holding her hand when they get to the Emergency Room. She lets go when its time to fill out forms. He is quiet and waits to take it back. He doesn't speak until she does. He is quiet in the face of all her sadness. He is unrushed, sweet, kindess.
When they check out of the hospital, he offers to buy her a soda. He tells her he has never had sex. That she is pretty and nice and that the first time is supposed to be special. He tells her that he asked the librarian to have a soda and go to his apartment but that she said no.
Cameron doesn't say no. She doesn't say no. She doesn't say no. And at the end, he expells pure, simple bliss.