Untitled (I)- A Short Story

His fingers gently ran down her neck as hers played with the bushel of hair on his chest. “Sometimes, when I’m thinking about you, and the right song is playing, I imagine my life as if I’ve already met your family.

“You invite me to dinner at your place. We’re laughing. Your mom gives me judgemental glances but also ones that can see, after looking at you, that I want the best for you.

“Your sisters are there, and the married one’s husband. We get along. Her husband and I joke incessantly. Our humor matches one another’s. Your sisters like me. Everything is great.”

She looks up at him, still playing with his chest hair. “What about your family? How do I fit with them?”

“You and my younger brother are good. It’s been difficult meeting my mom, for the same reasons I’ve told you.”
“That she doesn’t like going out.”
“Right. Plus her health. It’ll be an excuse but we excuse it because she’s too stubborn to do anything even if it means meeting a girlfriend, something she’s never done with me.”

“And your older brother?”

He thought about that for a beat, then, “he says he never has time. I don’t know what his problem is. Maybe he really does hate me.”
“Don’t say that.”
“I truly believe the only member of my family anybody will ever meet is my kid brother. And I don’t know what to do with that.” He looked at her. “What do I do with that?”

She kissed him. Her lips told him it’s fine, even though underneath he knew it wasn’t. Her eyes said the same. She smiled. “We’ll figure it out.”

She rested her head back on his chest. “I’m scared you’ll never meet any of them. I’ve imagined being engaged to someone and my family meeting them for the first time then. Like some white romantic comedy. Life shouldn’t imitate art, but my family seems hell bent on making that happen.”

He kissed the top of her head. “I’m sorry.”
“You’re not close with your family, it’s okay.”

He wished it were. Despite not being traditional he liked certain aspects of traditional dating, one being comingling with each other’s family. But that seems like an impossibility.

He looked at her, a hand rested on his stomach. He really was sorry.

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