Meet the Family Part 2- Flash Fiction Friday
I hope you all enjoyed part 1 of this story last week, here's the conclusion!
If you have any prompts or ideas of a story you'd like to read for December, send it over!
I wasn't planning on proposing. But after we talked about it once I couldn't get the idea out of my head and the next thing I knew I was at the jewelers inspecting rings. I'd kept the ring in my pocket ever since so I wouldn't lose it.
Clearly, that didn't work out so well.
"What were you planning to do with this?" Jeff's hand was shaking as he held it, from the cold or at what the ring meant, I wasn't sure.
My mouth went dry and I tried to swallow. "I just thought it looked cool."
That was by far one of the dumbest answers I could have given.
Jeff raised an eyebrow. "And keeping it in your pocket?"
I didn't have an answer.
"This is only the first time you've met my family," Jeff said as he handed me the ring. When he did, I felt my heart bend. It didn't break, because he wasn't rejecting anything. But he also didn't look thrilled about it, and I didn't realize how much I wanted that ring on his finger until he was handing it back to me. So, my heart bent.
"I'm sorry I've messed things up," I said and placed the ring into the box. It snapped shut and I flinched at the sound.
Jeff stuck his hands in his pockets and looked at the ground. "We're so different Mike. I always liked that about us. But..."
My heart continued to bend. I didn't like the sound of where this was going. But I couldn't argue with him.
"Let's go back inside," I said before he could finish. "I don't want to be late for dinner and have your mom hate me even more."
Jeff opened his mouth as though he were going to say something then closed it again. He nodded his head and we walked back to the house in silence. In fact, a majority of the remainder of the day I spent in silence.
When we returned his family didn't say anything mean, didn't try to eat me, or made any comments about my spilling Grandma or almost poisoning them. They simply ignored me, and Jeff wasn't much better. It was as though I had faded to the background and became part of the wallpaper. I almost wished I could go back to ruining the day because then at least Jeff would talk to me.
Normally, I would have loved to sit back and observe Jeff with his family. They all obviously loved him. He cracked jokes with his uncles, let his niece sit on his lap, and helped his mom in the kitchen. This should have made me happy. It would have if I could have been a part of it.
His niece screeched at my side and I jumped. She was sitting on the floor with a toy vampire doll, but one of its fangs had fallen off. Tears welled in her eyes as she helplessly tried to reattach it.
I held out my hand. "Let me try."
She gave me a wary glance but handed the toy over. I knelt on the ground and saw where the fang would be inserted into the mouth. Apparently it was retractable. With a bit of finagling, I was able to get it back in.
She gave me a hesitant smile then pushed along the floor over to me a bride of Frankenstein doll. Well, it was better than being ignored.
Out of the corner of my eye I caught Jeff looking in my direction with a small smile.
Finally it was time to eat and we all gathered around the dining room table. Jeff started to say something to me but was interrupted by his uncle saying a prayer. We all bowed our heads and when he was done he started to cut into the meat.
"The way his kind acts toward each other I'm amazed they still pray," someone next to me murmured. I felt my cheeks warm.
"That's enough," Jeff snapped. Everyone at the table stared at him, including myself. "Mike has been nothing but kind to you all day. Yeah, it hasn't been perfect, but he's tried. Which is more than I can say for everyone here. Including myself. I know we're different, but that's just how it is. I'm going to be spending the rest of my life with him and you better just get used to him, or get used to me not being around. It's your choice."
My jaw dropped and could have touched the table. He turned to look at me with pleading eyes.
He wanted to spend the rest of his life with me?
"I'm sorry," he said. "I should have spoke up sooner. If this is going to work, you're my family now."
I couldn't speak, so I reached under the table and gave his hand a squeeze and smiled. He smiled back.
The rest of the night was better. I made an effort to talk to his family members, and his mom even apologized for how she acted in the kitchen that day. They were just protective of Jeff, and I couldn't blame them for that.
As we put our coats on at the end of the night I heard something fall from Jeff's pocket and hit the ground. I picked it up. It was a ring box.
I opened the box. "What's this?"
Jeff shrugged. "I just thought it was cool and decided to keep it in my pocket."
His eyes were twinkling. "Yeah."
I pulled out the ring from my pocket and compared the two. They had the same engraving. "So... the rest of our lives. What do you say?"
Jeff pulled me close to him and kissed me. He took the rings from my hand and put one on his finger, and one on mine. "If we can survive my family, I think we can survive anything."
I kissed him back.
"Just wait until you meet mine at Christmas."
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