Thank you to everyone for the absurd amount of comments I received on the last post. You're angels, and I want you to know that I appreciate each of you. :D Enjoy!
"Hey Nelly, are you okay?" I heard a knock on my door, but I didn't have to look to know it was Sid. Probably about five minutes had passed since I evacuated the interrogation room—I mean living room.
"Minor freak out, I promise," I tried to joke. "It's my time of the month to go crazy." How else was I supposed to explain my lunatic hormones? I had managed to calm down mostly, but I was still surprised at the strength of what I was feeling. I knew I should have told him that I was thinking the same thing that he was earlier, but that I was still keen on waiting.
"Are you sure that's all that's going on?" he asked, looking at me knowingly.
"Yes," I lied. I wanted to tell him how I was feeling, but this was not the place nor the time to delve into those emotions.
"If you say so." He stepped farther into my room and jumped on my bed, not believing me but letting the matter slide, for which I was so thankful. "So what are you still doing up here? Let's go back downstairs. Unless you wanna join me," he whispered, patting the spot on the bed next to him.
"Um, no," I laughed. "Not with my family downstairs."
"I remember you saying something similar to that when you met my parents. But we did it anyways."
"Yeah, well, you were being incredibly persuasive."
"And I'm not now?" he asked, pouting those perfectly pink lips and looking at me with those brown, puppy-dog eyes.
"You're still incredibly persuasive. I'm just getting better at telling you no," I giggled. I did my best to put my PMS behind me, but we girls know that's easier said than done. Just because I knew I was acting irrationally didn't mean that I could automatically stop. I sat next to him on the bed and groaned. "I'm sorry that this is so awkward. I didn't think that my family would be this dysfunctional. I mean, I know they're not perfect, but I wasn't expecting them to be like this. Or that Grandpa is being so...." I couldn't find the right word.
"It's okay, Nelly. I know he's just looking out for you. But it's kind of funny that he's more protective of you than your dad is. Red," he teased.
"Yeah, my dad is kind of oblivious to stuff like this. And me and Grandpa are pretty close. But still, the things he said... I never thought he'd be like that."
"Yeah, he's definitely a character. But I can see why you like him so much, and it's going to take a lot more than that to scare me away. We talked a little more downstairs, and I think we've come to an understanding." When Sid said that, my eyes went wide and I was worried to ask what had happened down there. He laughed and continued, "It's okay. We're on the same page. We both care about you and want what's best for you. He told me to come up here check up on you. And he asked me to join him for a round of golf when the weather turns nice again."
Laughing, I said, "He loves to golf. He'd golf with anyone with halfway decent handicap, so I wouldn't read too much into that."
"Well, he also told me to call him George. I think that's a good sign, right?"
I smiled. "A very good sign. But I swear, if one more person mentions rings, marriage, and/or kids, I think I'll explode."
"Oh, come on. It's not that bad," he coaxed, reaching over and beginning to rub my shoulders.
"Things are just starting to get good between us again," I murmured, melting into putty in his strong, oh so capable hands. "Why can't people just take it for what it is? Why do they keep bringing up what could happen in the future?"
"It's the natural progression for a relationship. There's always something on the horizon to look forward to."
"That horizon is still a few years in the future," I continued with his metaphor. "Things just happened so fast, and I'm coming to grips with that, but I just think we need time to make sure that this, us, works. You know?"
"No problem," he said. I felt his lips on the back of my neck, moving as he spoke. "The next year and a half will fly by faster than you know."
I smiled to myself and my two-year requirement. At least Sidney wasn't pushing the issue or pushing me down the aisle. "Why can't everyone else think like you?"
"Let's face it. Not everyone can be as awesome as me. But they're your family. They just want what's best for you."
"And that's supposed to be you?" I teased.
Sidney worked his hands down to my shoulder blades and before I could stop myself, I left out a soft moan. The only thing I could think about was Heart's song "Magic Man." Oh, he's got the magic hands. He spoke again, and his voice made the skin on my nape vibrate. "Hmm, well, I'd say I'm doing something pretty good for you right now."
"A little higher. That's the spot. Now you're doing something pretty good." I was teasing him, but I was seriously considering pushing him down on my bed and having my way with him, regardless of who was downstairs.
He worked his hands at the base of my neck for a while, allowing me sufficient time to calm down. It's like I really was putty, and he was molding me back into shape in preparation to face my relatives again. When he felt like I was ready, he suggested, "Let's go back downstairs, eh?"
"Back to my crazy family," I sighed.
"I can't wait for dinner," Sidney told me. "If everyone in your family cooks as good as you, tonight is going to be amazing."
"Where do you think I learned it from?" I joked, and he pulled his hands away from shoulders so we could return downstairs. Sid stayed in the living room with the men, and I joined my mother, grandmother, aunt, and cousin to help peel potatoes.
The rest of the afternoon progressed reasonably well. While it probably doesn't seem fair that we cooked while the guys drank and watched the game, this was Lambert family tradition at its best. I loved the quality time with my family and I loved to cook, so it never bothered me. I loved Thanksgiving. There weren't any presents during this holiday to make us feel materialistic; instead, we use the time to think about that for which we're thankful and grateful. This year, I had something new to reflect on, and he was in the other room.
The traditions in my family were simple: dinner around three, engorge yourself with more food than you'd usually eat in three days in one sitting, digest it for a few hours, and then eat pumpkin pie. Everyone else would leave after dessert, and so my mother and I would clean up the kitchen and watch Christmas movies for the rest of the evening. Not complex by any means, but Sidney rolled with the punches and seamlessly fit into our routine like he had been a part of it for years. After that slight hiccup in the morning, of course.
To make it even better, no one mentioned the status or potential of my relationship with Sidney again. I don't know if everyone else just had more social tact than my grandfather or if they had heard about what Grandpa George said, but they kept their traps shut, and for that I was extremely grateful. No one grilled him or us, and we just enjoyed the simplicity of each other's company and good food.
When it was time for everyone to leave, Sidney shook hands with them as I said my goodbyes. As Jane packed the kids away in their minivan, Tim asked if Sidney could score Steelers tickets for him and some of his buddies.
"You do know he plays hockey, not football, right?"
"Yeah, but he's a professional athlete for Pittsburgh. Surely he has some connections, right? I could use an afternoon away from the house and the twins."
I pursed my lips and bit back the words that wanted to escape from my mouth. He worked fifty hours a week while Jane stayed home full-time to take care of those infant boys—what could he possibly need to escape from? At that moment, I was deliriously happy to be unmarried and childless and so thankful that Sidney was so understanding to not push me and rush me, even if it went against what he wanted for himself. I made a mental note to tell him how grateful I was later.
I shook my head and erased that question from my consciousness. "I don't know if he can get you Steelers tickets," I lied.
My aunt left next, and then my grandparents. As I hugged Grandpa, he made sure to play the role of protector. "I like him, Red. But don't forget what I said. Don't let yourself get carried away before you know he's serious, too."
"He is," I told him, feeling the scruff of his almost-beard and smelling the Old Spice he always wore. I was so glad that he liked Sidney. I wasn't the type of girl that planned her wedding before the question was asked, but I wanted in my heart of hearts to be given away by my father and my grandfather. He meant that much to me. So that Grandpa George liked Sidney was a weight off my chest. "It's not a question of whether or not we're serious. We have to make sure we can stand the test of time. It's only been a few months so far."
"And how have those months gone?"
I laughed and pulled out of our familiar embrace. How could I possibly sum up our past in a few words? "How have they gone? They've gone every possible which way they could. They've been the best days of my life, and sometimes simultaneously the worst. I don't how else to describe it."
His grin spanned his face from ear to ear, and he stepped to shake Sidney's hand. "I don't know how you did it, but you've obviously won her heart."
Sidney laughed. "I wish I knew how, sir. It wasn't easy."
"It never is, son. Nothing worth winning ever is."
I rolled my eyes.
My Favorite Five (2015)
1 year ago