Sequel: Work in Progress
Status: Short Story for contest



“Invite her over, I’ll cook,” my mom smiled at me on the 27th.

“I think it’s a little too soon, don’t you?” I laughed at her eagerness to meet Brooke.

“No,” my mom pouted, “I think it’s perfect.”

Of course she would, she wanted to marry me off and have grandkids tomorrow. If she had anything to do with this, Brooke and I would be married by the summer and popping out babies nine months to the day we got married. If only it worked like that though…If only.

“I’m going to go meet her at her place and then we’re going to talk about where we’re going to eat. I’ll bring up you guys meeting us after dinner or something, but if she’s not okay with it, don’t get upset,” I warned, “Her and I aren’t even dating yet, I don’t want to push it or scare her, okay?”

My father, the voice of reason, nodded, “Let him do this his way Andre, we can’t hoover.”

I gave him a thankful look, “I’ll let you guys know,” I walked out the door.

I tried to calm my nerves on the two mile drive to her house. Thankfully, it took about fifteen minute to get there with the traffic, but my nerves were still on edge. I made it to her building, parked my car, took a deep breath, and then started toward the front doors. The man at the front desk smiled at me, “Can I help you?” he asked.

“Yes, uhh...Brooke Caldwell,” I told him.

“You can go right over there to the elevator, fifth floor, 9E, it’s on your left.”

“Thank you, sir.”

When I got to her apartment I knocked on the door and stood outside, shaking and trying to calm my nerves. When Brooke opened the door I couldn’t even try to hold back the smile.

“Hey,” she actually looked nervous.

“Hi,” I grinned back at her.

She moved out of the way to invite me inside. She was wearing skinny jeans and a cream
colored sweater that hung off one of her shoulders. Her hair was up in a pony tail that curled at the
ends and her makeup was light and natural; she looked beautiful and ready to go just about
anywhere for dinner.

“So,” I shuffled my feet a little, “Where were you thinking for dinner?”

“You’re the one who asked me,” she reminded me, “This is all on you Captain.”

“There’s a pub a few blocks away,” I told her, “Small place, good food. We could go there?”

“That’s fine,” she smiled.

When we got to the pub and sat down she looked at me, “You okay?”

“Yeah, why?” I asked.

She shook her head, “Just thought you seemed a little off. You seem like you have something
on your mind.”

I let out a breath, “No, not really. Just glad I got to see you.”

Brooke blushed and tried to cover it with her menu. I smiled as I started to scan mine, “You
look great too,” I added.

She blushed even harder, “Thanks Jon.”

After we ordered we discussed our holiday while sipping on our drinks. I told her about my
parents a little more and she listened with a smile on her face, “They sound so adorable.”

I nodded, “They mean well and are pretty cool. They…they um…they wanted to meet you
tonight, but I told them…”

“Really?” she asked, “How much did you tell them about me?”

She had a joking tone to her voice so I had a feeling she didn’t seem to mind that I had
brought her up, “Enough for them to want to meet you.”

Brooke looked at her hands, “I figured you’d keep this quiet.”

“They’ll be at the game tomorrow, if you’re not doing anything…”

I trailed off because I saw her smile, “Too soon?” she asked me.

“Honestly,” I chuckled, “I don’t know. If my mom had her way she would have been sitting
next to you right now.”

Brooke laughed, “I’m afraid of her now.”

“Don’t be,” I shook my head with a smile, “She’s harmless. I think she just got excited because
I mentioned a girl.”

“That’s funny because my mom did the same thing, the whole, “When can I meet him? How
old is he? Is he cute?” It was a little obnoxious, but nice to know she cares.”

“I agree completely,” and I did, “They make all these plans when you don’t even know if you’ll talk to that person again.”

“Right!” she laughed, “I mean, honestly, I had no idea if you even remembered my name until you sent me a text, so how could I go out and plan our wedding?” she put her hand over her heart
and used the most dramatic/sarcastic tone she could.

“Well,” I reached over and took her hand, “I’d say it’s safe to say I remembered your name. As for planning our wedding, how’s your August looking? I think my mom could plan an August
wedding pretty fast.”

We both laughed and I felt her fingers intertwine with mine over the table top. I looked at our hands, loving how it felt to hold someone’s hand. I leaned closer to her, “How’s your hip?”

“It’s bruised,” she told me.

“Klutz,” I teased.

Dinner went well and we were ordering desert when my phone vibrated on the table, “Oh
God,” I looked at it and then looked around.

“What is it?” Brooke also looked concerned.

“Don’t think I planned this,” I warned, “I’m so sorry. I didn’t tell them where we were going; they know this place from when they visit…”

“Jonny,” my mom beamed as she walked up to our table with my father behind her, looking a little less than thrilled.

“Mother,” I said through gritted teeth.

Brooke stood up beside me, set her hand on my arm, and smiled at my parents, “You must be Jon’s mother and father, Andre and Bryan, right?” she looked at me and then at them, “I’m Brooke Caldwell.”

My father stepped forward, almost pushing my mother away, “It’s a pleasure Brooke,” he shook her hand, “I’m very sorry for my wife, I told her to ignore the fact that you guys were here.”

Brooke shook her head, “No, it’s fine with me,” she raised an eyebrow at me, “They can join us.”

This girl was either sick of me and looking for a way out or she was a saint, I hoped it was the latter.

“That would be lovely,” my mom sat down.

My father stared at her and then gave me a sympathetic look, “Sorry,” he mouthed to me as
he took his seat.

We all sat down again and the only plus I found to this situation was that Brooke was forced to
sit much closer to me due to the small table.

“So, this is the woman who has my son’s head in a tizzy,” my mom always took every
advantage she got to embarrass me.

“A tizzy?” Brooke smiled at me, “I doubt that very much,” she was blushing.

“Mother,” I groaned, “Will you please stop?”

“It’s true,” my mom looked back at Brooke with a sweet smile, “But anyways, I hear you teach?”

“History on the South Side.”

“Isn’t that a very bad area of the city?” my mom made a face.

“Yes, but I’m in one of the better schools. Not a great community, but it’s much better than
some of the surrounding ones.”

“Well, that’s good,” she looked at me, “If I know my son, he’ll worry.”

I was going to kill my mother when I got home, there was no doubt about that. I was fuming
with anger and embarrassment until I felt Brooke’s hand on my leg under the table. She squeezed
my knee and leaned over, “Calm down Jon.”

She had a smile on her face, as though she went through this everyday of her life and was
used to it. It didn’t seem to bother her at all, which did calm me down a lot. If she wasn’t upset, then I could handle it.

“Are you a hockey fan?” my dad asked her.

“I am,” she looked down, “It’s all thanks to your son here too.”

My mother straightened her posture, “How so?”

She looked down, “This is going to sound bad,” Brooke shook her head, “I was dating a guy
who was obsessed with hockey and he always tried to explain it to me, but I never paid attention
because I swear he explained it in German. He called me during the Olympics to ask me the score
of some game and that was when I saw how good looking all the players were,” she looked at me,
“Then I watched a couple Hawks’ games here and there and remembered Jon from the Olympics,”
she blushed a little, “But, the more I watched, the more I liked it. They players being cute was just
a bonus, but it definitely made me pay more attention,” she made a face, “I’m one of those girls, I’m

I blushed and heard my dad laugh, “Do you understand the sport now?”

“I do. Most people are afraid to talk any sport with me, but hockey especially. And being a
history person, I retain the most useless knowledge in the world, so sports history and random stats
stick with me…I am so not helping my case at all,” Brooke blushed even harder and let out a nervous

“So,” I leaned forward, “How many goals does Sharpie have this season?”

Brooke looked like she was counting, “I think it’s like eighteen or nineteen, right?”

The entire table laughed, including her, “I have no clue,” I shook my head, “Probably around
that though.”

She blushed, “I’m not normal, I shouldn’t be allowed in public. I’m sorry. I swear, I’m not a

This time I put my hand on her leg, on her thigh though, “How many do I have?”

“Do you know?”

“I do.”

“Nineteen, twenty?” she looked at me.

“Nineteen,” I smiled at her, “You’re good.”

She rolled her eyes, “Now that I’ve embarrassed myself, I am going to excuse myself to use
the restroom and climb out a window.”

I stood up as she left the table, like a gentleman, and then glared at my parents, “Seriously

“We had no clue you two would be here,” my dad shook his head, “I told your mother to let
you two go, but you know her.”

I looked at my mom, “We were just going to say hi, but she invited us,” she used Brooke’s nice
gesture to her advantage, “And honestly, I’m glad she did. Jonathan, she is wonderful. I see why
you like her so much.”

That made me smile, “Good.”

My dad nodded, “She knows you guys too, it’d be nice to have a girl who’s also a big fan.”

“Yeah,” I couldn’t agree more because I had dated both girls who knew the sport and girls who had no clue what the black thing we tried to get into the net was called. Dating a girl who at least had the basics down was good, but a girl who actually was a fan of my team and would still be a fan even if I didn’t finish my career with the Hawks was a turn on. It was a loyalty thing, the fact that she probably could now go back years and tell you whatever you wanted to know about the Hawks, the dedication to her home team and her city, I liked that.

“She’s adorable,” my mom smiled at me, “Absolutely beautiful.”

I turned to see Brooke walking back to the table. A group of guys at the bar turned to look at
her, giving her smiles as she walked past, “I know she is,” I stood up again and helped her sit down.

“Thank you,” Brooke smiled at me as I sat.

The four of us fell into normal conversation until our desert arrived. I wasn’t a big desert
person, just because of hockey and my usual diet, but I decided to indulge myself that night and
ordered a sundae. Brooke had a piece of chocolate cheesecake, my mother had the strawberry
cheesecake, and my father ordered pie.

“You look like a little kid with that giant sundae,” Brook teased.

“I know,” I smiled and told her with my mouth full.

After desert we talked for a little longer until my dad yawned, “Come on Andre, why don’t we leave the kids alone?”

She frowned, “Will we see you tomorrow at the game?” she asked Brooke.

“Yes,” I answered for her, “And also at the Christmas party tomorrow night, if you can go,” I
turned to her.

“Well, I guess I’ll see you two tomorrow then,” Brooke smiled at my parents, “It was nice to
meet you.”

“You too dear,” my mother hugged her and kissed her cheek.

My father nodded at her and patted my shoulder as he walked away, “I’m so sorry,” I
apologized again.”

Brooke frowned, “That was awkward, but we survived, don’t worry about it.”

“They’re so nosey and…”

“It’s sweet that they care.”

“My mom’s planning a wedding now, she’s going to ask you about colors and bridesmaids
tomorrow night…I’m sorry.”

“You’re the one who said I would go,” she reminded me with a smile, “And as long as the
colors are hot pink and lime green, I’m okay,” she said with a serious face.

I laughed, “You’re amazing.”

“What can I say?”

Her and I stayed for another drink before I noticed how late it was, “Shit, I’ve got an early

I drove to her apartment holding her hand the whole way. I walked her up to her door and
smiled, “Minus my parents, tonight was great.”

“Even with your parents tonight was still pretty good Jonny.”

I went to lean in for a kiss, but I got the corner of her mouth instead of her lips. “I’m a
failure,” all I could do was laugh at myself at this point.

“No,” she shook her head and touched her finger to my lips, “You’ll get it someday,” she
unlocked her door, “Maybe tomorrow night,” she winked before closing it.
♠ ♠ ♠
Two more chapters left!!!!!

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