Jordan invites Brian over to her home that evening to study and have dinner. He’s pleased to be invited and his mother is happy he’s socializing. However, she is worried about him, especially after the incident with the bear.
“I’ll be fine, Mom. Don’t worry.”
“Call when you get there and when you leave.”
“Yes, ma’am!” He clicked his heels, saluting.
Brian arrived at Jordan’s house a little after 7:00. Her mother surprised him by answering the door in a colorful kaftan. Her hair was down, forming a golden halo around her head and shoulders. She wore a necklace made of different polished stones with a bright crystal hanging from it.
“Brian!” She hugged him enveloping him in a rose scented cloud. “Honey! Brian is here!”
Brian expected Jordan to appear. Instead, a tall, broad shouldered man came out of an adjoining room. He wore a lose fitting beige hemp shirt and pants. Another string of rocks circled his neck and he was barefoot. His hair and eyes were dark like Jordan’s. He grinned at Brian, holding out his hand.
“Heath Barrett. Nice to meet you.”
They made small talk for a few minutes while Jacqueline plied Brian with cookies and herb tea. Jordan came in a few minutes later to rescue him.
“Sorry it took so long. I was setting up and then Grandma called. She talks more than both parents combined. It’s never a short chat with her.”
“And your folks wanted a chance to talk to me.”
“Yeah, that. I’m sorry.” She looked embarrassed.
“No, I get it. If I had a sister, she’d never date. Not that this is a date— I mean, it could be— But it’s—not.”
Jordan laughed, patting his shoulder. “Relax. You survived the parental units. They like you.”
“How do you know?”
“If they didn’t, you’d be gone. Dad may be a free thinker, but he’s old school where boys are concerned. I almost had a boyfriend last year. He didn’t make it past the foyer.”
“Nope. Mom didn’t like his aura.”
Brian laughed loudly, until he realized Jordan was serious. He couldn’t imagine basing decisions about people on something so arbitrary. Jordan led him to the dining room. Her books sat on one side of the long table. A laptop and a stack of paper flanked two chairs that were placed a foot apart.
“Welcome to my study. We have no use for a formal dining room, so Dad is going to convert it to a study space. Meanwhile, the table is great to spread out.”
“Let me know when you’re ready. I know a really good carpenter. I’m gonna be working with him sometimes.”
“That’s cool. Have a seat.” She indicated the chairs.
“Okay, what first? Math, chemistry, English or science?”
“Let’s get math over with. I have a prayer with the other stuff, so I’ll be able to work on it if we don’t get to it.”
Brian rubbed his hands together gleefully, giving her a maniacal laugh. “Bring it on!”
They spent an hour on her math. There were many things Jordan didn’t understand, but Brian could see the understanding growing as he explained one thing after another. Her face brightened.
“Now that you put it that way, I get it! This is the first time in my life that I truly understand. Thank you!” She flung her arms around his neck, kissing his cheek.
Of course, it was at that precise moment that her mother walked in. Brian wanted to crawl under the table and hide. Jordan gave him another kiss and hug before letting go.
“Mom, I totally understand now. Brian is a great teacher.”
“That’s wonderful, honey. Would you kids like anything to drink, or maybe a snack?”
Brian glanced at Jordan and his stomach growled. Both she and her mother burst out laughing.
“There’s a yes,” Jacqueline said.
Brian could feel the blood rise to his cheeks. Ducking his head, he thanked Mrs. Barrett.
“Darling, I have three boys. Jordan is my only fledgling left in the nest. I know how young men’s bellies are never full. Especially a man your size.” She fluttered out and came back a few minutes later with tortilla chips, nacho dip and pico de gallo.
“Mrs. Barrett, how did you guess I love Mexican food?” Brian asked.
“Mom always knows. She’s spooky like that.”
© 2016 Dellani Oakes
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