“Sheesh, Keir. When did you get to be such a hard ass?”
“Since you had sex with your boyfriend, in my house.”
I didn’t engage her. She was spoiling for a fight. I learned long ago to keep my mouth shut, and walk away. If I gave her too much shit, she’d call the others, and I’d have hell to pay. I didn’t feel too good about that.
Despite assurance that the girls were bringing food, I put together some appetizers and a salad. They all have their specialty dishes, so we’d be covered on sides and main dish. Mom would bring the best bread in the world, as she always does. I might not be much of a pastry guy, but I bake a hell of a loaf of bread. The reason I buy from Arby is that I don’t the facilities to make it in bulk.
Rowena came over about forty-five minutes later. I’d told her to pack for an overnight, and she’d brought my bag with her. I took her things to my room and closed the door. I didn’t want anyone else wandering in. I had a feeling Chica, and possibly Randy, had already made a tour. I’m funny about my personal space, and I was still feeling slightly invaded.
Chica loved Rowena on sight. When my girlfriend found out my sister was one of her favorite singers, she thought I was the greatest man in the world. I introduced her to her idol. I didn’t allow my feelings to be hurt, considering she’d thought I was pretty fantastic when I rescued her, and when I gave her an unlimited supply of orgasms the night before.
The others arrived about half an hour after Rowena. Mom came with Maria and Carmen. Antoinette, Hannah and Dionne pulled up in another car. Suzette arrived on her own, breathless and flushed. She was pregnant again, something no one had bothered to share with me. Ready to pop any second, by the size of her. This would make four children for her. The pressure was on for me to father a mini-me of my own. I could feel it in the expressions the girls, and Mom, flashed my way when they thought I wasn’t looking.
They had, of course, all met Randy. I still couldn’t take the man seriously, and did my best to avoid him. However, since the main dish for the evening was marinated ribs, and I was the grill master, he cornered me when I went outside. The women were inside, hugging Rowena, making noises about marriage. A conversation I was glad not to be a part of. I hated leaving her by herself, but she seemed to be holding her own.
Randy brought me out a cider. I thanked him, hoping he’d go inside. He didn’t.
“How did you manage?”
“Living with all those women?”
“You don’t have any sisters, do you?”
“Not a one. Four boys.”
I shrugged. “You learn to hide and run fast. Also, buy chocolate in bulk, and have a sincere apology ready at the drop of a hat.”
He chuckled, taking a swig of his cider. “I’m really sorry about earlier.” He leaned forward, elbows on his knees. “I tried to tell her no. But Charlotte….”
“He’s kind of like a hurricane,” I concluded.
“Yeah. Sweeps you up, makes you dizzy and leaves you breathless. No isn’t a word in her vocabulary.”
“Truth.” We toasted. I took a seat across the table from him.
“I know it was tacky, rude. I thought you knew we were there. She said she’d called you.”
“And the whole naked in the kitchen. That was okay, why?”
I waited, wanting an explanation.
“I have no excuse for that. I dunno. It was supposed to be square. Obviously, she left out some details—with both of us.”
“How long have you been dating?”
“Three mind boggling months.”
“Has she ever told you everything?”
He paused, considering carefully. “No.”
“Which is something you anticipate with all of them, Mom included. They will leave out details, neglect to tell you important things, everything short of lying. They’re honest, especially about my faults. Which is mildly disconcerting.”
“I’ve been on the wrong end of that.”
“Let me guess, twenty-second of the month.”
“Yeah, how did you know?”
“My life was hell from the twenty-second until the twenty-seventh of every month. PMS, times eight.”
He stopped with the cider bottle halfway to his lips. “Jesus.”
“None of my friends had sisters. I used to spend the night on various couches. Their mothers learned to expect it.”
©2021 Dellani Oakes