Chapter 52 The Michelin dinner

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Sean

"Do you have a tie?" Flora asked.

"Yes."

"It's a Michelin three-star restaurant and you can't wear sneakers."

"I know, I know." I never knew the word Michelin could be so intimidating. Before Flora, it was just a chubby little man made out of tires. "It's too late to learn about French wine and cheese, right?"

She smiled. "You can just agree with everything I say."

"Are your parents going to ban me from seeing you if they don't like me?"

I had met Flora's parents briefly in junior year, but that was just a friendly chat in the living room and didn't take very long. This time Flora told me they wanted to meet me properly by taking me out on a fancy dinner. She said they had never requested to meet one of her boyfriends before.

"Who wouldn't like you?" she said airily. "They loved you the last time."

"But that was before the breakup. I'm sure you said a lot of bad things about me in between." I knew Flora told her family about all the relationship trivia too.

She chuckled. "Don't worry, it's all cleared up now."

As we got ready to go, she reached up to adjust my tie for me. Her eyes flicked to my face when she was done and she winked.

They were such pretty hazel eyes. Full of mischief with tales untold, like a magical pond hidden deep in the shadows of the forest. I could stare into them forever. For a millisecond I flash-forwarded to the future and envisioned her straightening my tie before work. That was such a far-fetched but sweet thought, I kept it turning in my head like a candy until it melted.

Flora's parents were the least parent-like figures I'd ever met and it was easier to just see them as Taylor and Alice Morgan, two very glamorous, good-humored adults who gave the impression that it must be great to be them. When Flora was around them, she acted like she was pledging for a cool sorority and they were the leaders she wanted to impress. Her brother Jeremy, the nicer one according to Flora, was there too. He looked like one of those guys that had everything handed to him, and you almost wished you could hate him, but he was so laid-back and cool, you just couldn't.

"You're the first boyfriend I get to meet," Jeremy said, shaking my hand with a friendly smile. The smile disappeared and his tone turned dark. "My dad murdered all the previous ones. One of the bodies is still missing."

"Shut up, Jeremy." Flora glared at him. "I really like Sean. Don't scare him off with your idiocy."

"What happened to the other guy? I like him," her dad asked.

"What guy?" Flora looked flustered. I had never seen her flustered before.

"You know, sweetheart," her mom said. "The lawyer? He always picks you up with his Audi R8 and I thought it's going great! This is just...so soon."

She had the same teasing glint in her eyes as Flora which I didn't miss. I chuckled and her family joined in the laugh, except Flora who pouted. "You're all so annoying. I never dated any lawyers," she turned to me and explained anyway.

"Sweetheart, we're just happy you got back together," her mom said. I was surprised they could talk about our breakup in my presence. At my house it was like sex; we knew it happened but we never mentioned it. She looked at me and smiled. "Flora told us a lot about you. You sound like a good influence on her."

"Thank you, Mrs. Morgan. I think Flora is a good influence on me, too."

"Mrs. Morgan makes me feel like I aged ten years. Please just call me Alice."

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