8-Family Affairs and Dinner Dates (Edited)

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Crystal was literally rolling on the floor when I told her what happened a few days later. I had meant to tell her sooner, but between our work schedules, we didn’t have the chance to speak until the weekend. Since it was my turn to have Saturday off at the bar, we decided to have a girl’s night. We ordered some chicken curry for take-out from Kyoko’s Cuisine, a Japanese diner up the street and decided to use our night to write a new song.

“I’m still in disbelief that he ‘gladly accepts you into the family.’ I’d be glad to have you as family too, but does he think you guys are getting married already? Huh? What’s that?” She said the later with her hand cupped to her ears.

“Do you hear that? Are those…”

“Are those what?”

“Are those…wedding bells I hear?” She burst out laughing again, but that time she wasn't alone. The serious expression on his face as he welcomed me into the family was just too much to resist poking fun at. 

“Plus-“ She snorted, which only made her laugh even harder. Crystal was practically gasping for air when she finally got enough air to tell me what she found so funny. “The way he gave you permission to be with Chris. What is Chris? His 16 year old daughter?”

The doorbell rang and I left Crystal to clean up the living room. I volunteered to buy dinner since she had paid for our dinner during the last girl’s night. I opened the door, but it wasn’t who I’d thought it was. It was Gabriel and three of our mutual friends from back in our high school days.

“Elizabeth Andrews, I am going to kick your ass,” my friend Powell said.

Though 'Powell' was actually his last name, it was what he'd been known by since before I met him. He was a couple years older than I and had been Gabe's best friend since their freshman year in high school. The one time I'd tried to be a rebel and call him by his first name, I realized I didn't know it. After I asked around, I realized no one knew it. Not even his classmates because all the teachers knew to call him Powell. The few people that did know it, my brother included, kept it guarded like it was England's crown jewels. It was a sad thing to admit, but I never found out what it was. I briefly wondered if it was some terrible name that he refused to live up to.

His threat came as a shock to me, because Powell was usually the quiet non-violent type that had a way of putting you in your place with witty comebacks.

Not exactly sure why I was in the hot seat I said, “Way to greet a friend! I haven’t seen you since Christmas and the first thing out your mouth is violence? Has Dama corrupted you or what?”

The person who stood accused just laughed. “Hey Dama. Long time no see.”

I turned to the only person who had yet to say anything, which only the people that knew her, would understand that for the minor miracle that it was.

“Hey Cynthia. I can’t believe you haven’t visited me since Christmas. At least they have an excuse.” I jerked my thumb toward Powell and Dama, “They live on the other side of town. You live up the street.”

“Hey Hooker!” she yelled with more enthusiasm than I possessed in my whole body. “You know I’m busy working, not that you have room to talk. You could always visit me, right Gabe?”

“Hey don’t bring me into this,” my brother said with unease.

“True,” I admitted, “so back to the ass-kickage. Why are you resorting to violence, Powell?”

At the mention of his threat, he smiled sheepishly. Same old Powell, I thought.

“I saw a picture of a certain someone parading around in his boxers with jeans for a cape in a magazine…”

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