Chapter 23

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“Charlotte?” my dad asked, tenderly as we pulled up outside the front of my grandmother’s house, “are you honestly sure, honestly sure that you want to do this?”

I nodded. Things that day had started to look up – not dramatically, but the fact that we were showing signs of actually getting on was an improvement. At least we knew that we could get along.

“I’m sure. I liked your mom anyway” I smiled reassuringly. I wanted him to believe me – although it was a long shot – when I said that I actually did like her.

“Well, remember to call her grandmother and do not tell her about last night. She worries and pries far too much for anyone’s good” he chuckled, half in seriousness. “But,” he added, “I suppose it comes in handy for some things.”

As he finished speaking, he stared down at me fondly, locking his gaze with mine. It was awkward for a moment – and it was only beginning to occur to me about how much we did look like each other.

He averted his gaze from me as we came to a complete stop outside of my grandparents’ house.

“You really don’t have to do this for me, you know” Matt insisted. “I don’t want to force you before you’re ready. I don’t want a repeat of the other night.”

“I’m not doing it for you” I told him blatantly.

“And besides, I still haven’t even met your dad or anyone. It’d be good to start. I mean, who knows? It may help me settle in better – knowing where I actually come from and all.”

He smiled again, before unbuckling his seatbelt. “If only your mom saw that. She’s still stung up on trying not to smother you and shit” he laughed nervously.

I think we both could tell that neither of us was entirely sure if that was actually her reasoning for never being around.

But, I think we both accepted it. My dad didn’t seem to have any reasons to be suspicious, and so I guessed neither could I – he was the one who’s judgement I had to trust above all others.

I unfastened my seatbelt also, and opened the car door before stepping out cautiously into the cold evening air that had fairly quickly set off underway in darkening.

There wasn’t actually that many cars also parked outside of the house.

Only three, which made me feel a little more at ease considering that I would be the main focus of attention at the party…and I didn’t have Midge to just get me away from it all.

“I told her to keep the guest list to a minimum tonight” my dad chuckled he walked in front of me, urging me to follow him up the garden path. The lights in the house were on and the curtains were closed.

He walked straight into the house, calling out to my grandmother as I closed the door on us both. The house itself wasn’t something that I actually expected to be. Well, then again, neither was my parents’ house.

I heard a very faint reply to my father as we walked forward and through the door into the living room.

There wasn’t actually anyone inside the living room, which was particularly good. I didn’t want to get completely hounded on our first entrance.

“Mom?” Matt shouted again, prolonging the word slightly so that it lasted longer.

No one answered, but he made me continue through to the kitchen where a loud rumble of voices was emanating from.

“God, Mom! Answer me” he shouted again, a little quieter that time, as he opened the door and made both of us known to everyone there.

Surprisingly, there weren’t that many people in the kitchen, not nearly enough for the volume that had come from it.

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