Chapter 24

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We all sat around the dinner table, eating in silence. The only thing you could hear was the sound of our forks hitting our plates. I scanned around the room watching the awkward body language between the two.

It was like they were little kids on their first date.


"So mom," I spoke up, "how was your day?"

She finished chewing her food, glancing at Jude then back at me, "oh, it was good. Great actually."

"That's good." I nodded, turned my eyes to my next target, "and what about you Jude? How was your day?"

He choked on his water, glancing back at me, "my day was good too."

"Oh really?" I raised my brow, searching him up and down, "so Jude, what do you do for a living?"

"Lucy!" My mom whispered, staring at me with stern eyes.

He chuckled, "it's ok," he reassured her, "I'm an accountant."

"Boring," I whispered, smacking my fork on my potatoes. I felt a kick under ths table followed by my mom staring at me about to rip my head off for being rude.

He laughed, "it's not for everybody. Ever since I was a kid I always loved math and money so I said why not make that into a job."

"Well when you put it that way I guess it sounds pretty cool."

"Well I'm glad you think it is." He smiled, "it's always important to do what you love or else you'll regret it forever."

"That's right," mom said, "if I could just go back..." She sighed, "I would do a lot of things differently."

"What would you do differently?" He asked.

She sat back in her chair, twirling a strand of hair around her finger, "I would go back to school to become a teacher."

"A teacher?" He said, "I never would've thought you would want to become a teacher."

"Yeah, its just something I've always wanted to do." She sighed, "but I had Lucy and I got married, so that kinda got in the way of things," she glanced back at me with a little smile forming in the corner of her mouth, "but I wouldn't change a thing, or else I wouldn't have had Lucy."

I chuckled, "alright, alright, im not done asking questions about you Jude."

He let out a hearty laugh, "alrighty! Ask away."

"Alright... Star wars or star trek?"

"What does television shows have to do with this?" mom asked, rubbing her temples.

"Don't worry mom, this question answers all my other questions." I glanced back at Jude waiting for my answer.

He scoffed, "how could you choose between two masterpieces! That's like... Choosing your favorite child!"

I leaned back in my chair, satisfied, "I agree with your answer. Mom it's safe to date this man."

My moms face at this point was changing. Her whole face became completely darker, "Lucy! What do you mean dating?"

"Oh," Jude said, "I thought this kinda was a date."

"I mean it's not really a date because Lucy's here," she scratched the back of her head, "it's just that im not really into dating anyone. Well not at the moment."

"Not even me?" He said, his voice sounding a bit broken. I stared back at mom with my eyes widened.

What are you doing mom?!

"No! That's not it at all! Its just... Its complicated at the moment."

"Is there someone else?" He asked. I saw him grip the napkin tighter and tighter.

"No! Well kinda..." She leaned back in her chair.

"Oh," he whispered, scratching his beard, "well this is kind of awkward," he whispered.

"B-But it's over between us!" She yelled.

I turned my whole body toward her.

Did she finally say those words?

"What did you say mom?" I whispered.

"I-It's over between us. Actually, it's been over for a while."

"Are you sure?" Jude said, "I don't want to get between anything-"

"No you're not. In fact..." She reached her hand across the table grabbing his, "I want to try us. If that's ok with you."

I watched as he gently squeezed her hand, smoothing his thumb on the top of her hand, "I would love that." He smiled, "and now I can finally take you on a real date."

I saw her smile that same smile.

I love that smile on her.

"I would love that."

He glanced down at his watch. His eyes widened, "I didn't know it was this late."

I turned toward the clock and saw that it was almost midnight.

He stood from his chair, "it was lovely meeting you Lucy and it was nice to see you again Layla."

"I'll walk you out," Layla said, walking along side him.

I watched as the two went to the front yard, talking about something. I tried reading their lips but I don't think they're talking about peanut butter and pancakes, but who knows.

They both hugged and mom headed back inside with that same silly smile as before. She closed the door behind her, sliding down the door, biting her lip. She squealed as she began hugging her legs.

"You must really like him."

She sighed, but it wasn't one of her usual sighs, "its just something about him. He makes me feel good inside. I haven't felt that in a long time."

"So did you really mean it?" I whispered, still glancing out the window, watching as Jude left.

She glanced at me, furrowing her brow, "mean what?"

"Are you actually going to do it this time? Are you leaving dad?"

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