Alexa Chapter 9: Thanksgiving Fun?
Following the dinner with my parents, my need to be Alexa grew even more. It was like I was giving my father the middle finger every day as I get dressed. Each day that I continued, Alex became less of a figure around campus, and when he was around he was now an androgynous figure not a typical college guy as I had been in the past. He would occasionally show up for work, but I had begun thinking of him as someone else. I was Alexa in both mind and heart. There was still some push back at my job, which was getting harder and harder to go to. I knew I needed the money, but I felt like there was so much more I could do. Serving coffee, while a good job, was becoming more and more mundane. But I needed the money so I kept going. Jenny and Katie were always on me to quit. Jenny said she would help me out if I needed money, but my pride wouldn’t allow that. Katie even went as far as saying she could get me a job at AJ Dunham’s. The standing joke about me working at AJ’s was whether it was a job as a cook or waitress.
As far as what was going on in my heart, that was a pretty simple matter. Jenny and I were always together. We wound up sleeping at my apartment more than we did at hers. While Katie was appreciative that she wouldn’t have to listen to Jenny and I at night, she missed just hanging out with us. The three of us were still constant companions, but it was those times like in the morning that she missed and was not afraid of stating her feelings. It did lead to a couple of arguments that were silly in nature but always came down to Katie feeling alone. However, a solution to this issue presented its self from an unlikely source. A few days before Halloween I was handed a 60-day notice of renewal of my lease. It meant that in the next two months I would either have to sign a new lease or move. It was something that I had completely forgotten about and didn’t know what I was going to do. I knew that I still wanted to have a home base close to Jenny and Katie but I also knew I couldn’t afford this place by myself. I began to worry what I was going to do as I couldn’t afford a place by myself. It was Jenny who came up with the solution. The three of us should live together in my apartment. I was actually the one who balked at it more than Katie did. The only concern she had was that their lease went through May and they would have to pay a penalty to get out. My concern over it mostly centered around my parents. My mother would be all over me about living in sin. She might have been naïve to some things, but she was smart enough to know that Jenny and I would still be together. I also didn’t want to piss Dick off any more. He was pretty upset about the female influence in my life. This would put him into orbit. Then again if saw me in the denim skirt and ankle boots I am currently wearing he might keel over.
I also was concerned about the future. What if Jenny and I didn’t make it? Sure, we were in love now, but what if she became sick of being a ‘pseudo-lesbian’? It could cause some awkward moments if we were to break up but still have to see each other every day. I guess I was still a little in awe that I was with her, as were most people we knew. Brandon down the hall was constantly making snide comments about the two of us and the few ‘friends’ we had away from out little group couldn’t believe that Jenny would ‘settle’ for me or that I was lucky enough to be with her. The two of us didn’t care what people thought. It was Jenny’s persuasion, and as my father put it, me being pussy-whipped that convinced me that we could do it. I convinced Jenny that she would still have a separate room, but we both agreed it probably wouldn’t be used as anything more than an oversized closet. With that decision, plans were made for the three of us to live together beginning the first of the year.
As the week passed, life pretty much slowed down to a normal pace as the anticipation of the upcoming finals began to extend its grip over the campus. Though it had not tightened down on anyone yet, it sat there looming and soon the extra study time became the norm. It didn’t stop Jenny, Katie and I from enjoying our lives but we did give begin to buckle down a little more on our studies. Jenny and I still were together constantly, even if it was us just sitting sound one of the apartments. Sure, there were the occasionally study breaks to give our minds a rest and if Katie wasn’t around the study breaks became a little longer as we rested our minds and gave our libidos a work out.
However, the impending finals were not the only thing approaching everyone, the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday was also a specter lying in wait. The fear of having to deal with Dick-head again started eating at me every day and it became a major topic at my twice-weekly appointments with Dr. Burke, along with how I was adapting to life as Alexa. She seemed very concerned at how I would come “out” to my family, stating that this would be critical in my long term happiness. She seemed worried that somehow I would not be able to do it properly. I tried to assure I could handle it, but Debbie did not seem convinced. Even though the thought of being caught sat in the back on my head, I knew when Dick found out it would be on my terms.
At one of our sessions, Dr. Burke pressed me on some of the other situations I had been facing in my normal everyday life. I explained to her that none my professors or classmates had even given me a second look over the last month as my wardrobe had slowly changed. With a giggle, I even admitted I had worn a skirt to my Modern American Lit class that very day. Sounding more like a girlfriend than a counselor Debbie burst out “You didn’t!” I just smiled at her a nodded. “Did anyone notice?” She asked.
“Yes one guy kept checking me out with a smile on his face. But don’t ever tell Jenny! She gets jealous the way it is.” I explained to the doctor the incident at the meat counter the day my parents came to dinner. I also told her about two other incidents that had come up. One was when Jenny, Katie and I were at lunch and the waiter kept making eyes at me. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Jenny just steaming. The rest of the afternoon was a little tense between the two of us. Katie even tried to talk Jenny down but Jenny just ignored her as well. It made for a short afternoon and when we got home, for one of the first times Jenny and I went to our own apartments. About a half hour after we got home, Jenny came over and sat next to me on the couch where I was reading for a class. There was a genuine look of embarrassment and shame on her face. I closed my book and just looked at her as she slowly began sobbing.
‘I’m sorry Lex.” Jenny said as she broke down. I was mad enough at her that I didn’t move at first and just starred at her. “You did nothing wrong and I don’t blame that waiter for checking you out. You’re a beautiful woman. Please forgive me Alexa.” I sat there and continued to stare at her as my heart began to melt and I pulled her into my arms and kissed her. Soon all was forgiven. I explained to Dr. Burke as I finished relaying the story how Jenny had even said to me after the experience at the Grocery store how she was sorry, but she a spoiled little rich girl and I had to get used to it. Debbie chuckled at that, but also seemed concerned that Jenny was somehow running my life. I assured her it was not the case at all.
“What was the second time?” Debbie asked. I started to explain how that just this last weekend Jenny and I had gone out to a club to hear a band. Katie had to work and the two of us had been wanting to go out and some fun. While at the bar this guy blatantly started hitting on me. He would try and lean in and make a move or give me a kiss. I was able to move out of the way each time and I could also see that it was getting to Jenny. I noticed she had enough of this guy and tuned a planted a huge, passionate kiss on me. I was no dummy and I returned my girlfriends kiss with everything I had. I think that the two of us were a little tipsy made the kiss a little more dramatic than it probably was. They guy was in shock and Jenny and I started giggling. The guy even got a little mad until the bartender warned him that he better not say anything and to get lost. Jenny and I both thanked the bartender and thought we better head out. I did go on to explain to Dr. Burke how Jenny and I did give the Uber drive a little show on the way back to our apartment.
The rest of this latest appointment with my counselor had gone well. I had begun to feel comfortable around her. She was becoming more of a friend than just my counselor and I felt like I wanted to do something for her. I remembered that neither Jenny or Katie had any plans for the week end so I did something that I hadn’t planned on. “Dr. Burke, are you available Saturday night? I would like to invite you over for dinner. I ‘ll cook. The three of us usually do something on Saturdays anyways. It would be great to have you over because I want to do something for all the support you have shown me.”
Debbie took time to ponder an answer to my question. “First of you don’t owe me anything. You have been a wonderful patient to work with. But I would love to come over on Saturday. Are you sure it’s not a problem?” She asks as I shake my head no. “Okay it is a date. As long as you make me one promise.”
Confused I ask, “What would that be?”
“Your father is not invited.” Debbie states which gives me a laugh. I ask her if she has any allergies or preferences, which she has neither. We make plans for her to come over around 5:00 and I make my way out with a spring in my step. Whenever I leave Debbie’s office I feel good, but for some reason today I feel great. I have become much more confident as Alexa; I was a better person as Alexa and I had the most beautiful girlfriend in the world. If I hadn’t driven to my appointment I probably could have flown home. That giddiness carried me through the door of the girls’ apartment where I found Jenny on the couch attempting to write a paper. I came up behind her and gave her a big hug and even bigger kiss.
‘Somebody is in a good mood tonight” Jenny says following the kiss.
“Yes I am.” I say as I make my way around the couch and cuddle up to Jenny. I continue to try and kiss her and finally she relents and puts down her computer and takes me in her arms and begins returning the kisses. I slowly begin massaging her breasts and then her rear as I kiss my way down her neck to her chest. Jenny just lets me take control and I am willing to take whatever she is willing to give me and soon I have her skirt up around her waist and begin working her panties off her. Jenny begins the same as I had decided to wear a skirt today as well. She was soon surprised as she reached under my skirt and felt my bare thigh. A low moan of approval escapes Jenny’s lips as she begins working my panties down my body. Soon the two of us are in the throes of ecstasy on the living room couch. While not a first for us, it was a first as Katie could be home at any minute. As we began to recover from our moment of bliss, Jenny just smiled at me and stroked my face. I could feel my smile from ear to ear. ‘Sorry for interrupting your paper” I say.
“You are more than forgiven Lex.” Jenny says and give me a long kiss. Our moment of happiness is soon interrupted as we heard the door begin to open. Jenny jumped from the couch and ran into the bathroom as I tried to straighten myself up a little. Katie came through the door and I tried to put on a good act. Katie sat down next to me on the couch. She begins asking me about my appointment with Debbie but she stopped mid-sentence as it her appeared her hand was trying to pull something out from underneath her. Jenny emerged from the bathroom at the exact moment as Katie produced a pair of panties that had been wedged in the cushions of the couch.
“Whose are these?” Katie asks. Jenny and I both blush a little at the questions placed before us. Feeling a little bold I answered my “sister’s” question.
“They’re hers” I say as I point and Jenny and begin a mock crying fit on Katie’s shoulder. “She attacked me!” At that point Jenny came over and playfully slapped the back of my head.
“You are so full of shit Alexa Marie!” Jenny says as the two of us fall into a mini wrestling match that is more full of giggles than anything else. As Jenny rolls over on top me and pins me to the couch we suddenly hear Katie behind us.
“Ewww! New house rule! Underwear must be worn in the living room at all times.” Katie averts her eyes and moves off the couch. It is at that moment Jenny and I both realize that we are giving Katie a full little view of what is underneath our skirts. Bashfully we straighten ourselves out on the couch but continue to giggle. We look over at Katie who is shaking her head and laughing at the same time. ‘What am I go to do with you two?” She asks rhetorically. Jenny and I restart our wrestling match and I warn her that I will get her. Jenny tells me to bring it on which brings more laughter from the two of us before we finally settle down enough to be able to tell the girls about my invitation.
“So what are you two doing Saturday evening?” I ask.
Katie being the responsible one present simply states nothing and asks why. The little blonde girl next to me gets a little big for her britches “Defending my title as couch wrestling champion.” This earns a tickle attack form her ‘competitor’ before we attempt to settle down again. I don’t know what it is, but since we started dating, Jenny has become a little sillier. I am not complaining at all. It has made for some interesting times on various occasions, but it is so different from the serious girl I met two years ago. I didn’t think it would be possible but I love her even more with this development. After being admonished by Katie, again, for our behavior we settle down again and I continue on.
“Good” I say “because I invited Debbie here for dinner. I owe her so much so I thought I would include her on our Saturday night meal. You two okay with that?” I ask. Katie readily agrees as she enjoys Debbie the few times she has had the opportunity to be around her. It is the other one that proves to be a bit of a problem. A pout come across her face.
“I was going to see if my girlfriend wanted to go out.” The pout soon turns into a big smile. ‘If it was anyone else I would really get you but because it is Dr. Burke you off the hook.” That little comment gets the tickle attack going once again before we are admonished, again, by Katie. We stop the activities and yell at Katie. “Okay MOM!”
As Saturday rolls around we finish cleaning the girls’ apartment and I begin cooking dinner. Katie does not leave the two of us alone even once. She pretty much has let it be known that she does not trust the two of us being left alone. Jenny and I try and be on our best behavior but we do find a way to sneak in a few moments alone. After all the cleaning was completed and the dinner was prepped and ready to go the process of getting ready began. I was a little nervous as to what I should wear. Boy, am I getting to be more of a girl all the time. As usual the advice offered to me was coming from both sides. Katie said I should dress more casually as this was just supposed to be a casual dinner amongst friends. And as usual Jenny thought I should go all out and dress up. While most of the time I do lean towards the casual look favored by Katie, partially because of trying to ease in to Alexa taking over, I decide on a dress. Of course, the is followed by ‘accusations’ that I have brain washed and that I was just sucking up to Jenny. I did compromise a little as I chose a simple blue dress accessorized by a rather large scarf and a pair of knee high tan leather boots. Jenny heartily approves of my choice as she willing expressed by a long kiss as I come in to the apartment from my own.
“Love the outfit Lex. Katie’s going to be disappointed.” Jenny says.
“I don’t care. I always dress down when I see Dr. Burke. I want her to see this side. Plus, there is another reason.” Jenny looks at me with questioning eyes. “You like it.” This comment earns me another kiss. This time I break the kiss as I knew I wanted to get some things prepped before Deb shows up. I go to the kitchen and pull out he chicken and season it so the spices can work their magic before I begin cooking. Jenny puts the last touch on the living room, making sure everything looks good. As the two of us are performing our tasks, we began to wonder what was taking Katie so long. Soon our question was answered as out of her room she came, and did she look great. She was wearing a Maroon top of some sort with a black and white patterned skirt, patterned tights with her brown knee high boots. She was covered by an over-sized grey sweater. She looked great. Jenny and I just stared at her with open mouths.
‘What?” Katie asked defensively. “Are you two the only two that get to dress up around here?”
I ran over to Katie and gave her a hug and told she looked great and then told her that I was definitely borrowing some clothes from my “big sister’ which earned me light punch arm then a bashful thanks. Jenny was a little more teasing in her response to the look. ‘It only took two years and a new sister but I finally rubbed off on you. You do look good Kate.” Katie promptly stuck her tongue out as her response to Jenny.
“Thanks both of you. I do like how it looks. Oh by the way little sis, the tank is yours.” Katie says with a giggle as she does a little turn and sits down in the living room. Both Jenny and I sit down on the opposite end of the couch. Unlike most of the time, when we are greeted with a moan or a head shake, Katie just smiles. “As much as I like to complain, you two are very cute together. You bring out the best in each other.” This comment brought a huge smile to not only my face but Jenny’s as well. Jenny looked up at me from her position snuggled up against me and gave me a huge kiss that seemed to last a little linger than it probably should. Soon we were interrupted with a cough. “I said you were cute, I did not give permission for a make out session.” Jenny broke the kiss and soon the three of us were on the couch laughing away. A knock at the door broke the group laugh fest. Katie went to the door while Jenny and I stood and straightened ourselves up.
Katie answered the door with a loud ‘Dr. Burke come on in. Oh, you brought wine. Thank you so much. Come in.”
“Thank you Katie. It’s good to see you and please, out of the office call me Debbie.” Katie nodded as Debbie came in and Jenny and I stepped closer. “Hello Jenny. Good to see you again as well and Alexa? My you look very nice this evening. I love the dress. Little different than I am used to seeing.”
Jenny extended her hand to greet the doctor while I blushed. As Jenny turned around she gave me a quick kiss and then told me “Knock it off. “You know you are attractive.” And I received a light slap on the shoulder followed by another quick kiss as a form of penance. I walked towards the kitchen, taking the bottle from Katie’s hand and went to pour four glasses. While I am pouring, I hear Jenny playing hostess as three of the four most important women in my life began chatting away. When I return to the living room I find that Debbie has taken Katie’s normal position on the couch and Katie has taken the chair leaving Jenny and I in our normal spot, where out of habit, as we both sit Jenny leans back into me. Debbie picks up on this but doesn’t say a word. About a half a glass of wine into the group chat, I realize I need to get cooking. I stand and head to the kitchen to get ready. Realizing I need some help, I call out to Jenny to come give me a hand. I had decided that having Jenny’s limited skills helping now would be better than an argument later, where her skills are much better.
“Alexa cooks?” Debbie says in shock.
“She’s a great cook” Katie says. Her pronouncement is heartily agreed to by Jenny. “I never knew until I met her.” Jenny says with a giggle as she tries to steal another kiss from me. OK I gave in willingly to her attempted ‘theft’.
“I forgot about that. That is when Alexa made her first bold move. Wasn’t it going to get some food from her apartment?” Debbie inquires.
Katie rises from the chair. ‘Yes it was, but she is an excellent cook. But will you excuse me. I need to check on the love birds. We have had issues when they are left alone, especially in kitchens.” With that Katie heads to the kitchen. Before she can reach it, I break the kiss and yell out.
“I heard that.” I am met with a giggle from Jenny before another quick kiss and I get back to cooking.
Katie laughs and turns to Dr. Burke. “Debbie, would you care to join me at the counter? I think we might eat sooner if we both are out here keeping an eye on these two.”
“I would love to. In fact, I think would like to watch the cook in action.” Debbie says grabbing her glass and joining Katie at the counter stools to watch us cook.
“Oh you will get a show. Like I said Alexa is an excellent cook. Her help needs some work though.” Katie says. Jenny promptly sticks her tongue out at her roommate and then moves to my side asking what she could do
“Don’t feel bad Jenny. I can barely make pot noodles.” Debbie says as she takes her seat. Jenny asks what pot noodles are and Debbie explains that they are what we would call cup of noodles or Raman. This starts a conversation that goes on about the little differences between America and the U.K. While it was interesting to hear some of the names everyday things are called here compared to “across the pond”, I soon realized that I had lost my help in the kitchen. I give Jenny a minor lecture to get back to work and she apologizes in the little girl voice. It was fun having the conversation while I was cooking and soon I had dinner baking in the oven. Rather than move back to the living room, the conversation continued right there in the kitchen with Katie and Debbie at the Counter while Jenny had slid up next to me as I leaned against the counter. It was a setting that seemed so natural that it reinforced me feelings that Alexa was who I was truly meant to be.
Debbie kept staring at Jenny and I as we talked. It finally started to get to me, so I looked at her and said “Deb, are your working right now?” with a grin on my face. She realized she had been busted and blushed a little. “Can’t turn it off, can you? That’s OK. We do make an interesting pair.” With that I leaned in and gave Jenny a kiss and a little “Eskimo” kiss as well. God, I am lucky to have this woman by side.
“I was hoping that I could, but you two are such an interesting pair. You always come off as a little nervous, a little uptight. But here you are so relaxed, and dare I say natural. I am sure that being at home helps, but there seems more to it than that. Maybe it’s Jenny. All I know is you seem very happy. But that is the end of my work for the evening. I’m sorry.” Debbie concludes.
“You have nothing to be sorry for Debbie” Jenny states. ‘You are seeing Alexa at her best right now. I would think it would be hard to get some patients to talk.”
Debbie laughs. “It is. Some act like they are being interrogated, but once you gain their trust, they can surprise you.”
“I don’t think Debbie wants to talk shop.” I say. “She is here as a guest plus now I can grill her.” I say. All of us laugh at my comment, but I can see Debbie give me a slight nod, realizing I had bailed her out a little. I am sure she is nervous that she might be under some questioning from both my girlfriend and Katie. I’m glad I could help because those two don’t need to know everything, even though they pretty much do.
Katie jumps in to start the questioning. “So Deb how did you wind up at the University of Minnesota?”
“Well, I hate to admit this but it was a man. I was finishing my graduate work at John’s Hopkins in clinical psychology where I met his Doctoral candidate. He was a lovely man, tall, charming. I was smitten. He had received an offer from here to begin working in their Psychology department as an associate professor so I followed him and was accepted into the doctoral program. However, he was not a very good professor and after a year they let him go. He returned to Baltimore as fast as possible. So here I was. Enrolled in the doctoral program, 4000 miles from home and no boyfriend, but I came to love it. I love the lakes; I love the city. Much less hectic than London or even Baltimore. But I do have one question. How can you stand the cold?”
“Good question.” Katie replies as we all laugh.
“You don’t really ever stand it; you just learn to tolerate it” I say as the timer goes of indicating that it was time for the finishing touches of my dinner. I ask Jenny to hand me the two hot pads as I pull the baking dish from the oven and add the peas and cover the dish to let it set up. “Dinner will be served in about five minutes.” I announce and then ask Jenny if the table was already.
“Is there somewhere I could freshen up?” Debbie asks and Katie directs her to the bathroom.
“I’m so glad you invited her.” Katie says to me. “I really like her and she doesn’t seem like a doctor at all.”
“Well she is a person Kate.” I say. “What do you think, she has a portable couch that she travels with?” My comment earns me a finger flashed in my direction which Debbie sees as she returns.
“I must have missed something.” Debbie says. “Are you two always getting after each other? She asks Katie.
“Well Debbie if you must know the truth. I consider Alexa my little sister. And at times, like all little sisters she needs to be put in her place.” Katie says as she gives me a stare down which I respond to by sticking out my tongue at my big sister. Debbie laughs at the two of us.
“I understand completely Katie. I have a little sister, Stephanie. She gets a little uppity at times and needs to be brought back down to earth. You three would like her. She’s not much older that you three and she does have a love of boots like you do Alexa. By the way, those boots are lovely. Where did you get them?”
“To be honest I can’t remember. Nordstrom, I think” I look at Jenny for an answer. She nods her head. “one thing I have seemed to have caught from Jenny is my love of shoes.”
Katie laughs out loud ‘I’ll say. I bet between the two of them they have about 100 pairs. I say it’s about a 75 – 25 split though.”
Jenny takes offence to the numbers Katie is spouting “Hey. I’d say it’s 60 – 40!”
Katie laughs at her roommate “Okay 70 – 30” Jenny is forced to agree, because she knows Katie is right. I watch Debbie during this exchange. She seems to be enjoying it. I ‘m glad. As a counselor, she has been a huge help. But here, she seems like a good friend.
“I never asked. What are we having this evening?” Debbie says as the three women take their places.
“It is Cuban Chicken with Sweet peppers and Yellow Rice.” I say.
“Sounds interesting” Debbie says enthusiastically. And soon all of us are enjoying the meal. I receive compliments from each of the women, none more important and uplifting to me than the one I receive form Jenny. A compliment and quick kiss has that effect on me. Soon dinner has been completed with stories being told by the three hostesses about each other as well as quizzing Debbie on her life. Knowing Katie as well as I do, I could see her trying to angle towards some more personal questions, especially if it is in regards to Debbie’s love life. Katie thinks she is the ultimate matchmaker and if she meets somebody who is single, she goes on a mission to find someone for them. She even tries to take credit for Jenny and I, but we love to shoot her down, reminding her that he only thing she did to introduce us was to move into a dorm room. Luckily Katie didn’t go too far in her questioning, and Debbie was able to dodge some more personal questions.
I had made a nice Apple Crunch pie for desert, and when I offered Debbie a piece and coffee, she waved it off. “I really don’t think I could eat anything more. That was a wonderful meal Alexa. I am not used to eating so well. My compliments to the chef.” I blush once again. I ask Debbie if she would at least like some coffee. “No thank you. I do need to be going. I had told some friends I would meet them later. I almost wish I hadn’t. You three are so enjoyable to be around.” I can’t help but smile at my counselor’s comment and soon she is making her way out. All of us say we must do this again and Debbie indicates that next time she will not have made plans to leave so early. She said she felt bad about leaving but she did want to meet up with us before the holiday. As we say our goodbyes, I feel like Debbie has truly become a friend and not just my counselor. As soon as Debbie is out the door, the inevitable argument over who has to do the dishes comes up. I always find a way to get out of, claiming that since I cooked I shouldn’t have to do any washing. After the normal argument, my ‘sister’ and girlfriend finally agree to both do it. As I relax on the couch, I listen to the laughter of the girls coming from the kitchen and smile, I realize this is what I always wanted. My opinion of that soon changed as I was joined on the couch by girlfriend. As Jenny cuddled up to me a gave me a kiss. I realized this is what I always wanted.
The week and a half following our little dinner party passed at a normal pace, but the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday loomed and I began to get nervous. How was I going to handle my family? Not only would I have to deal with Dick-head and my brothers, but there would also be aunts and uncles and cousins and some them had kids. Thanksgiving was a big event in my family, much more than Christmas so I knew that this would not be the day to come out as Alexa, and the thought of being Alex made me nervous. I wished that I could get Jenny to come, but I didn’t want to take away from her family’s celebration. I somewhat retreated into my old Alex shell on this. The confidence of Alexa slipped away as the holiday approached. I didn’t realize that is was that apparent until Jenny called me on it Thursday night, one week before Thanksgiving.
We were at my apartment for a change and I was on the couch watching my favorite TV show, The Blacklist, as Jenny sat at the kitchen table working on her final paper. I was watching, but not paying attention to Red’s latest plan as I kept thinking about the holiday, just a week away. I must have been fidgeting or something because the next thing I knew, Jenny has sat next to me and laid her head on my shoulder. I kept up appearances and put my arm around her but inside I was feeling rather small. As a commercial came on, Jenny popped her head up and asked “What time is dinner at your parents?”
Confused I looked at her for a second and answered with “Huh? I mean 1 probably. Usually is. Why?”
“Well, I have a proposal for you. We go to your parents, have dinner with them and I meet your brothers, then we drive to my parents. They usually don’t eat until 6 and you can meet my family.” The huge smile across Jenny’s face let me know that this proposal was something she was very sure of but it still confused me.
“Why would you do that? Won’t that be a little too much running around?” I asked as a look of shock must have come over my face. Jenny’s smile became more intimate, more caring.
‘Why would I do that? You are so dense sometimes. I have seen how you have been acting the last few days. You have retreated into a your shell a little. It took me day or two to realize that it was going to your parents for Thanksgiving that had put you in this funk. It was also then that I realized you hadn’t asked me to come. Why not?” Jenny said with disappointment on her face. The look melted my heart. I knew at that moment I had made a mistake
“I didn’t want to mess up your plans, I’m sorry? I responded.
“Mess up my plans? You are the most important person in my life. Why wouldn’t I want to spend a holiday with you?” And with that she enveloped me in a huge hug. Tears were trying to form but I fought them back. For the one millionth time in the last two months I thanked god for Jenny. She slowly released her hug and moved back a little. “Now we have to go shopping to find you some clothes.” And the next afternoon we did, only this time it was for Alex. As we were walking through Macy’s downtown, I leaned in and made a little admission to my girlfriend.
“Shopping isn’t as fun as Alex.” This earns a giggle and agreement from Jenny.
Soon it is Thanksgiving morning and the three of us fighting to get ready. I had the least amount of work to do, as Alex didn’t need much to get ready. I did wear panties underneath my new pants but decided that wearing a camisole or bra under my new dress shirt might be pushing it.Katie had volunteered to work, so Jenny and I decided to get ready at my apartment, but knowing we were on a schedule I waited for her at the girls’ apartment. This gave me a chance to talk to Katie. I felt like we hadn’t talked in a while what with our schedules and just the fact that Jenny and I were always together. Rather than sit around I sat with her as she got ready.
“So are you ready for this?” Katie asked. “I wish I was going today. I would love to see Adam and Danny’s reaction to Jenny. Is Adam still going out with that bitch Bethany Johnson?”
“I think so and I know Danny has been seeing Lynn Elliot. Not sure if she is going to be there though.”
‘Really?” Katie asks questioning my brother’s choice in girlfriend. “I always liked her but she is a little odd. Well at least you will have the best-looking girlfriend there.”
“I have the best-looking girlfriend anywhere.” I say with a smile. Katie laughs at that comment as she moves out of the bathroom and finishes getting dressed. I head back into the living room and soon she is complete and joins me in the living room. Standing there she looks at me and begins speaking.
“Are you going to be OK Alex? I am worried. Don’t let Dick get to you OK? And if Danny and Adam become assholes, just tell them to fuck off and point at Jenny. They will be so jealous of their little brother.” I got up and gave Katie a big hug and thanked her for her concern. I told her I’d be fine since we were only going to be there a short time. Just as we were breaking our hug, through the door came one of the most beautiful sights ever.
“I can’t leave you two alone for a minute, can I?” Jenny said stealing Katie’s normal comment.
“Wow” Both Katie and I say in unison as we look at Jenny in an Eggplant colored cap sleeved dress and 4 inch strappy heels. She was gorgeous. “Little much for Faribault Jenny.” Katie says as I am left speechless. Jenny’s response to her roommate’s comment was to stick out her tongue. The three of us giggle as Katie indicates she needs to go and wished us a good time today. I felt sorry for Katie having to work on Thanksgiving, but as she said her and her mother don’t do much plus she made double wages and the tips were good. Waving Katie good bye, Jenny and I get our coats and start to head for the door before Jenny says she forgot something. She runs back to her room and returns with a garment bag and her purse. When I ask what is in the bag, Jenny mumbles a bit before saying that it is the Halloween costumes. I just nod and we head out.
As the drive down I-35 progresses, I become a little more nervous with each passing mile. Jenny just holds on to my hand as I sit behind the wheel of her car. As much as I want to see my mother and show Jenny off to my brothers, I dread seeing my father. The last encounter with him had put me in the frame of mind that I needed to be Alexa, but here I was heading to his home dressed in my boy clothes. As we exited the highway, Jenny leans over and gives me a light kiss on the cheek “Lex I will be there. Just try and ignore your father OK?” I just nod as the nerves kept me from saying anything. Soon we had pulled up to my parents’ house just outside of town. Jenny comments on how beautiful it was. My parents’ house sat on the last 10 acres of land that was once the family farm. My dad liked the seclusion plus the fact he could hunt turkeys on the land in the spring. As we walk to the door I begin to shake ever so slightly. Once again Jenny tries to calm my nerves. She gives me a quick hug and whispers I love you into my ear. That seems to help a little. I reach for the front door and hold it open for my girlfriend as we cross into the awaiting storm.
I take Jenny’s coat and hang both mine and hers in the entry closet. Taking her hand, we enter the large family room that is filled with family, my brother Dan is the first to see us. He dropped the glass he was holding as he starred at Jenny and I standing on the step leading into the room. At first my mother starts to admonish him, but notices the look on his face. As she began getting up and without looking back she yells out “Alex, Jenny. You’re here!” My brother Adam, who had been sitting next to my mother also stands and I watch his eyes bug out and his mouth drop to the floor. The only other sound I hear is my father groan as our presence has announced. I can tell this is going to be a fun day.
As my mother comes to greet me and Jenny, I keep shifting my focus between my two brothers while sporting a smug smile. I notice the blonde hair of my brother Adam’s girlfriend sitting next to his position on the couch. I lead Jenny into the main area off the family room following my mother’s hug. “Adam, Danny and Bethany. I’d like to introduce you to my girlfriend, Jenny Thompson.” And then one by one I introduce Jenny to Adam, Danny and Bethany. When I came to Bethany I instantly saw the claws begin to come out. Following the introductions, Jenny turns and says hello to my father, who simply grunts a hello as he is too engrossed in the Lions and Bills game on TV. Before Jenny and I can sit down, mother asks Jenny to give her a hand and asks Bethany to come too. Jenny shoots me a nervous look as the thought of being in a kitchen without me at her side is terrifying. I give her a quick kiss. “You’ll be okay. I gave mom a heads up. I’m the one who is scared.” That earns me a little kiss and a quick smile before my girlfriend is led by my mother to the kitchen. Adam give a look to his girlfriend and gives her a little head gesture to follow. Reluctantly, Bethany gets up and heads to the kitchen, leaving me alone with my brothers and my father.
“Where did you score her little brother?” Danny asks. While Danny can be a macho jerk, we have always gotten along despite our differences. When I tell him that she is Katie’s roommate, he laughs and asks “Katie got any more roommates? She is hot Alex. Huge score.” my brother says as he gets up from the chair and give me a high five. I feel a little rush by that. It feels good to get his approval.
“Dad says he completely pussy whipped. Practically needs permission to take a piss” My brother Adam says. My father chuckles as he hears this. “Yeah she’s hot. You doing her yet baby brother?” Adam asks rather rudely. I shouldn’t be surprised because he for all intense and purposes, Dick Jr. “Come on Alex, you given her the high hard one?”
“Shut the fuck Adam!” I tell my brother. “It’s none of your fucking business.”
“Hey watch the language you little shit.” Dick says glaring at me. It’s then he notices what I am wearing. He shakes his head. “I see you haven’t grown any balls, still letting the piece of ass dress you.”
“What’s wrong with what I am wearing?” I ask as I look down at my Marron dress shirt and black dress slacks. Okay it is a little overdressed for this group. I notice they are all in jeans and flannel shirts, but since I am meeting her parents I agreed that I should look nice.
“Do you see any of us wearing church clothes?” My dad asks. “Why the fuck are you dressed up? I swear this chick has your mind so fucked up you would wear a dress if she asked.” I think to myself if he only knew the truth. I begin to try and to explain why I am dressed up.
‘I am dressed like this because I am going to meet her parents later.”
“Who the fuck are her parents?” Adam asks. “The King and Queen?” Adam started laughing at his own stupid comment.
“She’s a Thompson.” My Dad says mockingly. “I guessing he has to go suck up to them. Genuflect and all that shit.” Between my father and Adam, I am beginning to get mad at all the crap I am getting, then again it wouldn’t be a holiday if these two weren’t pilling on.
Danny looks at me in shock. “She’s a Thompson? How the hell did you manage that?”
I blush slightly at my brother’s comment and shrug my shoulders. “I really don’t know. She made the first move.”
Danny falls back in the chair in astonishment, however my father does not take it well. “She’s gotten you blushing like a little girl now. God, you are fucking pussy Alex. Every fucking time I see you, you are more of pussy than the last time I saw you. Get the fuck out of here for now.” My father says as he moves to the garage door I am assuming to get another beer. Feeling like I am ready to cry and taking my father’s instruction I get up and head towards the kitchen. I make it as far as the dining room, where I pull out a chair and slump down at the table. I try to avoid an outright break down, but still silently weep at the comments made by my family. My little episode is soon broken up by my mother entering the dining room with something for the table. She takes one look at me before turning back to the kitchen and calling for Jenny to come out. My mother places the dish on the table and quickly moves to the family room.
Jenny appears at the door way and instantly sees me and sits down next to me and pulls me into her. ‘Let’s get out of here,” I say. “I can’t take it anymore. I hate that bastard and Adam is almost as bad.” Jenny just tries to hold me as I let the venom out.
“It will be OK Lex. We’ll eat and then head to my folks. It would be rude to leave now. What did he say this time?” Jenny asked.
“Just the typical things. He did say I probably wear a dress if you asked.” I say looking up at her giving her a slight grin. “Would you tell me to wear that one?” I ask with a mischievous grin on my face.
“Only if you’re a good girl.” Jenny replies with a smile followed by a long kiss. My mother happens to walk into the dining room at that very moment. I can hear her try and act all flustered and continue into the kitchen. Jenny and I chuckle at the apparent embarrassment of my mother. Jenny stands and puts out her hand and I take it as she leads me to the kitchen.
Soon my Uncle Bob and Aunt Karen show up with their two kids, Ashley 15 and Robbie 9. Bob is my father’s younger brother who has always looked up to my dad and tried to emulate him. He had similar crass comments for me the one time he got me alone and I once again felt the sudden urge to leave, only to have Jenny calm me down again. I don’t mind my Aunt Karen, but she is no help what so ever. When I was younger I always thought that she and my mother were great friends. But it seemed like every time she walked out of the kitchen, my mother would make a little comment about her. Never a direct shot, just a subtle one. I was amazed. I never knew that my mother had it in her. Jenny and I couldn’t stop from giggling. The time I spent in the kitchen helping my mother made the day a little easier. Jenny and Bethany did not. Bethany has always been a bitch and that side showed in her attitude towards Jenny. Jenny is not a person you want to mess with, and after a few of Bethany’s comments, Jenny came right back at her. A few times I thought a cat fight would break out, but luckily (or sadly) it did not.
Dinner was another adventure. Jenny and I sat next my mother on one end of the table, and other then the kind looks my mother gave us we had to deal with all kinds of looks. My father, uncle and Adam kept giving me disgusted looks. My brother Danny was constantly starring at Jenny in awe and I got a little mad, but since the bozo had been nice to me I took it in stride. Bethany just stared at Jenny with a scowl on her face all through the meal and soon I saw Adam doing the same. I felt like it was the two of us against the whole family. While the dinner seemed to drag on, but as I looked at my watch it had actually gone quicker than planned. Once the pie was served and the dishes had been cleared, the men moved off to the family room to finish watching the Lions and begin watching the Cowboys and consume more beer. Sneaking out early did allow me to miss the annual touch football game that took place at halftime of the Cowboy game. The family game usually involved one person getting pissed at another and a fight taking place. Usually it was my brothers but I had seen my father and a few of my other uncles get into it. I hadn’t been immune to it over the years, but as I was much smaller than my brothers and my cousins who were not here, I usually ended up on the short side of it.
With pleading eyes, I finally got Jenny to agree to leave after most of the dishes had been washed. I went to the family room to say good bye to my father. The “Yeah, whatever. Have fun with the rich people” comment from my father was even more condescending than ever. At least he didn’t question my manliness. And after dodging the inevitable offer of leftovers from my mom, Jenny and I could leave. I had never been so relived in my life to get out of my parents’ house. As we began driving down the highway I thanked Jenny again for coming. She told me not to worry, that having to deal with each other’s families was part of being in a relationship.
We hadn’t made it very far when Jenny asks me to pull into the Rest Area up ahead. Thinking she needed to use the rest room I saw no problem with it and soon we are parked at the front door. Rather than getting out of the car right away, Jenny looks at me “Lex, I am so sorry about your folk’s house, but I knew it was going to be tough and my parents’ house will definitely be interesting. I know how difficult it is being Alex, so I came up with a little plan.” With that she reached into the back of the car and grabbed the garment bag. “I bought this last week and had it tailored. I would like you to wear it, but it is your choice. I think you will feel a whole lot better if you do though.” The smile on Jenny’s face assured me that this wasn’t a set up so I got out of the car and she followed me in carrying the garment bag.
The nice thing about these new Rest Area bathrooms is that they not only had a men’s restroom and a women’s restroom but they also had a family restroom. Jenny and I slipped into the vacant room and locked the door. Jenny hung the garment bag on the door and began unzipping it she produced what appeared to be a Pinstripe Suit and a wide collared white dress shirt. She then reaches in and produces something that I am almost dying to wear, a silky tank top. A smile slowly forms across my face as I quickly tear off my current clothing and begin to put on the suit. It is when I am first buttoning the shirt that I realize it is actually a women’s blouse. Not saying anything I begin to put on the pants and realizes they are women’s as well. I suddenly get nervous and tell Jenny I can’t wear a women’s suit. She smiles at me and says “It’s really not a women’s suit. Well, sort of. The pants are but the jacket is a man’s. I saw the women’s suit and had to get it for you. I’ve got the matching women’s jacket and skirt at home.’ I give Jenny a hug to thank her. As I put on the new suit, I feel completely relaxed again. After the day at my parent’s place, the feel of the suit was like heaven. She then produced a pair of black block heeled women’s boots that when I put them on looked like I was wearing cowboy boots. “There, no one will know the difference, unless you keep it unbuttoned like that” as she points at me as I see the lace on the tank partially exposed. I finish dressing and we return to the car and hit the road. My mind and body more relaxed then it had been all day.
An hour later we were driving past the gates into Jenny’s parent’s estate. I had never seen it at night and it was completely lit up. It looked like something from a movie. It seemed even larger and more regal than it had the one other time I had been here. I started to get much more nervous, it wasn’t because of how I was dressed however. I was finally going to meet Jenny’s family, and I mean the whole family. On the drive, Jenny got a text from her cousin Julie asking her where she was and complaining that Jenny’s grandmother was getting wound up as to Jenny’s whereabouts. Jenny was none too happy to hear that the family was at her parent’s. She had assumed that it was just going to be her parent’s and the two of us for dinner and not the whole Thompson clan. As we parked I could see the nervousness in Jenny. I leaned over and gave her a kiss. “I am the one that’s supposed to be nervous remember? I am the one messing around with their daughter.”
“It’s not that, Lex. It’s my grandmother. I don’t care what my parent’s think. It’s my grandmother’s approval that concerns me. I told you I saw her a couple of weeks ago and she kept asking about you. What you are like, when you were coming to meet her. I was hoping we could go see her this weekend. But now there is no avoiding it.” I tried to calm her fears but nothing seemed to pull her out of her funk.
We parked the car in the circular drive way at the front of the house and went in the main doors to the house, rather than coming in the side as we had when we came and picked out our Halloween costumes. To say the view from the Grand Entry was impressive would be an understatement. From the foyer, we could see directly into the large entertaining room and out on to the twinkling lights on the lake. We were met a gentleman named Thomas who Jenny seemed very affectionate towards. She explained that he is the caretaker, but on days like this he doubles as the butler. He was trying to be as formal as possible, but Jenny kept talking to him like he was a long-lost friend. Eventually the formality broke and he told Jenny to knock it off, and Jenny started giggling. Thomas, Tom, looked at me and said ‘I wish you luck dealing with her. She needs a little humility. Make sure you show her that.” I laughed and told her I would. “Thomas” took our coats and took them to the cloak room adjacent to the entry but not without bumping into Jenny purposely on the way. He mockingly apologized for bumping into the princess which earned him a declaration by my girlfriend that she was number one in his direction. Jenny took my hand and looking directly into my eyes asked me if I was ready and I nodded. Both of us took deep breaths and then began giggling that we had reacted the same and began the walk into the large room.
As we stood at the top of the few steps that led into the room, 30 pairs of eyes turned and looked at Jenny and I. Under her breath Jenny told me to smile as Jenny scanned the crowd for her parents and I felt the stare of the eyes. Some seemed genuinely happy to see us while some gave me a quick visual inspection and began making their judgments as to whether I belonged here this evening. Thankfully, Jenny has spotted her parents and we moved down the stairs and to the left where a gentleman who appeared in his late 50’s and early 60’s stood in a very expensive suit next to a woman who appeared ten years younger than him at his side. Jenny walked directly up to them. The gentleman spoke first, “Jennifer” he stated and took Jenny into a semi warm embrace. The woman also called Jenny by her formal name but was much less affectionate with her, simply exchanging a friendly kiss on the cheek. Jenny stepped back and stood next to me and began the introductions.
“Daddy, Mother I would like to introduce my boyfriend, Alex Quinn. Alex these are my parents Martin and Marilyn.”
Mr. Thompson’s hand immediately shot and grasped mine in firm handshake accompanied by a smile that I would consider warm and welcoming. Mrs. Thompson was equally polite in welcoming me but the smile she flashed seemed forced. I was immediately suspicions of her. As close as Jenny and I had become, I realized she rarely talked about her mother. I made a mental note to ask her about this later. Mr. Thompson began speaking and gesturing to the two men he was speaking with, “Alex I would like to introduce to Congressman William Fritz and Gerald Washburn.” I shake the two gentleman hands and realized how out of place I truly was. Jenny was very comfortable with these two men, but I had nothing in common with them. One was a Congressman and the other an old money tycoon. It was awkward and thankfully we were pulled away when we heard a female voice calling out my girlfriend’s name. I turn and watch as Jenny and a slightly older version of Jenny meet in the middle of the room and give each other a big hug. Jenny waves me over and I excuse myself from the power meeting disguised as mingling I had been thrust into.
As I reach Jenny, she grabs me and pulls me to her side. “Alex I want you to meet my cousin Julie. Julie this the best thing that has ever happened to me, Alex.” I am not sure what caused me to blush more, the compliment Jenny had just paid me or the kiss on the cheek that I received. Julie held out her hand and we shook. The two of us were quizzed about the typical things, how we met, how long we have been together, etc. Until Julie looks at Jenny and gives her some advice.
“You better take Alex over to see Grandma Mary. She has been asking about you two all night.” Julie informs her younger cousin. After pointing out the grandmother, Jenny and I take our leave of Julie, promising to hook up latter, and work our way over to Jenny’s grandmother who is seated in a high back chair in a small alcove near the big windows overlooking the lake.
Jenny bends over and gives her grandmother a hug once we reach her. “Happy Thanksgiving grandma. I understand you have been looking for me?”
“Yes I have young lady” Grandma Mary says somewhat sternly. “Where have you been?”
“I was with my boyfriend at his parents earlier today and just got here a little while ago. How have you been?” Jenny asks as she stands back up and grabs my hand. “Grandma, I’d like to you to meet my boyfriend, Alex Quinn. Alex, this is my grandmother Mary Thompson.” Jenny said as the two of us stood there looking at the older, but obviously active woman. If this was the grandmother who celebrated her 85th birthday a few weeks ago, I am surprised. Grandma motioned to a chair indicating that we should join her so I grabbed the single chair to the side and presented it for Jenny to sit down while I stood behind her with my hands on her shoulder.
“Jennifer, I didn’t want you to sit. Go mingle or something. I want to talk to your gentleman friend alone.” With a nervous look Jenny stood up and looked at me while mouthing ‘I’m sorry’ to me and then disappearing around the corner. At her insistence, I sat down across from Jenny’s grandmother and awaited the grilling I was sure I was about to receive. “So Quinn, eh. That would make you a Mick I guess. Also, a minnow muncher I bet.” I nod at the older woman as she says some disparaging comments about my background. “So tell me, what do your parents do Alex.”
“My father is a construction contractor and my mother is a school teacher.” I replied, purposely leaving out that she taught at a Catholic school.
“I understand that you and Jennifer met at University. What are you studying Mr. Quinn?” she asked. I had noticed that she had yet to smile in the time we had been there. And I answered that I was majoring in English. “And what do you plan to do with that?” I told her I planned on either going to law school or teaching. A scowl came across the woman’s face “Lawyer! Just what this world needs, another lawyer.” I’m glad she didn’t ask me about being a teacher. The old woman continued “What are your intentions with my granddaughter young man?’
I froze not knowing how to answer that. At the same time a gasp came from around the corner and as I turned I could see Jenny standing there. It was then I heard “Jennifer Ann Thompson! Leave. Go talk to your cousin or something.” The old woman said crossly. I kept my head turned and watched Jenny sulk away and then turned my head back to the old woman who had been interrogating me. With a smile on her face, she asked “Is she gone?”
With an astonished look on my face I nodded. “Good. I would like to apologize for how I was just acting. I knew the little minx was standing around the corner eavesdropping on us. I am sorry about how I was acting. An old lady needs to have a little fun, especially when you are around all these stuff shirts my son and his wife have invited. Alex, you must realize while I have been living in this world for the last 60 years of my life, I was not born into it. My maiden name is O’Malley. My full name is Mary Margaret O’Malley Thompson. I am the daughter of a police officer. My husband Charles was the rebel of the family, but eventually fell back into the family fold. I got stuck. So, to amuse myself I like to play little jokes and go on adventures.”
To say I was taken aback by all this would be an understatement. I looked at the old woman who now had an impish grin on her face that was infectious. She, like her granddaughter, had blue eyes that seem so warm. I couldn’t help but like this woman immediately, and soon we were talking like old friends. Laughing and joking with one another. She asked about my family a little more in depth and I couldn’t help but be honest with her. I told of her the troubles I had with my father and the confrontation I had with my brother earlier in the day. She genuinely seemed saddened by that. “There are so many bigoted people in this world it is amazing. You would be surprised how many are standing here right now. Some of these limousine liberals will put out plenty of lip service about equality across race and orientation, but get them behind closed doors they are a bunch of Archie Bunkers.” She almost spat as she said this.
She leaned forward and took my hand in hers and said. ‘Alex you seem like a very nice young man. And I can see how much being around you has done for Jenny. I have not seen her this happy in years.” I notice how she hesitated somewhat as she said this. I asked if she was thinking about Abby and she nodded yes. “When Abby died, part of me and part of Jenny died as well. She was a beautiful child. So full of life and love. It hit me hard but hit Jenny harder. She has gone through the last few years in kind of haze. But on my birthday, I noticed a light in her eyes I had not seen in a long time. When I pressed her on it she said nothing, but a few weeks later when I saw her I couldn’t get her to stop talking about you. Thank you for putting some hope in my granddaughter’s life again.” I couldn’t help but tear up a little. That I had helped Jenny move on gave me some hope. The grandmother and I continued talking about everything and nothing at the same time for the next few minutes. It was then she hit me with a shocker.
“You know you look like one of Jenny’s friends. From the pictures, I have seen, I could have sworn she would have been your sister, but you don’t have any you say. Do you know this friend of Jenny’s, Alexa?” I instantly froze and began babbling incoherently. She leaned in “Relax” she said in whisper. “I figured it out a while back. Jenny said something a few weeks ago and I put two and two together. Rest assured your secret is safe with me.” To say I was relieved would have been the biggest understatement ever said. The next sentence was even better. “Do you want to have a little fun with your girlfriend?” She said with that glorious smile. I giggled and nodded. Spotting Jennifer across the room, she yelled out to her. ‘Jennifer would you please come here.” As we waited for Jenny to return, Grandma Mary looked at me and said, ‘I like the suit. It looks like a cross between a man’s and woman’s. I’m guessing Jenny bought that for you.” I didn’t say anything because I knew the woman knew exactly what she was talking about.
Soon Jenny arrived with a look of apprehension. “You wanted to see me grandma?” Jenny said.
“Yes I did. Alex here seems like a very nice young man. I am glad you FINALLY found the time to introduce him to me. Now when are you going to introduce your friend Alexa to me?” Jenny happened to be taking a sip of her wine as her grandmother said this and did a spit take. The look on her face was priceless. She obviously had no idea her grandmother had figured everything out. Grandma Mary just stood and starred at her waiting for an answer. I stood to the left of Mary trying to keep a straight face. Eventually, I broke out into a fit of laughter. I couldn’t hold it anymore. Mary just turned and looked at me. “You are weak.” I tried to apologize while Grandma Mary just shook her head and turned back towards her granddaughter. In a whisper, she said to Jenny. “Don’t worry about it. I’m on your side.” The look of relief that Jenny displayed was immense. Before Jenny could say anything to her grandmother, Mary announced she needed a drink and left the two of us behind. Jenny walked up and looked me straight in the eye.
“You’re terrible.” She said.
“I’m sorry. It was your grandmother’s idea. I think she likes me.” I say with a huge smile spread across my face.
“I know that worries me.” Jenny replies. “I love her more than anyone in family, but she loves her little games. She loves to tease me and now I’m afraid she as a new ally.” A laugh escapes as she says this. She pushes me back into the alcove and gives me a long lingering kiss before leading me out. “Come on, let’s go mingle and hopefully the food will be ready soon so we can get out of here.” With that, Jenny leads me out into the main portion of the room where we talk with many people who last names equal the old guard money of Minneapolis. I even met a former governor of our state. It was so surreal, but it was wonderful watching Jenny move amongst these people. She was so charming and graceful that I felt proud to be with her. It wasn’t long before it was announced that dinner was being served. As everyone moved to the large dining room Jenny held me back. I was soon met be a kiss and Jenny asked if I was doing OK. I told her I was doing fine, and that she had looked beautiful as she moved about. She thanked me and kissed me again.
“There is one more test babe. We have to sit by my mother during dinner.” She told me. Immediately I could feel panic overtake my body. “Don’t worry. We will make it quick. I just wanted to warn you so you would be ready for the questioning.” We soon were moving off to the dining room, even though it felt like I was heading to the gallows. Jenny’s mother was seated at the head of the table and appeared to be pleased that Jenny Ans I would be joining her, but the pleasant appearance seemed forced. As Jenny moved to her seat, I tried to act like a proper gentleman and held out the chair for her and pushed it in before taking my own seat. Jenny’s mother looked at me suspiciously as I did this, but I also noticed Grandma Mary seated about half way down the opposite side of the table smile and nod at my gesture. At least one person is on my side.
As soon as we had been served, Jenny’s mother began into the typical line of questioning. It was one of the strangest conversation I had ever been a part of. While she was enthusiastic as she asked the questions, she could care less what my answers were. It was almost like she wasn’t even listening to them. Her tone was aloof, almost condescending. I could have told her I dressed her daughter up in a French maid’s outfit and paraded her through the streets and she could care less. And what was even worse, she almost completely ignored Jenny other than to ask her how schools was. As much as I thought my father was disconnected from my life, it seemed like nothing compared to Jenny’s mother and her. I stopped myself almost immediately after thinking that. At least Jenny’s mother didn’t call her every name in the book. But still I felt sorry for Jenny and I noticed it was affecting her. Instinctively I reached for her hand under the table and squeezed it to let her know I was there for her. She turned and gave me a smile, but I could see the sadness in her eyes. I leaned over and whispered in her ear.
“It’s my turn to do the saving. Let’s get out of here soon as dinner is done.” I told her and she just smiled and nodded. The look in her eyes went from sadness to one of thanks. ‘Do you care if lie on your behalf?” I asked. At first she shook her head no, but after a minute she nodded. We politely finished our meal, and sat for a few minutes before making our great escape. We first went to Jennifer’s mother and made our excuses. The interest level paid to Jenny by her mother was laughable. She only briefly broke her conversation with some older women who seemed about as uptight as herself as she wished Jenny that she would feel better and then returned to her conversation. The look on Jenny’s face was like that of a little girl who had been chastised. I took her hand and the two of us headed to the other end of the table to way our goodbyes to Mr. Thompson.
The scene at the other end of the table was no better than our first goodbye. Mr. Thompson could barely pry himself from a discussion on Asian Free Trade with the Congressman. He did at least give her a kiss on the cheek, unlike Jenny’s mother before we were finally able to slip away. We are just walking up the steps into the foyer when from behind us comes an unmistakable voice.
“Where are you two sneaking off to?” Jenny’s grandmother says to us.
With a real smile on her face Jenny turned and faced her grandmother. The two of us descended the steps to say goodbye to the matriarch of the family. “I just couldn’t deal with it anymore grandma, I’m sorry.” Jenny says while giving her grandmother a hug.
“I understand, dear. You do not need to apologize. I just wanted to say good bye to both of you.” Another hug is exchanged. “I know it’s hard, but remember some of us in this family still care about you. I’m heading to West Palm on Sunday and I don’t know if I will see you before I leave. You take care of yourself and that boyfriend over there. He is a special one.”
“I know grandma. I got pretty lucky, take care of yourself. I love you and I am going to miss you.” Jenny says as she gives her grandmother a kiss on the cheek. Grandma Mary gently moves past her and walk up to me. Taking my hands in her’s, she looks me directly in the eye.
“I am entrusting you with one of my most precious things. You love her and take care of her or I will fly back here and kick your Mick butt OK?” The mischievous smile of the old woman spreads across her face. She follows it up with “I don’t care if it’s Alex or Alexa, I’ll do it” She says with a grin.
“I’m sure you would. It was great meeting you Mrs. Thompson.” I reply Jenny walks over and takes my hand as we move off to get our coats and soon are out the door in the car. The car ride back to the apartment mainly consisted of Jenny thanking me for getting her out of her parents and me telling her the same. The half hour drive though mostly consisted of us just holding hands and smiling at each other. I did indicate that I could wait to get out of this suit. “I wish you would have brought the skirt.” I tell Jenny and she can’t stop laughing and teases me the whole way home.
As soon as we are through the door, we begin taring of our clothes. Not in a sexual manner, although we do kiss several times. Jenny had bought both of us matching long red satin night gowns and robes which we put on and grab a blanket and race to the couch and cuddle up. After a long day of both families, cuddling up on the couch is both what we needed. After finding a Christmas movie on the Hallmark Channel we settle in to enjoy the peace and quiet. Twenty minutes went by before our peace and quiet was interrupted as Katie comes stumbling through the door drunk.
“Hey, it’s Jexy!” she says as she collapses on the opposite end of the couch from us.
“What did you just say?” Jenny asks trying not to laugh at the condition of her roommate.
“I said Jexy! Jenny and Alexa. Jexy! After seeing the proud look on her face, Jenny and I can’t help but break out in laughter. “What? Don’t you like it? I came up with it at work today. Kind of like Brangelina! Jexy!”
“As long as you don’t use it anywhere outside of the apartment.” I say. I then ask “How did you get so drunk?”
“We started after everyone left. Ray let us go crazy at the bar and we did. We had lots of fun. How was your guy’s day? Dick live up to his name?” Katie asks.
“What do you think and my parents weren’t much better. We just needed to get home and get some peace and quiet.” Jenny states.
“Well, don’t let me get in the way. I’m going to bed. Hopefully The bed won’t be spinning too bad.” And with that Katie gets up and only almost falls over once. Just as she is about to play pinball on the way to her room, she turns around and says “Goodnight Jexy” and laughs herself to bed.
Jenny and I return to our movie. As hard as the day has been for both us, the fact that we are cuddled up together now makes everything seem OK. My father might be an asshole and Jenny’s parents might ignore her but we have each other. I pull Jenny in closer t me and whisper into her ear that I love her. She snuggles in closer and gives me a kiss. As we breakaway from each other, one thought comes to mind.
“I could get used to Jexy.”
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