Within five days Cerice's parents were out of hospital and living with her aunt again. They had decided that their return to France could be postponed until they had gotten to know me better, and gotten to know who their daughter really was.
"So I'm picking you up, then we're going to pick your parents up and we're taking them to that restraunt by the beach."
"I can't wait." Cerice sounded excited down the phone. She seemed so much happier now that her parents knew her better, and although I couldn't help being a little jealous about her new relationship with her parents, I accepted that she needed to get to know them as herself, not as the person she had pretended to be.
"Alright hon, I'll see you in ten."
"Bye." I hung up and checked myself in the mirror. I hoped that I looked alright. I wanted to make a good impression on her parents, because for the first time I would have to sit with them and I wouldn't be able to leave the conversation if something awkward happened. I crossed my fingers and wished that everything would go well.
I picked Cerice up and we drove to collect her parents. Cerice was nervous, and she kept looking across at me and grinning weakly.
"It's going to be fine Cerice. It will be brilliant."
"I'm just... I can't believe I told them."
"I can. You're incredible."
"So, you work in the secondary school here?" Cerice's father asked, taking a sip of his wine.
"Yes, I teach art." I took a bite of my starter.
"Cerice has always loved art, I can't believe we tried to stop her from having that choice."
"Cerice is incredibly talented. Her work has the potential to be as great as all the famous artists. But I understand why you would not want her to major in the subject, because it is very hard to break in to the field."
"Yes, we wanted her to have the oppertunity to have a valid career, something that she can always rely on."
"I have Sasha for that now." Cerice smiled and took my hand.
"Cerice, Sasha! It's been a while!" We turned round to see Sophie Winters stood behind us, with Sam next to her. He was staring at our hands, which were still together. I released Cerice's hand, because I wasn't sure how far her new 'out' self went.
"Sophie, it's good to see you. Mr and Mrs Clairoux, this is Sophie Winters, one of the governers at my school." The exchanged pleasantrys and then Sophie turned to Cerice.
"Now Cerice, Sam tells me he hasn't seen you in a while." I glared at Sam who was blushing slightly. What's the betting he hadn't told his mother that Cerice wasn't his?
"No he hasn't. Probably something to do with him beating up my friend."
"Oh no, Sam wouldn't!" She stared at Sam whose face was plastered with guilt.
"Actually mother, I did have a disagreement with a geek at the university. It was over Cerice in my defence."
"Ah well I hope you apologised. At least this proves he loves you Cerice." I glanced at Cerice's parents who were at this point totally confused. Cerice decided to answer.
"Sophie, I do not wish to offend you, but I could never love your son. He is not my type."
"But you two were so perfect! Don't tell me you've broken up!"
"We were never going out!" I touched her hand in restraint because she was starting to shout and people were staring. Then I turned to face Sam.
"Sam, maybe you ought to go and tell your mother about everything. Meanwhile, we'd quite like to get back to our meal." Sam nodded and took his mother away, although she struggled slightly, probably seeing her future grandchildren dream slipping away.
When Cerice and I turned back to the table, we were confronted by the confused and slightly angry stares of her parents.
"Would you mind explaining to us what just happened?" asked her father, taking another sip of his wine. I braced myself for the story which had caused me such pain when I'd seen it first hand. I was pretty sure that Cerice's parents would not be happy.