I got to The Southern Experience a few minutes later and went to work grudgingly. It wasn’t busy like I had hoped it would be, so my mind got to wonder and obsess over Connelly the whole time. I served a measly ten customers and then went home, still in a cruddy mood.

I smiled when I saw my house; Sue’s yellow bug parked next door, and pulled into my driveway. I grabbed my things and got out of the car, but when I turned away from the car, my face fell when I saw Connelly sitting on the porch swing.

“Hi… I didn’t know you were coming.” I said.

“How? We talked about it just an hour ago.” he said, confusion and a little annoyance coming through his voice and face. Maybe he thought I was some sort of short term memory idiot or something. He stood and walked down the steps to come face-to-face with me.

“No, I just thought that after what happened, you’d decide not to come.” I explained. He looked down then, looking at his hands.

“Did you not want me to come?” he asked.

“No, I did… Did you think I did that on purpose?” I asked, getting the impression that he did. He just looked around on the ground, not saying anything and not meeting my eyes.

“I wouldn’t do that to you, Connelly.” I said, now glaring at him. I then walked passed him and up to my porch, but before I got to the door he was in front of me again.

I sighed angrily.

“Come on now, Kota. This is ridiculous.” he said, putting a hand on my shoulder as if to calm me down.

“Oh, really. How?” I shrugged off his hand roughly and spun around, going back down the porch steps.

“This is hard for me Kota! I haven’t ever been this involved with humans before.” his angry voice followed close behind me and I rolled my eyes. I couldn’t believe we were having ANOTHER fight! And right in my front yard with my parents just inside the door!

“Oh and you don’t think this is hard for me? I can’t even get close to you unless we’re dancing! And now we’re a couple and I can’t even kiss or hug you.” I said, spinning around to face him. Our nosed were barely an inch apart and my heart skipped a beat at the sudden proximity, but he took half a step back; shorter than he usually did.

“I am trying. You have to believe that Kota.” he said, taking back that step and grabbing both of my hands.

“I’m too… I’m sorry.” I looked down and closed my eyes, fighting tears of frustration.

“No, don’t apologize. I deserved every word of it.” he said and then with one long finger he gently raised my face up to look at him.

“No you didn’t.” I said, seeing his smiling face soften.

“Maybe I should meet your parents tomorrow.” he said, glancing at the front door in the background and then back to me.

“No, we decided tonight and now we’re going to do it.” I said, taking his hand and leading him to the door.

“You know, they probably heard the whole fight.” he said.

“So what. They won’t understand it.”  I smiled and looked back at him. He chuckled twice and then brushed my cheek with his fingers.

“So what’s the plan, O Mischievous One?” he asked, grinning widely.

“Oh right… Well I’ll go in first and then thirty minutes later you knock on the door okay?” I said, looking for approval in his eyes.

“Won’t they think it’s strange if they don’t hear me pulling up first?” he asked, raising one eyebrow.

“Well, take my keys, drive out and then drive back in thirty minutes later.” I said and he gave me an amused look.

“What? It’s the best I can come up with on short notice.” I said and he laughed.

“Don’t worry. I’ll work out the kinks.” he said, brushing my cheek once more before running off the porch and getting into my car. Then I whirled around and went inside.

“Kota?” my mother asked.

“Yeah mom, it’s me.” I said and when I came into the living room I saw her worried eyes on me. My dad was sitting beside her, his arm around her shoulders and looking at me suspiciously. Well, I probably deserved that really, being the sneaky one and dating a vampire, but I wasn’t going to let him have the satisfaction of knowing his assumption was true.

“What happened out there?” she asked.

I quickly glanced between the two of them, hoping that didn’t evoke even more suspicion from my dad. “Oh, it was just some couple having a fight. They’re gone now.” I said and sat down.

“It sounded like they were right in our front yard.” she said, glancing at the window that was thankfully obscured by curtains.

“No, they were on the sidewalk, but they’re gone now.” I reassured her and she slowly sank back into the couch. There was a moment of silence between us in which I was wondering how to say this and worrying about how it would go.

I said a small prayer that tonight wouldn’t blow up in mine and Connelly’s faces and then took a deep breath. I sat up a little straighter and looked at my parents, who were already looking at me, feeling that I was about to say something.

“Uh, Mom? Dad?” I said and they raised their eyebrows in question and waited silently for me to continue. “I have something to tell you.” I looked down for a minute. A frightening thought had just entered my mind. What if they got mad? What if they didn’t want to meet him tonight or possibly any other night? What if my mom got super angry with me that I hadn’t told her earlier so she could have cleaned up and fixed an uber awesome dinner?

“Yes, dear?” said my mom.

“You know you can always tell us anything Kota.” my dad said with a small grin.

“Um… Well, a few weeks ago I met a boy. His name is Connelly and he’s really sweet. We’ve hung out a few times and we’ve gotten really close. We’re dating now and he told me he wanted to meet you, so I was just wondering if that was alright.” I looked up at them now, still nervous and now awaiting their answer.

“Of course, sweetie.” said my mom at once.

“Have we met him before?” asked my dad, his voice and face both pleasant.

“No.” I said and they nodded, apparently not knowing what else to say.

“And I was wondering if it would be alright if it was tonight.” I pushed, hoping they wouldn’t freak.

“Meet him tonight?” said my mom. “But I don’t have anything cooked and the place is a mess.” she said, getting ruffled and looking around at the rest of the living room. Really though, it wasn’t a mess because I was a pretty clean person, as far as keeping the mess in my room I mean. And as for the cooking, I was sure Connelly wouldn’t mind if she hadn’t made anything. I smiled a little at that one.

“Does that mean ‘no’?” I asked, looking at her and Dad.

“Well, when is he coming over?” she asked.

“Pretty soon. Maybe in an hour or less.” I said and then quickly added, “I’m sorry I didn’t ask sooner.—”

“Oh no, no. It’s okay. We don’t have to cook anything. We’ll just watch a movie — A little more relaxed than dinner on the first meeting.” Dad said, smiling at me and then turning on the TV to find a good movie. I smiled and then stood up.

“Well, if he’s going to be here soon, then we better get this place cleaned up, huh Kota?” my mother asked and I smiled and nodded. Me and my mother cleaned up the living room, kitchen, and then in the foyer and around the stairs area.

Then, right when I was putting away the last of the coats that were strewn on the stair rails under the stair case, I heard someone pulling up in the driveway and then a few seconds later a knock on the door. The knock had come a little too quick after the engine being turned off, but I hoped my parents didn’t notice.

“I’ll get it!” I called, closing the closet door and running to the front door. I flung it open and there stood Connelly, leaning with one arm on the door frame and a smile on his beautiful face. He was wearing the same thing he had all day, but I was just now noticing what it was.

A dark blue polo shirt with all four buttons done up, another white shirt underneath, and dark snug fitting blue jeans.

Altogether, he looked like a medieval god disguised to fit into the modern world. I couldn’t help but blush and smile back. I batted my eyelashes, trying to blink away the high that was coming on from just looking at him. He stood up and waited for me to tell him to come in.

The End

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