When Sandra’s mother called up the stairs that the Longmorrow family were leaving now, Sandra and Rhyley were lying next to each other on his bed, gazing into each other’s eyes. Sandra sat up, murmuring, “Guess I can’t stay here forever” and kissed Rhyley’s nose, sliding off the bed.
Rhyley sat up and said, “I’ll see you out.”
They went downstairs in silence, a sort of connection tangible between them.
“What have you two been up to all this time?” Sandra’s dad teased, sounding like he had drunk just a little too much.
“Oh, just talking, was it?” he said, winking.
Sandra rolled her eyes.
“It was nice meeting you,” Rhyley said, ending the period of wordlessness which had been sustained between them until this moment. He had kept up the pretence of not knowing her till the last.
“You too,” Sandra told him.
“See you 'round.”
“Yeah, see you.”
Sandra’s parents and Sandra stepped out into the still night.
“Well, you two seemed to get along well,” Sandra’s mum said, smiling.
“Oh, yeah, he’s really nice,” Sandra replied.
“I think he likes you,” her mother said, a knowing look in her eyes.
Sandra pretended to be surprised and sound hopeful.
“Really? You think so?”
Her mother chuckled.
“Listen to you. Oh, my baby girl, falling in love.” Mrs Longmorrow hugged her daughter close to her. “I think he’s just right for you,” she whispered in her ear.
Sandra pretended to sigh - slightly dreamily.
“Yeah... I do too.” The three of them climbed into the car, Mrs Longmorrow smiling even more.
Well, that should make introducing Rhyley as Sandra’s boyfriend really easy. Internally, where it wouldn’t be noticed, she grinned.