I have skipped my mental breakdown for you all. To summarize, it consisted of me trying to figure out how much Jenny and Brit had heard; about Jenny’s situation, about my parent’s, or about my shame for my mom… I guess I had been staring at them for the first thirty minutes which came off too weird; Jerry told me I looked creepy and I needed to stop. So instead, I just decided to enjoy the evening. Coach and Lily had arrived before Jenny and Brit. Lily was dancing in the living room; Coach was helping Dad with the barbequing outside, but always glancing towards Lily. Jenny and Brit were sitting on the couch watching, while complimenting Lily’s twirls. The guys had taken up residence in the kitchen, snacking on all the chips Dad had gotten.
“Don’t eat too much of that. You won’t have enough room for the meat,” trying to seem like I have self control; even though I could totally be stuffing my face, especially after the workout I did this morning.
“Okay mom…” Ken blurted but then went silent, probably remembering that is a touchy word in this household.
Matthew and Jerry took care of it, with a few good smacks to his back.
“Ouch,” Ken yelped.
“Don’t be killing our breaststoker until after the big meet,” Coach had come inside for some tongs.
“No problem Coach. Just giving him a nice massage,” Jerry said as he clapped on Ken’s back.
“Sure. Not my house. Not my rules. Take care of it George,” and Coach went back outside to help my Dad.
“See its not just us. Coach also said to let you ‘live until the big meet‘. Meaning after the swim meet you are free to die,” Matthew laughed directly at Ken, Jerry and I just added to the laughter. As our laughter died down we heard ‘Let It Go’; Lily must have been watching a movie on a phone. I looked towards the living room, Lily was singing and dancing along. Jenny and Brit were sneaking away, towards the kitchen.
“So what’s up with the little girl,” Brit questioned while grabbing some chips, “we were not officially introduced?”
“Oh that is Coach’s daughter, Lily. Initially, George was her favorite, but Grandpa Matthews stole her heart away,” Ken answered adding more info than needed.
“Wow. I assumed as much, but she is so sweet that I am surprised she is not more like your coach,” Brit looked back at the small body dancing and singing. “And George…how do you feel about the rejection?” Brit held up an invisible microphone in my direction.
“I’m good. Seeing her in my Dad’s arms made me happy. However, I do miss my little cheerleader,” laughing out the last part.
At that Lily came gleefully yelling towards me, “Geooorrrge!“
I squatted down to her eye level not knowing what to expect. She jumped and clasped onto my neck; I almost fell over, but I stood with her in my embraced.
Lily, arms still around my neck, looked towards Jenny and Brit, “Uncle George is mine. You can’t take him from me!”
The guys erupted with laughter; Jenny and Brit also chuckled, “Don’t worry little Lily, these two,” Ken thumbed at Jenny and Brit, “would never take Uncle George from you. He is all yours.”
The guys once again burst into a laughing fit. Lily had accepted Ken’s response and snuggled her head back down into my shoulder. Just for a split second, I thought Jenny and Brit’s expressions changed, but it was gone quicker than it was there. I must have been mistaken.
“Okay guys,” Dad yelled in the slider door, “meat is done! Come eat!”
I glanced through the glass windows and saw the marvelous spread of various side dishes, and various meats: ribs, steak, bacon wrapped chicken, brisket, etc. ‘We are going to eat well tonight!’
“Let’s go!” I said as Lily and I were there first through the slider door.