The carb-o-load was in full swing. Everyone was either stuffing their faces, laughing, or just hanging out. Some parents came, but it was mostly just the team and coaching staff. I weaved myself through the people to the kitchen, where I found Matthew and Brit talking by the drinks.
“How’s it going you two?” as I reach between the two of them for a bottled water.
“Not too bad. Your dad throws a great party. The food is amazing as always,” Matthew said as he shoved the remaining bite of the bread roll in his mouth. Brit nodded along because her mouth was full as well.
“Sweet. Well I’ve got to go and see how the other areas are doing. Matthew do you need a ride home after the party? I see your parents didn’t come,” I asked before leaving.
“Nope. Brit said her parents can give me a ride; catch you later dude,” Matthew yelled at me as I left the calmness of the kitchen and back into the chaos.
The rest of the party went as expected. Coach ended things around six-thirty, “You all need to head home and get lots of sleep. The bus will be leaving at five-thirty sharp tomorrow morning. Do not be late.”
One by one, they all thanked Dad for the food and the hospitality and then left. Coach and Lily left quickly too; but not before Lily took all the baby animals and gave Grandpa Matthews a huge hug goodbye. Lastly, the guys and Brit came to the door. We said our quick goodbyes and they all dispersed. ‘I wonder what happened to Jenny?’ I had seen her on and off again during the party; however, I was never able to stay in one spot too long.
“Hey Dad. You seen Jenny?” I yelled into the now empty house.
“She is the kitchen with me,” Dad hollered back.
Shocking. I see Dad and Jenny washing dishes. It was kind of like deja vu from a dream. Not so long ago, I had thought about these days. Where Jenny would be my girl and she would be like this…spending time with my dad. Knowing that will never happen hasn’t been bothering me, but at this moment it stung. ‘Not happening. She is your family now. See her as family.’
Dad was starring at me. I guess me standing silent and still just outside the kitchen was weird, “Yep?”
“Nothing you just have been standing there for a long minute. Jenny offered to help me clean up. I told her she didn’t have to but she insisted,” Dad said playfully bumping Jenny, but causing her splash water on her shirt. “Oh. Sorry Jenny.”
The water was starting to make her shirt cling to her. “Hang on a sec,” I dashed to my room and got her one of my dark colored T-shirts. I came back into the kitchen to see an embarrassed Jenny holding her shirt away from herself. I handed Jenny the shirt and she dashed off to the bathroom. “Don’t worry about the dishes, Dad. I’ll stay and finish cleaning up, and you can give Jenny a ride home. After all the grime and food from cleaning up the tables, I welcome washing some dishes,” I stepped up to the sink, bumping Dad off to the side, and started washing before he could argue.
Jenny had came back, “Oh. Do I have a new helper now?” She said coming towards me.
Dad grabbed Jenny’s shoulders causing her to stop. “Nope. My great son has decided to do the deed of dishes for us, allowing me to take you home. You good to go?”
“Oh…yeah Mr. Matthews. See you tomorrow George,” Jenny waved goodbye.
I acknowledged with a nod and then continued washing. Dad and Jenny left finally. I didn’t really know how I was feeling, but I needed to focus on something else. ‘Dishes. You are doing the dishes.’