When we pulled into the driveway late Sunday night, I jolted awake. I had spent the day with my sisters shopping and S.M. met a friend somewhere. Mom and Dad persuaded us to stay for dinner. Reluctantly, we did as it can be awkward when dealing with a close Mormon family.
If we lived down in the city, the families in the area would do drop-bys and impulsive invites so much so that S.M. and I would hardly get an evening to enjoy in silence. We really are different than the rest of the family.
“I wish you had taken tomorrow off.” S.M. said as we walked through the garage into the house.
I shivered, rubbing my hands up and down my arms. The sky was clear, full of stars, and I forgot to bring my heavy jacket. I hurried after S.M. He pressed the button and closed the garage as we entered the house. Georgia lay on the table. She blinked blearily.
“Off the table!” S.M. screamed, clapping his hands, and pretending to chase Georgia.
Georgia’s hair spiked as she jumped down and she scampered off into a dark room. I smothered my laugh.
“Cat’s are untrainable.” S.M grumbled. He loves the cat, but he calls it my cat when the Georgia doesn’t behave.
I don’t argue with him anymore. Instead, I collapse on the couch. “Do we have to go right to bed?”
“You have to work very early.” S.M. reminded gently. “It’s your family. We talked about this, remember?”
I remembered. He wanted to leave by six, but we stayed for dinner and dessert, and left at eight. “I know.” I rose from the couch and followed S.M. into the bedroom.
“So Dad filled me on Sam.” S.M. began to unbutton his shirt.
“Jenny also filled me in.” I nodded, and we proceeded to talk about the latest on Sam. It’s almost like a soap opera. Always drama. Always something. I just wanted a normal family.
Was there such thing as a normal family?
“Speaking of family, did you call back your mom?” I suddenly remembered the text on his phone.
“About her surgery?” S.M. pulled on an old tee-shirt. “Tomorrow. I’ll call her while you are slaving away at work and I enjoy a day off.”
“Meanie.” I crumpled my stinky sock into a ball and tossed it at him. He ducked, and chased me down the hallway to the dining room, finally grabbing me around the waist and kissing my neck.
If a cat could roll her eyes, Georgia would do just that as she sat beneath the table, her eyes reflecting the vague hall light. I felt a deep feeling of thankfulness.