"Oomph!" Henry caught Anne, but it was a near miss. He felt the strain in his back. When did he get so old? he wondered. Sliding Anne down to the ground, he said, "Things are going to be a lot different from now, Anne. I took a chance on the Blend & Send..."
Anne was in shock. "$50,000 dollars..." she whispered. "Pinch me!"
Henry laughed. "Go get that sexy red dress on. I'm taking you out... to Londoste..."
"Londoste! I've always wanted to go there!" she said in wonder. She felt like a little girl in a candy store...
The waiter brought the check and Henry fought hard not to wince at the $500 tab. They had money now. They didn't have to scrimp like they used to do.
"Shall we?" Henry asked as he pulled Anne's chair out. Putting his hand across her back, he guided her to the waiting taxi.
"Henry," she said, "Let's not go home. Let's go out. Do something fun! I don't ever have any fun, anymore."
Henry stopped and looked at Anne. "What are you talking about?" he asked.
Anne hiccuped. It seemed that she had a little too much wine at dinner. "It's just that I've been raising kids this entire time and didn't get to go out and have fun like Stacey did." She waved her hands around wildly as she spoke. "I love our kids... but now I just all six of them to get married and move away!" Hanging her head, she asked, "Do you think I'm horrible?"
Henry had never loved her more! He knew she was family-oriented when they got married and he'd always thought she didn't want to go out because she wanted to stay at home. But, in fact, it seemed that she'd felt the opposite.
Sean sat on the couch and kicked his feet, trying to decide who to call. He'd already gotten to first base with a couple other girls, so he'd lost interest...quick.
"Well, okay. I'll be over in a little bit," Michelle said.
Sean hung up and fist-pumped the air. "Yes!" He ran to the bathroom to gussy up.
"Look, Sean. You're a great guy, so don't take offense. But, I'm not interested in you... like that..." she said awkwardly.
Sean had been momentarily dejected and fought against her why she didn't like him. Forget that! He had a lot of girls that thought he was the best thing out there. She was a smart girl, though, like his brother. He worried that she saw something in him that no one else did. Maybe she knew he had trouble reading.
"Whatever, I wasn't hitting on you anyway," he'd joked. "I say that to all the girls!"
Michelle rolled her eyes. "I know, that's part of the problem."
They trudged inside to watch some tv. When the phone rang, Sean popped up and ran to answer it. Michelle was kind of sorry she came over. She wasn't done feeling bad for herself. It'd been really hard seeing Alvin with that college girl. She knew he was over her, but she wasn't over him yet.
Michelle jumped, startled. "Oh my goodness. You scared me!" she said. "I'm Michelle."
Adam shook her hand. "I'm Adam, Sean's twin. Don't hold it against me!"
They both laughed and then began chit chatting about senior year and graduation.
"Man, I wish we'd met sooner!" Adam told her. "I'm about to head out to college soon. It would've been nice to get to know you!"
"Well, what college are you going to? I'm heading to Sim State."
"Me too!" Adam said, suddenly cheered. "That'll be great. Look me up when you get there!"
Sean rolled his eyes. "Mom, you don't have to give me things."
Anne scoffed, "You don't have to take it. But, if you can't use it, then take it to Goodwill for me. I'm too old to be moving things around." Anne pretended that it wasn't a big deal to her. She knew Sean would never accept it if he thought that it was charity. He was proud like that.
Sean hedged. "Well, if you're sure..."
Anne waved him away, "Yes! Yes. Just do it soon, my new cabinets are coming in tomorrow."
He'd argued that a bed was supposed to last a long time and that if she ever sold it, he'd haunt her unmercifully after death.
"Fine! We'll keep the beds! But, I want new bedding," she'd declared.
"Fine," Henry had stewed. He knew wasn't a problem anymore since he'd reached the top of his career, but Anne had really gone off the deep end spending money left and right.
Although, he had to admit. The place was starting to look really nice.
Henry gazed at his youngest lovingly. Now they were a beautiful little girl. He dug through his wallet and handed her a $20.
Sally glanced down and looked back up at him with puppy-dog eyes. "Can I have a little more?" she asked, hurriedly adding, "It's not like I'm going to spend it. But, just in case..."
Henry sighed and pulled another $20 out for her. He was a walking ATM now...
It seemed as though the only thing that mattered to his family was his money. Sure, he had a hit culinary show and a book on the way, but nobody ever stopped to ask how he was doing. They always wanted to know how much he had in his wallet.