July 8, 2012

Carpenters - Round 23

(Ack! Again! Look at those nice points! Emma can't be that stern & grumpy!)

"I miss you, too," Emma said sadly as she wandered around the livingroom, talking to Saki, the foreign exchange student she'd fallen in love with.  "No, I miss you more!" she giggled.

Marshall watched across the room as his daughter spoke with Saki.  She talked to him for a few hours every day after school.  Valerie said that it was just a crush, but Marshall couldn't help but feel that it was something more.

His baby girl just seemed so sad now.

Not even her friends were able to cheer her up. And God knows they'd tried.

So he wasn't surprised when Emma came to him one night to plead her case.

"Dad, please! I love him.  Can't he come stay with us? We can try it, just for a semester."

"I've already spoken to the board & have the wheels in motion.  Hopefully in the next month or so, he'll be able to come join us.  But there will be rules, young lady.  And we'll expect you both to adhere to them strictly.  School comes first."

"Yes! Oh my God! I promise! Whatever you want, Daddy!"

Emma ran to the phone to call Saki.

The day finally arrived.  Saki headed up the front steps with his luggage.  "Mr. Carpenter.  I want to thank you for your generosity.  I promise that I'll be on my best behavior."

Marshall shook the young man's hand.  "You're welcome.  I know my daughter cares for you a great deal.  We'll be watching you."

"Saki!" Emma yelled as he walked through the door.  "Saki! You're here!"  She ran to him and wrapped her arms around him.  "I missed you so much!"

Marshall cleared his throat and the teens stepped away from each other.  

Emma glanced over at her Mom & then at Saki.  It seemed like they never got a moment alone.  Either Mom or Dad watched them like hawks. 

The phone rang.  "I'll go get that," Valerie said as she got up.   "Oh Edwin! How are you, son?" Valerie said excitedly.  "You want to come home for dinner when?  Oh let me check my calendar."  Glancing back at Emma, she mouthed.  "It's Edwin!"  Then hurried to the desk in the other room.

"Good old Edwin!" Emma smiled as she and Saki scooted closer together.  Her big brother could always be counted on for a few moments of distraction.

To Emma, it was like the only thing that existed was Saki.  He made her so happy.
As Valerie and Marshall got up to clear away the dishes, Saki leaned over to whisper, "Meet me in the garage."

It seemed like Emma & Saki had finally found a place to take their relationship to the next level...

"It's so good to have both my boys home!" Valerie said happily. 

"Ummm... Mom.... I'm not moving back in," Edwin said, uncomfortably.  (Look at Dad & Son! I love it! So handsome!)

"WHAT?" Valerie asked, shocked.

"Sorry, but a few friends and I rented a place in town."

"Which friends," Valerie demanded.

"Just a few."

"Why can't you tell me?"

"Mom, come on, you're being ridiculous.  I'm an adult now!"

Crossing her arms, Valerie said, "Then you should be able to tell me who you'll be staying with."

Edwin clenched his teeth.  "Travis, Mary & Nicole."

Valerie snorted.  "Those three? They'll do nothing but bring you down."

Turning to Zane, she said, "Tell your brother, Zane.  They're a bad influence."

Zane cleared his throat & tried to think of a tactful way of saying all four of them deserved each other.  "Mom, really, Edwin's a big boy.  He can pick his own friends."  Even if they're all a bunch of immoral playboys.  Thank God he had Willow!

"But, Zane..." Valerie started to say.

Springing up, Zane glanced at his watch.  "Look, Mom, I've got to get back to school.  I love you and I"ll see you soon."

Valerie got up to hug her son goodbye.  "Go see your Father before you go.  He's out puttering in the garage."

"And you," Valerie said, motioning to Edwin.  "It doesn't matter how old you grow, you'll always be my baby and I'll always want what's best for you.  I'm here for you if you ever need me."

Edwin's lips quirked into a smile.  "I know, Mom. I love you, too," he said as he gave her a hug, as well.

That night before bed, Valerie snuggled with her husband.  "I just worry Edwin's making a mistake.  Those four are going to be up to no good."

Marshall patted her hand.  "Edwin will make the right decisions.  Have faith in him."

"I'm less worried about him, and more worried about those friends he associates with!"

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