Archie leaned close and tried to speak over the blaring music. "Can I see you in the other room, please?"
Emily flashed a smile at the group and then followed her obviously irate husband to their bedroom.
Emily rolled her eyes. "Hardly! They've all recently graduated!"
Archie shook his head. "When are you going to act your age, Emily?"
Archie was taken aback when Emily yelled back and then insulted him. "Fuddy duddy?" he asked, hurt. "I'm a fuddy duddy because I've gone to work every day in my life and strived to provide for my family?" Shaking his head, he headed out to his office to read.
Throwing open her closet, she searched for something that would really get his blood pounding.
"Aw, thank you dear!" she said, touched. "Why not go play with your brother. Have some fun!"
(What you don't see is that Emily takes every chance to encourage her kids to be playful, whereas Archie takes every opportunity to encourage his kids to be serious. Kind of entertaining!)
Grant hung his head. "But, Gayle. It's supposed to be both of us! And I don't want to make a bad grade."
"Then do it yourself!" Gayle nodded towards Ronan, the college student behind her. "I have better things to do with my time!"
"Me?" he asked, looking around. "You're talking to me?"
Makayla had smiled shyly. "Who else silly?" she said. "We're the only ones here!"
Makayla bit her lip. "I do, but I thought we'd get to know each other first. I don't want to rush things," she'd said before turning around and running back to the safety of her friends.
"Damn," Grant muttered under his breath. Looks like his bad luck was here to stay!
"I told you, she's probably just out with some friends," Emily said.
Archie was furious. "You're not worried in the least? That she just up and took off without permission? Irresponsible! That's what it is!" Archie's voice got progressively louder. Oh, he was on a roll. Hearing a door slam in the front, he jumped up and looked out the window.
"But, Daddy..." Amelia tried to interrupt.
"You're grounded! For a year! No, until you graduate!"
"But, Daddy..." she tried again.
Archie paused, then shut his eyes tight. "I am so disappointed in you, Amelia."
Emily made a face. "He came down hard?"
"Yeah, he said he was disappointed. And that I'm grounded."
Emily sighed. "I'll go talk to him. He shouldn't have been so hard."
"So you think that I should just let her off the hook so that she doesn't ever learn to accept responsibility?" he accused.
Emily shrugged. "Well I wouldn't say that. But, it was her first time. She made a mistake. We have to give her room to grow or she'll be stifled!"
"Like you're stifled?!" Archie yelled.
Emily bristled. "I didn't say that either! And while we're at it, why don't you just admit who you're really angry with right now! And it's not Amelia!"
Emily was speechless. Was that how Archie saw her? Where had they gotten so off-track? Slowly, she searched for the right words. "Well, if that's how you feel, then maybe we need to think about what we're doing here."
Archie hung his head and quietly replied, "Maybe we do..."
Emily couldn't hear anything else Archie said over a loud ringing in her ears. Turning on her heel, she went to lay down.
Good, she thought. That's what they're supposed to be doing!
Could it be inconsiderate & selfish if you were spreading happiness & cheer?
Putting the dishes down in the sink, he went to find Emily to talk.
Emily smiled. "Well, since you're my doddering old fool, I suppose I'll have to forgive you. But, seriously Archie, are you happy with me? You made it sound like you couldn't stand me!"
Archie gathered his wife to him. "I love you! You make me a better man! If it weren't for you, I'd live in a cave with only books."
Archie's eyebrows shot up. "Well, now. I say that's a fine idea! Let's talk about that some more!"
Wow, she thought. Boys her age didn't usually skip straight to offers to fool around. Normally they were in awe of her, so they tiptoed towards the goal line.
Shawn shrugged, as if it didn't matter to him in the least, and walked away. "You know my number if you change your mind."
This time he was going to impress her! His brother Neil said that girls liked to be wooed.
So, here goes wooing, Grant winced as he dropped to one knee and serenaded Makyala.
He was in love!