Submitted: February 2020
Summary: The Kent’s youngest daughter’s suitor picks her up for their first official date and meets the family. He gets a little more than he initially bargained for.
Story Count: 686 words (4Kb as text)
The familiar characters of this story are not my own but are the property of corporate entities (DC Comics, December 3rd Productions, ABC, etc.) other than myself. This work is a labor of love and is presented with no expectation of remuneration.
Robert slowly made his way to the Kent’s front door. He’d read up on Cathy’s parents, her older siblings, and he already knew Cathy from high school marching band and science camp. But he’d never met the family.
The thought of meeting all of them at once, just before his first real date with the youngest girl of the family, almost made him turn and run.
But Cathy would never forgive him if he did that. No, he’d just have to put up a brave front and knock.
Knock, dummy. Nothing’s going to happen if you don’t knock.
Yeah, they won’t kill me if they don’t know I’m here. And they won’t know I’m here if I don’t knock.
He screwed his courage to the sticking point and knocked on the front door. Cathy snatched the door open from the inside. “Hey!” she called out. “Glad you’re on time.” She reached out and grabbed his wrist and pulled with that surprising strength. “Come on in and meet everybody!”
Cathy all but dragged Robert into the living room and introduced him to Mark, the oldest, home from his junior year in college – pre-med major and built like a linebacker – for the summer; Shannon, Cathy’s sister, tall and willowy and standing like that angry tree from Harry Potter, and Shannon’s fiancé Wilson, who was heir to the Thomas fortune; and her twin brother Kenneth, the state Aikido champion for his age group.
Then Cathy’s parents came in from the kitchen, apparently from doing dishes. Both of them were smiling at him and nodding as Cathy introduced them to him. They were dressed casually, in T-shirts and jeans, and both were drying their hands before shaking. Their shirts each had writing on them—
Mrs. Kent’s shirt read, “One Rule for Dating My Daughter: Don’t.”
Mr. Kent’s shirt read, “I Have a Beautiful Daughter.” Below that, in slightly smaller print, it read, “I Also Have An Axe, A Shovel, And An Alibi.”
Well, that was slightly horrifying.
Together they made Robert wish he’d visited a men’s room – or a bush at the side of the house – before entering.
Robert somehow muttered something not too inappropriate to each of Cathy’s parents, then Cathy dragged him out the door as her father called out, “Home at ten-thirty, okay, sweetie?”
His tone was both light and threatening. Robert would not be surprised to be drawn and quartered if he brought her back two minutes late.
He opened the passenger door and helped Cathy in, then considered running down the street to find a religious cult that would hide him forever.
He didn’t run. He did come around the car, sit in the driver’s seat, put the key in the ignition, and stare straight through the windshield.
He also managed not to scream when Cathy put her hand on his wrist.
“My folks mean well, Bobby,” she said softly, “but they like to make an impression. You understand, right? They want their baby to be safe.”
“Yeah,” breathed Robert, “safe.” He inhaled deeply, then started the car. “Good thing I wasn’t planning to take you to a motel.”
Cathy laughed. “I think we’ll save that for our second date.”
He put the car in gear and pulled away from the curb. “Right. Your dad will probably put a GPS under the wheel well and then he could find us wherever we go.”
She laughed again. “Oh, Bobby, you have no idea what my dad can do.”
He glanced at her and smiled for the first time. “Well, maybe we can save that for the second date too.”