Chapter Twenty Three - Aaka The Girl With The Purple Hair
Jeremy follows me into the restaurant and when I give the maitre de our reservation name, Jeremy's hand slips into mine, sending butterflies through my stomach. We follow the man to our table. "Isn't this fancy." Jeremy whispers, when we pass by a glass fish tank that fills nearly the entire wall.
"My mom's probably trying to impress Chris' fiancee." I tell him.
When we reach the table, my parents are sitting there, but Chris and Lottie haven't arrived yet. "Oh good, you're here!" Mom says, smiling at me from across the table as Jeremy and I sit down. I smile and nod.
"Mom, dad, this is Jeremy. Jeremy, these are my parents. Charles and Allison."
As they greet each other, Chris and Lottie come in, breaking the attention from Jeremy and I. Chris has a huge dorky grin on his face as he says, "Family, this is my lovely fiancee. Fiancee, this is my family."
"Hello family." Lottie says with a smile. She has an accent that I can't quite... place. I know it's some form of a British accent but that's about all I can tell.
I'm not quite sure what I assumed Lottie to look like, but she somehow looks the opposite. I quickly glance at mom to catch her reaction to the purple-haired girl standing beside my brother. Purple might be too strong a word. It's a lavender color, and it looks wonderful on her. Mom has a tight smile on her face, as she gestures to Chris and Lottie to sit down.
Chris sits down, and then, maybe noticing him for the first time, stares at Jeremy. "You're not family." He says, a slightly confused look on his face. "I think I'd remember if I had a brother."
"I invited him." I say. "This is Jeremy, remember, from the cafe?"
He nods. "Ah, yes. The not boyfriend."
I shoot him a glare, but Chris seems not to notice. Thankfully, Jeremy doesn't say anything about it.
"So, Lottie, these are my parents, Charles and Allison. And this," he gestures to me, "Is my pain-in-the-neck sister, Brookie."
Lottie smiles at me. "It's nice to meet you, Brookie. I'm sure you're not as awful as Chris is saying."
I grin. "Nah, I probably am that awful really, but that's a younger sister's job."
Chris snorts. "You've made it more of a career than just a job."
I roll my eyes. "You've done a terrific job of being a nuisance yourself."
The waiter comes up, just in time by my judging, because Chris refrains from arguing with me further. "What would you like to drink this evening?" The waiter asks.
While we all place our drink orders, I watch Chris and Lottie interact. They're chatting happily, looking over the drink menu before finally ordering alcoholic beverages. If only I was old enough for that. I get a lemon water and Jeremy gets a coke.
When the waiter heads out with our orders and a promise to be back 'shortly', mom attempts to strike up a conversation with Lottie. "So, Charlotte is it? How did you meet my son?"
Charlotte looks at us with a small smile. "Charlotte sounds so formal. Lottie's fine." Chris grins at her and she continues. "As for how we met, I'm part of a small folk band and we perform weekends in an old coffee shop and Chris started harmonizing with me during one of my performances. We hung out for a bit after the gig was over and it just kind of went from there." Her smile grows when she looks at Chris and my heart melts a bit.
"That's so cute." I say.
Chris grins and rolls his eyes just a bit. "She makes it sound so cheesy."
Lottie giggles slightly. "I can't help it. It's just a cheesy story."
I decide that they're an adorable couple. Mom looks like she needs more convincing. "And how long ago was that?" She asks, her lips pursed slightly.
Chris answers this time. "Six months last Monday."
Mom nearly drops her menu. "Six months?"
Our waiter is back, with our drinks, and I'm thinking of complimenting him on his excellent timing. "Are you ready to order?" He asks, looking at us expectantly. We all fumble with our menus, having forgotten to even glance at them. "Would you like me to come back in a few minutes?" He asks after a minute of silence.
"Yes, thank you." Mom says and he scurries away, seeming to have caught on to the air of tension around our table.
"So, only six months?" Mom looks like she's trying her hardest to keep a smile on her face, her eyes scan the menu but I doubt she's even seeing what's written.
Chris nods. "Yeah, I know it seems like a short time mom, but it's long enough for us."
Lottie nods her agreement, and they share a look. The overload of adorable-ness coming off them is nearly sickening.
"So mom, what do you think you're going to get?" I ask, trying to turn the conversation to food. She looks up at me like I've said the craziest thing she's ever heard, but the look fades as she seems to realize where we are.
"Right." She murmurs. "This salad looks fantastic."
Of course, she's looking at salads. I roll my eyes and look over the chicken choices they have. Jeremy's mulling over two different steaks and when our waiter comes back, we all manage to place our orders fairly quickly.
Thanks to my mother's incessant questioning, when our waiter comes back with our food, we've learned that Lottie is twenty-four, an only child, and that she grew up with her grandparents in South Shields in the United Kingdom because her parents wanted to travel the world.
"How did you end up in America?" Mom asks, once the waiter has left.
Lottie must have the patience of a saint, I think, as she answers mom's newest question. "I have an aunt in California. One summer I came to visit and ended up being part of a local fashion show and I caught the eye of an agent, so I moved in with my aunt and got a job as a model for a few years."
"What are you doing with your life now?" Mom asks and Chris actually rolls his eyes.
Lottie just smiles, perfectly content to answer all my mother's questions. "I'm working for three jobs right now, actually. I still perform at the coffee shop where I met Chris - Like I said earlier, I work there on Friday and Saturday nights. During the weekdays, I work with a group of kindergarteners at a daycare, and then, though it's not often, I still do a bit of modeling here and there."
"Impressive." I say, sticking my fork into a piece of my chicken.
Lottie turns her smile to me. "Thank you." When mom doesn't come up with another question, Lottie takes her turn with them. "So, Brookie, Chris says you're doing liberal studies in college right now?"
I nod. "Yeah, I haven't decided what I'd like to major in, so I thought I'd at least get all the basics out of the way."
"That's a really good idea. Now when you do find out what you want to major in, you won't have to worry about all those basically pointless credits."
"My thoughts exactly." I say, happy to find someone who agrees with me on this.
"Speaking of college," Mom says, "Aren't your finals coming up?"
I cringe and nod my head. "Yeah, starting tomorrow."
"Have you studied for them yet?"
I nod immediately, even though I haven't. "Yeah, and I'm pretty confident that I'll ace my psych final tomorrow." It's not a complete lie, I did study for a bit the other day, and if I told mom that I wasn't ready for my final she'd probably skin me alive and refuse to let me hang out with anyone until all of my finals are over.
Mom turns her interrogation to Jeremy. "So, Jeremy, are you in college as well?"
His fork pauses halfway to his mouth and he turns to her, gently setting his fork back down and shaking his head. "No, not right now."
"Oh." She doesn't sound impressed. "Brooklyn said the two of you work together?"
He nods. "Yeah, at Maine Street. I'm a line cook in the kitchen."
Before she can throw more questions at him, Chris butts in, asking mom about something that distracts her from her interrogations. The waiter comes back when we're just about done but mom decides that we should all have dessert. So we each order something and the questions start up again. Thankfully they're directed at Chris and Lottie, so Jeremy and I can fade into the background.
"I'm sorry my mom is so crazy." I whisper and he chuckles.
"She's fine." He whispers back and I raise an eyebrow.
"If you actually think that then maybe you're the crazy one."
He laughs again, quietly and there's a short silence as the waiter passes us our desserts. "This looks amazing." I say, stabbing my fork into the chocolate lava cake on the plate in front of me.
Jeremy glances over at my plate. "Oh that does look good." He looks down at the small brownie sundae he had ordered. "How about we share?" He says, looking at me with a hopeful grin.
I roll my eyes but push my plate towards him. "Fine. But your sundae better be as good as my cake is." I scoop a spoonful of ice cream out of the bowl, and his grin grows as he sticks a fork into my cake.
"So... Lottie..." For some reason mom seems to have to force herself to not call Lottie Charlotte. "What color is your hair naturally?"
I raise an eyebrow. Is she actually asking that? Lottie swallows the bite of her dessert and looks up. "It's blonde, but I'm in love with this lilac color, so it's been this color for about a year."
"Oh." Mom purses her lips. "I'm sure you look lovely blonde."
Lottie shrugs. "I prefer the purple." She seems to be almost tiring of mom's constant questions.
Chris seems tired of it as well. He pushes his plate away from him and puts his napkin on the table. "Well, I'm pretty tired from the trip so we should head back to the hotel." He smiles at Lottie and she nods.
"I'm tired as well." She says, standing up with him. "It was lovely meeting you all."
Mom smiles, her best fake smile. "You as well, dear. Have a good night."
As soon as they head out, mom turns to dad with that upset look on her face. "Purple hair, darling. He is marrying a girl with purple hair.
Bookluver78 - They're so freaking cute it makes my heart melt and I'm the one writing it haha! I hope you enjoyed this chapter!
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Emma - Thanks! I'd love to follow if you if that's alright! mine is ilovefood1434, so be prepared to accept my follow :D haha I'm sorry your nan passed, losing someone is never easy! I'm glad I was able to bring you happiness during this difficult time. Let me know if you need anything!
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Miha - Eep! I'm so glad you liked the previous chapter and hope that you like this one just as well! I love being able to have fluffy chapters with just the two of them being adorable! Aww man! Parents being bummers over the social media? That's always a pain.
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About the Poll
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