1 + 1 =
Holy Crap, I’m Dating?
It was early on a Saturday morning, I woke up. I wasn’t sure why I woke up so early, but I did. Maybe it was because I knew Tony was going to pick me up and take me to Marco’s funeral, which I really didn’t want to go to. My mother thought I should pay my respects to Suzy, since she was dating him. Well, I didn’t want to at all. After all, she ditched me at the curb it felt like after he caused me to have a life-altering disability, and now, he dies to the beat of his own drum… alcoholism.
I could tell Tony really didn’t want to go either. He had called me the night prior to arrange when to pick me up. I said, since the service started at 11am, to pick me up at 9:30. It was only 7:30 now. Why was I up so early? Probably horrified at the fact I had to sit through his service. I went into the kitchen to find myself breakfast.
My mother and father were already up. My mom made me a plate of eggs, sausages and toast. I sat down and ate quietly. After a long while, my mother was the first to speak.
“Izzy, darling,” she began. “You really should be the better person and support Suzy today.”
“Why?” I shrieked. “She disowned me, mom! You of all people know that! Trying to get her to hang out with me was like cutting a brick into pieces… difficult!”
“I know, I know,” she said. “A good mother would remember. I know.”
I chuckled slightly, my angry resolve leaving for a moment.
“You only have to go to the service,” my father spoke then “That’s all!”
“That better be all!” I muttered. “Don’t expect me to be happy about going either.”
That was the end of the discussion. Tony ended up arriving at 9:30am on the dot. We left my house shortly thereafter!
“See you after!” I called.
“Be good!” My mother scolded.
We arrived just in time for the service, which is exactly the way Tony and I planned it. We really didn’t want to attend, but both sets of parents thought we should offer our support… yeah! Suzy, of course was glad I actually showed up, although she didn’t deserve it. She deserved to be miserable for awhile, being wounded psychologically was what she deserved.
I sat through the service wishing it would end. Suzy wrote a rather gushy eulogy. She was a horrible eulogy writer, too gushy. How could she ever love him? An alcoholic? Seriously? I thought she was better than that. I saw Lisa and Lauren there too, and they were happy to see me. I could guess they’d hoped I’d forgiven them for disowning me when I needed them most… not a chance! They never supported me through Marco’s drunk driving, which led to my amputation, and my minor periods of depression of losing my limb… being a cripple, as I’d thought. No support from either Suzy, Lisa, or Lauren. They just pitied me… treated me different. So, now, they’re getting a taste of their own medicine. I don’t feel bad about it one bit! Finally, the service was over! I left the funeral home without a single glance back at them!
“Izzy?” Tony asked later that afternoon, as were were sitting outside my house.
“Yes,” I said. “What?”
“Are you okay?” He asked with concern. “I mean, after all they’ve done to you?”
“I’m…” I began. “Well, it hurts, but…”
“I can tell,” Tony said comfortingly.
“How?” I asked, astonished.
“Easy,” he began. “I could tell from the first time I saw you after your accident.”
“Your point?” I hedged.
“My point is,” he continued. “They’re wrong about you, you know.”
“Rosemunde said the same thing,” I acknowledged.
“Well, she’s right!” Tony beamed. “Izzy, you are still you. Don’t let them change you!”
“I’m not,” I reassured him. “Still hurts losing people who you thought were your friends.”
“I’ll help,” Tony said slowly. “I’ll help you. I’d like to help you!”
“Thank you,” I said.
“Now, how can I help?” He asked.
“Just being here,” I began. “You not ditching, helps.”
“Ok, but what else?” Tony pressed.
“Just being here,” I said. “That is all!”
“I was wrong about Rosemunde,” Tony said after a moment. “She’s one smart girl.”
“I was wrong about her too,” I agreed. “She helped me more than the people who were supposed to be my friends.”
“That still bothers you,” Tony observed.
I wanted to lie, but was he ever observant?
“Yes,” I said. “I wish it didn’t.”
How did it seem that I was getting closer to Tony? It just didn’t make any sense to me. I knew he left Deborah, because he had feelings for me, but did I for him? I didn’t want to admit the answer. Why couldn’t I just admit it? He could sense my pondering expression. He hugged me then without a single word. Something clicked into place then that I didn’t know would, support, comfort, from a guy… how odd!
Jack and Joel came home that weekend. Jack asked if Rosemunde could come over. I called to see if she was free. Surprisingly, she was. Jack went to go pick her up. I could tell, for some odd reason that he was taking a liking to Rosemunde. In that same way, I could see a flicker of liking for Jack in Rosemunde’s eyes.
I thought maybe I should invite Tony over, too. I wasn’t sure if I wanted that, and if I did, how much? Once Rosemunde arrived, she made that decision for me. So, I reached for the phone to call Tony.
“Hello?” Tony said on the other end of the phone line.
“Hi,” I responded.
“Oh, Izzy!” Tony beamed. “What’s up?”
“Are you free?” I asked.
“Yes, of course!” Tony exclaimed. “What’s up?”
“I wanted to invite you over,” I replied. “My brothers, Jack and Joel are here, as well as Rosemunde is here.”
“Great!” He exclaimed again. “I’ll be right over!”
We hung up then.
“So, is your boyfriend coming?” Rosemunde asked.
“Whoa, what? He’s not my boyfriend!” I said, miffed.
“Izzy, don’t lie to yourself.” Rosemunde pressed. “You wish it, more than you let people see.”
“How are you so observant?” I asked Rosemunde.
“It’s not observing. It’s obviousness!” She clarified, triumphant.
I groaned, and mumbled something unintelligible under my breath. Then, as if in sequence, the doorbell rang.
“I’ll get it!” I said.
I opened the door to see Tony standing there. It was nice to see him, although it seemed such a short time before. He hugged me then, came into the kitchen and introduced himself to my brothers, Jack and Joel. I could already tell Jack wanted to talk to Tony, and Rosemunde wanted to talk to me. Joel suggested that we do the private discussions after we played a board game, and probably go out for pizza too. We ended up playing Monopoly around the kitchen table. After that, Tony drove me in his car, Jack took Rosemunde with him and Joel, and we headed out to a pizza place in town.
“Thanks for inviting me,” Tony said appreciatively. “I am having a lot of fun.”
“No problem at all,” I told him. “I’m glad you came.”
“Rosemunde,” Jack said. “I’m so glad you were able to come too, you know.”
“Me too,” she agreed, enthusiastically. “Before we part, I need to talk to Izzy. I think you, Jack, and Tony needed to talk?”
“Yes,” Jack said. “Come outside with me, Tony. Joel, come follow, please.”
“So,” I said. “You really like Jack, don’t you? I can also tell you are wanting my stamp of approval.”
“Yes,” Rosemunde admitted, sheepishly. “Are you ok with this?”
“I told you already,” I told her. “Yes.”
“Thank you, Izzy!” She exclaimed, delighted.
“No problem,” I added. “Rosemunde, you deserve happiness too, you know.”
“Oh, you devil,” Rosemunde countered with a chuckle. “You’re using reverse psychology on me!”
“Of course I am!” I admitted, triumphant. “I win!”
While I spoke to Rosemunde, the guys sat outside discussing things amongst themselves. I obviously heard nothing, and neither did Rosemunde, girl talk, for girl talk, boy talk, for boy talk.
“Oh, Tony!” Joel called out teasingly. “I see you’re hitting on my sister!”
“Duh, Joel,” Jack countered. “Are you that daft?”
“Well, of course I am interested in Izzy,” Tony admitted. “ I, however, see that you, Jack, are hitting on Rosemunde. It’s obvious!”
“I know,” Jack said. “I plan to ask her soon, just don’t know how.”
“I know that feeling,” Tony agreed sympathetically. “I wanna ask Izzy too!”
“Just ask,” Joel said. “Get over your fears, and ask.”
“Joel, brother,” Jack began. “It wasn’t that easy for you, was it?”
“No,” Joel admitted. “You have more confidence though.”
“This is true,” Jack agreed.
“Ok,” Tony broke in. “Now when shall I ask Izzy?”
“Why not now?” Joel stated. “When you drive her back home.”
“Now what about me?” Jack asked. “When to ask Rosemunde?”
“I’d wait a little,” Joel advised. “You are still getting to know her.”
“True,” Jack said. “Ok, let’s go inside and meet up with the girls now.”
I saw them come back inside and join us at our table again. We finished up eating, then we headed our separate ways. Jack and Joel drove Rosemunde home, and Tony drove me home… although, Tony took a detour, which I couldn’t exactly understand why.
“So,” Tony began. “Did you enjoy yourself tonight?”
“Yes,” I said. “I love hanging out with you, and everyone else too!”
“So do I!” Tony agreed. “On that sort of note, I wanted to ask you something.”
“Go ahead,” I urged him onward.
“I wanted to know if you’ve thought more about what I told you,” he said, hesitantly.
“Yes,” I told him. “What about it?”
“Would you consider dating me?” Tony asked.
“If we don’t rush,” I said. “I’m still in shock.”
“No problem,” Tony said.
“Thank you,” I replied back.
We were at my house then, before we got out of the car, he hugged me. I couldn’t believe that this was happening to me… not at all.
I sat on the front porch with Tony until Jack and Joel returned home from dropping Rosemunde off at her house. Although, they only returned an hour later. Jack and Joel must have spent some time at Rosemunde’s house for a while. I didn’t mind that, gave me more time with Tony.
“So,” Tony began. “I’m wondering if you’d like to go for a drive tomorrow evening with me.”
“Where to?” I asked.
“Elmer Lake,” Tony continued. “I rented a cottage for us, for the weekend.”
“Just us?” I asked. “Or, can Jack and Rosemunde come too?”
“Hmmmm,” Tony said, thoughtfully. “That is an idea.”
“I’ll call Rosemunde when Jack and Joel return.” I said.
“Brilliant!” Tony said, beaming. “You can ride with me in my car, and Rosemunde could ride with Jack… you know, bonding time.”
“Oh yes,” I agreed.
“Not to be mother hen here, but do your parents know about this?” I asked.
“Of course they do!” Tony said, sounding rather miffed, like I should know better. “I rented the cottage from them, actually.”
“Really?” I said, astonished. “Wow!”
I woke up early on Friday morning, and I realized it was only 6am. I guess you could say I was rather excited that Jack, Rosemunde, Tony and I were spending time at Tony’s parents cottage for the weekend. I only would have to wait through the school day, and paper. Then, we’d all meet at my house, so Jack and Rosemunde could follow Tony and I, so we could find his cottage easily.
The day sped by faster than I expected, even paper, too. Deborah still looked pained, but that seemed usual now. After paper, Tony drove me home so we could meet up with Jack and Rosemunde. I already knew it was going to be an awesome weekend!
The waiting was over. We finally started to head to Tony’s parents’ cottage. Jack and Rosemunde followed Tony and I. It was great spending time with Tony, even just in the car.
“Izzy, I’m curious about something,” Tony said thoughtfully.
“What are you curious about?” I asked.
“Only curious here, but why didn’t you want it to just be us this weekend?” Tony asked. “Only curious here.”
“It’s to do with the whole not rushing thing,” I told him.
“Ah, ok,” Tony said. “That makes sense.”
“Thank you for understanding that,” I said, thoughtful.
“I did tell you I wouldn’t ever push you,” Tony responded. “I’m staying true to my word.”
“Thank you for that,” I said.
“That’s what a good boyfriend is supposed to do,” Tony said confidently.
“Whoa, boyfriend,” I said, astonished. “Have I reminded you lately that I’m still in shock?”
“Oops, sorry,” Tony said. “I told you I’d help, and now look at me. I’m making it worse.”
“That’s ok,” I said. “I’ll have to poke you the next time that happens.”
“The next time?” Tony asked, as he groaned. “I’m hoping there won’t have to be a next time.”
“I was half serious,” I told him. “I also was half teasing you, just to see your reaction.”
“Oh gees,” Tony said as he smiled. “Why’d you have to go and do that?”
“It’s what girlfriends do,” I said, astonished at my own words. “Isn’t it?”
“I suppose it is, yes,” Tony admitted. “Getting more comfortable with it now?”
“Not quite,” I admitted. “I’m trying though.”
“I do appreciate that,” Tony responded happily.
I could tell we were getting close to the cottage now. Water surrounded us on one side, and cottages were in front of this mass of water.
“Are we almost there?” I asked, excitedly. I felt like a kid asking that.
“Yes,” Tony said. “It’s only ten minutes away now… someone’s excited, I see.”
“Yes,” I admitted. “I haven’t been to a cottage since before my accident.”
“Oh,” Tony said with understanding. “I can see why you’re excited then. Is that the reason?”
“No,” I admitted, and blurted out without thinking. “I enjoy spending time with you, in all honesty.”
“I figured it was something like that,” Tony responded with glee in his voice. He was hoping for that answer, I could tell.
Finally we had settled into Tony’s parents’ cottage. We all found rooms to sleep in. We all then decided to go swimming, well, except for me. I did bring my bathing suit, but I was partially embarrassed. Just then, Tony came to my side.
“Why don’t you come swimming with us?” Tony asked.
“I haven’t swam in public,” I admitted. “I’ve only swam in my physiotherapy sessions, nowhere else.”
“Maybe that’s just the reason you should try,” Tony urged. “I think you’ll be glad you did it.”
“Again, Mr. Tony, you’re right,” I said, though I hated to admit it.
“Ha! I win!” Tony said, excitedly.
“We both won one,” I answered.
“True,” Tony admitted. “Seriously though, go get changed and come join us. You’ll be all right.”
“Ok,” I said, finally. “I’ll be out in a few minutes.”
Swimming went well, better than I expected it to. After a bit of swimming, Rosemunde and Jack stayed by the water while I helped Tony cook dinner for us all. I can assure you, Tony was the cook, and I only the assistant. I haven’t really cooked much, especially since my accident. I really didn’t know a person like me actually could cook. We shall see how this goes, plus it was more bonding time with Tony, which I obviously approved of.
“So,” I said to Tony as we walked into the kitchen. “What are we making for dinner?”
“I’m thinking of barbecuing,” Tony said. “Maybe some hot dogs, hamburgers, and maybe some chicken too.”
“Sounds yummy,” I admitted. “How can I help?”
“You don’t need to help,” Tony responded. “Just your company is good enough.”
“Tony, I’m helping you with dinner,” I scolded him. “Where can I help?”
“Ok, ok,” Tony said in defeat. “In all honesty though, I don’t know. I haven’t had someone offer to help cook before.”
“Well, you do now, so get used to it!” I exclaimed. “Think of something!”
“Yes, ma’am,” Tony replied. “Why don’t you see who wants what, and organize the buns for the hot dogs and hamburgers, depending what people want.”
“See?” I told him. “You just thought of how I could help, and I will do just that, help!”
Jack and Rosemunde wanted hamburgers, and Tony and I wanted chicken. I got the hamburger buns ready, and brought out the condiments, and cut up some onions and other things for Jack and Rosemunde’s hamburgers. Helping felt new to me, as much as it felt new to Tony, although he was going to have to get used to the help, and especially from me.
After dinner, Tony and I did the dishes. Then, after a bonfire and some marshmallow roasting, it was time for sleep. We had two more days here, plenty more for bon fires and lots of bonding time. The good news was, bit by bit, Rosemunde was getting closer and closer to Jack. I foresee him asking her soon. Ican’t wait for that!