I sit on my boyfriend’s bed reading some web pages on my smartphone while he prepares me a breakfast of French Toast.
These web pages seem to indicate to me that while I am only seventeen, I am of the legal age of consent in our state. A part of me wants to tell my boyfriend this, but another part is afraid that he will leave me because he feels no obligation to stay with me. I’ve been rejected countless times before, but he is the first person I ever had sex with. He claims that I am the only one he ever had sex with. God, I hope that is true.
He is now walking into the bedroom. Awkwardly, I smile at him then give him a kiss.
“Breakfast is ready, baby,” He tells me.
“Good because I am hungry!” I tell him as I giggle.
He serves us the food and we eat, smiling at each other from ear to ear.
As we are finishing up breakfast, both of our phones alert us to a Freeze Warning for our city.
I then tell him, “I would like for you to meet my parents today.”
“All right I’m all for that. I hope they accept me as much as you have.”
“Regardless of what happens, I will still love you.”
“I will still love you too, no matter what, but they might not let you see me.”
“They can only legally do that for six weeks.”
“Still, I’d rather be on their good side.”
“I’ll help you, don’t worry.”
We get dressed in his drafty house.
He sees me shivering and says, “Take my extra jacket.”
“Awe, thanks!” I tell him with a kiss.
We walk out of the house and he locks the door.
We then exit his yard and he locks the hurricane fence.
He opens the passenger door for me to get in, then enters on the driver’s side.
We leave his run-down neighborhood and get on the Interstate.
The ride is quiet, but then I say, “You know I’d been doing some research while you were making me breakfast and I found out that I am legal in this state.”
“What you mean?”
“You didn’t break any laws by sleeping with me because, in our state, the age of consent is seventeen.”
“Wow! I thought it was eighteen everywhere. I’m definitely relieved.”
“I just hope you’ll stay with me and not leave me now that you know that.”
“Us sleeping together was your idea, not mine. I would have waited however long for you. And, rest assured that there is no force on this planet that will make me want to leave you!”
“What if you got me pregnant?”
“Then I would marry you, it would be the honorable thing to do. I want to marry you anyway, but I cannot afford a decent ring on my low wages.”
I smile brightly at him then rest my head on his shoulder.
Suddenly my phone rings.
I look at the screen, then tell my boyfriend, “It’s my dad; I have to take this call.”
Quickly, I answer it, “Hi Daddy.”
“Well, princess you’re not home and it’s Christmas. Are you all right?”
“Yes, I know I’m not home. I’m with someone special.”
“Whom are you with? How long have you known him?”
“I had been seeing him since Thanksgiving.”
“I hope he treats you right.”
“He’s very good to me.”
“Do you think he could possibly love you?”
“Yes, he does indeed love me.”
“I hope he’s serious and doesn’t just break your heart. Otherwise, he’ll have to answer to me.”
“Okay, please give him a chance-I love him so much!”
“I want to meet him then.”
“We’re on our way over there now.”
“Tell him to be extra careful driving in the freezing rain.”
“Yes, I’ll tell him.”
“Okay, I’ll see you in a few.”
“Okay, bye Daddy.”
I hang up, then tell my boyfriend, “My dad says for you to drive safely in this freezing weather. He might be a little hard on you.”
“That’s all right. I’ll make it clear to him and your mom how much I love you and how I’m willing to take care of you.”
“Well whether my parents like you or not, there are only six weeks until I can make all of my own decisions.”
We come upon the exit to the road that leads to my subdivision, then he takes it. He drives through my neighborhood and finally pulls into my parents’ driveway.
He steps out of the car then opens the door for me.
We walk to the front entrance of the house and I ring the bell.
My dad answers not long after.
He shakes my boyfriend’s hand and says, “Hello young man. We’ve met before.”
I’m puzzled and ask, “Wait, Daddy, you know him?”
“Yes. He waited on me at The Downtown Grocer. He was very helpful and took care of me better than anyone else. Those bastards he works for punished him just because they thought he was talking with me too much instead of working.”
“I’m on thin ice because of that. I hate my job but I have to work somewhere and unfortunately, there aren’t too many somewheres in this economy.”
“I could easily get you a better job, but I have to know that you are committed to my daughter and her only. How did you meet her?”
I then interject and say, “I’ll answer that one, Daddy: Last Thanksgiving you and mom were fighting, so I left the house and went to the park. I saw him there, writing. I thought he was cute and his stories were beautiful, so I was attracted to him. He accepted me and he doesn’t mind my weight.”
My dad looks at my boyfriend sternly and says, “Yes, she has an underactive thyroid gland and the weight is not her fault. I tore me up seeing her rejected and mocked by all those boys and you better not break her heart. If you do, I know people who can tar and feather you.”
My boyfriend looks my dad directly in the eyes and says, “I know rejection too, Mister. I’ve been shot down many times, but your daughter she completely accepted me for who I am, despite all of my quirks and awkwardness and I love her for that, not to mention I think she is very beautiful and I would never dream of breaking her heart.”
“Good. I’m holding you to that statement. Now, why don’t both of you come in and have Christmas Dinner with us? We have Sushi, General Tso Chicken, Lo Mein Noodles, Hot Pork and Tapioca Pudding for dessert. I got Asian take out because I refuse to shop at The Downtown Grocer after seeing the way they treat their workers.”
My mom then walks out of the den, looks at my boyfriend and asks, “Who the hell are you?”
I tell her, “That’s my boyfriend mom, please don’t embarrass me.”
My dad then says, “Let’s all eat. It’s Christmas and it should be peaceful.”