Falling for My Boyfriend's Dad

By: Cassandra Dee

So I cleared my throat slightly, hoping to get his attention.

“Hi, I’m Ally,” I said.

The boy couldn’t hear me over the racket, and besides he was too busy being the boss.

“No fool!” he scowled again. “That, there!”

I tried again, a little louder.

“Hi, I’m Ally,” I said again, making sure my voice rang out above the racket, the random thumping and crackling sounds of moving paper and furniture. “I live down the hall.”

And this time the boy swung around to look at me, his imperious expression melting away once he got a look at me. It was kind of embarrassing, but I’m used to it now. For most of my life I was a beanpole, a stick-thin toothpick with no curves, like a twig almost. But in the last six months, I’d filled out a lot and now I had curves to stop traffic, literally a car had almost run into a fire hydrant last week, the male driver staring at me with googly eyes, mouth open. And Jonah was no different. Upon getting a glimpse of my generous shape, he turned to face me, eyes appraising, running up and down, and then up and down again. My heart dropped. I didn’t like feeling like a piece of meat, but at the same time, I needed a favor, one that maybe he could provide.

“Um, hi, I’m Ally,” I started again. “Your new neighbor?”

And this time, he was all ears.

“Well, Ally, Ally, Ally,” he singsonged, rolling my name on his lips. Ugh, that didn’t sound good. “What major are you? Maybe we have some classes together.”

“Undecided,” I said quickly. “Or undeclared, is that how you say it?” And I blushed, cursing myself. God, I was already coming off like a country bumpkin within two hours of setting foot on campus. But I forced myself to keep going.

“I was wondering,” I began tentatively. “If I could borrow one of your movers? They’re renting mini-fridges downstairs and I need some help getting one up to my room.”

Jonah’s brow furrowed.

“A mini-fridge? Why would you want that? Aren’t those things like microwave-sized, practically useless? I’m bringing a junior size myself,” he boasted. And sure enough, a worker stumbled by, a huge white refrigerator strapped to his back, almost bent over double from the weight.

“Oh my god,” I gasped, running over to help. “You need a dolly for this, you can’t be carrying this by yourself, you’ll strain your back.

And the mover just nodded and huffed, so out of breath that he couldn’t answer. But his boss answered for him.

“Naw, no worries,” drawled Jonah. “Carlos is fine, he’ll be fine, I’ll give him a big tip after. But seriously, girlie, what do you need a mini-fridge for? They’re useless.”

I bit my lip. I didn’t want to tell him that I planned on making my own lunches and needed the mini-fridge to keep the ingredients cold. Sure, my scholarship to Hudson was generous, but even with the financial aid, we were only able to afford the minimum meal plan, which meant I could eat one meal a day at the dining hall. For my afternoon meal, I planned on putting together sandwiches, probably some cheese and bread and maybe cold cuts if my budget allowed. But that meant I needed a mini-fridge to store my stuff, even if it was only three cubic feet.

But that was too much information for day one, so I just gave the boy a sassy smile.

“Oh you know, for snacks and all,” I said breezily, pretending it was nothing. “I heard the food at the dining hall is terrible, you gotta have snacks on hand.”

And it was the right thing to say because Jonah nodded his curly brown head in agreement.

“Yeah, that’s why I’m bringing a refrigerator,” he grunted. “I would have brought a private chef, but there’s no place to cook and no place for Alfonso to stay, so fridge it is,” he said. “Come on, my guys are busy, I’ll help you bring it upstairs myself,” he said authoritatively, grabbing a blue hoodie.

And I nodded gratefully, trailing him downstairs to where the mini-refrigerators were stacked, fifty of them in a row.

“Thanks I really appreciate this,” I murmured as I signed my name on the payment slip. Inside, I was gulping. Fifty bucks per month for the rental? But I could save even more if I packed my lunch, so hopefully it would all net out. I swallowed heavily again and put on another smile, crouching slightly, arms extended. “Ready?” I asked, figuring we’d lift it together.

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