Kitchen Promises

By: Brooke Cumberland

“Hey,” he interrupted, putting his hands up in surrender. “No one told you to walk in. Ever hear of knocking?”

“Ever hear of shut the hell up?” She made a face at him and swatted him with the wood spoon in her hand.

“Alright, you two. Play nice,” I interjected. I backed away to let them bicker it out. Michael’s boyfriend, Trey, had been coming over a lot more recently. Michael finally decided to settle down and date. Molly liked him, but lately she was a little edgy about it. Personally, I think it was because she was jealous of all the time Michael spent with him instead of her. And add that to the pregnancy hormones, you had one emotional recipe for disaster.

On top of planning Stanley’s event, I wanted to surprise Molly with an engagement party soon. She hadn’t mentioned a lot about the wedding with focusing on the babies and work, so I thought I’d do all the organizing of getting a party together. We’ve been engaged five months now, so I figured we needed to do it soon.

Christmas was coming up, so I thought a holiday engagement party would be the route to go. I had a party planner already on top of it. I didn’t want Molly to stress about it—and I knew she would—so I didn’t plan to tell her until the night of. Risky, yes. But in my experience, it was better to ask for forgiveness than to get permission. So a party was in the works.

I set the table and called for Stella to come down. Michael and Molly were still teasing each other in the kitchen, so I sat at the table with Stella.

“So how was your day, sweetie?” I asked, pouring her a cup of milk. She shrugged, not looking up from the table. “What’s wrong?”

“First grade is hard,” she pouted.

“I’m sorry, sweetie. Anything I can help with?”

“Can I bring gum to school?” She looked up bright-eyed.

“Gum? I don’t think you’re supposed to have gum in school, are you?”

“It’s not for chewing,” she informed.

Confused, I asked, “Okay…what’s it for?”

“It’s a secret.”

“You can trust me, I promise.” I crossed my arms on the table, leaned my head on top, and gave a wink.

“I want to give it to someone.” She smiled, almost blushing.

“Who?” I asked curiously, leaning back up to take a drink of my water.

“My boyfriend,” she answered bluntly. Shocked, water spat out of my mouth and nose. She laughed as I covered my face.

“Your what?” Molly interjected, dropping a pan in the middle of the table. “Did you just say boyfriend?” She placed a hand on her hip, raising her eyebrows.

“And the fun begins,” Michael muttered, taking a seat across from me. He chuckled as he saw Molly’s scowl.

“You, young lady,” Molly said, pointing a finger at Stella, “are not allowed to date nor have boyfriends until you’re thirty, you hear me?”

Stella giggled.

“Thirty? Girl, please,” Michael snorted. He reached across the table and grabbed a scoop of casserole.

“She’s gonna need a tracking device.” I chuckled.

“You better get a chastity belt on her,” Michael continued.

“Oh my god! Stop it, you two!” Molly snapped back. “I mean it. There will be no talk of boyfriends!”

I couldn’t help but laugh. It was innocent teasing, but I could tell it was really starting to bother her. On top of already being emotional, she was having a hard time letting go. Stella was her first baby and had been the center of her attention for five years, and now here Stella was already acting grown up.

“Okay, no more teasing,” I promised. I put my hand over my heart and crossed it so she knew I meant it.

“So…” Michael began. I could tell he was trying to come up with a better topic. “Have you guys given any thought on the wedding? I mean, are you going to set a date sometime soon? I’d really like to get planning.” He stabbed a piece of chicken with his fork and popped it in his mouth.

“You’re planning it, huh?” I asked amused.

“Well, you want it to kick ass, right?” Michael raised an eyebrow, grinning.

“I’m not really sure, Michael,” Molly interrupted. “With the babies, it just makes more sense to wait, don’t you think?” She turned to look at me. I hadn’t really wanted to wait that long, but I could definitely see her point.

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