The telephone rings.
“Brit? Can you take the phone?” I shout as I’m looking in the mirror. I’m doing my tie, this evening the big announcement will be on tv. The phone went off. Britney picks up the horn. “Hello?” I inhale deeply as I’m a little nervous for the announcement. “Sweetheart? It’s your mother.” I turn my head and my eyebrows go up. I walk to the living room and see her holding up the horn. She smiles as I walk closer and give her a little kiss.
“Hey, ma.” I lay the horn against my ear. “Son, it’s so good to hear you voice.” I couldn’t help but smile, it has been such a long time that I heard my mother’s voice. “How are you? How’s dad?” I ask as I turn and look outside. “We’re good, son. I call you to tell you that I hope you haven’t forgotten about our 40th anniversary.” Oh no! I did forget, I got so caught up with finding the good moment to ask Britney to marry me that I totally forgot about my parents’ anniversary that’s next week. Bella barks once and I jump. Britney quickly picks her up and cuddles her as she looks at me. I don’t like that dog, but its Britney’s, so I had to accept her too.
“Son?” I hear mom. “Sorry, ma, I zoned out.” I could hear her sigh. I feel really guilty. “You forgot, that’s so typical you, Johnny.” I inhale deeply. “I’m really sorry, ma.” I look at Britney who is admiring her engagement ring. “Dad and I expect you to be here next weekend and take your Bianca with you. Is Bryan coming with you? I would love to see my grandson again. It’s been such a long time.” I exhale deeply and ignore the fact that my mother can’t remember the name of my fiancée. “I don’t know, the show is planned to start in two weeks and this evening is a big announcement on tv.”
On that moment, my son walks into the living room and looks at me. “Dad?” He asks and I turn to look at him. I give him a smile and he smiles as he came closer. “Who is it?” He asks. “Is that Bryan? Please put him on the phone.” I first didn’t want to do that, but I know my mother. “I’ll think about it, okay? Here’s your grandson.” I give the horn to Bryan and walk to the kitchen. I take a glass out of the cupboard and fill it with water from the tap.
Britney comes into the kitchen while she’s holding Bella, like she always does. “Beebee wouldn’t like if we go to that hell hole.” I turn my head to look at her and then turn back to look outside while I drink some water. “Drink bottled water please, that’s healthier.” I sigh as I put the glass down in the sink. “Beebee doesn’t decide where we need to go to, okay? I’ve promised my parents that I would go with my son, but a lot has happened in between, and I just forgot about it.” Bryan came into the kitchen while I’m explaining this to Britney.
I turn and look at my son, who’s smiling at me. “Can we go, dad? I would love to see mawmaw and pawpaw again.” I start to smile. I remember how small he was when he said those names to my parents the first time, he’s twelve now and it has been five years that we went to visit my parents. I went to my son and give him a kiss on his head. “Dad!” As he tries to duck away. I chuckle about his reaction.
“Sure, we’re going, I’ve promised your grandparents we would come.” Britney’s eyebrows went up and Bella barks once again. I turn to look at her. “You want to show off the ring? Then it’s a good time to do so.” I wink at her and walk to the stairs. I’m going to start packing. Bryan quickly follows me. I know he doesn’t like Britney and he rather doesn’t stay with her in one room alone. I take my dancing pants while I think about my childhood in Pampa, Texas. It’s where I’m born and raised on my parents’ ranch, it’s my father’s pride and glory. When I think about it, I do miss it, but I don’t want to think about it too much. I chose my life to be in Los Angeles when I got the opportunity to become a professional dancer in Dancing with the Stars. They discovered me when I worked as a dance instructor at a dancing school in East LA, that was right after I worked as a dance instructor at Kellerman’s resort in the Catskills mountains.
Now I’ve got the opportunity to have my own show, my own idea, a dancing talent show named ‘Who is the Best Dancer?’ I’m not going too much into it, but ABC got interested in my idea and I’ve been going from meeting to meeting the last couple of months to get things started. It’s going to be a live show, and they want to start filming in two weeks. Bryan came into the room and sees me packing.
“You need help, dad?” I turn my head and smile at him. “I’m fine, go pack your suitcase, we’ll be going for a week.” I turn to my wardrobe and look at my shirts. I sigh as most of my clothes are suits or dancing clothes. “When are we going?” I look at him again. “Tomorrow, I know every year they celebrate the Castle events week… this year will probably be huge since it’s their 40th anniversary. I rather go earlier than they expect us to come.” Bryan watches me as I take some shirts. “Why don’t you put the clothes on you always used to wear?”
I inhale deeply as I open the draw to take several pairs of socks out, and a few boxers because Britney wants me to wear boxers. Britney came into the room and looks at us. “You’re really going?” We look at her. Bryan stands up and went to his room to start packing. “Yeah, we are, start packing.” Britney exhales frustratingly and puts Bella on the bed. “Please, Brit.” She didn’t react, so I try to get Bella from the bed. She starts to growl at me and shows me her teeth. She’s the only dog in this whole wide world that seems to hate me. “Come on, Beebee, you’re not allowed on the bed.” As I send her off the bed.
I see Britney taking her trunk and a big suitcase. “What are you doing?” She looks at me as she opens the trunk and starts to pack her shoes. “Packing, as you’ve ordered me.” I watch her putting the shoes in the trunk in a frustrated way. “I’m sorry, Brit, but I’ve promised my parents and it’s only for a week. You really don’t have to pack that much.” She snorts and takes some more shoes. “Only a week… what do you expect me to pack? Only one outfit and a few slips?” She’s being on that chair again.
I went to the bathroom to get my toiletries and my shaving kit. I look in the mirror and see my goatee. I let my fingers run through it. I sort of took this as my new look for on tv, but I’m not sure if I will keep it like this. Britney loves it, or so she says. “I know you don’t really care, but I like to choose my outfit each day. I want to look good for you.” As walk back into the bedroom and look at her. “You know that I don’t really care. I think you look good in everything.” She looks at me and snorts again. “You always say that, baby, but you know me.”
My brains instantly starts to run superfast when she called me baby. I try to shake the thoughts off, but it’s not working. “Since when do you call me like that?” I blurt out. I curse at myself in my mind. Britney sees my face and became curious. “Since now, I think it fits you. Now let’s finish packing, baby.” She turns and went to the bathroom to get her beauty case with all her beauty products. “Please, Brit, don’t call me like that.”
“Why not? I think it’s cute.” I inhale deeply as I look at my shoes. I see my old boots and take them. “I don’t really like it.” She came back and sees me holding my old boots. “Oh, no, you’re not planning on taking those with you, are you?” I didn’t look at her as I got some more memories. These are my favorite boots. “Johnny.” She pokes me once as she stands next to me. “Huh?” I look at her and she points at my boots. “What?” She sighs deeply. “You’re not taking them with you, are you? You should show your family who you’ve become now.”
“I’ve always loved these boots. I’m not gonna throw them away.” She tries to take the boots from me. “Don’t, Brit, these are special, okay? And if I want to take them with me, I will.” I turn and put the boots in my suitcase. I always wear my dancing shoes. Britney looks at me with her annoyed expression. “I know you don’t want this, that you want me to prepare for the show and I will prepare, but please try to enjoy the time at my parents.” I look at her and she sees my pleading eyes. “I can’t promise you that.” I close my suitcase and put it on the floor. I haven’t packed that much.