The four weeks that he had been with Jojo were the best in his life. He was never one to like having a woman around all the time, but with Jojo, everything was different. He wanted to get out of the record store so he could pick up his little ballerina and take her home teach her how to cook, and then take a shower with her and go to bed. But day by day, the interview was getting closer, and he had to think about what he wanted to do if she gets the job at the New York Ballet Company.
He sat as his desk starring at nothing in particular except the world that he has built for himself over the last five years. He had his store, his life at Bayside, his friends, and even though he hasn’t played in the band for the last three weeks, he was still part of a group. But what if Jojo moved to New York? Would he want to try a long-distance relationship, would he want to? He groaned, rubbing his hands over his face wishing it wasn’t Friday because Axle called and said that Jagger wanted him to play tonight… but what he really wanted was to get some frustration out with a fight.
There was a knock on his door, and then Sabrina walked in. “Hey, Owen, your next lesson is here.”
“Yeah, okay. I’ll be there in a minute.” He offered, but not moving. She didn’t move but instead crossed her arms while smacking her gum. “What?”
“What are you doing?”
“What are you talking about? I’m sitting in my office… working.”
“Come on, don’t give me that. You know what I mean.” She said, rolling her eyes. “You’ve been pouting for the last couple of days. Did something happen between you and Jojo?” She asked.
“No, everything is going great.” He offered.
“Then why such the long face?”
“Jojo has a job interview in New York on Monday.”
“Oh, that’s great!” She smiled.
“Yeah, it is…” He said, but there wasn’t the same excitement.
“You don’t want her to get it?” She asked, coming and sitting on his desk.
He sighed, leaning back in his chair. “No, that’s not it. It’s just…”
“I don’t want to lose Jojo… but I’m not sure if I can walk away from the life I built.”
Sabrina rolled her eyes. “Oh, please.”
“You don’t have to give up your life, dumb ass. You can keep the store and go move to New York if you wanted to.”
“Okay, wise-ass, how do I do that?”
“You put Pauly and me as managers, with a pay increase, of course.”
“And then get a couple new employees, and you’re set!” Sabrina laughed.
“Then what do I do about my mom?”
Her head fell back with a loud annoying groan. “Do I have to hold your hand for you, Owen? Do you love her or not?”
“Of course, I love her!”
“Then go get her dummy! Go to New York and start living your life.”
“Are you saying just pack up and leave everything?”
“Hell yeah! If you really love her, then why not? You only live once buddy, and you should go live yours… before someone scoops down and takes what your hesitating about right from under your nose.” She said, getting up from the desk and walking out the door.
He ran his finger through his hair, feeling like he wanted to pull it out when his cell vibrated. He opened it up and saw Jojo had texted him. She had sent him a funny gif of a guy doing a cartwheel, and then the splits saying “I Love You” and he started laughing. He quickly sent one back, and then it hit him. He couldn’t live without this woman, and he didn’t want to! Instead, he got up and got his keys, and walked out front.
Pauly was stocking some of the new albums as he walked by. “I’m heading out. You’re in charge, and I’m going to need you to close up the store tonight.”
“You got it, boss man.”
He started to walk over to his mustang when he pulled out his cell to call Jagger. Now that he knew what he wanted, he was going balls to the wall to go get it. But first, there was one thing that he had to take care of.
“What?” Jagger growled.
“I just wanted to let you know that I’m not going to play tonight. So, don’t kick the guy out who’s been subbing for me. In fact, I think you should keep him because I quit.” He said, and then hung up before Jagger could say anything. With a chuckle, he opened up the car door. “That felt pretty damn good. Now I need to make a handful of calls and see if moms’ home.”
He ran around all day making some arrangements, and even went back to the record store to talk to Pauly and Sabrina and give some instructions about running the store over the weekend. He pulled into the parking lot and waited for Jojo and was about to go get her when she walked out. She smiled and waved, taking his breath away. He was so fucking in love with this woman that he could hardly think straight… or think with the right head.
“Hey, princess, I was coming to pick you up.” He grinned.
“I know, but I saw you and couldn’t wait.” She smiled, getting on her tippy toes to give him a kiss. “So, what time does the show start?”
He growled, holding her body tightly to his. “Same time as usual.”
She looked him over, and her smile fell. “Is something wrong?” She asked, staring at him. “Did Jagger say something to you about playing tonight? Because we had a long talk, and he said he was fine with everything now.”
He walked her over to the passenger door and opened it, but she didn’t get inside. “Oh, I know for a fact that he isn’t fine with what’s going on between us. But in the end, he’ll learn to deal with it.”
“Don’t worry, princess, everything will be fine. I promise.” He winked as she sat in the seat.
“Alright.” She answered, with a raised brow.
He got on and started the car, grabbing a cassette tape of an old 80′s hairband. “I was thinking about starting a section that sells vintage cassettes. What do you think?”
She took it from him and flipped it around. “Well, I don’t think they’re as good as a CD, but people might like them for the nostalgia. And I have to admit that the covers were so much more creative back in the day.”
“I agree with you on that.” He chuckled as they drove. They went back to his place, and she changed and got ready. He talked her into wearing a silky gray dress that he loved to see her in and her long blond hair down and in curls. When they were ready, they got into the car. But instead of heading to the club, they made their way to her parents’ house instead.
“What are we doing here?” She asked.
“I thought we could go over and say hi to your parents tonight.”
“But you’ll be late for the show.” She said.
“Don’t worry, I’ll be fine.” He smiled, going over, opening the door for her.
He knocked, and Frank answered the door. Jojo’s fathers’ eyes lit up when he saw his daughter. “Hey, sweetheart. Well, don’t you look gorgeous tonight.”
“Thanks. Owen wanted me to wear this dress tonight… he says it’s his favorite.” She whispered with a laugh. “I told him it was too fancy, but what can I say. I love him.”
“Well, I have to agree with him. You look beautiful.”
“Thanks, daddy. How’s mom doing?” She asked
“Good, but she’ll be even better now that you’re here.” He said, reaching out and giving her a big bear hug.
“It’s good to see you to daddy.”
Frank looked up and stuck out his hand. “Shouldn’t you be on stage right now?”
“Yeah, but I knew my girl was missing her family… so here we are.”
“Well, it’s good to see both of you, and I know it will make Charlette’s day.” Frank chuckled. “Come on in guys.”
Jojo started to walk in when he stopped. “You go on ahead. I forgot something in the car.”
“What did you forget?” She asked.
“Oh, ah, I forgot to call Jagger that I was going to be late.” He lied.
“But you just said…” She started when Franks frown turned into a grin and shook his head.
“Come on, sweetheart. Owen will be in, just give him a minute.” Frank said, putting his arm around his daughter and helped her into the house.
Owen walked back to the mustang and glanced at his cell. “Damn it, Derrick, where the hell are you?!” He growled, not knowing how much longer Jojo would stay inside before coming back out. Then he pulled out his cell again and was about to call his cousin when the truck started coming up the street. “About fucking time!”
“Sorry man, I had to find someone to cover for me while I did your damn bidding.” Derrick laughed.
“Did you get him?”
“Yeah… but all the black ones were gone. She only had a yellow one left.” His cousin offered picking up the fattest little yellow lab puppy he’d ever seen with a little brown nose. “But I thought this guy was pretty damn cute.”
Owen smiled, seeing the blue collar and the name tag already on. “He’s perfect. Thanks cousin, I owe you one.” He said then placed his great grandmothers emerald ring on the loop.
“Nah, just give me your firstborn.” Derrick winked.
“Ass.” He laughed
“You know, I never thought I’d see the day where you’d ask a girl to marry you.”
“Well, let’s get hope I get the answer I’m wanting. We’ve only been dating for six months. Besides, I’m hoping that my grandma’s wedding ring will help sweeten the pot.”
“I’d say. That’s some big fucking rock you got there!”
“Only the best for my princess.”
“Come to think of it, my mom and dad got married after two weeks… so maybe you’re not too fucking crazy!”
“Yeah, but Uncle Larry has always been a leap before you look kind of guy.” He chuckled.
“So, what’s the plan after this?”
“If everything goes right, I’m heading to mom’s place and then to the club to talk to Jagger.” He said, taking the wiggling little thing and putting him on the ground to make sure he did his business before going in.
“Dude, you want to talk to Jagger, now?”
“Yeah, He is going to be my brother in law. So, I figure to get this shit out in the open, and the sooner, the better.”
Derrick walked back around the truck, laughing. “Then I’ll be waiting to see if you come in with the girl on your arm, or looking for a drink to forget about her!”
“Yeah, you do that.” He chuckled, picking up the puppy and then waved at his cousin before going back to the door. He could hear talking as he walked towards the game room and stopped taking a deep breath and making sure he had what he wanted to say down before he stepped into the room. When the puppy started to wiggle and yelp, he figured it was now or never.
Jojo turned around in the chair next to her mom, and her eyes went wide. “Owen, where did you get the puppy?”
He walked over to her, got down on one knee, and put the puppy in her lap. “Read the tag… out loud.”
Her brows went together but with a little grin on her face looking at him like he had lost his mind. “Will you marry me.” She read, then turned her head to him. “What?”
He reached up and took the emerald ring from the collar and held it up in front of her. “I love you Josephine, so damn much. I know we haven’t been together that long, but wherever you go, I want to be there. So, will you marry me, princess?”
Jojo’s hands went over her mouth and then started to nod before saying, “Yes!” Then took the puppy under one arm and wrapped the free one around him and kissed him in front of her mom and dad. “I can’t believe this is really happening.” She whispered.
He took her face in his hands and wiped off the tears from her face. “It’s happening.” He smiled, getting up and giving her a hug and then looking over at Frank. “I’d like to go to the courthouse on Saturday and get married… that is if it’s okay with you and Charlotte.”
Charlotte’s hands were over her mouth, nodding in what he was hoping was joy. But Frank crossed his arms and stared him down. “What’s the reason for the rush? And what if Jojo wants a big white wedding in a church and all that shit?”
“Frank!” Charlotte gasped.
“Daddy, I don’t want a big wedding,” Jojo answered.
“Girls, let the man talk for himself,” Frank growled.
Owen let go of Jojo and turned to face her father. “Jojo is heading to New York, and I know that wherever she goes and whatever she wants to do, I want to be there to support her.”
“And that means you have to get married right away?” Frank asked with a raised brow.
“I know that this is her career. But I want this to be our journey together. I was figuring on driving her up to New York, and we could make that our honeymoon. I already have reservations at a hotel and rented a nice SUV for the drive. Maybe we could go and look at some places that we might like to live and accepts dogs.” He offered.
Charlotte took ahold of her husbands’ hand. “Frank, please…”
Frank leaned down and kissed his wife on the lips and then stood back up and sighed. “If it’s what my Josephine wants, then I’m fine with it.”
Jojo’s smile went wide and ran over, hugging her dad. “Thank you, daddy,” When she was done, she went over and took Owen’s hand and had him sit down in the chair next to hers. “So, tell mom what we’re doing?”
“Well, I made an appointment for us at county clerks tomorrow at four. Then we’ll leave Sunday morning to head up to New York so she can rest and get ready for her interview on Tuesday. After that, I figured we will take our time coming home and take it from there.” He said.
Jojo took his hand and frowned. “What about your record store, and the band?”
He leaned over and kissed her cheek and pet their new puppy. “I’m making Pauly the manager and Sabrina, the assistant manager. They’re going to hire two new employees, so the store will be fine while I’m gone.”
“And the band?” She asked.
“I called Jagger this afternoon and told him to keep the guy who been filling in for me.” He shrugged.
Frank sat in his recliner. “So, you’re willing to put your life on hold for Jojo?”
“I don’t think of it as putting my life on hold. I think of it as starting a new chapter in my life with the woman I love.” He said. “Besides, I’m not giving up anything. I still have my store, and I could even open up a new one in New York. I’ve heard New Yorkers love all that vintage shit.” He winked.
Frank’s face was solemn, and then a grin started and then started laughing. “I’m just busting your balls, kid! I like you Owen, and I know you’re the right man to take care of my baby girl. I just wanted to be sure you knew what you were getting into, and it was something you really wanted.”
“She’s all I want, Frank.”
“Then congratulations, you two. I think I’ll go get us something to drink to celebrate.” Frank grinned.
Charlotte sat up and looked at Owen with a stern look. “And make sure you get me pictures.”
“Yes, ma’am,” He chuckled.
But then Jojo’s mom’s eyes narrowed. “No, I mean, I want a lot of photos… like hundreds. Every second since I can’t be there or I will be furious at you, Owen. And I will come back to haunt you!” She said, and his mouth opened, then shut not sure what to say to that, and then she started laughing. “I’m just kidding.”
“Oh, okay.” He said, starting to chuckle, and that made Frank start laughing while he was walking from the room.
“Don’t let her fool you, Owen. If you don’t get her all the pictures, she’s asking for… she will haunt your ass forever!”
“Great…” He whispered under his breath, making Jojo giggle and then started talking to Charlotte about a dress.