“Come on, Hailey, we’re going to be late,” Theodore said while fastening his cuff links.
“Can we cancel, please, I don’t feel so good,” I lied. Truth was, I just didn’t want to go meet Theodore’s family.
“Nice try, sweetheart, but it won’t work, come on, good girl, go change your clothes,” Theodore ordered softly making me groan.
“Tell your mom I’m not feeling well, make up some excuse you’re my husband after all, you’re suppose to have my back,” I complained, but got up to change nonetheless.
“If I tell my mom you’re not feeling well then she—along with the whole family—will come here and nurse you back to health,” Theodore told me, making me cringe at the scenario he just painted.
“The baby doesn’t agree with meeting your family either, now you know that listening to the baby is always the right thing,” I stated as if it was a world known fact.
Theodore shook his head in amusement, then sauntered over to me, kissing me softly. “You honestly have no idea how much love this baby is going to get from my family, there is no way this baby,” Theodore placed his hand on my still flat tummy, “would not agree to meet his/her uncles, aunts, and grandparents.”
I pouted, knowing that I had lost the battle. I sighed and went inside the walk-in closet to change. Looking at the wide range of clothes displayed on metal hangers, my mind started spinning on which outfit to choose.
After 20 minutes I still hadn’t moved from my spot. However, my confusion and frustration was mounting after every minute. Damn, Theodore, you and your outrageous spending habits. Why did you buy me so many clothes that I would be confused everytime I ventured in the closet to look for something to wear? Why?!
“Sweetheart, are you ready?” Theodore asked while entering the closet.
No, does it look like I’m ready?!
“Princess, I thought you were getting ready,” Theodore muttered while coming to stand next to me.
“Yes, I thought that, too, but then I looked at this gigantic collection of clothes and all of my plans to pick the first dress I saw and wear it flew out the window,” I huffed.
Theodore smiled then proceeded to go through the hundreds of dresses. I just crossed my arms across my chest and waited while Theodore rifled through my dresses. After two minutes, Theodore pulled out a peach dress. It was beautiful; sleeveless, made of sheer chiffon with a black belt at the waist.
“Wear this, it would look amazing on you.” Theodore gave me the dress, kissed my cheek, then strode out of the walk-in closet. Thank you, Theodore.
I hurriedly changed into the dress. It fell just a few inches above my knees. I grabbed my black heels from the shelf and hurriedly put them on. I rummaged through my accessories and picked out a few black accessories. Then, I picked out a black clutch from my massive clutch collection and strode out of the closet.
“What are you wearing?” Theodore asked irritated.
I frowned in confusion. He just picked out the dress for me and now he was asking what I was wearing? Was he suffering from short-term memory loss or something?
“What are you talking about, Theodore, you picked out the dress for me,” I told him confused.
“I’m not talking about the dress, I mean the shoes, why are you wearing heels, you’re pregnant now, which means no high heels,” he told me like I should’ve known all along, then went inside the closet and came back with a cute pair of black sandles.
“Put these on,” he ordered.
“How do you know so much about pregnancy?” I asked while sitting on the bed and putting on the sandles.
“I don’t, I just spent last night searching stuff about pregnancy on the internet after you fell asleep, and there I found that pregnant women are not suppose to wear high heels,” Theodore informed me. I was really impressed. Even though, I had zero experience with men before Theodore, I knew that not many men bothered researching stuff about pregnancy, so Theodore taking the time out to research made me very happy.
“Okay, I’m done, just let me brush my hair and stuff.” I hurried to the vanity table, and quickly brushed my hair. I decided to leave my hair down, and secured a headband on top of my hair that had black jewels on it. I applied a light coat of lipgloss amd dropped the tube in my clutch along with a couple of hair ties. I applied a light peach eye shadow and eyeliner along with a light coat of mascara. Once I was done, I walked back and found Theodore putting his watch on.
“Do I look alright?” I asked him.
Theodore smiled and strode over to where I was standing, and pecked my glossy lips. “You look perfect, darling,” he licked his lips and frowned, “ugh, I got lipgloss on my lips,” he complained. I burst out laughing at seeing his face twist weirdly.
“Come on, let’s go, my parents had already called three times asking when we’re going to come,” Theodore informed me while we both walked out of the house. My heart begun pounding with anxiety once more as we settled inside the car and Dan drove us away.
Throughout the ride my heart didn’t stop pounding. I was about to meet my husband’s family and I had no clue how they were. Would his parents like me? What about his brother, would he like me? Would they welcome me with open arms? Would they suffocate me with their love? I didn’t like people who suffocated me with their presence. What would they think of the baby? Would they think I got pregnant in order to trap Theodore? Please God, don’t let them think that.
“Hailey, relax, don’t worry my family will love you,” Theodore said, trying to make me feel better.
“What if they don’t, Theodore, what if they hate me.” Tears pricked my eyes at that thought. I never wanted anyone to hate me. Ever.
“They won’t hate you, trust me, stop worrying, sweetheart, it’s not good for the baby, you remember what the doctor said, right, no need to stress about anything,” Theodore reminded me.
“I know, but I can’t help it. Theodore, my parents died when I was a kid, and since then I never had a family of any sort, nor did I want one. I was content with my cousins and Mandi, but then you come along and we got married and now I have to meet your family, and it—it’s all so overwhelming,” I confessed, feeling pathetic.
Theodore wrapped his arm around my shoulder. “Darling, you have nothing to worry about. I love you, okay, and that’s all you need to know; and trust me when I say that my family will love you, and you know what, Hailey?”
“My family is now going to be your family, so relax, okay sweetheart?” Theodore kissed my forehead. I nodded still wary of facing Theodore’s family.
The car stopped. Dan got out and opened the passenger doors for us. I could’ve opened the door for myself but Dan beat me to it.
As soon as Theodore and I got out, I instantly grabbed hold of Theodore’s hand. I needed all the comfort and strength I could get, and Theodore provided everything with just a small touch.
My jaw dropped when I saw the gorgeous villa standing proudly before me. It was a three storey modern villa with numerous windows in squares and rectangles. On the second and third floor were balconies with glass banisters with silver balustrade; along with four silver chairs placed against the glass banisters. There was a large patio and a big rectangle swimming pool on the left side. On the right side was a garden, complete with a sitting area and plenty of flowers and trees. Since it was morning, I couldn’t exactly see the inside the of the house, but the gigantic windows had me believing the inside would be very spacious.
“This place is beautiful, Theodore,” I commented.
“Thanks, it’s our family home in New York. We have other family homes in other various locations across the country and globe. Whenever, the whole family is in town, we gather in the family home and spend time together,” Theodore informed me.
“Well, it’s gorgeous,” I told him honestly.
“I’m glad you like it, afterall, this is going to be your family home, too.” I forced a weak smile at Theodore’s statement.
“Let’s go and meet mom and dad.” Theodore didn’t wait for me to speak, just led me inside the house. If it wasn’t for the firm grip Theodore had on my hand, I would’ve run ages ago.
Without knocking Theodore led me inside the beautiful villa. The first thing I noticed upon entering was the babble of voices that instantly bombarded my ears. What the hell? Exactly how many people were here? Without saying anything, Theodore and I walked to what I suppose was the living room. My eyes nearly popped out when I saw how many people were present. I did a quick count and there were 27 people in total—17 men and 10 women, excluding Theodore and I.
Everyone was busy laughing and conversing with one another. Suddenly it all stopped when nearly everyone’s eyes met with ours. I wanted to hide behind Theodore. I never liked attention nor too many people, but today I was getting both of those things.
“Theo, son, you’re here,” a woman in her late forties said with a smile on her beautiful face. She got up from where she was sitting on the sofa and wrapped her arms around Theodore, while I stood there awkwardly, waiting for the woman to stop hugging my husband so I could hold his hand again.
“Yes, mom, I’m here, how are you?” Theodore asked the woman, who I knew now was his mom. Great, this was the woman I had to impress, well damn!
She was about 5′6 with dark brown hair and blue eyes. Theodore had little to no resemblance to this woman, which made me wonder if she was his stepmom or something.
“I’m fine, honey.” Theodore’s mom removed her arms from Theodore much to my relief. I wasted no time in taking Theodore’s hand and entwining our fingers together.
“You must be, Hailey, my daughter,” Mrs. Benson gave me the same treatment as Theodore and wrapped her arms around me in a tender motherly hug. Tears welled in my eyes but I held them back; didn’t want to cause a scene. Since my parents died, I never had anyone who hugged me like a mother would her children. Not even my aunts did.
“It’s great to meet you, Mrs. Benson,” I muttered softly, and I meant it. This woman really made me feel like family, with just one hug.
“Call me mom, honey, you have no idea how long I’ve been waiting to meet you, my son’s wife.”
Just then a man came forward. He looked like the older version of Theodore. I presumed he was Theodore’s father. Theodore was the spitting image of his father. Both of them had the same height, and exuded the same dominating aura.
“It’s good to see you, son.” Mr. Benson told Theodore, and they both shared one of those man hugs.
“How are you, sweetheart?” Mr. Benson pecked my forehead in a fatherly kiss.
“I’m good, thank you, Mr. Benson,” I answered shyly.
“Call me dad, sweetheart.” I just smiled at him, at a loss for words.
“Okay okay, step aside everyone, let me hug my sister,” Harry sauntered over to where I was standing and wrapped his around me in a giant bear hug.
“Seriously, it’s not too late, you can still leave my brother and marry me, I promise I’m much better than him.” Theodore flicked Harry’s head in annoyance causing me to laugh.
Theodore introduced me to the rest of his family. I was surprised how big Theodore’s family was—and I was only meeting his father’s side of the family. Theodore’s dad had five brothers excluding him. Theodore had four female cousins and eleven male cousins. Wow. I couldn’t keep everybody’s name in my mind, as there were a lot of names. But, everyone was welcoming and very nice, and I instantly felt as if I had known these people all my life instead of just a little while ago.
All of us were sitting, conversing with one another, when Theodore’s mom got up saying she would go and get lunch ready. A couple of Theodore’s aunts got up and followed Mrs. Benson to the kitchen.
“I should go and help your mom,” I told Theodore who nodded with a small smile.
I had no idea where the kitchen was, but I was sure it was somewhere on the first floor. The whole house had modern furniture and decorations. The outside of the house was gray with a bit of brown. But the inside was peach and white. The walls were painted Ivory while a few were peach. Beautiful chandliers hung from the ceiling, with beautiful fixtures nailed to the walls. I instantly fell in love with the house.
“Are you looking for the kitchen?” A female voice asked. Was it that obvious that I was lost?
I turned and came face to face with a beautiful redhead. She was about 5′7 with with glossy red hair and green eyes. Her eyebrows were normal, not to thick nor too thin, with a straight nose, and plump lips.
“Uh yeah, could you tell me where it is, I want to help set the table,” I told her sheepishly.
“That’s alright, I’ll take you there myself,” she told me with a smile, then turned and walked towards what I believed was the kitchen.
The kitchen was beautful. It had granite countertops, along with cabinets that looked to be made of expensive wood. Utensils and appliances of all sorts were present making the kitchen looked to be every chef’s dream.
“Hailey, honey, do you need something?” Mom asked when she saw me come in.
“I was wondering if you’d like any help. I can set the table if you want?”
“Oh, you don’t have to, but if you want to, then I suppose you can set the table, those are the dishes and the cutlery, thank you, honey,” Mrs. Benson answered then went back to check on the rice.
I grabbed the plates, while the redhead grabbed the spoons, forks, and knives, then ventured out of the kitchen. We entered the dining room, and begun setting the table.
“You know, I wanted to meet you when I came to visit Theodore in Bali, but my cousin forbade me, never seen him act so possessive over a girl,” the redhead broke the silence. I nearly dropped the plate when she mentioned Bali. This was Stephanie?! Sh!t, this was the woman who I accused Theodore of cheating with? Damn!
“Oh I see, Theodore told me you came to visit when he came back after meeting you.” I wouldn’t tell her how I pried the information out of Theodore by accusing him.
“I must say, Hailey, my cousin really loves you, never seen him this content before,” Stephanie told me while placing a spoon, fork and knife next to a plate.
“Oh?” I couldn’t believe what she was telling me.
“Yes, but I just want you to know one thing, Hailey, don’t even think about hurting Theodore, trust me I will ruin your life,” she threatened.
“I love Theodore, I would never hurt him,” I told her firmly. I wouldn’t let this woman intimidate me. Theodore was my husband, and whether I behaved like a princess or a
b!tch was up to me, not that I would tell her that.
“Good, but honestly, I’m glad you are Theodore’s wife,” Stephanie said sincerely.
The door of the dining room opened and Theodore’s mom entered followed by his aunts carrying various dishes of food. They placed the dishes on the dining table, and I wished that I could jump on the table and devour each dish. The sight and aroma of the dishes had me salivating while my stomach growled.
“Stephanie, go call everyone, tell them lunch is ready,” Theodore’s aunt Karen instructed Stephanie who nodded and skipped out of the dining room.
After a minute, the door opened again, allowing every member of the Benson family to enter. Theodore instantly came to stand next to me, pecking my cheek, before pulling out a couple of chairs. He ushered me in one of the chairs, then sat on the chair next to me.
“Food looks delicious, mom,” Harry commented before taking a spoonful of rice and putting it on his plate.
“Thanks dear, but it was a combined effort. Your aunts contributed equally in making today’s lunch,” Mom replied with a smile.
Theodore piled my plate with a bit of everything. Then did the same with his plate. “Eat up,” he told me before slicing his chicken piece with a knife.
I gazed around to see everybody eating. I never knew I would have a family this big to have lunches and dinners with. Never expected people to accept me so completely and unconditionally. For me, big families were part of my fairytale dream. I turned slightly to gaze at my husband. He was busy arguing with Harry, while taking a sip of water. I smiled as a new flower of love blossomed in my heart for my husband.
Theodore had made yet another dream of mine come true.