We shower and change joining mom, grans and naan in the living room having tea. Raphael calls Gi to inform him he is driving up to the house with our first set of guests five uncles and aunts and three cousins.
Greeting the guests that arrived we show them to their rooms. Mom, naan and grans are already keeping their eye on Christina. Uncle Wayne took a car straight to our house, uncle Ish is using my old SUV. I give them the keys to my house, they leave to get settled in to return later.
While the guests were getting settled in Gino arrives with his family and some of their guests. Mom and dad arrives with grandpa and their guests and a whole lot of food. We had chinese food, pizza and wings four ways. Our guests are getting to know each other, dad, both moms and naan got their eyes on Christina who seems to be everywhere Gi is. While Gi is stuck to me like glue, I keep glancing over at Gino and Bianca who can’t help but smile at me.
The family that were staying at my house returned and are getting acquainted with everyone. Next to arrive are Andi, Danielle, Sergio, Dani and their families. I take Danielle and her family to their room while Gi shows Sergio to their room at the pool house, Gino takes Dani’s luggage to their house and Andi to his house to drop their bags off.
Sergio, his wife and Danielle have taken to me just like Andi and Gino. Gino and Andi returns and a friendly sibling squabble ensues to see who gets to sit next to me. With Dani and Danielle winning they both sit next to me, Danielle hugs me saying, “you are a doll we are so happy to finally meet you. We have heard so much about you but if you don’t mind we would like to speak to you in private please.”
The next guests to arrive are Izzy, Yash, Nish, their families and Veer. Nish’s rug rats run in screaming my name jumping on me. Nish and Brad instructs them to not play rough with me, they listen to their parents sitting still they snuggle into me, “aunty you got into an accident?”
Izzy hands me Ash while he takes his bags to the pool house.
I respond, “aunty is doing great she missed all of you all so much.”
Gino’s children joins them all surrounding me, “aunty we missed you. Aunty when did you become a zillionaire? Can you afford such a massive house? Aunty how did you hurt your shoulder?”
I take all the children to the media room, with the help of Ronnie and Nico we transformed the media room into a little camp site for them with tents and lights to make it look like the outdoors. The older children pitch in and supervise the younger ones. I sit with them starting a movie. I tried to leave resulting in pleads. “Aunty watch the movie with us.”
“You all want anything to eat?” I ask.
I get them some snacks we had stocked in the media room. Walking out of the entertainment room Dani and Danielle meets up with me. Dani being the more forward one she asks, “got a few minutes to speak with us before things get crazy?”
I smile, “sure. Although I don't think it can get any more crazy.” Taking them to the den. We sit down on the furniture. Dani starts, “Ambi I know my brother is infatuated with you right now but please don’t use my brother and don’t hurt him because I will find you and hurt you.”
I smile politely turning to Danielle, “please put forward your reservations as well Danielle.”
Danielle states, “Giovanni is very dear to us we don’t want to see him hurt or taken advantage of, so please tell us the real reason why you want to marry my brother.”
I maintain my composure, “Dani, Danielle I understand your reservations about our relationship and engagement with the wedding happening this soon too.”
Taking a breath I continue, “when I left Florida destined for Costa Rica meeting someone was not in my plans. I admit the time spent with your brother was enjoyed. I have no intentions on hurting anyone especially Giovanni. No only do I love him I love his family. A family that is filled with love and respect. Everyone has welcomed me with open arms and I have no plans to give anyone reason to complain about me. I am not perfect nor do I claim to be. I am who I am this is me, I am as honest and as upfront as I can be. Apart from Gi’s good family values, Giovanni is smart, sincere, kind, caring, generous, witty, charming, confident, respectful well for the most part. We all know how he can get sometimes. He got on a plane to nurse my cold, I know he has been played before. I give you my word I am not out for his money.”
I continue, “my parents brought us up with good family values. My four bedroom townhouse home is enough for me. I don’t have any loans or mortgages. I am happy with what I have. I don’t want Gi’s money. I decided to take an extended leave from work to keep my sanity because planning an engagement and two weddings in such a short space of time is stressful. It is more stressful than performing brain surgery.”
Taking both their hands in mines, “I love Giovanni with all my heart. I have never cared about someone as much as I do except for family and well my patients. If you all are of the opinion that I am not genuinely interested in your brother then I don’t make the cut. I don’t know what I can do to reassure you that I love and care deeply for Giovanni.”
Dani places her free hand on mines, “if Gi had no money would you still marry him? If he did not give you the fancy dress and had an exquisite dinner planned would you still be with him?”
I nod, “yes if he was a hard and honest worker we would have made things work. Once he was not a lazy ass man that I would not put up with. Gi’s money, the company is his, yes I did give him some money to put towards our home I rather invest in our home than a lavish wedding. As you all both know from Gi’s past weddings don’t last but a marriage that is built on respect, trust, honesty, communication, compromise, understanding, selflessness, love, family and individuals that are committed to making it work. Good and bad Gi and I will face it together.”
Pausing for a moment, “did I put your reservations to rest?”
Dani and Danielle look at each other smiling they then turn to me extending their arms, “welcome to the family Ambi. Andi and Gino did say you were perfect we just wanted the reassurance ourselves. I hope our brother knows the gem he got.”
Hugging them tears trickling down my cheeks, “anytime guys anytime. I really do love your brother I never thought it would be possible after things with my violent ex. I just shielded myself but Gi has proven not all guys are the same.”
Breaking from our hug Dani says, “now go find your fiancé and send him in here we need to talk to him.”
I question, “is he in trouble?”
Danielle chuckles, “yes I am still mad with him for not telling me about you only Andi, Gino, Charlie and Tyler knew. I guess that’s what we get for living halfway around the world.”
I smile at them, “well maybe you all could relocate.”
Dani chimes in, “so can you.”
“Hello I just got like twenty more grey hair trying to move into this home you want me to pack up and move half way around the world? Aye aye.”
Dani and Daniele hold their stomachs unable to control their laughter.
Leaving them, “I’ll send your brother in and please do not try to convince him to move.” I tease.
Dani jokes, "not making any promises sugar."
Rejoining everyone the ladies were chatting away in the living room, the men were in the patio having some drinks. Veer, Yash’s younger brother he is older than me by two months. He greets me out onto the patio he was talking to Gi, “get over here I have a bone to pick with you.”
Giving him a hug, “Veer I missed you for thanksgiving in Canada.”
He responds, “I was not ready. I am still not but Gi seems genuine. I am keeping a close eye on him though.”
Gi smiles, “I will not disappoint you I give you my word.”
They shake hands Veer hugs Gi, “welcome to our family.”
With a chuckle, “you need to keep an eye on Christina. Gi yours sisters requires an audience with you in your den.”
Gi frowns, “me what did I do?”
Shaking my head, “I don’t know. I’m just the messenger.”
Gi excuses himself while Veer and I sneak off to the pool house garage, “Gi’s grandpa gifted me this Gi got a defender it arrived yesterday. You know I am not flashy.” Showing him my suv.
Veer shrieks, “oh fuck Ambi this is expensive. I don’t want anyone to hurt you ever again. I punched a hole in the wall when I heard about the Jess incident. Are you sure about Gi?” Hugging me.
I reassure Veer, “yes Veer I am sure.” Closing the garage door we head back in the house..