We all stay outside through dinner as Melody and Paul discuss marriage and their plans for a house. Melody, in particular, compliments Christopher on his cooking skills and makes suggestive faces at her husband all night. When I ask her about it, she tells me she’s been trying to convince him to learn to cook but has had little success.
Finally, when everyone is finished eating, we take the party inside where it is warm.
“I got this,” Christopher says as I pick up a cloth to help him with the dishes. “You go spend some time with Melody.”
I thank him just as he adds, “And don’t forget you promised to put those poor, sad books away so no one else has to trip over their boxes.”
“Oh, no one, huh? Isn’t that a little self-serving?” I’m trying to put a serious look on my face, but my smile is giving me away.
He wiggles his eyebrow at me and then waves his hand for me to go, “It might be, but I held up my end. Please take pity on my poor, stubbed toes!”
“Fine!” I call out as Melody returns to the kitchen.
“Fine what?” she asks me.
“Fine I have to unpack my books in exchange for dinner.”
“You what?” she looks surprised. “He doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who makes you trade stuff for a nice dinner.”
She’s right. He isn’t.
“I was the one who suggested it, actually. I mean, I suggested that he make me dinner. I think he took the opportunity to request something he wanted, too,” I show her the giant pile of my books. “To be fair, he might have a point there.”
She chuckles as she walks over to the bookshelf, “You always have had too many books. So how are we organizing? Genre? Author? Title?”
“Probably by author is easiest because that’s how they were on the shelves at home.”
“Genre it is!” she calls as she begins to reorganize my piles of books.
Almost twenty minutes later, she is still working on it, so I take to sitting on the couch and watching her work.
“Are we calling Shakespeare its own genre?” she asks. “Or should I separate them into comedies and tragedies and mix them in with the others?”
I rub my eyes in frustration, “I don’t know! Your genre system is so complex right now I think I need several advanced degrees to figure it out.”
“Okay, it’s its own genre,” she puts all of my Shakespeare into a pile.
Once she sorts out the Shakespeare, she has only five books in front of her and decides they defy classification. So she puts them into a genre she calls “defiant” which, honestly, suits them quite well.
The books now in piles, and the husbands still cleaning up or talking in the kitchen, we begin to put everything onto the bookshelf.
“So, Christopher is pretty cute and super nice,” Melody says as she starts shelving the Sci-Fi alphabetically by the author. “I know I said that before but we didn’t really get to finish. Your parents picked well!”
I open my mouth to correct her but she replies first, “I remember what you said. Accident or not, your parents picked someone who is super perfect for you.”
“I guess,” I reply as I shelve the fantasy by the colour of their spines.
“Don’t think I didn’t notice him giving you heart eyes all night and offering to do things for you and smiling about some secret between you when Paul brought up your being adventurous!”
I can feel my cheeks getting warmer the longer she speaks, so I cut her off. “Yeah, well we went on a date last night.”
She stops putting books on the shelf and looks at me, waiting for me to continue.
“We just went on an adventure to a random restaurant,” I shrug, trying to convince her it isn’t a big deal.
“Oh my gosh it’s been forever since we did that! Where did you end up?”
I tell her all about our date. We discuss the food and the drinks and the decor and the colouring. She asks questions along the way and eventually I decide to tell her about standing on the street corner watching the sunset wrapped in my new husband’s coat. I leave out the fact that his arm was around me, but I think she figures it out anyway.
“Awe. See?” she coos. “I told you it would all work out. I cannot believe how cute you two are together.”
“Cute together?” Paul says as he and Christopher come down the hallway into the living room. “Who’s cute together?”
“You heard me,” she gets up and kisses his cheek before continuing. “But it’s none of your business. I was talking to my friend.”
The conversation quickly shifts away from my cuteness and towards our plans for the rest of the week.
“Well, we still have a few tasks for Match Made,” Christopher starts to answer her. I raise an eyebrow, which he answers without my having to ask. “They sent us another message. We have the next two tasks.”
When he doesn’t continue, I prompt him. “And? What are they?”
“Oh, sorry,” he hands me his phone after opening the notification. “Nothing major, just meeting each others’ family and friends. So we’re well on the way to completing that one. Happy accident!” He holds up his hands as though he is under arrest, probably worried I might accuse him of withholding information from me.
The notification doesn’t give me any more information than he has, so I drop the topic and continue to put away my books while everyone around me talks about marriage, houses and cooking. Melody helps me fill the last shelf with books before she and Paul leave to return home.
I guess we only have one more group to meet before we can cross these tasks off our list.