Match Made

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EIGHTEEN

I’m still not sure I ever want to speak to my parents again after how they handled this whole thing, but not seeing them isn’t really an option. Not only am I their only child, but they set it up so I can’t be rid of these Match Made overseers until I bring my new husband to meet them.

Crafty buggers, my parents.

“So, what do you say we get these tasks out of the way?” Christopher asks me when we finally get the living room organized. “Then we can call it an early night and get some sleep.”

“I say I don’t want to call my parents,” I sigh and run my hands through my hair. “Or see them ever again.” I fall down onto the couch and put my head in my hands.

He thinks for a minute, “I’ll support you if that’s what you want to do. But I think it might be better if we just get it out of the way now and get these Match Made people off our backs.”

“I know,” I groan and pick up my phone. “I’ll let Match Made know we’ve completed task three and then I’ll call my parents.”

We both send the text and receive confirmation that we have completed task number three, and then I cannot stall any longer. I have to call my parents.

I am relieved that my dad picks up, as my last conversation with my mom was less than ideal.

“Hey, Dad,” I try to think of the best way to say what I have to ask him. “Do you think I could bring my new husband over tomorrow for lunch? I want him to meet you guys.”

He checks with Mom and then declares we should be at the house by 11:30 so we can eat lunch. “We have plans at 2:00, so we won’t be able to see you very long. Maybe we can move it to another day?” His voice is hopeful, but only being able to see them for two hours is basically my dream day, so I don’t want to move our visit.

“No, tomorrow works great! We’ll see you at 11:30. Thanks, Dad!” I try to keep my emotions positive, because I’m not sure how much say each of them had in this whole marriage situation. Until I can figure out who to blame, I am going to hate them both in private and smile at them both in public.

Well, at least I’m going to try.

* * *

As we stand outside my parents’ house the next morning, Christopher reaches out for my hand. We are trying to seem married, so we have to actively make small choices like this all the time. I don’t know about him, but for me it’s almost becoming second nature to act like his wife.

Weird. But good, I think. It helps us keep up appearances.

I take a deep breath, ring the doorbell, and wait for my parents to answer the door.

When they do, despite my best efforts, I am incapable of putting a whole sentence together. Fortunately, Christopher speaks for me.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, ma’am,” he says as he shakes my mother’s hand. “I’m Christopher Scott.”

“Hello, Christopher,” Mother smiles as she invites him in. “I’m Aubrey’s mother. You can call me Jen or Mrs. James or Mom. Whatever makes you comfortable.”

“Thank you, Mrs. James,” he smiles at me as we step into my parents’ house. Christopher meets my dad while I lag behind a bit. Everyone looks a lot more optimistic about the situation than I feel right now, but I try to keep my face looking happy. Or at least neutral.

Because we arrived late, by design, my mother has no choice but to cut the conversation portion of our visit short and lead us directly into the dining room for lunch.

“I do hope you like roast,” my mom speaks to Christopher, though she has barely looked at me since I walked through the door. “Aubrey didn’t tell me what you liked, so I guessed.”

Chris looks over at me for assistance. When I shrug, he responds, “I like everything, Mrs. James. Thank you.”

Apparently I’m not the only one who’s noticed that my parents are actively ignoring me. Maybe I shouldn’t have come.

“Aubrey actually hasn’t had a lot of time to tell me much about anything,” Christopher expertly brings me back into the conversation. “We’ve been unpacking and getting to know each other and doing a lot of Match Made tasks. This past week has been very busy.”

“I imagine so,” Mom says as she brings in the food. “There is a lot to be done.”

Like you didn’t write it all into the contract and already know we’ve been busy.

“Yes, the Match Made requirements have been quite extensive,” Christopher shifts his addresses to my dad. “What do you all know about me? Is there anything you’d like to know?”

I am endlessly thankful that Christopher is taking charge of this conversation and that Mom has put food out for me to eat right now. I sit silently and eat as Christopher and Dad talk to each other. I can feel Mom looking at me from across the table, but I ignore her by staring at my food.

“Well, I’m an architect. I have been given two weeks off to settle into this married life,” Christopher answers my Dad’s newest question. “But I do have to do some work from home next week, or I’ll get too far behind.”

Dad nods as though he understands exactly what Christopher is going through, though I’m not sure he does.

“And how many hours do you usually work as an architect?” Dad keeps the line of questioning on Chris’s work and I’m glad for it. “It sounds like it’s a pretty busy job.”

“Yes, it can be pretty busy. But I’m well established now. Usually it’s no more than thirty hours a week, but occasionally emergencies and rush orders happen and I have to work longer hours.”

“That’s nice,” Dad looks at me as he talks, “Aubrey used to work far too many hours. I’m glad she won’t have to work anymore.”

I try not to, but I end up choking on my drink and coughing as liquid sputters out of my mouth. Do I really have to give up my job?

Christopher comes over to me and makes sure I am okay before he answers my father for me, “We haven’t discussed Aubrey quitting her job, sir. I’m not sure she will be.”

The glares my parents shoot Christopher tell me they didn’t anticipate he might agree with me rather than them. At least some good came out of today.

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