Beyond the Ocean's Depths (Not an Average Shifter Romance)

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Chapter 31: Truth and More Coincidences

ANNE

Rainie and I had a good thing going. The Soul-Sisters were unbeatable!

Our plan was to get my mom and her dad to ‘accidentally’ run into each other as much as possible.

If we wanted to get them to think about dating, they would need to believe fate wanted them to be together, just like Rainie and I did. Coincidental bonding would just be our little way of helping fate out!

Rainie had actually come up with bowling first. She’d been wanting her dad to take her anyways, and with him being off work Saturday night, she would see if she could talk him into it. As soon as he’d said yes, she messaged me, and I had no problems talking Mom into it. Setting the time was easy, as incorporating pizza for dinner was a no-brainer. They didn’t suspect a thing!

Rainie was so sure about them being a perfect match and I really wanted it to be true. But when they started to show signs of tension at the table, I started to have my doubts. I knew Mom well enough to know when she felt out of her element, and Rainie’s dad seemed to really set her off, though she tried hard not to show it. Maybe it was because she liked him a lot and didn’t know how to act around him. After all, she hadn’t dated anyone in eight whole years, and I had no idea how she normally acted when she was around a guy she really liked. I also thought Rainie’s dad acted a little stiff around her, too. Perhaps it was just love-nerves, I hoped.

When we were alone in the restroom, I finally got a chance to ask what she thought about him, and she admitted that she thought he was good looking... But rude. I smirked inside at the time, because his rudeness made sense, of course - since he liked her and all! It could have also been because, according to Rainie, he still felt sad over her mother’s death five years ago. That was a bit of a tough subject for her, too, because it made her sad to think about her mom dying. But she didn’t like seeing her dad so sad and lonely, and she said that she really liked my mom a lot! Granted, I hadn’t been around her dad much, but if Rainie liked him and thought he was good guy, then he had to be. He was a bit old-looking for my taste - I mean I was into guys a little closer to my age, definitely no older than mid-twenties - but he was a good-looking guy, regardless, and I thought him and Mom looked cute together.

Everything seemed to be going pretty good through the first bowling game, not that there were any hearts floating above their heads, but we were having fun - I thought! Something wasn’t right though when we all sat down to eat. Mom seemed extra nervous and she ate like a madwoman, not saying a word. When she finally stopped eating her pizza and went to the restroom, Rainie hinted that maybe we should let them have some alone-time and that things would flow better. So, we opted to play the arcades so that we could be somewhere else but would also be able to keep an eye on them.

We didn’t actually play a single arcade game, but instead spied on our parents, who, in our opinions, did look like a good couple together. Unfortunately, to our dismay, before long, Mom seemed to be getting angry. I didn’t need to hear what she was saying to know her expression and body language meant that she was going to tell him off soon.

“What did he say?!” Rainie asked as I told her we’d better go back to the table to break them up before things got heated.

“I don’t know, Rainie, but it couldn’t have been good!”

Popping back in with our parents, we averted a potential disaster, and the rest of the “date” seemed to go decent enough for a couple who hadn’t accepted that they were a couple just yet. And so, we made it through what we were calling Coincidence #1, and quickly came up with an idea for Coincidence #2: The Grocery Store.

This event didn’t go off quite as smoothly as the first, because the timing got kinda messed up with Mom needing to stop at the gas station. Then she stopped to get something quick at the hardware store because she didn’t want to go there after getting groceries so that the ice cream wouldn’t melt.

So, by the time we’d finally arrived at the supermarket, Rainie and her dad were almost ready to check out. We passed once on the frozen vegetable aisle and our parents gave us girls just enough time to say hello to each other, barely acknowledging one another. Rainie swore that her dad didn’t seem as negative about Mom anymore though, so our plan must be working we reasoned.

We had achieved three other ‘coincidental’ events by the time a week had passed, making Saturday evening our sixth! None of the others were quite as involved as the bowling night, but they were encounters, nonetheless.

For Coincidence #6, both Rainie and I had talked our parents into taking us out to dinner at La Azteca, a family friendly and locally owned Mexican restaurant that had a dance floor.

Tonight, was going to be Salsa Nite and Rainie explained that while you could just go to eat, Salsa Nite dancing was open to all ages and most people just went for fun. I really had no interest in Salsa dancing whatsoever and having been born with two left feet knew I would have had a difficult time convincing Mom that I wanted to go for the dancing. So, I talked up the food instead.

She, on the other hand loved Latin dancing and had been pretty good back in the day, so she said. So, when I told her about the dancing part, I think she relented because she was actually interested in going on her own behalf, even if it meant dancing with her uncoordinated daughter.

Rainie was under the impression that her dad was just glad that she still wanted to go anywhere with him as a soon-to-be teenager and he probably didn’t put a lot of thought into where they were going. I messaged Rainie when we were out the door, slipping my phone into my pocket as I tried to act as nonchalant as possible, commenting on how nice Mom looked. She wore a cute red and yellow top with ruffled capped sleeves and black slacks. Seriously, if Rainie’s dad wasn’t interested in her this evening, then something was seriously wrong with him!

Upon arriving at the colorful but dimly lit restaurant, the server took us to a booth against the wall not far from the dance floor. There were a few people out there already and I could see Mom salivating at the idea of getting out there herself. Her and my dad used to go dancing a lot, she used to tell me, and I think that was the only thing she missed about him in the end.

“Does Rainie’s dad even know how to dance? Why didn’t I ask her?!” I suddenly worried as we started looking at our menus, while I secretly scanned the room for signs of my friend and her unsuspecting father.

“Whatcha gonna get?” Mom asked me after a moment.

“Uh, probably the taco and burrito combo,” I replied, asking her the same in return.

“I think I’m going with the Carne Asada,” she said rubbing her hands together.

When the server returned with our drinks and took our orders, I finally caught a glimpse of Rainie who was moving into a booth several tables away. She was sitting facing me, while her dad’s back was to us, and I wondered if she’d seen me yet.

We decided that it would be too much like bowling night if we ‘found’ each other early on and tried to eat together as a group. Plus, I didn’t want Mom’s stomach to get upset if her nerves made her eat like she did at the bowling alley. She was always telling me how important it was to digest your food properly. So, unless our parents actually ran into each other on their own without our help, we wouldn’t ‘bump into each other’ until we were ready to go dancing.

As we ate, I had a terrible time trying not to look down the aisle to see if they were still eating and could tell Rainie was also trying to concentrate on her own conversation with her dad as well. How did spies contain their nerves? I felt like I was about to burst!

“You ready to hit the dance floor?!” Mom announced on cue after we’d finished the flan we shared for dessert.

I nodded with excited apprehension as I plastered on the best smile I could and pushed up my glasses. OMG, I was nervous! 1.) I absolutely hated dancing in front of other people, and 2.) ‘Operation Salsa’ was about to go into full action!

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