I'm sitting at lunch in school the next day with my friends, trying to work up the nerve to tell them about me and Alex. I really can't be bothered to keep it as this huge secret thing but it's so difficult to tell them. I'm worried what they'll think of me, whether they'll understand or not. I decide to just do it. They have to know some time and they'll find out by themselves eventually, surely.
"Guys, Alex and I are together." I burst out, interrupting Johanna in the middle of her sentence.
They all raise their eyebrows at me and I wait for any kind of answer. After a moment, Alice just says "We know that."
I frown. "What?"
Carrie nods. "Yeah, we know. Why did you think we didn't know?"
"Why do you know?" I demand, shocked.
"Because it's just sort of obvious." Johanna shrugs.
"Are you mad?" I ask them.
Alice laughs. "Why would we be mad? As long as you're happy, that's fine."
I feel so relieved. My friends' approval means more to me than anybody else's so I'm in a really good mood for a few days until Thursday comes along and it's time to worry about my dad's approval. The house is pretty calm as we prepare for dinner but there is chaos inside my head. I'm setting the table, Dad is cooking, I'm texting Alex at the same time and giving him lots of advice while doing the same with Dad.
"So do I call him Alexander or Alex?" Dad asks, peeling the potatoes.
"Alex." I say and then text Alex:
Don't talk about my mom. Or moms in general. Talking about your mom is totally fine though.
"And what is he interested in that I could bring up in conversation?"
"He likes cars and car races and stuff like that." I say and send another text to Alex:
Also, use manners. He has a thing about manners.
"Do I ask about his parents or not? Is that insensitive?" Dad asks.
"No, ask about his parents, that's fine." I say and send another text to Alex:
Drive into our street slowly. I don't want him to think you're a maniac driver.
Alex replies to that one:
What kind of monster do you think I am? I will not mention mothers, I will use manners and I will not be a maniac driver.
I just reply:
Also, compliment the garden. He's obsessed with the garden.
Will do. Jeeeees little miss stress head.
I leave it at that and help Dad with dinner and within an hour, dinner is on the table and I can see Alex's black Lamborghini pulling into our street at a safe speed. I let myself feel a little relieved. I have nothing to worry about, this is all going to be just fine.
"Here he is." Dad says when there's a knock on the door.
I go and answer the door and Dad stands a little behind me, his hand on my shoulder.
"Hey." I smile at Alex. "Come in."
As he steps inside, I notice he's holding a bottle of wine. He holds it up to my dad.
"Nice to see you again, sir." Alex says with a smile. "Kaya tells me you like wine?"
"I do." Dad smiles back, taking the bottle. "Thank you very much Alex. Dinner will be ready in a moment, come on through to the kitchen."
And it all goes generally very well. Alex uses his manners and compliments the garden. Dad asks about cars and Alex's parents and they both seem to get along very well. After dinner, Alex even goes out into the garage with Dad to look at the engine of Dad's car because apparently it's been making a weird noise or something like that. They both laugh together and make jokes about cars and sports that I don't really understand but it's nice to watch. Seeing Alex interact more with different parts of my world makes him seem more real, like he really is within my reach and that makes me happier than anything.