Riley finally made it to the Flying Chips at half seven like she and her family had arranged. Even though she was tired and not really wanted to be eating out, she and her family hadn’t interact with each other much and she knew she owed it for her family for their patience and understanding of what’s she going through. Then again she hadn’t had a delicious large cheeseburger and chips for a while. So she kept that in mind as she entered the cream walled, candle-scent restaurant.
“Riley!” her parents cried as she approached them.
“Hi, mom, dad,” Riley said.
After a quick hug, she sat down with at the wooden table.
“We are so proud of you, honey,” Mrs. Anderson said.
“Once again you never cease to amaze me,” Mr. Anderson said.
Mrs. Anderson expected her daughter to be more excited and enthusiastic about the event.
So were her emotions.
“What’s wrong with her?” the Sadness asked. “What is she sad about today? Out of all days of her whole life?”
“Maybe she’s worried about not coming first in the Olympics,” the Fear suggested.
“Maybe she’s exhausted from her training today,” the Anger said.
“Maybe she needs to go,” the Joy said.
All the emotions looked at her.
“Back home, I meant,” she explained. “Maybe eating out isn’t the best for her right now.”
“But she’s with her family,” the Disgust said. “Maybe she needs to talk to her parents so that they can help her afterwards.”
“What’s wrong, honey?” Mrs. Anderson asked. “You should be happy with yourself.”
“I am,” Riley said. “It’s just that Jordan and I have broken up today.”
So that was why she was unhappy. Her parents were shocked to hear that. Ever since he met them on Riley’s first date, they took a shining to Jordan. And they were hardly worried about him and Riley together while they were in school and in college. Then they started to get worried when Riley was picked for a tryout for ice hockey Olympics and Jordan was becoming an alcohol-addicted washed up musician. They tried to help him by getting him into rehab and try finding a job to support him while he chases his dreams, but they couldn’t get through to him. And he was becoming rather difficult. So they thought Riley not being with him anymore was for the best, but they knew now wasn’t the time to tell her that.
“I’m so sorry, love,” Mrs. Anderson said.
“So am I,” Mr. Anderson said. “I know it’s going to get take a long time to get over something like this, but I just want you to know that we are always here for you, no matter how tough life gets for you.”
“And we are so proud of you,” Mrs. Anderson said. “And not just for today, but all you have accomplished throughout your life.”
Riley stopped sniffling and gave a smile, but not a very big one. “Thanks, guys. Thanks for your support and your understanding.”
Then their moods improved when their starter of garlic bread and mushrooms in cheese sauce arrived. As they started eating, Riley asked her parents how was their work going and everything in their lives.
While their parents were talking, Riley’s emotions were watching her eat her mushrooms.
“Hmm, those starters sure look good,” Disgust said.
“Yeah, it’s making me feel hungry,” Fear admitted.
Then Joy noticed Sadness looking fed up. “What’s the matter, Sadness? Still upset about Riley breaking up from Jordan? Or worried about Riley failing in the Olympics?”
“I thought that was my job,” Fear said when he came with his lettuce and beetroot salad.
“I’m sad that now Jordan is gone,” Sadness said, “she won’t find any more friends when Mom and Dad are dead.”
“Don’t worry, we’ll make sure she – ” Then Joy looked back at the screen. “Oh, boy, the cheeseburger and chips!” She pressed the console…
…and Riley was waffling down her delicious cheeseburger.