An Unforgettable Evening

Kent was sitting next to Brooklyn, hanging on every word her brother was saying as he told stories about his beloved sister.

“Then there was the time…” Jacob started.

“I don’t think Kent wants to hear any more of these stories,” Brooklyn interrupted.

“Oh, Kent most definitely does,” Kent encouraged Jacob to continue.

Brooklyn’s brother flashed her a shit-eating grin before he repeated, “Then there was the time we were walking through a mall in Carmel. Brooklyn saw a man holding cheese samples….”

“Oh, I bet she ran right for him.” Kent chimed in.

“Of course,” Jacob confirmed his suspicion, “To be fair, I was right on her heels.”

They all chuckled.

“Anyway, she asked him what kind of cheese she had just tried, and he didn’t answer. So, she asked a second time, a little more loudly. It wasn’t until she waved a hand in front of his face to get his attention that she realized it was one of those butler statues holding the samples.”

Kent was bent over in laughter. “Did you know it was a statue?”

“Dude, everyone but Brooklyn knew it was a statue.”

Kent laughed harder.

Brooklyn buried her face in her hands, and Kent pulled them away and kissed her cheek. “I think you’re adorable.”

“Yeah, yeah,” she waved him off while flashing him a playful smile.

“Brooklyn?” Aunt Mary shouted from the kitchen window. “Can you please come help me?”

“Saved by the bell.” Brooklyn jumped up.

“I’m still going to talk about you,” Jacob informed her.

“Oh, I’m aware,” she retorted, “But now I won’t have to live through the humiliation again,” she giggled. Brooklyn stole a chaste kiss from her boyfriend before making her way to the kitchen.

“Ya know, I love to give my sister a hard time. That’s what brothers do.”

Kent nodded in agreement. He also enjoyed giving his sister a hard time.

“But you’ve got quite a woman there,” Jacob continued.

“I am aware of how wonderful Brooklyn is,” Kent informed him, “I love and respect your sister very much. Even if she can’t tell the difference between a statue and a real person.”

The men laughed, and Jacob continued telling stories about the woman who had Kent’s heart.

“Old enough to be your father?” Aunt Mary asked for the fifth time since Brooklyn told her.

“Okay, look, Aunt Mary, I am tired of this question. You ask me every time I visit, and it was cute at first when you were teasing me. But now it feels like you have an issue with our age gap. Awfully bold of you, considering Uncle Bob has eighteen years on you.”

“You’re such a firecracker!” Aunt Mary giggled.

Brooklyn leaned her hands against the edges of the island and hung her head in exasperation.

“I love him. He makes me happy. Why can’t you just accept that?”

“Sweet girl, I am simply trying to understand how you fell so hard so quickly. You’re a smart girl.”

“If you know I’m smart, why can’t you trust my judgment?” Brooklyn inquired.

“Because you’re sweeter than you are judgmental.” Aunt Mary informed her.

That shut Brooklyn up. She released a long sigh. “Is that peach raspberry sangria over there?” She pointed to the bottle sitting on the counter behind Aunt Mary. “You’re evil. You know I can’t resist it.”

Aunt Mary turned in the direction Brooklyn was pointing, “Actually, Kent brought it. It was in the bag with the burgundy wine that you both so thoughtfully brought me.”

“That little sneak,” Brooklyn smiled.  

Aunt Mary handed Brooklyn the bottle and the bottle opener before she opened the cabinet and took down two wine glasses.

“This is part of it, “Brooklyn started as she poured the sangria for both of them. “Kent often does little things that let me know he is thinking of me.”

“Wasn’t Eric like that too in the beginning?”

“I love you, Aunt Mary, but you are not giving me any credit.”

Aunt Mary didn’t respond. She simply took a sip of her sangria and waited for her niece to speak her mind.

“Look, yes. Obviously, I loved Eric, and a part of me will always love Eric. And yes, I was devastated after his betrayal, but Aunt Mary Eric never thought of me. When we went to go look at engagement rings, he forgot that’s why we made the hour-long trip because he went to a video game store beforehand. We went to Baltimore to celebrate my birthday, and while we were there, he forgot my birthday. We were literally on a trip to celebrate my birthday, and he still forgot! I wanted to go take pictures, and he forgot because he wanted to spend time with his friend. When he had an affair, I never once entered his mind.”

Brooklyn took another sip of Sangria, “It killed me because I couldn’t so much as plan a meal without considering Eric, but he couldn’t be bothered to think of me to stop him from having sex with someone else.”

“Virtual sex,” Aunt Mary corrected her.

“It still constitutes as cheating!” Brooklyn defended.

Aunt Mary was wise enough not to say anything else.

“It got to the point where I was so used to Eric not thinking of me that I stopped thinking about myself, too. I used to cry in the shower because I felt like I wasn’t even a blip on his radar. I just wanted to be somebody’s blip. And then somewhere along the way, I grew numb to it all, and I lost touch with myself.”

“Eric would bring me gifts, but it felt like he was trying to buy my trust rather than show me affection.”

Brooklyn saw the pain flash across her aunt’s eyes. She took a long sip of sangria as if the courage she needed to continue was found in the bottom of the glass.

“I didn’t mean to fall in love with Kent, Aunt Mary. Especially not so quickly,” she paused as she collected her thoughts.

Aunt Mary took advantage of the pause in the conversation to ask a question. “If I were to ask Kent why he is so good for my niece, what do you think he would say?”

Brooklyn pondered for a few seconds as she took another sip of sangria, “Weeeelllll,” she paused again, “He would probably start by telling you all the reasons he feels he is not good for me and how I could do better.” She wore a glowing smile as she thought of the man who made a permanent home in her heart, and Aunt Mary thought she looked especially striking at that moment, standing still with a far-off look in her eye.

“Then he would tell you that no other man could love me as deeply as he does,” she continued. “Aunt Mary, I am the blip on Kent’s radar. I was lost, and numb, and confused. I had wandered so far from myself, and I dimmed my light to satisfy Eric, and while I was feeling stuck, I unknowingly sent rescue signals out into the universe, and Kent answered the call.”

“It’s clear to tell who the writer is here.” Aunt Mary chimed in.

Brooklyn smiled at her. “We were friends first, Aunt Mary; it’s not like I only met him yesterday.” She took another sip of sangria, “Although it would have been over the second our eyes met. We would have known by the way we looked at each other that there was a connection between us.”

Aunt Mary nodded in agreement. “I watched him a little when you first arrived,” she admitted. “He looks at you the way we look at the sun’s rays reflected in the ripples on the lake. Completely mesmerized.”

“Maybe not so clear who the writer is here,” Brooklyn smiled widely.

Aunt Mary blushed and giggled, “That’s quite a compliment coming from you.”

Brooklyn batted a dismissive hand, “Oh, stop.”

 “So, why would Kent say you deserve better?”

“Honestly, like most people in my life, if he dug deep enough, he’d probably come to the conclusion that nobody is good enough.”

Aunt Mary giggled, “I have to agree. You’re too good for the world.”

Brooklyn blushed deeply. “I don’t really know how to respond to that.”

“You were never great at accepting compliments.”

Brooklyn simply smiled. “Kent doesn’t see himself the way I see him. He would tell you that he is not empathetic, but he has shown me empathy. He recognizes and appreciates my efforts. He understands there are things about me he doesn’t quite understand because he has never experienced them, but he tries, and he listens, and he takes note of things that upset me.”

“He loves you.”

“Yes, he does,” Brooklyn confirmed. “His story is not mine to tell, but he’s seen combat, and he was good at his job. He was bred for war. Whether it is love or chaos, he does everything to the death. Uncle Bob has also seen combat. Surely, he has told you some stories.”

“Yes,” Aunt Mary responded without hesitation, and Brooklyn recognized the look in her eyes. She understood how some of the stories moved her to tears because there are heavy memories to carry.

“People think Kent lacks emotion, but that’s not true. He’s just picky with who he lets his guard down around. Only those closest to him are lucky enough to see some of those emotions, and I’m the only one who gets to see all sides of him.”

“I get that,” Aunt Mary grabbed her hand. “Well, if he’s good to my girl, then I like him.”

“He is so good to me, Aunt Mary. He reminds me of my strength; any time I feel less than beautiful, he doesn’t mind telling me what he sees. He revels in my success. He is my loudest cheerleader, my biggest fan, and my safe place.”

“I will stop commenting about his age.”

“Thank you,” she hugged her aunt. “So, did you actually need help, or did you just want to talk about Kent?”

She giggled, “You should know I already made the sides yesterday, and Uncle Bob’s manning the grill.”

“Of course. What was I thinking?” Brooklyn giggled.

“I must admit, Kent is rather handsome.”

Brooklyn’s smile widened as she swooned, “I have the sweetest crush on my boyfriend.”

Aunt Mary and Brooklyn giggled like schoolgirls.

“Have you seen his forearms?” Brooklyn inquired. “He has such nice forearms, and big strong hands, and eyes I get lost in.”

“Alright, alright. You’re gonna  give me diabetes.”  

As the night went on, Kent could easily see that Brooklyn’s entire family was enchanted by her. He understood better than anybody because he had been under her spell since they first spoke. The men in her family were incredibly protective of her, and it was easy to understand why. She was as kind as she was intelligent. Her ability to see the good in people was admirable, but it could also negatively impact her when people revealed their true colors, and people always reveal their true colors.

Kent had won her brother over, and he knew he would have to do the same with her aunt and uncle, but he had already earned some of Uncle Bob’s respect simply for being a veteran.

He was sitting at a table, drinking an iced tea, and watching Brooklyn dance around with exaggerated movements to the songs on her playlist. She and her brother looked like goofballs, and their actions did not match the lyrics. Jacob kept saying he was mowing the lawn as he walked with outstretched arms, and Brooklyn replied she was the sprinkler as he held her ankle behind her back with one arm and stretched her other arm out in front of her, all the while pulsating her hips forward, she almost fell from laughing, but Jacob caught her, and the pair were laughing so hysterically, it was contagious.

“I see the way you look at her,” Aunt Mary informed Kent as she sat down next to him.

 He glanced at her before looking back at Brooklyn just in time to see her stub her toe on the chaise lounge and shout a litany of curses.

“How do you not see a large chair right in front of you?” Jacob asked.

“I am distantly challenged. No, judgment of distance….” Brooklyn sighed. “Whatever! I’m not a good judge of distance, okay?”

Everyone broke out in laughter.

“That’s what you have to look forward to,” Uncle Bob informed Kent. “

Kent laughed, “I’ll never be bored.”

“She’s enamored with you, you know?” Aunt Mary asked him.

Kent looked her in the eye, “I have been enamored with her for years.”

“Why are you good for her?”

“Mary, darling,” Uncle Bob interrupted. “Stop with the interrogation. Look at our girl. I can’t remember the last time I saw her so happy.”

“It’s okay,” Kent assured Uncle Bob. “I will always believe that she deserves better than me, but I happily accept that I’m the man she wants, and I can guarantee that no other man could love her like I do.”

“She said you would say that,” Aunt Mary informed him.

Kent nodded like this made sense. “She understands me like no one else ever has. She gets my references,” he paused for a moment, “Most of the time. She can take what I dish out, and that’s not easy.”

Brooklyn walked over to the table to rescue Kent from her aunt’s questioning when Aunt Mary placed her hand on Kent’s forearm. “You’re right, dear; his forearms are sexy.”

If Brooklyn hadn’t already been dating him, that comment might have embarrassed her, but since Kent already knew how head over heels she was for him, it came back to bite Aunt Mary on the ass.

“You should see them when he’s rolling up his sleeves,” she raised her eyebrows a couple times.

Aunt Mary gave her a confused glare, “Are you saying?”

“Mmhmm,” Brooklyn nodded as she placed a hand on Kent’s shoulder. “He went from hello sir, nice to meet you to your daughter calls me daddy, too.”

Both Aunt Mary and Kent blushed, and Uncle Bob rewarded his niece’s bold demeanor with a high five.

That was the first night Kent had met some of Brooklyn’s family, and none of them would forget that night.

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11 Responses to An Unforgettable Evening

  1. Brad Osborne says:

    Well written, Kristian!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, this post has all of the makings it needs to become a full-blown story. I sense some similarities in it that might be the truth written in disguise, but since the man who treated me and made me feel like that was 11 years my senior, age difference is never an issue in my book! This was so well written and engaging!

    Liked by 1 person

    • kristianw84 says:

      Age difference has never mattered to me. To be honest, I have always been attracted to older men. It can make for some fun conflict in fiction writing, though! I typically do mix a little truth in with my fiction (not always mine) to give it that real feel that people can relate to.

      Thank you so much!! I am glad you enjoyed the story!


  3. Jeff says:

    I’m glad Aunt Mary came around. I was really getting upset at her. Hahaha!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Laura Beth says:

    I love it! I need more!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. joyroses13 says:

    Yay for the family accepting him! Loved the banter with her brother and Aunt Mary’s giggles. 🙂
    “He looks at you like the sun’s rays on the ripples of the lake…” Beautiful!❤ Enjoying the story!

    Liked by 1 person

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