Sunday Fiction on Tuesday: The Brunch

Sarah knocks once and opens the door.  Rick Danko’s tenor voice and the glorious smell of bacon greeted them as it opened.  The Sunday Brunch playlist is in full swing with them already up to “Unfaithful Servant.”  The smell of bacon means Brian decided on bacon to go with the grits instead of shrimp and pulled out the omelet pan if anyone so chooses and which someone always does.

Sarah and Karen immediately hug upon Sarah’s entering the kitchen without either saying why.  Ray sees Brian standing off to the side holding a pan of buttermilk biscuits ready to into the oven with his shit eating grin.  The first time Ray saw that grin, they were walking back from Franklin Street one football Saturday night and Brian decided to steal the Mercedes emblem off one of the alum’s cars.  As soon as he touched it the alarm went off and they sprinted off through the woods surrounding the parking lot.

On the elevator ride up to their floor, Ray looked at Brian who stood with the very same grin on his face as now.  “How about next time you decide to do that, give me a little notice.”

“What and spoil the surprise?”

Today Ray and Brian stand at the living room window.  Sara and Karen drink coffee and tea respectfully at the island in the kitchen.  “Misterioso” jaggedly plinks away over the speakers.  The two not-to-young men look at the mini-van in the driveway.

“So, you’re sure you’re the father?”

“Yep, pretty sure.”

“How long have you two known?”

“She took a pregnancy test a couple of months ago.  It popped positive, so we went to her doctor and she confirmed it.  With her history we wanted to wait until the 1st trimester passed to start telling people.  You guy are the first outside of my mother.”

Ray’s mind looks for what to feel.  Am I happy?  Why? Am I sad? Why?  Am I neither?  Why?

“Biscuits are ready?”  Karen calls out and the oven door slams as a confirmation.

As they converge upon the dining table, Ray catches sight of Sarah.  The look in her eye is as confused as his.  He knows for different reasons, but it is just as disoriented.

The food, the talk, and laughter gives what is in Ray’s mind time to congeal.  He can see its outlines now.

“I remember the night he told me he was going to marry you.  We were watching the NCAA Tournament.  It was the first Thursday.  The late night games were on and we were in hour 4 of drinking beer and watching basketball in the exact same spots.

‘I’m buying her a ring.  I’m going to ask her to marry me in a couple of weeks.’

“My reaction was of course, ‘Who are you asking to marry you?’

“The thing I remember most, is his explanation.  I was too drunk to remember it all exactly, but it wasn’t some lovey-dovey soul mate Lifetime movie bullshit.  At least not the way he explained it.  He said something like, ‘I think she is the most special person I know and I think she is going to be even more special in 20 years.  I want to watch her become that person, and I hope some of it will rub off on me and make me close to the guy I want to be.’

“He is the brother I didn’t have until I walked into that dorm room to move in and there stood a skinny white dude with a goat-tee, long hair, and an Argentina soccer jersey, looking around the room trying to figure out where to put the television.

“Karen, you have made him better.  Congratulations to both of you.”

The rest of the brunch moves by in a state of bliss.  They finish eating and clean up.  As Ray and Sarah leave, there are handshakes and hugs.  As the car doors close, Ray and Sarah re-enter their world.  For some reason “All Tomorrow’s Parties” popped up on the iPod as the car started.


One Response to “Sunday Fiction on Tuesday: The Brunch”

  1. […] Previously:  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 […]

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