The parents of Trisha Jeffrey had been married for 30 years to the day, but at this point their marriage had merely become obligatory for the sake of their daughter and their social stature in the small Central Valley town of Dinuba. But on this special day, their polarizing differences and argumentative nature would temporarily subside. They would appear before their daughter, her boyfriend, their friends, family, and the world as a happily married couple. Yes, they would gather all of their loved ones to tell stories they have already told about forty times over and reminisce about the good times.
So, both Trisha and Henry took time out of their busy schedules to make the drive from San Luis Obispo over to Dinuba. Henry was not particularly wild of spending more time than he had to around her parents but he did it simply because he loved Trisha and knew it would make her happy.
“How many people are going to be at this thing?” Henry asked as their car pulled onto the long country road that Trisha’s parents presided on.
“It’s hard to say,” she said skeptically. “I’m sure my mom will invite all of the family that lives in the area and I think my dad is inviting his groomsmen.”
“Could you do me a favor?” Henry asked.
“Just… don’t leave me alone please. You know I hate being alone at these events.”
“Oh Henry,” she said as she reached over from the steering wheel and squeezed his hand. “I promise, I won’t leave you alone.”
“Thank you, dear,” he sighed as he slumped into his seat.
Trisha pulled into her parents’ driveway. As they got out they were greeted by the swarm of semi-feral cats that her parents felt the need to feed because nobody else would. The mere presence of the cats made Henry lean back against the car and hug his luggage to his chest. Every time Henry saw them—the cats—he couldn’t quite place it, but—in addition to believing that cats were a filthy breed of animal—he had the sneaking suspicion that they were constantly plotting ways to murder him.
The swarm of cats was soon followed by the barking of dogs. Henry looked up to see the two family Dobermans running towards them. Their presence suddenly caused the cats to disperse and Henry felt his anxiety subside at the sight of the dogs. Now that is an admirable animal, he thought.
Henry and Trisha grabbed their things from the car and made their way towards the door. As they walked to the house the two Dobermans followed them and stayed particularly close to Henry. Dogs took a liking to him for some reason or another. Maybe it was because he had extra sugar in his blood—or a kind soul—who really knows with these things. Henry made sure to give the two Dobermans lots of love and affection for coming to his aid and dispersing the feline menace. As they reached the front door it suddenly flew open. Trisha’s father stood at the entrance and greeted them. He was a large, sturdy man with red hair, a big red beard, deeply set green eyes, and an intimidating set of hands for someone at his age.
“Hello, dad!” Trisha exclaimed as she dropped her luggage and hugged him.
“Hello pumpkin,” he said as Henry stepped through the door.
When they had finished hugging Henry walked up to him and offered him his hand.
“Hello Mr. Jeffrey,” Henry said in a masculine tone of respect.
“Dammit Henry, call me Dan,” he said in a stern, yet friendly, tone. “For crying out loud you’ve been with my daughter for four years now.”
Henry coughed uncomfortably and replied, “I would, but my mom would kill me.”
“Have it your way then,” he said nonchalantly.
Despite Dan’s protests to have Henry refer to him by his Christian name, Dan secretly enjoyed the fact that Henry still called him by his last name. It was his way of knowing that Henry respected and admired him—or at the very least made an effort to seem like he did.
Dan suggested that Trisha and Henry put their stuff away before heading into the kitchen, so they did. Since Henry and Trisha were not married they still had to sleep in separate rooms, which was fine by them. They both enjoyed the danger of trying to copulate without being…