Keisha prepares for dinner with her family and her boyfriend.
Tonight is a special night. Paul is coming over for dinner tonight to meet my family. We have been dating long enough for this moment. I finally managed to convince him to meet my niece and nephew. And with my daughter and granddaughter here, things have gotten so much better for me. This house has been too depressing lately. This dinner should cheer everyone right up. I just want everything to go right tonight.
I went all out for this evening. I have everything set up for dinner. I made a home-cooked Southern meal. Just the good old menu: Collards, black-eyed peas, fried chicken, and peach cobbler. (None of that Miami fast food junk tonight. Paul misses good old Southern cooking as well.) No shortcuts either this time. I did actual work in the kitchen. I was lucky to have Rose move my daughter's wedding plans out of the way in time. It took me hours, but dinner is now ready. I even got out the sparkling apple cider for the glasses. (Davis and Lulu aren't old enough to drink. Rose, Lola, Paul, and I will have a little wine tonight.) One problem down. Now to tackle the rest of everything.
I set the table to look really nice. I took out the silverware, cups, and plates I used on my wedding day. I haven't seen them in ages. When my Nathaniel died, I couldn't even stand to look at them. So, I had everything stored away in the den closet, until today. Seeing all of that white, painted dishware still brings a tear to my eyes. I held it all down as I polished up each piece and set it on the table. I had to stand back and look at the table for a moment when I was finished. Looks just like our wedding table. I began to get emotional again. I shook my head and sniffled away my tears. That was the past. I need to focus on my future now. Right! Now, I need to get everyone else and myself dressed and ready for the night.
With everyone in their Sunday best sitting at the table (and some Billie Holiday in the background,) we are all ready. Only thing missing is the man I love. I smiled at my family as we sat at the table. Davis grinned at me. Lola rolled her eyes.
"I don't get it, mom," she said. "What's with all the fancy trim and why are we all here?"
"Yeah, Auntie Keisha," Davis replied. "Do tell us everything." I smiled at them warmly.
"You'll see in a minute," I said. With that, the doorbell rang. My heart started doing little flips in my chest.
"Be right back!" I cheered. I leapt up from the table and hurried over to the door. I opened it up wide and Paul stood on the other side, smiling at me. He was dressed in a nice suit with a bouquet of white lilies. I felt my cheeks flushing a bright red.
"Hey there, Kiki," he greeted me as he handed me the flowers. I slowly took them into my arms.
"T-Thanks Paul!" I stammered out. "Come on in!" He gave me a sweet little smile and kissed me on the cheek.
"Thanks Kiki," he said. Then, Paul walked inside. I thought I was going to faint right in the doorway. But, I managed to pull myself together and follow him into my house for dinner.
Oh the Stars are Out Tonight, but I Can't Tell if it's Cloudy or Bright