Surprise Mrs Bryar
Jamia laughed, “Damn straight. Now lead me to the party.”
Frank looked around, “Where is everybody?”
“Bob is keeping Kara busy for another half hour and Kelly is keeping Gerard out from underfoot. Everyone else is downstairs already.”
“Why is Gerard being kept away? I thought this was his shindig?’
“He’s having a little trouble coping with everything at the moment.” Monica answered. “I just thought it would be better if everyone was already here before I tell him about the Wedding Shower.”
Frank and Jamia followed Monica down the stairs. They were greeted at the bottom of the steps by a tornado with legs. “Frank, behave.” Monica said with a laugh.
“What? I didn’t do anything.” Frank said clearly confused.
Jamia started laughing. She slowly reached down to pet Frank. “Frank, not you. She means Frank.”
Frank looked down at the puppy then at Monica. “You named the dog Frank?”
“Nope, Gee did.”
Jamia’s face was being licked, “I can see why” she giggled.
Frank looked down at his namesake, “Did my friend happen to say why he chose the name Frank?”
Frank was being his usual hyper self, giving Jamia kisses and demanding attention. He stopped suddenly and plopped himself down offering his belly for Jamia to rub. “Isn’t it obvious?” Monica said laughing.
"I still don't see why we had to go all the way to the grocery store for more chips. I really think we had enough." Gerard grumbled as he and Kelly drove though traffic.
Beside him Kelly looked uncomfortable, "Mom thought we needed more. Guess she just doesn't want to run out. Can't have a good burger without potato chips."
Gerard wasn't through grumbling, "Stupid rain. I really wish we would have the party outside. Now I'm gonna have to grill in the rain."
Kelly looked out at the falling rain, "April showers bring May flowers." She said trying to cheer him.
Gerard smiled over at her, "Oh, Kell the eternal optimist. Guess you're right. We need the rain. I'm just bummed cause I'm not gonna get the gazebo done before Wednesday."
"It's okay. You'll get it done when you get back."
He sighed, "Guess so."
They were almost home when he spoke again, "I am psyched about our party tonight. Kinda weird isn't it? It's just a dinner with friends but still it’s the first on in our new home."
Kelly looked out her window. Poor Dad. She tried to think of something to say to cheer him up. "Can I get a kitten?" Okay, to be fair that wasn't something to pep him up but the idea made her happy. Also it got his mind off the party.
Gerard looked surprised, "A kitten?" He made a face, "I'm kinda allergic to cats."
"Oh" Kelly said her smile fading.
Gerard shrugged, "But if you really want one I guess I could just steer clear of it." He added with a laugh, “Course you have to get the idea past your mom."
Kelly rolled her eyes. "Good luck to me on that one. If she knows you’re allergic it will be a big no to me."
"I'll tell her its okay with me." He offered. “Or maybe you could get a goldfish.”
Kelly rolled her eyes. Dad was such a dweeb sometimes.
“Frank you haven’t seen the house yet. Wanna come with us for a tour?” Don and Donna were already waiting by the steps. Jamia had to stay put because too many stairs were still on her no-no list.
“Yeah, wait a minute.” Jamia had caught his sleeve. He bent down so she could whisper something into his ear. He grinned, “No kidding? Not a problem.” He walked over to Monica. “Let’s see Case de Way.”
Monica didn’t like the way he was grinning.
The tour was uneventful although Frank could barely contain his glee at the sight of the rubble that might someday become a gazebo. Because of the rain he could only see it from the window but hell that was okay. He got the general idea.
They all walked upstairs where Monica proudly showed off the Master bedroom.
“Oh yeah, the room where all the magic happens….Nice” he was doing a truly ridiculous nodding move that made Monica give him a shove out into the hall. She giggled “on of them” she said under her breath while leading the group down the hall. She had decided to skip both of the girl’s room, but Frank had other ideas.
“What’s in here?” He asked before throwing open the door to Kara’s room.
He stared in stunned silence.
Donna’s eyes grew large, “It’s certainly pink.”
Frank collapsed into a fit of extreme laughter. Monica tried her best to herd him back into the hall.
“Wait, wait.” Frank said between giggles. He whipped out his cell phone, snapping several photos. He then broke up again, doubling over, clutching his sides. “Ouch, this is making my sides hurt.”
He continued, “I can just see Bobby now in his little pink tutu.” Be started leaping around singing “I feel pretty, oh so pretty.”
Monica grabbed Frank by the arm as he flitted by, “Come on. That’s enough of that. They’ll be here in a few minutes. Back downstairs you go.”
“Yeah, yeah I gotta share the photos with Jamia.” Now Monica knew what Jamia had whispered to Frank. She had heard about the room earlier.
Monica’s cell rang. It was Bob. They had agreed that he would phone with a predetermined question. The answer Monica gave would tell him if it was safe to come home. She decided to give him the green light although Gerard wasn’t back yet.
Bob and Kara were on their way back to the house. Kara has been hoping that Mom needed supplies but when Bob called she hadn’t. Time to quit putting off the inevitable. She wasn’t looking forward to this get-together. Gerard was being so pissy about everything. Since it rained today he was sure to be in a really bad mood, not being able to work on the gazebo. God, she was getting a headache just thinking about tonight. She felt like such and outsider in her own home. Except it wasn’t really her home, was it? Gerard was trying so hard for the prefect life. Perfect wife, perfect daughter (Kelly), perfect house, prefect dog, and perfect gazebo. Where did that leave her?
With Bob, that’s where and now they were staying with Mom and Gerard at least until school was out. Crap, she really had been excited about starting her new life with the only man she had ever felt comfortable with and they were stuck in the Pepto Bismol room under Mom and Gerard’s watchful eyes.
“What’s wrong?” Bob interrupted her gloomy thoughts.
“Oh, nothing, except you’re breaking my fingers.”
Kara looked down to where she was holding Bob’s hand on the center console. A horrified look came over her face and she let go of his hand. “I’m sorry.” She said.
Bob moved his hand to the back of her neck giving her a massage. “It’s okay. What are you so tense about? Tonight?”
Kara shook her head, ‘No, just thinking about that stupid paper.”
“Well, time to put on your game face. We’re here.” They had to park quite away down the street.
Kara grabbed her backpack out of the backseat and started to head toward the house.
Monica was in the kitchen when her cell phone rang. Bob again. That was the signal that they were home. Shit, she dropped the bag of carrots she had been setting on the vegetable tray and raced back downstairs.
“Red alert, red alert. This is not a drill. Bob and Kara are here.” Frank, quick to know his job, flipped back upright and bounded full speed up the stairs. He stopped at the top of the stairs, looking at the door expectantly, his tongue lolling out of the side of his mouth, his sides heaving. He cocked his head to one side as a key opened the door. Ready....Set....Charge! He ran full tilt at the couple as they came in the house. He yipped excitedly and bounced around their feet. He was doing his best to tell them that everyone was downstairs and that he was ready, willing and able to escort them to the party.
"Hello, Fleabag. Where is everyone?"
Frank barked once and headed back downstairs.
Monica called up the stairs. "Kara, is that you?"
"Can you come down here and help me for a minute?"
Kara rolled her eyes but headed down following the bouncing Frank. Bob brought up the rear. Kara who was looking down to make sure she didn't stop on the barking terror reached the bottom step and looked up.
"Surprise" was screamed out so loud she jumped. Behind her Bob slipped his arms around her waist.
"Surprise, Mrs. Bryar." he whispered in her ear.