Well…almost 48 hours have passed. I think I can safely say there are no alien babies in my future. Thank the Watcher!
Mother is going to hate that I baked a white cake for a birthday party, but this is the best I can do. Ok! The cake is done, and the house is as sparkly as I can make it. Time to go get changed.
As Callie was changing into her party clothes, it occurred to her that she spent so much time fussing over the cake, she forgot to prepare food. So, she threw together a quick garden salad. However, she wasn’t fast enough. The first of her guests had already arrived and let themselves in the house.
“Hey, little cuzzo,” Anthony said. “There’s a man sitting in your living room. Is he supposed to be here?”
“Yeah, is he,” Julian accused.
“If he’s not,” Anthony continued, “I know karate!”
Callie was happy and nervous at the same time. She hoped that everyone liked Graham and that he fit in well with her family. “Thank you, Anthony. That won’t be necessary. I like to see my guests in one piece.”
“Ok! Just checking,” he said and went for the freshly prepared salad.
She looked around and saw Julian and Jeannette but no nieces and nephew and was a little disappointed. “Where are the little ones? I was looking forward to seeing them!”
“Oh, poor things,” Jeannette said. “Jonathan is sick, and Janessa is such a little mother. Juliette is…well, she’s being punished…again.” She saw Julian glaring at Callie from behind and motioned for her to come closer to whisper something to her. “Hey…I saw that guy in the living room. He’s really hot!”
“He certainly is,” Callie whispered.
“I know what you two are whispering about,” Julian said. “You have some explaining to do!”
“I will do no such thing,” she said and left Julian standing there.
Meanwhile, the Holmes twins were trying to keep it together. Apparently Cienna and Neelesh began dating, but he dumped her shortly after. Imagine Sydney trying to comfort someone.
Callie stood in the door way and watched Graham sit nervously awaiting for some cue to jump in. “Pssst.” He looked over his shoulder and smiled. She pointed her head toward the kitchen, and he got up and joined her. “Julian…this is Graham.”
“Hi Julian. It’s a pleasure,” Graham said.
“Where did this guy come from? How long have you known him?”
“Dear brother, does it matter? You should be happy!”
“Excuse me for a second guys,” Graham said. He left to go to the bathroom, but on his way, he seemed to catch CiCi’s eye.
“I don’t like him,” Julian said.
“You don’t even know him! Just because you didn’t know about him does not mean you get to be upset and misjudge him. Now…it’s my birthday, and I demand that you be happy.”
“Happy birthday, Callie,” Emerson said.
Callie gasped. “Little brother,” she shouted and yanked him into a tight hug. “Oh, Emerson James Pruett! Look how handsome you are!”
“I like your house,” he said.
“Thank you! Come stay here anytime you want.” Callie walked around the house making sure all of her guests were accounted for. When she saw everyone, she rounded them up into the kitchen around the cake. They all sang loudly, threw confetti, and rattled their noise makers as Callie made her wish. Julian kept his eyes on Graham the entire time.
However, before Callie actually blew out the candles, she stopped to address everyone. “I would like to say something before I spin into a more mature and hopefully more gorgeous version of myself…”
“I appreciate each and every one of you for being here. You are the most important people in my life…” She paused as she reflected on the fact that the most important person was not in the room. “When I was in the darkest point of my life, someone came into my life.” She turned toward Graham and smiled. “He’s pretty important to me now too. He’s a dear friend…the best! And…I love him.”
It was music to Viviana’s ears. She longed for the day when Callie found significance in someone outside the family. “Hello, young man,” she said. “I don’t know you yet, but I know my daughter, and I’m sure I’ll find you to be a wonderful addition to her life.”
Julian was happy for Callie, truly, but he couldn’t help but be eaten by jealousy. He always wanted his sister to find true love and get married and have the successful lineage she always wanted–and he still did. But, now that it was happening–and happening quickly seeing how he just found out about it–he couldn’t help but think that Graham was taking his place in her life. Or, maybe he thought Graham was taking her away. Whatever the case was, he felt unprepared for it and just wanted to talk to her about it.
After Callie’s speech, she finally blew out the candles and welcomed her adult years with open arms. Although, on her previous birthday, she had expected for her life to blossom faster than it had, this birthday just happened to bring with it a host of new experiences and opportunities she had been waiting for, and she could not have been happier.
She sashayed over to her mother who had been waiting to congratulate her as soon as she walked into the house and embraced her. Graham saw an opportunity to meet Viviana and waited his turn for her attention. Julian was still watching him.
Callie cut a piece of cake and welcomed everyone to it before she sat down next to Graham. CiCi got a slice and slid in behind them at the table to be nosey. Viviana was watching them closely as well.
Graham smiled and thought Callie was even more beautiful just like she had wished. “I’m mad at you.”
She smiled weirdly. “Why? What have I done?”
“I wanted to be first to say ‘I love you.’ And then you say it in this beautiful speech that no one was expecting…you should get an award.”
“Ha! Hey…you have to be fast around here. Maybe you’ll be first at something else.”
“Maybe. Well, for the record, I do love you. I love you very much.”
Julian and Jeannette were nearby supposedly talking about their kids, but Julian’s attention was on Callie and Graham.
“Graham,” Viviana said. “I hope I’m not being too presumptuous when I say welcome to the family!”
He looked in Callie’s big, beautiful, brown eyes and smiled again. “No, ma’am. I don’t think it’s presumptuous at all.”
Callie was glad that her large, loud, and presumably important family hadn’t scared him away. He embraced it all. “See, Mother. You’ll get what you wanted after all,” she said in reference to the fact that Viviana wanted to plan someone’s wedding. It made Viviana very happy to hear.
Julian couldn’t help but be happy too. He wasn’t even sure why he was upset. He beckoned for her to get up so he could embrace her.
“I’m sorry I was a plumhead. I am so happy for you! And, happy birthday!”
“Thank you, dear brother.”
While they were hugging, Viviana was feeling proud.
No Pruett party is complete without everyone busting a few dance moves, and so everyone began dancing the night away. Anthony decided to ask the question everyone wanted the answer to but hadn’t asked yet.
“So, Callie…how did you and Graham meet?”
She looked back at Graham who was standing right behind her for support. “Well…when daddy died, I was very depressed…we all were. I cried all the time. I didn’t care about people staring. I didn’t know what to do with myself. One evening, I went to pay the bills, and I started crying at the mailbox. He lives right across the street, and he was just arriving home at the time and saw me. Graham was the only person to ever ask me what was wrong! I told him. Next thing I knew, he started coming by…like all the time! He brought me mac ‘n cheese at night because he said he didn’t know how to make casserole. In the mornings he brought me eggs and burnt toast.”–she laughed–“It was the sweetest thing! He said, where he came from, when people die, everyone in the neighborhood brings you food so you don’t have to bother about cooking for yourself for a while…it’s one less thing to worry about. The first few times I thanked him and took the food. I thought he was very kind. As I began to come out of the depression and slowly drifted back toward normalcy, I invited him in and we began to get to know each other…and here we are!”
Naturally, at the end of that beautiful story, everyone said “awww,” and Graham’s reputation skyrocketed.
Finally, the party began to slow down, and the party goers were all showing signs of fatigue. Graham was one of the few people in the room with a job to go to in the morning, so he said goodbye to Callie first.
He embraced her and whispered into her ear, “So…we’re not having an alien baby after all, huh?”
She was caught off-guard and laughed extremely hard. When she composed herself, she whispered, “No alien baby. We’ll have to settle for the little brown variety in green or yellow onesies.”
“That’s fine. They’re much cuter anyway…especially when they come from a drop-dead gorgeous mother.”
Viviana saw them together and wondered what they were whispering about. Whatever it was, she was sure glad Callie had someone to be whispering to and make her smile and laugh that way.