9.56 Emerson’s Crew

Julian didn’t make it to Emerson’s house much since he moved out. He had plenty of opportunities to go willingly, but now he had make a trip over there that he did not want to make. Slowly he made the trek to Emerson’s house as he was not in a hurry to get there. When he arrived, he let himself in and was surprised to see that Emerson had a house full of guests so early in the morning.

“Ummmm…hi? Is Emerson here?”
“Ummmm…hi? Is Emerson here?”

“You must be Julian,” the woman said. “Emerson is sleeping, but I’ll wake him for you.”

“Thank you…I’m sorry…who are you?”

“Katlin…oh dear…you’ve never heard of me. Let me get him for you…you two should talk.”

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Katlin disappeared in the back, and Julian took a seat at the dining room table across from a young boy.

“I’m Ethan,” the boy said. “I’m seven and I love cheese!”

Julian thought he was a strange little boy. Soon enough, Emerson joined him at the table, and Katlin took her place back in front of the television.

“Hey, what’s up bro,” Emerson said nervously. “You usually call first.”

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“We need to talk, Emmy J.”

“Y-yeah…we do. Let’s step outside.”

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They got up and turned toward the door. Emerson smiled nervously at Katlin, and she gave him a nod of confidence back. The brothers went outside and sat on the bench on the porch. There was silence for ten seconds, and then Emerson began rambling.

“Ok, before you say anything, I love her, ok? I love her, and she loves me! It shouldn’t matter that she has kids! This is my house!”

“Em…slow down. I don’t even know what you’re talking about!”

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“Kat is my girlfriend, and she and her kids live here…and you don’t get to have anything to say about it.”

“Dude, what would I say? I’m glad you have love in your life! But excuse me for looking shocked when I come to your house and see people I don’t know. You could have told me, you know.”

“I know. I guess I was just afraid of what mom would think. I didn’t want to tell anyone.”

“But, I think mom would have been happy for you, Em. I mean, she just would have wanted to meet her and make sure you knew her well enough.”

“Yeah…I guess you’re right.”

“So…how and when did you meet her?”

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“I actually met her a little after I ‘broke up’ with Alex. We were both a the Blue Velvet. I thought she was pretty, so I smiled at her and said hello and went to the bar and tossed a couple back. Next thing I knew, the bartender was sliding me another drink saying it was from the lady at the end of the bar. I looked down there, and it was her! She came over to me and said I was the only man that didn’t try to pick her up that night, so she bought me a drink to say thanks. We talked for a little bit and had a few more drinks. Then we hit the dance floor and had a few more drinks, and…you know…she was feeling me, and I was feeling her and…things happened…”

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Julian smiled at his little brother’s conquest. He was old enough to be his father, and sometimes it was hard for him to see him as a man. But, the fact of the matter was Emerson was ¾ of the way through his young adult years and was definitely not a child anymore.

“We went to her place,” he continued. “It was wild. Anyway, needless to say the next morning we were still pretty smashed. I got up before she did, so I made some eggs, toast, and coffee for us. But then I heard hear crying, so I went to see what was wrong. When she saw me, she stopped crying and had the biggest smile. She said when she woke up and saw I wasn’t there, she thought I slipped away like all the others. She thought I was different, so she was beating herself up because she thought she made another mistake. I told her I wasn’t that kind of guy, and I had never had a night like that before. She thanked me for the breakfast, and we talked some more even though we felt like crap. I asked her if I could take her on a proper date sometime, and we went to the art museum in Newcrest a few days later. Julian! She loves art just like me! When I saw her again she showed me some of her paintings. She paints waaaay better than me. She paints with so much emotion…you can just feel it. Oh! She’s a doctor at mom’s hospital too. Anyway, we had been seeing each other for a few weeks, and that’s when she told me she had kids. I didn’t like the idea at first, but after I met them I didn’t mind so much. They’re good kids. Anyway, so we were dating for about two months, and a lot of that time I hung out with her and the kids. We knew that we were going to be together long-term, so we decided to move in together. She sold her house and came here…and…that’s it!”

“That’s some tale, Emmy J! Love comes in many different ways. I’m just glad you have someone who loves you back.”

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“Yeah, me too. You know…mom is always right! I’ll have to tell her.”

“Ummmm…about that…that’s what I came over to tell you…”

“Yeah? What’s up?”

“I…I don’t even know how to tell you this—“

“Tell me what? What’s happened?”

“It’s mom. She died.”

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9.55 Aldo’s Second Date
Viviana Harmon-Pruett

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