As the Pruett house awakened, and the news spread, everyone took their time to pay their respects to Jayden. Thanks to Jasmine and her zany ways, everyone was prepared for this moment and she made death something to look forward to and not to be feared. But, of course, no one knew when it would come–for any of them. It was a very somber, but normal, day in the Pruett home.
Bianca remembered how well her father and Giancarlo got along, and she decided she needed to break the news to him. Either he was upset about something else, or he already knew because he was already sad when he arrived.
“Thanks so much for coming. I wish you guys could have spent more time together. You would have been really good friends.”
“Yeah. I liked your father. But we would have been a little more than friends though.”
“More than friends?? What are you trying to say, Giancarlo??”
“You know what I mean.”
“Ugh! I don’t want to talk about this right now. My father just died!”
“Come on, Bianca. You know it’s what he wanted. Come back, please. Can we at least talk about it?”
She reluctantly sat back down next to Giancarlo. All this time, she thought that she was just angry at her mother for being a terrible wife and an uninvolved mother. She failed to realize that the divorce made her insecure as well. She was fighting against something that already happened. The wheels on their relationship were already in motion, and she couldn’t stop it. She needed to just open the door, hop in, and enjoy the ride, but she was afraid.
“You came back. You know what that means?”
“Don’t ruin it. You said you want to talk…so talk.”
“Ooooh, she’s soo serious, folks! Should we be afraid?”
“Stop playing! You must want me to leave.”
“No! We, I mean I don’t want that. [ahem] Ok, I’m serious now.”
She was pretending to be annoyed, but she was really enjoying every second of being in his presence. She already loved him. She just didn’t know how to take the leap and make it known.
“Hey guys, sorry to interrupt,” Brandon said. “I saw you come in, Giancarlo, but I had my hands full. I just wanted to say hi. What are you guys up to?”
“THIS guy has exactly one minute to tell me what he wants to tell me, or I’m going to leave him right here!”
“She’s not going anywhere,” Giancarlo whispered aloud to Brandon playfully.
“I heard that!”
“So, Brandon…I hear you had a birthday recently. Happy belated!”
“Thanks man! It’s sooo nice not to be in school anymore.”
“Yes! Liberation! It’s a good thing,” Giancarlo said.
“I know what you’re doing,” Bianca interrupted.
He ignored her and continued, “So what are you going to do with yourself now?”
“I’m going to my room,” Bianca yelled.
“No you’re not,” Giancarlo said.
“I haven’t quite figured that out yet,” Brandon continued. “Right now I’m just chillin….Oh! Hi Aunt Jayla! Giancarlo, have you met Aunt Jayla? She’s dad’s twin! She and Aunt Jasmine are living with us now. This is Giancarlo, Bianca’s boyfriend.”
“Ummm, NOT my boyfriend, thanks!”
“Aunt Jayla, it is a pleasure to meet you. I see the beauty has been in this family for a lot of years.”
“Oh,” Jayla exclaimed. “This one has a silver tongue! And he’s fine too. You better hang on to him, Bianca.”
“Thanks, Aunt Jayla,” Bianca said sarcastically. “Don’t you two have something you need to do?”
“No, I was–“
“Actually, Brandon,” Jayla interrupted, “I like those massage jets you put in the guest shower. Can you install some of those in ours?”
She looked at him and pointed her head at Bianca and Giancarlo.
“OH! Yes. I can do them right now!”
“Bye, you two,” Jayla said. “It was lovely meeting you, Giancarlo. Bianca….”
Jayla gave her a look that said “you know what you need to do” as she exited the room.
“You know what, Bianca? You are one confused little lady.”
“Oh! So now you’re an expert on all things Bianca, huh? Ok, Dr. Sheridan, tell me all about myself!”
She asked for it, and he was not going to hold back.
“You leave, I ask you to come, and you come. You say you’re going to leave, and you stay. Your family comes, and they should have been a welcomed diversion for you, but you send them away. You’re in love with me!”
He was reading her mail, and she knew he was right, but she was still afraid to let him know it. More importantly, she was trying to convince herself that it wasn’t true.
“Ha! You would like that, wouldn’t you?”
“Are you blind, or are you just not willing to see what’s going on here?”
She didn’t have a witty response to that one. Anything she could have come up with would have been a lie, and she didn’t want to complicate things.
“I’ll take your silence for you admitting to knowing what’s been happening for a very long time. Come here.”
She scooted toward him, and he wrapped his arms around her and held her close.
“I know you’re afraid to let yourself go and be free. I know you think you’re going to be just like your mother. Yes, you look just like her…and you definitely have a big mouth like her…but you are not her! You are Bianca Janine Pruett, and I love her. Not who she thinks she is, or who she thinks she’s going to be. I love the highly intelligent, sweet, cheerful, and even the gluttonous Bianca!”
“You love me?”
“Of course I do.”
She remained in his embrace for a while as her mind began to race. The feeling of his strong arms wrapped around her made her think of her father’s arms wrapped around her.
She began to cry. She was missing her father, but those were also tears of hope and relief. She was going to try and allow herself to be ok with all the unknowns that come with falling in love. She knew that things wouldn’t always be easy, but she was willing to learn how to deal with it.
“But I’m such a mean person. Do you love that?”
“No. I don’t. But we’re still getting to know each other. I will learn how to deal with that. The point is…I’m not going anywhere.”
“Do you really mean that?”
“Love,” Jasmine said as she came into the room. “I hear love!”
She was dancing around the room, but she wasn’t dancing to the music. She was dancing to the rhythm of love that drew her to where they were.
“Do you hear it, Bianca,” Giancarlo asked.
She gazed into his greenish blue eyes and saw everything she wanted.
“I hear it.”