Asia was stoked to finally meet the woman who captured her son’s attention so quickly. He had been talking about her ever since he moved out. Part of her hesitated to be happy for him as this all happened so suddenly, and he was so young. But, when she thought about her relationship with Jared in their teens, she remembered how serious young love could be sometimes. Was Fernanda the one for Kolby? That was yet to be seen. But, at least he finally had something he so desperately wanted, and she wanted him to enjoy this time of his life…but not too much.
Just as she plated the meal and got herself cleaned up, a young, deep voice from behind said, “That smells great, mom!”
A zing of excited energy zipped through her body, causing an infectious smile to stretch across her face. Her oldest son had grown up so much since moving out! He let his hair grow, wore fitted shirts and skinny jeans, and his voice was so deep! Her cute little maestro was not so little anymore.
“Oh, Kolby! It’s so good to see you, my handsome maestro!” Embracing her son felt so good. It had been far too long.
“Good to see you too, mom.”
She held on a bit longer than usual, but he probably expected it. “Wait that long to come see your mother again, and I won’t let you leave this house.”
He chuckled nervously. “Mooom, it’s only been three weeks.”
“I’m going to pretend you didn’t just say that.”
Fernanda giggled behind her.
He shook his head. “Mom, this is Fernanda.”
She turned toward the smiling young woman and wanted to say, “So you’re the one who’s kidnapped my son!” Instead, she smiled–genuinely–and said, “It’s so good to finally meet you!”
“The pleasure is mine, Mrs. Pruett.”
Kolby gazed at his girlfriend so lovingly. He was just like his mother in a lot of ways, so it didn’t surprise her that he had fallen so hard so fast. But, was this what he wanted? Introducing a significant other to parents was a pretty serious step; a step toward a solid, permanent relationship. Asia totally wanted that for her son but thought he might want to get famous and live the rockstar life a bit before settling down. Don’t get her wrong though. She was thrilled he didn’t get caught up in that life and hoped his decisions were his own and not pressure from this beautiful girl.
“Oh, aren’t you sweet! Well, don’t just stand there, Kolby. Show her to the table!”
He ushered her into the dining room while Asia called the other children to dinner. They didn’t come immediately, so she took the time to catch up with Kolby and learn more about the girlfriend.
“SO, how’s your music?”
“Good. Slowly but surely. I’m getting a few gigs a week.”
“Good heavens, that’s wonderful! You’re just getting started, so I’d say you’re doing pretty well!”
She turned toward the girlfriend. “What about you, Fernanda? What do you do?”
She glanced nervously at Kolby. “Not much right now. I’m in between jobs.”
She didn’t miss that look and knew something was up. What were they hiding?
Asia wanted desperately wanted to go to bed that night being completely happy for her son having no doubts about his future. But, now she wasn’t so sure. Hopefully, if they were hiding something, the secret wasn’t terrible.
“Oh,” Asia flatly. “So, what did you do before then?”
“Well, Kolby and I are the same age, so I had an after-school job in a retail store before.”
This story got better and better. And by better, she meant worse.
“I moved in with some friends after I graduated, so I’ve been trying to find a job.”
Asia was confused. “So, you left home without a job and rented an apartment?”
“Yes, but my parents gave me money to cover me for a little while. It’s just taken longer than expected to get a job.”
Jared arrived home, finally, and Asia was glad for the interruption. This meeting was not going as well as she hoped.
“Hey, who’s this guy,” Jared yelled. “You look a lot like my son!”
Kolby laughed. “Hey, dad.”
“Come here, boy.”
When Jared released him from the embrace, Kolby introduced him to Fernanda who looked a bit nervous. Jared shook her hand. “It’s so nice to meet you. Let me go upstairs and get changed before dinner gets cold.”
“You guys sit,” Asia said. “I’ll get the food.”
She sat the stir-fried chicken on the table, and the young people served themselves. Asia had intended to eat but couldn’t bring herself to. When Jared came downstairs, he grabbed a plate and sat next to Fernanda. He seemed to have a better time getting to know her. They laughed and smiled and had a good ol’ time. When the subject of work came up again, Jared didn’t seem thrilled with the answer as well, but he handled it much better than Asia did.
Finally, the kids began trickling in.
“What’s up, Kolby,” Kaiden said.
Kolby’s eyes widened, and he turned to his girlfriend. “This used to be my little brother, Kaiden. What are you feeding him, mom?”
“And you,” he said as his baby sister tried to slip past him. “Where are the rest of your pants?”
“Hello to you too, Mr. I Wear Open Chest Shirts Now!”
Everyone laughed again.
Kaleb finally joined them and got introduced to Fernanda, and for the first time in forever, all Asia’s children sat together at the same table, and it was beautiful.