He Never Told Me What He Did For A Living
No sooner than Gerard and Donna had disappeared from Grandma Rain's house, she was jumping for joy. "Oh, Josie-cat, you made a new friend!" she said, sneaking my old nick-name in.
I sighed. "Grandma, he's an old man! I can't be friends with an old man!" Can I?
"Josie, honey, you can have friends of any age."
"But- don't you think it's a bit...inappropriate?" I wondered aloud.
"No, not at all dear. Why, you can have friends of all ages. And Gerard seems like a nice young respectable man, although I'm not sure about this band business."
"I’m not either, Grandma. When I get a chance, I'll look them up on the internet."
"Okay dear. Do you know the name of Gerard’s band?"
"Yes. It was something about chemicals and romance, I can’t completely remember at the moment."
"Well, I'm not totally sure that would be a good mix but- Oh, dear." Grandma Rain said in dismay.
"What is it, Grandma?"
"I forgot to send the bowl of cookies I set out with Donna and Gerard, I'm afraid."
"Oh..." I said, trailing off because I didn't know what else to say.
"Josie, honey, do you think you could drop them off? They don't live very far away, dear."
Boy, don't I know a plot when I smell one baking, I thought.
Ten minutes later, I was ringing the Ways' doorbell. Gerard answered the door. "Josie? Whoa, I didn't expect to see you until tomorrow!" he said, running a hand through his white hair. A few of the short locks stood on end as a result.
"Yeah, me neither. But Grandma forgot to give you guys the bowl of cookies she set aside for you and she asked me to bring them." I explained, gesturing to the bowl of cookies.
"Aw, that's great! I love those cookies!"
I smiled. "They're delicious, alright."
"Come on in."
Gerard held the door open for me and I followed him inside, against my better judgment. He led the way to the kitchen, where Donna was stirring something in a pot. It smelled like Italian food- spaghetti, maybe? "Hey mom, Lorraine sent Josie over with some of those cookies." I handed Gerard the bowl, which he placed at the center of the dining table.
"Hello there, Josie. I'm making spaghetti for dinner, with breadsticks. Would you like to stay?"
"Um, I'm not sure....I mean; I'd have to ask my Grandma."
"Okay, well, Gerard can show you the phone. We'd love to have you over," she said, eyes sparkling.
"C'mon, it’s this way." I followed Gerard out of the kitchen and into the living room, where a phone sat on a weathered coffee table, stained with ghostly rings of multiple mugs of coffee that had once graced its wooden surface. I thought it was beautiful.
Quickly, I dialed Grandma's number and listened to the rings. Once, twice- She picked up on the third. "Hello?"
"Hi, Grandma, it's Josie."
"Did you get the cookies over to the Ways?"
"Yes, Ma'am, and um, Mrs. W- I mean Donna, wants me to stay for dinner. Can I?"
"Of course, dear, just behave yourself and remember your manners, sweetie."
"I will, Grandma. Love you."
"I love you too, Josie-cat. See you when you get home."
I could have sworn I heard Grandma Rain chuckling to herself as I hung up the phone, as if she knew this would happen. If I didn't know any better, I'd say she'd set all of this up purposely!
Shaking my head, I walked back into the kitchen. "Mrs.-" I caught myself before I said 'Mrs. Way.' "I mean, Donna, Grandma said it was okay with her."
"Good, good! You can meet my other son, Michael, in a bit. He should be here about..." she checked her watch. "now, actually." She smiled as the doorbell rang- apparently Mikey was a prompt person.
"Thank you again, Donna, for letting me join you for dinner."
"Oh, that's no problem at all. Gerard has been talking about you since we left Lorraine's."
I felt my face heat. "Oh." I mumbled, suddenly very interested in my shoes, which happened to be ratty black Converse.
"Go on into the living room and keep Gerard and Mikey company. Dinner should be ready in about twenty minutes."
I nodded and returned to the living room, where there now stood two boys- Gerard and Mikey. Mikey had a very strong-looking face, lean, just like the rest of him. He was a couple inches taller than Gerard, and he had black hair, cut short. HIs eyes were a bit darker than Gerard's were, but as I walked closer, I could see they were that same hazel color. "Gerard, you gonna introduce me to your new friend or what?" he said jokingly, his mouth grinning.
"Oh! Josie, I'm sorry. I didn't know you'd walked in. Mikey, this is my new friend Josie, Josie, this is my little brother Mikey."
"He's not so little, if you ask me." I said.
"You callin' me fat?" asked Mikey. I couldn’t tell if he was joking or serious- his features gave absolutely nothing away.
"N-no, I just meant that-"
"It’s okay, Josie; he's just kidding around." Gerard laughed. Mikey also cracked a smile, and allowed a chuckle to escape.
"Yeah, I’m joking. The look on your face was priceless!" he hooted.
"Oh. I couldn't tell...you looked so serious!" I laughed along with them, no longer feeling like an idiot.
"Dinner's ready!" Donna shouted from the kitchen. "You boys quite harassing Josie and come eat!" It sounded as if she was laughing, somehow knowing what her sons were up to.
And just let me say, boy did those boys eat! Not one plate of spaghetti, but two and a half. Just like that, it was gone. It disappeared right out of the pot!
They ate so quickly though, that I didn't get any! Each time I would reach for the spoon, Mikey or Gerard would whisk it from me unknowingly. Donna served herself first, therefore she wasn't left out. I managed to swipe a breadstick and a bit of the salad before that was gone as well. The salad never disappeared completely, which was fortunate for me.
"So, Josie, d' you like the spaghetti?" Gerard asked through a mouthful of breadstick.
"You didn't get any, did you?" he said, eyeing my plate.
"No, no- I didn't want any. I'm…er-I'm on a diet!" I said rather quickly.
"Josie. Just say that you didn't get any because we ate it all." he said, his eyes boring into mine.
"Josie, it's okay. Look, we'll go out and get you something, okay?"
"No, really, it's fine."
"No, it's not Josie. You’re our guest and we ate all of the food! I feel like such an ass!"
"Yeah, you can't just let us do that. You shoulda said something." Mikey piped up.
"Guys, really, I'm fine." My stomach grumbled, contradicting every argument I'd just made.
"That's it." Gerard said, throwing down his napkin. "C'mon Mikey- we're kidnapping Josie and taking her out to eat."
Suddenly, I found myself being packed out the front door of the Ways' house and buckled into Gerard's black sports car.
I had officially been kidnapped by the Way brothers.