A few days later Melanie came over see her sister’s place. She thought it was charming and though she’d always pictured herself living in an upscale apartment or condo as a single woman (once she was through with college), Lalique’s house was something to consider. She was directly across from the park with the small lake and kitty-corner from the small shopping area.
Melanie decided to come right out and ask Lalique if she knew anything about Brian Ottomas. She did remember him it seemed,
“He was nice enough guy if I recall correctly. Had coal black hair, and, oh yeah, he dressed kind of tough but was never in any trouble so I guess it was all for effect. He was in the marching band AND in the orchestra so he didn't have a lot of extra time to date anyway. His twin sister was kind of a pill, but she never got into any trouble either. I didn’t have a crush on him myself because, “she grinned ruefully here, “As you know, I already had my eye on someone else. Really, hon, if Lori wants to know more she should ask her sister,"
“Ask Grace?” Melanie almost stuttered.
“Well, Grace went steady with him for a short while, I'm pretty sure. Right before she got hooked up with Alex Goth.”
Melanie was so surprised she didn’t know what to say. She would have to ask Lori if she was aware of this. But I know she’s not, Melanie thought, she would have told me; I know she would have told me.
When they were in the “music room” as Lalique showed her around the rest of the house, Melanie noticed some photos up on the wall, and didn’t recognize some of the people so she asked Lalique who they were. Some were fellow faculty members at the college, a couple of them were of students, but one drew Melanie’s attention.
“Who’s that dude?”
Lalique played coy for a moment, but then she blushed and said his name was Bob Blackford.
“I knew he looked familiar. That’s Mr. Blackford who runs the Arcade,” Melanie frowned and peered up at the photo, “Why is he on your wall?”
“He doesn’t run the arcade, he owns it,” Lalique pointed out, “And he’s on my wall because we’ve been seeing each other.”
“Huh?” Melanie said sounding a bit stupid.
“You heard me,” Lalique said.
“What about Devon?” Melanie blurted.
“Well, what about him?”
“But you and Devon have always, well, you know,” Melanie couldn’t think what to say.
“Did you think I never dated anyone else?” Lalique laughed a little, “I’ve dated various guys while I’ve been away, just none that I really cared about. I like Bob very much, of course it’s way too early to know if anything will come of it,” she smiled to herself as she thought of the last time she’d seen him.
“Sure,” Melanie nodded, “Um, I want to go see your yard.”
“He’s really very nice,” Lalique told her as they headed outside.
“Actually Devon came by the other night,” she admitted as they sat down under the weeping willow, “But I don’t know what to do about him. I’m not sure I can quite forgive him for the way he acted.”
“Did he say what the heck was wrong with him?” Melanie asked in her frank way and Lalique laughed.
“Not really, just hinted that he was going through a “selfish period” at the time,” Lalique grimaced and then muttered, “Seems as though most males go through a period like that and it lasts from puberty to retirement.”
Melanie nodded again, “Bummer for you.”
“I hate to tell you, but bummer for you, too, girl. If you like men, there’s just no getting away from it.”
“Are you going to go over to Yvette’s and see the baby?” Melanie changed the subject.
“Of course, I’m going tomorrow night in fact, after work.”
They went on talking as Melanie bragged about their mutual niece and how smart, talented and cute she was.
“Not prejudiced, are we?” Lalique grinned.
“Nope; just convinced. You just wait until she puts her sticky, chubby fingers on your heart and squeezes. It makes you just want to eat her up! Dad acts like an idiot about her; it’s really funny.”
Indeed it was just getting dark before Lalique could finish her work at school the next day and get over to Yvette and Mark’s farm.
She got to hold and talk with Simone who looked just like Yvette to Lalique, even though Simone had light brown hair like Mark, her brown eyes and all her features resembled Yvette so much. The little girl was not shy with Lalique at all in spite of never having seen her before, and seemed as smart as Melanie claimed she was.
Yvette cooked a later supper for them all; delicious as always, but Lalique felt she should leave fairly soon after. The baby was ready for bed, but frankly, Yvette and Mark seemed to be dragging by that time as well.
“Up early with the chickens, er, the toddler,” Yvette joked. Mark walked Lalique out to her car and waved goodbye; Yvette was putting Simone down for the night in her crib.
As Lalique drove home she tried to picture herself in the same life as Yvette's with a small, beautiful but energy-draining toddler under her care, or even two! It was hard to imagine it without a clear idea of who the husband/father would be in such a scenario, so she gave it up for the moment.
Lalique still was in a dilemma over whether she should go ahead with the romance with Bob or go back to Devon. Bob seemed the most hopeful, but she now knew she really did want kids, if possible, and his 3 boys were already grown. Would he want more children? Could he give her more children? Would he be an old man before any children they might have were grown?
As for Devon he still seemed as undecided and wishy-washy about where he wanted his life to go as he’d ever been; best-selling novel notwithstanding. He was still living with his parents, too, and Lalique thought he should have progressed by now to at least having his own apartment. Unless he changed drastically, which was unlikely, she was going to write him off. The things you adored in a boy when you were high school were frequently of no consideration at all once you were an adult, apparently.
When she ran into Jacob Black in town—she hadn’t seen him in years---she invited him over for dinner. They had a good talk about the old days and then about what their respective plans for the future were at this time. Jacob had built his own house way up the road almost out of town. He, too, hoped to meet the right girl and get married. The right girl had to like the rugged outdoor life, he said, even though his place was well-built and sheltering. Jake worked as a mechanic so he didn’t make a lot of money, but in Lalique’s opinion it was certainly good enough to raise a family on. Of course she, herself, was not the rugged outdoor type, detesting all snakes, bees, spiders and the like. When she had gone camping with a friend's family in high school, the first thing she was wondering about was where could she plug in her blower? Come to think of it; the most outdoors she ever got was either at the beach or in her Adirondack chair outside next to the little fountain. I might as well face it, she thought grimly, I’m an indoor, night-time type of person. It's neon lights and air conditioning for me.
Outdoor girl or not, she and Jacob ended the evening on the love-seat, but after a few kisses he seemed to run out of steam and backed away. Lalique wondered if she should have used a stronger mouthwash after dinner. However Jacob admitted the problem was that, in reality, he still cared for Renesmee Cullen. Lalique knew that Renesmee still lived with her parents in that big glass and brick house way up past Jake’s house. She told him she definitely understood how old loves could haunt you, so, even though she thought he was a really nice guy and she was attracted to him, she hoped all would go well and he would get back with Renesmee. Lalique had to respect him for not taking advantage of her “neediness” and staying true to his feelings. So Jacob was on his way shortly thereafter, thanking her for dinner. So much for that, thought Lalique as she picked up the house and prepared to go to sleep.
She had a brief thought of calling Devon to come over and just have his way with her, but that didn’t last long. It wasn’t really what she wanted anyway. If only someone new would move to Pleasantview, or even someone who had been gone a long time would move back. She couldn’t think of any likely candidates from her high school years that she would want to come back, so it would have to be someone who’d moved away in her childhood, practically. Bob still called her nearly every day, she thought she ought to give him a little more time. But she hoped something would happen soon, because her trysts on the love-seat were starting to make her feel like she was “Looking For Mr. Goodbar”...
Next update: Bobbi Jo Broke Cooke - Ch. 2 Her New Life
Next installment of the Flynn Family HERE
To follow Melanie through her time at University go HERE