When Mike was dressed to go to the Burb's home he went downstairs, wound the grandfather clock and fed the fish.
Larry Max came out of his new downstairs bedroom cuffing the sleeves of his red shirt. He’d paired it with dress khakis and looked very nice. Mike had just put on clean khaki shorts and a muscle shirt. It was extremely hot that day and the party was outdoors. Larry Max had to go straight to work from the party, though.
“Is your mom meeting us over there?” he asked Mike.
“Well, do we need to pick her up then?”
“No. I didn’t ask her—I don’t want to see her and I’m sure not going to have her around Lucy.”
“Son,” Larry Max said quietly, “Your mom is not like this most of the time; I thought you realized that. I went with her to take Andy to the University; I talk on the phone with her probably once a week and I often run into her in town. We get along fine—no arguing, no cross words at all. It’s only when she comes over here to get into mischief that she acts like another person. That’s what I meant when I said I was worried about her sanity.”
“Oh, no I didn’t realize, how could I? That’s why she kept asking what I was talking about, I guess.”
“When did you talk to her?”
“Earlier this morning,” Mike was a little ashamed, “I told her off about the stupid garbage trick. She didn’t act crazy, just upset, she even asked me to put you on the phone. I suppose I acted like a kid.”
“Do you want me to call her for you and see if she can make it today?” Larry Max asked him.
“No. Until we know what is going on in her head, I frankly don’t want her around my future in-laws. Nor do I want her around Lucy at this point.”
“Okay. I understand.”
When they arrived at the Burb house, Lucy’s mother Katharine was waiting for them at the front gate. She was very friendly and warm. Lucy’s dad was evidently in the backyard already.
Of course Mike already knew both of them, but Katharine introduced herself to Larry Max and they spoke about the day, the coming wedding and other things as they walked around to the little gazebo out back.
Mike and Lucy hadn’t seen each other in days and quickly cuddled up on a bench on the back deck. Lucy had twin sisters and one of them, Karen, giggled at them as she walked by on her way to the pool. At some point the couple went over to talk with her parents and his father, who apologized for having to leave to go to his job so soon. No one really noticed that Katharine Burb’s eyes lingered on Larry Max as he left.
After Larry Max left, Lucy went over to sit next to Mike and the twins came over from the pool. Now, Mike had met Lucy’s little sisters before and he thought they were cute and agreeable little girls; always smiling or giggling and playing with their toys. Mike had a younger sister, Chelsea, so he figured he knew how little girls were.
When Karen sat down everyone happened to be discussing ecology in general and she jumped into the subject. Going on about how the planet was being trashed and no one cared—her words and phrases indicated that she was quoting someone—she would make a face every time anyone else ventured to give a different opinion or ask what she considered a stupid question. The general tone of her rant was that these were the facts and anyone who couldn’t see that was an idiot. Mike got worried when Kirstie joined them, thinking she might begin to spout invective, too. Were these kids really only seven? But Kirstie stayed silent with a gentle expression on her face. Nothing seemed to bother her. Not so, Karen, who was really getting wound up. When Mike looked at her parents to see if they were upset by this tirade, he was mildly shocked to see them smiling fondly at the little minx. As Mike looked at the girls seated across from him he couldn’t help thinking they were like night and day. Lucy just watched her sister and didn’t say anything. At this point, Karen, in an effort to describe how moronic some people were about this subject, blew a raspberry at no one in particular--Phbbbt!
Mike had a sudden frightening picture of Lucy delivering twin girls who grew to be precocious seven-year-olds. He was reading “The Cat in the Hat” to them when one piped up,
“Daddy, get with the program--if you believe that phony baloney you must have a hole in your head! Why don’t you read us a classic that is relevant and stimulating, like ‘The Bell Jar’ or ‘Catcher in the Rye’?” And the other twin wrinkled her pert little nose and stuck her tongue out at him. Almost the worst part in his hideous daydream was that Lucy then said,
“Oh, honey, aren’t they sweet? And so bright, too!”
As Karen kept up her critical monologue, Mike was actually starting to feel physically unwell. He might be coming down with something.
Just then his sweet and shy Lucy, sitting right next to him, opened her mouth and a veritable torrent of angry words spilled out, aimed at Karen. Mike was alarmed at this abrupt change; Lucy looked like a demented shrew as she berated her sister. The kind of shrew that would be waiting with a rolling pin in her hand if her husband returned home late one night.
“Here I brought my future husband and his father over here to meet our family and what did you do? You plopped down here with the adults, basically uninvited, and went on and on about current affairs like you were some television commentator. And if anyone dared to disagree with you, you were crabby and rude! I’m only glad that Mr. Lomax had already left. To top that; Mom and Dad just sat there and practically applauded and--don’t you dare hold your nose while I’m talking, you little brat! Why are you so obnoxious today?”
At these remarks Karen seemed to calm down and managed to look perplexed,
“What did I do? I was just telling everyone what my teacher told us the other day, that’s all.”
Then she said dismissively, “Oh, you’re just so touchy, Lucy.”
Josh roused himself at last saying,
“Now girls, behave. Karen, I’ll have to talk to you later and explain what good manners mean. Lucy, you shouldn’t call your little sister a brat. Apologize to Lucy, Karen.”
Karen heaved a big sigh of resignation like she was bored with it all and said petulantly,
“I’m sorry! Sheesh!”
“Lucy?” Josh prompted, “Please say you’re sorry to Karen.”
“I’m so sorry you’re such a brat, Karen.”
Karen crossed her eyes and thumbed her nose at her sister.
Now it was Josh’s turn to sigh.
They all decided to take a dip in the pool and it seemed to help cool tempers as well as bodies. Lucy had returned to her tranquil self right away and to Mike’s relief her pretty face went back to normal just as quickly. He’d seen her annoyed, he’d seen her angry, but this had been quite an escalation. More like rage on its way to fury.
Little Kirstie was still pleasant and still silent. Possibly she knew from past experience that it was the safest thing for her to do.
“Well that was certainly interesting,” Mike said as he and Lucy were saying goodbye.
“Do you want to cancel the wedding?” Lucy asked glumly, only half-kidding.
Mike laughed, “No, I don’t want to cancel the wedding! I love you and I can’t wait to marry you, Babe. I have to admit for a while there I was thinking of having an emergency vasectomy though.”
“You’re kidding, right?” Lucy bit her lip, “I mean she’s not usually like that.”
“I’m kidding, right.”
But Mike hoped he would have no bad dreams tonight about demonic children who made hideous faces at him while they subjected him to hours of talk radio.
The following week Larry Max had been thinking about what Mike suggested; that he should get out a little more. So when he had a day off from the restaurant on Wednesday, he decided to go to Bluewater Village and check out Galaxy Arcades. If he had time, he might also visit Club Dante.
The arcade was nice but not many people were there. He played some pinball, but decided he could do that at home and headed over to the club next. That was a little livelier. He met Dylan Ottomas, the oldest of the Ottomas children, who owned the place. He was surprised to learn the D.J. was Josh Burb; his son’s future father-in-law. He’d had no idea that was where the man worked. When Dylan found out Larry Max played the guitar he asked him to play a set. Josh joined in on bass. He was like another person here at the Club compared to the very quiet man Larry Max met at the Burb home. There were only a couple women and only one who looked interesting.
“Not that one,” Dylan said in a low voice when Larry Max noticed the brunette in the blue blouse, “She’s Bella Cullen and she’s married. Her old man is not only possessive, but real scary; believe me.”
“Thanks for the heads up; I’m sure not interested in married women.”
Larry Max was about to ask Dylan why this Cullen guy, if he was so jealous, didn’t keep her at home nights but he decided he lived in a glass house and he’d leave it alone.
He did not meet any new women that night, but he had made a friend in Dylan. When he got home Mike was still up and they played SSX3 for a while. It wasn’t life in the fast lane, but he guessed meeting women would probably take time. He really wouldn’t know. He’d started dating Jenny at fifteen and their parents had signed for them to get married at seventeen. Jenny had been expecting Mike. Neither of them had ever dated anyone else, but he knew Jenny was definitely making up for lost time.
At last the day of the wedding was upon them. Everyone was dressed formally, except for Mr. Burb. Unaccountably he showed up wearing something suitable for a day at the beach. Mike for some time had suspected that his new father-in-law was not the sharpest crayon in the box. He always seemed to be going the opposite direction of everyone else; as though he never got the word in time.
At one point, right after the ceremony, Mike’s father had turned his back and moved away from the others, but Mike knew it was because he was a little tearful. They were here at the home they’d had for many years, but Jenny was no longer there and three of the kids were at University. But Larry Max soon recovered and joined everyone else.
When Lucy walked across the lawn in her wedding gown Mike thought she had never looked more beautiful. For the moment he forgot all about obstreperous children and wives with rolling pins because he knew he'd never been happier in his life.
Although he didn’t realize it at the time, Mike found out later there was a wedding crasher. Benjamin Long was walking by as the ceremony began and decided to join everyone. Mike and Lucy did not know him from Adam, but Larry Max told them later that the man lived on the other side of town by the Fergusons. Mr. Long definitely seemed to have a good time and was at least dressed more appropriately than Josh. Amazingly, the twins were on their best behavior that day and looked like adorable angels. Mike decided that was probably why people had kids; they saw a sweet looking baby or child and thought yahoo, let’s have one of those right away. Never knowing that the baby they conceived could someday be telling them they must have rocks in their heads. It was scary.
This evening Mike, although he had other things on his mind, could not help but notice how Katharine’s eyes followed his father around. She looked at Larry Max like it was a hot day (which it was) and he was an ice cream cone, Mike decided. Larry Max did look very handsome that day, but he seemed oblivious to her admiring glances. Mike just hoped Lucy didn’t notice—or Mr. Burb. Fortunately, Mr. Burb never seemed to notice much that went on around him.
Mike and Lucy spent their wedding night in the “new” bedroom upstairs in the Lomax house. Mike couldn’t even get a couple days off from his new job. But they hoped to take a belated honeymoon on Twikkii Island when their new jobs, vacation days and salary got sorted out. Lucy didn’t mind, she just wanted to be Mike’s wife and be with him, wherever he was.
Next blog update: Sim State U Ch. 4 Melanie and Lori's Place Pt. 1