The Oranges were gathered in the living room on that one cold and rainy evening. Mrs. Orange put down the hat she had been knitting and gave a sudden shudder. Mr. Orange, who was reading across her, took attention of it and made a remark.
“What is it?”
“Oh, it’s been pouring all day and Eliza had not come back yet.”
“She just went out a while ago.”
“Yes, but shouldn’t she be worried on being stranded? She may be old enough but that does not mean she’ll be out of danger! And that girl had not brought any umbrella with her!” She stood up and peered at the window. “You should not have let her go to that movie,”
This time, Mr. Orange looked at his wife and adjusted his glasses. They had been married for almost twenty years, he knew when to take real notice of her absurd worries.
“Now, dear, I made a promise to Eliza and she’d definitely hate me if I ever did break that. Besides, she said Tommy would be there so I don’t think there is any need to worry.”
The immediate mention of Tommy Bailey calmed her. The Oranges had grown quite affectionate of the boy who lived next door and had been a good friend to their daughter for many years so they had treated little Tommy as one of their own. And now that little Tommy had grown into an attractive and gallant gentleman, Mrs. Orange could not grow any fonder.
“Do you think Tommy, or should I call him Thomas now, considers of marrying Eliza?”
Mr. Orange blinked. He was not prepared for that question. “I do not think there is a need to rush to that,” he mumbled.
“But, think about it. He’s always around wherever Eliza goes. He talks to us as if he understands what we want. And he’s never had a girlfriend.” Mrs. Orange walked to the kitchen and made themselves a cup of coffee.
“But how do you even know he’s never had a girlfriend?”
“Beatrice told me.”
“That’s ridiculous, of course he wouldn’t tell his mother.” Her husband is becoming interested on the conversation. He closed his book and continued. “Boys his age don’t talk about that to their parents.”
“Oh I don’t think he’s just like any other boys. See, how comfortable we are whenever they’re in Eliza’s room? I don’t even care anymore what they do in there. As long as its Tommy, it’s alright with me.” She gave a cup to him and sat on the couch.
His faced went slightly red. “They’re nineteen!”
“And stupid if they don’t get together. It’s a shame Eliza refuses to wear the fancy dresses I buy her. How on earth would Tommy take notice of her on those goofy jeans?” The dresses Mrs. Orange bought in hopes of her daughter becoming popular and loved by everyone rots on the deepest corners of Eliza’s closet.
“Those dresses are a distress. Besides, Eliza wear the most decent clothes than any other girl in this town.”
“Yes, if she decided to become a man. Believe me I would do anything to win Tommy’s heart for her. You see how Beatrice and I talk more often?”
Mr. Orange took a sip and shook his head. “I don’t think that we should be intruding Eliza’s…intimate relationship with other people. She’s a big girl now and I daresay we should trust her with her choices.”
His wife sighed. “I guess I’ve been overreacting. I just want what’s best for her. But Tommy did grew up to be a fine young man, don’t you think?”
“Indeed. Beatrice is lucky.”
“I mean, I never knew he’d be that attractive. And how did he even do those biceps? Beatrice never told me he worked out.”
He raised an eyebrow and before he could say anything, the front door opened.
“What is it with the weather? It always rains whenever I decided to go with my friends.” Eliza closes the umbrella she was holding and hung her jacket.
“I thought you forgot your umbrella?” Mrs. Orange asked.
“I did. Tommy lent this to me. Hi, daddy.” The girl wiped her shoes and reached to her parents to kiss them.
His wife gave Mr. Orange a meaningful look after hearing another of Tommy’s noble act. He rolled his eyes.
“Why don’t you go make yourself a cup of coffee the sugar is just right there on the table. So…how did the movies go?”
“Ugh, I can’t believed Miranda and Jessica bailed us out. The four of us had been planning this the whole week!” Eliza opened the jar of sugar.
Mrs. Orange craned her neck and made a triumphant smile on her husband. He couldn’t do anything but grunt. “So did that mean it was just you and Thomas in a rainy day watching that romantic movie you’ve told me?”
Eliza frowned, wrinkled her nose and snorted. “Thomas? Since when did you came up with that?” She laughed and continued. “It could have been. But it’s a good thing Derek showed up the last minute.”
“Derek?” Mrs. Orange stopped. Seeing her daughter smile on the unfamiliar name of a boy, Eliza’s mother went curious. Even her father stopped to wait for her answer.
Eliza shrugged as she tasted the coffee she made.
And at that precise moment, her parents sprayed the coffee out of their mouths at exactly the same time.