Short romantic story about a teenage girl whose passion for dancing makes her meet the true love of her life. Read how Sarah meets Joe in a night club while strip-dancing to her favorite song here.
In this part, you will read about Sarah & Joe spending their evening with Joe’s family over a monthly-gathering dinner at their family home.
It was hard for me to believe an hour had already passed. Joe’s sister, Sophie and her mom, Olivia were into a tirade about my life, Joe’s life, their personal lives, their cousins’ lives, friends’ lives, neighbours’ lives, and countless other people I have never heard about or known. The only important bits in the entire conversation that I picked and intend to remember are about Joe’s cousin and the upcoming grand opening. Well, those are the catchiest news and might require me to bring them up in future conversations. Joe’s cousin Amelia had tried running away with a country-boy, who turned her down when she arrived at his place empty-handed. Apparently, he was only interested in her because of her money and lifestyle. And Joe’s younger brother, Ethan, was opening a bar and restaurant in partnership with Joe himself, and I was invited as an important guest. I guess, that goes without saying that Joe would pick me as the plus one for the evening. Thus, I didn’t find it necessary to have not received the invite from Ethan, who was still in his childhood room; God knows doing what, according to their youngest sister.
‘I tried sneaking in the last time he was around, but he caught me the moment I entered his room,’ Sophie pouted and said interrupting my thoughts.
‘It’s not a good thing to do, Sophie. Sneaking in is not what I taught my kids,’ Oliver chided her and added; ‘You should have walked-in directly to catch him red-handed.’
Invading someone’s privacy? That’s not what I was expecting.
Sophie snickered and Joe snorted before adding, ‘That’s not exactly what you should teach us either, mom.’
‘What? A mother needs to know what their kids are hiding.’
‘The purpose of hiding is that we don’t want you to know,’ Sophie interrupted.
‘Don’t you want to know what Ethan is up to?’ When Sophie nodded, Olivia continued, ‘Than don’t question your mother.’
Joe leaned in and dropped his chin on my head affectionately, while I leaned back on my chair. ‘I think you both should leave him alone. He has lots on his mind because of the grand opening.’
‘If that’s what is eating him than I’ll drag him with his ears and make him repeat this 100 times, ‘My business will kick every other business out of business’. And he is not allowed to hide in his room and unnecessarily fear about what hasn’t even happened yet, at least not under my supervision.’
The moment she stood to go to Ethan’s room, probably to drag him out with his ears, we heard a voice from the hallway, ‘What can ever happen under your supervision, mom?’
Sophie giggled and replied, ‘Nothing.’ Olivia glared at Ethan as he entered the dining area.
‘Hey, brother.’ Joe left my side and went to Ethan for a brotherly hug.
‘What’s up, man?’ Looking at me, Ethan said, ‘How are you, Sarah?’
It took me seconds to reply him as I was surprised that he knew about me and addressed me as we were long-lost friend.
‘Hey, Ethan. Good to meet you finally,’ I replied and stood to greet him with a handshake.
I was taken aback when he pulled me into a bear bug and squeezed me tight against his chest.
‘That’s enough.’ Joe pulled me from the embrace towards him. He circled his hands over my waist and hugged me from behind.
‘I was just welcoming her in the family,’ Ethan mentioned, looking surprised.
‘Don’t think I don’t know what you did there.’
Ethan laughed and said, ‘You were never the jealous type. Now I know it takes a special woman in your life to make you act like a Neanderthal.’
I chuckled and others joined in laughing at Joe’s act of possessiveness.
After the laughter died down, Ethan took a seat at the dining table, and asked me, ‘So you are studying medicine?’
Olivia stood and went towards the kitchen to begin preparing the dinner with Sophie in tow.
‘Yeah. I am in the first year of my degree.’
‘That’s cool. Someone might need a doctor to treat him when he has overused a vital part of his body,’ Ethan said with a deadpan look, looking right at Joe.
I blushed and Joe tightened his hold on me as he laughed. Once done, he replied, ‘The very vital part you mentioned is used to overuse by now…’ he kissed me on the cheek and continued, ‘and I haven’t needed a doctor yet, only Sarah.’
Joe winked and I hit his shoulder not-so-playfully. Oh! This was definitely embarrassing,
Ethan laughed and Sophie returned with a tray filled with cupcakes, and a piping bag lying next to them. She placed the tray in front of Ethan and said, ‘You know what to do.’
‘Oh, I doubt that. Joe will know better how to do it because he has more experience in…’ held the nozzle and turned to look at Joe, he continued, ‘squeezing with a firm, steady hand. You can do that, right?’
‘Oh my God,’ I murmured and turned red inside and out.
Sophie and Joe laughed, and Ethan joined them shortly.
Sophie hit on his head playfully and ordered him to get the work done before she returned.
‘I can bet on my Aston Martin DB11 that you are as experienced as I am in this department, if not more.’
‘I can’t deny when you are so sure about it.’ He began covering the cupcakes with cream frosting.
I could feel Joe rolling his eyes on his brother. If only he had warned me about Ethan’s boldness, I would have been better prepared. But, he did warn me about his family. I can’t complain much, can I?
‘Well, well, look who’s here,’ said a manly voice from the kitchen door. ‘I didn’t believe Olivia when she called to tell me that you have come and brought your girlfriend too.’ He walked in and hugged Joe just as Olivia returned from the kitchen with the last tray of food.
‘Not surprising! You didn’t even believe when mom told you that Amelia got knocked up by her boss.’
“Olivia, you have such a big mouth.’
‘He was going to find out anyway. I don’t see what the big deal is.’
‘The big deal is her boss is married with two kids and it was a one-night, stupid, drunken mistake on her part.’
Joe interrupted and said, ‘So no one knows but us? Does the father of the child know?
‘He does. But he refused to be a part of this pregnancy and the future of the kid. Amelia is fine with that rather.’
‘We’ll keep a lid on it than as we don’t want her to become the focus of any more gossip than she already is.’
‘True! Sorry, Ford. I’ll keep a tab on my running mouth from now onwards.’ He leaned in and kissed her to end this gloomy moment.
‘Now, let’s rewind this moment and get back to the greetings, huh? Sarah, it’s nice to have you here with us for dinner.’
‘Thank you, Mr. Williams for inviting me. It’s been a pleasure and I have enjoyed your family’s company so far.’
‘I am sure you experienced more than enjoyment with my folks. They are a bunch too many to handle sometimes.’
‘It’s been fun.’ I smiled and looked at each one of them. They smiled back.
‘That’s right. We live to entertain,’ Sophie said.
‘You live to be entertained. Always want us to do the hard work,’ Joe teased her.
‘You suck at entertaining, Joe. You are good at protecting though, so I keep you around,’ she smiled sweetly at Joe. Joe snorted and Ethan added, ‘If there’s sucking involved, I vouch for my talented and experienced brother.’
Everyone laughed before Olivia said, ‘Sophie, that’s no way for a lady to talk.’ Ethan chuckled triumphantly, and must have thought he was spared until Olivia turned to pin him with that motherly stare of hers. ‘Or young man, for that matter.’ Ethan huffed and Sophie giggled while John laughed at their expense.
Joe looked at me and guided me to our chairs were we settled for the most awaited dinner. The siblings continued with their banter throughout the dinner. Ford and Olivia asked me some questions about my studies and work while Joe talked about the upcoming grand opening with Ethan. The whole scene felt so domestic and made me feel like I was a part of this lovely family. Not once they made me feel like I was an outsider or some woman who tried to take Joe away from his family. They even made me feel like at home when I was allowed to help them with cleaning and washing after dinner.
Joe’s parents were such ideal parents who cared for their kids, joined in their jokes and drew a line when there was a need. They kept dragging me in conversations and asked for my opinions, all while making me feel as an equal. And Joe’s siblings were so incredibly different from one another, and yet so lively and animated. They never stopped smiling or joking around with one another, and that love for each other and the openness in welcoming strangers into their house, made it clear why Joe had turned into such a warm-hearted man. This environment he’d grown up in had nurtured a kind, joyful soul and was the very thing I loved most about him.
‘You look happy,’ Joe whispered in my ear when we sat down in the sitting area with our glasses of wine.
‘I am happy. Thank you for introducing me to such an amazing family of yours.’
‘Don’t you feel like ‘It was too much and I would like to go home now’?’
‘Not at all. I feel like ‘I can have many more dinners as this in our future,’ I said and smiled.
He smiled back and leaned in to give me a lingering kiss. Now, this made my evening perfect.
And it’s true, if ever asked whether I would come back for another dinner night with his family, I would say a loud ‘YES’.
End: Time spent together with the family doing whatever makes all happy is always the best, and of course, the time spent alone with Joe is too😉