Note from SweetPoyzin: Some language and adult situations.
I went downtown to meet Peter at the city square. It was late but who cares.
We acted like little kids and built a huge snowman right there in the middle of the city.
“You know, Penny…I kinda like you.”
“Oh shut up. Don’t ruin the moment by getting all mushy, Pete.”
I still wasn’t quite sure what our relationship was or if we even had one. I had to admit that even if this was a fling I wasn’t going to complain.
“Do you want to come back to my place?” The words were out of my mouth before I even thought about the repercussions. One glimpse of me and he was going to turn tail and run.
Pete surprised me. “Ok. I’m a little out of practice. It’s been…ah…a few months since…”
“You think I’ll be any better?” I said trying to reassure him that my prowess was nothing to write home about.
This man could match my wit even with half his brain thinking correctly. If this relationship did go anywhere I’d be in trouble.
We headed back to my place and got there in record time.
Linzy was still cleaning up despite the fact that it was now 3am.
“Have fun, ya’ll. Don’t get knocked up! I have enough to do around here as it is!”
Pete didn’t run that night but he didn’t call back either. Several weeks passed without a word from Pete and I was back to the online search for Mr. Right.
It was nearly spring when we got word from Bug that she was returning from boarding school. She would be home any day. So while we waited for her we all enjoyed a quiet Sunday. Well, as quiet as it can be when King Pickle is holding court.
“Peasant Penny! Fetch me my cookies!”
“You wanna try that again?”
“Queen Penny, would you please grant the King permission to get his own cookies?”
“That’s better. The answer is still no but nice try.”
Finally, after over a month of waiting Pete popped up on the radar again. He sent flowers with a note of apology. He didn’t say when he would call or visit but it was something.
“You like my brother don’t you?”
“Yes, yes I do actually. Why?”
“I invited him over to chat today. That’s all.”
“Oh. Well…good for him.”
He’s cute but a little dumb. It was 28 degrees and he comes running up in workout gear after spending the morning at the gym. Go figure. I mean I wasn’t going to complain because it was a nice sight but you know…
After changing Pete and I sat down in the living room. He said we needed to “talk” and it didn’t sound good.
“There’s a lot you don’t know about me, Penny. But I do like you so I feel that you have the right to know so you can back out now if you want.”
“Oh…ok.” I had no idea where this was going.
“Penny, I’m a single dad. Kylie is the same age as Harper. My wife, well, she died in a horrific accident.”
OMG DON’T FREAK OUT DON’T FREAK OUT DON’T FREAK OUT. I was freaking out inside.
“She was a police officer and even though I begged her to quit the force for Kylie’s sake Amy wouldn’t. She was doing what she was meant to do. Well, one night she got a call on a domestic violence issue and she and her partner went to investigate. Some asshole was beating the shit out of his wife and kids. When Amy got there…she jumped right in the middle of it to save the kids. Didn’t even stand a chance. She died a few days later.”
He paused and took a deep breath.
“I’m still very much in love with Amy. She’s been dead since Kylie was just a few months old but I can’t shake her. I just don’t want you to get the short end of the stick because I’m hung up on my dead wife.”
I wasn’t sure what to say. Luckily Pete knew exactly what to say.
“I’d like to try this, Penny. I really like you. But you needed to know I come with exceptional amounts of baggage so feel free to tell me to pound sand.”
I sighed. “We all have baggage, Pete. I’d like you to stay. Let’s not put a label on this yet. Let’s just be comfortable for now.”
We sat in silence for a bit letting the words from earlier sink into the space between us. After a while the silence was punctured by an unfamiliar sound.
It was Bug.
Or at least it sounded like her. I’m not sure who Le Fromage sent back but it wasn’t my Bug.
The girl who stood in front of me was all spray tan, bellybutton, and attitude. All I could do was stare. Again Pete knew just what to say.
“Hello. I’m Peter. You must be Katie. I’ve heard quite a few stories about you. You sound like a lovely lady. I’ve got to run now but I look forward to getting to know you better. Bye, Penny!”
“Erm…bye Pete,” I managed to mumble while still staring at the doppelganger that was my niece.
“Jeez, Penny. Are you dating him? How’d you manage such a hottie in that ‘Mom Gear’ you call clothing?”
I have no idea where my sweet, loving, kind Katherine went. These teen years…oh boy.