"You're late again," Valentine said as she opened the door.
"I'm so sorry, I was caught up with something in the hotel room." Dave replied
"Can we just go please."
He gently led her by the hand and walked her to his car door, opened it and when he was sure she was seated comfortably he closed it and walked over to the driver's seat, turned on the ignition and drove off.
He was meeting with her family for the first time in two years they've been dating.
Valentine was the last child in the family of four. She and her elder sister were the only offspring of their parents. She was clearly the mummy's girl. She cried and nagged at any slight provocation but yet Dave loved her and wanted to spend his entire life with her.
He met Valentine in his final year in school at the library. Actually they had issues on their first day meeting each other. She had come to borrow some books to read and he too was there for the same reason. Dave was speaking to the librarian on the last book he borrowed and how his favorite writer never disappoints him.
"Another Jon Bellinis today, I'm sure if he knew how you came here looking for his books he would have sent you an autographed one." The librarian joked.
"I could trade anything to read Jon Bellini's books, he writes so well. And I love how he tends to instill life events in his book."
"I see, that's good. But I bet there are other writers as good as him." The librarian continued.
"Like Rita Wilson. You've got to try her, she's top notch too." Valentine cuts in. Slamming the book with her at the librarian table. " Not some man densed with patriarchal thinking, '' she murmured.
"Sorry, what was that?" Dave asked with a forced smile.
" nothing just suggesting a thoughtful writer"
" By talking down on some other people's choice writer"
" I was just stating the fact"
"Well your fact is trash lady"
"No offense intended"
"Offense taken," Dave replied, picking up the book he came for from the librarian. " Maybe, you should learn some talking manners, '' he added and stomped off the library.
They had met some other day in school on a rainy day. Why running to meet up with class Valentine tripped and fell hurting her knee. Joe at first had seen her struggle to walk on his way to the restroom but paid no attention. But on a second thought he had pity and offered to help. And ever since he called in regularly to see how she was fairing. That was how their friendship blossomed into love.
And here they were. Joe made a turn and honked at an incoming vehicle. He turned , looked at her and smiled. He parked at an open spot as valentine announced their arrival at her family house. It was a small yet comfortable building. A building befitting the middle class of the society. They walked in and were welcomed by her family. Valentine's family was a peaceful and loving one. They all loved Dave and made sure he felt at home.
"Hope you like the food" Mrs Smith said to Dave over dinner.
"Like? I love it ma'am" he replied.
"It's a special family recipe. I'm surprised Valentine has never made it for you." Mrs Smith added.
"She does her best and I'm honored" Dave replied, holding Valentine passionately.
Just then the doorbell rang.
"It must be Jenny. I'll get it, ``Valentine volunteered. She had invited her friend over too for dinner but Jenny called to say she will be running late.
Valentine opened the door to a tired looking Jenny. It must be from the booze last night. When she had called Jenny earlier in the day Jenny had told her about her late night escapades at the club with a mystery man. How she made love to the stranger and how she couldn't tell if it was because she had so much to drink. So she didn't bother asking.
She led Jenny to the dining room and offered her a seat right before her and before she could introduce her to Dave. Jenny shouted.
"What are you doing here?" Dave asked instead. Dropping his glass of water as the contents spilled on the table.
"Wait, you guys know each other? '' Valentine asked.
"That was the man from last night. The mystery man" Jenny replied.