“Cassandra, my pet, are you? I mean, are really 100% certain?”
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Flash Fiction Friday, Week 30: Meeting the Parents
You found the one – the one with whom you were destined to spend the rest of your life. You had only known him/her briefly, but it truly was love at first sight, and you threw caution to the wind and eloped.
Now that your honeymoon trip is over, you need to settle down in your day-to-day lives. First, however, you are reminded that you still have not met your new in-laws. You have been assured they are not angry about not being invited to the ceremony, but it is very important that they meet you as soon as possible.
You are really looking forward to meeting them. It should all go very smoothly, right?
Prompt: Tell us about meeting your new in-laws.
My story is about a young man who married the girl of his dreams, and a few months later, goes to meet her parents. He hopes the weekend with her family will go well and that her parents like him. I don’t think he has anything to worry about, do you?
Meeting the Parents
“I really hope your parents like me, Cassandra. I know my parents would have adored you.”
“I’m so sorry you spent most of your life in foster homes, dearest. Since you were only a year and a half old when your parents were killed in that crash, you never really knew them, did you?”
“No, but I was always very fortunate. All the families I lived with treated me very well. The only reason I was relocated was because some were only able to care for infants, and others only certain age groups. But I do consider each and every one of them my real family and as you know, I still correspond with them quite frequently – at least, the ones that are still with us.”
“It’s wonderful that you remain close to them, Jack. It’s not often orphaned children end up being cared for so well. My parents and I have always been very close. They have always been very devoted to me, as well as to each other. I have also been blessed with being able to spend a great deal of time with both sets of grandparents. You won’t be meeting any of them, I’m sorry to say. You would really have liked them too.”
“Are they away on a vacation or something, Cass?”
“Or something, my darling.”
Cassandra, my bride of 3 months, smiled when she responded – a smile that lit my world now just as it had the first time I saw her. It had been a particularly stressful day at the office and I decided to step out for a cocktail. I normally despise having a drink in bars since all those around me seem to be engaged in an attempt to secure a quick pickup for a one night stand. A shallow encounter like that was something I had never been interested in. I chose a quiet tavern around the corner from my apartment since whenever I’ve gone past, I never heard any loud music blaring from their jukebox, and the police have never been called to break up a disagreement there. It was, in my opinion, the perfect place to relax and let the world slip away. I was as wrong as I could be.
I sat at a table near the back with my scotch and soda so I could keep an eye on who was coming and going. At the first sign of anything that hinted at becoming disagreeable, I planned to make a quick exit. I had just been assigned four new accounts at the agency and my contacts at each of those firms were obnoxious and condescending. I had months of work ahead of me designing campaigns for companies whose employees were rude and totally unprofessional. Needless to say, I wasn’t happy with my boss that day. I was on the verge of sinking into a potentially year-long depression when she walked in, looked around, and smiled at me. At that moment, I knew my life would forever change.
Cassandra Higgins came to my table and asked if she could join me. She told me bars made her uncomfortable because she didn’t want anyone coming on to her, but today had been a stressful one at her job and she stopped in only for a cocktail before heading home. She said she approached me because it appeared I was there for the same reason and sitting with me would make her feel safe. It was at that very moment I knew I was hopelessly in love with her and that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.
We saw each other every day for a week and on the seventh evening, I proposed. I was terrified that I might make her angry or scare her off, but to my surprise and delight, she accepted. We were married three days later, and my life has been Heaven on Earth ever since. Three months have passed and Cassandra suggested we take a drive to the coast so I could meet her parents. She had told them all about me and they knew we were married, but they jokingly told her they wanted to get to know their new son-in-law before we celebrated our first anniversary. They weren’t upset or angry at not being invited to our wedding, and were looking forward to having us spend a weekend at their estate.
It didn’t matter to me that my wife’s family was wealthy. I made a very good living and could provide well for her. Cassandra said they weren’t concerned about how I made my living. As long as their little girl was happy, that was all that mattered to them. I hoped they were going to like me as much as I already liked them.
We arrived on Saturday just before lunch, and my wish for a comfortable introduction came true and then some. Her mother and father hugged me and welcomed me into their home and more importantly, into their family. What incredible people they were. Her mother was the definition of glamor, her father the epitome of elegance. Even though Cassandra’s father’s net worth most likely ran in the billions, he and his wife both were warm and loving people who put on no airs, and were as easy to sit and chat with as the man who ran the newsstand in the lobby of my building. This weekend was turning out to be absolutely perfect.
We ate sumptuous meals prepared by their live-in cook, swam in their Olympic-size swimming pool which was on one side of the house, enjoyed several games of croquet set up on the other side of the house, and relaxed in the evening after dinner in their huge hot tub situated on a large patio overlooking the back yard. Holiday visits with my in-laws would be vacations to die for. Saturday evening ended with cocktails in her father’s study.
I knew I would be tired from both the long drive there and all the day’s activities, but I found myself nodding off in the middle of a sentence. Her mom and dad were so gracious and assured me no embarrassment was warranted. Cass wanted to stay up for a bit and chat with her parents, so I bid them all goodnight and headed upstairs to bed. I was happy and content, and knew that tonight, I would sleep as I never have before.
* * * * * * * * * *
“Cassandra, my pet, are you? I mean, are really 100% certain?”
“Yes, Mommy, I am, and isn’t it glorious? I wanted to wait to bring my husband here until I was absolutely positive I was pregnant. There was no way I was going to take any chances.”
“Now, you’re certain that no one will be looking for him or contact the authorities to report his disappearance?”
“Oh no, Daddy. His parents died when he was very young and the foster parents he lived with who are still around are old and forgetful. Besides, I’ll send them a card at Christmas and sign his name. That will satisfy them. I wrote a resignation letter to his boss too, Daddy, just like you told me to. His boss called a few days later and wanted to talk about it, but Jack was napping and I took the call. I made it very clear that my husband had no interest in continuing his career with that company. I said Jack had already joined my father’s firm, and told him never to call us again. He apologized and hung up.”
“That’s my girl. You handled that perfectly. I’m happy that your young man has fulfilled his purpose in time to celebrate your grandparents’ anniversary. He is exactly what we’ll need for the party tomorrow, being so young and fit. Your grandparents will be arriving around noon. By the time we pick them up at the airport, drive home, and get them settled in, it will be time for a nice early dinner.
“Jack will need to marinate for several hours, and the drugs we put in his cocktail should keep him out at least until it’s time to remove his organs and stuff him. His time in the oven will cook out any residue from the medication, although if there’s any left in his tissues, it’s never bothered any of us before.”
“I’m so excited, Mommy and Daddy. Both of my grandmothers and grandfathers will be here soon, and I can’t wait to tell them about the baby. Jack had been so worried about whether my family would like him or not. I told him that was silly. Of course they’ll all like you, I said. My family all have good taste.”
Am I dreaming, or did I just hear Cass and her parents laughing? Such a wonderful sound. I can’t believe how sleepy I am. Soon I’ll be dead to the world…