Disastrous (Disastrous 1) - Page 42

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“What do you think of this dress for today, Mia?” Elle twirled around, modeling a yellow sundress with white flowers. I smiled at her. It was the sixth dress she tried on so far.

“I love it. They are all very pretty, Elle, but if I have to choose one for today, I would have to say that one.” She squealed with delight and ran back into her closet.

Marcus was still asleep. It was almost noon, and I didn’t have the heart to wake him. When I woke this morning, I took a shower and dressed, meeting both Elle and Jimmie in the kitchen. We had breakfast together.

Jimmie and I didn’t mention anything about last night. Maybe it was because Elle was with us. I realized I truly misjudged Jimmie when we first met. He was nothing like I thought he was. He’s a family man, just like Marcus, a loving and devoted father to Elle. At times he seemed to drift off thinking, trying to hide the loneliness in his eyes, but once he looked at Elle, it all went away. Jimmie, just like his brother, is a very handsome man, I wondered why no female had come and stolen his heart. He still may have been grieving from the loss of his wife. If I had any female friends and if any of them were good enough, I would definitely try to play matchmaker.

There was a knock at the door, and a gentle female’s voice followed. “Where’s my precious granddaughter?” A petite woman walked through the door. She was dressed in a fitted summer dress and wedge heels. Even with the heels, she still looked tiny. Her long light brown hair and gleaming green eyes radiated with her soft fair skin. Elle ran from the closet and jumped into her grandmother’s arms. Mrs. DeLuca hugged her tightly with closed eyes. When she re-opened her eyes, she finally laid them on me.

“Well, Elle, who’s your friend?” She asked with a huge grin while straightening her posture.

“Grandma, this is Mia. She’s my new best friend and Uncle Marc’s girlfriend.” Elle grabbed her grandmother’s hand and dragged her over to me. I stood from the bed and offered my hand.

“Hi Mrs. DeLuca, I’m Mia. It’s very nice to meet you.” She gently smacked my arm away and pulled me into a tight hug.

“Oh, call me Theresa!” She tightened her arms. “It’s so lovely to finally meet you. You’re all my son talks about lately.” She pulled back, looking me up and down. Her face was beaming with satisfied delight. “And I can see why now. You’re gorgeous!” Smiling, I placed my hand against my belly. I’m not sure why. I was embarrassed by the compliment, and I thought maybe by doing that it would hide me.

“Thank you.” It was all I could say.

“So where’s my son? I haven’t seen him in weeks.” She tilted her head.

“Oh, he’s still sleep—”

“I’m right here, Mom,” Marcus said, rubbing his eyes with the back of his hand. His hair was a mess, his eyes were still blood shot, and he was only wearing pajama bottoms. Most people would look terrible after chugging down a bottle of liquor, but Marcus DeLuca is not most people. He was still good-looking. She turned with joy and ran over to her son.

Theresa was so tiny in his arms. He embraced her with a tight hug and bent over to kiss her cheek. Then he stood up straight, looking in my direction. His gentle smile met mine. His mom was still clinging to his waist.

He looked down at his mom and smiled. “Mom, you act like I haven’t seen you in ages.”

“It feels that way. Do you know how it feels to have both your boys all grown up? One minute they come to you for everything, the next they don’t need you.”

Marcus playfully rolled his eyes. “No Mom, I don’t know how that feels, but we still need you, especially for Sunday dinner.” He laughed.

She nudged him in the rib with her elbow. Stretching out her arm towards Elle, she called out, “Come on my little helper, Grandma has a lot of prepping for dinner tonight.”

“Can I help?” I blurted, not ready to be alone with Marcus yet.

Her eyes widened, and her dimple remarkably appeared when her lips curled up her cheeks. “Of course, darling, I would love your help.” She walked past Marcus and patted his arm before making her way down to the kitchen.

Following behind her, Marcus stepped aside to block me from exiting. Looking up at him, I crossed my arms. “Mia, can we talk? I know I messed up last night.” His chest moved in and out as he breathed impatiently.

All I ever wanted to do was talk, but he always shut me out…giving me half-assed answers. With his family coming, I’d rather have a talk after they leave.

“We can talk, but after the dinner. Right now I’m going to help your mom, then have this dinner with your family, and then you and I are going to have a nice long talk.”

“Are we okay?” he asked desperately.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure. Considering last night’s drunken binge and being stood up the night before when he was six hours late, I needed answers, but he was always shutting me down.

“We’ll talk later, Marcus.”

Closing his eyes shut, he stepped aside to let me by.

Chapter Sixteen

I was placed on dicing duty: chopping the potatoes, tomatoes, and veggies. Elle was on rinsing duty: she stood on a stool by the sink rinsing all the fruit, meats, and vegetables. Theresa was busy preparing the meatballs and other items for the dinner tonight. She moved so fast in the kitchen I wasn’t sure she needed help at all. Jimmie was watching a game in the living room. I laughed with his mom as she talked about raising two boys who were four years apart. She had plenty of stories about the two of them. His mother was loud for someone so little. She also moved her hands wildly as she talked.

Theresa began going down the list of all the family that was coming tonight. It was a lot! I never knew anyone with such a huge family, and they get together once a week for dinner!  She went down the list, warning me who to stay away from, who was the sweetheart, who would bust my “balls,” and which of Marcus’ cousins would try to hit on me even in front of Marcus. She said not to worry about them though; they’d just be teasing Marcus for fun. I tried to keep up with them, but there were too many. On Theresa’s side of the family there were four brothers and two sisters. Marcus’ father had three sisters and one brother. Their brothers and sisters had kids who also had kids! It was exhausting just to think about.

“So, Uncle Marty is the pig?” I asked, describing him exactly as she described him to me.

“Yeah, but don’t worry about him; if he makes you feel uncomfortable, I’ll throw him out,” Marcus said jokingly as he walked in the kitchen. He was freshly showered, his hair was tamed, and he was dressed in a fitted black t-shirt and jeans. He was back to his normal self. Picking up a knife from the counter, he stood beside me. Grabbing a carrot, he began to chop it. He smelled so good this close compared to last night when it smelled as if he’d bathed in liquor. I watched him as he pushed the chopped carrots aside with the pile of diced veggies I’d already done, and grabbed another one.

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