A New Path, Chapter 5, Weird food parade

Posted on 5:32 PM | By Biki Honko | In

When I opened the door, one look into those green eyes, and my heart was home.  A smile that came from his very heart, glittered from him.  He is in love with me too!  Reaching his hand out to me, my hand slid into his, and I was where I belonged!  Oh!

Shutting the door behind us, circling his arms around me, and mine around him, we kissed.  Lips against lips, heart against heart, together.  Standing in the hall, embracing, kissing, basking in each others warmth of love.



Clearing my throat, I needed to make sure that I was dressed appropriately for meeting Abby.  I wanted her first impression of me to be favorable, "Ben, am I dressed ok?  Should I change?"

Ben looked at me up and down, "You're asking the wrong person.  Abby buys my clothes.  She picks out my clothing when she thinks I am going to get it wrong.  Like last night."

"Really!  No way!  Well, Mr. I don't know anything about fashion, give me your opinion.  At least you should know how she will think about it."

"I think it will be fine.  You are dressed up, no jeans or sweatshirt.  If my opinion matters at all, I think you look great!"

"It matters to me, a lot.  So, what is going to happen tonight?  I mean, is it like meet the parents?  To see if I am good enough for you?"

"No, well maybe.  I think she just wants to meet you.  I am hoping we manage to figure out how to work this..... whatever this is.  Because, to be honest, I am stuck in the middle.  Not that I mind at all, but still.  I am worried about hurting both of you.  I am worried about having one of you think that you are less important to me. It is really a very fine line I am treading here."

"See, I feel the same way about Abby.  Worried that she will come to look at me as a marriage breaker.  Because if she doesn't like me, then the whole thing falls apart.  I am concerned that I will become jealous of her and the time you spend with her, and not me."

"Time I will spend with her?  Oh, at home.  Well, shit there is something I hadn't thought of.  See we have a lot to think about."

I looked at my watch, it was 7.  Time to go, time to spend my last hours with Ben if she doesn't like me.  Time for one more kiss?  Oh, yeah....

"Kiss me before we leave."

Lips locked into a fierce embrace.  From the feeling of Ben's kiss, he is as uncertain as me, about where this evening is going.  Thoughts fled as we stood and kissed.  As our breathing began to speed up we separated at the same time, realizing that this was so not the time to get all heated up.

"Are you ready to leave?  Where did you park?"  Our conversation continued as I locked the front door, and walked to his car.

"Next to your truck. I left your car in front of the bar this morning.  I have a parking sticker on mine for work, no sticker and it is a forever process to park in their garage.  Do you mind?"

"No.  I have no attachment to it, just a form of transportation."

"Yeah, I meant to ask you why you have two vehicles."  We got in his car, and were off to our...... dinner.

"Oh, you saw my work clothes in the laundry basket, they were filthy, and the stuff I get covered in gets on the seats.  My job is dirty, and it is just impossible not to get the seats filthy.  Today I was covered in hydraulic fluid.  That stuff stinks, and the truck will reek of it for a week or better.  Will my job be a deal breaker with Abby?  Is she one of those if you didn't go to college, you are somehow a second tier person?"

"Abby? Hell no!  She hates it when people do that.  Your job will not matter to her one way or another."

"Whew!  That is one thing off my mind."

"Derrick, I am happy you decided to wear your earrings.  I don't want you changing who you are to please either of us.  Either you are good enough as you are, or you are not."

"Yeah, I thought at first about not wearing them, and then decided I had to be me, my usual me, not a try to make someone happy me."

"Good!  Our only hope to get this to work is honesty.  Honesty in who we are, not what we think another wants us to be.  Well, here we are.  Ready?"

"Not even close.  Umm, I hate wine, she won't be upset that I don't like it, will she?"

"Another point in favor of you being perfect!  I hate it too. Abby's car is here, so let's go cowboy!"

"Cowboy?"

"I don't know.  It just popped out.  You will get used to crap like that popping out of me."

"It's fine, fine.  Just surprised me that's all. Ben, how is Abby going to act towards me.  Tell me honestly, please."

"Not hostile, no worries about that.  But she did get a smirk on her face when she discovered I hadn't given your number a special ring tone. I fixed that after lunch."

"What song did you pick for my ringtone?"

"I hope you don't mind, Sweet Dreams Are Made of These'" Seeing the grimace on Derrick's face, Ben hurried on, "No, no not the sappy version, the Marilyn Manson version. I couldn't decide between that and his "Beautiful People."

"How can you choose when it comes to him?  S'all good."

"Ready?"

"No."

"There she is."

I stiffened in surprise when Ben put his hand on my back to guide me.  Wow!  We got to that place quickly.  Looking where he was guiding me, I saw a very pretty woman with long thick dark brown hair.  Walking up to her, with Ben behind me was all kinds of awkward, and shades of uncomfortable that I didn't even know existed until then.  Her eyes weren't hostile, just like Ben said, but still there was a look of..... what was it?  Possessiveness?  Yeah, that is it.  She is not used to sharing him.  This is going to be a tight rope walk.  Ben was right, he was in the middle between us.  Somehow I need to make her understand I will share him.  How in the hell is this going to work?

"Derrick Addison, this is my wife Abby Parker."  I leaned in and shook her hand.  She smiled a very uncertain smile at me.  Right now we were all skating by on manners, but how long could we expect that to last?

"It is nice to meet you."  Did my voice waver when I said that?  Gawd!  I hope not!

Abby was seated in a corner booth, and she was sitting at one end.  Ben slid in, so he was sitting in between us.  Sliding into the booth, I was so nervous the desire to vomit was becoming almost a need.  Trying to calm down, I  started to fiddle with my left earring. For some strange as hell reason, flicking it back and forth calmed me down every time.  Wait?  Was it bad to show how nervous I am?  Too late now.  That boat had long ago sailed away, leaving my pitiful ass alone on the shore.

"Shall we order something to drink?  Derrick do you like wine?"

"Sorry, but no.  I am a beer or whisky kinda guy."

"Damn! That will make two barbarians in the house!  I am still out numbered."

What did she just say?  In the house?  I am going to be in their house.  Suddenly the story of the hall bench swam into the front of my mind.  Not now!

"Sorry."

"It's fine.  Oh here comes the server.  Yes, I will have a glass of your house red."

The server looked at me, and I stumbled around finally ordering a soda.  Ben ordered the same.  I was afraid to look at Abby to see if she took Ben's ordering the same as a mark of rebellion.

"Ben says you moved here from Newburgh?  How long did you live there?"

"My entire life, except when I attended welding school. I moved here around 5 months ago."

"Ben and I both grew up here.  It must be weird to move to such a large city, after living for years in such a small town."

"Yeah, I guess.  I honestly don't get out much.  Pretty much my life is working."

"Is that because you don't know anyone?"

"Partly.  Tim, my ex, he did a good job of making me feel bad about myself.  I never had a great deal of confidence anyway, and what little I did possess, he dried up."

"What on earth did he do to make your feel that way?"

Looking down at the table cloth, drawing patterns in the dampness on my glass of soda.  Not wanting to answer, but knowing I had to.  Ben said we had to be honest with each other.

 Meeting her eyes, knowing mine were shiny with unshed tears, "He was never faithful to me, and claimed it was my fault he had to look outside of our relationship.  He'd.... um.... hit me, and then..... force me... to."

My tears escaped from my eyes.  I thought that I was over this!  At least enough not to cry in public!  Shit!  And then, I felt Ben pulling me into his side.  Before I could register what was going on, Abby was against my other side.  Abby?

"Don't worry Derrick dear, we won't hurt you.  Right Ben?"

"I haven't hit anyone ever, and that won't change."

Sitting between Abby and Ben, was a new feeling for me.  I felt attraction to Ben, that goes without saying.  But Abby, what is that I am feeling for her, from her?  At the least I can tell she doesn't dislike me, what a relief!  Sitting with my head bowed, not really plugged into what was going on around me, I was surprised when I felt Abby kiss my temple.  Raising my head to look at her, she smiled at me.

Abby kissed me again and said, "I'm sorry you had to go through that.  You're not alone anymore."  And saying that she slipped her hand into mine.  Compassion, that is what I am feeling radiating from her.  Damn, did Ben ever get lucky, shit!  I did too!  Ben hugged me again, hard, kissing me by my ear.  And, just like that, I felt a weight drop away from me.  My life had at long last taken a turn for the better!

Heaving in a giant breath, filled with hope saying, "I don't know about you, but my stomachs about to go to war if I don't put something in it soon!"

"Me too!  Let me catch the server so we can order."

"How big are the portions here?"

"Big, but not enough to fill you up.  Order a salad and a starter or two with your dinner and you should be full."

"Ben, honey can he eat all of that?"

"You have not seen this guy eat!  He is in the olympic gold metal class."

"This I have got to see!"

The conversation was light, but very pleasant while waiting for our starters to arrive.  I was kinda worried about what they had helped me order.  Tim wouldn't ever take me out anywhere but dark bars, or diners.  And for sure as hell, my step father never sprang for dinner out, even for my mom.  I just wish she would leave his sorry ass.

Oh, here we go!  The weird food parade begins.  Our server sat down an order of something called fried calamari, garlic bread (yay!), and antipasti, what ever that is.

"Derrick.  This isn't a funeral, just dinner!  If you don't like, say so.  Ok?"  Ben's gentle expression went a long way to calm me and allowed me to give this new food an honest try.

Taking a piece of the calamari, trying it without the dip, I take a cautious nibble.  Humm, being all brave in goes the whole piece.  Chewing, tasting, tasting..... Yum!  The look on my face must have been comical, because both Ben and Abby started giggling.  Took a sip of my soda, then I stuck my tongue out at them.  And then grabbed up a new piece, this one with the dip, oh!  Even better!  Feeling all kinds of brave I look at the plate of..... stuff.  Some of I recognized, and others???  I picked up what looked like a safe slice of lunch meat.  I watched Abby fold the meat up neatly and put the whole thing in her mouth at once,  Ben followed suit.  Like a child, I played copy cat and in went the meat.  And I almost vomited!  It was spoiled!  I spit it back out into my hand, quickly taking a giant pull of my drink hoping it would wash the flavor out of my mouth.

"Hey!  Don't eat the meat!  It is spoiled!"

"Ok, we are not a fan of prosciutto.  That's alright, not everyone likes it.  The flavor is very strong.  Try some of the artichoke dip."

Abby was giggling, "Yeah, it is either love at first bite, or not. And I would say from your expression you are a not."  She started digging around in her purse, and finally pulled out a kleenex.  "You don't have to hold that, here."

Gratefully getting rid of the hateful meat, wiping my hand on the napkin, shuddering. How could anyone eat that and like it?  Bleech!  Being much more cautious after that, nibbling before putting an entire bite into my mouth.  Ben was right the artichoke dip was tasty, and the olives were good, different from canned ones, but good.  I liked most of the cheese, but they couldn't convince me to try any of the other meat on the plate.  But it was the calamari that stole my heart!  That stuff was the best!  And the garlic bread was heaven!  Crunchy, oily, full of garlic and only a small amount of cheese, just how I like it. When the salads came, I started to get worried until I saw, whew, normal salad stuff. While we were eating thru the starters, salad and then the main courses, the conversation was easy and roamed over a wide range of topics.

"The server will be around again soon, ya got room for dessert?"  Ben had the cutest look on his face.  I love his crooked smile.

"I think I do.  Yeah, no doubt about it.  Wait, are the desserts weird here too?"

"Weird?  You liked almost everything you tried, right?"

"Yeah, but I think I have hit my limit of trying new food.  Could we go to the diner for dessert, please?"

Abby jumped into the conversation at this point, "Of course!  We want you to enjoy our dinner together too!"

The server came by then, right on cue and when she found out that we were finished brought our check to the table.  Taking the check from her, I began to get my wallet out of my pocket  Ben stopped me saying, "Hey, this is our treat."

"Then dessert is on me, understand?"  Only after receiving a nod from Ben did I allow him to take the check from me.

On our way to the parking lot, Ben seemed unsure who to walk with, I gave him a gentle push towards Abby.  A grateful smile for me, and he slipped her hand into his.  Leaving Abby's smaller car in the lot, we drove to a diner that had homemade desserts that were out of this world.  One of the guys at work had told me about this place.  With one look at him, you can tell dessert is an important part of his diet.

Pulling into the lot, there were quite a few empty spots, unlike last night.  Last night?  It was only last night?  How could that be, it seems like so long ago.....

Leading the way to a booth at the back of the diner, there was the question on who was going to sit with who...

"Ben, sit with Derrick please.  That way I can see both of your faces.  After we order dessert, there is a topic we have neglected all evening.  We really need to get what we want out into the open."

Everyone ordered apple pie, with ice cream.... well except for me. I ordered two slices of pie, and three servings of ice cream.

"See Abby?  I told you he was a champion eater."

"Don't embarrass him, Ben.  How much did you eat at lunch?"

"Umm, I got up to late to grab something from the grocery, so I ate junk from the convenience store today."

"If I'd of known that I would have made you something for lunch, while I was making your breakfast.  I can't do a lot in the kitchen, but sandwiches are doable."

"No, I was out of lunch stuff.  Instead of grocery shopping on my last day off, I fooled around on the computer all day.  So, my lack of lunch was my own fault."

Abby was rummaging around in her purse, finally pulling out a small pad and a pen.  Just as she was opening her notepad, our server returned with our desserts.  I watched their faces as they took their first bite of pie.  And smiled at the expressions of pie bliss on their faces.

"Oh, you were not teasing this pie is delicious!"  Ben was almost groaning in taste bud delight.

In between bites of pie and ice cream, Abby more or less interviewed me.  As she would ask me questions, she would write things down.

"When does your lease expire?"

"Next month.  I only signed a 6 month lease."

"Why is that?  Don't you pay more for such a short lease?"

"Yeah, I do.  But, I wasn't sure if I wanted to stay here or not."

"Pets?"

"No, the lease doesn't allow dogs, and I am allergic to cats."

"Hobbies?"

"Video games, wandering around the internet, camping, fishing.  Oh, I like to read too."

"Drugs?  Smoke?"

"No.  Never."

"Drink?"

"Very little."

"Abby, what on earth are you doing?"

"If he is going to live with us, I need to know as much as possible about him in advance."

Ben and I exchanged a look, that clearly said, WTF!"

"Honey?  When did you decide that he was moving in?"

Abby heaved a giant sigh, "How else do you expect this to work?  If he doesn't move in with us, you will always be moving between our home and his.  And no matter who you are with, you will be missing and worrying about the one left alone right?  You are a very sweet and caring person Ben, you would worry yourself to pieces.  That is the only way I can figure out how this will work."

"Baby?  We have only had one, well now two dates.  Aren't you rushing into things a little?"

"Yes and no.  Yes, because like you said, only two dates.  And no, because I see how you look at each other.  It is the same look in your eyes when you look at Derrick, as you look at me, with love.  If you remember, we fell in love after our first date too."

"Wait a minute!  Move in?  No way!"

"Yeah, I agree with Derrick here.  You have to give us some space Abby.  We're not there yet.  We might have fallen in love on our first date, but it was almost 4 months before you moved in.  Derrick and I need some time and room, to figure out how we will work as a couple.  The three of us need to spend time together to see how we will work as a.... triplet.  You and Derrick need to spend some time alone without me, to see how well you two get along.  For me, this isn't just about sex, it's about love.  Abby, we are already a couple, we know each other, we understand each other.  Derrick and I need time to develop that rapport.  I won't lie, this will be hard on me, hard on you both.  If we don't take this step, this slow down step, it will all blow up in our faces, and that is the last thing I want.  The last thing any of us wants."

All of us sat silently thinking, then after a quiet spell Ben said, "Hand me you notepad Abby, please. Let's map out the next two weeks.  And if seems to be working, and all of us are happy with the arrangement we can just extend it.  Any issues we will need to deal with right away.  We should alternate weekends.  So, Abby and Derrick, you will be alone every other week end.  I would like us to have a triplet dinner at least once a week.  The idea of changing homes every other day, seems like to much work.  I want to have it be two days at each house, but that doesn't work out right either....."

"Ben, how about this?  Abby = Saturday-Sunday, me = Monday-Tuesday, Abby = Wednesday-Thursday, me = Friday-Saturday-Sunday, Abby = Monday-Tuesday, me = Wednesday-Thursday, Abby = Friday-Saturday-Sunday.  It will be three - four each week, at the end of two weeks we will each have had seven days.  On the extra day each week is when we have our triplet day together.  How does that sound?"

"I like it!  Abby what do you think?"

"This sounds workable.  But, I still think the best thing is just to bite the bullet and have Derrick move in when his lease is up."

"Abby, listen to me, that is just not going to happen.  We need to let this grow naturally.  Hey Derrick, do you work the same schedule each week?"

"Yeah, I work 4/3's.  I work Tuesday thru Friday each week, 6 am to 6 pm."

"Ok, that's good to know."  Ben looked at me and then at Abby.  When do we want to start this?"

"Umm, how about Saturday?"  I didn't want to seem pushy, but honestly I just wanted Ben to come home with me tonight.  But, I really didn't want to be pushy.

"Sure, yeah I guess that would work....."

Ben reached across the table and took Abby's hand, "What's wrong baby?  Talk to me, err us."

"You will be where until then?"

"He will be home with you until then."

"That's not right, not fair for Derrick, he wouldn't get to see you until Monday..... today's Wednesday, I think we should start tonight.  Stop by the house and get some stuff for the next two days.  We can all have dinner on Friday."

"Abby are you sure?  Completely and absolutely 100% sure about this?"  I was watching her close to see what her face could tell me about her true thoughts on all of this.....

"No, but none of us are sure how this will all play out.  All I do know, the water is always colder if you get in by inches, much better just to take the plunge, pull the band-aid off at once, not by painful by painful small tugs."

Ben took Abby's hands in his own, looked lovingly into her eyes and said, "Thank you honey.  You don't know what this means to me.  Well, you must or you would not rearrange our whole lives to accommodate my needs.  I love you so much!"

Walking to Ben's car, all I could think was, and so it begins.

Comments (1)

lmao .... oh you so got me on this chapter ... I love the diner setting lol ... ok no sex damn it .. but think this is my favorite chapter yet.... and Abby rushing things ... oh yeah that mind of yours... dead on .... Thanks Just....