Dinner that evening was rather crowded. All seven kids were home, plus there was Walker and Diana, along with four extras. Of course Simone was there, and Angela stayed for dinner, too. Isaac’s girlfriend, Mary Anne was there, and so was Jessica’s boyfriend, Steve. Thirteen people at the dinner table was packed, but it was still fun.
Simone was in an especially good mood. Maybe it was done also. She didn’t seem to have much of a personality, but Simone decided she would try and be nice.
“So Mary Anne, how long have you and Ike been together?” Simone asked, trying to make friendly conversation.
“Why? Who wants to know? Do you, Simone? Heh, that name sounds like the name of a French whore. You better plan on keeping your slutty little hands off of Isaac or else I’ll have to shoot you in your innocent virgin face.” Mary Anne said, then took a bite of her mashed potatoes. What the hell was THAT?! Simone thought.
“Mary Anne,” Isaac whispered, “that was a bit inappropriate, especially with my parents, and younger brothers and sisters at the table.”
“But I couldn’t help that she was all over you!” Mary Anne whined.
“But she wasn’t all over me.” Isaac argued. Simone looked over at Taylor, who only raised an eyebrow, as if saying ‘See what I mean?’ “Simone, we’ve been together for almost 4 months.” Isaac answered. Simone nodded, then, with an amused look on her face looked and Walker. It seemed as though this wasn’t anything new for them. He returned her look and dinner continued.
“Simone, have you and Taylor decided on a date yet?” Diana asked, hope ringing in her voice to change the subject. Simone was about to speak up, when Walker said something.
“Decided on a date for what?” he asked. Simone looked to Taylor, and he only stared at his mother. So, Sim thought, I guess that Walker doesn’t know yet. The silence continued to about 3 more seconds until Walker spoke a little louder. “Decided on a date for what?”
Taylor still said nothing, and neither did Diana. Simone answered, “Our wedding,” in a smaller voice that she hoped for.
“Wedding?” Walker seemed distracted. “Oh, that’s nice.”
Simone looked at Taylor, who looked about as surprised as she felt. She thought that he would’ve flipped out.
“Wait a minute,” he began to realize...“Wedding?!”
“Yes dear, wedding. Simone and Taylor are engaged. Show him your ring, honey.” Diana said, encouraging Simone to show Walker her ring. She obeyed politely as he examined the ring.
“Do the two of you think you’re mature enough for marriage? I mean, it’s a heavy responsibility.”
“Dad, if you’re talking about our financial standing, then I don’t think that you need to worry about that.” Taylor said. His father shook his head.
“I mean psychologically...do you think you’re ready?”
“We’re not going to set a date until we feel absolutely certain.” Simone concluded. Walker nodded, obviously approving of her answer.
“What the hell are you getting married for?” Mary Anne came in with an outburst. “Why tie yourself down to only one person when you’re so young? That’s just stupid.”
“Aren’t you tying yourself down with Ike? I mean, you’ve been with him for over three months...” Simone interjected. Mary Anne’s face swept over with disgust.
“No.” she scoffed, then glanced nervously at Isaac. “I like to exercise alternative interests.”
“What?!” Ike exploded. He held a disgusted look on his face, then stood from the table and left the room abruptly.
“Isaac, wait! Let me explain!” Mary Anne got up and followed Ike. Simone bit her lip, then looked around the table at all of the shocked faces. They soon heard shouting coming from the other room, then footsteps running up the stairs and then a heavier set of footsteps following. Then a door slammed and they could faintly hear the voice of Isaac. He sounded so calm, but his voice had a hint of hectic nervousness in it. He also sounded desperate to get Mary Anne to listen to him.
It was a side of Isaac that Simone never saw before. She was sort of surprised at their sudden fight, but also, she was surprised to hear Isaac yell. Sure, she heard him yell at his brothers, but never to his sisters, or to any girl for that matter. It just didn’t seem right. But at the same time, she also saw the really soft side of him.
“Would any one like seconds?” voiced Diana, obviously eager to change the subject.
* * * * *
Hours later, Isaac was still sitting outside of his bedroom door, leaning his back against it. His eyes were shut and it looked like he had a headache.
“Ike, are you okay?” Simone asked, sitting down next to him, also leaning against his door. He opened his eyes and looked over at her.
“No, not really. I’m locked out of my room, my girlfriend ‘likes to exercise alternative interests’ and I find out that my younger brother is engaged before I ever had a serious relationship.” He said with gloominess filling his voice.
“Ike, I didn’t mean to get things so messed up tonight, really I didn’t. I was only trying to make conversation. And I’m sure that Mary Anne will come around, realize that you’re the greatest and you’ll make up.”
“I don’t know if I want to make up.” Isaac said, looking at the floor.
“Yeah, I don’t know if I want to make up. I thought that our relationship was going well, but then I saw you and Tay together and I realized that what we have together is missing something, and if she’s cheating on me, then...”
“Ike, don’t compare yourself or your relationship to anyone else’s. You’re with her for a reason and I’m sure that that when you think about it, you’ll realize how much you care about her and you won’t want to break up.”
“No, I don’t think so. It’s over. I don’t even feel sad about it.” Isaac said although he looked sad. Simone put her hand on his shoulder and he looked at her, his eyes teared up and he hugged her. She could tell he was crying.
The door opened suddenly and they both fell backwards, Isaac ended up falling on top of Simone, their chests together. The look on Mary Anne’s face was a mixture of hurt, shock, anger and fury. Simone could see hate brewing behind those dark eyes of hers. Isaac quickly sat up, removing himself from physical contact with Simone.
“I knew something was up with you two the minute she walked in the door. And now my assumptions are proven to be correct. I don’t know what went on with you in the past and truthfully, I don’t really give a damn, but as far as the future’s concerned, I’m gone. It was fun while it lasted, but it’s over. And you can blame everything on the French whore. See ya ‘round.” Mary Anne concluded, her voice raising throughout her entire speech. Simone ached inside when she saw the lost empty expression on Isaac’s face. Then she turned and watched Mary Anne’s pink head hurry down the hallway, then descend down the steps. Yet, Isaac made no attempt to stop her.
Simone leaned her head on his shoulder and wrapped her arm around his back. She felt so bad. If I never would’ve come here, then they would still be together, she thought. She tugged on his arm and he looked up into her eyes.
“Wanna go talk or something?” she offered.
“Not really. I just need to be alone for awhile.” He responded. Simone nodded, then offered him a hug, which he readily accepted. She still felt so bad. From his hug, it felt that even though he and Mary Anne were together for nearly four months, she never really let him hold her, or she never wanted him to hold her. Poor Ike, he was being deprived of one of the greatest things in a relationship. The simple fact of holding the person you care so much about or being held yourself was one of the greatest feelings in the world. Sure, it was a small simple task, but the affects were overwhelming. Simone pulled away from their hug first, then kissed his cheek.
“Just let me know if you need to talk, okay?” she said. Isaac nodded, then smiled the best he could and backed away into his room, then gently shut his door. Staring at the closed door, Simone wrapped her arms around herself and realized how lucky she was. Taylor genuinely loved her and she was so happy that she would never have to worry about her fiancé.