Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Before the Always, Sixth Edition

The papers predicted correctly.  Jimmy took his team to the state championship and won.  He was walking with Stokes over to a crowd of cheerleaders and football players in the parking lot celebrating the win.
“Where’s my girl?” he asked aloud making sure everyone heard him.
Lydia rolled her eyes.  “I don’t have property of Jimmy tattooed anywhere on my body.”
Stokes punched him in the shoulder.  “She’s got your number, man.”
“Whatever.”  He reached for Lydia’s hand, grabbed it and pulled her close to him.  Then he kissed her on the mouth.  They were serenaded by a round of “oohs”, whistles, and obscene comments.  “What’s it like to kiss a state champion?”
“Gross.”  She pushed him away. “ You’re all sweaty and you smell like dirty socks.  Didn’t you shower?”
Jimmy shook his head.  “Dirty socks, huh?” He grinned.  I thought it was the smell of victory.”
“Victory smells disgusting.”  Lydia smiled and held her nose.
Jimmy eyed everyone looking at them.  “C’mon, baby, let’s go.  I want to be alone with you for a few minutes.”
“I thought you were a better man than that,” Stokes joked.
Lydia shot daggers with her eyes at her boyfriend’s best friend.  “I’m not that kind of girl.”
Stokes held up his hands in a gesture of surrender.  “Excuse me.  Sorry.”
“Can you two fight later?  I really need to talk to Lyddie alone.”  He grabbed Lydia’s hand and ran with her to his truck.  He held up his finger to motion to her to wait a minute while he opened the door to the cab of his new truck and rummaged behind the seat for a blanket.  When he found it, he motioned for Lydia to follow him to the bed of the truck.  He pulled down the tailgate and hopped in and held his hand out for her to join him.  She jumped in.
“Here.”  He wrapped the blanket around her and sat her down in front of him.  He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close to his chest.  “Now, you won’t get my sweat on you.”
“I wouldn’t get your sweat on me if you showered, Jimmy Brown.”
“I didn’t have time to shower.”  He bent over and kissed her cheek.
“Why not?”
“I just didn’t, okay?  Don’t ask any more questions.”
“Fine.”  Lydia fell closer into Jimmy’s chest and looked up.  The sky was the color of midnight and stars twinkled throughout.  “Do you ever wish that you could just close your eyes and stay like this?”
“Mmm. All the time.” Jimmy planted tender kisses on her neck.  “Why don’t you close your eyes and think about it for a minute?”
“I don’t have to close my eyes to think about it.”
“Lyddie, you’re killing me here.  Please, just close your eyes.”
“Should I trust you, Jimmy Brown?”
“With your life. Close them.”  He put his thumbs above her eyes and closed them for her.
“Where do you picture yourself in ten years?”  Jimmy asked.  He reached into the window of his truck with his right hand and grabbed something from the gun rack.
“I dunno.  Maybe married.  Maybe not.  I haven’t really planned that far ahead.”
“Do you see me in your future?” Jimmy asked.  He fished out Lydia’s left hand from the blanket.
“ If you’re talking about tomorrow, sure I do.  I’ve got to get home somehow.  You’re my ride.”  Lydia grinned.
“I’m serious, Lyddie.  Do you see me with you?”
“If you haven’t been seriously injured or killed in the Army, I guess I do.”
“I see you with me.  We’re in a big house with kids running around and maybe a dog.”
“No dogs.”
“Maybe it’s a cat then.”
“That’s even worse.”
“I was hoping you’d say that.  Okay, so we have a fish.”
“They die.”
“Lyddie, would you let me have my moment please?”
“Okay, continue, house, kids, some animal that we haven’t quite agreed on.”
Jimmy slipped his class ring on Lydia’s left ring finger.  “Will you?”
Lydia opened one eye and saw the class ring sitting on her finger.  She turned around.  “Will I what, Jimmy?”
“Will you be in the future with me?  Will you marry me?  I’m paying off your real ring and I couldn’t wait any longer, Lyddie.  You’ll have it by Christmas if you say yes.”
“Jimmy, you’re going away.  Things are going to change.”
“This. Me and you.  This is never going to change.”  He brushed away the loose hair from her forehead and held it back with his hand.  “I love you, Lyddie.  Please say yes.”  He pressed his forehead up against hers.  “I’ll even shower if you say yes.”
Jimmy nodded.
“Did you ask my Daddy if it was okay?”
“Yes, ma’am.  Your mom, too.  My mama didn’t raise a fool.  Don’t make an ex-Marine mad.”  He knelt back on his knees so he could see Lydia’s face clearly. “ C’mon, Lyddie, you’re killing me with all these questions.  I want an answer.”
Lydia looked at the ring on her hand.  “This is the only ring I need, Jimmy.”
“Is that a yes?”
“Yes,” she whispered.
“Yes!”  Jimmy shot up and raised his fist in the air.  “This is the best play I’ve executed all night!”  He lifted Lydia up and spun her around.  When he put her feet back on the solid metal of the bed of the truck, he kissed her like he’d never kissed her before.  “I’ll make you happy, baby.  Wait and see.”
“You already do, Jimmy.”
“Let’s go tell the rest of the guys the news.”  He jumped off the tailgate and lifted Lydia down from the truck.  They ran back over to the cheerleaders and a few of the football players.  Stokes stood from leaning on the front of an old pick up.  “What’s the word, Brown?”
“Yes.”  He backed Lydia up to the truck and looked in her eyes.  “A thousand times, yes.”  He kissed her again.
“Get a room!  You two make me sick the way you can’t keep your hands off each other!” Jenni yelled.
“Can it, Jenni,” Stokes remarked.  “He’s happy.  They’re happy.”
“I could make you happy,” Jenni said sidling up to Stokes.
Stokes stepped away.  “The only way you could make me happy is if you’d move to another state.”
“I wish you’d see what is right in front of you.”
“I do.”  He nodded over to Lydia and Jimmy who were still kissing.  “Two of my favorite people having a good time.”  The kiss was getting a little obscene for others to see. “Uh, guys, you might want to cool it.  Some of us haven’t eaten, yet.”
Lydia pulled away from Jimmy.  “Sorry.”  She wiped her mouth and giggled.  Jimmy looked at her with dancing eyes and smiled.
“Are we ready to go now?” Jenni asked.  “I’m starving.  All that cheering makes me hungry.”
“Can’t,” Jimmy remarked still looking into Lydia’s big brown eyes and smiling.  “I have to shower.”

“I’m nervous, Jimmy,” Lydia admitted standing at the door of his house.
“You’ll be fine.  They’re just parents.  You have some, too, remember?”
Lydia spun the class ring around on her finger.  “What if, what if they don’t like me?”
Jimmy kissed her cheek.  “Relax, baby, they’ll like you.”  He opened the door and let Lydia in before he walked inside.
“Mom, Dad?  Lydia’s here.”
Anita Brown walked from the kitchen into the living room.  She wiped her hands on a dishtowel and then shook Lydia’s hand.  “Hi, Lydia, nice to meet you.  I’m just finishing up dinner.  We’ll eat in a few minutes.”
“Where’s Dad?”
Anita scratched behind her ear and looked at her son. “He’s, uh, he’s not coming,” Anita said.  She hurried back into the kitchen.
“Mom.”  He drug out the word and walked into the kitchen leaving Lydia by the door.
“Where is he?”  He leaned on the counter by the stove where she was stirring what looked like spaghetti sauce.
“At the VA.”  She opened the oven door, pulled out the bread and sat it on the counter.
“He’s having a rough week, okay?  Some of his friend’s kids have been deployed all ready.”
Anita wiped the sweat from her forehead with the back of her hand.
“Why does that matter to him?”
Anita pounded the palm of her hands on the edge of the counter.  “It just does.  It matters to him.  I don’t know what’s in his head.  He won’t tell me.  He won’t tell you.  To be honest, I don’t think he even really tells the therapist the whole truth.  So don’t worry about it, Jimmy.  Let’s just get this dinner over with!”
Lydia slipped into the kitchen.  “Is everything all right?”  Lydia asked quietly.  “I heard yelling.”
“Don’t you judge me for yelling, young lady.”  She wagged the knife she was using to slice the bread.
“I wasn’t.  I didn’t-“ Lydia shook her head and held up her hands trying to ward off the accusation.
“Mom, don’t talk to her like that.”  Jimmy crossed his arms and looked at his mom.
“Why not?  She thinks she can just come in here and fix everything that goes on in this house.  She doesn’t have the slightest idea what your dad has put this family through.”
“Mom, stop.”
“You want to hide it, too, Jimmy?  You want to keep the family secret from her.  The fact that your father doesn’t go anywhere, doesn’t do anything except sit in that stupid recliner and blame the Army for the way he is today?”
Jimmy looked at Lydia.  She wasn’t saying anything, just biting her lip.“Mom, please stop talking.”  He grabbed her arm that was slicing the bread.
Anita looked up at Lydia.  “You made him do this.  You know that?”
“Mrs. Brown, I, I didn’t . ..”
“He wanted his dad to know he wasn’t going to fail.  He wanted him to see that he was just like his daddy.  Protecting the woman he loves.  It’s a lie, Lydia.  A lie.  He’s not protecting you.  He’s running from life in Riley like they always do.  You’re taking him from me, just like the Army took Dale away from me.”  She put the knife down on the counter and looked Lydia squarely in the eyes.  “I’ll never forgive you for that.”
Lydia turned like she’d been slapped in the face and ran out the door.
“Lyddie!”  Jimmy ran after her.  He found her on the front porch gasping for air.
“Lyddie, are you all right.”
Lydia shook her head.
“Tell me what to do,”  Jimmy held her hand. Lydia slid down the wall until she was sitting on the ground. Then, she pulled her knees to her chest and dropped her head between them.  “Tell me what you need.”
After about 30 seconds, Lydia lifted her head up and looked over at Jimmy.  “I need to go home.”
“My mom’s just having a bad day.  It’ll blow over.”
“Take me home, Jimmy.  Your mama doesn’t want me here.  Take me home, please.”
“She didn’t mean that, Lyddie.  All right?  She gets this way when my dad has episodes like this.”
“She hates me, Jimmy!  Did you not hear what she said?  I didn’t do anything.  I didn’t do anything and she already hates me.  Take me home now!”  Lydia got up and walked toward Jimmy’s truck.  Jimmy followed her to his truck and opened the door for her.  “At least, let’s go meet my dad.”
“Why?  So he can blame me, too?  That sounds real fun.”  Lydia blew the bangs away from her forehead.
Jimmy rubbed his forehead.  “Okay, look.  My dad has some problems.  He was in Vietnam and came back different somehow.  I don’t know all the details, but he’s been diagnosed with PTSD.  Sometimes, I just think it’s his excuse, so he doesn’t have to talk about it.  He can be fine one minute and then all of the sudden just withdraw.”
“Jimmy, if you’re not going to take me home, I’m walking.”  Lydia turned around and took two steps towards the street.
“Get in the truck, Lyddie.”
“Are you taking me home?”  She turned and hopped into the passenger side.
Jimmy walked over and got in the driver’s side.  “We’re just going to take a little detour first.”
“Who said you could call the shots?”  Lydia asked.
Jimmy smiled.  “I’m QB1, it’s my job to call the shots around here.”

Jimmy walked into the VA with Lydia.  He had been there before and didn’t ask for anyone to help him find out where his dad was.  He threw open the door of the therapist’s office and saw his dad sitting in a chair staring out the window.  His therapist wasn’t in the room.
“You skipped out, Dad,” Jimmy snarled.
Dale flinched and then looked over at Jimmy.   “What are you talking about?”
“Dinner.  Lydia.  Remember?”
Dale looked behind Jimmy and saw Lydia standing in the doorway.  “Sorry.”
Lydia flashed a smile that forgave him barely.  Dale looked back at his son.  “She’s pretty, Jimmy. Better treat her right.”
“Why did you come here tonight?”
“Stuff.  Things.  You.”
“I don’t think I need to be here, Jimmy,”  Lydia said.  She backed towards the door.
“No, stay.”  He walked over to his dad.  “Stop being cryptic.  What’s going on?”
“She’s right.  She doesn’t need to be here for this.”
“Nice meeting you too, sir.”  Lydia stepped out the door.
Jimmy sat on the arm of the chair where his dad was sitting.  “You, too, huh?  First Mom goes off on her and then you sit there and snap at me in front of her.  She already  thinks Mom hates her.  What do you think of her?”
“She’s the geometry girl, right?”
Jimmy nodded.
“Nice catch, son.  She’s pretty and smart.”
“She’s worried you don’t like her,” Jimmy said.
“She shouldn’t worry about what other people think about her.”
“Dad, what are you doing here?  Answer the question.”
Dale rubbed his face with both hands.  “I just needed to talk to somebody, that’s all.”
“You’ve got two people at home you can talk to.  Why this? Why now?”
“Are you my therapist now?  If you are, then tell me this.  Why the heck did I screw up my son’s life?  Why did I pressure him into the Army when I knew he was one of the best football players in the county?  I broke you, son.  You know that.  I broke you down, until you had no choice and I’m having second thoughts about that.”
“You’re wrong, Dad.  I did it on my own.”
Dale snorted.  “No, you didn’t, Jimmy.  I made you do it.”
“Really?  Because Mom thinks Lydia made me do it.”
“That’s what she told her.  Mom told Lydia that she made me do it and Mom would never forgive her for taking me away from her.”
“Is it true?”
Jimmy stood up from where he sat.  “Nobody made me do anything. I didn’t do it to get out of Riley.”  He put his hands on either side of the chair so he was towering over his dad.  “I did it to get the heck away from you!”
Dale stood up so Jimmy would back down.  “Don’t you raise your voice at me, boy.”
“You wanna fight, Dad?  ‘Cause we’ll fight.  You’ve ruined what could have been a perfectly good night if you would get over yourself.  My fiance wanted to meet my parents and I thought it would’ve been nice if we could have a dinner at home.  But, no, you had to go run off and mom had to blow up in her face.  I’m not happy, Dad.  You both hurt her.  She’s a really nice girl and she just wanted to meet you guys.”
“Your fiance?”  Dale scratched his head.  “When did that happen?”
“A month ago at state.  If you were there, you would’ve known.  I’m surprised Mom didn’t tell you.”
“You’re mother and I weren’t speaking to each other at the time,” Dale grumbled.
“What did you say?”
“Congratulations, Jimmy.  You’re the reason why your mom and I haven’t said two words to each other since you joined up.”
Jimmy slammed his hand down on the therapist’s desk.  “I don’t need this.”  He paced for a few moments.  “I don’t need this.  Don’t blame me, all right?  Don’t blame me for your problems.  It’s not my fault.  You’re the one that shuts down when anyone mentions Army.  You’re the one that won’t talk to us about what happened.  We’ve tried, Dad.  We’ve tried so many times, we just started giving up and leaving you alone.  I’m leaving.  I don’t need this.”  Jimmy walked to the door.
“Jimmy, wait-“
Jimmy stepped over the threshold and turned to face into the room where his dad was.  “I’ve waited long enough.  Goodbye.”  He turned back around to get Lydia, but all that was in front of him was a lobby with empty seats.  She was gone.

Lydia sat in the truck with her dad.  Her arms were crossed and her lips were in full pout mode.  “They don’t like me, Daddy.”  She had called her dad when she realized that Jimmy’s detour wasn’t a good idea.  She didn’t want to stay for what was going to happen next.
“Who wouldn’t like you, sweetheart?” Lt. Baker asked.
“Jimmy’s parents.  His mama told me she’d never forgive me.”  Lydia ran her finger along the edge of the window.
“Forgive you for what?”
“Jimmy.  She thinks Jimmy joined the army because of me.  I didn’t tell him to do it. I don’t even want him to go.  But, she thinks it’s my fault.”
“Lydia, don’t let her get to you.”
“She did, Daddy.  She yelled at me in front of Jimmy and I didn’t have a good comeback at all.  I just turned and ran away again.”  Lydia slammed her fist on the paneling.  “Why do I keep doing that?”
“Be nice to the truck, Lydia.”
“I know, I know, this is your baby since I’m grown up now.  Sorry.  But this is serious stuff, Daddy.  I can’t marry Jimmy if his parents don’t like me.”
Lt. Baker pulled onto the street where they lived.  “I think it doesn’t matter what his parents think.  Your grandma didn’t like it when I joined the marines.  She got over it.”
Lydia looked over at her dad’s bicep.  His tattoo was peeking out from under his sleeve.  “Just like she got over that tattoo.”
“Jury’s still out on that one, sweetie.”  He pulled into the driveway.  Jimmy’s truck was parked and he was leaning against the door.
“Looks like someone’s here to apologize.”  Lt. Baker nodded in Jimmy’s direction.
“Tell him I have to go inside, Daddy.”
“Lydia, I don’t lie for anybody.  Not even you,baby girl.”
“I don’t want to talk to him right now.”  She crossed her arms and looked out the window.
“He probably just had a fight with his parents about you.  He knows that you’re mad.  He just wants to talk to you.  I’ve been down this road before, sweetheart.  Talk to the guy.”  Lt. Baker shut the truck off and got out.  Lydia sighed and followed behind until Jimmy came up to her.
“In at ten.  You’ve got school tomorrow,” Lt. Baker called over to the two.
“Yes, sir,” Lydia answered.
Lt. Baker shut the door and turned on the porch light.
“He’s pretty adamant about that rule, isn’t he?”  Jimmy asked.
Lydia nodded.  Her face was scrunched up in a frown.
“Hey, baby, don’t look like that.”
“They hate me, Jimmy.”
“C’mere.”  He motioned for Lydia to come closer to him and he wrapped her up in a hug.  “I’m sorry things didn’t go well tonight.My parents are going through some stuff and they don’t like to tell anyone.”  He was silent for a moment.  “Including me.”
“Is everything okay, Jimmy?”
Jimmy sat down on the step on the front porch.  “No.” He pulled Lydia down into his lap.  “But, I’m here with you now and that makes it okay.”
Lydia felt her cheeks flush while she smiled.
“Whew, that’s a relief.  I thought I’d never see that smile after tonight.”
“What are you talking about?”
Jimmy put his hand on her cheek.  “I saw the look you had when I walked up to you.  I don’t like knowing I gave you that look.  You’re too pretty to be sad.”
“Shh, baby.  Let me finish.  I promised I’d make you happy and I’m not breaking my promise.”
Lydia touched his hand that was on her cheek.“Jimmy, you don’t have to do this.  You need to go home and talk to your parents.”
“I’m not going home for awhile, Lyddie.  I’m going to stay at Stokes’s place.”
Lydia wrinkled her forehead.  “Stokes has his own place?”
Jimmy drew his hand back and  suppressed his laughter.  “No, Lyddie. He lives with his aunt and uncle.”
“Where are his parents?”
“Wow, I didn’t know.”
“He won’t talk about it much.  His aunt pretty much let’s him do anything he wants.  He’s got a pretty good gig there.”
“Sounds like it.”
“Sometimes I wish I had his life.”
Lydia stood up from his lap.  “Don’t say things like that Jimmy.  Your parents will be okay.”
“Really?  I went home to get my things and my mom was sitting in my dad’s chair sobbing and saying she wanted the man she married to come back.  My dad’s an emotional wreck right now because he thinks he did something to drive me out from football and into the army. And that just means he shuts everybody out and won’t say a word to anyone but the stupid VA shrink.”  He pulled Lydia back down on his lap.  “You’re the only thing good in my life right now, Lyddie.”  He held her head in his hands and kissed her.  “I don’t think I can wait until May to marry you.”
“That’s what the plans are looking toward.”
“Spring break isn’t that far away.  How about then?”
“Jimmy, we can’t.  We’ve got to finish the semester.”
“We will, baby.  C’mon.  I can’t stay at my house another minute and eventually I’m going to wear out my welcome over at Stokes’s.”
“I want a nice wedding.  Not just something that was thrown together at a moment’s notice.  I am a girl, ya know.”
Jimmy wiggled his eyebrows.  “Oh, I know.  I definitely know.”  He tickled her ribs.  She fell into a ripple of laughter and squealed.  “Only girls squeal like that.”
“You’re not making it easy for me to say no, Jimmy.”
“Rumor has it that’s its not easy for you to say no, anyway.”  His eyes twinkled when he looked at Lydia.  He pressed his forehead up against hers.  She didn’t look happy about that comment.  “You know I’m kidding about that, right?”
“Can we compromise?”
“I’ll do anything you ask, baby.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
 Before Lydia could give her compromise, Jimmy spilled his thoughts to her. “Here’s my plan, Lyddie.  We just get married in front of the Justice of the Peace over spring break.  By then, I’ll have an apartment and we can live there.  Then, after grad we can do your wedding.  Just the way you want it.”
“I don’t think my parents would go for that, Jimmy.  They want me to finish school first.”
“You’ll finish, baby.  I promise.  We’ll finish together.  We’ll graduate together.  We’ll do everything together, just like we planned.”
“And then you’ll leave me.”  Lydia stood up and ran to over to Jimmy’s truck.  She didn’t want him to see the hurt in her eyes.  She stood in front of the hood and pressed her hands against the hot metal.  He went after her.  When he was close enough, he grabbed her by the arm and turned her around.
 “Don’t say it like that.”
“Like what, Jimmy?  Like its the truth?  Because it is and you know it.  You know that’s exactly what’s going to happen.  Everything is going to be just fine until May and then two weeks later all hell is going to break loose and I’ll be stuck in Riley alone in an apartment too big for one person.  Nobody’s going to help me.  Nobody’s going to care about me.  Everybody hates me anyway.”
“Stop staying stuff like that, baby.  It makes me feel like your not wanted.”  He wrapped his arms around her waist and hoisted her onto the hood of the truck.  Then, he put a hand on each of her legs and traced circles with his thumbs on them.  “And believe me, you are wanted.”
“Jimmy, stop.” Lydia turned shades of red.
“You’re adorable when you pretend to be embarassed.”
Lydia turned away so Jimmy couldn’t see her face.  “I’m not pretending.”
“Marry me, Lyddie.  Spring break.  I’m not against begging you.”  He kept his hands on her legs and knelt down on his knees.
“Get up, Jimmy Brown! This is embarassing.”
Jimmy reached in his pocket and pulled out a small velvet box.  “I was going to give this to you earlier tonight, but there never was a good time.”
“Is that?”  Lydia’s eyes sparkled with anticipation.
Jimmy nodded.  He opened the box to display the platinum band he had saved for and finally had paid off.
“I told you this is all I needed, Jimmy.”  She pointed to her left finger where his class ring sat.
“You deserve more than that, Lyddie.  Just say yes to spring break.  Please.”  He held out the box for her to take, but she didn’t.  Instead, she closed it and hopped off the truck.
“Save it for the ceremony.”
“Which one?”
“I have to think about it.”
“You’ve only got a few weeks to answer.”
Lydia stomped her foot like a two year old who didn’t get the candy she wanted in the grocery store check out line.  “Don’t pressure me, Jimmy Brown!  I don’t do well under pressure!”
Jimmy stood up and smoothed back Lydia’s hair.  “Okay, okay.  I’m sorry.  I just really want to be with you now.”
“I get it.”
“I love you.”
“I know.”
Jimmy leaned his forehead againt hers.  “I don’t know if I like this onery side of yours.”
“Gotta love all of me.  Even my quirks.”
“Oh, I do.”  He leaned in closer and kissed her hard on the mouth.  Lydia saw the porch light flash after about two minutes of their lip locking.
“Ugh!”  Lydia looked at her watch.  “Nine fifty nine.  How does he do that?”  Lydia leaned in for another kiss.  “I wonder what would happen if I was just a minute more . . .”
Jimmy took a step back from Lydia.  “Your daddy is a retired marine, Lyddie.  Let’s not risk it.”  He grabbed her hand and led her back to the door.
Lydia grinned.  “You’re afraid of him, aren’t you?”
“No.”  Jimmy shook his head.  “No.”  He paused. “Okay, maybe a little.  Have you seen his arms?  They’re like cannons.  I don’t know what his job was in the Marines, but I’m pretty sure I need to stay on his good side.”
The door opened and Lt. Baker stood waiting.  “Ten o’clock.”
Jimmy kissed Lydia on the cheek.  “Good night.  Think about it.” He winked and walked to his truck after Lydia went inside.  Her dad went back to the couch next to her mom.
“Daddy, that was so embarassing!  You were spying on me.”
“I was not.”
Lydia pointed an accusatory finger at her dad and looked at her mom.“He flashed the lights when we were kissing, Mama.”
Michelle grinned.  “We were just having a little fun, Lydia, lighten up.”
Lydia put her hands on her hips. “We were having a serious conversation.”
Lt. Baker crossed his arms and scrunched his eyebrows into a V.  “So sorry, sweetheart.”
“This isn’t funny!  What if you and Mama were kissing on the front porch and I flashed the lights on you?  Hmm?”
Lt. Baker scooted closer to Michelle.  “Let’s try it and see what happens.”  Lt. Baker leaned in and kissed Michelle.  She squealed with surprise and then got quiet while they kissed.  Lydia closed her eyes.
“This isn’t happening.”  She massaged the bridge of her nose.  Lydia opened her eyes and grinned.  It was time to get back at her parents.  “It’s past the ten o’clock curfew.”
Lt. Baker pulled back and kept his eyes locked on his wife’s eyes.  “What are you going to do?  Send us to our room?”
“Punishment accepted,” Michelle said a little too quickly.
Lydia ran up the stairs.  “Ew, ew, ew!  I’m going to bed!”  She slammed the door behind her.
Lt. Baker pulled Michelle up from the couch.  “So, are we,” he called to the closed door.