Behind the cut is a spoiler - the scene when James brings Cindy home to introduce her to his parents. Feedback is welcome.
“Will you stop fidgeting, sweetie? You have nothing to worry about.”
“Says you,” Cindy replied. “As I said to you once before James, I’m not the type of girl that you take home to meet your mama.”
“Says you,” he retorted. “Really, it’ll be fine. My mother will love you. Just focus on the fact that you’re an orphan and don’t mention exactly where you work.”
“Right, she’s a teetotaler,” Cindy muttered. “So steer conversation away from the fact that I’m employed by a speakeasy owner.”
“That would be prudent.”
The train rattled to a stop. “Ready?” James asked, offering Cindy his hand.
“This place is so much like the town where I grew up,” Cindy said as they walked towards the Bradford Farm.
“Don’t let that worry you – Simsfield might be a small town, but it’s not at all far from the city. You saw that.”
The front door suddenly flew open, and Marsha came out on to the steps. “I’m so glad you’re here!”
Jefferson followed her out. “Give them a chance to get all the way here before you accost them, dear,” he smiled.
Cindy tightened her grip on James’ hand.
Later, while Marsha was giving Cindy a tour of the house, Jefferson pulled James aside. “She’s a nice girl, James.”
“Thanks, Papa. I…I really like her a lot.”
“I thought so, otherwise you wouldn’t have subjected her to your mother’s fussings. Are you planning on making things between you two more official anytime soon?”
“I’d like to, Papa. We haven’t talked about marriage per se; I know that her parents were trying to force it on her before they died, and I don’t want to drag up bad memories. Plus, I kind of wanted to see how you and Mama liked her, and to see how she reacted to you.”
Jefferson smiled. “If you like her, your mother and I will like her.”
James clasped his father on the shoulder. “Thanks, Papa.”
After sitting down to one of Marsha’s delicious dinners, sensed that his mother wanted a word with him. He offered to help clear the plates, and followed her into the kitchen.
“Oh, James, she’s just charming!” Marsha gushed.
“Thanks, Mama. I really like her.”
“Of course you do, dear. I saw how you watched her at dinner.”
James colored a little bit at his mother’s remark.
“Scrape the plates while I put them in to soak?” she asked.
After the dishes were in the sink, Marsha went over to the pie on the counter. “I hope she likes cherry.”
“She’ll love it, Mama. Don’t worry.”
Marsha gave her son a knowing look. “I supposed you’d like the Bradford diamond soon?”
James chuckled. “Is that what we’re calling Great-Grandma Chris’ ring now? But to answer your question, yes, Mama. Sometime this summer.”
Marsha's beamed. “Take the dessert plates into the dining room, please? I’ll be right behind you once I get the pie cutter out.”
Alone in the kitchen, Marsha hummed to herself. Her son would be getting married soon, and then there would be grandbabies for her to dote upon.
Cindy was such a sweet girl. And an orphan! Marsha shook her head. The poor thing.
Of course, she didn’t want to rush things. James hadn’t even asked her to marry him yet. Marsha had seen what the pressure of needing to get married did to someone, and she did not want to be the cause of any anxiety.
Marsha got the pie cutter out of the drawer and carried up the pie to her soon-to-be-family, a huge smile on her face.