We parked in the driveway. I looked at my fiancé and sighed.
“I can handle this,” Chad said, a rough edge to his voice. “I don't understand why you think so little of me that you don't want me to meed your sisters.”
“That's not it,” I assured him, a smile threatening my lips. “I want you to meet my sisters. I just don't think you're prepared.” The smile broke loose. “They'll love you. Just pay attention.”
“I have a sister Trish. I'll be okay.”
I thought about Chad's younger sister. The baby of his family by five years, with two protective older brothers and no need to share the bathroom. I swallowed back the chuckle as we walked toward the house. Chad opened the door. The chaos began.
“Trish?” my mom called from the kitchen.
“We should leave before noon,” Brianne said.
“But after noon the traffic will be lighter,” replied Jess. Their voices carried from the dining room as my mom walked toward us.
“Chad, it's so good to see you again.” She hugged us both. “The girls are at the table. Dinner's ready.” I rested a hand on Chad's arm. We followed Mom into the dining room.
“I'm Jessica,” my older sister stood and shook Chad's hand.
“Hey, I'm Bri,” said the youngest from her seat.
“I'm Chad,” he smiled. “It's a pleasure to meet you.”
“Dad!” Bri yelled. Chad jumped. “Dinner!”
“I don't like pork,” announced Jess, carrying food from the kitchen. “What about chicken?”
I glanced at the table. “Where's the butter?”
Bri laughed. “Too much fat. Dad's off that now. Dad!”
I sat down and pulled out Chad's chair. Bri's plate was already full as Jess brought more food to the table. On her way back to the kitchen, Jess stopped at the stairs to the basement and turned off the lights.
“Jessica!” a muffled, male voice yelled.
Mom smiled. “Let's eat!”
I looked up at Chad. He finally sat down.
“Do you eat meat?” asked Bri.
“Of all of the questions you could ask, you pick that one?” teased Jess.
“Kyle didn't eat meat.” Bri.
“Kyle was an idiot.” Me.
“Don't ever turn off my lights again!” Dad. He nodded toward Chad as he sat. “Pass me the chops please.”
My sisters began. “So, how's your family?”
“What's your brother like?”
“Ew, needs salt.”
“I'm applying for a new job.”
“Oh! I found some great new mules!”
“I might be moving.”
“Did you hear that Jill's husband left her?”
I glanced at Chad. With an empty plate, he observed the scene.
“How do you feel about kids?” blurted Bri. She winced when I kicked her under the table.
“Um,” Chad cleared his throat and looked around. My dad ate, head down. My mom hummed as she went to the kitchen for a beverage. My sisters stared intensely. Chad gave a mischievous smile and winked at me. “I'm thinking, maybe, sons would be nice.”
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