Katie walked down the hallway to her room. Thursdays were challenging. It wasn’t that she didn’t love her classes, but by the end of the day, she was exhausted. She could hear the television blaring from Patty Steven’s room across the hall. “Great,” she muttered. Katie knew from past experience that knocking would be fruitless. With a sigh, she opened her door.
She had just settled into her PJ’s when she heard a soft tap. “Come in,” Katie called.
Vicki, her best friend opened the door. “Hey, you’re not going to the social downstairs?”
“No, not this week. I’m too tired to deal with the drama of who’s dating, who’s broken up,or who caught who going into someone’s room.”
Vicki laughed. “You’re just sore cause you know they’ll be talking about you and Randall.”
Katie grimaced. “Does everybody know we’re dating? I hate being the subject of gossip.”
“There are no secrets here; you should know that by now.” Vicki stared at her friend. “Seriously, what going on? You’ve seemed down all week.”
The bed groaned as Katie sat down. “It’s my family. They are coming for a visit this weekend. I should be excited, but I’m not.” Katie ran her fingers through her hair. “They have such rigid expectations. I know they are going to be on my case all weekend.”
Vicki sat on the end of the bed. “Yeah, sometimes it’s hard for them to let go. They expect us not to change. Do they know about Randall?”
“Lord, no. I can just hear what they’ll say about that. ‘It’s not appropriate at your age to have a serious boyfriend. You need to focus on you right now.’ Ugg.”
“I understand, believe me. When I first came here, my family called me three times a day. “
Katie smiled at her friend. “I’ve been so busy worrying about my own problems, I haven’t even asked you about your week. Don’t you have a big exam tomorrow?”
“Yes, but I’m sure it will go fine.” Vicki said.
“Well, I’ll pray for you tomorrow; Prepared or not, exams are no fun.”
Vicki stood up to leave. “Thanks. And I’ll pray that your family will trust God, and let you go. That they’ll forget their expectations of who you are or should be, and give you the room to grow.”
“Well said, “ Katie replied. “You keep talking like that and you’ll get kicked out of the social.”
Vicki grinned. “Don’t worry. I’ll keep it to dating news, and the cute new guy on the third floor.”
Katie sat up straighter. “What cute, new guy?”
“You have Randall, leave some for the rest of us.” With a smile and a wave, she left.
Katie sat outside her building and watched her family leave. They had hugged her long and hard, and with a few tears, headed back to their home across the state.
Vicki had just gotten off the campus bus and walked over to sit beside her.
“So, how did it go?’
Katie smiled. “Actually, pretty darn well. They took the tour, met my friends, even Randall, and basically said, if I was happy, they were happy.”
“Wow. That’s great. No third degree about how serious you were? My family get’s all uptight if I even mention a boyfriend.”
“No, surprisingly, just the usual elbowing each other and smirking. Thank you for your prayers.”
“It was my pleasure.”
“So?” Vicki asked. “How was your exam?”
“Passed with flying colors.”
“Awesome. We ought to get together every week for prayer requests. Maybe even put up a sign in the elevator and see if there’s any interest.”
Vicki nodded. “I like the way you think. Do you want to go inside now? It’s getting a bit chilly.”
“Yes,” Katie replied. “Phew! Can you hand me my walker? This weekend has really aggravated my bursitis.”
“Sure.” Vicki handed over the metal walker and helped her old friend stand. “Do you think you’ll make it to Bridge tomorrow? Half of these people can’t see the cards to play. They’ll trump their own ace if you don’t watch them.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll be there,” Katie laughed. “Now, about this fellow on the third floor?”
Arm in arm, the two friends made their way back inside the Brookhaven Retirement Community.
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