by: Rebecca Taylor

Sienna was nervous as she climbed out of Ben’s car at the community center where his sister Jennifer was throwing the thirtieth anniversary party.

“You okay?” asked Ben.

“Fine,” said Sienna, “just processing.”

“I know you’re scared of what is going to happen,” said Ben, “the future worries me too, but I have decided that what happens will. We have met, and we have lots of time before Todd comes home and makes the decision about whether the two of you should meet or not.”

“It’s not just that,” said Sienna, “meeting someone’s parents is a big milestone. I think of Todd often, but it hasn’t been with the same urgency, since we’ve been seeing each other. I don’t know if it is because I know that my dreams were true, or if it is because I have opened my heart to the possibility of love, and the fact that there are different paths available to me.”

“That pretty head of yours is doing too much thinking,” said Ben. “I just want you to have fun tonight.” He walked around the car to the passenger side where Sienna was standing. He took her in his arms and kissed her.

“That was so good,” said Sienna.

“And I’ve got plenty more where that came from,” said Ben.

“I am so lucky,” said Sienna, “I think we’d better go in now, or I might decide to keep you all to myself for the night.”

“Tempting,” said Ben with a laugh. He took Sienna’s hand and they walked together into the large building. It was already filling up with people. Jennifer caught sight of Ben and waved him over.

“Jenn, this is Sienna,” said Ben.

“Nice to meet you,” said Jennifer, “Ben has told me so much about you.”

“I hope that is a good thing,” said Sienna with a gentle laugh.

“Of course,” said Jennifer. She glanced at her watch. “Mom and Dad should be here in about ten minutes. They don’t know that this is for them. They think they’re coming to a Jack and Jill for the daughter of friends of theirs.”

“They are going to be so surprised,” said Ben.

“You’ve got to see the cake,” said Jennifer, “the decorator did an amazing job.”

Jennifer, Ben and Sienna walked over to the cake chatting as they went. Sienna found that she felt at ease with Ben’s sister and she found herself to looking forward to meeting his parents, despite being nervous about it. What worried her the most was knowing that she would probably have a difficult decision to make in time. She loved Ben so much that it hurt to think about the future, but as she felt such a strange connection to Todd, she knew that she had to at least meet him when he returned from active duty.

The lights went off and this brought Sienna back to the present. She and Ben walked closer to the front door of the community center.

“My parents are here,” said Ben quietly, “I recognize their car.”

“Get ready everyone,” said Jennifer.

As the door opened and Pamela and Peter Timmons walked in, everyone shouted, “Happy anniversary.”

“Oh, wow,” said Pamela clutching her husband’s arm, “I wasn’t expecting this.”

“Neither was I,” said Peter, “but it is a lovely thing that you have done for us, thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” said Jennifer, “we have this place all evening, so you’ll have lots of time to celebrate, but first, you’ve got to meet Ben’s girlfriend.”

“Yes, of course,” said Pamela. She approached Ben.

“This is Sienna,” said Ben, “meet my mother, Pamela and my father Peter.”

“We have heard some lovely things about you,” said Pamela, “it’s nice to finally meet.”

“Thank you,” said Sienna, “I’ve heard nice things about you too. Happy anniversary”

“Thank you, dear,” said Pamela, “Peter and I haven’t always seen eye to eye on things, but we’ve always managed to talk things through and work out the rough patches. If things get touch in your relationship with Ben, don’t forget that.”

“I will keep that advice close at hand,” said Sienna.

“I’m looking forward to getting to know you,” said Pamela, “but I suppose we’d better do the rounds and say hello to everyone first.”

“Of course,” said Sienna, “see you later.”

When the music started, Ben led Sienna out onto the dance floor. In the dim lights, Ben held Sienna in his arms and they waltzed in harmony. It felt so right, that it made Sienna feel slightly guilty, even though she knew that she wasn’t doing anything wrong. She knew that in time everything would sort itself out.

“One day at a time,” whispered Ben.

“Yes, one day at a time,” answered Sienna kissing Ben’s cheek as the song ended.

Advertisements