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“It wasn’t so bad,” Tyler shrugs. “And for a whole week I got away with murder and Angela got in trouble for every little thing. That was enough for me.”

We both laugh at that and then we go back to eating our cheeseburger. I put the last bite in my mouth and then I pick up my milkshake and sit and sip it. I turn slightly to watch the ice skaters.

“They all look so graceful,” I say.

“You did too once you got the hang of it,” Tyler tells me.

“Even once I got going, I didn’t feel graceful, just slightly less clumsy than before,” I say with a soft laugh.

I feel my purse vibrating at my side where my cell phone is getting a text message, but I ignore it. It seems rude replying to it while we’re sitting, having our lunch. We talk a bit more and then Tyler excuses himself to go to the bathroom and I’m able to get my cell phone out. I frown when I see it’s a text from my mom. She never texts me; she always calls. I open the text and read it.

“I thought it best to text you as it seems you’re too busy for phone calls these days,” the message starts. I roll my eyes. There’s the first guilt trip because I forgot to call the other day. I did apologize but it obviously hasn’t been forgiven quite yet. I read on and the message goes from bad to worse. “Why don’t you make it up to me by coming for dinner on Tuesday evening. And bring that boyfriend of yours. Your father and I want to meet him.”

I immediately click out of the text thread and open the one with Rebecca instead. I type angrily.

“You told my mom about Tyler?” I say in the message.

The answer comes back fast as it always does with Rebecca.

“I’m sorry. I ran into her in the mall, and she was asking me all of these questions and it just slipped out. I was going to tell you but I knew you’d be angry so I just waited, hoping your mom would forget about it. X,” Rebecca’s response reads.

“Fat chance of that. She wants me to invite him to have dinner at their place,” I type.

“So do it,” she texts back. “What’s the worst thing that could happen?”

I roll my eyes at that one. She knows my parents well enough to know the answer to that one.

“How long have you got?” I reply.

My cell phone pings almost instantly, with a laughing emoji. Yeah, it’s ok for her to sit there and laugh after causing this. I put my cell phone down on the table. I don’t put it away yet because I haven’t replied to my mom’s text. I wait for Tyler to come back from the bathroom. He frowns as he approaches the table.

“What’s wrong?” he asks, retaking his seat.

“Nothing,” I say.

“Ah ok, my mistake,” he says. “I didn’t realize you always looked shell shocked and sat shredding straw wrappers.”

I can’t help but laugh at that and Tyler laughs too but he soon turns serious again.

“Come on, out with it,” he says.

“My mom texted me. She wants you to have dinner with me and my parents at their place on Tuesday. I get it if you don’t want to, please don’t think there’s any pressure or…”

I know I’m babbling but I can’t seem to stop myself. Tyler interrupts me and that stops me in my tracks.

“I’d love to have dinner with you and your parents,” he says.

“Really?” I say, waiting for him to laugh and say no of course not, but he doesn’t. Instead, he nods his head.

“Really,” he says.

“Ok, I’ll text her back and tell her to expect us about seven thirty?” I ask.

Tyler nods.

“Yeah, that should be enough time for us to get home from work and get showered and changed,” he says.

I quickly type out a reply to my mom letting her know we would love to come to dinner. She replies quickly, saying it’s great and she’s looking forward to seeing us. I can imagine her shocked expression. She would have been expecting me to say no chance. Normally, I would have. Does this mean Tyler and I have just gone to the next level now that he’s meeting my parents? I don’t know and I refuse to let myself dwell on it. After meeting my overbearing parents, he’ll probably run as far away and as fast as he can from me anyway.