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Matchmaking

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“I won’t do this, Carol. Don’t make me sit at a table finding her already sitting there,” growled her father-in-law, who was standing by the coat rack inside the fancy restaurant refusing to give up his fedora hat and cane to the slick-haired host.

“She is your wife, not the grim reaper,” Carol sighed, giving his left shoulder a small, tender squeeze. “Make this night magical, alright?” she snatched his hat off his head and hung it on a wooden peg.

Grandpa John Aird raised his cane in the air. “Don’t even think about taking an old man’s cane from him, Junior!” he roared at the young host, who quickly backed away and gestured for them to move along.

Rindy’s grandfather and mother walked behind a waiter carrying a tray of wine glasses. They had spotted Therese seated at a table beside Rindy’s grandmother, Jennifer Aird. At the sight of his wife, John held his breath and flared his nostrils. At the sight of her husband, Jennifer scowled and waved him away.

“Hello, girls,” Carol greeted warmly at her partner and her uptight mother-in-law. “Fancy meeting you here!”

“We knew you were coming, Carol,” Jennifer scoffed. She then glared at John like a stranger on the subway. “Surprise to find you out this late, John.”

“I’m a grown man, Jennifer! I don’t need a curfew!” he snarled.

“How about we sit down?” Carol quickly placed her hands on the old man’s back and pushed him into a chair beside his wife. He childishly got up and moved to sit down beside Therese, who looked so lost and so confused.

“That was my seat, but okay,” Carol huffed. She sat down beside Jennifer, who brought her glass of water close to her lips. “What a lovely dress, darling,” Carol greeted Therese, who smiled shyly back in a dark velvet rose cut gown with pumps.

“I helped her pick it out,” Jennifer beamed, setting the glass of water back down on the table. “Didn’t I, Therese honey?”

“Typical Jen. Always treating you like a baby,” John grunted, folding his menu open.

“Least I don’t eat like one,” Jennifer clipped. “Did you remember to bring your dentures, John?”

“Goodness, this lobster dish looks heavenly. I think I’ll have that,” Carol quickly changed topics, reading the meal orders on her lamented menu. Therese was doing the same thing, holding back her laughter.

“I’m happy to let you all know I enjoy sleeping on the couch,” John went on, saying. “I don’t have to hear Jen’s loud, horrendous snores anymore!”

“How dare you!” Jennifer cried. “You can sleep there for good!”

“I will!”

“Fine!”

“Sounds grand!”

“I’m glad!”

“Therese, your lipstick looks smudged—let’s go to the powder room and I’ll help you fix it,” Carol spoke too cheerful and bright. She scraped her chair back loudly as she got up in her red blazer and pantsuit.

“It looks fine, Carol,” Jennifer argued.

“I don’t see anything wrong,” John agreed.

Therese grinned as Carol ignored them and allowed herself to be steered away from the grandparents, far away from them as possible. They did not go into the powder room, but instead at an empty table on the other side of the restaurant next to a wide glass window overlooking the skyline.

“Gorgeous view,” Therese smiled, staring out at the square-lit windows on all the buildings of the city. Glittery rows of cars and traffic lights were twinkling along strips of smooth, paved roads.

“Uh huh,” Carol said, staring back at her. Therese glanced back to face her and blushed. Their waiter approached them to give them their menus.

“What exactly were John and Jennifer fighting about?” Therese questioned, forking some of her red velvet cheesecake—they had agreed to order dessert first instead of dinner.

“I have no clue. I don’t think they remember either,” Carol smiled while nibbling some of the dark chocolate coating off her frozen dipped strawberry. She grabbed her napkin and pressed it over her mouth.

Therese ate more of the syrupy cake, feeling a little guilty for ditching the Airds. “Should we check to see if they’re still alive in one piece?”

“Only if you want to,” Carol chuckled.

They got up from their table and left their desserts to go check on the elderly couple. They witnessed both John and Jennifer holding hands like a couple of highschool sweethearts. Their plates were empty from their meals, but neither grandparent looked tired or bored. They had lust in their eyes. They had loved each other once again.

“Look at that,” Carol said, Therese peering above her shoulder.

“They’re back together again,” Therese observed with a smile.