Chapter 115:

Much ado about nothing

The Y-files [GL]

It had been a long day already, and I was really tired when Anna and I arrived at Femme Fatale. I still had to make the speech that I had to give at the funeral tomorrow. I was in a bad mood because I realized I would have no time to cook more than something quick today, and tomorrow did not promise to be any better.Bookmark here

Upon entering I was pushed to the side by an Asian woman that was leaving. I thought she was crying.Bookmark here

I became weary. I hoped everything was alright inside. I went to say hi to mom and asked her about the crying woman. She pointed toward a table where Tory, Mari, and a man were having a drink.Bookmark here

When Tory saw that I was staring, she called us over.Bookmark here

“Claire, Anna, meet my dad, dad, these are Claire and Anna. I told you about them, and Claire is the one that was with me in the article.”Bookmark here

“Call me Dean,” he said.Bookmark here

I greeted the man, who seemed very enthusiastic to meet me. "You are the girl from the magazine. I can't believe Tory made such a famous friend so quickly!" Bookmark here

Watching Tory, I could not help but feel something was wrong with her.Bookmark here

Mari told us she had been away too long from the kitchen and excused herself and went back to work. She told Tory that she would come over as soon as she had her dinner break.Bookmark here

“I see you came to see where Tory works?” Anna asked. For how blunt she sometimes was, she could be really subtle when she was probing for the information she really wanted.Bookmark here

Dean got a frown and then said “Actually I was forced to come here. Tory's mom told me Tory needed an intervention. I was expecting the worst.”Bookmark here

“Oh, that crying woman on the way out was your mother? Shouldn't anyone go after her?” I asked.Bookmark here

But Tory answered resolutely: “No. She is the one that should contact me.”Bookmark here

“May we know what happened?”Bookmark here

“The whole brasserie saw, so I don't mind telling you,” Tory said.Bookmark here

Tory showed me a magazine article where the two of us were featured together, and the page after that was a picture of her and Mari at her concert.Bookmark here

“Oh, Rita's article!” I said. “But why was your mom angry at that? Shouldn't she be happy? I thought that this was a big deal in the world of classical music?”Bookmark here

Tory seemed to get angry and said “It is. But she could not see past the fact that I have a girlfriend.”Bookmark here

“She wanted them to break up, but I stopped her,” Dean said.Bookmark here

I looked at them with big eyes. I tried to imagine how I would feel if mom asked me to break up with Anna. I would be devastated.Bookmark here

“Mothers sometimes take a while to come around. Believe me, I know.” Anna answered Tory. I thought about how Kath called me a harlot and insinuated my mother ran a brothel on national TV. That wasn't the best first meeting either, and we weren't even going out at that point... But she did come round, not that she became less troublesome. That was a completely different cup of tea.Bookmark here

“I will try to talk to her, but I am not sure that it will help,” Dean said. “You know how she gets when there is gossip in her family.”Bookmark here

Tory seemed really determined now and said “I will win the Queen Elizabeth contest, and return to Japan making the biggest ruckus I can. We will see how long she can ignore me then.”Bookmark here

I admired Tory for that determination to shape the world like she wanted it to be. I guess she did the same with her music. Shaping the notes to how she wanted them to sound.Bookmark here

While we were talking I leafed through the magazine, and when mom passed by to take our order, she noticed the pictures of the brasserie, and the group picture Rita had taken.Bookmark here

“Oh, fantastic! Can I borrow that for a second!”Bookmark here

Tory happily lend mom the magazine, and she proudly went around the brasserie to show the regulars the article.Bookmark here

When mom reached the kitchen I heard a loud yell “When was this? How come I am not in it? This is not fair, you should have called me!”Bookmark here

I forgot about that. I had really hoped that Frank would never get to see that magazine. What were the chances even of him seeing a magazine about classical music?Bookmark here

Frank stormed out of the kitchen toward us and said “Sis, why did you not call me for the pictures? You are always in the newspapers and magazines, but for me, this would have been the first time!”Bookmark here

“By the time I realized you were missing, it was already over!” I said, but you could hear from my tone that I felt guilty.Bookmark here

“Yes, it all happened really fast.” Tory supported me.Bookmark here

Before I could answer him, Sam had walked over and taken the magazine out of his hands and was leafing through the article.Bookmark here

“No offense. But you should be glad you weren't in this article.”Bookmark here

Frank stood there perplexed. “What do you mean?” It was clear to me that Frank was expecting another remark about his weight.Bookmark here

“Well, the way this article is written, the world would have thought you were gay after that.”Bookmark here

Frank ripped the magazine out of her hands again and went over it again.Bookmark here

“Y-you are right. That would have been a disaster. It's hard enough to get a date as it is.”Bookmark here

Mom had come over and said. “That's enough flirting while you are on the job. Back to work!”Bookmark here

She gave me a little wink.Bookmark here

“F-Flirting!” Sam started blushing heavily. “I-I did no such thing. HMPH!” and she walked away again.Bookmark here

“Mom, you shouldn't tease her like that. You know she hates my guts.” Frank said before he went back to the kitchen. Was he just defending Sam? Mom really was putting her plan of coupling those two to work, wasn't she?Bookmark here

Then mom bowed forward and whispered loud enough for everyone at the table to hear, and I am sure plenty of others could hear it “They are fighting the whole time, but I overheard Frank talking on the phone to a friend about the cute new waitress.” She gave us another wink.Bookmark here

“CLANG!”Bookmark here

Sam had dropped her platter. “S-sorry. I don't know what came over me.”Bookmark here

Mom laughed knowingly at us before walking over to Sam “No harm done dear, let's get this cleaned up together.” She had really jumped at the chance to put her plan in motion of getting those two together. If it worked, I hoped it would not end up being troublesome again. Nothing good ever comes from Frank being in a relationship. Why doesn't mom understand that rule?Bookmark here

It was getting late and Mari joined us again and said “Why don't we all have dinner together.”Bookmark here

“But it's my treat,” Dean answered. “You girls can treat me the day you are older than me.”Bookmark here

Dean's insistence on treating us made it hard to refuse.Bookmark here

I let out an inner sigh. I wasn't even going to cook anything tonight, was I? A little longer and I will begin to start to show withdrawal symptoms.Bookmark here

I ordered a bloody steak with green pepper cream sauce. It had been ages since I ate a regular steak.Bookmark here

“If you order it, I am sure it is going to be perfect,” Anna said. After that everyone ordered the same thing. That felt weird. It was like I had decided what to eat for everyone.Bookmark here

Anna seemed to be enjoying having dinner with another couple present, and Dean did not participate very much in the conversation, since he spoke only English, and the conversation often wandered off to Dutch when someone could not remember certain words.Bookmark here

“Just between us girls, how are things progressing between the two of you?” Mari asked at one point. “Did you girls cross the line yet?”Bookmark here

My face became completely red and Anna started coughing. “Ooooh, they are remembering something. It is a clear yes.” Tory teased.Bookmark here

“Rest assured, we won't tell your mom.” Mari gave us a little wink.Bookmark here

“We must compare stories one of these days, maybe we can learn something from one another.” Mari, Tory, and Anna started giggling. Dean was just nodding approvingly. I am pretty sure he did not get a word of their conversation. Was I the only one that was really embarrassed by this conversation? Sure I was interested. But you should look these things up in private. Not discuss them a the dinner table with your friends.Bookmark here

After dinner, I excused myself, because I still had to work on that speech and it was getting really late. I kissed Anna goodbye and went back to the apartment.Bookmark here

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