Tuesday evening: the Vincent's
After dinner, Tim hopped up and announced, "I'm going out for a while - be back around ten!"
Bruce Vincent looked up from his dinner, "Just a moment, Son. Where are you going?"
Tim mumbled something, and Bruce cocked his head, "Sorry?"
"I'm going to see my girlfriend." Tim repeated, only a bit louder.
Bruce turned a twinkling eye on his comfortable wife, Trish, who was sitting with her fork halfway to her mouth, "Told ya!"
Trish raised an eyebrow. "How is it I didn't notice that you'd started dating?"
Tim blushed a bit, "It's kinda new. Doubled with Rick and his girlfriend Saturday, when I went to the movies..."
"So you didn't feel it was necessary to mention that there were girls along?" Bruce asked mildly.
Tim's little brother Eddie grinned. "Word's all over school that he mopped up the schoolyard with some black kid who was giving him sh- (a quick eye at his mother over the slip) grief over his new girlfriend!"
Tim bristled. "It didn't happen that way! He started it - I just defended myself!"
"Son, why would you be in trouble with black boys?" Trish asked, concerned.
Eddie piped up again "Dolores is black..."
Both parents turned to Tim, who erupted, "She is not!" Eddie sure knew how to push his buttons! "Not completely, anyway - she's half Indian."
"That's 'native american', Dear," his mother remonstrated.
Tim had totally regained his aplomb, after a short glare at Eddie. "Actually, it's Indian - as in from India. Her mother's name is Padma."
"Oh..." Tim's mother regarded him blankly. She was coming to grips with the possibility that her theoretical racial tolerance was going to see a practical test. Black girls tended to be less than desirable looking, in her opinion.
Eddie's next outburst actually helped matters, "She's a knockout! Wotta babe!"
Tim turned an amused glance on his brother, "I'll thank you to keep your greasy eyeballs off my women!"
Eddie laughed, then hopped up and took off. Bruce chuckled, then asked, "Do you expect more trouble?"
"No, it's not a race thing. One guy made an ass of himself. He had two buddies with him, and they wouldn't lift a finger. Dolores wouldn't date 'brothers' - they wanted to act like they owned her, and it pissed her off."
"When are we going to meet her?" Bruce inquired.
"Soon," Tim replied, blushing. He looked at his mother - and could tell that the jury was still out. "I'm gonna need a tux."
"For the Prom?" Trish clarified.
Eddie pounded back in, dragging the yearbook from Tim's junior year. He plopped it on the table, opening it with the finger he had been using as a bookmark. "That's Dolores!" Tim frowned. Bruce sat still, seceding access to his wife with his eyes. Eddie rotated the book. Trish rose up a bit and maneuvered her bifocals a bit... to stare at the visage of a dusky angel with flyaway hair, fine features, and the glow of intelligence.
The jury came in. "My! How sweet!" Eddie took the cue to orient the book for his father.
Bruce took a look, scowled, and said "Isn't that Marcus Brown's daughter? He can be kinda militant..."
"You know Mr. Brown?" Tim's eyebrows rose.
"Marines. VFW. Been a while. He's not awful partial to white boys... You met him?"
"Couple of times. We got off to a rocky start - but we have an understanding. I'm going to Brown's to see her." This last was uttered with a bit of a challenge attached.
Bruce cut his wife off. "Run along, Son and have fun. 10:00, you said?"
"Uh huh!" Tim wasted no time getting out the door, the voice of his father following him. "Plan to bring her around to see us!"
Eddie chased Tim out into the yard. As he got into his car, Tim growled, "I ought to whack your ass - but I think you actually helped me!" Eddie grinned, and sketched a low bow. Tim drove off.
Trish glared at Bruce. "Why did you do that?" she demanded.
Bruce regarded his wife with a level gaze. "Because you were going to start something that didn't need starting. This is more serious that you're aware of - if Marcus Brown lets Tim in his house, the boy's been a true credit to his upbringing. If Marcus let's his daughter see a white boy IN HIS OWN HOUSE, there's a serious relationship going on - and Tim has impressed Marcus as an individual to the point that he's willing to overlook the razzing his friends are gonna give him for backsliding on his long-time stand on the relative merits of black and white. In other words, Marcus figures he's looking at his son-in-law!"
Trish was taken aback. "Wh - what! From the sound of things, he's only been dating for a week!"
Bruce regarded his wife calmly. "That's Tim you're talking about. He always looks before he leaps - but he DOES leap! And he does nothing in two steps that can be done in one!"
"Mercy! No wonder he got hot under the collar! He was probably planning to bring us around slowly - and Eddie slam dunked him!"
"Was somewhat uncharacteristic, wasn't it?" Bruce allowed. He nodded at the yearbook. "Better get another look... Even money says that if current plans go forward, that's your daughter-in-law!"
"It's so sudden!" Trish exclaimed, gazing at the picture. "What do I do?"
"You trust your son. Anything else will backfire all over you!"
|Next Chapter||Table of Contents||Return Home|