Revenge of the Nerd Ch. 23byrpsuch©
I pulled up to the house to let them out. It had been quite a day.
"Ashley, come in and join us for dinner."
I was prepared to decline though Sunny told me it was the least she could do.
It was, after all, a gift and I was happy to do it.
But then she said, "You're part of the family and we like to have you with us."
How do you say no to that?
"Goodie," said Sandy. "You can visit in my room while Mom makes dinner."
"That's a lovely idea," said Sunny.
Jeff's room had not been at all like I had expected. It was not that of a typical teenage boy.
Sandy's room could have come out of a teen magazine.
She plopped on the bed, propped her head on her hands and bent her knees so that her feet were in the air. She looked like Sandra Dee in a Gidget movie. It was Sandra Dee, right? The little blonde?
"Do you love Jeff?"
She would never have gotten away with that if Sunny were here. But I had no protection.
"I don't, I don't really know."
"I've never been in love before. I'm not sure what it feels like."
"He's not cute enough?"
"Oh, no. That has nothing to do with it."
"I don't think he's really cute."
"Trust me, he is. There's just something about him."
"I want somebody really gorgeous, you know? Like you're really gorgeous, amazing."
The speed at which she said it made it sound like, "Iwantsomebodyreallygorgeousyouknow? Likeyou'rereallygorgeousamazing."
She didn't lack for enthusiasm.
It took my brain a few seconds to decode it.
"Thanks, Sandy. You're very pretty yourself."
"No. I know I'm nothing special."
"Did you look at yourself in the mirror when they finished working on you? Come look at yourself in the mirror now. You really look very pretty."
I felt almost like Glinda handing Elphaba the mirror during Popular.
She blushed and rolled her head.
"Okay. I'm just not used to it. Do you think I can get a really gorgeous guy?"
I laughed. "There are going to be a lot of guys interested in you."
"Why Sandy, I do believe you're shallow. There are way more important things than how a guy looks."
Oh, my God. Was it me saying that?
"I know. Jeff isn't that cute, but he's the nicest guy I know. He's so nice to me and I'm his annoying little sister.
"My friends have brothers around his age and they torture them. Even the nicest ones give their sisters a hard time. But Jeff is so sweet and helpful. And he never says anything mean. I don't think anybody ever had a better brother."
"Even if he isn't cute?"
"Even if he isn't cute. Beast was wonderful to Belle."
"That's a fairy tale."
"But it's an allegory. And I understand the concept."
Whoa, allegory? "You're fifteen?"
"Yep. Beast is the thin guy, the shy guy, the Goth, the nerd, the beat-up used car; all the things that lead us to make judgments based on impressions without learning the reality of the situation."
"Allegory? Some guys are going to love that mind of yours."
Most impressive was the list she threw together and her analysis of the lesson.
"Yeah, the nerds."
"Okay, so maybe it's not so bad. Like you said, I'm fifteen.
"So what don't you like about Jeff? Why don't you love him?"
"I didn't say that. I just don't know yet. I, don't think there's anything I don't like about Jeff. The only thing that annoys me a little is how fast he grasps things. Give me a chance to catch up, why don't you?"
"Yeah, that gets to me too sometimes.
"So what is it you like about Jeff?" she asked dreamily,.
Did I hear Sunny calling for help? Please.
Well, he's amazing in bed. Probably not something I should mention to her.
"Well, you're right. He's as nice as they come. But so is your Mom."
"Yeah, she's great."
"He's patient and it's hard to get him angry. But what I like best is the way he makes me feel about myself. He treats me like I'm a so much better person than I think I am.
"Sometimes I think I don't deserve it, but he doesn't agree."
"I think you do love him. I heard something special in your voice when you said that about him."
I laughed. "You could be right. It would sound special because he is special."
"Oooh. Now you're getting mushy. So what do I do to get a guy?"
"We covered that. You know how to get any guy you want. How do you do it?
"How did you get Jeff after that disastrous start?"
I thought the parents are supposed to interrogate you, not the little sister.
That's how the afternoon went.
It was difficult, but at least we were talking about Jeff, a topic I enjoyed.
Finally, Sunny rescued me. She called us down to set the table.
Shortly after that Jeff and his dad returned. They had been spending quality time together.
What, I wondered, do a nerd father and son do together. It didn't take long to find out.
"How did you do?" Sunny asked.
"Great," said Jeff. "Dad averaged 216 and I averaged 204. I did beat him one game with a 256, but I had trouble with the spares in the other games."
He turned to me.
"Dad is a really good bowler. And would you believe, he learned to bowl from a book he got out of the library?"
I snorted. Of course I would believe it.
How else would a nerd learn a sport other than from a book? But hey, they were my nerds.
I smiled. My guy's a jock. Bowling does take some athletic skill, doesn't it, even though a lot of the guys you see down at the lanes are shaped like the ball?
"Could you guys hold dinner for me? I'm planning on running a marathon so I need to get a book on it at the library."
Jeff gave me a nasty look, but I could tell he was proud.
"Ashley and I had a fabulous day at the spa and then we talked in my room."
Sandy was effervescent.
I wasn't sure that what I had with Jeff was romantic love, whatever that is, but there was no doubt I loved Sandy and Sunny as well.
After dinner Sunny led me to the living room while the other three handled cleanup.
"You know, at some point you're not going to be a guest and you'll have to pitch in."
"I'm looking forward to that."
"I think you are."
She paused to collect her thoughts.
"I can't tell you how much I appreciate everything you've done with Sandy. She's gained so much confidence. She's really starting to blossom."
"What is it with this family and flowers?"
"Seriously, it's been my pleasure. I love spending time with Sandy, except when she's grilling me about Jeff and me."
"Oh, I'm going to have to talk to her about that" said Sunny.
"No, don't. It's over and I get a kick out of her intensity."
"You know, we give everybody the benefit of the doubt. We assume the best. In your case, you've exceeded all expectations. If you were my daughter, I'd be proud."
I blushed. Talk about exceeding expectations.
She gripped my hand and squeezed. We sat there and smiled. Finally, I leaned in and hugged her. This was a moment to remember.
Jeff came in while she was asking me about school.
"I'm pretty sure I had my best semester ever. I learned more than ever before."
"That's wonderful. Well, if you two will excuse me, I have a lot of things that need attending to," she said.
I'm sure it had nothing to do with wanting to leave us alone.
I snuggled up against him on the couch. We could have gone to my house to be alone for more intensely intimate interpersonal communication, Yeah, it's a euphemism.
But it felt too good to be wrapped in his big, strong, well, his arms, to leave.
We didn't have to do anything. We didn't have to say anything. This was the perfect end to a perfect day.