A lot has been going on around here. Love is in the air (much to Paige's dismay). You see, it all started with some big news. Paige's mom is dating Mr. Reese (our teacher)! Paige's parents are separated. Paige doesn't really know her Dad. She was too little when he left, and he has never gotten in touch with her. This is really hard on Paige sometimes, and she hates talking about it.
But last Tuesday, Paige told me the "big news." Apparently, Paige's mom and Mr. Reese have gotten to know each other through school, and really hit it off. Paige told me not to tell anyone. I asked 'why not,' and she said because it's embarrassing. I told her I don't think it's embarrassing at all! Mr. Reese is so cool and nice (and cute). I think Mr. Reese and Ms. Shepherd make a good couple. They both have dark hair, and they're both teachers. But I promised I wouldn't tell anyone. Paige has been acting sort of odd ever since. She doesn't look at Mr. Reese or raise her hand in class much. When he talks to her, she blushes. I feel bad that she's embarrassed, but I'm sort of happy about the news. If Mr. Reese and Paige's mom got married, it would be like having Booth for a Dad! (not that I mentioned this to Paige).
Then, last Friday, Paige told me Mr. Reese was coming to her house for dinner on Saturday. I know it's impolite to invite yourself to places, but I admit I did just this once. I begged Paige to let me come for dinner too, mostly because I wanted to see what Mr. Reese is like in real life (meaning, outside school). Paige asked her Mom, and she said it would be okay if I came. So, Saturday night came, and I dressed in a nice outfit and went to Paige's house. Paige was waiting for me, and pulled me into the house before I could even ring the bell. Mr. Reese hadn't arrived yet. Ms. Shepherd was cooking dinner. She looked really pretty. She was wearing a blue skirt and a pretty blouse. She had the sides of her hair pulled back. Paige was wearing her new corduroy jumper. Paige and I set the table. As we were finishing, Mr. Reese arrived. He has a shiny silver car. He rang the bell, and Ms. Shepherd asked Paige to answer it. Paige groaned about it, but she did (me following close behind). Mr. Reese looked so handsome. He was wearing a light blue button up shirt, and black pants. He was carrying a bouquet of flowers.
He patted Paige on the shoulder and said; "Hello Paige! Don't you like nice this evening!" Paige's mom called from the kitchen that she'd be out in a minute. Mr. Reese said he was glad to see me. He tried to chat with us, but Paige wasn't very talkative. Poor Mr. Reese. He was trying. Luckily, I can hold up a conversation.
Finally, Paige's mom walked in. Mr. Reese stood up, and handed her the flowers. Paige's mom said they were beautiful, which they were. Then, Mr. Reese kissed Paige's mom on the cheek! That was enough to set me and Paige giggling, even though she was acting like a grump that night. Mr. Reese (who's real name, I learned, is Bill), and Paige's mom (who's real name is Julia, but I already knew that) talked for a while. They both seemed really happy. Then it was time to sit down to dinner. Paige's mom made lasagna. My favorite! Bill (Mr. Reese) asked Paige and I how we like school this year. I said I love it.
Paige shrugged and said; "It's okay." Her mom gave her a raised eyebrow look and asked her to please stop being impolite to Mr. Reese. Mr. Reese gave Paige a knowing look. I think he gets it.
The grown-ups lingered around talking long after dessert (cheesecake), so Paige and I went into the living room to play a game. Paige was still in a mood. I asked her why she doesn't like Mr. Reese anymore.
She said; "I do like him. I just liked him better before he was dating my Mom."
"But why?" I asked. "He's so nice!"
Paige said she doesn't want Mr. Reese to marry her mom, because it's always been just the two of them, and she likes it that way. Then she said she's worried her Dad might come back, and if her mom is dating someone else, he might go away again.
I put my hand on Paige's arm. "Have you told your Mom what you're worried about?" I asked. She said no, she hasn't. I told her she should because it might help. Paige said she'd think about it. I had to go home at 8:00, so my visit ended there. Mr. Reese said goodbye to me. He said he'd see me Monday. Paige's Mom hugged me and said she was glad I could come. Before I left, I hugged Paige (does anyone else feel like this story is turning into an episode of Full House?) and told her I hoped she felt better. She whispered to me that she decided she'd talk to her mom tomorrow. Then, I left my first grown-up dinner party, glad to spend some time with my own family.