Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Kimmydon Week 32: Brian


Picture 1

Picture 2

Kimmydon's Choice: both


AN: Flashing back to pre-wedding.

I walked into the sub shop and took a seat at one of the tables. I wasn’t hungry, but this was where he’d asked me to meet him. I fiddled with the ring on my hand, still not quite used to seeing it there.

“Mrs. Strauss,” I said and smiled. I really did like the sound of that. A young man stood at the counter ordering a sandwich. He pulled out his phone while the girl behind the counter assembled his order. Mine rang and I waved rather than open it.

Brian was younger than I’d expected. Not so much younger than Jamie and I, but most of her boyfriends tended to be older. He brought his lunch to my table and sat down.

“Beth?” he asked.

I smiled and nodded. “Yes. Brian, right? Good to finally meet you.”

“And you. Jamie talks about you a lot.” He unwrapped the sandwich halfway. “You don’t mind, do you? I’m starving.”

I chuckled. “No, go ahead.”


I watched the door, waiting for Jamie. When he was half-finished I had to ask. “When is Jamie coming?”

“She’s not,” he said and swallowed. “I... I wanted to talk to you.”

Puzzled, I sat back. “Oh?”

“Jamie. Is she... Does she... Are you sure she likes me?”

I grinned. She had put this boy through so many trials. As near as I could tell, he’d passed every one and exceeded expectations on many. Jamie was so strange sometimes, and she had an odd way of testing a potential partner. I thought it was because that was exactly what she sought. She was much more likely than me to bring home a guy from the bar who neither of us would ever see again. If she wanted sex, she got that. She was looking for more these days.

“I’m sure she likes you, Brian. Does she give you reason to think she doesn’t?”

He shrugged, slouching a little and pulling his hat a little further over his head. “Sometimes. We’ll be talking, having a really great chat, arguing, y’know?”

I nodded. Jamie was quite opinionated.

“She’ll be all intense and right there with me, and then.” He smacked his hand on the table. “She stops. Sometimes she’ll just start laughing at nothing, sometimes she’ll just get really quiet. One time she actually yelled at me. Not loud arguing, yelling - asking me why I let her question everything I said. I don’t get her.” He shook his head and bit off another chunk of sandwich.
I licked my lips and tried not to laugh. It wouldn’t be polite. How on earth was I going to explain this?

“Brian... that’s just Jamie. She’s very impulsive, intuitive. She runs on her gut. Now, I can tell you, her gut is telling her you’re the guy, which means you’re in if you want to be. But, if you can’t handle her swings, you should probably tell her soon.”

His face fell, looking at the table. “Why? Why does she jump around like that?”

I shrugged. “I used to blame her brothers. She was constantly on guard for one or the other to pull a stunt, and it made her permanently antsy. I don’t think that anymore. She’s special. She has a sixth sense for things. I learned to roll with it. My moods don’t swing with hers, but temper them. Does that make sense? She can be happy and laughing and suddenly get in a panic, and I keep laughing to bring her back. You don’t have to keep up with her, just let her come back to you.” It was really hard to explain what I’d always done.

He nodded though, wiping his mouth with a napkin. He pulled out a gift bag and pushed the wrapper aside. A ceramic mug came from the bag to be placed next to his dessert.

“Will she like it?” he asked.

This time I did laugh. “Probably. Did you think of her when you saw it?” I ran my finger around the heart of the handle.

He nodded. “Looked right.”

Smiling, I took his hand and squeezed it. “She is instinctual, are you?”

He shook his head. “I mean, I’m not the most organized or a big planner or anything, but I don’t fly by the seat of my pants either.”

“Good. She’s going to need that. Of course, some of her has rubbed off on you already,” I said, fingering the mug again. “I can only pray some of you rubs off on her.” I rolled my eyes and he chuckled.

“Thanks, Beth. I... was worried I was barking up the wrong tree.”

“You aren’t. Trust her instincts, if you don’t trust your own.”

He smiled, liking that suggestion.