Looks like they made up

Keith-&-LesliMari came down the stairs wearing a wizened smile and a flimsy housecoat. Which was more than Keith or Lesli had on. “Looks like you two made up,” she quipped. Lesli snatched up a skimpy throw and pulled it over them.

Mari had a sheet in her arms and draped it over them too. It was blazing daylight, easily mid-morning, and they’d slept straight through. Mari smiled at Lesli and winked. Their next mother-daughter chat was, no doubt, going to be an interesting one.

Lesli blushed, let her mother go in the kitchen. Threw Keith his clothes. Then grabbed hers.

“Guess we got a little carried away,” he said.

“I’ll say.”

Mari called from the kitchen, “Bet you two are hungry.”

“Yeah.” Lesli nervously laughed. “We sure are.” She looked absolutely lost. He wasn’t much help, saying, “Baby, so we got busted. Your mom knows you’re a grownup girl.”

“Thanks. Thanks a lot.” She asked Mari, “Where’s Dad?”

“He went out to run errands. Should be back before too long.”

Lesli gasped, eyes almost flying out of her head. “Oh my God!” Realizing her father had passed through and seen her — and Keith. They heard Hank drive up and hustled into their clothes. She tossed the sheet under the sofa.

Keith sniffed the air and followed the aroma of brewing coffee into the kitchen, fixed on it. Lesli came behind him, pulled mugs down from the cupboard. Mari was scrambling a whole mess of eggs. Mixed with tomato, cheese, mushrooms and onions. Bread was in the toaster, bacon draining on paper towels. Les went in the fridge, took out orange juice.

Hank was having trouble getting in the door. “Say, can somebody give me a hand?”

Keith called out, “On my way.” Keith opened the screen door. His dad-in-law-to-be was laden with gaily printed bags. Keith studied the load quizzically.

Hank laughed and said, “For my grandbaby.” Keith laughed, too. Couldn’t wait to see what Hank had bought.

Lesli’d overheard and rushed in to see the presents. Then, stopped, remembering her dad had probably seen on his way out. With a stunned expression she turned around and went right back in the kitchen.

Hank asked, “What’s wrong with her?” Keith grinned, looked at the carpet and didn’t say a word.

Mari sang out, “Food’s on!”

Hank set the bags down. “That woman does not say it twice. And won’t serve it cold. You slow to her table, you just don’t eat.”

He went in, Keith coming along behind. “Be right there.”

Presently, with a bit of bustling, everyone was situated in front of a plate with eggs piled on it, making small talk. Except Lesli, who had trouble finding the slightest thing to say.

Hank finally caught on to what was wrong with her. “What’s the matter, baby girl. “Shamed ‘cause Daddy saw you in your birthday suit? Hell, I see one just like it every time I lay down at night.”

Keith laughed, coughing eggs on himself. Lesli was aghast. “Daddy?!”

Mari simply hung her head. “What am I going to do with this man?”

The ice at last broken, Lesli sheepishly looked at her father, who gave her a wink and a pat on the arm. Decided she might live through this after all and, smiling, leaned her head on Keith.

Mari matter-of-factly asked, “So, now that my daughter has come to what’s left of her senses, what’re you two going to do?”

“Mari,” Hank said with a sigh, “would you let them be? They just got back together. How do they know they’re going to do, where they’re going to from here? Except…” He studied at Lesli.  “Out of this house.”

Les poked food around on her plate. Said to Keith, “He’s still mad at me. So is she. Because he had to tell me to talk to you.”

Keith wiped his arms off.  “For real?” Setting the napkin down, he popped a strip of bacon in his mouth.

She nodded. Hank sipped tea. Mari got ready to open her mouth and her husband touched her elbow. Lesli continued, “I was afraid. Needed a nudge. Sue me.”

Chewing toast, Keith looked at Hank. Who simply stared back with a pragmatic expression. Then, gave his wife a look. He and she took their plates out back to eat on the patio.


Next week: A moment of truth

Dwight Hobbes welcomes reader responses to P.O. Box 50357, Mpls., 55403.