Morbid Test: (Memoirs of a Teenage Author)

(This is post #21 of the My Journey to Gritty: Memoirs of a Teenage Author series)
So any newcomers are aware, this post is a chapter in my story. To go back and read from the beginning of the narrative, click the "My Journey" link directly above.

The next day, I was still in shock over the events of the night before.
Why had I asked Blackbeard to come with me to meet my family? Were we really getting that serious?
I felt like I needed to ask my great aunt (my great-grandmother’s caretaker) if Blackbeard could come with me to see Grandma while she was in her coma. After all, this was a sensitive situation. Perhaps they wouldn’t want a stranger there.

A weird thing happened when I called my aunt though. She told me that I was free to bring a guest, but then she asked who the guest was. I felt at a loss. I had never had a boyfriend before. And this relationship was anything but casual.
“He’s… the man who wants to marry me!” I finally choked out before bursting into huge sobs and shoving the phone towards Mom.
My shock had finally worn off. Reality careened over my soul in waves. In our first phone conversation, Blackbeard had compared us to Isaac and Rebekah. Obviously his intention in this relationship was marriage. And that meant… that he loved me. He loved me in a special way that no one ever had before.
Someone cared about me that much! Someone… that I didn’t care for back in that way, at least not yet. (Awkward, I know.)
“Is she… happy about this guy?” I could hear my aunt ask Mom in a concerned way.
“Yeah… she’s happy. Just… a little overwhelmed,” Mom replied, with a sympathetic look at me.
“I’m happy, I’m happy,” I whispered as I stumbled out of the room, heading towards my eternal solace: bed and prayer-time.

Blackbeard went with me to visit my great grandma. Things were awkward. We told people that he was a “family friend”, but I’m not sure anyone was convinced about that. Blackbeard kept close to me. When I walked through the rooms, he hovered at my side. When I sat on the couch, he sat on the floor at my feet. It was like having a pet bulldog, or a bodyguard. He wanted to comfort me about my grandma, and kept watching my face for signs of sadness.

When it came time to leave, I caught Blackbeard’s sleeve with my hand.
“I want you to go with me to the funeral,” I told him. “Can you be there for me?”
He grimaced and looked away. It was hard enough for him to come meet my family here. We weren’t even technically girlfriend/boyfriend yet. This was a high demand to make of him.
“It depends on the day and how much work I have to do,” he non-committedly answered, keeping his eyes averted. “Tell me when and where, and I’ll try to be there.”
He’s not going to come, I instantly thought. He’s going to fail this morbid test.
“Okay,” I quietly said.
We parted ways.

Great Grandma died peacefully in her sleep. I told Blackbeard what time the funeral was and where to meet us. My family went to my paternal grandparents’ house to prepare.
All day long I wondered if Blackbeard would come. We had told my grandparents a little about him. He was supposed to come to their house to meet with us before the funeral so that introductions could be made.
I listlessly wandered about, watching the clock. It was nearly time to leave. Blackbeard should have been here by now.
Suddenly, the phone rang. My grandma went to answer it. I could hear surprise in her voice as she replied, “Yes. She’s here. Let me get her.”
I nervously walked to the phone, feeling deep down inside that I was about to hear an apology.
Sure enough, Blackbeard’s familiar voice was on the other end of the line.
“Did you say that funeral is in Nowata? Because I’m driving all around here and I can’t see a funeral going on,” he informed me in a slightly agitated tone.
I hopped up on my toes and stifled an excited squeal, then blushingly glanced at my grandma, who was closely watching my expression.
“I, uh, yeah! The funeral’s there in Nowata, but you’re supposed to meet us here in this other town first, remember? To meet my other grandparents?”
“So tell me how to get there.”

Within minutes, Blackbeard was ducking in my grandparents’ doorway, smoothing his hair and looking very handsome indeed. His crisp clothes were all black, and his leather coat smelled like Usher cologne.
I bounded up to him with stars in my eyes, whispering, “You made it!”
He weakly smiled in reply, then faced my grandparents. Introductions were grim and solemn. We didn’t stay long. It was past time to go.
My grandma grabbed me before I could get into Blackbeard’s car though. She pulled me aside with a sparkling grin on her face.
“I like him!” she whispered. “Keep ahold of that one, Jess. He reminds me of my daddy, a good man.”
I felt as if she had handed me the moon. I hugged her and thanked her before slipping into the car.

Blackbeard had passed my morbid test. He had come through for me when I needed him.
I was now proud to call him my boyfriend.

Click here to read the next post in this series: Growing Closer

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