I was more excited about Zane than I was about Christmas, but I was pretty nervous about meeting everyone else. Usually you meet the parents and branch out from there, but I jumped in with both feet. Total immersion.
At dinner I ate shrimp scampi. It was delicious.
After dinner we all ended up in his grandparents' large suite. I remember standing in the doorway chatting with one of the aunts, an uncle that I don't think went with that aunt, and Zane's mom. Outside the door in the hall was Zane and his two cousins who were six and seven.
In the middle of a really sweet story about Zane's childhood cancer and how he named his stuffed animal "Mr. Positive France," I let out an awful, awful SBD.
SBD - flatulence described as "silent, but deadly." It was the scampi. It wasn't sitting well.
I pretended not to notice. But it was bad. It was BAD. Zane's aunt continued in her story, and his uncle and mom also pretended not to notice. That must be adult protocol for smelly farts.
Just when I thought I was out of the woods, Zane turned to his young cousins and said loudly, "Alright, who cut the cheese?"
At that moment, I became intensely interested in what Zane's aunt was saying, hoping to God that Zane would drop it.
Zane didn't drop it. He kept asking the boys, trying to draw out a confession. The first cousin said, "It wasn't me!"
My palms got sweaty. They were going to find out. I was going to be exposed as the farty girlfriend.
Zane turned to his other cousin and said, "Did you do it?"
My heart started pounding. I wasn't getting away with this. I had no idea what Zane's aunt was saying anymore. My frozen smile was in her direction, my focus was on the kid. My future hinged on this boy's response.
Zane waited for an answer. I knew the inevitable "no" was coming.
Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles - praise the Lord, he just laughed. He never said "no." The kid just laughed. I will forever be grateful to that kid for remaining silent and laughing in a guilty manner. I don't know why he laughed, but I know he saved my life.
|These boys saved my life.|
After the family went to bed, Zane and I walked through the streets of Mt. Dora. It was freaking cold outside, but we wanted to be together.
I told him about the fart. He laughed and started calling me scampi. I resented it.
A little while later he told me that he loved me. I laughed and called him scampi. Just kidding. I didn't do that. I think I told him I couldn't tell him that yet, but he was okay with it. He knew his heart, even while I still was figuring out mine.