Idioms...sayings understood by native speakers part fourteen
"Um, what is up with that question?" Jenny frowned at Carl and Rick.
"There is a family get together at my Grandfather's house. We are invited."
"more like ordered." muttered Carl.
"And what has that got to do with us?" Jenny was glaring now. She was not going to let Lynn be subjected to another Matthews' dinner.
"Grandfather told us to bring our girls." Carl stated.
"Wow. How would he know that?"
"The man just does, okay?" Carl gave a wicked smile, "Besides, you two owe us one." Taking his hand and waving it across the field.
"Haven't you heard your rewards will be given in heaven?" Jenny responded.
Lynn stood with her arms crossed. "Rick? Do you need me there?"
Rick sighed. "Lynn, you have no idea."
"but what about Charlie?"
The man in question was wandering around the field making sure all of the eggs had been found.
Rick smiled. "He can come. The invite was to bring our important people with us."
"What time? Charlie needs to decompress a little."
"Yeah. Think of it as social interactions build up static electricity to Charlie. He can get overloaded. And then shut down."
"Rick, I have seen it. It isn't pretty." Carl interjected.
"Fine. The invite is for two, it's now eleven. Let's go."
"We'll run home and change and be back to get you around say, one?"
"So jeans are okay?" Lynn asked hopefully.
"Yeah, this is casual." He paused and grabbed Lynn's hand. "You gonna be okay with all this?"
Lynn gave a weak smile. "There won't be a repeat of last night, will there?"
"No. We are going to my grandfather's farm." Thinking, it might even be worse, but kept that to himself.
Rick drove silently to grandfather's farm. What is the old guy up to? He laid down all the known factors and placed all the unknown beside them. His mind filled with all possible outcomes.
Charlie sat in the back of Rick's sedan. He kept looking around and found the button of the sun roof. The wind and the sun came in at him. Surprised, he closed his eyes and smiled.
"Mommy kisses." He said happily.
Lynn stopped short in her worryings. She rolled down her window and closed her eyes.
"My Charlie is absolutely right."
His concentration broke at the feel of wind on his face. He heard Charlie. Memories of something his mom had told him once rushed ahead of his analysis, life is full of surprises. You cannot control it. You have to learn to roll with the punches. That is when you will learn the most about yourself.
Lynn sat up when Rick slowed and turned in. Grandfather's farm was a sprawling green place with white fencing lining the drive that seemed to go on for miles.
"Rick, just how big is this place?"
"Oh, I think it is a hundred or so acres. Quite small for a farm actually."
"Is it a real farm?"
"Depends. Grandfather has donated most of his land to the university Ag department. It is a tax write off for him."
He pulled off to the left signaled by a young man with cones, showing him where to park.
Lynn held onto her covered dish. What was she thinking?
"I guess this was kinda stupid."
"What is it?"
"Just a homemade apple cobbler. Nothing special."
"Ah. Well, I guess we will save it for later. I don't feel like sharing my girlfriend's cobbler with anyone."
"Oh. I think I will be too worried about Charlie. I forgot that we are supposed to act like a couple."
"Today, don't worry about that. We will only use it if necessary. Okay?"
Rick gave her a reassuring grin as he climbed out of the car,
Jenny and Carl emerged beside them. She was holding a dish, too.
"Guess we won't need this."
Rick smiled. "What did you bring?"
"Just some baked beans."
Rick smiled. "Carl, how about a barbecue at my house after all this?"
"Ladies, we stay here for one hour and then head to my house for a real easter celebration."
Charlie tugged at Lynn. "What's a barbecue?"
Rick walked over to Charlie. "It is a surprise. But I think you will like it."
Charlie looked down at his feet. Swaying a little back and forth, then quietly stated, "Li Li says I can't call you skunk man anymore. What is your name?"
"I am Rick."
"That will work for me. Is it okay for me to call you Charlie."
"That's my name."
Rick then turned toward the direction of the huge house. "Might as well get this over with."
As they entered, over fifty people were milling around in dockers and name brands. Watson immediately came up to their group.
"Master Rick, Master Carl. Your grandfather is waiting for you in the study."
"Um, Watson, what about our guests?"
"I have been instructed to tell them to make themselves at home."
Jenny and Lynn immediately placed Charlie between them.
"You guys go on. We will be okay." Jenny stated, linking arms with Charlie.
Lynn gave an encouraging smile.
As the guys disappeared, the trio became surrounded.
The inquisition started.
"Hi, my name is................Who are you?.................How long have you known................" After about fifteen minutes of trying to answer questions, both Lynn and Jenny felt Charlie pull his arms away saying, "Ouch, Li Li, it hurts."
"Charlie, you okay?"
Her brother covered his ears. "It hurts."
"What, Charlie, is it the noise?"
She turned to the crowd. "Could you excuse us? My brother does not feel well."
She pulled Charlie away to a hallway.
"No. It hurts."
"Can you take me to the noise that hurts?" Lynn whispered gently, waving to Jenny to search around the place a little.
Jenny looked around for any thing that would have triggered Charlie's reaction. Charlie pointed.
"Is it in here?" Jenny asked as Charlie slid down the wall and started to rock.
Jenny opened the door and there lay a woman on her side. Barely breathing, scratching at the tile on the bathroom floor. Jenny could not even hear it, leaning over her.
"Lynn, call 911."
Jenny straightened the woman out and took off her sweatshirt to place it under the woman's head.
"So. You two finally showed up."
"The invite did say for two o'clock, Grandfather." Carl stood quietly, trying not to let the ingrained fear of the man take over his senses.
"Humph." The old man said, "I guess The Chairman told you of my plans?"
Both men responded with, "Yes, sir."
"Fine. Rick, you are going to be removed from the CO position at work. You are to replace the manager of the Sales and Distribution."
"Grandfather, Steve Hauser currently holds that position."
"So what... the head of HR tells me his family leave is almost up and doesn't think he will be able to return." He paused, "You are to be at the same level as Carl. Otherwise it will not be a fair competition."
"And what if Steve can return?"
"We only promise people we will give them a position when they return. I am sure the janitorial service will have a position for him."
Rick clenched his jaw.
"Grandfather, Rick is the CO. How can you just demote him for this?"
He watched his Grandfather pick up a report and read it.
"Carl, I hear your proposal has been accepted by the board."
"Grandfather, that was only because"
"Carl is just being humble, Grandfather." Rick interjected. " He even had the brilliant idea to have an assistant in his department present it to the board."
"Yes. I have heard of that girl. Quite a firecracker."
Carl glanced at his cousin, what the hell is he doing?
"What are the stipulations of this competition?" Rick managed to get out.
"You will bring sales up by thirty percent in one month. Carl, you will have your first line of Allan's toys ready for production in the same time frame."
"Allan's toys?" Carl repeated. Memories of how ashamed the family were of his brother started to flash through his mind. Was Allan going to become some kind of advertising campaign?
"Yes. It will honor him. Poor deformed tormented soul that he was."
Rick noted Carl clenching his fists. "Um, Grandfather, is that all there is to it?"
"Oh. I want to meet those two girls I saw you with. I am expecting their background checks will be okay... but I will make my decision after I have read their dossiers."
"What has that got to do with the competition?" Carl spoke as evenly as possible.
"Because the woman who stands beside a man of power must be impeccable in status, class, and manners." he smiled. "You, two, are going to have to get married sooner or later. Might as well make it sooner."
Rick felt a vibration in his pocket. "Excuse me, grandfather." He saw Tiger's name come up. "Company business." As he turned and walked over to the window, as nonchalant as possible.
"Where are you?"
"If I leave right now, I should be there in about an hour."
"Grandfather, I am the CO until Monday. I suggest we table this discussion until then for any further details." He looked at Carl. "Come on. This involves your department too."
"See ya, grandfather."
As soon as they left the room, Rick grabbed Carl. "We've gotta hurry. Follow me."
"What?" as he ran after Rick.
Rick stopped just in side of the bathroom door. His Aunt Millie, otherwise known as the runt of the family, lay unconscious. He knelt down beside her.
"Aunt Millie?" He felt her hand and arms. Cold and clammy.
"Rick? We called 911...and"
"Cancel it. Give me her purse." He reached in and found the pouch, tearing it, he opened her mouth, and poured it in.
"What is wrong with her, Rick?"
"She is diabetic. Knowing her, she took her insulin and then was too nervous to eat in front of the others." He paused. "Carl, go get Uncle Oscar."
"Got it." Carl disappeared.
The woman's staring eyes started to focus. "Ricky? Is that you?"
She held up a hand and came to a sitting position.
"I was just coming out of the bathroom. I don't remember..."
Rick looked up at Lynn who was trying to explain to the dispatcher, "I am sorry. It was an emergency the time I called you, but, the victim is diabetic and we gave her some sugar. She seems to be coming around now." Lynn was saying in the phone. "I know it is a crime to call you for no reason..."
"Give me the phone." Rick got up and walked out in the hallway as Uncle Oscar came flying around the corner.
"Where is Millie?" Rick pointed to the door.
As he hung up, he watched his Uncle fall on his knees. "Millie, are you okay?"
"I am sorry, Oscar."
"You always do this at these stupid events, If this keeps up...." He swallowed. "Next time, we won't even come." Not caring if the family might be "disappointed".
"Oscar, I am sorry. I just let my vanity get a hold of me."
"You have to eat. Why do you listen to those cows out there?"
Millie's eyes filled with tears. She then saw Lynn and Jenny. "You two saved me?"
Jenny smiled and pointed to the man who was rocking against the wall straight across from the bathroom.
"He saved you. He heard your scratching."
Lynn gently took her hand, the polish of the manicured nails was chipped and broken.
Rick came over to Charlie and slid down beside Charlie.
"Charlie, I don't know if you can hear me or not, but, you did good, pal." Rick sat down beside the man. "I know you are scared. But my aunt is all right because of you." He reached over and ruffled Charlie's hair.
"That's right, it's me, Wick." He paused and got up, "Time to leave, bud. Can you get up?"
Rick pulled him up and held onto his shoulders tor balance.. Charlie stiffened. Lynn watched quietly. Then Charlie brought his arms up and awkwardly put his hands on Rick's shoulders.
"Are you Okay?" Charlie just responded with a nod.
Lynn took the picture into her heart.
Oscar listened closely to all that was said. "Who is that young man?"
"He is my brother, sir. He has very sensitive hearing."
"He seems to be rather special."
"He is, at that." Lynn stated simply.
Oscar helped his wife to a standing postion, then he turned to Lynn, "My name is Oscar Johanson. This is my wife, Mildred Matthews Johanson. And you are?"
"Hi, I am Lynn Johnson, that is my brother, Charlie." Lynn glanced around for Jenny. "Um, my friend, Jenny Lundstrom, seems to have disappeared."
Jenny came into the bathroom with a plate filled with cheese, crackers, a piece of chicken, greenbeans and some fruit salad, with some coffee to drink. "Here. Eat this before you go our there." She handed it off to the older couple.
Millie looked at the girl with grateful eyes.
"Uncle Oscar, why don't you two go into the library for a while to recoup. Just follow me." Carl led the couple away.
Lynn shook her head. "I don't get it."
Jenny gave a stiff smile. "I am not sure, but Lynn, those ladies were watching everything I took off the table, and then one of them said that it would catch up with me when I got older."
"You guys ready to leave?"
"Yes." In unison.
to be continued.