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Idioms...sayings understood by native speakers part fifteen
Lynn placed Charlie into the back seat and slid in beside him.
"Rick, I am not sure Charlie can handle much more."
"Well, we are an hour away, you think a nap might help?"
"Barbecue." Charlie stated.
"What? You want to eat?"
"You eat Barbecue?"
"Well, sort of." Lynn sighed. "Charlie, Rick wants to take us to his house. Can you do it?"
"I want to go to Wick's house."
"Fine." Lynn pulled out Charlie's teddy bear and gave it to him. "Only if Charlie will take a nap. Kay?"
Lynn buckled them both in, and started to humn a little. as she massaged the back of Charlie's head.
As the miles disappeared, Rick looked back and noticed he had not one, but two sleeping souls in the back seat.
Meanwhile, in the SUV that was following, Jenny sat with her arms crossed and was bristling.
"What is the deal with your family?"
"Jenny, I have lived amongst them for thirty years. I am not sure I can answer that."
"I like your Aunt and Uncle. What is so wrong with them?"
He sighed. "Millie is the youngest, and a girl. She got juvenile diabetes. As far as her brothers and sisters are concerned, she is a runt, and will die before them so they won't have to share any inheritance with her. It does not pay for them to be nice to her."
"So how did she meet your uncle Oscar?"
"Well they have only been married a couple of years. Oscar was a shoe salesman. Millie bought a pair from him and he fell for her."
"He was allowed to marry her?"
"sure. As long as he signed a contract that on her death, all of her shares for the company would go back to the company. So when she dies, he will be penniless."
"She has to be in her early forties. No children?"
"Oscar loves her. Children would have probably killed her. He doesn't want any. Besides, they look at Rick like a son."
"Yeah. When he was found, none of the family wanted to take him in, Oscar said he would."
"How long did that last? I bet the family had a lot to say about that."
"It was the only time I ever saw my Aunt Millie and Uncle Oscar actually stand up to the family." He paused, "But her disease gets worse with stress. Rick got out of their house when he turned eighteen." Carl paused. "Jenny, I have to ask you something."
"My grandfather is going to a background check on you and Lynn. I don't care about past things. Everyone has something in their closet. But he will find out about it. Is there anything, I mean absolutely anything, you need to tell me."
Jenny pulled into herself. "What the hell? What would ever give him that right?"
"Please. It will go easier if I know. I can do some damage control."
Jenny forced a smile. "As I recall, I told you once if you are not sincere, don't come near. That cuts both ways. Take me home now."
"But... we are almost to Ricks."
"Take me home."
"I just can't turn off."
"My cell ran out of battery."
"Right, then I will call Lynn."
Carl grabbed her phone and tossed it in the back seat.
"What the hell do you think you are doing?"
"Nothing, We are going to a barbecue. And since I am the designated driver, you can get as drunk as you want."
Carl stopped at the light. He felt the vibration in his pocket. Damn. Pulling out the phone, he read the text message.
"I am going to get some meat. Go ahead and set up. You know where the key is. Rick."'
He quickly text-ed back and threw the phone in the back seat.
"You are a liar, Carl Matthews."
"Only when it comes to important things."
The old man came out to survey the gaggle of geese called his family. For years, he had pulled the strings. Soon he would be gone, and his empire would be threatened, who would have the strength to maintain it.... He sighed. It would have to be decided by the end of this month.
As they pulled in front of Rick's house, Jenny hopped out of the car. She tugged on the back door. "Damn it. Damn it to hell!!!"
Carl came around quickly.
"What... what has happened to you that you cannot tell me." he asked quietly.
"It is none of your business. I am a strong, smart, independent woman. I am loyal to my friends. I will not be subjected to other's scrutiny." As she kept pulling at the door, tears of frustration came flooding out of her "Why won't this door open?" She tugged even harder. then started her mantra in her head, not realizing she was saying it out loud. "I will not cry.... I will not cry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" As she dropped down on her knees, pounding the ground with her hands.
Carl knelt down beside her. "Isn't it hard to be perfect all the time?" Taking hold of her hands, lest she hurt herself.
She glanced at him through sweat and tears, she gulped and then sobbed out. "Me perfect?" as she turned around and laid her head onto his knees, sobbing.
Carl simply stroked her hair. All kinds of images entered into his head of what could have made this girl become like this. But it did not matter. It was exactly how she was that intrigued him in the first place.
"Rick?" Lynn woke up hearing the door of the car slam.
Rick placed a bag of groceries beside him.
"It's okay. I just needed to get some supplies." Then he thought of something. "Hey Lynn, grandfather is going to do background checks on you and your friend. There is nothing we need to worry about is there."
Lynn sat straight up. "I need to get to Jenny. NOW."
Lynn jumped out of the car as Rick slowed to a stop in front of his house. She looked around frantically, then upon hearing Jenny's voice, she took off.
"Lynn? What about?" Rick called out.
"Please, take care of him for a minute."
Rick wondered what could have happened that she just left Charlie. He opened the door with groceries in hand. "Hey Charlie, Hey bub. Time to move." as he put the groceries down and extricated the boy from the seat belt.
"No, Li Li had to go to the bathroom. It's me. Rick."
"Wick?" The boy climbed out of the car, carrying his teddy bear.
"Follow me. Watch your step. These stones are a little uneven."
Carl and Jenny were on the back porch by the grill. He held her and whispered. "Anything else?"
"No." she sniffled. "No. That is about all."
"What do mean okay?"
"Well, you aren't a kidnapper... you aren't a mass murderer... and you haven't escaped from an insane asylum... so you are still you. Something horrible happened to you. It is not like you were at fault in anyway." He whispered to her and then gently kissed the top of her head.
"I'm damaged goods, Carl. From what I have seen of your family, I won't do." As she attempted to pull away from him, he tightened his hold.
"Naw. Just seasoned, that's all." He felt her struggle again and mutter, "Is that what you call it?"
"Don't misunderstand. A diamond was coal once. You just have been pressurized, so to speak, and as far as I can tell, made yourself into a better person." He pulled her away to look into her eyes. "I think you have got this all wrong. I don't deserve you."
Lynn came flying around the corner, "Jenny? You okay?"
Jenny gulped, and stared into Carl's eyes, then, upon hearing Lynn's voice, she quickly wiped her face, and cleared her throat. "I am right as rain... and starving. Where is that Fox guy?"
Charlie and Rick came around the corner.
"Jeez, Carl. You couldn't even get the grill lit?"
Carl pulled Jenny behind him as if to shield while she pulled herself together. "What can I say? You are the outdoors guy. Grills scare me." Holding his hands to his face as if hiding.
"Are grills scary?" Charlie asked.
Everyone started to giggle and laugh. "Come on, Charlie. Let's go explore. We will let these guys handle the cooking." Jenny grabbed his arm. "Coming, Lynn?"
Everyone satisfied sat around the picnic table enjoying the sunset and the first stars began to peak out. Charlie was snuggled on a chase after yawning and almost falling asleep in his plate.
"I hope everyone had a good time, " Rick spoke quietly as he seemed a little unsure about everything.
"Hey, Rick? Did you get a hold of Steve Hauser?"
"As I see it, you are still the CO until midnight tonight, right?"
"Carl, sometimes you amaze me."
"Shut it. Just do your magic."
Rick smiled wickedly. "Yeah. Excuse me, ladies."
Lynn watched him leave. "I can't believe we have to work tomorrow." then paused. "What did you just say?" looking at Carl.
"Um, er. Bout what?"
"Bout what?" Lynn repeated. "About Rick being the CO until midnight."
"Oh. My grandfather demoted him to sales."
"Look, don't worry about it. In a month, a decision will be made... and both Rick and I will know where we stand."
Rick returned. "Carl, starting tomorrow, Steve Hauser will be a liason between Research and Development and Sales and Distribution."
"Yeah. He understands the situation and as long as he doesn't have to travel so much, he should be able to make it work with his family situation."
Hummnn. "Great." Carl yawned. "Okay. Time for this designated driver to take the crew home." He held up his coffee to his compatriots. "To Jenny, my conscience. To Lynn, my talented assistant. To Rick, my rival. Church was fun. This was fun. This will be an Easter to go down in the history books." As the other three raised their beers.
The girls packed up their things and Charlie into the SUV. Rick walked out with them, Carl leaned over and whispered in his ear. "You gonna be okay with all this?"
"Have no other choice now. Do I?" He paused. "Carl, what ever the decision that old man makes. If you win, don't be like them. 'Kay?" as he held his hand out to Carl.
Shaking it, "What will be, will be. It is on them if they pick the wrong man for the job." He grinned and hopped in the car.
Rick came up to the back window and knocked. "Lynn?" he paused. "You okay?"
She looked at him. "Sure." Then hopped out of the car. "I ... um... will see you at work tomorrow?"
"Can I pick you up?"
"Um, sure. Oh, man. So much has happened I haven't heard from Mrs. Allen."
"don't worry. I am sure it will be okay." then paused, wondering if he had said too much, he added, "Pick you up at seven. Okay?"
Rick watched the group speed off. Sighing, he headed into the empty house. Yeah, tomorrow will be interesting.
to be continued.