Chapter 20: “Lunch Date Part II”
The ride to the restaurant is quiet for Tris and I. Mrs. Prior and Max are catching up having a blast in the front seat. She parks in the small parking lot and we make our way inside. I’ve been waiting for the questions to start since I got in the car. Once we’ve placed our order Mrs. Prior starts.
“So Eric what are you studying?” She asks me.
“Criminal justice. I’d like to be a cop, and hopefully a detective one day.” I reply.
“You and Tris both.” She laughs. “Are you gonna take out the eyebrow piercing in the future?”
“Eventually.” I smile. Tris laughs. I know she likes the piercing. “I might have to fight Tris on it. I think she likes it more than I do.” Oh yeah, I’m definitely gonna put her on blast.
“How old are you?”
“Twenty. I’ll be twenty one by Christmas.” I smile.
“Are you a big drinker?”
Max laughs at this and I shoot him a look. “Not any more. I learned my lessons.” I kick Max under the table. I swear if he opens his mouth I’m gonna hurt him.
“And what were those lessons you learned?”
“That I shouldn’t drink whiskey, tequila, or vodka if I want to make it home.”
“Do you do any drugs?”
I pause. I feel Tris and Max’s eyes boring in to me. “No. I barely even take Tylenol or Advil. I have to force myself to take it when I’m sick.” It’s not a lie per se. She asked if I take drugs, not if I used to take drugs.
“So what do you parents do? Do you have any siblings?”
“My mom’s a psychologist and my dad is a neuroscientist. I’ve never really been sure what my dad works on. He always gives vague answers.” I pause. “And I have an older brother, Trevor, he’s getting his masters in engineering at Loyola right now. I’m the black sheep of my family wanting a blue collar job.”
Mrs. Prior smiles. “So what do you do outside of school?”
“I’m pretty big in to running, as well as boxing. Max has been making me and all the other RA’s teach self defense.”
“So you and Beatrice go running together?” She raises an eyebrow at Tris.
“You should see them.” Max tells her. “They run around the entire campus for 2 hours everyday.”
I smile at her.
“So mom, how do you and Max know one another?” Tris asks raising her eyebrow at her mother. Check and mate.
“Oh we used to date.” Mrs. Prior answers casually.
“Way back in the day.” Max adds.
“So are you the one she kissed the first night at the school?” Tris asked Max.
“Tris.” Her mother scolded. This is like getting a front row seat to a train wreck.
“Oh come on, you and dad never told me or Caleb about how you two got together.”
Max laughs. “Your mother and I had been dating for two months. We weren’t serious, we were thinking about it, but one day your mom comes back from class and just ends it.” He laughs. “She didn’t really give me a reason, but about a week later I saw her and your dad together. And at twenty-one years old it sucked, but even then I could see how happy they were, much happier than when your mom and I were dating. Then four years later I got a wedding invitation to your parents wedding. Then a year later your brother was born. And then you were born a year after him. And every year you were growing up I got the Christmas cards with those cheeky smiles you and your brother had. Hey maybe I can show them to Eric sometime. I’m pretty sure they’re somewhere in my office.”
Mrs. Prior smiles. “Looks like you finally got your answer.”
“Hey you’re the one who said I’m just like you. Obviously I’m gonna be curious.”
“Speaking of that how did you two come to be?” She turns it around on Tris.
“Which time?” I ask. Mrs. Prior gives me a look to elaborate. “The first time had a conversation or the first time we kissed?” I see Tris’ cheek go red out of the corner of my eye.
“Both. I’m rather curious what my daughters been up to.”
I laugh. “The first time we spoke we didn’t get along. I might have been a jerk and-”
“Might have been?” Tris says with raised eyebrows. “You told me that I couldn’t sit with you. It was like I stepped in to mean girls.”
Max and Mrs. Prior laughed.
“Anyway, she compared my personality to a hamburger.” I smirk at Tris. “The first time we kissed it was a dare.”
Tris glares at me. “I didn’t wanna look like pansycake.”
“Pansycake?” Max laughs. “You’ve been hanging out with Uriah too much.”
Thankfully, our food comes and I’m saved from answering questions for a few more minutes. Max and Mrs. Prior start reminiscing about the past, telling us about the crazy things they did when they were our age.
Tris smiles at me. I wink back at her. After that lunch goes smoothly and I learn about Tris growing up.
“Mom don’t show them the pictures.” I groan.
“Tris, you were so cute as a baby. Not to mention I have your prom photos on here.” My mom smirks.
“No. Please don’t show them that.” I sigh. My mom hands to phone to Eric and I see him swipe through a few photos before stopping. He turns the phone to me.
“Who was your date?” He smirks.
I look at the photo. It’s of Robert and I, doing the pose that every prom couple does. “That was my neighbor and my brothers best friend. Caleb was so mad that he asked me to prom. I mainly said yes so it would piss him off.” I shake my head. “The joke was on me, because my friend Susan, Robert’s sister, asked Caleb to prom. She did that to get back at me. Although now they’re dating so they can thank me when they get married.”
Eric laughs. “And you and Robert never dated?”
“Nah, he was my brothers best friend that’s just gross.” I laugh.
Eric hands the phone to Max. “You look just like your mother.” He smiles.
My mom just blushes and shakes her head. “She is a gorgeous girl.”
I look over at Eric. He winks at me. I smile back.
The waiter brings the check to the table. Eric reaches over to grab it, but my mother smacks his hand away.
“You we’re invited to lunch today. You do not pay.” She shakes her head at him.
“That’s right, because I’m paying.” Max takes the bill from my mother. She just shrugs at him.
After Max pays we head back out to the car. Eric takes my hand as we walk back. He opens the car door for me again. I roll my eyes at him and that causes him to smirk. The ride back is silent, at least for Eric and I.
My mother and Max on the other hand are catching up. It’s still strange to think about the two of them dating. How did my dad steal really her away from Max? Why are they still friends? It’s such a strange concept.
Before I can think too much about it my mom pulls up in front of the building, parking in the fire lane. She leaves the car running, but we all get out. My mom says goodbye to Max. She looks at Eric. “It was very lovely to meet you Eric. I’m sure that I’ll be seeing more of you in the future.”
Eric smiles. “It was nice meeting you too Mrs. Prior.” He looks at me. “I’ll see you inside.”
My mother and I watch him walk away. “You know Beatrice, he is very good looking.”
“I know that mom.” I smile.
“He’s also a very nice young man. I can see why you’re dating him.” She laughs. “I’m sure that your father would be interested in meeting him too. Maybe you can invite him over during one of your breaks.”
“Maybe mom.” I smile. “Thank you for letting him come today. You know Eric was the one who wanted to meet you.”
“Ah… No wonder why I met this one. Either way, I like him. He has that look in eye.”
“What look?” I question.
“You’ll figure it out, it’s not for me to tell you.” She laughs. “Anyway, it was lovely to see you Beatrice. I missed you. Your father does too, but he couldn’t get off of work today, but Marcus is having a publicity nightmare. Unfortunately, your father had to stay.”
“It’s fine mom. I understand. What’s going on with Marcus?”
“Something from his past, but it’s nothing that you need to worry about.” She smiles. “I gotta get on the road, I’d like to be home before your father so I can rub it in his face.”
I laugh. “You’re horrible mom. I’m happy I got to see you. I’ll be home for thanksgiving soon. Hey maybe I’ll bring Eric as a buffer.” I joke. I give her a hug and kiss. “I’ll see you again soon Mom.”