Stranded World, Summer.
They had discussed it all beforehand. Summer’s mom was just an e-mail send. Bishop’s parents: “Dad’ll probably buy me a beer, and mom will swoon. No biggie, really.” So it was Melinda’s parents who would be tricky, and thus they managed to schedule that meeting earliest on Parents’ Weekend.
Mellie clung tight to Bishop’s hand and leaned into the arm Summer draped around her waist as they waited in the lounge. Other kids, other parents swarmed by, barely glancing their way. What was another college couple and their third wheel? Summer smirked, and traced good-luck charms into her girlfriend’s hip.
“There they are.” Her voice was a thin whisper; she raised it to call across the lobby. “Mom! Dad!”
Summer could see the resemblance; Mrs. Chambers had the same eyes as Mel; Mr. Chambers had the same nose. They both shared an open, warm smile, and a fondness for hugs; Summer shared a glance with Bishop as they released their girl into her parents’ hugs.
It wasn’t long before they had her hands again. “Mom, Dad, this is my boyfriend, Bishop… and my girlfriend, Summer.”
They could see the way Mrs. Chambers bounced over that one – saw it, decided to ignore it, kept going. Mr. Chambers was already busy giving Bishop the Manly Handshake of warning, so Mom got to handle the “How nice to meet Mellie’s friends.”
Melinda could have let it go. They’d discussed this, over and over again. She took a breath, and plowed on calmly. “No, Mom. Summer’s my girlfriend.” Pause. “We’re all dating.”
“Are you sure, honey?” Her mother sounded shaky. Her father was eying Bishop uncertainly. “I mean…”
“I’m sure, Mom.” Melinda squeezed her mother’s hand gently. “We’ve been dating since the second week of the semester. We’re sure.”
“Well,” Mr. Chambers rumbled thoughtfully, “they’re braver than we were, back then.”
“They are,” Mrs. Chambers agreed. “Just… Mellie, let’s put off telling Grandma for now, can we?”
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