Sahara and the others had been unable to come back to see Tom off. She had promised to meet him in Tokyo when she had vacation. Marcus, too, had wished him well from afar and promised to vacation in Japan. But then, that was just how the two of them were. Always willing to go and spend time with family when they could.
As Star and Rainbow ran around the ballroom getting the room ready for the party, Matt was in his bedroom dressing up for the occasion. He imagined that Amanda and Egypt were doing the same. Sam and Al would be there soon, as would Marnie and Lady Jane. He couldn’t help smiling.
He couldn’t wait to see everyone’s faces as he escorted Amanda into the ballroom. He knew that Jane wouldn’t be too shocked. Neither would Marnie. They both knew how he was.
Rain and Star, well they were a different set altogether. Al was your typical man, as was Sam. Both thought with body parts best not used for thinking when it came to women. He didn’t have to worry about Egypt. After all, she was the one who’d brought Amanda home with her.
He chuckled to himself. Egypt had been like a child with a lost dog or kitten they had found, stringing it along home to ask mom and dad if it was alright to keep it. Only, she had brought home a friend to introduce to her father. But not as her own lover.
No, she’d had definite plans. Ones that had included setting her Pops up with a girlfriend. He had to laugh. Leave it to Egypt.
Now, it was time for the unveiling. Well, not really. He had only asked Amanda to be his date to see if it would work without a lot of awkwardness. Tonight would tell a lot about the way their budding relationship would go.
He swallowed the lump in his throat. God, he was nervous! For the first time in years, he felt like a school boy on his first date. He wasn’t used to being this nervous.
It was worse than a case of stage fright. But, at the same time, it felt so good. So right. He pulled his leather Versace pants and silk shirt on. He dispensed with the thought of wearing rings or necklaces. too garish. He slipped his blue velvet faux tux jacket on, then sat on the bed to pull on his Gucci shoes over his black socks.He added a special bow tie and his rock-god top hat to his ensemble and walked disjointedly down the stairway.
A plethora of wonderful food smells reached his nose midway, making his stomach growl. He reminded himself that he would be enjoying that delicious smelling feast soon enough. He must wait on his date. So he remained at the foot of the stairway.
Egypt appeared shortly and made her way down the grand staircase. Boy, she was beautiful. He swallowed nervously again. If Egypt was that dressed up, then so would Amanda. His mouth went dry.
Egypt looked over at him and smiled. “Nervous, Pops?”
He smiled nervously. “You might say that.” His throat was so dry, the words choked to a whisper.
She nodded. “It’ll be Okay. Just take a couple of deep breaths. She’s right behind me. I think she’s as nervous as you are.”
He nodded. She took her leave and headed for the ballroom, leaving him alone at the foot of the stairs. Then, Amanda appeared. She looked so radiant. So beautiful. She took his breath away.
Suddenly he was standing proudly at the base of the stairway, waiting for the most beautiful woman in at the party. She had apparently ceased being so nervous as well, as she proudly made her way down the stairs and latched onto his arm. Together, they entered the ballroom. Both had ceased to care about what everyone would think. Now, they seemed perfect together.
A hush fell over the ballroom. It was followed by whistles and cheers. Matt could see in everyone’s faces that they were happy for him. A grin appeared on his face as he began to relax. He felt Amanda relax as well.
He looked at her, then at the piano, and back at her. “Shall we?”
She looked up at him with a smile. “We shall.”
They made their way to the piano with purpose. Sitting side by side on the bench, they mumbled to each other, then began to play in unison. Suddenly, the most beautiful music filled the air and everyone began to make their way toward the piano. Matt’s eyes were closed as he played. It had been so long since he had played a duet. It felt so good.
He felt Amanda’s head on his shoulder as they played. So comforting. So peaceful. So natural.
From the piece they began with they slowly worked their way through a complete classical ensemble to an early jazz standard. Over an hour’s worth of music had been played as if it was nothing. Applause filled the room.
Star looked at them with a smile, then turned to the rest of the guests. “Time to eat.”
Everyone filed to the tables where the food sat waiting. Mexican, Chinese, Italian, and French cuisine lined the table. All lent their aromas to make Matt hungry. He made a mental note to save room for cake or whatever special dessert his sisters had prepared.
He piled his plate high. A little of this. A little of that. He sampled each dish upon the table. Behind him, Amanda did the same.
He found a spot and held a seat for her, waiting. He rose as she drew near, pulling her chair out for her. She came and sat beside him. Together, they began exploring the food on their plates.
He looked over at her, a smile in his eyes. She returned the glance, smile and all. Tonight was going to be very special. Very special, indeed.