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Always Say I Love You (A Buzby Beach Novella) Part 03

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DW is a veteran, a father, a husband, and a teacher. He's published 9 YA/NA novels thus far. The story you're reading might be next.

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Will thought Mari was bluffing about telling her folks. He changed his mind when he was standing in her parents' family room after Mari informed them there was something she and Will wanted to tell them.

"Mom and Dad," Mari began, "Will and I thought it was time you should know that we aren't just best friends, but that we're in love and have been for a while."

Once she dropped the bomb, Mari and Will waited for her parents' reaction. Her mother reacted first.

"I won't pretend this comes as a surprise. Your father and I have suspected there was more between the two of you than just friendship. Friends don't look at each other the way you look at Wilson or the way Wilson looks at you."

Mari's father spoke up then. "No, we aren't surprised. Maybe a little disappointed you didn't tell us sooner. But, mostly, Mari, your mother and I are glad you told us now." He focused his eyes on Will. "Do your parents know?"

Will shook his head. "No, sir. Not yet. We wanted to tell you and Mari's mother first."

Mari's father smiled and rose from his seat. He held out a hand to Will.

"You know you've always been like part of the family to us, Will. More so now, I reckon."

As Will and Mari's father shook hands, Mari's mother echoed, "More so now than ever."

The handshake between the younger man and the older man turned into a group hug for the four of them. When the hug broke up, Mari's mom and dad strongly urged the young couple to immediately go to Will's house.

"Now that the cat's out of the bag, it would be best if your folks heard the news from the two of you rather than second hand," Mari's dad advised them.

Heeding his advice, they left Will's truck at Mari's house and walked the two doors down to Will's. Will's parents took the news more stoically than Mari's had.

"I guess we should have expected this," Will's father said from his spot in his recliner. He'd been watching ESPN when Will informed him that he and Mari wanted to talk to both Will's parents. "With all the time you two spend together, it's no wonder. Well, you two have fun. Just don't go getting knocked up and ruin both your lives."

Having said his piece, Will's father turned his attention back to ESPN. Will's mother rolled her eyes and invited the young couple to join her in the kitchen.

"Don't mind Will's father," she told them once they were seated at the kitchen table. "I know he's glad the two of you have finally gotten together. On many occasions, he's said how he thought you two would make a great couple if only the two of you could see it.

"Will, you know your daddy has trouble saying how he really feels."

"I know, Mom," Will replied. "It's just how he is."

"I will tell you that I am glad the two of you are dating, going steady, or whatever it is you kids call it these days. One thing Will's father and I agree on is how right you two are for each other. Mari, even your mother and I have talked about how we'd be happy to see you and Will as a couple. Speaking of which, Mari, have y'all told your folks."

"Yes, ma'am," Mari admitted. "We stopped by there first,"

"As it should be," Will's mother said. "The girl's parents should be the first to know."

Will's mom got up and poured each of them a tumbler of lemonade. When she sat back down, she spoke frankly.

"I'm no prude, and I'll not try to fool myself into thinking you two haven't, aren't, don't, you know what I mean. Just promise me that if you are, you are being careful."

Mari spoke for the two of them. "We are being very careful. I promise."

"I trust you," Will's mother said. "I trust you both. You're bright kids with good futures ahead of you. I know you'll be careful."

Will and Mari left his house and walked back to hers.

"Telling our folks went a lot better than I thought it would," Will remarked as they walked along.

Mari frowned. "Did you think they would disapprove?"

Will shook his head. "I thought they'd be more surprised."

Mari rested her head on his shoulder as they turned up her front walk. "What I think is they sort of knew, or at least suspected, and are glad we're 'officially' together."

Will laughed and said, "You're probably right."

He kissed Mari good night at her door and, after she went inside, got in his truck and drove home.

Will and Mari's story continues in Part 4

© 2020 DW Davis

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