“What am I going to do?!” It was Monday afternoon and I had my friends, Bruno and the guys sitting around me. After the phone call with Bruno, I called Katie and she had set up a meeting with all of us at the Burger King she worked at. We were in a corner booth. She picked a time when business was slow for us to show up. We were all looking at one another in silence. “Are they understanding parents?” Phil asked, shifting his body in his seat. I shook my head. “I don’t really talk to them about personal issues. Since I’m an only child, they usually just give me personal freedom as long as I’m not getting into any trouble, But in this case, they will consider this trouble.” “And I’m the trouble, the bad influence.” Bruno chimed in. I didn’t know what to say. I just rubbed his shoulder in sympathy. “Bruno, trust me you are not a bad influence in any way!” Amy said. “Yeah,” added Jo. “You have a career, you are a college grad. You live on your own and you take care of yourself pretty well.” “But how should I tell them?” I asked. Ari beamed “How about you try to talk to your parents during the week? Ease it up until Friday night.” We all looked at him with interest. “Just carefully explain the way he has treated you.” Ari continued. “Each day tell them something about Bruno. Once they seem to be trustworthy towards Bruno, explain to them about everything.” “Maybe it will work, baby.” Bruno said. I sighed. “I can try.” “Or try to postpone the dinner.” Katie said, stuffing French fries in her mouth. “If you still feel nervous about the dinner, just try to convince your parents to change their minds.” I looked at Bruno and he just shrugged.
I still felt uneasy about the whole thing. Bruno didn’t really speak during our discussions. After, we all went into the parking lot. Bruno and the guys walked ahead of me and the girls. “What’s up with Bruno today?” Amy asked. “He was just in another world.” “He isn’t usually like this.” Jo said. It was so strange that my friends even know Bruno well enough when he is feeling down.
After Bruno’s and my friends left, I sat with Bruno inside his car. We were waiting for Katie to finish her shift so she can take me home. Bruno kept looking straight ahead, thinking deeps thoughts I suppose. I reached out my hand and caressed his chest. “What are you thinking about?” I whispered, like I didn’t want to interrupt. He turned his head and smiled sadly. “I just have this feeling that something bad is going to happen. Ever since I was a kid, I would get a bad feeling and some of the times, something bad did happen.” I smiled. “Bruno, nothing is going to happen. You heard our friends, we got their support and we got each others’ support.” “But-“ Bruno said, about to protest. “No buts.” I laughed. “Let’s just take it easy and not worry so much about it.” Of course I didn’t want Bruno to worry since I’ve never seen him worry like this. Even when he was my teacher, he never broke a sweat whenever there was a deadline or if the principal was getting after him about his attire or his teaching skills. I guess this was completely different to what Bruno is used to. I mean, I can be worried because they are after all my parents. I stretched over to Bruno and gently kissed his lips. I pulled away and stared at his beautiful eyes. He brushed his fingers through my hair. “I love you so much.” He said. We continued to make out until there was a knock at the window. It was Katie and she looked impatient. Bruno rolled down the window. “Let’s go! I gotta pee!” She said, doing a little dance knowing she really got to go. “Why don’t you use the restaurant’s restroom?” I asked her. I really wanted to finish making out but she just glared at us and said “You got to be kidding me?”
During the whole week, my parents went along with their lives while I was counting down the days until Friday night’s dinner. Bruno and I met during the week to discuss about the dinner. Each day his spirits grew more and more. I think it was just him putting on a brave face for me. I can tell that he was so nervous and worried. He had said that the guys gave him advice about the dinner, what to say, and what to wear, etc.
Each day, I figured I would try to be sneaky and just ease my way into who Bruno really is. “Mom does Bruno have to come to dinner?” I guess I’m not good at that. It was Thursday night during dinner. I had avoided communication with my parents throughout the week. I mean, I’m sorry but I am just too much of a chicken! “I just don’t think you can handle it.” My parents looked at me. My mom smiled. “Sweetie what do you mean we can’t handle him?” My dad chuckled. “Why is he some sort of hooligan?” I groaned. “No he’s a-“ Damn I almost said teacher. I needed to save myself. “Bruno is just different.” And that’s the truth. “Oh we know, you told us.” My dad said. “He’s Pilipino, right?” My mom asked. I slid down my chair. “Half Pilipino.” I said in a low tone. “What’s the other half?” My dad asked. “Puerto Rican” I said in a lower tone. My mom giggled. “Oh I bet he’s a cutie, huh?” Cutie?! Oh gosh I can see they weren’t budging and I wasn’t winning. I was getting frustrated that no matter what I say they still want him over. I pushed myself from the table and asked to be excused. I stomped up the stairs and closed the door loud, not slamming it though, just to clarify. The clock in my room read 7:18 PM. Exactly 24 hours from now, my life is going to change.