It was the most awkward Sunday family lunch Eliza ever had.
Despite the six people eating, the only sound over the table was of them chewing and drinking.
Shit… I knew it’d be awkward… it’s not like my religious mother would accept her lesbian daughter’s girlfriend in the blink of an eye… but to think no one would say anything, Eliza thought, glancing at Bianca.
The redhead didn’t seem bothered by the awkward mood. All she did was eat the feijoada as if there was nothing wrong around her.
Despite her stomach churning due to the silence, she couldn’t help but feel relieved. It’s not her fault, but technically, she’s the cause of this… actually, we both are…
But I’m glad Bianca’s not affected by this mood… I’d hate if my mom made her uncomfortable… I wished my family treated her like they treated my ex…
Eliza glanced at her mother between bites. The nurse was solely focused on her plate, as if the feijoada was the most interesting thing in the entire world.
C’mon, mom. You make that like twice a month… it is really that interesting you can’t make a single comment? Usually you never stop speaking at the Sunday family lunch…
Eliza sighed in her head. I know I’m being too greedy… it was already amazing of her to invite my girlfriend… especially after catching us naked in bed… in the hospital you work… but can’t you at least try… please?
But the girl knew it was beyond hopeless asking something of her mother at this step. Inviting Bianca and not force me to have a conversation with the priest was a huge step for her already…
It’s as Bianca says… Baby steps… baby steps… freaking baby steps…
As she ate her food, Eliza couldn’t help but glance at the other side of the table, where her brother and his girlfriend. He’s so lucky… he can be with her and mom won’t say anything… he can go out and hold hands with her and one even bats an eye at them…
The girl knew she couldn’t hope for any help from her brother. She didn’t know what, but he wanted to ask something from their parents and would risk irritating their mother to help his sister.
So the last person Eliza could turn for help was her father. Dad will help his little girl, won’t he?
“S-so, dad… h-how’s everything at the PD…?” she asked tentatively, hoping that was enough to start a conversation.
“Busy… too busy,” the police officer said in a tired voice, stopping the knife and fork. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “The press’s been asking me to give interviews every day. Me and Eduardo…”
“Because you two were the ones who found those notebooks that helped my dad?” Bianca asked suddenly.
Eliza coughed on her juice. As the redhead patted the girl on the back, she widened her eyes to Bianca. What the hell read, why are you bringing that up? Do you wanna give me a heart attack?
She hoped her eyes transmitted her thoughts to her.
“Yes. It was actually Eliza who found them… but she asked me to keep her name out of it,” he said with a sad expression.
“It was for the best, honey,” her mother said suddenly. “After… everything, Eliza needs to rest… take a break from all…”
Hey mom, glad you recovered your voice. I was afraid I’d never hear you screaming at me again, Eliza thought sourly. Then she turned to her father.
“I think so too dad. I know you don’t like taking the credit, but it’s not like I did something amazing. All I did was find the notebooks. There’s nothing interesting for the press there,” the girl said, trying to act as normal as she could.
But the moment she spoke, through the corner of her eyes, Eliza saw her girlfriend smiling between bites. Under the table, she pinched the redhead on the thigh, getting a strange high pitch squeal from her.
Bianca drank her juice and pretended the sound was a hiccup when everyone looked at her.
“My dad wants to give you and Eduardo a promotion,” Bianca said after she put her glass down. Despite the strange sound, she spoke with the dignity of a high-class lady. “He keeps saying it’s thanks to you two he could put the mayor behind bars and even found a dirty cop inside the PD”
The police officer flashed a wry smile as he scratched his recently shaved face. His wife insisted he kept a sharp look for the interviews.
“Yes… the chief keeps talking something about a promotion… insisting, actually… but I don’t know…”
“C’mon, dad. You have to take it,” her brother jumped in. “It’s a great opportunity.”
“I agree, honey. You should take the promotion. You’d get more time at the desk than outside,” his wife said. “God knows how much sleepless nights I had when you were out on patrol…”
“Worry about what? We live in a small city… we have our problems, but it’s not dangerous like the capital…”
“Even so, I can only sleep when you get home.”
“Besides, the patrols are not so bad… most times we just drive around town… but from time to time we get funny dispatches,” the cop said with a true and juvenile smile.
“Really? Like what?” Bianca asked, her face curious. “Dad doesn’t have any fun stories about his job.”
“Let me see…” The cop’s smile grew as he rubbed his beardless chin.
Eliza beamed and grabbed her father’s arm. “Oh, dad, dad! Tell Bianca about the monkey!” she exclaimed when she remembered.
The cop began to chuckle. “Ah! That’s a good one… it’s a great one…” He waited until he stopped laughing to start the story.
“It was a normal Saturday afternoon. We were patrolling when we received a dispatch to go to a bar. The dispatcher only said it was a drunk and disorder,” the cop was already laughing again. “When we got there… the one drunk and causing the disorder… a monkey!”
He covered his face and laughed even more. Eliza, her brother, and his girlfriend laughed too. Bianca smiled and waited eagerly.
“How on earth that happened?”
“Someone had the brilliant idea of giving cachaça to the owner’s pet monkey. With only one glass, the animal was so drunk he this huge fishmonger’s knife the size of my arm. Then he chased the people at the bar. When the owner went to catch him, he climbed to the roof and threatened anyone who got close enough!”
Everyone on the table roared with laughter. Even Eliza’s mother cracked a smile as she shook her head.
“I can’t believe this happened here and I never heard! How did you two settle everything?” Bianca asked when she stopped laughing.
Eliza’s father had to take a deep breath to stop laughing enough to answer. “We offered the monkey another shot of cachaça!” Everyone laughed more. It took a while for them to stop. “He turned the glass and fainted right away. We took the knife and called animal control.”
“No way,” Bianca said when she recovered her breath. “I never heard anything like this from dad.”
“There’s no way the chief would ever hear about the underground stories of the PD. If you want, look it up on the internet. Someone recorded everything.”
“I’ll definitely look it up!” the redhead said with a huge smile.
Eliza couldn’t stop smiling, but part of her felt more relieved than happy due to the story. Thank goodness Bianca is smiling. That’s the only thing I wanna see today, she thought, taking a few more bites of her food. Under the table, however, she touched Bianca’s leg with her foot.
The redhead blushed and smiled at her girlfriend. Then she turned to the police officer. “Are there more stories like that?”
“Tons,” Eliza’s father said. He ate the feijoada as he thought. When he swallowed, his face lit with a smile. “Ah! This is a good one. We were patrolling the streets when we heard a woman screaming. We turned on the siren and quickly got to the scream. There we found a lady hanging from a tree with a pit bull barking and trying to bite her.”
“Oh my god. How did she end up on the tree?”
“She got drunk and tried to sneak into his ex-boyfriend house to beg him to get back together with her. But she had drunk too much and sneaked into the neighbor’s backyard. The pit bull tried to attack her, but managed to climb the tree and couldn’t get up or down.”
Eliza and her brother laughed. Her brother’s girlfriend and the nurse shook their heads.
“What did you do?” Bianca asked.
“We tried to get in, but the dog came at us right away. So we were trying to contact the owner of the house, but the woman’s friend, who was as drunk as the woman, tried to scare the pit bull and give her time to escape.”
“What did she do?”
“She threw a brick!” The cop was doing his best to tell the story without laughing. “Guess what happened? She hit her friend instead! Even the dog stopped barking to laugh!”
Eliza and her brother chuckled while his girlfriend and their mother still shook their heads.
“Lucky the woman didn’t get hurt. I think she was too drunk for that,” the cop ended the story, but the smile remained. “It wasn’t our fault, honey! The drunk friend was the one who threw the brick. But she didn’t fall from the tree. Luckily the owner got home ten minutes later and call his dog. We call the ambulance and when they were taking her, the ex showed up and went with her. They got back together.”
“It’s almost like a love story with a happy ending,” Bianca said, getting more laughs from the cop.
Eliza was beaming. Yes… everything’s going fine, she thought, relieved from the bottom of her heart. But she could tell her mother was shifting on her seat. She’s gonna change the topic.
“Tell Bianca about the day with the thieves, dad!” she suggested before her mother could say anything.
“Ah! That was a crazy day. Almost twenty years as a cop and I’ve never seen something like that.” He smiled and shook his head as he drank the beer. “I was at the desk during the morning when a robber came in the PD to file a complaint. Guess what was the motive? He wanted to have another thief arrested because he had stolen his loot!”
This time even Eliza’s mother couldn’t suppress the laugh, her voice adding to everyone else.
“And that was just the morning. After lunch, I went out on patrol with Eduardo and we ended up seeing a group tried to rob a bakery. But before we could call in reinforcements, while they were in the middle of the robbery, another group tried to rob the bakery too. They fought and when they tried to get away, we managed to arrest them all!”
“I can’t believe these things actually happen,” Bianca said after she finished laughing. “It sounds like a thing from movies!”
“Yeah… I don’t think the movies are crazier than the underground cop stories… there’s no way the chief would ever have a story like this.”
“No, sir, he doesn’t. The most my dad got out of me was a yawn. Ah, please don’t tell him that! He likes telling those stories.”
The cop flashed a fatherly smile. “Don’t worry. And you don’t share my stories with the chief. I doubt he’d like to know what I’m telling his daughter!
This feels nice… but I don’t want to end now, Eliza thought. “Tell Bianca about the woman and the theme party.
“Ah! That’s a good one. So I was working at the desk when this woman came in and–”
“No, honey! That’s not a good story while we’re eating,” his wife said suddenly.
The cop flashed a wry smile. “You’re right, honey… I’ll tell you later, Bianca.”
After that, the conversation ended and there was only the sound of them eating again.
I was too greedy… I get that story in particular wasn’t the best for this moment, mom, but you didn’t have to kill the entire mood, Eliza thought with a sad smile. Thank goodness we’re almost done.
Soon the plates were clean and no one could eat another bite.
The moment her brother and his girlfriend said they were going out to meet a few friends, Eliza took her girlfriend to her bedroom.
Please don’t make a fuss… please, mom, Eliza begged as he led Bianca by the hand. The girl could feel her mother’s stare, but they left the room and went to her bedroom without any comment from the nurse. Only then she breathed out in relief.
“That was some lunch,” Bianca said when they were alone. “You dad got some awesome stories.”
“Yeah, he does… and sorry about all the awkwardness.” Eliza flashed an apologetic smiled as she scratched her chin. “My mom’s… trying to get used to the idea…”
“Hey, I’m not complaining or anything. Besides, we should be glad she’s making the effort. From what you constantly said as an excuse to not introducing me as your girlfriend, she’d never invited me to lunch before.”
“You got that right…”
Eliza sighed, smiled, and did what she was dying to do all morning; kiss her girlfriend. She wrapped her arms around the redhead and pulled her closer as Bianca kissed her back.
But before things could get more intense, Bianca parted their lips. “Wait… Not with your mom around. I want her to like me.”
“That’s… gonna take a long time,” Eliza admitted with a wry smile. “And besides, she already caught us in bed… A little kiss won’t make things worse.”
Eliza pulled Bianca closer and tried to kiss her again. But the redhead turned her face.
“Still, let’s avoid shoving the fact that her only daughter likes women now…” Bianca looked at her girlfriend with the puppy eyes Eliza was too weak against. “You know it’s baby steps.”
Eliza groaned and sighed… “Fine… I’ll try to restrain myself… but I can’t promise anything…”
“Thanks!” The redhead flashed a huge smile and kissed her girlfriend on the cheek.
The girl blushed and pouted. “Stop tempting me,” she mumbled, touching where she was kissed with one hand and gesturing to the redhead with the other. “You know it’s hard already… especially with you doing that… you know, breathing and all…”
Bianca laughed. But soon she stopped. “Hey, what was the last story your dad was gonna tell? I’m super curious.”
“Yeah… That’s story isn’t appropriated during a meal…” Eliza flashed a wry smile as he chuckled. “One day a woman came in to file a complaint. She was furious because her neighbors created a carnival parade…”
“She came to file a complaint because of a carnival parade?” Bianca asked, blinking.
“It wasn’t the parade per se… It was because of the name of the parade…” Eliza had trouble suppressing her smile.
“What was the name?” Bianca was already smiling.
“Take it out ‘cause I need to crap…” Eliza laughed while the redhead tilted her head.
“I don’t get it.”
“The name was in her homage because one day she was having anal sex with her boyfriend and suddenly she shouted take it out ‘cause I need to crap. so loud the entire neighborhood heard!”
Eliza laughed louder. Bianca shook her head.
“That’s not funny…”
“Oh, yeah? Then why are you smiling?”
“Shut up…” Bianca pushed Eliza gently.
The girl fell on the bed and pulled her girlfriend by the hand.
Bianca lay down on top of her. They looked each other on the eyes, their smiles growing.
Eliza lowered her gaze, staring at those lips she loved to kiss and sometimes nibble.
Before she even think of stop herself, the girl brought her girlfriend closer by the waist.
When they were about to kiss, Bianca moved her head and Eliza ended up kissing her cheek instead.
“Don’t you have any self-control, girl?” the redhead asked though she herself seemed to be struggling.
“You’re tempting me too much…” Eliza let out a weak chuckle. “And who are you to talk? You couldn’t even wait until I was out of the hospital!”
“That was different,” Bianca mumbled, her cheeks a shade of pink. To hide them the redhead rested her head on Eliza’s chest.
“How?” The girl had a hint what her girlfriend would say but still asked.
“You’re the responsible one in this relationship. You should’ve stopped me back then.”
Eliza shook her head while laughing and embracing the girl she loved. “I knew you’d say something stupid like this. And if I’m the responsible one here, we’re screwed.”
“I have faith in you.”
“And why is that?”
“Because right now, all I wanna get you naked and lick your whole body,” Eliza whispered in the most seductive and alluring voice she could muster.
The react was immediate. She could feel her girlfriend’s body jolting with the idea.
Then Bianca grew still.
Eliza flashed a teasing smile. If I do this right, I’ll get her naked…
But before she could say anything to get closer to undressing her girlfriend, they heard a noise outside the bedroom.
At once Bianca got off of Eliza and sat on the floor near the bed.
A second later, Eliza’s mother opened the door. She looked at the two girls and then looked relieved as she flashed a tense smile.
“Hey, mom… what’s up?” Eliza tried to leave all her frustration out of her voice. Damn it… if she hadn’t interrupted, I’d be sucking Bianca’s boobs by now…
“Hey, honey. I just came in to check on things…”
“Everything’s fine. We’re gonna pick a movie…”
“That’s… nice, sweetie…Then… have fun… you two…”
The nurse left the room, but instead of closing the door, she left a little creak opened before walking away.
Eliza exchanged looks with her girlfriend and sighed. “Baby steps?”