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Over Protective Uncle
“So we rented a couple of movies to watch,” Uncle Max said. I didn’t get a chance to see him yesterday because he got home from work late and I went to bed so early. It was like a scene from a movie when someone is reunited, all it needed was the sappy music playing in the background. I felt like the world slowed down for me for just a moment as I turn to my Uncle Max. Although I was a few inches taller than him now, Uncle Max lifted me up as he hugged me tight. “Welcome home, sweetie,” he said to me.
After my father left my Mum, Uncle Max became my “adoptive” father. He was the father figure that I needed in my life. He was there for me very much. “In a way, this is my home. But I think London will always be calling,” I told him as he gently put me back to my feet on the ground.
“As long as you visit whenever you get the chance,” he told me.
“Why do you think I’m here? I got the chance.”
“You’re clever,” he said as I followed him back into the kitchen.
“London boys like a girl who’s a little cheeky,” I told him. I knew as soon as the words came out of my mouth what I had gotten myself into.
Uncle Max pursed his lips. “Don’t think I don’t read the magazine headlines at the grocery store. You aren’t dating that guy Jay Ridley, are you?”
“Oh gosh. No. Jay and I are just friends. He phoned me because he was back in town months ago. He tours a lot so we promised each other that when he’s back in London we would go do something. I think that caused a bit of a stir because we went out to see a show at the theatre and then stayed out late at the pub.”
Uncle Max relaxed only of the slightest, his lips were still pursed. “Well boys are still off limits, young lady. I’ve got to keep one of my girls as innocent as I can for as long as I can,” Uncle Max said.
“What, I’m not innocent enough for you, Daddy?” Carolina said walking back into the kitchen to get some drinks for her and Andrew.
“You have a ring,” Uncle Max said glaring at her left hand.
“Yes, a promise ring. Mind you, Andrew did ask your permission,” Carolina said.
I couldn’t help but to love these kinds of conversations. In London the closest to this kind of conversation was with Aaron, my manager and with Louis, my security guard. Aaron would tell me I could date but to be careful because it could get us unwanted attention from the media. Louis said I was allowed to date but he didn’t want to have to hurt anyone who was a friend of mine. It wasn’t the same as the conversations that I had with my Uncle Max. I listened to my Uncle and cousin banter about relationships while I smiled at both of them very amused by this. After the kitchen table was completely set with plates, bottles of sodas, napkins and the pizzas in the kitchen the banter turned back to me.
“You are single, right Elsie?” Uncle Max asked me.
After listening to the conversation with Carolina and Uncle Max, I wanted to pull his leg for a moment. “Well Uncle Max, there is this one guy,” I told him.
Uncle Max sighed in exasperation as he wiped his forehead, “You have got to be kidding me.”
“I haven’t heard anything about this! Who is he?” Carolina said as she dished her plate with slices of pizza.
“Well, you know the guy who is my co-star, he plays my best friend and on screen boyfriend?” I said.
“Yes, he’s cute. Isn’t he actually Irish?”
“Well Irish born but he’s spent nearly all of his life in England. Anyways, Liam Vetter and I have been seeing quite a bit of each other. He’s rather flirty,” I told my family.
“I’m surprised that it’s not all over the internet and tabloids,” Auntie Claire said as she poured herself a glass of Cherry Pepsi.
“We’re keeping it on the quiet side,” I looked each of them in the eye, “Don’t even breathe a word about it. You’re actually the first people I have told about it.”
“We won’t tell,” Carolina agreed. “So it’s just like with Brighton and Nicholas how they are dating both on and off screen.”
“Well, Liam and I are not official though, that’s the main reason we haven’t been telling anyone.”
With every word about Liam and me dating, Uncle Max’s reaction got worse. He would sigh heavily, or roll his eyes. He was officially exasperated when he announced, “Sometimes I think a son would be nice too.”
“Maxwell!” Auntie Claire gasped.
“Oh my dad goes through this too, Mr. Townsend,” Andrew said.
Carolina and I both raised an eyebrow at Andrew for calling Uncle Max “Mr. Townsend.” It wasn’t a term I heard often.
“But you have a sister too,” Uncle Max said.
“But he can’t believe that the boy he used to play baseball with is all grown up.”
“I see your point, Andrew,” Uncle Max turned back to me. “Just don’t tell me that Gemma has a boyfriend too.”
“She doesn’t. She was complaining about it the other day,” I told him. “She really wants a date for the premiere.”
“I imagine that Liam is your date for the premiere then,” Auntie Claire asked.
Finally, I burst out laughing, unable to keep the joke going. I didn’t expect them to fall for it as well as they did. “Mates, I am not dating anyone at all. Liam is my best friend. We go to Ernestine’s for a drink and that’s it. I just wanted to joke with you all,” I told them.
“That wasn’t funny. I thought I was going to have to fly to London to prove to some boy that I still can swing a Louisville Slugger,” Uncle Max said.