By C.E. Pereira
TAMARA loved Byron’s parents. Daniel and Jess were always there for Tamara when she was growing up. The times when she felt the loss of her parents, it was Jess who wiped away the tears and hugged her. The times when she got angry with Jack, it was Daniel whom she turned to for advice. Watching Jess’ face light up when Byron laughed made Tamara happy.
“How’s Daniel today, Jess?”
“He had a rough night. This morning he was grumpy, but that was expected. By mid-day he was sleeping like a baby.”
“I’ll drop by tomorrow morning?” Tamara asked Jess.
“Sure, Come over for breakfast. He always looks forward to your visits. Says you give him more news than Byron and me.”
Laughing, Tamara said, “Well, it’s more like he digs it out of me. Byron says I’m easy prey to the old geezer.”
“Hmm. Old geezer. Byron said that?”
“Oh, Oh! I think I’ve put my foot in my mouth again. Jess, you wouldn’t tell Byron, will you?”
Laughing, Jess took pity on Tamara and said, “Of course not, darling. Come on let’s go interrupt the boys.”
Reaching the boys, Tamara asked in a soft voice, “What’s so funny boys? And, Jack you’re not mingling.”
Grinning at Tamara, Jack said, “I am mingling. Aren’t I Byron?”
Byron was staring at Tamara and almost didn’t hear Jack. “Hi Tammy. You’ve gone and grown up on me. Where’s the little girl with freckles?”
Tamara suddenly found herself tongue-tied and was grateful when she heard Jack say, “Heh! Since when did Byron and me become boys?”
Smirking, Tamara answered, “Did I say boys? I meant guys. A little sensitive today, Jack.”
Turning to Jess, Jack said, “Tammy is interested in joining the dating game. And she’s interested in someone”
Before Jess could answer, Byron jumped in, “Who is the guy? Should I get the shotgun?”
Tammy stared at Byron as if he’d lost his mind. Then looked over to Jess when she heard her laughter.
“Well, excuse me. Don’t I get a say in whom I want to date?” Tamara asked petulantly.
“No! You’re still too young to be thinking of a serious relationship.” Byron stated furiously. “And I’m really surprised at you Jack. How can you even consider giving your consent?”
“Well, I… he’s… Of course not.” Jack was having trouble voicing his thoughts.
Jess saw the fleeting look in Tammy’s eyes, a look of desire and love for none other than Byron. Smiling, she said, “Boys! I think that Tammy can make her own decision. She’s level-headed and has never done anything rash, has she now?”
In unison, both Jack and Byron said no.
Turning to her son, Jess said, “Tammy is coming over for breakfast and a visit tomorrow. We hope you will join us for breakfast too.”
“I’ll try but I cannot promise as tomorrow is Sunday, the ranch hands will still be in town. I have to handle the chores alone.” Byron said.
Jess noticed that Tammy looked disappointed but she didn’t say anything, as she knew that Byron was as stubborn as his father. So she kept quiet.
“I could come over and help out some. I’m sure Jack wouldn’t mind doing my chores just this once. Would you, Jack?” Tammy suggested.
“No problem, Tammy. But make sure Byron does his share.” Jack said with a smile.
“Hey! That’s not fair.” Byron said indignantly.
Jess laughed and said, “Ok! That settles it. Breakfast will be ready by nine tomorrow.”