Colleen plastered on her best smile. She wasn’t expecting a warm welcome because Jon had already warned her. But she really wasn’t ready for the look she got from the woman opening the door, somewhere between a snake eyeing a juicy mouse and a spider, trapping a bug in its web.
“Hello, Mrs. Bongiovi, I’m Colleen.” Colleen was raised to show respect, but the look this women gave her.
Jon pulled the door the rest of the way open. “Come on in Colleen, hey girls, the boys are in the den playing video games.” Jon said with a smile. He reached for Colleen hand and eased her past his mother.
They walked into the family room, where the rest of the family was and sat on the sofa, Colleen started to relax. He introduced her to Matt and Desie, then to, Tony and his wife. They chatted for a while till Mr. Bongiovi came to tell them that the pasta was about ready.
“This must be the young lady we’ve heard so much about.” Mr. Bongiovi said, always the gentleman he reached for her hand and kissed her knuckles.
“Dad, this is Colleen O’Sullivan, Jake’s English teacher. Colleen this is my father.” Jon introduced the two.
Jon was mindful of his mother standing watch.
“Mom, this is Colleen, Jakes Teacher.” He said as his mother went over to the two of them, on the sofa.
Looking down at Colleen, she attempted to smile at Colleen but it was one of the smiles, which never reached the eyes. Mrs. Bongiovi came across, to Colleen, as a shark or a spider. Either of the two could be lethal “Colleen, where did you two meet? Jonny hasn’t spoken much about where you two met.” Carol Bongiovi had moved and sat in the only arm chair in the circle, as a queen on her throne.
“I met Colleen in the bar her family owns, in the Hamptons.” Jon started to talk, but his mother cut in on him.
“I asked Colleen, not you Jon.” Mrs. Bongiovi admonished her son, giving him a stink eye.
“As Jon told you, he came into my brother’s bar, I was tending,” Colleen told her. “My brother’s wife was in labor so I took over that night.” Colleen looked over at Jon and smiled, like the two of them were sharing a secret. “He stuck around till closing and offered to help clean up, if I would go out for breakfast with him.”
“Where were the boys Jon? You told your father and me, you were going down to close out the house.” Mrs. Bongiovi asked
He hadn’t felt like this in a long time, the way his mother was talking. He felt like he was fifteen again and sneaking into the house after being in a bar till three in the morning.
“We were at Max and Dave’s house.” Jake said as he came through the living room. “Hey Miss O.” Jake said as he walked through, on the way to the kitchen.
“Hey Mr. J.” Colleen smiled at Jake. The girls must’ve told him, she let the girls call her Miss O.
“I brought Colleen to the house, since the restaurants were closed.” Jon told his mom, giving Colleen had a squeeze.
“He makes a pretty good omelet.” Colleen squeezed it back. “We talked about family and ate till the sun came up, and I went home.” Which is exactly what happened, even if by the look, his mother didn’t believe for one second.
His mother started to say something, when the front door opened and Stephanie and Jesse came in.
“Sorry we’re late, Jesse had to pack to head back to college.” Stephanie went to her grandmother and gave her a hug. Jesse, sheepishly, walked in.
“Miss O’Sullivan, you are really in for a treat, Grand pop makes the best sauce.” Stephanie said as she sat on the other sofa.
Jesse joined her on the sofa, between the stink eye from his dad and the one his grandmother was giving pops, it was like a stink eye war going on.
They were saved by Mr. Bongiovi coming in to tell them, lunch was ready.
They moved into the dining room, where Mrs. Bongiovi watched Jon and Colleen. Colleen got the feeling, she was being tested. Was she good enough to be in the same room with Jon? She hadn’t felt like this since she was in high school.
The rest of the family made Colleen and the girls feel like part of the family, with jokes and the stories being told, that made Colleen laugh. Every once in a while, she caught Mrs. Bongiovi eye and it was like she was still being stared at by a snake.
After dinner she helped clear the table, and it was just her and Mr. Bongiovi in the kitchen. He was packing up leftovers in containers, Colleen was washing dishes.
“Colleen, you said your family had a bar in the Hamptons?” Mr. B asked.
Colleen placed the last dish into the sink of hot water, which he had just emptied.
“Yes sir, it’s right on the shore, O’Sullivans.” She added the clean plate to the drying rack. “My brother runs it now, since my dad retired and moved south.”
“Culan O’Sullivan wouldn’t happen to be your father, would he?” Mr. Bongiovi leaned on the counter. “He was a retired police officer.”
“Yep, that’s my dad, you know my dad?” Colleen asked turning to look at Mr. Bongiovi.
“You know her father? Why didn’t you tell me?” Mrs. Bongiovi asked.