By the time Kevin got home from the bowling outing, Chloe had returned from work and showered, and was relaxing in bed watching the late news. "Did you have fun?" she asked.
"Absolutely!" responded Kevin. "And Brit and Alvin have become a really good bowlers, so now I have someone to practice with!!"
"Is that so?" Chloe answered, amused.
"Yup," said Kevin. "Brittany actually got a bowling coach. Oh, and Alvin asked--again--when we're getting married." Alvin, who so far had been unsuccessful getting his own girlfriend to agree to so much as an engagement, was always very interested in everyone else's marriage plans.
"What did you tell him?" asked Chloe.
"I gave him the stock response," Kevin replied. "That we're concentrating on work, and trying to save money for first, a house, and second, a restaurant of our own."
"Good job. Who else showed up?" Chloe asked.
"Yulia," Kevin replied, "and she massacred me at pool, as usual. Oh, and Lilly Thompson--that nice blonde girl from school."
"Really?" Chloe asked, her curiosity piqued. "Was Rebecka there, by any chance?" she asked, suspicious.
"Nope," said Kevin, not picking up on Chloe's point. "Yuri said she always works on Saturday nights."
'No doubt that's why Yuri picked a Saturday night for his outing,' Chloe thought. "Coming to bed?" she asked her fiance.
"Yup, as soon as I shower. I really stink," Kevin said, as if it were something to be proud of.
The next morning, while making chocolate-chip pancakes and duck sausage for breakfast, Chloe found herself feeling a bit queasy.
She served what she had prepared to Kevin, and made herself a bowl of plain oatmeal instead.
"No pancakes and sausage for you, babe?" Kevin asked.
"I'm not actually feeling that well," Chloe told him. "I thought I'd go with something bland this morning."
"Well, if I eat this whole platter, I'm going to get fat. Fatter," he added, laughing. "Maybe I should see if Yulia wants some?" Yulia--completely consumed by her medical career--was known for skipping breakfast.
"Good idea," said Chloe, and Kevin took the big serving platter next door to Yulia's apartment. Chloe was relieved to get the conflicting aromas of duck and chocolate out of the apartment.
She took a spoonful of oatmeal, but didn't much care for that, either.
Chloe's thoughts turned to Alvin and Brittany. Brittany was adamant that she had to be well established in her desired science career before she could concentrate on her personal life and, since she was still in her analyst job at the SCIA, Alvin--usually the happiest and most well adjusted of all their friends--seemed to be getting a bit frustrated at Brittany's delaying their engagement and marriage.
'I'm so glad Kevin and I have agreed on a life plan, and a schedule, and are sticking to it,' Chloe congratulated herself.
'Uh oh,' she thought suddenly, and raced to the bathroom.
Kevin came back through the front door just as Chloe was getting up from the floor.
"Yulia really liked the breakfast, babe," Kevin called cheerfully from the living room. "She threatened to come over here every morning before work so we can feed her. Hey--where are you?" He found Chloe in the bathroom, and stopped short upon seeing her pale face.
He put his arms around her to help her stand up. "I guess we should schedule that wedding, honey," Chloe told him.
Chloe and Kevin got married the following weekend,
and had a no-frills reception at their apartment complex.
Chloe prepared all the food, and the couple had told their friends to bring swimsuits. "It's actually more of a pool party than a wedding reception," they'd advised.
"Look out below!" yelled George, almost landing on the bride.
"Nice technique you've got there for getting a commitment," Orlando kidded Kevin. "Maybe you should suggest that approach to Alvin."
That the reception was at Boothbay Apartments was very helpful to Alvin, Brittany, and Yulia--and Calista, who lived next door in Cornerstone Condominiums--each of whom had to go to work during the day of the wedding.
Upon returning from his gaming job, Alvin slid down the pool slidey-chute with great enthusiasm. "Banzai!" he yelled.
"You're a maniac, Alvin!" Brittany reprimanded him.
Over in the hot tub, Yuri was conversing with Randy. "How's the car biz, Randy--have you found space for your dealership yet?"
Randy looked confused. "Yes--Rebecka found me an old warehouse that I can convert to a showroom. I thought she would have mentioned it to you.... I always figured the two of you talked business all the time, non-stop."
"Uh, well," Yuri hedged, "she's really busy at her realty office all the time, so I can't keep up with all of her deals."
Rebecka had accompanied Yuri to the wedding and reception, mostly because Chloe had made it clear to Yuri that Rebecka was definitely invited on her own account. Kevin had been quite fond of Rebecka ever since she had helped him pick out Chloe's engagement ring--and get a good deal on it--a year previously. "So," Chloe had said to Yuri, "if you want to be dating Lilly Thompson and not Rebecka, it's none of my business, but you're not doing it at my wedding."
Rebecka, who was good at making the best of every situation, was enjoying herself playing Marco Polo with the others.
"Sounds like thunder," George observed after they heard a far-off rumble. "We'll have to get out of the water."
But just then Calista arrived back to the party from work, and the thunder immediately stopped.
Meadow and Orlando stood by the stairs, holding hands. "Nice party, isn't it?" Meadow asked her husband. "I'm so happy for Chloe and Kevin--a baby on the way! I told Chloe I'd come by to give her a hand right after the birth."
"Yup, there are two things you can sure grow, honey," observed Orlando. "Vegetables and babies!"