Hopping off their bikes, they nestled them into a colourful bike rack and without a moment’s pause headed toward the food court, where a mixture of delicious aromas beckoned that had her mouth-watering.
Every conceivable salad stood on long narrow tables while corn on the cob cooked in massive pots. And those magnificent barbecues were fired up and working overtime, some with steaks and burgers and others with a variety of fish. She couldn’t decide where to start. It was all so appealing and tempting with the vibrant colour and delicious aroma filling the air.
Finally settling on coffee, steak, corn on the cob and a salad, she filled her plate, set the money on the table and turned to find a seat at a nearby picnic table to await her parents who were laughing and joking with an energetic cook, a silly grin back on her face and threatened to remain there.
A shadow fell across her plate and she turned to look up into an incredibly handsome face. He could be a movie star she thought and yet his face held a vibrancy and ruggedness that spoke of hard work determination and strength.
“This seat taken?” he asked and before she could reply, swung his leg over and sat down beside her. It irked her that he should plop down without awaiting a reply, assuming his acceptance was assured.
Her, “As a matter of fact, it is,” went unnoticed as he stared at her and the empty table.
“Doesn’t seem like it.”
Before she could reply her parents had turned and were headed their way.
“Maggy, I see you’ve met Trent.”
“No, we haven’t met. He decided to grace us with his unsolicited company…”
“Trent, how’s it going? You finished that project out on the lake head?”
“Hi, Harold, Harriet,” he nodded at both before continuing, “nearly. Thanks for asking. So far, we’re right on schedule.”
“Old Morrisey will be delighted. He’s always wanted a home out there.”
They sipped coffee silently. “You haven’t met our daughter, Maggy, she’s a writer in New York. Home for a visit.”
Wiping his hand on his jean covered leg he held it out toward her, “Trent Harris.”
If her parents hadn’t been there, she’d have spewed a scathing comeback but as it stood, she took his hand and replied, “Yeah, Maggy,” gripping his hand firmly more out of annoyance than anything else.
He looked down at their joined hands for a second, a smirk playing around the corner of his mouth. “Pleasure.” Maggy pulled her hand away and busied herself with eating.
Between mouthfuls, he said, “So you’re familiar with the festivities then.” Maggy didn’t reply just chomped down on the corn on the cob as she turned to look at him and a juicy glob of butter and corn juice spewed out to land on his sleeve jacket. She was struggling not to choke as she half laughed half ate and through a half-closed half-opened mouth said, “Sorry” before grabbing a napkin brushing at the mess.
“No worries, it washes.” He grinned at the embarrassment crossing her face, “What’s a little spittle between friends?” which had her parents howling which annoyed her anew. A cross of annoyance frustration and acceptance played out with amusement winning as she guffawed and covered her mouth as more corn threatened to spill out.