The Consequences of Dissonance - Chapter Twenty-four
Kris’ parents, Kris, and I sat around their kitchen table drinking coffee later the next day. While certainly coherent enough to get us both down to Boulder, I couldn’t shake a lingering tiredness from the night before, even with a pot of coffee.
“So how was moving out?” Kris’ mom asked.
“Kinda dumb,” Kris answered, hands wrapped around her coffee, which appeared to be more milk than coffee. “Just had to pack everything up and throw a bunch of food crap away since we were going to be gone so long. Found a bunch of cookies my roommate had sequestered in the fridge from the dining hall.”
Her dad laughed and shook his head, “They make you move out for a month, huh? How do they deal with the out of state kids, or foreign kids?”
I piped up for that one, “I think they strongly encourage them to find someone in town willing to let them sleep on a couch for the month. A lot of the international kids are in Braiden, one of the dorms, though, and only one of the wings, so they may leave that one open.”
He nodded and sipped at his coffee, leaning back in his chair and crossing his hands over his belly. “Sounds like a bunch of crap,” he rumbled. “We spent all that time and money trying to get rid of you guys. We don’t want you back.”
We laughed and spent a few moments in silence before Kris’ mom asked, “So, how are you two going to deal with this whole month apart?”
I felt my ears redden as I shrugged. I had been wondering if this question would come up ever since they had invited me in when I dropped Kris off. “My mom’s in Steamboat and my dad’s in Colorado Springs, I figure I can find a route between the two that includes Boulder as a stop…” I managed, looking more at my fingers holding my coffee cup than my girlfriend’s parents.
Kris seemed just as embarassed as I was, but after a few more moments of awkward silence, she added, “We were thinking… wondering if maybe we could meet up with a bunch of friends somewhere in the mountains. Get a hotel suite or a condo for a night or two…”
Watching for a reaction, I saw a hint of a smile creep onto the corners of Kris’ father’s mouth, and I wondered about the stories he had told Kris about his own college days. “Well, I suppose,” he mumbled thoughtfully. “We’ll have to think about it.”
Kris glanced at me out of the corner of her eyes and gave a tiny shrug. Her father rumbled into laughter again, “Calm down, you two, nothing serious.” He shook his head, “I don’t know what you did, Cory, to make Kristal just as nervous as you.”
I smiled faintly and took a sip of coffee, “It was an accident, I promise.”
He laughed again and reached out to rub Kris’ arm. She was almost beet red, but looked like she was stiffling a smile, sticking her tongue out at her dad to cover it.
Kris’ mom gave her father a Significant Look before nodding to me and smiling, “We’ll talk about it, dear. I would think it’d be alright, so long as you all are safe. You are theoretically adults, after all.”
Everyone chuckled and there was polite conversation until I realised that it was only dragging on until I finished my coffee and left. I drank more quickly and downed my coffee in the space of a few sentences, setting my mug down with finality. “Well, I suppose I better get going. Still a bit of a drive.”
As if on my cue, everyone set down their coffee and nodded. We all stood up together as everyone rushed to escort me to the door. After a flurry of goodbyes at the door, Kris’ parents ducked back inside to do whatever it is that parents do when their daughter’s saying goodbye to her boyfriend.
“They’re probably spying on us,” Kris said, smiling faintly. “Shouldn’t be too… uh, mushy.”
I felt the ache in my chest as I realized how much I would miss her, but I smiled back and shook my head. “Just this,” i hugged her too my chest and gave her a light kiss, little more than a prolonged peck on the lips.
She giggled bashfully and draped her hands over my shoulders, “I’ll miss you, dork. Call, write, visit, whatever.”
I nodded and grinned, “Will do. Month’s a long time, after all. Hopefully things will work out with that party thing. Gonna get in touch with Erin and whomever else?’
“Yeah. You get Eric and Jamen and anyone else you think might be interested.” She smiled and snuck in another kiss. “You probably should get going.”
I nodded again and smiled, giving Kris a bit of a squeeze before stepping away from her. “Alright,” I murmured, smiling as much as I could manage. “I’ll talk to you soon.”
Kris nodded and crossed her arms over her chest against the chill. I watched in my rear view mirror as she stood on the stoop and watched at least until I turned the corner.