Chapter 27: Connor’s Place

Andy, Maria, Mark and Susan knocked on the Greene’s front door, but no one answered.

“They’re all out in the TV room watching the Turkey Bowl. They can’t hear us knocking,” Andy concluded as he opened the front door and led the group inside. They followed the clinking of dishes and loud chatter into the TV room.

“Who’s winning!” Andy hollered at the top of his lungs so he could be heard over all the noise.

“Nobody, they gotta buncha sissies playing this year! Hey, can you toss me another beer? They’re right behind you!” Grandpa Joe hollered over the TV noise and pointed towards the sewing table behind Andy.

Andy grabbed a beer and tossed it across the room in Joe’s direction.

George blocked Joe’s hand and caught it midair. “Thank ya!” He grinned as he popped the top and started chugging.

Joe chuckled right along with everyone else at George’s little trick, then he took a stand in the middle of the room. “Come on Andy, let’s try that again!”

Andy grabbed another beer and tossed it in Joe’s direction. George jumped up quickly to catch it but Joe bumped him in the shoulder and caught the beer fair and square. He sat down and popped the top with a triumphant grin.

“Alright, Joe!” everyone cheered.

“Find a spot and make yourselves at home, kids!” Grandma Rose spread her hands out displaying the vast floor space available.

Maria held up her bag of movies for Grandma to see.

“It’s about time man! What took you guys so long?” Connor chided as he got up from his spot of the floor.

“Golf carts,” Andy mumbled but Connor couldn’t hear him over all the noise in the room.

“Hey Dad, we’re go ‘in next door now.”

“Sure thing.” Davis gave his son a quick glance then returned his attention to the game.

Connor, Daisy and the gang moved next door. Susan and Maria laid out all the movie choices on Connor’s dining room table so Daisy could get a good look at them. “You get to pick which one we watch first, Daisy,” they encouraged.

As Daisy looked over the movies, Connor launched into a detailed account of his Thanksgiving morning run-in with Gary and Glenn at the Mall.

“You’re kidding!” Mark said in amazement. “Those guys challenged you right there in front of your Dad?”

“Well, only part of it was in front of Dad, but the police officers saw and heard the whole thing from the surveillance tape,” Connor boasted proudly. He was very happy that everything was now documented.

“They are soooooo busted! All jewelry stores have excellent surveillance equipment,” Andy threw in.

“Yea,” Connor plopped himself down in the middle of the couch, “Those two dumb asses stood right there and watched Dad call the police, but they didn’t budge an inch, man!”

“I wonder why they didn’t try to leave?” Mark was puzzled now.

“They thought Dad was faking the call. They didn’t even really seem to believe that he was my Dad.” Connor was just as puzzled by the twin’s behavior as Mark was.

“Let’s watch this one.” Daisy held up her movie choice.

Mark winked at Susan from his recliner when he realized that Daisy had picked their movie. Susan hopped over to Mark’s chair and squeezed herself right in next to him.

“I don’t see how anyone could look at Connor and Davis side by side and not know they were related.” Susan shook her head in bewilderment.

“I bet they missed their whole entire Thanksgiving because of it though,” Maria added.

Daisy moved over to the TV to start the DVD. “Well, if I’d been there they’d be eat ‘in meatballs for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the rest of their life! No more turkey for them!” She huffed as she pushed the play button.

“Daisy!” Maria scolded in shock.

Everybody roared laughing at Daisy’s kindergarten style boast and Maria’s motherly rebuke.

“Pause the movie, Daisy.” Maria pointed at her.

“I just started it.”

“Pause it.”

Daisy paused the movie and turned around to look at Maria and the others. “What?”

“We need to take five and just pray for those guys.” Maria folded her arms stubbornly and looked around the room.

“For what! Those guys start it every time, Maria! I was minding my own business! They approached me and threatened me! They got in trouble, just like they deserve!” Connor returned in a pissed off fashion.

“I have to agree with Daisy even though she had a stupid, kiddie way of saying it. They need a swift kick in the balls for sure,” Susan returned Maria’s stubborn look.

“Yea, a good kick, that’s what they need!” Daisy huffed.

Everybody but Maria started laughing again.

“You’re awful tiny to be talk ‘in so big Daisy,” Maria scolded again.

“My being short just makes aim ‘in easier! What would have happened if Davis hadn’t been there? Did you think about that, Maria? What if Connor had been alone?”

“I would’ve kicked their lousy butts all over that mall! That’s what would’ve happened!” Connor hollered out confidently as he raised his hand for a high-five.

Andy jumped up and slapped Connor’s hand energetically. “Now that’d be one butt kick ‘in I’d want to see!”

“Don’t ya know it!” Connor shouted.

Maria looked up to the ceiling shaking her head at their childishness.

“Do ya hear that Maria! That’s exactly my point!” Daisy stood up in the middle of the room with her hands out to her friends like they were a jury. “I would’ve kicked ’em. Connor would’ve punched ’em. That’s what those guys are asking for! It might just be what they’re gonna get the next time around!”

“Not if we pray. If we pray ahead of time maybe things won’t escalate into a fight,” Maria shared her view hopefully.

“Yea, maybe they’ll get locked up instead.” Andy grinned.

Maria let out a big gust of air and tried again to explain, “Look… those two are real trouble makers, I agree. Plus, they’re bringing all their trouble into our lives. I don’t like it any more than you do, but do we solve the problem or join it? We are all believers now. Surely we can come up with something better than butt kicking. Let’s ask the Lord about it. That’s all I’m asking you to do.”

“Okay, Okay, when ya put it to me like that, I guess we could come up with something better if we wanted,” Andy admitted.

Susan studied Maria’s sober face as she churned her words around in her head, carefully weighting their meaning. She had not seen such odd compassion before, at least not from this new angle. Susan had all along been standing on the receiving end of Maria’s compassion. Now she was on the other side of it. A tear ran down Susan’s face as a surge of humility ran through her system. Mark touched it with his finger and smiled sympathetically. Susan cleared her throat and said, “Umm… sometimes we need to understand who, and what, we really are. I believe prayer works, if it didn’t I wouldn’t be sitting here… alcohol free, all cozy in this recliner with Mark.” She tried to smile but another tear came instead. Mark silently caught it with his finger again and she continued, “I should be first to pray.”

Now THAT got everyone’s attention. This wasn’t the same Susan that could out do all the guys in a whiskey challenge talking to them. No, this was someone entirely different. They all hushed up so they could hear what this new Susan would pray.

“Dear Lord, I don’t like praying for Gary and Glenn, they’re idiots. But when I was being an idiot, Maria and Mark prayed for me. Maybe now I’m a little bit less of an idiot, maybe I still am, I don’t know…”

“You’re not an idiot, you’re a child of God.” Mark bumped his shoulder into hers as she spoke.

A sliver of a smile brightened Susan’s face. “Well, I don’t feel like an idiot anymore anyway. So, I ask that you please turn this situation around. Turn it into something good for everybody.” Susan stopped there.

Mark went on, “I ask that none of this mess escalates into a fight.”

Connor took it from there, “I am thankful that what happened this morning got on the surveillance tape,” he looked up from his prayer at Maria, “That’s the best I can do.”

“It’s okay. ” She smiled at Connor then put in her part, “Dear Lord, guide the police and all those in leadership to know the right thing to do with Gary and Glenn.”

Andy stuck his fist in the air. “Let us run our best in the State Championship this April with no cheating anywhere!”

Daisy went last, “Dear Jesus, I’m thankful Davis was in the mall with Connor so he didn’t have to fight, amen.” Daisy looked up and smiled. “Now, can we please play the movie, Maria?”

Maria walked across the room and snuggled into the sofa with Andy. He wrapped his arms around her and whispered, “Are we good now?”

“Everything is good now. Daisy, start that movie!”

Connor threw his hands in the air and hollered, “Finally!”

Daisy pushed the start button then ran across the room to get in her spot next to Connor saying, “This movie is supposed to be the number one romance, but I haven’t seen it yet.”

“Romance!” Andy banged his head back against the back of the sofa. “Aw, man!”

Maria giggled, “It’s a good movie. You’ll like it.”

“Shhhhh.”

“Hey don’t shush us.”

“Shhhhh.”

Ignoring the shushing, Andy stubbornly continued, “Hey Connor, I’m hungry. Where’s all the leftover turkey?”

“You have to go next door and look around in Daisy’s kitchen. Now shhhhhhhh!”

“Hey Daisy, would you go get….”

“For the last time Andy, shhhhhhhh!”

“Maria, everybody’s shush ‘in me,” Andy gave an uncharacteristic whine in the hopes of gaining Maria’s sympathetic attention.

Even though she didn’t buy into his lousy acting, she did take the bait and give him a kiss. “Poor baby,” she giggled.

“Have ‘in a little romance of my own is tons better than watch ‘in somebody else have it on TV,” he whispered in her ear as he went for another kiss.

“Gross, that’s my sister, man! Would you two shut up!” Mark threw a pillow across the room at Andy.

Just then Grandma Rose entered the room with a plate piled high with turkey sandwiches. “Kids, I brought you a little snack.” She smiled at the bright eyed bunch. It was now well after 1AM but the teens looked just as fresh and ready to go as ever. “Where do they get all this energy?” she quietly wondered to herself.

“Now that’s what I’m talk ‘in about! Bring those babies right over here Grandma.” Andy patted the coffee table in front of him. “Set ’em  right here!”

“Sure, darling, there you go.” Grandma Rose was always pleased to the core when anyone wanted her food.

“We have to start this movie all over again,” Susan said as she selected a sandwich. “We missed the introduction of all the main characters because of all Andy’s smack ‘in over there!”

“Hey, there was no smack ‘in down here. I kiss silently just like a ninja,” Andy defended his kissing techniques proudly.

“Yea, it’s Connor that makes all the smack ‘in noise.” Maria giggled.

Connor stood up to inspect the sandwich plate more closely. “Hey man, when I kiss the whole earth shakes.” He took a sandwich and did some crazy dance moves around the coffee table showing how everything shook when he kissed. Everyone laughed so hard they almost cried.

“No man, it goes like this!” Andy stood up and went to the center of the room. He moved in a circle for a moment then went to the floor spinning on his shoulders like a top. Everyone clapped and Maria even made a whistle noise through her knuckles that made Grandma Rose jump sky high.

“You guys are in serious need of some dance lessons, man.” Mark chuckled. He then got up and did his “Michael Jackson”. There was no music playing so Mark had to make his own beat which he did with Susan’s help.

“Your music is better than your dancing man!” Connor hollered out and everyone cheered and laughed.

Grandma Rose put her hands on her hips, “Well, earth quake boy and smack ‘in ninja I’m going to bed now. Davis and the others are still up in the TV room if you need anything. I don’t want to hear about any earth shattering smacking going on over here in the morning, ninja style or otherwise. Is that clear?”

“Yes ma ‘am,” Connor and Andy said in unison.

Mark and Susan roared  laughing. “Man she nailed you two right between the eyes!”

“There’s pie and cake next door too. If you want some, please help yourselves.”

“Thank you Grandma,” they all said together.

Rose exited and Susan started the DVD all over again from the beginning.

“Aw, man, not from the beginning!” Andy whined miserably.

“Shhhhhhh!”

And that’s how it went on Thanksgiving night at Connor’s place.

 

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