“No, I won’t,” Victor said with a smirk. She gave him a withering look. “Well, maybe a little, but I promise not to enjoy it too much.”
She continued to glare at him and he laughed. “Okay, you can hit me if I annoy you.”
“I’m thinking you’ll be black and blue by the end of the evening,” she mused as she grabbed the movies out of his hands and popped one into the DVD player.
“So, what is this about?” he asked as she started the movie.
“It’s a chick-flick so what do you think it’s about? Romance, of course,” she answered, kicking her shoes off and curling her feet under her. He sat down right next her much to her annoyance. She wondered fleetingly if she should already smack him.
“Romance, huh? Aren’t you afraid it’ll get us in the mood?” he asked.
She gaped at him eyes as wide as they would go. “Mood for what?” she asked apprehensively.
“Dating, of course. Sandra Bullock is the one girl that would get me to change my mind about dating,” he said happily. “I bet I could fall for her easily. She’s so cute.”
Violet let out a gush of air, utterly relieved. She had for a moment pictured herself fighting off Victor’s amorous advances and failing miserably. He was huge! This being alone with him was so not a good idea. She was certain of it. But how to get out of it now?
“Now, Sweetie, why would you think that? Victor would sooner chop off his own hands than lay a hand on you. You know that,” came that now achingly familiar and wonderfully comforting voice in Violet’s head, the voice belonging to Heidi.
“I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him,” Richard snarled as he glared at Victor.
“Funny, but you don’t strike me as the Sandra Bullock type,” Violet commented as she started the movie.
“No? What do I look like then?” he asked.
“A total ass,” Richard interjected, laughing at his own joke.
Victor surreptitiously looked around hoping to see someone, anyone but as no one was there he shook his head as if to dislodge the unfriendly thoughts.
“Well, frankly,” Violet said now staring at him through narrowed eyes. “Super model comes to mind.”
Victor burst out laughing. “You sound like my boys.”
“Do I?” she said smiling. “Then I’m not completely off base, am I?”
“I think you are. I made that mistake with my ex and I ain’t doing that again,” he said adamantly.
“Your ex-wife is a super model?” she shrieked.
“No, but she could have been. She was beautiful enough for it,” Victor replied grimacing.
“Why in the...” She stopped and bit her lip. It was none of her business, she had to remind herself.
She turned back to the movie and started singing along with the opening number.
Victor stared at her as she sang swaying slightly with the music. His insides melted. He couldn’t believe anyone could be so beautiful, so delightful, so charming without even trying. He had witnessed enough coquettish behavior to know Violet didn’t even know how that was done. And her voice! Wow! He just had to make her his and somehow, some way, some day, God help him, he would.
“That’s what you think, Bud, but it ain’t gonna happen,” Richard snarled in his ear.
Ignoring the annoying voice Victor waited until Violet had stopped singing then said, “I’m more into adventure flicks, but maybe that’s my problem. I should watch these kind of films, chick flicks as you call them. You know, to get in touch with my feminine side. What do you think?” he asked albeit casually.
She burst out laughing despite herself.
“What’s so funny, I’d like to know?” he retorted looking slightly offended yet also delighted to have finally made her laugh.
“Sorry, Victor, but I don’t think a thousand romantic comedies would ever bring out your feminine side. Very much like Richard, you don’t have one,” she stated in no uncertain terms, still giggling.
“Is that a good thing or a bad thing?” he asked.
“Does everything have to be one or the other? Can’t things just be?” she sighed with exasperation. “ I don’t believe in changing things from their original form or natural inclination. Men ought to be men and women ought to be women and they should make no apologies for it. Those that try to be both end up being neither.”
She clamped her lips together. She may have said entirely too much. She glanced nervously at Victor and found him staring at her with an unreadable expression. “What?”
“I think you’re the most intelligent woman I ever met,” he said softly before leaning toward her to add, “Except for my Mama, of course.”
“You’re teasing me. Should I smack you now or wait until the movie’s over?” she snapped.
“I’m serious, Violet. That makes total sense. You are wise beyond your years. I like that,” he said.
Smiling he turned back to the movie. Just then Calendula appeared and leapt onto Victor’s lap. “Well, hello, cutie,” he said stroking her back until she arched it and purred loudly.
“Calendula, get down! You know better,” Violet scolded.
“Stupid cat, always getting hair all over everything. Should shave her. Or better yet, drown her,” Richard muttered disdainfully.
“Richard!” Heidi scolded much the same way Violet had just done.
“She’ll get hair all over you, Victor,” Violet said reaching for the cat.
“Oh, let her stay. She’s not hurting anything. Are you, Calendula? Of course not,” Victor cooed much to her astonishment.
“Well, we’ve finally found something drastically different between Victor and Richard, who simply hates that cat,” Heidi retorted narrowing her disapproving gaze at him.
Unconsciously Violet nodded agreeing with her inner voice. She watched in amazement as Victor seemed to be having a conversation with Calendula.
“Hmm...she won’t tell me, Violet. She says I should ask you,” he said seriously.
“Oh? And what could that be?” she said lifting a curious eyebrow.
“Where did you find her name? Is that a Greek goddess or something?”
“Or something,” Violet replied unable to stop laughing. “It’s just the name of a flower, a very bright orange flower. I thought it appropriate.”
“And unique,” Victor said chuckling. “Is that your favorite flower? Calendulas? I don’t think I’ve ever seen them.”
“Mine? Gosh, no. Got no favorites,” she said, shrugging.
“I’ve never know anyone who doesn’t have a favorite flower. You must have one. Surely the rose or calla lilies or gladiolus?” he insisted.
“Sorry, I can’t. I love them all so I can’t just pick one,” she replied shrugging again.
“You are funny,” he said.
“Oh, yes, very,”he said flashing her a smile that took her breath away. He turned back to the movie with the cat contentedly laying across his lap, he stroking her as if they’d been doing that for years.
“She doesn’t usually like strangers,” Violet explained.
“No? You wouldn’t know it to look at her. Seems friendly enough,”he said.
He turned back to the movie and became engrossed immediately. He laughed as he watched Sandra Bullock try in vain to lift a giant Christmas tree up through her second story window of her apartment. Violet, on the other hand, watched him for a while. She didn’t know what to make of him or this whole situation. Nothing made sense anymore. She got the oddest feeling nothing would ever be the same again.
“Well, that’s really a good thing, isn’t it, Dear?” Heidi whispered to her as she gently stroked her hair. “Why would you want things to always stay the same? That would so horribly boring. You were dreadfully sad before but now with the daycare center and all those children needing you so much you don’t have time for such unproductive emotions. Change is good. It helps us grow, you see.”
Again Violet nodded before turning her attention– well, half of it anyway– back to the movie.