This sample is copyrighted, unedited, and subject to my fickle mind making changes prior to publication...
“So what’s her name, son?” my father asked, seemingly out of nowhere.
“Whose name, Pops?”
“The one that’s got you running outta here barely after you finish the last bite of ya meal every week? Don’t give me that bullshit excuse you’re giving your mother, either.”
Everett laughed, looking at me.
“Pops, I really did get put in charge of a new project at work,” I said, not answering the question.
“I don’t doubt you did, Ellis. But I know my son. You’re too anxious when you’re tryna get up outta here. You don’t have that crazy ass expression that you normally do when the job got you hemmed up. So it’s gotta be a lil filly.”
I remained silent, neither confirming nor denying. Everett continued laughing.
“What’s so funny, Ev? You met her yet? Why isn’t he bringing her ‘round here to meet ya mama and me yet? She got a cockeye? One leg shorter than the other? Hump in the back?”
“N-n-nah Pops. I don’t know n-nothing about any girl. I think it really is some w-work shit,” Everett said, unconvincingly.
“And you’re obviously lying, Porky.”
I laughed loudly at that. Pops hadn’t called him that in at least twenty years. Everett was less than amused, however. Growing up, Ev was a lil portly through his preteen years. Combine that with his penchant for stuttering when he wasn’t telling the truth and the nickname was born. That goddamn stammer had given me away though. We sat in silence until Pops broke the stalemate.
“Fine. I’ll leave it for now. But I’m warning you; your flimsy work excuse won’t last much longer. You know how Miranda is. She’s about to start parading eligible bachelorettes in front of you at these dinners. So whatever you got going on with your love life, you better get it together fast.”
“You gotta hold her off, Pops.”
“Now you know good and damn well I can’t stop that woman when she’s on a roll.”
“Dad. For real. I need you to run interference for me. I’m not confirming or denying anything, but I will say that I don’t need Miranda Taylor finding me a woman. Not right now. Not in the future.”
My dad paused a beat, looking at me curiously for a few minutes.
“Okay? That’s it?”
“Yep,” he replied, taking a sip of his beer and turning his attention back to the game.