“Me too,” Nadine says, turning left onto a one-way. “You know what I think?”
“I think this is going to be a really great summer for our family.”
“Me too,” I say, and I try to believe it.
BUT HERE’S THE PIECE I can’t quite shake.
Nadine said they come back. That we’ll be normal again. Cassie and me. And I get that. I mean, Abby came down to earth after Darrell. And Nick hasn’t ruined us. Love doesn’t kill friendship. It definitely doesn’t kill family.
Except it sort of does, doesn’t it?
Because we almost never see my aunt Karen. Because she’s not Nadine’s main person anymore. I think she used to be. But Nadine’s main person is Patty.
And I don’t know when that happened. Maybe this is how it starts.
Anyway, somehow Mina’s coming for dinner on Wednesday, despite the fact that my grandma’s coming in from New York that day. Patty’s mom. Also known as the grandma who hits people with her car and then calls them bitches. So, I’m pretty sure this is going to be a shitshow. Like, a major, epic shitshow. But even though Cassie gave this plan a solid nope a week ago, today she seems really Zen about it. It’s like she’s so focused on the Mina-coming-for-dinner part that she’s forgotten all about the with-Grandma part.
The thing about Grandma is that she doesn’t always have a filter. So this should be interesting. I’m in charge of dessert.
I spend all weekend thinking about it, looking up recipes, and waking up at three in the morning wondering if Mina has gluten allergies or diabetes. Though there’s no way Cassie would have forgotten to mention this. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing Mina-related in the world she’s forgotten to mention.
But oh. I’m so wrong.
Because on Monday, I get an Abby text with about five million exclamation points. No words, no emojis: just undiluted punctuational excitement. And at first I assume it’s some new development with Nick, which throws me for a loop—because once sex has already happened, what could be worthy of five million exclamation points? Like, I don’t think that’s how she’d break the news if she were pregnant. I hope not.
Anyway, I figure it out pretty quickly when Abby follows up with, Why didn’t u tell me about Cass?!?!
What are you talking about?
Um. Go check Facebook. Now.
So I tap into the app and go straight to Cassie’s page. Which she never updates. Ever.
But she did.
In a relationship. With Mina Choi.
I cradle my phone in my hand and just stare at it.
She seriously didn’t tell you? Abby writes. WTF is wrong with her?
No idea, I write.
She didn’t tell me. Cassie’s in a real-life relationship with Mina, and she didn’t tell me. I found out on Facebook.
I’m Cassie’s twin sister, and I found out on Facebook.
Do your moms know??
No idea, I write back. But she’s coming for dinner on Wednesday.
Whoa. Cassie! Introducing her to the folks . . .
And grandma . . . I add.
OMFG. Your grandma Betty?
Yep. I add that emoji with the big, toothy, grimacing smile.
LOL. Should be quite a night.
Which makes me smile, a little bit.
I decide to make homemade edible cookie dough. When I tell Reid about it at work, he seems both impressed and confused.
“But how is regular cookie dough not edible?” he asks. We’re in the back room, unboxing new inventory.
“Well, it has raw eggs.”
“Oh, okay.” He nods—but a moment later, he frowns. “And you’re not supposed to eat raw eggs . . .”
“I mean, I know you’re not supposed to eat them raw, but what if they’re mixed in with stuff?”
I side-eye him hard. “You know they’re still raw, right?”
“I know, but they’re neutralized by the other ingredients.”
“That is not how eggs work.” I bite back a smile. “I think you just have to try the egg-free kind. It’s really good. I promise.”
He leans backward on his palms and seems to consider this for a moment. Finally, he nods. “Okay. I approve.”
“Whew.” I stretch forward, pulling the last box toward me. We actually timed this well—we’ll get the last stuff unboxed right at the end of the workday.
“So when is this happening?” he asks.
“Tomorrow, probably? I’ll make a supply run to CVS when I leave here.”
“To CVS?” He looks scandalized. “No, you have to go to the Giant in Silver Spring. It’s the all-time best grocery store.”
I look up. “Oh, really?”
“Yes.” He gives one of those very serious Reid nods, but his dimple flickers.
“Is it on the Metro?” I ask.
“Oh. I don’t think so.”
I bite my lip. “Oh, okay. I don’t have a car.”
Reid is quiet for a minute, and I feel slightly awkward. It’s funny: I don’t really mind the car thing. I think it bothers Cassie more than it bothers me. But now I feel weirdly self-conscious about it, and I have no idea why.
“Do you want a ride there?” he asks.
“You don’t have to do that.”
“I don’t mind. Seriously, it would be fun. I like grocery shopping.”
“Really?” I shoot him the Molly Face.
He smiles. “Okay, not really. But I like cookie dough. And if I drive you to the supermarket, you’d probably have to give me some.”
“Probably,” I agree. Now I’m smiling, too. I can’t help it.
So now I’m in Reid’s car, and he’s driving me to the grocery store. A very particular grocery store. Apparently the best grocery store, and I’ll have to take his word for that.
An immediate perk of riding with Reid: he’s placed a bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs open between us in front of the gearshift.
“You know what I love about Cadbury Mini Eggs?” I lean back against the seat. “Their simplicity.”
“Right? No one appreciates that.”
“I’m really over fancy desserts. Like, I’m sorry, but anything with citrus infusion and caramelized kumquats or almond and Cointreau, or anything like that . . . I mean, does anyone actually like that stuff?”