“Eleanor, we're so proud of you,” Mom says. “But we all knew you'd get the job.”
I roll my eyes. “No, you didn't,” I say.
“Well, you're sure a great photographer,” Dad says. “Who in their right mind wouldn't want to hire you?”
“Yeah, we'll, I'm still not as good as Mom,” I say. “That's my goal. To be as great as her.”
“You s been better than me for years, Lou,” Mom laughs.
I can't help but smile to myself when she says that. Mom has always been so modest about her success. My brothers say that's one of the things she passed on to me. “Thanks, Mom, but we both know that's not true,” I say.
“Do you mind if a friend of mind comes over for dinner?” I ask the next day.
“No, of course not,” Mom replies. “Who is it?”
“You haven't met him yet,” I say. “I just ran into him yesterday and we thought it'd be fun to catch up.”
“Ooh, a him,” Chase says as he walks past me.
I roll my eyes and slap the back of his head. “Shut up,” I say. “You're so irritating.”
“What?” Chase asks. “You haven't had a boyfriend since high school. It's mandatory that I tease you.”
“He's not my boyfriend,” I say.
“As of now,” he replies with a grin.
I pick up a throw pillow and lob it at his head. “Jeez, you're still as annoying as you were in high school.”
A couple hours later, when I hear a car pull into the driveway, I get up to meet Colin on the porch.
“Hey,” I say.
“Hey, how are you?” Colin asks, giving me a quick hug.
“I'm good,” I reply. “Alright, I'm going to warn you before we go into the house that everyone in my family is a huge San Francisco fan, especially my brothers given the fact we were raised here. So just uh… brace yourself, more or less.”
Colin laughs. “I'll be sure to keep that in mind,” he says.
When we walk into the living room, my brothers and Vanessa all glance up and stunned looks appear on their faces. After a moment, Will clears his throat and shouts, “Hey, Dad! You're going to be really proud of your daughter. She brought home a football player!”
“So have you told Colin about your job?” Mom asks as we all sit around the living room.
“No. What job?” Colin says for me, turning in my direction.
“I just got hired as a photographer for E:60 magazine,” I reply.
“You're kidding,” he says. “Eleanor, that's great. I'm happy for you.”
“Thanks,” I say. “I think I'll probably move back down here within the next few months to be closer to Mom and Dad. I don't have to live anywhere specific as long as I don't mind traveling.”
“So what are you doing exactly?” Colin asks.
“I'm going to be doing a lot of cover shoots, and they liked my still action pictures from the games so much that I might get to go to the really big, talked about games and do that.”
“That's awesome,” he says. “And you just graduated, right?”
I nod. “About a month ago,” I answer. “I don't know, I'm still kind of in shock that I got hired so fast. I was going to stay in Eugene because I have a job there, and I was planning on moving any time soon because I figured it would be months if and when I ever heard back from E:60."
“Yeah, that's crazy,” he agrees. “So now you're moving back to California.”
I nod again. “Looks that way,” I say. “You know, because it'll be a lot easier to hang out with you.”
“Yeah, there's the selling point right there,” Colin jokes back with a laugh.
“I was thinking that maybe we could hang out again before you leave,”'Colin says. “Just us.”
“I'd like that,“ I agree.
“Pizza and a movie?” he suggests. “Friday night?”
“That sounds great,” I say. “I'll see you Friday then.”
Colin sends me a smile and kisses my cheek then is out the door before either of us can say anything else.