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The first time you meet your girlfriend’s family is extremely important. Maybe they will become your family too. You have to be funny and charming, but not too funny or to charming that it seems unnatural. You don’t want to be a faker or bootlicker.
When I was about to meet Mabel’s family, I couldn’t stop feeling anxious. At 25, I had dated a lot, and I knew she was the woman of my dreams. She was beautiful, successful and sweet, the most supportive and generous person I have ever met in my life. We had been together for a little over 2 years, and I felt so at ease with her. All the time it was like we could be our true selves to each other.
Her parents, younger sister and older brother all used to live in another country, so we still didn’t get the chance to meet. We talked over Skype and FaceTime a few times, and they at least seemed to not dislike me, but you know it’s not the same thing.
They were already at Mabel’s spacious, modern house in the suburbia when I arrived on Christmas Eve. I cursed myself for not being the first one there, but no one seemed to mind.
“Hi, Jonah!” her father, Richard, opened the door for me, enthusiastically shook my hand, then decided it wasn’t enough and half hugged me, patting me in the back. “Such a businessman! Don’t worry, Mabel told us you had to work today.”
His warmness both shocked me and relieved me. For a man in his 50s (I assume), he was incredibly handsome. Richard had auburn hair like Mabel, and was tall and fit.
He guided me to the other family members in the living room.
“Martha, Bernie, Fred, this is the famous Jonah. Looks even better in person, am I right?” he strongly patted me in the back again.
“Look how good you look in this suit!” Martha, Mabel’s mother, was overjoyed to see me, and landed two kisses in my cheeks. She didn’t look one day older than 35 and, just like her daughter, she smelled good. After hugging me, she screamed to the general direction of the kitchen, “This one is a keeper, Mab!”
Next was the little sister. Bernie was around 15, blonde and with a face that looked carved on white marble like her mother. She rolled her eyes with a smile, a sign that she thought her parents were too much, but in an affectionate way, and extended her hand. “Nice to meet you, Jonah. I hope you enjoy yourself today.”
Last but not least was Fred. He was one of the best-looking men I have ever met. Richard and Martha complimented me, and I know I look alright, but, compared to him, I’m more akin to a trash bag.
He was tall and strong, both in the arms and the legs. His trousers and button-up shirt looked amazing on him, fitting perfectly like he was an Armani model. His hair was shiny and his teeth perfectly aligned. I’m not ashamed to say that, if I wasn’t exclusively into chicks, I would fall for him.
None of them looked this good in video, but I dismissed it as the quality of the frontal camera/webcam. That explains why they complimented me – I was probably fucking ugly on our calls.
“Please, have a sit, son,” Richard pointed me to a chair. “Mabel will change and will be here in a second.”
The five of us had a great time talking, shifting between lots of entertaining topics, and getting to know each other better. Every single one of them was interesting, and I honestly couldn’t wait for them to become my family. Sure, I love my parents, but they are so… normal.
Around 20 minutes after I started socializing with them, Mabel came downstairs. She was stunning. Her makeup was perfectly done, her hair looked like rubies, her dress was like the wind, and her face was sweeter and prettier than ever. I was truly wonderstruck, and regretted that, for a second after meeting her family, I thought that she was the least gorgeous person of her kin.
I couldn’t hold back anymore. I got on my knees in reverence, then straightened myself and proposed.
I had been carrying the ring in my pocket for a while, waiting to do it sometime shortly after I met her parents. Well, it was a little quicker than expected.
Everyone in the room erupted in screams of joy. Mabel emphatically said yes a few times and held me tightly. After a few seconds, the others joined us in the hug. It was the perfect Christmas with a perfect family.
“I’m so glad our family is complete now,” Richard’s eyes were full of happy tears, and he squeezed my face between his hands, then kissed my left cheek.
“So please let’s eat,” Bernie asked, in a typical impatient teenager tone, but with a note of joy. “The tidbits I had earlier were not enough.”
“Sure, sweetie. Jonah, let’s go to the dinner table. The boys will get the main dish,” Martha guided me to another room. The table was long, filled with side dishes and perfectly set.
Richard and Fred soon entered the dinner room with an immense plate, filled with a roasted… human.
I thought my eyes were deceiving me, but nothing else could have this size and shape.
“It looks delicious as always, sis!” Bernie was happier now than before.
“Is this…” I babbled.
“A human,” Mabel responded, like it was the most natural thing in the world. Like it was merely a turkey. “It actually tastes great roasted if you know how to adjust the oven temperature.”
“And boy, does she know!” Fred added with a smile, starting to cut the meat. “The seasoning is amazing too.”
Upon a better look, I noticed the body belonged to a young male. Bernie greedily ate her first bite, and instantly her beauty and youth became uncanny, almost unbearable. It was like she was glowing with an otherworldly light.
“Come on, son,” Richard gave me a fatherly look. “We’re beautiful, rich, smart, and successful. Who would ever get that without a little ritual here and there?”
“We only need to make it once a year. It’s a great cost benefit!” Martha remarked, as she served herself with potatoes and one of the feet. When she noticed I was staring at her dish, she explained with a smile, “I just love to nibble on the bones.”
“And it don’t have to be a female virgin. This would be so boring and old. As long as the person is young and beautiful, we can make do. This is some frat guy who tried to force himself on my friend,” Bernie explained. “Well, not on my watch!”
All their explanations made me consider it all extremely reasonable.
“Don’t you love me?” Mabel batted her lashes, knowing very well I loved her more than anything. “Don’t you want to become almost perfect, like us?”
“We know damn well a couple that performs rituals together stays together, son,” Richard said, with a charming wink. “Me and Martha have been together for 40 years. It’s guaranteed!”
As I made up my mind, I didn’t answer. I just cut myself a slice of the leg and decided to partake.