“Have you ever been to a Detroit Pistons basketball game?” Caleb asked. They had just arrived at Institute class and were slipping out of their winter coats. “I’ve got a few tickets to next week’s game against the Bulls. I thought maybe you’d like to go.”
“How many is a few?” She looked over at him apprehensively, recognizing that ‘a few’ was not two.
“Well, I thought maybe your brothers might want to go.” He grinned sheepishly. “And… your sister. If you want her to come.”
She noticed the way he wrinkled his nose when he said the word ‘sister’ but she didn’t want to read too much into it.
Ashley knew it bugged Caleb when Sarah flirted with him. She figured that he was going way out of his comfort zone to include her in the activity. It said a lot that he’d be willing to do that. It also said a lot that he was willing to plan this whole thing.
Dating each other was easy, but it took things a step further to include the family. She wondered at what point he’d finally take her over to meet his parents, but she didn’t want to ask. She didn’t want to seem pushy. Still, they’d been going out for a few months now, and she wondered when he was going to take that next step. One thing at a time.
“I don’t know much about basketball,” she admitted. “But I think that sounds like fun.”
“Well, we have really good seats, so even if you don’t like basketball you should be able to get caught up in the atmosphere and have a good time anyway.” He smiled over at her. “Besides, just being with me will be fun in and of itself!”
She smiled back at him, content with the idea of going anywhere with him. Besides she’d never been to a Pistons game. It would be a new adventure. Then she realized that when he’d said that they had really good seats, it sounded as if these were more than just regular stadium seats. These sounded like reserved seats.
“Do you have season tickets or something?” she asked. He smiled sheepishly again.
“Yeah, sort of.”
“What do you mean by ‘sort of’?” She pushed for more information. Knowing that his parents were very well off, she suspected that they had really good seats.
“My parents have a little suite that they have reserved for each season.” He said it so fast, and looked down at his hands.
Ashley could tell that Caleb was always trying to play down the fact that his parents had money. He didn’t want to seem like he was bragging, yet he wanted to be able to take advantage of the seats that were available rather than go out and purchase different tickets just so he didn’t have to take her to the exclusive suite.
She wanted to reassure him that it was okay. She was trying to learn not to be intimidated by his lifestyle, and just enjoy being with him because she liked him.
“That sounds really fun, Caleb.” She reached for his hand. “I’m excited about it. I’ll talk to my brothers tonight, okay?
“Cool.” He seemed relieved. She was glad that she’d pushed her feelings of apprehension aside so that she could give him the reassurance that he needed.
“Are we going to drive in separate cars?” she asked. “We sure won’t all fit in your Porsche.” She giggled.
“Don’t worry; I’ll get something big enough to hold everybody. It’ll all be good. I promise.” He reassured her.
Ashley’s brothers were ecstatic about the prospect of going to a Pistons game. They loved basketball, and they’d never been to a professional game.
Sarah was just excited about going out on an exciting adventure, especially if it meant traveling along with Caleb.
A few days before the big game, Ashley got an unexpected phone call. Caleb sounded really nervous. “I have a weird question for you,” he started.
“Okay,” she encouraged him.
“How would you feel about inviting… Paul to come with us to the Pistons game?” They were both silent for a moment. She didn’t know what to say.
“Why would you want to do that?” She spoke softly. She didn’t understand why he would want to invite her other boyfriend to come along on a date with him.
“Well,” he hesitated again. “I don’t know. I keep feeling prompted that he should be there. I don’t know how else to describe it.”
“Do you even have that many tickets?” she asked. She still wasn’t sure how to feel about this.
“Yeah,” he reassured her. “The suite holds twelve.” Twelve?
“Let me think about it, okay?” After she got off the phone Ashley sat and stared out the window for a long time. She knew that as soon as she headed out to the barn to do some evening chores, she’d run into Paul. So she wanted to ponder the situation first.
She was sure that Paul had never been to a Pistons game, but that he loved basketball. If it were anyone else inviting him, he wouldn’t hesitate to jump at the opportunity.
But there was something more. Something about the way Caleb had said that he had felt prompted to invite Paul. It didn’t seem at all suspect to her. It didn’t feel like Caleb was trying to show off in front of Paul. It almost felt as if he were acting like a… missionary.
She would have to let the evening play out and see how Paul reacted. She got her boots on and grabbed a light jacket as she headed out to the barn, knowing that he wouldn’t be far behind.