Needing A Plan

"Hey, Rose." The sound of Heath's voice broke the girl's concentration.

"Hi," Rose responded. "Do you know what your doing for your project?"

People had been coming in and out of the art room all day, as midterm projects were going to be due a few weeks. Rose had spent more of that time concerned about what JDs parent might say regarding the trip to NY, than working in her project.

"Yes, a still life sculpture." The boy paused for a moment, and sighed, then added..... "of kelp."

"Huh? What?" Rose mind was clearly somewhere else.

"You okay?" Heath asked.

"Yeah, I'm good." Rose lied.

Heath shook his head, "You know, I'm not buying that, right? Look Sam told me about your plan to bring JD with you over Thanksgiving. I'm guessing maybe JD is asking his parents today. They might let him go you know?"

"I think it's more likely, they'll say no. I mean they barely know me. They don't know my parents at all. As much as I want JD there, I don't know what I was thinking." The girl sighed.

"You were likely thinking you wanted to spend Thanksgiving with the person you're in love with. There's nothing wrong with that. Or wanting his support with your parents." There was a tone to Heath's voice that spoke of personal knowledge on this.

"I'm not sure even JD completely understands what it's like with them." Rose had been trying to figure out, what else she could do to that end, because it likely would be important at some point.

"Of course not, he has no frame of reference for something like that. Did Sam understand before she met them?" Heath asked.

Shaking her head, "No. How do you?" Quickly though that question was retreated. "I'm sorry. That's overstepping. You don't have to answer that."

"I don't mind telling you but I'd ask you keep it to yourself. Well, you can talk about it with JD and Sam knows, of course." There was a slight pause. "You know I'm adopted. My adopted family is great, my bio family not so much. My father and I really have a terrible relationship. He kicked me out when I was 14. The family that adopted me, is the family of a really good friend of mine. I was never good enough for my bio father. Never the son he wanted. I know what it's like to just not have a good relationship with your parents."

Rose nodded and glanced around the room. Noone was there but the two of them. The room instead was filled with canvases on easels, half done projects and the smell of paint. "I'm sorry that happened to you."

"It's in the past, and I'm in a better place now. " Heath's voice was gentle. "JD will get it. If not at Thanksgiving then eventually. And I know it's not as good as him being there but you both have phones. I'm just saying you'll be okay, so will he but I do hope for both your sakes it works out." Heath then smiled, "and the sake of your art project."

Rose looked turned the canvas in front of her. She had been here for hours and the canvas had almost nothing but a few strokes of color brushed on it.

She smiled back, and joked, "Kelp? Really?

"Was just trying to get your attention." Heath spoke lightly. "Being the project has to be about nature, I was actually thinking about doing a sculpture about sea life."

" I was going to do something with horses and mountains but maybe I should wait." With that Rose's phone vibrated. She texted back. "I guess I'll find out soon enough. That was JD, he should be here soon."

The two friends continued to talk as Rose waited for JD.

JD pulled into the school and parked he had just sent Rose a text but could not tell her what had happened. JD felt so defeated and drained he had never felt this way about anyone before. Part of JD just wanted to hide that if love hurts like this why love? His insecurities started to talk in his mind. as he got out of the Jeep his legs and arms felt heavy as he walked into the school. he signed back in at the office and walked to where people had been working on their projects.

JD opened the door and saw Rose and Heath standing. JD's heart sank he wanted he could feel his eyes swell wanting to tear. He took a breath and pushed all the emotion to the back and smiled as JD walked in. JD looked like he was exhausted and defeated. JD's normal smile seemed fake and moved lethargically as he moved through the room this was not the JD most new. he moved in and hugged Rose and Kissed her then plopped down beside her on another chair. "Nice work I like what you are doing," JD said knowing she would probably see right through his trying to seem normal.

Yes JD and Rose had been only going out for about 5 weeks but it seemed like five years to JD. He wondered if she felt the same about him. JD knew he would have to face the bad news soon he was just hesitant.

Rose returned the kiss but could tell something was wrong. Apparently, so could Heath, because he watched JD walk into the room, and take seat before saying anything.

"You know I really can't work in this without some energy. I'm going to get a coffee." And leave Rose and JD to talk, Heath didn't say, but it was clearly implied. "If either of you want to talk, I'll be around."

"Thanks,Heath." Rose commented and watched as Heath left.

Reaching for JDs hand, she looked at the boy sitting next to her. "I'm going to assume, its not good news. What happened?" Rose asked.

JD looked at Rose for a moment. Then looked down at the ground. JD had never shown this side of himself before to anyone but his parents. JD looked vulnerable something Rose had never seen before. "My parents said no." He whispered almost not even getting the words out. "They said they don't know you and we have been going out only 5 weeks," JD said still just above a whisper.

"It does not feel like five weeks," JD said more like a question than a statement. "I...I... don't want to have to go there alone. I am afraid that you will get in trouble with Declan I won't be there to protect you. That you might not come back." You could hear the worry in his voice JD was trying to keep it together as he took both of her hands in his.
"I don't care about 5 weeks I love you," he said in Italian gently with more confidence.

"I love you, too." Rose returned the sentiment in Italian. "I feel the same way and I really don't want to go without you. "

There was something that lingered, like Rose wanted to say more. "But... your parents aren't wrong, exactly. They don't know me. Chances are they'll never get to meet my parents. Is there anything that might help with that?"

JD took inhaled deeply and let it out slowly. Wiped his eyes he seemed to be back to his normal self. The words I Love you feel like it heals the emotional pain he was feeling. "We have to cover their concerns. My mother and father look after my safety. My mother looks at the etiquette of the situation and can I handle the behavior I need to conduct. My dad wants a good plan and looks at its safety of it. It is just they are more detailed than most parents. We have to have everything ready before we talk to them." explained JD to rose.

"Well, then let's do that. Come up with a plan. I can fill in any etiquette you might need. Though yours is fine, there might be things you haven't come across." She squeezed his hand. "How do we deal with your father's concerns? I'm not sure what is meant by the safety if it." Rose needed something to respond to in that sense.

JD thought for a moment trying to think more like a normal person than a military man. "An itinerary of some kind. Who are the people taking care of us, chaperones, and travel, where will we stay? where will I stay? is it in a safe area? things like that. If you go with me to talk to my parents may feel like an interrogation. nothing against you and don't take it personally." JD explained almost sounding embarrassed.

"Well, there is the house manager. He's like family to me and in charge of me when my parents aren't home. He'd be champeroning us. We'd be taking my private jet, then one of my families cars with a driver from the airport to the estate. You'd be staying in one of the guest rooms in the west wing, but if your parents have an issue with you staying in the house - there are two guest houses. It's a gated estate with guards - in a part of Long Island that only has gated estates." Rose hoped that didn’t sound snobbish; it was just how that area was. It might be the safest areas on all of Long Island. "Anything else, he'd need to know."

"It sounds good," JD said in reply. I do want you with me next time I take this up with my parents. would you mind coming over for let's say dinner? Then they get to know you. I think we can type everything out and can give it to them. The plan or an itinerary of some kind with contact numbers and people listed my dad calls them POCs points of contact. do you know how to type one out?" asked JD feeling a sense of hope now.

"No idea how to do that. I mean I've seen itineraries before, but just for travel. I didn't make those though." Her family had others that did that kind of thing and usually Rose didn't need one. "We can work on it together though. I can get my laptop and meet you somewhere. We'll type it up and I can print it out."

Later that evening after dinner Rose and JD got togeather to work on the plan for Rose's house and the stay. of course, a few other friends had to put here say in the matter as they stopped by. It took an hour to get the whole thing ready Rose had to call on some information just little facts she never thought about. In the end, the information looked complete. JD texted his mom and asked if Rose could come over for dinner. That was a big yes. and his sister would be at another house which made it perfect. Still, JD felt like he was walking into the lion's den. He also hoped his parents would not weird out Rose.

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