“Okay, remember, 4 o’clock tomorrow,” I told him slowly. Really I meant 5 but I knew he was going to be late like always. “And please try and act normal around my mum. No big surprises.”

He nodded slowly.

“What time?” He asked.


“And what to bring.”

“Big surprises.”

We both paused confused.

“Oh wait, I meant to say you should bring NO surprises,” I corrected.

“So I shouldn’t bring no big surprises.”

“Umm I guess yeah-what?”

“I’m confused.”

“Me too.”

His dragon behind him rolled its eyes at us.

“Okay let’s start again,” I smiled at him in the darkness.

“No big surprises,” I stated clearly and firmly.

“I got it!” He exclaimed a bit too loudly.

“Shhhh! You’ll wake my neighbours up,” I giggled.

We parted ways at the corner of my road. He flew off on his dragon and I skipped back home, both of us teeming with excitement (and nerves) to finally meet each other’s parents.

I woke up at 6 o’clock sharp, briefed my parent and shattered their dreams of me dating ‘Audrey’s boy from down the road’ and told them it would be fine.

“Why couldn’t you just date Audrey’s boy, you know from down the road?” My mother asked, crumpling her brow.

“Mum, I like someone else,” I sighed.

“You used to play with Audrey’s boy all the time when you were younger, you even used to take baths together,” she said poking my nose.

“Mum, I’m not three anymore.”

“Oh you took baths together until you were six,” she laughed casually.

“Okkkaaaayyyyyy....Well moving on from that, my boyfriend is called Linfork and he’ll be having dinner with us and his family tonight.”

“Linfork, well that is a funny name. Is he foreign?” My mother asked, gazing intently into my eyes.

“Um yes, he’s from a quite distant galaxy of Zydork, only a few thousand light years away from grumpy Barbara, you remember?”

“Yes, yes, horrible Barbara, I’m glad she moved away,” my mother mumbled.

4oclock ticked round and I slung on a casual dress and headed to the restaurant. I spotted him almost immediately sat alone at a table wearing a huge tribal headdress.

“Hey I thought you were bringing your parents,” I whispered in his ear as I passed by to sit down. “And how are you early?”

Suddenly, he stood up so his chair made a horrible scraping sound across the floor and his headdress fell off and crashed to the floor. Then he flopped in half and extended my mother his hand.

“Oh! He is a funny one,” my mother giggled, taking his hand.

“Linfork, please act normal,” I whispered as I hugged him.

We all sat down and ordered drink until suddenly, out of the ladies toilets, came a great procession of all of Linforks possible relatives, cousins, half cousins, great grandparents, the whole majazz, all wearing the clashiest colours in the whole of cosmic colour possibilities.

“It was supposed to just be parents,” I sighed hopelessly but slightly touched.

“I told my mum but then she told everyone else and...yeah...” he said helplessly.

“Okay, is this it?”

“Yes, my entire family.”

“No I meant no more-“

“We are gathered here today to celebrate the unity of my son Linfork and Jasmine,” announced Linforks father to the entire restaurant. Everyone paused, even the steady music stopped. His father started clapping but deafeningly. In fact so loudly the building shuddered and the crockery started to leap of the table and glasses smashed.

“Well, clap everyone, this is a happy occasion,” he grinned, gesturing his hands for everyone to clap.

Suddenly an enourmous flock of dragons crashed through the roof from every direction and tiles cascaded down onto dinner plates. Some dropped half wilted roses and others arrows which impaled a few unlucky people.

“Arrows and roses, signs of a beautiful love blossoming,” announced Linforks father. “Now, Linfork, over to you.”

Timidly, he pulled a bouquet of flowers from around his back and handed them to me.

“Will you marry me?” he whispered.

Around us people screamed, dragons clawed the roof, tiles and dust cascaded into our faces, blood flowed from bodies, sirens wailed tirelessly, my mother stood in shock horror. And Linfork looked delighted. His face gleaming in anticipation of my answer.

I laughed slightly. Only Linfork would do this.

“Of course! But next time no more surprises!”

“No more surprises!” He laughed.

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