Stan didn't wear bow-ties.
"I look gay in this." Maybe it was the purple shirt and suspenders that gave it away. Did they really have to dress up for this dinner.
"You look cute." She put the final touches on the bow.
"I look like a dork." Or maybe a cartoon, like Boo from Yogi Bear. At least she let him wear his comfy Nikes. They were old and cracking, but just right for his feet.
"Nonsense." He had no idea what she was trying to pull, but they left soon enough for the bus that took them only a few blocks from her parent's place. They didn't live that far. Lux had made it sound it would be an all day affair. It had taken less than an hour to get there, and her parents were happy to see them.
Her Mom made all Lux's favorite, from roast chicken, mashed potatoes and mac n' cheese.
Lux was so reserved. But her Dad put Stan at ease. Her mom was friendly too. Yet Lux held back. Stan wasn't sure what to say or do. He wanted to be on Lux's side, but she was making it so hard.
"What's the matter with you?" Stan asked on the ride back. "Why did you do that? That was not you."
"That was me." Lux was in a pout. "I want to be nice. I do. Its just I can't. I really can't." She looked into Stan's eyes. He thoughts she was about to cry. He put his arm around her. She shook her head. "Its like my expiration date is up on cuteness, you know. I can't go back and be their little girl. I was never their little girl. And I don't want to be jealous of my little brother, but I am, Stan. I just can't help."
He kissed her forehead. Maybe her parents were glad to see him, but he knew they wanted them to come more often. Perhaps that was the next step.