Chapter 7

Written by: A_Jamwal

The girls, busy adorning the table with food, didn’t notice but I heard the grumble of a poorly-maintained VW engine loud and clear.

I frantically scampered in my bedroom only to steel myself up in front of the mirror. I was definitely nervous, hence on the dressing table rested a chilled pint of courage, half-empty.

I heard muffled cheers followed by Nestor’s screech. “Dad! She’s here.”

I took a deep breath and looked at the festively chubby man wearing a blue checkered shirt and creased black trousers in the mirror.

“It’s going to be a long night.”

I gulped the beer down, gave myself a timid nod and walked out of the room.

Amy was on the couch, flanked by the twins. She looked gorgeous in her floral white dress and no, it wasn’t the beer talking. She looked at me as if looking at the man of her dreams. My smile widened and my chest broadened. Bloody testosterone!

“Some music?” I asked.

“Yes please,” she replied.

I knew she liked glam rock but I had jazz on my mind and Louis Armstrong it had to be.

Amy and I had some wine while the girls had cola. Before we started dinner, Amy insisted that we say grace. The chicken casserole was deliciously creamy and filling yet we couldn’t help but overload on the honey-glazed fruits.

The ease with which Amy mentioned Sally was very heartening.

“Oh your mother would have loved the food.”

“I like your shirt, I am sure it’s Sally’s choice.”

After an eternity, this dining table had hosted four people who prayed, ate, chatted and laughed their hearts out. This is what we were missing, I realised.

“I think I should make a move.” Amy picked up her coat.

“I’ll walk you outside.” I tried to hide my reluctance.

Nestor and Esther hugged their teacher goodbye before we stepped outside. She was about to sit inside her car when she turned. This is where I should have said good bye but I, like an imbecile, leaned in with my eyes closed, praying hard not to get slapped. I felt her soft lips on mine instead.

It was my first kiss after Sally had left. When our lips separated, the dull autumn evening had upgraded to a full HD display. It was magical. I couldn’t help but blush.

“Noooo dad! You promised.”

Nestor’s yelp smashed my ephemeral cloud nine moment. The girls were standing at the door. Nestor, in tears, ran inside and Esther gave me the “you know how Nestor is” look before she too followed her sister.

“How can they be so different?” I wondered but then realised that they were born in different centuries.

Amy gently placed her warm hand on my cheek. “You should go Lester”.

I was now sure that Amy was the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

I trudged inside to face the worst nightmare of my life – the raging hormones of a teenager.

Comments

Hi Abhimanyu, I thought this chapter captured the uncertainty of a grieving man and his family coming to terms with grief and trying to move on yet still holding on to the past. It was sensitive and beautifully crafted. Congratulations!
Thank you Suraya. It is fascinating how a reader feels about the written work. I, being a slave to my imagination, wrote whatever came to my head but the way you have extracted the essence of this chapter and expressed it in the comment, is simply beautiful.
There is humor, there is nostalgia and there is raw emotion that tugs at the readers' heart. Such a well written chapter Abhimanyu. You may written whatever came to your head but that 'whatever' certainly appeals and you succeeded in giving the reader a glimpse into the emotional interplay between these much loved characters. Well done!
Thank you so much Hemali :)