Chapter 8

Written by: SameerNagarajan

The thought flashed across my mind that my less-favourite daughter might be the more mature one. Maybe Nestor hooked the parent in me more often and more unconsciously. 

Nestor was sprawled across her bed, on the lower bunk. A bad sign, I thought. Esther waited outside as I walked into the room and sat on the edge of the bed, waiting for the sobs to subside. “I told you I didn’t want her to take Mum’s place!” she said tearily and turned her face away. 

That was something I could deal with right away, I thought. “She won’t. Ever. Your mother was a special person. And by the way, kissing Amy doesn’t mean that she is going to come into our house forever!” I almost laughed as I said the last sentence.

Nestor looked confused and Esther joined us in the bedroom. 

“You’re forgetting she had a husband too, once,” I continued, “and I am sure he was a caring and loving man. It is not as if she’s pushing to get into our house. She will need time, and all that we have done is to have dinner together – once. I’d be surprised if this accelerates into a long term relationship so quickly.” The more I thought about it, the more ridiculous the idea seemed, and the more I thought Nestor was over-reacting to the entire situation. And Esther? Her silence did not necessarily imply agreement. 

“Maybe we are just nervous about how fast things will move, Dad,” said Esther. 

“You don’t need to be, Esther. They won’t move faster than we want them to.”

The next morning, the usual rush. I bundled the kids into the car and we drove to school. 

I waved at them as they ran in to the building. I became aware of the footsteps only when they were really close ... Amy. 

“I’ve taken the morning off,” she said. “Care to join me for a coffee at Starbucks?” 

I hesitated, mentally running through the checklist of pending items at the office. Giving in to impulse, I agreed. We walked the short distance to the cafe and taking off our coats, placed our orders. A cappuccino for her, a latte for me. As we settled in, I noticed that her eyes were puffy and red, as if she hadn’t slept .. I instinctively felt something was on her mind. 

We looked out the window at the view appreciatively. It was still soft light and the traffic was minimal. Taking a deep breath, I took the plunge and told her that Nestor had been emotional last evening after she left. I smiled briefly. “She thought we were getting seriously into a long-term relationship. I reassured her that there’s some distance between a dinner and a wedding.

I smiled a bit more broadly at my own understatement. For the first time, I saw her relaxing but her facial expression still suggested she was holding something back. 

I paused. 

Then she spoke.

Comments

This chapter was well handled as it stayed true to the general domestic theme. I also liked the way you resisted using dialogue in this paragraph:

Taking a deep breath, I took the plunge and told her that Nestor had been emotional last evening after she left. I smiled briefly.
Then you finish it with dialogue. That was a lovely smooth transition from description to speech and broke up the story telling. Very nice.