Utter silence no one said anything.
So tense, you can cut the tension with the knife.
Our gazes never wavered; scrutinizing the depths of lost years but, came empty handed. Finally he looked past me and gazed the two jewels of my life, questions masked his eyes disappearing as soon as they came and settled on me again.
“How have you been?” he asked
“Funny” I replied “it seems you care Mr. Brington”
“It was the simple question” he countered
“Then you got my answer” I countered back.
Sensing the tension so palpable in the room Uncle George came forward to diffuse the coming argument of two hard headed people “ok everyone why not we all go to dining room to eat” and lead everyone in the dining room quietly.
I can sense my kid’s frustration and the cold shoulder we have got so far is not helping but, they know better to say something at least not now. Within minutes we all were seated quietly around the dining room, my father at the head of the table beside sat my uncle and my aunt and then my brother at the other end of table with his family leaving me and my kids with the other end and so does others followed their suite and it seems like two oppositions are meeting for discussing some negotiation but, in some sense it seems true we are two strange parties meeting to negotiate of terms of my mother health. Irony of life, people who meant to be with you all your life, is the stranger you surround with today.
We all sat awkwardly around the table diner served not one dish was my favourite; message was served loud and clear.
We all ate quietly tension still lingering, glares are more prominent now and question about two teenagers are meant to be spoken any moment of sprout.
“So” it was Uncle George wife “what have you been up to these past years?” trying to ease the pitiable tension in the room.
“Nothing much to tell Aunt Marie” I replied not giving much away.
“Well it’s not like you were hiding in the dark” interfered Anita Aaron’s mate “ or were you” taunted me and scrutinizing with her car eyes.
Before I could say anything Antalia cut me off “well she already given her answer hasn’t she” and starred her down.
“Low on manners I see” Anita mocked with the tilting her head to side “clearly jumped the basics”
“Oh my” Antalia faked applauded “at least make the jokes we can laugh on Nita”
“It’s Anita” she replied annoyed.
“That’s what I said Nita.” Antalia replied with sweet smile plastered on her face.
“ok” uncle George interrupted their vibrant exchange “so Lucy I heard you own your own law firm back in states, how’s that’s going?”
Hearing about I own the law firm made them perked up and listen intently to uncle George and waiting for my reply “well its going good, so far best in the states.”
“That’s so good to hear” he relied “it’s been your dream to be the lawyer and own your own firm. You remember Russell little Lucy running around wearing your court pretending to be lawyer and her brothers would be her criminals” and laughed a little at the end, in fact he is the only one laughing remising the past.
“I don’t think he remember uncle “ I replied staring at my father “I don’t think anyone remember that at all”
A dead silence spread over the place no one utter the words, focused on their food which I am just paying with. So much of a family, coming here been a mistake I knew that from the start, but just for her, just for her, I repeated to myself.
Suddenly the front door opened and entered the frantic footsteps of more than two people, my wolf immediately went to on alert the scent never smelled for twenty years assaulted my senses, a fear gripped me but, I didn’t let that show, my gazed moved to my kids saw them on edge especially Jedrck gripping his spoon too hard to hold, breathing little heavier.
“well well isn’t it the long lost little ducky is back” said the voice that I wanted to never hear.
“same old bitch who never cared for anyone other than herself” I replied looking up to see the same face caked with layers of makeup, cold eyes filled with malice nothing changed about her just age is just little gracious to her.
“That’s not the way to talk to you older sister ducky” Zeena replied showing mock hurt. “What will our family think?”
“Let me refresh your memory” I said “I don’t have family remember, and they can think whatever; nothing stopped them those years back and nothing is stopping them now.”
“Such big talks” she mocked and bent to my level “got some guts there, did some growing up, I see”
“Rich coming from you” I replied “and isn’t it what time does? Makes you mature but, I can’t say same for you.”
“Why are you here Zeena” our icy war was cut short by Uncle George.
“Oh why uncle you invited all but, not me” Zeena show fake hurt, as if “I’m genuinely hurt, you forgot me but, never mind I invited myself and look Sanders came too. I wanted to meet my little sister and introduce him to his long lost aunt” she beamed at him, not going to fall for her act “c’mon Sanders meet your aunt” came a strong built boy not more than eighteen or seventeen, same hairs as my sister , his father’s eyes , what a coincidence?
Jedrck became rigid by seeing the boy and took deep breath to compose him and focused more on his food then the boy, because the scent coming from is mixed with someone else’s scent which he can’t put his finger on it, driving him crazy but, right now is not the time and place to cause the scene.
“Zeena” commanded our father “there was the reason you were not invited to this diner and you should have not showed up and caused the scene here.”
“but dad” Zeena try to say but, stopped by my father.
“Now is not the time” our father said to her and before he could say something more, commotion is heard from upper section of the house and frantic steps were heard and the smell of comfort and longing came to my senses and all the people stood from their seats and watched the entrance of the kitchen in daze, amazement, wonder, their expressions ranged from shock to relief to astounding.
“Lucy” said the voice that I longed more than I could express in words.
Lucy took deep breath and stood up from her seat; her kids followed her suite and slowly turned to see the woman gave birth to her, who she longed for in darkest hour of her life? Her mother is standing right in front of her old, fragile, a mess, lost the radiant glow that Lucy remembered, more gray hair she supports now, so frail she can’t imagine.
“Ma” Lucy uttered those words in almost two decade and the relief she got is unmistakably out of the world.
“Lucy” her mother whispered again and before anyone could do anything she fainted and darkness surrounded her.
All of us surrounded her in the living room now she is awake but, what a scare she gave?
She shook all of us.
Thank the moon goddess she is alright, now sipping some juice and all are still staring her like they have seen some ghost from past. But, her only focus is only my kids and I, and that’s the reason she is gripping my arm so badly.
“you know I’m not going to disappear any time soon, you can lose your grip ma” Lucy said to her mother softly “and who knew you still have strength somewhere in your frail bones” joked an little making her crack a small smile.
“Joke all you want” her mother uttered “I still can’t believe you are here after so long.”
“I’m here, you better believe it.” Lucy smiled at her other.
“So are you going to introduce me to the young ones or not.” Her mother hinted towards her kids and dread once again filled her body, and her mother statement snapped everyone attention towards her and the most awaited question of the evening.
Lucy cleared her throat and received a subtle go from her kids and gazed in her mother’s eyes and said “well meet your grandkids, Jedrck and Antalia”