Troubled Waters, Idle Minds

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Louise greeted me with her megawatt smile, straight teeth and her glowing tanned skin. She’s still in her baby blue power suit, all crisp as if she wasn’t just running around the globe. She placed her index finger on her lips, her bright blue eyes sparkling with excitement.

I’ve always liked her better than her sister.

“Are they all here?” She asked in a whisper. I nod my head, opening the door wider. My previous low mood was slowly lifting up. The heads up she’d given me this morning was all sudden and she wasn’t even sure she’d make it. She hadn’t been in our family gathering since my husband’s birthday two months ago. Everyone thought the next time we’ll see her is at her son’s graduation day.

Surprised shock was followed by a slight uproar when everybody saw who I brought back with me - Louise, the eldest among three children who is only two years older than her brother, my husband Ken, looks as if she could be his age if not younger. I wish I’d look like her when I reach that age. Not look the same as her but as radiant and healthy. Glowing. I half suspected that she might have found a lover or at least someone akin to one. The other half of my reservation was because of the undeniable fact that work trumps almost everything in Louise’s life. I said almost because it’s as clear as the bright blue sky that family is the one card which place could never be interchanged with anything else. People from the outside trying to look in could mistake her dedication to her career as something other than what it truly is: dedication to her son. She’s the only family she’s got really of her own. Him and Valerie.

“Always aiming for the spotlight,” Harrison joked.

Louise hugs her son back firmly to her as she chuckles. “I missed you, too, bear.”

Harry’s mock disgust made everyone chuckle.

When all got a hug from her, we moved back to our seats and I find myself now sitting between my twins with Ane sleekly sitting herself next to her father.


I swiftly smoothed the frown that had formed on my forehead, dispelled the infuriating thought, and calmly sat my ass quietly.

“We thank you father,” Valerie started and everyone bowed their heads in respect. I close my eyes because of a different reason, a pause I needed to take the reigns once again and gather in the control. Everything will turn out fine. Everything’s perfect. This life that I have been blessed with is perfect. I have not only my husband to thank for that but everyone as well. They took me in and I have never felt whole until I’ve became a part of their lives.

I’d fight with my life to keep my family perfect in all ways that it should be.

“You haven’t gotten back to Julliard.”

It wasn’t a question. I felt my daughter tense beside me. Her eyes darted sideways to her father before she turned to me with her upper body, a sweet smile on her dainty lips and a questioning look on her face. I gave her a slow smile that says, yes, darling, I know. She can’t keep those mails from me. There is very little my daughter can keep a secret. She’s not as good as her brother and, to be quite frankly, I’m not as afraid as to dig in to what she’s hiding than discovering what Abe might have buried in the hatch.

There was a gasp and I looked around to find Valerie with a hand on her chest.

“Dear me, my sweetheart Ane, that is marvelous!”

As if on cue, everyone else joined in on the praises and congratulated my perfect daughter. All except Abe. Of course.

“Aren’t you going to congratulate your sister?” I asked cheerily in a low voice that instantly drowned in the excited voices of out loved ones. I instantly regretted my action when those piercing green eyes rooted me on the spot with a hard look. My gods, I couldn’t breathe, my hands automatically clasping my neck where the set of delicate pearls Ken gifted me for our wedding anniversary this year hang with just enough tightness. I couldn’t even look at Abe when he looks the way that he does. I averted my eyes and fought hard to keep the wide smile on my face, bright, straight teeth on display and lips stretched out I could feel my red lipstick crack against the already drying skin.

Taking a sip from my water, I tried again but this time, kept my eyes ahead of me. I’m not about to give up, not when Ane deserved all the coddling she could get. This is a huge deal. “Just a little - “

I didn’t even get to finish my sentence when a loud crack penetrated the celebratory atmosphere only starting to build up in the aging night. It made me jump. All eyes were pinned on me, or rather, beside me. I was afraid to turn with my head throbbing and every pulse in my body thrumming. My heart was beating so fast I see dots in my vision and all I could do was clench my fingers tightly around my neck, careful still not to snap the delicate necklace. Before I do something untoward like run and hide in the bathroom, I was saved by the bell.

From the corner of my eye, I saw Valerie move. Everyone was frozen in place except her. She tsked, shaking her head in disapproval, as if it was an innocent child who accidentally cracked the glass on my precious mahogany table and not an adult young man who deliberately broke it.

“You have to be more careful, Abraham,” she admonished, her tone was the one she’d use when one of her grandchildren would misbehave. This is not the same. “Look what you did. You hurt yourself.”

My eyes darted downwards and saw that it was his fist that he punched the glass with. It was still there din the middle of the crack, vibrating along with his whole body.

The atmosphere was so tense I could almost taste it. Worse, I could feel myself choking on it. My eyes are in danger of tearing up if I don’t get ahold of my emotions.

“You should clean it up and look at the damage,” Ken commanded.

“I’ll help,” Callie offered in a small voice. She hasn’t uttered the last word when Harry firmly said, “No.”

She awkwardly stood up, then sat back down when her eyes met Harry’s.

“It’s alright, Callie,” Mich began. “I’m sure he can take care of himself.”

Ted rubbed his daughter’s back in comfort, seeing as her eyebrows are drawn together. She’s upset.

“I’ll go get a garbage bag.” Ane slipped smoothly from her seat and glided towards the pantry room seconds before Ken also stood up and followed the way she went to. “Broom and dust pan,” he shrugged. Sure enough, there are pieces of glass that splayed on the floor. Did any of it get on the food? Shit.

My chair almost toppled back when I abruptly stood. “We have to take these away,” I announced. “I’ll get new servings.”

It’s a pity. Such a waste. I could check each morsel of food but I couldn’t really take the risk of anyone eating a shard of glass because of my son’s uncontrollable temper. With a sigh, I eye the turkey. Damn it. I should’ve served it after we’re done with the first round of appetizers.

“Let me be of use for once since I arrived.” Louise was obviously trying to diffuse the tension. She didn’t wait for any approval before heading out the dining room. “Kitchen?”

“Down the hall to the left,” I called back.

While everyone seem to busy themselves with tasks, the rest of us left on the table began inspecting the food. But like I said, it’s no good anymore and we move to clean them all up.

The shrill sound of wood scraping wood was painful to the ears when Abe pushed his chair back and stood up unceremoniously. He stood for a good few seconds and I chanced a glance to realize he’d been staring across the table from him. His eyes were vicious and downright - dare I say it? - murderous and I follow his line of vision only to land on his two cousins who are now cuddled together with dishes on their hands. Harry was whispering something on Callie’s ears. Too close. Too close.

I looked away and focused on setting the table up again to the perfect way it was before. As I near the kitchen, I passed by the closed door of the pantry. My breathing was only coming down to a calm as I dump the mashed potatoes in the sink and hit the garbage disposal button. I watched the sharp razors spin, mesmerized by how brutal it could be, when I realized one little detail that slipped my mind when hell was breaking loose a moment ago.

I never kept either the garbage bags nor the broom and the dustpan in the pantry.


Author’s note:

Hi again, everyone! 🤗 I hope you liked this update 😆 Thank you so much for reading and for the support 🌹 And thank you to those who’ve given me feedback about the new cover and the title 🙈 I love knowing about your thoughts and opinions 🥰 I’m finally having a break from school 🥳 So hopefully, we’d get a lot of writing and a lot of updates while we can, yeah? 😊 I’m also very excited to read a lot of books over the break, so right now, I’m really happy 🥰 I hope you all are, too ❤️

I want to greet my dear @xxh0rnyb00xx a happy, happy birthday 🥳🥰 Get well soon so we could celebrate properly,

Keep safe, everyone, and see you on the next update 🌹


Ama ❤️

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