“Oh Sammy you’re finally awake,” she said, a bowl held in her dainty hands.
Though he couldn’t see what was in it. He knew exactly what she had made, even before the sweet aroma of the dish hit his nose and sparked his senses.
“I was afraid you were going to sleep the day away.”
“Mom, it’s you?”
“Of course it’s me. Who else would I be?” she asked with a smile which disappeared as suddenly as it came. She stared at him with an expression of confusion and concern.
“Are you all right?” she asked.
She put down the bowl and started towards him.
It felt strange having her standing so close to him; so close that he could reach out and touch her. He wanted to but he found himself unable to.
He opened his mouth to say something but he found no words would come out.
And then she reached out and touched his forehead. It was quite the reach for her but she somehow managed it. When her delicate hands touched his own skin he closed his eyes. Her touch was soft and cold. It was soothing. It felt so wrong but at the same time so good. He wanted to forget all his fears and concerns but they refused to die down.
“You’re warming up, maybe you should go back to bed,” she said. Her voice changing as she spoke and bringing him back to the present.
“No…no…I” he started but couldn’t finish. What could he say he was ‘Ok’?
“I’m fine. I just…feel a bit tired, but I’ll be Ok” he said.
“Alright,” she said but continued to watch him with that same expression on her face.
She then walked back to pick up the bowl and then walked again towards him.
“Here, you can take it to Jessica and help her set the table,” she said. He just managed to catch himself before he went through the same process all over again.
He took one last long look at his mom, just in case, before turning around and walked back the way he had come.
He had passed the dining table before on his way to the kitchen. But it had been empty then, and there had been no one around. Yet, when he reached it, this time, it was already arranged, and there, a few chairs away, placing plates was Jess. She looked exactly as he remembered her last. He almost dropped the bowl in his hand when Jess looked up at him and smiled. Without missing a beat she asked him to place the bowl anywhere. He hesitated for a second before doing as she asked.
It was hot, but his preoccupied mind did not register it.
There was so much else he wanted to ask her, he wanted to do, but he restrained himself.
“Where else,” Jess replied after staring at him for a while. She had the same expression as the one his mom had before.
“Outside with dad working on that car” she finished and smiled.
He thanked her, without returning the smile. Then rushed out of the house before she could say anything more.