If only Mama and Anja have come now. The stars are beginning to appear, but the shop windows outshone the setting sun. The only thing I’m doing is writing this down while trying my best not to ruin the carefully arranged dining table. When I looked at it again, it seemed too fancy for a family whose father had just passed away. On a normal day it’ll be much more simplistic, as Mama wanted it this way, though whenever Papa came around she would make sure to be a little less restrained and turn the yellow lamps on.
It would be nice if I could try a small drink. But when I opened the fridge, the Pinot Noir which we had kept for four years was no longer there. Maybe Mama had thrown it away or given it to her neighbour, since no one would be drinking anymore. I’ve never drunk wine before, but I know well enough that drinking alone just doesn’t feel the same. When school starts again, maybe I’ll ask Normand for a sip. He would become wide-eyed and begin to panic about whether the real Marwin Preis had died and I was just impersonating him. Of course, it was an exaggeration–but seeing it from Normand is entertaining nonetheless.
That’s why Mama never wanted me to study abroad in the first place. She knows I’d be more curious every time I come home, even though I’m also aware of her opinions and try not to cause a ruckus. ‘It’s only natural,’ she’ll try to think for herself; but even then she’ll struggle to hide her eyes that kept switching at the Berlin china, the damask tablecloth, at me, and at Anja. Then she’ll start fidgeting because Anja slipped a pea onto the table again, but she must muster the strength not to speak because she hasn’t the courage to say anything against Papa, whom Mama immensely respects. It was only then the most radiant thing on the dinner table would become the golden candlestick on the centre; and when Mama went upstairs again, Papa would reassure us that Mama simply needed time to calm down.
The stew had finished an hour too early, and the peas had become too mushy for Anja’s liking. Mom won’t yell at me, though–she isn’t the yelling type. But I’ll know if she is not pleased. Other than her fidgeting in Papa’s presence, it’ll also be her eyes. Mama’s eyes are grey, but she has a tint of blue which perfectly blends, like how people colour ice blue when it is, in fact, transparent.
At first, I didn’t notice it either. It was Anja who told me. According to her, the blue tint in Mama’s eyes will disappear when she’s upset. What’s left will be a soulless grey–more like mine. I didn’t think much of it at first, but one day I decided to take note of her observation; and indeed it has. Another thought came whether it was because Anja had said so that I believed her. Perhaps, but I can’t deny that those blue pigments exist in her mind.