Chapter 5 Grown-Up Instead Of Doing Homework
Jay and I are together now. We haven’t said it out loud. But we act like we are a couple. Jay is passionate about everything he does and, it feels like I’m his new project. We have been seeing each other before and after school. He already bought me a bracelet with 2 charms on it. One is heart-shaped and the other is in the shape of a skyscraper because Jay believes that I’m going to design a building someday.
“Would you please go on a date with me?” He asks. “Of course, I will, but I have to make up a good excuse at home,” I reply. “Why don’t you just tell them you have a boyfriend?” he asks.
“So, you’re my boyfriend? This is the first time I heard you say that!” I respond. “Tara don’t change the subject! You know that we are a couple! When can I meet your parents?”
“Your joking, right? Have you met my parents?” I say very anxiously. “No, but I would like to meet them!” he responds a little happier than he should. “Wow, you want to go on a first date, you want to meet my parents! What else is on your bucket list?” I ask.
“I just don’t want to do things secretly; I respect you too much for that!” He speaks.
“So, if I get this right, you want to meet my parents before you take me on our first date? Because it could be that after you meet them, there won’t be any dates, period?” I said afraid of what will be the outcome.
“That’s just a risk I’m willing to take,” he says like a knight who doesn’t know what real fear looks like! And with fear, I mean my parents!
“Okay, this is on you, Tiger! I will tell them tonight about you!” I say, knowing this could only end badly.
Jay brings me to the station and I get on my train. I put on my earbuds and listen to the song:
“I don’t know how to live without your love...I was born to make you happy...Cause you’re the only one within my heart...I was born to make you happy...Always and forever you and me...That’s the way our life should be!”
Normally I hate the long journey home, but now I start to appreciate it.
When I arrive home, my mother and sister are sitting on the couch watching TV. My sister already knows about Jay; well, she knows that he exists. But she has never seen him. “Pssst, I need to talk to you!” I say to my sister. She walks with me to my room. “What is it?” She asks.
“I’m telling mom and dad tonight about Jay!”
“Do you have a death wish?” She asks.
“No, but Jay doesn’t want to sneak around.
He wants to meet them!” I respond
“Got to give you credits sis, your boy sure has balls!” She laughs.
“I got your back no matter what happens!” she says confidently. I wish I could be that confident!
We walk downstairs and I ask my mother how late dad will be home. “He will be in half an hour!” Could you set the table? We hardly see each other, so having dinner together would be nice?” She asks. “Of course, mom!” I say politer than I normally do. I’m anxious about telling them. What if they get angry? What if they forbid me to see him? I try to calm down but don’t know how I will ever get the courage to tell them.
Dad has come home and we sit at the table. “How was your day Tara?” My das asks. “Fine dad, we have a new project where we have to design a bridge and make a small prototype of it,” I respond. “Sounds great!” my dad responds. “What about you, Jasmine? Still have all your grades in order?” my dad asks strictly. “Yes Dad, everything is fine!” Jazz answers.
I know that I should tell them. I can feel my heart pounding in my throat. “Mom, Dad I have something to tell you!” I say anxiously. I can see my Dad and Mother looking at me. My sister is anxious too; I can see it in her eyes. “What is it dear?” My mom asks. “Well, you both know Kate, right? Her father has a best friend who also has a son named Jay. Jay and I got to know each other and I like him. So, I would like you to meet him,” I ramble. OMG can’t believe I just said it.
My parents look at me followed by a long silence. They look at each other and look at me again. I can feel my heart pounding and a voice saying in my head, “you’re dead!”.
“When did you have time to get to know this boy? Is he a Hindu? And why am I hearing about this now? I said that we shouldn’t send her to that school, far away!” my dad screams at my mother.
“I told you not to send her so far; now she thinks she is a grown-up instead of doing homework, she has time for boyfriends! I won’t allow it, not in my house!!”
“Calm down Deepak!” my mother says to my father.
“You girls, go upstairs. I have to talk to your dad!” my mother demands.
We ran upstairs to my room; tears are falling down my face. I knew this was going to happen. My little sister is trying to calm me down. What if today was the last time I saw Jay? I hope not! We hear our parents arguing downstairs. But we can’t hear the conversation. I cry myself to sleep, hoping my mother will convince my father.
The next morning, I see my mother sitting on the edge of my bed, waiting for me to wake up. “Hey Tara, good morning,” she says softly.
“I talked to your dad yesterday and we would like to meet that boyfriend of yours!” She says.
“And Dad? Judging by his reaction yesterday, he was really angry?” I say, trying to hold back my tears. “Just leave your dad up to me! I have the night shift this week. So, just invite him next week on Tuesday.”
“I will, but Dad can’t scream at him!” I say, demanding.
“He won’t, Tara and I’m glad you told us!” She says. She kisses my forehead and walks away.
Did this just happen? My parents, want to meet with my boyfriend? My sister runs into my room after my mom leaves. “And what did mom say?” she asks. “That they would like to meet him next Tuesday!” I respond surprised.
“You better be there!” I demand.
“And miss the second dramatic dinner? Never!” Jazz responds with a smile on her face. We both laugh and I run into the shower to get ready for school. I can’t wait to see Jay at the station.
I haven’t heard anything from Jay since yesterday. That’s not like him. I send him a text: “Hey Tiger, are you already at the station? Can’t wait to see you! Xx Tara”
I walk to the bus and press play on my iPod:
I have a dream...a song to sing...To help me cope...with anything...If you see the wonder...of a fairy tale...You can take the future...even if you fail
Still, no response from Jay. When I arrive at the station, he isn’t there. Maybe he is waiting for me on the platform. Even on the platform, there is no sign of Jay. Strange maybe I should call him.
I call him, but he doesn’t answer. I’m getting worried now. Did something happen? The train is already here. I decide to just go to school. I have some classes I can’t miss.
I arrive at school and feel like my classes are taking longer than usual! Finally, my last class is over, and I decide to go to the hospital.
When I arrive there, I see a lot of people that seem to be the family of Jay sitting in the waiting room. I’m looking for Jay, but I didn’t see him. Everybody is looking at me and this feels awkward. Mister Singh comes out of the room and sees me standing. “Hey Tara, Jay is in there; you should go!” I can see that he has been crying. And I wonder what happened. I walk in and see Jay’s mother lying on the bed with tubes everywhere. She looks terrible and is not awake.
Jay sees me, storms towards and holds me tight. He cries on my shoulders and I feel my sweater getting wet. AJ stands beside him and I grab him and hold him tight too. “What happened, Jay?” I ask. He looks me in the eye and I can see the hurt in his eyes. His beautiful green eyes are still shining, but he has black circles underneath them.
“My mother had an infection; her fever is so high that they had to put her in a coma. We have been here since Yesterday. They told us that she might not make it through the night!” he says.
“Why didn’t you call me? I would have been here sooner if I had known!” I respond.
“I’m sorry, we left in a hurry, so I forgot my phone at home. So sorry that I wasn’t there this morning!” he says. “It’s okay Jay, I’m here. Have you eaten anything?” I ask. “No, but I’m not hungry!” he responds. “What about you AJ? Are you hungry?” I ask AJ kneeling before him so I can look into his eyes. “Yes, I am,” he says. “You stay here; I’ll go and get something to eat with AJ and bring something for you and your father!” I respond. Jay nods and says “Thank you for being here” I kiss him on his cheek and walk towards the supermarket with AJ.
When I exit the room, the whole family looks at me again. I see them wondering who I might be especially because AJ is holding my hand. mister Singh walks towards me. “I’m going to get something to eat for AJ. What should I bring for you?” I ask. He smiles a bit and tells everyone in the waiting room that I’m Jay’s girlfriend. I wasn’t expecting that. I smile awkwardly at everyone and mister Singh gives me his credit card.
“It’s okay, I can pay-” I say, but he interrupts me and looks a bit angry towards me. I just take the credit card, not wanting to escalate the situation more.
AJ and I walk to a supermarket and I ask him what he would like to eat. He still hasn’t let go of my hand. AJ responds, “I want bread with chocolate spread!” He responds. And there is a little smile on his face.
“Tara, is my mommy going to be alright?” He asks me. “I don’t know AJ; your mommy is strong and sometimes they need strong mommies in heaven for the other kids too,” I respond. “But she is my mommy. I don’t want to share her!” he responds. “Nobody wants to share their mommy, but only special mommies can be in heaven!” I respond. “My mommy is special!” he says. “She sure is!” I say while patting him on the head.
“Let’s just hope everything is going to be fine, now eat your bread!” I say to him. He eats very fast and you can tell he’s hungry.
When we get back to the waiting room, it’s almost empty. I enter the room and Jay and his father are sitting next to her. “I brought croissants” and give them to Jay and his dad. They start to eat and you can tell they have been hungry too.
“Let’s go outside,” Jay says. I kiss AJ on his forehead and leave the room.
“How did it go last night?” He asks. “Not so great at first, but my parents would like to meet you next Tuesday,” I respond. “Why not great at first?” He asks. I tell him everything and Jay looks a bit scared. “Let’s just focus on your mom for now!” I respond.
I can see the sadness in his eyes by bringing up his mom. I pull him in close and hold him. Hoping things will get better.
Please tell me what you think about it? And don’t forget to like keeps me motivated to go on!