Chapter 1 - That table is missing him!
Sitting on the porch of his hilltop house, where he had spent the last years of his life in the company of P’Arthit, his one and only love, Kongpob sipped his iced coffee. He couldn’t help thinking about his beloved Ai Oon and the years they lived there together. Right there, watching one more sunset, that in that moment looked more beautiful than ever. One of those, that makes you speechless leaving the sky with a beautiful reddish-orange color, reflecting the last rays of sunlight in the clouds, insisting in not disappearing at all. They seemed to stretch from the horizon, across the sky and all over the house, as if they were surrounding it, immersing the whole place in this nostalgic atmosphere.
Still lost in his memories, Kong did not realize that Kim, his youngest grandson, was asking him to dinner. At least not until the boy touched his arm, calling him again:
- Grandpa, let’s eat! I’m starving!
Helped by his grandson, Kong got up from his chair and, still holding hands with him, slowly but steadily, went into the house to join the family, who were already sitting at the table.
While looking at every single one of that beloved faces around the table, his happiness just couldn’t be greater because of the absence of his partner for the past five decades. His passing, almost two years ago, left a void in Kong’s heart that could not be filled.
As Kong sat down at the table, he looked closely at each one of those who sat there with him: their two children, their daughters-in-law and their four grandchildren. And at the head of the table, once again that void. Now just filled with memories, like all the other ones that he passes through the day spinning on his mind. P’Arthit would be sitting, with his pink milk in front of him. Complaining that he had never eaten his spicy food anymore, since it was banned by the doctor when he discovered his heart problem. Result of the, guess what, excess pepper and salt ingested throughout life. And, once again, it’s the little one who’s, understanding his grandpa’s lost look at the empty head of the table, brings him closely to everyone, asking:
- Do you miss Grandpa Oon?
- Yes, my sweetheart! I miss Grandpa Oon very much!
Although the moment made everyone a little melancholy, dinner went on without further issues. After all, the whole family was gathered there that weekend in order to celebrate Kong’s 80th birthday.