Our ColumnsShamim's Story

My Son Terran – Chapter 20

I was feeling weird when I opened my eyes in the morning. Something was odd. The room seemed too bright for this hour. I turned to my side to look into the mobile to check the time. It was almost 9.00 o’clock. Oh God! Had I seriously overslept? I was up most of the night and what little sleep I had, was restless. My heavy eyes had closed only in the wee hours of the morning. I quickly finished my bathroom rituals, threw on a T-shirt and rushed out. I was about to enter Terran’s room when I heard laughter drifting from the hall.

“Good mo’ning dad! You are late.”
Terran wished me and pointed out. I walked lazily and went and sat on the couch.
“My dear Terran, I’m enjoying my Sunday.” I leaned over to where he was and kissed him on the cheek.
“Good morning Hannah. Sorry I overslept.”
 “It’s alright. You were tired yesterday.” She was being considerate.
“I had a restless night, couldn’t sleep properly.” I gave her my excuse.
“Hope you are not falling sick after Terran.”

I chuckled. “No please! God forbid. Can’t afford to.”
“ Don’t worry dad. Then Ms. Hannah will look after you also.”
His innocent remark took both Hannah and me off guard.
I quickly changed the subject. “Come on, let’s make something nice for breakfast.”
“We finished eating dad.” Terran announced and stupefied me.
“Really? That means I am late.”
“We ate bagels.”
“What?! Where did that come from?” I was getting one surprise after another.
Hannah was already in the kitchen while I was questioning Terran.
“Dad, we went for a walk. So we bought them.”
Another surprise!
“Hannah..?” I was looking at her with an amazed dazzling grin. She smiled back.

“Come, have your breakfast.” She said simply.
I carried Terran and put him on the dining table. “Come on give me company, while I eat.”
Hannah had already kept French toast, bagels and a pot of coffee for me on the table.
“You don’t have to do all this. You are spoiling us.”
She smiled, sat next to me and took a cup of coffee for herself.
“Nothing great, it’s just breakfast.” She said coyly.
“But I like being spoiled.” Terran commented.”
“Yeah, yeah why not.” I quipped and bopped him on the nose.

I started eating and after some time I asked Hannah.
“Hannah, do you have any work or can you spend half of your Sunday with us?”
“I’m free. I have dedicated this weekend to Terran.” She smiled at Terran and pulled his cheek lovingly. He kissed her on the cheek. “Thank you Ms. Hannah.”
I squeezed her hand under the table.
“Great. I have some plans Champ. After breakfast, we make choco chip cookies. Then…..”
I took a pause to track his reaction.
“Then?” He was looking at me expectantly.
“Thennnn, we can go to see BFG. Only if you want Terran.” I feigned giving him a choice, as if the ball was in his court.
“Of course, cool dad! I’d love to. Please let’s go.”
He had joined his hands and was pleading with a puppy face.
“Okay, if you’re forcing, then we’ll go. What say Hannah?” I winked at her.
“Terran, do you really want to go? If you like we can solve puzzles at home.” She teased him.
“NO! No puzzles. BFG please!!”
Hannah and I burst out laughing.

* * * * *

Terran was sitting at the counter with his favourite job – mixing butter and sugar. We had soft music playing in the background and Hannah was helping me in the kitchen. I planted a kiss on her cheek when Terran wasn’t looking.

“I wanted to do this when Terran did.” I whispered to her. She looked down and smiled shyly. I don’t know how and when I became so free with her. Somehow, it didn’t seem wrong.

Cookies baked and stored away air-tight, we were on our way to see BFG. With a big tub of popcorn, Terran was sitting between Hannah and me. Not just Terran, even we thoroughly enjoyed the movie. After a quick lunch, we dropped Hannah to her place. Before leaving, she turned to Terran,

“So Champ, I’ll see you at the institute tomorrow?”
He held her hand and said, “I love you Ms. Hannah.”
“I love you too baby.” She squeezed his hand.
I looked at her with a lot of gratitude, “You are amazing. I’ll never be able to thank you sufficiently.”
She was a remarkable woman and I saluted her altruism. “The pleasure is all mine.”

Once she was safely inside, we headed to my parent’s house to spend the rest of the evening with them.

Shamim Merchant

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