After dinner, dad announced,
“Terran, how about some computer games?”
He was thrilled. “Fab Paa! Let’s go.”
He turned to me, “Dad we’ll go home a little late. Okay?”
Mom spoke up, “Don’t worry, you are not going home any time soon. Alright?”
Uh-huh?! I knew my mom’s intentions a bit too well.
While Terran and dad proceeded to dad’s study, mom and I strolled in the living room and sat on the comfortable brown leather couch. I bent forward and poked some logs in the fire. Albeit I knew mom was waiting, I wanted her to take the initiative. After a purposeful silence from my side, mom couldn’t take it any longer.
“Grayson! Are you waiting for Christmas to begin telling me?” She was infuriated.
“Begin what mom?” I feigned ignorance innocently. It was fun teasing her.
“Grayson, you actually want me to spell it out for you?”
I couldn’t test her patience any longer.
I chortled, raised my hands in surrender and admitted. “Okay, okay, relax. I’m telling you.”
“You better!” She was literally glaring at me.
And so I began. I told her everything. Right from when she had gone, till today afternoon. Not once did she interrupt. She was very quiet and grave. Her expressions gave away nothing.
Her eyes were lowered on the rug and after a thoughtful sigh she began.
“So. What are your thoughts now? Don’t you think having a woman in your life is proving beneficial and fruitful for both of you?”
It was a question alright, nevertheless it was already clipped with an answer of its own.
I went and stood near the mantel. “I know mom. I do realise that. But there is a lot to think about. And it’s definitely not about me.”
“What do you mean by a lot?”
“Mom, I’m not suspecting Hannah. She seems really nice. But what if all this is temporary? What if in the long run she starts regretting and thinks of Terran as a burden?” I was voicing out my fears.
“But Grayson, she said, she sees her baby in Terran. Terran has lost his mother and Hannah her baby. They are sufficing each other with what they’ve been craving for.” Mom was being pragmatic.
“I’m not denying Terran’s love for Hannah. In fact, today you see him all cherry, is because of her. However, she’s too young for such a huge responsibility, especially if it’s going to be life long.”
I was trying to think practically myself. But truth be told, after seeing Hannah in my house with Terran, I had all my doubts if my statement held any credibility. And mom cleared my foggy clouds with what she said next.
“I disagree with you there Grayson. Her distress and misery has made her a strong woman. And she’s a therapist. She understands him far more than any of us. I think in the last two days, she’s done a better job than you.”
She pointed out and still had more to add.
“Besides, both of you will share the responsibility, it’s not going to be hers alone.”
I took a deep sigh and stood with hands clamped in my pockets.
“This is all one sided thinking mom. I don’t even know her take on this.”
After a while, her mode of questioning changed. “What are your feelings about her?”
She didn’t blink and was looking at me intently.
“I know Terran loves her. That’s for sure.”
I well knew my reply was nowhere related to her question.
“I’m asking about YOUR feelings Grayson.”
“My feelings are not important.”
“ You kissed her.” She said dryly.
“Mom, it was in the spur of the moment.”
I tried to reason, only I knew better.
“How did she react? Did she pull away or….”She trailed off.
I bit my lip and looked at her. “No.”
“If she didn’t pull away Grayson, then surely the feeling is mutual.”
She was hell-bent on convincing me.
“What about Hailey?” I was feeling accountable to my late wife all over again. Mom came close and held my arms.
“Grayson, Hailey will only be happy for both of you. Darling, you are going to give her son what she could not.”
She guided me to the couch and we both sat down. She sandwiched my hands in hers and said very motherly, “Son, my old eyes have seen the world. And I can tell. This is not a put on show. Hannah is a lovely girl. Unknowingly, she has already brought so much happiness in your life.”
I smiled. Heart of hearts, I knew she was right.
“Be honest. You like her. Don’t you?”
A big smile crossed her face. “Then take the first step dear. Girls are shy about these things.”
“Mom, give me some time. I want to think about this. I need to know her better.” It was too early and I wasn’t going to make any hasty decisions.
“Okay. I’m positive this will work out.”
I was hoping for the same.