It was nice to be back to normal. Terran was in school and I was in the bank. I floated to work with a grin tattooed on my face. I had to make a conscious effort to keep my distance from Justin to avoid his insatiable inquisitiveness. I wasn’t that lucky. At lunch time he strolled in my cabin with hot dogs and coffee for both of us.
He put everything on the desk and comfortably propped in a chair.
“So how’s Terran?” He asked in between bites.
I cleared my desk and made space to begin eating.
“He’s absolutely fine and back to school. Thank God!” I exclaimed.
“And thank Hannah.” He commented
I was in a good mood. I told him of how Hannah had spent the weekend with us.
“They definitely had a blast with each other.”
I concluded feeling satisfied myself.
“And their happy time together was certainly contagious.” He winked, giving me a wicked lopsided grin.
“Yup. It’s affected you as well. I know you’ve been avoiding me all morning, but I caught you a couple of times sitting and smiling by yourself.”
I rolled my eyes and tried to think of something convincing to say. “If Terran is happy, I’m happy.”
“If Grayson is truthful, Justin will be happy.” He gawked with a smug smile.
“I’m not hiding anything.” I hopelessly tried to justify my point.
“Oh yeah? Tell it to the birds!”
“What are you getting at?” I asked bewildered.
“You are hiding. Your feelings.”
He drained down the last bite of his hot dog with coffee, wiped his hands and sat back, crossing his legs at the ankles.
“You know what the problem is?” He asked lazily, steepling his fingers together.
“You have been stuck in this father-mode like forever. You haven’t forgotten how to love. But your emotions have been bundled up deep down for too long. They need to be resurfaced.”
When I didn’t react he elucidated further,
“And just like me, your heart must be thinking, your brain is an idiot.”
I was regaled by his personification. I shook my head and grinned.
When I was done eating, I sat back and stretched.
“Since when have you started playing cupid?” I chuckled.
“Ever since you are playing hikikomori!!”
I guffawed. “I’m doing no such thing. Stop exaggerating everything.”
I gave him a faraway look and said, “I had a lengthy talk with mom on this.”
“For or against?” He narrowed his eyes.
“You know mom, she was for.”
“And you were against.” He presumed.
“Wrong. I was weighing both.”
“I can’t believe you still have doubts!” He was exasperated.
I gave my justification gravely. “I need time to think and get to know her better. I don’t want to act on an impulse and regret it later.”
“Hmm.” He was pondering.
“It’s less about me and more about Terran. We are a package and she will have to accept both.”
He stretched his hands above his head and stood up.
“Well, can’t say you’re wrong there. Okay take your time.”
“Thanks for the lunch.” I called after him when he moved out of my cabin.