As the oven hums, Lexie whistles a tune of her own as she wiped the table. It has been a busy day. Bathing little Lavender has not been an easy task and that has taken the better half of her day. And now with only a few hours before the party, Lexie has to work doubly hard to bake her first child’s birthday cake as well as make sure the house is clean and neat before the family arrive.
She knew that Jayde is against the idea of having a party. Being a quiet man (ever since that incident which cost a brother and a husband), he has resisted the idea of a lively party for Lavender’s birthday. But Lexie wants it and pushes for it.
Honey, we need to interact more with your family…you hardly talk to them anymore and your sister, Faye has just returned home…surely you want to see her?
The truth is that she doesn’t care for Faye or a family gathering at all…she just wants to do things as a family. And seeing Jayde in the garden, mowing the lawn… seeing the sweat roll down his well toned body…Lexie feels a shudder of desire running through her…it has been so long since…they sleep on the same bed
… never mind…the time will come…Lexie smiles almost sadly as she put away her tablecloth and prepares to take the cake out of the stove.
Aaron would be back from school anytime soon. She would set the boy to cleaning the bathrooms
and that would be the last of the tasks before the guests start to arrive.
‘Jayde dear and Lexie look this way please….’ Faye shouts as she adjusts the camera’s lens.
Jayde looks into the camera and tries to smile naturally. Today has been uncomfortable for him. He isn’t used to his entire clan clamming his small home and to top it off, he has a strange feeling since yesterday and it is not a good feeling as if something unpleasant will happen. But what could happen? Life has been good. Lavender is a healthy kid and Lexie has been pleasant to him. Aaron is doing marvelously in high school and seems to be interested in girls who are even butt ugly.
While Jayde may question his son’s taste in girls, he is immensely relieved that he isn’t gay.
Nyah…he is probably fretting about nothing. But… so… what could possibly go wrong?
As if in response to Jayde’s question, the doorbell chimes. Havel Keats is first to reach the door.
‘Who’s there?’ Havie says as he opens the door. The door swings outwards to reveal a face that tries to smile and yet fails as the face distorts to plummet a loud and harsh cough.
Despite the decades which passes them by and changes their features and hearts for the worse, Havel recognizes the man…oh why…he could even recognize his ashes if necessary. The bane of his life. Lane Keats.
The two men sat opposite each other, a small coffee table between them.
The air is still and their faces are grim.
‘She’s dead…and you didn’t even bother to tell me.’
‘It isn’t necessary. She is dead. And you can’t do anything for the dead.’
Lane clutches his fist.
‘I could say goodbye.’
‘It isn’t necessary.’
‘What the -! Who are you to judge whether it is necessary!’ Lane shoots up, toppling his chair and alarming the other customers in the small cosy café.
‘Sit down. You are causing a scene.’ Havel says without looking up at Lane who is trembling uncontrollably with a mixture of sorrow and anger. He is trying his best to be nonchalant about this. No, he won’t fumble at this. He won’t let the cat out of the bag. This man doesn’t know he has a child and he won’t know …not while he is alive anyway.
Meanwhile, Ceras still red faced from her kiss with Yuki drives home to college, delirious with joy. The kiss was a short one and yet it captures her heart immediately.
Her excited mind plays that beautiful moment over and over in her mind as she drives. Clyde watches his sister with curiosity as he watches her giggle repeatedly while she drives. But he decides that he doesn’t need to know what’s on her mind, at least not now. The last time he tried, she has slammed the door right in his face and cried straight for an hour after that. Clyde shudders to think of what happens if something similar happens on the road.
‘Nite, Clyde! Nite, Ethan!’
Ceras closes the door and is immediately startled by a bear hug from behind.
‘Cutie-pie! I have been waiting for you….’ A husky male voice coos as Ceras feels his eager hands trying to fumble her buttons open.
Ceras groans, turns around and faces the Spanish hunk that she has slightly loves before today.
‘Not today, Fabian. I am exhausted.’
‘Come on…Ceras…I need you.’
‘Get out, Fabian.’ Ceras said, raising her voice a little as Fabian slides his hand into her top.
Fabian pauses uncertainly for a moment before letting go and heaving a sigh of discontentment, let himself out of her room.
Ceras sits down on her bed and buttons her top. Her life has changed forever.
And Fabian is history…well at least till after her Spanish proficiency examination. Till then he is still needed. I am sorry, Fabian. You are hot but I have someone even hotter in my mind. And a thousand yous will not replace a single one of him.
When will I see him again?
As the running water cascades down his back, Clyde thinks over the strange occurrences of the evening. It has been strange, all right. Dad has turned pale upon seeing that coughing stranger and has immediately closed the door after him, saying he would be back soon. But he never returned again that evening even after the birthday party has ended and toddler Lavender has long since gone to sleep. Strange indeed. All his years, Dad has always been a composed gentleman and yet today, someone managed to fluster him. Something must be going on! Clyde nods grimly as he soaps his arms.
And what is up with Ceras and Yuki?
They were together in the bathroom for a while. He knows that they haven’t seen him otherwise they might not have done what they did. Clyde wonders if his sister is up to some hanky-panky with their great grandfather but the very idea itself sounds terribly incredulous.
But he remembers her besotted expression
and doubt seeps in.
Damn, his sister’s business is not his.
As Clyde turns off the shower and reaches for his towel, he is reminded of that tall Spanish guy…he sees occasionally around their house and in his sister’s room. What’s his name again? Ahhh… Fabian….He smiles a soft relieved smile …there is probably nothing queer going on between Yuki and Ceras. Maybe Ceras just need to ask their great grandfather something in private.
Ahhhh…yes , that must be it.
‘ I am dying, Havel. Are you sure you have nothing more to tell me?’
Havel sags back in his chair, tries his hardest to steady his breathing before saying no.
Lane sighs and stands up. So he is still lying, isn’t it?
If he won’t tell him, he would find out by himself. No doubt about it. He has a child with her and now it is just to find out which of the young adults in that house tonight is his.