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"Dad, I thought you meant a quick visit here, seems like you have packed for an entire lifetime" I teased Dad, amid his tour plan introduction at the dinner table.
Ems stomped on my foot under the table "That's rude Jay" she was slightly getting mad at me. I grinned back at her which however seemed to make her more furious.
I have never been this light with my dad ever. Dinning with him for the past years has always been dead silent that we could almost hear each other swallowing our food down. That's why I know dad, out of all people feels at home with this version of mine. "I was just kidding, so dad...where are you heading now?"
Dad has changed a lot for the past few weeks. Simply I could see that his face has brightened up. His features have gain life somehow. He looked so relaxed than he did the last time I met him. "He stopped cracking this old man out, a long time ago Mayumi" he flashed his long lost smile at Ems and turned to me "well young man, finally I'm free of my troublesome son, passing on his responsibility to this beautiful girl. He's yours to endure now" he turned back to her and patted her shoulder. She smiled warmly at him. It’s not only me she saved from misery, she saved him too. "I figured that you mind need your stuff moved back here as I couldn't see you moving elsewhere leaving this one behind" he gulped his lemonade and reached for the serviette. I passed it on to him "Jay, do you remember ‘Give-India charity service', we used to donate every now and then?"
"Yeah? The one with the Indian embassy right?"
"Yeah that's it" Dad clapped his hands enthusiastically "they are looking for volunteers that'd work for them full time. And I've decided to join them"
"Really dad? That is wonderful." I was thrilled hear the news. I remember how much he enjoyed working with them over these years even for a short period of time. He has never missed a chance to donate, but deep down I knew he always wanted to be a part of it full time. He was so passionate about it. But with his job at the university as a full time lecturer, he couldn't find enough time. I thought he might follow his desire after his early retirement but seems like myself, his bothersome son stood his way.
"That's so good Jack. I'm really happy you're dedicated to give your time to them. Not many are into that stuff these days. And it's nice that I got some time to spend with you again before you leave" Ems added giving me a cold look in a sweet way.
"Well, for what else do you think I'm here, if not for see you?" He patted Ems cheek eyeing me.
After dinner Dad move on to the couch and turned on the TV. I followed Ems to the kitchen to help her with dishes plus begging for an apology is due for me. "Hey Ems"
"I am mad at you" she shrugged away from me, avoiding me. Even with the dishwasher in the kitchen she started washing plates, piling them up in the sink. Probably to make me know that she is mad and I am supposed to know I did something wrong.
"Well I know that much-"
"Well might as well you know what for I am mad at then"
She passed me the plates and I dried them with a towel. My eyes were on her. "Ems, you know I didn't mean any offense. Still mad?" She kept scrubbing the plate which was already clean, like she hadn't heard a thing. "You know you look like Angelina Jolie when you're mad" She tried not to smile, twitching the corners of her lips "Nope, Jlo. Yeah, Jennifer Lopez!" With that her laugh, my most favorite sound ringed through my ears.
I took baby steps toward her. She swirled around splashing soap water at me before I cuffed her wrists preventing more attacks. But the floor was wet already and with the struggle which took place, both of us slipped and fell on to the floor one over another. Her laugher with a squeak echoed in the room with mine. She was still secured in my arms.
"Is everything okay?" I heard Dad yelled from the living room.
"Yeah dad" I replied back.
"Like having toddlers back home all over again" I heard dad mutter to himself but was enough for us to hear.
When I turned to her she directly held my gaze. She broke the silence first "Jay sarcasm is okay, but you should be careful with what you say to him. I mean you are the only family he has. He must be always welcome here for as much long he wants to stay here. I'm the visitor here actually" sitting on the kitchen floor leaning on to my chest, she said.
Her hair smelt nice. Resting my chin on her head I made myself clear "That man over there suffered a lot because of me Ems. More than my poor sarcasm, my silence bothered him.” She slightly turned her head to me. "When I was at about eight or so, I was so annoying, in a good way I might add, he used to let me have ice cream with him late at night if I get through the day without being sarcastic or using cuss words. But I turned out to be a bigger jerk later on. There was no ice cream to make me stop."
"I doubt it" she said kissing my wrist. "When the jerks get older, ice creams no longer work on them" with those doe eyes she looked at me. "Do you know what does work?"
I tilted my head as if that would hide the grin before I answer "Well I guess I got luckier on that part" nestling a kiss on her shoulder I held her little tighter.
"I thought you'd go for a couple of adjectives...like smart, sexy, beautiful, cute, hot-"
"You are the whole package" I whispered in her ear. "You're ought to know that already"
She loosened my embrace and stood up "butter me up as much as you want" placing hands on her hips in a dramatic way she said "but boy this mess is yours to clean, okay?"
I cleaned the kitchen floor before joining dad in the living room. Ems went to bed early and asked me to spend some time with dad as he was leaving this Friday. All the boxes and stuff he brought with him was unloaded by the TV.
"Dad? What are these really?" I asked him as I was curious since I thought I brought everything I need when I first moved here. He stood up gesturing me to join him. I went and sat beside him on the floor.