The evening drags on:

Time is funny in that it seems to fly when you’re enjoying yourself but when you’re in a stressful situation. Those hands on the clock seem to take forever to get to the next minute.

It felt like that on that evening when I finally met his mom and her friend (the one who knew coloureds).

I chose the seat closer to him but as I was about to sit down, his mom looked across the table and patted the chair closest to her, gave one of those tight-lipped smiles and said: “come sit next to me where I can talk to you!”

I complied and then she turned around and said, “You seem like such a lovely person and I get, looking at your body why my son finds you attractive!”

A cringe worthy statement, but as I took a deep breath I looked over at him and he smiled and winked at me and my immediate, snarky reply was swallowed. 

“Let’s count to ten, it won’t be long” I reassured myself.

The friend kept staring at me and I was really uncomfortable at this stage. 

“Let’s order drinks” she says and I order a cup of coffee.

“You don’t drink?” Miss Know- it- all says, making it sound like an accusation.

“Nope, I don’t!” I answer to her eye roll.

“That’s unusual isn’t it?” The friend says staring at me with a sneer touching her lips.

“Unusual?” I enquire. At this stage I’m thinking don’t say it, don’t go there.

“For you people,” Yep, she went there.

Deep breathing works at this stage as does picturing her tripping and falling flat on her face.

As I turn to her and am about to give her a speech she’s probably never had, out of the corner of my eye, I see a smug smile on her face. Her hand covers my loves hand and I hear her whisper: “You don’t know how they are. I’ve dealt with them all my life!”

I hold my breath, waiting to hear his answer, “I don’t need to know “them” he says, only her!”

“Yes!” I smile inwardly as I see her frown turning to a not so polite angry look.

If you want to know why I’m pretty quiet at this stage it’s because I’m testing his responses to questions posed about us. I can’t be the only one fighting for this relationship. 

“Did you know his ex has long blonde hair and blue eyes? She’s beautiful and he never stayed with her” this is coming from close to me. Oh! It’s his mom that just said that. 

“What is the time?” “Can I go home already?” All these thoughts are floating around inside my head. I’m exhausted with having to deal with this.

“Yes, I know she is beautiful but I also know he never loved her!” I finally answer.

She’s persistent though!

Breathe Thesna!

“Yes but just imagine what could happen if you two continue?” “These things never work out like you wish!” “You’re living in la-la land!” She sighs.

She gets 10 out of 10 for her persistence in trying to make me “open my eyes!”

“Yes, just imagine we could actually be happy!” I sarcastically interject. 

I look across the table at him because I want to leave. I’m irritable, I’m tired and I’m exhausted from being stared at as if at any moment fire would be coming from my nostrils. 

“Read my mind my darling, let’s go!” 

Ok, so mental telepathy doesn’t work!

Maybe a kick under the table?

“Ow! Why are you kicking me honey?”

“Sorry, my foot slipped as I was stretching,” I answer while trying to calm the redness that creeps into my cheeks. 

I’m embarrassed now because I have all eyes on me. 

Suddenly there’s a commotion at the table and miss know it all starts clapping. “I love that song!” “Remember when?” And off she goes down memory lane. My love and his mom have joined her down that lane which is a clever way of excluding me. 

It’s only been 2 hours? Wow! It feels like a lifetime. 

My mind starts to wander! 

What am I going to wear tomorrow?

Will that customer place the big order I have been working on?

I feel a hand covering mine and I look up and smile because for a moment I thought it was his. 

No! No such luck!

It’s his mom’s hand covering mine and patting it in a sympathetic, comforting motion. 

“It’s been lovely meeting you Thesna. I think you’re a nice person but not for my son!” “I know you’ll do the right thing!” She smiles as if offering me condolences and in the next breath I hear: “We are leaving now,” directed at him, “see you tomorrow my darling!” 

And in a flash they’re gone.

“Wait!” “What?” I’m struggling to still process his mom’s last comment.

The right thing? Huh?

“Did you hear what your mom just said?” I asked in an exasperated tone.

“Yes, I did but I will talk to her tomorrow cause we have been drinking!” He calmly explains.

(Don’t I hate that calmness when I’m upset. )

“Besides”, he continues, “I’m not going anywhere!” 

That was a lie because one month later he was gone.

To be continued:

Part 3: Christmas without him