Lunch with my in-laws was the most pleasant thing for me. They were easy-to-please, not irritatingly demanding, and like to talk light things during dining time. Only with them, I did not hesitate to talk while eating.
From my collection, I chose to wear a dark blue dress. I tied my hair low behind my head with a white hair clip. In order to look not too short while standing next to my husband, I put on high-heeled black shoes. Satisfied with my appearance in the mirror, I grabbed the sling bag and hurried to the garage.
After an hour struggling with traffic jams, I arrived at the destination restaurant. I parked the car right beside my father-in-law’s car. Seeing Hendra’s car was not far from my car, then I was the last one to wait for.
Entering the restaurant, I saw my husband standing near our table. I smiled and approached him. My father and mother-in-law also stood up. Mom approached me first. She kissed my cheeks and smiled happily. Dad kissed both of my cheeks while congratulating me. I thanked them. My two in-laws sat down, I received my husband’s outstretched hand. He leaned down to kiss my cheek.
“I missed you,” He whispered. I touched his hand that touched my arm with my free hand. He smiled.
“I missed you, too.” I said sincerely.
He helped me to sit down and then sat down beside me. We ordered food for us to enjoy together. I was asked to choose one of our main menus and Hendra chose the other. Mom added some side dishes. Dad looked so happy to hear it. I smiled amused. Dad liked to eat, he did not mind even if it was not his wife who was cooking. All kinds of food would make him happy.
“So, what’s it like to marry my son for six years, Zahara?” Dad asked meaningfully.
“The first assault started.” Hendra chuckled. I smiled at him, remembering my answer a year ago.
“I’m happy, Dad. Hendra is a good husband.” I replied. Hendra touched my hand.
“You know that you don’t have to worry about telling us anything. We’re always on your side.” Dad assured me. I chuckled.
“Thank you, Dad.” I said joyfully.
“I see that lately he hasn’t spent enough time for you. Are you sure you’re okay about this?” Mom asked. This time Hendra was the one who laughed.
“The second assault.” He sat back without letting go of his hand from me.
“I’m fine, Mom. Even though he’s out of town frequently, he doesn’t stop trying as if he’s around.” I shook my head.
“Do you mean by calling you just to make sure you’ve eaten and not forget your daily schedule?” Mom teased. I laugh amused when I said yes.
“Son, you need to learn to trust your wife. Zahara is old enough to take care of herself. She’s no longer a five-year-old girl who needs to be reminded about eating.” Dad reminded him.
“Do you think you’re better in treating your wife?” Mom challenged. Hendra laughed triumphantly listen to what his mom said. I hit his hand so he did not keep mocking his parents. But he just kept laughing.
“After our thirty-five years together? Of course, I am.” Dad said confidently.
“Every now and then I want to be treated like our son treating his wife.” Mom looked at me meaningfully. I just smiled at her.
“Do you mean by asking if you’ve had lunch or not?” Dad asked in a sarcastic tone. Mom just pouted at the question. Dad moaned softly. “Now what’s my fault? I am just asking.”
“You think that kind of want is a childish attitude, right?” Mom said irritably. Dad turned to me with a pleading look.
“Zahara, help me.” He said frustrated. I smiled, then grabbed Mom’s hand in front of me.
“Mom, Dad looks at you in a different way. Dad’s not Hendra, so it’s normal that Dad doesn’t do the same thing to you. But do you remember on your birthday, Dad didn’t attend the board meeting to spend a day with you? Or when Mom’s sick, Dad cooked for you and didn’t move from your side?” I persuaded. Mom sighed softly.
“You’re lucky, your daughter-in-law knows how to persuade me to forgive you.” Mom told Dad. “Otherwise, you’d be sleeping in the guest room tonight.”
“Thank you, sweetheart.” Dad kissed her on the cheek, then winked at me.
“How about you, Son?” Mom looked at Hendra. “How does it feel to marry my daughter-in-law for the past six years?”
“Happy, Mom. She’s completed my life.” Hendra said lovingly. He squeezes my hand gently. I smiled at him.
“I hope you’ll feel that as both of you’re getting older. You have a long journey ahead you and I hope you guys keep on choosing to face your problems together. Don’t fight on your own.” Dad said seriously. “Teamwork is the best. Ever.”
“Since Dad said it, I believe it.” Hendra said.
“If you think that our marriage is smooth, I’ll tell you, I’ve repeatedly almost divorced your mom.” Dad said in a serious tone. My husband rounded his eyes.
“So am I to your father.” Mom said honestly.
“How could it be? I always see you and Mom are nice to each other. Never split the bed, never shouting, hitting, or throwing things to each other. What didn’t I know here?” Hendra asked in surprise.
“Son, the fight between husband and wife are just for husband and wife. We’d never do it in front of you. I’m glad your mom never raised her voice whenever she was angry at me in front of you. I learned to do the same thing, too.” There was a tone of pride in Dad’s voice. I smiled at him.
“We want to provide a healthy environment for your growth. We don’t want to see you growing up by seeing a trivial argument between your parents.” Mom added. “I hope you guys do the same to your children later.”
“We’ll do the best, Mom.” Hendra promised her.
“I’m sure we can. Hendra always gives in when we fight. That way, our argument is not getting tighter.” I added.
“Hendra always gives in?” Dad and Mom said almost at once. They stared at each other in shock and then laughed loudly. Hendra closed his eyes. I looked at my husband and then toward my in-laws in amazement. I did not understand their reaction.
“Yes, he does. What’s wrong? Did I say something wrong?” I asked confusedly. Dad and Mom looked at each other and laughed again.
“I’ve never given up when I’m arguing” Hendra explained.
“But what you do to me,” I did not continue my sentence. I finally understood.
“I know.” He wiped his hand all over his face.
“Congratulations, Zahara. You’re successfully tame our son.” Mom said amused.
Hendra was saved from the embarrassing moment because the food that we ordered came. I had to gulp a big lump of saliva seeing those delicious food placed in front of us. We ate greedily while we occasionally giving any comment on the food we enjoyed.
I thanked him every time my husband spooned the side dishes, vegetables, or rice onto my plate. Mom and Dad smiled at him. Mom smiled happily when Dad imitated Hendra by spooning some vegetables onto her plate. I nudged my husband’s arm for him to see the scene as well. We looked at each other and smiled meaningfully.
(Picture Source: pixabay.com by @pixel2013 with some changes)