I was happily writing on my blog when I heard a car coming in our front yard. I lifted my head and looked at the window in confusion. The day was still bright. I glanced at my wristwatch, it was five thirty. It was not a time for Hendra to be home. After shutting down the laptop, I walked out my special room with frown on my forehead.
Next to the front door, Abdi was there ready to open the door. When the door was wide open, Dad and Mom got in with happy face. I quickly walked toward them.
“Dad! Mom!” I shouted joyfully. I hugged them in turn and then walked to sitting room hand in hand with Mom.
“We just met two nights before and you missed us already?” Mom teased. I just chuckled.
“I’ll always miss my dad and mom.” I said as I put my head on her shoulder.
Yuyun opened the door for us. I thanked her before she left us. Without telling her anything about serving the snacks and drinks, she understood. Dad and Mom sat down side by side in a couch, I sat across them with coffee table was between us. Yuyun came in a couple of minutes later bringing some food and drinks. See?
“Yun, about our dinner,” I said worriedly. It was too late to change the menu, but was not too late to prepare something before dinner time.
“Everything’s ready, Mam.” Yuyun said as she smiled sweetly. I was so surprised. How?
“Oh.” That was all I could say. Yuyun excused herself and left me with my parents. How could she know that Dad and Mom would come to visit us?
“Looks like Hendra didn’t say anything about our visit today.” Mom said that distracted me from my thoughts. I see. He was the one who invited them.
“He never tells me anything because he likes to surprise me.” I smiled. He gave me surprises just in two days.
“I’m glad to see both of you are happy.” Mom smiled happily. She turned to Dad who looked excited, too. That sentence did ruin my mood.
“Mom knows that he’s the only one who’s happy.” I said in protest.
“Ara,” Dad objected.
“Honey,” Mom touched Dad’s hand. The man who almost argued with me all the time sat back and tried to relax. “At least, Hendra treats you better than Aldo does, Ara.”
“We would never know, wouldn’t we, Mom? I wasn’t married him.” I shrugged as I looked away. I did not want them to see my tears.
“Yes, I know. A mother’s instinct, dear.” Mom said softly. Instinct? Listen to that word, I looked up and faced my mom.
“So, because of that instinct, you forced me to marry Hendra?” I challenged. I could not forgive them for that one thing.
“Well, I didn’t force you. For that matter, I argued with you dad every single time.” Mom said firmly. I looked at her for a moment before I looked away again because my eyes were watering.
“I don’t believe you.” I said quietly, but loud enough for them to hear it.
“You married him. Believe it or not, it wasn’t a problem for me.” Mom said in a serious tone. Her gave was getting tender when she saw I was sad. “Is it that bad to be married with Hendra?”
“No. He loves me. But I don’t love him. That’s the problem.”
“Give him a chance, dear. Even though he wasn’t Aldo, he wasn’t a bad choice.”
“Well, you’ve been together for six years, do you have any good news for us?” Mom asked hopefully. My chest tightened. I would never give them any good news about their grandchild.
“No, Mom. If you’re asking about grandchild, I’m not pregnant.” Of course what Mom meant was a grandchild. But I was pretending not to understand it, so they would not know that I was lying. Mom’s happy face changed into the sad one.
“Don’t you think it’s time for you to go to the doctor? He probably can help you to find the problem why you haven’t pregnant yet.” She suggested. I did not need a doctor since I was the one who prevented myself from conceiving.
“Okay, Mom. I’ll discuss this with my husband.” I agreed.
“You don’t need to discuss this. You have to do it soon.” She urged.
“Okay. I’ll do anything to make you happy.”
“That’s my daughter.” Mom said joyfully. I smiled, then turned to my dad. I frowned when I saw that he was as if not there with us.
“What is it, Dad? Looks like you have something bothering your mind.” I asked in weary.
“I should have known that I can’t hide anything from you.” Dad smiled as he shook his head. But I could not intrigue by that smile.
“If there’s a problem, I gladly do my best to help you.” I offered.
“It’s not a kind of problem you can help.” He shrugged. I tilted my head. There was only one thing that I could not help him with.
“Do you mean, it’s about money?”
“It is.” Dad sighed quietly. “Our house will be opened for auction next month.”
“What?! But why?” I asked in surprise.
“We had to borrow a lot of money years ago for your and Zach’s school fee. Our income was not enough to pay all of our needs for living and your grandmother was sick at that time. Even though Mom passed away, we had lots of debt. The only solution was to sell our house.” He said.
“Why didn’t you tell me? I didn’t want to go to university if we didn’t have enough money.” I objected. Why did they do this? I was not that selfish when I was young.
“No, Ara. Education is very important for both of you and Zach. It’s our duty to pay for it. We don’t mind and regret that decision. It just, something’s happened these past eight years that makes us cannot pay the bill for the house.” Dad turned at Mom, asking for her permission to keep talking.
“What is it, Dad? Tell me. What have happened in these past eight years?” I asked impatiently.
“Your mom has problems with her heart. She has been consumed drugs to reduce the pain and those are not cheap. Some treatments and medicines are not covered by insurance. So, we have to choose between Zach education, medical expenses, and monthly bill. We choose to ignore the tax of our land and house.”
I felt like the floor was shaking. Mom had a heart problem and I never knew it? How could I never hear about it? But she looked fine. I admitted that since I was married and not staying with them, I could not see the changes in her. Mom was a very cheerful woman. If I did not see her thoroughly, I would not see any differences with her health.
Zach was also busy with his job since he graduated from law school and got an occupation right away. The law firm where he was working never let him relax. My brother was a fast learner, so that meant he dedicated all of his time for his job. There was no me time in his dictionary. So how could he manage to take care of our parents?
(Picture Source: pixabay.com by @pixel2013 with some changes)