The door bell rang on a sunny afternoon.
I wipe my hands with a hand towel next to the fridge after I placed the experimental pie I was working on into the oven. “Coming,” I yelled while rushing out to get the door. Threw all my pillows up on the couch because it may set a bad example to the kids. I wouldn’t want to be the one to blame for messy upbringing.
I stood by the door and opened it when things are pretty much in place.
There stood Sharon and Esther with their kids. Sharon and her daughter were wearing matching floral skirt. Esther and her twins didn’t make that a priority. I squatted down and hugged the kids, but their names were a blur even when the names clearly came out of my mouth. Not sure how I handled the situation since there are so many kids, but things turned out to be fine.
I ushered them into the kitchen and they all sat beside the counter top. After taking a bottle of red wine from the shelf, I popped the cork open and poured a glass of wine for the adults. And a little bit more for myself. They chuckled and still making jokes about me being alcoholic. I then head to the fridge and get the kids some milk. Yes, still loving milk after so many years.
We talked about work: how the market is fluctuating, how legislation could help, how to fix problems with an app, and basically everything under the sun. The kids were so cute when they are playing together.
By then, the kids have long left the kitchen and went roaming around the house. They would occasionally discover something interesting, you can tell when they are screaming or laughing uncontrollably. Occasionally, I would have to scream: “oh my goodness, be careful with that!” And run over to see if everything is alright.
I made carbonara with linguini – our sinful guilty pleasure since the day we know each other. And, refilled out wine several times. The kids were making a mess on their faces, which I made sure Esther clean that up before she leaves.
The pie in the oven is almost ready. You can tell when the sweet tart scent filled the air in the kitchen. I had too much fun watching them guess what’s actually inside the pie. Eventually, they surrendered and the I told them it’s beet root inside their bittersweet chocolate dessert.
The door bell rang again. This time, it’s two men outside of my door. Both arriving one after another right before the dessert ran out. By this time, the kids were sleeping on my large sofa covered with plenty of pillows. I let them in, and into the kitchen. Sharon’s husband helped himself to a bottle of beer and offered Esther’s husband the same. Wine is not their thing apparently. They each had a slice of the same cake and the surprised look on their face – it’s priceless.
Later into the night, we were talking and laughing on the carpet and bean bags. Losing weight, career advancement, investments and future travel plans, almost forgetting the fact that I had a TV.
When it gets too late, they excused themselves and head home. They carried their kids in their arms, trying not to wake them. I hugged Sharon and Esther tight (except the husbands, since they are holding the kids), not wanting to forget any of this. I left the bottles and wine glasses on the coffee table. And fell asleep on the couch.
It was a good night.
And then I woke up, 20 years before what I thought would happen. It was still a very good night.