With one word, he managed to knock the breath out of me. What was he doing here? Why was he smiling at me so sheepishly, obviously seeing the shock that must be written all over my face? And most of all - why did I feel like jumping across the front porch and giving him a hug?
Before I could get a chance to do that, I felt my father’s presence behind me.
“Damien!” he seemed just as surprised to see my friend, but didn’t hesitate in opening the door wider and welcoming him in. “Makayla, where are your manners? It’s awfully chilly out there.”
Although Damien gave my father an appreciated smile, his eyes were still fixed on mine, searching my face for an answer to how exactly I felt at his sudden visit. My silence rubbed off on him the wrong way as he held up a hand at my father and shook his head slowly, shame settling into his features.
“N-no, sir. Forgive me. I don’t wish to impose.”
“What are you talking about? The more, the merrier! Isn’t that right, Makayla?”
I could hear the threat in dad’s voice. Something along the lines of ‘if you don’t invite him in, I will ground you’. My dad was genuine in his invitation, and although I didn’t mind Damien showing up on our doorstep minutes before Thanksgiving dinner commenced, I sure had a bad way of showing it.
Wordlessly, I nodded and stepped back to allow more room for Damien to enter. I could feel his eyes on me as he passed through the doorway before turning to thank my dad.
“No problem son. Coincidentally enough, we have an extra place setting,” he chimed, pointing at the dining table. “Didn’t I tell you, May?” my dad winked in my direction. Damien didn’t say anything but merely watched the exchange, taking off his coat and scarf.
“I’ll take those,” I spoke quietly. I knew he was waiting for me to say more than just that but what did he want to hear? What did I want to say in the first place? My dad continued his conversation with Damien as I hung his coat and scarf on the coat-stand near the front door.
“Hush. We don’t mind the extra dinner guest. We’re more than glad to have you here. Makayla’s cooked up such a big meal that I’m happy there’s a third belly for it to feed.”
Dad was drawing out the chair for Damien to sit, playing the role of a great host. I went past the two of them to the kitchen to grab an extra soup bowl for Damien when dad asked the question that had been plaguing my mind.