Damien's Dad

“No family dinner at your place, Damien?”  

I couldn’t see Damien’s face having turned my back on the two to rummage through the cupboard but could make out the slight hesitation in his voice as he answered.

“N-no sir.” he paused before continuing, allowing his voice to slip into a perfectly composed tone. “My dad and I don’t usually celebrate as he’s usually busy with work even during the holidays.”

“What about Jessie?” I asked, walking out of the kitchen and set the bowl in front of Damien. His green eyes lit up in surprise at my question. “She’s your cousin right? Surely, your aunt and uncle would have invited you.”

“They did but...” he muttered, then shrugged. “I’m not exactly close to them so they might have felt awkward with me crashing in on their Thanksgiving dinner.”  

I narrowed my eyes at Damien. He was lying. That, or he was cunningly mixing in fact with the smaller half of the truth that he didn’t want to say. Nevertheless, this wasn’t the time to interrogate him. Heaven knows what would happen if I tried that again. Pressing my lips together into a straight line, I begun to serve us all the starter on my menu.

“Well, you’re always welcome here Damien,” my dad said, flashing him a broad smile. There was an awful lot of sympathy embedded in his voice and I wasn’t at all fazed to hear it.

Through his bonding session with Damien the time when he’d caught a cold, dad had learned what I already knew: that Damien never got to know his mother who had passed away when he was a young boy, and that his father’s profession as a lawyer kept him quite busy. Since then, he never failed to ask me how Damien was doing whenever he returned home from work. It was one thing Damien and I had in common, I had discovered - a parent whose job kept them busy. On the nights that I had enough energy to stay up and wait for dad to return home, I would wonder if Damien’s dad was like mine. If his dad didn’t let his job get in the way of maintaining a good relationship with his son. I was thankful that my dad loved me the way he did, and could only hope that Damien was on the receiving ends of such affection at his home too.

The End

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