Cold Dinner… Not Nice.

Tonight I had a cold family dinner. A freezing one. It was so chilling I didn’t even dare to position my chair and only exchanged a few lines with my Mom. The menu was my choice – Pizza Hut, my fave meal – yet it didn’t taste as nice as I remember. Probably due to the coldness.

It started with everyone going to the dining table. I was in the bathroom, washing my hands with the door wide open, so I could hear a little bit of the conversation. Dad called my sister and asked her whether she could become a mentor.

“Mentor?” My sister repeated in a high toned voice. The rest was unclear. My notion was that it has something to do with my sister’s dog knocking Dad’s guitar down, but it heard quite flowing and friendly as usual.

Then after my sister, Mom, and I sat around the tables – still with the usual manners – Dad kind of asking my sister whether she realized that her tone just now was not nice. She answered him by saying that she was surprised, but he insisted that her tone was that of emotions. His face really showed that he was not happy. The kind of expression we (the ladies) alerted. I tried to ‘extinguish the fire’ (not yet the icy situation) by joking that Dad has a pile of plate in front of him but he still took one from the kitchen. No good response.

His speech continued in repeating his wanting to leave home and go somewhere away (I thought, well just go then). Several times. Then about how he felt this house lack good communication (it’s partly your fault). Well, I wasn’t playing the so-nice daughter (regarding my thoughts), so just guess how much I was surprised when he said that the only person in this house he can have a nice conversation with is… ME!!

Wow. I mean, Wow.

At the moment, I froze on my chair.

Me, after some heart-aching conversations (my heart, that is). And after my failed temporary pledge not to speak to him anymore (I pledged against my sister as well). I thought he’d be mad at me (I don’t know about his heart). Maybe I was wrong all this time.

But afterwards, the whole table was filled with complete silence. Probably the most silent family dinner I’ve ever been in.

I had no courage to speak. Partly because of the expression on Dad’s face, and also since I was afraid my sister would think that I was taking it as a compliment and tried to suck up. So after minutes of painstaking silence, I talked to my Mom and she answered, but that was it. It was probably the kind of situation Jodi Picoult described in her novel Mercy as ‘a viscous wall among us’ (I changed the sentence to fit my story).

Dad finished early and went back to TV (I know he would never finish early, not when there’s a box of pizza on the table). Some moments later my sister went upstairs to her room with the dog (good companion for hard times). I was left with my Mom. I asked her if I could take the last piece of personal-sized pizza. She reprimanded me.

So… after Mom finished cleaning up the table, I went upstairs too. And wrote this down.

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