The Sweetest Taboo Part IX:

Under the magic spell.

My mother in law and I have declared a truce. We both love the same man in different ways, and hopefully, she realizes that I am not the worst that could happen to her son because I am not white.

So this friend who he plays snooker with is coming for dinner.

(Insert eye roll). Make that two.

“I want to have a night where we have dinner, drink some good wine and whiskey and play some snooker upstairs,” My love sounds so reasonable when he says that.

I do not want to be unreasonable, but I have my doubts about his newfound friend.

“I will cook, I will be nice, but the moment we are done eating, I am going to the bedroom,” I answer hoping to sound stern.

“Yes, of course, I’m not expecting you to entertain my friends,” he smiles

He probably thinks he won this little “battle.”

I will leave him with that delusion.

My thoughts are clear because the evening will consist of dinner, then off to bed I go.

But even the most well-laid plans sometimes go awry.

“Smells delicious,” my love says as he comes up behind me, puts his arms around me and kisses my neck.

I’m hot and sweaty in the kitchen, so yes, I hope it tastes as good as it smells.

Anybody that knows me knows I love cooking up a storm. I love good homemade food and entertaining, but tonight not so much.

My mother-in-law surprised us with a visit, so she is on the patio proudly watching her son, who looks very handsome in the suit he still has on from work. She sips on her wine and says, “Tell me about your friend.”

“He is great!” My love gushes. (Insert another eye roll here again) Sigh!

I close my eyes and breathe very deeply. What is it about men and this bromance they seem to have with friends? I love how he is so quick to tell me about my friendships and how close I am, but I do not recall gushing over them the way he does.

“Come in, come in, welcome.”

I’m in the bedroom freshening up and hear my love’s voice booming across the hall.

“It smells wonderful,” says his friend.

“Yes, Thesna cooked,” my love proudly states.

Do I have to go out there?

I don’t really want to!

Be nice.

My heart and head are wrestling with each other.

Damn, the heart won because there I go walking toward them.

“Hello,” I smile.

A noteworthy Hollywood performance from me.

“Welcome to our home,” I give one of those tight-lipped smiles.

I told you I was good. At this stage, I am vying for an Oscar nomination.

My love slips into the bar to pour his friend a drink, and as he is gone, his friend seizes the opportunity and moves forward to hug me.

There are hugs and “Hugs,”and this one was longer than necessary, wait…

Did he just rub his chest against mine?

Before I could think about what to say, he releases me, winks and turns to my love saying, “Thanks,” as he takes the drink offered.

“Are you all right?” My love whispers in a concerned tone.

“Yes,” I smile, “Just tired!”

As soon as we were finished eating, I dreamed about putting my head on my pillow. Five minutes is all I am prepared to give.

“Dinner was great,” his friend says.

“Yes, it was” his mom interjects, “Thesna is a great cook.”

A compliment? Oh wow, we have made progress.

I notice my mom in law trying to engage him, but he continues to draw me into conversations I am too tired to have.

Besides, I dislike the lapdog look on his face. Is my love unable to see this?

It has been awkward how his friend seems to fawn over me throughout dinner.

Finally, they retreat upstairs to the snooker room to play a game or two.

Phew! A respite. I can now jump into my bed. I could hardly wait.

“Come talk to me.”

“I will make the coffee!” My mother in law voice calls out, stopping me in mid escape to the bedroom. Shit, so close!

My lips feel like they will crack from smiling the entire evening. My love owes me big time, and I will be collecting.

But let’s file that away for now.

“He likes you, doesn’t he?”

My mother in law shrewdly asks, scrutinizing me.

I ‘splutter’ on the sip of coffee I just drank. Did I hear correctly?

“What?” I feign ignorance just in case she thinks I encouraged it. I am still wary of our tenuous relationship. I choose the truth.

“Yes, he does, and I am uncomfortable,” I acknowledge.

“Why don’t you tell my son?” She enquires.

“I have tried.”

“He’s not listening.”

“Oh, please, a blind man can see what’s happening,” she says dismissively.

Yes, except your son. I think. Careful not to say it out loud.

We are both interrupted by laughter.

Oh no, they’re back!

“One more whiskey for the road,” my love tells his friend.

Have you ever wondered how long this road is that it always requires one more drink?

“Please say no,” I think. Attempting to use telepathy to get the friend to say no thank you.

“Yes, please,” he answers.

“Damn, that failed,” I wrestle in my head, disappointed that my inner Uri Geller let me down!

“I think I will chat to Thesna while you get the drink” his friend states.

“Yes, of course, but let my mom tell you about…” my love says as his voice fades down the hallway.

I cannot recall what he said because my mind blanked out after his friend agreed to one more drink.

“Ahhh,” he says as he sips his drink, crosses his feet and seems like he has bunkered down for the night.

Seriously, you had to sit right next to me. I sigh. Not aloud, of course, but at this stage, I am so done and am clinging to politeness with the last strength I have. His leg is so close to mine. It would seem as if boundaries are non-existent in his life.

I remain courteous during this last, one for the road drink! I am not tuned into the conversation, and I notice my mother in law keeps trying to divert his attention from me.

Being polite sometimes just does not help.

Finally, he finishes his drink, and it is time for him to leave.

“We should yes,” I agree with a fake smile after he says we should do this again.

“Not!” my head says.

I knew I would never do this again, and if my love wanted to, well, he could entertain himself.

“One more hug for the road,” he smiles. (So many things for the road)

This time I am clever, so I stand far away from his chest and do a quick pat on the back before he could draw me closer.

“I am off to bed. Night, everyone.” I am relieved that this day is done.

“Wait!” My mother-in-law calls out.

Seriously, I just want some sleep.

“This won’t take long,” she reassures me as she turns to my love.

“You don’t need friends who are not really friends but are actually chasing Thesna,” she states.

“It’s blatantly obvious your friend has the hots for her,” she continues.

“Yes, thank you,” I mouth to her as we share our first genuine bond.

“What?” My love sounds shocked. Men!!!

“And this is my cue to leave.” I smugly say as I hug him.

I can hear their voices from the bedroom. I smile to myself.

Hopefully, my love finally understands, seeing as his mom told him. Yes, they are close, so I am sure he will.

“Are you awake,” my love whispers.

“No!”

“I am so sorry,” he continues.

Yes, I am sure he is.

Now to let him do penance for this big mistake.

I rub imaginary hands in glee…

Something good happened that evening. My mother in law and I grew closer, and that was the start of a beautiful mother-daughter relationship.

To be continued.

Part X

Is this legal?

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Thesna Aston

Thesna Aston

CRT Practitioner, (life requires brave people), Writer @ The Fair Digest, Human Rights Activist, Motivating you (There are enough mean people)Member SahariTHJ