“Did you hear that?”

Eric rushed down from his room, awakened by the unusual sound from the yard. At five in the morning, who would be so insensitive to create such noise to disturb other people’s sleep.

His mother, who stood by the stairs met his query with a forefinger in front on her mouth. She might have a good reason to silence him.

“What’s the banging about?” Howard came out the bedroom, angry that his weekend sleep was cut short.

“Can’t you keep it down?” Sandra whispered like a conspirator to a cabal. “It’s Leyla. She’s fixing the flower shelves.”

“Should you be doing that?” Howard asked his son, who turned his eyes away, forgetting the chore he was assigned with.

“Never mind that,” Sandra said. “She’s nearly finished.”

“Why all of a sudden?” her husband scratched his head. “Why not later when the sun is up?”

“She’s been up earlier, at four. When I woke up, the kitchen looked like it was scrubbed all over.”

“Is she expecting someone?” Howard asked.

“None that I know of?” she replied. “Eric?”

“Beats me?” he raised both hands in surrender. “She could be pregnant.”

His last remark made him the bad guy of the day, eliciting scornful looks from his parents who didn’t find it funny at all.

“You go help her!” his father ordered, dismissing him as if shooing a pest away.

But before they could react, the banging stopped. Seconds later, the front door knob turned.

“Hurry! Hide!”

Like small children playing hide and seek, they disappeared like sprites.

Leyla surveyed the last room she needed tidying up. Some of the furniture has to be rearranged, freeing more space for going around unhampered.

She turned the radio on, needing the background music to accompany her thoughts.

The following song is requested by Grandma Faye for his departed husband, Greg. Their love which spanned for over 40 years, will live on. Remember the cherished memories, Grandma.

She sat there, contemplating what would happen if Joey would not show interest in her. It would devastate her heart.

“Thinking of him?” her mother spoke from behind.

Leyla felt she would understand. “Was I wrong, Ma? Did I blew it?”

“You did what you think was best at the time. Sometimes, you must go for it if you believe it.”

“You got father. Will I get Joey?”

Sandra sat beside her and ran her fingers through her daughter’s long black straight hair. She was no longer a child but a budding woman, complete with all the beautiful emotions of a person in love.

“Fate has a way to realize dreams. On the other hand, it can also lead you somewhere else.”

“I love him, Ma.”

“He is a lucky guy,” Sandra said. “He will have a hard time finding another girl like you.”

Leyla kissed her mother on the cheek, grateful that she had never felt alone even in her most trying time.

She saw her daughter rejuvenated from her lows. The act-like-a-man Leyla was raring to move along with her day as usual.

“Well, Ma, I have still this room left.”

“You’re a real darling!”

(to be continued)



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