The Meeting II

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“Are you okay?” Sam asked softly from beside her in the driver's seat. She had his right hand clutched in both of hers, her eyes closed. They were parked in the yard, in front of his mother's house.

“Zelah,” he began but she shook her head.

“Few more seconds to breathe.”

He relented and just gazed at her, taking in her outfit. A few minutes ago, she had been turning over her closet, trying to find the outfit that one could consider perfect enough to meet their mother-in-law for the first time.

She and him, but mostly him, because nothing looked good enough, finally settled on a white cotton shirt with blue fabric sewn in in flowery designs and the blue matched her jeans, which were a little rolled up at the bottom, with pure white sneakers.

“Are you sure it was a good idea to wear jeans? Isn't that disrespectful or something?”

He chuckled deeply. “In which part of the world? She won't mind babe, seriously. Besides, the idea is to make sure you're comfortable in whatever you wear.”

She turned her head to look at him and he smiled in reassurance. “Its okay, zee. I think we should go in before Damien comes back. He doesn't want you disappearing on him again,” he tried to laugh it off but he knew that he was probably more scared than Damien.

“Okay,” she said in a low voice, so low he almost didn't hear it, and let go of his fingers. “Let's go.” She opened her door and stepped out of the car.

He did the same, and caught up with her on the porch of the house. The door was ajar, and soft music wafted out of the house, accompanied by the smell of popcorn.

Zelah went in timidly, her hands at her sides —clenched in nervousness. Damien sat cross legged on the floor of the living room, watching a movie and munching on popcorn. When he spotted them, he smiled widely and went back to his movie, as if to say 'you're finally inside, great.’

He had bombarded her with questions after his mom left and she tried to answer the questions as gently as possible, but she'd be lying if she said that she didn't hit a lot of bumps.

"Great, you're here," the voice came from her left and she turned towards it, heart pounding. The taller woman in jeans and a tee shirt with a black apron over her clothes waved her over. Zelah had to pass through the sitting room and beside the dining table to get to her, barely glancing at anything.

What she was sure of was the warmth that she felt in the house, partly from the soft pastel yellow on the walls, and the strategically placed plants in little clay pots that gave off a little fragrance that mixed in with the ones that wafted out of the kitchen.

"Where is he?" She went back into the kitchen, signalling at Zelah to follow her.

"He was just behind me—"

"Great. Have you eaten yet?" She was over a frying pan scrambling eggs and simultaneously sipping a cup of tea.

"Um, yeah I had a sandwich earlier. But I could eat," she said in haste after her gaze around the small kitchen landed on a tray of muffins, cornbread and a bowl of gravy at the far end of the table.

"Excellent," his mom breathed and switched the stove off. "So, Zelah is it?"

She sat in the chair opposite her, and folded her hands on the table. Her skin was clean and glowing, like she paid a special kind of attention to it. Sam brought his mom's eyes, the ones she never got tired of staring into. She was a beautiful woman, mature in her looks with a hint of adventure hidden in each smile.

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