As the couple emerged into the lounge Emilia formally introduced Matt to her parents for the first time. Matt's initial impression of Emilia's father was of a man who considered appearance to be highly important. Athletic in build from working out daily his entire life and dressed in designer slacks and shirt, although Matt knew the father was in his early seventies, if he hadn't known he would have estimated him ten years younger. When they shook hands, the father offered a strong firm grip to Matt subtly twisting the younger man's hand subordinately to his own in an attempt to show who was the alpha male. But rather than accomplishing the intended effect, it only left Matt amused by the unspoken attempt.
When Emilia's mother stood to greet Matt, unlike the father she only offered the weakest of hands, as if uncomfortable touching someone she didn't know and hadn't yet swabbed for germs. Just like her husband, it was clear Emilia's mother kept herself in shape, and Matt suspected by her posture and slim physique she had formal dance training. Yet, Matt couldn't help gaining the impression that there was a coldness to the woman, a harshness of personality which seeped through to hide an otherwise beautiful woman.
"We were starting to have our doubts you were real, by how Emilia has been hiding you from us." Emilia's mother announced with all seriousness once the formal introductions had been made.
"Well, that's Emilia for you," Matt replied. "She prefers to keep me locked up in the flat and only brought out on the occasions for her own pleasure." As he said this he looked across at Emilia and gave her a wink, to which she nervously giggled, not only for the intended innuendo he'd manage to slip in but also for her parents uncomfortable silence which followed the comment, meaning it had either gone over their heads or they were choosing to ignore it.
"Shall I put on some more coffee?" Matt asked breaking the awkwardness of the atmosphere.
"Thank you, that would be appreciated! Proper coffee, this time I hope?" Emilia's mother replied stoney faced.
"Oh of course! We never serve instant around here unless we really dislike you!" Matt replied, not fully appreciating the mother's remark and wondering why Emilia was shooting a look of disdain across the room towards him, only comprehending his mistake when he picked up the untouched mugs of coffee which Emilia had made for her parents and mouthing 'sorry' as an apology as he passed her making his way back into the kitchen.
"The place seems very nice, Emilia." Her father declared out of the blue as soon as Matt had made his way through to the kitchen. "You have done up the place very nicely."
"Thank you, Pater," Emilia replied proudly. "Matt did most of the main work himself, and I did the majority of the interior design."
"Well, you did a very good job." He complimented looking around the room nodding his head in approval.
"Yeah, the kitchen and living room used to be two separate areas, but Matt knocked through the wall to give us more space. He also did the entire bathroom himself. He's quite the handyman Pater, just like you." That was one thing about her father she could certainly compliment him on. The man might be a busy cardiac surgeon, but he was just as capable of rewiring the house or plastering a wall.
"Shall I show both of you around while Matt makes the coffee?" Emilia asked, thankful she'd found a topic of conversation that at least one of her parents were interested in.
"Yes, I would like that!" Emilia's mother immediately stood up waiting for her daughter to start the tour.
As Emilia showed her parents around Matt finished making the coffee, and as he was placing a tray with a freshly brewed cafetière and four mugs on the coffee table Emilia and her parents re-emerged.
YOU ARE READING
The VisitShort Story
'For, you see, each day I love you more, today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.' Those were the words Matt whispered in Emilia's ear as she fell asleep in his arms the previous night, and for the first time truly understands their meaning...