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Catching Up 👩🍽

Matthew Kwasnicki

July 22, 2016

I hadn’t seen my son for a few years while he was off studying law in Poughkeepsie. I was looking forward to our weekend together. We planned to have dinner together at home and then go somewhere out on the town. I told him to surprise me: a movie, a play, maybe a concert. I just wanted to spend time with him.

I’m not entirely sure why he hadn’t made the time to come visit me during his summer breaks, but it may have had something to do with his travels in Europe. I still have the postcards he sent on my fridge. I only wish the messages were more descriptive: something more than “Bonjour, from Paris!” or “Hallo Mutter from Bavaria!”.

I was just about to put the ham in the oven, when the doorbell rang.

It was a God-awful vacuum salesman with a hideous combover. Doesn’t he have something better to do on a Friday evening than interrupt my preparations for an important dinner with my little boy? I almost could have slammed the door in his face! Of course my better judgment prevailed and I kindly told him that it wasn’t a good time. He looked disappointed but it got him quickly out of my hair.

Now where was I... oh yes. Michael was supposed to arrive by 6:00 pm, but it was now nearly a quarter after. He used to be so punctual. What could have possibly been keeping him? Had he had an accident on the way here? I’m sure I’d hear something soon.

He finally arrived at 6:23 and looked rather nervous. He told me to have a seat and that he had something important to tell me.

“Mother”, he paused, “I might as well get it out in the open... I should have told you earlier”. His hands were shaking and there was sweat dripping down his face. Oh God, what could it be?

“I got married a few months ago”.

I didn’t know what to say. He was clearly distraught. Why hadn’t he told me about this earlier? Did he think that I wouldn’t approve?

“And there’s more... she is someone you know quite well”.

Oh? Really? Could it be that cute friend of his from high school that helped him with his homework? Or that beautiful girl he took to prom? Then it hit me who he was talking about. He could see it plainly on my face.

“It’s Melinda, isn’t it?”, I said. He nodded.

“I should have known you two would get together, but she’s almost the same age at me! I knew there was a reason she hasn’t talked to me for a while”. I started to cry.

Michael put his hand on my thigh in an attempt to comfort me. After a few minutes, which gave me a chance to collect my thoughts, he told me they had been secretly dating for a couple of years and, not to worry, they both cared a great deal for each other and for me.

Then he told me there was more to confess. “I’ve dropped out of law school last year and we’ve been traveling the world together”.

I guess I wasn’t that surprised anymore. Melinda had never got to travel much with her former husband and she told me she always wanted to. I just wish they had revealed the truth to me much earlier and I told him I was upset about it.

“Is there anything else you’ve been keeping from me?”, I asked. He said there wasn’t.

Somehow I didn’t feel as excited about the evening anymore and it smelled like maybe the ham was burning in the oven.