I took three deep breaths before entering the café. Inside were H’s mom, A, and his biological dad, D, who had set up this tea with me this afternoon. I don’t get many invites to tea, much more invites from A and D together (since they’ve got separate families now), so I knew this was really something.
To their credit, they chose an obscure café where no one can see us talking. That, plus the fact that the place’s obscurity meant that H wouldn’t walk in on us.
I pushed through the door and found them at the farthest table, and it was one of the longest walk I’ve ever taken in my life. I gave them my most pleasant smile and then said a meek hello. A smiled, standing up and giving me pecks on both cheeks. D pulled me a chair, waited for me to be settled, and then took a seat.
“Chamomile, I assume?” said A, and I knew she took note that I was taking that particular tea—albeit begrudgingly—as it helps me sleep (as per H’s suggestion). I nodded, and she ordered my drink. She waited for the waiter to leave before turning to me.
“So, how are things doing?” she asked sweetly.
“Doing pretty well. Adjusting has been hell, but… H has been helpful.”
A proud smile lit up D’s face. I knew that even though H was living with A—up until he got his own house—H was still brought up really well. My tea arrived, and I took a sip from it before I looked at H’s pair of parents. H took after his mother, but he has his father’s eyes and smile.
“Let’s cut to the chase. What kind of talk is this?” I asked, and A shrugged.
“It’s the I-think-things-are-going-far-too-serious-for-you-and-my-son talk,” she said slowly, letting the words sink in.
“Ah.” I took another sip from my tea and then motioned for her to continue.
A sighed heavily. “You see, K, we love you. We like you for H because you put some sort of stability in his life,” she started, stealing glances at D, as if waiting for him to follow her lead. “And you’ve made him grow up, far more than I have expected in the past year you guys are together. You can also put up with the chaos that comes with him and his career.”
D cleared his throat. “Don’t get us wrong—we appreciate this. All the things you’ve done for him, and the fact that you’re in his life.”
“But things are seemingly so serious that it’s actually getting kind of scary?” I pressed lightly, and both of them hesitated before nodding. I clasped my hands in front of me.
“Is this because he asked me to move in?” I said, and I saw D squirm next to me. “I am not going to move in, not just yet.” I exhaled loudly. “Look, I do know my place. I know he’s just 20, and I know what to ask from him and what not to ask from him,” I said. “I love H—very much—but I know he’s still at the peak of his career. He and the lads are doing so well and I won’t do anything to sabotage that.”
A reached out for my hand and gave it a squeeze. “We’re not saying that, K,” she said softly. “We just want you guys to take it slow.”
I gave her hand a squeeze back. “I get where you’re coming from,” I assured her. “Did you do this talk with H too?” I asked, and D nodded. “Actually, it’s why—” he stopped, and I felt something under the table move. I think A kicked him to shut him up, and I rolled my eyes.
“Is there something I should know?” I asked, and both of them vehemently denied it with a sharp shake of their heads. They are both acting weirdly, and I just decided to ignore it.
“Thank you for trusting me with your son,” I said instead, and D placed his hand on top of my and A’s hands.
“You are the best thing that’s ever happened to him, K,” D said, and I thanked him. We all exhaled our sighs of relief, finally getting that elephant in the room out of the way, but I still wondered what prompted this talk.
What did H say to them?