“THE JULY 2ND, DISASTROUS FAMILY DINNER”

My brother had this random idea of our get-together that Saturday night. Not having seen them for a while, I jumped at the idea right away. I’d asked Hazel Eyes to accompany me there, but he was having a headache so I went alone.

Dinner went well at first. The foods were delicious. I ordered fish and chips and water.

Baby Gama wasn’t feeling well. My sister needed to eat and tend to her other three kids as well, so my brother and I (who had thankfully finished our dinner first) took turns carrying him as he slept.

When it was my turn, the poor baby suddenly threw up and woke up.

Then Gira threw a fit, mostly out of tiredness and sheer jealousy over our sudden focus on Gama. Since the baby still looked restless and pale after he’d vomited, of course – dinner had to be cut short.

On our way out the door, we passed by a table when someone called my name. I stopped dead in my tracks and had nearly put an ugly expression on my face.

What a timing.

Lady Oracle was sitting there with her family. We looked at each other awkwardly, especially since I was partly covered in baby puke and smelled like sour milk gone bad.

Not wanting her to stand up and approach me, I stopped her in time. I was still considerate enough not to spoil her appetite (and probably the rest at her table) with the stench from my shoulder, sleeve, and pant leg. A foreign-looking fellow sitting next to her eyed me curiously.

“Hi,” she said. She looked like she wanted to reach out to me, but I stepped back again. Not wanting her to get the wrong idea, I told her what had just happened.

“Oh.” Lady Oracle cringed before asking me, “Where’s your mother?”

“Rest room.” Come on, Ma, I urged silently. It was getting more awkward, but no matter what had happened between Lady Oracle and I in some distant past – I’d still badly wanted to go home right away that night.

“So who threw up?”

“Gama. He is sick.” Thankfully, Ma finally turned up and the two women exchanged short and quick pleasantries. Then Ma waved her bye before exiting.

“And who had screamed earlier in the ladies’ room?” Lady Oracle went on. “Was it Gira?”

“Yeah.” I felt more uncomfortable with her demeanor. Her expression darkened as she was about to say something else. I found myself growing defensive, ready to put on my armour.

What? What do you want to say about my little niece? She may have caused a scene earlier, but she’s still a kid. And she’s my niece.

And I know who loves causing a scene in public but not a kid anymore…

Thankfully, I was quite distracted that I didn’t catch what she was saying. Murmuring an awkward farewell, I backed out and finally exited the restaurant as well.

Of course, I told Hazel Eyes about her. From him, I learned that the foreign-looking fellow was her new husband. (Well, sorry for not having paid any attention to what she may have posted lately online. Plus, we sort of keep our posts slightly restricted from each other – due to the mutual/equal trust issues between us.)

So, according to Hazel Eyes, their wedding had been private. None of us had been invited, which was to be expected. After her last row with our friend Hevi, she simply stopped speaking to all of us. (Except obviously Hazel Eyes.) That was so typical of her. When she realised that she didn’t get the attention and the acknowledgment she’d sought, she backed away and retreated into her “silent treatment” mode. It was her famous “nobody’s-on-my-side-and-life’s-not-fair” attitude.

It was also funny but not that surprising anymore. It’s always been one of her ‘methods’ to punish people who refuse to see and do things her way.

She didn’t even bother introduce him to me that night. I didn’t inquire. Honestly, I wasn’t even interested.

It’s also rather ironic, though. Lady Oracle has always loved butting into other people’s personal affairs – and it’s often not meant to be helpful but to find faults of others which she can broadcast on her social media account. Double-standard at its best, she hates to be treated the same way in return.

I’m way past getting sick of her sudden outbursts, childish tantrums, selfishness, narcissistic diva-like attitude, and only God knows what else. In fact, I’ve got no more feelings left for her. We used to be best friends, but I wasn’t the one turning it into a living hell of a drama. It’s always been her.

I’ve forgiven her, of course. I have no more interests in keeping the old grudge against her. Not worth it. Somehow, my prayers that she’d find something better to do or someone better who’d keep her busy enough that she’d stop sticking her nose into other people’s businesses have finally been answered.

Good for her. Even better for all of us…

R.

Writer@work.

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