As I stirred the wooden spoon around the pot, the delicious smell of spaghetti wafted to my nose. My stomach rumbles in response too. Just a few more minutes to set and it would be done. I picked up the lid and covered the steaming pot, leaving the food to absorb the spicy flavours. I always enjoyed cooking, but I just didn’t know how to. Liam used to be the one to cook after he got home from work, but that all changed. A few years back, my friend Eleanor (Louis’ wife) and I decided to go to cooking classes held at the local community centre. I have to say, since then and now, I had transformed my skills in the kitchen.
I exited the kitchen and made my way to the dining room. I put out three plates on the table in front of each chair. Just when I was about to go get the cutlery, the phone rang. I raced to where the sound came from and answered the phone. “Hello?”
“Hey Ally! How are you?” Louis spoke from the other side. I smiled at his cheery tone.
“I'm fine Lou. How are Eleanor and Bryson?” I asked. Bryson was Louis’ son. He was born a year before Tessa. Eleanor managed to hide it because of the confusion going on between the fire, the kidnapping. It was all to much. Louis and El kept it to themselves. Bryson looked more like his mother than his father. He had soft features but when it came to his figure, you could tell the guy liked to workout.
Louis pulled me out of thought “Bryson is fine. He is at the gym right now; should be coming home in half an hour.” We both chuckled “Eleanor is doing great, but still a tad bit annoying” he whispered secretly. I could hear her in the background saying ‘you married me you big oaf!’
I burst out laughing. “You should learn a thing of too from your son and start working out too.” I suggested to Louis. I could sense him smirking from the other side of the phone.
“I wouldn’t want to put him to shame with my awesome body. It’ll completely tear down his ego.” He replied. I rolled my eyes, but started to laugh again when I heard Eleanor call him chubby through the phone.
“Oh you love my chubby tummy El.” He said to her. “Anyway Ally, how’s Liam and Tessa?” he asked, turning his attention back to me.
“They’re fine Lou. Liam is still not back yet, and Tessa is upstairs in her room.” I sighed, glancing at the clock once more. “You know Lou, Tessa has a project to do for college.” I started.
“Well, that’s great!” Louis cheered. I stopped him there and began to tell him what it was.
“She wants to make a family timeline sort of thing.” Louis gave an indication for me to continue. “I’m all for it, however she wants to start from the time myself and Liam met.” I finished. I felt Louis happy tone disappear.
He breathed for a second or two before starting to talk again. “Have you suggested for her to start from another time?” Louis asked softly.
“Yes, I did. I asked her why she didn’t want to start from the time she was born.” I spoke.
“What did she say?” Louis questioned, seeming interested in the conversation.
“Well…” I breathed. “She wants to start from the time I met Liam, to see what our past was like together.” I paused “and to see what we were up to in those days.”
Louis let out a little chuckle “Well, maybe it won’t be so bad. I mean, you don’t have to tell her everything what happened, but just concentrate on the happy things.”
“I thought about that. However, by taking her so close to my bad memories, she is eventually going to find out what happened. You know how she is Lou. Once she notices something she won’t stop digging, until she finds it.” I explained.
“That’s true.” He mumbled. “Why don’t I try and convince her?” he suggested.
“She has been hanging around you way to much!” I commented giggling.
“Aw, why do you say that?” he asked. I could practically hear him pout through the phone. No matter how old he is, he will always be a child at heart.
I glanced at the clock again; it was ten to six. Liam would be home soon. Tucking the phone in between my shoulder and ear I began setting the forks, knives and spoons on the table. “Well, for one some of her actions are like yours, secondly, she wiggles her eyebrows suggestively – just like you do. Thirdly she is super energetic and practically bounces of the walls, should I carry on?” I asked, making up a list of more things in my head.
Louis laughed on the other end. “Haha, oh my God. She is going to turn out to be one rocking chick! Not that she already isn’t!” I laughed with him, but that soon died down. “But seriously Ally. I could try and convince her. Maybe she would change her mind about how she wants to do her project.”
“Okay Lou.” I agreed, silently praying that this would work. “Would you and the family like to come over for dinner?” I questioned.
“Really? What have you made?” He asked eager. I shook my head and smiled.
“Spaghetti.” I stated. There was shuffling on the phone and then I heard him yell over to Eleanor to ask. She seemed delighted, plus I hadn’t seen her in a long time. I would be a good chance to catch up on things.
There was another shuffle on the phone before I heard Louis’ voice again. “Yes, we would be delighted to. It would give me a chance to see Tessa today as well.” He said.
“Alright, I will wait for your arrival. Liam should be home in ten minutes. Oh and bring Bryson with you. Tessa wouldn’t feel left out that much with just us adults.”
Louis agreed. “Okay, I will pick him up from the gym and then we are on our way. By love!”
“Bye.” I replied, cutting the line and putting down the phone. I got a few extra plates and cutlery and set them down on the table. Just as I’d finished putting the last fork in place I heard the front door open. Liam!
I practically ran out of the dining room out into the hall way just to jump into the arms of my husband. I knew it was him straight away as his aqua scent wafted to my nose and his warm arms enveloped me into his chest. “Hey honey.” He mumbled into my hair, slowly pulling away.
“Hey Li.” I mumbled pecking a kiss on his lips. He happily complied and added another on to my check for good measure. “How was work?” I asked happy, leading him into the living room. I sat down with him on the sofa, linking my arm through him.
“Work was fine, as usual. But I could wait to come home and cuddle with you.” He whispered his face coming closer to mine. I looked up at him, his hair was wet and some of it stuck to his forehead.
“Did you save anyone from drowning today Mr Life guard?” I mocked. Liam smirked and hung an arm around my shoulders, before sighing.
“Yes actually; a little boy about the age of four jumped in without his armbands.” He explained. I gasped.
“Oh no! Is he okay?” I asked alarmed. Liam put his hands on my shoulders, calming me down.
“Do you think I would let anybody drown, especially when I’m there?” he asked softly, I shook my head and embraced him in a hug.
It wasn’t long before I heard thuds coming down the stairs, only to reveal Tessa pocking her head through the door. “Dad!” she cheered as she too went to hug him.
I watched the father and daughter with delight. The way Tessa looked up at her father brought tears to my eyes. She had this sparkle and funny enough, the same sparkle was returned in Liam’s eyes every time he looked at our daughter. It was beautiful.
When I was pregnant with Tessa, Liam would always talk about what she would look like, the things that they would do, what she would turn out to be. He created the most perfect dreams for her.
“How was work dad?” Tessa asked, standing in front of him smiling. Once again dimples were showing, making her look that much more adorable.
“Work was the same as usual.” he laughed while pulling Tessa on the couch with on. She placed herself on the other side of Liam. “Although…” he continued “I did see a lot of boys that go to your college, some of them really muscular and buff.” Liam winked at Tessa.
“Dad!” Tessa huffed pretending to be shocked, playing fully hitting her dad on the shoulder.
“Or maybe…” I started, joining in on the fun, “maybe they go to swim to impress your dad, they when they go out with you they will already be on his good side.” I laughed and Liam joined in.
“Mum!” my daughter gasped before hiding her face. This caused us to laugh even more.
“You know, I saw Bryson while I was driving home. He was just finishing up from the gym.” Liam announced. “He’s a pretty buff lad, don’t you think petal?” he asked Tessa, smirking.
I shoved him in the shoulder teasingly, while Tessa went red in the face. “You of all people should know that I don’t like anybody like that.” She explained. “Especially Bryson.”
“Yet.” I heard Liam mumbled underneath his breath. We both knew soon enough Tessa was going to start dating and going out with guys. We just wanted to be there for her and make sure that she doesn’t go out with the wrong guy. We wanted to prevent her from getting hurt. Truth be told, I didn’t want her going down my path.
“On the subject of Bryson, they are coming over for dinner tonight.” I announced.
Liam smiled, “It would be nice to have them over. It’s been so long since we had a big meal with friends.”
“It won’t be much different for me. I see Uncle Louis, Aunt El and their show off son, all the time.” Tessa commented. I shook my head at her choice of words to describe Bryson.
“You really have been hanging out with Uncle Louis a lot.” I said again, shaking my head.