"Ahem…" Andrew caught the couple's attention and Abi's father began to speak.
"So, Alexander… how did you meet my daughter?" he asked, looking expectant and curious. The old couple looked at them with such curiosity as well. How did Abi find this very fine young man? Was it love at first sight for both of them? It was only been a few days since she went and lived in the city.
There were many questions in their eyes, but Andrew's question jolted Abi that she didn't notice how hard she had gripped Alex's shirt under the table. How could she tell them the story of their first meeting?
Abi nervously swallowed as she looked at Alex. The man was still chewing his food as he, too, stared back at Abi.
Once he swallowed the food in his mouth, he looked at Abi's dad as he opened his mouth to speak, making Abi's heartbeat accelerate.
"I met her by accident in a parking lot. I thought…" he glanced at Abi and her grip on his shirt tightened even more. "I thought she was a cute stalker."
"S-stalker? I met you by accident, too! I didn't know who you were before that day!" Abi suddenly butted in before she sunk back on her seat.
"Oh, that's cute. It seems like it was a fated day for both of you," Abi's old grandma said and Alex nodded.
"What do you do for a living?" Andrew asked again.
Alex fell silent for a moment.
"I am currently working a part time job."
"May I know what kind of part time job?"
Dad: ". . ."
Grandma and Grandpa: "…!"
"You are babysitting?" Andrew sounded like he couldn't believe him. But then, Alex didn't even hesitate to nod and there was no sign of mischief in his eyes.
"I am trying to raise a little fruit."
"Oh, so you're into gardening."
Abi finally coughed.
"Alex likes peaches," was the first thing that popped into her head and out of her mouth as she tried to change the topic.
"Are your family live in this city?"
"No, they have all passed away," he answered without any change in his expression and tone and the kitchen fell silent.
"I'm sorry to hear that…" Andrew's voice became soft as his gaze towards Alex softened.
"It's okay. I kind of don't really remember their faces anymore," he told them before he picked another meat and ate it.
He was acting quite unconcerned, almost as if he was simply talking about a forgotten old fading photograph.
"Uhm… dad, can Alex stay here for the night?" Because of Abi's frantic desire to break the awkward silence, those words were all that she could think of to say. She bit her lip because she knew that her father will definitely disagree but what was done is done. The most important thing was that she was able to divert their attention from that topic.
"Oh, of course, darling… It's already pretty late. He can stay for the night if he wants to. But let's eat first and talk about that later," her grandma was the one who spoke and everyone did as she said.
The dinner was harmonious. Abi and her family smiled and laughed every now and again as they talked about the play. Abi and her grandma spoke a lot while the three men simply listened to them, butting in every now and then, while Alex didn't speak another word but just nodded every now and again to let them know he was paying attention.
He kind of like this foreign atmosphere, maybe because this was the same kind of atmosphere he felt whenever Abigail was around.
Once the dinner was done, Abi and her grandma did the dishes while the men sat on the sofa.
Abi was a little restless but her grandma calmed her down, telling her that everything was alright. And she was right. Every bit of Alex's attention was focused on the photos around the house. After he looked at all the picture frames hanging around the house, he sat down and Andrew showed him big albums filled with photos of Abi from birth.
Andrew was thinking about what topic he should start a conversation with but he was hesitant and careful. This young man didn't know about Abi's illness and he was very worried about that. He was worried about his daughter and this young man.
The man ended up being lost in thought without starting any conversation while the young man across him was fully immersed in looking at the photos until Abi was done in the kitchen.
"Ahh!!" Abi yelled the moment she saw the album in Alex's hand. She had lots of dorky pictures in there!
Abi attempted to snatch it but Alex was quick to move it away, causing Abi to pout.
"Dad, why did you bring those out?" Abi complained to her father and the man just sighed.
"Anyway, Alexander, are you sure you're fine to sleep here tonight?" he asked and Alex looked at him and nodded.
"We don't have a guest room so you will be sleeping in my room," Andrew told him but this time, Alex didn't nod anymore.
"I will sleep in Abigail's room. I am more comfortable whenever I sleep with her," Alex replied and the man's eyes widened in shock.
"Whenever? Y-you already slept with my daughter?" Andrew asked in disbelief and Alex finally realized that the man was talking about something else. He was about to explain when the little lamb butted in.
"Dad… it's fine. Uhm…"
"Abigail, you already slept with this boyfriend of yours?"
Abigail hesitantly nodded. Andrew's mouth parted and he didn't know what to say. It was then that Abi's grandma pushed the couple to go and settle down in Abi's room.
Once Abi and Alex ascended upstairs, the old grandma faced her son and patted his shoulder.
"It's okay, Andrew. Your daughter is already an adult. And I am sure this is what she wants. Let's not be hard on her now, okay?" she encouraged her son and Andrew knew that his mother was right. Abigail was not a kid anymore; she had grown into a very beautiful lady. But still, to think that they had already gone that far… Andrew couldn't help but worry. Again, not just for Abi but for that young man as well.
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