Emily: Chapter Ten

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TO ENDINGS AND NEW BEGINNINGS

If felt as though Ethan and Emily had been smiling and saying, “Thank you for coming!” for hours before the wedding hall finally emptied and only the immediate family on both sides remained. The two of them had just sat down at a table and were sipping on some ice-cold juice when the Master of Ceremonies announced, “Will the family of the bride stand to my left and the groom on my right, please. It’s time for Emily to join the Mendonca family now.”

Emily’s stomach plummeted. At Abbey’s wedding, Emily had bawled through the small ceremony while Uncle Roy, her father’s elder brother gave her sister to Clive’s family. He had asked them to accept her with an open heart and treat her as their own as he knew she would them. In all the excitement of her own wedding and reception, she had almost forgotten that she would be going to her new home and new family. She got up in a daze and walked to where her parents and the rest of her family were waiting. Probably thinking of her own wedding, there were already tears in Abbey’s eyes. Emily looked away quickly.

Uncle Roy had passed away shortly after Abigail’s wedding and as the oldest surviving male member of the Vaz family, the emotional burden lay heavy on her father’s shoulders. Her father held her hand with one of his own. “I hate this part”, he whispered stroking her cheek with the other.

Emily stared fixedly at a broken tile on the floor. Her father began to say, “We give you our daughter. She is our youngest and we now ask you to take her into your fold and accept her as one of you. Forgive her for the mistakes she might make– all of us make them. She is now your daughter. She is one with you. We give you our baby…” her father could get no further. He pushed Emily forward and Ethan’s Uncle Rex received her. Emily was crying so hard, she didn’t even hear the reply that came from the Mendoncas. Ethan had appeared by her side at some point and unsure of what else he could do, put his arm around a sobbing Emily and said, “It’s going to be alright Emily. I swear I’ll try and make sure everything is always alright.” Emily looked at him with what she hoped were grateful eyes and by the time they left the hall, she was no longer crying.

At her new home, Emily and Ethan were welcomed by the Mendonca clan.

“Ethan and Emily, you’ve to drink and eat this before you…erm…for…errn…strength….” Mummy said smiling coyly as she set down a copper tray on the coffee table. There was a tall glass of milk and two bananas there. While Ethan’s younger relatives guffawed at the dirty jokes his older relatives were cracking, the newlyweds downed the milk and fruit as quickly as they could.

Ethan’s family had booked them into a hotel so that they could have their privacy on their first night together as husband and wife . Uncle Rex dropped them off at the hotel, shook his nephew’s hand before leaving and wished him luck. Emily and Ethan looked at each other, both a little red in the face as they stepped into the one-bedroom suite. “Are you tired?” Ethan asked Emily as she sat down at the edge of the bed and played with a loose thread on the duvet cover.

She looked up at him and said, “A little. Not terribly. Perhaps I should go get changed.”

As she excused herself to change out of the heavy saree that she had been wearing since the reception, she giggled a little and carried her bag into the bathroom. She ran her fingers along the silky smooth fabric that she was about to wear and felt her cheeks become hot to the touch. She undressed, took off her makeup, brushed her hair out and put on the black and red outfit. Hesitantly she looked at herself in the mirror and took a deep breath. She crossed her fingers and hoped that Ethan would like what he saw. She made her way out of the bathroom towards the bed nervously and stopped when she recognized the strains of Bryan Adams’, ‘Let’s make it a night, to remember’ playing softly. She looked at Ethan who was in his vest and suit pants, “I know it seems cheesy, but, maybe we should have a song to commemorate tonight?” he asked in a low voice.

She smiled, walked closer to him and whispered, “I love cheesy…”

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Thanks for reading the latest chapter! To catch up, click here. Come back tomorrow to learn more about Emily.

Post 13 in the UBC this month.

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Firsts

My mother has been using a very basic phone so far. It’s so basic that the ‘smartest’ feature on it is its speed dial option. The time for an upgrade was yesterday but, in spite of scouring the internet, anything remotely interesting was way out of budget. Then, I chanced upon the launch offer of the Moto E (2nd Generation) phone. As I studied the specifications (albeit with my limited knowledge of these things), I realized that the phone is like one of those cars which cost a fraction of the luxury brands and still have all the important features – in other words, it has all the things I am looking for in a new phone and won’t burn a hole in my pocket!

But, I can’t just go ahead and buy it. Ma has to use it and not just put it away until the phonecurrent box of metal and plastic dies completely. So I asked her what she wanted out of a new phone. After the usual reluctant, “No, but I don’t need a new phone…” and “What will I do with a new phone?…”, she warmed up to the idea a little and said, “Well, I want something that I won’t struggle to operate. I am comfortable with my present phone, simply because it’s so easy to use. These new phones that all of you handle look much too complicated for me.” (Now I know where the technologically challenged strand in my genetic make-up comes from…) From what I could see on the website, the Moto E is quite simple to use once you get used to the touch screen from the old phones with keypads. No complicated settings or difficult to use software. Being as good with technology as I am (read not good at all!), it looked like it would be a breeze for my mother to get used to it.

But an easy to use phone isn’t what makes a smart phone a smart phone so I asked, “What else Ma?”

“It would be nice ”, she said, “to be able to check e-mails and sign in to Facebook when I am sitting comfortably in the living room instead of having to go to the computer. The mountain and Mohammed type scenario, you know? I want to be able to get access to the internet from anywhere in the house. Plus I would like to be able to take good pictures of Adelin (my niece) and my garden whenever I feel like it and upload them instantly onto Facebook without having to transfer them to the computer first. With my present phone, the pictures are so unclear. Also, if my new phone has a front facing camera it would be even better because then I could have video calls with you when you go back to Bahrain. I’ll be able to see my new little grandchild everyday and not just when you come on holiday or if you post pictures to me.”

Having been a child who grew up in the time before Skype and IMO and other video calling apps hit the market, I saw my own grand parents only once a year and I was ever envious of my cousins who grew up close enough to see them everyday. My mother’s wistful request has made me feel emotionally compelled to get her a better phone. I checked the features on the Moto E and I found that although the cameras are no where close to the kind you would have on a high-end model, (and perhaps this is one of its only slightly disappointing features), at least with the Moto E, Ma will be able to connect to the internet on her new WiFi enabled phone and see us when we move back to Bahrain. My baby will feel more connected to everyone here too. (Bonus feature: The Moto E battery has been specially designed to make sure it lasts all day and the processor has been upgraded so that it’s faster and smoother than the earlier model so my mother won’t need to worry about running out of charge all the time. Added bonus: My child would be cooed at by so many more people! 🙂 ) Welcome to the addictive world of the internet on your phone Ma!

“Anything else Ma?”, I asked when she had been quiet for a little while. “Well…”, she said laughing, “…does this phone you have in mindMoto E (7)_620x376_7_0_0_0_0_0_0_0_0_0_0_0_0_0_0_0_0_0_0_0 look good?” I could not help but laugh too. Of course she would want a phone that looked good! She is one of the most stylish women I know and is consistently complimented on her choice of clothes, shoes and jewellery! I said, “No problem! Check out the variety of coloured bands that you can use!”

That’s when I showed her the videos on the site.

My mother couldn’t stop smiling…

Who doesn’t hold their firsts in a special little place in their hearts? That first love, first kiss, first job, first salary or even, as it is in my case, first pregnancy related stretch marks (which made their appearance about a week ago and brought a very wide grin to my face)! So what if it’s not me making that first smart phone memory myself? It’s my mother and I can’t wait to see the delight on her face when she starts with Moto E!

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Do visit their website at http://www.startwithmotoe.com/!

Photo Credits:

Pic 1: My mothers phone.

Pic 2: Here

Growing Up

When I published that little post the other day after all those months of…hibernation?…Yes, I think that’s probably the best way to describe my state of being…I realized just how much I have missed writing/blogging regularly. Moving to a different country brought with it change of proportions that I didn’t expect to encounter so quickly and for a while I was almost struggling to cope. My “home” here was the last thing on my mind. You see, when I first moved to Bahrain in July 2014, the husband and I thought it was time we took the “We two, Our one” (for the time being at least) plunge and try to extend our little family of two. Never did I expect to see those positive lines on the home pregnancy test just a month after we made that decision. I couldn’t digest the fact that at that very moment, I was already playing host to a baby and would be for the next nine months! Could I really be that lucky? I wouldn’t allow myself to believe the test. Truth be told, I think I only accepted that I was going to be a mother when my doctor pointed out the tiny little speck that was to be our child at my first ultrasound. (I needed her to show me where the baby was twice, because I couldn’t spot the baby the first time. I am hoping that is no gauge for how I will fare as a parent…sigh…)

I spent a lot of the first few months of my pregnancy like most other women, with my head bent over a toilet unable to tolerate the smell of food let alone eat it and shed weight so fast that at any other time in my life, the weighing scale and I would have been friends for the very first time. But, I was not in the mood to make friends and instead anxiously worried about the baby. I was also really lonely because since it had been just a month that I was in Bahrain before the onset of the morning sickness, apart from the husband, there wasn’t anyone else who I had the time to get to know well enough in the country to even spend an afternoon with to take my mind off things. Being at an emotional and physical low point (and being allowed to be extra fussy since I am expecting), I convinced the husband to let me have the delivery in India; in surroundings I know and with more people I love close by. So, here I am…back in the settings I ached for when I was all those miles away.

I didn’t write…couldn’t in fact…for months and months, but now, having reached the stage where my belly has begun to enter a room before me and people no longer just ask how I’ve managed to put on so much weight, I feel the need to get back to writing. In a little while, if everything goes well, the husband and I will become completely responsible for another human life. Am I excited? Of course I am! I adore children and knowing that I have one of my own on his or her way makes me thrilled. Am I also scared? No…I’m plain old terrified! I am after all the woman who for the longest time truly believed her baby’s movements were just gas… When I think of that part of me that wants to write, I wonder if I will be able to sit at a laptop or desktop and have the time to write what I feel. Somehow I don’t see that as a sure thing in the near future. But, I’ll never know if I don’t try.

I suppose it’s time for me to accept that the girl looking back at me from the mirror has grown up and a new chapter is about to begin – motherhood…won’t you wish me luck?

Change

Sleep eludes her for,
Sunrise brings with it much change.
She tries to be brave
Knowing that even the worm
Must face the unknown to fly.

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Written based on the prompt in The One Minute Writer – Tanka Tuesday. The prompt was “Change” To learn more about the style of writing. Please check out the original post on TOMW here.