Over dinner later that Saturday, Patricia raised a topic.
“Dad, why can’t Aunt Lucy, Georgina and Paul be here with us? I mean, this is holiday time and we won’t have this opportunity soon again.”
Uncle Pat almost puked in his chair.
“Uncle, are you alright?” Patricia asked with a smirk.
“Yea,” I’m good, he said, as he dabbed his mouth with a towel.
Uncle Pat felt like tossing his plate at her face and flinging the dining table on her so she shut up once and for all.
“Uh… I think it’s up to them, Patricia. You could call to ask if they can come. Right, Pat?” Dad said.
“Uh… yea, of course,” Uncle Pat answered, unconvinced.
“That settles it then. Patricia, give Aunt Lucy a call asking if your cousins could come over.”
Patricia was so delighted, she could almost see rainbow coloured bubbles everywhere. She excused herself. In no time, Uncle Pat followed.
“What is wrong with you?” Uncle Pat stormed.
Patricia jerked as she wasn’t expecting anyone after her. Her phone dropped.
“Uncle, you scared me.”
“Why would you bring such a topic up in front of everyone? I told you in the car, they are busy with lessons.”
“I remember, Uncle, but there’s no harm in asking.”
Unlce Pat felt like kicking her where she stood. Stupid girl that won’t shut her mouth. He stormed out of her room and up to the guest room.
“Aunt Lucy, it’s me, Patricia.”
“My sweetheart, how are you?” Aunt Lucy replied.
“I’m fine. I called to ask you if Georgina and Paul could come spend some days with us.”
“Uh… that’s a big one, Patricia.”
Georgina and Paul were roaring in the background. “Mum, say yes,” they said.
“I’m sure you can hear your cousins, they are ecstatic over the idea of paying a visit. Let’s get back to you, dear. Do take care.”
Patricia felt victorious. Now she was going to see why Uncle Pat was so scared of Aunt Lucy. It made her feel good. She knew something was amiss with Uncle Pat and his wife, and now she was going to figure it out for herself.
“Patricia, have you called them?” James asked as he came into the room.
“I think they are going to come, James. Aunt Lucy said to wait on her.”
“So now we are going to know what’s making Uncle Pat so scared.”
“Indeed,” Patricia said with a smile.
“So are we going back in today?” James asked.
“There’s no need for that. Last night’s success lives on. Right now, the fat fool is too rattled and unsettled, and if we go back in we could be caught for real this time. Can you imagine that he came to confront me, asking why I asked that Aunt Lucy come?”
“For real? Wow, he’s really losing it.”
The next morning, Sunday, over breakfast, Dad had something important to tell everyone.
“Aunt Lucy called me called me this morning to say she’d be coming with your cousins on Monday.”
It was like Patricia had been taken to a trip to Mars and back. The happiness that coursed her body was pulsating her veins. She knew deeply that this was the opposite of what her Uncle was feeling.
Uncle Pat wasn’t himself. If someone came to him that moment with a teleportation device with a fifty percent accuracy, he would take his chances even if he could be sliced halfway on reaching his destination, bloody intestine dangling beneath his upper half, his lower half lost to space and time.
Monday came with the speed of light. Aunt Lucy, Georgina and Paul arrived to the delight of all except Uncle Pat. He couldn’t even mask his discontent. And no one cared.
That night, Aunt Lucy was to sleep in the guest room with her husband while Patricia, James and John shared rooms with their cousins, which was good for bonding.
That night, Patricia asked her cousin Georgina a question.
“Is everything alright at home?”
“Yes, why do you ask?” Georgina replied.
Patricia could see that Georgina suppressed some emotions.
“Georgina,” Patricia called and paused, “You know you can tell me anything, right?”
Georgina’s face suddenly became sullen.
“All I know is Mum tells us to go to our rooms and soon after I hear sobs, dad’s sobs.”
Patricia was lost for words.
“Your dad cries? Uncle Pat cries?”
“It all started when–” she paused.
“Common, Gina, you know you can tell me.”
A tear wrinkled out of Georgina’s eyes. Patricia drew her close and put an arm around her.
“You don’t need to cry, just tell me.”
“It all started when dad used to hit mum, then I think she had enough and she fought back, and now everything is just bad-bad-bad.”
“The house isn’t as it was before. I think she over did it and now dad has lost his mind. It’s never going to be the same for us, I just know it.”
She broke into proper tears this time, and Patricia had to console her.
“It will get better. It’s marriage stuff.” Patricia said.
But in her mind she knew this was more than marriage stuff. What she just heard reeked of sadness. The type that destroys families. For a moment, Patricia didn’t know what to think. ‘He hit her,” that’s bad enough, ‘Then she fought back,’ that’s unexpected. But how did she fight back that turned Uncle Pat into a sissy? That was what she had to figure out, and nothing could stop her.
Victor Enesi is an Engineer and Creative Writer that loves telling organic stories. He might even enjoy imagining them more. If you want his organic stories on your blog, paper or magazine, you can always reach him via firstname.lastname@example.org