Status: In Time

To Caress My Day

Chapter 186: Journey Down Memory Lane

Her parents approved of her boyfriend, Seth? Twig’s felt her heart enlarge to the size of a hot air balloon due to their validation. Not that it was the deciding factor on whether or not she was going to remain with him. Still, it was lovely to know they liked the guy. Pushing her shoulder off the entryway she leaned in, Twigs reiterated the update she had come to deliver. “Oh right, the vegetables are all cleaned and chopped for dinner, mommy.”

“Then let’s get this dinner ready before our poor guest starves to death!” Araceli cracked, whimsically patting Seth’s hand before rising from the couch. Closing the distance between her and her child, she set her hands over Twig’s shoulder and gestured back down the hall where she had just came from. “Shall we?”

Twigs afforded herself a fleeting glance at her boyfriend just to be positive that he wasn’t in harm’s way and hadn’t been mercilessly grilled by her parents while she’d been abandoned in the kitchen to handle the rest of the vegetables her step-father, Luther, was supposed to be assisting her with. But his face was tranquil, giving her the comfort she needed to be impelled to leave again. Beaming at her mother, she nodded obediently and led the way down the hall. “Absolutely.”

Still thrilled over the secret Seth spewed to him and his wife, Luther leaned over to whisper to Seth just in case anyone was still in earshot of them. “I don’t care what my wife thinks, we HAVE to celebrate this occasion with a drink!”

“Before dinner?” Seth grinned, surmising that Araceli definitely wouldn’t favor this idea if she was still present.

“It’ll just be a small shot!” Luther vowed before rising from the couch and beckoning Seth with a wave of his hand to follow. “Come, the alcohol is over here.”

Hopping to his feet, Seth followed him to where the decanters were placed on a small table among crystal glasses that twinkled in the light. “I suppose one shot wouldn’t hurt anyone.”

“That’s what I’m talking about, my boy!” Luther acclaimed, uncorking the bottle to pour them what turned out to be two shots of whiskey in the end.

After Araceli’s exquisite homemade dinner, the family flocked back to the living room. The men sat relaxed on the couch with their bellies satisfied. Twigs had plopped down beside Seth and was curled tightly against his side when her mother walked in toting a thick brown binder. Frowning at the item in her hand, Twigs inquired. “Mommy, what’s that you got there?”

“Oh, you don’t remember this?” Araceli taunted her, lifting the book so she could see every angle of it as she turned it front to back. “Has it really been that long since I pulled this out for your little friends when you brought them over?”
Twigs slowly shook her head, not recognizing the book. Shifting to sit properly on the couch, she planted her feet back onto the floor again. “I guess it must have been because I don’t recognize it.”

“What is that, Araceli?” Seth inquired, now becoming interested partly due to the mischievous smile on the women’s face. He leaned forward in his seat since Twigs wasn’t cuddled against him anymore.

“Oh, you’ll find out.” Luther chuckled with a humorous glint in his eyes.

“Scoot on over you two!” Araceli ordered with excitement to the two men. They scuttled to obey and made enough space so she could plop down comfortably between the two. Everyone crowded close by. “We’re about to take a journey down memory’s lane. Specifically, Tahliah’s memory lane.”

“My memory lane!?” Twigs gasped, covering her hands over her mouth as it began to dawn on her what this book consisted of. “Mommy, no! Don’t!”

“Oh, hush now!” Araceli slapped her hectic hands away so she could open the book to the first page where there were baby pictures of her daughter.

“Oh my god, is this a photo album!?” Seth exclaimed with excitement, his grin so immense now there was no more room on his face for it to expand to.

“It is.” Luther confirmed, laughing at Twig’s horrified face.

“Oh my god, Seth, please don’t look!” Twigs whined, covering her face in embarrassment. “Please!”

“How can I resist, Tahliah?” Seth beseeched her, his brown eyes drinking in all the moments of her life from the very beginning. “It’s about you! Oh, look at those chubby cheeks you had as a baby!”

“I know, wasn’t she just the cutest darling you’ve ever seen?” Araceli gushed just as fondly.

Picture after picture they went. Twigs was embarrassed beyond belief, and didn’t try to hide it as she sagged deeper into the couch and kept her red face shielded with her hands. Seth and Araceli mutually fawned over every picture like they were looking through an archive of baby puppies for sale. Never has Seth been engrossed over baby pictures before, not even his own niece! He ‘cooed’ and ‘awed’ every picture to death. Luther was highly tickled and would ridicule Twigs every now and then to get under her skin that her man was eyeing her embarrassing baby pictures. It also didn’t help that Araceli unraveled stories after stories that took place with each picture to Seth in fine detail. No embarrassing rock was left unturned.

“Would it trouble you if I could get some copies of these pictures? I’m sorry, but they’re just too adorable for me to pass up.” Seth pleaded, imploring with puppy dog eyes filled with hope that she’d consent.

“Why of course not, Seth! I’d love to!” Araceli granted him before lifting the book from her lap and setting it on his. “Here, you find as many pictures you can find of her you want and I’ll print them right away for you tonight.”

“Are you serious?” Seth asked, barely able to contain his excitement. At her affirmed nod, he began to select the bulk of the photos.

Twigs rolled her eyes and sighed. “You guys, this isn’t really necessary.”

“Oh, let him have his fun, he’s a guest after all.” Luther reminded her with a wink before probing out of curiosity. “Say, do you have any baby pictures of Seth by any chance?”

Twigs answered with a smile at first before nodding in confirmation.

Out of the corner of his eyes, Seth spotted her sly smile and demanded. “Wait, what!? You have baby pictures of me? How? And when?”

“Almost right after we came back from Connecticut.” Twigs answered the ‘when’ part then followed by the ‘how’ part. “Rachel sent them to me.”

Because of the sibling rivalry he had with his sister, Seth narrowed his eyes with discontent and hissed. “That Backstabber!”

Twigs couldn’t resist laughing at his immaturity and placed a hand on his arm. “Calm down, love. I have them on my phone where they’re locked away and secured. I swear on my mother I won’t show them to a living soul, not even my closest friends.”

“And I plan not to do the same.” Seth pledged with a soft smile. “I plan to keep mine in my wallet. Rest assure that if anyone else so much as catches even a peek at your baby photos it’ll be a mugger.”

Everyone in the room burst out laughing before Araceli and Luther went off to fetch the desserts to be gobbled up. And gobbled up they were. As it grew late into the night, the couple said their farewells to Twig’s family. For Seth this would be the last time he saw them. The embraces he gave and received were prolonged now that they were all more acquainted with each other. Seth didn’t think he’d be leaving Gloucestershire missing them as bad as he was already.

“I promise I’ll come down when it gets warmer.” Seth swore, shaking Luther’s hand and receiving a kiss on the cheek from Araceli. “Clear your schedules because I want to see everything I missed out on.”

“Oh don’t worry, Seth. We will.” Araceli called to the couple that waved goodbye as they made their way down their driveway. Somber to see them go, she sighed sorrowfully and shut the door behind her.