A new entry in The Omicron Matter – Goodbyes. Jason and Candace stay for dinner. Like many families, the conversation quickly dissolves to an argument. Candace steps in and diverts the conversation and eases the moment. Then Jason explains why he is leaving.
Dinners can be moments of celebration. But, in families that have problems, dinners can become the crucible that purifies the anger. Perhaps it is the expectation that everything will be forgotten for a few moments only it is not. Perhaps it is longing for something that never was and someone pops the bubble of fantasy. But arguments do not always result in broken relationships. Sometimes they give air to wounds that need to heal.
Dinner at the Farmhouse
Jason sighed and figured it was probably the best that could be hoped for. He squeezed Candace’s hand and then continued the tour pointing out books or various knick knacks. Finally his uncle opened the kitchen and waved them in. The table was set with four bowls of stew, biscuits and greens with drinks around. His aunt had taken her usual space at one end of the table. His uncle helped Candace to a place next to his aunt. Jason was placed opposite his aunt. That was a change. His uncle was now sitting next to his aunt. His aunt stared at him with narrow eyes but said nothing. After a bit, his uncle started a conversation about the cows but his aunt shushed him saying “Jason has no interest in that now. He’s all London fine.”
His uncle pleaded, “Mary, please.” Candace stepped in and started, “My mother thinks the new fabrics for summer will make some fine blouses. The material is light and washes easily.”
His aunt’s face contorted a bit grimacing and then saying slowly, “Don’t know if I need new fancy clothes. But the sitting room windows needs a bit of brightening.” Jason sighed a bit easier as light conversation started. He ate his stew silently as Candace and Mary talked about fabrics, buttons, stitching, needle size and other matters of sewing. Finally everyone had finished. Jason got up and quietly cleaned the table. His aunt snapped, “Why did you come back?”
Jason started the dishes but didn’t look back. He said, “I am going to be gone for a long time. It may be a couple of years and I will be very far away.”
His aunt said harshly, “and you’re leaving her like this?”
Jason turned to protest, but Candace put her hand on Mary’s arm and said, “He has to Mrs. Porter. He simply has to. I don’t know the full of it, but I know Stephen is wringing his hands and the new lad, Edward, says Jason’s a right genius. That he and his crew are doing things no one else can..”
His aunt turned to him and said, “Chasing trouble …just like your parents.”
Jason crossed his arms and said, “I’m going to bring them back.”
Mary snarled, “They won’t be back. They’re dead…from snooping too much.”
Jason snapped back, “I’ve been told otherwise…” His aunt’s mouth opened and then closed. He filled in quickly, “You are more right than you know to say they were snooping too much. I’ve been told they’ve been taken far away and some people are very unhappy with their research.”
Mary lifted her chin in triumph saying, “See…chasing trouble.”
Jason said, “But they are alive and I am going to get them back.” She stayed silent. She looked at the table. He could see her eyes water a bit. He started on the dishes again.