“Ma, I’ve got a present for you!” Laura recognises, at once, the voice coming from front door. Her eldest son, Benny, must be shouting because even while she’s cooking at the back of the house, two rooms apart, she still feels like a professional drummer hitting his stick on her eardrums.
She turns, walking to the living room after leaving fish freeze dead on boiling frying pan. She thinks it’s a bit unusual for Benny to give her a present at such time.
She has been growing with Benny for sixteen years; she knows Benny better than he knows himself. Benny gives present only during Christmases. Ah, this is April, she smiles. But, it can’t be, she stops smiling. April the first was three days ago, she becomes more curious. What is it?
“Where’s the present you want to give me?” she looks at his son, who suddenly turns back when they meet in dining room. She trails him to the living room.
“Not yet. Don’t look” Benny tells her when she reaches the living room. She looks at Benny, a handkerchief in his hands. “You stop here. I’ll cover your face with this. Please don’t untie it before I tell you so.” She holds her breath while Benny covers her face with the grey piece of cloth, having her veiled like an Arab woman. When she breaths again, her nose detects the same perfume his son uses.
You treat me like a blind woman, Benny, she says to herself; then she follows her son instructions, step by step, while he guides her: “Four steps backward! Three steps to the right! Now, five steps forward!”
Benny removes the veil. “Open your eyes.” He whispers to her ear. She throws a glance at her son at her right. (To be continued)