Thor twiddled the phone in his hands. He had a lot of papers to finish, and he knew he wouldn’t be able to come back home next week since finals were a fortnight away. He looked to his father, Khai, who was cursing at the slow traffic. This would probably be one of the last opportunities for conversation he’d have with his father.
“Hey Abah, how long did you know Mama before you two eloped?”
Khai uncomfortably inched the car forward in the dense traffic. Of all times to be caught in a jam. He swore under his breath.
“Why do you need to know? Just focus on your studies first.” He said, abrubtly shifting the gear to ‘N’.
“Pfttt,” Thor snorted, looking back to his phone. He recieved a messaged from Ira, a girl friend he had known for a while. She was alright. Sweet, kind, smart, beautiful. Thor didn’t have high hopes about building a relationship with her, but he knew she’d be a perfect partner. Too perfect in fact, to the extent he knew he didn’t deserve her. Not that it bothered him. He believed in fate, if it’s meant to be, then it would be.
He smiled and continued their cyber conversation. Khai frowned.
“You’re not seriously thinking about getting married at that age are you?”
“Why not? Like father like son, would it not be?” Thor replied in a sassy, playful tone.
Khai rolled his eyes. He knew there would be a price to pay for getting married at 21.
“Marriage is no joke. Having ‘unconditional love’,” he teased the term while making a face, “isn’t enough to keep a marriage together,” the car painfully inched forward “you gotta have dem moolas.” he rubbed his fingers together, indicating cash.
“I’m pretty sure if my parents could find it in themselves to give me reusable diapers, then I got the same heartless gut to do so to my kids.” Thor replied, not looking away from his phone.
Khai scrunched his eyes and looked at his son with disbelief written all over his face. Luckily Thor’s mom was back home or she would be lecturing Khai about how, “See!! Thor got this from you!!” or “he’s your son”. He couldn’t handle that lady at her worse even if she was the love of his life. Khai grabbed the phone. Thor barely resisted, obviously not giving two craps about it. Khai gulped. Ira’s profile picture was beautiful. He had to calm down and remember that he was a happily married man. He sighed and tossed back the phone to Thor.
“So that’s her, huh?”
“Nah, she’s just a senior from the EV club,” Thor replied. Khai sighed in relief.
There was a peaceful silence. The traffic cleared up and Khai started driving away steadily. He let out a small breath, and said,
“That’s how long I knew your mother before we got married, 13 months,” he reached the gate to the College, and the guard let him in.
Thor smiled. He picked up the conversation and then talked about the little things. How they had to move out of the dorms once Mama was pregnant with Thor, how all their YTN money went to his reusable diapers and baby food, how he’d wake them up at 3 a.m. (by crying) to finish off their assignments. They talked and laughed for what felt to be a long while. When they finally reached his dorm, Thor’s smile wavered slightly. He fetched his bags. There weren’t too much, and he could easily do them in one trip, but he decided to take his time. He grabbed a small amount and took the stairs. When he came back, his father noticed.
“There’s only one bag left, want me to help you?”
Thor looked at his old man’s rather young, 40-something-year-old face, and shook his head. He felt warm inside. He delivered the bags and came back down one more time. He grabbed the bag and slung it over his shoulder before walking up to the driver’s seat to ‘salam’ his father.
Khai smirked, “What’s the matter, didn’t want people to see you hanging around with your dad like a loser?” he joked.
“Nah,” Thor shrugged “I just wanted you to be with me a little longer.”