Track 22: My parents make me want to lose my isht….still, I love them.
What a day, was all Jasmine could think as she drove into her family home. The one-acre plot was set up like a farm. Her mother dabbled in farming: growing house veggies like cabbage, lettuce, carrots and herbs. Her father kept two cows, for fresh milk. His pride when looking at those two cows was enough to ignore the amount of energy spent finding food for them. It was good luck that her parents hired a workman. Otherwise, Daryl and Jenny would never escape the duties of milking in the early morning before the birds woke up.
Jasmine chuckled as she parked her car in front of her parents’ cute ranch-style house. A grey cat stood outside the front door, staring at the new arrivals.
Kanyau was a permanent fixture here. Once, when she went missing for a day, the whole house was outside looking for her. Only to discover the cat was stuck in the ceiling trying to catch a rat.
Jasmine shook her head. The memories in this place were too many. Some fond, others…her father stepped out of the house, and she grimaced. Others, she preferred to forget.
She got out of her car, watching her mother greet her dad with a wide smile.
Wanja had driven her car home, knowing Danny would bring Jenny and Daryl home.
Jasmine walked to her father.
“Daddy,” she said, and he took her hand pulling her in for a hug, holding her tight.
“Look at you, you grow beautiful with time, Jasmine.”
Jasmine chuckled when her dad stepped back to give her a good look.
“Have you been taking care of yourself?”
“Yes.” Jasmine nodded, urging him into the house after her mother. “What about you?”
“I’m an old man worrying about my children. How do you think I’m doing?”
Jasmine bit her lip watching her dad settle on the couch. The Sunday paper a mess on the table. Her father liked to read the paper on Sundays. Doing the crossword puzzles and checking the answers from last week’s paper.
Wanja had gone to the master bedroom, so Jasmine sat on the armchair across her father. Catching up was easy, her dad was a great listener. Jasmine found herself telling him about her work, the good days, and the frustrating ones. Two hours passed by, and Wanja entered the living room carrying three mugs of coffee. She handed one to her husband, and the other to Jasmine.
“Jazz, tell your dad what brought you here today,” Wanja said, as she sat down to drink from her own mug. “It’s getting late, and tomorrow you have work.”
Jasmine placed her mug on the coffee table and met her father’s frowning gaze.
She took in a deep breath before plunging in.
“It’s about Daryl.”
“If Daryl has something to say to me, he should come and tell me.”
“He has tried, hasn’t he?” Jasmine asked. “You won’t listen to him when he says he doesn’t want the military, accounting or medicine.”
“You’re the one encouraging him to fight my plans,” her dad accused. “He left the house the last time we were discussing this topic. Jazz, don’t fill his head with ideas. I know what’s good for him.”
“I’m only supporting my brother’s ideas about his own life, and you should too.” Jasmine shook her head. “Sometimes it feels as though you’re making us fulfill the dreams you didn’t finish. You must have wanted to be an accountant, or a doctor, as you’re in the military already. Jenny did what you wanted, and now you want Daryl to study something he doesn’t like, or get into the military, like you. Why do you have to be so unfair?”
Duncan Lima stood to his full height and Jasmine followed suit, facing her formidable father. She curled her fingers into fists determined not to back down.
“That military career you’re looking down on gave you kids the life you now live,” Duncan said, his eyes narrowed. “It paid for your university, Jenny’s and now it will pay for Daryl. Why don’t I have the right to suggest what I think will work for Daryl’s life? You’ve always been too stubborn for your own good. I couldn’t do anything about you, but Daryl—”
“What?” Jasmine cut in. “He’s the one to continue the bloodline? Your precious heir?”
Duncan growled, taking a step toward her, the coffee table the only thing keeping her from his wrath.
Wanja stood then, placing her hand on Duncan’s rigid arm.
“You test a man’s patience,” Duncan said after a minute. “I’m your father. I don’t deserve to hear you talk to me like that, Jasmine.”
“Daddy,” Jasmine said, gentling her tone. “I respect you very much. You’re set in your ways, and we all try to get through your stubborn ideas, but important things like this…”
Jasmine broke off and shook her head.
“This is Daryl’s life we’re talking about here. He is really smart, better than—”
Jasmine bit her lip stopping herself from saying Danny’s name. Her dad did not like Danny. She met her mother’s gaze for a moment, then continued.
“I don’t understand half the things Danny talks about when he gets into it. He’s always wanted to do engineering. Why would you stop him? Why take that dream away from him?”
“Because we have to think of life and if he can maintain a life with his dreams,” Duncan replied. “Dreams won’t provide you with a good life. They won’t plan your life, get you married and have you living comfortably. You need a steady job for that, a guaranteed job.”
“I guess that was meant for me,” Jasmine said, with a little scoff. “Administration work in a warehouse is not your ideal job. It might not be something to brag about to your friends of course, but it maintains the life I want.”
“A life without direction,” Duncan spat out. “Who knows what you’re doing anymore? Or where you’ll end up? Is that ideal for you? Where did we go wrong with you?”
Jasmine stepped back at that jab and picked up her purse.
“I’m not here to talk about me,” Jasmine said, biting her lip hard to keep from crying.
“Daryl is my son,” Duncan said, turning to sit on the couch. He picked up the paper, his expression dismissive. “I know what’s best for him and his future. Don’t interfere, Jasmine.”
“You know what, you’re right,” Jasmine agreed. “Daryl is your son, but he is also his own person. Think about that too. Don’t let him live a life he hates.”
Jasmine met her mother’s gaze for a moment, then turned and left the house. She got in her car and drove out of the compound in a hurry. She had to pull over a few miles after when the road became a blur. Changing gears to park, she leaned back and allowed the tears to flow free.
Her worth as a daughter to her father…she couldn’t define it. He never looked at her with pride for having refused to do as he wanted. She had refused a career he thought would be perfect for her. The life he had planned out down to the year she should get married. His ideal son in-law was in the military or a doctor of some sort.
Well, joke on him because she was definitely not going to be giving that to him.
Jasmine punched the steering wheel, letting out a hard sob. She’d built her life by herself, she held down a good job, she was taking the world each day with courage.
Would her father never see that?
Jasmine hugged the steering wheel and cried hard. A few minutes into it, she gasped in the middle of her tears when her door opened. The doors must have unlocked when she parked the car. She stared at the figure standing over her.
“Who is it?” Danny demanded. “Tell me where they are and I’ll get them.”
“Danny,” Jasmine sobbed out, covering her face with her hands. “What are you doing here?”
It didn’t do for him to see her this way.
“Jazz.” Danny crouched down beside her and stared at the mess she was. “Jasmine.”
Reaching in, he pulled her into his arms and held on as she cried harder than she had in a while.
So, this story is coming to an end, can’t wait to write post the last 2 tracks. Thank you for loving this story of mine.