Epilogue 5: Dinner with Robin’s parents
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After Robin moves in with Oliver, he still tries to visit his parents as much as his schedule allows, and one day, just before he leaves, his mother abruptly says, “Invite your friend over for dinner next time.”

Robin pauses. “My boyfriend?”

“Yes, yes, your boyfriend,” his mother says. “We’ll cook good food. Tell him to come.”

“Yes, mum,” Robin agrees dutifully. Behind his mum, Lark is lurking. She gives him a thumbs up.

So, next Monday evening, Robin and Oliver come down to his parents place, and Lark picks them up from the station.

The door of the house is open as their car pulls into the driveway.

“Welcome, welcome, hello,” Robin’s father immediately says, exaggerating an Australian accent. Robin tries not to wince.

“You must be Oliver,” his mum says.

“Good evening,” Oliver says politely, bowing his head. “This is for you.” He holds out the crate of mangos he and Robin had bought at the market yesterday.

Robin’s mother does a quick bow too. “Good, good, what a good boy,” she says, her eyes darting to Robin. She nudges to her husband to take the mangos. “Come in, no need to take your shoes off! Robin, show Oliver around! Dinner is almost ready!”

Robin takes his shoes off, and Oliver follows suit. He grabs an extra pair of slippers for him.

“Your parents seem enthusiastic,” Oliver mumbles. “It’s a bit scary.”

Lark pats him on the back before Robin can.

“Worry not, Oliver. No harm will come to my minions.”

Oliver cracks a grin. “Thanks. I’m looking forward to seeing your bedrooms and baby photos.”

“You just need to ask me,” Lark whispers loudly. “I’ll supply the goods.”

Robin gives his sister a look of betrayal. “Lark,” he whines.

If anything, Oliver’s grin grows wider.

Lark leads the way in showing him the house, from the living room, their bedrooms, and Lark’s gym room. And she points out Robin in all his school photos.

“So serious,” Oliver says.

“He was an angsty kid, you wouldn’t know it,” Lark says.

“I was not,” Robin says. “Lark was such a doting older sister, how could I be?”

“Awwww,” Lark rubs his hair. “Come on, I think I hear our mum calling for dinner.” She turns to Oliver. “A tip. Say that you’re full before you actually are, because guaranteed our mum will feed you more.”

Oliver nods seriously, but a knowing smile grows on his face. “Actually, I’m the same. Nothing beats the joy of making sure your loved ones are fed and full, right? It’s a grandmother thing.”

“...Domestic,” Lark realises. “Come on.”

They sit around the dining table, and somehow, Oliver ends up sitting next to Robin on one side, and Robin’s mum on the other. The spread on the table is excessive—his mum has really gone all out on all the dishes.

“Ah, you can use chopsticks, Oliver? Very good,” his mum praises. “Let me scoop some rice for you.”

She scoops a big serving of rice. “Oliver, try this,” she says next, pointing to a dish of grilled meat. “Eat with this, pour some of this sauce…”

“Yes ma’am,” Oliver says meekly.

“Is it good?”

“Very good,” Oliver says obediently. “The meat is very flavourful.”

Robin’s mum still doesn’t look satisfied though, and ends up directing him to try some more foods.

“Here, Robin, you also try this,” Oliver says, moving a piece of stewed egg to Robin’s bowl.

“Thanks,” Robin says, uncomfortably aware that both his parents are now looking at him.

Eventually, Oliver gives up. “I’m full now, no more please!”

“But you’re a growing boy,” Robin’s mum attempts to cajole.

“...”

“Mum, what about dessert?” Lark says.

“Oh! Dessert!” His mum tells his dad to clear some of the eaten dishes and take out dessert instead, which consists of fried sesame balls, and steamed layer cake. She also slices up some mango for them right there and then.

Now onto the dessert stage, his parents seem to relax, and Robin’s dad starts asking questions about Oliver’s work.

There are no inappropriate questions, thankfully. And though it’s not exactly normal for his parents to dote on a new person so much, Robin can appreciate that they’re trying.

“It’s getting late,” his mum finally says. “Robin and Oliver, you’re staying here?”

“We’re taking the train back, it’s fine,” Oliver says. “Thank you so much for dinner, I really enjoyed it.”

“Wait, wait!” Robin’s mum pulls out some plastic containers and immediately starts transferring various foods over. “Have some food, okay? It’s too much for us.”

“Okay,” Oliver says helplessly.

They even end up leaving with a couple of the mangos that they had bought for Robin’s parents.

Oliver leans on Robin on the train journey back. “That wasn’t so bad.”

“No, it wasn’t,” Robin murmurs.

No doubt that his parents are going to talk to each other about their real feelings about Oliver and Robin, but at the same time, it’s not Robin’s business what they say in private. He also thinks his parents’ acceptance has been accelerated by the fact that Robin has now moved out. They’ll probably start pestering him about children in a year once they become desperate enough.

Oliver yawns. “I think I’m going to go into a food coma.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll carry you.”

“But can you carry me and the food as well?” Oliver teases.

“You’re worth more than the food,” Robin counters.

“Good answer.” Oliver relaxes and he closes his eyes.

There are people in the train carriage, but Robin dares to wrap an arm around Oliver’s shoulder, keeping him steady as the train runs into the night.

 

 

Three more epilogue scenes to go ?

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