In the kitchen, we all found Mum in her PJ, sitting on the floor, covered with white powder.
"Ah, are you ok?" Dad was the first one to dare to start a conversation.
"What do you think?" was her response. "Hah? Don't you see how upset I am? You have no idea why I am so upset, don't you? Hah? No idea at all!"
It wasn't exactly a promising comment for a nice and cozy family breakfast to take place. I was determined to contribute my idea to lighten up the heavy air and said,
"Can I have breakfast? I am hungry."
It was one of the worst lines I have ever uttered in my life.
"You just don't care, do you? I'm just a cook or a servant to you all, am't I? No interests for how I feel or what I do! You just don't give a thought about my well-being, my feelings, my life!!! I am just like a pot in the kitchen providing food, fulfilling your empty stomach. Or, or, or just a hoover cleaning the mess you make. I am not even visible to ya, am't I? You don't look at me. You don't notice any changes in me at all. You don't appreciate my presence at all. Why do I bother to cook, clean and organize the bloody Christmas party for people who don't respect and care my being?"
She was absolutely in a chaotic state of mind. She screamed lines and lines of hurting words like sharp knives in the core of your heart as she smashed dishes and glasses on the floor. It was more frightening than most of horror movies I've even seen. Dad and I stood helplessly beside Mum, wishing desperately her emotional tempest would eventually go away.
"Don't you Honey me now, you heartless bugger. What have you done for me lately? You just come home exhausted and sit on the couch sipping beer, doing nothing at all. What comes out from the mouth is either the depressing sigh or 'Oh, dear.' You go out on your own with your mates and have fun outside. I always sit on the bloody kitchen chair alone, asking what happen to my happy days with laughters and full of music and friends to share the joy of being. "
"You just don't listen to me, don't you? You don't care what I think, do you? Do you???"
"em...May I say something?"
"I am asking, am't I?"
"Right. Excuse my stupidity but I do care about you, my dear."
"No, you don't."
"Well, I am not here to argue with you on the matter. But I do know how I feel and I do care about you. I truly do."
"Then why don't you help me out for the house work?"
"I do when I can. But why do we argue on who do washings or not in such an early morning on Christmas Eve? Why did you start making cake in the morning?"
"Just because I invited some friends over the Christmas dinner and wanted to make it so special!"
"Did you ask us to help you out?"
"No. But you should volunteer for helping!"
"Well, I am sorry but I had no idea what's in your mind. Ok. What can I do to help you? Our daughter will help you too. Don't you, dear?"
My goodness! I thought to myself. I didn't know how tactful Dad can be with Mum. It must be a secret of long and lasting married couple with a stepchild. He is not my biological father but I wanted him to be at the moment. He was doing a terrific job to calm Mum down like a pro magician with his words. I was well-impressed with his skill and nodded so deeply with full approval with his suggestion.
"Well, I suppose we can start from doing something with the mess around here, can't we?"
Mum did not respond to that and sat down on a chair covered with flour.
"Well, you must be exhausted, dear. Please take a rest. We'll make you some tea and take care of this mess." said Dad and put the kettle on the stove.
I didn't dare to comment anything but gave the approved nod and joined his healing mission.
Dad mumbled, "Oh dear." and then covered his face in shame, apologizing, "Sorry. I did it again. Oh, dear..."
He looked up the ceiling in vain : I started giggling. Mum also started giggling. The hysterical giggle stayed for a while with us, sweeping the heavy air away.