Long Cold Winter: Chapter Eighteen

“Hey, Dad, I’m home!” The soft, yet strong voice of Egypt roused him from his dreams.

Good God! He had forgotten that she was coming home! “I’m in here,” he managed.

She came into the living room, accompanied by one of her college friends. “This is Amanda. She is going to be staying with us until the semester begins. I am tutoring her in music and math.”

He felt his pride in his daughter rise to his throat with his heart as he offered Amanda his hand in greeting. “Pleased to meet you. I am probably one of the worst Proud Parent types you’ll ever meet. I am so proud of my daughter…well, all my children.”

Amanda took his hand and shook it. “Pleased to meet you, Mr. Morrow. E has told me so much about you. My parents always talked about you when I was growing up. You’re like a legend or something.”

He tried to hide the smirk that insisted upon taking over his face. “Probably more like the ‘or something’ by now. I haven’t been active in music since two years ago.”

Egypt looked at him, a mock cross look on her face. “Oh, dad. When will you ever accept that your fame will outlive you?”

He smiled at his daughter. “Only you believe that. Besides. I was never in it for the fame. Or the fortune. I was in it because I was good at it. And loved it. Everything else was a byproduct.”

She smiled at him. “So what do you have to eat? We’re starved.”

He rose. “There is still a little of your Aunt Star’s chicken marinara and pasta in the fridge. Or I could put something together real quick if you want me to.” He winked at Amanda.

Egypt turned to her friend. “I forgot to warn you. He is an awful flirt. But an excellent cook. I could have grown fat and sassy on his meals, if it weren’t for his insistence in us being active. No day-long video game marathons here. Or all day cartoon fixes. Just good wholesome family meals and family fun.” She turned to her father. “Why don’t you throe together some of your world famous moo goo gai pan? I have been dying for some of that since I went to college eight years ago.”

He nodded, then looked at Amanda. “Oh and the name is Matt, not Mister.” He smiled and winked. the two young women turned and walked away.

He watched them head for the stairway in the entrance. The foyer. He headed for the kitchen. Not like Egypt to bring friends with her. No matter. He enjoyed having the company.

It was hard to believe that Egypt was now almost thirty. She had gone into college for a PhD. in education. And though she was still in college, she taught classes as well. Hell. She was the youngest professor on the campus. UCLA had acquired the best English teacher in the world when they hired her. Egypt Morrow out-shined even the oldest professors, those who’d taught her. But they loved her.

She had a knack of teaching even the least receptive students and gaining their interest in the subject. All her treatises and theses had been widely published. Her studies were taken seriously. And her books were loved by those who read them.

She held any teacher who wasn’t in the profession as a lifer to be almost heretical. No one who went in for a BS or a Masters in teaching should ever be there just to get a foothold in a tech company. That was not the way to do things. Ever.

If you were going to learn how to teach, then you needed to remain teaching. She didn’t care about the pay offered from the big internet places. Money wasn’t everything. Not if you truly cared about the future.

But then, her father had taught her well. Do what you love. Love what you do. And always teach others to do so as well. Keep the cycle going.

He was still thinking of how much she had grown as he removed the button mushrooms, carrots, onions, snow pea pods and bock choy from the fridge. He pulled down the needed sauces and seasonings, sought out a nice boneless chicken breast from the meat drawer, then began chopping it all into moo goo gai pan. Once the cutting was done, he found his wok, turned on a burner, and allowed the wok to get hot. Into the hot wok, he poured peanut oil and swirled it around the interior. then he began throwing in the vegetables into the wok, followed by the strips of chicken breast and seasonings and sauces.

He smiled as the aroma filled the house. Soon, it would draw the women back down the stairs and to the table. Egypt would know that he wouldn’t be eating. Maybe.

He sat down two plates. Finding some wonderful fried rice he’d made the day before, He put the bowl in the microwave and heated it. Plating up the rice and the moo goo gai pan, he sat a plate where he thought each woman would sit. Then, he sat down where he usually sat at the table and waited.

Egypt was the first to appear. She sat down where he knew she would. She looked at him. “It smells good. Aren’t you going to eat?”

He shook his head. “No. Your Aunt Rainbow brought me something earlier.”

She smiled. “I’ll bet that was delicious.”

He smiled. “It was her world famous Thai dishes. I ate it all. Couldn’t resist.”

She nodded. “I’ll bet not.” She leaned forward. “Dad, I know I shouldn’t meddle in your private life, but it isn’t good to live alone.”

He looked around. “What do you mean?”

She looked at him sternly. “You haven’t had anyone in your life since mom. That has had to be hard. That is why I brought Amanda with me. You need someone in your life other than my aunts and uncles. Even us kids.”

There it was. She had taken away all his arguing points. She was determined to set him up with a friend of hers. Apparently, age didn’t seem to matter to her.

She seemed to feel that, as long as he had someone in his life, she wouldn’t have to worry about him. Suddenly, he wondered who else might have been behind this. He began going through the list.

Sahara? Marcus? What about his brothers and sisters? Probably.

He smiled. “Alight, Honey. I will give it a try.”

She nearly knocked her plate into the floor in her haste to rise and hug him. “Oh, thank you, Daddy!”


2 thoughts on “Long Cold Winter: Chapter Eighteen

    1. I tend to pick names I like, and that are different. Egypt is actually inspired by the Coasters song Little Egypt. Sahara is just one of those beautiful words that create images. Rainbow and Star’s names are period hippie-given names (think Frank Zappa and his daughter Moon Unit. of course, Frank was strange anyway.). Tobias recurs in my writing. Don’t know why, but it is a name I tend to pick over any other for a man.

      All in all, I am glad you are enjoying the story. It has been the easiest one for me to write so far. The words just flow onto the proverbial page (since I am posting instead of actually writing on paper). It has also been the most fun.

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