After talking with mother, we returned to the parlour where Laurier and my father were chatting, and she immediately ran up to me when she saw me. Feeling healed by that bright smile, I gently pet Laurier’s head as I spoke to her.
“Were you able to have a nice talk with your grandfather?”
“I see… I’m happy to hear it.”
I felt my jaw begin to slacken as my daughter gave me a happy grin, but I had to endure it for now. Recently, I feel like I’ve gotten better at keeping a straight face. Well, it’s definitely hard to keep it up around Laurier and Sasha, but… I’d like to show those two Callis’ cool side.
“Father, sorry for making you wait.”
“Ah… yeah. Don’t mention it.”
Father still seemed a little confused as he watched me tussle Laurier’s hair, taking a couple of moments to realize what I’d said. Well, it makes sense for Callis’ parents to be a little surprised to see their son acting in a way he never had in front of them before, but… I’d like them to get used to it.
It seems as if mother has either already accepted it or didn’t want to look down in front of her granddaughter, as she began to chat with her happily again.
Actually, maybe mother is acclimatizing to all this a little too fast, but… I suppose women are just better at dealing with things like this than men?
I would’ve liked to enjoy my time together with them as a family for a little more, but… unfortunately, work was already beginning to pile up, so I gave Laurier and my parents my apologies and reluctantly returned to work.
Uuu… I was consumed with jealousy for father and mother as I worked, thinking about how much fun they must be having playing with my adorable Laurier, but as I was mulling over those thoughts trying to finish of my work as soon as possible so I could join them, I suddenly heard a knock on the door.
“Callis, is now a good time?”
“Father? Please, come in.”
My father entered after I invited him in. I thought he was still having tea with Laurier, but…
“Is something wrong?”
“Ah, well… no, merely… I felt a little out of place there, that’s all.”
“There… you mean the parlour where mother and Laurier are having tea?”
“Yes. I think Lishana might have taken to Laurier a little too fast…”
It seems that father felt a little bit awkward as mother began to dote heavily on her granddaughter. Well, I suppose it makes sense to feel a little uncomfortable as a third wheel if one person is doting on another.
Excuse me? What do you mean that’s not a convincing line coming from me, just because I happen to dote on Sasha and Laurier all the time?
That’s just because, you know… those two are irresistibly cute, right? It’s only natural as a man to want to dote on his cute wife and daughter!
Of course, I didn’t say something like that to my father, who had an awkward grimace on his face.
“Well, I suppose I didn’t expect mother to fall in love with Laurier so quickly, either.”
“Lishana has always had a soft spot for children, after all.”
“I can’t really remember much, but… do you get that kind of treatment from mother when you’re alone, father?”
Father looked a touch embarrassed at the question.
“…That’s a story for another time.”
“I see… well, as your son, I’m happy to see that the two of you still get along well.”
Apparently, it seemed like my mother was also quite sweet on father when they were alone. I’m sure that’s where I… or rather, Callis, inherited a little something from mother, I thought to myself, as I noticed father’s expression twist in surprise again.
“Is something wrong?”
“No… I was just thinking that you really have changed.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes, how should I say it… you’ve softened, somewhat. Not just towards Lishana and I, but generally.”
Softened… well, I suppose, if you compare me to the old Callis, I guess that’s true? Maybe he thinks I’ve entered what they call a ‘dere phase’? I’m not really sure how I feel about that… but, well, I can’t deny the change in personality.
“What’s more… I’d always thought that you harboured a distaste for Lishana and I. I never truly expected to see looks like that from you.”
“…I have never hated either of you.”
It’s definitely the truth that Callis was quite blunt and straight forward with his parents, but… he really never disliked them. I suppose he just didn’t know how to handle people…? I can see some of that in how awkward father was in front of me now as he tried to find the words he wanted to say. The truth was, Callis respected his father for raising him and was grateful to his mother for caring for him.
Father’s own expression softened into a more relaxed smile at my words.
“I see… I’m sorry for interrupting your work. That said, I’ve always wanted to share a drink with you as father and son… would you like to join me?”
“Of course. Please take good care of Laurier until I finish work.”
After that, my father turned and left the room… but, even though I was just staring at his back, he had a much happier atmosphere about him than when he entered.