While Asher and Adelise’s relationship was on the verge of melting down, the younger generations of Fiers were catching up with one another and completely unaware of their parents’ current problems. A table had been adorned with an array of delicious desserts and snacks, including gingerbread cupcakes, popcorn, kimbap, tteokbokki, mango ice cream, donuts, fries, corn dogs with mozzarella and cheese potatoes, and other delightful foods. The room was filled with a mouth-watering aroma and sounds of laughter and good-natured teasing. It was clear that everyone was having fun. They talked about everything from the enlightened to the absurd.
Dysis: Let’s get this straight, the situation is this: you’re at your favorite café, you order your favorite drink. With it you’re given a slice of the café’s signature cake that you did not order, and you wouldn’t think anything?
Darius: Exactly. I would think “oh, cake” and eat it.
Deli: But you didn’t order it.
Darius: But they gave it to me on purpose.
Dysis: You wouldn’t wonder why?
Deli: Exactly—You wouldn’t wonder if it were a special day at the shop, if you were being rewarded for being a frequent customer, if one of the baristas or the shop owner had a crush on you, if—
Darius: No way! One second, let me sit down for this—I wouldn’t make free cake stressful with a bunch of weird, complicated thoughts. It’s their signature cake. It’s free. I’m going to eat it and enjoy. I will live my life in peace.
Deli: Without any thoughts about why you were given it?
Darius: Not a single one!
Darius: Let’s eat cake! Cheers to not overthinking!
Dyna: Cheers! We don’t overthink. You and I, we’re S-types, ISFJ and ESFP.
Dysis: You don’t need to add “over” before “think” because, you know, sometimes you don’t think at all. 🙂
Caleb had been sitting with the four of them, but retreated to Aster, his wife, when the topic turned to gnomes who granted wishes if you stayed out of their secret passages. Darius (and surprisingly Dyna) were okay with betraying the gnomes’ trust and lying to them about entering the passages.
Darius: I can kick blackmailing gnomes all day every day.
Deli: They might put a curse on you and break all your electronics.
Caleb and Aster watched from afar and laughed with them.
Elmire who was supposed to be sleeping, woke up and wandered over. Bedtime and prohibitions on sweets forgotten, they happily welcomed her and offered her a donut.
It wouldn’t be a Fier family gathering without free spirited dancing.
The Fiers’ butler Liliana deserved a holiday break like everyone else. She’d worked the main day of Winterfest, but now it was time for her to relax, to do and go and wake up as she pleased, stress free.
Some might have found her out-of-uniform fashion curious, but it was exactly as she wanted. She was wearing festive colors and dressed for rest. Her comfort would always come before someone else’s eyes.
Liliana stopped by Asher’s office to tell him she was finished for the day and leaving.
He came in behind her, seemingly distracted as well as annoyed, and was much quieter than normal. If he had some problem with her break, Liliana thought it would be extremely rude of him to reveal it now, right as she was leaving.
Liliana: Is everything all right?
Asher: No. I think Adelise is lying to me. I was going to ask her if she wanted to watch a movie, but she suddenly said she was tired and going to bed. She didn’t look tired. Why would she lie?
That wasn’t what Liliana expected to hear.
Liliana: I wouldn’t worry about it. The holidays are tiring. She’s been busy.
Asher: But to become suddenly tired? When she’s tired she blinks almost twice as often as normal, about 30 times per minute. However, when she said that she was tired, she was only blinking 15 times per minute, her normal rate.
If he had been focused on how often his wife blinked (which was odd but Liliana didn’t want to get into it), Liliana suspected that he may have missed other things, actually important things.
Liliana: If you allow me to ask, did something happen?
Asher: Nothing happened. We had been talking. She complimented me and asked what I liked. I told her that I liked the dark brown hair color.
Liliana: You mean you told her you liked red hair?
Asher: No. I said I liked dark brown hair.
Liliana: Again, if you’ll allow me to ask and with all due respect, why would you say that?
Asher: I like brown hair.
Liliana: Your wife has red hair.
Liliana: So it is hard to understand why you said you liked brown hair.
Asher: She asked what I liked.
Liliana: And you don’t like red hair?
Asher: I like red hair.
Liliana: So why didn’t you just say that?
Asher: Why would I need to say that?
Liliana: Because your wife has red hair.
Asher: I was trying to tell her something she may not know, something interesting. Thus, I said I liked brown hair like my eldest child’s mother’s.
Liliana: Sir! I think your wife is unlikely to be interested in hearing your preference for a past lover’s hair.
Asher: But she asked.
Liliana: She did not ask about past lovers. She asked what you liked about her and don’t you think that maybe she said she was tired because she felt hurt by your callous words?
Liliana entertained thoughts of physical violence and chewing him out, but tried to remain calm and polite.
Liliana: Well, in my opinion, it was an incredibly hurtful and thoughtless thing to say. It is cruel to compare your wife to past lovers. What if she said that she liked her ex-boyfriend’s handsome face and brown eyes? How would you feel?
Asher: I would feel that she were lying because she hasn’t had any past boyfriends.
Liliana: Except you’re surely an ex as of now.
Liliana had muttered that, but Asher heard her.
Liliana: Excuse me.
Asher: You’re excused, but you should acknowledge that I did not make any hurtful comparisons. I told her I liked brown hair, which was perhaps uninteresting, but I never said that I liked it best or that I didn’t like red hair.
Liliana: I apologize, but I cannot acknowledge that.
Asher: But I never said those things.
Liliana: They were implied—Please tell your wife that she’s welcome to contact or join me if she needs somewhere to stay.
On to Part 2.
- Note: For the curious, MBTI personality types for the Fiers:
- Asher – INTJ (architect)
- Adelise – ISTP (crafter/virtuoso) / INFP (idealist)
- Aster – ENFJ (protagonist)
- Barin – ISFP (artist)
- Calanthe – ESTJ (director)
- Dawn – ESTP (persuader)
- Delmarya – INFJ (advocate)
- Dysis – ENTJ (commander)
- Darius – ESFP (entertainer)
- Dyna – ISFJ (defender)
- Elmire – too young (?NFP)?
- Ennik – too young (???J)?