A fondness of rhubarb lured me to the kitchen, where mother was preparing dessert. She had just finished poaching the delicious sugary stems and was now pouring the pink water into cups, to which she would add the cheesecake topping once the rhubarb sauce had cooled down.
The smells reminded me of the good old days, when dad was still around and he would show his son how to eat the dessert without wasting a single drop of delight. I couldn’t help myself and stuck my finger into one of the cups, despite a scolding from mother.
This was heaven. Here, this moment, in this kitchen. The smells, the taste, the memories of yesteryear. All that was missing was a grandchild to share the experience with, mom would probably say. But that was not going to happen. She knew that, and it had left a huge emotional void. She hugged me and I felt her pain.
The rhubarb sauce was cold now and the cups were swiftly filled with the cheesecake topping. I helped mother carry the tray to the parlour table and put one of the desserts in front of Jim.
“Taste this. If you’ve ever had a better dessert, you’re lying.”
One bite was enough to make Jim smile. His eyes beamed like those of a kid on Christmas Eve. The spoon expertly graze the cup’s edges as to not waste a single drop. Just like I’d told hold him. Just like my father had told me.
I still think it was that moment, that precise moment, mom for the first time truly accepted I was gay.
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