The tea tastes bland, and so does the conversation.

'So – are you settled then – for the retirement?' I ask after a while, once again awkwardly breaking the deafening silence with some facile palaver.

'Yes –' he hesitates, my father never hesitates. 'I suppose things are – taken care of.' My father solemnly replies, yet he seems more invigorated than usual.

When I glance at my father through my eyelashes to scrutinize him – an arduous act performed with many years of experience, because my father, as one may have guess, is a very pragmatic, intimidating and parochial man – I recognize that there is indeed a certain glow surrounding him. The type of malevolent glow accompanied with the grin of mischief that one incarnates after one gets the cake and eats it too.

On closer inspection, there is something different about him, something poignant yet inexplicably difficult to depict. To be more precise, one might say that he resembles a walking, talking paradox. Completely satisfied yet dissatisfied. Seduced by a thought, yet utterly repulsed. And, for a mere second – about the time it takes to blink an eye – it looks like the devil himself is sitting in our living room. The devil in disguise, however, disguised as my father. – And this, this mere inexplicable yet heart wrenching moment of doubt becomes my epiphany. Considering, it is when I realize that something infernally abhorrent is going to occur.