“It was a time of peace, a time of justice,” His tone is full of bravado, so much so that giggles streak past my lips before I can help it. He ignores my transgression, though, barreling through. “Some would even call it an age of good, though for others, it was simply an age of evil.”
This time, my sister breaks the veil of seriousness over our living room, her laughter spilling out of her and infecting our brother too. I struggle to maintain my composure but as the corner of Uncle Tai’s mouth lifts, I fail miserably and we become a puddle of children.
“Goodness gracious, what are you doing to the children, Tai?” Mamman sweeps in, her voice full of false disapproval.
“Who, me?” He lays a hand delicately to his chest, long fingers splayed to the collar of the black band t-shirt from their youth. Mamman gives a deeply pained eye roll before kissing his cheek and turning to us.
“Who knew my children loved to laugh so much? With all the jokes around here you’d think we’d hear more giggles like this.”
“But Mamman, you and Momma just aren’t that funny.” Calla grins unabashedly at Mamman while Tress and I hide behind her. Mamman, meanwhile, puts on a face of mock injury, placing a tattooed hand to her temple.
“What will I tell your Momma? How will she take this heartbreaking news?” Uncle Tai shakes his head and gathers her in his arms, mock sadness plastered across his face. The act is too much and we lose it all over again, peals of laughter echoing through the house now.
When we finally think we’ve collected ourselves, we hear footsteps coming toward us. Our eyes dart to the two adults whispering and grinning, who quickly snap back into performance as Momma enters to set us to laughing once again.