After getting home and finished making dinner, Jacob, who had been out all day, came home first, then followed by Claire who had been busy at work the whole day.
After all the food was served on the table, Elaine hurried back happily and said proudly, “Hey guys, I won more than seven grand from playing cards today!”
Jacob gasped reflexively, “Wow, dear, that’s awesome! Seven grand a day, that’s two hundred and ten grand a month!”
Claire frowned, displeased. “Mom, I don’t mind if you play cards occasionally in your leisure time and a little winning is understandable too, but seven grand a day? Isn’t that a bit too much? Careful not to get addicted, it’s very risky!”
Elaine waved her hand in disdain and snapped, “Hey, I know what I’m doing, don’t you come to lecture me about it. My card mates are a bunch of rookies, they are far worse than me. I can win even with my eyes closed! Don’t you know your mom’s nickname around here? The Queen of Cards, that’s me!”
Claire sighed helplessly and massaged her forehead, ignoring her.
In the middle of dinner, an incoming message notification beeped on Claire’s phone. She looked at it and asked Charlie, “It’s the weekend tomorrow, do you have any plans?”
“Plans? The usual—going to the market, cooking, doing laundry, and cleaning the house.”
“Loreen messaged me, saying that she’s booked a suite at the hot spring hotel and she’s asking us to join her. I’ll say yes if you don’t have any special plans.”
“What? Hot springs? And you want me to go too?”
Claire nodded. “She booked a two-room suite just to invite us, we’ll take a room and she has a room by herself. She said that she hasn’t had a chance to invite us for a getaway after being here for so long.”
Elaine spruced up alarmingly and blurted, “Claire! It’s a girls-only trip, why do you want Charlie to go? No, he can’t go! He has to stay at home and do the household chores!”
“Mom, she invited him herself! Of course he has to go and we must go together!”
Elaine glared at Claire and huffed, “No way! If you share a room, what if he does something to you? You’ll be at a big loss!”
Charlie finally understood his devilish mother-in-law’s true intention. She was worried about that…
Claire was irritated by her mother’s remark and said in a cold tone, “Mom, Charlie and I are husband and wife. We’ll settle our own affairs, you don’t have to worry about us.”
Elaine slammed her utensils agitatedly and growled, “Why? I’m your mother, it’s my business!”
Claire chided back angrily, “Some things are not yours to mind! Keep yourself in line!”
Elaine slammed the table furiously. “I’m your mother, all your business is my business! I’m in charge of your whole life!”
Claire blurted, her rebellious fury ignited, “This is none of your business! I said it, Charlie must go! No one can stop him! If you want to stop him, I’ll move out!”
“You…” Elaine’s face was turning red but she recoiled. Claire’s threat to move out was Elaine’s Achilles’ heel.
She cleared her throat sheepishly and said, “Alright, fine, go ahead then, but you’d better be careful or you’ll regret it!”
Then, she turned to Charlie and said to him with a coy smile, “My dear son-in-law, what if you don’t go with them tomorrow and come to play cards with me at my friend’s place? I’ll give you two thousand dollars as pocket money!”
Elaine had thought it through. If she couldn’t knock sense into Claire’s head, Charlie was her next target. If she could persuade Charlie not to go, Claire wouldn’t blame her for that, would she?
However, Charlie simply smiled faintly and said, “Mom, I don’t play cards, you know that. I think the hot springs trip with Claire sounds like a better plan.”