Rafael was standing outside the Federers’s mansion in Basel and waiting for someone inside open the door for him and Mary who was wrapped up in her duffel coat.
He didn’t remember since when it had become a tradition to have a dinner at the Federers’s mansion before the tournament at Basel. Sometimes he came with Toni, sometimes alone, but this was the first time with Mary.
“Cold?” He asked after she was leaning into his body, seeking for the heat. Mary wasn’t used to this cold weather in Switzerland, neither was him actually.
“Yeah, but I’m ok. Don’t worry.”
He was going to hold her with his arms before the door finally opened by one of the host herself.
“Oh my god, Rafa! I’m so sorry, Lenny just decides he doesn’t want to bath and run around the floor with his soaking body.” Mirka opened the door wider for them and took their coat to hung up on the pole before gave Mary a peck on her cheek
“Oh, Mary, you’re freezing! I’m really sorry, darling. Let’s move inside, it’s warmer than here”
They walked inside through the short hallway before he saw the other host sat on the floor in front of the fireplace and holding one of the boys, who was, even his hair a bit damp, but in the proper cloth already.
“Say hi to them, Lenny” Roger told his boy.
“Hi,” The boy said before buried his face into his father’s shoulder. At this age, he was still shy with strangers.
“Don’t tell me you were chasing your kids again, Rogelio”Rafa pointed out after he and Mary sat on the couch beside him.
“As if Mirka lets me, Raf. I just sat here and waited to dress him as she told me to do.” Roger wasn’t pouting with the situation. He was just amused by it.
“That’s why it took me so long to open the door for you,” Mirka said with an apologizing look, but Rafa waved her off and grinned at Roger.
“You’re a good husband, Roger, listen to your wife and do what she told”Rafateased him.
“And I’m a good boyfriend, too. Don’t you think?” Roger teased him back with twinkles in his eyes.
“Oh stop that, would you?” Rafa rolled his eyes at Roger but he was grinning at him wider.
“No, I won’t.”
“Where is everyone else?” He tried to change the topic before he heard a small footstep running toward this room. Within a moment, one of the girls running into his arms with a wide smile just like her father.
“Rafaaaaa! You’re here!!!” She hugged him tightly and kissed his cheek.
“Hi, Myla.” He kissed her back and tickled her until she laughed. Behind her, there was Charlene who was holding Leo’s hand and walked together for giving him and Mary a proper hug of greeting.
Mirka smiled at him. It’s always amazed her how he could tell which one was Myla or Charlene when everyone else had a problem with that. He had told her once because the twins were a split version of Roger Federer when he was on and off the court, then it’s easy for him because he had faced their father on the court more than anyone else.
“Hi, Charlene.” Rafa kissed her cheek after the hug but Charlene looked at him and Mary with curiously look.
“Rafa, Is Mary your girlfriend?”
“Yes, she is, darling”
“Then why everyone called daddy your boyfriend?” Charlene asked him with confusing.
The room went silent for a second before everyone and even his girlfriend was laughing at him. Rafa palmed his face, he didn’t know why he was always brought himself to this situation.
After the dinner, they sat together in front the fireplace. The kids played some video games that Rafa brought them for last Christmas while the adults enjoyed their conversation with some champagne from Roger’s endorsements. The conversations were mostly about their family and also about his academy. He felt he want to update how the progress was to them because they always gave him useful opinions for improving his academy. And just like every parent, they loved to tell stories about their kids, and Rafa loved to hear it, too. He saw them since they were small babies in the cot, saw then grown up and run around the player lounge. They may be not his kids, or nieces, or nephew but it did feel close.
It’s almost eleven when Rafa had to leave because both of Roger and himself also had morning practice, and the kids were going to bed as well.
“See you tomorrow, Rogelio”
“See you tomorrow, Raf”
Four of them hugged and pecked, and ready to part before Rafa remembered something.
“Don’t forget the player meeting tomorrow, Roger, and bring your own documents, I don’t have the spare with me.”
This time Mirka was laughing and made him confuse.
“Oh, Rafa, I told him before you came that you’re going to remind him this. You’re his good boyfriend indeed, my dear.”
Rafa rolled his eyes at her.
Mirka kissed him before pet his cheek and grinned at him.
“Yes, I am.”