How the lives of these individuals unwind, how the consequences of their own behaviors, affected, the next generations, translated…
That day, my best friend from childhood, Xiao-Li told me, “I want to take you to our secret hiding place in the afternoon”.
I’d wondered, what sort of a surprise there may be waiting for me, and surely enough, I was, surprised.
We’d passed the roads, as we walked through the Japanese restaurant, “Grand Gardens”, that huge glass of bubbling drink called out to me. I kept wondering, why my father didn’t order me a glass, and after Xiao-Li explained, I’d learned, that it was beer, unsuited for children.
We’d walked southbound for a little while, at the intersection of Guiling and Zhonghwa Roads, we were, blocked by a row of short houses which were illegally built, and we’d needed to, jump through the railroad crossing, to continue on.
Xiao-Li led me through the small alley next to the railroad crossing, we’d kept our bodies bent down low, not out of courtesy, but, that we may, knock over the clothes that are, hung out to dry, that would totally get us a good scolding from the neighbors.
And finally, we’d, arrived at this bamboo shack, Xiao-Li found her way in, called out, “Mom”. Before I could get a hang of what was happening, an ill-dressed woman called me inside, asked Xiao-Li of things; which she’d, answered, all truthfully, and, as she’d asked, she’d started, crying, mumbling, “You two-timing loser, slut, blind”, along with things similar to the sort. For a long while, the cries finally, stopped, she’d turned to me and said, “Sorry you had to see that”, and, before I could wrap my head around what had just happened, I’d, replied, “It’s fine, you must be heartbroken”.
Xiao-Li took out a wad of blue bills out, said, “This, was from my father, along with this pack of pork too, from my grandmother!”, the woman started crying again, “They won’t even acknowledge me, why give me these things!” “Grandma said you must take it!”, then, there was, that silence, and Xiao-Li said, she must be, heading home, before her own mother discovers.
Before she’d left, the woman hugged and kissed Xiao-Li, which made me envious; because since I could understand things, my own mother never showed her affections toward me in such a way, I’m thinking, that the woman must, really, loved Xiao-Li very much.
Once again, bending over, we’d made our ways, back to the larger roads, I’d asked Xiao-Li in a hurry, why she had two moms? And, my insensitivity of the situation ruined everything, made Xiao-Li cry hard, said, that the woman she’d just visited was her birthmother, that in the three-story building, was her new mom………then, I’d, made my promise to her, to NEVER mention this in front of any of our classmates. Then, I’d, gone with her, to visit her birthmother several times, until, we were, separated into different classes.
the relationship, going south, not my photograph…
Over a dozen years later, I’d started working at a bowling alley, and one day, an owner of a huge hotel came, as he’d written his name on the score charts, the information I had inside of my mind finally made that connection: Xiao-Li’s dad was also, an owner of a hotel, and, it was, a very rare last name, could he be…………as I’d told the man of my memories with Xiao-Li, he’d almost fallen onto the lanes, but, that scent of embarrassment passed, quickly enough, he’d started, laughing and joking with me soon enough, although he’d worked in business, it wasn’t something he’d felt proud of, having multiple wives.
After many years, I no longer remembered what Xiao-Li’s mother’s face looked like, but, the sorrowful looks, and her cries still imprinted deeply inside of me, as if, time had, stopped, moving forward, on that heated afternoon.
And now, that row of short estates had already been, demolished, got turned into Nanning Road, the woman was nowhere to be found now, and, if she’s still alive, she should be, in her nineties I suppose. Don’t know, if as we grow older, the hatred we felt will, get reduced or not?
I can clearly tell you all, that the hatred you felt as someone had hurt you so bad, will NEVER go away, and, this woman’s friend lived in the darkness, because, she was her father’s “dirty little secret”, and, although there wasn’t enough detail of exactly WHAT had happened in this woman’s best friend’s family, one thing I can be sure, is that this SHIT is still, ALL caused by a LOSER who couldn’t control HIS own DICK………