Father: A Story by Flora Pang

“Crack! Crack!” A loud sharp sound of smashing glass shocked and slightly awakened me one early morning when I was in Primary 3. I didn’t know what was happening but itwas the first time I had seen my father lose his temper and show his discontent; it was also the last time.

I was surprised at his attitude since he was always good-tempered and never scolded or beat his children; instead he encouraged us for trying our best and doing the right things. Although he rarely puts a smile on his oval face, he is mild and kind. He is a man of few words and is not expressive at all; he will give you only one precise answer for several questions. Thus, although we didn’t spend much time on communication, he still noticed what I needed; I could feel his invisible and precious love.

“You’ve cheated me,” a sharp voice stopped my shock and surprise. “This marriage is a lie! Divorce! Divorce is the only solution!” Mom said.

Another shock made me totally conscious. I probably knew that I was going to experience a great change in my fragile little life. I began to burst into tears and nervously whispered in my mind, “Please don’t divorce Dad, my dear Mom. Oh, Jesus Christ, please don’t allow such things happened to me, please don’t!” I shared my feelings with nobody but only god. Since we were
good friends he kindly gave me a helping hand—he heard my prayers.

I looked at my parents with pitiful eyes.

“I’m sorry for hurting you so much but it’s really out of my expectation. You know the reason. We’d better solve this matter in any way to protect the children,” Dad said in a sorrowful voice.

After that, life seemed to go on like nothing had happened.

Although mom forgave dad finally, their marriage was not nice at all afterwards. They had no arguing, no disharmony, but their relationship was changed. Their togetherness was just for the sake of their children’s happiness.

One day sister told me secretly, “Do you know why Mom and Dad quarreled? It’s because dad already had a wife in his hometown in Mainland China before marrying Mom.”

That one fact changed my impression of Dad. It’s almost an unforgivable serious crimes just for a nine-year-old child.

To make matters worse, my mom told me another day, “Actually, your cousin Jane is your third sister,(I have already got two right now), your dad gave her to your aunt.” Oh my God,
the girl I saw and played with every Lunar New Year was my sister? Well, I couldn’t accept this.

I didn’t ask why they did it, I was just unbelievable for such a normal family. I thought that there had been a great mistake and I had been placed in the wrong family. I didn’t want to be looked
at differently by other people. I wanted to choose another father.

How sad and frustrated I was! Where had my lovely and smart father gone? I seemed to totally forget the good things about him father at that moment. I forgot how hard he worked to support the family, how often he brought me to the park or to Pizza Hut to enjoy his one-day-only holiday, how he spent most of his pocket money on his little naughty child and how he tried his best to satisfy me in any way. My attitude towards him completely changed. I couldn’t remember how long it had been since I last talked with him; I even hadn’t said “Good morning” and “Good night” as well. Every word he said, even words of praising me, seemed to be as annoying and disturbing as the buzzing of mosquitoes.

I had grown up in a warm, moderately poor but happy family, raised and loved by parents and I thought that I was greatly blessed with parent’s love and care. They were all the things I knew good parents to be: love, protecting and raising their children as well as providing them with the best things. Why? Why weren’t we happy anymore?

Later on, unexpectedly, a conversation between father and sister one ate night struck my heart. It wasa night that mother went out for playing mahjong. “Why do you get married twice?”asked sister with a soft voice.

“I hadn’t expected this; if I were a fortune teller, I would have not allowed this to happen.” I could hear dad’s voice was trembling, more accurate, he was crying.

I had never seen him crying. “After the revolution, all men had to leave the hometown unwillingly to earn a living in Hong Kong; I supposed that I would never be able to go back the hometown
again, so I get married your mom. If I had known know what would happen today, I would have avoided hurting your mom.”

At that moment, to a F.3 student, I thought that I understood the truth. I had misunderstood him just because he didn’t like to explain and may have though I was was too young to explain things to. Anyways, children often don’t realize many things that happen in the adult world.

“How about our dear sister?”

Yes, I had forgotten his other unforgivable sin.

“Dear, there’s no parent in the world would be willing to leave their dearest and precious children, no one, I swear.” Dad was moved to tears again. “Not because of poverty or
cruelty, but your aunt is sterile.”

I was touched and shocked when I heard about this. I wondered how considerate my Dad had been? I regretted my negligence and indifference to dad. I guessed that Mom had forgiven him because it was not all his fault and responsibility. Why couldn’t I also forgive him?

My conscience blamed me for always arguing with father, “Don’t you remember your kind, mild father with his caring personality? Spending his only money on you, devoting his
whole life to the family, his reward is just the way you treat him?

On Father’s Day that year, I apologized to himr, “Dearest dad, during the days I misunderstood and treated you rudely, you still tolerated me with the greatest lenience. Do you know that you are the greatest father who is worth the greatest awe and respect? Are you angry with me now?”

“Silly daughter, parents will only be proud of their children, they would never put children’s fault in mind.”

You see, there is no absolute “Stern father and compassionate mother.”

My father put a rare smile and hugged me with his precious and unique love.

When I looked at him for a while, he seemed to be have aged. From the past pictures, once he was quite a tall and strong man. His oval face with dimples, black big eyes, bushy eyebrows and long eyelashes gave him a handsome and smart appearance. Now, the wrinkled face no longer with youthfulness seemed to make his hair even more grey.

Time makes us get older and more mature; I hadn’t tried my best to understand and love him, or share his memories and unhappiness.

We talked a lot on that night, I saw him sobbing… From that time on, I had a new father and he had a new daughter.

Love was rekindled within our hearts.

~Flora Pang Tsui-wah (Hong Kong)

Return to Bloodlines: Poems and Stories about Family by Young Asian Writers (Asian Voices)


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