“Yo! You have too much stuff!! How can you have this much stuff in this tiny apartment?” Shane whines.
Why did I even ask for his help in the first place? Oh, yeah. I didn’t. He came over complaining that I was taking too long to pack up everything and he just jumped right in to help me. Well, let me make a mental note to just throw him out of my place the next time around. Luckily, my dorm room at the university is just like an apartment and I’ll have plenty of room for everything. If not, I will send some of it to the house to put in my room there.
I demand, “If you came to help, then shut up and help. If not, then leave. I can always do this by myself.”
I should just throw him out now. I don’t need to put up with his attitude while I’m trying to clean and pack at the same time. However, I decide to bury my frustrations with Shane in the many boxes that I have yet to pack and I’ll leave the verbal games alone for now.
With my frustrations fueling me, I quickly pack my stuff and clean my apartment. I’m surprised that I didn’t end up breaking my broom as it took most of my anger. Next time, I will agree to have my dad pay for a cleaning and moving crew.
As I think of my dad, I can’t stop the smile that bubbles up and onto my face. I think he is slowly becoming the dad that I use to know. He has even called me many times over the past two years. His new wife is finally bringing my old dad back. When I originally agreed to come to the United States for my education, I didn’t think it was any different than living at home with my dad since he had completely buried himself in his work after mom passed away. My dad was getting so bad that he didn’t even remember my birthday anymore. It was as if I had lost both my parents when my mom died. It was so hard on me and moving to the United States for my education didn’t seem any different than staying in Thailand. My dad had pretty much left me already.
Shoot, the last time that I was back was four years ago when I went back over the semester break. I barely saw my dad and I finally just left early because my dad was never home. I did leave a note for him on the kitchen counter. I still remember my words. I was so hurt, and I wanted my dad to realize that he was going to lose me completely if he kept up with his current actions.
I’ve decided to go back to the United States early. I know that I was supposed to stay for another week, but I have barely seen you in the first week that I was here, so it isn’t going to make any difference if I stay or go. The end result is the same. I won’t see you.
Mom would be so mad if she saw what you have become. She was always about family and making sure that we spend plenty of time together, but since she has passed away, you have gradually turned into a person that I don’t even know. You have abandoned your son, your family. I, on the other hand, have lost both my parents and the hardest part is that the one is still alive, but chooses to ignore me. I’m sure if mom could talk to you, she would ask for you to be happy again and if that means finding another love, then do it.
At this point, I’m not coming back home until you change who you are, and my dad actually returns.
As I think about my letter, my eyes begin to tear up. I remember the pain because my dad didn’t call me for over six months after I left but one day, he finally did call. He apologized for his behavior and said that he was sorry. He said that he never realized what I was going through and he said that the only time he could completely forget about my mom was when he was buried in his work. I stopped him in his tracks with my one question, “Why do you want to forget?” He couldn’t answer, and I didn’t know what to say after that. I finally told him that I needed to go and then I hung up on him.
After that phone call, I could slowly hear a change in his voice the next few times that he called me. However, I’m still not 100% sure that my old dad has returned. I’ve been so hurt that I can’t risk opening back up to my dad to find out that he really hasn’t returned to his old self yet.
When he called saying that he has found someone that he likes and is afraid to ask her out, I couldn’t believe that I was talking to my dad. Well, I couldn’t believe that I was his only friend that he can talk to about this. In the back of my mind, I think he was truly trying to see if I’m all right with this or not. I honestly believe that if I had said no, he would have never asked her out.
My dad slowly started calling me and he remembered my birthday again. It had been years since he remembered my birthday and I was so overjoyed. My friends here couldn’t understand why I was so happy. Well, Shane and his family knew, and they were just as shocked as I was. Shane’s mother was so happy, and she was hoping the same thing as I was, that my dad is hopefully returning to his former self.
It was after I returned four years ago that I decided I would get an apartment instead of staying in the dorm rooms. I didn’t have a place to go and when I came back early, I ended up staying with Shane and his family. His mother became like my second mom and I even call her mom. She is so supportive of everything I do. Shane’s father also treats me like a son. At Christmas time, I always stay with them and they even have a Christmas stocking hanging up with my name on it. Shoot, I have my own room at their house.
When my dad called to ask me if I would be fine with him getting married again, I was happy and sad at the same time. I couldn’t help but to think about mom but I’m happy that maybe I will really get my happy fun-loving dad back again. I gave my blessing, but I still couldn’t tear myself away from my studies to go to the wedding. Part of me didn’t want to see his new wife but part of me also didn’t want to ruin the day. I found out through the conversations over the years that my dad started staying away from me because I remind him too much of my mom. I didn’t want to show up to the wedding and ruin the happy moment by reminding my dad of my mom. So, I have decided that even though I’m going back to Thailand, I’m not going to live in the house or visit the house much. I don’t want to ruin anything for my dad.
I’m curious as to who my stepbrother is but I don’t bother asking. I don’t even know what I’m afraid of, but clearly, I’m afraid of something.
I’m brought out of my thoughts as Shane slaps me on my back. “Is everything ready to go? The truck just showed up downstairs.”
I shake my head to clear my thoughts and I quickly chirp, “Yes. I think so. Are you ready to go to Thailand with me?”
Shane flashes a big smile and confidently says, “Yes. You have taught me the language and so, I’m pretty comfortable, but if I have problems, I know that I can rely on you.”
I nod my head in agreement. I’m so excited that Shane has agreed to go with me. He has been with me through thick and thin and he has been so supportive, just like a real brother would be.
Shane suddenly asks, “Oh, I nearly forgot, I get to finally meet Ming. Well, I’ve seen him in your video chats, but I finally get to meet him and his friend Forth in person. I’m so excited.”
I almost forgot too. I pop with excitement, as I chime, “Yes. In a few hours, we will get to see both Ming and Forth. I can’t wait.”
Knock. Knock. Knock.
Our happy moment is interrupt and I quickly go to the door. The movers are here, and they pile into my apartment quickly grabbing my boxes and taking them out to the truck. I guess this is it. I’m finally going back to Thailand after over four years of being away. I wonder what I’ll find when I go back.
UGH!!! Why do I have to have a stepbrother all of a sudden? Well, I knew about him since my mom remarried but I haven’t met him at all. Shoot, I haven’t even talked with him or seen a picture of him. I tried once, when I was in my stepfather’s office to sneak a peak at some of his old family pictures, but he quickly hid them from me. He said something about them not looking at all like his son now. I don’t know what that meant but I haven’t tried ever since.
I’m still irritated with my mother for even trying to get married again. Her first marriage to my father was terrible. Well, it was happy initially but then my father started cheating on my mother and everything just got really ugly and nasty after that. The divorce was the worst. Both my father and mother were fighting over custody of me besides fighting about everything else. I remember crying myself to sleep many nights. I don’t want my mother to go through that again.
It was at that point in my life that I decided that relationships and marriage aren’t for me. I would never marry. From that point on, I never had a relationship with anyone, but I have had a lot of one-night stands. Hey, I still have my needs and I’m straight forward with the girls that they get me for only one night and nothing more. I can’t help it if they often come back begging for more. I always make sure that that one night blows their minds and I get fully satisfied myself.
Pha nudges me and asks, “What are you thinking about? You look like you are lost deep in thought.”
I can’t help but to sigh. “I’m thinking about my stepbrother that is moving back to Thailand today. My mother says that he is going to go to the same university as us.”
Kit immediately perks up, “Oh, really. What is his name? What does he look it?”
I shake my head. “I don’t know. I have never asked.”
Pha instantly slaps the back of my head and scolds, “What? You have no idea who your stepbrother is? You should have at least asked about him, got his name and asked to see a picture.”
“Ouch! That hurt.” I quickly rub the back of head. I slowly mumble, “I didn’t want to know in case my mother divorced his father.”
Kit immediately hisses, “Ai’Stupid, did you have your eyes open during their wedding ceremony and when you are home? Anyone can see how much they love each other. They aren’t getting divorced anytime soon. So, stop being stupid and ask about your stepbrother. You will need to get along with him in order to make your mother happy.”
Pha quickly adds, “Yes, you need to meet him and become good friends with him.”
I pout and whine, “What if I don’t want to?”
Kit barks, “You will, and you’ll do it for your mother.”
I see I’m not going to get them on my side anytime soon. Well, I guess I better try.
I pull my phone out and see that it is a message from my mother. I quickly open it and I swallow hard.
Pha quickly grabs my phone from my hand, and him and Kit quickly read it. Pha chuckles, “Well, I guess you can start to become friends tonight since you are having a family dinner together with your stepbrother.”
Great! How am I going to pull this one off? I really don’t want to meet him. Maybe I can think of something that will prevent me from having to go to the meal.