Fireworks with Dad




I was outside on the phone with a friend when my Dad walked outside with my little brother. “Fireworks. You wanna go?” He’s never invited me to anything before. I didn’t know what to do and said, “you go ahead first”, without making a solid decision.

My friend spoke sense in me and told me to go. So I called my dad to tell him to turn the car around to pick me up.

In the car he asked me if I found a job yet. I was surprised. I said yes reluctantly and told him it’s in Hong Kong. He tried to hide his shock. Where would I live? How would I afford it? Of course I didn’t tell him I’m fundraising my salary. Of course I didn’t rub it in. I get to go to his beloved home turned war zone, while he can’t, even if he wanted to.

With hidden anger in his tone, he told me it would cost around $500 USD a month to live in one of the coffin homes: a horizontal closet.

He fled in 1996. Scrubbed dishes to put food on the table. Put me through school, only for me to return to the place he hates.

Sorry Pops. I have to do this.


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