Family Matters

By @ZoeHuang
Family Matters

A story about culture, family, and questioning life. Inspired by Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies.

Chapter 1

December 26 : The Nothing Agenda

December 26

“I’m pretty sure me having an engineering major is not going to help me.” I said.

“You underestimate the power of Asian bias.” My mouth turns up at the corners as I let out my manly giggle into the phone.

“The party wouldn’t be the same without by best man!” Brendon exaggerated.

“I’ll be the only white person in a sea of Asian.” I exclaim.

“Doesn’t matter you are going!”

“Free food, am I right?”

“Tsk. See you tomorrow?”

“Same as always!”

My phone ends up discarded with the rest of my belongings. I flop onto my bed, inhaling the smell of freshly washed garments laced with the pungent smell of Febreze. My bed consumes me as my shoulders are submerged twenty feet deep into my soft and heavy comforter. I look to my left, as my feline companion, Darin nuzzles her head with ferocity. Darin was not always my responsibility, but I take care of her because no one else can. My sister used to love this cat to death, literally.

           As I go back to my usual scheduled program, my stomach gurgles scaring Darin off the bed. The only food at home is instant ramen and bottled sugar. I learned not to mind the silence, the only noise being my heartbeat and the constant thrum of the fridge. The most expensive item in my apartment is my fridge, although it’s rarely filled. A case of Guinness Draught and a liter of Coke are the only items inside.

I look up at my calendar composed of magnetic tabs and an expo pen holder. I have absolutely nothing to do tonight, except for re-watch Crazy Rich Asians, the best movie of all time. Brendon bought the movie on my Xbox last Wednesday. My favorite part of the movie is the Mahjong scene. To be able to control the narrative using your ultimate Mahjong skills, I wish life was like that.

I have got to finish my books before the library fine becomes more than my paycheck. “‘How did you go bankrupt?’ ‘Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.’” I place the library book, The Sun Also Rises on my mattress. When the main character of a book is slumming it up, is when you realize you’re fortunate. Not when you watch the news, at least not anymore. Money isn’t a problem for me, my mom gave me a ginormous grant. She wanted to pay off the guilt, it didn’t work. A couple more chapters?

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