“I want to focus on my career now, so no time la,” I told her patiently. In reality, I was in a relationship with a person I loved very much. But I knew I could not tell her or any of my relatives about it. Society is not ready to accept the kind of love my partner and I share. But it’s okay. Our love for each other is enough to sustain us; we don’t need to shout it to the world.
Feeling thirsty, I reached for the cold jug of Fanta Orange. Reaching out for it at the same time, my cousin’s hand brushed against mine.
We exchanged a sly look, and smiled, a secret passing between our lips.
Love is truly a many-splendoured thing.
On the 2nd day of Chinese New Year, Max and family visited his favourite aunt.
“I made these pineapple tarts myself, take, take!” she cajoled Max.
Not wanting to disappoint her, Max let himself have a little nibble of the tart.
Suddenly, without realising it, the pineapple tart vanished. Where had it gone?
As if he were possessed by a hungry ghost, Max saw his hand reaching for another pineapple tart, then another, and another, and another.
That was 20 years ago. I have not slept a single second since.
I refuse to close my eyes. I refuse to let my parents die.
From a simple pot containing prawn, pork, cabbage, and mushrooms for their first reunion dinner, last year, it exploded into a behemoth monstrosity that mixes chicken, pork, duck, turkey, goat, beef, venison, mutton, crab, lobster, crayfish, clam, oyster, scallop, sea cucumber, octopus, fish.
No one believed she could add anything new anymore. Yet, when she proudly lifted the heavy lid of the casserole pot, she announced, “This year still got a meat you all haven’t tried!”
Everyone dug in excitedly. The new meat was tender and rich, imparting a smoky and alcoholic flavour to the broth.
“What’s the new meat you added to your pen cai?” Julian asked.
“Secret! If I tell you then next year even harder to top this,” his aunt replied.
Julian sighed. Ever a curious boy, he wished he could find out what the new meat was. If only his uncle were here—his chain-smoking, Tiger-guzzling uncle who knew everything about anything.
Strange, wasn’t it? Julian thought. This was the first Chinese New Year that his uncle had missed.
“Ah boy, last piece of meat for you?” Julian’s aunt asked.