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Chapter 24 Family Matters

posted Jun 6, 2017, 5:55 AM by Ratinan Lee   [ updated Jul 8, 2017, 10:50 AM ]

- CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR -

Family Matters

—Kev Chen—

"你還沒有對你爸說過? (You haven't tell your dad yet?)" Chūn was so surprised when I told him that I had not yet informed my dad about this journey. Perhaps, he thought that it could be very bad if my dad found out on his own later.

I smiled. "今天晚上啊!我今天晚上打電話給他!(This evening! I'll call him this evening!)"

"Keep your word!"

"I will! But where's my boarding pass?" I had not yet seen it at all. When Chūn went to check in, he told me to go to get rid of my student uniform. And now I was wearing his expensive blue shirt.

"We'll board together, you won't need it."

"Ok, and where are we going?" I kept asking him questions. "This isn't the way to the gate, is it?"

"We go to the lounge first. I gotta get some drink."

We walked along Suvarnabhumi Airport's transit area, it was not so crowded today, but the temperature was very hot.

"I think they forgot to fix the air con."

The lounge was a small one on the upper floor. With just enough seats for twenty guests and small counters for bakery, snacks, and drinks. There were few people inside.

"那真的是李先生嗎?(Is that Mr. Lǐ?)" Someone was talking from the inside.

"真的! (Yes!)" Another one answered.

Then, they all stood up and walked toward Chūn. From their uniforms, I could only tell that they were pilots.

"李先生,您好! (Good afternoon, Mr. Lǐ)" They finally greeted.

"李先生? (Mr. Lǐ?)" I was confused. Completely confused. Who was this guy???

"Alright, I'm the only son of the CEO of this airline."

I was shocked after knowing this. "So your dad is Lǐ Tiān Lóng!?"

"Yup."

We were the first to board the Dreamliner's first-class seats after we left the lounge, but what Chūn had to say to all staffs was "SHUT UP". Otherwise, they would line up, shout "welcome", and lay down the red carpet for him immediately. Chūn told me that if he booked everything on his own, his father might have already known this. He got the help from his friend, Xiǎohǔ, who was a computer nerd. Xiǎohǔ booked the tickets using his name and changed the passenger's name at the last minute using the root password of the booking system so no one could catch Chūn in time.

"You are so lucky," I told him.

The flight to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport was not very long, but when we arrived, the sun was already set. We also had to set the time one hour forward because the time here was UTC+8:00. The airport was in Taoyuan city area, and in order to go to Taipei, we needed to catch a taxi or ...

"Hey! Bro! How was Thailand?" A white tall guy was standing in front of his black Mercedes.

"Xiǎohǔ!, talk later! Call your maid to prepare some clothes for Gāo Wén also." Chūn walked fast toward the Mercedes and opened the door. "Com'on, Gāo Wén, we have to go. The wedding is tomorrow morning," he told me.

I followed him quietly.

"That's him! Master is there!"

"Go! Go! Go!" Chūn shouted. We rushed inside the Mercedes within seconds. And Xiǎohǔ then quickly drove away. The three men in black suits radioed but I think it would be worthless because Xiǎohǔ parked his Mercedes in the car park and changed to a white Toyota. Nice plan!

"So you call her Masha, and you just knew it this morning that her actual name was Mù Xiān?" I asked Chūn.

"Yes, and that's why it was much harder to identify her," said Xiǎohǔ. "I was the one who told him this morning."

"And we have to get to the hotel, ah, Xiǎohǔ, what's the name you used to book?" Chūn asked.

"My maid's, of course," answered Xiǎohǔ. "I used my name to book for another hotel, so your dad's men will go there."

"Nice!"

I felt like I was a thief, running away from the police. Anyway, we arrived the city within 40 minutes. The area was Xīmén and Xiǎohǔ stopped at the restaurant for dinner. Right after we got our noodles, Xiǎohǔ's phone rang. He went outside before answering it.

"Guys, the wedding tomorrow was canceled days ago and your dad is now heading back to Taipei," he informed us the new updates he knew from the phone conversation. "What would you like to do next, Chūn-gē[1]?"

"Umm..."

"If he is now traveling back here. We stay at the hotel together first, and tomorrow we'll head back home to meet them. Is that ok?" Since Chūn was silent for a while, I proposed.

"I don't think we have any other idea," said he.

...

"Since you wouldn't like me to marry her this much, I already canceled the wedding. You know, family matters. You won't have to call her your hòumā[2]." Lǐ Tiān Lóng talked to his son in the morning when we arrived at his residence. It was a penthouse with outdoor swimming pool in Xìnyì area, so close to the famous Tower, Taipei 101. A woman sat beside him. I could remember very well that she was my mother, Chén Mù Xiān. Xiǎohǔ was still with us. "Ā-Hǔ[3], I'll have to hire you to look after our booking system after your graduation. And who is this guy?"

"I'm Chén. My name is Chén Gāo Wén. Nice to meet you, CEO Lǐ," said I, before I turned to the woman. "And I'm really happy to see you again."

"You are like your father pretty much, érzi[4]," said my mom. "You come here to stop the wedding?"

"I wanted to stop the wedding. But one more reason is that I want to tell you that I hate to stay there!"

"Why? Tàwan was a very good father. He must be..."

"No matter how good he is, the problem is the Thai culture! I HATE THAILAND! There are so many stupid people over there!"

She was shocked.

"Two families, two different problems... I think I better go," said Xiǎohǔ.

"Good idea, Bái Jiā Hǔ, you shouldn't have joined us from the beginning," said Tiān Lóng. It was so powerful.

"See you later, bro!" Chūn said his farewell.

"See you!" Xiǎohǔ took his turn.

"I think we should restart everything again," said Chūn after Xiǎohǔ closed the door. "The wedding was canceled, yes, that's nice. Thank you, bà. Then, Masha, will you take Gāo Wén back here? Based on what I experienced over there, his life has been very terrible."

"Well, if Tàwan says yes, then it should be ok."

"Ok, mā, if bà says yes. I'll force him to say yes."

Mom immediately separated for calling my dad. It was a short call but so stressful.

"Well, Gāo Wén, why do you hate Thailand?" Tiān Lóng silently asked. "I thought Thailand is a nice place to live."

"That's a propaganda. The people over there are so selfish. Criminal rates are terribly high throughout the country. And the worst thing is its education system. It teaches people to be stupid. Living expenses are also more expensive than here!"

Mom hung up the phone, Tiān Lóng turned his attention to her.

"What did he say, Masha?" asked Tiān Lóng.

"Wén-wén can live here if he wants, but he must go back to finish his last year at high-school there first," answered mom.

"Gāo Wén, ah," said Tiān Lóng, "I agree with your dad. You know, you should finish your school there first because transferring for the last year is not very easy, especially from Thailand. And because this is Taiwan, good schools are not going to accept you that easily."

"Ok... Nine months..." I think I have to accept this truth.

———

[1] Gēge (哥哥) means brother. When you are calling an older brother or a friend who is older than you, you can call him his name, followed by gē or gēge, i.e. Kevin-gē, Chūn-gē.

[2] Hòumā (後媽) means stepmother.

[3] There are so many ways to call a person in Chinese. Xiǎohǔ's real name is Bái Jiā Hǔ (白嘉虎). Normally, a person is called by the last character in the name. By adding Xiǎo (小) as a prefix to it, it could mean that the person being called is younger than the caller. The most common one is a prefix Ā (啊), like how Tiān Lóng calls him. Mù Xiān calls her son different way, she doubles the last character of the name, making it Wén-wén.

[4] Érzi (兒子) means son.


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