01. April 2013 · Comments Off on Closed Doors · Categories: H. 9 to 10 years, Out of the Blue

My grandmother’s bedroom door is rarely closed.

I walk into her sitting room and see that not only is her bedroom door closed, but my grandmother has pulled her rattan armchair up to the closed door and is straining to hear every word.

I can hear Titi shouting inside.  My sister is in there with her.  She is crying, but then she is shouting back.

I leave quietly before my grandmother notices me.

Some news travels faster than a B52 bomber.

News bullet points:

A fortune has been discovered.

Stacks and stacks of large bills from the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank.   When the Japanese occupied Hong Kong nobody trusted this paper money.   But now it is just as valuable as before the war.

The money is in the sofa from our old house.  The sofa is not with the rest of our discarded furniture in the garage’s attic.  It is in the servants’ house, where Titi put it for the servants to use.

There is a rumor around town that our mother left us a fortune.  The rumor was traced back to Lieutenant Anjo.

When interrogated my sister admits that she knew where the money was and did not tell anyone for more than two years.

Why?  She said because it isn’t ours.  My sister insists that our mother told her that the money belongs to Uncle Pedro.

Titi hit my sister so hard that her face is swollen on one side.  My cousins don’t believe that it is just about money.  Or even family loyalty.  It must be about the scandal in Titi’s past, that everyone knows and takes for granted but no one speaks about openly.

Maybe it is about betrayal.  My mother entrusted Titi, her unmarried sister, with the care of her children, and yet she did not tell her about the money.  Worst of all, she revealed Titi’s secret to a child, to be thrown back in her face as something sordid and shameful.  Her sister, of all people, should have known that it is not something shameful, but the love of her whole life and what she lives for.

All this explodes like a megabomb.


$100 5-3-2013 12-18-58 PM


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