He Speaks, Finally (Flash Fiction #8)

Finally Yuet’s little boy starts to speak. Yuet and her husband are so happy that they phone everyone. If you don’t pick up their phone call, they will text you with their happy news and wait anxiously for your reply of congratulations. If you don’t reply within a short span of time, Yuet will text again to repeat the news and demand a reply or an explanation–“Why aren’t you replying? Are you OK?”

Pammy replies instantly. What a journey. The little boy was almost a four-year-old and he just didn’t speak, although he looked perfectly normal otherwise. The anxious parents were desperate. The doctors–they’ve been to several doctors to get 2nd, 3rd, and 4th opinions on this–say it is normal since the family is talking in Cantonese while the TV is in English, which might have caused mental confusion for the boy. This sent the alarmed parents to put an instant stop on all Cantonese, which is spoken between the couple, and Hokkien, which is spoken by the husband’s parents. Now only English is allowed and TV is on all the time, which is supposed to stimulate the little boy’s brain. However it is futile. The boy remained silent for another year and the mother almost went mad, while the father was on the verge of depression–he was ultimately saved by Prozac. Thanks to modern medicine, the parents are barely functioning.

Now finally the nightmare is over and the boy starts to talk. What a relief to the family. Pammy thinks what a relief it is to her too since she doesn’t have to listen to Yuet’s incessant talk about her family tragedy anymore. Now probably Yuet can be made to listen to Pammy’s problem.

Pammy meets Yuet in the H-Mart grocery store where there’s a sale on last year’s Japanese cosmetics. She greets Yuet happily.

“Congratulations again. You’re such a happy mom now.” Pammy says.

“Oh, can you believe that my boy can’t stop talking now. Isn’t this strange? We are finally able to send him to a kindergarten for half of the week. However do you know what he tells the teachers? Probably he is just experimenting with words, but we never know how observant he is and he takes in everything…”

Pammy looks at Yuet in despair. It looks like Yuet will continue to talk about her boy from now on and Pammy will continue to play the role of a listener. When will Yuet start to listen to Pammy?

22 thoughts on “He Speaks, Finally (Flash Fiction #8)

  1. Friendships start to deteriorate when it becomes a one way conversation. Really enjoyed the story and I’m sure a lot of people have experienced something similar in real life too.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I know it’s quite fascinating how long some people can talk if you don’t stop them. I don’t talk much so it’s always amusing to me when I’m around people who talk too much.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, it seems what I observed has wider occurrences than I thought. Parents are strange creatures who have strange ways of bringing up their children. LOL. Despite all these, you grow up to be healthy, intelligent, and optimistic.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My little brother didn’t talk until he was almost four and we only spoke English. My grandson is in a bi-lingual situation and he was late talking, too. Poor Pammy. Some friends are meant to be listeners, maybe?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Wow, so it is happening in many families. I wish parents and relatives are not too worried and just let the kids naturally grow. Easier said than done since many parents would worry sick. Yes, I noticed the talkers and listeners among a group of people. Some are always listeners… LOL. I know several people who just can’t stop talking.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yuet’s talkative nature might be the reason why the boy didn’t talk till then. He might not have gotten a gap to say anything.
    But then some parents are weird. My neighbour’s baby boy didn’t start talking until recently and he’s 3 and a few months old. Before this, they were worried and complaining that he isn’t talking. They used to make him say words. Now he talks all the time and I have heard them quite a few times scolding and complaining that he talks too much.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. LOL. That’s exactly the same as Yuet and her husband. Little boys talking quite late happen not so infrequently around me here. Yes, the parents try everything to provoke a talk and I once spent two hours listening to a mother talking about her cute boy not talking. The boy looks healthy and alert in every way, except he is silent. Life has so many challenges. It is not easy to be a mom. So much worry.

      Liked by 1 person

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