Romance And Pandemic (Flash Fiction #40)

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Here is another story of the family of Nita, her husband Lian, and her son Kevin. There’s a previous story about the family here on the topic of superfluity–the two stories are not related and there’s no need to read the previous story to understand the current story.

Nita’s friend Chai, her husband, and their daughter Weiwei flies from Taiwan to New Jersey to get the vaccine–the island is suffering from a vaccine shortage and residents have to invent their ways to get vaccinated elsewhere. Nita invites Chai’s family to come to stay with them, not only for their friendship’s sake, but also for another purpose–to get Kevin and Weiwei together so that Kevin can stop seeing Maria, who’s in Nita’s view a girl not suitable for her son.

“Kevin and Weiwei really hit it off.” Nita says to her friend Chai when they sit together after the dinner. The two mothers are very happy with what they see and they congratulate themselves as if they have invented love and dating.

Before Chai’s family arrived, for a while, Nita was almost in despair since Kevin was completely against the idea of breaking off with his girlfriend Maria. The mother and the son argued and argued. Even on the day when the Chai’s family arrived, Kevin was unwilling to warm up to the new relationship imposed on him.

The second day, however, there’s a 180 degree change of attitude on Kevin’s part. He became warm and attentive to Weiwei. He even promised enthusiastically to show Weiwei around New Jersey and New York for an entire month–since the two doses of vaccine are supposed to be taken four weeks apart, the family would be staying with them for a month.

How easy and flexible young people are. Kevin’s mother Nita thinks. One day Kevin hates the idea and then 24 hours later, he’s a completely different person. He must be very much in love with Weiwei–how else to explain the change? Maria’s charming Latina ways have bewitched Kevin since Kevin started high school, but it can’t fight with Weiwei’s Asian style. Kevin’s mother Nita says to herself.

So the month passes quickly and every day Kevin would drive Weiwei to different places. They even drive to Boston and Niagara Fall–just the two of them–and stay there for two days before coming back. Kevin’s mother Nita is so happy that she starts to imagine engagement and matrimony.

Unbeknown to Nita, Kevin and Weiwei have arranged things their own way. It just happens that Weiwei also has a boyfriend Dai that her mother doesn’t approve of. Dai secretly follows Weiwei to New Jersey and checks into a hotel–he also needs to get his vaccine and in his college, everybody is flying to either Dubai or the U.S. for vaccination. Every morning, Kevin and Weiwei pretends to drive out together in Kevin’s car–he has an old Honda which has sustained several collisions and cost his parents thousands of dollars of extra insurance premium. They then split. Kevin would go to see Maria while Weiwei would go to see Dai.

The scheme works very well until the last day. The two families went to Season’s 52 restaurant together for the last dinner before the Chai’s family flies back to Taiwan. Kevin’s mother Nita takes one or two pictures and posts on her social media account. Underneath the photos, there’s a line that says, “my son and his girlfriend.”

Kevin showed Maria his mother’s social media account several years ago when the two compared Cantonese clay pot rice with arroz con pollo–Kevin’s mom often posts her favorite dishes online. Maria took note and has since followed Kevin’s mom. Now Maria reads “my son and his girlfriend” and she wants to know why Kevin hasn’t talked about this. But that’s not all, what else is Kevin hiding from her? She is going to grill him until he spits out all the secrets he has ever kept since childhood. He’s going to be coy and evasive, but his little tricks are no match for Maria’s. She is ready and prepared, while Kevin is driving towards her, oblivious of what’s going to befall him.

24 thoughts on “Romance And Pandemic (Flash Fiction #40)

  1. β€œThe second day, there’s a 180 degree change in attitude on Kevin’s part.” 🀣🀣 I don’t know why I chuckled so hard. How do you come up with such interesting characters, stories and dialogues on a nearly daily basis? You astonish me. It’s not very easy to stay motivated all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Samsahana. That is such a high praise. Thank you very much and you made my day. LOL. If you meet my parents, you will know how persistent they are–I should use past tense since they both passed away now. On a daily basis, they came up with ways to torture each other since divorce was not an option. I should write a book about them, but I haven’t found an angle to approach this topic. LOL.

      Liked by 1 person

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