“I am going to kill him. This is too much. I’ve spent all my life trying to please him, coddle him, and chase after him, only to be rewarded with his evasiveness and his pathological lies. Now this plane ticket is the last straw. Where is he going? Who is he going with? I don’t want to know. And I don’t need to know since he would be dead before he embarks on that journey.”
Penni is furious when she discovers through online access that their credit card was charged over $1200 by the American Airline. Her husband Pong has obviously been plotting something behind her back. Penni has been quite vigilant about their credit card and bank account. Penni doesn’t want to play the role of detective, but after that affair, she has no choice. Two years ago, their domestic peace was shattered by Pong’s affair with a lady, for whom Pong, a mortgage broker, did a mortgage for. Pong apologized after he was exposed and made amends by buying a jade bracelet and necklace to restore their relationship. However Penni doesn’t want to have another round of quarrel and fight. She has decided long ago that if it happens the second time, she’s going to do something drastic, which means she’s going to poison him and get away with it.
The dinner goes smoothly and uneventfully. Pong drank the mango aloe vera juice Penni made for him without raising any questions about the taste–it’s laced with poison Penni bought. Then Pong starts to feel sleepy and he lies down on the sofa before the dinner is even finished.
Now Penni wants to act quickly. She wants to book a plane ticket from where they live– Cleveland, Ohio’s biggest city–to Penang, Malaysia and then from there find a connecting flight to Kuching, located on the island of Boneo, where she grew up. The island is covered by rain forest and she’s going disappear into the dense foliage before anybody realizes Pong’s demise.
The phone rings. At first she wants to ignore it, but on second thought, she think it’s better she answers it to make everything look normal. It is Pong’s business partner–they run the mortgage office together.
“Oh, Pong is taking a nap? Don’t wake him up. My wife and her sister say thank you. Her sister was trying to book a plane ticket to go home, but she didn’t know much English. The ticket was on sale and they didn’t want to wait. My wife called the office but I was not there. Pong helped her to book the ticket using his credit card. Just tell Pong that I’ll cut him a check next Monday in the office.”
Penni is in panic. She poisoned Pong for nothing. Why didn’t she question Pong before poisoning him? How stupid of her. Now what. What is she going to do?
She picks up the phone and calls Leong, the one who sold her the poison. Leong and his wife Lia opened an Asian grocery store, thinking that Cleveland has enough Asian population to sustain their business. It turns out to be wrong. The business is slow and Leong has to do a side business of selling herbal products.
She talks with Leong about what just happened.
“Why do you call me? Our business is over.” Leong says heartlessly.
“I have nobody to talk to. You are the only one I can talk to about the poison.” Penni says. “What am I going to do? Is he going to die in his sleep soon? Now I don’t want him to die. It’s a mistake. He’s ordering the plane ticket for his colleague’s relative.”
“OK, let me think.” Leong pretends to use about one minute to think. He doesn’t need to but the delay somehow adds to his self importance. “Well, I think I have the herb that will counteract the poison and save your husband, but it’s kind of expensive.”
“How much?” Penni asks.
“One thousand dollars.” Leong says.
“Goodness. That’s so expensive.”
“OK, I can give you 10% discount if you buy $50 grocery.” Leong says.
“OK. I will be there in half an hour.” Penni says and hangs up.
Leong hangs up and starts to whistle a little tune. His wife Lia looks at him, full of indignation.
“What are you doing? Selling poison and then selling antidote? Buddha will not forgive you.” She says.
“What are you talking about? I am selling fake poison and fake antidote. The poison is just some sleeping pills and aspirin, and the antidote is going to be the same thing. Buddha is pro business. You understand? I am not killing anybody. Also Buddha is very forgiving.” Leong says.
“If Buddha forgives you, Yama will not. He’s going to send you to hell. I just hope that I don’t have to accompany you there.” Penni says.
“I am here racking my mind to make some money to save our store while you are just sitting there being pretty, superior, and judgemental. Why don’t you come up with an idea to make some money for us? You are so ungrateful. A good wife should be happy for me, telling me I am a business genius and thanking me for getting customers and money. Now I want the sticky rice in banana leaves for dinner today. Make sure you cook it well. I want to drink to my success.”
This is a sequel to the previous story here, but I have tried to incorporate all the necessary information in the current post.