This is the second half of the story. The first half is here.
“Brother Kai and his wife Big Sister Kai are such nice people. I hope you are not picking on them. I mean they are so polite and they always dress so well. I look up to them. How can you categorize them as narcissists? Lulan? Is that you who did this? You have made a mistake I am afraid.” Mali says.
Brother Kai and his wife are the pillar of the community who live in best houses, drive expensive cars, talk in lofty terms. Fifteen years ago, the two fell in love. Both of their parents were high officials in the Asian country they came from. Brother Kai could have a great career in politics, which was somehow cut short by a string of corruption investigation by the opposition party. Soon, Brother Kai and his newly wed Big Sister Kai fled the country, came to America, and settled down in New Jersey.
They soon realized that their quiet life here didn’t agree with them. They used to have numerous social engagements to fill up life’s void; they used to have plenty of people who provided supplies to boost their fragile ego. Without the outside help, they were bored with each other and couldn’t stop plaguing each other. They used to have things done for them, but here they had to do everything for themselves. They have a shining exterior and united front to present to others, but deep down, they hated each other and tortured each other.
Armei first noticed this when she heard thinly veiled barbs Brother Kai threw at her whenever they met. At first Armei didn’t pay attention, but she soon picked up the scent. Armei has a son and a daughter. And she wants to help her daughter as much as her son. She even paid a lot of money for her daughter to have violin lessons. Somehow this didn’t sit well with Brother Kai. Whenever Brother Kai met Armei’s husband, Brother Kai would ridicule those people who spend money on their daughter’s education. “None of these girls will become musicians. No way. How many female musicians are there? How many of those are Asians? Very rare.” Brother Kai would say to Armei’s husband in a half drunken voice, and Armei’s husband would agree. And Armei was furious.
Pammy first noticed this when she heard Brother Kai and Pammy’s husband Pan talking. They would praise a female celebrity to the sky as if for the purpose of putting Pammy in her place. After meeting Brother Kai, Pan always assumes a frivolous pride for at least several days. Pan is a gentle diligent creature, who’s always very honest and upfront with Pammy. However that doesn’t mean Pan will not become a bad boy if somebody deliberately leads him astray. Pammy is always afraid that Pan is going to become like Brother Kai, who has a hidden bitterness towards women, if Pan spend time with Brother Kai and is somehow under Brother Kai’s influence.
Lulan has noticed Brother Kai and his wife’s mean streaks for quite a while. They would always have negative comments on a woman’s look. Whenever a woman is absent, they would talk about the woman’s “shortcomings” such as small eyes, short legs, chubby arms, or other perceived physical “defects”. They actually expect other women to agree with them and to join in their “fun” game of commenting on women. The couple disagree with each other on most things, but whenever it’s a topic of other women, they are united as a husband-wife team. This woman is somehow one year older than her husband, which is one of the things worthy of their contempt; that woman has a duck like voice that’s really annoying; this woman can’t cook; that woman is frigid and uptight.
Now Armei, Pammy, and Lulan try to explain to Mali why Brother Kai and his wife make a narcissistic couple.
“I am glad they are going to be in Las Vegas. We don’t have to invite them to our party.” Pammy says to others.
Suddenly, the phone rings and Pammy picks it up.
“Oh, goodness. It’s Big Sister Kai…. She is not going to Vegas after all… She wants to come to the party after all… Oh… I have to say yes…”