A Tale Of Two Cousins (Flash Fiction Part 20)

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Flash Fiction #163

This is the 20th part. The previous 19 parts are here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19.

Cousin Arjin, Right Now

After Fanfan came back, we’ve had relative peace so far, but it is never the same. Fanfan seems to be observing me or making mental notes all the time. I have told her several times to tell me what she has in her mind, and every time she responds by saying she wants us to go to see a psychiatrist. She must have watched too many movies or TV shows. It must be those K-Dramas that focus on psychology. And of course my cousin Nalan is the other factor. Fortunately I haven’t seen Fanfan being too friendly with Nalan. Well, I can’t imagine anybody becoming friends with Nalan since she is so sulky and defiant. Sometimes she makes me feel that the only pleasure she has in life is complaining. I guess the reason she wants to become a psychological researcher is that she can use her mind to analyze people so that she can have enough material to complain about.

I have accepted my father’s explanation of my mother’s death. My mother was never in a good mood anyway. She was a melancholy person. In a way, she is a little similar to Nalan. Oh, my poor mom. I loved her, but I am glad I inherited more of my father’s toughness. I don’t blame my father for anything. On the contrary, he is the one who has always insisted that we have to be good members of a good family, to show our strength, to be polite, to push ourselves. I am grateful. I want to be a good son and a good husband, and I am a good son and a good husband.

It was Nalan who disturbed our peace of mind. She planted the seed of doubt in me and in Fanfan. Fortunately I didn’t fall into Nalan’s trap. Fanfan is probably falling a little into the trap, but I will rescue her from falling further.

Anyway, Fanfan has continued to nag me about seeing a psychiatrist. Actually Nalan recommended one or two psychiatrists to us. When my father got the wind of it, he said he would pay for the psychiatrist from the pot of the family fund that my grandmother left. However he insisted that he would select the psychiatrist and he would go with us to see the psychiatrist. How generous my father is. He is a good father. Fanfan at first refuses, but she can’t provide a good reason why she refuses to see the psychiatrist my father has selected for us. Anyway, eventually Fanfan agrees. “Any psychiatrist is better than no psychiatrist.” She says.

So we go to our first two appointments. My father does most of the talking, and the psychiatrist agrees with my father mostly. The only thing the psychiatrist doesn’t agree with my father is his manner of delivery. The psychiatrist says that my father has all the good intentions, but his manner is distant and indifferent, which can make people feel uneasy even if people receive benefit from his instructions. My father argues that it was the way he was brought up. Fanfan wants to speak too, but somehow the psychiatrist doesn’t listen to her as much.

“I don’t think these sessions are useful. I somehow feel that we arrange these sessions just for the purpose of having the appearance that we are having sessions. I would like to change to another psychiatrist and I hope your father would not come.” She says.

Although she says she wants to make new arrangement, she is caught up in something else. My father is getting married and the wedding day is set up to be a month away. My father’s girlfriend Meili likes to invite Fanfan to accompany her to go shopping and do this or that. When Fanfan’s mind is thus occupied, she doesn’t think about the psychiatrist as often as before.

And the wedding ceremony will be splitting into three parts: a meal at a local restaurant, a ceremony in a Buddhist temple, and a dance in the retirement community common area, after which the newly weds will travel to Seoul and Kyoto for honeymoon.

And everything happens as planned. The meal is wonderful, the food is delicious, the Buddhist temple is not so crowded, the wedding incense is burned for happiness and longevity. Then we come back for the dancing party in Lakeview retirement community.

Then disaster strikes. Who would have thought there are so many intrigues in my father’s life in retirement?

(To Be Continued Here)

11 thoughts on “A Tale Of Two Cousins (Flash Fiction Part 20)

    1. Arjin just can’t wake up. Since he is still relying on his father for financial assistance on various things, he is not going to stand up to him. Such a dependence often blinds a person’s judgement.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, they would scold their kids for not independent, and at the same time they would sabotage their effort of becoming independent by withholding crucial support and inflicting emotional blows.

          Liked by 1 person

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