Minh was over the moon. “She knows how to cook Korean food!” We were standing in the kitchen as I put the kettle on for tea.
“She seems like a nice person.” Ken said, level headed as usual.
”Just don’t jump into anything too soon.” I of course had this worry. Wasn’t he going too fast? He’d just met Jean and they were already cooking together! Id seen him go though unimaginable heartache and pain, and I was scared that he was just like a moth to a buglight.
“It’ll be OK, mom.” He said as he ran out the door to pick her up. That was his usual answer. The one that turned on all the alarms in my mind. I watched out the window as he jogged out to his little back Honda Civic.
That car was the car of his dreams. It didn’t thump like the last one, and was fully paid off, unlike the Red Cavilier that had been repossessed. This one was fast. It was low to the ground, and it was his baby. “I guess that he’s doing better these days…” I said to Ken as he pulled down the driveway.
”Yup.” Ken wasn’t mincing words over this one. Where did all the time go? Minh had grown up, and as much as I tried, I could not protect him from pain or the harsh cruelness of this world. Even living here in Ann Arbor had not protected him from the evil that lurks in the shadow.
It was about 12:30 AM when I heard his civic pulling into the drive. “He’s home, love.” Mumbled Ken, barely cracking an eye open.
“I wonder if he’s ok…” I said. Ken sighed and got up. “Ill check.” He said and wearily went down the steps.
“Hi Dad!” It certainly didn’t sound like he was any worse for the wear. I nodded back off to sleep, relatively certain things were going to be alright.
“So, apparently Minh and Jean were out having a late meal.” Ken had brought me tea in bed the next morning. I glanced at the clock. Sunlight was streaming in the bedroom window. “Is he here?” I said, taking a sip. “Hah… can you believe it? He said he was leaving to go to church with Jean!” I looked over at Ken. He was chuckling as he got back into bed and picked up the paper.
“We’ve bed trying to get him to go to church for years!” I laughed sleepily, rolling over. I lay there for a while thinking about our life. Chandler, Broadway, our lives and our children, Minh, Anita and Sung. I remembered the first time Ken and I met Minh. Getting off that plane in the social worker’s arms, smiling at us. Laughing. Accepting us for who we were in that year the trees didn’t die.
I closed my eyes, and for once, I felt like everything was right with the world.