Parental Deception; chapter fourteen, part one

Chapter Fourteen; Part One

“So. Sushi. School me.” Rembrandt says as we are seated at our table in Fujiya. He glances around him in appreciation at the bright and lively room around him. It’s busy as it always is, but the noise level is low.

“My favorite is unagi, which is barbecue eel,” I say. The look on Rembrandt’s face tells me he’s not on board, and I hasten to add, “It tastes just like barbecue meat, I promise. I know you’re hesitant to try raw fish, but hamachi, or yellowtail, is so fatty and good.” My mouth is watering, and I control myself with difficulty. “They also have noodles and tempura if you’re really against trying raw fish.”

“No, I want to try it. There’s no reason to go to a sushi place if I don’t.” Rembrandt sets down the menu and looks at me. “Tell you what. You order for the both of us, and I’ll trust you won’t pick anything that’ll kill me.”

“Sounds good to me!” I order pork gyozas and salmon cream cheese wontons as appetizers. I order a variety of sashimi, nigari, and rolls as entrees, making sure to include seafood ones in case he hates the raw fish ones. I order two miso soups and edamame as well. We talk about nothing in particular while waiting for our food. The appetizers come out in record time, and Rembrandt can’t stop raving about the salmon cream cheese wontons.

“These are amazing!” He exclaims as he gobbles down a second one. “We may have to order another helping because three might not be enough.”

“Wait until after we eat our sushi,” I counsel. “You may enjoy it so much, you won’t want more salmon wontons.”

“I will always want more salmon cream cheese wontons,” Rembrandt says, his eyes dilated in pleasure. “Thank you so much for bringing these into my life. I have to figure out how to make them.” I am pleased that I could give him something that brings him so much joy.

His eyes further widen when our sushi is brought to us. It is attractively arranged, and there is plenty of it. I have the Taiwanese curse of ordering four times more food than we can possibly eat. I act as his tour guide, pointing out the different fish and seafood. He gamely tries a bit of each, and soon, he’s gobbling down the sushi as fast as I am. I beam at him as I eat because I love it when I can widen the horizons of other people, especially with something as delicious as sushi. There’s no shame in not knowing something or not having tried something, but your real character shows through in how you respond to the challenge of trying something new. I have to admit that I’m not always open to change, but I’m trying to be more flexible. Taiji helps, quite a bit, in fact. Rembrandt and I are quiet as we devour piece after piece of sushi. By the time we slow down, there’s still plenty left. I don’t like bringing home sushi because it goes bad so quickly, but I admit defeat while there’s still a third of what I ordered left. We order green tea and sip it while our server boxes our leftover sushi. I have a hunch we’ll finish it tonight so it won’t go to waste.

Continue Reading

Parental Deception; chapter thirteen, part two

Chapter Thirteen; Part Two

“Mrrrreow!” Onyx launches herself at me, and I drop my purse so I can catch her.

“Onyx, stop doing that!” I scold her. “One day, I won’t be able to catch you, and then what will you do?” Onyx purrs up at me, her face full of trust and love. I nuzzle her face with mine, inhaling her catlike goodness. I feel something bumping against my shin, and it’s Jet, of course. I reach down to scratch him behind the ears while setting Onyx down on the ground. I go into the kitchen to put away the chocolate roll and to give my cats some treats. I grab a Diet Coke while I’m at it before going into the living room. I check my blog because I feel as if I’ve given it short shrift over the past few days, understandably so. It’s time for a new post, so I start one.

The Hippocratic Oath states that first you must do no harm. I think that’s a good motto for life in general. Too many times, we do something we think is for the good of others, and, yet, the result is catastrophic. I think it would be better if before acting, we asked ourselves, “Is this going to harm anyone?” If the answer is yes, then we should proceed with caution, if at all. The problem is, most of us aren’t savvy enough to recognize our shadow sides and we’re convinced that what we’re doing is out of altruism.

Take the man who impersonated my father, for example. He convinced himself that he was carrying out this deceit for the benefit of me and my sisters. He thought he could give us some comfort by bringing our father back into our lives. Putting aside the fact that he wasn’t actually our father, even if he were, would we have been better off with him in our lives? I can’t speak for my sisters, of course, but for me, the answer is a resounding no. I have friends and other family members whom I love and who enrich my lives. I have a job that allows me to pay the rent. I have my cats who are a constant source of joy, love, and amusement, and I have my writing, which is my outlet for my frustrations as well as my creativity. I have taiji which is beneficial to my mental and physical health as well. I have a lover who is just the frosting on my own personal cupcake. To put it bluntly, I don’t need a father figure in my life right now—especially not one who comes with so much baggage.

If that man actually cared about my sisters and me, he would have done some serious soul searching before perpetuating this fraud. He didn’t, though—and how could he? He didn’t know us—so it’s clear he did this for purely selfish reasons. I don’t care how he rationalized it to himself—he never should have done it. I think most of you will agree with me. I didn’t want to know him while he was alive, and now that he’s dead, I resent having to spend so much time learning about him. What I’ve learned so far has made me fervently glad that he’s not my father.

I finish the post in record time and publish it. I think about how someone two weeks ago I didn’t even know existed has come to dominate my life, even in his death. To be fair, I could be done with him right now if I wanted, but one of my fatal flaws is my curiosity. I’m compelled to figure out why he did what he did, even if it’s not possible to completely understand it. I’m looking into his death at Jasmine’s behest, but I would be doing it, anyway, even if she hadn’t asked me to. I call Mrs. Tsai, and she answers on the fourth ring.

Continue Reading

Parental Deception; chapter thirteen, part one

Chapter Thirteen; Part One

“Good evening, Ms. Yu. Or do you prefer Mrs. Milton?” I hold a hand out to the tiny woman in front of me, feeling like a behemoth as I do. She’s as fragile as a porcelain doll with her dead white skin and small hands. She’s wearing a sapphire blue dress that is high-necked and reaches her knees. Her abundance of hair is French-braided and wound around the nape of her neck.

“Please, call me Linda. I’m not old enough to be a mizz, let alone a missus!” Linda smiles, displaying perfectly white and even teeth. She holds out her hand, and I take it hesitantly. I don’t want to hurt her, but her grip is firm.

“Linda. I’m Megan. Thank you so much for seeing me.” I release her hand and step into the hallway. I take off my shoes and put on a pair of the slippers on the guest rack. I’m surprised someone who’s younger than I am carries out this tradition, but I don’t question it. Again, I’m glad I wore a simple black dress as I would feel underdressed otherwise.

“George Tsai. A name I haven’t heard in thirteen years.” Linda says, her voice frosty. “Until last week.” She breaks off and adds, “Let’s go to the living room so we can sit down while we talk. Would you like some tea and some chocolate roll?”

“Yes, please.” My mouth salivates at the thought of it. There are few desserts better than a Taiwanese chocolate roll, and I haven’t had one in ages. She shows me to the living room before disappearing. I inspect the room, not sure what to make of it. The walls are a pristine white, which indicates there probably aren’t any children or animals in the house. There’s a stillness surrounding us that corroborates my theory, and I don’t see any evidence of another living being. There are paintings of flowers on the walls—they’re watercolors and not really my style. I’m sure they’re expensive, though, because they are in gold frames. Everyone knows that you only put expensive paintings in golden frames. The room is mostly bare, otherwise. There’s no television or media center of any kind. There’s a bookshelf by the black leather couch, which is filled with business books. There’s no fiction or poetry that I can see, not even a memoir.

“Here we go.” Linda comes into the living room with a tray that has a tea pot, cups, and a giant chocolate roll on it. Plates and forks, too, of course. Linda sets the tray on the coffee table before pouring us each a cup of tea. Green tea by the smell of it. Not a favorite of mine, but I’ll drink almost any kind of tea. Except Lipton because that shit is foul. I thank her for the tea and watch as she cuts me a thick slice of the chocolate roll. I put my fork to it, and it’s so tender, it nearly falls apart. It’s delicious. Dark, chewy, dense, with just a hint of ginger. Linda sits on a high-back chair that is opposite the couch, and her posture is ramrod straight.

Continue Reading

Parental Deception; chapter twelve, part two

Rembrandt and I do the dishes before going into the living room. We sink down on the couch and snuggle with our three cats strategically placed on top of us. Ginger is on Rembrandt’s lap as usual, and Onyx is on my chest. Jet has his paws and head on my thigh, but the rest of his body is on the couch. I have my head on Rembrandt’s chest, and he has his arm around my shoulders. I periodically check my phone to see if Yuri has responded, and after an hour, he does.

“It took some doing, and I can’t tell you how I did it, but I found out about Linda Yu and George Tsai. Warning, it’s not a pretty picture. As for the investor reimbursement, Mr. Liang was telling you the truth. He and Mr. Huang repaid the investors up to ninety percent of their investment. Between seventy-five and ninety percent each, with the top-tier investors receiving less, and the lower-tier ones receiving more. They weren’t obligated to do it, but they did it, anyway. I’ve included all the sums. Hope this helps.” I download the attachment and skim the numbers. It’s as Yuri reported—Mr. Liang and Mr. Huang returned most of the money to their investors, and it was pro-rated in a backwards way. The more an investor gave, the less they got back. Those who gave $100,000 to $500,000 received 90% of their investment back. The $500,000 to $1 million tier got back 83%, whereas the $1 million to $10 million crowd ‘only’ recouped 75% of their investment. I’d like to think Mr. Liang and Mr. Huang gave the small investors more money because they realized that people with less money need it more, but the cynical side of me notes that this rating system means more money for Mr. Liang and Mr. Huang. Hey, just because I like Mr. Liang, it doesn’t mean I think he’s a saint. He wouldn’t have been able to accrue the fortune he has if he weren’t a ruthless businessman.

“Look at this.” I point at the numbers to Rembrandt.

“That was really decent of them,” Rembrandt says, surprise in his voice. “It seems to rule out the money motive, doesn’t it?”

“I would say yes, except, you know how funny people are about money. Even if they got back most of it, it’s not all.”

“True,” Rembrandt says, nodding his head in agreement. “Pride is a big factor, too. People do not like being conned. At all.”

“Plus, Mr. Tsai isn’t the one who returned the money, so they may still hold a grudge against him,” I say, pursing my lips as I think it over. “In fact, given what I know about him, I can see him trying to defend himself with a disgruntled investor, and the investor seeing red.”

Continue Reading

Parental Deception; chapter twelve, part one

Chapter Twelve; Part One

“Remember to text me every ten minutes,” Rembrandt tells me as I pull up to Mr. Liang’s house. It’s an understated two-story Tudor, not at all in line with my idea of what a multimillionaire’s house should look like. There’s a silver Audi in the driveway, the only nod to luxury I can see.

“Will do,” I say, nodding at Rembrandt as I shut off the car. I’m pensive as I walk to the door because I don’t know what to expect. Mr. Liang had been quite imperious in his order for me to meet with him, and I don’t do well with autocrats.

“Ms. Liang. Come in.” Mr. Liang opens the door and gestures inside. He’s leaning on a solid metal cane, which indicates that he has some physical ailment. I step across the foyer and glance down. He’s wearing Chinese slippers, and there’s a rack of them to my right. I take off my shoes and put on a pair. He nods in approval as I do. I take a few seconds to study him as he turns to lead me down the hallway. He’s over six feet tall with a head of snowy white hair. Intense dark brown eyes and a large frame. He’s wearing a tailored gray suit, and I’m glad I chose to wear a black dress instead of jeans or even slacks.

“Mr. Liang. Nice to meet you,” I say to Mr. Liang’s back. He keeps it ramrod, and his gait is even, though it’s clearly costing him not to limp. I sense he’s a proud man who would not want to appear weak or hurt in front of a woman, and I wonder if he normally uses a wheelchair. He leads me into a living room that is sparse, to put it kindly. The ecru walls are bare except for one small portrait of a family. His, I presume, though he has black hair in the picture. There is a brown suede couch in the middle of the room, and there’s a matching recliner facing the couch. Mr. Liang gestures to the couch, and I gingerly lower myself onto it. Mr. Liang eases himself into the recliner and pushes it back so he can rest his legs. He rings a tiny bell on the side table by the recliner, and an older Taiwanese woman dressed in a drab gray uniform appears with a tray laden with a tea pot, cups, plates, cream cakes, and macaroons. She pours a cup of tea and hands it to Mr. Liang, and he nods his approval. She does the same to me, and I take a cautious sip. It’s oolong, black, which is just fine with me. She sets the tray on the coffee table before disappearing from whence she came.

“Go ahead. Have a cake. Mrs. Chang made them herself, and they’re marvelous.” Mr. Liang helps himself to several cakes and macaroons and tucks in. I do the same, and the cream cakes are light, fluffy, and simply melts in my mouth.

“These are fantastic. My compliments to Mrs. Chang,” I say, eating my third cake in a row.

“Ms. Liang. Why have you been inquiring about me?” Mr. Liang asks, his tone level. I can hear the anger behind the words, though, and I flinch inside. I don’t want to show fear, though, because I know a man like him will pounce on any perceived or real weakness. “I am a very private person, and I much dislike a stranger prying into my affairs.” Good Lord. This man should be part of a Victorian novel, not living in the 2000s. I keep that comment to myself, however, as I don’t want to get off on the wrong foot.

“It’s a long and strange story, but I need to give you some background so you understand my motives.” I wait until Mr. Liang nods before continuing. “A few days before Thanksgiving, a man showed up on my doorstep claiming to be my father.” I stop because I feel uncomfortable waving the family laundry in public. However, I sense that if I don’t tell him the truth, he’ll throw me out on my ear. “It turns out that he was lying. He wasn’t my father; he was someone else.”

“Why would a man claim to be your father?” Mr. Liang asks, sounding intrigued.

“My father left our family when I was three. That was over four decades ago. I haven’t seen him since.” My voice is even, but it still hurts to say, even this many years later.

“I’m sorry,” Mr. Liang says, looking directly in my eyes. I blink because I wasn’t expecting sympathy from him. “That has to have been hard on you.”

“Thank you, and, yes, it was.” I clear my throat and add, “The man who impersonated my father was George Tsai.” I keep an eye on Mr. Liang’s face, but it doesn’t change except for the slightest tic under his left eye.

“George Tsai. I haven’t heard that name in decades.” Mr. Liang’s voice hardened. “Until this week. The night he was killed—”

Continue Reading

Parental Deception; chapter eleven, part two

Chapter Eleven; Part Two

“Hey, babe.” Rembrandt materializes out of the blue, a huge yawn splitting his face. He’s wearing a robe, and he ties the belt before slipping an arm around me.

“Hey, boo.” I kiss him on the cheek and am surprised to find my cigarette has burned out. I light another one so I can have a few more puffs.

“You had a pensive look on your face when I came out. What’re you thinking about?” It’s a simple question, but I’m not sure how to answer. Do I give the safe answer of that I was thinking of that man? Or do I tell him about my feelings about us? I decide to start with the former and work my way to the latter; it feels safer that way.

“That man. The imposter. I can’t stop trying to figure out why he did what he did.” I take a draw on my cigarette so he won’t see my face. I’m not lying to him, exactly, but this isn’t the more pressing issue, if I’m to be honest. Rembrandt looks at me for several seconds before answering.

“You may never know,” he finally says. “He’s dead, and his wife seems pretty clueless.” He hesitates and adds, “What is really on your mind?” I don’t respond. Do I want to get into it with him or do I just want to shine him on? My impulse is to equivocate, but he deserves better than that.

“I want to go on a date,” I blurt out, blushing as soon as the words leave my mouth. It’s not how I wanted to phrase it, but it’s what I’m thinking, really. “Don’t get me wrong. I love that you cook for me, and I feel so spoiled by it. It’s just, we kind of went from dating to limited cohabitation very quickly. I know it’s been stressful and weird because of that psycho woman, but I want to date.”

“Let’s go on a date then,” Rembrandt says. “Saturday night? You pick the restaurant. I’ll come and pick you up and everything.” Irrationally, the fact that he’s being so sweet about it makes me feel even worse. Am I spoiling for a fight? Is that what’s going on here? I should be thrilled that I have a sweet, sensitive, talented, hot man who wants to be with me. Instead, I’m moping over stupid girly shit like going on a date. I am my own worst enemy, and I need to grow the fuck up.

Continue Reading

Parental Deception; chapter eleven, part one

Chapter Eleven; Part One

“Hey, babe,” Rembrandt says, smiling at me as he opens the door.

“Hi, Rembrandt,” I reply, kissing him on the lips. I hand Onyx and Jet’s carrier to him, and they stop yowling when he frees them. They prance around Ginger, who is twining around Rembrandt’s legs. The three of them sniff each other’s butts before racing down the hallway. “You look really nice.” He’s wearing a black button-down and gray khakis. He has his hair slicked back, which I find an endearing touch.

“So do you,” he says, a gleam in his eyes. I’m wearing a short red dress that flaunts all my assets. I’m not wearing panties as usual, and I feel deliciously wicked. I’m about to suggest we skip dinner and go straight to his bedroom when I catch a whiff of something creamy wafting from the kitchen. “Chicken alfredo,” Rembrandt says in response to my inquiring sniffs. “With broccoli. Garlic bread, tossed salad with vinaigrette. Tiramisu for dessert.”

“Let’s eat!” I grab Rembrandt’s hand and swing it as we go to the kitchen. He tends to his sauce as I get the plates and silverware. I set the table and wait impatiently for the food. I had a light lunch in anticipation of a Rembrandt dinner. I have to admit, if even to myself, that the fact that he cooks for me is a factor in why I like dating him. I’m not a lousy cook, but I don’t like doing it. I am more than willing to do the dishes and fuck him in return. Let’s be honest. I would fuck him, anyway, but dishes? Only if he feeds me first.

“Here we go!” Rembrandt brings out the food, and my mouth waters. I wait for him to sit down and dish out the food before diving in. “So, you mentioned you learned quite a bit about that man pretending to be your father. Care to share?”

“He was trying to steal my sisters and my inheritance,” I say bluntly.

“What?” Rembrandt sets down his fork and stares at me, his mouth agape. Fortunately, he had finished his mouthful of food, otherwise, it would have not been a pretty sight.

“He was the executor of our father’s will. My sisters and I were the heirs. My father had over a million dollars. That man didn’t submit the will to probate, so we never knew about it.” I swirl my noodles around my fork, but I don’t take a bite. Talking about that man dampens my appetite. “Jasmine got a name from her son of a probate attorney in San Francisco. She’s flying out there in a few days to straighten things out.”

“I’m glad,” Rembrandt says. It’s not what I’m expecting to hear, so I look at him quizzically. “You’ve been doing so much for your family lately. It’s time your sisters stepped up to help out.” I flush, but he’s not the first person to mention that. I know I tend to overdo when it comes to my family, but I wish I could explain to people how much I owe Jasmine. I wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for her, and how do you repay that? As for Viv, well, she’s an artist. There’s no point in trying to get her to pay attention to mundane details, and it only causes frustration on my part when I try.

“Anyway, I also found out that Mr. Tsai, the imposter, only had about five-hundred thousand dollars, which is a lot to us, but not that much in San Francisco. He left it all to his wife, of course, but, oh! In the business debacle he had from the time he lived in Minnesota, he lost over two million dollars.”

“Two million!” Rembrandt’s eyes are round, and he whistles his disbelief. “Holy shit.”

“Precisely.” I nod my head emphatically, then take a large bite out of a piece of garlic bread. “For all his blathering about wanting a family, I think he did it for the money.”

Continue Reading

Parental Deception; chapter ten, part three

Chapter Ten; Part Three

I take a deep breath and dive back into the dossier that Yuri has provided me. It gives more details about TAP, including that investors poured close to $50 million dollars into it. I blink at the number. I was expecting it to be a few million or maybe ten at the most. It’s more than I thought it would be, even though it’s still peanuts to most venture capitalists. There’s an interview with Richard Liang in which he threatens to kill George, but I can’t tell if he really means it or if he’s just letting off steam. Scott Huang takes a more legalistic approach by threatening to sue George. Both of these statements came after George went back to San Francisco. I find out that they managed to put a lien on George’s assets. My mouth drops because that’s not easy to do, and I wonder if they have a judge in their pockets. Things were pretty grim for George for the next year. I have to wonder how he kept Rowena in the dark about this, or maybe she knew. Just because she didn’t tell me about it doesn’t mean she wasn’t in on it. From her point of view, why would she tell me? I’m going to have to call her again, which is the last thing I want to do. On impulse, I start another post.

I don’t understand wanting to be kept in the dark in a relationship. Let me explain. I’m not a very confrontational person, but if I’m going to be with someone, I have to trust them. If I don’t, then I’m only half present in the relationship, if even that. I know everyone has secrets, and it’s healthy to keep some things to yourself. However, I don’t understand not wanting to know something major about your partner. Take, for example, a man who has two families in different states. Even if he is a master at dissimulating, you have to know on some base level if you’re one of the wives, right? Even if he has a job that allows him to travel freely around the country, there has to be a little voice in the back of your mind that tells you something is wrong. Nobody can keep up that façade perfectly for a lifetime. Whether it’s a slip on the kid’s birthday or calling you by the wrong name, I firmly believe there are tells, even if you choose to ignore them.

I had an affair with a married man when I was in my mid-thirties and he was in his forties. We saw each other once a week, which was all I wanted from him. It was light and fun, and we were together for over a year. During that time, he would call me while he was in the car with his wife sleeping and his kids watching cartoons on their tablets or whatever we watched videos on in those days. We consistently went over his minutes for the month, and since his wife managed their money, he had to explain it to her. Personally, if the person I was in a monogamous relationship with talked over thirty hours a month on the phone with someone who wasn’t me, I’d be a tad suspicious. In addition, we met on the Wednesday nights every week, and he told his wife he was going bowling with the guys. You mean to tell me she didn’t ask any of ‘the guys’ ever about those bowling nights?

I know it’s common, and I know it’s more a matter of denial than actual not knowing. It’s still sad to me that so many people settle in their romantic relationships to the point where they’ll take crumbs rather than expect a whole cake.

Continue Reading

General Housekeeping

I am having laptop issues and cannot access my fiction folder. Until I resolve that, I can’t post any fiction. Hopefully, I will get this all figured out this week, but until then, here’s a Missy Elliott video to get your blood pumping.

Parental Deception; chapter ten, part two

Chapter Ten; Part Two

“Did you know?” I demand, my voice hard.

“Excuse me, what?” Understandably, Mrs. Tsai is confused. “Who is this?”

“Megan Liang,” I say through gritted teeth. “Did you know that your husband bilked my sisters and me out of our inheritance?”

“What are you saying? I don’t understand.” There’s fear in Mrs. Tsai’s voice, and I don’t know if it’s because she’s hiding something or because I’m ranting like a crazy woman. I take a few slow and smooth breaths so I don’t verbally slaughter her. I’m mad at her husband, who is now dead. I shouldn’t take it out on her.

“Your husband was the executor of my father’s will,” I say, my voice dangerously calm.

“Yes, I know. He said Henry had given all the money to us.” There is nothing but sincerity in Mrs. Tsai’s voice, and I’m sorry I’m going to have to be the bearer of bad news.

“Did you see any of that money?” I ask. I know it’s a leading question, but I need to find out what she knows.

“No. George said wills take time. Probate and all that.” It’s clear she knows nothing and that her husband had been deceiving her as well. Suddenly, I wonder if I should tell her what I know because chances are, the will is in his house. I doubt he even submitted it to probate. I’m assuming there has to be a copy in legal land somewhere, but I’m not sure. If I tell Mrs. Tsai, she might destroy the will. Then again, Mr. Tsai probably already has. I need to call a lawyer and stat. First, though, I confront Mrs. Tsai.

“Your husband lied. My father did not leave his money to you—he left it to my sisters and me. I have proof,” I say, hoping she won’t ask me what proof and how I got it. “I’m assuming you didn’t know about this.”

“No! Are you saying George lied to me? He wouldn’t do that.” I stay silent, though it’s clear to me that her husband has lied to her about many things.

“Your husband also was the one stealing money from his partners, not the other way around.” I feel as if I’m pummeling her with the information, but I have run out of patience at this point. I’m furious that her husband was a piece of shit who decided to intrude upon my life. I really wish I hadn’t heard of him, but there’s nothing I can do about that.

“I can’t deal with this.” Click. She hung up on me! I stare at my phone in shock. I mean, it’s not that surprising given the barrage of information I’d given her, but it’s very un-Taiwanese behavior, especially for an elder. Then again, she’s lived in San Francisco for most if not all her life, so she’s more American than Taiwanese. I stifle my impulse to call her back because it won’t do any good. Instead, I read about the will again, and I get angry all over again. I call Viv and wait impatiently for her to answer. I know she’ll still be awake, whereas Jasmine has probably been asleep since a half hour after we returned home.

“What’s up, Meg? I was just about to start a piece.” Viv’s voice is distracted, and I know I have five minutes at best to keep her attention.

“I found out more information about our father,” I say, stepping outside to smoke. “He left all his money to us in his will.”

“His will,” Viv repeats, her voice uninterested. Then a few seconds later, “His will???”

“Yes. He made that man his executor, but Mr. Tsai decided not to fulfill his duties.” There is bitterness in my voice, and I don’t attempt to hide it. My rage needs to go somewhere, and I know Viv can handle it.

“You can do that?” Viv is as astounded as I was before I Googled the issue at hand. The number of people who’ve bilked their so-called loved ones out of the family fortune has disheartened me. I know families can be shitty to each other, but it’s depressing, nonetheless.

Continue Reading