“Can I get some of that?” Matt asked sarcastically, pointing his chopsticks at the pork. I pretended to think it over before reluctantly handing him the platter.
“Me, too, A-go,” Banana said, using the Taiwanese honorific for grandmother which my mother had taught to her.
“Sure, Banana,” Mom beamed, grabbing the platter from Matt before he was through. My mother heaped a generous portion on Banana’s plate and handed her a fork. Banana tried to use her chopsticks for a few minutes before giving up. She was getting better, but some things were just beyond her ken.
“So, how is everything, Scarlett?” My father asked between bites. He didn’t ask just to be polite—oh, no, he really wanted to know. Unfortunately, everything I wanted to talk about couldn’t be mentioned in front of Banana.
“Um, ok. I’m sort of seeing someone,” I said cautiously, glancing at Matt. He was too absorbed in eating as much food as fast as possible to pay the slightest bit of attention to me.
“Ma told me. A detective?” My father asked cheerfully. “At least you’ll be safe with a police officer.”
“What about Uncle Matt?” Banana asked, putting her fork down. “I thought you lived with Uncle Matt!” She looked from Matt to me and back again, and Matt indicated that it was my ballgame.
“We’re roommates, Banana,” I said gently, not wanting to add any more grief to her life. “We’re really good friends. We are not boyfriend and girlfriend.”
“Why not? Don’t you love each other?” Now Banana’s chin was trembling, and I knew she was seconds away from tears. My father looked sorry he had said anything, though I was the one who’d brought up the date.
“I love him as a friend,” I explained, not sure how to put it so a three-year old would understand. “Um, I met this other man who I like as something other than a friend.”
“Oh.” Banana was quiet for a minute before turning to my mother. “A-go, can I have some tea?”
“Sure, honey,” Mom said, relieved that the mini-storm was over.