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The unfilial son who left his father to die recieve his comeuppance.


Submitted:Aug 15, 2013    Reads: 14    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


Old Pang paced up and down the living room, constantly glancing at the spread he had prepared. Occasionally he would stop to cough and clear the phlegm in his airways. Finally he stopped pacing the floor and peered through the windows.
Simultaneously, there was a knock on the door.
Old Pang flashed a grin and rushed over to open the doors. As he did, he experienced searing pain in his joints and the joints groaned like rusty hinges. When he finally unlocked the door, he was greeted by the irritated looks etched on the faces of his son and daughter-in-law.
Old Pang managed a weak smile and mumbled in his hoarse voice, "I've prepared your dinner. I will go and re-heat it now."
"No need," Pang's son, Ken, said flatly.
"We have had our dinner," Pang's daughter-in-law, Constance added.
The two then walked right past him, and as their shoulders met Pang's, Pang was nearly knocked off balance. Old Pang sighed deeply. They did not even greet him.
Only his grandchildren, Grace and Royston addressed him politely as 'Ah Gong'.
One day Old Pang was ironing the clothes when he smelled something wrong.
Ken was not reading his newspaper; he would usually read the papers the moment he returned home. Constance wasn't doing her manicure. Nor was she polishing her nails. Or engaging in idle talk over the phone, gossiping about the friend of somebody across the street. And the children were not in the living room.
"Pa, we bought you your favourite fried cai tao kuay," said Ken suddenly, beaming.
"From Bukit Timah Food Centre," Constance asserted.
Old Pang was surprised; Ken rarely addressed him as 'Pa' and Constance was usually mean to him, if not unkind.
"Eat Pa, eat," Ken ushered.
Old Pang's eyes flitted across room, and as his eyes met theirs, they seemed to flinch and look away contritely.
"What is it?" inquired Pang.
"Nothing," Constance denied flatly.
As soon as Pang finished the last morsel of food, Ken began.
"Pa, you don't need a lot of money, do you?" Ken asked casually.
"Sorry?"
"I mean…You don't shop and I've asked you to stop cooking for us, so you don't have to buy much grocery…"
Old Pang coughed.
"What?"
"Alright then. I'll cut to the chase. I remember you saying you've about four hundred and fifty-thousand dollars."
"But that's for my retirement years,"Pang insisted defensively.
"You're retired. And you don't seem to be spending any of that money, do you?"
"But-"
Constance wanted to speak, but Ken held her back and reassured her,"I can handle it."
"Pa, I am your son. Don't you trust me? I need it to invest in stocks so that I can expand my company."Ken pleaded.
That night, Old Pang transferred all his money to his son.
And that night was the last time Old Pang heard Ken call him 'Pa'.
Old Pang has not been feeling quite so well lately. At first it was just a minor cough. Then the cough attacks became chronic, especially at night. Phlegm turned into blood. Old Pang visited a specialist, and the specialist told him he had fourth stage adenocarcinoma. He did not understand what that was. All he understood was that he had only a few more months to live. He dare not tell his son or daughter-in-law, for fear of being berated by them for not taking good care of his health. But they scolded him anyway; they chastised him for coughing so loudly that they cannot have a single day of good night's sleep; they admonished him for coughing so noisily that Grace and Royston cannot do their homework in peace; and they upbraided him for playing with the grandchildren and warned him to stay away from them, lest they should contract his 'cough'.
One night Pang's bouts of illness got the better of him, and his cough was especially loud. After clearing his phlegm, Old Pang decided to go back to sleep. Just then, he heard footsteps.
"Enough," Ken said sternly.
"I'm sorry. I-"
"I said ENOUGH!"
Silence followed. After what seemed like eternity, Ken broke the silence.
"You get out of my house. Now."
Suddenly, a strong hand shoved him to his feet and dragged him across the flat. Ken unlocked the front door with his spare hand and tried to push him outside. Old Pang clung desperately onto the metal grilles, but Ken pried his fingers and they gave way. Even Constance, who already came out of her room, stared saucer-eyed at the scene unfolding before her very eyes.
"Ah Ken," Pang whimpered.
"Ah Ken!" Pang sobbed.
Having heard the commotion, two heads popped out of their room.
"Go back to sleep now!" Ken roared.
And the door was slammed in Old Pang's face, as the first drops of rain fell upon his head.
He did not even answer to his plea.
He did not even give him the time to collect his daily necessities.
He did not even give him the chance to bid farewell to his grandchildren.
Old Pang glanced over his shoulders at the door over and over again, as if that would cause the door to swing ajar. But the door remained closed. Old Pang glanced at the door for the last time and walked away. Old Pang's heart ached. The pain was excruciating. He coughed hard and tasted blood. His breath became short. He gasped for air, but the cold wind offered no help. Even the tempestuous clouds took no pity, and they began to unleash their fury upon Pang. The rain drummed against the ground and the thunder rose to a deafening crescendo, obscuring the noise of Pang's breath. Old Pang stopped walking. He rested his emaciated body against a tree, but the rough bark scraped against his back and offered no solace. The thunderstorm did not abate, and the rain continued to pound harder, while Old Pang let the rain drops fill the cracks in his skin.
Old Pang breath had become so shallow that it was barely audible. He gasped for more air, but his weak lungs failed him.
And Old Pang breathed his last.
As a drop of tear hit the ground, forming a glistening orb that would soon be washed away by the rain.
"Son, where are you taking us?" Constance asked.
"You will like that place." Royston insisted.
" Where?"
"You'll find out."
"But I want to go home."
"You'll like it there."
"But I want to go home."
"I'll bring you home later. I promise."
The car stopped. Constance and Royston got out of the car and helped Ken to his feet. Ken look confused. Constance and Ken squinted at the words emblazoned on the gate, but age had failed them. All they could see were people clad in white.
"Have you made the payment at the registry?"
"Yes."
"Good."
"Mr and Mrs Pang. This way."
The two were led inside. Suddenly it occurred to them that Royston was no longer with them. They frantically hobbled back to the gate and made feeble attempts to push the metal gates open.
And they waited and waited and waited for their son to return for them, but he merely got into the car and the car looked smaller and smaller and smaller until it disappeared from view.
Old Pang paced up and down the living room, constantly glancing at the spread he had prepared. Occasionally he would stop to cough and clear the phlegm in his airways. Finally he stopped pacing the floor and peered through the windows.
Simultaneously, there was a knock on the door.
Old Pang flashed a grin and rushed over to open the doors. As he did, he experienced searing pain in his joints and the joints groaned like rusty hinges. When he finally unlocked the door, he was greeted by the irritated looks etched on the faces of his son and daughter-in-law.
Old Pang managed a weak smile and mumbled in his hoarse voice, "I've prepared your dinner. I will go and re-heat it now."
"No need," Pang's son, Ken, said flatly.
"We have had our dinner," Pang's daughter-in-law, Constance added.
The two then walked right past him, and as their shoulders met Pang's, Pang was nearly knocked off balance. Old Pang sighed deeply. They did not even greet him.
Only his grandchildren, Grace and Royston addressed him politely as 'Ah Gong'.
One day Old Pang was ironing the clothes when he smelled something wrong.
Ken was not reading his newspaper; he would usually read the papers the moment he returned home. Constance wasn't doing her manicure. Nor was she polishing her nails. Or engaging in idle talk over the phone, gossiping about the friend of somebody across the street. And the children were not in the living room.
"Pa, we bought you your favourite fried cai tao kuay," said Ken suddenly, beaming.
"From Bukit Timah Food Centre," Constance asserted.
Old Pang was surprised; Ken rarely addressed him as 'Pa' and Constance was usually mean to him, if not unkind.
"Eat Pa, eat," Ken ushered.
Old Pang's eyes flitted across room, and as his eyes met theirs, they seemed to flinch and look away contritely.
"What is it?" inquired Pang.
"Nothing," Constance denied flatly.
As soon as Pang finished the last morsel of food, Ken began.
"Pa, you don't need a lot of money, do you?" Ken asked casually.
"Sorry?"
"I mean…You don't shop and I've asked you to stop cooking for us, so you don't have to buy much grocery…"
Old Pang coughed.
"What?"
"Alright then. I'll cut to the chase. I remember you saying you've about four hundred and fifty-thousand dollars."
"But that's for my retirement years,"Pang insisted defensively.
"You're retired. And you don't seem to be spending any of that money, do you?"
"But-"
Constance wanted to speak, but Ken held her back and reassured her,"I can handle it."
"Pa, I am your son. Don't you trust me? I need it to invest in stocks so that I can expand my company."Ken pleaded.
That night, Old Pang transferred all his money to his son.
And that night was the last time Old Pang heard Ken call him 'Pa'.
Old Pang has not been feeling quite so well lately. At first it was just a minor cough. Then the cough attacks became chronic, especially at night. Phlegm turned into blood. Old Pang visited a specialist, and the specialist told him he had fourth stage adenocarcinoma. He did not understand what that was. All he understood was that he had only a few more months to live. He dare not tell his son or daughter-in-law, for fear of being berated by them for not taking good care of his health. But they scolded him anyway; they chastised him for coughing so loudly that they cannot have a single day of good night's sleep; they admonished him for coughing so noisily that Grace and Royston cannot do their homework in peace; and they upbraided him for playing with the grandchildren and warned him to stay away from them, lest they should contract his 'cough'.
One night Pang's bouts of illness got the better of him, and his cough was especially loud. After clearing his phlegm, Old Pang decided to go back to sleep. Just then, he heard footsteps.
"Enough," Ken said sternly.
"I'm sorry. I-"
"I said ENOUGH!"
Silence followed. After what seemed like eternity, Ken broke the silence.
"You get out of my house. Now."
Suddenly, a strong hand shoved him to his feet and dragged him across the flat. Ken unlocked the front door with his spare hand and tried to push him outside. Old Pang clung desperately onto the metal grilles, but Ken pried his fingers and they gave way. Even Constance, who already came out of her room, stared saucer-eyed at the scene unfolding before her very eyes.
"Ah Ken," Pang whimpered.
"Ah Ken!" Pang sobbed.
Having heard the commotion, two heads popped out of their room.
"Go back to sleep now!" Ken roared.
And the door was slammed in Old Pang's face, as the first drops of rain fell upon his head.
He did not even answer to his plea.
He did not even give him the time to collect his daily necessities.
He did not even give him the chance to bid farewell to his grandchildren.
Old Pang glanced over his shoulders at the door over and over again, as if that would cause the door to swing ajar. But the door remained closed. Old Pang glanced at the door for the last time and walked away. Old Pang's heart ached. The pain was excruciating. He coughed hard and tasted blood. His breath became short. He gasped for air, but the cold wind offered no help. Even the tempestuous clouds took no pity, and they began to unleash their fury upon Pang. The rain drummed against the ground and the thunder rose to a deafening crescendo, obscuring the noise of Pang's breath. Old Pang stopped walking. He rested his emaciated body against a tree, but the rough bark scraped against his back and offered no solace. The thunderstorm did not abate, and the rain continued to pound harder, while Old Pang let the rain drops fill the cracks in his skin.
Old Pang breath had become so shallow that it was barely audible. He gasped for more air, but his weak lungs failed him.
And Old Pang breathed his last.
As a drop of tear hit the ground, forming a glistening orb that would soon be washed away by the rain.
"Son, where are you taking us?" Constance asked.
"You will like that place." Royston insisted.
" Where?"
"You'll find out."
"But I want to go home."
"You'll like it there."
"But I want to go home."
"I'll bring you home later. I promise."
The car stopped. Constance and Royston got out of the car and helped Ken to his feet. Ken look confused. Constance and Ken squinted at the words emblazoned on the gate, but age had failed them. All they could see were people clad in white.
"Have you made the payment at the registry?"
"Yes."
"Good."
"Mr and Mrs Pang. This way."
The two were led inside. Suddenly it occurred to them that Royston was no longer with them. They frantically hobbled back to the gate and made feeble attempts to push the metal gates open.
And they waited and waited and waited for their son to return for them, but he merely got into the car and the car looked smaller and smaller and smaller until it disappeared from view.




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