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What your son’s doing when you divorce?

Well, I come home early tonight, about to finish my proposal of DFAD 2010. The housemaid left home 2 days ago and have not been back though she promised to return last night. Mom has some guests. Dining table is messy. I decide to have dinner and then clean the kitchen and table. Someone rings at the door. Grandmom says my dad has a guest. I watch out, that’s a little boy. His uniform lets me know that he’s at high school. He sits down at the living room and starts talking to my dad.

My Dad, he often has the special guests and I always curiously listen to their talk from the kitchen. My Dad is an IT expert and wrote some books when i was small. And the guests, most of them are the students, visit and ask my dad for more details.

The boy puts the book,  one of my dad’s textbook – i can glance while washing the dishes, on the table. It was such an old book. He says he wants to become a programmer and wishes my dad to accept him as a student. My dad asks for more information about him. He’s 17,  from Hai Phong, living with his grandmother, 53. Parents got divorced after many years living unhappily. Dad just engaged with an other woman. Mom left home for a long time. She just comes back once each year. He has 2 younger siblings. He decides to leave his home for Hanoi, with the hope for making a new life, living himself on taking care of an internet cafeteria and washing dishes. And he wishes my dad would teach him and lead him to become a programmer.

I still keep silent and listen to his words. My mom asks, ‘Are you sure you can live that life? You will regret soon…’ He says no, he decided and he would do it. My mom continues, ‘Did you have dinner?’. He says he doesnt want it but my mom still comes in the kitchen and makes some noodle soup for him. And she asks him to eat first, then they will talk.

He eats a little bit. I can feel that he’s thinking a lot… and ofcourse, while thinking, he doesnt want to eat.

My mom asks him how long he has stayed out. ‘Today is my first day.’ His grandmom was not told about this, so my mom gets his grandmom’s number. She keeps talking about what he thinks wrong. He should finish high school, then go to college. My dad says, “If you are good, but have no bachelor or diplomat, you can never change your life! You will always be an employee, work for the other people, and your 50,000 earning each day is just 1% the others can earn. So, who do you want to become?” His tears are running. I can see.

My mom goes upstairs and calls his grandmom. My dad leaves him with the noodle soup in the living room and comes in the kitchen with me. The boy is worrying, i think. I go out and ask if he wants something else, “Would you like some apples?” He refuses.

My mom comes down and smiles. His grandmom is very worried and wants to pick him up tonight. She’s coming though my mom says tomorrow would be fine. His teacher and his uncle are also looking for him around the city. My mom asks him to take a nap first before his grandmom and uncle comes… He agrees and is taken to my sister’s room. He’s lying tiredly but my mom makes him feel better… “You are just a young man of the family but the only man of your mother… You will be fine tomorrow and call me whenever you want, i will guide the way to success for you…” She whispers but i can hear it… She closes the door and we go upstairs together.

I sit down and just think how lucky he is when he could find my house. What if tonight if he stays out there??? who knows…

I often say, if Im not happy in my family affairs in the future, i will get divorced and refresh my life. But the boy makes me think a little bit deeper. what if …

My mom also calls the housemaid and she’s fired. The kitchen seems cleaner tonight because of my curiosity…



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