Over ten years ago, I lived at my aunt’s house for about four months in the summer. Much of my maternal family was visiting from Hong Kong, so everyone stayed there as a central location.
One day my parents had a blow-out. It was trivial, as always. As a result, from my mom’s side of the story, he went out with another woman that night. From his side, my mom tried to kill him with a steak knife. It cut his finger to the bone when he was defending himself. The next day, with swollen eyes and a weak voice, my mom showed me the yellow bruises down her arm. They had to be photographed by the police as evidence before they healed. Two subpoena’s later and they were better than new, for the next few months at least until the next fight.
This is the last memory I have of my aunt’s house. I haven’t been back since. Not until this weekend.
Now everyone from my maternal side is here, all my mom’s siblings and their respective families. It started out as an act of commiseration, to help her out during the divorce. Aunt, uncle, and son, aunt, uncle, and son, aunt and uncle. And then there’s me, with my mom. Without father. The only broken family.
At first I think it’s just a coincidence. My aunt and uncle have the same vacuum cleaner that we had, the same piano, the same brown cowhide corner sofa. And then it clicks. Since the divorce, my mom sold the house after buying out my father of the contents. Everything is stored here until she moves into her new house, from the basement to the family room, from the kitchen to the bathroom.
I need to get out of here.
I need to get the fuck out of here.