Paul's mother is quite the recluse. She has been living alone in Hong Kong since Paul's 'A'-levels and hardly calls back, although I can tell she genuinely cares for her son from her gentle and concerned tone whenever she talks to us. She writes back letters and sometimes includes a photograph of herself. She is quite a lovely woman. Her husband died nearly thirteen years ago. Paul has vague but good memories of his father. He seemed like the quintessential responsible traditional patrician sort. Paul had a younger sister but she died when she was eleven of tuberculosis.
I found it strange when my sister Gillian started to date Paul's god brother Brendon about three or four years ago. I didn't know how they met. I believe everyone in Singapore is interconnected. It is what they call the 'six degrees of separation' phenomenon. Paul is not close to his godparents. He calls them "terribly dysfunctional". I liked Brendon though. Paul never had a close relationship with his god brother because they were essentially different in character and temperament, but I felt a strange affinity for my sister's boyfriend.
Paul's mother is flying back to Singapore in a few days for the first time in nearly twelve years. I find it slightly suspicious but Paul believes she's here on a sightseeing basis. We told her to watch out for the heat wave.