My mother behind the wheel had a grim smile perpetually anchored on her face, her apparent disagreeable countenance marred only by a small uplift of the corner of the mouth betraying sneaking amused delight.

    "I'm sure your father had mistresses," she said. "I think we'd be able to see them today at the funeral."

   I was silent in the backseat. She hadn't spoken to her only son in three years. Or seen him. And the only thing she could go on about was how disgusting my father was. He was dead. Give the poor man a break.

    "The will will be read out next week," my mother continued. "Those sluts probably got little pieces off him, but don't worry, I've protected your interests well."

    I wasn't worried about inheritance. My father might have been absent in my life physically but I knew he liked me. He used to call from foreign cities to talk to me.

    "Wei? Brendon?"

    "Hi, pa."

    "Papa's in Hong Kong right now. How are you?"

    "Good dad. I got 84 for my maths common test." (Grades make Asian parents' world go round)

    "That's good. That's very good. Have you been making ma angry?"


    "Good boy."

    My mother played mahjong. Often the clatter of pushed tiles and the loud hoarse gossipy female voices yelling empathetic "pong!"s and "kong!"s would drown out my father's voice on the telephone. My mother never bothered to talk to my father anyway.

   I bet my father must have secretly wanted me to drive my mother insane.