JTS: Hondi (Absent Parent)

Hondi's parents immigrated to the United States from Malaysia before he was born. He felt like a stereotype growing up in New York with parents that barely spoke English while he barely spoke Malay. They had wanted their only son to be a doctor. At least Hondi was able to choose which type--podiatrist. That always made him smile. The same parental pressure had been applied to meet a nice girl, get married, and create grand babies. Hondi happily complied with the first two. Even starting a family hadn't seemed like a terrible idea at the time. Now Hondi couldn't help but feel that he was becoming his parents, making all the same mistakes with his daughter. His parents had wanted him to "have it better" than them. They worked all the time. They missed his first track meet--all his track meets. His mother had once given him a cooking lesson. He had burnt the pork. His father ate the meal without complaint. That was Hondi's happiest childhood memory. Annabelle had turned fourteen yesterday. She was practically a woman. Tears trailed down Hondi's cheeks as he tried to remember even a single such experience, like the burned pork, that he and his daughter had shared.

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