Today is Fathers’ day. Or ok 44 minutes ago it was Fathers’ Day. Anyways.
P.C. was in a good mood until he received a call. And for the rest of the night he zoned out. You can tell his soul was somewhere else during the entire dinner. It was captured in that rare family wefie. On the way home, he said, “I am sad.” And I didn’t know what can I say or what can I do.
His bestie passed away.
His bestie since secondary school.
A week ago he was still so excited for the bestie’s daughter wedding dinner that he made sure all of us have to clear out our schedule to attend. When I was still a kid, before we moved to Singapore, his gang of besties made a pack to have reunion dinner every 初二. The reunion will start off with a all-bros mahjong session. Then the kids and wives will arrive for dinner at around 7-8. After that, everyone will go to Victoria Harbour for fireworks. That tradition stopped when everyone migrated by 1997. To be honest, I couldn’t remember how the newly wed daughter looks like. Neither could I remember how is bestie look like. But I am pretty sure P.C. remembered it all. And the wedding dinner would be a nostalgic 20 years-after get together. One which all the kids grew up happily. One which all friends are wrinkled and bald, but still healthy and great. And they would catch up with one another, bringing up old stories and laughed at each other.
Unfortunately that is not going to happen.
According to what I know, the bestie attended the same class as him in lower secondary. Through him, P.C. met his siblings and his other friends. Kids of that age get along fast. His bestie lived in Causeway Bay, before it become some shopping tourist district. And P.C. lived in Aberdeen Road, way before hipster PMQ and art galleries appear. My guess is that they take the Ding ding to get to each other’s house to play. The bestie’s mum knew P.C. well. We visited her every new year before she passed away. I wondered if his bestie helped him fight Donald Tsang, the ex-chief executive. According to P.C., he lived around the area too and they used to fight a lot. I am suspicious of this story but it seemed to have some basis. I mean, PMQ used to be a police headquarters and Donald Tsang’s dad was a police officer. Whatever is it, Donald is in jail now for a crime which I think is too minor and it seemed more like a political decision.
I also wonder if P.C. studied O’levels with him together. Did they moan and cry for all the stupid tests and curse the teachers? Did they celebrated together when they got into universities? Did P.C invited him to play mahjong with his uni mates? Did P.C asked him for advice when he wooed Annie? Or did they have double dates? But i am pretty sure bestie was one of P.C 兄弟. And I guess P.C was also one of his 兄弟. How did they felt when they become Dads? Did they compare their kids? Did they do the “let my son marry your daughter” kind of shit? What was their thoughts when they all left Hong Kong? Do they still think about each other when they don’t seem to ever meet? And there was no whatsapp then. Do they call to keep in touch?
I just realised there are so many things I don’t know about P.C. and I have spent so little time with him when I grew up. And unlike Annie who tells me stuff about her youthful adventures, P.C. doesn’t say anything.
And today, he told me he is sad.
The person who grew up with him, accompanied him through all kinds of shit and embarrassment, is gone. Just like his childhood home. The TV stations he watched. The stalls he shopped. The technologies he used. The world he knew. All slipping away slowly. These days I felt like P.C. is not catching up with the society. The other day he was yelling about VR and gaming sports. He said those are ridiculous and bad. But he doesn’t understand. And I am coming to the conclusion that P.C., is ageing. Growing old. He is an elderly. In like a few years time he can used the elderly concession. As frustrated as I am with his stubbornness, it hurts me to see him getting more and more confused with the world. Some people can take their confusion quite well. Like, they don’t mind not understanding and they will take the effort to learn. P.C. is not like that. He is not happy that he is confused. He doesn’t want to be left behind and he doesn’t want to admit that he is lost. And his is using up all his energy to figure out all by himself what is going on.
I don’t know what can I do. And I know I am not the perfect daughter. Like, I am not even having a boyfriend. And I am underpaid. (well, the entire industry is underpaid) I understand that as parents you want your kids to have a happy, safe and normal life. And clearly I am walking the route that is not so safe. But is my life. And, though P.C. nags, but he hasn’t stop me from anything. Which makes me feel guilty even more.
I never knew I would think about things like these.