Split Identity

Split Identity

A Chapter by MeratheRestless

It had been a snowy winter afternoon when Misir has suddenly burst into Halmi's apartment breathless. Through jerks of his head and beckoning gestures, he had gotten 11 year old Joon and his 9 year old sister to come with him. Dressed only in shirts, pants, and house slippers they had thundered down the six flights of stairs, raced across the courtyard as fast as they could wihout falling, and charged up the two flight of stairs to explode into Third Uncle's flat. Since neither Hyuk or his companion had started scolding the children for being so rowdy, Joon quickly realized that they'd been sent for. 
Hyuk lay on the floor with his laptop in front of him seemingly unfazed by the noisy arrival of his nephew and niece. He didn't get up and chastise Misir either, which was a rarity. Something not good was up and though of course the children completely trusted their uncle, Joon remembered feeling anxious. 
"Alright, Hyeong (big brother)." Uncle No Good said to the screen as he rose from his stomach to his knees. "You need to be quick, because we've got maybe 10 minutes before Eomeoni (mother) arrives." While he spoke he jerked his head for Joon and Ara to approach then pulled them kind of roughly to the ground. 
"But Uncle!" Ara kicked up a fuss, her cherubic face crumpling into a thin-lipped pout. She only said those two words before falling quiet again. Without a doubt, Hyuk's raised eyebrow had something to do with it. 

"Your Umma (mom/mommy) and Appa (dad/daddy) woke up very early to call you from America. You can at least talk to them." Hyuk explained as he left the two reluctant children seated in full view of his laptop's webcam. "So don't you think you should greet them?"

Sure enough, on the screen were the aforementioned parents. Her too tall for a woman, thick, and chocolate hued. Him, even taller, rail thin, hazel eyed, and taupe haired. Both appeared tired, but tried to smile, perhaps in hopes that their children would do the same in return. 

"Allo, Papa. Allo, Mama." Joon finally said stiffly in Russian glancing over his shoulder to see if he had done well. "Kak vy?" Joon and Ara had already been 7 years in Bishkek with their paternal family and neither spoke English any more. It was Russian at school and Korean at home interspersed with bits of Kyrgyz gained from friends.

"My khorosho, Dashanushka. (We're fine)" Seok answered Joon in perfect Russian.

"Kto Dashan? (Who is Dashan?)" Dashan turned back to the screen confused. 

"Kto Dashan?" Seok echoed with a half smile. "Ty! I tvaya sestra, Irijah. (You! And your sister is Irijah.)"

Joon shot to his feet, stumbled over Ara, and fell back to the floor in a heap. Hyuk was a fraction of a second too late in intervening and the children were very upset. This was what he got for trying to defy his parents and cut his eldest brother a little slack!

"Lyubim vy!" Seok shouted as if sensing that this would be the last time they'd ever get to speak with their sequestered children. We love you!
Ermina, Hyuk's girlfriend and Misir's mother, sensing something was wrong, had sprung into action calming and comforting Joon and Ara. She understood little of why the children needed to be protected from their own parents, however she understood well the wrath her mother-in-law would bring regarding them. "Vso khorosho, khochet chai s molokom i varenyem?"

Grandmother had indeed come, demanding to know why her two charges had been enticed from her apartment dressed only in their indoor clothing, and found all four children drinking hot tea full of jam and milk. Ny Pogodi, an old Soviet era cartoon, played on the TV. Their socks and pants dried over the stove while they sat wrapped in blankets. Ermina was cooking pelmeni (dumplings) for them and they would eat them with a double portion of sour cream and sprinkles of sugar. 

"Halmi was so suspicious." Joon remarked now tipping more of chiffir. "If looks could've killed uncle, then you'd have been dead a hundred times over. Why did you do that to us anyway? Make us talk to those crazy people?"

Hyuk shook his head tiredly. "Because I did not agree with what your granny was doing obviously. She trusted me and you trusted me, so I thought it was no big deal to indulge Seok a bit."

"So you lied to Halmi to please Seok? You promised Halmi you would bring us home that night. Then let us fall asleep..." Joon pointed out. 

"I needed some time to deprogram you a bit." Hyuk shrugged. "Deprogram you so that you wouldn't go running home to Halmi causing me problems. My own parents, my own mother, already thinks I'm a good for nothing jailbird."

"I didn't like it." Joon grumbled petulantly pouting a bit like his sister had all those years ago. "Lying to Halmi. It felt wrong. It's the wrongest thing I could do. And worst of all, it took her days to love me again." He hated to recall the few moments when his grandmother had denied him her affections.

Hyuk studied his nephew's anguished face and asked him again, "Are you sure that you want to know the truth? If you say you don't want to know....if you don't want to risk losing your granny's love."
Several seconds of awkward silence followed. 
Joon had just answered this question he thought. 
"I trust you as much now as I did then, Third Uncle." He managed to look Hyuk in the eye to convince him, hopefully for all time, that he was willing to listen.
Joon felt exactly as he had all those years ago and everything in his mind was screaming at him to get up and flee from Uncle No Good before his whole life was ruined. If he was half as smart as he thought he was then he would flee for the sake of his own peace. But unfortunately, if he did that, if he fled like Satan himself was on his heels, Joon would still be in the same predicament. Though not as much as Halmi, his Uncle No Good still meant quite a lot to him. 
"You love me, you wouldn't hurt me." He added for good measure. "You didn't hurt me. I just didn't like it." 
Misir rose to his feet and went into the kitchen to get away from all of the emotional drama. The pot of chiffir he'd prepared was still steeping on the stove and Misir added more water to it for when their cups needed refilling. For as long as he was useful he'd be allowed to stay and hear. 
"Yo!" Hyuk called out to him. "Bring a bottle."
A bottle? Sure, papa! 

With a bottle Aksai Kyrgyz vodka in hand, Misir returned to big room to rejoin his stepfather and cousin. Three was the perfect number to share a bottle between so Misir twisted off the cap and offered the first swallow to Hyuk. Joon would get the second followed lastly by himself. 
"What?" Papa Hyuk glared. "You're suddenly too pious of a Muslim to drink with us?" 
Misir was stunned. Never in nearly twenty years had this man allowed him to have first pick of anything. More often than not, his own younger sister had held a higher rank than him. 
"Hurry up!" Papa Hyuk barked. 
One, two, three. Misir gulped down his portion and again extended the bottle to him. 
"And I guess you think your cousin doesn't want a drink?"

One, two, three. Joon passed the bottle to his uncle knowing that he couldn't change his mind now regardless of what his intuition wanted.
One, two, three.
Halmi, I'm so sorry. I didn't want to. Your jailbird son forced me.

"You expect your son to come home and tell you he was in a fight or lost his job." Hyuk drained the bottle and began his tale. "You don't expect him to come home married and tell you the family's first grandchild is going to be a mongrel.....especially not a black b*****d."
Halmi would never say that, you drunk good for nothing!

"Your granny was so furious that she gave Seok an ultimatum. Abandon that n****r w***e or you're dead to me, you ungrateful white b*****d!"

© 2017 MeratheRestless

Author's Note

Feel free to comment

My Review

Would you like to review this Chapter?
Login | Register

Share This
Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Added on August 8, 2017
Last Updated on August 9, 2017




Really there's not much to tell. I study in university, work a part time job, go to Kingdom Hall twice a week, out preaching at least twice per month, and spend the rest of my time at home. Don't like.. more..