Questionable Ties

Questionable Ties

A Chapter by MeratheRestless

"I know he looks mean." Joon forced himself to slow his pace as he caught sight of Albina trotting out of the side of his eye. "I even call him Uncle No Good behind his back. But still, my Uncle Hyuk is a very kind man."
"He's the neighborhood gangster." His girlfriend reminded him tersely. "My mother thinks it is a bad sign that you spend so much time with him. You have another uncle, the tailor. Why don't you spend time with him?"
They walked hand and hand along the Ala-Archa river near their neighborhood at twilight. After four days, Albina, spunky and jealous, had grown tired of waiting on Joon to respond to her calls or come to see her. Instead she had taken matters into her own hands, against local customs, and gone to his grandmother's apartment looking for him. The incensed older woman had pointed her across the courtyard to the building where Hyuk's family resided on the second floor. Since she was expecting a proposal from Joon in the near future she already considered him to be her man and shamelessly continued her search until she found him. Sure he had been hungover and annoyed when he finally answered her incessant knocks, but he'd promised to drink some strong tea, then get dressed and come to spend some time with her here. 
"If you're referring to my grandmother's second son." Jon set his jaw to control his anger. "It'll be 23 years old soon and he's still calling me "that black b*****d"." Then he changed his tone to mimic his bigotted Second Uncle. "Tell that little black b*****d to stop running around like a monkey! I don't know why you and Father let Seok's mongrel b******s into this family! It's amazing how well the little black b*****d speaks Korean, hardly any accent at all! Why didn't you just abandon those mongrel b******s with their black a*s b***h of a mother?" 
Albina said nothing. She had accepted Joon and his younger sister years ago when the latter was still alive, for who and what they were. As she had explained time and again to her friends, neither Joon nor his younger sister had had any say in their parents choices. Her intended believed himself to be 100% Korean and she didn't dare tell him differently. He was just Joon and she loved him for it.
"He'd be right at home in Korea, but he's the only son who never went there and got the citizenship." 
Albina knew Joon had been born in South Korea. He'd just turned 4 years old when he ended up in the steppes of Central Asia with his father's relatives. It was a story so convoluted and Joon had been very reluctant to even begin to acknowledge circulating rumors. She hadn't known what to feel or think when he asked her to come to the mythical United States with him. Now everyone wanted to know all about it, their trip, and the truth that had slapped her in the face was far from glamorous. 
 The bruises on Joon's face had begun to fade to a sickly shade of green. He hadn't deserved what happened. His parents really should have been down on their knees begging him for his forgiveness. It was their fault, the mess they had made of his life, how they'd walked out on their own children. He hated them, hated them with his whole being, and had vowed never to forgive them. Yet he had already found it in his heart to forgive his grandmother, the mastermind behind everything. 
"What could they do?" Uncle No Good had attempted to defend his eldest brother and sister-in-law. "Mother had the two of you, your Russian Passports, and all of your identification documents."  
He had put unsurprisingly little emphasis on the fact that their father had established those passports and gotten those documents behind their mother's back. It was Seok who took his toddler children to the Russian Embassy in Seoul and obtained passports for them, which he then willingly placed in his youngest brother's hands to be handed over along with his children to his mother. Uncle No Good freely admitted that going along with that underhanded scheme was one of his biggest regrets.
 "It was the least I could do.
" The last evening, after he, Misir, and his uncle had eaten enough to soak some of the alcohol in their systems; they had resumed drinking and talking. Another bottle of Vodka was passed around and Joon had quickly found himself just laying on the floor. He was listening and rejecting simultaneously in silence as his eyelids grew heavier. 
 "I always felt like it was my fault in a way. I wanted to tell Seok and Carlinda that they were damn fools if they believed for even a second that Mother truly wanted to help them."
 Every time he would start to go to sleep, Uncle No Good would reach out and thump the sole of his foot. His leg would jerk and snap him back to reality. No matter what was done though, his emotions had remained numb and it was this numbness that protected him from some of the harsher truths. "She has never truly accepted or loved you and she never will. I know Mother like a book. You're a weapon, a means to an end, nothing more."
 It was a shameless attempt to corrupt his mind and reprogram him to hate the woman who had nurtured and raised him for as long as he could remember. 
"I'm not telling you this to hurt you, Dashan. Truth is I love you like my own son. And maybe I'm wrong, but I unapologetically believe you have a right to know you've been manipulated and used. Mother would have you believe that everyone in the world is crazy except her for the rest of your days if she could get away with it." 
 Deep down in his soul, he knew that his uncle was not a liar. The man was a lot of things, none of those things reputable, but he'd always been damned good to his eldest brother's children. Joon probably knew better than anyone else how kind and giving his Uncle No Good could be.
 "You know me well enough to know I wouldn't say I love you if I didn't mean it. Believe who you want, but I'm done lying for Mother. Good night, Dashan."  
My name is Joon. 
 "Your mobilnik!" Albina brought his mind back to the present pulling his ringing cellphone from his pocket. She pressed the green Talk button and held it up to his ear. 
"Dobri vecher, suin." Seok grumbled. "Gde chert vozmi ty?" Good evening, son. Where the hell are you?  
His tone suggested he already knew the answer to his own question. What he really wanted was a reason. As if what he had done to his son's face wasn't sufficient cause to warrant Joon's abrupt flight.
All Joon felt was rage, white hot raw emotions. Regardless of his uncle's earnest attempt to play devil's advocate, he would never accept his parents as anything other than the scum of the Earth. He wanted them dead and out of his life for good.
"Guuh-juh! Yamago huin nyeoseg!" Joon snapped feeling no need whatsoever to be even the slightest bit cordial. Piss off, you f*****g white b*****d!
The call was over in 37 seconds flat.
Agitated and wanting to punch something, Joon held Albina's hand in a painfully tight vice and resisted the urge to hurl his phone into the river. Albina protested with faint whimpers, not unlike the ones he had once used. That was back when he still had some memories of his parents and had cried for his mother or spoke a word of English. At the train station and at the airport, Uncle No Good had squeezed his small hand so hard it felt like the tiny bones were breaking. Harsh lessons like that had transformed him from Dashan into the perfectly programmed Joon he was now, who questioned nothing.
"You saw the alternative for yourself." He finally sighed and loosened his grip.
Joon would take a jailbird and gangster over them any day.

© 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 September 28, 2017
Last Updated on October 4, 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..