Saturday 10 July 2021

59 How Much I Love Her is How Much I Hate You


Hate is just another side of love. When one goes from love to hate, the hate would often be deeper than normal.

Lee Taida couldn’t even remember from whence he started to hate his father, perhaps it was when Lee Xian took the first beer bottle to his lips or when he rolled the first dice. For many others, it was just a normal day like any other. However, for Lee Xian, he came back a different person from the one that walked out that morning. At the time, Lee Taida was still small but he did remember they had to keep on downsizing. His father that never drank now spent his days in an alcoholic haze. The respected family became a sour topic among their relatives. Everything happened because of Lee Xian.

Lee Xian at 30 was quite a legend. He built up his business empire from nothing and accrued tens of thousands of RMB at Dong Xing City. When he was 20, Lee Xian ran into the woman whom he wished to love forever, she was Lee Taida’s mother, Du Mei’er. At the time, Lee Xian had nothing and Du Mei’er had a monthly salary of 6000 RMB. At the time, Lee Xian was just a society freshman but Du Mei’er did not mind it, she admired Lee Xian’s fire and fight. She saw hope in him. 3 years into their marriage, Du Mei’er mobilized all her savings to use as the capital for Lee Xian’s business venture. At the time, everyone looked down on them. To marry Lee Xian, Du Mei’er even had to sever relationships with her family. That was how much she loved this man. They skimped and saved for a brighter future. They could only afford a meal a day. Sitting across from his lovely wife, Lee Xian’s eyes would water. He promised, “In the future, I will give you a big house and so much money that you wouldn’t need to work anymore.”

Du Mei’er answered, “I know you will.”

2 years later, Lee Xian’s first business contract was a big success. He opened his own company and bought a big diamond ring for his wife. When Du Mei’er saw the ring, the couple hugged each other and cried. When they first got married, Lee Xian was so poor that he couldn’t even afford the cheapest wedding ring. They had no money to have a wedding banquet, instead their wedding was held at a motel that rented for 300 RMB a night. They had no chef, instead Lee Xian personally cooked for his wife. The dish was simple but it was delicious. They had no witness, they had only each other and love.

Du Mei’er put on the wedding ring and stared at it for a whole night. After crying her heart out, Du Mei’er felt giddy and happy. She and her husband laid in bed and stared at the diamond ring until dawn. Du Mei’er was happy because not everyone got to marry for love and not everyone’s husband would find success at such a young age. This proved that Du Mei’er didn’t pick the wrong guy.

2 years after that, they gave birth to their son, Lee Taida. By then, Lee Xian’s business was already an empire. He did fulfill his promise from 4 years ago. He gave Du Mei’er a big house and so much money that she didn’t need to work anymore. Du Mei’er became a fulltime housewife and the woman behind the successful man. Another 3 years after that, Lee Xian used several ten thousand RMB to buy a villa at Dong Xing City. At the time, Lee Xian was 30. Everyone who once looked down on him became puppies trailing behind the man, calling him Brother Lee like they were actual biological siblings.

At the time Lee Taida was 4. There was a Chinese saying, building wealth is like trying to move soil using a needle, while wasting wealth is trying to wash away sand with waves.

When he was poor, naturally no one gave a fuck about Lee Xian but when the name Lee Xian started to appear on Dong Xing’s business newspaper, suddenly all his relatives and friends returned to his life. Lee Xian had no idea his extended family was so big. Lee Xian who grew up from a poor family had a fragile ego but now everyone was there to flatter his ego, everyone treated him as their idol.

And thus with introduction from these ‘relatives’, Lee Xian got to know the joy of gambling. At the start, Lee Xian would only gamble with 10 or 20 thousands RMB, that was nothing compared to his total wealth. If he had stopped then, the tragedies after that wouldn’t have happened. But pride was sometimes a double-edged sword. When Lee Xian set his sight on something, he would not stop until he succeeded at it. He was stubborn like that and it was this stubbornness that was the secret behind his success. However, that was not going to work with the God of the Dice. That year was a tumultuous one. He would sometimes win several ten thousand RMB in a night but sometimes he would lose several hundred thousand RMB in one night.

Actually, if gambling was not a lucrative business, Las Vegas would not be a thing. It was why gambling addiction was a certifiable psychological problem. The people in the industry knew that once someone had tasted that gambling high, it would be nearly impossible to not come back. It was like a sinkhole, the harder you struggled, the quicker you would sink. Lee Xian had already plunged one of his feet into the mud. He wanted to pull his feet out by trying out his luck further at the casino and that only made him lose both of his feet into the sinkhole. Lee Xian would come back to lose several ten thousands or hundred thousands per night. With the rate he was bleeding money, even the richest tycoon could not sustain it.

To make matters worse, his heart was no longer in the business. He would return home with a long face. In just a few short months, Lee Xian lost all of his savings. He started to use his company assets on the casino tables. Lee Xian built his own company so he was a savvy businessman, he knew this would not solve the problem but by then, half of his body was already in the sinkhole. After losing his company assets, he had to find more capital to prevent bankruptcy. With his worsening credit, no financial institution was going to lend him money… except for one, the casino. Yes, but the kicker was, he had to win it all back himself. He decided to lay his fate on the dice.

From then on, he drank every night and it was the first time he hit Du Mei’er. At the time Lee Taida was 6. Once the bottom line was crossed, one’d realize how easily it could be pushed further and further down. Lee Xian became a temperamental monster. Every time he drank he would vent his frustration on his wife. He started with fists, then legs, finally his belt. Du Mei’er’s body bruised everywhere. Lee Taida was still too young to do anything but cry. Du Mei’er would cry with her son but at the time, Lee Taida didn’t understand the wounds on his mother’s heart hurt more than the wounds on her body.

One year later, Lee Xian had no choice but to announce bankruptcy. The villa was impounded by the back and the family of 3 moved back into their small house. Du Mei’er consoled her husband. They had survived the toughest years, this was just a minor setback. They had risen to the top once, they could do it again. She got rewarded with another round of vicious beating. Lee Xian’s pride was stomped on the ground. His brothers and relatives had disappeared without a trace. Instead of Brother Lee, they now referred to him as ‘that failure’.

5 years at that small house was like life in hell for Lee Taida and his mother. Red paint from the loan sharks decorated their front door daily, people would call them at night so that they could not sleep. When they were out grocery shopping, they would be surrounded by the loan sharks. The men insulted Lee Taida’s mother and the boy would do his best to defend her. But he was only 11, how could he win against the adults. They pushed Lee Taida to the ground and spat on his face. “Tell your father if he can’t return the money, then his son and wife are going to pay on his behalf.”

Lee Xian lost his pride after he was 30 while Lee Taida never learned the meaning of pride in the first place. Lee Taida almost never saw his father because Lee Xian couldn’t come home to avoid his debtors. However, someone had to pay the debt. Even after Du Mei’er sold her wedding ring, there were still several ten thousand RMB in debt. Lee Taida would always remember those days, the days he and his mother spent in that awful, cramped house. They were so poor they could barely afford food. But Lee Taida had to attend school, Du Mei’er was adamant about that. After she retired from the workforce, she became detached from that world. When she tried to return, no one wanted her anymore. She could only take a waitressing job and earned a meagre 1000 RMB per month and that was before paying the rental and the debt.

The loan sharks couldn’t find Lee Xian so naturally they came after his wife. If you can’t pay with money, then pay with body, that was the natural rules of things. Eventually Du Mei’er had no choice but to undo her pants. Lee Taida would always remember that day, Du Mei’er gave him a rare pocket money of 20 RMB and told him to go out and play.

When Lee Taida returned home, Du Mei’er was sitting in bed naked. Her tears were already dry. Lee Taida knew what happened but what could a young boy like him do?

Du Mei’er hugged her son and she said as if to herself, “They will not come to harass us anymore, at least you can go to school safely now.”

But several ten thousand debts couldn't be cleared with a single roll in the hay, so Du Mei’er became a prostitute at age 40. Understandably she literally had to sell her body for pittance. When Lee Xian found out about this, he finally came home. At the nightclub, Lee Xian and Du Mei’er ran into each other. When he saw an old man pinching his wife’s ass cheeks and them leaving together, Lee Xian followed them to the motel. Then he followed Du Mei’er home where Lee Xian once again beat her. “How dare you cheat on me?!” Lee Xian roared as he whipped Du Mei’er with his belt. Lee Taida came home and saw this. It was the first time Lee Taida stood up to his father. Lee Xian’s belt whipped on both his son and wife.

That day, Lee Taida was 14. Since Du Mei’er was working to pay off his debt, Lee Xian could finally come home. He fell back into old habits. He would go and lose everything in the morning and come back to beat up his family at night. Lee Taida cried and told his mother, “Please divorce and leave this place. Go to a place where Lee Xian can’t find you.”

Du Mei’er nodded. From then on, Lee Taida never saw his mother again. 2 years later, Du Mei’er finally cleared all the debt and even managed to buy a small apartment under Lee Taida’s name. It was the house we searched that day. Lee Taida had no idea how his mother came up with the money but he knew his mother must have paid heavily for it.

Lee Xian moved into the house without any shame. Whenever he came back home, he would trash the place and act all crazy. Lee Taida was 16 and he had finally decided he would kill his father.


Anonymous said...

What a POS, this father of his. Sigh.

Unknown said...

That dude is a son of a bitch