My popsicle melted in the hot sun. I didn’t care. I had better things to worry about. It’s time for operation T. Just one word: Taiwan. What do you want for Christmas? A trip to Taiwan. They rolled their eyes. Fine. Let them be. It’s your birthday! Name anything! The pleasure is all yours! Where’s my flight ticket? They walked away. Okay, guess I won’t be receiving much this year. Or the year after.
Why? Because every day my mom calls her family in Taiwan, and they’re always talking about what they did, what they were going to do now, and all the fun places they went to. My very own family!
It started last October at my grandpa’s funeral. We were riding our bikes in the sunset, talking and laughing. Then, out of the blue, my big cousin started talking to my aunt about wanting to go to a karaoke. My aunt agreed to take her there, bringing the cutest toddler, my little cousin Ian. Okay, I thought she would schedule it soon, just to let me be at the party, since I’ve never been to one and was leaving in a few days. NO! She arranged the date in November, when I was long gone. It wasn’t like she didn’t know I was leaving, more like she didn’t care.
Me and my best friend and cousin just rode silently as the two rode in front. She was the best person ever, not joining in the conversation. Or she just didn’t know what it was about. At the time I didn’t show my anger, riding as if I hadn’t heard a thing. Back home, I thought it was it, but the next day, while riding to 7-Eleven, they started again. “Will you bring Ian?” “I’m so excited!” “Are we going to have our own room?” “Oh my gosh!” I rolled my eyes and pedaled between them. They kept right on going, passing me like I wasn’t there. Every time I started another topic, my older cousin would have a question about the date or something, and it would start all over again.
Dusk drew its way up and we were about to hop on our bikes again when I had one of my genius ideas. I told my best friend about the plan. We would ride the opposite way from them, just her and I. See if they notice, I thought. Probably won’t. We pedaled against the rice fields, the light green flashing as we went by. Biking down the rocky road felt light and airy as me and my cousin pedaled each pedal the hardest and fastest we could. I felt the air on my face, pulling my hair back and sending my bangs flying. This had to be the best experience.
Once we got to our destination, a concrete surface for crop laying and basketball hoops, we rested for a while. After five minutes, we decided to head back. Good. My aunt and cousin aren’t back yet. I took a shower and went to the playroom with my cousin. We exchanged thoughts and fell asleep. Tonight was a good night. The most chilly night for sure.
So, I want to go back. Not back to listening to their farts of good times, but riding my bike. Eating whatever I wanted. Riding on a motorcycle. I didn’t want to go back, I needed to go back. And I will. I got to work immediately. Camera. Lights. Action! I quickly filmed a video to put on social media. I was going to buy my own ticket.
1 thousand subscribers. 100 thousand. 200 thousand. 500 thousand. I was making great progress. Finally, a warm Sunday afternoon, I hit 1 mil! I hooted and screamed. I danced and sang. I jumped with joy. And I woke up. It was just a dream.
Though I knew I couldn’t go back because of the Coronavirus, or China virus, in which the president calls, if I had the money, I knew I could find a way. To this day, whenever family calls and starts talking about what they did that I couldn’t do, I just hang up. They usually only talk about that when the people that went with them are in the chat too, and I think they still keep talking afterwards.
I know they probably don’t know what I’m feeling, but they didn’t have enough IQ to figure it out. I don’t think they will ever know, because I don’t plan on uncapping my thoughts for a while. I think that would be a little too old school. I also refuse to watch them have fun just because I don’t see the point of feeling bad for myself.
Here comes a call. I’m excited to see if it was the gymnastics coach or my designing judge to see if I won the contest before Covid. Nope. Just family. To avoid any bad blood for my mom, I picked up. Okay. See how this goes. “Hi, I haven’t seen you in so long!” Not bad, but then my mom comes in, “She grew 3 pounds in the last month!” I shot a glare at my mom. That was personal! “You need to stop making sweets, you’re getting obese.” Hell-o? I was growing! What do you expect a girl that is growing to be? So skinny you could see her bones? No thank you!
I kept on going with my ears beet red. “Guess what? We went to the biggest water park ever!” I hung up like I always did. No expression. Clicking the red button like it was all chill. It wasn’t. I went into the kitchen to grab a popsicle and went back outside. How was I going to defeat my family? I thought as I unwrapped it. I had no idea. I licked my ice pop. Pineapple this time. My favorite. The sun shone the yard, right onto my popsicle, making it sweat. I bit down on it, trying to finish it as soon as possible. The last bits dripped down onto my hand. This was going to be a long summer, especially with operation T going on. One word. Taiwan.