Lost In Translations
"Mom, I don wan da stay heeerea. I wan da go too." A little boy, no older than four years old whined as he pulled on his mother's white sundress. It was Sunday morning, there first day in the US. A little boy stood on the steps of his family's Beverly Hills home with his mother, trying to convince her to bring him along. The only home that he knew was in Taiwan. California was a different place and young Bryon did not want to stay home with the new nanny while his parents went to a business meeting. He couldn't understand a word of what the lady was saying and she looked different from anyone that he seen. Her skin was a lot darker than his mother's and her hair was really big.
"It's all right sweetheart. Ms. Martin will take care of you." His mother tried to comfort him as she held onto the wide brim floppy sun hat that a large gust of wind was pushing off her head. After the wind died, she peered down at her sun, over her large dark shades. His pout was incredibly adorable and she hated not letting him have his way but today was an important for her husband. Her son simply could not come to the meeting, it was far too inappropriate.
She bent down so that she was eye level with her son. She lowered her hand from her hat and a sweet smile graced her face as she did so. "Everything will be alright, Bryon. We are returning to Taiwan in a few days."
"I know." He said with a lazy sigh.
"Great and you don't have to worry about being alone. Ms. Ryan's daughter will arrive soon and she's the same age as you. Everything will be fine, darling." A loud horn startled the pair. Bryan watched as his mother turned around and gave called out to her husband to give her a minute. He looked past his mother and saw his father staring at them impatiently, his large bifocals sliding down his nose as he continued to beep the horn on their black Rolls-Royce.
"Kangwan, please! Just give me a minute. I'm on my way!"
"Mingyi, if we don't live now we are going to be late and you know how much I dislike being late."
Mingyi turned her attention back to her son and gave him a kiss on her forehead before running off to her husband's car. "Be good for mommy, dear! I don't want Ms. Ryan to tell me that you gave her a hard time." She waved to her Bryan as the car pulled out of the drive way and he waved back reluctantly.
Bryan turned around and entered the mansion, still frowning from his encounter with his mother. He walked past his temporary nanny who was staring at him sadly before going up the spiral staircase to his new room. He didn't want to talk to Ms. Ryan, especially to someone that couldn't understand what he was saying. He couldn't believe his mother thought this was a good idea. He'd rather stay home with his aunt Mingli, his mother's twin. She was a lot of fun.
A light knock on his door alerted him that someone was outside the door. He opened it slowly, expecting to see the nanny but instead saw a small girl. She had to be Ms. Ryan's daughter because she also had dark skin and big puffy hair. The girl stared at him with her big brown eyes before saying something. He stared at her blankly, not sure of what she said or was trying to say so he just watched her curiously.
The girl smiled brightly and before returning Bryan's curious stare. Bryan couldn't help it but smile as well. He saw her eyeing his toy chest near his bed and invited her to play by opening it and pulling out the toys. The girl immediately joined him and picked up one of his trucks and started to race cars.
Bryan, now a 26 year old man smiled fondly at the memory. It was the earliest one he had. For some reason, even though his encounter with her only lasted for a week, her memory was forever burned into his mind. The memory kept resurfacing as of late, which bothered him. He couldn't figure out what his subconscious was trying to tell him but for now it would have to wait. Right now he was attending an executive meeting at his father's investment banking firm. It was all facts and numbers, stuff that Bryan didn't care about. His younger brother was more suited to be the next president of Banking Finance Visual.
Aaron, while immature, was the more knowledgeable brother. He was valedictorian of his high school and would most likely be the valedictorian at his college. His I.Q. score was 160 which made him a certified genius. Bryan, on the other hand, still struggled with English and had no need for equations and scientific formula's. His passion lied in his art. He loved to sketch portraits of people he knew, almost as much as taking pictures. If his father knew that his apartment was littered with sketches and portraits he would have his head. 'Photography is a hobby, it shouldn't be taken seriously.'
"That concludes our meeting today gentleman. I want those reports on my desk by Monday." Kangwan said, bring Bryan's attention back to the meeting. He watched as the men bowed to his father before leaving the room in a hurry. Bryan briefly wondered what was so important but the thought quickly changed to how much trouble was he in. His father was staring at him with sharp eyes. "You've not been paying attention again today."
"I already told you that I'm not into this stuff dad. Why don't you make Aaron the heir of the company?"
"Your brother is immature and doesn't hold the type of patience needed for this position. You are the one I chose and that is final. I would appreciate it if you behave like you are the future C.E.O of this company." Kangwan said as he placed data slips into his briefcase before closing it loudly.
"This isn't what I want to do."
"It is what you will do. It is what you must do. I do not wish to continue this conversation. We are going to be late for your mother's fiftieth birthday party."Kangwan's baritone voice held it usual sternness within it as he addressed his son.
Bryan nodded as he swallowed the words that were about to fall from his lips. He hated when his father ended familial disputes by saying that he did not wish to continue the discussion. He would have been able to respect that if his father showed the same courtesy when ever he and his brother did not want to argue. However, his father was a man that ruled with an iron fist. He never left any room for compromise, something that Bryan learned too many times while growing up. The only one that was exempt from his father's anger was his mother and at times he wasn't sure that t hat was true.
Reluctantly, Bryan followed his father to the private elevator that could be accessed by the C.E.O, Kangwan. The elevator was kept inside his father's office and was designed to stop at his office on the top floor, Bryan's office a few floors down, the conference room and finally the C.E.O.'s parking spot at the parking garage. When Bryan was a child he didn't understand how his father's elevator was the best one. BFV was a 23 story building and Kangwan's elevator only stopped at 4 of them. He learned to appreciate the golden elevator when he came to work at BFV. The other elevators stopped at every floor on its way up or down.
"Did you pick up Mom's birthday present, the diamond pendant that I picked out for you?" Bryan asked as they approached his father's black Maserati. Kangwan paused in his movement before opening the car door.
"I forgot. I've been very busy these past few months."
Bryan shook his head sadly. He father was busy all right. He was busy having an affair with the new girl in accounting. She was cute, long black hair, big eyes and a slender body. She didn't look that much different from his mother except she was 20 yrs old and his mother just turned 50. His father was 57 yrs old; Bryan thought that a 7yr difference was enough.
"We should stop by the jewelers on our way to the party." Bryan suggested as he joined his father in the car.
"Of course." Kangwan said before putting the gear on drive.
They arrived at the jewelers about thirty minutes later. Kangwan went inside and Bryan stayed in the car. It wouldn't be good if he had gone it to get it. Everyone in the town knew Kangwan and his love for his wife. If they knew that Bryan and his brother had been picking out his mother's gifts, people would begin to talk.
Bryan sighed before looking out his window. He wasn't expecting to see much of anything but the normal hustle and bustle of Kelang. Something or rather someone caught his attention. A girl, around his age was standing a few feet away from the jewelers. She was dressed in a black shirt that reached mid thigh. On top of the shirt was a light jacket. She also adorned blue jeaned shorts and black knee high socks and some tennis shoes. Her clothes, although very hot for the 91degree weather of Kelang, did not capture his attention. It was the fact that the girl was black in Kelang that caused his eyebrow to rise. A black woman in Taiwan or any part of China was a rare sight and especially one that looked so lost and upset.
She was frantically trying to get the attention of some bystanders but it was obvious that she couldn't speak the language. Bryan wanted to help her, she reminded him of the girl that he met when he was a child. Her hair was just as wild as the other girl's. Just when he was about to step out of the car, his father came back from the shop with a small bag in hand. Kangwan got in the car quietly before pulling off and Bryan sat, wondering if the girl would ever get the help that she was looking for.
The party had just started when Kangwan and Bryan got to the mansion. It was filled with the social elite from prime ministers to movie stars. It was one of the most extravagant events of the year. The car was parked in the garage in the back of the house and they entered the mansion through the kitchen door where they were met by Aaron.
"Where have you guy's been? Mom's been worried that you guys wouldn't make it back in time. Half the guests are already here."
Most women that came across Aaron thought that he was handsome, much like Bryan. He was tall, about six ft with untamed brown hair. His dark brown eyes held a light in them that many people were drawn to and his innocent smile touched the hearts of every woman that saw it.
"I'm aware that we are late. Where is your mother?" Kangwan asked as he moved past his son. He took the jewelry box out of the bag before tossing it in the garbage.
"She's mingling with the guests as usual." Aaron supplied. Kangwan immediately made his way to the ballroom where the party was held.
"Did dad for get about the gift?" Aaron asked when his father was out of hearing range. He was well aware of his father extramarital affairs. He felt ashamed that he was related to such man that would risk his entire world for an affair with one woman.
"He did forget. He said it was because he was busy."
"I don't know how mom deals with this." Aaron and Bryan followed behind their father so they could share in the festivities.
"Mom deals with it because she doesn't know. If she knew about dad and the many affairs that he had over the years…"
"She wouldn't be able to take it. It sad but dad's the world to her."
"Let's not talk about this. Right now we have to pretend like everything is normal." Bryan said as they approached the ballroom. He smiled at the guests and hugged a few before making his way to the center of the ballroom where his parents were located. He watched as his father placed a light kissed on his mother's cheek before whispering something in her ear. Mingyi smiled brightly before hugging Kangwan who handed her the black jewelry box.
"This is making me sick." Bryan said to Aaron.
"Well, at least she likes the gift that we picked out. Oh look," Aaron pointed out there aunt who had just been escorted in by her boyfriend of 10 years, Taiwan actor Chen Liu. He was best known for his martial art movies that astounded the audience with its grace and ferocity.
His aunt was dressed in a simple black gown and matching shawl. Her neck and ears were adorned with finest of diamonds, she was just as stunning as his mother but Mingli was in a class of her own.
"Hello Aunt Mingli, Chen." The brothers said as they greeted their favorite aunt. They gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek before shaking Chen's awaiting hand. "We haven't seen you in a while."
"I'm sorry. You know how busy things can be when you running your own cosmetics company. It seems that no one knows how to do a thing if I'm not around." She smiled at the two before softly caressing the boys' faces. "You two have grown into such handsome men. I could you a spokesmodel if either you are interested. I missed you boys very much though."
"I don't think so." Aaron smiled while rubbing his chin. "I already have thousands of girls chasing me, I don't need a million."
"Oh you!" Mingli slapped Aaron on the arm. She then looked around the room for someone, Bryan suspected his mother. He pointed her out to his aunt and received a kiss on the cheek for his help. Before he knew it both his aunt and Chen were gone. He looked to his right and then his left only to find that Aaron was no where in site. Bryan suspected that his brother ran off to flirt with one of his many female admirers.
A few hours passed and the number of guest began dwindling down. It was close to midnight and Bryan had to get ready for work in a few hours. He didn't want to be lectured by his father again about the importance of being a respectable man. He said his goodbyes to his family before going to the garage and picking out one of the many cars his parents owned before taking off in the direction of his apartment in the city.
He detoured and decided to take the long way to his apartment, through the city streets that led to the business district where the Jewelers were located. He wanted to make sure that the girl was alright. He knew that the chances of still being out there were slim. It was late and most people were just going to bed but something pulled him there.
He was glad that he did take the detour because the girl was still on the corner but this time she was being harassed by two men. Bryan jumped out of the car when one of the men raised their hand to slap her.
"HEY! Let go of her now!" Bryan shouted as he ran towards the trio. They immediately let go of the girl before taking off in opposite directions. Bryan ran up to the girl and caught her just as she collapsed. He sat her down and looked her body over for any wounds or scars. When his search came up empty he carried her to his car bridal style and placed her gently in the back seat before speeding off in the direction to his home.