The second last day

I creep into my parents’ bedroom to borrow a phone charger. Ah pa is having an afternoon nap, he took the early morning shift with Saitaomei and is tired out.

Ah pa must have heard me reaching for the charger. Still asleep, he mutters ‘Jiu jiu (what Saitaoha calls her dummy)’ and holds out Saitaoha’s dummy. Then he says ‘Xiu Xiu’ and holds out Saitaoha’s bunny. He realises it’s not Saitaoha and thinks it’s my mum, with his eyes still closed, he says ‘put a blanket over Saitaomei’.

😭😭😭

***

Xiao long bao with the sick family. We’re all trying to make the best of it and brought my brother to eat yummy food during his last full day in Perth. But we’ve underestimated how poorly everyone feels, brother could hardly eat two strands of noodles. Saitaoha is cranky and doesn’t want to eat too. My sister declares that she’s really feeling unwell ‘normally I can eat five chai kueh, today I could only eat TWO’. We all giggle. I’m glad we can still laugh even though we all feel sad that my brother is leaving soon.

***

Baking with my brother, I baked the pandan chiffon cake, he baked the banana bread.

BIL has really mastered the cotton Japanese cheesecake, his cake is a masterpiece of fluffiness. My niece said ‘it’s like eating foam’.

Everyone votes for their favourite cake, my niece chooses the chiffon cake ‘good choice’ I beam at her. ‘Are you sure? Have you tried the yellow cheesecake?’ my brother asks. I shoot darts at him ‘what do you mean?!’ My brother doesn’t like his own bread ‘it’s edible’ he pronounces. But it’s R’s favourite!

I remember when my brother first went overseas for studies, I tried to teach him how to cook and he fell asleep halfway 😓. Now I’m baking with him. My little brother is all grown up. He is kind and considerate, thoughtful and dependable. He’s always been our golden boy and we are all immensely proud of him.

***

This picture of Saitaomei was taken by my brother. He really loves playing with her and finds her cute and funny. He has been taking many pictures of her and offers to carry her all the time.

Today I was carrying her while she was asleep, my brother looked at her face intently and said ‘she’s so precious’. For some reason, those words made me feel like crying. I miss my brother already.

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