Sophia wanted to tell Ann the whole story, so she would have the idea of what had happened in the past. "Let me begin the story with your grandmother Wen first, alright!" Sophia asked for Ann's approval before continuing.
Ann could careless, but since Sophia was adamant that she listens, then she would for the sake of their relationship. "Shoot! Begin anytime you are ready. However, I don't have all the time in the world. Therefore, I would appreciate it if you would start now." She said with an unreadable expression on her face.
Sophia started telling her story to the uninterested Ann, sitting there quietly thinking to herself.
'Seriously mother, what's the use of you relating me all this now, do you think by telling me the whole sad story of your life and grandma, I will wholeheartedly forgive you and forget everything I went through? Yah, right! In your dreams.
' Like Forrest Gump said in his movie: My momma always said, [life was like a box of chocolate. You never know what you gonna get.] I will let you finish your story, but you will soon find out what I have in mind as well.' Ann smiled slyly
"The Wen family originated from Ancient China; They moved to the Philippines during World War II when the Japanese invaded their hometown. Your grandma came from old money and harsh upbringing, and she had to abide by the ancient Chinese tradition, just like all the women in her family.
" Back in the old days, Chinese customs valued sons over daughters. A daughter in the family was like a commodity that they could use to bargain for a higher position in society, for money [dowry] or power. The Wen-family was no different. They had picked a husband for her at a young age, who she was supposed to marry once she was old enough.
"However, your grandma was not one of those Traditional Chinese. She was more like a Filipino-Chinese, and she met and eloped with an American Soldier she met during one of her volunteering days at the military base." Sophia stopped to take a breather before continuing once more.
"Your grandmother was only Eighteen-years old when she met your grandpa in 1968. They fell in love and eloped the same year. They got married and lived quietly, waiting until the tour of duty of you grandpa finished. However, your great-grandparents found out and disowned her.
"She broke two taboos; she already had a fiancé for one. The other is that there was no such thing as mixed marriage, during that time. Chinese married Chinese. Money married money. No, if's and no buts, you understand?" Sophia looked at Ann's reaction, nothing.
"Nevertheless, the Wen-family owned a Textile Factory in Rizal province, a Car Dealership in Manila, and Restaurants in Ongpin. [China town in Manila] Needless to say, We the Wen-family came from money and power.
" Peter Wen is your grandmother's brother, and he's the Chairman of the Wen Corporation. He has two children named James Wen the oldest and Edward Wen.
"Peter Wen is mighty; he has all kinds of connections in the Government. Therefore, he was able to do something with your grandfather to be sent back home without your grandma. And the sad thing about it was, your grandma had just found out that she was pregnant with me, but was unable to share the news with your grandfather.
" With no money and education, she had a hard time surviving on her own. Because of me, my mother did not have a choice but to kneel back to the Wen-family for help. Afraid that she would miscarry and lose me in the process. "Sophia stopped for a while; she couldn't stop the tears from falling.
Ann couldn't handle what she was hearing. She didn't want to look coldhearted, so she got up pretending to get some water in the kitchen.
"Hold your thought, and I needed to get something cold to drink."
She quickly left and run to the safety of the kitchen, away from Sophia's prying eyes. In reality, she was getting emotional by the minute, and she needed to take a break before she lost it too. After feeling calm, Ann went back to the living room with a glass of water. She offered it over to Sophia and sat back down again, ready to continue listening.
Sophia also had a chance to calm herself down and straighten her posture and continue on.
"Nevertheless, your grandma's life back in the Wen-family became worse, in the eyes of outsiders, she's an unwed mother. Only the Wen-family knew the truth that she was married to an American." Suddenly Sophia stopped like she was picturing what she was about to say.
" While pregnant with me, she had to work very hard in their restaurant. She did everything from cooking to whatever else they asked her to do. During this time, your grandfather tried to communicate with your grandma with no luck." Sigh! "Each time It was always intercepted by Peter Wen. Mom even tried to sneak out a couple of times to go to the US Embassy, but she was still get caught and brought back.
"After I was born, your grandma gave up on the idea of ever reconciling with your grandfather. Until one day, a red cross representative came to the restaurant looking for your grandma. Your grandfather was killed in Vietnam and upon bringing all his belongings back to the US.
"A family member found the Marriage license and a picture of your grandma along with a will stating that everything your grandfather owned belongs to his wife, 'Your grandma' that is how we came to America.
"My dad left enough money for mom to open a Chinese restaurant. Unfortunately, it was not enough to hire a lot of employees, just enough to keep the restaurant running. Mom did all the cooking and managing." Sophia's eyes began shedding tears without her knowing what was happening.
" I spent many days in the restaurant with her because she could not afford a babysitter. As I was growing up, I mostly relied on my ability because mom was too busy trying to run the restaurant." Sophia stopped for a little, chuckled, and continued with her story.
"You know, at a young age, I was already popular in school, I had many boys that were truly enchanted by my beauty," She said half smiling, reminiscing the good old times.
She continued: "I had the talent for singing, dancing, and acting. I was always the lead in our drama club in high school. Our life in America was smooth until I graduated from high school." She then stopped for a little, 'sighed and tried to get her thoughts back together.