Enslaved to the dream of seeing their children succeed in America, the parents were shackled to their restaurant business. They spent twenty years in their oily kitchen so that their children can attain an American education. They were denied the joy of watching their children grow because of their dream. Seven days a week and twelve hours a day were spent in the restaurant.
The first child was successful. Being the twelfth person in the history of the University of Pennsylvania to graduate with honors from the school of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, they look on to their eldest daughter with pride and joy.
Soon after her graduation, the years of slavery took its toll. Fatigued and unable to meet the wants of a modernizing world, the parents fought the inevitable end of their working years.
The restaurants were sold and they began to receive unemployment checks. At the age of sixty, the father began to realize the mistakes he had made. Mainly, he saw the financial mistake of living beyond his means through the purchase of his large estate. The property tax ate away the little savings the parents had.
Ridden with broken pride, the father fell into a delusional world filled with faulty promises. He listened to a con-artist who was eventually arrested in Taiwan for pulling the biggest con stunt in its history. He listened to a divorced man who is able to show extreme machismo with a great big roar while all others laugh at him from the side. With these two people, the father traveled half way across the world secretly, to prove his masculinity.
He pursued nonexistent money that the con-artist waved in front of him. He was applauded by his macho friend for showing the worthless women in his live who was boss.
He threw his anemic wife, who had just gone through a major operation, into a severe depression. The mother lost over fifty pounds in the span of two weeks and began to suffer from hypertension disorder.
His eldest daughter presented indifference and was concerned for her mother's health. She wanted whatever the mother wanted. Since the mother wanted the happy, functional family with a complete cast, she gave the father the pleasant face he liked to see.
His youngest daughter finally found her voice through his actions. She never interacted with her father in a positive way; her recollections are composed of abusive discipline. Having been told that she is worthless and useless, his departure made his words engraved in stone, but easily disregarded.
With a high school graduation soon to come and a wedding to follow, the father was persuaded to return through his wife's enticements.
He came back to his house, which had a "for sale" sign on the front lawn. Despite this mark, he maintained a big macho air. He was sure that his actions were completely justifiable and righteous. He looked at his wife with a smug smile, while providing extraneous amounts of affection towards his daughters. The eldest continued to play his game, but the young one showed him her true face.
The young one fought him and made it clear that she did not enjoy his return. The mother suffered during the screaming matches between father and daughter, and always sided with the father. The mother maintained the delusional happiness for the father because she knew that her husband could not face reality. Regardless, the young one could not fight her anger towards the father.
In time, the father came to terms with that fact that he was not righteous. Even though he had come to terms with this knowledge, he continues to repeat the mistake of being proud. In little ways, he refuses to save on living costs because of his ego. After thousands of dollars squanders and thousands of miles traveled, it's amazing how little knowledge some people retain from their experiences.