Favorable rumors about your cousin’s father are being passed around your family’s hometown. Your mother just found out that your cousin’s grandparents started telling their family and friends that your cousin’s father is working hard to financially support your aunt and cousin, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. He has barely earned 1,000,000 VND per month ($40 USD) before expenses. Your aunt has out-earned him by more than 600% in the same time period. But, regardless, we’ve been taking care of their expenses, including rent, utilities and food, until they can get on their feet. So, it has been your mother who has been the savior.

Your family believes that your cousin’s grandparents started the rumor to make a play at his great-grandmother’s assets and improve their reputation in the community at the expense of your family. Regarding the former, by showing their son, your cousin’s father, as a responsible person rather than a useless adult, they hope that she’ll leave them all a bigger inheritance than what they currently expect because now there’s another person in their immediate family. That’s the first time we’ve heard them acknowledge your cousin’s existence. If that seems far-fetched, it’s important to remember Vietnamese people are nothing like us. They will sell their own children for a trivial amount of money, literally. I have more respect for a pack of wild lions than for any Vietnamese person other than you and your mother.

It’s frustrating that your cousin is being used as a bargaining chip. I find it especially sickening since they still want absolutely nothing to do with him. Even though my hatred for them is growing day-by-day, I’ve been able to maintain my composure since this is your aunt’s responsibility. I firmly believe that if it wasn’t them, it’d be another crap Vietnamese family. But, if they try to pursue your cousin, I’ll take this matter into my own hands. That’s when it becomes personal.

Your mother thinks that scenario is unlikely because they’re only interested in securing their future and the future of their son. Being responsible for a baby would be a large financial burden. We’ll see. I try not to make many assumptions in general, especially with anything Vietnamese. Previously, I’ve attempted to understand their perspective but end up wrong more often than not when it doesn’t directly involve your immediate family. I can’t stoop to their level. I guess the American in me gives them the benefit of the doubt despite knowing otherwise.

I hope your mother is right about your cousin’s grandparents. She has been thus far. Because if they cross the line, I don’t know how far I’ll go to fuck them over. Unlike the people from any other country I’ve lived in, including ones in Southeast Asia, Vietnamese people have brought out the worst in me. Honestly, at least in theory, I’d love to have a defensible excuse to go after some of them.

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