16. One More Vietnamese Family Arriving in Latrobe, PA
I went along with the Tranquillas to Pittsburgh Airport
To pick up another Vietnamese family of four.
The family had just arrived from a refugee camp in Thailand.
A couple with their young son, and Liên was his sister,
The couple Trọng Nguyễn’s son was about five years old.
Liên was a freshly minted medical doctor from Vietnam.
Since there were only two of us, both single,
Naturally we were close and started dating.
My schooling was no longer my priority,
I had to find a job quickly to survive.
Busboy, my old job was the easiest one to find,
A seafood restaurant located nearby so I went there to apply.
After my classes were over,
I changed my clothes, drove my butt to work.
Life went on like water under the bridge,
Classes during the day, cleaning tables at night.
After my first pay working as a busboy,
I asked Liên to go out on a date at the Pizza Hut.
We were just like young kids on their first date,
What else, pizza of course, cheap and tasty.
She came home telling her brother,
We had dinner together in a restaurant.
Her brother was glad to hear,
Nodding and motioning for us to come near.
We enjoyed each other’s company,
As if we had fallen in love.
But for some strange reason I never expected,
She giggled at my name, saying it sounded so funny.
I was hurt after hearing her say that,
Uncomfortable, soon I bid them good night.
The next day she called me on the dorm phone,
We did not talk much then I heard her whispering, “I love you.”
I was still angry at her,
Why had she made fun of my name Lay?
Whoever made fun of my name,
Although my love for her hadn’t stopped, seeing her, I would not.
That’s why I remained silent,
Not saying what she wanted to hear
Never mind… she voiced it painfully clear;
We knew that our love was not so dear.