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“I was so mad when we sold that prime property in Namadi Heights. Your father just doesn’t know how to take care of anything in his possession.”
She was talking about a valuable piece of land that they had owned together in Fiji before I was even born.
“What kind of idiot sells property in Namadi Heights?” Even I knew that it was a prime location.
“He was having an affair, came back and sold it.”
I knew that my father had left my mom a little while after she had given birth to my older sister. I also knew that he had had an affair. I just didn’t know why she put up with it.
“Why did you take him back?”
“You know your grandmother,” she looked at me, exasperated. “No one supported me. I was ready to raise her on my own. I moved to Ba. And then he came back begging. He resigned on a Friday, ready to go to New Zealand and took back his resignation on a Monday.”
I don’t know what made me say the next words. I turned to her confused. “Wait, he had an affair with a guy?”
I don’t even know why I asked her that. Maybe I was confused by the pronouns.
She didn’t bat an eyelash.
“My father, your husband, is gay?”
I didn’t bat an eyelash.
She smiled at me, almost triumphantly but with a hint of sadness. I didn’t even know what to think. Maybe she was just happy that she finally got it off her chest.
A big part of the puzzle that I didn’t even know was missing finally fell into place. Actually, let me correct that. I had a completely new puzzle before me.
“That’s why he hates me so much?” I wondered aloud, to myself. Everything starting falling into place. That’s why he’s like a jackass. That’s why he abused and disowned me before I was even 18. No wait, I couldn’t blame his repressed sexuality entirely for his fucked up behavior towards me.
“Exactly. I keep telling him how proud I am of my daughter and he hates hearing it.”
I sat there confused and shocked at the revelation. I knew she wouldn’t joke with me about this. I just didn’t know why no one had told me this before. Why was this such a deep, dark family secret? Why had everyone treated me like I was abnormal? I had so many questions swimming in my head. And only one made it to my lips.
“How come you like me?”
Maybe it was the wrong question to ask my mother.
“I love you. You are the best kid I could have. And I can’t fix someone’s defective genes.”