Ben wasn’t sure when the last time he spent new year’s with a family – a proper Chinese New Year with a proper family unit – was. He’d been alone since he was sixteen; quasi-adoption into Dhuan’s rowdy loving family was amazing but it wasn’t the same as having uncles telling corny jokes over pork jerky and black melon seeds; nosy aunts asking about girlfriends, wives, children; a pair of mandarin oranges fresh from the refrigerator, perspiring in your hand as you hand them to grandparents who receive them with trembling fingers and a bright red envelope.
Ming asked the question over a dinner of beef and kimchi and metal chopsticks. Ben could only stare as Ming smiled, then yelped as the meat began to sit too long on the charcoal grill. He flicked slices of beef onto Ben’s rice, and Ben swallowed hard. “Why?”