Jason’s Announcement

Jason was in his living-room, sitting on the floor, looking over a music sheet while having a cup of hot Kenyan yellow tea. It was 7:15 so it was too late to call his father. It was after mid-night there. He would have to call in the morning. He had exciting news to tell him and he was sure that he would be thrilled but not his mother. She was still not speaking to him which was frustrating but there wasn’t anything he could do about it.

It bothered him that she was so stubborn, so unreasonable, so selfish. Didn’t she want him to be happy? Obviously not or she wouldn’t be acting the way she was. Why couldn’t she see past Karine’s race? If she would only put her prejudices aside and get to know Karine, she would see why he was so madly in love with her. So, what if Karine wasn’t Asian? There was no law against interracial relationships. They existed in the Bible and as far as he knew, God didn’t have any problem with them. Didn’t He create the different races?

He sighed and set the sheet down on the floor beside him. Sipping his tea, he was about to sign off the computer when the phone rang. He set the cup down and got up. He was surprised to see the number displayed. Picking up the receiver, he said, “Dad, I thought you were in bed that’s why I didn’t call.”

“I’m still up, Son. Your mother’s in bed. How are you doing?”

“I’m doing well. How was your trip to New York?”

“It was fine. The wedding ceremony and reception were held at the Edison Ballroom. It was a very stylish place with its plush leather walls, illuminated glass tiles, and grand crystal chandeliers. It was the perfect place for a large wedding and the food was great. I had a very good time and so did everyone else. I don’t think your mother enjoyed herself though. We left earlier than I would have liked. Everyone asked about you. I told them that you had settled in nicely in Nairobi and that we hoped you would visit in the summer.”

“I would love to visit but–“

“Yes, I know. Your mother is still giving you the cold treatment.”

“When you called me from the hotel on the day you were leaving, she refused to speak to me.”

“Yes, she did.” Mr. Cheung didn’t mention what she had said about him not being her son as long as he continued dating his Kenyan girlfriend.

“Well, Dad, if that’s the way she wants it, fine. I’m not going to beg her to speak to me. I haven’t done anything for her to treat me the way she has. I’m not going to apologize for falling in love with Karine.”

“You have nothing to apologize for. Karine makes you happy and that’s all that matters.”

“I’m glad you called, Dad because I’ve an announcement to make.”

“Does this announcement have to do with Karine?”

“Yes. I asked her to marry me and she said yes.”

“That’s wonderful, Son. Congratulations.”

“Thanks, Dad. We haven’t set a wedding date as yet but as soon as we do, I will let you know.”

“Please do so that I can make arrangements to be there.”

“It would be great to see you.”

“I can’t wait to see you and to meet your bride to be.”

They talked for a while longer and then, his father bade him goodnight. Jason returned to his place on the floor and picking up his guitar, he began to play the song which he had written for Karine.

The following morning, Mr. Chueng shared Jason’s news with his wife. As expected, she was livid. “How dare he marry that woman?” she demanded. “Is he trying to ruin our family?”

“How is marrying the woman he loves going to ruin our family?” Mr. Chueng countered.

“No one in my family or yours has ever married someone of a different culture or race.”

“Jason will be the first.”

“Don’t you care that he’s going against my wishes? I wanted him to marry an Asian girl. There must be at least one there at his company he could have dated but, no, he had to do the unthinkable and get involved with an African woman. I knew it was a bad idea for him to leave here and go there. And I blame you for encouraging him to go. If he had stayed here, none of this would be happening. He would be telling both of us that he’s engaged to a nice Asian girl.”

“But, you were upset that he was moving to Kenya instead of to America or Canada or England. You didn’t say anything about him remaining here.”

“Well, since he was so determined to leave his parents and his country, anywhere would have been better than Kenya.”

“Winnie, you’re being unreasonable. There’s nothing wrong with Kenya. It’s number 6 of the top 10 most beautiful countries in the world. It’s one of the places Jason has always dreamed of visiting and when he got the opportunity to work there, he grabbed it. He loves it. And it just so happened while making a new life there, he met and fall in love with a woman he wants to marry. What does it matter if she isn’t Asian? Isn’t his happiness more important?”

“What about my happiness?”

“This isn’t about you, Winnie, it’s about Jason and what he wants. He wants to marry Karine and I, for one am happy for him. And, I wish you would put your prejudices aside and think about him.”

“I don’t want to think about him and or about how he’s ruining his life. I will never accept that woman in this family. And if he insists on marrying her, he will no longer a part of this family.”

“Winnie–“

“Don’t talk to me anymore about that son of yours. He’s a disgrace to our family and to our culture.”

Mr. Chueng sighed. It was no use talking to her.

Source: Nairobi News

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