Do Fathers Really Know Best
Do Fathers Really Know Best? Sitting alone in his study, caressing the beautifully embroidered silk of the curtain, he stares blankly out the window into the ever-ending majestic landscapes of his homeland, Hong Kong. Surrounding him, hundreds and thousands of books, of all genres, appear to be gawking at him, mockingly.
He has read them all, searching, hoping, praying for an answer, but yet he still finds no remedy for the predicament that has enveloped all of his thoughts. Exhaling a deep smoky breath of his Louixs cigar, he ponders about the future of his beloved daughter. As he ashes it out into the room, disregarding the mess of the little white fragments, he feels the breeze of the warm air on his wrinkled, aged fingers. He sits silently, watching the ashes fly with the wind until they get caught in the intricate, polished wood of the circulating ceiling fan. A knock on the door distracts him.
Cecil Chao Sze-Tsung: Who goes here? Huezhong, is it you? Huezhong: Yes sir, I have come with your tea. Cecil Chao: You may enter. Quickly, I have news to share with you Huez. Shut the door behind you please. Huezhong: What is it sir? What’s going on? Cecil Chao: My daughter! Oh my precious daughter.
Have you heard? Everyone’s talking! Huez: Yes sir, I have. Is it true? I never would have imagined. There has been no sign! Cecil Chao: What are we do to? I cannot be both: one of the richest men in Hong Kong, and the father of a woman-lover! Something has to be done about this! Huez: We need to hear a word of truth from the girl herself. Then we will know. I have even heard rumors of a marriage to another woman while she’s been staying in France. Cecil: How could I have let this happen? I need her home ASAP.
I have to hear it from her to believe it. The whole world will be talking soon if something isn’t done. The situation will spread like a wildfire! Since I am the only one here who will do anything about this disaster, I will rely on you to get her here, and I will do the rest. Huez: Yes sir, I will make a call to her attendants in France sir, and have her escorted to the airport safely. She will be on the first flight back this evening.
Stay patient sir, all will be well. (Taking a deep breath, Cecil stands and heads for the door, Huez at his heals.) SCENE 2 Rummaging through the drawers, she is livid. Furious with her father, Gigi is stuffing her belongings into a large Louis Vuitton suitcase. Her harsh breathing alarms not only the housekeeper, who is hard at work making the bed, but also her girlfriend Sean.
Sean Eav: Talk to me Gigi! Zinyen: Is everything okay miss? Gigi Chao: Zinyen, it is truly best that you stick to your cleaning. I have no need to explain myself to you. Sean: Gigi, really, no need for such harsh words. What is it? Gigi: Sean dear, I’m sorry, it’s my father! Haven’t you heard? Sean: What are you talking about? Heard what? Gigi: My father, oh what a wretched man he is! He has ordered my appearance back home tomorrow morning. A flight has already been scheduled for this evening.
Sean: Who has informed you of this? Gigi: I got a call earlier today, from father’s servant, Huez; do you remember him? Sean: I do, what is all the fuss about? Gigi: Us Sean, Us. After 7 years of our relationship, father has decided to “pull a Zinyen”, and stick his long nose into my life! (She looks towards the maid, and sarcastically rolls her eyes.) He’s heard the news, and expects me home immediately. Sean: I warned you Gigi; posting our relationship on Facebook would only lead to trouble! Gigi: He is so old-fashioned! All of these Chinese people are homophobic! If only we lived in the United States, just think about how much easier our lives would be! Half of their population is like us! Sean: Darling, just take a deep breath, go home, and talk to your father. Maybe seeing how truly happy you are will help him understand our lifestyle better.
I’ll stay here and wait for your return. (A loud horn from a taxi is heard. Gigi dresses in her outdoorsy attire, and looks in the mirror, straightening her lopsided hat.) Gigi: I’ll call you with any further news, and in the meantime, stay strong for me. Gigi gestures toward Zinyen, who shuffles over and hands her the large suitcase. She nods hesitantly, trying to show appreciation to the somewhat anxious woman.
Gigi looks hopelessly at Sean, who gives her a reassuring smile, then heads out the door. SCENE 3 Waking up from a restless nap, she looks around, taking notice of the immaculate, spotless interior of her father’s airplane. Not a spec of dust, a fingerprint on the elaborate glass center table, or a sofa cushion out of place. This extravagant lifestyle is all she has ever known, but she ponders about what life could actually be like without all the extra material things. She sits nervously, wondering what to say, what to do, how to behave, but most of all; how her father will react to her opposition of his values. Being a social butterfly since childhood, she rings the bell to alert a flight attendant, longing for some company.
Welcoming the pleasant surprise that catches her off guard, she sits quietly, waiting for him to approach. Pilot: Good evening miss, pleasure to see you again. Did you enjoy your nap? Gigi: LEICHOE! How great it is to see you again! It has been so long! Pilot: Indeed it has miss, indeed it has. (He has a faint disturbance about his voice.) Gigi: Are you not glad to see me? What has gotten into you? Leichou: I overheard your father on the phone talking about your “unsuitable behaviors”? I have known you since you were a small child, and I worry for your safety, Gigi.
Gigi: There is no need to worry. I am perfectly safe, happy, and free to choose my sexuality without the entire nation judging me for it. Leichou: I have heard rumors that your father is doing everything in his power to put an end to this. I have even heard that he will be posting a bounty! Gigi: A BOUNTY? Why is this Earth so corrupted Leichou? There are millions of children starving all across the world. How is it that my father finds it such a priority to throw truckloads of money away for this, instead of saving lives? Leichou: I agree with you.
I don’t believe that his decision is fair, but how can you expect him to accept you? During the time and age, in which he was raised, homosexuality was never a common issue, because people kept their personal beliefs to themselves. Gigi: I am well aware, but this is the twenty-first century, and it IS common for people to express themselves in whichever way they find suitable. Leichou: I have to agree with you on this one Gigi. I mean, it is very much like the persecution of any other spiritual and ethnic group throughout history. Gigi: Exactly! Like Jews, for example; and Puritans, Christians, Blacks, and so on.
Just because they lived their lives a certain way, didn’t give anyone the right to treat them with such morbid disrespect and cruelty. (Leichou nods in agreement, but doesn’t reply.) Gigi: I am an overcomer. We overcomers are the bamboo of society that grow faster and stronger the more we are cut down. I will talk to my father and make him understand, no matter what it takes! People like Sean and I don’t give up when we are pushed down, we keep fighting. Leichou: I wish you the best of luck.
Your father is one extraordinarily stubborn man. Breath deeply, act confidently, and walk into his house with an open mind. Gigi: Your right, and that is exactly what I shall do. A safe landing after a pleasant flight end the scene. Gigi thanks Leichou for listening to her vent, and supporting her decisions. She gathers her belongings, and prepares herself to face her unrelenting father.
SCENE 4 The sun is right above the horizon, rising slowly as the hours pass. The time is nearing mid-day while Gigi sits in her father’s living room, waiting for him to enter. Her heart, racing, as if its about to jump out of her chest. Her brain is cloudy with anxious thoughts. Her breathing is tense and jumpy, and a cold sweat glistens, as it covers her from head to toe. She is seated on a mahogany-colored sofa, as she stares blankly, back and forth, into the eyes of her father, and his servant, Huezhong.
Taking a deep breath, she faces yet another hurdle, though there are many more to come. Cecil: Welcome home daughter, I am glad to see you back here in one piece. (Gigi smirks and roles her eyes in annoyance) Gigi: I’ll always know exactly who to come to for a kind word, father. Now, I don’t have much time, Sean is waiting for my return back to France. Cecil: Hold your horses child, we have a great deal to discuss, so you might as well make yourself comfortable. Gigi: No disrespect intended father, but I am not a child, I am fully capable of making my own choices, and not to fuel the fire or anything, but I don’t agree with your rulings one bit! Cecil: The decision is not yours so make.
I have already sent my claim to all of my closest friends, and if the media helps word travels as fast as I hope, any man who will be able to woo your heart, will be granted sixty-five million dollars. Gigi: Father! How could you do this before speaking to me about it? Did you not see how happy I was in France, to be with the person I love? You have everything your heart desires: the money, the publicity, and the “stuff”. I don’t want any of that you see; I just want to be happy. Cecil: Let’s get a second opinion on the matter, shall we? Huezhong, what do you make of this? (Huezhong squirms uncomfortable in his chair, uncrosses his legs, and clears his throat before speaking) Huezhong: Unfortunately sir, I cannot back you up on this. Although my immediate family has been rooted in China for many years, I have been able to trace my ancestors down to a great-great aunt who was Jewish. Cecil: Jewish? Where did this come from? Huezhong: Yes, Jewish, and how can I judge Gigi, if my own family was persecuted and wronged throughout history? I feel that I am in no place to judge Gigi’s beliefs because I don’t believe that is morally acceptable to persecute anyone for that.
Gigi: Huezhong, I cannot even begin to explain how grateful I am for your supp— Cecil: ENOUGH! I have had it with you two! Huezhong, you are fired! Gigi, you are never to speak to this “monster” you call a girlfriend, ever again! Gigi: But Father… (Her voice now soft, almost like a whimper. Her eyes glazed over with tears, which she tries her hardest to fight back) Cecil: Not another word, child, not another word. Covering her flushed cheeks with her hands, she pears through her fingers to watch her father leave the room. (Cecil exits the stage) Sitting alone with the newly unemployed servant, all she can hear aside from her staggered breathing, is the thump of a teardrop hit the marble floor. The act ends, and the curtains close.