The La-Iin Series
“When Visiting a Family–Part 1”
“It’s so annoying always stuck here with you,” La-Iin complained at dinner that night.
“Well, excuse me for taking care of you. And you do have Bes-Isa and Choungetsu to spend time with.”
“They’re not enough. I wanna see Fer-Shi more.”
“I’m surprised you care so much about a ‘goody-goody’.”
“She’s my best fwend!”
“I know she is,” Mit-Sun said. “You know, that gives me an idea. I’ve been meaning to get more acquainted with the Sanhuuns. Why don’t I call them and we’ll see if we can’t arrange for Fer-Shi to come over soon?”
“You really have a good idea, Mama,” La-Iin said.
“I’m glad you think so. I’ll try and get in contact with them soon and see what they have to say.”
La-Iin sat in the living room with Choungetsu, eagerly awaiting the Sanhuuns’ visit. She stared at the door, waiting for the moment that it opened and Fer-Shi walked inside.
Only a few days after Mit-Sun had made the suggestion to invite the Sanhuuns over to the Cahongyun house, she had contacted them and gotten an immediate “yes”. Ever since, La-Iin and Fer-Shi had been excited to meet up at her house, and despite her own excitement La-Iin felt that Fer-Shi was more excited than she was.
“So the girl that’s coming over–she’s that girl from the preschool, right? The one I saw a few times?”
“You seem excited.”
“I only get to see Fer-Shi at school, and she’s the most fun person I know right now.”
“Huh! Pretty mean of you to say that in front of your best friend!”
“I get to see you all the time, Bes-Isa!”
“Yeah, well, you might get to, but there’s a lot you don’t know about me! Like my proclivities, or my–“
“What’s a pro-clivv-ittie?”
“…never mind. Maybe the only reason why you say that is because you’re too little to understand everything about me.”
La-Iin glared at Bes-Isa. She was trying to think of a response when someone knocked on the door.
“I know, I know,” Mit-Sun said. “I was in the next room over. Now, be on your best behavior, alright?”
Mit-Sun rolled her eyes and opened the door. “Good to see you, Mr. and Mrs. Sanhuun. And you too, Fer-Shi.”
“Hello, Mrs. Cahongyun!” Fer-Shi said. Mit-Sun grimaced.
“It’s Miss Cahongyun, Fer-Shi,” Tei-Sheu whispered.
“Oh, I’m sorry, Miss Cahongyun,” she said. “Where’s La-Iin? I want to see her!”
“I’m over here!” She called. Fer-Shi ran over to join her on the couch.
“You have a doggy? I didn’t know you had a doggy.”
“Choungetsu only came here recently,” she said. “I’m happy to see you, Fer-Shi. It’s really boring in my house these days.”
“You should come over to our house, then!” She said.
“Maybe someday. Anyway, instead of staying out here, do you wanna go upstairs? Downstairs is really boring a lot.”
“Sure, let’s go!”
La-Iin hopped off the couch and Fer-Shi followed after her. After the two left the room, Mit-Sun, Den-Matsu, and Tei-Sheu sat down on the couch.
“Our daughters have gotten really close, huh?” Den-Matsu said.
“I’m glad. Fer-Shi’s never had a friend she could call her best friend before. Though I worry about their difference in morals.”
“I’m surprised she can put up with La-Iin at all. I’m her mother and her evil side gets on my nerves. I’m glad they’re friends, though. La-Iin’s much happier at Desutrap since becoming friends with her.”
“So is Fer-Shi,” Den-Matsu said. “Um, Miss Cahongyun, do you mind if I ask you a few questions?”
“Wow, it’s so neat that you have an upstairs! My house only has a downstairs.”
“I like upstairs better than downstairs. Up here is my room, Mama’s room, the bathroom, a closet, and the missile…missa….the garbage room.”
“I thought I put you to bed,” La-Iin said.
“No, you didn’t.”
“Hi, Bes-Isa!” Fer-Shi squeaked.
“Doesn’t she know my name?”
“Bes-Isa is evil too,” La-Iin said.
“Well, your upstairs is really nice, but isn’t it kinda hard when you have to go to the bathroom downstairs?”
“I never had a problem.”
“She says, but that’s only because her memory is shot. And at her young age…”
“Be quiet, Bes-Isa!” La-Iin hissed.
“Anyway, what room do you wanna see? I can give you the upstairs tour. Downstairs is really boring, and I don’t wanna talk to your Mama and Dami.”
“Well, show me what you like!”
“Then I’ll show you in worst to best order,” she said, then head for the closet. Fer-Shi followed after her. La-Iin opened the closet door.
“The closet is a closet.”
“It sure is.”
“And it’s really boring. There are better rooms.” She slammed the door, then head for the bathroom.
“The bathroom has okay colors. I like purple bestest, but this is okay.”
“It’s so nice in here!”
La-Iin gave Fer-Shi a quizzical stare. “You’re weird.”
“I just like the color and the look. It’s nice. But it is a bathroom, and that’s kinda nasty. Where to next?”
“That one’s hard,” she whined. “Mama’s room and the missile…”
“That room are too hard to pick from.”
“That woman’s room has the thrill of an invasion going for it and absolutely nothing else.”
“It has a computer.”
“A computer? I didn’t know you had a computer. My Daddy has a computer too. He sends e-mails to people sometimes. Maybe we can send e-mails too!”
“Mama doesn’t let me use the computer.”
The two walked into Mit-Sun’s room.
“It looks comfy. But it’s definitely an adult’s bedroom!”
“There’s the computer.” La-Iin walked over to it and checked the screen. “But it’s not on.”
“You COULD turn it on.”
“I don’t want Fer-Shi to have to go home early because Mama’s crazy,” La-Iin said. “But maybe later.”
“Doesn’t it scare you to come in here?”
“No. I like doing it because it makes Mama mad. Does going in your Mama and Dami’s room make them mad?”
“Not really, but they don’t like when I do it.”
La-Iin nodded, and she and Fer-Shi left Mit-Sun’s bedroom. She closed the door and then head for the miscellaneous room.
“This has all the garbage in it!” La-Iin announced proudly.
“A radio!? That’s not garbage! Or does it not work?”
“It works,” La-Iin said.
“How come you have it in here?”
“‘Cause it’s big and Mama doesn’t like me touching it. But I can always go in this room and mess with it anyway, so she’s being stupid about that.”
“You shouldn’t call your Mommy stupid so much.”
“Well, she is!” La-Iin protested. “Oh, there’s the bed my Dami slept in before Mama made him leave. That’s what my Dami told me.”
“Why doesn’t your Daddy live with you? You never told me why.”
“I don’t really know. I think Mama was a jerk and told him to leave and he took it so seriously that he really left. It was a good idea to leave Mama, but I wish he took me with him. I really like my Dami.”
“You shouldn’t be so mean to your Mommy, though.”
“She’s mean to me. And I’m evil. So it’s okay to me.” La-Iin looked around the room. “There’s lots of garbage in here. Do you wanna see it or go to the bestest room in the house?”
“I think I know what the bestest room is already, but let’s go!”
La-Iin smiled. She led the way out of the miscellaneous room and into her own bedroom.
“Wow! This is really big!”
“This is the bestest room in the house, my bedroom!” She said. “Everything important to me is kept in here.”
“What about me? You carry me around everywhere with you. And then there’s your Father, and Fer-Shi too.”
La-Iin rolled her eyes. “Most everything,” she said.
“W-wow! Your room has lots of stuff in it! Even my room doesn’t have this much stuff! How’d you get it all? I thought you said your Mommy told you that you didn’t have that much vuyong!”
“She had to get me lots of stuff when I started getting bigger,” she said. “She thought I would be like a baby for lots of years. But then I grew bigger and she got me a bed and lots of dresses. She made some too, but they’re not so good.”
“Maybe all this is why you don’t have much vuyong now.”
La-Iin glared. “Anyway, my bed, my dresses, my table, my deskie-thingy–”
“You mean nightdesk?”
La-Iin growled. “Everything is in here. And now you know why it’s the best room.”
“It really is a great room,” Fer-Shi said. “Maybe one day, we should have a sleepover here!”
La-Iin felt uncertain about the idea.
“Upstairs really is nice, La-Iin. But now that you showed me everything upstairs, can we play? I thought we could play a lot of things together.”
“We can,” she said. “How well can you read?”
“I can read okay. Why?”
“I had a fun idea,” she said. “Mama has these plays by some man called Makeshire. She took me to a play once. It was really boring, but the acting looked fun. Let’s act one of the Makeshire plays!”
“Won’t that be hard?”
“We can change some of it,” she said. “So?”
“Um, well…” Fer-Shi reached out her hand. La-Iin handed her the script. “Okay, let’s do it. But then after this, maybe we can play a game I come up with?”
“We’ll see,” La-Iin said. “Now, tell me what it says on the first page!”
“I’m not just going to be reading to you, am I!?”
“No. Now come on, let’s play!”
“Mit-Sun, I hope you don’t mind that I asked you all those questions,” Den-Matsu said. “I was just a little curious.”
“I don’t mind. If I minded, don’t you think I wouldn’t have answered them?”
“Well, thank you for answering them. You didn’t have to.”
“Ah, it’s fine.”
“It seems hard to raise La-Iin,” Tei-Sheu said. “What with her personality and all.”
“It is. But it’s worth it. For all I complain about La-Iin, I love her even more.”
“Even after all these years, your bedroom’s still similar to how it looked when I first came here, huh?”
“Because Mama doesn’t let me get anything new. But I like the way it looks.”
“Me too.” Fer-Shi sighed. “That was such a fun day, when I first came over. Hey, when are we going to act out another Makeshire play?”
“When I find another good one.”
“Okay. I hope you find one soon!”