細聲啲 [sai seng dii]

First published in Aniko Press, 2 August 2021. Aniko Press July 2021 Flash Fiction "Whisper" Competition Winner.

細聲啲 [sai seng dii]

Your A-Ma inherits from Maa-Maa: a jade necklace, a gold bracelet, and all her love. 

The necklace, she gives to your brother, for good luck. The bracelet, she tells you, is worth more, so you mustn’t wear it. She’ll keep it, for now, for safekeeping. 

Maa-Maa’s love — she keeps that too. 

One day you’ll learn she hides it. Not in words, but in food. In precisely sliced mango. In spaghetti on your birthday. In soup when you’re sick. 

Until then, you strain to hear it. In every criticism. In every “I told you so.” In every word she could whisper, that she shouts.