This is not some typical thought of a romantically-challenged skeptic. I don’t expect you to believe me. I’m just being realistic here. 


Is there ever really such a thing as ‘unconditional love’? Is love ever really ‘unconditional’?


Call me ‘faithless’ for even questioning this, but reality has shown me different proofs. If you say “a mother’s love” is one good example, then it actually depends on the mother.


I don’t know why I’ve decided to tell you this story. It’s not about Ma, don’t worry. I’m sure she’s having second thoughts about trying to change me. She knows she can’t. She knows I’ll go crazy if anyone forces me to do what I don’t want. I’m a Scorpio like Dad and stubborn as hell when it comes to personal decisions, principles, and values – so there. I know what I want and one of them is to not have anyone tell me what to do.


There’s this cousin from my paternal side of the family. She’s an only child and has always been overly protected.(Considering this, I’m so lucky that my parents are nothing like hers, thank God!) Curfews, screening friends, supervised activities – you name it. Her mother had this idea that – as a parent – she had to protect her from any harm from the outside world…24/7 if possible. Then, they’d let her go once they married her off to someone they approved of.


Ha-ha, good luck with that! What a joke.


In short, what happened later on:


All through her teenage years, she’d been a rebel. She’d snuck out of her bedroom window to hang out with her friends at night, attending parties and stuff at night clubs. (Thankfully, I never had to do that – and didn’t even want to!) Ma had caught her a couple of times when her friends dropped her off a block away, so that her parents wouldn’t find out. Ma had never told them, though.


Then my uncle sent me cousin to go to a college in Australia. However, she’d messed up her first year and my uncle ended up transferring her to Malaysia.


That was when the real problem started.


She got pregnant – and the guy was a drug-addict. They had to marry, according to her parents.


Now they have a son. He’s a nice little fellow. I feel sorry for him.


My uncle died when my cousin turned 25. Since then, things haven’t been better for them. In fact, it’s gotten worse.


I hadn’t thought of them for so long until the latest news I got. My cousin had to have a psychiatric treatment. They said she’d chased down a housemaid with a sharp cleaver, so all the knives and scissors had to be kept well-hidden from her at home.


Now she doesn’t even want to leave her room. They said she started showing signs of paranoia.


Well, my aunt has finally gotten her wish. Her daughter will never leave her side.


I looked at Ma after she’d finished her story of them. She looked back at me.


“I’m not going to end up like that,” I told her flatly. I’m sure she knew what I was talking about.


She still has second thoughts about me moving out someday. (Typical Asian family.) She knows that I’ve been dying to have the real, independent single life. I’ve been trying to stay a not-so-demanding good girl for years. Is that too much to ask?


“Of course not.”


Ha! We shall see…





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