The family plot

Alejandro boarded the bus.

It was one of those days. His aunt had just told him about the newest development. Apparently, his cousin’s new girlfriend had (unbeknownst to him) been a part of an open triad, where one of the other members were a member another triad which included another relative. This had led to some awkwardness, and said relatives would have to have emergency talks in order to sort things out. Meanwhile, the failing health of the family matriarch had everyone on edge, as the exact nature of who got to inherit what was still in considerable flux. This, too, would necessitate emergency talks. As would the nature of the house of inheritance – it was in dire need of repairs, and there were several strong opinionated family members who argued that these repairs should take place in a joint effort before anyone died. Repairs which, naturally, would be financed on a basis of solidarity, family business being family business, after all. Just as naturally, those parts of the family who had little or no funds to cover such expenses were less inclined to agree to this proposal, but were also slightly too ashamed of this fact to argue against it with much vigor. Add to this the equally recent and disastrous divorces that had taken place, which further added to the shame. There existed thus, his aunt concluded, a need for someone to argue this point without raising the ire of those who didn’t agree with it. Tensions lurked underneath the surface, and it is important to sidestep these whilst at the same time plant the idea that sticking together as a family sometimes meant that sacrifices had to be made. It also had to be done soon, as the health was indeed failing and the likelihood of any further family gatherings in the immediate future were slim. It would be delicate, and it would have to be quick.

If all of this is confusing to you, imagine how it is for Alejandro, who even now disembarks the bus and greets the awaiting family gathering. He smiles, and tries his best to be casually friendly to everyone present.

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