A Strange Relative

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As I stared out the foggy windows of my room, I knew that Aunt Chen would be arriving at my house very soon. After all, it was Christmas Eve. Every time around this year, my Aunt comes from Canada to visit us.

My aunt is young and very pretty, but she is also strange. Even though the weather outside is freezing cold, she likes to wear tank tops and Bermudas. She is also a perfectionist. She reprimands us when we do something that is not quality work.

After arriving at my house, Aunt Chen races upstairs to put her luggage away. My parents head to the kitchen to prepare some food. When we sit down at the table, I pour my aunt a cup of warm milk. My aunt complains that I haven’t warmed her milk enough. When my aunt tastes the rice or the noodles, she complains that the rice is not soft enough and the noodles aren’t fully cooked. I stare at my aunt incredulously; no one has ever told my parents that the food they cook isn’t amazing. I notice my parents exchange glances of amusement.

As we all get ready for bed, my Aunt pokes her head into my room. She picks me up, places me on my bed, and tucks me in. She turns on the nightlight in my room, and kisses me on the head. As she closes the door, she giggles. Aunt Chen must think that I am still in elementary school.

I am awakened the next morning by shrieks of fear. Scared, I roll out of bed and open my door. As I race downstairs, Aunt Chen is running around the living room trying to hit a mosquito. Tired and upset, the whole family gets up.

Finally, it is time for us to open our gifts. My aunt organizes all the gifts by the color of the wrapping paper. My dad brings out his video recorder and starts filming. My sister and I scream in delight as we realize that we received everything we wanted on our wish list. Strangely enough, my aunt has given me a pair of woolen socks that she herself has knit. I couldn’t help but look disappointed. My dad nudges me, and I tell my aunt that I appreciate her thoughtful gift.

When it’s my aunt’s turn to open her gifts, she asks my dad to stop filming. She explains that she gets nervous when people film her. First, she takes off the bow. Then she slowly unwraps the gift. Afterwards, she takes the wrapping paper and folds it neatly beside her. Aunt Chen thanks us profusely for the gifts that we have gotten her.

A week passes by, and my aunt prepares to leave again. After eating a quick lunch with us, Aunt Chen brings her luggage back into my dad’s car. She comes back inside and pinches my cheeks. She stares at me with a hopeful smile on her face, and I smile back at her. My aunt opens her mouth to tell me something, but she shakes her head instead and murmurs something softly to herself. My parents are waiting patiently for her to get back in the car.

With a long, drawn-out sigh, my aunt embraces me and leaps out the door. Chuckling, my dad follows his sister out to the car. My mom and I wave good-bye to them until the car is a little speck on the road. Shutting the door, I grin at my mom, and I wonder how I could have ever dreaded my aunt coming.





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