by Hanh Van This afternoon was not the first time that Mr Hai had ever had a drink with his adopted son Hung. Yet it was the first time a tranquil and pensive mood reigned over them. Hung slowly sipped rice wine with furrowed brows, partly due to his bad mood and in part because he was beginning to feel a bit indifferent. Hai calmly watched as the last sun-rays spread over the veranda and began moving his lips as if he were about to talk. He finally regained control of himself and kept silent because he knew his young man was in a great deal of pain. *** Hung was the biological son of one of Hai’s comrades-in-arms. They had engaged in many combat situations side by side. Unfortunately, Hung’s father laid down his life in the thick of a fight. Hai learned about the orphaned Hung through discussions among their fellow soldiers and promptly adopted the kid when he was still an infant. In his heart of hearts, Hai, thanks to his keen observations, was aware of the attentions his adopted-son had for his first-born daughter Hien. In the past, during evening trips to a neighbours to watch…
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