The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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I interviewed my friend, Mike Le, at his home office where he could both do his research and have fun with his friends. Valuable certificates and awards were hung on the wall. He was sitting on a white leather arm-chair in front of his desk, working. He was a chubby, but healthy looking man. Mike was wearing casual business with beige khaki pants, a black polo shirt covered by a black windbreaker. He used hand gestures a lot when he got carried away, explaining a difficult concept or an ironic dilemma. He spoke with his legs crossed in a seemingly comfortable sitting position. <br />
Mike had a childhood friend named Bin. Their houses were a couple walks away. They would play soccer, badminton, fifa and worked on projects together. They even studied at Drexel and lived on campus together. Their parents got on well with each other and Bin was the best friend Mike ever had. This scene took place during summer vacation. Bin and Mike had a childish game in which they came to each house in the neighborhood, trying to ring the doorbells without being caught. Eventually Mike got caught.

“Do it,” Mike said.
“No, you do it. I literally just did the last one.” Bin insisted.
“What if they found out?” Mike stuttered, “They would kill me.”
Bin facepalmed, “We have been through this so many times. You and me have never been caught, have we?” He raised his voice, “Now be a man and ring that damn doorbell!”
Mike cleared his throat. He turned his head left and right from the small tree they had been hiding behind. No one was around in the summer afternoon. He looked at the house and cleared his throat again. Slowly, he approached the entrance. The doorbell was positioned on the wall next to the metallic door. Mike gently removed the lid and pressed the button.
“Ding dong”
Mike turned his back and ran away with the speed of light. Unfortunately, he stepped on a twig and slid. “SPLAT!” His whole body slammed onto the ground. He struggled to stand up, but his chubby shape would not allow him to do so that quickly. He looked up and saw Bin running away without him. Bin’s figure became smaller and disappeared into the distance. “Ah there you go.” The house owner twisted Mike’s ear and pulled it to his house. Mike groaned with tears coming down his face.
“I am sorry,” he sobbed, “Please forgive me mister.”
The mister mocked, “Oh now you are sorry, huh? Did you feel sorry the last time as well?” He emphasized, “I know your father, I will call him to come and pick his rebellious son up.”
“The last time?” Mike thought to himself. This was the first time Mike saw this house. He had not even acknowledged the existence of this house before. “Ah,” a light bulb went on in his head, “Bin.”
Sitting in the cool living room, but Mike still sweated like showering. “You stay here until your father comes.” He warned, “Do not dare to run away.”
Mike constantly shook his head in despair. He was angrier about Bin leaving him like this than being scolded by his dad. He covered his face, elbows on his legs, hoping for someone to drag him out of the building before his dad came.
“Ding dong”
The house owner breached the front gate and talked to someone. Mike took a peek at but he could not figure out who was outside. After sometime, the owner looked inside and beckoned to Mike.
“Let’s go Mike, your mom needs your help.” Bin shouted. Mike was surprised for a second, but he immediately knew that this was his dad’s doing. Mike apologized one more time and quickly walked out of the house. On the way home, he did not say a word and ignored all of Bin’s attempts to make a conversation.
“Ah it’s so hot,” Bin carried on with his monologue, “I wonder if anyone wants a free ice cream right now.”
Mike’s hunger for ice cream emerged, but he feigned reluctance. “An ice cream is okay I guess.”

The doorbell incidence

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2010
Hanoi, Vietnam

I interviewed my friend, Mike Le, at his home office where he could both do his research and have fun with his friends. Valuable certificates and awards were hung on the wall. He was sitting on a white leather arm-chair in front of his desk, working. He was a chubby, but healthy looking man. Mike was wearing casual business with beige khaki pants, a black polo shirt covered by a black windbreaker. He used hand gestures a lot when he got carried away, explaining a difficult concept or an ironic dilemma. He spoke with his legs crossed in a seemingly comfortable sitting position.
Mike had a childhood friend named Bin. Their houses were a couple walks away. They would play soccer, badminton, fifa and worked on projects together. They even studied at Drexel and lived on campus together. Their parents got on well with each other and Bin was the best friend Mike ever had. This scene took place during summer vacation. Bin and Mike had a childish game in which they came to each house in the neighborhood, trying to ring the doorbells without being caught. Eventually Mike got caught.

Decade: 2010s
Rating:
Recorded by Dat Duong on March 11, 2020
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