This is an old story that happened a long time ago back in Laos. This was the story that happened to my aunt, my mom's sister. My aunt Mai was the eldest unwed girl in her village at the age of 17. So she was the mother figure to a lot of the children in the neighborhood. There was a young boy at the age of 6 that Mai took care of day in and day out, because his parents were constantly arguing and violence was involved. Divorce is considered to be a disgrace and one would rather die than have a divorce back then.
One night, the little boy ended up at Mai's front door, shivering. Mai took him in and warmed the boy up. The boy said his parents were arguing all night, then it was silent and he noticed that he was home alone. Now these were not regular insulated homes, the homes, back then, were just huts made of banana leaves and twigs. The entire village must have heard them arguing that night, but ignored it. Morning came and the boy's parents still did not come to claim the boy. Mai took the boy next door to his house and knocked on the door, yet no one opened. Night came and Mai heard voices coming from the little boy's house. So she took the boy and went next door. She kicked the door open and to her surprise she saw another woman in the arms of the boy's father. Mai apologized for intruding but explained the reason why she was there - to bring his son home.
Days turned into weeks, no one in the village heard or seen of the boy's mother since that night. The mother's parents came to the house demanding to speak with their daughter but the boy's father would say she had left with another man. The village knew the mother was not the type to do such a thing, and gossips filled the community that he had murdered her but there wasn't enough evidence to prove it. The father went around the county with his new bride, leaving his only son to Mai to take care of. The boy was not sad, did not mention he missed his mother, nor did he shed a tear for her... Mai got concerned.
One morning, Mai went to pick up the boy from his house. The boy came out of the house, waved in the direction of his father - his father who wasn't looking at him - and came out of the house with a smile. Mai asked him why he was so happy. He said his mother is taking him away from here. Mai was confused, she asked, "Where IS your mother?" The little boy replied, "Dad loves her a lot now, every day he carries her on his back." Mai's mouth dropped. The boy said, "Just look at them, aren't they happy" as he looked into the house toward his father. Mai looked inside, she only saw the father's back turned facing them with his new wife cooking - no sign of the mother.
My aunt said a week after that the little boy mysteriously passed away. Some said it was due to an illness that he contracted and since they lived in the rural, nothing could save him but my aunt said it was because his mother came to get him away from his horrible father.