JapanThe first time I met Hoang Tuyen 9 years ago, Suzuki Fumiaki liked the Vietnamese woman but told her not to love her single mother who is raising two young children.
The Japanese technical expert of a garment factory in Binh Thuan did not expect fate to tie the two together, despite them finding a way to separate.
“The first time I met her, I was especially impressed with the feminine dress that stood out in an environment full of work clothes,” Suzuki, 47, said. His impression on translator Hoang Viet Tuyen deepened when listening to her speak and confronting customers about building the factory’s quality management system.
Less than a month after Suzuki received the job, Ms. Tuyen was assigned to work as a personal interpreter for him. The first day he saw the Vietnamese girl sitting next to him, Suzuki’s eyes lit up, but the man from Tokyo quickly showed himself to be a strict and serious person at work.
Ms. Tuyen was impressed with Suzuki because “he demanded everything to be so precise that it was difficult to breathe”. “I sent the goods to Ho Chi Minh City on the right day in which it was flooded, so I arrived late. He told me to plan those things in my head to send them out soon. In the meantime, who can predict the exact weather,” she said. He often yelled and talked so much that Tuyen told his colleagues, “Whoever marries this man is good at getting ear cancer.”
Working with Suzuki, Ms. Tuyen realized that he was a warm-hearted person, always looking for ways to help difficult workers in the factory. Her knowledge of the garment industry is also growing day by day thanks to his detailed instruction.
The Japanese expert also loves her Vietnamese translator. Every day, working with Tuyen makes his single, dry life suddenly more comfortable. He realized that he liked going to the company every day because he could see the Vietnamese girl sitting at the table next to him. However, when people asked “do you like Ms. Tuyen”, Suzuki replied emphatically, “I don’t want to love a single woman. She has two children, how can I raise her”. As a man who had never been married, he did not want to marry a woman with children. “In my heart was a grueling struggle between emotion and reason,” he recalls.
On Tuyen’s youngest child’s birthday, Suzuki and her colleagues went to her house to play. When the guests left, he stayed until late to leave. The next day, when they accidentally met at the factory gate, Suzuki called Ms. Tuyen and said: “I like you very much, if I get married, how can I raise your two children?”.
Since then, every weekend, Suzuki has come to Tuyen’s house to play. When he saw that the house was dirty, he took a broom to sweep. When he saw the messy things, he cleaned up and played with the children to let his mother cook. “I realized that she is not only a capable employee but also a good mother. Tuyen’s children are also lovely,” he said.
But when Suzuki confessed, Tuyen immediately refused. Breaking up with her husband when the first child was two years old, the second child was three months old, the heartache made her no longer interested in family life. “I’m not in the mood to think about love. Falling in love is not even better,” she said.
Seeing that the Japanese guy insisted on coming, she said directly: “I’m old and ugly, I have two children, how can we become a couple”. Suzuki looked at her and smiled: “It just proves that I worked so hard to get two angels”. Later that day, they became a couple.
Knowing that she has a boyfriend, her mother urged “let her take care of her and get married”, but she decided not to leave her son for any reason. Tuyen determined to be with her boyfriend to fill the loneliness and ease the pain after the breakup. She always loves in the mind that one day her boyfriend will leave.
But the events of Tuyen’s life did not stop there. In 2016, her mother had a brain tumor. Before entering the operating room, she told her daughter that she had been cheated, so she had a large debt. Leaving the operating room, her mother turned into a three-year-old child, her estate was destroyed, and her monthly salary was also paid off. From a well-off family, Tuyen had to take her elderly parents and two children out to stay. Day by day, the creditor came knocking on the door of the room. She has to work overtime, go to the fishing port to buy and sell at the end of the week to customers in Ho Chi Minh City. Every time she has some free time, she makes fish cakes, tet cakes, dried fish, cotton balls… for sale.
In those difficult days, in addition to spiritual encouragement, Suzuki also came home to take care of her children so that she could go to work. Knowing his girlfriend is difficult, every week, he goes to the market to buy food to keep the refrigerator sealed.
“The better you are, the more guilty I feel. When I love you, I want to break up,” Ms. Tuyen recalled.
After three years together, the single mother because of low self-esteem constantly makes excuses to leave her boyfriend. Suzuki moved to Binh Dinh for half a year to forget his ex-lover, then decided to return home. Before leaving Vietnam, he asked her to meet her one last time.
But when they face each other, reason can’t win over the heart. Three months after that meeting, Tuyen discovered she was pregnant. They registered their marriage, knowing there was no reason to leave each other.
In 2019, her mother died without having time to see her third grandchild. Tuyen’s debt has also just been paid off. The whole family of five moved back to Japan.
On the day of the mother-in-law’s debut, both Tuyen and Suzuki were worried, afraid that she would not accept her unworked daughter-in-law, who had two children of her own. But that day, the Japanese mother-in-law called the Vietnamese daughter-in-law privately, telling her: “You must not have the idea that the first two children are your own children, you are not allowed to let your husband have any discrimination against the children, no, no. I can’t let them get hurt. Parents have said very clearly to Suzuki, if he marries you, he must treat your two children as his own. If you have any trouble, just call me.”
Tuyen’s mother-in-law often takes a train for a few hours to cook, clean the house for her daughter-in-law to go to work, and return by train at night. She also bought cosmetics for her sister and reminded her to “love yourself”. “My mother often told me and my wife, seeing a happy, happy woman proves that she has a good husband,” she said.
Suzuki also did exactly what his mother told him to do. He often chooses for his two eldest children beautiful, expensive clothes. He told his wife and children are foreigners, new to integration, not fluent in the language, must dress well so that friends do not probe.
Ms. Ngo Hien, 39 years old, a close friend of Ms. Tuyen said that since marrying Suzuki, Tuyen has become a different person, happier and happier. “At first, I worried about Tuyen, but when I met Suzuki, watched him play with two of his stepchildren, carry them on his shoulders, bathe and feed him, I believed he was a good person,” Hien said.
Currently, he and his wife both work as clothing order managers in Tokyo. The economy to raise children is not as scary as the Japanese husband imagined. Suzuki cook with my wife every day, get up early sew a chipped hat for the children before going to class, wash and dry their hair by themselves.
“You are like Mrs. Tam, every time your wife and children come home from play, the house is clean, the food is clean. The husband is the compensation for the unhappiness I’ve experienced in my life,” Ms. Tuyen said.