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Saturday, April 30, 2016

ON MY WEDDING DAY

On my wedding day, I carried my wife in
my arms. The bridal car stopped in front
of our one-room flat. My buddies insisted
that I carry her out of the car in my arms.
So I carried her into our home. She was
then plump and shy. I was a strong and
happy bridegroom.
This was the scene ten years ago. The
following days
were as simple as a cup of
pure water: we had a kid; I went into
business and tried to make more money.
When the assets were steadily increasing,
the affection between us seemed to ebb.
She was a civil servant. Every morning we
left home together and got home almost
at the same time. Our kid was studying in
a boarding school. Our marriage life
seemed to be enviably happy.
But the calm life was more likely to be
affected by unpredictable changes. Dew
came into my life. It was a sunny day. I
stood on a spacious balcony. Dew hugged
me from behind. My heart once again was
immersed in her stream of love. This was
the apartment I bought for her. Dew said,
you are the kind of man who best draws
girls’ eyeballs. Her words suddenly
reminded me of my wife. When we were
just married, my wife said, Men like you,
once successful, will be very attractive to
girls. Thinking of this, I became somewhat
hesitant. I knew I had betrayed my wife.
But I couldn’t help doing so. I moved
Dew’s hands aside and said you go to
select some furniture, O.K.? I’ve got
something to do in the company.
Obviously she was unhappy, because I had
promised to do it together with her.
At the moment, the idea of divorce
became clearer in my mind although it
used to be something impossible to me.
However, I found it rather difficult to tell
my wife about it. No matter how mildly I
mentioned it to her, she would be deeply
hurt. Honestly, she was a good wife. Every
evening she was busy preparing dinner. I
was sitting in front of the TV. The dinner
was ready soon. Then we watched TV
together. Or, I was lounging before the
computer, visualizing Dew’s body. This
was the means of my entertainment. One
day I said to her in a slightly joking way,
suppose we divorce, what will you do? She
stared at me for a few seconds without a
word. Apparently she believed that divorce
was something too far away from her. I
couldn’t imagine how she would react
once she got to know I was serious. When
my wife went to my office, Dew had just
stepped out. Almost all the staff looked at
my wife with a sympathetic eye and tried
to hide something while talking to her.
She seemed to have got some hint. She
gently smiled at my subordinates. But I
read some hurt in her eyes.
Once again, Dew said to me, divorce her,
O.K.? Then we live together. I nodded. I
knew I could not hesitate any more. When
my wife served the last dish, I held her
hand. I’ve got something to tell you, I
said. She sat down and ate quietly. Again
I observed the hurt in her eyes. Suddenly I
didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I
had to let her know what I was thinking. I
want a divorce. I raised the serious topic
calmly. She didn’t seem to be annoyed by
my words, instead she asked me softly,
why? I’m serious. I avoided her question.
This so-called answer made her angry.
She threw away the chopsticks and
shouted at me, you are not a man! That
night, we didn’t talk to each other. She
was weeping. I knew she wanted to find
out what had happened to our marriage.
But I could hardly give her a satisfactory
answer, because my heart had gone to
Dew. With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted
a divorce agreement which stated that she
could own our house, our car, and 30%
stake of my company. She glanced at it
and then tore it into pieces. I felt a pain in
my heart. The woman who had been living
ten years with me would become a
stranger one day. But I could not take
back what I had said. Finally she cried
loudly in front of me, which was what I
had expected to see. To me her cry was
actually a kind of release. The idea of
divorce which had obsessed me for several
weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer.
Late that night, I came back home after
entertaining my clients. I saw her writing
something at the table. I fall asleep fast.
When I woke up, I found she was still
there. I turned over and was asleep again.
She brought up her divorce conditions: she
didn’t want anything from me, but I was
supposed to give her one month s time
before divorce, and in the month’s time we
must live as normal a life as possible. Her
reason was simple: our son would finish
his summer vacation a month later and
she didn’t want him to see our marriage
was broken.
She passed me the agreement she drafted,
and then asked me; do you still remember
how I entered our bridal room on the
wedding day? This question suddenly
brought back all those wonderful
memories to me. I nodded and said, I
remember. You carried me in your arms,
she continued, so, I have a requirement,
that is, you carry me out in your arms on
the day when we divorce. From now to the
end of this month, you must carry me out
from the bedroom to the door every
morning. I accepted with a smile. I knew
she missed those sweet days and wished
to end her marriage romantically. I told
Dew about my wife s divorce conditions.
She laughed loudly and thought it was
absurd. No matter what tricks she does,
she has to face the result of divorce, she
said scornfully. Her words more or less
made me feel uncomfortable.
My wife and I hadn’t had any body
contact since my divorce intention was
explicitly expressed. We even treated each
other as a stranger. So when I carried her
out on the first day, we both appeared
clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy
is holding mummy in his arms. His words
brought me a sense of pain. From the
bedroom to the sitting room, then to the
door, I walked over ten meters with her in
my arms. She closed her eyes and said
softly, Let us start from today, don’t tell
our son. I nodded, feeling somewhat
upset. I put her down outside the door.
She went to wait for a bus, I drove to the
office. On the second day, both of us acted
much more easily. She leaned on my
chest. We were so close that I could smell
the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that
I hadn’t looked at this intimate woman
carefully for a long time. I found she was
not young any more. There were some fine
wrinkles on her face. On the third day, she
whispered to me, the outside garden is
being demolished. Be careful when you
pass there. On the fourth day, when I
lifted her up, I seemed to feel that we
were still an intimate couple and I was
holding my sweetheart in my arms. The
visualization of Dew became vague. On
the fifth and sixth day, she kept reminding
me something, such as, where she put the
ironed shirts, I should be careful while
cooking, etc. I nodded. The sense of
intimacy was even stronger. I didn’t tell
Dew about this. I felt it was easier to
carry her. Perhaps the everyday workout
made me stronger. I said to her, it seems
not difficult to carry you now. She was
picking her dresses. I was waiting to carry
her out. She tried quite a few but could
not find a suitable one. Then she sighed,
all my dresses have grown bigger. I
smiled. But I suddenly realized that it was
because she was thinner that I could carry
her more easily, not because I was
stronger. I knew she had buried all the
bitterness in her heart. Again, I felt a
sense of pain. Subconsciously I reached
out a hand to touch her head. Our son
came in at the moment. Dad, it’s time to
carry mum out. He said. To him, seeing
his father carrying his mother out had
been an essential part of his life. She
gestured our son to come closer and
hugged him tightly. I turned my face
because I was afraid I would change my
mind at the last minute. I held her in my
arms, walking from the bedroom, through
the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand
surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I
held her body tightly, as if we came back
to our wedding day. But her much lighter
weight made me sad. On the last day,
when I held her in my arms I could hardly
move a step. Our son had gone to school.
She said, actually I hope you will hold me
in your arms until we are old. I held her
tightly and said, both you and I didn’t
notice that our life lacked intimacy.
I jumped out of the car swiftly without
locking the door. I was afraid any delay
would make me change my decision. I
walked upstairs. Dew opened the door. I
said to her, Sorry, Dew, I won’t divorce.
I’m serious. She looked at me, astonished.
The she touched my forehead. You got no
fever. She said. I moved her hand off my
head. Sorry, Dew, I said, I can only say
sorry to you, I won’t divorce. My marriage
life was boring probably because she and I
didn’t value the details of life, not because
we didn’t love each other anymore. Now I
understand that since I carried her into
the home, she gave birth to our child, I
am supposed to hold her until I am old.
So I have to say sorry to you. Dew
seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave
me a loud slap and then slammed the
door and burst into tears. I walked
downstairs and drove to the office. When I
passed the floral shop on the way, I
ordered a bouquet for my wife which was
her favorite. The salesgirl asked me what
to write on the card. I smiled and wrote,
“I’ll carry you out every morning until we
are old”. That evening I arrived home,
flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I
run up stairs, only to find my wife in bed
– DEAD. She had been fighting Cancer for
months and I was so busy with Dew to
even notice. She knew that she would die
soon and she wanted to save me from
whatever negative reaction from our son,
in case we push through with the divorce.
At least, in the eyes of our son… I’m a
loving husband…
“The small details of our lives are
what really matter in a
relationship. It is not the mansion,
the car, property, the money in the
bank. These create an
environment conducive for
happiness but cannot give
happiness in themselves. So, find
time to be your spouse’s friend
and do those little things for each
other that build intimacy.”
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