金魚煙花 jinyu yanhua

[Goldfish Fireworks]

a very short story by F.<話して~!!>

This is an assignment I handed in for my Religion project. Really, it didn't have anything at all to do with God, but my teacher loved it so much that she gave me a 100% on it and is keeping it as an exemplary work example. Fythring 03:27, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

It had been days. God only knew where she was; at her sisters’, maybe. But that was absurd. He had asked them already, and they claimed they hadn’t seen her in days. It was cold there. It was frozen cold, and it was because she was gone.

He blamed himself, mostly. It was his idiotic drunkenness that had made her flee in the first place. He’d lost count of all the times she had told him to stop, and all of times that he didn’t listen. His chest ached painfully and miserably. Why did he not listen?

Idly, he recounted the past two days in his head.

On the first day, Friday, was when he came home drunk for what was possibly the thousandth time. He remembered that horrified look on her face and the idle stench of ale in his breath when he tried to kiss her. She reeled away, having only a disgusted expression. They only talked once that night, and it had more shouting rather than actual calm talking.

The second day was Saturday. He came home drunk again, though he really did not mean to. His mind was so clouded with fury at the idiots who had made him drink and would make his wife so angry again. She really was angry—enough to call him a number of unrepeatable things. His anger lashed out on her, and he took an earthenware jug and dashed it against the wall. It broke into a million blunt splinters; it was like a warning. Her face that night was cold and unresponsive. That was her warning.

And today she’d carried out that warning. By the dawn, she was not in their bed, and he assumed she had actually done what she said she’d do. Leave. She’d left.

And there he was now, spending a bitter-cold Sunday totally alone. He was sick, tired and hungover. He felt no semblance at all of any will to stand or even just to get up. It was hopeless, he decided miserably. There was absolutely nothing he could do. If he went to look for her, she would shun him and leave. But...if he didn’t...

He did not want to imagine the horrors of if he didn’t. Without any options left, he went off to their bedroom.

It smelled lightly of roses, but more of last night’s rain. It imparted a cool, mossy kind of smell that seeped through the cracks of the bamboo of their house. And with it came the cool breeze. He found their bed—simply a thick white sheet lying on the floor with another sheet on top of it. The rain did not wash away her smell. It was of lilacs; of love and of beauty. He loved her, and she knew that; but she hated the ale. That was what was stopping them from getting anywhere.

Sighing heavily, he relaxed into the sheets, still torn about his decisions. He breathed in her smell—their smell, but it was replaced by the ugly, cold stench of loneliness. He shivered; a tear slid down his eye. And when at last he went to sleep, it again began to rain.

It had been so long. But really she knew it was just three days. Three days of blind decisions, and three cold long days without him. She should have known better than to judge, but her aversion to his actions got the best of her. And so she ran away.

That was such a bad mistake, she kept telling herself. Where would she run anyway? Certainly not her jealous sisters’ home where she’d be forced to cook for the warbling busybodies. The forest wasn’t much of a better choice, and she knew that by the time she spent her second day away from home there. The forest was a tall protective giant in the daytime, but come night it was filled with strange noises and an almost solid loneliness.

She was tired of it, and so she forced herself to trudge home in the cold, grimy mud. But it was worth it. Eventually, she’d see him again. He, who was the love of her life. He, who would more than anyone understand, even if she didn’t sometimes. He—

And then a dark thought crept over her. What if he wasn’t there? What if, in his frantic depression, he had gone off and looked for her? He was not a Hui, like the rest of their small village between the land of the Hui and the land of the Han. He did not know the land...and what if he suddenly met with the edge of a cliff? She had to hurry.

Through mud she ran. She’d already lost both of her straw-woven sandals to the thick muck beneath. It left dark kisses on her, covering her in filth. The rain was no better either, lashing down on her from the heavens in its retribution for her pig-headed actions.

Hours seemed to fly by, as did the woods. How long would it be before...?

And then there he was. Sitting outside of their house, under a miserable little covering to shield him from the rain. How long had it been? Three days since she first ran away, but it suddenly became nothing. There was a bright orange flame showering sparks in front of him. Did she think he was dead? It was a humorous thought.

Nonetheless, she ran over to him and caught him by surprise. All they did was look in each others’ eyes, totally captivated and speaking volumes through that one exchange. And then, as if they mutually decided, they kissed for the first time in months. Nothing needed to be said. The goldfish firework blazing madly in between them reflected the fire going off in their hearts; and then they kissed again.

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