The next day, right after we said our vows, he hurried off to work. I was supposed to wake up and heat congee for my husband, but the sun hadn’t risen. That night I clutched our newlywed blankets all to myself, scared shitless of exposing my body to him. He must have been cold. I did not know where or what Jin did for a living. My mother said that it was some mining field near Nanjing.

I remembered everything. As my daughters and son prepared for Jin’s funeral the following week, I simply sat in my rocking chair. Scotch in one hand, a joint in the other. I felt paralyzed. I refused to give in to emotions. Grief? Shattered? Hurt like a thousand needles piercing through my body? No thanks. Jin did say it was life. Life was coming to get us. It was just too bad life got him first. That crappy afternoon.

As those thoughts raced through my inner nothingness, I cringed, grimaced a little even. The horrible human being I had aged into. I took a hit. Then a sip. Hands trembled.

I glanced down at my glass. Just a few ice cubes. In a little bit, they would dissolve, and everything would disappear. Tears, suddenly, welled up in eyes, blurring my farsighted vision even more. First, a soft sob. I sniffled, trying to suppress the vomit of my emotions. I screamed, but silence. I dropped my glass. The liquid stain. I buried my ugliness, my tears, my love for Jin, my regrets into my palms. Sobbing like a lost child, I simply wished, at that moment, life could take me as well. Because, at that moment, I really missed my good friend.

By Cui Xia Chen, NYU Sophomore

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