A Single Wife
“I rose to his bait.” Judy
said, turning her face to the window.
“Really? You think so?” I
murmured, but couldn’t find a word to comfort her.
We sat in a Starbucks at
Aberdeen Center, the biggest Chinese shopping mall in Vancouver. Customers
came in and out, talking and laughing. Most of them spoke Chinese. I
enjoyed the smell of coffee and the familiar sound of the language.
I had known Judy for more than
ten years. She used to be the most beautiful girl at our university, but
now she was like a flower after the rain.
Outside, it was still raining.
The radio said it was the 29th rainy day in January, a new record. People
called Vancouver the capital of rain; Chinese people called Vancouver the
capital of unhappy housewives because so many women, like Judy, lived here
with their children but without their husbands.
Judy had been a news reporter
in China, but now she had become a typical unhappy housewife. Five years
ago, she immigrated to Canada with her two daughters but her husband
didn’t come with them. He said that when he earned more money he would
“I didn’t want to immigrate.
It was him. He persuaded me to immigrate. He said it would be good for our
daughters. He promised me he would come as soon as possible!” Her eyes
Actually, I could imagine what
had happened. Her husband, Jiang, with a well-proportioned body and a pair
of especially intense big eyes, was an owner of a big factory, and had
become the target of many pretty girls.
“Maybe he is busy,” I lied.
“Busy with what? His lovers?
Until now I hadn't realized that he'd set me up! He deliberately sends me
to Canada. I am so fed up! I hate him!” She tried her best to stop the
He hadn’t come to see them for
a long time. Even I didn’t believe he had no time.
“Why didn't you leave him
earlier if he doesn’t love you any more? You are only 32 years old.
Everything could restart, right?”
I divorced my husband recently
because I found he had been with other women.
“We are different, Lucy,
although we are same age. You have a job, no child, and your English is
better than mine. I need his money to support the house, the car, and our
“Well, do you want to go back
to China?” I asked.
“Yes, I would prefer to go
back, but my children don’t want to, they love it here. What can I do?
I’ll have to let things slide.” She gazed dreamily into the distance
through the window, muttering to herself.
Gray, everything looked gray
in the rain.
“Stay or leave?”
It is not only Judy’s
question, but also many Chinese newcomers’.
“Di-Di, Di-Di.” Her cell phone
sounded. She quickly picked it up and looked at the new message.
“Sorry, Lucy, I've got to go.
My friend is waiting for me.” She looked down at the floor.
“That’s o.k. Go ahead. Have a
good time,” I said.
“Why did she appear coy?” I
wondered, “Does she have a new boyfriend?”