“I must tell her that I love her.”
“Why the urgency?” his sister asked.
“I’m leaving for Beijing tomorrow and I want to know if I have a reason to stay.”
“So, this confession of love is triggered by time,” his brother-in-law concluded.
His sister moved away from the window and went and stood beside the fireplace. “Well, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but you need to know that your love for her isn’t reciprocated. I happen to know that she’s still in love with her ex and plans to marry him. So, you see, you have no reason to stay.”
He looked as if someone had punched him in the stomach. It took several minutes for him to ask, “Are you sure?”
“Of course, I’m sure. I heard it straight from the horse’s mouth.”
He rose from the chair, his expression pained. “Thanks for telling me.”
“Where are you going?” she asked.
“Home to pack. There’s no reason for me to stay now.”
She went over to him and hugged him. “I’m sorry but it’s for the best.”
He didn’t answer.
“Goodbye,” she said. “Take care of yourself.”
“Goodbye, buddy. Have a safe trip back to Beijing.”
“Thank you, Clancy.”
“I’m sorry things didn’t work out for you.”
They watched him leave.
“Why did you lie to him?”
She shrugged. “It was for his own good.”
“How could telling him that the woman he loves is marrying her ex possibly be for his own good?”
“He’s better off marrying someone else.”
“You mean a Chinese girl.”
“Yes. What’s wrong with wanting him to marry someone of his own culture, background, race?”
“What about me? I’m not Chinese but you married me.”
“Well, you’re different.”
“You mean because I’m White?”
She didn’t answer.
He grabbed the phone.
“What are you doing?” she demanded.
“I’m calling him.”
“He’s my brother. I want what’s best for him and she isn’t it.”
“It isn’t for you to decide. You married whom you wanted. He has the right to do the same.”
She held her peace.