A United Front

Bruce stood there, waiting for Elyse. After his brother-in-law Clancy had called him to tell him that Lisa had lied to him about her, he had called Elyse right away and asked her to meet him today. He was hurt and upset that Lisa had lied to him. She had lied so convincingly that he believed her when she told him that Elyse didn’t love him because she was still in love with her ex.

Devastated, he had made up his mind to leave New York and return to Beijing because he believed he had no reason to stay. And Lisa had the gall to say that it was for the best. How could she had done that to him–her own brother? Didn’t she care about his feelings, how her lie would hurt him?

Thank God for Clancy who called and set things straight. No doubt Lisa objected and tried to stop him but Clancy was a decent man and couldn’t sit back and allow her to ruin her brother’s life. He believed that he, Bruce was entitled to the same kind of happiness she was enjoying. She was married to a man who wasn’t Asian so why should she object to Bruce being with a woman who wasn’t Asian? Shouldn’t his happiness be all that mattered to her?

It would take a very long time for him to forget what she did. He would forgive her but not forget and their relationship wouldn’t be the same. Her dislike and prejudice against Elyse had blinded her to everything else, including how it would affect him and the close relationship they had since they were children.

His mind was brought back to the present when he saw Elyse. He walked over to her, his heart pounding and his eyes eagerly running over her. “Thanks for meeting me,” he said. “It’s so good to see you.”

“I got your message. I should be very upset with you, you know.”

“Why?” he asked, his expression guarded.

“You actually believed the lie your sister told you about me. You know she doesn’t like me and the last thing she wants is for us to be together.”

“I’m sorry. I guess I still have trouble believing that you could have feelings for me.”

“Why?” she asked, coming closer. “Why do you have trouble believing that I could have feelings for you?”

“I’m not a handsome man and I’m Asian. You could be with a man from your own background and–“

“I don’t want to be with any other man,” she interrupted him. “I want to be with you.”

“And I want to be with you.”

“So, what’s stopping us from being together?”

“I was planning to go back to Beijing.”

“Beijing? Why?”

“I wasn’t sure about how things were between us.”

“So, you were just going to leave without saying goodbye or anything?”

“No, I was going to come and see you to find out if I had reason to stay.”

“So, why didn’t you?”

“I had intended to but then my sister told me that you were still in love with your ex.”

“And you believed her. If her husband hadn’t called you and told you that it was all a lie, you would have continued to believe it and fly off to Beijing without as much as a goodbye to me. Bruce, I’m very upset with you right now.”

He went up to her, his expression tense. “I don’t blame you for being upset,” he said regretfully. “I hope that you will be able to forgive me.”

“Now that you know the truth, what are you going to do?”

“Do I have reason to stay?”

“What do you think?”

“I’m hoping with all my heart that I do because I love you so much. I can’t bear the thought of being separated from you. I don’t want to return to Beijing. I want to stay here if you and I can be together.”

She put her arms around his waist and hugged him tightly. “I want you to stay,” she said.

He held her snugly against him, his head resting on top of hers and his eyes closed. She felt so good in his arms that he never wanted to let go. After several minutes, he drew back to gaze down into her face. “I’m sorry that I let my sister come between us. It will never happen again. It doesn’t matter how she feels about you. What matters is that I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you if you’ll have me.”

“Of course, I’ll have you. I love you too. We will face opposition to our relationship but as long as we stick together, we’ll be fine. We will be able to weather the turbulent tensions and stinging images of intolerance from people we know and from strangers.”

He was encouraged by her words. “And we have God on our side,” he said.

She nodded. “Yes, we do.”

They drew apart and taking her by the hand they walked into the bright sunshine, a united front.

The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? – Psalm 118:6

This story is the sequel and conclusion to Not Your Decision.

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