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Friday, October 31, 2008

When You Divorce Me, Carry Me Out in Your Arms

On my wedding day, I carried my wife in my arms. The bridal car
stopped in front of our one-room flat. My buddies insisted that I carry her out
of the car in my arms. So I carried her into our home. She was then plump
and shy. I was a strong and happy bridegroom.

This was the scene ten years ago.

The following days were as simple as a cup of pure water: we had a
kid; I went into business and tried to make more money. When the assets were steadily increasing, the affection between us seemed to ebb. She was a civil servant. Every morning we left home together and got home almost at the same time. Our kid was studying in a boarding school.

Our marriage life seemed to be enviably happy. But the calm life was
more likely to be affected by unpredictable changes.

Dew came into my life.

It was a sunny day. I stood on a spacious balcony. Dew hugged me from
behind. My heart once again was immersed in her stream of love. This
was the apartment I bought for her.

Dew said, you are the kind of man who best draws girls' eyeballs. Her
words suddenly reminded me of my wife. When we were just married, my wife
said, Men like you, once successful, will be very attractive to girls.

Thinking of this, I became somewhat hesitant. I knew I had betrayed
my wife. But I couldn't help doing so.

I moved Dew's hands aside and said you go to select some furniture,
O.K.? I've got something to do in the company. Obviously she was unhappy,
because I had promised to do it together with her. At the moment, the idea of
divorce became clearer in my mind although it used to be something impossible to me.

However, I found it rather difficult to tell my wife about it. No
matter how mildly I mentioned it to her, she would be deeply hurt.

Honestly, she was a good wife. Every evening she was busy preparing
dinner. I was sitting in front of the TV. The dinner was ready soon. Then we
watched TV together. Or, I was lounging before the computer,
visualizing Dew's body. This was the means of my entertainment.

One day I said to her in a slightly joking way, suppose we divorce,
what will you do? She stared at me for a few seconds without a word.
Apparently she believed that divorce was something too far away from her. I
couldn't imagine how she would react once she got to know I was serious.

When my wife went to my office, Dew had just stepped out. Almost all
the staff looked at my wife with a sympathetic eye and tried to hide
something while talking to her. She seemed to have got some hint. She gently
smiled at my subordinates. But I read some hurt in her eyes. Once again, Dew said to me, He Ning, divorce her, O.K.? Then we live together. I nodded. I knew I could not hesitate any more.

When my wife served the last dish, I held her hand. I've got
something to tell you, I said. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the
hurt in her eyes. Suddenly I didn't know how to open my mouth. But I had
to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the serious
topic calmly.

She didn't seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me
softly, why? I'm serious. I avoided her question. This so-called answer made
her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a

That night, we didn't talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she
wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly
give her a satisfactory answer, because my heart had gone to Dew.

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which
stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company. She
glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. I felt a pain in my heart. The
woman who had been living ten years with me would become a stranger one
day. But I could not take back what I had said.

Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had
expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of
divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and

Late that night, I came back home after entertaining my clients. I
saw her writing something at the table. I fall asleep fast. When I woke up, I
found she was still there. I turned over and was asleep again.

She brought up her divorce conditions: she didn't want anything from
me, but I was supposed to give her one month s time before divorce, and
in the month's time we must live as normal a life as possible. Her reason
was simple: our son would finish his summer vacation a month later and
she didn't want him to see our marriage was broken.

She passed me the agreement she drafted, and then asked me, He Ning,
do you still remember how I entered our bridal room on the wedding day? This
question suddenly brought back all those wonderful memories to me. I
nodded and said, I remember. You carried me in your arms, she continued, so,
I have a requirement, that is, you carry me out in your arms on the day
when we divorce. From now to the end of this month, you must carry me out
from the bedroom to the door every morning.

I accepted with a smile. I knew she missed those sweet days and
wished to end her marriage romantically.

I told Dew about my wife s divorce conditions. She laughed loudly and
thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she does, she has to
face the result of divorce, she said scornfully. Her words more or less made
me feel uncomfortable.

My wife and I hadn't had any body contact since my divorce intention
was explicitly expressed. We even treated each other as a stranger. So
when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son
clapped behind us, daddy is holding mummy in his arms. His words brought me a
sense of pain. >From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I
walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said
softly, Let us start from today, don't tell our son. I nodded, feeling
somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for a bus, I
drove to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on
my chest. We were so close that I could smell the fragrance of her
blouse. I realized that I hadn't looked at this intimate woman carefully for a
long time. I found she was not young any more. There were some fine
wrinkles on her face.

On the third day, she whispered to me, the outside garden is being
demolished. Be careful when you pass there.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I seemed to feel that we
were still an intimate couple and I was holding my sweetheart in my arms.
The visualization of Dew became vague.
On the fifth and sixth day, she kept reminding me something, such as,
where she put the ironed shirts, I should be careful while cooking, etc. I
nodded. The sense of intimacy was even stronger. I didn't tell Dew
about this.

I felt it was easier to carry her. Perhaps the everyday workout made
me stronger. I said to her, It seems not difficult to carry you now. She
was picking her dresses. I was waiting to carry her out. She tried quite
a few but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses
have grown bigger. I smiled. But I suddenly realized that it was because
she was thinner that I could carry her more easily, not because I was
stronger. I knew she had buried all the bitterness in her heart. Again, I felt a

Our son came in at the moment. Dad, it's time to carry mum out. He
said. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had been an essential
part of his life. She gestured our son to come closer and hugged him
tightly. I turned my face because I was afraid I would change my mind at the
last minute. I held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the
sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and
naturally. I held her body tightly, as if we came back to our wedding
day. But her much lighter weight made me sad.

On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a
step. Our son had gone to school. She said, actually I hope you will hold me in
your arms until we are old.

I held her tightly and said, both you and I didn't notice that our
life lacked intimacy.

I jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was
afraid any delay would make me change my decision. I walked upstairs. Dew opened
the door. I said to her, Sorry, Dew, I won't divorce. I'm serious.

She looked at me, astonished. The she touched my forehead. You got no
fever. She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Dew, I said, I
can only say sorry to you, I won't divorce. My marriage life was boring
probably because she and I didn't value the details of life, not
because we didn't love each other any more. Now I understand that since I
carried her into the home, she gave birth to our child, I am supposed to hold her
I am old. So I have to say sorry to you.
Dew seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then
slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove to the
When I passed the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet for my
wife which was her favorite. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the
card. I smiled and wrote, I'll carry you out every morning until we are old.