Pencil on Hahnemuhle Aquarelle mat paper 500 gsm
12” X 9”
We met in a shoe store. I was buying boots; she was the shy, pretty friend of the Chinese owner.
Rem was the wife of someone… She was his 3 rd it seems… I never got to meet the chap.
They had met in Tiananmen Square. She, a young hopeful, desperate to leave China; he an ageing playboy whose success in pairing with Caucasians was diminishing yearly.
It seems he seriously believe he was in love with her. She told me she never had been.
The problem with Yen was not poverty but mixed parentage and the Japanese part of her put her apart and left her friendless and suspect by the Chinese population. Her fear was that her future kids would face the same fate.
They married first in China, then again in Australia. He 53, she 28. We met rarely; almost secretly except we were just friends and we had nothing to hide. I never asked but I suspected she only came to see me when the tension back home was beyond acceptance. I’d hear her mousey voice asking to please can I come. I never refused, even changed my plans just to accommodate her.
Introverted, it took months before she was comfortable talking to me in more than monosyllables but we shared big smiles whenever we met.
They had had a child, a boy named Rem but the marriage was never secure. Not long after she suddenly became western and flirty and cosy huddling close on couches or in the floor. He had already strayed but he stopped hiding it since.
She dropped in this one time and I caught her eyes watching me while we sat chatting about nothing. “I know where he is.” She said suddenly. “You do not need to be embarrassed”…”I know he is sleeping around.” My eyes turned away from her and I was silent. “Why have you never made a pass at me?” She asked.
“Should I” I asked stupidly?