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Walk in the Rain
by David He

While having dinner, my wife began to smile. But I thought her smiling was even worse than weeping. I pretended not to understand it, and asked, “What made you so happy? Why are you smiling so happily?”

“Thinking of pleasant things.”

“What pleasant things?”

“I would rather not tell you,” my wife said. Then she asked, “Why are you so happy? What has made you so happy?”


My pleasure resulted from the film ticket in my pocket, which Mary gave me when we finished our work in the office that morning. I warned myself not to let the cat out of the bag, so I stopped smiling.

The smile on her face faded too.

After dinner, my wife was busy washing up and cleaning the table. I was about to help her when she asked me to sit down to rest. I said to her, “Why are you so kind today?”

“Am I kind only today?” She looked rather disappointed. “Why are you so kind today?”

“Am I not kind every day?”

“But you have never washed up before!”

After that, my wife said, “Would you please change your clothes? Let’s go for a short walk.”

“Go out for a walk? Why?”

“I don’t think we’ve been out for a long time.” My wife seemed unhappy.

“But I have something to do. I have made an appointment with my colleagues.”

I told this great lie while thinking of Mary walking around, waiting at the cinema gate.

“Whatever it may be, you have to accompany me for a walk.” she said slowly but firmly.

“But, but…” I looked at my watch. There was only half an hour before the film started.

Just then it was getting darker and darker. A wind started to blow and I knew it was going to rain.

“Do you want to have a walk even in the rain?” I said to her.

“I will have a walk even if it rains.” Her reply offered no choice.

At that moment the rain started to pour. Big drops fell on the window pane, making a happy noise. After my wife dressed up, she turned to me, saying, “Am I beautiful?”

She looked more beautiful than ever, but I said, “Just so-so.” She became unhappy. However, she took an umbrella and dragged me out.

“Is there something wrong with you? It is raining so hard that even a minute in the rain will make you wet through.”

“It doesn't matter.”

I held the umbrella while my wife hugged me, her face on my shoulder, saying, “I have not had this feeling for a long time.”

After walking only one hundred metres, we were wet through. I wanted to return, but she refused. She said, “I insist on walking on, until we arrive at the willow by the lake. There we will sit for a while.”

I looked at my watch. There was only ten minutes to go. I said, “I really have something more important to do. If I were not to go, my colleagues would be unhappy.”

“I don’t believe you. I want you to sit under the tree, if only for a few seconds.”

When we arrived at the lake, I said, pointing to a willow, “Let’s sit here for a while.”

“No, not this one!”

So we had to move to another one.

“Let’s sit under this one.”

“No, not this one either!”

“Which tree do you want to sit under?” I said impatiently.

I thought my wife had done all this on purpose, so I got a little angry. However, she was not angry at all. “I want to sit under the tree which is familiar to me.”

“You must be mad!” I could stand it no longer. I left her alone there and made my way towards the cinema.

At that very moment it stopped raining.

When I reached the cinema, Mary was nowhere to be seen. I was getting even angrier with my wife, because of Mary’s absence. But when I thought of my wife staying alone there, under the big tree, in the dark, I felt a little upset. Quickly I ran back to the tree, under which my wife was still sitting.

I tried to drag her home. She broke away from me, saying, “I want a divorce. As soon as we get divorced, you can go and live with your precious Mary. I had expected to stay with you, but you had forgotten all about our love. This very night three years ago, under this tree, you made me your wife. You promised that this day every year you would accompany me to come here and sit under the tree for a while, but…”

Something choked her so much that she could not say a single word.

Tears came into my eyes. I threw the film ticket into the lake. It floated, as if to a far away place…