Scarring Jasmine-Chapter Fifteen Letter

06/22/2024 Saturday 74-97F Rain

Wang came back home from his office in early afternoon. He walked into his study and found a letter on his table. He picked it up: It was addressed to ‘Master Wang’. He opened the envelope with a letter opener and unfolded the paper inside:

“My highly respected Master Wang: Although you don’t know who I am, I have heard much about you. To you, I am just an anonymous small person. However, today I wrote to you because I need one favor which can only be given from you.

I happened to meet your daughter-in-law Jasmine a while ago; we madly fell in love with each other. Please do forgive us--You must understand that even mandarin ducks go paired, and every butterfly wants a mate; her soul and flesh are forced to separate from mine because of her loveless marriage. 

I don’t know whether you can see her pain or not, but she deserves happiness. Your son is a cold-hearted narcissist, who is too proud to care about her. You, as a reputable man, please be so generous to release her; please let another innocent man fulfill his dream. Life is too short to be wasted; I can’t give up on my true love!

For your reference: Here I enclosed her left hand’s little fingernail which I got last night from her. Please do take all the factors into consideration. We rely our happiness on your right decision. From Peach Blossom Boss.”

Wang checked the inside of the envelop, did find a one-and-a-half-inch long fingernail. He flew into a rage. “Who put this on my table?” He held up that letter and called to the servants. 

One bowed to him: “It was me master. I found it on the ground at the gate about one hour ago. Since it was addressed to ‘Master Wang’, I put it on your table.” 

“Did you see who sent it?” 

“No master.” 

Wang thought for a few seconds, then spoke to that servant: “Go ask madam to come here!”

Qiao came. “What’s the matter, master?” She closed the door behind her while she was asking. 

“Look at this letter! It is too insulting! Go check Jasmine’s fingernail then let me know!” 

Qiao skimmed the letter, and left Wang’s study. She went up to Jasmine’s room, found her sitting by the window embroidering. Jasmine saw Qiao come in, stood up from her couch and bid good afternoon. Qiao didn’t respond but walked directly to her and grabbed her left hand to check her little finger. Its nail was gone! Qiao gave Jasmine a heavy slap across her face, “How dare you! You had a tryst with another man and gifted him your fingernail! Now he wrote a letter to your father-in-law, mocking and threatening him to free you! We feed you with our food, dress you with our clothes, aren’t these enough? You can’t please your husband, so you must find someone else for comfort? What else did he do to you last night?” 

That part of Jasmine’s face where Qiao just slapped had a searing pain. Possessed by the pain, shock, and shame, Jasmine threw herself into the couch and covered her face with her hands, crying. 

After getting Qiao’s confirmation, Wang dialed his secretary’s telephone number in the office: “Tell my son Yu, I need him to come back home right now!”

Finally, Yu arrived at Wang’s study. “Close the door!” Wang demanded, glaring at Yu. “Look at what you did!” He threw the letter to Yu, “You neglected your wife, and let others take a bite of her!” 

Yu picked up the letter, finished reading it, then stood silently at the opposite side of the table.

“Why are you standing here?! Go beat her! Find out who that man is! I will take care of the rest.” Wang gave his order. 

Yu walked to the upstairs; someone was sobbing in the room. He hesitated and went in. Jasmine saw him; without saying anything she turned her head away continuing her sob.

He came close to her, bent down, and laid his hands, which were still very cold, on Jasmine’s arms. “Don’t cry.” His voice was tender, “Tell me, do you love that man?” 

Jasmine raised her tearful eyes, choking with sobs: “I don’t know, but I am very unhappy here!” 

For the first time, Yu pressed her head to his chest, “I know how you feel. Don’t worry, I will solve the issue.” 

The sun sloped into the garden and tinted everything with a soft pink hue. The heat had gone; a pleasant breeze blew softly against Yu’s face. He sat down under the sakura tree, gazing at the evening sky.

“I don’t know, but I am very unhappy here!” Jasmine’s words kept punching him in the head. “She isn’t happy, nor am I.” Yu thought. Since the day he was taken home by force from Beijing, he had never been happy. Yang was dead; he was married; the dream of being an architect also faded away… Four years had passed; it seemed to him that his youth had expired. What was the meaning of his life?

He felt sorry for Jasmine, who was just a victim—The victim of his father’s dictatorship and the victim of his rebellion against his father. “Go beat her!” That was his father’s typical solution, short and straight. 

Was it his rebellion for him to love Yang, a man? He couldn’t give the answer. But he did have a perverted delight every time when he was in bed with Yang; such a delight he could never get from Jasmine. Perhaps, perhaps also because he felt uneasy in his marriage: He knew that his parents were watching him, trying to find out whether he had become “normal” or not. Their criterion was simple yet undeniable: As long as Jasmine wasn’t pregnant, they had the reason to doubt him; and as time went by, the scope of their doubt expanded.

“I am so tired of this whole thing. That man was right--Jasmine deserves happiness which I can’t give her. I am just a cold-hearted narcissist, too proud to care about her. I confess that I have ignored her feelings throughout our marriage, and that I even never considered her a person but just a doll. Let’s end it; let her and myself be free. Then I will leave here, to pursue my own dream.”

He got on his feet, patted the dust off his pants. 

About thirty feet away, Jasmine had been watching him behind the window from her dark room. He didn’t see her, but she was there, accompanying him.


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