Monday, April 17, 2006

The Nail

Lydia stepped on a nail in the pedestrian tunnel under Lake Shore Drive. She felt relieved she’d chosen to wear her old flip-flops on this unseasonably warm day because the blood was streaming out and ruining the shoes while Lydia hobbled home. She entered the apartment and called to her husband who came running with the bandages and peroxide. While Max cleaned and dressed his wife’s wound, he told her a story about his father. “My father’s family was wealthy. Before the revolution, they harvested bamboo and owned property in the province of mountains and groves. After the red guards killed my great grandfather in front of the family, everything crumbled. My grandparents escaped their arranged marriage, and my father, only a boy, was left alone with the devastated mountains and groves. Vengeful folks used to make him collect wood and manure. My father had no shoes then, and his feet endured deep slashes and splinters. He used to soak his feet in the rushing river to freeze the pain. As soon as he got some shoes, he decided to go looking for his father. What else could he do?” Max finished telling the story, stroked Lydia’s hair and assured her that all would be well. "We’ll get you another new pair of sandals." He assured her. Lydia decided this was not the right time to tell her husband that she was pregnant with another man’s child.

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