Pin­ing for a Wife’s Beauty

为妻弥补美

Special Focus - - Contents - Zhu Yun 竹韵

While a man out shop­ping with his wife one day, the end­less bar­rage of sales, deals, bar­gains and close­outs that his wife dragged him to in­ves­ti­gate was be­gin­ning to wear on his soul. Right in the mid­dle of this shop- till- you- drop ex­pe­ri­ence, she stopped abruptly, lin­ger­ing at the lin­gerie counter, eye­ing the ex­quis­ite bras. To put it del­i­cately the woman was past her prime, and a makeover with cos­met­ics and glam­orous cloth­ing was nec­es­sary to turn back the clock and re­turn her for­mer youth­ful glow. Ac­tu­ally, the bra fig­ured promi­nently into her plan for pre­serv­ing her girl­ish fig­ure, but it was so ex­pen­sive that it would cost her one month’s salary.

He would nor­mally never look at any­thing like this and could not un­der­stand why women were so crazy about them.

He stood aside, ex­am­in­ing his wife who was push­ing forty. Her skin, though still smooth, had lost its del­i­cacy and elas­tic­ity and her fig­ure was def­i­nitely be­gin­ning to sag in places. Be­sides that, she had been feel­ing a bit run down and be­come a bit weath­ered and hag­gard.

He showed his dis­plea­sure with a cough while his wife pursed her lips and walked away silently with him. She shook her head and com­forted her­self with thoughts that, should she save the money that she would have spent on the bra, she could have enough to take her son to a cou­ple of meals at KFC and buy her hus­band a new ra­zor. The woman is a woman af­ter all. Though she wants to be beau­ti­ful and adorn her­self, she

still has to put her fam­ily first.

Soon, his wife was em­broiled in a bout with breast can­cer that ne­ces­si­tated the re­moval of both breasts.

Hear­ing the news, he was dumb­founded and could not imag­ine what his wife must be think­ing. Every sin­gle thought had been zapped from his mind. A ter­ri­ble sense of guilt con­sumed him.

The surgery went well, so did the re­cov­ery, but she be­came com­pletely ret­i­cent. The at­mos­phere in the home be­came some­what dreary. The change threw him into de­pres­sion. Though he tried to be down­play what had hap­pened to her, she al­ways wore a loose coat in the day­time and put on old-fash­ioned long un­der­wear when she came home. She would turn off the lights and pull the cur­tains be­fore turn­ing in for the night.

At one point her bath towel sud­denly slipped off as she was com­ing out of the bath to get her dry clothes. He was watch­ing TV at the time and, hear­ing her ex­cla­ma­tion, turned his head to see what the mat­ter was, but he turned pale and im­me­di­ately turned his head away from the sight. Mean­while she hur­ried to cover her­self with the towel.

Not long ago, he went to the lin­gerie store, timid and red­faced. The as­sis­tant asked him with a smile, “What would you like? What size?” He was tonguetied and could not speak for quite a time.

His eyes leisurely made its way over the beau­ti­ful lace, and he couldn’t help but rem­i­nisce about that day when his wife was so taken by the lovely lacey brassiere, which he pointed to and mur­mured meekly, “This one.” The as­sis­tant replied with a smile, “This style has a nice feel to it. You can try it with your hands.” The man touched it gen­tly, feel­ing it as ten­der as an elec­tric shock.

She con­tin­ued, “It also has mas­sage prop­er­ties that can pre­vent some breast dis­eases.”

The man’s eyes be­gan to well up. If he could turn time back, he would spare no ex­pense to buy her the best bra. Why didn’t he give it to her when she was still healthy?

That night, an exquisitely adorned box sat on the bed­room bed. Her heart was pound­ing as she opened it. The man stood be­hind her and whis­pered, “Try it on.”

For years he had ne­glected her beauty, and now he longed to make up for it. The true beauty rested not on wa­ter pad, not on sil­ica gel, nor on the sponge ma­te­rial, but on the awak­en­ing love be­tween them.

( From Women , June 2009. Trans­la­tion: Qing Run)

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