Pining for a Wife’s Beauty
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)