Archive for July 5th, 2011

5th July
written by amber

The Bride

My grandmother tells me that when she was young, most people managed to leave something for their children and grandchildren when they died. Money, possessions, investments, things like that. Now all we inherit is the family debt and do our best all through our lives not to make it larger. But the cost of soy paste and water makes that hard.

I don’t like to listen to my grandmother. I know she doesn’t think she’s bragging, but it sure sounds like it to me. When I give her her sponge bath, she tells me that there was a deep-water tub in her house and she filled it with water every day and soaked for hours. When we watch vintage dramas together, she says that she lived that way, drinking wine, driving around in cars, even flying in airplanes. And never never get her started about the food.

Of course, now that I’m about to leave, I can think of a hundred ways I’m going to miss her, and worry that my little brother won’t take care of her as kindly as I usually manage to do while Mom and Dad are at work.

There isn’t much to say that’s good about the change about to happen in my life. I’ve seen a picture of my husband-to-be and I don’t like what I see. He’s old and fat and mean-looking. And he seems to expect that I’ll be able to be a good Chinese wife, cooking the sort of foods he likes, being respectful. He’s going to be surprised!

I can think of only two good things to say. I get to fly in an airplane, me and all the other at-least-one-quarter Chinese brides from America.

And half of our family’s debt will be wiped out.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

This is one version of a dystopian future in which China calls in the debts we’re incurring today…