No Price Too Great
By: Lee Solomon
Their journey took them to the edge of the abyss; a Chinese woman
and an American man. They gazed into the darkness below. This was
a darkness borne of fear; a fear that chilled them to the soul.
Whether bravely or foolishly, they had decided they would never
be together. Their passion and love for each other notwithstanding,
they had made that decision. The decision made, with heavy hearts
they had said a last goodbye.
And then silence.
Forty eight hours of silence.
Grief so overbearing that they could not sleep.
Too hurt to cry. Too hurt to think. Too scared to think about the
future, they suffered alone.
They had to tell the girl. That is when the tears began to fall.
The girlâ€™s tears would not stop. She cried all afternoon. Then late
at night, still sobbing, she fell into a restless sleep. Her world
fallen apart, her eyes so puffy she could no longer see. She lay
there in the darkness with a broken spirit, wet tissues clenched
in her hands.
The woman also cried now. Half a world away, the man shared their
grief and their tears. Earlier, the girl had asked to talk to the
man. The woman had said no. â€śHe is hurting too,â€ť she said. â€śWe are
all hurting. We are so sorry. We don't want to hurt you. We don't
want to hurt each other.â€ť â€śI never, ever want to go to America now,â€ť
the girl had shouted at the woman, tears streaming down her face.
The woman sat in the darkness, deep into the night, mourning their
loss. Her dark eyes had lost their sparkle. The long dark hair that
spilled in curls from her head cast a shadow across her face as
dim light from the moon crept into the room. She was a strikingly
beautiful woman. Taller and shapelier than would be expected for
a woman of her race, her appearance usually dominated when she entered
Tonight, however, the woman was overcome with emotion. Her shoulders
were slumped. Her breathing was shallow. Time stood still in her
heart, while the minutes ticked surely by in the silent room. Shortly
before dawn, with strength from somewhere deep within, the woman
stirred. â€śThis is not how we want this to end,â€ť the woman whispered
to the exhausted body of the little girl.