It’s not every day I walk out of work with three heaping bouquets — two of roses, and one of carnations. But this day, where I feel as if on the brink of living out a girlhood princess dream, is not not any day. It is Friday, July 26, 2002 — my birthday, and the day after John’s last day of work.
I could never get used to how people in China look so curiously at me, as a foreigner. I was always a shy girl growing up, nervous about public speaking, worried about a public mistake that would be the talk of the school. It’s not any easier with two bouquets of flowers cradled between my arms. Everyone in the office seems to have stopped their work to get a glance at me, craning their necks from even the farthest corners, as if I am a visiting Miss America. While I flush with embarrassment, I find it hard to admit the truth — that, as anxious as I am before my coworkers, I revel in the attention on my birthday. Sometimes, even shy girls like a little attention.
But I am not as interested in their attention as John’s. Over the week, I have drifted closer to John, and he in turn has left me spellbound with his attention. Continue reading “Chapter 7: Of Lovely Bouquets and China Birthday Programs”