He vowed to make her life happy the night that he first gently held his wife’s slim body in his arms. He strove to work from a general masonry position to a team leader. He formed his own building team and later built a well-known construction company. With his newly acquired status, there were so many temptations around him, and his wife’s slim body and delicate skin faded.
Compared with the beautiful women around him, she was rustic and dreary. Her presence was only reminding him of his humble past. He thought it was time to end the marriage.
He deposited $1 million in her bank account, and bought her a fine house downtown. He wanted to give her a luxurious lifestyle to relieve his guilt. Finally, he asked for a divorce.
She sat across from him and quietly listened to his grounds for divorce. But after 20 years of marriage, he knew what she was feeling. Under the gentle appearance, her heart was breaking. He suddenly realized how cruel he was.
The moment for her to leave the house came. He let her wait until noon so he could come back from his company and help her move to her new house. Their 20-year marriage ended today.
During the whole morning, he felt restless, and had a hard time focusing on work. At noon, when he hurried back home, she was already gone. A set of house keys and the $1 million deposit book were lying on the table, as well as a letter to him.
This was first letter she had written to him during their marriage:
I am going back to our home village. All the bedding has been washed, sunned, and put on the left side of the storeroom cupboard. Do not forget to take them out when the weather becomes cold. All the shoes have been oiled. If they become worn out, you can find a shoemaker around the corner from the house. All your shirts are hanging above the closet. Your socks and belts are in the small drawer beneath the closet.
Remember to buy good rice. Go to the Baijia Supermarket, where you won’t buy bad rice.
Miss Sun comes here every week to clean the place. Remember to pay her at the end of the month. Don’t forget to give the old clothes to her; she will send them to the countryside, where her relatives will be happy to have them.
Don’t forget to take your stomach medicine. The pills taken from Hong Kong should be enough for half a year. Also, you always forget the house keys. I put one set of keys with the property management. Remember to take them if you forget again. Don’t forget to close the window in the morning. The rain will come in and wet the floor.
I made some dumplings in the kitchen. Cook and eat them when you come back.
The words she wrote were crooked and ugly, but they hit him inside, and his heart sank with pain and a sense of loss. He slowly walked into the kitchen; the wrapped dumplings were warm, and neatly placed on the board. Pieces of the last 20 years came to his mind. He remembered the happiness and joy she gave to him; he remembered his vow: I will make you happy.
He ran downstairs to his car. After half an hour, he finally found her ready to board a train to the countryside. When he saw her, he said: “Where are you going? I was tired, and didn’t even get a hot meal after work. What kind of wife are you! Come home now.” She meekly stood up and obediently walked home with him.
On his way to the train station, he was so afraid to lose her forever. He scolded himself; it was so stupid to oust his own wife. He realized that losing her was like removing his ribs and cutting out his liver, a kind of pain that he could not stand. Their lives were tightly connected together because of those 20 years.
He realized that at the wrong time and place, just meeting the right person can make everything right. Being rich is not a number in the bank account, but seeing a smile on your wife’s face. The sum of money is not important, what’s important is having someone there to share life’s daily moments. The world’s happiest word is — together.