Yrsa and Rima

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Our car was waiting at the highspeed-train station in Hsinchu.  We hopped in and payed the exorbitant parking fee.  It’s been a week after all.  First we drove off to get something to eat and then we stopped by at NCTU to pick up mail.  My colleagues, professors Lee and Tsai, came down to the car to say hello.  Maybe I should have put on more of a groaning act, but I really don’t feel so bad.  Not too bad for someone who just had his throat slit.

We picked up Yrsa and Rima at their kindergarten.  Their amazing teacher, Lou laoshi, and her daughter, have taken wonderful care of them for a week.  Yrsa looked worriedly at my throat, hoping, she said later, that I wouldn’t look to embarrassing to her friends.  Rima was suddenly very shy.  “Yes, those people.  I remember them.  They are my parents.”

We drove home in the car and the children talked about everything they had done: gone swimming; off to an amusement park; dinners in front of the TV; motorbike rides to school in the morning.  No, they hadn’t cried.  Yes, they had missed us, but not too much.

Going back in the car, everything was suddenly so normal, so natural, so as-it-must-be.  The past week quickly faded, like a nightmare in bright sunlight.

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