“Xiao Fan was the most desperate woman I’d ever seen. Despair was in
her past and in her present. Everything about her screamed despair.
Because of her despair, I loved her. Because of her despair, I was
shaken. Because of her despair, I was overwhelmed, and because of her
despair, I left her. Her despair was her beauty.
I secretly looked forward to seeing her during my weekly shift. By
day, she worked at the offices of the Youth Corps. By night, she and her
fiancé and a few friends ran a bar. Every Saturday at six p.m., we’d
work together. The two of us made a good team. By the time her shift
began, she’d be overworked already. She often arrived looking thin and
pale. Naturally concerned, I’d stare at her out of the corner of my eye.
She smiled at me. It was a tired smile.”
Notes of a Crocodile by