Though it wasn’t for ever—Kei and you would remain “friends”, as they say—but, at the time it felt finalenough and you fell into a deep blue funk.

At least I was feeling something. 

Better to feel depressed than to feel nothing at all, Peadar?

Yeah. After the initial depression waned, I was overcome by an emotional paralysis. It lasted right through to the end of summer and I couldn’t shake it no matter what I did. 

Or “whom”?

As you well know, my default nostrum in those days was often sought between the legs of a woman. So, naturally I called Xiuying up . . .

Your “default” girlfriend.

. . . and arranged to meet. I took Xiuying to the very same “ethnic” restaurant I had taken Kei to . . .

To exorcise the place of unpleasant memories.

. . . and the two of us talked about life and our dreams and what have you. And several drinks later, we went back to my place and rolled about the futon until the wee hours.

And as you lay naked and utterly drained next to her, she made a suggestion, which, considering that your on-again-off-again affair had lasted over three years, should not have been unexpected:






“Why don’t we get married?”


“Let’s get married.”

I’d like to ask Xiuying how you say, “Out of the frying pan, into the fire” in Chinese, but I just lie there and sigh.

“Don’t you want to marry me?”

“I wish I had married you.”




Did you really?

If the choice had been one of marrying Xiuying or marrying Haruka, then yes, I would have chosen Xiuying. 

But that wasn’t the choice then, and that wasn’t what Xiuying was asking you now.

No, it wasn’t. But, if I had told her the truth—that the very last thing in the world I wanted to do was to marry another person now or ever—why, Xiuyingwould have left me right then and there.




“I want to have your children!” she exclaims.

It’s not an entirely repulsive idea, so I say, “I’d like you to have them, too.”

“I want you to come inside me.”

I want to come inside you.”

“Make love to me.”

“I will, but let me rest a bit first.”

“Make love to me now.” She grabs my flaccid cock and starts shaking it. “Hey, Paddy! Wake up! Xǐng lái, Paddy!Xǐng lái!”




And did you?

Did I what?

Do what she asked.

No, I ended up dozing off. And, as luck would have it, the two of us overslept the following morning. Didn’t even have time for a quickie, thank God.

Ever wonder what would have happened if you had done it with Xiuying that morning?

I dread to know.

You would be the father of rather bright, but somewhat funny-looking half-Chinese boy today. You’d also be barreling your way towards a second messy divorce.

The first installment/chapter of A Woman's Hand can be found here.

A Woman's Hand and other works are available in e-book form and paperback at Amazon.