Continued from A new romance
Yry had met her soul mate, she was sure of it. One enormous problem lay in their path. As proud and deliriously happy as she was in this new relationship, she could not share her joy with her parents. Yuan had two strikes against him. He was employed by the company and he was Chinese. There was another wrinkle. They both wanted children. But neither of them was willing to bring children into a world that would be filled with ostracism and loneliness.
Yuan knew intimately how the world treated mixed marriages and the children born thereof. His own older sister had made the fatal mistake of falling deeply in love with a wealthy French businessman. Against her parents’ wishes she had married him. She was cast out of the family. In France her husband, and later even her child, were ostracized for their relationship to a “chink”. Eventually the marriage fell apart, leaving his sister Mai Ling dependent upon meager support checks from the French father of her child. But the father’s situation was grim also. His reputation among piers and business colleagues was ruined. He lost his job and began living in the bottle. He died, dirty and alone on a deserted street in Paris. The support checks ended, leaving Mai Ling and her child totally destitute. Yry learned that Yuan was doing everything he could to help his sister but it was apparent that her life and the life of her child would forever be a struggle.
What an ironic and bitter twist. To Yry it seemed that there was no loftier goal than to be the wife of the man you loved and to bear and raise his children and stand at his side throughout life. But that could never happen with Yuan.
Yry buried herself in Chinese lore and history. Yuan tried to teach her to speak Chinese, which she found more difficult than Portuguese and French put together. His peaceful religion answered many of the questions that Christianity had raised in her mind.
So the romance continued. Once again, Yry was involved with a man her father would disapprove of. Once again, she was keeping her whereabouts secret. Once again, the great joy of her life had to be kept locked away from the prying eyes of the world.
And once again, reality burst Yry’s dreamy bubble. Many years earlier Yuan’s parents had arranged for his marriage to a good Chinese girl as was the Chinese custom. Now they called him home to fulfill the family pledge. His education in the states was complete, he’d gained valuable experience in American commerce. It was time for his return and time for his marriage.
Despite mutual heart-break, there was no escaping this fate. If Yuan disobeyed his father, the entire family, generations past, and generations into the future, would lose face. Through her study of the culture even rebellious Yry understood why he must go. But that did not make the parting any less difficult. They both wept in despair.
From my perspective, though, I wonder about this Yuan. He had to know about his marital destiny. It seems rather loutish for him to lure an American woman into romance if he knew he could never formalize a relationship with her. Ah, well, love rarely follows a reasonable path.