Li Wang was eating lunch at the Azure Dragon when the hostess sat a woman at a table nearby. The woman had that well-traveled look of a businesswoman. She was beautiful, and looked familiar. He tried to place the face, but could see it in profile only. When she turned toward him and he saw her whole face, he noticed a mole on her right ear lobe. It looked like an earring, but she did not wear a matching one. Then he remembered.
Wang ambled over, and asked in Chinese, “Tian? Miao Tian?”
She was startled, “Do I know you?”
“I am Wang. Li Wang.”
Tian jumped out of her chair, and in English said, “I don’t believe it! You’re still alive after all these years!” She hugged him until he felt embarrassed.
Finally, he said, “Sit! I will join you.”
After Wang sat down she said, “Has it been twenty years? Use English. I need to brush up.”
“Yes! I thought you had been killed.”
“Same here. If you are busy, can we get together later?”
Wang smiled, “I am free now if you have time?”
Tian beamed, “Yes, I am free today. What have you been up to? How did you escape? Are you married?”
“Slow down! You are, as they say, a sight for sore eyes.”
“Yes, yes, I know the expression. Your English is very good. You are a sight for my tired eyes too.”
“Yes, of course. How did you escape? Do you live in the US?”
Wang poured a cup of tea, and said, “Yes, nineteen years now. After the Tiananmen protests, I left, came here, and was granted political asylum. I became a web site designer. I have a web site for expatriates. No, I am not married. Now you. I know you were arrested. What happened to you?”
“Not married? I find that hard to believe. You were the most popular guy in school. All the girls wanted to date you.”
“That was a long time ago.”
“I was attracted to you,” Tian said with a smile. “We had a sex if I remember.”
“In America, when two people have sex, they like to say that they ‘slept together’. They consider it more polite that saying they had sex or fucked.”
“Well that is strange. I don’t recall sleeping with you, but I have memories of fucking you.”
Wang laughed, “Quit teasing, and tell me what happened.”
“I was arrested. The MSS kept me for a few months, and then they let me go. By then, you and most of our friends had disappeared. I returned home and worked for a while. Now I am back at the university. I am here to recruit English teachers. I did not marry. I guess no other man could satisfy me like you did.”
“You can still lay it on rather thick,” Wang said laughing.
Wang and Tian talked for hours. Finally, Wang asked, “Where are you staying?”
“I have not made arrangements. I just flew in today. I took a taxi here.”
“Why don’t you stay at my place? That will give us more time to catch up.”
“Okay, but no fucking, just sleeping.”
They both laughed again.
Wang drove her to his modest condominium in Alexandria. Tian took a shower and freshened up. When she was finished, she asked if she could use his computer to check her e-mails and travel arrangements. He logged her in, and then took a shower. When he got out, she was waiting for him in bed. He hopped into bed with her. Tian’s breasts were small, unlike the big-breasted American girls Wang knew, but making love to her brought back fond memories. It was even better than he had remembered.
Afterwards Wang asked, “Do you remember Yang Dong?”
Tian asked in a singsong voice, “You mean Yang Dong from Shandong?”
“Yes. You do remember him!”
“Tank Man? How could I forget? It was the bravest thing I ever saw.”
“He does not want anyone to know that he was the Tank Man. He still has family in China, and he fears for their safety. We all do.”
“I doubt the MSS is interested in him. That was a long time ago.”
“He lives in Springfield. We should go see him.”
“I can’t. I have an early flight tomorrow. I will be gone for a week. When I return, perhaps.”
“How about Professor Zhou?” asked Wang.
“Our advisor? Is he here in the US too?”
“Yes. We get together often. He is a professor at the American University.”
“I would love to see the old gang. Can you give me their addresses?”
“I will have them for you when you get back.”
They talked late into the night, until jet lag over took Tian and she fell asleep in Wang’s arms. The next morning Wang drove her to the airport. She insisted that he just drop her off.
Two days later Wang was awaken by his telephone. He saw on the caller ID that it was Yang Dong. “It’s very early don’t you realize?”
“Wang, it’s me, Judy Cho.”
Wang recognized the voice of Dong’s girlfriend. “What’s up? Are you crying?”
“Something happened to Dong. I can’t tell you over the phone. I need you to come over right away. Please!”
“Okay! I’ll be right over. I’ll take a cab from the Springfield station.”