|Lisa Zhang Wharton|
I write with Lisa Zhang Wharton at Fantasy Island Book Publishing. Take a careful note of her name, because such a talented writer won't stay unknown for long. She is the author of Last Kiss in Tiananman Square, a story of doomed love before a tragic, historical event in China.
She is also the author of many short stories (You can see more here and here) and this one captures the fire of romance, just in time for Valentine's Day.
|Last Kiss in Tiananmen Square|
The fire starts shortly after the dawn. The black smoke is blowing over the Mississippi from the boathouse, hovering over the river. Red flames are shooting up like vicious devils to declare their power as the precious wooden boats burn into ashes.
Riding my bicycle along the river, the view of the boathouse burning rekindles the flame in my heart. The rowing season is over. So is my little interlude with Ray. Now the boathouse is engulfed in flames. The place that was filled with my beautiful moments with Ray is about to become just debris and cinders. Looking at the black smoke in the distance, I could not ignore the lingering heat in my heart. Is that what I am seeing in the distance, the still-smoldering fire in my heart? Those long-ignored smoldering embers, nearly forgotten, have enkindled a renewed fiery passion.. Through the smoke, past the blackened wooden A frame, I can still feel Ray and I having our wild kisses. In a dark corner of that boathouse, when everyone else was out rowing on the river, we had our very private time together.. As I watch the smoke and the flames licking the sky, I can feel him rubbing my hair. …The excitement has returned, but only for a brief second, as our special place burned in the distance.
“The river is beautiful,” said Ray, woke me up from my deep thinking.
“I thought you lived on the water.”
“Yes. I do. But lakes and rivers are very different. I never really appreciated that until now. OK! It’s different, too, in a motorboat. You’re usually just watching for traffic. On the river you see the bank, the trees, the houses and all the reflections.. Gee, I’m even starting to appreciate nature.”
“So write a poem for me,” I was challenging him, which was always fun for me.
“Hey, don’t push the envelope. Keep trying. Maybe after ten years, you will be able to get a few lines out of me.”
Then he turned around. “By the way, I will be on a business trip next week. I wouldn’t be able to take lessons for a week.”
Looking at his eyes, his two small eyes were glowing like a river flowing through them.
I stepped over and hugged him.
“I will miss you.” Words slipped out of my mouth.
With the stars as witnesses, the Milky Way and all the rest of world, his passionate kisses made me feel otherworldly. When was the last time I had such experience? I did not remember.
He held my face with his big, slightly rough hands. His face was glowing under the stars and the reflections of the streetlamps..
“Meihua, you know. What we have just done could damage both of our reputations and could be potentially dangerous.”
Silence. A cold breeze made me shiver.
“But it is worth it with you”, as he showered more kisses on me. I felt so tiny and cozy between his muscular arms.