An Uncle’s Love

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Dear, dear Xiao-LiThis is one letter you will never read. Still, the story must be written down lest the memory, unexpectedly, should ever fade. I first met you, of course, when I married your aunt. You were 17, your sister Jing-fei, 19. She was the firstborn of the oldest child in the family, always a princess, spoiled by all. She was the effervescent one, always eager to please. You were the quiet one, holding something in reserve.Two years, perhaps three, after that first meeting, Jing-fei came to this country to continue her studies at UB. You remained in college at home, with plans for you to join Jing-fei when you graduated.That was when we got know each other. To be accepted by UB, you had to get an adequate score on your TOEFL exam, and you needed to submit an essay that would assure you a place. We were soon in the thick of an e-mail correspondence that started with my help with your English, and soon progressed to sharing ideas, and eventually thoughts. My heart went out to you as you confided in me. You were so fearful, so afraid of failure, expecting failure. You said nothing directly of your relationship with Jing-fei, but slowly, by hints and allusions, it became clear to me. Jing-fei, the princess of the family, who could do no wrong, dominated you. She reinforced the loneliness and rejection you felt as the second child. She poured quiet scorn on your abilities, and she owned you by convincing you that you could do nothing without her. My heart bled for you, not least because I knew the loneliness you felt, although for my own reasons. Some people, perhaps most, live on the surface, are outwardgoing and gregarious. Others of us live always in an inner world, seeing istanbul travesti and understanding things that others, it seems, cannot see. The true rare joy that we experience is when we meet that other person with whom we can share that inner life, and the secrets do not need to be told because we recognize ourselves in the other.I loved what I saw in you, and gave you as much support as I could to make up for the indifference that had been your lot since you could remember. I loved your mind, your bright intelligence. And you responded with your courage and determination.When your fears were overcome, you, as I knew you could, aced your exam, and wrote, with only limited help from me, a sparkling essay. You, too, came to UB, and you and Jing-fei took that apartment together. I knew that this would mean a resumption of the relationship and her domination of you, but although I had given you a measure of self-esteem, I knew it was not enough for you to withstand Jing-fei’s manipulation, which was, in its way, comforting in its familiarity. All seemed to go well, until one day a wholly unexpected call came from you.“Uncle Charles, would you be terribly disappointed if I dropped out?”“Xiao-Li”, I responded, “I could never be disappointed in you. What’s the matter?”“Oh, Uncle Charles, I’m so unhappy, Jing-fei is putting me in such a difficult situation.”It appeared that Jing-fei had found a boyfriend. Your problem, you said, was that Jing-fei often stayed at the boyfriend’s apartment, and when your mother called, you had to lie to cover her absence. We both knew that your mother’s typically Asian tolerance for matters sexual stopped, as it were, istanbul travestileri at the water’s edge, namely at any thought that her daughters would be other than virgins when married. It was not a trait that had been inherited, quite obviously.I knew there was more to your anguish than that. I understood that the sister who had dominated you from childhood had found a replacement. You were discarded. You had been abandoned. I went straight to the heart of the matter. I told you that this was one of the pains of growing older. Things change. We move on. I told you that this would pass, and that you would find someone, and you would not be alone.“Nobody wants me,” you said, “I have no boyfriend, and no likelihood of getting one, and I’ll grow old as a virgin.”“Rubbish,” I said. “I can tell you that if I were one of your fellow students, I couldn’t wait to get into your pants.” You giggled, for the first light moment in the conversation.“Besides,” I said, “Don’t make losing your virginity an end in itself. You know I believe that sex is wonderful, and, as they say in Texas, too much ain’t enough, but the first time is unique, and it should be special enough to remember, and not just a desperate score. You know my views. We’ve talked about it. Most people seem to think that sex, and love, is a limited resource, and you have to be careful not to use it up, whereas the truth is that its more like something that becomes more abundant with use. Love is additive.”Then you made my heart stop. That was when you said, “Uncle Charles, I love you. I want you to be my first.”I paused, not knowing what to say. What was the meaning of your words? Was I travesti istanbul to take them seriously, and respond accordingly? If I did, and if you were speaking metaphorically, not seriously, how I might shock you and forever destroy the relationship between us. On the other hand, you had with those few words made real something I had secretly ached for. Yes, oh yes, I wanted you. Wanted to make love to you, to kiss and caress your tender young body, and make you a woman. If I reacted too dismissively, and you meant those words, I might destroy the possibility of realization.“Xiao-Li,” I said, “it moves me deeply that you should even think of giving me such a gift.” We said no more.I still knew no more of how serious you might be, or whether this was just banter. Your lithe young form haunted my dreams, however. Then came that Summer, and we came up to pick you up at UB to drive together to stay at Niagara-On-The-Lake. We were taking Jing-fei and her boyfriend also. It was that that unexpectedly rocked my world in a mild way. You, your aunt and I were out walking in the village, and you aunt whispered to me, “Hold Xiao-Li’s hand. She feels left out with Jing-fei and her boyfriend.”I reached out, do you remember I wonder, and took your hand. And it was not like taking the hand of child to cross the road, but it met a response from you and I felt a jolt of intimacy and sharing. My God, how I treasured those moments, unwittingly blessed by your aunt. They fed the dream that one day we would be together in the most complete act of sharing that two human beings can experience. Did you ever realize what was constantly in my thoughts when we were together? Did you realize how I ached for you when you gave me a parting hug, and for a few moments I held your magnificent young body, and felt your firm, pert breasts against my chest? I treasured those moments.Was it to remain a fantasy forever? If so, it was a wonderful fantasy, but I could see no way of making it happen in reality.

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