Burning dumplings

9 Nov

Tan walked in to the usual restaurant and greeted everyone. He is 60 years old and frequents this restaurant. He knows all the staff by name. The restaurant is located just around the corner from where he lives now. Tan said to the restaurant owner, “Larry, I’d like the usual.” “How about trying the special today?”, asked Larry. Tan agreed and sat down at his usual back table and picked at his fingers. When Larry came back, he set down a steaming plate of dumplings.

I was 30 years old with my beautiful wife and my young son. It was New Years and we were sitting in the dining table having the traditional dumplings for dinner. My wife made wonderful, delicious dumplings. Dumplings signify family union and we were happy to be celebrating New Years together. Then we heard the bombings. I yelled over the sound of the bombs, “Quickly, run to the bomb shelter!” I pushed and shoved my family then led the way outside towards the bomb shelter. I looked outside and saw neighboring houses were going up in flames and people were all running out of their burning houses. I ran outside then felt a painful blow to my head. I was disoriented for a bit and when I looked back at my house and where my family was supposed to be, all I saw was flames. A bomb has hit our home and my wife and son were not able to escape. I fell to my knees and sobbed. I don’t know how long I kneeled there.

Tan stared at his plate of dumplings and his vision blurred with his tears filled eyes. He has not had any dumplings in over 30 years.



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