tagIllustratedZhi and On

Zhi and On


'Good morning, my love,' On wrote in the simplified Chinese hanzi that would make his feelings a mystery to the prying eyes of his Jamaican supervisors. He was miserable, and it was only the weekly letters to his beloved fiancée, still awaiting his return in China, that kept him going through the separations that his job as a construction worker forced on them.

'How is my Zhi this beautiful day?' he continued. If it killed him, he was not going to worry Zhi with learning of his unhappiness in being separated from her.

'I'm up, finally. This is now two weekends in a row that I've slept so late. It was nearly 6 o'clock when I awakened this morning! The birds were already chirping brightly. I dreamed and dreamed and dreamed of you by my side. These crisp Jamaican mornings make me want to snuggle under the covers with only my head poking out, and watch the bright tropical sun hit the tree tops. It is amazing that we are so close to the equator, and it can be so cold here sometimes. I suppose that it is because it is a little island. They feel the breezes of the Caribbean Sea wherever they are. I wish that you could see it with me. It is very pretty here; a different sort of beauty from what we know in China. They don't get much cold weather for long here. In January and February it is the worst. I remember what it was like last year and it feels that way again. When I was a child in Beijing I enjoyed the cold, but I suppose that I am older now, and this exposure to foreign ways has left me changed a little. I now enjoy being curled up next to a good woman like you.'

On paused again and contemplated how Zhi might view his last statement. He decided to explain himself without seeming to do so lest Zhi feel that he had entertained amorous thoughts about other women.

'You asked about my supervisor,' he continued. 'She was "over" twice this last week. She cooked Jamaican food for us one time and we all ate out in New Kingston on the other occasion. Their food is very spicy! I am not sure that you would like it but I do. We only get off on Sundays when they allow us all to go to see some of the sites of Kingston. Three of the others and I walked into the public garden near where we live, but some of the others went into the home of one of the families nearby. It is very beautiful. The gardener is very skilled in how he has tended for this garden. I will send some photographs for you, my Love.

My darling, I miss you, I need to be with you. I want to sniff your panties. It is something that the Jamaican men tell me that men her do sometimes. And I want to sniff your pussy, too!'

On paused, and considered beginning the letter again. He could not believe that he had written the most secret thoughts of his mind. The letter might be private from the Jamaicans, but his Chinese supervisors could certainly understand what was being said if they cared to have a look.

On rested his head on the back of his chair and closed his eyes. He remembered it all and a slight smile played across his lips. He had seen a man sniffing a woman's panties on television late one night and it had aroused him greatly. He was surprised at this, and had hidden his erection, and laughed at the man along with everyone else in the room who had been watching the movie; but that night he had dreamed of sniffing Zhi's panties and had brought himself to a soundless orgasm by nimbly stroking his penis, and imagining her aroma. It became a habit of his after that night, and he had even stolen the purple-coloured lacy boy panties of a woman who was visiting one of the men on the site so that he had something tangible to use while he waited for his gift from his beloved.

'Are you shocked my darling?' he continued after much thought. Surely the woman would expect to see some change in him having lived in the West for so long. Everyone knew how sensual Jamaican women were. Perhaps Zhi would appreciate it if he tried to learn some more so that he could teach her when they got married. He would have to find a way to ask her if that was what she wanted.

'Have I changed so much in the months that we have been apart? Although before coming here I would not have been so bold as to tell you this, I have to agree with my Jamaican colleagues about this; a woman's aroma is elusive and yet heavenly to the man who loves her. I would want you to masturbate wearing your panties. Then wait for a while. With your legs closed. In a few minutes you'd join me on the bed and remove your panties from under your skirt. Give them to me so I can sniff them and then I would keep them with me all day as a reminder of you. Would you do that for me, my Love? Would you do that, and send your little purple, lace boy panties for your poor On who misses you?

Our friends would be astounded if they knew what we would get up to if I were there with you, my Love! They might think of you as my slave. I would prefer to think of it as your way of expressing the great love that you feel for me. Your scent is also on the pillows, the sheets, the towels, in my mind. Your scent is part of you, my dear. I love it. I miss it. I am your slave. I need to see you.'

On paused again and counted over the number of times that he had told Zhi that he missed her. He decided that he had not overdone it. He told himself that had only spoken the truth, and that she ought to know that she was being held in high esteem.

'Zhi, my great wife, my treasure, 100,000 kisses to you. My lips are numb, my Love. You've worn me out, in my mind, my dear. I'm dead. I'm done. I need my rest. You've kissed me into submission, wicked woman! Do it again, please! Hug me, too, Zhi. Let me feel your arms around me, your lips on mine. I need your lips, your tongue alive in my mouth. Let me feel your warmth, my beautiful flower. Your smoothness entices me; your body has enslaved mine. Let me smell you all day long. Let me hold you all night long. I will return to you soon, my Love.

- Your Loving On'

It was a letter designed to comfort his wife-to-be, to remind her that he loved her and that he thought of her longingly and constantly. It was the sort of letter that he wrote home every week despite never receiving one in return. The lack of correspondence from home, though depressing, was not surprising. Zhi had sent a quick e-mail or two when he had first come to the island, but he had heard gossip about her communication among his fellow construction workers and taken the warning that their communication was not as private as it ought to have been; so he had begun writing the letters instead several months ago.

On had told Zhi not to waste their savings; the money that he sent home every three months to her, telling her to bank it, so that when he returned they would be able to buy a house of their own to set up a home for themselves. He loved his parents, and ever the dutiful son, he had planned to settle near them, but he wanted to have a roof over his head that belonged to him and Zhi. He would not waste his money either and so his only indulgence was to send his beloved a weekly letter. He eschewed the lure of the sexy Jamaican women who visited the construction site every Friday to help the men to find ways to spend their hard-earned wages. Several of his friends would be leaving children behind on the island when they moved on to their next job.

On had decided that enough, was enough though! He would not continue to St. Vincent and the Grenadines or wherever it was in the Caribbean that they were going next, with the company. He was going to return to China at the end of his contract here in Jamaica and marry Zhi. A construction worker, he had imagined himself actually doing the building of their home with his own hands when he returned to China. He would eventually father a son with her, he hoped, but if the child were a girl he promised himself that he would be very happy too. He just wanted to go home!


It was a surprise, a big one, when On first heard the rumours. The site had expanded beyond the terms of the original contract, and so the company had taken on new workers; people from On's village on the outskirts of Beijing, people who knew his family and who knew Zhi.

These people had suggested that Zhi had misbehaved! They suggested that she was little more than a prostitute. On could not believe it at all, and so he did not even bother to make inquiries, or to ask her why anyone would say such things. He continued to write to her as if nothing was amiss.

It was only when he decided to call her to greet her on her birthday, in April, six weeks after he first heard the rumours, that he discovered that it was all true. Her father informed him, sullenly, that Zhi was no longer living in his home, since she had brought great dishonour to the family and had married an unsuitable man against the family's wishes. The man was rich and the son of an even more famous member of the governing party, but he was not On!

And suddenly, it was no longer springtime. In On's heart it was as deep a darkness as is the night, after even the stray dogs have gone to sleep. In his head was a searing confusion that threatened to cause him to explode!

Later, when On took a running leap off the roof of the 30-storey building that his company had just completed for the Jamaican Government his shocked colleagues were not able to say that they had seen the signs of insanity. The only unusual thing about On was his penchant to write long, handwritten letters to an imaginary fiancée from his village. Some had thought that he was writing a novel, others a play. The girl on whom the script had been based had been real enough; she was a television personality in China, the daughter of a high-ranking village official, but his relationship with her had been imagined. She had recently married the son of a wealthy Chinese entrepreneur and had moved away with her husband to one of the posh residential areas in Beijing. No one had taken it seriously when he wrote to this woman since it was not unusual that people created elaborate fantasy lives about the people at home to help them to endure the long months of separation from family and friends. On had never been known to actually post any of these letters; they were all found in his locker, along with his scrapbook of photographs and magazine clippings of her, after his unfortunate accident.

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