by Anna Chu
I scrutinized over the lines on my palm. Kids my age spoke of a tale where an M on your palm meant you will marry in your life. I didn’t have one. Dad wrote letters to mom after he moved to America. Mom biked to her grandparents’ house every Sunday and waited for dad’s call. The M on their palms, the red string of fate, and the idea of falling in love and staying in love. I screamed with my mouth closed. Riding bikes and falling down. Scratched up knees and banged up elbows. White dresses and white shoes float down the aisle, the priest blessing us one by one. Pointed pink toes and the pitter-patter of tap shoes in first position, second position, third position. Math tests, english tests, science tests, history tests— memorizing information to spit it out on a multiple choice test. Throat dries talking in class. Thoughts race trying to say something, to say anything. Skates on glittering ice, crashing into walls with Lulu. My parents asked me why I don’t want to do anything anymore. I giggle about Charlie to my friend over the phone. White dresses, soap flowers, and fake candles, dancing down the aisle on Christmas Eve. Dalton’s baby hairs tickle my lips when I kiss her head. Dancing in the kitchen to Love Song with my first love. From first communion, reconciliation, confirmation, piano recitals, weddings as a flower girl, college graduation, white dresses fill my closet. I look over my hands. My parents tell me not to worry. I should wash the dishes, do the laundry, clean the house instead — fate was not real. If I want to marry then I will. A glimmering white dress sweeps down the aisle.
Anna Chu is an assistant, editor, and writer, currently working on her novel. She has published her short stories in online journals, and her work has primarily focused on Asian American voices. Follow her on IG @achu_172 to find her website.