She turned to see if her Coke® bottle, still nearly full, was still present. Kids at the beach were known to snatch anything unguarded in an instant. Pleased to see her cola treat unmoved, she faced forward and looked on at the swelling ocean waves.
Mei Fan was alone at the local beach, waiting on her bestie, Chandra, to show up. Chandra was always late, which irritated Mei Fan since she prided herself on being punctual. She checked her phone, no text or missed call from Chandra. Maybe she forgot to charge her phone again? Wouldn’t be the first time.
Chandra Pamireddy and Mei Fan Bao had been friends since middle school. Their parents were friends first, mothers were pregnant at the same time. They were only children navigating their way through senior year of college, still struggling against what their parents wanted them to do, and what they needed to do.
Mei Fan’s phone rang, she grabbed hastily and answered without checking the caller ID.
“Sorry I’m running late, traffic is crazy as fuck today! Plus my mom wanted me to grab flour for roti, she called as soon as I started heading to the beach. Forgive me?”
Mei Fan sighed, “Always, I know how your mom is. That’s why you gotta start leaving earlier C!”
Chuckling on the line, Chandra said, “Yeah yeah, whatever Mei-Mei. See you in a bit.”
Mei Fan shook her head then placed her waterproof pouch wrapped phone back in the sand.
Chandra was arranged to marry some dude she only met once…six years ago. They were set to wed a month after she graduated from college. The thought of it angered Mei Fan since she knew Chandra wasn’t ready for marriage. Chandra barely cared for medical school, something her parents insisted on, despite the fact she was talented and passionate about fashion design.
The beach date wasn’t just about hanging out, it was a covert meeting spot to discuss Chandra breaking off her engagement, and Mei Fan avoiding the pressure from her parents to marry soon, despite her singledom.
Try as they might, the Baos had set their daughter up on dozens of blind dates, hoping they’d strike gold with a son-in-law of their dreams. They loved their daughter, hence why they gave her the option to choose which suitor she liked best. They listened and empathized with her notion regarding romantic endeavors: let God decide who her husband shall be. Though she wasn’t forthright in that ideology since she was barely attracted to men at all…and never told anyone outside of Chandra.
Mei Fan sipped her Coke®, as she continued waiting for her traffic bound friend. She pondered when and if she should come out of the closet, a closet decked in jade and silver.
Photo Credit: Jeff cadestin