By Darien Hsu Gee

After the war, there was just enough room to start over. How easy it would have been for Julia to disappear, a corporeal reminder of what can happen to any modern marriage. She could vanish—an apparition, a wisp of thought, a question mark. He might doubt she ever existed at all. It’s not the money. Both Julia and the other wife work, manage their own expenses, their separate houses, their children, their desolation. They live parallel lives that cross at a single point—him. Julia accepts her fate, she does not leave. Her few friends question her judgment. Why suffer? You can take care of yourself. Go while you’re still young! Julia does not expect them to under­stand. Her life has been built this way, there is no tearing it down now. They have all been through so much, why not make it for­ever? They could stay tied together in the afterlife—three plots, three souls (make that four—don’t forget the village wife). Com­pany for eternity, one big happy family.