Flash Fiction #124
“That’s called breadcrumb relationship.” Lulan Says.
“What do you mean by that? My English is no good and don’t try to confuse me.” Pammy says.
“It means that somebody doesn’t really love you, but he wants to keep you in arm’s length, feeding you a little bit of breadcrumbs just to keep you interested.” Lulan says.
“Well, you are such an expert.” Aryin says without a trace of sarcasm. “By the way, what’s the difference between breadcrumb, crouton, and stuffing?”
“I don’t know. We don’t use them very often, except in making tempura.” Pammy says.
“Oh, Aryin, please forget about crouton and stuffing. I was trying to tell you that he is trying to have a breadcrumb relationship with you. Are you listening to me?” Lulan says.
Aryin is a very sweet woman but she is a little slow. She didn’t know that her husband had left her long after he had already left her. What happened was that her husband traveled to Hanoi to work on an engineering project two years ago. What was supposed to be a temporary thing ended up going on and on until now.
“In all likelihood he is not going to come back to you.” Aryin’s friends tried to tell her for two years.
“He is still paying for the property tax. I mean the house is 50% his, right? However, he said to me that he wanted to pay less than 50% of the property tax since I am the one who lives here and he doesn’t. I think it makes sense, right?” Aryin would say.
Finally, Aryin made the decision to have a separation agreement with her husband six months ago. After that Aryin went to the community church and met Jing, a lawyer who had divorced his wife five years ago but they still lived together. Somehow Aryin and Jing hooked up–Aryin has been lonely and Jing has been lonely too since he can’t afford to have his own place. Aryin thought lawyers should have good income but Jing told her that there are so many lawyers in New Jersey that he’s lucky he can make a living.
“Aryin, tell Jing that you don’t want to have a breadcrumb relationship. I mean Jing has had marital problems for years. He is an expert in breadcrumbing, I bet, just to convince himself that women are still attracted to him.” Lulan says.
“Yes, say no to breadcrumb.” Pammy says.
Aryin takes her friends advice and delivers the message, and Jing totally agrees with her. The next thing she knows, Jing moves in with Aryin.
A month later, Aryin calls up an emergency meeting and the three friends meet again. Aryin looks more worried than before,
“What am I going to do now? You told me that I should say no to breadcrumbing. I did just like what you had told me. Now this…” Aryin complains.
“What’s up? What’s going on?” Lulan asks. Aryin is never very good at descriptions. Usually one has to talk with her for quite a while from different angles before one can get the gist of what Aryin is saying.
“My husband is coming back. He sent me a message yesterday. Help!!!” Aryin says.
“Is your husband coming back for good, or just coming back for a month?” Pammy asks.
“I don’t know. He says he comes back for good, but how can I be sure? He can leave again just like last time. I can’t control his coming and going.” Aryin says.
“So much juggling in life…” Lulan says.
“I need a solution. Help…” Aryin says.