They met in the factory:
He’s a skilled hand at the extruders,
Wore a smile to work every day;
She’s a sharp-eyed quality inspector,
Happened to qualify his smile one day.
Every night they walked hand-in-hand
From the punch clock to their rented place,
Where they lived together for three long years,
To the envy of a lot of boys.

On one hot sunny morning,
As bright as the boy’s smile,
Having handed in their notice a month ago,
They came down to HR for me.
“We’re going to get married,”
She said, bashfully.
He nodded and explained to me,
“We’ve saved up just enough to run
A little business in my home—”
With a twinkle in his eye,
He glanced at her and added,
“Our home.”

I gave them a hearty congratulation
As I signed their paperwork.
They thanked me, happy as a lark,
And went to payroll for their dues.
I chanced upon them at lunch,
And for one last time,
Walking hand-in-hand down the road—
No, not exactly walking,
But—skipping, frisking, bouncing,
Like innocent schoolchildren,
Towards a happily-ever-after future.


It was raining the next morning,
Raining cats and dogs.
The boy came running back,
Without a trace of his smile.
“Could you call the cops for me, sir?
She’s gone. Gone!
Like the wind.
Along with all our money—”
Sobbing more heavily than the rain,
he added,
“My money.”

The girl’s name was Huan-huan,
Supposedly meant a great deal of happiness;
But the boy could see her no more,
No more than the twinkle in his eye—
Now overcast ever after.


Colin Lee


It’s raining today, which made me think of this sad story again. I never saw that riff-raff in the girl; alas, I still struggle to do so.

Well, if you guys enjoyed this, I do have a few more real-life stories up my sleeve.

9 thoughts on “Twinkle

Add yours

    1. Thanks, Jilly. There’s something about this story I can hardly get over with, even though it’s been five or six years already. Truly a relief to talk about it at last.


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