In the Four Months Since My Uncle Went Missing
Winter has arrived, it’s much colder now. November 10: it will have been four months since my uncle was forcibly disappeared. During this time, his lawyer went to Tianjin three times to apply to meet him but the public security departments twice made the decision to deny a meeting on the grounds that my uncle’s case is one of “suspected incitement to subvert state power.” As far as we ordinary people are concerned, this charge is much too grand! How would my uncle have such great ability? He only worked for a few months as a lawyer trainee and was busy all the time doing what he needed to do to in preparation for entering the profession: professional training, case file organizing, in person interviews, etc. He was so busy that he only took quick breaks to be with his family, and couldn’t even attend to the disadvantaged groups that he most wanted to help. So, out of the blue, to be charged with this crime—this is simply a fantasy story, totally baseless!!! And when my family went to Tianjin to give my uncle some warm clothing, they also met with all kinds of obstacles put out by the people handling the case, and there has been no response to letters that we sent my uncle. This made us even more anxious and distressed. I think in our home, we are getting the most profound understanding and experience of the phrase: “a day drags like a year.”
Our whole family spends all day worrying not only about whether or not our missing uncle has enough to eat and clothing to keep warm, but also if he will be subjected to torture for extracting a confession from him. We also worry about my aged grandmother; she seems to be in a daze, and often stares blankly at my uncle’s books. Recently, she constantly says she dreams about meeting my uncle—and that she sees that he has lost a lot of weight, his face is sallow, and he sits curled up in a corner from the cold, etc. . . . And she would start wailing as she talks. But I can’t find any words to comfort this old lady—who worries daily and misses her son. For her, color and energy have drained from everything when she’s not able to see her son. When will this cold winter end?
During this time my cousin grew up and became much more mature. At his age, he should care only about playing. But he is no longer naughty. After he finishes his homework and gets through reviewing his textbooks, he likes to lie on the balcony and watch the road my uncle used to take to come home. My poor cousin never says that he misses his Dad or wants to find him—in case my aunt would worry about him. Also, he continuously comforts his Mom by saying: “Dad will be fine. How could a person as good as Dad do anything bad? I don’t believe it.” But he’s always looking outside, and secretly cries. One time, the school assigned a composition entitled “Father,” my cousin wrote and wrote but finally couldn’t control himself and burst out crying. Uncle, you’ve never left him for such a long time before! Why does this carefree youngster need to bear this burden that he shouldn’t bear? Uncle, come back soon, we need you! In this time of widespread advocacy to rule the country in accordance with the law I believe you can definitely be cleared of this unjust accusation!