Dek Poh could not shut out his wife's relentless grumbling anymore. He was tired
of hearing her launch into a tirade against him, frustrated by her
vitriolic outbursts about what a lousy
husband he was. Wai Leng was never satisfied with anything that he did. If he
brought home $4,000, she would taunt him with stories of how much her
colleagues' husbands earned. If he had bought her flowers, she would still
invariably grumble about how other people received diamonds instead. She was
impossible to please.
He decided to take a walk along the tranquil banks of
the reservoir. It was always a balm to his frazzled
nerves after an encounter with his wife. As he walked towards the bus stop, he
mulled over his life. Sometimes, he wondered at the insanity that must have
possessed him when he married Wai Leng. Perhaps, they had been happy in the
early days, but those days were definitely behind them now.
As he approached the shelter, he spotted a white bundle on the seat.
Curiosity crept in, he walked closer to take a look. To his surprise, it was a
baby all wrapped up in a rough white towel. As he reached out to touch the baby,
it suddenly stretched out to try to grab his fingers. Dek Poh was tickled. As he
laughed with happiness at the angelic face of the baby, waves of tenderness
washed over him. What a beautiful baby it was! He wondered who could have the
heart to abandon such a bundle of joy.
Suddenly, in a rare show of decisiveness, Dek Poh picked up the bundle and
strode quickly to the police post just some distance away. He reported finding
the baby and, when it was revealed that no one had come to report a missing
baby, he was asked to have temporary custody of it. Although initially sceptical,
the policeman soon gave in to Dek Poh's obvious sincerity. Somehow, Dek Poh knew
that Wai Leng would welcome this baby into their childless marriage.
True enough, she got over her initial grumblings and chastisements and
started cooing over the baby. The days with the baby in the house were the most
glorious ones in their lives. The halcyon
days of playing with and taking care of the baby somehow repaired the couple's
rocky marriage. As he watched her fussing over the baby, Dek Poh finally
remembered what he had loved so much about Wai Leng - her tenderness and
capacity for love.
Even though the baby was returned to its parents weeks later, Dek Poh and Wai
Leng knew what was missing in their lives. It was not so much having a baby, but
rather, allowing the love in them to come out and wash all the bad feelings
away. Dek Poh never had to go to the reservoir again.