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The door to the study swings open with a single obscene creak of the
hinges. Standing there is Mr. Wang's daughter, peering at him through
her rounded glasses, her hair out of her standard ponytail and hanging
down, the blank look on her face a match to the face on the computer
screen, even as the girl in the video opens her mouth to make an exclamation
that doesn't come.
Oh, Mr. Wang's daughter says. Sorry. Excuse me --
He cannot respond; his mouth has gone slack. She cannot possibly see
what he sees on the monitor, and yet the girl on the screen continues
to groan almost mournfully, the
bed squeaking in short little bursts, like mice lined up in a row.
Have you seen my father? she asks.
The VCD judders to a halt as he punches the "eject" button hard, three
times, four. He went to the airport.Did he? The left
corner of her mouth curls inward -- either a nervous tic or a telltale
sign of satisfaction.
She continues: You must be C.J. Tossed out, an idle accusation.
As if steeled by the observation, she enters the room, approaches
him, light on her feet. She wears baggy lime sweat pants, the fashion
of a rapper gone the way of sweetness and light. The pinpoint glare
of the desk lamp hovers just outside her eyes on her glasses.