A tale of city-crossed lovers
by Mark O’Halloran
Leanne Grimes was a wooden dog. According to her Chinese horoscope that is. Or at least that’s what Bin-Bin told her and he should know, being Chinese and all. Only he wasn’t Chinese, he was Korean. Not that anyone in Rialto knew that or could have cared less. Except for Leanne that is. Leanne was 16 and she loved Bin-Bin.
They were unlikely lovers it had to be admitted but there were things about him that she found irresistible. His skin for instance, so hairless smooth, felt like silk to her and his eyes held a sadness like he was thinking of the sea and he smelt like no other fella she’d ever gone with before and she wanted to hold on to him forever. And around his neck he had a gold pendent of a seahorse. ‘It brings me luck’, he said. It had brought him to Leanne.
He had come here to study but he never got the chance what with working in his uncle’s restaurant, The Willow Tree, night and day, selling chow mein and chicken balls to the drunken patrons from the flats and it was here that he met Leanne. She was a waitress part-time and he’d made her laugh because he couldn’t pronounce her name properly and had taken to calling her Yo-Yo instead on account of her bouncing up and down so much and in secret they fell in love.
And there was good reason for their secrecy. Everyone in Rialto knew Leanne’s Dad was a bastard and when he found out about their affair he did a job on Bin-Bin. ‘I don’t want no chinky chops near my daughter’ he said. ‘You touch her again I’ll fucking kill you’ and he left Bin-Bin lying there battered. Leanne wept when she saw Bin-Bin’s face all fucked and his beautiful mouth torn and he wept too to see her so upset and they knew then and there that they needed escape.
So they ran.
But the streets of the city can be an unforgiving place and they knew they could not remain undetected forever. Leanne shook with fear at every shadow and Bin-Bin held her close. ‘We can be anything you and me’ he said. ‘Together. We can be like seahorses and leave this city’. And that’s what they did. They stood by the shore under the winking towers of the power station and walked, waded, swam. Happy to be themselves, different and together. Beautiful seahorses for eternity.
Bin-Bin & Yo-Yo.
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