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d when she met Carson Gueye, the first time her mother allowed her to go the market alone, and love blossomed since then, though they knew it was doomed love. Carson was a market worker. He did anything he could for people inside it, like carrying boxes and cleaning stalls. He was an orphan, but an old man, Chan Mo-wan, took him in. In the market, the noise and nauseating odors of men and butchered animals that Shiniang used to hate were gone. Instead, she saw human life and freedom. More than that, she saw Carson. He was sixteen, but already he hovered over others with his 5’11 height and large frame. Shiniang blushed, for he caught her staring at him. Shiniang ran, or rather, stumbled away, nearly falling on women on the floor selling dried fish. She dared look back, and Carson was still there, with a smile on his dark brown eyes. Shiniang was about to go home, hardly able to carry what she bought, when Carson helped her. Their arms brushed and their eyes met. What they saw inside each other’s eyes married their souls. Afterwards, Shiniang and Carson found ways to be together. Young love was not assuring, however. Shiniang once confided to Carson that her cousin, Li-Wang, committed suicide to avoid arranged marriage. It was not new news for many young women killed themselves to oppose arranged marriages (Man 123). Carson asked Shiniang to never do the same thing. Shiniang shook her head: “I’d rather die than marry a stranger.” Carson kissed Shiniang for the first time on the lips. Their love was doomed, but loyal nonetheless.
Shiniang raked her mind, trying to find a solution to her problem, until one story gave her a fitting solution. Uncle Chow Li-Bao was angry when he came to their house years ago. His daughter, Hsien-Hsien, was supposed to be married to a rich trader, when her lover kidnapped her. Marriage by kidnapping was looked down in their community, but it was effective (Zhongyi 58). Risking her own life, Shiniang escaped and found Carson.
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