out of focus. Her lips were moving ever so slightly, though I could discern no sound, and when I touched her shoulder, she shuddered, as ifawakening from a dream.
“You’re home early,” she remarked blankly, her eyes barely flutteringin my direction before fixating again on Neighbor Angel.
“I always get home this time.”I moved to kiss her, but she recoiled.
“Is everything all right?”
“I’m just feeling a bit faint. I think I’d better lie down.”
Eunji went to bed, and I began to prepare dinner for myself. I placed
a pot of water on the burner and sliced up some scallions and tofu as I
waited for it to boil. I wasn’t particularly concerned about Eunji. Ever
since the miscarriage and her sudden peace with Neighbor Angel, she
had been completely swept up in her work, painting at a manic pace,
often without rest, and I figured that all those late nights had finally
caught up with her. She would be better in the morning, after a good
night’s sleep. When the water reached a boil, I added the tofu and scal-
lions to the pot, along with some instant ramen noodles and a flavor
packet. As I waited for the noodles to soften, I glanced out the window.
All around, the lights were beginning to flicker on in the windowsof apartments almost identical to our own. These lights formed patternson the otherwise drab facades of the concrete high-rises that extendedad infinitum into the distance. In the evening, with their imperfectionscloaked by darkness, reduced to constellations of illuminated patches,the Golden River Mountain Apartments appeared almost majestic. Butin their midst, one dark spot remained: the monolithic silhouette of Angel Tower. I squinted to discern its shape against the backdrop of thedeepening night.
Then, something incredible happened. All at once, the myriad lightsof Angel Tower flashed on. I was momentarily blinded, so intense wasthe glow the tower emitted. It was as if a new sun had suddenly explodedinto existence, and the towers that surrounded it had been reduced tomere moons. I craned my neck and gazed upward, marveling at howfar Neighbor Angel extended into the velvet sky, like a bejeweled swordpiercing the heart of night.
When I went to bed, I found Eunji still wide awake.
“I thought you were sleeping,” I remarked as I undressed.
“I was waiting for you.”“It looks like they finally got the power on over at Neighbor Angel.”