Min and Ting. Two Hong Kong Protesters. (the day after a protest turned violent at the airport)

Min is a young man, Ting a young lady, both 24 and fellow students at the university. Min is lying in bed with his broken arm resting on his chest. It is a small windowless room in his parents’ small apartment. His arm was broken 3 days before in a confrontation with police at a train station. Ting has just arrived and sits in a chair at his bedside. 

Ting – How is your arm?

Min – Better. Were you at the airport yesterday?

Ting – I was.

Min – What happened?

Ting – It got out of hand.

Min – I’d been worried about that. When things get too heated people lose control.

Ting – It shouldn’t have happened.

Min – It shouldn’t have. (he gives her a long look). You’re going back?

Ting – Yes.

Min – You’re strong.

Ting – We have to stand up to them.

Min – I know. But I worry that we’ve gone too far.

Ting – I worry about it, too.

Min – But you’re still going back?

Ting (smiling) – Yes.

Min repositions his arm.

Ting – When will the cast come off?

Min – Six weeks.

Ting – Better a fractured arm than a fractured head.

Ming – I know. I raised my arm just in time. Otherwise it would’ve been my head.

Ting – And you said it wasn’t a policeman?

Min – No. He was a thug. Hitting us while the policemen looked the other way. It was like 15 of them. Just came straight at us.

Ting – You’re brave.

He smiles.

Min – I’m glad you think so. First he hit me in the ribs, took my breath away, then he aimed for my head. He was so quick. I barely had time to cover.

Ting – I’m glad it wasn’t worse.

Min – Me too.

Ting – If we don’t fight who will? Our parents are too old.

Min – They’re paying the bills.

Ting – Yes, that too.

Min smiles up at Ting.

Min – I’m glad you came to see me.

Ting – Of course. You would’ve done the same for me.

Min – I would.

She raises her open palm and they slap in high five style.

Ting – You think Xi will send in the troops?

Min – If he does it will be brutal. Tiananmen all over again. What are the people in the mainland thinking?

Ting (shrugging, pensively) – Who knows what twist Beijing is putting on the story. Their lives are so controlled. Everything so censored.

Min – Have you been?

Ting – Yes. Three times. Last time was a year ago. Went to visit a cousin in Shanghai.

Min – You could tell the difference?

Ting – Right away. Cameras everywhere. Everyone under surveillance. Suffocating. That’s how it felt to me.

Min – We’re fighting for all the Chinese, aren’t we?

Ting – Yes. Even if they don’t appreciate it.

Min looks away for a moment.

Min – They just don’t know what they’re giving up.

Ting (shakes her head) – I think they know… but they figure there’s a price to pay for their physical comforts and they pay it.

Min – What do they say about Xi changing the constitution so he can keep getting reelected until he dies?
Ting – Oh well.

Min – Will they care if Xi sends in the troops?

Ting lowers her eyes for a moment.

Ting – Maybe some.

Min – I was thinking of Prague before you came… August 1968… when the Russians invaded.

Ting – We’re doing it for us. And China did sign a treaty with the British guaranteeing our rights until 2047.

Min – Xi laughs at it. You think the world will stand by us?

Ting – Some will. The many won’t. We’re on our own. if you lose an eye, you won’t get it back, no matter who stands by you.

Min – I’m so sorry for that girl.

Ting nods slowly.

Min – Did you know her?

Ting – No. All I know is she was giving first aid to a protester on the ground.

Min runs his hand slowly over the cast in his arm.

Ting – Maybe if you’ve never known freedom it’s easier to put up with people controlling you. But if you’ve known freedom… you fight to keep it.

Min – Even if you’ve never known it, you yearn for it. It’s essential to being human.

Ting – The spirit of George Orwell is with us.

Min – Yes it is.

Ting – One day I will write too.

Min – I would love to see that.

Ting – Thank you. I have to go now.

Min – Back to the airport?

Ting – Yes.

Min – Do you have to?

She looks at him and smiles.

Ting – They’re expecting me.

Min – I wish you wouldn’t go.

Ting reaches over and caresses Min’s face.

Ting – You are sweet.

Min – The struggle is bringing us close.

Ting – It is.

Min – Will you be safe and not do anything crazy?

Ting – I will be safe… and not do anything crazy.

Min – Promise?

Ting – Promise.

She takes his hand in hers and kisses it. Then she rises and crosses to the door. She looks back at him and waves a slow goodbye.

Min – Will you call me when it’s done?

Ting – I will.

She exits.

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