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Fen Yi watched the dirt run off the potatoes. The water washed it down into the drain, the same as yesterday, and innumerable days before that.
A purple light spilled out into the alleyway.
“Come inside!” said a voice from within.
Fen Yi sighed deeply. “Coming!” she said. It would be him again: the one that kept her here. She picked up the knife and held it underneath the bowl of potatoes.
She walked in through the smudged glass back door, holding the knife and bowl of wet potatoes.
The walls leading to the kitchen were decorated with paintings of flowers she had bought from the artists’ school by the city wall.
A man with grey hair and one grey, opaque eye stormed up the stairs behind Fen Yi. As she put the bowl of the potatoes down, he poked his head into the kitchen, sweating.
“再晚,” he said. （You’re late.)
“知道了,” (I know), she said, under her breath. She gripped the knife firmly as she peeled and sliced the potatoes.
“你看一个外国人了吗？” he said.
She shrugged sarcastically. Had she seen a foreigner? Of course she hadn’t.
The grey-eyed man stormed out of the kitchen. Fen Yi filled a pan with oil and tipped the cut potatoes in. They crackled joyfully inside the pan.
The grey-eyed man grabbed the pan from her hands.
“Get out front!” he yelled.
Fen Yi dropped the pan and rushed into the lobby.