Long ago in the countryside of Vietnam there lived a girl named Ly. Unfortunately, she was from an unlucky family. Her family was really poor. Ly’s dad died before she was born and her mom died when she was 2 years old. They both died early because they had to work too hard and didn’t have enough food to eat. So, Ly had to live with her older brother.
As Ly grew older, a spot of pain followed her, but she can only explain through tears. She has three brothers and one sister — she is the youngest of the family. When she reached 19, all of her siblings were married. Meanwhile, her sister-in-law, Vy secretly hated her because she didn’t want Ly to live in her family and waste food and space. Ly was like another child she had to take care of.
Vy always mistreated Ly by only giving her one bowl of rice a day without any meat or healthy food. No one knew how Ly’s life really was. The smile on her face was just her frown in disguise. Ly was forced to keep her mouth shut because Vy would hit her and deny her stories. Ly’s other siblings would never believe anything could happen to her like that, because when they were around Vy, she was the most kind person in the world. If Ly and Vy were ever together alone in one room, a monster would appear out of Vy.
Every morning, Ly woke up to went to work like a nonstop working machine. She had a busy schedule everyday. After she got home from a hard day at work, she had to mop the floors, and cook meals for everyone in the house and take care of Vy’s son. Ly, sadly, had no friends because Vy kept her busy in the house. Inside, Ly had never given up hope — one day she knew she’d escape this horror and get married to a nice man and have her own family.
One time, her sister’s friend, Ty, came for a visit. When Ty first saw Ly, Ty gave her a big smile, but she looked at him as if he was crazy. For the next few years, Ty secretly loved Ly, but had no courage to ask her. So he went to her brother for permission to marry Ly. Her brother didn’t like Ty so he didn’t want Ly to marry Ty. Ly married Ty anyway; Ly believed that marrying Ty was the only way to get out of the house. When they got married, Ty treated her nicely. Thirty years later Ly had six children. Ly is so happy that her wish came true.
— Nhung Le
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