Yilin Wang
"Fault Lines"

Dai Ying and the “boyfriend” she rented for four-hundred yuan per day lingered near the entrance of an ancient quadrangle courtyard in Yibin, where her grandma, Poh-Poh, still lived. Outside the courtyard gates, scarlet lanterns and crimson banners with calligraphy dangled. They always appeared around New Year’s to summon good fortune, but never brought any luck to Dai Ying. Inside, Poh-Poh must be counting the minutes until she and Cheng arrived, so they could all share the family reunion dinner. Finally, Poh-Poh would stop chiding her for being single.

She turned to Cheng. “Are you ready?” He was dressed impeccably, his shirt buttoned to the top, his tuxedo pants ironed and straight. But he was only her old high-school classmate, a partner-in-crime.