“He had written out of loneliness or nostalgia, Min had told herself, trying to be kind in her dismissal. All she had to do was remain silent. But a silence stoically maintained, she now understood, did not give her any dignity. The next month, the month after next, he would send another e-mail, reminding her that she was never far from the girl he remembered. In his imagination she would still be young, pretty, and malleable. Her silence would do nothing to stop his boundless imagination.
That night, when Min failed to fall asleep, she opened the man’s e-mail from the night before. In a large font that she hoped would be easy for him to read, she typed, ‘Please stop writing me.’
Then, on second thought, she erased that, and wrote, ‘Go to hell.’”
—“A Flawless Silence,” Yiyun Li