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Li’s Last Words (Caitlin’s Journal, 6)

CD Knowles 4 weeks ago

Li’s Last Words

Editor’s note: This is a developing story. Below you’ll find the sixth journal entry that Caitlin Wang, our advice columnist who went missing in mid-February, wrote after she and her husband, Dr. Li Wang (from UT’s virology lab), fled Austin. Caitlin is currently in hiding from the men she suspects of kidnapping her husband. She has given us her journal to publish in the hopes that her story will help her find him. Here’s what we’ve made public so far: Dr. Wang’s sister Mei was researching corona viruses at the Wuhan lab in China, but she disappeared under suspicious circumstances after having mailed highly classified material regarding her research to Dr. Wang here in Austin. (It was sent on an external hard drive hidden inside a key fob.) When he received news of her disappearance from his niece (who lives in China) in February, Dr. Wang packed up his lab and some supplies, and he and Caitlin set out to live off the grid in a cottage outside of Doss, TX. While there, Dr. Wang had been working in full Hazmat gear on various vials he stored in the fridge. He told Caitlin that if anything should happen to him, she must take the key fob to a researcher in Galveston named Otto Ling.


May 14, 2020

Li went out for a pack of cigarettes this morning and hasn’t returned. It’s only been two hours since he left the cottage, so most likely I’m worrying about nothing. Every so often he will take a day off from his research to give himself a little break, freshen his mind, relax his thoughts, and on those days he might go for a hike or a solitary drive around the countryside.

Don’t get me wrong. We do a lot of things together, but because we’re so tightly cramped in the cottage, it’s good to get a little time apart.

But two hours is long — longer than usual. last words

Last night we made love with light from the waning moon and hundreds of tiny stars streaming in through our porthole-shaped loft window. We don’t make love every night, or even necessarily every week, but here in the country, perhaps because he doesn’t have music as an outlet, Li has grown more passionate, kissing the back of my neck even before we climb the steps to the loft. Once we’re on that mattress, he throws his arms around me, pulls me close, removes my nightie, presses his erection against me, and then we’re in business — without even the use of Cialis. For a sixty-seven-year-old man that’s pretty damn good. And I love him so much, not only because of the ardent sex, but because of his kindness, his thoughtfulness, his intelligence. What blessings I have had in our long marriage!

We’ve been here three months now and I haven’t once gone into the tiny town of Doss with Li. Why bother if I don’t have to? According to Li, there’s nothing much there anyway — a country store where you can buy gas, cigarettes, milk, provisions, maybe one or two churches, and that’s about it. If you want clothing boutiques, cafes and good restaurants, the nearest place is Fredericksburg, nineteen miles away. Maybe Li’s driven there this morning, though I doubt it as he wants to remain inconspicuous.

What were his last words to me as he was leaving the cabin? It was about ten am and he announced he was going to the store for cigarettes, milk, some chocolate bars. “What else do we need?” he asked

We’d just had a breakfast of yogurt with berries, toast and coffee. “Maybe some creamer,” I said. “Oh, and oranges, ice cream, sliced turkey.”

“Sure thing, Kitty,” he said. And perhaps because we’d made love the night before, or because he’d made progress in his research and was taking a needed day off, or because the sun was shining and the birds were chirping in the trees and the day was beautiful, perhaps because of those things he drew me to him, pressing his hands into my bottom and kissing me deeply on the lips. I felt the softness of his tongue in my mouth and thought how lucky I was to have such a sweet husband, even though his lab stuff all over the cottage had nearly driven me crazy. “Come back quickly,” I said.

“Of course,” he said.

Of course… those were his last words.

But by now another hour has passed and he still isn’t home.


We’ll post another journal entry on Wednesday. To start at the beginning of this story, when we first announced that our advice columnist, C.D. Knowles (now confirmed to be Caitlin Wang), had gone missing, please click here. This will be an ongoing publication as we continue to sift through her journal and post the entries that explain everything.

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