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No one goes to Grimsby unless they have to, but it's there that John meets the love of his life, a Cantonese waitress. Their steamy affair rages for six months. Unfortunately she has entered his life at the wrong time: she does not know he is married with two young children.
The fervid cries of a dream betray the affair to his wife and violent, harrowing confrontations ensue. He is forced to decide: true love or filial love? After much anguished deliberation he sacrifices his own happiness; he cannot forsake his children.
She is heartbroken; her visa expires and she returns to Hong Kong. They correspond but his wife finds her letters and ceremoniously burns them; with the letters the loss of her address. He is devastated. She is distraught that he no longer replies to her letters; they had pledged their love with eternity rings. She marries and her letters cease. The bonfire is the catalyst for divorce, but separation from his children has long term consequences: his son is estranged; his daughter endures. He feels betrayed, his sacrifice made in vain.
Over the years the loss of her love becomes unbearable. Finding her grows into an obsession; he has to tell her he never stopped loving, to explain why he ceased writing, to reunite a love they covenanted with rings.
He finds her, but too late. He contemplates death to join her. But as he pieces together the jigsaw of her life a secret is revealed: a daughter he never knew he had fathered.