Joined: 17 Mar 2006
|Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 2:10 am Post subject: A Tearing Lotus (2): Unexpected Guest
|(2) An Unexpected Guest
Shu Zhen (a decent girl) and Xi Hua (a flower in brook) were close friends and classmates in their childhood. Shun Zhen inhabited in the north side of Dong Shan Hill and Xi Hua in the Garden Lane of the west entrance of the hill. Ever since their primary school time, they always jointly went to school and back home with seldom separation, just like Binary Stars.
Shu Zhen loosed her father in her swaddling clothes. Her widow mother bitterly supported whole family by her peddling burden of vegetable grocery. Her family life was really tough.
With a mere rental of two spare rooms, Xi Hua’s family life was also a perpetual struggle against poverty.
One day in the summer of 1957, one of Xi Hua’s new lodgers, He Hua (lotus) met an unusual guest.
In that day, the same as usual, Xi Hua was as reading Russian book as firing in front of the hearth, while a gentle knocking sounded in her main gate next to the kitchen. She swiftly ran toward and opened the door, then, to her surprise, a young military officer with a white officer’s visor cap and a set of trim uniform, was closely standing in front of her. With a set of dark brown army belts crossing in front and Captain rank of golden stars shining on both shoulders, he looked really handsome and smart. Since all things happened so unexpected that made Xi Hua entirely stunned! She jumped back several paces and stood there embarrassedly.
“Excuse me, it is He Hua’s home?” the man asked politely.
“Yes, there is a He Hua here.” Xi Hua answered falteringly with her unfamiliar Mandarin just learnt from high school.
Because the town she lived in was so isolated that local residents spoke local dialect from generation to generation, hardly any one even the teachers in primary and secondly school were able to speak Mandarin. Until recent days when some Mandarin-speaking teachers outside were hired for newly founded high school teaching, the solid realm dominated by local dialect for thousands years had been broken.
Xi Hua was a quick-minded girl. She instantly employed the linguistic skills now.
Afflicted by language barrier for several days, the officer immediately felt at home when he found an understandable partner was talking to.
“My name is Huang Zhi Ming” said he, with a gorgeous smile. “ I come from Nan Chang to look for my sister, we’ve separated for several decades!” he explained even further.
“Oh, yes, do come in, please!” Xi Hua answered and quickly turned to the living room, “Sister He Hua,” she called as running “you have a guest here” she raised her voice again, but no response. Only constant noises were coming from the gap of the room door, which was generated by an old sawing machine.
She had no way, but approached to knock the door.
With a squeaky sound, the door was open to a narrow gap. Merely about one meter above the doorsill, appeared a huge head with wrinkling face and protruding eyes under thick bushy eyebrows.
With puzzling eyesight from its eyeballs almost popped out, the head waved to both Zhi Ming and Xi Hua without a little intension to open the door.
“Brother Song Qing, he is He Hua’s younger brother.” Xi Hua pointed to Zhi Ming and explained to him seriously with local dialect.
“Younger brother?” he frowned, “I never heard about it.” the head was mumbling while the door was slowly opened. Then, with age about 40, a handicapped dwarf with hunchback and pigeon breast stood in front of Zhi Ming. Xi Hua turned to him and explained the situation: “ This is your brother in law, Song Qing, a famous tailor in our vicinity.”
As saying, she led Zhi Ming to the room.
Inside the room, a woman about 30 was absorbed in sawing. Clung by a head of cloth and cotton crumbs, she looked very tired. Her flat face and close resemblance to Zhi Ming could easily be attributed to common genetic transmission.
“It is only you, my poor sister! How hard it was when I try to spot you!” Before the woman fully understood what’s happened, the young officer could hardly restrain his excitement and rushed toward his elder sister…….
(To be continued by (3) Cession to A Marriage Fortune)
Practice made every effort perfect