Mei

ok… input time folks… This so far feels a bit hackish or.. elementary…. i dunno.. it’s been sitting in a folder doing nothing for a couple of years….  any suggestions? of course, this is not complete.. just evaluate on what there is… THANKS!

love as thou wilt,

Liz

Stepping off the plane, Mei had no idea what to expect. She had never been to her “home” country. She had never even left the relative safety of the U.S. Her whole life had been spent in what her parents called “Blessed Exile”. When her parents left Beijing on the mainland, it had been a seething city of turmoil. After the “incident” at Tiananmen Square, the newly married couple had decided to flee to the U.S. and throw their lot in with democracy. But now, Mei was alone. Six months ago, her parents were getting ready to retire to Florida (of all places, Mei thought). Although they were only in their early 50’s her parents had enjoyed success in America’s free economy. They were able to start a very lucrative antique shop in NYC. The elite of the city shopped for their household accouterments in her parent’s shop. Mei grew up hanging on her father’s every word about the antiques, thus she learned about the rich beauty and colorful history of her home country. Sadly her parents were both killed in a freak car accident. Just before Mei graduated from college, they were traveling out of state to pick up one of the last orders for their shop before selling it. On the interstate, a logging truck’s brakes malfunctioned when it hit some heavy traffic. The truck jack knifed and there was nowhere for their car to go. It hit the truck, killing both of her parents instantly. Now, six months later she was standing in the middle of Hong Kong International Airport wondering where to go from there. She had no family in Hong Kong, and her Grandma who lived on the mainland in Suzhou, a small village about an hour outside of Shanghai, had long since disowned her late mother and would never consider Mei family. “What possessed me……?” Mei breathed softly. Looking around, she found signs pointing the way to customs, immigration and baggage claim. Her eyes widened when she saw the lines stretching pretty much as far as she could see. Glumly she sighed and stepped into her place…… Last in line. A couple of hours later, Mei stepped out of the airport and hailed a cab. She felt lucky that her parents had been diligent with her language training therefore; she fluently spoke Mandarin, and quite a bit of Cantonese. At the very least she felt confident in her ability to survive in this strange city. She instructed the cab driver to head to the hotel that she had pretty much booked without a clue as to what it was like. She had booked all of her traveling plans online, so, she had no idea what to expect. Silently she prayed that the place wasn’t a dump. As she strapped into the seat she sunk down into it with a sigh. Everything seemed so strange, as if she was in a waking dream. With all that had happened in the past six months, Mei had no idea what to do next.  As the taxi swerved through the streets, she started feeling more than a little carsick and terrified for her life.  The perils of taking a cab… She made a note to discover other means of transportation int he city.

The hotel was nice. Mei thanked whatever god was up there silently that the website had not led her astray. As she was finally able to get the bellhop out of the room with a 20 dollar tip, she flopped on the soft bed. She immediately felt more relaxed. The bed was very soft with a down comforter on it. It seemed to envelope her with comfort and warmth. She hadn’t really been warm since her parent’s funeral. Nothing seemed warm in her life that day. She felt as if her whole world had turned into the North Pole. It was raining that day. She had gotten up early to try to eat a good breakfast before everything began. In her head she called it the “morbid festivities”. She couldn’t understand people’s fascination with seeing dead bodies in coffins. She had tried to have a closed casket ceremony with just family and close friends… What little there were of both. But somehow, the funeral home had talked her into having a visitation, then the next day a ceremony in a church, THEN, a little ditty at the graveside. She understood that there were other people in this world that loved her parents just as she did, but really….. It was too much to expect for her… So, she had woken up to a cold rainy day, brewed some coffee, made some weird oatmeal that somehow tasted like cake batter. By the time she had gotten out of the shower, her friend Jeanette had come over to hang out, and help her through the “morbid festivities”. “Have you had breakfast?” Jeanette asked. “Yeah” Mei replied blandly. “So, what time to we need to head out to the church?” “Probably in about 20 minutes…… I dunno Jeanie… this is all so surreal, I always just expected my parents to be there, ya know, for everything…. but now…… “Mei let out a big sigh. “I know hon, it’s weird. It sucks. I hate this for you.” She replied giving Mei a great bear hug. The hug made Mei giggle a little bit. It was the thing Jeanette was famous for, her great big bear hugs. The other thing Jeanette was famous for was knowing exactly what people needed and when they needed it…

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