C-1 The Laundry Lady(2)
“Meow!” A cute little kitten came to the kitchen door. It woke Yu Wen up from her day dreaming, and put her back to the reality.
Big tear drops dropped to her hands. Yu Wen shook her head, trying to shake off what was in her mind. But tears said “No!” kept on running down to her cheeks and wet her blouse.
Yu Wen resolutely wiped off her tears and kept her chin up, looking out the windows with her red eyes,
“What am I going to do next?” Yu Wen asked herself the question with no answer.
Yesterday morning, Dz Yun finished his watery rice porridge, put on his straw sandals left home to look for a job. His feet were blistered. The blisters got dried many time and by now they were deadened. Hoping that he will find a job, any job that will bring some income. He realized since they left his home town in He Nan till now, the money he brought from home should be almost finished. He loved Yu Wen so much and wished that he could give her the whole world, he put those money into Yu Wen’s hand. Usually the rice porridge was not so watery. He notice that even at dinner, lesser dishes were placed on the table. But quietly he took whatever were placed on the table for him. He knew how hard was Yu Wen trying to work on their budget, and hang in there.
Dz Yun and Yu Wen escapeed the Japanese’s persecution from He-Nan to Sz Chwan,. They lost contact with their home, without any friend here in this unfamiliar place. to get a job was so difficult. He was a well educated with degree of college. Usually it should be very easy to get a government job or a high school teacher. But the current situation and financial difficulties, students left town with their parents. School combined two or three classes into one, reduced the number of teachers. Government organization were tightening their budget laid off employers. Countless offices Dz Yun went in and out with disappointment. Numberless pair of straw sandals had worn-out with his numb feet in them.
Trying to cheer himself up, Dz Yuen said to himself before he got back home that evening: “it will be a better day tomorrow. There was a newly arrived government organization, there may be some good luck waits for me!” When he got home that evening, Yu Wen was breastfeeding Syau Yun, their second daughter, who was a 5,6 month old baby. Syau Wen, their first born daughter was in bad by now.
Yu Wen said to him: 「Sorry! Pal! Syau Wen and I had some dinner already. Go ahead, that all for you. 」
Dz Yun was exhausted and hungry. He met with so many rebuffs. Now, home, sweet home! Without thinking of anything else, he sat at the table and started eating. Like a hungry tiger, he finished the last drop of everything that placed on the table. Even though, it seemed those food didn’t ease of the hunger at all.
Yu Wen looked at her sweetheart with love and sorry. She knew that whatever she prepared would not be enough for Dz Yun. These days Syau Wen often complaining her stomach ache because of not enough food. Yu Wen wanted to say something to Dz Yuen but she didn’t know where to begin with.
* * * * * *
“Now, what am I going to do next?” She said to herself again. She looked into the bucket where they kept the rice, there was very little rice left in it, barely enough for the dinner that evening. But how about tomorrow? She had to think about something ease off Syau Wen’s stomach ache. To have enough food to for her poor honey. To have enough milk for Syau Yun. Suddenly she got an idea.
After Syau Yun fell into sleep, she said to Syau Wen:”My good girl, will you watch over your little sister for me? Make sure that she will not fall off of the bed. I’m going to see our landlady, and will be back very soon.”
Yu Wen went into the landlady’s yard. She saw Han Jung( one of the landlady’s sons) was sitting under the tree with a book in his hand.
“Excuse me! Mr. Lee, Is your mother home?”
The young man stood up embarrassingly.”‘Aunt Ho, Please call me Han Jung. Don’t call me Mister. My mother went to visit my sister. I suppose she will be home at any minute. May I ask what can we do for you?”
“I……..I……” Yu Wen murmured, she found it was very difficult for her to speak it out.
–To be continued–
At that very moment, Mrs. Lee came home. She saw Yu Wen was standing in the middle of the yard.