Then they will go to the second step – Exchange the “Big Dragon and Phoenix Cards” along with engage rings. These Cards were really big! They were about one foot long and three feet wide solid red silk cloth. The card from the boy’s side give to the girl’s parents, printed with two phoenixes, one on the right and one on the left. The card from the girl’s side for the boy’s parents was printed with two dragons. The cards carried with both boy and girl’s names, date of birth and eight characters of a horoscopes.
Until both cards were accepted, marriage ceremony is awaiting! If any of the two partied refused accept the big red card, the engagement is cancelled.
Now the whole Lyan’s residence was decorated and full with joy. Everyone was excited about this coming up wedding for the only daughter of the Lyan’s.
But Yu Wen was suffering with cognitive dissonance, she was very sick. Her head was stuffed with cotton, and dreaming day and night. In her vision everything was a shadow. Indistinctly her father touched her forehead, she saw Dz Yun’s face was flashed with excitement. Wong Ma’s worried face……..
Seemingly Yu Wen was watching a show. The actors were running on and off the stage. In a instant she was on the stage. The tailor came to measure her for her wedding gown. She wasn’t sure whether everything was truly happened or not.
When the time for Yu Wen to say farewell to her parents, she kneeled down on her kneels. She saw her father’s red eyes. Her mother’s long face still looked the same.
Dimly Yu Wen was embraced and sent into the wedding car. Everything she was familiar with began to withdraw. The gate of her home closed behind her car and disappeared. Tears running down her cheeks.
“Wong Ma!”she called out half dreamingly.”Where is Wong Ma?” Yu Wen was looking for the one who loved her so dearly.
Someone said in her ears: “My lady, Madam Lyan sent Wong Ma to work in the kitchen from now on. Actually Madam Lyan was going to dismiss Wong Ma. She said since you are married, Wong Ma is no longer needed in this household. But Master Lyan remember all the good care that Wong Ma have had with you. He kept her working in the kitchen.” Speechlessly with a broken heart, Yu Wen fell back into the set. Her vision got more blurred.
The time was frozen and went backwards in the car.
Dimly Yu Wen saw herself was playing in the court yard with Wong Ma, but the every thing she saw seemed so far away. Then the vision changed, she saw people in and out of her room, all of a suddenly she heard some uproar laughter and people fell down on the floor. These people were trying to pick up a big trunk from the floor. They all knew that Yu Wen was the only daughter of the Lyan’s. Her dowries must be rich and valuable. This trunk should be very heave and filled-up with jewelers, antiques and thousands pieces of silver coins. They picked up the trunk with all their strength. Up the trunk flew into the air! They couldn’t keep their balance and fell down to the floor. First was shocked with surprise. Then they laughed. They would never believe that there were only some clothes that Yu Wen’s wears every day and a cloth brush.
Then the time flew back to the night before the wedding:
The night was so quiet. Yu Wen was sitting next to the table absent-mindedly. She could hear her own heavy breathings and her coughs. This was the last night at home for Yu Wen. When will she be back? ………………….
Wong Ma stood next to her, patting on her back. Trying to ease off her lady’s coughs. Wong Ma’s tears were flowing in her eyes. This lady is with her ever since she was a baby. She breastfeeding her until she was almost two years old. She taught her to say “Ma” , “pa” . She watched Yu Wen from crawling to stepped out her first baby step. She comforted Yu Wen when she had some hard times. She even dressed Yu Wen every morning until now. But after tomorrow, the girl she took as her very own daughter will be departed from her forever………………
Suddenly the door opened. In came Mrs. Lyan assisting with her maid. Yu Wen stood up right away. Walking wabblingly towards her mother. Yu Wen poured some tea into a cup and handed it to her mother with both hands. She was so touched that her mother could come in to see her the night before she leave home. Her mother forgave her!
Mrs. Lyan accepted the tea from Yu Wen’s hands and sipped a little, She said in a clam voice:”En! The tea is cold!’ Then she said:”Last night I was playing mahjong with some friends. Unfortunately I lost all my money. I don’t want to upset your father. Could I borrow some of your dowries to pay off the debts? I know that your father gave you lots of expensive jewelers and thousands pieces of silver coins. May be from your dowries I can get some good lucks from the happiness of your wedding, so that I may win back what I’ve lost. I’ll pay you back later.”
Mrs. Lyan didn’t wait for any answer, she told her maid to open that big trunk and took all the jewelers, antiques and the money.
Wong Ma couldn’t keep quite any longer. She kneeled down on her knees and knocked on the ground. Cried out:”Please! madam, please! Leave some for your daughter, please. You took everything away from my poor lady, what would it be for her future.” Yu Wen stood there without saying any word, not any tears.
Thus how Yu Wen stepped into her married life with some used cloths and the brush. A brand new life awaits for her.
Mrs. Lyan had never ever mentioned about anything that she had said that night. Yu Wen never mentioned to her father about what had happened the night before her wedding. There was never had anything special happened that night.
That brush was a very good one. It had traveled with Yu Wen so many years from places to places. Even till forty years later. Only the wood handle that holds the hair looking old and lost it’s brilliance. But it didn’t lose any of it’s hair
— “C-6 First Time Being A Mother” is on it’s way–