Tea Leaves and Opal Necklaces

Good News

Match Twenty-Nine: Good News:

Bik would have two reasons to be happy within two weeks. Her morning started off as nothing special.

“Good luck, baby,” the nurse said over the phone. “I love you too.” She hung up as she switched the “closed” sign to “open”. It didn’t take long for the first patient to come along. Bik was about to walk to her desk she heard the bell ringing on the top of her door. She turned to see Ju walking into the lobby. Automatically, her heart pounded against her chest.

“Are you…?” she started to ask.

“I think,” Ju said. Bik covered her mouth as she started squealing.

“Okay,” she said. “Come with me.” The nurse took Ju by the arm and led her further into the clinic.

“Have you had your period yet?” Bik asked.

“No,” the clan leader said.

“When was your last one?”

“Last month, I believe.”

“When was the next one supposed to start?”

“Hang on.” Ju pulled out her cell phone and went to the period tracker app on her phone. “It was supposed to start today.”

“Any nausea? Throwing up? Tired?”

“Yes, yes, yes.”

“Breasts swollen?”

“Not yet.”

“Any food cravings?”

“Rice noodles. Does that count?”

Bik tried her best not to break down squealing. “How many tests have you taken?” the nurse asked. Ju did a quick count on her fingers.

“About three or four,” she said.

“And you came here to be certain?” she asked.

“Yes,” the clan leader said, nodding. Bik cleared her throat.

“Are you sure you don’t want to check with a hospital first?” she asked.

“I will go there too,” Ju replied. “I want to make sure before I tell Yao and the rest of the clan.” The nurse quickly nodded her head.

“Okay,” she said. “We’ll do a standard pregnancy test right away. Though, you should still go to the doctor to get checked out. I am curious about something, though.”

“What?” Ju asked.

“Why come to me here?” Bik asked. “Why not go to the hospital or catch me at home?”

“You weren’t home by the time I got up,” the clan leader said. “I don’t want to tell Yao and the clan until I am certain. Ideally, I don’t want to say anything until the second trimester. Make sure my chances of miscarriage dropped.” The nurse gave her an understanding smile.

“I understand,” she said. “Please follow me.” Ju followed her to the bathroom.


One trip to the hospital later, Bik got a call on her cell.

“Hello?” she asked.

“It’s positive!” Ju said over the other line. “I’m pregnant!” The nurse about fell out of her chair.

“Really?!” she asked.

“Yes!” the clan leader said. “By three weeks.” The nurse’s squealing could be heard from the hallway.

“Ow, my ear,” Ju said. Bik took in heavy breaths.

“Oh, oh, I’m sorry,” she whispered.

“I will tell Yao myself,” the younger woman went on. “Please don’t tell the others yet.” Bik sat up straight and nodded.

“Right, right,” she said. The nurse turned her head. She rolled her chair towards the cracked door. Bik couldn’t see anyone in sight.

“I mean it,” Ju said. “I don’t want to get up anyone’s hopes and then there’s a miscarriage. Yao’s been working hard to get his count up again.”

“I understand!” the nurse said. “I won’t say a word!” Bik paused for a hot second. “What if I tell Biao?” Ju sighed over the phone.

“Fine, but no one else,” she said. “I really mean. Don’t go telling anyone else. Not the other mothers and not Hen-to!”

“Okay, okay,” the nurse insisted. “I won’t say a word. I promise!” Ju breathed out over the phone.

“Oh god,” she said.

“What’s the matter?” Bik asked.

“I think I’m going to be sick,” Ju said in a whisper.

“Okay, I’ll let you go,” the nurse said. “Bye-bye.”

“Goodbye,” the nurse said. Bik broke down squealing and dancing around in her seat after hanging up. She spent the whole day grinning like a madwoman.

“Did your son pass his finals?” one of the girls at the clinic asked. Bik turned to her grinning.

“Not yet,” she said. “But, I’ll be a grandma soon!”

“Ooo, is Xin pregnant?” another girl asked as she walked by.

“Not her,” Bik said. “Is there anything you wanted to tell me?”

“Oh,” the first girl said. “Ang-tàitài will be coming in a little bit late today.”

“Is that it?” the nurse asked.

“And there are some more paperwork to look over,” the other girl said.

“I see,” Bik said. “Thank you.” She turned and went back to her office. Her girls turned to each other, whispering.


Meanwhile, Ju came home. She found Yao sitting on the couch in their living room.

“Well?” he asked. His wife began to smile.

“I’m pregnant,” she said. Yao rose to his feet.

“My balls work?” he asked.

“Yes,” Ju said.

“My balls work!”

“Yes!”

“My balls work! My balls work!” Yao raced over and embraced Ju. The couple broke into laughter. He kissed her on the forehead.

“We should celebrate!” he said. “We have to tell everyone in the clan.”

“Wait,” Ju said. “I think we should hold off on telling the right of the clan. I want to be sure that I can get pass the time where miscarriage is a high chance.”

“We have both a nurse and a med student to make sure everything is okay,” Yao said.

“I know, but…” she said. She rested her hand on her stomach. He rested his forehead against hers.

“It will be okay,” Yao insisted. “We should at least tell Bik and Biao.”

“I’ve told Bik this morning,” Ju said. “And I think she’s told Biao too.” Her husband gave her a quick kiss. Ju didn’t feel like getting up from his arms.


One week later, Bik sat at her desk doing paperwork. She started imagining how Ju’s baby would be. It would be nice to have another girl. Her thoughts to turned back to her own sons. Biao and Xin had been dating for four years now. The nurse lost count of how many hints she dropped for them to get married. She so badly wanted to be a grandmother. Both Biao and Chih had taken their exams and were well on their way with their careers. One son had a girlfriend already. That left finding Chih a girlfriend. He didn’t seem to show interest in a relationship.

This would not do for Bik. Maybe she could introduce her son to some nice girls. Along with getting Biao and Xin married. But first, she had to make sure that Ju and Yao had a healthy baby.

The nurse roughed up her hair. “Oh my god! I’ve got do much to do with my children’s futures!” she cried. Suddenly, her phone rang.

“Hello?” Bik asked.

“Hey, mom,” Biao said on the other line. The nurse sat up straight in her chair.

“Yes, dear?” she asked.

“Mom, I have something to tell,” he said.

“Are you and Xin getting married?” Bik sounded like she was about to jump out of her chair and fly away.

“No… I passed my exam,” her son said. The nurse froze in her seat.

“Oh,” she said. “Yay! That’s really great!”

“Mom, I told you we we’re getting married yet.”

“Yeah, yeah. What about your brother?”

“I don’t know. He wants to tell everyone himself.”

“Excellent! We should celebrate tonight!”

“Can Xin come with us?”

“Of course! She has to! She’s going to be part of the family soon.”

“How’s Ju doing?”

“Great. Baby’s fine. Yao is happy that’s going to be a dad and that he can still reproduce.”

“I would imagine so. Oh, I have to go. I have another call.”

“Okay, I love you.”

“I love you too, mom.”

Bik broke down squealing again in her chair. Ju was pregnant and now Biao was one step closer to becoming a doctor. If Chih passed his exams, she would be in the trifecta of parental happiness.

However as the Law of the Wasteland goes, for every moment of happiness comes a wave of misery. What’s going to happen this time?

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