Pregnant, Paperwork, and Tracking
Tea Leaves and Sapphire Earrings
Match One: Pregnant, Paperwork, and Tracking:
My name is Wang Ju and I will be six months pregnant in two weeks. Let me tell you something. It’s not fun. Ladies, and some trans men, will understand. When I sit down, I don’t want to get up again. I’m like, “Get me some rice, honey! Can you get me a pillow? Oh the house is on fire? There’s a fire extinguisher in the kitchen!” I found myself dozing off on the couch. I feel like all I do is eat and sleep. The mothers have been stopping me from working.
“You can’t be on your feet at time like this,” Bik keeps saying.
“I know, I know,” I said. Little Bean’s not little anymore. I am carrying around a nice-sized melon. My feet are always swollen. My back constantly hurts. I looked down at my abdomen.
“You better not be a jerk baby,” I warned them. I sighed as Little Bean started to kick. Typical response. Looks like I’ve got a little rebel on my hands. Man, oh, man.
I looked up when I heard the door open.
“I’m home,” I heard Yao said. I turned my head when he walked into the living room. I smiled a bit.
“Yo,” I said. He walked over and kissed me on the forehead.
“How are you?” Yao asked.
“Tired,” I said. “Please tell me you have something for me to do.”
“I sure do,” he said. He handed me another stack of papers.
“Thanks,” I said. This is what I am reduced to now. I can’t really be active around the office. I refused to sit around and do nothing. I pulled out my pen and read the first page.
“Are you sure you should be doing this?” Yao asked.
“Yes!” I said. I signed the first page and set it aside. He knew not to argue with me. I get cranky when I am not working. Being inactive drives me crazy.
“Okay then,” Yao said. Do you need anything?”
“I am a bit hungry,” I said.
“I’ll go make you something then,” he said.
“Thank you,” I said. I buried myself into my paperwork. Combating boredom isn’t my only reason for doing this. My uncle and Junjie are still on the loose. I can’t afford to relax with a kid on the way.
I stopped writing and sighed.
I just wish there could be a faster way to get this out of the way. Little Bean kicked at my stomach again.
“Okay, okay,” I said. “I’ll get back to work. Geez.” I started reading over page ten.
“You know I can’t really work with you kicking me like that, right?” I asked the little rebel inside of me.
“What do you want to eat?” Yao asked. I shrugged over my paperwork.
“I don’t know,” I said. “Maybe something light. Surprise me.”
“Okay,” he said. I found myself halfway through the stack. This was all that I could do for now. I can’t meet business partners in person. I can and I want to. But you know who is stopping me, right?
“You should starts taking it easy,” Bik keeps saying. I just force myself to smile and nod. What can I do? The mothers haven’t stopped fussing over me. They toned it down some I am happy to say. There are still arguments about whether Little Bean will be a boy or a girl. I just tune those out and keep going. I had to remind Yao about what we agreed on.
“We can’t cheat,” I said. “We promised to wait until the baby’s born.”
“But what if there are problems that we need to see?” he asked.
“We can go to the doctor and not have them tell what gender the child is,” I said. Sorry Yao, but I am going to be traditional on that one.
I leaned back on my couch and looked at the ceiling. There is one way that I have been able to keep up with Jianjun and Junjie. I pulled out my phone and unlocked the screen. One new notification. Heh. I tapped on the screen. No new information so far. Jianjun and Junjie have been holed up in that hotel for three days now. I don’t understand why we haven’t acted yet.
“Why haven’t we caught this guy?” I asked Hen-to yesterday.
“Do we have a plan to take him?” he asked. That one gave me pause. How were we going to deal with my uncle? Junjie we can deal with just fine. My uncle on the other hand… Yeah. The problem is that neither one has done anything illegal yet. The police have their eyes on Junjie even though he made bail. Even Zhong’s people are watching too. (I hope he will be okay.)
“I can handle myself just fine,” he told me the other day.
“But he’s with my uncle now,” I said. “We don’t know what they can pull together.” There is no getting through to that man.
I looked up when I could smell something spicy and fried. Yao stood in the doorway with two plates on a tray.
“Are you ready to eat?” he asked.
“Oh, sure,” I said. I set aside the rest of my papers. Yao put the tray down on my table. He pulled up a chair and sat down in front of me.
“You’re eating out here with us?” I asked.
“Of course,” he said. “Is that okay with you?” Yao picked up his chopsticks and started eating.
“Sure,” I said. I looked down at my plate. “What is this?”
“Chicken curry noodles with chili oil,” he said.
“Yao, you know I can’t have spicy things,” I said.
“It’s really mild,” Yao said. “I tasted it myself.” I picked up my chopsticks and took a bite. Well, he was right.
“How is it?” he asked.
“I kind can’t taste anything,” I said. “But I will eat it.” My husband looked down at my plate.
“It tastes fine to me,” he muttered.
“Maybe that’s because you’re not pregnant,” I said. Yao shrugged his shoulders.
“Fair enough,” he said.
“There’s been no activity again,” I said. My husband glanced up at me.
“That’s good, isn’t it?” he asked. I shook my head.
“I don’t like it,” I said. I picked up my phone. “It’s too quiet. They are planning something.” Yao put his hand over mine.
“We will get them,” he said.
“How?” I asked. “Do we even have a plan?” He squeezed my hands and pressed his forehead against mine.
“We will come up with something,” Yao insisted. I tried to make myself smile. Why did that not sound so reassuring?
“What’s wrong?” he asked. I shook my head.
“I’m just tired,” I said.
“Well, just finish your dinner and I will run a bath for you,” he said. I nodded once.
“Okay,” I said. I picked up my chopsticks and went back to eating. This meal is so bland. Oh wait, there’s the chili. Ooo. Hey. This isn’t too bad.