Tea Leaves and Sapphire Earrings

Alone, Unwanted Visitor, and Unease

Match Twenty-Nine: Alone, Unwanted Visitor, and Unease:


I hate when it’s quiet like this. I feel something bad will happen. It was like before I got married. It doesn’t help that I will be alone for the day. Yao went to Seoul for another business deal. I can’t go with him because I will be due in a few days. That’s right, this is the last month of my pregnancy. I will be due in two weeks. I will be happy when that day comes. Little Bean is wearing me down. Not being able to work drives me crazy. Bik has taken so much from me.

“You need to rest,” she said. “That baby will be due any day now.” I love Bik to pieces but if I have to hear about how I need to rest that I will go crazy. I’m tempted to reached out and throttle her. I don’t know. I just want something to do. I need something to do, damn it!

I hadn’t planned on doing anything today. What choice did I have? I’m not really allowed to do much for the next two weeks. I can only eat, take a bath, and sleep. I’m not hungry right now. I could just take a bath and go to bed. Part one was already set up.

But then, the doorbell rang.

Huh? It’s about seven in the morning. I’m not expecting anyone today. Who is that? The doorbell rang again.

“Uh… I’m coming!” I shouted. I put on a bathrobe and hurried down to the front door. I looked out the peep hole.

“Who is it?” I asked. When I looked outside, my stomach dropped. It was her. It was that crazy lady who cornered me in the flea market. How did she get my address? What was she doing here?

“Hello, dear,” she said. I started backing away from the door.

“There’s no one here,” I lied.

“Come on, Mrs. Wang,” that crazy lady said. “I don’t want to hurt you. I just want to talk.”

“Go away!” I shouted. “Ten minutes. Just give me ten minutes.”

“No!” I shouted. She started turning the doorknob. The doorbell kept ringing. What should I do? I did my best to hurry over to the kitchen for the phone. I picked up the receiver.

“That’s not going to do you any good,” I heard in my ear. The phone hit the floor. I whipped around. She stood in front of me, grinning.

“Hello, darling,” she said. I started backing away.

“H-H-How did you get into my house?” I asked.

“I have my ways,” this crazy woman said. She held out her hand as I reached for the receiver without bending down.

“Oh, where are my manners?” this woman asked. “My name is Allison Mayfair. And you are?”

“Wang Ju,” I said. “But you already knew that, didn’t you?” Ms. Mayfair smiled and shrugged her shoulders.

“Guilty!” she said. I could feel my right twitching.

“Why are you here?” I asked. “What do you want with me?” Everything about this woman made my skin crawl. Her smile didn’t make it any better.

“I just want to talk,” she said. I raised my eyebrow.

“About what?” I asked. She took me by the hands. Little Bean started to kick in my stomach. I winced at the sensation. This kicking wasn’t normal either. I thought that I would die from their kicks.

“Something the matter, dear?” Ms. Mayfair asked. I slipped one hand from her grasp.

“My child doesn’t seem to be happy that you are here,” I said.

“Aw,” this crazy woman said. I should try and call the police now. Ms. Mayfair wouldn’t let go of my hand.

“You don’t want to do that, dear,” she said.

“Do what?” I asked.

“Just hear me out and everyone will be fine,” this woman told me. I about threw up in my mouth.

Moments later, we sat at my kitchen table. The phone is behind me. My cell is upstairs, charging. I am stuck with her. At least Little Bean has settled down some. Ms. Mayfair locked her eyes on me.

“Out with it,” I said at last. “Why are you here? You are creeping me out?” The clock ticking in the background wasn’t helping either.

“I am looking for the golden child,” Ms. Mayfield said.

“Okay…” I said. “What does that have to do with me?” Little Bean kicked again. They clearly don’t like this lady. I don’t blame you, kid. She’s creeping me out too.

“I found the child here in China,” she said.

“There are millions of mothers-to-be here,” I said. “Why choose me?”

“You are a good candidate.”

“But why?” I held my hand to my stomach the whole time. I looked over my shoulder. The phone was right there. I could just get up and call for help.

“Do you have any tea?” Ms. Mayfield asked.

“Excuse me?” I asked.

“Tea,” she said again. “Do you have any?” I wrinkled my nose.

“Yes, but you will have to wait,” I said. “I’m tired and my feet and back hurt.” Ms. Mayfield raised her eyebrow.

“That’s not very hostly, is it?” she asked.

“Oh, I’m sorry, but if you hadn’t noticed…” I said. I held my hand to stomach. My forced guest shrugged.

“Fair enough,” she said. I glared at her.

“Could you please leave?” I asked.

“I will,” Ms. Mayfield said. “Once I have everything I need to know.” By now, I wanted to jump up and strangle her. Damn it! The phone was behind me. It would just take one call. One call! One call and she would be out of my house!

Suddenly, Little Bean kicked me again. It was a painful one too. I huddled down, winced and gasping for air.

“Are you okay?” Ms. Mayfield asked again. I glared at her as I clenched my teeth.

“My child wants you to leave,” I said. “If you don’t get out of here, I will get up and call the police!” I expected her to talk me out of this. Instead, she stood up and shrugged.

“Fine,” she said. “I have all that I needed to know anyway.”

“Huh?” I asked. Ms. Mayfair smiled and bowed.

“Thank you for your time,” she said.

“What are you talking about?” I asked. “Who are you really?” I never got an answer to my questions. Before I knew it, she was gone. Ms. Mayfield had disappeared just as mysteriously as she appeared in my house. I put my hand to my forehead. Little Bean had settled down again. But not before I heard Ms. Mayfield’s voice in my head one last time.

“I’m home,” I heard Yao say from the living room. I hurried down from our room and down to the front door. I grabbed onto Yao as tightly as I could.

“Ju?” he asked. “Ju? What’s the matter? You’re shaking. Did something happen?” I rested my head against his chest. I couldn’t voice the feeling of panic. I could hear Ms. Mayfair’s words rolling around in my head.

“I will come back for your soon when the time is right.”

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