Tea Leaves and Green Jade

Family Crisis

Match Nineteen: Family Crisis:

Qian picked up his cell phone sitting on his nightstand. "Hello?"

"Qian," an injured voice whimpered on the other line. The boy narrowed his eyes confused.

"Szu?" he asked. "What are you doing calling me so late?"

"I'm in trouble. Could you come over?"

"I can't…"

"Well, why not?"

"I'm hurt…" The sadness in her tone was enough to make him get out of bed, get dressed, and rush right over to her house. To his surprise, the door was left open. Qian rushed inside the darkened house.

"Szu?" he asked. The boy found his dear friend lying on her back with her clothes ripped to shreds. It didn't take him long to figure out what happened.

"Who did this to you?" he asked. Szu's lips murmured something he couldn't hear.

"What did you say?" he asked.

"I don't know," she murmured. Szu weakly drew up her hand. "Don't… leave… me…" Tears filled up in her eyes. Qian sat down on his knees next to her.

"I won't leave you," he promised. "I will stay with you as long as you want me to." She opened her mouth to speak, but he gently shushed her. "Please don't talk," he said. "Just go to sleep." Szu slowly closed her eyes. Qian lied down next to her with an ache in his heart. No one deserved to be attacked like this. He hoped that he would at least to try and fix this problem for her.

The next morning, Qian awoke to the sound of Chopin floating in the air. He sat up to find Szu all cleaned up and in new clothes.

"Good morning," she greeted him. Her old friend tilted his head at her.

"Are you okay?" he asked. The girl gave him a blank look.

"Of course," she said. "Why wouldn't I be?" He could tell by the look in her eyes that she had begun to try and repress last night from her memory. One little slip would send her reeling again. Best not to say anything to her…

"We still have to tell your parents," he spoke up.

"Tell us what?" a voice asked behind them. The kids turned around to see Szu's parents walking into the living room. Seeing them put her back into a tail spin.

"What's going on here?" her father asked. His daughter just sank down to her knees and wept.

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