August, 26th 1965
I arose to the soothing call of my rooster that calls to me from my peaceful slumber to wake my days and begin me upon my work in the field. Yet, as the drifting ageless sun kisses the belly of the earth, my mind drifts back to her. The woman who dwells as keeper to my dreams. Those careful eyes that yearn from the windowsill, yearning to be somewhere far away. Her long black raven locks dwelling carefully upon her shoulder blades as she sits so thoughtfully, constructed upon the floor looking carelessly outside from the second story. An elegant creature as familiar to me as the beginning of my days. I feel my way from my short bed and carefully grasp the small switch beside myself to bring a better light to my weak eyes. I was perhaps unlucky in comparison to others for I need spectacles to get around. It flickers on with a few short flicks before working as usual and immediately in continuance, I begin my usual routine. Breakfast was a milky white rice base with a mask of brown sugar and sesame seeds, I lapped it up quickly, while I was scanning the letters I had received the day before. I received few, as always, just an ensemble of common letters from neighbors and family but one letter struck my eyes. It was written with the most passionate penmanship I could imagine and so dreadfully familiar I could hardly contain myself. I opened it briskly scanning over who had sent it and found it was indeed, the letter I had been waiting for. It was to a’ Junjie Shen, myself, then signed and kissed by a beautiful, Meifeng Wuan. I scented it, it’s innocent orchid linger stung my nerves like a honey bee in pursuit of an elegant magnolia. After a few divine moments of an appeasing stream of day dreaming I hastily opened it, though I perseveringly careful of its delicate state. The letters of her desperate words clung smoothly to the modest white paper with sweet lustrous desire. The message was direct but meant to be twisted in whirl of drama and a mess of exasperated feelings. She wanted to talk, perhaps, not today but maybe tomorrow. I sighed rather with impatience than relief. It was unusual for a cabbage farmer, like myself, to be so quickly impatient but women had always baffled me. Especially this one, I had known this women my entire life but she was everywhere. I tucked the letter softly away before rising to go out in the fields. The day went by rather slowly, I had worked hard all day and my skin was at its usual hot and sweaty state. I was tired but I had this sudden pricking desire to go gather some wildflowers. The sun began to sink into the jagged hills, blazing the skies and clouds in a majestic ray of absorbing colors. Clouds that bled into an agony of maroon before wasting submissively away into a deep purple of suffocated remorse. A soft wind picked at my ears as I headed home, I walked steadily breathing in the sweet summer air, the ferocious bouquet of wildflowers tamed in my strong hands. I ended the day with my eyes touching the delicate cream vase that held the wildflowers I had gathered, they still beamed with villainous charm. I was satisfied.
August 28th, 1965
The sun rose high in the bloody red horizon, stretching with soothing palms and lacing the hills in golden tremor. The atmosphere was sickly wet with humidification and battered at my back like a persistent child. This thought of rain suspended me and I debated whether to prepare the crops for a blessed bath of perspiration or bluntly watch the phenomenon. I sat reposed in my armchair for a few minutes after eating my breakfast, taking time to watch the sun rise high in the sky before setting to my work or if that ever was to even take place. Unfortunately, after several hours of patience I came to the conclusion no rain would come. Disappointed that no ‘much needed rain would come today, I grasped my hoe and went out onto the baked hot earth with a bucket of water in tow. I picked where I had freshly begun the day before and sought to water my adolescent cabbages, it’s small innocent leaves had already begun to wilt in the sun’s fiery glare. I could feel the smooth warm soil beneath my finger tips as I smoothly wrapped them close towards the cabbage’s stem, I grasped from the bucket a small tin cup and flourished it with cool water. My palms rolled over the smoothness of the tin and the biting wisp of succulent water that went dripping into the cabbage’s famished roots. It was in this moment that you could feel the power rising in the plant, the plant suddenly becoming sharper and keener on its surroundings. The plant was alive. At this exact moment, you knew it was so. As the day grew hotter I continued on watering the young cabbages, making sure to water each individual one at least once. Not too much or the plant would become sick, just a small trickle to get the plant through the sun’s rising temperature. As my eyes encountered row after row of cabbage after cabbage I remembered her. I could remember running down the rows of cabbages with her, feeling the soft soil beneath our dirty bare toes. I had left home long ago but the memories of that woman…that girl, she was always in my mind. The shrill laughs filled my thoughts, bringing me back to a time before the great drought, before the misery, back to a place where everything was at peace and filled with hope. We didn’t have a vast variety of food to eat, just the simple things. This was all before the great drought that claimed so many. I lost my mother in the drought and my sweet Meifeng was taken far away by her family and sold to be someone’s husband. Bad memories simply followed, bad memories…until the revolution occurred. Thus, it brought a time as this. A time of landlords becoming equals and now a time where Meifeng can leave her husband. She can leave him and be with me.
Jessalyn Fain age 16 School assignment, part of a great story! I wanted to share it on my blog with you!