Chapter 33 - Wings of Eagles

Fei and Kwan were decorating their little Christmas tree in the living room of their home in Hong Kong.  Well, Fei was taking the ornaments out of the boxes and hanging them on the tree any ‘O’ how, while Kwan practically re-hung each one to make the tree look more pleasing to her eyes.  They decided this was to be the start of their family tradition and that it was still team work to say the least.

“So when did Chin Chin tell you about her miscarriage?”  Fei asked.

“When I went to look for her in the bathroom,” Kwan explained.  “I was worried when I saw her reaction when Chi Shan announced the news of our baby!”

Fei remembered Kwan excusing herself soon after the announcements when people were still congratulating them.  Right now, he felt nothing but respect for his wife.  He was certain again that there was no other woman he could ever love as much as Kwan.  He knew he could truly be an open book to her; even to talk about his past and present thoughts and the feelings and concerns he had for Chin Chin.

“Did she tell you she couldn’t have children?”

Kwan looked him in the eyes.  “She told me not to mention it to you because you might get mad at Cheng Dong Shing for getting her pregnant.”
Now that Chin Chin had revealed her own secret to Fei, Kwan continued to share what she knew.  “She said she initiated the relationship after accepting the fact that she was going to be a cripple for life and that that her handicap would be a burden to you.  But she was touched by how Cheng Dong Shing took care of her and started to have feelings towards him.”  When she looked at Fei whose only respond was a swallow of his saliva, she continued.  “I believed Chin Chin because I think Cheng Dong Shing has too much pride to allow himself to take advantage of his captive.  Though he already had a keen liking towards her from the start, he respected Chin Chin and eventually fell in love with her.” 

Kwan could tell Fei agreed with her analysis, so she went on.  “Chin Chin lost all hope of ever seeing you again, especially when seeing you meant your death.  She said most of her memories were the two of you bickering at each other.”

Fei gave out a dejected sigh when he realized it was mostly the same for him in terms of his own memories of Chin Chin during the time of her disappearance.  He then realized how much he and Chin Chin didn’t understand each other at all after being together for so long. 

Kwan noticed Fei’s dejection and pulled him in for a hug. 

After releasing her from their embrace, Fei told Kwan to go on.  “When she found out she was pregnant, she suggested moving to Venezuela to start a new life.  She wanted him to have a life where there would be no more killings and no more involvement with the triad society.  She was planning to tell him about the baby when they got there.  Unfortunately, he challenged her love for him and lost the baby due to all the emotional stress at that time.”

Fei lowered his head and sighed.  “Yeah, when she lost her baby, her thyroid problems started.”

She turned to her husband and looked at him with a set of inquisitive eyes.  “Chin Chin said the reason she encouraged you to reunite with me was because she was not able to give you children.”
Fei’s heart skipped a beat at first, then he saw a twinkle in her eyes.  “Yes, she told me she still have feelings for me and wanted me to take her back!”

“She did, huh?” Kwan’s eyes pierced into his eyes.  “Is that right?  So that’s why she asked what I would do if you were to have a secret affair behind my back?”

“She did, huh?” Fei gave her a scrutinizing glare.  “Is that right?  And what would you do, Mrs. Tsui?”

“Well, I said she could try.”  She gave her husband the most interrogating evil look she could construct on her face.  “But I told her she had better be prepared to fight me because my husband planned to keep me pregnant for a very long time!”  Kwan flashed her diamond ring in front of his face and then poked his chest and gave him a smirk.  “And I told her that pregnant women are mean and possessive!”

Then they broke out in bouts of laughter.  Finally, Fei pulled his wife into his arms.  “I am so glad I didn’t marry a walkover!”

“I don’t think that was why she backed off though,” Kwan chuckled.

“Then why did she?”

“My hormones were talking.  I told her whoever try to break up my family will become the new legend for the Deep-Fried Chinese Donut!”
Fei opened the door and Bui Yee entered with 4 bags full of food.  Then Mr. Mo walked in with a big box in his arms.  Ah Yuk was the next to walk through the door and she was carrying at least three shopping bags in each hand.  Fei was about to close the door when a voice called out.

“Wait!”  Ah Kit appeared around the corner with shopping bags in one hand and a medium size box in the other.

“Wow!  Did you guys bring the entire Food Court over?”  Fei asked after closing the door.

Kwan and Chin Chin came out from the kitchen to see what the big commotion was in the dining room.  Bui Yee and Mr. Mo were emptying out the bags of food on the dining table while Ah Yuk and Ah Kit were placing the gifts under the tree.  There were so many gifts that the gift proportion was almost three times bigger than the tree.

Fei looked to Kwan, “I guess next year we’ll need to get a bigger tree.”

Kwan approached the dining table and saw all the ‘rich’ food like Bird Nest Soup, Lotus and Lily Seeds Soup Mix, all sorts of assorted juices, Ginseng, and various kinds of Chinese Herbs being laid out on the table.  “What are all these?”

“These are for you to bring back to the States,” Bui Yee gave Fei a small note book.  “This is how and when you are to cook these for Kwan.  You just have to follow the numbers on the package.  We also color coded everything for you.”

Fei looked through the scattered packages and noticed each pack had a number sticker and a color sticker.  He scratched his head in bafflement.  “These are all for Kwan to eat?”

“No, it’s for the baby!” Mr. Mo said.  “Kwan has to eat them for the baby.”
Kwan picked up some of the packages and noticed there were strange looking things like dried weed, twigs, seashells, some even looked like bugs.  “I’m not eating these!”

Ah Kit came and put his arm on his sister’s shoulder.  “Sis, Dad and Bui Yee spent all day shopping and all night labeling these for you.  Even if you don’t like the taste of them, you will just have to swallow them when Fei cooks all these for you.”

Kwan picked up the big packet of bird nest and smiled at Bui Yee.  “This I can eat!”

Fei looked into the box that his father-in-law brought in.  “Are all these snacks for tonight’s Christmas dinner?”

“These are snacks Kwan likes.” Bui Yee took out a few samples to show Fei.  “They say pregnant women tend to like snacks they used to eat as a child.”

“This is in case she gets hungry.”  Mr. Mo added. “This way you don’t need to go out in the middle of the night to look for food.”

Fei smiled and waved his father-in-law and Bui Yee to follow him into the kitchen.  He opened the freezer and it was full of all kinds of frozen Dim Sums, three flavors of ice-cream, Pizza Pops, Swanson Pot Pies and frozen vegetables.  The fridge itself was full of chocolates and fruits like strawberries, apples, oranges and grapes.

Then he showed them to the pantry and it was filled to the top with all kinds of snacks like prawn crackers, biscuits and cookies, and an assortment of potato chips as well as corn chips.

Bui Yee’s eyes grew big when she saw how the pantry was nicely organized.  Besides the so called junk food, there were all sorts of healthy food too.  She looked approvingly at Fei.  “You bought all these?” 

Fei smiled proudly.  “I am now very prepared for her sudden urges!”

“How did you know what to buy for a pregnant woman?”  Mr. Mo was impressed while looking at all the healthy food.

“Internet!”  Fei’s dimpled smile formed on his lips.  “And the Library of Congress!  These are food that some of the First Ladies ate during pregnancy.”

Then Bui Yee noticed the instant noodles there as well.  “Since when did Kwan start eating instant noodles?  She detests them!”

Fei admitted in a bashful way.  “Those are for me.  She only allows me to eat them when we watch movies together!”

After dinner, everyone gathered to open Christmas presents in the living room.  After the last gift was opened, Ah Yuk presented another gift bag to Kwan.  “This is for the baby!”

“For the baby?!”  Kwan reached into the gift bag and pulled out two sets of very cute looking baby clothes.  One set was pink and the other was blue.

“I chose the pink one because I am guessing you guys will have a girl!”  Ah Kit said.  “Ah Yuk thinks you guys will have a boy!”

“So do you know if you are having a girl or a boy?”  Ah Yuk asked.

“Not yet!”  Kwan smiled.  “We’ll find out when we get back to Baltimore in three weeks.”

“Have you guys thought of a name for the baby yet?”  Mr. Mo asked.

Fei and Kwan shook their heads.  Then Kwan added.  “Like his, we are thinking of names with only two characters.”

“It’s not easy to come up with two-character names with your last name, Tsui. (徐)”  Bui Yee commented.  “You can’t name the baby anything to do with wealth or love.”

“Why not?”  Chin Chin asked and all eyes focused on Bui Yee to explain.

“Goodness Gracious!”  Bui Yee was surprised no one knew the reasons. “You can’t name the baby Tsui Sum or Tsui Fu!” (徐心) - (徐富)

Everyone laughed including Fei himself.  ‘Sum’ meant heart or love but to give this name to a daughter would sound like asking her to take off her clothes.  ‘Fu’ meant wealth or prosperity and to give this name to a son would sound like asking him to take off his pants.  Either way, both names would sound like to strip.

Kwan looked up at Fei who was seated next to her on the arm of the sofa. She took his hand and said.  “I like your name, Tsui Fei.  To me, it means to strip off all your burdens and fly free like an eagle!”

This was the first time Fei ever heard such an interpretation of his name.  He envisioned an image of himself flying free like an eagle.  He kissed the back of her hand and then turned to everyone.  “We might have to settle for three characters, maybe something to do with music.”

“How about a musical gift from heaven?” Nathaniel suggested.  “Since Tsui sounds like to follow, it would be like following a heavenly melody!”

“Hmmm…, a heavenly melody,” Chin Chin pondered on the name.  “Melody Tsui!  That sounds nice for a girl.  I can call her Siu See See (小诗诗) for little melody!  If the baby is a girl!”

Everyone in the room seemed to like that name as well. Ah Kit suddenly came up with an inspiration.  “Hey, if you guys have a boy, you can name him, Tsui Tin Lok! (徐天樂) That means heavenly music too, right?  And his English name can be Louis!  You know, like that actor!”

Ah Kit started to laugh at his own genius mind.  Everyone in the room joined him except for the father-to-be. 

Wings of Eagles – by Don Moen