“Hey sleepyhead. Jin. Wake up!”
“Heeeyyy. What time is it?” I asked yawning.
“Oh it’s still early. I’ve already been home to pack and come back. I searched through my closet trying to find the perfect going home outfit. What do you think?
“Gorgeous! But you are beautiful no matter what you wear.”
“However, you might want to find something a little more warm. It’s winter where we are going so perhaps something like pants and a sweater would be better?”
“Brrr-I can’t imagine what it will be like. This winter you speak of does not sound appealing at all. I shall miss my constant warm sunny days here in France.”
“Luckily, winter only lasts a short time where we are going and we have missed most of it while I have been here. I’m sure you will get used to it by the next winter. But in the meantime, we have two fireplaces to make it very cozy and homey; if you know what I mean.”
“It will remind us of our time in front of the fire pit wouldn’t you think?”
“Trust me, nothing could make me forget our time here. I’m going to get dressed, then I thought we could have breakfast at the cafe in town. How does that sound?” I asked her.
“Yes, I will just change in the room next door and meet you downstairs.”
I finished up my plate of grape pancakes quickly as I was absolutely starved from little food I had consumed on the trip. Sun however seemed to be pushing her food around on her plate hardly eating at all. I sat there quietly and watched.
“Jin. I have something to tell you. I have butterflies in my stomach.”
“I’m nervous Jin. Nervous about meeting your parents. This is such an important decision, and a big step we are taking with our lives. What if they don’t like me? What then?”
“Sun, I think the unknown is always a bigger enemy in our minds than the reality itself. You see my parents as famous artists, but in actual fact, they are just regular people like you and I. Fairly down to earth and easy to get along with.”
“Yes, but that is easy for you to say, being their son, you have grown up with them, known them all your life. Now I am going to enter that world and disrupt the balance of things. Oh I don’t know, maybe I am making a mountain out of a mole hill. I shall try to be on my best behaviour.”
“I don’t want you on your best behaviour. I want you to be yourself, for it is that person I know they will truly love,” I replied.
Sun sighed. “I just wish these butterflies would go away and its not just your parents that are worrying me. Its what we have to do next that is my most immediate concern.”
I looked at Sun in confusion and she smiled. “You need to meet my moms!”
“Oh,” I said. “Yeah, I hadn’t thought of that. Great, now I have butterflies!” Then we both laughed and Sun finished up her lunch.
“Ready?” she asked me.
“Ready as I will ever be,” I replied.
“Mom, this is Jin.”
“Jin, it’s very nice to meet you. Sun has told us so many nice things about you.”
“Its nice to meet you as well,” I replied, not knowing exactly what to say. Those butterflies had multiplied in droves.
“What brought you to France Jin?”
“My parents. They told me it was part of my education, but I am also here to meet up with some of their old friends and collect supplies for the island and their artwork.
“Our Sun has been a big fan of the art world for years. She is not an artist herself but she definitely has followed your parents careers for the last few years.”
“Mom,” Sun groaned. “Please don’t embarrass me!”
“You live on an island I hear? What is that like? Do you like living there?”
“Bonjour Jin. Comment allez-vous?”
“I’m good. Bit nervous to be honest.”
“Oh dear Jin. Don’t be nervous, my sister and I don’t bite. Much.”
Then she laughed and I nervously laughed along with her.
“You know Jin. I must also be honest with you now. This has come as a great surprise to my sister and I. Sun has never been interested in any young boy before you. She has a great group of friends but never any boyfriends. I think she has always been waiting. Waiting for just the right one. Is that you Jin?”
“Yes, I believe it is,” I replied hoping it was what she was looking to hear.
“She is our only child Jin. I need to know that no matter what you will take care of her. Raising a child you always know that someday you will have to let them go. But what you are asking Jin, this is very difficult for us.”
” Ms Petit Godard, I love your daughter.
I know I haven’t had a lot of life experience, but when I am with her, its like I’ve been waiting for her too. I promise to take care of her. No matter what life will bring. I have the best role models in that regard. I’ve never seen two people who love each other more than my parents. I want that for myself too.”
Sun’s mother eyed me for a moment then smiled.”Then you have my blessing Jin. Please don’t keep her away from us forever.”
Just then Sun came to join us.
“Jin if you don’t mind I think I would like to talk to my daughter alone to say goodbye.”
I left them but stayed just on the other side of the open door waiting for Sun to join me.
I did feel bad for what I was asking Sun to do and I knew this was going to be hard for her. From the room I heard Sun’s mother address her.
“Sun, you don’t have to do this. We can find another way.”
“I love him mom. I really do. No matter what else please remember that. I don’t want to be without him. This will make everything better. Its perfect. I will marry him and I will be safe.”
“I shall miss you my darling daughter! We will always be here for you, if you ever need us.”
Then Sun appeared at the door. She took my hand, smiled and we walked away, ready to begin our new lives together.
“Jin! Ian come up here, Jin’s home.” Maya rounded the corner to the foyer and gasped.
“Sun? Is that you?”
I turned to look at Sun and saw the confused look on her face. She looked at me and then back to my mother
“Have we met?” she asked my mom.
“Can’t be,” my mom whispered back.
“Mom, this is Sun. The girl I told you I was bringing home.” When she said nothing more and continued to stare, I became concerned. “Mom, are you okay?”
“Yes. Oh my goodness yes Jin. How rude of me.” She crossed the room and threw her arms around me to hug me tight.
“Hey Dad, you around? I have someone for you to meet.”
Dad emerged from the washroom and stopped for a second before crossing the room to greet us.
“Jin my boy! Happy to have you home. Your mother has been worried sick.” He also greeted me with a hug. “And who is this young lady?”
“Dad, this is Sun. My fiance!”
“Well that is news! Did you hear that honey? Our boy is engaged!”
“Y-Yes! My, what news. Perhaps we should sit down and you can tell us everything.”
An hour later, I had filled my parents in on every detail (well maybe not EVERY detail) of my trip to France, with Sun adding little bits of her own version as I went along. My mother, who was definitely interested in everything I had to say, seemed antsy in her seat. Like she had something important to ask me but didn’t want to interrupt. Finally she turned to Sun and said
“Sounds like quite an adventure. Welcome to the family dear.”
“Thank you, that is most kind.” I made a mental note to remind Sun to relax and be herself.
“What about your family Sun? Are they from France originally?”
“Well, my moms are yes. I was adopted by the Petit Godard sisters when I was just a few weeks old. I was born in China.”
“Really? I’m also from China,” my mom replied. “Perhaps I would know your parents?”
“Well my mother’s name was also Sun. I was named after her. My father I never knew unfortunately.”
“I don’t understand,” replied my mom. “How did you come to be adopted and living in France?”
Sun looked at me and then back to my mother. “I don’t have any record of my father. I have been told that he was not Chinese, but a dark skinned traveler from a distant land. My mother became pregnant, but he was gone before she ever had the chance to tell him.”
Glancing at my mother, I saw that her face bore the look of an emotion I couldn’t quite determine. It seemed to be a look of surprise and horror mixed together, if those two emotions could ever be as one in a single moment.
“Oh no,” was all she said before covering her face with her hands and shaking her head from side to side.
“Maya? Whats wrong?” Fear began brewing in the pit of my stomach as I saw the concerned look on my father’s face while he held my mother.
Suddenly she stood up, turned to my father and asked for Sun and I to excuse them both while they went to have a discussion in the kitchen.
“Do you understand what this means Ian?”
“Understand what? Are you ill? Do you need to go lie down?”
“No Ian. Did you not hear what she said? She is the spitting image of my best friend Sun when she was a teen. She is Sun’s daughter, fathered by a dark skinned man from a land far away……”
Maya waited for the information to sink in and make sense. “Can’t be,” said Ian. “You think she may be my daughter? But that doesn’t make sense. You have been writing to Sun. Surely she would have said something to you.”
“But she never replied Ian. Not once. Perhaps she was ashamed. Perhaps she didn’t want to cause problems between the two of us. She must have given Sun up for adoption which might have been her only way to deal with having a baby while being unwed. This whole thing could be why she has never responded to me all this time.”
“A daughter,” Ian whispered. “Oh no that isn’t right. How can I be so happy when I know this is going to destroy our son?”
“We have to tell them Ian.”
“Yes. But perhaps you could do it. I don’t think I could find the words.”
Sun and I were quietly talking when mom and dad came back downstairs with very gloomy looks on their faces. They both sat down and mom turned to Sun.
“Sun. I’m from a small mountain village in China. There I grew up as an only child with very traditional parents. When I say traditional, I’m trying to tell you that I did not have a happy childhood. But I had this wonderful beautiful best friend named Sun. She was being raised by her sister and her husband after the death of her parents in a terrible storm that caused a mud slide. Her sister was very kind to me and was my shelter against the wickedness I had to endure in my own household. Do you know if your mother had any family. A sister?”
“No I’m sorry. I really don’t know very much about where I came from. Are you saying, you think I may be the daughter of your best friend?”
“See the thing is, Sun is a common Chinese name, passed down from generations with children being named for members of the family. But in my area, I only knew one Sun. I am saying that there is a possibility you may be her daughter.”
Sun’s face lit up, with I can only imagine was the possibility of making a connection with her long lost family, through my mother. Before Sun could speak, my mother held up her hand and continued.
“Sun, this is an embarrassing and awkward thing to have to tell you and Jin. Normally this would never be a conversation you would have with your children. But I fear in this case we must.” Mom stopped, took a deep breath and closed her eyes for a brief moment.
“Jin, if you remember I met your father while he was visiting China collecting supplies for his artwork. He stayed with us for his visit-”
“Us? Who is this us mom?”
Mom looked to dad, fear evidently showing on her face. “My first husband and I.” Mom said no more as I just stared at her face.
“You were married before dad?”
“Yes I was. But that isn’t important right now. Please listen. While your father was boarding with us, he met my best friend Sun. They had…… a relationship.”
Sun looked from my mother to my father and then to me. When she looked into my face, it suddenly dawned on me where my mother was taking us with this story. I jumped up away from the couch and gasped.
“So you think….” Sun began to say in a whisper.
“I DON’T BELIEVE THIS!” I roared and began pacing back and forth.
“THIS IS A DISASTER! YOU’RE TELLING ME THAT THE GIRL I PLAN ON MARRYING COULD BE MY SISTER?”
“Jin, please calm down” my father ordered. “Sit down.”
“I don’t want to sit down!”
Sun jumped up then. “Jin please. This isn’t helping anything right now.”
“Jin. We can fix this. We will do a DNA test right away. It will tell us what we need to know. In the meantime, you two will have to act accordingly, as if you were in deed siblings. Do you understand me?”
“I can’t believe this his happening,” I said and buried my face in my hands.
“It will be okay,” my mom said more gently, placing her hands on my shoulders.
“You don’t know that,” I replied.
Mom pulled her hands away and I looked up to see her slightly sway. I reached out to grab her when she suddenly said “I think I am going to be sick,” and raced upstairs with my father following close behind her.
Sun slowly began to sink down, missing the couch and landing on the ground. She looked to be in shock and I joined her on the floor.
“What are we going to do Jin?”
“We will do the test like my mother says and try to remember we may be brother and sister. I don’t know how I am going to do that loving you the way I do.”
“Me too Jin,” Sun whispered.
“Lets just sit here together for a moment before we allow reality to finally set in and change our lives.”
After a while, sun whispered “I love you Jin,” and I whispered my love for her in return. She stood up and said she was going to check on my mother. I watched her walk away from me, never knowing if things were ever going to be the same for us again.
Sun found Maya pacing in the kitchen.
“Mrs Bell are you all right?”
“Oh Sun please call me Maya! Because as sad as this current situation is, no matter what happens you will be family from here on out.”
“Maya. Are you well?”
“I’m just worried. I’m worried for you, I’m worried for my son and what this will do to him. He seems so grown up at times and others, you see the sheltered little boy he has been. It was one of the reasons we sent him to France. To give him a chance to learn who he really is. I fear, he got more than he planned on in this circumstance.”
Sun looked down, tears filling her eyes.
“Oh Sun please don’t cry. This is not your fault. Its not anyone’s fault so please don’t think I blame this on you. I’m so glad you are here! I know in my heart that you are the daughter of my very dear friend. I cherished every moment with your mother and to think you have found your way to us, well, it just seems like a miracle.”
Sun blinked holding back tears. “I just love him so much.”
“Awww, and words like that just warm my heart. I want Jin to have all the love in the world. To have the loving giving relationship that I have with his father. It will work out, I just know it will.”
“I hope so,” Sun whispered back.
“Sun, I know we don’t know each other yet, and this is awkward for me to talk about with you. But I feel I must ask.”
“Sun did you and my son, well ah, how far did your intimate relationship go? I’m sorry to ask something so personal when I know otherwise its really none of my business.”
“Oh,” Sun answered but she looked Maya directly in the eyes when she answered.
“Oh good!” Maya replied a little too quickly. “I’m sorry to have asked you. But it would make the situation that much more complicated than need be.”
“I made a promise to myself to wait for marriage and its a promise I plan to keep.”
“I think you are going to be very good for my son,” Maya replied and pulled Sun into a loving hug.
“Well we need to get you all settled into a room. After Christmas we shall decorate your new room together and make it beautiful to your tastes.”
“Oh no you don’t need to do that. Anything is fine!” Sun replied
“My dear. You are going to be a Bell! Plus I’ve never had a daughter before to dote over so you shall just have to learn to live with my fussing over you. Come daughter, lets get you settled.”
Later that evening, Sun stood on the deck of the boat and look out upon the foggy night sky.
The roller coaster of emotions all day had plum worn her out but yet, sleep eluded her. She missed her moms and the temporary security they provided for her bleak future. Everyday she took another step towards the quicksand future that stood in her way of a happy life.
Meeting and falling in love with Jin had been a like a rope being thrown to keep her from falling. Now she felt closer to that quicksand than she ever had before.
Looking to the stars, she prayed to her mother for a miracle. A miracle that would save the man she loved from being her brother.
“Please save me mother. I need you now more than ever before.”
The bitter night air brushed at her cheeks and seeped into her skin underneath her winter jacket. Thinking of Jin’s warnings about how cold winter could be, she smiled and wished her mother good night before heading inside.
In the distant foggy night sky, a tiny white star blinked, then shone more brightly outshining all the stars in the sky……….
CC Used In This Chapter
The Party Dress for Sun-Disco Teen Outfit by Margeh75
Suns’s Hair-Milady by Nightcrawler
Jin’s Hair-Joey by Cazy
Poses by IMHO-Personal Associations, Badboy, Don’t Be Sad, Manipulation, Sempre
Sit in Poses by Shokobiene
Embrace by Spladoum
All Will Be Well by gittevdv