Before long, the cool breeze of early spring changed to the warmer winds of upcoming summer, as the family continued to enjoy the sunshine that only seemed to appear for a few short weeks a year. Sun took advantage of the changing light and shadows to grab some very artistic shots around the island. She knew the subject matter on the island was limited but she did hope that some of her pictures would be good enough to sell, providing her with her own income and contribution to the world. She knew that doing so was very important to both Ian and Maya and she hoped not to let them down. If only she had the painting or sculpting talent the Bells all seemed to posses. Her talent was her dancing, but here that would do her no good and leaving the island just wasn’t an option, ever.
Sun continued to miss Jin terribly, but tried her best to put on a brave face so that the “parents” never knew. She considered the act of sending their only son away to be a great sacrifice which greatly pained her and she didn’t want to add to their pain. His absence was a big loss to everyone on the island. She did her best to keep busy, but there just wasn’t enough to keep her thoughts from straying his way. Especially with two people who spent the day in each other’s arms with babies on the brain.
Sun didn’t think she had ever seen two people more in love than Ian and Maya and she hoped that she too would have that kind of marriage. To who, was the question which seemed to be more and more in question as the days went on.
She found herself spending much time sitting still, deep in thought about things lost and things possibly forbidden.
Ian continued to make toys with his brand new toy making machine and Maya started to question some of her nursery choices, deciding to return the rug, just in case she said. She said that this pregnancy was much like Jin in how she felt, and now worried that a boy was actually on the way. Yet, she still insisted on keeping the purple, no matter how much Sun hinted at letting it go.
Two more months had passed and still no word from Jin, nor any discussion about when Jin would be returning home. At this point there was no other assumption than Jin wouldn’t be back until after the test results arrived. Maya was about six months pregnant now, but those last few months on the calendar seemed like an eternity till Sun’s future would be revealed. So deep were her thoughts and hurt were her feelings that she completely forgot about her birthday. She was just getting up from the dinner table to wash the dishes one night, when the familiar tingling feeling came over her. She smiled for the camera, while pushing the feelings of pure panic down so they wouldn’t be seen.
Ian and Maya had no gifts for Sun as they had no idea her birthday was so close. She told them that they had already given her the best gift they possibly could; a family, a home and there wasn’t anything more she could ever ask for.
Sleep didn’t come easy that night and for the next few weeks Sun was easily distracted and unsettled. She paced the island with too many thoughts running through her mind. She was desperate to ask the questions she dare not ask, for she did not wish to be disrespectful. But now she really did need to know when Jin would be coming home!
One morning, Sun was sitting up by the waterfall watching as the waterspout tossed the water into the air and the water gracefully cascaded over the side. She was so focused on the water that she didn’t right away hear Maya calling her name from the beach. She stood up, waved to her and Maya asked her to come down.
“Sun this has gone on long enough. You must tell us what is going on in that pretty head of yours”
“Nothing is going on Maya. I’m just tired is all”No Sun. You haven’t been yourself for a few weeks. Please tell me what is wrong.”
Sun sighed, “I miss Jin, Maya. So much it hurts all the time. Please Maya. Is he ever coming home?”
“Oh Sun, I miss him too. Especially now that I have this little one. I can’t help but think of him all the time. But he can’t come home. Not until things are settled.”
Sun looked to the ground holding back tears. “I understand. Its okay”
Looking at Sun, Maya said “No. No you are right. This isn’t okay. I know what it is like to be away from someone you love. This has gone on long enough. We can’t speed up the test, but we can get our answers another way. I’m getting on a plane to China. Its time someone asked your mother!”
Alarm bells went off in Sun’s head as she tried to think of what to do.
“No. Oh no Maya you can’t!”
“Oh yes I can! I want this over as much as you do.”
“But Maya, you’re pregnant! You, you shouldn’t get on a plane! I’m sure Ian wouldn’t want that!”
“Then I will send Ian if he won’t let me go.” Maya turned to leave when Sun grabbed her arm.
“Please Maya! I’m fine, really I am. Couple more months will just fly by. Please don’t worry about me!”
Sun was in such a panic that her breathing was quick and she had such a look of fright on her face.
“What aren’t you telling me Sun?”
“Nothing I promise. Just concerned for you is all.”
“Uh huh, I’m not buying it dear daughter. Out with it, or you will never hear the end of it from me!”
“I, I..I can’t Maya. Some things are best never said. You have to believe me. Just let it be.”
Maya stood patiently and stared at Sun till she began talking.
“You won’t find my mother in China Maya. She’s dead. She died just a month after I was born. She didn’t give me up for adoption. Someone else did.”
Maya felt like she had been punched in the gut and a small cry escaped from her lips.
“I, just thought….I thought it was because I left China and she wasn’t being allowed to write to me.”
Sun stayed silent, giving Maya time to absorb the news.
“She was beaten to death by her husband.”
“Who? Who was he?”
“Maya this isn’t good for you or the baby. Please don’t make me tell you.”
Maya laid a hand on her stomach protectively then said, “I need to hear this, no matter how painful. Please Sun, your mother was my dearest friend. I need to know.”
“Shen. She was married to Shen.” Maya gasped and covered her face.
“When you left China Maya, my mother was the only eligible
woman left for Shen to marry. She was forced into it, but my mother was already pregnant when she married him. I was born and when it became very clear I was not his child, he began beating my mother.”
“No!” Maya cried.
“My aunt once told me that my mother loved me very much, but she willed herself to die, just to get away from him. He didn’t want me, so my aunt stepped in and took me from him. But she was forced to agree to terms of my adoption. When I reached young adulthood, I was to be returned to him, to be married and provide him an heir. She couldn’t bare that so she sent me as far away as she could send me instead of keeping me.”
“No, no no no no.” Maya began to back away looking up to the sky. “What have I done. What have I done?” Suddenly Maya let out a cry.
” I KILLED MY BEST FRIEND! “
Sun grabbed Maya by the shoulders and held on to her.
“This is NOT your fault Maya! I’ve never in my whole life thought it was anyone else’s fault but the one person to blame. This is HIS fault.”
“How long have you known about me?” “I didn’t. Not until I came to the island and you told Jin and I the story that night. But it doesn’t matter Maya. Never will I damn you with the blame for what that man did. If you hadn’t gotten away from him, one day it could have just as easily been you. The world would be a much less brighter place without you in it. Please believe me Maya.”
“I think I would like to be alone now.”
“I don’t think that is a good idea Maya.”
“Please Sun! I need to grieve for my friend and ask for her forgiveness. I need to be alone.”
I will leave, but I’m going to get Ian. You should not be alone.”
Sun turned and ran back to the boat, dreading the story you knew she must tell all over again.
Maya stumbled to the rail at the edge of the island.
“I’m so sorry Sun. I will never forgive myself as long as I live.”
CC Used In This Chapter
Poses –IMHO -Do not be sad, baby!