It is very long .
- For Teachers
I posted the first part of my short story in this forum two weeks ago. I have just finished the second part. Please read through it and correct my grammatical errors. Thanks in advance.
Tsin has reached one of the windows. She turns the lever handles with both hands and opens the wooden shutters. Dust flies everywhere and a shaft of light floods in. She squints against the morning brilliance and lets the incoming wind caress her cheeks. However, the air reeks of noxious chemical fumes. The stretch of woods beside the orphanage was leveled for the construction of roads and factories many years ago. Nature has always succumbed to this prevailing trend of modernization. The shady woods were the favourite haunt of Tsin and her friends. They enjoyed ambling through the tapestry of trees in hot afternoons, admiring the scenery and picking flowers without a care in the world. It never occurred to them that the woods would suffer such a fate. The thought of this brings tears to her eyes. She feels like she has lost a dear friend. How many people will actually mourn the demise of the woods like her? She dries her tears and proceeds to open the other windows. Instantly, the room becomes alive with light. Her eyes glide across the room, absorbing the sight that unfolds before her. The walls, which were once laden with children’s drawings and bible quotations, are totally bare. The book shelf against the back wall is gone too. There are only a few chairs left on the floor. Like what she has previously seen in the dark, they are either upended, tipped on their sides or lay in fragments. Her eyes now settle on the front wall. She is quite surprised to see the blackboard remain intact in its place. Similarly, the bronze cross still hangs above the blackboard. It has turned black with age, losing much of the sheen that is vivid on her mind.
Tsin is making her way to the centre of the room with slow, deliberate steps. She wants to find the spot where her seat was once situated. When she is sure of where it is, she kneels down on the dust-layered floor. It causes sharp pain to her rheumatic knees but she does not care. She gazes up at the cross, eyes turning misty again.
Many foreign missionaries remained in China during the Second World War. She intuitively believes that Reverend Baker and Mrs. Baker were among them. Their selflessness in caring for the orphans is unquestionable and it is unlikely of them to leave the children behind for their own safety. Did they survive the extreme adversity of the war? If they did, did they join the mass exodus of missionaries from China when the country was declared a republic in 1949? Most of those who had opted to stay behind for the sake of their flocks were caught and imprisoned. Religion was denounced as people's enemy in China then. She hopes nothing bad happened to them but it is a wishful thinking.
Tsin’s uncle died in his sleep when she was thirty-four. After four years, his wife joined him. She took their death very hard but was able to get over her grief through prayers. Time lapped and receded, all her children grew up and finished their university education. They became successful professionals and got married one after another, having children of their own. She and her retired husband enjoy their status as grandparents very much. If the Baker couple had not taken her in, all this happiness would not have been hers. She could have been unscrupulously sold for money like what has befallen many other unfortunate orphans in China, suffering child abuse without having a chance to be adopted by his uncle and to meet her husband.
Tsin is now seventy-six. She finds herself very well-blessed for being able to set foot on the soil of Chung-San, her hometown again after sixty-four years. Some of her friends could not live that long to return to their birthplaces in China. She reached the Gwangdong town with her husband and two of her children two days ago. She was filled with relief when her children found out that the orphanage is still standing from the locals. They came to the derelict building this early morning. She was overwhelmed with strong emotions each time she saw familiar things in the building. The moment they came to the cloistered corridor, she insisted on going into the classroom on her own. She wanted to have a personal moment with it. She had missed it too much.
“Mama, are you okay?”
A soft female voice speaks from behind her. It interrupts her litany of memories. She looks over her shoulder and sees Yong Shi, her forty-nine year-old daughter standing behind her. She can also see her seventy-eight year-old husband, Nam and her fifty-three year-old eldest son, Yong Chin, smiling at her at the doorway. Her other children cannot come to Chung-San because they are busy with their work in Sarawak. The sight of them makes her feel calm.
“I’m alright,” replied Tsin with a nod. “Just recalling the past.”
“We will ask more locals about the whereabouts of Reverend Baker and his wife,” said Nam. He looks lovingly at his wife.
“Mama, I am sure we can get some reliable information about them,” reassured her son.
“That’s very nice of you,” said Tsin, her face smiling. “It’s okay even if you can’t find anything. The past is too blur and distant for us to grasp.”
Yes, the past is too blur and distant. But love is omnipresent and everlasting. Reverend Baker and Mrs. Baker will always be remembered for their love and kindness in her heart. And so will her uncle and his wife.
Tsin asks her husband and children to kneel down beside her. She leads them in saying a prayer of thanksgiving to God. Love binds their hearts together. It transcends time and boundaries.
Last edited by yeecharles; 20-Oct-2010 at 04:05.
It is very long .
Please proofread my story if you are free. Thanks.