Emma!
Part Twelve
by sarAdora

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27 November
Dear Emma,

My children are more American than Chinese! They like the Pilgrim's holiday with more enthusiasm than the Chinese New Year. Ling Shou has asked for stuffing to go with the evening meal. Stuffing! My mother would suffer pain in her heart if she heard the daughter of her son voice such a need. Dim sum is so much better! My mother's cooking is known everywhere in China and is so good it tempts priests to leave their temples - the smells that come from my mother's kitchen even draw the revered panda from their mountain forests - or so she says. Stuffing! It is a sad thing to hear the flesh of my flesh say such a thing. I will not tell my mother.

And now the Christian Christmas is upon us. I would not have my children do without so I shall purchase things for them so that they will not be shamed in front of their schoolmates. I have been informed that I should not buy clothes for them for this holiday but should buy happiness. Since I am mere father and not of their age - I thank my Gods for this - I shall let them choose the happiness of their choice.

I spoil them more than I did when their mother was still with us. She would satisfy them with a tasty orange or cloth doll she made for them or perhaps a story of her childhood. She would fill them with kisses and they would sweeten with her attention. I have fond thoughts of her and sad ones too. I hope she watches them from some other plane and is pleased with their place in life.

I have purchased the Christian's Bible book and read the story of the Christ child many times. It is a beautiful story and I will read it again for my children just before we go to the Catholic's church to listen to the adoration of His birth. Ling Shou sings O Holy Night and I confess her voice is sweet.

I thanked my Gods for the many blessings in my life and I thanked them especially for you. I send warm thoughts to you and Amelia and to Jerome as well.

Kyou

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5 January
Dear Emma,

I took my children to the Chinese temple to worship with the old ones. I want them to remember they are Chinese first and American second. I do not mind that they enjoy the Christian and American holidays but I want them to rejoice in their birthright as well. They may choose to follow other Gods but that will not stop the Chinese Gods from loving them.

Your gifts arrived and we are undone with your generosity. Thank you. I am glad your received our gifts and like them.

And now I speak of you.

Your voice was filled with gladness when we spoke but I sense a secret you do not tell me. It was a touch of sadness in your voice. Emma! Please do not be ill. Tell me you are well for if you are not, I need to know. My heart could not bear the surprise of your sudden need for medical attention. I ask my Gods to take special care of you and I ask the same of Saint Madeleine and light many candles at her feet.

I breathe with heavy heart until I hear again from you.

Kyou

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14 January
Dear Emma,

I called you today and Amelia answered the phone. She is so grown up now. I can not believe how swiftly the years have passed. When I asked for you she said you went to your bed and that you were asleep. I asked if you were ill and she said mommy cries but that it was her daddy who is not well. I asked my Gods to look after Jerome but they did not answer me.

I will pray harder for him to be well.

I send warm hugs to all of you.

Kyou

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9 June
Dear Emma

It has been a month since Jerome passed to the other side. I wanted to be with you when you said your final farewell but I understood your need to do this by yourself. I wanted to extend comfort and understanding but I have buried my children's mother and I know that some things are necessary for one to do alone. You offered more than comfort to me when Mei Ling died. I make the same offer to you. Only tell me and I will be wherever you wish to go.

Amelia told me you were moving back to Switzerland. I will miss you more than I have words but I am filled with hope that you are filled with happy memories of your time with Jerome and that when you cease to mourn every waking moment that you will be ready to move on with your life.

Emma! I am here for you.

Kyou

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17 August
Dear Emma,

You have been in Switzerland over a year. It has been a slow year for me but I am happy to see that you spent much of it writing. Your new novel is poignant and filled with sweet pain and sweeter hope. I ache for you. I hope you are well and that your life has a touch of happiness.

I wish you peace.

Kyou

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27 December
Dear Emma,

Your gifts arrived and my children are bursting with the joy of the treasures you sent to them. I am feeling blessed as well. You have 2 new books! I did not know one person had so many words and I am glad that person is you. You paint pictures for me to see and I am awed by the beauty you create with words. Thank you for being Emma.

Ling Shou has taken my portrait of you and placed it in her room. She misses you Emma as do my sons. To tell you I miss you is to tell you to breathe - you know that. I long to see you but will stay away until you have need of my presence in your life. Every morning I ask my Gods to watch over you and Amelia and to see if there is room in your painful heart to spend time with an old friend.

Let it be so.

Kyou

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2 February
Dear Emma,

You surprise me every day! Yes! I will fly back to my alma mater and meet you there where it all began. I can not wait to see you and I am glad to know that the "best hamburgers in the world" are still there and in the same place. I count the hours until we share the root of beer!

Kyou

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9 February
Dear Emma,

You are all the beauty in my world. You are all the joy. You are also too thin. My heart pumped so fast when you said "hold me" and when I held you close to me and my lungs remembered to take in air, I felt the fragile body that holds the spirit of my sweet Emma. My heart ached for you. Yes, it has returned from Pittsburgh to greet you and it is saddened by your appearance. Emma! You must eat more. That does not mean you should grieve less but you must put more flesh on your body.

You must be well for Amelia. You must be well for the memories you have of Jerome. You must be well for your readers who will want to read more books where you string words in wonderful ways and tell stories of people who live in your fertile mind. You must be well for YOU. There is more joy to be had in your life. With soft words so as not to offend the gods, I ask that you please be well for me.

I will feed you several times a day and you will eat!

You sleep now while I write this. I will put this letter in your journal and you will see it when you leave.

So far - we have eaten the "best" hamburgers in the world with many pickles. We have shared a few roots of the beer and much laughter. It is good to see you smile Emma. It is good to hear your laughter. It rings in my memory and I will call it back to the front of my mind often in the days and weeks to come. We have walked the paths we have taken when we first met here so many years ago.

And - I have held you in my arms and that has been the best of all. More and more I am empty without you in my daily life but would not ask for more at this time. When your soul has reached a level of acceptance, if it ever does, then I shall be here for you if you would have more of me.

I watch you sleep. The bones of your body need more flesh to cover them. Your face is the face of my Emma - too thin but my Emma and for that I am grateful. I breathe harshly when I hear you whisper my name in your home of sleep. I take your hand and hold it in my own and Emma! I thank my Gods for you.

Dream of me and the sweet times we might share. I go now to get food for you. I know where there is rich dim sum and will be happy to see you eat it.

Kyou

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13 February
Dear Emma,

Hotels should have scales in the bathing room. If they did I would weigh you. I think you have gained many pounds and I tease you of course. You look more at ease and I think maybe you did eat a whole animal last night at dinner but I will refrain from saying which one. I love to watch you eat. You eat a lot more now than you did when we first arrived a few days ago. You rest better now than you did then. For that I am very glad.

I think this is the longest time we have ever spent together. The time is too swift in passing and we leave on the morrow. Have you thought about my suggestion to come to New Orleans with Amelia and stay at my home? My sons and Ling Shou would like that very much and I - humble Chinese man - would offer traditional tea to my Gods with you at my side. Yours I would sweeten with jasmine. I would buy cheerios just for you. There is root of the beer in my refrigerator. I have discovered the way to your heart is through your eating habits. What else can I offer? My arms to hold you and my shoulder for your head to rest and a receptive heart to whatever you wish to tell me.

Say yes Emma.

Kyou

~ End Part Twelve ~

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