Emma!
Part Five
by sarAdora

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6 September
Dear Emma,

When I need you most in my life, you are here. Thank you for that. The weekend of the American Labor day was not filled with labor, it was filled with you. You give me only 1 day warning that you are coming but I understand that you did know in advance of that of your ability to travel here. You need not warn me Emma. I will take with gladness all the moments of our lives which you share with me.

Have I fallen in love with you, you asked. Yes, I told you with very soft words lest the Gods of your faith and mine be wary of such a feeling between this Chinese man and you not-so-Chinese woman. You and I know that you are not-so-Chinese but if you speak the words softly there is a little chance that one or more of my Gods will think that even though you are not-so-Chinese, there may be hope that you will act in such a way that a little-bit-of-Chinese might be found in your spirit and that will go a long way with them. I do not know what your God or Gods will think and I fear to find out that I may not be worthy of them.

Is love such a bad thing between friends that are as close as we have been? I think not. I am in hope that it is a good thing. Do I love you like a sister, you asked. No I do not. It is true sisters should be loved and cherished and protected and touched in a brotherly way. My one sister is very well loved and I would often kiss her brow and touch her shoulder to let her know that I am glad my Gods blessed our family with her presence. The love I have in my heart for her is a soft love. The love I have in my heart for you is also soft and it is also full of fire and need and sometimes it is filled with despair - even all the way to Pittsburgh. I say no more for it is good to have hope. If you say all that is in your heart and the Gods are listening and jealous that too much love has been diverted from your adoration of them, they can turn hope into silent yearning and give you no chance for more.

I dwell on our short time together. It is always full joy with you and always, our time together is not long enough to satisfy my heart. It is possible my heart will not ever have satisfaction. I will tell you what I saw since you were not looking at yourself.

I was filled with joy when I saw your smile and my arms were mine again when I held you close to me. Your form against my own makes my arms very happy. Your laughter - oh Emma! Your laughter is like no other. It is deep in your throat and filled with husky breath. I feel such gladness when I hear it.

You were surprised when we walked in the Quarter. It is good to see new things and I saw everything with your eyes. You saw things I did not see; Emma, that is the writer's eye you have - many details and sights and sounds and texture is the word you used. Yes, life on the streets of New Orleans has many textures and layers. It is alive and yet through your eyes, it was a living and breathing thing. I treasure the new memories you gave me. I also smile because you tried to drink green beer with all those oysters you ate and it was nothing like the taste of the root of beer! You coughed and made a funny face when the beer touched your tongue. Emma! You are such joy!

Again I remonstrate with your eating ways. You eat a lot but you are too slender. I think you need to eat more fat-on-the-body foods like dim sum and fried noodles and much wonton. You should also eat Italy's good food - spaghetti O's and ravioli - they are in cans in the food store. And cake, Emma. Cake is sweet and will put more flesh on you. I would learn to make one in the oven if you would eat it. I write these words to you and make my stomach yearn for food.

The sunrise of your visit was our quiet time. You sitting next to me in my apartment, you filling my arms and my heart happy to be within my chest and beating next to yours. Those moments I cherish and when you leave my arms, I remember them with happiness.

Come back to me, Emma. The sun has set and I need to be with you again.

As ever, I am

Kyou

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9 October
Dear Emma,

Have you forsaken me? Your letter had many uncertain words; words of fear that you were taking too much of my thoughts and that I should not wait for you to move to New Orleans. I have no other in my life that gives me as much joy as you. Do not desert me please, Emma. I await your next words - stay with me. I am fine with you in my life. Without you, I will have to move to Pittsburgh to visit my heart.

Kyou

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26 October
Dear Emma,

Your letter has just overwhelmed me and helped me experience the height of my personal satisfaction being a part of the same world where you and I share space and where we can enjoy such a rewarding dialogue. As I said in my last letter, your "desertion" - I did not think you would like this word - from my little world had left me in a helpless situation for I couldn't find a competent "replacement." That was a Chinese man attempt to make a joke but for me, it is really not a funny one.

I talk like an old soldier. I must confess, in any rate, that I have missed your good heart that is so sensitive, so tender and so loving and oh Emma! I have missed your letters and your sweet words and your voice in my ear and my arms are hungry for the touch of you.

Please, Emma. Do not desert me. I am lost without you in my life.

Kyou

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17 November
Dear Emma,

The Pilgrim's turkey day is in this cycle of the moon. I do not care for the taste of the bird. What a shame it is to kill such a beautiful creature but I fear they are very dumb and do not know they are born to be eaten. They are very tough on my tongue. I do like the foods that are stuffed inside the bird and the orange meat potato and the cranberries. The pie made from pumpkin is a strange taste but the apple pie is very fine. I hope you eat a lot of the fat foods and gain some flesh on your bones.

This is the day of thanking our Gods for our blessings. The Chinese Gods are thanked every morning for the good things in our lives. Your God seems to be content to be thanked on Sundays and on the day of turkeys. How strange that is. I will thank your God for the good things that have happened since I put my feet on this continent. The best good thing, of course, is you. I miss you, Emma.

Kyou

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25 December
Dear Emma,

It is the Christian Christmas and a new year is around the corner, waiting to unfold. I am compelled to give much serious thoughts to many things. My life is moving forward. I am appointed to a vice chairmanship of my department with more money to take home. I am putting some of my saved money into investments in a hope that I will be able to buy a house with a yard.

Emma, I have thoughts of the future and those thoughts are filled with you. I send you a wish for a new year filled with joy. With soft words lest I anger the Gods, I hope I am part of your new year's joy. As ever, I am

Kyou

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4 January
Dear Emma,

This may be the hardest letter I have ever written to you. It is filled with good news and with bad news. I do not think I should be so cowardly to tell you the bad news in a letter so I will call you before I mail this so you hear the words from my mouth.

The good news is that my brother has arrived in New Orleans and will stay a few weeks with me. The good news is that I have made my mother and my father very happy. The good news is that I am moving to a larger place with more room. The good news is that my Gods are pleased.

Emma! I am torn to tell you the bad news. My heart has taken up permanent residence in Pittsburgh and I have an empty cavern in my chest.

I am married.

There, I wrote the words as plain as I could.

My mother and my father contracted with a family for more land and they gave their daughter in exchange so that both the families could make good alliance. My father was proxy. He signed the contracts and on American soil, I have no obligation to fulfill the contracts but if I do not, they will suffer much shame and degradation and ill will and much unhappiness. I would not dishonor my family or our name.

My brother brought her to me. She is known as Mei Ling and is a pretty girl who does not speak English. My mother's letter came with my brother and she says that Mei Ling is able to take care of this Chinese man and cook favored foods and be humble and loving and has strength to bear many sons and daughters.

I am too filled with the conflict of this event and the words I have had to write to you. I will keep you in my heart of hearts Emma. I hope you will have room in yours to remember me.

Kyou

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19 March
Dear Emma,

Your letter was a very pleasant surprise. It came like a downfall of rain after a long spell of drought. It was pure joy to read your thoughts and to know that you have no ill will toward the unexpected change in my life.

Mei Ling is a woman of breeding and pleasant customs. She is very-old world-Chinese and shy but makes great effort to please me. I am a fortunate Chinese man. Some day I know I will have affection for her. Through no fault of her doing, she has come to me and I will not insult the gift of her presence but will make life as pleasant for our lives as I can.

I confess that I miss you and our many letters and phone calls and yes, this Chinese man misses you in his arms. I say this aloud and in words on parchment knowing full well that my Gods will not be pleased. So be it! I accepted Mei Ling and I will say my mind to you. She does not know of you and I am not sure if she should know. I will dwell on that for I do not wish to bring her sadness. I also do not wish to lose you in my life even though we are changed.

My heart resides in Pittsburgh yet.

Kyou

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27 June
Dear Emma,

I received the phone call from your agent and he gave me your new address. Emma! You have an agent! My chest is puffed with pride for your success! Your book is in the window of the bookstore! I see it and your name on the cover! It is elegant and so like you. I wish you break a leg with many book sales.

Thoughts of you fill my head.

Kyou

~ End Part Five ~

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