Sunday, June 26, 2011

Oleander - Gen 7 Ch 6

It was the day of our wedding, and I don't know if it was nerves or what, but my stomach was rebelling.
"Are you sure you're alright, sweetheart?"
"I'm just nervous. I'll be fine. I hope."
"You'll be great. I just know it. I'll be waiting when you are ready, love."

I went upstairs to change, while my proud papas made sure everything was set up to their satisfaction.

Everything was ready, they were all waiting for me... and where was the blushing bride? Why, in the bathroom losing her breakfast in a most unladylike fashion, that's where. 

At last I conquered my fears enough to make my way down to the pond, where Papa Brook was waiting for me.
"You look lovely, sweetheart. Are we all set?"
I had a sudden last minute attack of nerves, but then I glanced toward the edge of the pond, where the wedding arch had been set up.

There was my Zhan, waiting patiently for me. Keeping my eyes on my love, I nodded.
"Yes papa, I'm ready. Let's do this."

I floated through the ceremony as if in a dream. A few times my stomach made as if to rebel again, but I just kept my eyes on my Zhan, and before I knew it, we were finished. Husband and Wife.  That made the whole ordeal worthwhile.

We both had insisted the Song be part of the ceremony, so he sat at our feet the whole time, giggling and cooing and adding his adorable cuteness to the occasion.

As soon as we finished our vows, Zhan scooped him up in his arms to show him off to our guests.
"Say hi to everyone, Song!"
He decided to be shy, and refused to say anything, but he did wave at the audience before he buried his face in his daddy's shoulder.

By then I was feeling pretty good again, and made it without a hitch though all the rice throwing...

...and of course the cake cutting.

At last the party seemed to be winding down. Papa Brann had already taken charge of Song, and fed him and put him to bed.
"Come 'ere, you! I have plans for my beautiful bride tonight!"
"Hehehe. What kind of plans?" if I didn't know...

Then he swept me up in his arms, and before I knew it he was carrying me up the stairs to our room... and I'll leave the rest of that magical night to your imagination.

Of course, we found out soon after that my wedding day sickness was not entirely due to nerves. Zhan was so thrilled to be part of this new baby's life from the very beginning. And he was intent on making up lost time with Song as well.

Our favorite place was the park. Song would get so excited whenever we'd plan a visit.
"Wheee! I'm a piwate!"
"Yay! Sail faster, Mr. Pirate! Look at you go!"

"Let's build a sand castle, Song. See, like this!"
I was getting to big to get down on the ground with them, but at least I could sit on the bench and watch. Zhan was so good with Song, and it was obvious Song adored his daddy.

We'd try to sneak in a little kiss the best we could, but sometimes it was hard.
"Mommy! See bunny!"
"Mhmm.. just a second sweetie, mommy's busy right now..."

I was painting in my favorite spot out on the second story deck, with Zhan keeping me company, when I felt a sharp pain.
"Ack, are you sure you don't want to go to the hospital?"
"Positive. I  despise hospitals. Just help me get to the bedroom," I panted in between contractions.

Zhan stayed with me the whole time, until in the wee hours of the morning, we welcome our little girl Daffodil in to the world.

Time passed quickly, and in no time at all it was time for Song's and Daffodil's birthdays. Since Song was the oldest, I took him to the cake first.
"Blow our your candles! Like this! Very good, sweetie."

Then Song got to wave his noisemaker while Daffodil took her turn at the cake.

The proud grandpas joined in with gusto. I was a little worried that all the noise would scare little Daffodil, but it didn't phase her at all.

Everyone had their eyes focused on our little Daffodil, cheering her on, and so no one noticed at first that something was wrong with Papa Brann.

I was the first to recognise that my Papa Brann was leaving us. Everyone was surprised to see me burst into tears.

Then everyone else realized what I already knew, and poor Daffodil was forgotten for the moment, as we all mourned my papa's passing.

Of course she had no idea what was happening, and kept glancing from one crying face to another, with a most confused expression on her face.

Her big brother was the first to notice her predicament, and rushed over to give her a hug.
"It's okay, sweet pea. Everything's gonna be all right, I promise."
I think he was trying to comfort himself as much as anything, but it seemed to work.

I don't know what I would have done without him that day. And from then on, those two were inseparable. I never had to worry about Daffodil when her big brother was around to protect her.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Oleander - Gen 7 Ch 5

I carefully guided the stroller over the rough ground, as I made my way over to the fire pit at Lost Willow Park. I"m having second thoughts about tell Papa about Zhan. You should have seen his face when I told him I was taking Song out tonight for another secret rendezvous. He believed my aunt Heather when she talked about her ghosts, why won't he believe me when I tell him about my handsome spy?

My heart caught in my throat as I approached. He was there waiting! He appeared lost in thought, but turned quickly when he heard the dry leaves crunching under the wheels of the stroller.

"Hello there, little Song. I'm your daddy. I'm so sorry I haven't been there for you, but I hope to change that if I can."
I smiled as Song giggled and cooed, reaching out to grab his daddy's nose.

"Thanks for coming, Andee. He is beautiful."
My heart was overflowing with happiness - both at seeing my beloved Zhan again, and seeing how he adored his son.
"I wouldn't have missed it for the world. He looks like you, don't you think?"
"Hmm, I think he looks more like you."
We went back and forth for a few minutes until Song let out his little 'sleepy cry.'

I rocked him for a few minutes, then settled him back into his stroller for a nap. Of course after all that he decided he wasn't sleepy after all, and wanted to sit up and watch us.

"And how about you, Andee? How's my beautiful girl holding up?"
I blushed a little at the compliment.
"Am I your girl?"

We sat silent for a while, just enjoying each other's company. After a while I pointed out the full moon.
Look, Zhan! It's incredible isn't it? If you look at it just right, you can see a dancing woman. Can you see it?"
He smiled at me.
"Have you heard the story of Chang'e?" he began.
But at that moment, Song let us both know in no uncertain terms that he was hungry, so the story would have to wait.

"Here you are, sweety pie. My goodness, you were so hungry, weren't you?"
"You are such a good mom."
He stood there just watching Song's little face for the longest time, while he finished his bottle. Finally he spoke again.
"I almost have things worked out. I'm so sorry it's taken so long."

Song was starting to fuss again. This time he was definitely sleepy.
"It's okay, Zhan," I replied over the increasing cries of my sleepy baby.
"No it's not. It might be a few days, but I'll see you again as soon as I can. Goodbye, my beautiful Andee, and my handsome little Song."
Then he disappeared into the darkness as I headed home to put Song to bed.

'ding dong'
Song was napping, so I hurried to open the front door before it could ring again.
"Good morning, Miss Greenbow. I'm investigating break-ins in the area. Have you had any problems with burglaries recently?"
I did a double take at the uniformed cop who was standing at my door.

"Zhan!?" In an instant I flew out the door and flung my arms around him.
"What are you doing here?"
He reluctantly untangled himself as he replied, "Remember I said I was trying to work something out? Well this it. I am now an official member of the Riverview police force. I did so well on my last assignment, my boss at the SIA agreed to set the whole thing up. I'll still be on call in case the SIA needs me, but mainly I'll be helping out the police chief right here in Riverview."

"Oh, and I brought you a little something to celebrate."

"Oh, Zhan! They're gorgeous!"
"Not as beautiful as you. Andee, would you like to go out with me tonight?"
"Out? you mean like a date? Yes, yes!"

Papa noticed the flowers immediately.
"Flowers, huh? Do you have a new admirer, sweetheart?"
'Hehe. You know that cop who came to the door this morning?"

"I know you won't believe it, Papa, but that was my Zhan. He is working undercover at the police department, and he is taking my on a date tonight! But don't tell anyone. It's a secret!"

Of course Zhan had to come in and say hi to Song before we left on our date. Song was being a little fussy, but it didn't seem to phase his daddy at all.
"There there, little guy."
"You are so amazing with him. He usually won't calm down for anyone but me."

After a nice dinner, we went back to my favorite place, Lost Willow Park. I could tell something was up; Zhan wasn't saying anything, only following me up the path with a huge grin on his face.

We settled in on the grass, and Zhan was still quiet. We watched the moon and stars for a while, until I remembered something.
"Tell me the story of Chang'e."
"Once there was a beautiful woman named Chang'e. Her husband Hou Yi owned an elixir of immortality, which he hoped would grant them both access to the Jade Palace in the heavens. But she was impatient, and drank the elixir without him. She floated up to the moon, where she remains to this day. Hou Yi pleaded with the gods to reunite him with his wife, and so they granted him one day a year to fly to the moon and be with her. That day is the harvest moon. The moon shines brightest that night because of their love."
"So that is Chang'e dancing in the moon, waiting for her husband?"

Instead of answering, he pulled me gently to my feet.
"Oh, Andee. I don't want to be like Hou Yi and only see my love once a year. You have been so patient with me, I won't have you wait any longer."

"I love you, Andee. I never want us to be apart again. Will you marry me?"
I was speechless.

I could only nod my agreement as he slipped the shining diamond ring onto my finger.

"Well, here we are in my room," I breathed.
"Yes, here we are."
"Stay with me tonight?"