They need us, Gerard; and you need them.
Meaning - Ambience.
Rating - 15+. Swearing and things, no graphic.
1. the mood, character, quality, tone, atmosphere, etc., particularly of an environment or milieu: The restaurant had a delightful ambiance.
2. that which surrounds or encompasses; environment.
Summary - Gerard works in a very poor orphanage in china, and looks forward to when a new set of hands arrive to help ease the burden of his heavy work load. What will Gerard do when he sees trouble ahead?
Disclaimer - I don’t own Frank or Gerard, but I own all others, because they are fictional. Names may be based on real people when translated into English, but they aren’t the real people… if that makes sense.
Okay, so some of the speech is meant to be in Chinese, but for the sake of the reader I have it all in English. I can’t speak Chinese myself, so I know how annoying it would be x] I have a translation of the names at the bottom, and if you see any mistranslations, please inform me and I will put it right.
Markets & Revelations
I spun round to the sound of my name to see Lang-Nu running towards me.
‘Sweetie I told you too call me Gee,’ I told her in Chinese. She could speak English, as I had taught her, but being only 8 years of age she still got words muddled up, so it was much easier for me to speak to her in her mother tongue.
I had been working at the orphanage for 6 months now. It was based in an extremely poor part of china west of Hong Kong. We had a mainly girls here, dumped on the streets by parents desperate for their only child the government allowed them to have, to be a boy. Once they saw they were female, they would leave them on a street corner to die, or in a bush somewhere until one of our workers came across them and brought the small babies here. We only had 3 boys, all of whom had been abandoned because of various deformities. One had no hand, another had one leg shorter than the other. But the last one, Shi-Hui had it the worst. He had no feet, just rounded off edges with 4 little ‘toes’ sticking out of them. He only had one ear too, the other just a flap of skin. Not surprisingly, he was deaf in that ear.
‘I know, but Marie said I must be nice to all gentlemen who show me compassion, and you are one of them, so I must be polite and respectful at all times.’
I chuckled and scooped her up, balancing her on my hip. ‘I would find it polite for you to call me Gee. I have been saying to call me that for the past 6 months you silly-billy.’
She grinned and kicked her legs ‘Okay, Gee. Marie said something about you getting us a treat?’
‘Oh, did she now?’ I shifted Lang-Nu’s weight to my other hip and raised my eyebrows. ‘Well, I was just heading to the market to get them. Want to come?’
‘Oh, yes Gee! But, can I ask where you got the money from?’
‘That’s for me to know and you to not worry about’
‘Isn’t the saying for me to know and you to find out?’ The little girl asked.
I nodded. ‘Yes, but you don’t need to find out.’
She giggled and slipped off my hip, landing lightly off the floor, her slightly torn dress billowing around her. ‘I’ll go get my sandals!’ she yelled, and before I had time to reply she had run off into the other room.
Marie walked through the other doorway carrying a stack of papers. ‘Oh, Gerard, I hope you haven’t forgotten our new aid-worker is coming tonight?’
I slapped my hand to my forehead and scrunched up my nose. ‘Oh shit, I knew there was something I had forgotten.’
‘Don’t swear Gee, there’s kids about!’
‘They don’t know any English swearwords, we’re fine.’
Marie rolled her eyes and clucked her tongue. ‘They will know swearwords if you carry on saying them,’ she snapped in her thick Irish accent.
She could speak fluent Chinese, like me, but we found it easier to converse with each other in English and with the children in Chinese. It just made things a lot simpler. The reason I had come to the orphanage in the first place was to teach the kids English so they could have extra skills when they needed to find a job in later life. With China’s industry growing by the minute, with big American and English companies for customers, there was always a need for more translators, and our children once they had hit 18 could fulfil those roles.
I smiled as I thought that. Our children. Being gay and single, I knew there was little chance I would ever get a child of my own, and this was a way a could pretend I had one, caring for these orphans who had no-one else in the world.
‘Well, he’s coming tonight, fresh from America. So, you won’t be lonely. You read his CV right? At least, I told you too.’ Marie put her stack of paper down and re-did her scruffy ponytail, drawing her dark brown hair out of her eyes.
I racked my brains, trying to remember if I had read this new guy’s CV. ‘Was his name Frank or something?’ I asked, flicking the hair off of my face.
Marie nodded. ‘Yeah, that’s him. Here’s the money for the market, and don’t be too long, because I need to tell the kids someone new is coming and they’ll get all excited.’
I hmm-ed in acknowledgement and smiled as Lang-Nu ran back through the door, her worn out sandals clacking gently across the broken tiles.
I switched languages immediately as I greeted her. ‘Come Lang, we gotta hurry. There’s another surprise coming later on tonight.’
She squealed as she ran and grabbed my hand, pulling my out of the door and through the small cramped streets of the shanty-like town.
‘What treats are you going to get us, Gee? And what’s our surprise? I like surprises, as long as they aren’t like Tian-Rong’s, hers are always mean and involve spiders in your bed.’
I smiled slightly. ‘No, this has nothing to do with spiders. And I don’t think Tian would do such a thing, she’s a lovely girl.’
Lang scoffed as we turned a corner, at a slightly slower pace than when we had started. ‘Yes, she acts lovely, but she can be a real meanie. The other day, she made Liang cry!’
‘And how did she do that may I ask?’
‘She said that the dragon Teo-ju will come down from the mountains and eat her, you know, the dragon you told us that story about?’ Lang babbled, not even looking at me as she spoke.
I nodded, even though she wasn’t looking. ‘But in my story Teo-ju was a nice dragon, he helped people. He would never eat anyone!’
Lang giggled and finally stopped as we reached the market. ‘Well then Gee, you need to tell Liang that.’
Lang-Nu - Lindsey
Shi-Hui - Charlie
Tian-Rong - Tara
Liang - Lee