The telephone rang three times before Ivy got up to answer it. She checked the time. It was just pass midnight. She had hoped the noise didn't wake her neighbours. "Hello." She whispered into the receiver.
"Ivy..." She could hear over the phone that Jimmy had been crying. It's what she liked about him; he was unafraid of showing emotions. But something really upset him right now. "There's been an accident. Huang Ma is in the hospital."
"Which one?" Ivy scribbled the name down on a piece of paper. "Dongfang...I know where that is."
First thing the next morning, Ivy arrived at the hospital. She found Jimmy already there, sitting on a bench in the hallway. He stood up when he saw her. He looked tired. "She's going be OK. The doctor said she only suffered from scrapes and bruises."
"A car lost control and took out all the vendor carts. She didn't even see it coming."
Jimmy asked Ivy to keep Huang Ma company while he spoke to the duty nurse about releasing her into his care. Ivy entered the largely empty ward. Huang Ma was in a bed closest to the window. She was relieved to see her awake. She seemed even more frail and helpless than the last time they had met. Ivy poured a glass of water from the thermos on the night stand and handed it to Huang Ma. She patted her hand gently as a way of saying thanks. She crooked her finger to beacon Ivy to come closer. Ivy leaned closer knowing she wanted to say something to her.
Jimmy hadn't gone very long. He came back to the ward to see Ivy sitting on the bed by Huang Ma. "The bill has been settled, we can leave anytime today." Ivy said goodbye to Huang Ma and told her she would be around by 5:00 pm tonight. "What did you two talk about?"
"Huang Ma asked me to come over and make dinner. I need to go to market now if I am to find something for us to eat tonight."
That night would have been Ivy's last night in China. Her flight home, was the next day. She bought a drunken chicken and learned from Huang Ma how to prepare cuyu sweet and sour fish. Jimmy picked up a nice bottle of rice wine. He raised his frosted plastic cup of wine and wished her a safe trip. She drank to that while Jimmy applauded her on her fish dish.
That was 6 months ago. After such a long time, Jimmy didn't expect to see Ivy again. So it was a wonderful surprise to see her standing at his doorstep. She was beaming and refrained from jumping into his arms, before he had had a chance to register her presence.
"Ivy!" He touched her face, her hands and shoulders to make sure he wasn't imagining things. "You're back." Then he lifted her in an embrace and twirled her around the room with excitement. "You are back!" She squealed with laughter.
"Yes. I'm back." She returned his embrace, once he lowered her.
"Are you here to stay?" Ivy nodded.
"Come on." She dragged him out the door so fast, Jimmy barely had the chance to grab his coat.
"Where are we going?" He had to quicken his pace to keep up with her.
"I want you to meet my parents."
"Yes. Why else do you think it took so long to come back? Everyone needed to get their passports."
"Wait. That means..."
Ivy finished his sentence for him. "...they want to meet their future son-in-law."
"Woohoo!" For the second time in a row, Jimmy took Ivy into his arms. He knew everyone was watching and applauding. He didn't care if the whole world could see him kiss her. He was the happiest man alive.
This has been my first fiction. Please let me know what you think.
If you haven't read chapter 1 for a while, I have made one change hopefully that will add to Jimmy's character development.