Posts Tagged ‘love story’

Pan and Zheng (short short story)

February 5, 2019

Pan and Zheng

1.

This is a story by Shao Baojian. I have changed the details but it turns out the same.

The setting is a mid sized, smog filled, city; in a medium sized country with a quickly growing population.

Some old people there remembered a time, not too far back, when it was against the law to show affection in public. Yes, women could cuddle their children, and old men could embrace and hug after being reunited, but no more than that!

Now public displays of affection between a man and a woman was allowed, but frowned on as being forward, or foreign!

2.

Picture at the end of a half paved road, crowded with tiny stores, and multi family houses, a small apartment building.

This building was somewhat bland and unadorned, but well kept up. It was rectangle shaped, two story, and had ten apartments. Eight of those were families and two housed singles.

Looking at the front of the building the two singles lived on the upper floor on the far left side. Second from the end lived a bachelor named Zheng Ruokui. And at the end was a spinster named Pan Xuee.

Each morning the two would meet on the stairs on their way to work. He would speak first by saying, “Good morning,” with a pleasant smile. Then she would respond by asking, “Going out?” with another smile.

These were the only two sentences anyone in the neighborhood ever heard from them! And that is all the more surprising when one learns that some living here were gossips of the first rank!

3.

Pan was a woman in her late 30’s or early 40’s. Her cute features had lost a little of their softness from age. Her skin had tightened and her muscles had gotten leaner from repeated work. Her face was oval with balanced features. She had a fine complexion, pretty teeth, big eyes, and rich black, long, straight, hair. Her build was a bit skinny and fragile looking; but she was always ready to roll up her sleeves and lend a hand to the neighborhood.

She worked at the big flower shop on Western Street, the wide road that led to downtown.

Zheng was in his mid 40’s. He looked older with a bit of a stoop, black rimmed glasses, messy matted hair, and always a breakout or two on his face, that he’d scratch. He had medium height and weight with, narrow shoulders. His fingers were long and thin, and he often held his hands behind his back when he talked. But he was also bright, alert, and he had a way of telling news with a laugh, like it was a story.

Zheng worked for a theater chain. The job of his team was to paint murals on the walls. There wasn’t much originality in the work, because he had to follow a specific pattern that was the same in every theater.

Besides a movie now and then, Zheng didn’t go out much. He liked to stay at home and read, or paint watercolors. Many hung on his walls, and one had won him a prize in an amateur painting contest.

His room had a narrow bed, two straight backed chairs, a large and a small table, and in the center against the thick wall that he shared with Pan, a very large bookcase as tall as a man.

Those who came to his apartment always commented on the huge bookcase. It stood out. Besides books, magazines, and letters, the bookcase had a shoulder high shelf in the middle, near the top, that was perfect for displaying his precious flower vase.

He owned a blue translucent, family heirloom, flower vase, that he made sure was always clean, polished, and filled with fresh flowers.

4.

One cloudy drizzly day Pan and Zheng met on the stairs, talked as they always did, and separated. That was the last time they met.

Later that day, Zheng was painting on a scaffold when his heart beat became irregular. He called for help. His co workers rushed him to the hospital, but he lost consciousness and died in route.

Soon everyone at the apartments had heard the awful news. Zheng had died. Pan said nothing but her eyes were very red and puffy.

5.

People brought flowers to remember Zheng. The largest bouquet was from Pan. A few days later she quickly packed and suddenly moved away.

One week later family, friends, and neighbors, came together to go through Zheng’s belongings. They were surprised at what they saw.

Dust was layered on everything except the blue vase. That was sparkling clean and full of still fresh, white, chrysanthemums.

When some of the men pulled the large bookcase from the wall they got another surprise. Behind it was a door – an elegant, big, red, door with a bright polished brass handle!

Tongues wagged! The place buzzed like a beehive – noisy with the news that quickly passed through the crowd!

As people talked, the mood changed, and those who had felt kind respect for the bachelor; now felt betrayed; as if he had secretly made fools of them all, and had led a double life …

But then just as quickly, came another surprise. A boy tried to open the door. The brass handle was flat and smooth as the wall itself. So was the frame and the hinges!

The door was painted on the wall!

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Cello (new song, lyrics, and video)

May 2, 2018

Here is a preview of a new song of mine, called Cello.
The lyrics tell of a man who hears a woman playing cello through the apartment walls and falls in love with her.

The youtube video, with a rough demo of the song will be out soon. Till then here is the lyrics.

CELLO (c) Tom Hendricks 2018

1.

I was caught off guard, reading some books one day

When I heard next door, someone began to play.

Cello practice there. She played some scales to start.

Then after a pause, she played a piece by Bach.

Chorus

First she played it sweet like a Siren sings

Then she played it rough like a stormy see

Passion in her bow as her cello rang.

Passion in my heart, not too far away.

(guitar lead, then repeat chorus )

2.

Music shows the soul. Its more than skill or rote.

When she strums the strings, feelings in every note.

(I) listen when I can, don’t want to miss her play.

(I) really have to find some way to meet some day.

Chorus (repeat).


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