"Ms. Lu has been rather distance lately," whispered my mother as we came back home from my Lacrosse practice. "She normally always greets us when you are back home from school and practice. This is the thrid day in a row."
I asked: "Yeah, I've noticed. Did you try calling her?"
My mother replied: "Yes, several times but it always goes to voicemail."
"Maybe I should call her up," I said willing to give it a try.
"That's really sweet of you to do Stuart. Do you still have her number?"
"Yes ma'am, I do. She gave me her number since last year."
"Lovely, then I'll start making supper. You can see if she wants to join us."
"Okay, I'll be in a sec," I said as I was about to call Ms. Lu though my phone. It was a glorious day to place a call anyways. My mother nodded and went inside as I pressed the call icon from my phone. It rang for a solid minute but it went to voicemail. I ended the call quickly and tried again. Again, a solid mintue goes by but no answer.
I looked back at Ms. Lu's house. Her car was there so that means she was still home. I then proceeded to head over to her front door. Surely she'll answer the door given by me. After all, I am her favorite neighbor. I knocked on the door and waited there patiently. No answer. I tried again and this time Ms. Lu finally had answer. Yet instead of opening her door wide open, she only opened it a crack.
"Yes?" she asked by her front door shyly.
"Ms. Lu, it's me Stuart." I answered.
She then takes a peek from behind the door and goes: "Oh Stuart, I didn't know that was you. I'm sorry for my lack of response."
"It's all good Ms. Lu. Is everything okay though?"
"Yeah, everything is fine. Why do you ask?"
"My mother and I have noticed you have been distant lately. We've tried calling you several times but haven't heard from you at all."
"I'm terribly sorry for that. I've been going through something."
"It's okay. We won't hold it against you. If you dont mind me asking, what is it that you're going through?"
She paused but then she opens the door more and goes: "Please come in Stuart."
I then proceeded to go into her house as I took off my shoes and sat down on the living room couch.
"May I fetch you anything my dear?" she asked after closing the front door.
"No, I'm good. Thank you Ms. Lu."
"Absolutely Stuart. You're more than welcome." She then sits on her favorite rocking chair and then takes a deep breath. "Stuart, have you been in love?"
My mind automatically thought of Tracy when Ms. Lu had asked that. I'm still working on the courage to tell her my feelings myself. So when Ms. Lu asked, I go: "Yes and no."
She smiled and then goes: "I used to have someone I loved once. His name was Mr. Chi. He was so dreamy and very intelligent. Mr. Chi was a very friendly person with a heart of gold. He and I were high school sweethearts just like you and Tracy my dear."
"I wouldn't say that," I said doubtfully. I then asked: "What happened to Mr. Chi?"
"Well back in the day, he was set off to Vietnam War. We were both South Vietnamese you see and Mr. Chi was forced to go to war."
"I have heard about it through my history classes. It was most certainly unpleasant just as with any war."
"Right you are my dear, and that's good that your school is teaching you kids about all kinds of history. Anyways...he and I wrote each other almost everyday for the next six months until...until..."
Ms. Lu was having trouble to say what she had to say next that she even was tearing up in front of me. I processed to come over and kneel right next to her while giving her a hug. She accepted it by hugging me back.
As she did so, I noticed two black and white pictures on the end table next to her chair. When looking into the photo I saw a man who was smiling there and right next to it was another photo. In the second photo was the same man while a young woman who looked like Ms. Lu. I took it that this was the same Ms. Lu back then along with Mr. Chi. I got teary eyed after seeing those photos. She truly loved Mr. Chi. Underneath I even saw a box full of old letters and I can assume it was Mr. Chi who wrote them himself for Ms. Lu for writing was unfamiliar. Even Mr. Chi loved Ms. Lu as much and my heart was broken.
"Thank you Stuart," she whispered while sobbing by ear "You're always been a sweet and thoughtful boy."
"You're welcome Ms. Lu," I replied. Even I was getting some tears myself.
She then takes a deep breath and continues: "Until one day I retrieve a letter. What contained within that letter was the message that my love, Mr. Chi, got killed in combat. He was saving a commrade but a bomb went off. Today marks the day I got this heartbreaking letter and just the other day was the day of his death. This time of week has always been the hardest for me. I loved him so much as I still haven't loved another." Ms. Lu then collapsed into my arms crying.
As she sobs unto my arms, I rubbed her back and whispered: "I'm sorry with everything you have lost. I wish Mr. Chi were here today so I would have seen how much of a great of a guy he was. But he's still with you Ms. Lu. He's in your heart. Always has and always will be."
Ms. Lu calmed down a bit after what I said and then looks at me with tears streaming down her face. She replied: "You have nothing to apologize Stuart. I too wish he was here. I'm sure he would have loved you as his own son. And yes, you are right. He's with me through this heart of mine. Thank you for lending your ear. I'm sorry you have to see me like this. I'm such a wreck."
I replied politely: "You're all good Ms. Lu. I completely understand. But hey, you've seen me at my worse too. Remember when I was having a tantrum when someone was playing in my sandbox?"
She then laughed and replied: "Yes, I remember that day. You and I always go there every Saturday. I believe you were three at the time and it was the park's sandbox. I'm surprised you recall that."
I then responded: "Well from I want recall is that I was the King of that Sandbox in thy Park."
She smiled and replied: "Haha, you did call yourself that everytime we were there."
Shortly afterwards Ms. Lu and I went over to my house where supper was calling us or should I say my mother in this case. My parents, Ms. Lu and I all had a delightful dinner. Tonight's dinner was meatloaf and mashed potatoes along with corn.
Since my mom could see that Ms. Lu was in high spirits during supper, she took it as a sign that I would make a good counselor. She even noted this to me at the dinner table and I have been studying psychology ever since. I found my passion and drive since that day I talked to Ms. Lu. Yet I just gonna tell Tracy how I feel though.