Cherry has more or less settled down to her new home on Galaad Island, what will life bring to our young friend?
Sighing Cherry drew herself away from the window. She felt so lonely at times, even though her social life was bustling with new acquaintances. Besides, she was way too busy with her career to think about men. Over these weeks very little had been done to that basement construction on Cherry's lot, it seemed like all the workmen did was fighting with each other. Knowing that she had hired the wrong company, Cherry had all the intentions to tell the men that they were fired but every time she saw their kind and babyish smiles, her heart melted and another day passed without nothing happening to Cherry's bunker.
So when Cherry was too exhausted to go to the fire station, she slept on the park bench, not knowing that another Garden had done the same thing on another park bench decades ago. Little by little Cherry had managed to gather some money to buy some essential things for her home but when she visited the local shops, she realized that maybe she should have been a bit less generous with her donations to the charity organizations. Luckily a colleague was able to tell Cherry about the local consignment store, which was in fact run by his own wife, where she could make some good deals.
The shop itself was small and there weren't that many useful things but the shopkeeper was extremely nice. Cherry and the lady chatted about the weather and families, the latter being a subject both women were enthusiastic about. One evening Cherry was harvesting the free crops again. She had been doing it almost every night and she loved the feel of the place. It was quiet and the sky was always purple by the time she was able to arrive to the little garden. Only now she could understand her mother, and presumably her grandfather Asparagus too, why they had been so keen on gardening. One day, Cherry promised to herself, she would have a garden of her own.
Thinking about her family made Cherry think about the lack of it. But then suddenly she remembered that her grandmother Adaeze had been Chinese. Maybe, just maybe, there were dozens of second-cousins waiting for her in China, in Shang Simla.
Cherry was so excited about her realization that she picked up her cellphone and booked the flights, immediately. Cherry took the taxi to the harbor where she would take the boat to the continent, to the airport.
The very idea of doing something like this, traveling to China without planning anything, was thrilling. Shang Simla was beautiful. The birds were singing, trees were in autumnal colors and everything was so peaceful. The village was nothing quite like the bustling and vibrant French village of Champs les Sims but this place had true ancient charm to it. It was like Cherry had traveled back in time.
Vacation was exactly what she had needed. Cycling up and down the old roads Cherry came across a charming Chinese fruit and vegetable garden. She knew she didn't have such green thumb her mother had had but gardening was still a passion of hers, probably because it was in her blood. And of course, gardening was a very fitting hobby for someone who carried 'Garden' as her family name. - Excuse-me, Sir...
- I wonder if you know a family called Min...
- Yes... My grandmother used to live in this village, her name was Adaeze Min.
- Umm... I am sorry, Miss, but I do not know anyone by that name. The only Adaeze Min I have heard of was a SimFu master decades ago. Maybe you can go and see if you can find anything at the The Phoenix Martial Arts Academy?
- Oh... Well, thank you anyways... When Cherry arrived to the The Phoenix Martial Arts Academy it was already late and there was absolutely no one she could ask about her grandmother. So she sat down on a stone bench and breathed in the sweet Chinese air.
If Cherry had only known how big part this place had played in her family's history, she would have been maybe a bit more appreciative but at that moment the thought of having a grandmother who had once been a SimFu master was simply silly. Of course Cherry had heard of SimFu, her father had even tried to teach her it once or twice but Cherry had been a bit too much like her mother, maybe slightly too French as Broccoli had sighed. Only now Cherry understood how disappointed her father had been when she had shown absolutely no interest in SimFu. It was a family tradition, just like gardening.
But maybe it wasn't too late to start practicing? The first five minutes made Cherry think of two things. First was that SimFu wasn't probably meant to be practiced while wearing heels and the second thought was that she should have listened to her father when he had tried to teach her.
Learning SimFu was impossible without any guidance. Cherry had restricted herself from thinking about work for over 24 hours already, which was her new record, but when the night fell and she hadn't succeeded in finding her second-cousins, she decided to give a call to her boss.
- But Cherry, you're on a vacation!
- Yes, I know, I'm just checking if everything is okay...
- Everything is perfectly well, now go and enjoy your vacation! Don't think about work, we manage here just fine...
- No buts... Although...
- Now that you are in China, you could go and meet the local master in acupuncture... The bosses are interested in experimenting with the traditional Chinese medicine. That could mean a possible promotion...
- Ooh, really? What's the guy's name? Next morning Cherry hurried to the local market to buy the SimFu training equipment, some books and some other stuff. Naturally she experimented with the Chinese cuisine and went on a sightseeing tour. She was very surprised to hear from the guide that decades ago one Asparagus Garden had helped the village in the time of danger. Then hearing that Cherry was the granddaughter of this great hero, the guide almost fell down on the ground, stunned, mumbling something about the 'chosen ones'... On the morning of the third, and last day of her trip, Cherry woke up early and noticed that this time she was the one to fall down on the ground. She had decided to update her look a bit with the local hand-made cosmetics but she thought that maybe instead of beautifying herself she should spend the time on gym, building up some muscle. It had been a while since Cherry had eaten proper breakfast, usually she either skipped it completely or ate couple apples on the way to work. Apple a day keeps the doctor away, unless you happen to work in a hospital. Cherry had gotten the name 'Cheng Hua' from her boss but no address. So she spent most of the day knocking on every door, hoping to find either her second-cousins or the mysterious Cheng Hua. On the afternoon Cherry came across a house that looked oddly familiar. She couldn't quite point out where she had seen the house before, until she realized that this must be the very same house where her grandmother had lived. Broccoli had showed her some pictures when she was a young girl and the massive stone lions had fascinated her so much that she could recognize them years after.
Finding her grandmother's house got Cherry's hopes up but then no one was home to open the door. So Cherry walked to the neighbors' house to ask about Adaeze's house.
- No, Miss, we do not know any Mins... The only Min I have heard of was a SimFu master who moved to Simlandia decades and decades ago, going there after some Asparagus-man. I know, my grandmother used to live with this Min...
- Oh, okay... That Min was my grandmother, Adaeze..
- Oooh, really? That is wonderful! Please, join my family for dinner...
- I'm so sorry, I can't... I have to find Cheng Hua, do you know where he lives?
- Right there, he lives there with his son...
- Thank you so much...
- You are welcome, Miss...
- Cherry, Cherry Garden..
- Next time you visit Shang Simla, Cherry, you have to join my family for dinner, I insist! Cheng Hua was one of the oldest inhabitants of the village but he spoke perfect Simlish, having studied in Simford University decades ago.
- Acupuncture is a fine art, not just a way of healing people... You can cause terrible damage if you do it wrong, or at least you will make the victim... eh, patient scream if you pinch him in the wrong place... Heheh..
Cherry was intrigued. But Cheng told her that he only takes one student at times and at the moment he was teaching his own son. Maybe he could send his son to show some acupuncture to Cherry's bosses? Cherry sighed. Her vacation was over already and she had only found out that she truly was all by herself in this world.
Maybe it was time to start off a family of her own...
Gardener's Dream - Chapter 27
Sep 7, 2010 by YrS92
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