Lunch With Dr. Woo

  Dr. Woo is in his office thinking about the girl Rui brought here, her eyes remind him of someone from his past. The way when she smiled at Rui, her eyes had a crescent moon shape, and the unusual green with golden specks, could she be related to Hua? That would be a strange coincidence, the mountain village he and Hua grew up in together was on the other side of the country hundreds of miles away from Pushong City.

     I wonder what ever happened to Hua after I left to study. Memories of his childhood flood back to him as he sits at his desk, Hua’s mother was the first doctor he had ever met, when he saw her manipulate the silver needles it was a beautiful sight to see. It inspired him to learn Acupuncture. She was a stubborn woman she instilled that trait in Hua her daughter, he chuckles remembering how feisty she was, the school beauty, he had a crush on her all through High School.

     It has been a little over twenty two years since he left there to study then wander the world. Well, he puts his reading glasses on, I better start sorting through these papers, enough reminiscing it is most likely a coincidence, but I might ask her at lunch what city she is from.

     Qiao Rui takes LiMei into the room, “It will take me a moment to grind the herb and make a paste to apply to your arm. Sit up on the examination table for me.”

     LiMei obediently sits up on the exam table watching him with the mortal and pestle grinding the herb, it has a pungent aroma as he grinds it. 

     “Rui?”

     He looks up at her she is swinging her legs over the exam table watching him, he likes the feeling of having LiMei close to him. “Yes?”

       LiMei scrunches up her little nose,“What is that herb it has a very strong  aroma to it.”

     “It is Disheng, it is grown in the Amazon forest in Brazil by a small tribe named Pirikura, the  butterfly people”

     “Wow,That’s interesting! Did you travel there?”

    “No I bought it from a dealer in medicinal herbs.”He doesn’t want to go into more detail. “You ask a lot of questions!” He is amused at how inquisitive she can be. He finishes grinding it then adds some white powder and spring water to make a paste.

     “This is sticky it will feel strange, cold on your skin at first then it hardens. it only has to stay on for about ten minutes then I will wash it off, it will prevent any scarring from your wound.”

     He takes the bandage off her arm,the wound is healing nicely but would definitely leave a large scar if he didn’t apply the Disheng. He looks at her tender white skin, she was foolish to ride on the back of that boy’s bike.

     As he applies the herbal medicine she grips his hand that is resting next to her on the examination table. She quickly lets go of his hand, “You said cold, that is freezing!”

     Qiao liked the feeling of her little hand squeezing his hand, recalling her kittenish moans when he used to silver needles to relax her at the hospital he teases,“Sorry, maybe I should use the silver needles to relax you.”

     LiMei feels her face redden remembering her moans,  she waves her slender arms,“No.. no.. I’m fine.” He didn’t need to remind me!, she sees him trying not to laugh she sighs, He is even more handsome when he smiles, those hauntingly deep black eyes I could get lost in them.

     “It should harden in a moment and be warm on your skin. Do you want to watch Dr. Ling, he is working with a patient right now who has back pain.”

     “Alright.”

     He suddenly picks her up by her tiny waist setting her on the ground, “Let’s go.”

     Dr. Ling is an old doctor, he had retired,but he is a friend of Dr. Woo’s so he helps him on Saturdays.

     They stand to the back as to not disturb them, Dr. Ling places the needles quickly in the elderly man’s accupoints. He smiles at Rui when he sees him walk in, who is the beautiful girl with him. After he finishes the man leaves he slowly walks over to them.

     “Dr. Ling this is Feng LiMei. I hope you don’t mind us observing.”

     “It is nice to see you Rui it has been awhile, I usually am gone when you come on Saturday.”

     “Dr. Ling do you mind if I ask you a question?” LiMei was watching the places he inserted the needles on the elderly man.

     “Not at all.” Not too many young pretty girls would be interested in observing at a Clinic.

     “I noticed you also put needles in his Mejin point.  the groove between the two metatarsal bones, is he also having stomach issues?”

     “Rui, where did you find this girl?” Dr. Ling smiles,” The patient has enteritis from eating spoiled food. His refrigerator wasn’t keeping the food properly chilled.”

     Qiao Rui with a devilish grin says, “She ran into me.” 

     LiMei puffs up her cheeks, I am trying to be serious here!

     Rui pats her head, she looks cute and a little angry at his joke.

     “My grandmother taught me a little I would like to learn more.”

     “Do you want to assist me on Saturdays here at the clinic?”

     Qiao Rui hadn’t even thought of that, good idea old man!

     LiMei considers it for just a moment, she doesn’t work until six o’clock at the hotel on Saturdays and she could see Qiao Rui every week! Yessss! But she doesn’t want to look too eager.

      She looks up at Rui waiting for his approval before she answers,“What do you think Qiao Rui? I wouldn’t want to be in the way.”

       He is very happy that he could have a chance to spend time with LiMei. “Well, we could use the extra help, but do you have time?

      “Yes.” She doesn’t want to tell him she works at the hotel in Room Service.

     “Then I can pick you up on my way here next Saturday.”

    She bows gracefully. “Dr. Ling please take care of me then!”

     “We are going to lunch with Zixin, would you like to join us?”

     “Another time I have three more patients when I finish my wife and I are driving to my cousin’s house, his daughter just had a baby girl and my wife can’t wait to see her.”

     “Dr. Ling?” a pretty woman in a short black skirt and blue silk blouse comes into the room. “Dr Qiao you are here too”, her smile gets three times bigger when she sees he is there also. “Mrs. Zhang is here for her appointment, I put her in Room 3.”

     “Thank you Hannah.”

     “LiMei we need to clean the herbal medicine from your arm.” They walk back to Room One, he didn’t take her hand this time does he like that girl Hannah, she looks about his age maybe a little younger.

     LiMei gets quiet thinking about Qiao Rui and Hannah,she frowns while they are walking.

     “LIMei is something the matter?” She has a disturbed look on her face.

     “No, it just itches a little.” {I’m a bit annoyed about that woman Hannah.}

     They enter the room, she sits on the exam table while he washes his hands and puts gloves on to remove the hardened medicine. He gently scrapes off the top of the medicine then he washes the rest of it off, when he is finished you would never know she had been injured, her skin is white and soft without any trace of redness or scarring.” Qiao Rui is satisfied with the result he had never used the herb before today.

     “Dr. Qiao..Rui, that is amazing!” LiMei can’t believe she doesn’t have the slightest hint of redness, her green eyes are sparkling,“Herbal medicine really has unbelievable healing properties. Thank you Rui, I’m grateful for your care!”

     “Well then do you want to pay me back by accompanying me to a party tonight?”

     LiMei is stunned he would ask her out to a party, but she can’t..simply can not go! Most likely the Chen idiots will be there, she doesn’t want any problems.

     “Rui, I don’t think that would be a good idea.”

     “…”  Before he can respond Dr. Woo comes into the room, “Are you finished? I’m hungry, we should walk over to  Boonsri’s Thai Restaurant”

“That sounds good.” Qiao Rui will give her time to think about it.

The three of them walk about a block to a small Thai restaurant. When they enter a middle aged woman with grey hair and a round face greets them at the door hugging Dr. Woo. In a thick foreign accent says,“It’s been too long Doctor, come sit, over here by the garden window. The special today is your favorite Spicy Noodles with Thai Chicken.” She holds his hand dragging him along. Qiao Rui and LiMei follow behind smiling at the scene of the short round woman dragging the tall handsome man along.

     “Kia hurry get them some water, don’t forget to put a lemon in the glasses.” He is standing by a short counter by a register. The woman hurries off to see what is going on in the kitchen, a sound of breaking dishes can be heard. LiMei looks around the interior is decorated in bright colors, where they are sitting opens out onto a garden patio with a variety of colorful flowers, plants hanging from the patio roof. It has a relaxed atmosphere.

    A tall thin boy brings their waters and plates, chopsticks, he nods to Dr. Woo.He hands everyone a paper menu then walks over to the register a group is on the way out to pay.

“ Feng LiMei do you like spicy food?” Dr. Woo likes his food fiery hot, this is his favorite restaurant in the area because of their Spicy Noodles.

     “I do!I had a chance to visit Bangkok last summer I had some street food that was quite delicious.{she won’t mention why she was there} Have you ever had Khao Pad Nam Prik Narok? It was my favorite spicy dish.”

      Dr. Woo has a low deep laugh , “Doesn’t that translate as Fried Rice With Chili Paste From Hell? Sounds like a dish I would enjoy! I wonder if Boonsri  makes it.

     LiMei blushes,” I didn’t know that was the translated name.” She glances over at Qiao Rui he has a grin on his face.

     “Where are you from Feng LiMei? You remind me of someone I knew when I was young, maybe she is a relative of yours, you have similar eyes I noticed”

      “I’m from the mountains north of Catang City, you wouldn’t know it, Mingon” {She can not tell them where she was raised, she needs to stick to the background information the Old Man provided her.}

      “I was thinking of somewhere farther East, a village named Wangshu in the mountains not far from the coast”

     LiMei takes a sip of water trying to not show her surprise, that is my grandmother’s village, could he have known my mother? She is unnerved by his comment, she drinks her water not making eye contact.

     The owner comes back to the table, “Do you want the Special today?”

     “Do you cook  Khao pad Nam Pik Narok, I don’t see it on the menu.”

    She looks at him with wide eyes, “Dr. Woo you know this dish? It is my favorite, but it is not on the menu because it is too spicy for most of my customers. I will make it special for you next Saturday, you come back then for it! Today how about the Special?

    Dr. Woo looks at LiMei and Rui, “Should we have three of the Special ?”

    They both nod and put down their menus.

     After she leaves he looks around, then whispers, “ Business is slow today and she probably made too much of the ‘Special’.” They all laugh. The atmosphere between the three of them is very relaxed, they talk a bit until the food arrives.

     LiMei thinks the meal is very delicious, but she tries to eat small bites to look ladylike. When they are finished Qiao Rui pays the bill and they leave. LiMei is not quite full, she left some noodles on her plate which she would have liked to gobble up, the Special was spicy good. She will definitely go back there if she works at the Clinic next Saturday.

     They say good bye to Dr. Woo at the entrance and walk over to Qiao Rui’s car. He opens the door for her, he is impressed she was able to make Zixin laugh and he was especially talkative also, he and LiMei left him out of the conversation a few times.

    “Would you like to walk around the River Walkway to help digest our lunch?” He wants to ask her about the party again before he takes her home.

     She doesn’t want to say good bye to him yet that sounds nice. It is too bad the party will be full of the cream of society, if it was a party with ordinary people she would have said yes immediately.

     “I would like that!”

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