Woman In The Rain Part 3
Slipped a Mickey
“They want to take you, go some place, take you money, you phone, hit you on the head!”
I nearly spilled my tea at this. “Oh my god Lily, really! Oh god! Thank you!” I reached over her, sat my cup on the table with hers, put my arms around her, kissed her forehead, her cheeks, her eyes, her nose, her mouth. “You did save me, thank you!” I continued thanking her, kissing her cheek a lips, her smiling all the while.
“I had no idea, really! I didn't see you there, where were you?”
Lily gave me a devilish smile, then said “I sit in back, watching ma fan girl. I know she do too many time to lo wai (foreigner), my friend tell me. You come to disco, I know you drink too much pi jiu (beer). The girl see you, talk her friends, she get you.” Lily paused and retrieved the pot and poured more tea. “I watch them, see if they make trouble to you.” She gave me the last bit of her cookie, then leaned over on my shoulder. I realized then that Lily needed the comfort of someone she genuinely cared about. We cuddled up to one another, my arm around her and I kissed the top of her head. I was finally realizing how much she cared about me.
“So what did you see?” I asked, as she twisted to her side, looking up at me.
She draped one smooth, slender leg over my own beneath the sheet. “I see another girl from their table go to bar, get pi jiu, then come back. Behind you, she put drug in glass.” Lily made a sign with her thumb and forefinger close together, emphasizing perhaps a pill. We kissed and spent the afternoon together being playful in bed.
Confronting a Thief
Several months later she found me sullen near sunset, sitting at a table outside Hill Bar, sipping a gin and tonic, alone. “Ni Bu Kwai le (you unhappy)?”
I told her that I had gotten drunk the night before, taken a girl home I didn't really know and the next day, no phone no wallet and no girl.
“She is gi (hooker: literally “chicken”)?”
I told her I didn't think so, because I met her at the pub just up the road. She asked her name, and I told her I only got her English name, and described how she looked.
Lily looked at me seriously. “Michael, she is gi, no good girl will do this!” Then she got up, rummaged through her hand bag, then glanced at me. “You need money?” She smiled and pouted at the same time, “cigarettes!”
I took out 50 RMB and gave it to her, she leaned over and kissed me, a quick hug, then ran off. After a few steps though, she spun and looked at me with large eyes, her mouth in a large “O” with excitement. She ran back to me, her eyes still flaring. “Michael! I know this girl! She is new girl! I will find her, you no worry!” Then she ran off before I could say a word, her heels clicking rapidly down the walkway, her silk dress barely containing her wiggling bottom.
Several gins, a few beers, and a few shots of tequila later I was still at Hill Bar, but inside now, listening to, and singing with, the Filipino band on stage. I was drinking with a couple of German friends when someone tapped me on the shoulder; the Germans' eyes lit up and they grinned. I turned around and there was Lily, now dressed in a traditional Gi Pao, the tight, slit-at-the-thigh Chinese dresses foreigners love. She motioned me with her hand to follow. I stepped away with her, the guys making noises. We stood in a dark corner of the bar, and Lily reached into her clutch bag and pulled out my phone and my wallet!
“Where? How?” was all I could stammer.
Lily looked up in my eyes, and put her arms about my neck. “I am you angel, yes?”
I laughed and kissed her, “Yes, Lily, my angel in China!”. I waved to the guys and Lily and I walked out and headed off to our usual rendezvous, the Blue & White Cafe.
A Bridge Between Worlds
Lily and I often sought out one another many times after that. If her business was slow, or she was simply bored, she would wonder into one of the bars, sit and sip coconut juice. She was one of the very few hookers allowed into the expat bars, because she had a way about her with Chinese and foreign men. I suppose that is how she afforded such a large place. If I were between girlfriends, or more likely, arguing with the current one, I would go to her at one of her locations: the pedestrian bridge, a small shop near the Holiday Inn, a street cafe near the Elephant & Castle. It always began with either a visit to a restaurant, Starbucks, or on occasion, an expensive tea house in the five star Garden Hotel. Sometimes that was all we did, other times, we ended up in each others arms in her large bed. I left China a few years ago, and I often wonder how Lily is doing. I always picture her alone on the bridge, confident and fearless.
Very nice indeed.