a short story.
the betel nut girl
A flashy car pulled over the main road to Sanhsia. “Two pack. I m in a hurry.” a girl hurried down from the betel nut stand grasping two boxes of nuts in here hand. She couldn’t exactly run, her high heeled shoes prevented that!
“100 dollars,” she smiled at him as she said it. “Here you are.”
With a quick stomp on his gas pedal, the silver car sped away along the road towards Taipei.
“Ah, another one served,” She muttered to herself as she stepped back into the warmth of the betelnut stand.
Ah-mei had worked there for nearly 9 months. It was the first job she had ever had, and she thought the money was good. She hadn’t done well at school, and in the final year had dropped out of school because she knew she wouldn’t pass the college entrance exams. her parents had resented her decision, saying she always had a strong will and refused to listen to anyone.
Times were tough in Taiwan and jobs for under-educated girls like her were few, low-paying and required backbreaking work. However, she had a cousin who owned this stand. This cousin, Ah-chiu, needed a betel nut beauty to work in his stand. Ah-mei was indeed striking in her looks, she was tall, graceful, and had rounded faced . Her eyes had attractive double eyelids, commonly thought of as very beautiful. She also had a pearly white skin. So the deal was made and she started working for her cousin.
Things had gone badly at the start, though. She hated being ogled by the drivers, taxicab drivers and truck drivers who stopped at first. her cousin had also to show her how to dress provocatively, with short skirts, high-heeled shoes, and low necklines, even in the cold of winter! Gradually, she found herself becoming more accustomed to the life, the late nights, the ogling, the humor of the drivers.
Suddenlty a truck honked louldly from outside. Ah-mei jumped out of her reverie. “A pack of betel nuts, please.” She noticed that the truck had dark glass on the windscreen, so she couldn’t see the drive clearly from her booth.
She took a box and rand down the steps, “that’ll be fifty dollars.”But she didn’t see the last step and tripped on the uneven sorface of the steps. The box of nuts landed under the truck, she landed face first on the conrete. Her chin took the brunt of the fall, and her knees were braised by teh fll, too.
At this point i do’n’t know why she had a fall except that it seems to be a good idea.
The sun glinted in her eyes as she rolled over. “What happened?” she said aloud, to no one in particular. Still dazed, she tried to stand.
“Hurry up, will you? I have to deliver my goods in Keelung this afternoon!” shouted the truck driver, a tone of exasperation sounded in his voice.
She reached out to a nearby chair and managed to hall herslef on to it somehow. As she sat precariosly on the edge, almost as if she was bout to fall off again, she looked up at the truck driver. “Fuck you!” slipped out of her lips. She buried her head in her hands.
This wasnt’ the way ti was meant to be, the teachers told me if i worked hard I’d be all right, I’d make lots of money and have a good life. Now look at me! With that thought, her sobs gave way to a torrent of tears. As she cried, she heard the engine of the truck rev up, and the scrunch of wheels against the road as the trailer truck pulled away quickly.
Ideas for an ending, anyone?
This story needs an ending-how can I wrap it up< I don'tknow if it's going anywhere at all. There is a sense of desperation in the girl's attitude, perhaps the story should examine the dichotomy between expectatiions and reality that leaving school brings on young people. Also, there is a sense of the Taiwanese myth, as powerful as the american dream in some ways that money is easy to come by.