They walked silently into one of the bars. Pearl was too agitated to pay much attention to her environment, except noting that it was loud with some western rock music in the background and packed with loud, young people. “One drink only, Dick.”
She was going to order an orange juice, but changed her mind when the waiter materialised: “G & T for me, please.”
“Bring me a beer,” Dick shouted his order at the waiter and gave his companion a hard stare. “Pearl, I don’t understand why you are so uptight. C’mon, this is China, and you know how things work here. You can’t tell me that you don’t know the system just because you’ve lived in England for some years. Bullshit! I tell you. If you can’t work with me, then you can’t work at all.”Trials
“What are you trying to say, Dick? Queens University is the one who employs me and it is a reputable institution. As far as I know, I don’t work for you; I work for the university.”
“No, you’re wrong, Pearl. You work for me, or you work for no one. If you refuse, you have to resign from your job. Why? Because I am trying to trust you with sensitive information, and you can’t handle it.”
“Why do I have to resign? Is there anything in my job description that I am not doing? If there is, you can go and tell the university and they can sack me.”
“I have said and I repeat, you work for me!”
“No, I don’t, and I’m not going to resign. No way!”
“You have to, you have no other choice.”
“Why not? What would you do to me if I don’t resign?”
“Why can’t you go and become a teacher or librarian? This job is not for you. I never wanted you in the first place.”
“Oh, is that so? Are you saying that because you don’t like me, I can’t have the job?”
“No, I actually like you, Pearl, but that’s not the point. The truth is: If you can’t work with me, you are out, period!”
“OK, Dick,” She raised her hand, and her voice. “I am finishing my ONE drink now, and I am leaving!” She could not stand arguing with this man any longer, in a strange place in Beijing, with people around starting to stare at them. She poured down her drink in one gulp, picking up her handbag from the table. Her hands were shaking, and her face burning with anger.
“No, Pearl, you can’t go. We have to sort this out,” Dick shouted, as she tried to squeeze out of the narrow space between her seat and the bar table.
She shouted back: “Yes, I am going and you can’t stop me.”
“Shit,” banging her foot on the leg of the table, she cursed under her breath and headed towards the door, before more swearing bursting out.
Out of the corner of her eyes, she saw Dick jumping up, pointing his fingers at her. “You can’t be serious,” He hissed. “If you walk out now, you’ll be sorry, very sorry, I promise you. I’ll put you on the first flight home tomorrow.”
“I don’t care!” She yelled back, without turning her head.
“Don’t you dare walking out on me. I’m going to make a phone call right now,” came his parting shot, trailing in her wake.
Junying Kirk was born a spice girl, hailing from Sichuan Province in southwestern China. In the summer of 1988, a British Council scholarship led her to study English Language Teaching at Warwick University, followed by further post-graduate degrees at Glasgow and Leeds. In her career spanning from the East to the West, she has played various roles as an academic, administrator, researcher, teacher and cultural consultant. Currently working as a professional interpreter and translator, she reads vivaciously and writes with passion and dedication. She enjoys drawing from the wealth of life itself to create stories, which are both engaging and exciting. She travels widely and keeps her mind and heart open for the new, the good, the bad and the ugly. Her ‘Journey to the West’ trilogy, “The Same Moon”, “Trials of Life” and “Land of Hope” have been published in both electronic form and paperbacks. She lives in Birmingham, UK with her English husband.
To follow her world wide travels and other creative pursuits, please visit www.junyingkirk.com.
On the Back Jacket
On her continued “Journey to the West”, Pearl Zhang meets Andrew Church and they fall in love. Her determined, professional pursuits land her a plum international development job at a leading UK university. Life is on an upward curve, or so it seems.
Dick Appleton, a troublesome academic from a privileged background, wants a junior assistant other than Pearl, in his quest to discover China and what it has to offer him.
What happens when two powerful personalities and two different cultures meet and clash? Will life teach Pearl another sharp lesson in her adopted country, or will the ancient Chinese belief hold true that everything happens for a reason? Will she bow to her fate or fights for her beliefs?
“This wonderful book dissects and lays bare the entire course of an harassment claim, from the events leading to the claim through the hearing and its aftermath” – Tabitha Ormiston-Smith, Australia
“The Joker in the “Dark Knight”. Dr Hannibal Lecter in “Red Dragon”, The Judge from Blood Meridian. Ms. Kirk’s creation, description and actions of Dr. Richard Appleton will tremor your spine. – Vince Considine, USA
Please visit http://katysozaeva.blogspot.co.uk/ for an e-book giveaway tomorrow. You have three chances to win a copy of Trials of Life, on the 22nd, 26th and 29th of August 2013. Good luck!