After the introduction, Wesleys parents thanked Sophie and Li Du warmly in English. "Thank you very much, Doctor Sophie. Thank you very much, Doctor Li. Doctor Li, are you from China too?"
Li Du smiled kindly and explained to Wesleys parents in Mandarin: "Im not a doctorit was a coincidence I was thereand I only did what I could, theres no need for thanks."
As they were conversing in their mother tongue, Sophie politely excused herself and left the ward with Ah Meow.
As Li Du spoke to them in Mandarin, their query was indirectly answered by Li Du that he came from China as well. They immediately felt connected and treated Li Du warmly.
Wesleys Chinese name was Liu Jin Long. His father was Liu Jian Guo. His mother was Zheng Feng Rong. Both worked in China as customs officers. It had taken quite a while for them to come to America as they needed the necessary permit and relevant documents to be approved, and their work arrangements needed to be sorted out as well.
They were worried sick when they heard Wesley was shot. They had just arrived at Wesleys ward when Doctor Thompson walked in to talk with them. That was why they had the wrong impression that Doctor Thompson was the attending medical doctor instead of Sophie.
Mrs. Liu teared up while holding her sons hand. "If not for you, Li Xiao Ge, my son, Jin Long, might not have made it."
Li Du disagreed and waved his hand. "No no, please dont say that Aunty, we should help each other out. And please call me Xiao LiAh Du will also do."
Mr. Liu smiled. "Well call you Ah Du then. So Ah Du, are you an American citizen now?"
Li Du shook his head. "Nope, I am here for my studies. I have a student permit so I can stay here for three years."
Mr. Liu nodded his head. "Oh, thats the same as Jin Longhes also here for studies." He sighed. "It is a good thing to study overseas, however, I feel that China is doing very well also. If you can get back early, you should do so."
Mrs. Liu agreed with her husband. "Yes, yes, yes, go back earlier if you can. Jin Long, listen to your dad, come home with us, we have plenty of good universities back at home, too. Why must you insist on staying here?"
Wesley (Jin Long) replied in a slightly impatient tone, "Well Im already here; if I dont get my graduate degree, Im not going back. It is too shameful to go back like this."
Mrs. Liu retorted, "Losing a life is worse, there are now stricter policies imposed on us civil servants leaving the country. This incident has shown that we were unable to rush to you right away. I cant imagine if next time"
"Mom, this was just an accident. I was just unlucky to be there. See, I am alright now. My classmate never meant to hurt anyone. I assure you there will be no next time."
Mr. Liu got angry upon hearing his sons words. "Alright? It is not alright! If it werent for Ah Du, you would have lost your life, rascal!"
Wesley straightened up and tried to talk his way out: "Well, exactly! Because of Ah Du, thats why we are all good. It shows that I am not destined to die yet!"
"Nonsense! Is this the way a graduate student talks to his father? I think you really are obsessed with guns!"
Wesley weakly admitted, "Yes, you are right about that. I am obsessed with guns"
"Fine!" Mr. Liu flared up and interrupted his son. "Ill send you to the military or the armed police forces so you can play with guns whenever you like!"
"Im not going to the military or the armed police forces. Theres no freedom at all..."
Mrs. Liu got worried as the father and sons quarrel started to heat up. "Okay okay, please dont fight. Why do both of you always fight when you see each other?"
Mrs. Liu looked at Li Du with an apologetic smile. "Li Xiao Ge, Im sorry we might have made you uncomfortable. When both father and son get together in one place, they always fight within three minutes."
Li Du smiled. "My dad and I always quarrel as well, but I cant fight with him now, even if I wanted to."
Wesley rapidly apologized, "Ah Du, Im sorry that you have been reminded of the unhappy past."
"Huh?" Li Du replied, puzzled.
"Your father, didnt he pass away? You said you couldnt fight with him even if you wanted to," Mr. Liu explained in a much softer tone. Both Wesley and Mr. Liu had the same thought.
Li Du laughed. "No no, my dad is fine. My point is, my parents are in China, and they find long distance calls costly, so we seldom get in touch, let alone quarrel over the phone."
Mr. Liu and Wesley looked at each other, embarrassed by their misinterpretation.
Because of this little incident, they stopped fighting.
Mr. Liu then asked if Li Du was a medical student. Li Du told him about his plight, and that he was a treasure hunter now.
Wesley suddenly thought of something. "Ah! I saw on the news not too long ago that there was a Chinese man who organized a charity auction event in Flagstaff, is that you?"
Li Du smiled, "Yes, but I didnt organize it. I was just one of those who participated in the auction."
"That is a feat too. I have a classmate who really likes your line of work. He really looks up to you, and he said that you are a rising star," Wesley said with a little bit of envy.
Li Du felt embarrassed. He did not expect the charity event to earn him a fan.
Sophie came back to the ward holding some papers. These papers were the documents for Wesleys discharge. Wesley took a look at the papers and thanked Sophie for her help.
She smiled, "Dont worry about it, you shouldnt be walking around too much. Furthermore, your parents have just arrived here, they would not be familiar with the procedures."
When Mr. and Mrs. Liu heard from Wesley about the documents, they thanked Doctor Sophie profusely in English again.
Mrs. Liu couldnt help openly expressing her opinion on Sophie: "This doctor is such a nice girl. Ive heard that American girls are willful, wayward, and shrewish. That is not true after all."
Wesley said, "Mom, that is exactly why you should not use Weibo too much. And dont follow those supposedly Public Intellectuals and the Astrosurfers. Its all a bad influence."
"Is that the way that you should talk to your mom? But you are right about Weibo: full of negative stuff," Mr. Liu added.
With Sophie and Li Dus assistance, the required papers were completed for the discharge. Wesleys hospitalization bill was smaller than expected, as he was covered under the overseas student insurance.
Wesley and Li Du exchanged contact numbers, and Li Du helped to call a cab for the family. While waiting, Li Du turned to Sophie and asked, "So, any plans for dinner?"
Sophie shrugged. "Well, if you allow me to treat you to a meal, then"
However, Mr. and Mrs. Liu had caught onto the English word "dinner."
Mr. Liu talked to Li Du, "Is it ok if we treat you and Doctor Sophie for dinner tonight?"
Mrs. Liu reprimanded Mr. Liu, "No question mark; we should treat Doctor Sophie and Ah Du dinner."
Wesley concurred and joined in to persuade. "Just come, brother."
Wesley turned to Sophie and said in English, "Doctor Sophie, my parents brought a lot of good food, authentic Chinese flavored cuisine, the flavor of my homeland. You should try some."
Li Du had wanted to refuse the offer, but after hearing what Wesley said, he started to change his mind. Ever since he came to the States, he had not eaten Chinese food from his motherland. He missed the taste of home.
He told Sophie what was on his mind and Sophie accepted the dinner invite with good grace.
As Mr. and Mrs. Liu would be staying here for a period of time, they had brought along many condiments, preserved Chinese finger food, and many other delicacies for cooking. Wesley and another classmate of his had jointly rented an apartment. That had made things easier, as there was no need for them to look for another accommodation.
When Li Du entered Wesleys apartment, Li Du immediately caught sight of the Chinese smoke-marinated dried sausages hanging on a wall.
Mrs. Liu opened a nicely wrapped container that held the famous Peking duck. The gleaming roasted outer skin of the duck was so appetizing that Li Du felt hungry the moment he saw it.