The Surprise Visit
Wu Mei picked up her phone and noted on the screen it was Grant calling. She murmured her greetings.
“May, would you come to my office please?”
Wu Mei put a sticker against the print out she was editing and headed for Grant’s office.
“May this man says he knows you and would like to speak to you privately, do you know him?”
Wu Mei looked at the man seated across from Grant and shook her head. “Should I know you sir?”
“No you shouldn’t,” laughed the man.
Grant stood up to usher the man from his office irritated his valuable time was being wasted. Probably another head hunter who’d somehow come to know she was a valuable asset to be poached from his consultancy. That’s why he’d had security send him to his own office first.
The man held up his hand to stop him. I have a private message from May’s brother in the United States. I think May wishes to hear this as it’s urgent. Is there somewhere we can talk privately?
Wu Mei studied the man and decided he could be trusted. “Can we use the interview room Grant?” Grant relaxed and nodded his head in agreement, the interview room was monitored by video security.
They entered the interview room and Wu Mei sat opposite the man at a table. “What can I do for you?”
“My name is Jason Hall I do business with your brother in the US and as he learned I’d be travelling to Australia and he’s been worried sick about some family issues affecting you I agreed to pass this letter on personally. He does not trust the telephone or email for some reason. I’ll wait until you read it in case there’s something you’d like to send back with me by letter. He says do not email or telephone him in this connection for some reason I’m not privy to. I can’t understand why he couldn’t contact you personally but am happy to help as he’s a good friend.”
Wu Mei stretched out both hands to receive the letter and placed it in front of her. She moved to the refreshment table and motioned to the selection of tea and coffee bags.
“Thank you for passing on the letter Jason, now what can I get for you to refresh as I read what my brother has sent in this surprising way?”
“Your brother got me hooked on green tea, do you happen to have any?” Wu Mei smiled and prepared this placing it in front of him. “Now if you’ll excuse me for a few minutes while I read.”
Wu Mei gasped involuntarily and Jason spilled his tea in surprise. He looked at her in alarm. “Bad news?”
Wu Mei recovered quickly hastening to mop up the spill. “No everything is alright, but I do think I need to write out something in reply. Do you have time to wait? I’ll need to go to my office to reply but should not be more than ten minutes. There are magazines in the corner if you can wait, otherwise when can I see you to deliver the letter? When will you be returning to America?
“I’ll be returning in two days and yes I’ll be able to wait for your reply. Take your time.”
Grant watched her move quickly to her office and followed her. “Is everything OK, is that fellow troubling you?”
“No Grant, I have to send a letter back to my brother quickly and then I think I need to ask your advice afterward if you have time for me.”
Grant moved back to his office glancing at the interview room curiously. He’d not be able to concentrate on his work now until this was all explained to him after the fellow left. He frowned irritably. Why did this man have to disrupt their office routine? He could have waited until after work to visit with her.
The letter composed and Wu Mei requesting the man to treat it as vital to be only delivered by hand personally she composed herself and headed for Grant’s office.
Grant glanced up expectantly and noted the distress on Wu Mei’s face.
“Grant do you remember how several weeks back I suggested you look into how secure our phone system was? What I’m bottling up inside is so stressful I need wise counsel, and I remember you telling me you respect confidentiality and that’s part of our consultancy’s requirement. If I tell you what is stressing me out now it may place you in a dilemma and you may regret that promise. Would you rather I find someone else to confide in, though I don’t know who I could trust under these circumstances. I will understand if you feel it too dangerous for me to confide in you as it concerns my country, my honour and my safety. Perhaps yours too if you decide to help me?”
Grant sat and processed that for a few seconds. But the Australian way is to come to the rescue of those being threatened for whatever purpose. The word danger was a little sobering but it strengthened his resolve. If his associate was being threatened in any way and it was not because of any criminal involvement it was his duty to come to her rescue.
“Let me hear the story,” he urged.
The whole story came out in a torrent. Her attitude on arrival in Australia. Her faithful cooperation with her Embassy, the phone tapping in Australia and Singapore, the arrest of her father in China and seizing of family assets there, the attempt to claim title to her two brother’s companies in the United States in spite of their independent entity from the Wu enterprises in China, the cruel advantage taken by her cousin who’d been employed by the family after his return from the US with him now being essentially in charge of the Wu assets leaving her brothers and their families in China destitute. Her two brothers in the USA were trying to get permission for these destitute brothers and Wu Mei’s mother to emigrate to the US where they could be cared for. In the meantime, they were surviving on what could be sent for their sustenance. They were not sure where Wu had been sent for re-education. Then lastly the file which had been opened against Wu Mei. She could expect to be interviewed on her return to China at the end of the year and her brother was asking if after five years in Australia she could be eligible to apply for Australian citizenship. She was most vulnerable with a Chinese passport which could be withdrawn at any time if she made a false move.
Grant was too shocked to respond and sat thinking for several minutes which Wu Mei interpreted as rejection. She stood wearily and made to move back to her office dejected. Grant motioned for her to sit. Finally, he spoke.
“What a mess!” He shook his head in disbelief! “Do I have your permission to share this with people who may be able to help you through this calamity? I don’t have the power to solve your predicament, but I do know people who might be able to? We have to be careful or it may affect your family’s ability to emigrate where they can be cared for and build their fortunes once again.”
Wu Mei nodded her head miserably. She had nowhere else to turn. It was so unfair! She loved her country, but it seemed her country did not love her, or her family. She’d done nothing to contribute to her family distress. Perhaps if this country would accept her she could find happiness here.
To be continued.
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