A/N: A few "start of term notices" (hohohoho i'm funny! That would've worked better if this was a Harry Potter fic)
First, I know the name Shing may seem like an over-typical Chinese name (possibly racist) but i looked through some lists of genuine Chinese names and it is one. Plus, when i drew the character design, i decided it suits her :)
If you're Chinese and disagree with Shing's name for whatever reason, don't be afraid to let it be known! I'm all up for opinions and am happy to change it if it's offensive.
Secondly, Shing kept her Grandma's surname of Lin even though she is the daughter of Hay Lin's female child (and thus wouldn't automatically have Lin as the surname) but it was her choice to keep the name Lin because she has great respect for her Grandma.
"Grandma, what are you doing?"
"I'm trying to sew you a dress, I thought that was obvious, now keep still while i take my measurements."
"No, i mean, like, why?"
"Because you need a dress, of course, silly granddaughter."
"That's not what i mean."
"I mean, i'm a twig. A shapeless twig."
Shing sighed, looking at herself in the mirror that hung from the wall.
"Nothing ever looks good on me… Not even your creations, Grandma, no matter how beautiful they are."
Hay Lin put down her notebook and measuring tape and tilted her granddaughter's chin up with her finger.
"Shing Lin, everything looks good on you. You're such a pretty little thing, a lot of girls would love to look like you."
"Well, I don't."
Hay Lin just sighed, not knowing what more to say.
Shing placed a hand on her grandmother's shoulder and smiled a sad smile.
"I'm sure it'll look great, Grandma. Your clothes always do."
Hay Lin smiled back "Go have some dinner, i'll be done in two hours tops."
Shing walked out of her grandma's 'Sewing Room' and down the stairs to the family restaurant.
Shing's grandparents lived with Shing and her parents, just like Hay Lin's grandmother had when she was young, but not because they needed taking care of. They had always been close as a family, and when Hay Lin's house burned down a year ago, Shing's parents insisted she and Shing's grandfather come to live with them. After all, it was her childhood home and family business, and Hay Lin had no objections returning to it.
Though Hay Lin had become a successful fashion designer, she had kept the family restaurant which she inherited when her parents died, and kept it running. She loved the place, and since it was still a successful and popular restaurant, there was no good reason to leave it behind. Shing's parents now ran the restaurant, and Hay Lin continued to design and make clothes upstairs where they all now lived.
Like her grandmother when she'd been young, Shing helped out at the restaurant frequently when she was needed, and was allowed to treat her friends to free meals sometimes.
Shing loved the food they made and she ate a lot of it, but she was never able to gain a pound.
More than anything, Shing wanted to put on weight. Not too much, but she hated being so thin, she wanted shape to her body.
"Slow down, Shing! You're going to make yourself puke!" Said Shing's mum, wide-eyed at the speed at which Shing was downing her dinner.
Shing shook her head and kept shovelling it in.
Her mum sent a worried look to her dad, and signalled him to follow her to the next room.
Shing could tell they were taking about her. They were worried, as usual. She didn't want to worry them, but she couldn't help it.
She so desperately wanted to be more than a stick-figure, plus, she really loved the food.
Shing took her bowl to the sink and left for her room, trying not to listen to her parents' conversation.
She put on a little bit of eyeliner, not wanting to over-do it with makeup, especially because her parents didn't even like her wearing makeup at the young age of thirteen.
She brushed and styled her short hair and put in some tiny pearls and gems.
Tonight, Shing and her friends were going to their school's annual Spring Party (which was practically a dance)
Shing usually hated the party and refused to go, but this year something was different.
This year, Shing actually wanted to feel girly, and the Spring Party would give her the chance to feel like a princess.
The trouble was, she didn't feel like one yet.
Usually, shing wore dull-coloured clothes, usually oversized jackets with just a simple top and stylish shorts.
She did have a good sense of style, of course, being the descendant of Hay Lin, but wore gigantic jackets to hide her small body, which she deemed to be not good enough most of the time.
Occasionally she felt good about how she looked, but these were rare moments and she just didn't know how to keep them.
Shing's wardrobe, apart from her simple tops, shorts and jackets, was filled with clothing of her grandma's design. She got them all for free, mostly as gifts, and sometimes Hay Lin would make something especially for Shing. She felt bad because she didn't feel like she ever had the occasion to wear such nice clothes.
Shing sat on her bed reading her favourite book about water-dwelling plants, but she drifted off to sleep.
She woke up when her grandma opened her door and walked in with a stunning dress in her hands.
It was Midnight-blue and had tiny pearls and gems (just like the ones in her hair) all over it to look like stars.
She could only hope it looked as pretty on her.
Shing was shocked when she put it on and looked in the mirror. She actually loved the way it looked on her. She felt ecstatic and worried all at once. Ecstatic because she loved it, but worried because she would want to wear it all the time from now on but couldn't bear to do so because she wanted to save it because it was so special.
Shing returned to her grandmother and hugged her, almost crying from happiness.
Hay Lin smiled and hoped that this would be a turning point for her granddaughter's self-esteem.
I hope y'all enjoyed it :)
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