Tag Archives: Moses Chan

Fanfiction: It’s Just Noise.

8 Dec

Okay, it’s been awhile since I’ve written, but this was just too good an opportunity to pass down.

There was a tweet by Bernice (@Bernice106) the morning after Anniversary and it said “Morning! Gonna smile this lovely morning and think positively… All that noise in the background is all noise… shhh~~”

My fellow Mo/Bernice shippers and I, our minds went into overdrive and hence, this fanfiction was hatched. This one’s all for you Mo/Bernice shippers. Or MoBsters! 😀 I only hope I did your expectations and that tweet justice! Hee.

P/s: Anyone wanna make me a pretty banner? /pleads 😀

*

Bernice snuck into the room, stashing her handbag by the dresser, treading lightly because she didn’t want to wake him up. The neon blue digital numbers on the dresser clock read 3:42. Pulling the sheets off her side of the bed, she gently eased herself onto the mattress.

“Hey, you.”

“Hey… sorry, did I wake you?”

He rubbed his eyes and angled his body towards her. “You’re late,” he mumbled sleepily.

“Yeah, there was this particular scene that took longer than expected.”

He smiled at her, placing his hand lightly on the small of her back. “I’m glad you’re here.”

She swung her legs into the warm confines of the quilt and settled herself next to him, smelling the familiar mix of cool aftershave & minty shampoo. She inhaled, at the same time he did. He smelt warm vanilla lotion on her, tangled with sweet undertones of peach. It smelt like home.

“How’re you feeling?” She put her arms around him, his head resting on her shoulder. Her palm started moving in slow languid over his heart, against his bare chest.

“Not so good.” He shut his eyes and then opened them again. “I just wanted to come home to spend some time with you, but there was press and all that to do. Just needed to get away from all that.”

“I’m proud of you, you know that?” She smiled, “This job we do, these masks we put on to work, to act, you make it seem so easy… you bring characters to life.”

She continued, “In fact you did it so well that I didn’t even know whether I was reading all those signs between us right or if you were still in Sit Shui’s character all those years ago.”

He chuckled lightly.

“Point is, we all indulge in a little madness come this season every year. The hype, the gossip, the lights, the stifling expectations — it’s enough to make one doubtful. And I guess what I’m trying to say is, don’t be. Because what you do, and what you give your audience is beyond all of that. You’re beyond all of that.”

He sat still for awhile, thinking, his fingers reaching up to lace through hers. “I know.”

“I know you do,” she squeezed his hand. “You told me the same thing 3 years ago too, remember?”

“Well, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t as poetic as that,” he grinned in the dark.

She laughed with him too. “Oh, making jokes now, are we?” Her tone grew serious, “All that noise in the background is all noise. The madness, the competition, the fleeting remarks, the gossip; it’s just noise. And it doesn’t matter here.”

He nodded, turning towards her, grazing his lips across her collarbone. “Thank you,” he murmured into her skin.

People wear different masks to face the world; heck, especially him, he was paid to do so, but here, cradled in the nape of her neck and basking in the beautiful sound of silence, no masks were needed. And there was no noise.

And suddenly everything was okay. He fell asleep, and before he knew it, sunlight was streaming through the windows, falling on her sleeping face and making her hair look like silk.

And there still was no more noise.

*

Feedback, as always, is much welcomed. 🙂

TVB 43rd Anniversary Awards: The Verdict

7 Dec

So, the TVB 43rd Anniversary Awards 2010 have come and gone. It promised a night of glamour, deserved recognition for some and lots of controversial happenings for others. Did it live up to your expectations? Here’s my account and thoughts on how the night went down.

 

TVB.com Popularity Award



Winner: Raymond Lam

As someone who hadn’t been following the awards close in the run-up this year, I was totally caught off-guard by this award when they announced it. Should’ve remembered it from the previous year, but then again, these are awards that I’m not eagerly awaiting so never mind. Popularity is what it is… and Ray really is as popular as this award suggests. If Ray hadn’t come along to the acting class, I’m not even quite sure who TVB would have in his place. Talk all you may about his counterparts, but in his age group, Fung is the only one with both acting & singing chops.

 

Most Improved Female Artiste



Winner: Natalie Tong

Other Nominees:

  • Selena Li
  • Elaine Yiu
  • Skye Chan
  • Mimi Lo

Here’s one I was really torn up about. I really like three out of five of the nominees – Selena, Natalie & Elaine. Selena is the steady performer, Natalie the gradual improver and Elaine, the one that had one bad first performance (does anyone still remember Chloe from Revolving Doors of Vengeance? God!) and then came back to impress all the time. There’s going to be so much outrage because Selena is cited to be the more deserving one. I didn’t watch A Fistful of Stances, which I’m sure was Natalie‘s awardpiece, I’m sure; nor did I manage to catch much of Selena in Can’t Buy Me Love, so I can’t really comment on who has improved the most in the course of this year. I will say that Selena is the stronger and more consistent actress based on past performances, though. Elaine has been this incredibly reliable supporting actress throughout the past few years. But that’s the thing, isn’t it? It’s not about being consistent and giving one good performance after another. It’s about floundering, and suddenly bam! this good performance comes out.

However, this is one award that always causes controversy. Since the initial two winners, TVB have never gotten this award right, IMO. Deserving improvers have never won and the eventual winners have never deserved to win at that point in time. I’ve always thought the winners improved greatly after the year they won. Soooo, is Natalie is going to have a great year ahead? Heh. Having said that, I do like watching Natalie (Maybe the fact that she’s a Love Bond alum has something to do with it, lol.) and I hope she rises up to be a solid supporting actress next. In her touching speech, she thanks her late mother sincerely and gives a shout-out to Lee Tim Sing (producer of A Fistful of Stances). Tim Gor really seems to be a favourite amongst the artistes.

And well, I’m not sure this award is all it’s hyped up to be anyway. Leila Tong was (and still is) a great actress for her age back then and have never won it either. Bernice Liu never won it and still went on to do her movies. The best example, would of course be Fala Chen. She’s never won it either and she’s doing great in TVB at the moment.

 

Most Improved Male Artiste



Winner: Raymond Wong

Other Nominees:

  • Lam Tsz Sin (also referred to as Jazz Lam or Alex Lam)
  • King Kong
  • Joel Chan
  • Him Law

During the interview, Raymond Wong had a gigantic, gigantic sparkly ring on his (I think) right middle finger. That thing was huge! I wonder if it had an significant meaning or whether it was just for accesorising. I’m guessing the latter. Flamboyance looked like what he was going for last night, and well, it worked in a way because he sure stood out in the sea of black that were the men of TVB. Him Law interviewed with Amigo saying that he was rooting for Ray W, and the two guys did a manshake. Too awesome. Have they acted together in a series before?

In his speech, he calmly thanks everyone, including Kent Gor (Kent Cheng, whom he worked with in When Lanes Merge) and even his in-laws. And more importantly, he says his wife is expecting to the delight of the whole audience (and mine too!)

Before the awards, I thought to myself that there was nobody I’d like to see take home an award more than Raymond Wong and I’m so glad it happened. Over the course of this year, he’s truly proven himself worthy of the roles that TVB has bestowed upon him. Eagerly awaiting The Truth, starring himself, Ruco Chan & Tavia next year. 🙂

 

My Favourite Female TV Character



Winner: Charmaine Sheh, Can’t Buy Me Love

Other Nominees:

  • Teresa Mo, I’m not sure which sitcom this is
  • Tavia Yeung, Mysteries of Love
  • Linda Chung, Can’t Buy Me Love
  • Sheren Tang, No Regrets

There wasn’t a doubt in my mind who was going to take this award home tonight. I had hoped for Sheren previously, for Cheng Kau Mui was such an interesting, multi-dimensional character. But I guess even Sheren couldn’t surpass the favourite of many, Princess Chiu Yeung. She was bratty yet adorable, difficult yet compassionate, quirky yet charming. Princess, together with Charmaine, charmed (no pun intended) their way into the viewers’ hearts and I’m going to say, good job, Charmaine. (Wish I could say the same about that dress.) I’m not a fan her acting, but this was a fun character and a fun performance.

 

Most Professional Performance



Winner: Moses Chan

This award completely took me off guard. At first I thought it was the same random award that Tavia won last year, but if memory serves me correctly, hers was a Performance of the Year award. This must be some “new” award TVB cooked up. I really really thought Mo had the Favourite Male Character in the bag, especially after Charmaine won hers. And he might have thought so too.

While I can’t say for sure if he’s professional (he poked a little fun at himself in his speech saying that “…professional? More like I like to crack jokes”), but one thing’s certain, Mo seems to be liked by everyone he’s ever worked with. And that probably can’t be said by everybody. I’m glad he did get to go up on stage to say a few words though, because a Mo speech always makes any event better. 🙂

 

My Favourite Male TV Character



Winner: Raymond Lam, Mysteries of Love

Other Nominees

  • Moses Chan, Can’t Buy Me Love
  • Wayne Lai, No Regrets
  • Steven Ma, Ghost Writer
  • Kenneth Ma, A Fistful of Stances

I liked Raymond‘s performance in Mysteries of Love, especially the emotional scenes. A lot found it bland, but I think the guy actually did his best despite the bland script, bland story, atrocious clothes, atrocious… oh, I could go on forever and ever. But with that being said, I couldn’t have cared less for Kingsley. Sure, I rooted for Kingsley and Sai Lei Mui because of the fantastic chemistry between Fung & Yi, but Kingsley on his own? My. Don’t even get me started. He was insensitive and not opinionated in anything other than science. Snivelly. So not the Prince Charming I was expecting. But well, if it doesn’t rock my boat, I’m sure it rocked many other Fung fans’ boats out there. /cue Virginia Lok smiling ear to ear during his speech

Snark aside, my favourite part of his speech was when he thanked the scriptwriters and admitted that he doesn’t even understand some of it till today. Hee.

And because some fangirls will completely skew all that I’ve written above, the conclusion to the above paragraphs are: Ray, yay! Kingsley, nay!

 

Best Supporting Actress



Winner: Fala Chen, No Regrets

Other Nominees:

  • Kara Hui, A Fistful of Stances
  • Elena Kong, Beauty Knows No Pain
  • Susanna Kwan, Can’t Buy Me Love
  • Nancy Wu, Gun Metal Grey

This was a tough one for me to call. I predicted Kara because she was amazing in Fistful. I thought Nancy did so well in Gun Metal Grey compared to her other series (but unfortunately, anything to do with GMG will be and was snubbed). Elena Kong‘s Angela Auntie has a special place in my heart because of how hilarious she was! Susanna Kwan didn’t get to do much, IMO, but still gave a great performance nonetheless. But Fala, this was Fala‘s year. She was supporting actress (some of you might debate that she was joint lead instead) in so many series this year and delivered, exceeding expectations even, fine performances every time. It’s difficult to argue with a year like that. Even if the award is just for one series, because all those other series are always going to be in the back of voters’ minds.

I do wish she had been nominated for Ngan Ping in CBML though. It would have made more sense.

She admitted in her speech that she knew Ching Ching was not everyone’s favourite, and that she had heard a lot of mixed opinions about her role, but nevertheless would continue to persevere. This girl is going places. Links to Temptation is coming up where she looks to be leading, plus she’s singing the theme song too.

 

Best Supporting Actor

 


Winner: Evergreen Mak, No Regrets

Other Nominees:

  • Dominic Lam, A Fistful of Stances
  • Raymond Wong, No Regrets
  • Pierre Ngo, No Regrets
  • Ron Ng, OL Supreme

Fei Fan Gor! The crowd goes absolutely wild and gets on their feet when Evergreen Mak was announced. The No Regrets cast look thrilled for him, especially his on-screen partner, Elena Kong. I get a little teary every time someone like this wins. All the hard work, diligence, years of solid performances going unnoticed, it all finally pays off. This year, Evergreen finally gets a memorable character in the form of Leung Fei Fan, and he packs a mean punch. Fei Fan Gor might not have been the best villain, but boy, I hated him. Brilliant chemistry with Wayne.

 

Best Actress

 


Winner: Sheren Tang, No Regrets

Other Nominees:

  • Charmaine Sheh, Can’t Buy Me Love
  • Tavia Yeung, Mysteries of Love
  • Maggie Cheung, Beauty Knows No Pain
  • Linda Chung, Ghost Writer

I know it was hyped up to be a Sheren vs Charmaine competition, but to me there was simply nothing to contest. Charmaine played the dimensions of a spoilt yet endearing princess well, but there was no other woman who could take on the many layers and complexities of Cheng Kau Mui but Sheren. Every line she delivered at her enemies was like a punch in the gut, laced with venom. Her portrayal will be one to be remembered.

She said, with great class, on how we need to appreciate the peace we have today, and hope we appreciated the kind of love story between Lau Sing & Kau Ku Leong that was told, despite there being no physical affection. I agree. It’s always much harder to tell of a romance in a period like that and it was due to the great chemistry between Wayne & Sheren which made it believable.

 

Best Actor

 


Winner: Wayne Lai, No Regrets

Other Nominees:

  • Moses Chan, Can’t Buy Me Love
  • Felix Wong, Gun Metal Grey
  • Raymond Lam, Mysteries of Love
  • Steven Ma, Ghost Writer

Wayne wins again! There’s been a lot of talk on how Lau Sing < Chai Kau, and that is to be expected because they’re two very different roles altogether. Lau Sing is more righteous, more of a hero while Chai Kau was very… grey. More anti-hero. It’s like Wayne & Sheren swapped characters from Rosy Business to play in No Regrets. Wayne wasn’t given as much to work with this time round and I think that disappointed some people. But still, disappointment or not, Wayne is a formidable actor. To borrow a line Kara Hui said about Kenneth Ma in the Best Supporting category, Wayne was so well immersed that he was Lau Sing, and Lau Sing was Wayne. Not enough could be said, and I’m so glad that the past two years, he has gotten what his talent and capabilities deserve. Bravo.

 

Best Series

 


Winner: Can’t Buy Me Love

Other Nominees:

  • A Chip of the Block
  • Mysteries of Love
  • Every Move You Make
  • No Regrets

Before the awards were announced, I called that Can’t Buy Me Love would take the prize, just to shake things up a little. No Regrets had nearly swept away all the other awards that mattered, and there was no way that a series like CBML, with the number of TVB favourite siu sungs & fadans in it, would walk away empty handed. Especially with its ratings and the amount of pre-event publicity it garnered. For the episodes that I watched, I found CBML funny and there’s no denying the comedic talent it housed.

But that’s not the most eye-raising thing. The most incredulous thing was that TVB once again repeats the Born Rich phenomenon of last year unto Gun Metal Grey and completely snub them of a best series nomination. It’s the black sheep “anniversary” series that got zero promotion at the Anniversary Gala. It’s terrible treatment of a great, gripping series, stellar performances, and a good story of the thin grey line told. Robbed. To TVB veterans who are planning to make a comeback next year, please don’t be disillusioned if your series gets named “Anniversary Series”. Look what happened to Ray Lui, Jamie Chik & Felix Wong.

P/S: I did like A Chip of the Block & Every Move You Make, but wasn’t A Fistful of Stances also widely talked about? It’s not here either?

Some other portions I didn’t cover:

I skipped the Most Admirable Programme Award (won by Hong Kong Architechture) and the Best Variety Show (won by The Voice 2, although I’m going to say that I liked that Krystal Tin got to go on stage since that will be the closest she will get to TVB giving her an award despite her stellar skills) since I don’t watch all these other programmes.

Fun with Liza & the Gods took home an award for Best Hosts (I think?) and we’re treated to a large expanse of thigh by Wong Cho Lam as we see a live feed of them receiving their award at their concert. Tony Leung presented the trophy to the foursome and Wong Cho Lam, after treating us, treats himself to a pucker on Tony Leung‘s cheek. I don’t know which treat is scarier.

Louise Lee takes home the Lifetime Achievement Award! Her acting is nothing short of spectacular. I grew up watching her on those large rectangular video tapes we rented of A Kindred Spirit and followed every episode of Heart of Greed and Moonlight Resonance. She was a huge part of my childhood! Happy for her. 😀

Some other unanswered questions:

  • How many times can Carol Cheng mention that Sheren Teng sat a whole year without getting any awards before getting tired?
  • In what way does Mysteries of Love trump Gun Metal Grey?
  • Could Ron Ng have hoped any harder that the ground would have opened up to swallow him whole after Toby Leung‘s remarks?
  • What will 2011’s “new” award be?
  • Did Adam Cheng look in the mirror before walking out of the house?

All these unanswered questions. I don’t think I’ll be any wiser next year, but oh, I still look forward to you, 2011 TVB Anniversary Awards. Too much drama you bring!

What’s Up; #4.

16 Jul

So, besides finishing up my holidays, starting class back up again, having computer problems and procrastination, what’s been up in the world of TVB?

Love Exchange

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As you can see from the new banner, I’m enjoying this series. Although it seems like a let down in certain ways because the intriguing sales presentation promised so much more, but I’m really loving the series not so much for the plot, but for the acting alone, mostly from Anita Yuen.

While I don’t ever remember seeing her in a TVB series before, that doesn’t make a difference. I warmed up to her immediately on-screen. Anita really is such a brilliant actress. I don’t know how much TVB paid to lure her away from her adorable baby boy and back to film but she is worth every single cent. She is wholeheartedly Sit Chi Yiu, from top to toe, in and out. If I didn’t know better, I’d say that was how Anita is in real life too. And well, what can I say? Gotta love Michael Miu too. Surely it must be illegal to still look so good at his age? He’s my George Clooney of Hong Kong.

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I didn’t expect much from the Michael/Anita pairing, but the sparks between them on-screen is so evident and so natural.

Power Chan and Krystal Tin are perfect choices for the second leads. Often underrated, both of them have been great so far and I expect we’ll see a lot more from them soon as the plot thickens. Special shout out goes to the guy who plays Kei Chai, Chi Yiu‘s little brother-in-law (I think his name is Alex Lam?). Gosh, this kid is hilarious! I’ve never watched him before but my dad keeps on eagerly informing me that he’s the disciple from Men Don’t Cry, so I deduce he must’ve been good there as well because my dad rarely gets that excited. Heh.

In terms of the plot and the mystery it promised in the sales presentation on the other hand, there’s nothing yet. So far most of it has been filler, but we’ll see. I think there’s definitely more to the death of Dick (Eddie Kwan) and Bonnie (Angela Tong). I get this feeling that Jackie (Krystal Tin) might be tied to it somehow since she has that one “great love” which they’ve mentioned a few times now. Might it be Dick?

On a different note, I don’t know why they named him Dick, considering they have to mention his name so many times in the series. Heh.

I also really, really love the themesong. Every Kary Ng song that I’ve heard, I’ve liked. This one is no exception. As usual, I haven’t a clue what it means, but the melody fits the series quite well.

*

The Speech of Silence

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I expected SO much more from this. I enjoyed the first few episodes, watching the dubbing, enjoying the initial squabbling between OK Chai (Kenneth Ma) and Tong Tong (Kate Tsui), but as the series progressed, I found myself dragging through the episodes. Lau Dan is great as usual, but I couldn’t have cared less about the entire she-bang with him and OK Chai. Ditto for the Tong Tong and Mary Hon storyline. Stephen Huynh is atrocious, awful, whatever you want to name it. The only thing that I actually enjoy are Chris Lai and Elaine Yiu. Chris cracks me up whenever he’s on-screen, and Elaine has improved in spades. I’m not saying that Kate hasn’t, but I can’t help but feel that her acting pales when she’s next to Elaine on-screen.

I’m the kind of person who can’t bear to watch a series out of sequence or not finish a series I’ve started watching (Part of the reason why I haven’t attempted Gossip Girl, because my first episode is missing) but last week I missed Episodes 10-14 of this series and I didn’t even feel like catching the re-runs on Astro On Demand. Right now, I’m just catching bits and pieces here and there when I walk in and out of the TV room when my family watches it. I suppose I’ll try to finish it, but at the rate I’m going, this might be the first series I abandon in 2008.

It’s such a shame though, that an interesting theme had to be wasted in this way. There was so much potential for it to be the underdog series of the year, but that title still remains with A Journey Called Life, I reckon. I’ve seen people comparing the series, saying that Speech is superior to Journey, and I just absolutely have to disagree.

(Ehh, this may be an unpopular opinion but part of the reason I might not continue is also because I cannot stand the themesong by Joyce Cheng. The tune is fine, not so much her singing.)

Moonlight Resonance

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I love the poster. It’s quite crowded, but then again, I didn’t expect anything less. I also may be biased because purple’s my favourite colour, heh. The trailers have gotten me all hyped up so far. I just worry about it production value-wise because it was so rushed to be in time for the Mid-Autumn Festival. Didn’t they just finish filming about a month ago or something?

I enjoyed Heart of Greed, so obviously I have high hopes for this one. So many of my favourites are in here – Moses, Tavia, Raymond, Bosco, Michelle, Wayne. Can’t wait to watch all the veterans in action again too. This time round, some of the rest have also grown on me – Linda, Fala, Chris. Let’s see if Fala handles acting a disability better than Kate in Speech of Silence. I do wish they’d kept Yoyo, though. First, she had a much reduced role in Forensic Heroes II, and now completely ignored for Moonlight Resonance. Poor thing.

Will Moonlight surpass its predecessor, the ratings-darling Heart of Greed? Guess we’ll all find out really really soon.

What’s been on your playlist? Are you watching Love Exchange or Speech of Silence? Are you anticipating Moonlight Resonance?

There and Back Again; Chapter 4.

4 Jul
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Chapter 4 – Solstice

A curious turn of events
That somehow made you entranced
With one glance I felt no regret
That one look made me forget
The circumstance I left
So maybe, baby, you’ll let me in
The one to show you all you need” – Malbec, Solstice

Additional characters:
Lee Sze Kei – Ms. Doreen
Elaine Yiu Zhi Ling – Nurse Brenda
Leanne Li Yat Nam – Nurse Leanne
Suki Chui Suk Man – Nurse Suki
Vivien Yeo Sau Wai – Nurse Josie
June Chan Kei – Nurse Alice Chan

*

“Flowers for you, Suet Lei!” Brenda (Elaine Yiu) crowed once the delivery came through to the nurses’ station.

The nurses crowded around the expensive-looking bouquet before Suet Lei (Tavia Yeung) herself could see it, oohing and aahing.

“Wow, it’s beautiful,” Leanne (Leanne Li) said, her tone heavy with jealousy. “Who are you dating, Ah Lei?”

Suki (Suki Chui) counted the red roses enviously, wondering who could’ve bought Suet Lei such an extravagant flower arrangement. “Three dozen roses, must be some rich guy.”

“Go on,” Josie (Vivien Yeo) urged. “Read the card! We’re dying to know who it is.”

Suet Lei hesitated. “There must be some kind of mistake,” she protested. “Are you sure it’s for me?”

“Nurse Tam,” Impatient, Leanne grabbed the card off the bouquet and started reading aloud. “Thanks for that other day, I must treat you dinner to make it up to you. I hope you like the flowers.”

“Ooooh,” the bunch of nurses chorused. “How sweet!”

Suet Lei frowned. “For what other day?” she asked out loud, confused.

“Who’s it from?” Brenda asked.

Leanne’s mouth dropped as her eyes widened. “Michael Lam!”

“Michael Lam? You mean, the Michael Lam?”

“Michael, as in MC’s brother?”

“Oh my god, Ah Lei, you’re so lucky!” The nurses exclaimed one by one.

“Wait a minute, who’s Michael Lam?” Suet Lei asked, still confused.

Josie looked as though she wanted to smack some sense into her. “You don’t know who he is? MC’s brother, the one you took the blood sample from that other day?”

Suet Lei thought back, trying to recall his file. “Oh, that guy?”

Suki shook her head. “She gets such expensive flowers from one of the most eligible bachelors around here and all she can say is, ‘oh, that guy’?” she mimicked. “Honestly, are you sure you’re straight?”

Suet Lei glared at her and was about to retort before she was interrupted. “Nurses, you’re not being paid to stand around and look pretty while people die in the wards,” the chief nurse’s voice sounded.

As quickly as they flocked to the flowers, the nurses scurried away, undoubtedly itching with this new gossip to share with other people.

Suet Lei looked after them and groaned inwardly, “Great, just what I need.”

*

“Hi.”

Suet Lei looked up from her files, startled. “Oh.”

Michael (Bosco Wong) stood in front of her, in a pair of jeans, and a designer jacket. “Did you get the flowers?” he smiled.

Suet Lei smiled back tightly. “The flowers, yeah. Umm, the patients would like to thank you for them.”

“Patients?”

She laughed nervously. “Yeah. Uhh, I thought they would like some colour to brighten up their wards, so I distributed your generous bouquet amongst them. Hope you don’t mind. And you really didn’t have to. It’s my duty.”

Michael raised an eyebrow. This was interesting. She didn’t seem affected by the flowers at all. No, this was something he definitely wasn’t used to. Girls blushing, flirting, promising him good times, all after receiving flowers, now that was what he was used to. Girls not liking flowers and giving them away? He was speechless.

“…I hope you’re not mad or anything,” Suet Lei continued talking, fiddling with the front pockets on her skirt uniform. “But thank you. You didn’t have to.”

He watched her, wondering why she didn’t react the way other girls would. It was obvious he was making her nervous. “It doesn’t matter,” he smiled. “It was for you, and for you to do as you please with it.”

Suet Lei smiled, finally meeting his eyes again. “Thank you,” she repeated.

He liked her smile, and matched it with one of his which he hoped was equally as dazzling. “Can I buy you dinner tonight?”

Her eyes widened. “Umm, there’s really no need.”

“Well, since you gave my flowers away, you technically didn’t receive anything from me. Come on, it’s just dinner,” he grinned cheekily. “I promise I won’t bite.”

She laughed. “You don’t have to.”

“I’ve already booked a table at the Oriental Plaza, Nurse Tam.” Michael gave her a puppy-dog look. “Don’t turn a man down twice, will you? It kinda hurts his ego,” he teased her.

Suet Lei felt herself turn a shade of light pink. “Well, you can buy me dinner, but not at the Oriental Plaza.”

“You want to go somewhere else to eat instead?”

“Well, uhh, I’ve actually made plans for dinner tonight, but you can come along.”

He grinned again, the same charming, contagious grin. “It’s a deal.”

*

“You look breath-taking,” Ben (Raymond Lam) whispered in her ear as he escorted her into the grand ballroom. “I like the dress.”

Noelle (Bernice Liu) grinned back, her practiced entry walk graceful and poised. “It’s been sitting in my closet for awhile, waiting for the perfect occasion. Nothing more special than being my handsome best friend’s date,” she joked. The dress was strapless, made out of mustard yellow chiffon that hugged all the right places of her body, with a band of diamante encircling the underbust. The material loosely floated around her knees as she walked, accentuating her slender calves. The colour would’ve been harsh against any normal Asian woman, but it looked perfect on Noelle for she wore it with an assured sense of comfort.

“And I had no idea you were wearing yellow too,” Ben replied proudly, patting his lemon-coloured tie as he spoke.

Noelle stifled a giggle. “Now we look like one of those ridiculously cheesy couples, Dr. Chai.”

*

“I’m buying you dinner at a soup kitchen?” Michael was a good actor in front of the ladies, but he couldn’t help the incredulous tone seeping into his voice.

Suet Lei smiled sheepishly. “Sorry. I probably should have told you first, huh?”

Michael glanced around furtively. “So we eat here?”

“Umm,” she wringed her hands nervously. “I… uhh… I kinda volunteer here every Friday. And uhh, you don’t have to stay if you don’t want to. It’s fine. I understand.”

Michael swallowed hard. “Don’t worry about it,” he lied through his teeth. Remember the trust fund, Mike, he thought to himself. And at least Suet Lei was very easy on the eyes. This shouldn’t be that bad.

She glanced up at him through those big chocolate eyes of hers, and all was forgotten. “Are you sure?”

He grinned, and placed a hand on the small of her back. Perhaps a little presumptuous of him, but she didn’t move away, and so the hand stayed there. “Let’s go. I’ve never done this before, so you’ll have to show me the ropes.”

They walked in, Michael noting how easily Suet Lei went around greeting everyone, and how much the faces on the people there lit up at the sight of her. She led him towards a woman in a black sweater, jeans and an apron. “Ms. Doreen, I brought a friend today to help out. I hope you don’t mind.”

Doreen (Lee Sze Kei) smiled back. Suet Lei was one of her sweetest volunteers; the only male friend she remembered her bringing as a volunteer was Ben, but even then Suet Lei had claimed time and time again that they were like brother and sister, so she’d given up all hope of pushing the matter with the kind girl.

“Michael Lam,” Michael smiled, extending his hand.

“Nice to meet you; it’s about time Suet Lei brought her boyfriend here to meet everyone,” Doreen shook his hand, a mischievous glint in her eyes.

Suet Lei’s eyes widened in shock. “Ms. Doreen!”

Doreen laughed, and patted her hand. “Relax dear, I was just joking. Come on, let’s go, the food’s ready,” she said, leading Suet Lei towards the kitchen and throwing Michael a wink behind her back.

Michael laughed a little under his breath at her antics, and followed suit. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all.

*

He needed a breather, and this was as good as any. Not the most glamorous hide-out of course, the entrance to the ladies was just next to him, with the broom closet right behind him. Thankfully, all the women exiting the washroom strode out quickly in the other direction, not noticing him there. Usually he was effortless at these social things. He was good at his game; he was champion in the operating theatre and the class act when it came to these functions. Everyone wanted a piece of him. Tonight though, it was a little too much for the first time.

“So did you see that Noelle Man?” a loud voice came wafting out from behind the ladies room door.

MC (Moses Chan) stiffened.

Someone snorted. “Who could miss her? In her stupid yellow dress, trying so hard to stand out. Lack of attention, that’s what I call it.”

“She thinks she’s some hotshot, eh? Just because she’s been in a few trashy print ads and played some bit part characters in a few serials.” There was the sound of taps being turned on and off.

“Pfft. Did her characters even have any lines?”

They all laughed shrilly.

“And did you see who she’s with too?”

“I know, Ben Chai of all people! So eligible,” one of them sighed.

“Stupid slut. Always hanging around all these men.”

“Heh. How do you think she even got those roles in the first place?” the first woman suggested.

The other two giggled, as the noise from the hand dryer covered their gossip.

Not long after, three women exited the washroom, without a second glance to his dark corner. MC smirked to himself, noting that they were all unsurprisingly in the conforming colour of black, almost similar cocktail dresses. He shook his head. Jealous, that’s what they were.

To his surprise, the door swung open seconds later.

And he found himself almost eye to eye with a pair of big brown hurt eyes. Her name was on his tongue, but before he could say a word, she quickly turned away, a swish of yellow chiffon, a slight dejection in her stride.

*

“How’s my favourite patient keeping up? Playing Scrabble by herself again?”

Ka Ching (Leila Tong) smiled to herself as she saw the text message. “Scrabble alone will never be the same again after the intense competition you gave me last night, Dr. Chai. How’s the ball?” she typed back quickly, her fingers nimble with text messaging after all those months spent in bed.

Putting the phone down, she smiled to herself. Almost as quickly as she had put it down, it beeped again.

“Scrabble alone would be more fun than this ball, trust me. I should’ve brought you as my date. Mine probably abandoned me for better-looking guys.” Ka Ching felt a flush creeping over her cheeks, giggling a little at the upside down smiley he added at the end of the message.

“You look happy,” a male voice sounded.

Startled, she dropped her phone, having not heard anyone enter the room. Looking up, her eyes widened. She hadn’t seen him in ages.

*

Suet Lei giggled.

Michael writhed uncomfortably and mock-glared at her. “What’s so funny?”

“If only the nurses at the hospital could see you now. Michael Lam, donned from head to toe in plastic; hairnet, gloves, apron,” she laughed.

He couldn’t help but laugh too. “I crinkle every time I move!”

“I really should take a picture of this.”

His eyes widened and he grabbed a ladle full of soup from the pot next to him. “Oh, Nurse Tam, you wouldn’t,” he held up the ladle menacingly.

She laughed and followed suit, grabbing a ladle of rice as her defense. “This is my territory you’re treading on, Mr. Lam,” she said, mimicking his tone.

“Ahem. Could I have my rice now please, Ms. Tam?”

Both Michael and Suet Lei laughed. She turned back and grinned at the homeless man in front of her. “Certainly, Uncle Kwok. I was just giving the newcomer a lesson,” she teased, scooping rice on the man’s empty plate.

Michael followed suit and scooped a spoonful of mixed vegetables onto Uncle Kwok’s plate, neatly next to the rice. More and more people came steaming into the shelter, most of which were dressed shabbily, some with smudged skin. Never had he seen so many homeless people in his life. What amazed him even more was that Suet Lei knew most of them by name. He tried to keep up with the quick moving line, left hand giving out sweet and sour pork, and his right hand with the mixed veggies.

Suet Lei stole a glance at him as he nearly dropped the ladle, smiling to herself. Who knew the rich, spoilt, lusted-after Michael Lam would’ve stuck around for so long, without a single complaint.

He caught her glancing at him, and pulled a funny face at her, making the both of them crack up at the same time.

“Excuse me,” a little girl in pigtails and a torn dress tiptoed over the counter to glare at them. “Will you stop laughing? You’re getting saliva all over the sweet and sour pork,” she said indignantly, one hand on her hips.

Both of them laughed even harder, and Michael gave her a double helping of the pork to make her smile.

*

MC walked out of the large ceiling to floor glass doors of the ballroom and onto the beautiful grounds of the hotel garden. There was a smattering of people outside, quietly chatting. Only one woman sat alone at the gazebo. He walked towards her, hands coolly in his pockets.

She looked up at the sound of footsteps, saw him, and turned her gaze back to her glass flute of champagne. “Don’t.”

“Don’t what?”

“Don’t pretend you didn’t hear all that earlier on. Don’t pretend to be concerned. Don’t sit down. And sure as hell, don’t. Bloody. Smirk.”

He sat down opposite her. And smirked. He couldn’t help it. “Defensive, much?”

“You don’t have to pretend to be nice to me, you know,” Noelle downed the last of her champagne and set it down on the gazebo table. “You don’t like me. And the feeling’s mutual, believe me.”

“You sound hurt.”

She looked away, ignoring him.

“Look, if it matters, I know the three women.”

Noelle turned back to glare at him. “I really don’t need to know details of your various escapades with women, thank you very much.”

MC chuckled under his breath. “I don’t kiss and tell.” When he got no reply from her, he continued on. “One of them is Angel Sung, Sung Wah’s, as in Sung & Sung Watches Corp, eldest daughter. Spoilt brat, thinks very highly of herself, brain the size of a medium-sized shrimp. Another was a Miss Hong Kong semi-finalist in 2000, I can’t remember what she named herself, but it’s after a fruit. Enough said. And I don’t know who the third one was, but she forgot to shave her legs tonight. Big no-no, especially in her short dress.”

Noelle stared at him, a smile bubbling on her lips. “I don’t know how you just said all that with a straight face,” she said incredulously.

He shrugged. “I’ve a good memory.”

She finally allowed herself to laugh. “I only hope your memory is as good when it’s comes to medicinal procedures.”

He raised an eyebrow. “I’m not the top neurosurgeon in the hospital for nothing you know. Some would even say I’m the best in the country.”

“I forgot you were a walking advertisement for yourself,” she rolled her eyes. “Although with the constant coverage from the gossip magazines, I don’t see why you have to bother.”

He leaned in closer to her. “You looked me up in the gossip magazines. Why, I’m flattered, Noelle,” he said, his voice deep.

It was her turn to smirk. She leaned in closer too, her eyes not backing down. “That’s because I specifically use your articles to line the floor of my car whenever I need to transport garbage to the landfill nearby.”

He laughed.

“So, this is where you’ve gone, MC!” A ridiculously grating voice came from behind Noelle. Both Noelle and MC turned around. “Who’s this you’re with, MC?” she asked, her eyes sweeping over Noelle.

Noelle smirked and returned the once-over, her gaze coolly lingering over the woman’s cheap-looking velvet dress which was too low and too short for the occasion and her trashy looking platform heels.

MC cleared his throat. “Well, this is Ms. Man, Noelle. This,” he gestured towards the woman, “is Nurse Chan, or Alice.”

“I’m the head of the nurses’ department,” Alice (June Chan) added.

Noelle smiled. “That’s good to know,” she said simply.

“What are you doing out here, MC?” Alice switched her attention to MC. “You said you’ll save a dance for me!”

Noelle cringed. This was worse than Ah Lok, the guy she had to wrangle MC to save her from in the parking lot. This woman’s voice was all sorts of high-pitch with a variety of screechy undertones.

Plastering a gracious smile across her face, she leaned across and laid her hand on MC’s arm softly, improvising. “Hey there, if you want to dance with my date, you’re gonna have to wait until I’ve had my fair share of dances with him first, okay?”

MC stared back at her, and quickly played around, the confusion for a split second not obvious. He smiled gallantly, and shrugged at Alice, while holding his hand out for Noelle to hold. “May I?” he glanced at her.

Smiling sweetly at him, playing the part, she placed her hands in his, “My pleasure,” she said, and he led her out to the dance floor.

*

And that’s all for this update! Not a lot of Raymond or Leila this chapter, because I really wanted to devote something to the Bosco-Tavia pairing. And of course, I always end up writing tons of Moses/Bernice. I didn’t mean to, I swear! I’ll make it up to all you Ray/Leila fans next chapter, promise! Let me know what you think. 🙂

Fanfiction: Ordinary Day

18 May

Hey guys! Gosh, it’s been forever since I’ve updated and I sincerely apologise for that! 😦

First of all, I got kinda demotivated with the fact that some of my vids were deleted off of Youtube, and couple that with a couple of lacklustre TVB series that were showing at that time, I just started putting off blogging again and again and then got so caught up in assignments and university work that I just haven’t had time to breatheeeee at all. I think I must have typed more than 15,000 words in my four assignments due in the past three weeks. And then there’s exams coming in less than a month too. God.

Anyway, here’s a little songfic I got inspired to write after listening to this song after so long. It’s a one-shot, featuring my favourite couple. Nothing serious, just a little fun for me because I seriously needed a break from academic work. I was going to work on There and Back Again but then I realised I didn’t have it on this computer, so out came this one-shot songfic instead. I really hope you guys like it, although it’s not my best work. 🙂

(Excuse the banner, I did it in five mins because I’m getting sleepy! Lol.)

*

Ordinary Day; released by Vanessa Carlton

Sunshine. The worst part of the morning.

You know that groggy feeling when you just wake up but you want to fall back right into bed and bury your head into that pillow?

And then, you can’t.

Because you’ve caught a glimpse of the sunshine peeking in through the window blinds. Sunshine is just so, I don’t know… perky, I guess. It’s the thing that makes veggies grow; help them produce chlorophyll or something. I wouldn’t know; Science was never my cup of tea. It’s the thing that enables tall, leggy babes to acquire a bronzed even color of tan, one that I’d never be able to get, with my fair skin and all. I swear, every time I spend more than fifteen minutes in sunshine without a protection layer of SPF 5, a band of freckles seem to miraculously pop up across the bridge of my nose. Do I even need to give you another reason for not liking sunshine?

“Wakey wakey, Sunshine!”

Right. I forgot about that reason.

Groaning, I dragged my tired body out of bed and stuffed my feet into their slippers. Bright yellow slippers with Pokemon heads on them. Gag gift from my best friend. Don’t ask. She’s weird. “Coming, coming,” I grumbled from my bedroom.

“Scrambled or sunny-side up, Sunshine?” she called from the kitchen, laughing. “Sunshine!”

I rolled my eyes and tried to laugh. As sarcastically as I could with a toothbrush in my mouth. She never seemed to get sick of the same old joke everyday. Sunshine. Sunny-side up.

Spitting out the last of the Colgate, I trudged grumpily out to the hall and peered into the adjoining kitchen.

“Another dye job, Via?”

“You like it?” she giggled like a 13-year-old schoolgirl and turned around, giving me the full effect.

“Yeah well, I liked the last 8 dye jobs too. What colour have you not gone?” I sat down on a stool and started ticking choices off my right hand. “Burgundy, purple, dark green with red streaks, turquoise, pink, red, bleached blonde, neon green, and now blue. What next?”

“Gold and silver, y’know, like a Christmas ornament, eh? How bout that?”

“Oh, heaven help me.”

”What’s wrong with you, Sunny? Got up on the wrong side of the bed?”

I rolled my eyes again, for what seemed like the nineteenth time that day. I loved her to bits, but sometimes she was way too chipper in the mornings for my liking. Tavia was, or rather is, my landlady. I know, she acts like my mother, but she means well. Without her, I’d probably have to starve without my daily supply of grease and sugar. Via owns a flower shop downstairs. You could probably notice the stall from about a mile away. It’s brightly colored, usually painted to match Via’s hair, whatever color it was. In fact, I don’t even know what the original color is.

“You have to understand, an old lady like me needs to cover up the fact that her hair is graying quickly,” she joked, laying two eggs on my plate. “Chicken cordon bleu?”

I shook my head obediently. “Why are you going all French on me? It’s just chicken ham.”

“Smells good,” my brother mumbled, yawning. He snatched a sausage off my plate and opened the refrigerator door. “Mornin’ Via. Hi, B.”

“What is it with all these nicknames? B. Sunshine. Urgh.” I shook my head, trying to digest the eggs.

My brother opened the fridge door and grabbed a carton of milk. Opening the carton, he took a swig directly from it.

“Ugh, Fred. Use a glass.”

“Chill out, Bernice.”

“Whatever.”

He took another mouthful of milk. “Oh, Leila called. She wanted you to know that she found your Backstreet Boys CD.” He paused. “Yuck, Backstreet? They’re so nineties. Could you be anymore alien, B?”

“At least I listen to something other than The Eminem Show,” I shot back. Little brothers.

“Oh, shut up, B.”

“Calm down, you two. Off to school, Fred,” Via hustled him out the door, ruffling his hair. “I hate it when you do that, Via!” I heard him yelp in protest. “Bye, honey!” she yelled after him. Smothering my giggles, I got up to change.

Same old, same old. Story of my life. Ugh. I frowned at myself in the mirror. Bad hair day. My life is one big old boring routine, repeated over and over and over again. Don’t I get bored? Oh yeah, I definitely do. But there’s nothing much I can do about it.

Going down to the flower shop to help out in the morning. Waitress-ing at Wendy’s Waffles after lunch. Cashier at the departmental store in the evening till nine o’clock at night. For every day except Sundays. Everyday is just an ordinary day. Unfortunately.

Just a day, just an ordinary day
Just trying to get by

“Bernie, ready to go?”

“Coming!” I yelled back.

Putting on my last earring, I followed her down to the florist. Leila would already be there. She usually opens the shop up for early morning business. She definitely handles mornings a lot better than I do. Via hires the both of us. I have no idea why, the florist is rather tiny and would run fine without our help; Leila says it’s just so that Via can make sure that we have some extra cash in our pockets. I’m not surprised, that sounds just like Via. She’s a real mother hen.

Blinking, I shielded my eyes from the sunshine, enemy number 1. “Hey, Lei.”

“Hey, Ber. Got your CD right here.” She handed over the plastic case, patting Nick Carter’s face goodbye.

“What is it with nicknames this morning? First B, Sunshine, Bernie, and now Ber? Brr?” I grumbled incredulously, stashing the CD into my shoulder bag.

“Greetings, my loyal subjects!”

“Hi, Ellie.” I didn’t even have to look to see who it was. Ellie visited daily.

Via smiled. She always had a soft spot for the scruffy and dirty looking little girl. “What can I do for you today, dear?”

I smiled. Via had on her motherly look again.

“White roses. I’m going to give them to the queen. The king’s going to rule a new land today, and the queen, my mother, must have white roses to adorn her head wear,” the weird little girl chirped.

Leila laughed, reaching for the wrappers. “Half a dozen white roses, coming up!”

Via reached down and wiped a smudge off Ellie’s cheek. “It’s on the house, dear. I’m sure we all want the queen to look pretty too.”

“Thank you. I shall tell the king, and he shall reward you,” she went off with the roses in her arm, whistling a happy tune.

“Remind me to sew her a new dress for Christmas,” Via said. She eyed the rags that Ellie was wearing.

“You? Sew?”

“I can try. It’s my New Year’s resolution.”

Laughing, I went to sit down on the bench next to Leila. “How’s Ron?”

“Fine,” she answered absent-mindedly. “He’s starting a band.”

”A band?” I asked sarcastically. “With?”

“I don’t know. Ray, I suppose. Maybe Bosco.” Leila leafed through a mag.

I snorted. “What?”

“Bosco’s supposed to play the keyboards. Ray will be the lead singer, I suppose, and Ron on drums. There’s another guy too, not sure who. One of Ray’s friends, I suppose. They seem pretty keen on it. They’re trying to get gigs and stuff down at the pub.”

“Ron? Drums? Ron plus drums, equals big noise. Remind me to get earplugs.”

She glared pointedly at me. “If all you’re gonna do is sit here and insult my boyfriend, then you really need a life of your own.”

“I do have a life. It’s just that it’s absolutely boring and testosterone-less.”

Leila threw her hands up in the air. “Exactly my point! That fourth band member is really cute. Muscular, tanned, good-looking. Plays a mean guitar, too. Now, I remember correctly, his name is Kieran. Or Kevin. Maybe it’s Keenan. But anyway, it doesn’t matter. All you have to do, is turn up at their first gig, and I’ll get Ron to introduce you guys.” She smiled, obviously proud of herself.

“Please! I’m not that desperate to fall for boyband member. That is so groupie.” I rolled my eyes, as Leila got ready to protest. “And besides, I don’t need your help. I can do just fine.”

I hadn’t been on a date since forever. But I wasn’t about to wait for my best friend to hook me up with her boyfriend’s band mate.

“B, that guy is so fine,” Leila whispered loudly. “Look.”

“Could you be any louder?” I asked, mortified.

“Seriously, look at him. Wow, he’s so tall. Look!” Leila jabbed her finger excitedly in his direction.

Cringing, I turned. Leila just didn’t know when to…

Oh. My. God.

There he stood. In his 6’1” frame, standing there in front of the shop. He wasn’t model handsome, but he wasn’t butt ugly either. But something about him just made me feel attracted to him. He was just a guy you’d see on the streets, perhaps a little better looking than others, but other than that, there was nothing special. And yet, I felt something.

“GO!”

“What?” I turned to look at my best friend, or rather, ex best friend, angrily.

“Go talk to him!” I felt a push. Since when exactly had Leila gained so many muscles? Rubbing my sore butt, I turned around and saw Via grinning there with her. Great, now Via was on my boyfriend-less case too? I must have looked really desperate.

I gave them a reluctant show of walking up to the guy. But, as I neared him, undeniably, my heart began to pound faster.

“Hi.”

No answer.

I peered up at the sky, trying to see what was so interesting. He had been staring up for the last five seconds or so.

“Great weather, huh?”

He turned to look at me. Finally! He had the most incredible looking brown eyes I had ever seen. Deep and soulful. Then, he held out his hand.

Just a boy, just an ordinary boy but
He was looking to the sky and…

“Huh?” I asked, confused. First he totally snubs me, and now he wants me to hold his hand?

“Come on.”

All it took were those two words and I felt all my resolve slowly melting away. Hesitantly, I slipped my hand into his bigger one. He smiled. “Great.”

As he asked if I could come along…
I started to realize that everyday he finds just what he’s looking for
And like a shooting star he shines
And he said…

And then he’s off. Leading me through the busy streets of Vancouver. Weaving in and out of traffic.

“Hey,” I yelled. “Where are you taking me? Hey! Hey!”

He stopped.

“Well?” I asked expectantly. “Where are you taking me?”

“Just follow me.”

Alarm! “What are you? Some kind of psycho?”

“You don’t live life to the fullest, do you?

“Huh?” Before I could utter another word, he pulled on my hand again. After three minutes of brisk walking, he finally slowed down.

The beach. Sounds of ocean waves crashing against the shore, and seagull twittering as they flew in circles in the sky. Strangely enough, the beach was almost empty. Except for us.

I found myself sitting down on a log. He sat next to me

“Hello.”

“Hi,” I muttered wryly.

“I know you.”

Okay, this was getting stranger by the minute. “That’s great for you. But I certainly don’t know you.” I got up to leave.

“Bernie, come on, don’t go.”

Bernie? I don’t know how he knew, but I sort of liked the sound of it. This was crazy.

“You look like a person with dreams.”

“So what if I am?”

He smiled, a warm and kind smile. “Care to share?”

“Number one, get out of this hellhole. Number two, get out of this hellhole, and three…”

“…Get out of this hellhole?” he continued for me.

“My thoughts exactly,” I smiled wistfully.

“So why aren’t you? You know what you want, you know what you need, you’re certainly not afraid to say it. So why don’t you go get it?”

I pondered over his words. I hadn’t ever thought about it in that way before. Sure, I knew I wanted to get away from Vancouver. I knew there were bigger things that I was destined for in the world. Dancing. But I hadn’t exactly thought about doing it. It just wasn’t something to think about.

How come this man could make me think things I never even given a second thought to before?

“Bernie,” he looked straight into my eyes. I shivered. It was as though he could see right into my soul. Suddenly I felt scared. He seemed like he was reading my heart and mind exactly. He could relate to what I going through.

But, I’d only known him for fewer than ten minutes. Yet, I felt I’d known him all my life.

“Do you feel free?” he continued. Then, he took off his shoes and socks, and lay them down beside the log. Again, he extended his hand, that sweet friendly gesture he had done before.

“Who are you?” I whispered to myself. Following his actions, I slipped out of my sneakers and stood up, following him. The smooth sand felt warm under my naked soles.

Take my hand, live while you can
Don’t you see you dreams lie right in the palm of your hand

And as he spoke, he spoke ordinary words
Though they did now fail
For I felt what I had not felt before
And you’d swear those words could heal and…

As I looked up into those eyes, his vision borrows mine
And I know that he’s no stranger
For I feel I’ve held him for all of time, and he said…

To my surprise, he started running. “Catch me if you can!” he yelled, in that lilting Aussie accent of his.

I stared after him in disbelief. What?

“Come on!”

Take my hand, live while you can
Don’t you see you dreams lie right in the palm of your hand

Please come with me, see what I see…

Surprisingly, I laughed out loud. This was crazy, he was crazy and I felt crazy. So what the heck? I took off after him, running as hard as I could. I could hear him laughing as well in the distance.

For a strange reason, I felt as thought I was flying. And most importantly, I felt free. And I loved every minute of it. And then I had a fleeting thought. Maybe, just maybe I could do more than I had been doing all along.

Touch the stars for time will not flee…
Time will not flee, can’t you see…

After what seemed like an eternity, I caught up to him. He stood there, smiling that beautiful smile again.

Skidding to a stop in front of him, I tried to catch my breath, huffing and puffing, and wiping my sweat off my forehead with my sleeve.

“Now you know what I’m talking about?”

I nodded wordlessly.

He held out his hand, palm facing the sky. “Everything is here, laid out on your palm. All you have to do is take it.” He closed his hand, gripping tightly.

“Take it,” I echoed.

Take my hand, live while you can
Don’t you see you dreams lie right in the palm of your hand

“Remember what I said now.”

I nodded again. “How could I forget?” I whispered.

He beamed, a slight lift of the corners of his mouth. “Close your eyes,” he said softly.

I did.

“Open,” he said in an even softer tone, so soft that it almost sounded faraway. “Open now.”

I did.

He was nowhere to be seen.

Just a dream, just an ordinary dream
As I wake in bed…

“Aaah!” I woke up with a start, a bead of sweat rolling down my cheek. “What was that?” I stuttered, catching my breath. “A dream?” I whispered to myself.

Sunshine streamed in through my open window. A dream? Could it be? It had all seemed so real, so vivid, so concrete. I had felt him. And he seemed like he had looked right into me. How could it be just a dream?

And that boy, that ordinary boy
Was it all in my head?
Didn’t he asked if I would come along
It all seemed so real…

Standing up, I groaned. Everything had been so real. The holding hands, the beach, the running.

The beach!

My eyes opened in amazement. I dug my hands into the space between the quilt and the mattress and came up with…a big handful of sand.

“Rise and shine, Sunny!”

“Via, did you do any gardening lately?” I yelled. That would explain the sand. Via was extremely absent-minded and careless, always leaving things everywhere. I had found cheese in the bathroom cabinet and Fred’s soccer ball in the oven once.

No answer from outside. I shuffled out of my room and popped my head outside. “Via, did you by any cha…”

But as I looked to the door
I saw that boy standing there with a deal
And he said…

He was standing in the doorway. He. That guy. It was him.

Suddenly, Leila appeared. “Hey, finally, you’re awake. Ron’s band is here to practice; they needed to borrow Fred’s drums.”

“Oh.” That was all I could mutter. My gaze was still fixed on the tall, statuesque man next to her.

She caught my stare and smiled knowingly. “Bernice, meet Moses. He’s the fifth member of the band,” she laughed, using finger quotes around band.

“Hi,” he extended his hand. That movement seemed so familiar. And that accent so memorable. I could never forget it. That Aussie accent.

Take my hand, live while you can
Don’t you see you dreams lie right in the palm of your hand

“Hi,” I shook his hand. The way he gripped it, touched it, seemed exactly like my dream. Could it be?

He smiled; that very same smile. “Mind if I call you Bernie?”

My heart skipped a beat. “Sure.”

He smiled. I smiled back. An ordinary day? Maybe not after all.

Just a day, just an ordinary day
Just trying to get by
Just a boy, just an ordinary boy
But he was looking to the sky…

*

Okay so after proof-reading it for the second time, it feels a little strange in parts. Very different from what I’ve been writing all along, but I still hope you like it nonetheless *fingers crossed*

The Year of the Rat Ahead

11 Feb

So, it’s the Lunar New Year again, this time the year of the rat. And so, a typical question on everybody’s mine is, how will my year be in the year of the rat? chinese.astrology.com has the rundown for the year ahead. For a good bit of fun in the CNY manner, let’s see what happens when we apply those forecasts to our favourite TVB stars.

Photobucket
The Rat in the year of the Rat
Bobby Au-Yeung (1960), Matthew Ko (1984), Linda Chung (1984), Vivien Yeo (1984)

Out of the year ahead, apparently eight months are favourable for the Rat. The year may get off to a slow start for them, but the latter part of the year will hold bigger and better opportunities – patience will be a virtue. Bobby has a new drama which is currently filming which also stars Sheren Tang that could very well lead to many advertising opportunities towards the end of the year. Matthew and Linda also have Man in Charge, and A Journey Called Life and The Gem of Life respectively, ready for release very soon. For the Rat, this year is also the best time for career advancement; both Matthew and Vivien have been given very big opportunities of late – could this be their time to shine? When it comes to love, there is a high possibility that a recent acquaintance or a newly formed friendship could develop into a serious love affair. Maybe those Matthew/Kate Tsui rumours might come true soon.

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The Ox in the year of the Rat
Damian Lau (1949), Ada Choi (1973) 

The year of the rat is a win-lose situation for the Ox. According to the experts, the ox will face half a year of difficulty, with the ending half favourable. This will not the time to take risks, especially unnecessary or avoidable risks. Hard work is more the Ox’s style anyway; this is very true for both Damian and Ada whose pure hard work and talent within the entertainment circle over the years is widely known. As for the Ox’s relationships, one bright spot may lay in their family relationships, as they might offer you a measure of unconditional love. This bodes well for the newlywed Ada and her loving husband, Max.

Tiger
The Tiger in the year of the Rat
Sonija Kwok (1974), Joyce Tang (1974), Kenneth Ma (1974), Patrick Tang (1974)

42% of the year will apparently be favourable for the tiger in the year of the rat. The Tiger will have to carefully pick their battles, as they probably will not be blessed with many good opportunities. This might not be true for Kenneth as he has a truckload of series due for airing this year. Patrick is also rather favoured by the bosses, and he has the famous Foodie 2 Shoes under his belt. This leaves us with the ladies. Sonija already had a horrible year last year, what with the Michael Tao and third party rumours, so let’s hope this forecast doesn’t come true with a repeat of last year occurring. The Tiger will also gain a lot in friendships and have a fulfilling social life but the only bump in the road may come in their romantic relationships, as their aggressive approach may not find favor in this conservative Earth element year. Hopefully this doesn’t affect Joyce and what seems like a burgeoning relationship with Derek Kwok.

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The Rabbit in the year of the Rat
Michael Tao (1963), Alex Fong (1963), Charmaine Sheh (1975), Yoyo Mung (1975)

After a good year last year, the Rabbit is expected to have a slightly more challenging year of the Rat, especially in the middle months of 2008. Career-wise, it could be frustrating as there might be delays and mix-ups in their way. For Charmaine and Yoyo who have upcoming series to film, might that mean delays in filming/production? Relationships with colleagues could also pose a problem, especially if there is involvement in office politics and gossip. Again, both the rumour prone females better take note. That aside, their domestic scene could make up for the trying workfront. Time is best spent with loved ones relaxing like what Alex Fong will likely do with his wife. Love is likely to be in the air for singles like Michael and Charmaine, but things should be taken slowly to avoid disappointment. Rabbits must also beware of conmen this year; however, a bright spot is that long term investments will bring a good return. Maybe it’s time for Yoyo and Ekin Cheng to get a place of their own. 😉

Dragon
The Dragon in the year of the Rat
Roger Kwok (1964), Derek Kwok (1964), Margaret Chung (1976), Annie Man (1976)

With 11 favourable months and 1 neutral month, the Dragon could be the best off amongst all the other zodiacs. Dragons, while having to avoid risk, will have a good chance of realising a big dream this year. Maybe Margaret will be able to expand her yoga venture this year. The year of the Rat also seems to smile on the career of the Dragon. With creativity, heart and spirit, points could be won with those in authority and advancements in career are highly likely. The star of Roger can only go higher with D.I.E. and thriller Last One Standing, while Derek who did great last year, could stand to gain even more recognition this year. Margaret and Annie should also consider filming for TVB again. I’m sure a lot of viewers would agree with that. Equally lucky in relationships, the Dragon stands to find romance, or even better, his or her soulmate this year as it is a very auspicious year for love – love might soon be in the air for singles like the very eligible Derek (Joyce Tang anyone?), Margaret and Annie. The earth element of 2008 also favors family and heart-felt gestures, perfect for Roger and his wife Cindy Au, who will be happy parents very soon!

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The Snake in the year of the Rat
Bowie Lam (1965), Jack Wu (1977), Maggie Siu (1965)

With one less favourable month as compared to the Dragon, the year of the Rat will be a better one for the Snake than last year. Almost every month will present a new opportunity to the snake, although they might want to take a break straight after the Lunar New Year. With the mega-production of The Gem of Life looming ahead for both Bowie and Maggie, the year is bound to be bountiful, and after filming it for many long months last year, a break after the new year is in store for the two. Also, the fast paced energy given off by the Rat creates a dynamic career environment which could inspire the Snake with new ideas resulting in many opportunities which requires quick and decisive actions. If the Snake is bored with their present work situation, this is a good time to seek greener pastures. Could this be a hint to Jack to leave the hosting behind and to continue to carve a name for himself in the acting industry? Single Snakes have a wonderful chance to find love and romance, or maybe just one great fling. All three of them should take note!

Horse
The Horse in the year of the Rat
Sammul Chan (1978), Stephen Huynh (1978), Bernice Liu (1979), Shirley Yeung (1978)

With only three neutral months and the remaining months being unfavourable, it looks to be a tough year ahead for the Horse. A quick start to the year will be important as the latter months of the year could be very challenging indeed. Might that mean awards at the end of the year will once again elude Sammul and Bernice? Projects will become a bit more difficult and delays could be the norm. Hopefully this does not affect Bernice who’s currently filming The Legendary Ren Jie and Sammul, who will soon begin filming The Academy III, or cause Shirley‘s Silver Mansion Golden Dust to be warehoused. While they may experience some bumps in the road, there will be have many opportunities to learn and it might be beneficial to further their work-related knowledge; Bernice and Stephen should continue working hard on improving their pronounciation. When it comes to romance, letting their guard down, especially with those who love them, is one way to happiness. Might Bernice be letting her guard down with a certain Best Actor? The Horse will be best served by exercising patience and understanding the needs of his or her partner. Shirley and long-time boyfriend Gregory Lee should take note, just in case.

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The Sheep in the year of the Rat
Raymond Lam (1979), Ron Ng (1979), Myolie Wu (1979), Tavia Yeung (1979)

With only 5 favourable months, this year will not be as good as the pig year last year for these sheep. However, it is important to note that there are still five favourable months will plenty of opportunities if the Sheep does not get down and let negative emotions get the best of them. All four stars have big projects at hand with many opportunies; Raymond has The Four and Heart of Greed II, Ron with The Four and possibly Thirteen Treasures, Myolie with When A Dog Loves A Cat and apparently Burning Flame III after that, and Tavia with Salt Traders and Heart of Greed II. They will do best this year if they let their head, and not their heart dictate their actions. Ron made a smart choice by branching out to the mainland market last year, and his career might continue rising with the awaited The Four and the filming of the The Academy III. Career-wise, the Sheep might face large pressure from management to work more. Advancement and progress will come if there is strong diligence, of which there is definitely no shortage of when it comes to these four. The sheep must remain rational about their workload and pressure and their inclination to say no if the load is too much to handle. The quartet of Raymond, Ron, Myolie and Tavia are the cream of the crop of the younger generation and are possibly the most overworked ones. This year they might have to learn to face even larger pressure and juggle their work and home life well. For the single Sheep like Raymond, Ron and Tavia, this year could lead to the blossoming of true love. However, existing relationships could be problematic. At the same time, they need to be wary of rumors and gossip, as they will lead to unnecessary arguments. Myolie and rumoured guy Bosco Wong sound familiar?

Monkey
The Monkey in the year of the Rat
Joe Ma (1968), Bosco Wong (1980), Elaine Yiu (1980), Carrie Lam (1980)

Along with the Dragon, the Monkey will have the best year this year out of the twelve zodiacs. Opportunities will be aplenty for the typical, mentally quick and multi-talented Monkey. However, overconfidence could hinder some of those opportunities. The monkey is advised to go with their heart and follow their instincts with their projects at hand. Rewards will be seen when working closely with coworkers who exhibit similar ideas. Bosco, while working closely with his great coworker Myolie Wu reaped great rewards with their outstanding chemistry last year with War of In-Laws II; might that continue in the following year as well? Ideas and hard work will most likely be rewarded this year. Joe, who has signed a contract with TVB late last year could see himself rewarded as early as the end of this year at the anniversary awards. A resurgent Elaine , and well as newbie Carrie could also see themselves with more chances. The monkey’s social life should be very active this year. Married ones like Joe will find themselves more than ever, wanting to spend a lot of time with their spouse and might even lead to an addition in the family! The single Monkey should expect to find an abundance of opportunities in love and this might not be the year to settle down. Oh no, does that mean there’s no hope for Bosco and Myolie after all?

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The Rooster in the year of the Rat
Paul Chun (1945), Kevin Cheng (1969), Leila Tong (1981), Selena Li (1981)

After the Horse, the Rooster is the sign most likely to have a challenging year with a total of 9 unfavourable months. There will, nevertheless, be a few opportunities. With a big role in The Four, Selena‘s opportunities will probably come in abundance after its release. A cooperative attitude, and winning allies will be the key to success. With Leila‘s amiable work ethics and her budding success with her music and the mainland market, she should do well. Progress may be a little slow on the career front this year for the rooster but time must be taken to understand the roots of the problems. Support of co-workers and superiors are vital. Such a well-respected and well-liked veteran like Paul probably need not worry. One of TVB’s favourite sons, Kevin will also probably be in a good spot with the support for the upcoming The Seventh Day and the anticipated Last One Standing. The single Rooster like the beautiful Leila , need not rush into anything new this year, as things may not always be quite what they seem. The Rooster in a relationship needs to be wary and avoid missteps, as small problems have the potential to erupt into larger, out-of-hand ones this year. Might rumoured couples Kevin and Niki Chow, along with Selena and Patrick Tang have anything to worry about? Added stressed caused from relationship problems could be detrimental to their health. Let’s hope all four stay healthy and happy in ’08!

Dog
The Dog in the year of the Rat
Michael Miu (1958), Jessica Hsuan (1970), Fala Chen (1982) 

More than half the year is deemed to be positive for the Dog in 2008. For them, it will be more challenging than last year, but still has the potential to be very favourable. With the release of Suspicious Love for Michael and the upcoming The Academy III and Heart of Greed II for him and Fala respectively; that is most definitely valuable potential. Jessica has also apparently been slated to film Just Love II soon. Willingness to leave their comfort zone will lead to significant progress towards the dog’s goals and enable them to achieve one or more notable successes. Jessica left her comfort zone last year with her soft-spoken, timid role in Drive of Life which was widely acclaimed. Fala could very well continue that streak by taking on the role of a mute this time round in HOG II. Time spent promoting themselves and their skills and standing out to the people on the company ladder will be well-spent. Fala‘s popularity rose last year with her dancing skills; will she continue on this year? Domestically, comfort will be found in family relationships this year, be it with parents, children or loved ones. The single ones like the very eligible Jessica, will find good fun and mental stimulation this year; with plenty of chances to meet new friends and explore new love interests. The Year of the Earth Rat will likely be favorable towards their new savings plans and investment decisions; possibly a good year for Michael‘s business up ahead!
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The Boar in the year of the Rat
Moses Chan (1971), Steven Ma (1971), Gigi Lai (1971), Koni Lui (1983)

Said to be the most generous and honorable zodiac sign, these four are in for a good year this year. The environment is likely to be more unsettling, albeit simultaneously providing more opportunities for success. The formidable Moses won big at last year’s awards; imagine what more he could do this year. The boar needs to mentally adjust his or herself and focus squarely on the present this year. Gigi had a turbulent year last year with her brother’s incident, and there’s nothing better to do than to focus and live to the fullest in both family and career. Increased success is in store for the boar; they just need to stay focused on the prize. Great advice for a budding newbie like Koni. Their work environment is more comfortable this year and people around them will be appreciative of their experience and talent. Might Steven be able to win Best Actor this year with this added appreciation? The single Pig will find plenty of opportunities this year and love is in the air, possibly along with a new career connection or two. Moses, who has all along endorsed the idea of appearing as a celebrity advertising couple with Bernice Liu for work and sponsor-related purposes, has been the brunt of good-natured marriage ribbing from colleagues recently. Might there be more than just a career connection there? The pace of the year also poses some risk to your health and well-being and any risky physical activity should be avoided. Let’s all pray for no more horse mishaps for the poor Steven. We want to see both his eyes if/when he wins an award this year. 

*

Just a good bit of fun forecasting the year ahead traditional Chinese-style with the twelve zodiacs and the TVB artistes. I don’t personally believe in astrology, but I like to read it just for fun… who knows, right? Lol.

And I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy belated Valentine’s day! xoxo.

There and Back Again; Chapter 3

3 Feb

So, finally, the lazy fanfic writer in me completes a chapter of There and Back Again. You guys who read this fanfic are really too good to me. The amount of support I have for this piece of fanfiction is really overwhelming, and I just want to apologise for not repaying that support with quick steady updates! I’m not that good with words, so it kinda takes me longer than what your average writer would need. Anyway, since it’s been such a long time since I’ve updated, you can use the links below to refresh your memory, if necessary. Other than that, I hope you enjoy!

Prologue
Chapter 1 – The Calm Before the Storm
Chapter 2 – You and I Collide

 

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Chapter 3 – Out of My Element

“You make me feel out of my element
Like I’m walkin’ on broken glass
Like my worlds spinnin’ in slow motion
And you’re movin’ too fast.” – Aly and AJ, Chemicals React.

Additional characters:
Mary Hon Ma Lei – Lan Yee (Auntie Lan)
Elaine Yiu Zhi Ling – Nurse Brenda Chen

Ben (Raymond Lam) walked into her room, his stethoscope bouncing around his neck as he walked over to Ka Ching’s bed. “Morning,” he grinned, grabbing her charts off the foot of her bed. “How’re you feeling today?”

“Better,” she smiled. ‘Now that you’re here,’ she added in her mind, but only she didn’t say it. It sounded way too flirty.

“Cool.”

“You must be the only doctor I’ve seen in this hospital who says ‘cool’,” she teased him.

Ben laughed, as he checked her stats. “Well, but aren’t I? Cool?”

“You don’t have as many cool points as I do, Dr. Chai.”

“Well, would this give me more cool points?” He produced a shiny fresh red apple from the pocket of his white coat.

Ka Ching (Leila Tong) eyed the apple. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Are you trying to wriggle out of your doctor duties and not come check on me tomorrow?”

“No,” he smirked. “I’m just trying to ease some of your pain of missing Dr. Chan. You said he’d bring you an apple and you’d knit him a scarf, didn’t you?”

“…oh”, Ka Ching managed to get out, taken aback by Ben’s words. She felt a blush creep over her cheeks as he scribbled something on her charts.

He laughed under his breath as he hung the charts back where it belonged. “I’ll be waiting for that scarf then.” And with that, he left the room, while Ka Ching felt herself smiling at the red apple all day long.

*

Noelle (Bernice Liu) checked her watch impatiently, tapping her heel against the cool marble floor as she waited for the lift to come. “Come on,” she muttered under her breath.

It wasn’t exactly her fault that she was late. She needed, okay, maybe wanted, a new pair of heels, and the red peep-toe kitten heels she saw in Gemini in the mall were screaming out her name. But that wasn’t the point.

The point was Ben and Ah Lei would undoubtedly be annoyed. “It’s not like it’s my fault that they both chose such busy professions,” she grumbled again as the elevator doors dinged and opened. “And make me come all the way here just so we can have lunc-” Stepping in in mid-sentence, she stopped short in her tracks. Her eyes narrowed, but the doors had already closed behind her.

“You, again.” A voice sounded.

Noelle turned her back on him, slammed an index finger against the ‘3’ button and crossed her arms against her chest in a huff. “Yeah, so?” she retorted.

He snorted, and Noelle swore she could feel him smirk even with her back to him. “Don’t you have a day job?”

“In fact, I do,” she replied haughtily. “I’m a free-lance model and actress.”

He snorted again, this time louder than the first, and in true fashion, smirked. “I see.”

Annoyed, she whirled to face him. “And what’s wrong with that, huh?”

MC (Moses Chan) shrugged. “I can see why you’ve got so much free time on your hands then. Coming here all the time, shopping,” he said, nodding towards her paper bag which contained her new shoes. “It’s no wonder you’re not getting any jobs, really, with an attitude and face like that.”

Noelle’s mouth dropped in shock, her eyes flashing indignantly. “You- you-”

“Have a pleasant day, Ms. Man,” he said smoothly, and strode out of the elevator, leaving her furious and more agitated than she’d ever been.

*

“I swear, if you guys keep on making me come here to meet you for lunch, we’re not going to be friends for much longer,” Noelle plopped down her shopping bags on a chair and collapsed into the chair next to it. “I hate him. I swear I do.”

Ben checked his watched and clucked his tongue comically. “Let’s see, you’re late, and we’re the ones who aren’t your friends anymore? Real sweet, Man Po Yee,” he joked as his best friend shot him a glare that could kill.

Suet Lei (Tavia Yeung) giggled. A day was not a day if it didn’t witness Noelle’s melodrama and Ben’s offbeat humour. “Okay, spill, who’s got you in such a twist now?” she asked as she pushed the plate of chips to Noelle, despite Ben’s protests.

Shooting her a grateful look, Noelle started. “That- that MC Lam. Who thinks he owns the earth. And acts like he’s the hottest guy on earth. And smartest. And strides around like a pompous jerk. And acts like he owns the freaking hospital!”

Ben chuckled. “I see you’ve met our famous doctor again.”

“Famous?” Noelle snorted. “Ridiculously annoying is more like it.”

“You know,” Suet Lei took a sip of her drink and nodded towards the table where MC was having lunch, complete with a flock of nurses around him. “I don’t speak for myself, but I know for a fact that plenty of nurses in this hospital would kill, and I repeat, kill, to be annoyed by him.”

“Probably shamelessly soaking up all the attention.”

Ben sniggered. “The nurses do have a thing for him, don’t they?” he noted as Suet Lei rolled her eyes and nodded. “I was walking past the nurses’ station this morning and they were all talking about who he’s going to bring to the charity ball, while Suet Lei sat there and did the Sudoku puzzle in the papers.”

“What?” Suet Lei protested. “He’s not my cup of tea. And besides, all they do is talk about him all day. I’ve heard so much about him that it’s boring, actually.”

“That’s my girl. Besides, who would actually want to date him? He might as well bring a mirror to that ball. Save him the fifty trips he’d need to make to the bathroom to keep his self-adoration quota up.”

“God, you’re good, Noelle. Sure, you don’t want to be a comedian instead of a model?” Ben laughed again. “Hey, besides, you gotta give the guy some credit. I could use a date to the charity ball too, and nobody’s knocking on my door like they are on his.”

“Why don’t you take Suet Lei?” Noelle asked, curious. “Or does our best friend have a date already?” she teased.

Suet Lei rolled her eyes. “I’m just a lowly nurse who’s unfortunately got a shift that night. Thank God.”

“Oh, too bad. Want me to go with you, Ben?”

Ben’s eyebrows raised. “Hey, that’s a good idea. Even though you’re probably ditch me for some other hot-shot doctor once we get there.”

“Hey!” Noelle reached across the table and swatted him on the arm. “That’s only like, half-true.”

Suet Lei giggled. “Why do I have a feeling there’s going to be some good stories the next day about this charity ball?”

“Yeah, Noelle’s probably going to have a war with MC again,” Ben laughed.

Noelle glared at the both of them, throwing a chip each their way, while the both of them laughed even harder.

*

“Lan Yee, come on, sit down with me and eat.” Michael patted the chair next to him fondly.

Lan Yee (Mary Hon) looked back at him, shaking her head. “You know I’ve never gotten used to eating in the main dining hall.”

Michael smiled at her. If there was anyone in the world he truly respected and loved, it was Lan Yee. “You’ve been with us for thirty years now. There’s nothing to be shy about! Come on, I haven’t had a beautiful dinner date in ages,” he winked.

“Silly boy,” she laughed, albeit sitting down slowly. “Girls are lining up from here to Macau for a chance at a dinner date with you.”

“But none who can cook as well as you,” Michael joked.

Lan Yee’s tone grew serious. “You and your brother are exactly the same. Are either of you ever going to settle down?”

Michael smiled tightly. “Settling down’s not for me.”

She sighed. “Is it something I put into the food that results in the both of you being so playful when it comes to the love department?” Lan Yee asks, peering in to the food.

Putting down his chopsticks, Michael reached out to put an arm around her shoulders. “Now, MC and I don’t always agree, but I know he won’t object when I say that we’re not being serious because we judge every woman we date against a yard stick. And that yard stick’s you!” he laughed, when Lan Yee glared at him. “You set pretty high standards you know. Can’t blame us.”

“You and your sweet mouth,” she admonished. “If you put half as much effort into finding a job as you do into females, you’ll be a millionaire by now.”

“Well, if MC would let me have that damned trust fund, I would be,” Michael’s tone darkened.

Lan Yee looked at him firmly. “You know it’s not his fault. Your parents left your trust fund in both mine and MC’s hands to decide when you deserve it.”

“Which is ridiculous,” he rolled his eyes. “People get their trust funds when they’re eighteen or twenty-one. Look at me, I’m twenty-five!”

“Then start acting your age,” Lan Yee said, in a gentle tone.

If that had came out from anyone else’s mouth, Michael would have ignored it, exchanged a few harsh words, even. God knows MC gave him enough hell when it came to being serious. “It’s not like I don’t want to, Lan Yee. You tell me to grow up and find a job. So, I think about it. Seriously,” he emphasized. “I want to start a business. But if I don’t have my trust fund, where am I going to get my start-up capital? It just doesn’t make sense.”

“Business?” she asked warily. “Are you sure?”

“Of course,” Michael cajoled. “It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do since I was eighteen,” he said, twisting the truth a little. “Help me out here, Lan Yee. Please?” he gave her his best puppy-dog look.

Lan Yee pursed her lips. “I’ll…I’ll talk to MC about it.”

A big grin spread across Michael’s face. “You’re the best! MC listens to yo-”

“But I have my conditions!” she interjected.

He grinned, this was a good start. “Name it.”

“You could start bringing home a nice girl for once for me,” Lan Yee glared at him. “Honestly, I don’t know where you find all your girls. Makeup an inch thick, skirts five inches shorter than they should be.”

“Is that it?” Michael laughed.

Lan Yee raised an eyebrow. “Why, do you have a candidate already?”

He smiled. “Well, we’ll see.”

“Tell me!”

Nice, decent girl. She fit the description. “I think you won’t be disappointed,” he grinned, putting a piece of chicken into Lan Yee’s bowl. “Enough boring talk, let’s eat.”

*

Michael walked back into his room, a smile playing on his lips without even knowing it. Striding towards his desk, he ruffled through his top desk drawer, until he came up with a stack of name cards. Shuffling through them, he finally found what he was looking for.

Blooming’s Florist Pty Ltd. “Bingo.”

Every woman loved flowers, didn’t they? She would be no exception.

*

Ben walked down the corridors of the hospital, mentally ticking off things off his to-do list in his head. It had been a tiring day, lots of patients to check on, a couple of surgeries, paperwork. And to top it off, he hadn’t been here for long. Half his residency had been done in the States where he had graduated. Here, he had to start all over again, and put in some extra work – more than what was expected from the others. It wasn’t that he minded working in Hong Kong. This was where home was, where his life had used to be. His best friends were here. He just never thought, never expected that he’d be back.

“Night, Dr. Chai!”

Ben smiled at the nurse. “Have a good night, Brenda,” he smiled politely in return to the flirtatious glance.

“Aren’t you leaving yet?”

“Umm,” he looked at his watch, feigning indifference. 1 a.m. “I think I’ll just hang around and wait for Suet Lei. She’ll almost be done soon,” he said, lying through his teeth. He knew very well that Suet Lei had left nearly five hours ago, having to work the graveyard shift tomorrow during the hospital charity dinner.

The nurse’s face fell. “All right then. Er,” she said, stalling for time. “Night again, Dr. Chai.”

Normally, he would’ve answered with a ‘call me Ben’, but he decided against it tonight. “Good night.” Turning around, he walked away, glancing at his watch again, having to allow her ten minutes to leave the hospital grounds before he could make his safe exit. He didn’t know what it was that they taught as this particular nurses’ station, but they sure were like hyenas. The others were fine; it was just this particular one that had all the clingy nurses. “Must’ve failed with MC this afternoon,” he chuckled to himself, walking back down the hall to his office.

A light still on in one of the private rooms caught his eye. Room 839. Ka Ching, he recalled from memory instantly. Smiling, he knocked on the door softly. He heard a soft shuffling to the door, which then promptly opened the size of a crack.

“Hey, it’s me.”

The door opened wider to show Ka Ching’s beautiful smile. “Hey. What are you doing here?”

“Why are you still awake?” Ben asked at the same time.

“I couldn’t sleep, so I thought I’d play some Scrabble,” she shrugged, biting her lip as she told him. “Don’t laugh.”

“I love Scrabble. I wouldn’t laugh!” Ben instantly brightened up, grinning. “Up for a competition?”

Ka Ching raised an eyebrow, giggling at his reaction. “Are you sure? Don’t you have something else to do?”

“Relax, I’m off duty.”

“Bu- but, aren’t you tired or something?”

“Dude, it’s Scrabble,” Ben remarked, almost like a child. “Are you scared or something?” he teased.

Her mouth fell open in surprise. “No freaking way!”

She opened her door to let him in, shuffling back to her bed in her bunny slippers, while Ben walked in behind her, closing the door.

“Game on!” he grinned.

She stuck out her tongue at him. “We’ll see about that, Dr. Chai.”

He winked, and placed a few tiles on the board. This time, he corrected her, with no hesitation. “C’mon, call me Ben.”

*

So, what do you think this time (yes, especially after such a long time. Did you forget all about the characters? Lol.)? All comments, whether compliments or criticisms, are fully welcome. 🙂 Remember to click on the comments button, or leave me a message on the tagboard to let me know! I really hope this chapter makes up for the super long wait. :-S