Melody of the Soul
Copyright B.G. Q. 2000. All Rights Reserved.
Tony-Gallen Lo Cathy-Jessica Hsuan
Chris-Louis Koo Sandy-Ada Choi
Tommy-Julian Cheung Alice-Nadia Chan
Eric-Deric Wan Joanne-Kenix Kwok
Michael-Sunny Chan Tina-Mariane Chan
It did not take Cathy long to get ready at all. They arrived at Ocean Star to find that everyone was there except Sandy, Chris, and Joanne.
Eric: (Said as he saw Tommy and Cathy coming) Wow, here goes the happy coup…(hit by Alice)
Tommy: Hey, since when did we all learn to be early?
Alice smiled curiously at Tommy and shrugged an “I don’t know”.
Eric: Tommy, my friend…I miss you so much, hichic…(got up and wittily gave Tommy a hug).
Michael: Whoa Eric, make sure you don’t touch any of us later on!
Tina: Hey Tommy, I think you’re a bit skinnier! We better stuff him with food tonight, shall we not?
Cathy: Haha, I all know you’ll stuff yourself first before you even worry about anyone else. Johnny, make sure to keep your girlfriend going to the gym constantly!
As Johnny tried to suppress his laughter Tina pinched him hard by the arm in front of everyone.
Tommy: So when am I officially going back to work for you, Mister Tony?
Tony: Well…I was going to be nice and give you a short break but since you’ve asked…
Cathy: (cunningly glimpsed at Tony) That’s what you get for working under Tony-the time and money calculator!
Tony: Hm…since we’re out from work, I’ll reconsider on dropping that contract of yours.
Alice: Hey Tony, don’t threaten my sister like that or I’ll leave all the messy work on your desk the next time.
Tony raised his arms in an “I surrender” expression. While chatting about things that happened since Tommy went away, Chris, Sandy, and Joanne finally showed up.
Tina: There they are! Finally…Did you guys get here from Mars or something?
Sandy: (laughing happily) Well…traffic jam was going to be our excuse, but that works too.
Meanwhile, Joanne could not get his eyes off Tommy. She blushed shyly as he smiled a salute. A mixture of excitement, happiness, as well as nervousness ran through her.
Joanne: We could have gotten here much earlier if not for Sandy. You all say I spend a lot of time on my look, but I can confirm that it’s not as much as Sandy does now! I guess people are just in their best mood when they’re showered with love…
Just as she finished the sentence, a loud “what?” came out from every guy’s lips except Chris’s, of course. It was then that they all realized Chris and Sandy were holding hands. Sandy could not help but giggle over the different facial expressions.
Sandy: Hey, I was supposed to be the one to break the news, right Chris? (She asked innocently, without realizing the uneasiness from Chris.)
Chris forced a contorted smile that only Tony, Cathy, and Alice took notice of. He glanced over to Cathy, who fixed her eyes on a palm tree as though it was the eighth wonder of the world. Glances followed glances as the perceptive ones tried to read each other’s mind. Sandy pulled Chris to sit down without realizing there was no seat for Joanne. Right then, Jerry came rushing to them.
Jerry: Hey hey, I have the chair right here! (purposely stuck one in between Tommy and Cathy ) Joanne, why don’t you sit here? Cathy, can you move over to the right a little?
Cathy and Chris quickly exchanged glances. She reluctantly moved over before watchful eyes, keeping a distance from Chris. As if reading her thoughts, Tony brought his chair in the middle of them.
Tony: I’m squished up on that side and there seems to plenty of space here (he said sarcastically).
Cathy ignored his clever comment and engaged in the conversation with insouciance. Meanwhile, Tony curiously wondered if it was the position of the seats or his own astute sensibility that gave him the droll feeling of one being sandwiched between two time bombs. The thought made him smile.
Of course, it is always the oblivious and innocent ones that start to lighten the plot.
Same in this case…
Johnny: This is quite sudden! You two are a couple?
Joanne: Isn’t it too obvious Johnny?
Eric: Hey, what is up with this secretive thing? How long has this been going on?
Tommy: …And we’re supposed to be his closest friends…Don’t be surprised; even I don’t know about it!
Chris smiled, not knowing where to start at the constant questions thrown at them. Michael, who seemed to have a lock between his lips from the time Sandy and Chris walked in together, folded his arms in expectation of an answer.
Sandy: Hey, we don’t intend to hide anything from you guys.
Alice: Well, at least all of us know now, so no big deal, right?
Tina: Ok, leave all questions for later! I’m…hungry…
Jerry: Hahaha, the same Tina!
Tommy: (surprised that Tina did not jump right back at Jerry) Whoa, since when did you two learn to be so friendly?
Tina: (stood up and wrapped her arm around Jerry’s shoulder) Is there a rule that says you can never be friends with your enemy?
Jerry: (also turned to her and smiled brightly) Who said we were irreversible?
The food was finally served for the group. Of course, the eager Tina had her hands on them first. Meanwhile, being the “gentleman” that he was, Eric filled up Alice’s plate with the best food in the group’s complaint.
Joanne: (looking at the couple in admiration) You’re so lucky Alice! What did you do to make Mr. Arrogant right here lay on the tips of your fingers and no one else’s? (she giggled)
Alice: Really? How come I don’t notice that? (she said jokingly)
Eric: (wrinkled at Joanne) Hey, don’t make me sound that bad, Ms. Grouch! Keep it up and you’ll still be single by the time little kids run around us.
Joanne swept a knifelike look across Eric and tried to pacify her temper. Tina, noticing that Chris and Sandy were also picking food to each other’s plate, turned to Johnny in disappointment.
Tina: Johnny! How come you don’t pick anything to my plate?
Johnny: Uh…sorry, I would have…but if I do I’m afraid they’ll have nothing left…
Joanne: Yeah Tina, you have four hands when it comes to eating, remember?
Tina: What is up with this? Everyone’s ganging up on me!
The group broke into a loud laugh. Everyone appeared to be happy, except the honest Michael, whom still wore an undisguised look of discontentment as he watched Chris and Sandy. As Tony caught Michael’s depressing eyes, he let out a sort of grin and swung his experienced eyes at the group, taking notes of the different moods under flimsy facial casts. The naïve ones were engaging themselves in funny conversations, too occupied to have realized other’s inattentiveness. Others were probably drifting somewhere in their own rivers of thoughts …First was Michael’s helplessly grudging air. Then there was Sandy, who looked at Chris with a perpetual smile that seemed as though they’d been apart their whole lives. When she did, Chris would look up and smile back at her, a repetitive pattern throughout the night. On the left, Tommy politely picked the chicken wings for Joanne. Yet his eyes were glued on Cathy, who was chewing on the same piece of bread over fifteen minutes and appeared to be fixing her attention on the palm tree once more. And of course, there was Jerry, who nosily scrutinized Cathy and Chris in search of an answer to his curiosity. Once in a while, Tony’s observing eyes would run into Alice’s and they would smile at each other comprehensively.
Tony: (ladling soup in Cathy’s bowl and whispering to her) I still don’t see what’s so special about that palm tree…
Cathy: (throwing an askew glance at Tony) No talking while eating, didn’t you tell me that before?
Tony: Haha, all right…everything comes back to me. Well, since no one here is serving you, I’ll do the favor (he teased).
Cathy stopped Tony’s hand before he could pick her the last shrimp.
Cathy: I can use chopsticks just fine, thank you very much (she said pretentiously).
As Cathy reached for the shrimp, another pair of chopsticks also reached out for it.
Chris: Uh…Go ahead, you didn’t eat much at all.
Cathy: No, you take it, I’m already full.
Chris: Are you sure?
Cathy nodded her head, but she suddenly turned pale as she watched Chris pick the shrimp and placed it in Sandy’s bowl.
Sandy: Oh, I don’t like shrimps much…I would prefer crabs (she said artlessly).
Tony and Cathy watched as she put the shrimp in her mouth right after saying that. Subsequently everyone turned their attention toward Jerry, who could no longer hold back his laughter.
Tina: What are you laughing about, Chubby?
Joanne: Yeah, what did I miss?
Jerry: (waving his hands in an “sorry, I can’t tell you” fashion as he saw Chris’s warning face) Uh, I just realize you all eat like pigs; look, we’re out of food already. Let me get everyone some pasta and fruit cocktails.
Jerry said with much emphasis. Snorting while making his way to the counter, he left two blushing faces and pairs of clueless eyes.
Michael: So, Chris…How’s the planning for your next concert going? (he asked with passiveness, not wanting to be the mute one at the table.)
Chris: So far so good (he nodded thankfully).
Joanne: Hey, remember to save us the tickets! You bet we’ll be there!
Tina: Haha, doesn’t he always? Oh, what about you, Cathy? When is your next concert?
Alice: Probably three months from now (she answered for her sister).
Eric: Are you going to take part in his concert then? (pointing to Chris) …Oh, I take back that unnecessary question…I know you’ll sing at least one song.
Cathy: Actually this time I’m not.
Tony: She’s trying to be a loner now. (He looked at her teasingly, knowing that she could not say anything back to him.)
Jerry brought the cocktails soon after that. Not surprisingly, his creativity had to serve the purpose of something.
Jerry: [Oh man, I’m playing risky on this one…better pick the right ones!] Ok, pick the glass you like.
Everyone picked up something of their choice.
Jerry: [Oh yeah! Haha, just as expected…]
As Chris began to drink his fruit mix, he felt something at the bottom of the glass. Curiously, he took a look and found a tiny piece of paper: “Look around and see who has the same fruit mix as you. Hm…what a coincidence…or should I say you two are so much alike?” At the same time, Cathy took out the rolled up paper in her straw: “See who has the same fruit mix. Tsk Tsk, you don’t look like a loser…are you one??” Unlike Jerry had expected, the rest of his night was quite difficult, for two pairs of censuring eyes constantly attacked him.
The dinner finally was over and the group split up in their own ways. Each person was following his or her own trail of thoughts.
Jerry: [Oh no, I hope they don’t take it that seriously.]
Michael: [Going out?…Why did they wait until now??…urghhh…going out…]
Tony: [Ready or not…now the problems really begin to show…]
Tina: I haven’t had that much fun in a long time! What about you? [Oh the food was wonderful!]
Johnny: Yep, Eric and Jerry really know how to joke. [Man, I’m still hungry… only if you didn’t eat all my food…]
Joanne: Yeah, and we’re all glad to see Tommy back too! [Hehe…I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep tonight.]
Eric: Hahaha, I like Jerry more and more; he’s so goofy! Alice, I think we should go there more often.
Alice: (smiled) Can you get me some time off from work then? [What’s bothering Cathy so much? I hope what I think is not true…Oh please don’t make the matter more complicated.]
Sandy: (resting her head on Chris’s shoulder) Do you know how happy I am right now? [Everything is going so well…Only if life is always this great…]
Chris: [I’m going to kill that Jerry.]
Tommy: What’s wrong Cathy? You were so quiet the whole night, [and grumpy too…] Is it work-related?
Cathy: Yeah…I was a little sleepy. [That Jerry will definitely get it!]
Alice, Sandy, and Cathy finally got home. To their surprise they bumped into Peter at the door.
Cathy: Ahhh! Couz!
Alice and Sandy: Peter?
Cathy jumped to him and hugged him tightly, too happy that the thought of her unpleasant dinner was temporarily gone.
Peter: Whoa whoa… hey, you’re too big for me to lift now…get off…hahaha…
Sandy: (pulling the excited Cathy off Peter) Did you wait out here long? Wow…we had no idea you’re coming today!
Peter: Nah, I didn’t wait long but lucky I didn’t leave.
Alice: Come on, what are we doing here? Let’s get in!
Peter: Wow, nice decoration you have here!
Cathy: Sandy did it all since she claims to have good taste.
Peter: Ah, I see you’re still running the bridal shop! How’s the business?
Sandy: Better than ever!
Cathy: What about you, Mr. “Devil Slayer”? What made you suddenly come back to Hong Kong anyway?
Peter: What, can’t it be that I miss my favorite cousins?
Alice: (coming from the kitchen with four cups of tea) I can tell your lawyer tongue is still curved.
Peter: Haha, well, actually it was my wife’s decision. She still likes Hong Kong better.
Sandy: You mean Mary? I can’t believe you! You’re married for over three years now and we still don’t know how she looks. How come she’s not with you today?
Peter: She has a night shift at Central Hospital.
Peter: Hey, you’re not so bad yourself. The newspaper in Vancouver talks about you often, you know that? You better get me Sammi and Mirriam’s autograph someday!
Cathy: Yes sir!
Peter: Hey, who were the guys that dropped you off? (he asked with a funny, curious face)
Alice: There were three of them and there are three of us, so what do you think?
Peter: No way! Haha, it has to happen someday, doesn’t it?
Sandy: Do you want to see their pictures?
Sandy grabbed the frame containing the group’s picture on top of the TV shelf and gave it to Peter. She pointed out the three Prince-Charmings.
Peter: Wow, what a beautiful group. That’s Joanne…and Tina…Hey, isn’t that Chris Cheng? He’s quite famous! Haha, Tony looks exactly the same… so do Eric and Johnny.
Sandy nodded a proud “yes” and hid her face in facetious, pretended timidity. Cathy, upon seeing the picture, pressed her lips in a crooked smile. Alice glanced at her.
Alice: Hey Cathy, now that your favorite cousin is back, maybe you can tell him about your problems.
Sandy: (turned to Cathy) You got problems Cathy?
Cathy: What problems? (her face turned blue)
Alice: I meant that you have one more listener from now on.
Peter: Hey, not just her…you all do! But I do charge for my professional words…
He finished the sentence with a cushion thrown on his face.
"Love is hard work; and hard work sometimes hurts!"
"Tell me whom you love and I will tell you who you are."