This is a work of fiction.
All characters are fictional.
The landmarks, locations of actual sites in Singapore are used solely for storytelling purposes.
The author has no affiliation or stake in any of the cafes, restaurants, hawker stalls or landscape nursery mentioned in the story.
Some road names are fictional made up solely for story telling purpose.
Introduction – 6/11/19 – updated
Introduction II – 15/11/19 – updated
Introduction III – 6/12/19 – updated
Introduction IV – 20/12/19 – updated
Adventure begins in January 2020.
Jan week 1 – updated
Jan week 2 – updated
Jan week 3 – updated
30/1/20 – double dose
4/2/20 – double dose
if you flip through my report books documenting my progress as a student , you would see several remarks like this from my teachers.
“ Jackson needs to put in more effort “
“ Jackson needs more motivation “
“ Jackson requires the right drive to excel “
“ there is still chance for Jackson to Excel”
The teachers are just being nice.
The word they would love to use on me is lazy.
Jackson is the laziest student in class. That is a fact.
I could remember as far back as when I was in Primary two when my grandfather was called into the teacher’s office for behaviour problems.
The teacher complained that I always slept in class. She questioned if I was staying up late at home. My grandfather said no and that I go to bed on time at 9.30pm.
However he could not explain why I kept falling asleep in class.
After the meeting, he asked me why I kept doing that.
I simply told him that the class is boring.
Jackson : I already know and understand what the teacher is teaching…..
Grandpa : don’t be a smart ass…. You are not as clever as you think…
I just smiled.
I never argued with my grandfather. He is my only family and he practically raised me on his own. My grandpa had my dad when he was 18. My dad had me when he was 18. This meant my grandfather had me when he was 37.
What the fuck does this do to someone who is 37 ?
37 in this time and age, some of us have yet to become fathers.
Things could not haven been worse for my grandfather. I was an unwanted child. My dad is a sailor according to my grandfather. He met my mum, who is some sweet girl in a good school.
Their romance is something right out of a fairy tale.
Just that the fair tale does not have a happy ending.
I was an accident, it could not have been clearer than that. 1 month after my mum gave birth to me, she left me with my grandfather together with close to two thousand dollars and a weeks worth of baby supplies.
That was it.
My grandfather told me when I was older that she needed to go overseas to continue her education. A bright future awaits her and there was no room for a child in her life.
So at 37, my grandfather is saddled with a newborn, with hardly any idea of how to care for a child and make a living at the same time, he struggled. He really did.
There were few pictures of me when I was a child, even fewer of my grandfather. We simply could not afford pictures. My grandpa did odd jobs and together with the help of neighbours, we fumbled along and the next thing I realised, I was already in primary school with teachers scolding me for being lazy.
It’s true, I am lazy but I’m not stupid.
I just want to find the most efficient way to something with minimal effort.
It’s as simple as that.
It is exactly a mentality like this that got my grandfather an invite for another visit to the school when I was in primary 3.
I was already in the office when he came and I felt bad seeing my grandpa in his dirty work shirt having rushed over from the factory.
My form teacher laid out all my examination papers.
No, I did not get zero.
I got exactly 50 for all my papers except composition.
Wait a minute you say, 50 is a passing grade right ?
Low grades or the lack there of was not the reason my grandfather was invited down to the school.
I got 50 marks because I counted exacted 50 marks and only answered the questions that gave me 50 marks.
That was the mark to pass isn’t it ?
Of course, an attitude like this did not sit well with the adults.
I don’t see anything wrong with this.
Let me explain why.
The whole idea of examination is to make sure you comprehend the subject, and you are able to effectively apply the concepts learned.
You will then be graded.
50 is a pass.
50 means you are ok.
Why then do I have to answer all the questions ?
What did I do with the rest of the time during the examination you ask ?
Sleep of course. What else is more important than sleep.
After the lecture by the form teacher, my grandfather asked me why did I do something like that .
Grandpa : studying is good for you… it’s the path to a better future… do you want to end up like ah gong ? …. Doing odd jobs…. Earning so little money…. With nobody to love….. ??!!
I hugged my grandfather and he stopped talking.
Jackson : I love you ah gong…. With all my heart…. I love you….
My grandpa laughed as he stroked my hair.
Grandpa : ah gong will not be around forever… you must learn to be more mature… you must learn to take care of yourself….
Jackson : don’t say things like that Ah gong…. I will take care of you.. don’t worry…..
I patted my chest first and added,
Jackson : this is for my promise…..
Next I tapped my shoulders.
Jackson : this is for my responsibility….
Then I held up both fists in a mock battle stance.
Grandpa : what is that for.
I gave him a smirk look and added.
Jackson : for glory….
He threw his newspaper at me, cursing as I ran away into my room.
Grandpa : SI GINNA!! ( Irritating kid ! )
So if you remembered your primary school days, you will need to take some special exams that some adults come up with. The answers you put down on that paper determines if you are meant for the gifted program or if you are destined to become a farmer like the rest of the population in this elitist society of ours.
Since I was tired of my teachers saying I’m stupid and lazy, I answered all the questions.
When the results came back, my teach could hardly believed his eyes.
Yeah. Jackson is not a dumbass. He is just lazy.
So what if I got good results and an offer to join the program.
It’s not for people like me.
My grandpa is hardly making ends meet.
Transferring school ? New uniforms ? School bus ? new materials ?
Fuck off .
I’m happy if I could have food on the table and spare change for a candy at the end of the week.
I continued my wayward ways with my examination papers and when I was Primary 5, my grandfather got another invitation. This time it was to the principal office.
The same scenario happened. From Math, to Science, to social studies.
I answered exactly 50 marks worth of questions.
I got a 95 for composition though.
Again, the same lecture only this time round, the principal put the fear of PSLE into my grandfather’s head.
PSLE I tell you, it’s just an exam but to a illiterate old man charged with raising his grandson, PSLE sounded like stage 4 terminal cancer.
I shit you not.
My grandfather was worried as hell. He took on extra shifts and wanted to get me a tuition teacher. I refused.
I insisted that he stop the extra shifts or I would stop going to school.
He was at his wits end until I sat him down and told him don’t worry.
Jackson : ah gong…. Look at me…. I give you my word…. There’s no way I will mess the PSLE up… ok ??
He relented eventually.
I scraped through Primary 5 and when the faithful day comes for the dreaded PSLE, I answered all the questions.
Yes I know, there’s the bell curve, the averaging and shit but I don’t care.
I just didn’t want my grandpa to worry.
Grandpa : did you fill in all the blanks ? did you answer all the questions ??
Jackson : yes ah gong… yes… I did… don’t worry… hahaha
To celebrate the end of the last paper, my grandfather brought me out to parkway parade. Wywy wonderland, that place is magical.
Grandpa wanted to change $5 worth of tokens for me to enjoy myself but I said just $2 is enough.
Jackson : It’s not easy to make money….
My grandpa smiled and ruffled my hair before pulling my body against his.
Grandpa : If only your father is half as good as you…. If only…
When my results came back, I had 280 out of a score or 300.
My score was only 3 points short of the national record then.
Within days, letters of offers came from schools that the sons of ministers and businessmen go to. Expensive schools.
Ok expensive aside, schools that are far away.
Schools that need to take long bus ride.
Why the fuck would I want to go to a school so far away, when there’s a secondary school just a fucking 5 minutes walk away ?
I don’t care about schools and grades.
At 12, I only want what’s convenient.
And I know saving 4 years of bus fare travelling to and from school would save my grandfather a lot of money.
And so that it. The nearest school, for the laziest kid.
It did not take long for the teachers in my new school to realise what I was up to.
It was a big issue. I’m talking detention, counselling, more invitation for my grandfather.
By then my grandfather had sort of zoned out of the lectures by the teachers and principals. He just nodded and smile, says that he will keep a closer watch on me.
At secondary two, I had a particularly nasty form teacher.
He has a poisonous tongue and he spits words that cuts deep into your skin.
Now, given how thick skin I am with my don’t give a fuck attitude, I was immune to what he says until during a parent meeting session he insulted my grandfather.
That was when I snapped.
Teacher: aiyah…. This kind of kid… from broken family… raised by odd job labourer… sure no future one la….. I’m sure the grandpa outside also lazy lazy kind…..that’s why the grandson follows in his footstep…. Whole family no future and hope one…. … he’s going to fail all the way till his ‘O’ levels….
He was saying it to another teacher but we were well within earshot and he knows it.
I could see it hurt my grandpa and something snapped in me.
I blocked his way and demanded an apology.
Jackson : my grandfather raised me single handedly….!!! He did more for me than anyone ever has….. who the fuck are you to say things like this about him ??
Teacher : what did you just say !!! ?
I repeated my words as my grandpa dragged me away, apologising for my behaviour.
Jackson : fuck you !!
Okay, okay, you don’t need to be a genius to know what the consequences are for a student to give the ‘f’ word to his teacher.
1 stroke of the cane was melted out but oh boy, that’s not all.
That’s not all.
I waited till all the papers were over for the end of the year examinations.
And during one busy recess period where everyone is enjoying their food, I walked right over to my form teacher who was happily chatting with a full plate of food in front of him.
I lifted his plate and smashed it onto his head.
The screams and cheers that erupted etched itself into my head.
Jackson : that’s for insulting my grandfather….now…. watch me fail all my paper….
I walked away as bodies parted for me. My form teacher shouted at me and in a slip of his tongue , mouth obscenities in the middle of the canteen, causing the cheers and jeers to go up a notch.
Other teachers tried to calm him down but the damage was done.
A teacher reciting a string of expletives in front of the whole school ?
Good luck to him.
And as for that dumb act of mine, another 3 strokes of the cane, in public this time, on the fucking stage.
I took all 3 strokes and endured a 15 minutes of shaming and scolding in front of the whole school.
It didn’t bother me at all.
I don’t care.
After the discipline master was done scolding me, I was made to remain on stage for the rest of the speech and prize giving day.
I smiled at the next teacher coming up on stage.
She’s that motherly teacher that you wished is your form teacher. If there can ever be a standard mould for moulding a mould that moulds the future of our nation, Mrs Koh should be that mould.
She’s soft spoken, always polite and all the students respect her.
Respect is something you earn.
I’m not talking just about the studious group of kids, even the most badass gangster in the school bows and speaks properly to Mrs Koh. Students will go out of their way to help her with the books or files she is carrying.
That’s the amount of sway she holds in school .
Mrs Koh started the ceremony by announcing the top student for our cohort that year in each subject.
I saw her shot me a look and it was a particularly awkward moment for the teachers.
Mrs Koh : 1st….. in English….. Jackson…
I did not have to get up from the floor to go up the stage.
I did not have to walk pass rows of students to get on the stage.
I did not have to walk pass teachers sitting at the side of the hall to get to the stage.
I am already on the fucking stage.
The thunderous applauses I got was the small act of defiance my classmates could show. Nobody liked our form teacher and he was nowhere to be seen.
Whistles and cheers rang out as Mrs Koh continued.
Mrs Koh : 1st in…. Literature…. Jackson….
It didn’t stop.
It never stopped.
History, geography, science, Chinese, higher Chinese.
Every fucking subject there is, I aced it. It’ not that I’m smart, it’s just that the bar is low. Half the school is not studying, we’re at the age where we just want to have fun.
From that day on, no one bothered me again. Ever.
Even in secondary three, I did exactly what I used to for my exams.
No more, no less.
I was marked of course.
Marked and labelled.
Jackson, the problem child. Leave him the fuck alone to his own demise.
Someone probably has a note like this somewhere on my name.
Not only did teachers left me alone, even the school drop outs hanging around with their so call gang members gave me a wide berth. They raised their cigarettes and nod at me as I walked past the void decks where they hung out in droves.
What about the girls ? Of course I got the girls.
Girls like bad boys, they always do.
I have girls lined up stabbing each other in the back to be my girlfriend.
I’m not a robot, I’m a growing kid. I am not immune to growing breast and shapely legs. Especially not when the girls chose to wear fancy cross back bras or those in bright pastel colours while tucking in their white blouse so tight, I wonder if they deliberately bought it a size smaller.
I’ve touched enough breast and kissed all the hottest girls from those in the 1st express class to the Ah lian in the last class.
Upper secondary is definitely an enjoyable period for me. My grandpa finally got promoted to a full time staff in a supervisory position after so many years of doing odd jobs at the factory.
It seems by taking on all the shit that no one wanted to do, my grandpa eventually because the only person to know what is going on.
The factory owner’s son saw the effort my grandfather had put in over the years and the first thing he did after taking over the reins was to give him the position and pay he deserved.
$2900 excluding bonus.
That is a lot of money for my grandpa after having worked and survive on less than 1k for so many years.
Things were finally starting to look good for the 2 of us.
I got Mrs Koh as my form teacher in secondary 4. She knew what I was up to and the only thing she said to me was not to hesitate to ask her anything, if I need to. She left me alone when I slept in class but she would always do one thing the other teachers never did.
She would wake me up after her period was over, asks me a few questions to make sure I understand the essence of that chapter or what shew as trying to teach. If I got it right, she would nod her head.
There are times I got it wrong though and she would smile, before retracting it and throwing me 3 hours of after school detention for me to revise.
I enjoyed her class and I enjoyed my last year in that school. I love it.
The school, the girls and their fancy bras and their sweet smelling hair.
O levels came and well, there’s not something you want to fuck it up. So I did it properly.
Straight As and this time round, invitation letters to some of the best junior colleges in the country.
My grandfather was doing a lot better now as a supervisor and if I wanted, I could go to a JC and then on to university but I didn’t.
I did not want to.
At 16, all I wanted was for my grandfather to rest more while I take up the burden of supporting us. I started work part time after school ended at a landscaping company.
I went the polytechnic route and I worked whenever I had no classes at the same landscaping company. The extra income I brought home, I gave half to my grandfather and the other half was my own allowance.
I love landscaping and plants.
The plants don’t complain, they don’t bitch about people. You can’t have office politics with plants. It was my kind of work. I love getting my hands dirty too and I’m not afraid to say I have green fingers.
Plants thrive under my watch.
You might have bought something from me too if you frequent the landscaping companies located in Kovan just beside the carpark.
I know the plant species well and during Chinese new year, my salesmanship and my business acumen always put the widest smile on my boss’s face.
I sell them, I plant them, I nurture them.
I fucking love them.
Selling plants is considered boring on many fronts, it’s one of the most uninteresting jobs ever.
However, my life was about to change because of my love for plants.
I just did not know it yet.
My love for plants would eventually lead me to a house.
A house where the chapters for the rest of my life would be written.
I started with the basics of course at the nursery, mostly manual labour. The foreign workers at the company thought it was weird a kid like me would want to work in such a place.
I did exactly the same things they did. Unloading pots of palms and flowering shrub off trucks under the hot sun.
It felt good working up a sweat. After the unloading, it’s pretty much free time for me since customers don’t come in droves unless it’s around the festivities.
I would wander around the large garden, do a bit of pruning, some rearrangements, sometimes I would just sit and enjoy the shade and smell of the freshly watered plants.
Daisies, roses, sunflowers, palms, frangipanis, bamboo, being surrounded by them on almost a daily basis made me feel as if I’m working in a different country, a different place.
A far cry from the concrete city we live in.
When it comes to selling, it’s simple. Prices were clearly labelled but I was given the liberty to give a bit of discount.
Everyone loves discount.
From $6 pots of mint to a $68 dollar large shrub of rosemary, I can sell anything. I could bullshit about how bamboo would fit into a rich man’s garden and how having a water feature would help keep his mistress from straying.
I even sold a Japanese pagoda to a English man who left his wife and married his Chinese colleague.
I shit you not, I sold Venus flytrap and pitcher plant to the boss of a pest control company.
He says no way my plants is more effective that his chemicals in controlling pest population.
I gave him my honest reply.
Jackson : of course la boss… your one is weapon of mass destruction ley… insects sure die en mass..…. My plants…..is for national geographic documentary one….conversation starters……i ask you I ask you…. You single right…. You single….
Boss of pest company : what has that got to do with this…. ??
I noticed he is without a wedding ring but what really gave him away was I overheard him on his phone earlier asking his friend to hook him up with another girl for a date.
High chance single eligible male.
Jackson : imagine you trying to strike a conversation with a girl about your work….which one is a better conversation started…. Bottles of chemicals…. Or these….
I pointed to the 2 pot of carnivorous plants.
Jackson : Natural…. Organic pest control….the inspiration behind the values you founded your company on….. Striking a necessary balance…
I stopped talking and wait for my bullshit to sink in.
Boss of pest company : that is absolute bullshit bro…….
There was a 2 second pause as he looked at the plants.
Boss of pest company : …………….. but i’ll take it…
Jackson : thank you boss….
I would give the occasional bags of fertilisers if I like the customers, sometimes I threw in a free pot. If I see kids running around, I might pass them a marble or two while their parents browse my wares.
I knew the other bosses and employees along the entire stretch of nursery.
Some of them gingerly commented that their kids don’t even want to come down and help out, choosing to settle for work in an airconditioned office.
Well, it’s their lose.
I come to work in shorts, singlet and flip flops most of the time. There’s really not a lot of work out that that can go with my choice of attire.
My grandfather told me manual labour and gardening don’t pay. I know that, but it’s something that I enjoy doing.
Grandpa : Singapore is not a place you get to make a living doing things you enjoy…….
Jackson : but if I don’t try….i’ll never know right… ? hahah
Grandpa : hahaha…. True.. true… ah gong don’t have much for you but I can guarantee you a roof over your head…the rest… you got to figure it out….
Jackson : That is more than enough for me….
My classmates thought my choice of part time work is weird too.
I don’t blame them.
I did a business course in polytechnic and my friends were saying if I loved plants that much, I should have gone and do something related.
Botany or something, landscaping, built environment.
I told the girls I wanted to start my own business and manage my own empire in the future. Shit like that sounds good to girls.
I was a little more candid with the guys.
I went to the business course for the girls. I hooked up with my first girlfriend in polytechnic within the 1st month.
At the end of the 1st year, I pretty much went though all the girls that looks above average that any guy would want to bed as long as you are not gay.
This pretty much meant I was labelled as a jerk by the end of the 1st year.
Well the truth is I don’t want to be too specialised in something. Dreams may be dreams but I’m well aware of the need to pay my bills and to take care of my grandfather.
I went through the list of courses available, not interested in engineering, not IT, not really into design. Business is pretty broad base, covers a wide range of subjects and it allows me more options when it comes to looking for a proper job after graduation.
I continued working part time for the landscape company until I graduated and when it’s time for me to enlist in the army. My boss wanted to go back and help whenever I can and I agreed.
Weekends after I book out, I would pop by for a few hours, make some extra dough, then head back to spend time with my grandfather.
The longer I worked at that landscape place, the more convinced I was that I wanted to go into it full time.
Not as an employee.
I wanted to be my own boss.
I told myself that every hour I put into the part time work then was me getting my experience level up.
One day, when I’m ready, I will take the plunge.
First, I need to get my national service out of the way first.
Now when it comes to the military, I have it all figure out. It’s really simple actually so for those who has yet to serve, take it from the old bird here.
Just stay low profile and invisible.
No, I can’t do the minimum in the army, you’re going to get marked for death literally.
I can’t go all out thumping my chest, people will roll their eyes at you.
Stay in the middle of the bell curve.
Average brother, average.
Don’t be the first, don’t be the last. Stay in the middle and keep your mouth shut.
I ran at a comfortable pace, I did what I was told, and I kept my head down and smile. 2.5 years will pass in a breeze.
When it’s time for the acting session for everyone to demonstrate who has leadership qualities, I had to stop myself from laughing at some of the antics my fellow army mates were displaying.
Almost everyone wanted to be a commander, it was drama at it’s best.
Boys in the middle of transition to men or so they say are expected to roleplay and within that few hours, someone will determine if you are meant to be a leader.
When it was my turn to cross an obstacle as the commander, I did not even hesitate. I immediately asked for suggestions and I took the one that made most sense and needed least effort.
Least effort is the key. I didn’t even want to think of a solution on my own.
Jackson : that is an excellent idea brother…. We shall do that… hahahah…. You’re in charge…. Let’s do it.. come on !!…
After the whole situational test is over, I was pulled aside by the officer who was evaluating us.
Officer : Recruit Jackson…. Why…
Jackson :why what Sir…. ?
Officer : While everyone is trying to demonstrate what they can do….….. I see you spending the time trying hide from others what you are capable off…..leadership…. cannot be taught… it’s either in you or it’s not….. some people struggle with it their whole lives…..
Jackson : I just want my 2.5 years to pass…… I don’t want the responsibilities of having to take care of others….. and… I’m pretty sure I didn’t demonstrate any leadership qualities….
Officer : No you didn’t demonstrated any…….you merely put in the extra effort to hide any that you might have………
I was a little taken aback by that statement as he walked away with a smile.
Officer : …….what a waste….what a waste… haha…
Keeping to myself worked out pretty well for me for the first couple of months until something happened.
A man paid me a visit once day.
It was out of the blue, I was pulled out of my bunk and told to report to the office for some administration matter.
A man named Owen introduced himself to me.
Owen : Hi Jackson…. My name is Owen…. And I have a proposition for you….
Jackson : huh ? … why me….
Owen : We’ve been keeping an eye on you for a while….. since back when you were in school in fact…. You’re athletic….you’re fast… you can talk….and of course…. You topped your cohort in terms of results…… you are smart…. And you are low profile….. You’re raised by your grandfather…..I could go on…and on….
I said nothing and I just looked at that man.
He’s not in uniform, he came empty handed.
There were no other officers or staff in the office, just the 2 of us.
He’s waiting for me to talk, to ask him what he wanted but I’m not doing it.
Why should I ask when it was him who came to make me an offer.
We stared at each other for close to a full minute before Owen smiled and nodded his head.
Owen : We have…. An offer for you …. A career…. Like no other….
Jackson : err…. I’m not interested in signing on with the army….
Owen : I’m not with the army…..
Jackson : then where ?
Owen smiled and just raised his eyebrow.
Jackson : ermm… Navy… ? Air force… ?
He shook his head.
Owen : We…. Are a special group of people….and we do things that needs to be done…. In unconventional ways…… if necessary…
I slammed the table with my eyes wide apart and pointed excitedly at him.
Jackson :OH!!! OH!!! OH!!!…. FUCK!!!.. James Bond shit !!! you’re doing those James Bond shit right !!!!
Owen was a little taken aback at my outburst and with my enthusiasm.
Owen : Well… not exactly….
Jackson :No need to explain… sign me the fuck up… !!!! will I get paid… ? Do I get to drive an Aston Martin !!!! Bentley!!!…. I want a suit….. a tailored one…. What about my annual leave… bonus….. is this considered signing on ? …. Is there an official contract.. ?
Rubbing my hands eagerly I could see Owen trying to get a read on me.
Jackson : what ?
Owen : I usually don’t get this level of enthusiasm …. From potential recruits….
Jackson : Why not…??!!!
Owen leaned back on his chair and asked me some questions. I gave the right answer to them all.
Jackson : I will die for my country !!!!!! I WILL!!! I swear !!! confirm plus chop!!! Anything !!! I’ll do it !!! I swear my loyalty…. My allegiance…. Anything ….!!
Owen nodded his head after talking to me for 15 minutes before saying he will consider all applicants before getting in touch.
I smiled and shook his hands eagerly, giving him a thumbs up before he went out the door.
The moment the door closed, the smiled disappeared from my face.
He came in so cock sure he had me.
He came in empty handed, he said he’s been keeping an eye on me for a while.
I assumed he has access to my academic details, my performance in the military is average at best. Someone probably tipped him off about seeing someone with potential, that’s why he came.
He wanted to see if there is an unpolished gem for him to discover.
What made him come is not my academic past, it’s the notion that I can remain unnoticed and exists as an unpolished gem in a place where most are looking to excel.
He wanted that sense of control, or in my case, my desires to remain unnoticed.
I massaged my jaws and face, the exaggerated expressions must have pulled some muscles I seldom used. I left the office and I saw Owen talking to my Platoon commander.
I waved excitedly at him and gave him 2 thumbs up eagerly.
He put on his sunglasses and left.
Well, that’s the last I’m going to see of him I think.
Money, fame, glory , James bond stuff ? Not my style.
Simple, comfortable and a happy life with my grandfather, that’s what I’m talking about.
Bringing him overseas, sightseeing, holidays. Those are what I really wanted.
My time in the military flew by and I started work at a logistics company as an operations executive.
On weekends, I would still go back to the nursery to help out, not so much for the money, but more of my interest and to reconnect with my bosses and colleagues who were so kind towards me all these years.
With a stable job, I finally did what I wanted to do ever since I was a young boy.
I can confidently say that was the proudest moment of my life.
For others, it would be owning a fancy car, a nice watch, a big house, maybe a trophy wife.
That moment came when I took a taxi with my grandfather to the airport together.
He held in his hand the first passport he ever owned in his life.
The look on his face, the expression, that anticipation and nervousness cannot be easily described with words.
My grandfather had never been on a plane, he had never been out of the country. It’s just a short 4 day trip to Bangkok, something most Singaporeans would not even bother mentioning.
To my grandfather though, it was the experience of his lifetime.
He was so excited to be on a plane, I will always remember that grin when that SQ stewardess came and asked what he would like for lunch and he smiled cheekily at me while watching her bend low to serve him his meal.
He was always laughing and taking pictures with the digital camera I gave him.
He wanted to try all the street food, we drank beer at A go go bars, we zoomed through traffic in a Tuk Tuk. At the end of every day, he would collapsed in exhaustion in the hotel only to get up at 5am in the morning.
Grandpa : Jackson !… get up…. I’m ready….
That was the first of the many trips we would take together and it was the happiest period of my life.
China, Korea, Japan, Australia, India, Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia.
We did them in that order. 2 trips a year, 1 short, 1 long.
Malaysia was reserved for the last because it’s right beside us. My grandfather wanted to keep it towards the end when he was no longer as mobile. We can do a self drive trip up north, maybe visit his distant cousin he kept in contact with.
We were going to do Europe next and I had the itinerary planned but something unfortunate happened.
My grandfather had an accident in the bathroom.
He was not seriously hurt, had a minor fracture on his ribs because he hit the basin on the way down, but the xray revealed something else.
There appears to be some fluids in his lungs.
A more detailed checked revealed that my grandfather has lung cancer.
I didn’t know what to say.
I don’t remember crying much as a child but I cried that evening.
Not in front of the doctor, at home, in my room.
What the fuck is this ?
Lung cancer for someone who has never smoked in his life.
My grandfather was affected by the news too and the thought of spending money on his treatment bothered him the most.
He didn’t want to waste money.
Grandpa : Ah gong old aready… don’t waste money on me….
Jackson : don’t you dare say things like this !!….
Grandpa : Jackson…..
Jackson : NO!… don’t worry about the money….. just get well… we still have so many places to visit together… !
Grandpa : Jackson …. I know you meant well..but…
Jackson : I will not have this discussion….. this is not negotiable….i have money… a lot of money….. don’t worry about it and just get well…..
We stared at each other for a while before I hugged him.
Then I broke down.
Life is so unfair.
My grandpa held onto me and he told me softly.
Grandpa : all men must die…..
Jackson : Please don’t make me beg…. I have never begged you for anything before….
I spent the night planning everything out in my head.
I know how much I can put away each month in terms of savings. I can double up my hours at the landscape company for a little more. On weekday nights, I can take up some part time shift at fast food restaurants.
My grandfather is insured but only the a very basic plan. We’ve live on bare necessities when I was young, no reason why we can’t do it again now.
It was an emotional evening and when I finally went to bed, it was close to 4am in the morning.
When I work up with a jump at 10am, my heart was slamming against my ribcage.
I jumped out of bed.
I knew something was not right the moment I open my room door.
My grandfather is gone.
He packed some clothes, took his passport, his phone and charger and he’s gone.
I immediately tried his phone but it was off.
I dashed out of my place, running to the nearby coffee shops and places he usually hangs out.
There were no signs of him.
The neighbours he usually drinks coffee with in the morning says they never saw him. I went to his work place and was told he called in and quit.
He did not even want to collect the rest of his pay. His boss asked me what happened and I filled him in.
I went back home and tried to calm myself down.
Surely he would have left behind some clues as to where he is going.
I went to his room and started to open up every cabinet and drawer.
He left me a letter placed beneath 3 metal tins.
3 biscuit tins, clearly labelled with his own handwriting on old pieces of recycled paper.
Inside the tins were rolls of money. A mixture of old and new notes going as far back as the bird series.
I opened the letter and the contents broke my heart into so many pieces.
I expected a long letter, a lot of words. Stuff he wanted to say to me, things he wanted to tell me. It struck me then that my grandfather was illiterate. Aside from the very basics like his own name and mine, he hardly ever wrote anything.
It was written in broken English. The handwriting is uneven and the alignment is non-existent.
My grandpa’s vocabulary is limited but with those few words, his intent and what he wishes to communicate could not be clearer.
“ Jackson, You always in Ah gong heart. I love you .
Let me go. I don’t want to die in hospital.
I don’t want needle inside my body and rubber out of my nose when I die.
I want to be free. You are very young, you have to live your life.
I cannot be heavy luggage. I cannot be useless old man pulling you slow.
Jackson, if you wear my shoes, our place change, you will do the same. I know.
If I can choose my life again, I will still choose the same, with you together.
I have no regrets be your grandpa. I love you Jackson. “
I sank onto the floor.
Sometimes I feel like strangling that stubborn old man but what he said is true. I would have done the same if I was in his position.
I made a police report to say that my grandfather is missing.
I kept trying his phone but it was off all the way.
2 days later I was informed that my grandfather had left the country into Malaysia the day I reported him missing.
I knew he had a distant cousin he kept in touch with occasionally in Kedah but other than that, I have no other information.
I checked his personal belongings and he brought along his atm cards.
I taught him how to withdraw money overseas during our first trip to Thailand.
That’s a good sign, bringing money and atm cards gave me some hope that he is not going to do something stupid.
I just need to follow the money trail.
There was no need for private investigators or anything dramatic.
It was a joint account with me but I don’t use it.
I had opened it for my grandfather for his savings that he wants to keep aside for travelling.
I updated the bank book and I saw withdrawals made in Ringgit. I called the bank and asked for the location.
It’s in Kedah.
Now all I need is to verify that it was my grandfather who was the one doing it and that he is safe and sound.
I rented a car and I drove all the way to Kedah, to the town of Bandar Alor Setar. It took me 9 hours and I went straight to the location of the ATM that the withdrawal was made.
I opened up a map of the area.
It’s a small town and the ATM which the withdrawal was made is at a petrol station near a Macdonald.
He withdrew 500 Ringgit, not a big amount. He’s alone in a foreign land and I don’t think that amount is going to last him for very long especially if he needed to find lodging and food.
I scouted every ATM within a 300m radius. I crossed out those that are too far out of the way from the initial ATM the withdrawal was made.
Those that are in dimly lit places, I cross them out too.
Within the immediate area, I reckon that’s only 3 that my grandpa would visit if he needed to get more cash and if he is still within that area.
Being a small town, a lone traveller especially one like my grandfather would surely stand out. He probably took a bus, then perhaps a cab. In a country where most people drive, someone walking about on foot would surely stand out.
I tried the staff at the petrol station, asking workers from both shifts and showing them photos of my grandfather. They didn’t notice him.
I know my grandpa is a creature of habit. He needs his coffee in the morning.
There are 4 coffee shops within the vicinity.
I went to the one closest to the petrol station and waited.
It was the only thing I could do.
It took me 3 days. 3 days of living out in the car and washing myself up in public toilets before I saw my grandfather.
It was 6am in the morning and I had just washed my face at the petrol station bathroom. I was holding a soft drink in hand when I saw him.
He’s not alone.
Looking every bit the fit and strong man that raised me, my grandfather was pushing someone on a wheelchair.
The man in the wheelchair looked familiar. I cycled through the old photos on the wall in my grandfather’s room in my head and finally put a finger to that man.
It’s his cousin. He visited us a few times before many years ago.
I kept my distance and watch them go to a nearby coffee shop for breakfast.
They spent an hour there before heading back.
I tailed them and saw both of them enter a nursing home tucked away in a quiet street of residential units.
I waited till I saw staff driving out of the nursing home and I followed the staff to the restaurant where they are buying their lunch.
I identified myself and showed pictures of my grandfather to the 2 staff who was too surprised to say anything.
They confirmed that my grandfather had checked himself in and his cousin is staying there too.
I begged for them to put me in touch with the nursing home administrator.
It was a lady in her fifties. Mrs Toh.
When we parted ways, I settled all financial matters with Mrs Toh.
If my grandfather wanted to stay there, I can’t force him to come back.
I stayed in the area for another day before my grandfather called me.
I answered immediately.
I could see him from where I stood. I had parked my car diagonally across the street from the nursing home.
Grandpa : Jackson….
Jackson : Ah gong…. Are you ok ? … are you feeling better…. ?
Grandpa : yes.. yes I am…. I am in Malaysia….
Jackson : why don’t you want to stay with me….?
Grandpa : You have a long journey ahead of you…. I don’t want to…. Hold you back….
Jackson : what about me… ? how about your own journey in life when a baby is thrust into your arms more than 20 years ago….why didn’t you just let me go so I won’t drag you down….
Grandpa : Si Ginna !! ( you rascal ) … ! don’t be rude to me ! ….
Jackson : You can come back and hit me if you want….
He stayed on the line but said nothing for a while.
Grandpa : Jackson……I don’t want you to worry about me….. I want you to chase your dream…. Can you do that for me…. ?
Jackson : my dream … ? to be a gardener …. ?
Grandpa : ahahahah… if that is what you want….do it…. Do it properly…. Be the best there is…..
I was quiet for a while before I told my grandpa that when he is ready to come home, I will be there to pick him up.
My grandpa was walking around the yard of the nursing home when he froze.
He suddenly realised my presence across the road.
He turned and our eyes met from where we stood.
I could hear the nasal voice over the phone. He sniffed and I knew he was crying. I felt the warm roll of tear fell down my cheeks as well as we acknowledge each other from that distance.
Grandpa : stop crying !… what did ah gong tell you …? !! real men don’t cry !!!
Jackson : I’m not crying…. My eyes are sweating….
He laughed too before turning his back at me. His left hand shot up and gave me a curt wave before heading back inside the nursing home.
Getting back to Singapore, I spent a few days thinking about what to do next.
I’m not doing what I really wanted to in my day job.
So I quit.
I went back to the landscape company and asked for a full time position.
My boss, Mr Keng, could not afford to pay me too much. 1200 is the max he could afford.
It’s ok. It’s a start.
I value added to the company by offering gardening and landscaping services on the side.
In that way, I can cross sell the plants and my services.
Mr Keng did not take a cut off my gardening and landscaping services, he knew it was something I enjoyed doing, besides, I’m helping him move his plants sales with every new job.
I used my savings and bought a cheap weekend car, it was for my drive u to Kedah. It was cheaper than renting. Sometimes when needed, I used it for work too. The boot held all my gardening tools.
It took about a year or so before I started to make a name for myself in the market. The young and hot gardener they say.
Somehow most of my clients are wives of rich businessmen.
They were upfront when I arrived at their place.
“ If weather is too hot….. need to shower…. Or wash up…. Come in for a drink ok…? Singapore weather so hot… “
The hint could not be more obvious.
I did not get paid for sleeping with the rich men’s wives, I get paid to keep my mouth shut.
The first was a hot milf in her mid thirties watching me toil half naked in her garden while she leaned against the patio and eating a banana with a grin.
Jackson : Ok mdm, it’s done…. Don’t step on the carpet grass for 2 weeks…. And I will come back to check on the frangipani….. leave the support there for a while….
I told her that while holding a dirty spade in my right and muddy gloves on my left, all the while my sweat was dripping down my head and onto my half naked body.
I pointed to the patch of grass that is right beside the swimming pool to remind her to keep that area clear from the swimming pool water if possible. The chlorine might wreck havoc on the new plants.
Jackson : don’t get that spot wet….
I never expect her to throw the banana peel on the patio as she dragged me into her house by my arms.
Hot milf : It’s already wet….
I didn’t expect that to happen honestly. It was an accident but somehow news got around.
A discreet gardener that is guaranteed to satisfy your needs.
There must be some rich wives club I’m not aware off but I’m not complaining.
Out of 10 jobs, at least 1 would end with added services.
I used to think men are the sick ones, that we have fetishes and desires that are too dark to be shared.
It seems that the women held their own court too, it’s just that they are more discreet about it.
In the pool, on the dining table, on the staircases, their private home gym while balancing on a gym ball.
The weirdest one ever was having her 2 helpers do housework right in front of us while I fucked her brains out standing doggy at the grand piano.
I asked her won’t she get into trouble if the helpers tell on her.
She told me the helpers told her that her husband does the same thing with whores in their house, no reason why she can’t do the same.
Rich people and their weird world, something I would never understand.
The helper even brought me a towel to shower after I was doing fucking her boss.
I work 6 days a week, and on the last weekend of the month, I would make the 9 hour drive up to Kedah to visit my grandpa.
He’s generally ok, you can’t tell he’s ill from the surface. He isn’t getting any particularly bad symptoms as well. He looked totally normal. I wanted him to come back for a checkup just to see his condition but he refused.
He didn’t want to know, besides, he’s enjoying himself.
The slow pace of life, the gardening. Walking and helping with a bit of cooking in the nursing home.
It kept him busy and active.
He asked if I was happy doing what I did and I told him yes.
Jackson : working and creating gardens in homes that I would never be able to afford in my life….. it’s my dream man…
Grandpa : hahahah
I didn’t see the need to tell him about my extra activities of providing pleasures to unsatisfied wives.
Now, at the back of my head, I knew it was a matter of time before some angry husband realises the gardener is fucking his wife. I’ll probably get punched or have someone create a ruckus at the nursery, there is nothing much I can do but prepare myself mentally for that day.
I wanted to stop but it was quite hard to because when the clients came, they came with recommendation.
“ Mrs Fong recommended you, I hear you are a hard worker “
“ Mrs Theresa says you gave her garden a good trim “
“ Stefanie told me you made her scream in joy with your handiwork “
“ You come highly recommended by Mrs Koh…she told me you ploughed her garden up real good…. Something her husband never did “
I did not want to sink too deep into this mess so I made a deliberate attempt to taper down my extra services and I rejected a few recommendations, but some are just too hot to resist.
That day that I’m afraid of finally came. I knew I was in trouble the moment I saw the vehicles.
It was a Monday morning in December of 2014.
15th December 2014.
I was checking off a list of plants I needed to do up a small garden when I saw 3 cars pulled up in front of the nursery.
They did not park, they stopped and a dozen men got out. The cars drove off, leaving the men at the entrance.
Jackson : oh fuck…
At the back of my head, I knew they were here for me.
I tried to remember who was my last client that had extras and remembered it was a 29 year old mistress of a developer who was neglecting her.
She came out to the garden in sports bra and her panty. I shit you not, a cotton panty. Then she offered to help me when she was just trying to reveal more of her body to me.
My snapping point was when she straddled my spade and held it up like she was riding a broom stick.
29 year old mistress : do you like Harry Potter….? This is me riding Nimbus 2000…..hur hur….
She yanked at my spade a few times and asked she wondered if Jackson would make a better ride than her Nimbus.
We fucked for 2 hours straight and she was trying to cover her mouth with her hand as we plastered our bodies against the full height windows overlooking an expressway.
She wanted to keep in contact but I told her I will be done with the garden in a couple of hours. I would prefer for the project to end if you get my drift.
The men were talking loudly up front.
This is it, I’m so dead.
I slowly backed away to the yard behind the nursery.
I can climb out through an opening at the back. Maybe I’ll drive straight to my grandpa’s nursing home and lay low for a couple of weeks.
Mr Keng : Jackson !!! JACKSON!!! …
Jackson : huh…. Yes… yes…
Mr Keng : come… come !!! hahaha… come !!! there are people I want to introduce to you….
Keng literally held my arm as he dragged me behind him. He was never this eager before.
I reluctantly followed my boss into the office. I was trying to think of an appropriate excuse but my mind could not work fast enough.
The men in the office all turned and looked at me.
I could tell the 3 up front are the ones in charge, the rest hanging around the back are the henchmen.
There’s a bald guy with huge eyes glaring at me.
His head is not straight but slightly angled to his right. He was in berms and t-shirt and he’s wearing an expensive pair of sneakers.
There are multiple visible scars on both his legs.
He was the one closet to me. He came closer and eyeballed me. I looked at him and gave an uncomfortable smile. He’s looking at me as if he was short sighted and forgot his glasses.
Declan : Seven …. Back off ….
Seven, that bald guy is called seven ? “
It suddenly struck me why he was called Seven.
He looked like the guy who acted as ‘ghost leg seven’ in the classic Huang Fei Hong show. The guy who’s good with his legs.
Declan : Hi Jackson….. My name is Declan…. My friend Keng….says you are a good gardener…..
I looked at my boss who was wiping perspiration from his face.
His expression and body language did not tally with Declan’s claims that they are friends. He’s looked nervous as fuck.
Declan is probably the oldest in the room. I would put him to be at least early to mid sixties. He’s fit, well dressed. He was in pants, shirt and a chic black vest.
His moustache gave him an air of authority and he looked like some old Marshal in a Chinese civil war movie.
Jackson : err… hi…. What can I do for you…. ?
Hong : WE NEED A GARDENER LA….. WHY ELSE WE COME HERE !!!!
I jumped when he shouted almost point blank into my face.
What the fuck is his problem.
Declan : Hong…… Hong…. can you…. Lower your voice…. You’ve going to make me deaf….
Hong : MY VOICE IS ALWAYS LIKE THAT ONE !!!
Hong looked like someone who skipped legs days even though he visits the gym regularly. He’s big, broad shoulders and arms, his blonde hair is dry and messy, gives off a vide that he belongs in another era.
He wore a black top with the words ‘ I tea dance at Sparks’
His eyes is small compared to Seven but his presence nevertheless is felt not only visually, my eardrums are on the verge of being damaged.
Declan : Jackson … I apologise for my…..
He was waving his hands in the air trying to search for a word to use for the group of men around him.
Jackson : colleagues….
Declan snapped his fingers and lit up with a smile.
Declan : yes… yes… colleagues… you see… erm….. my…. My…… my…..
He looked around him and I could see him trying to think of something.
He had the word but he didn’t want to use it.
I looked at the gathering of men inside my boss’s office.
These guys are thugs.
Definitely gang affiliated. Keng looked like he was on the verge of shitting himself. I saw him shoo the other workers away when they were approaching the office.
He even waved for his wife to go away when she came back with coffee from the nearby hawker centre.
I looked at the needle marks on one guy’s arms and he rolled down his sleeve as he blew his nose onto the floor of Keng’s office.
I swallowed a gulp of saliva.
I don’t remember fucking the wife of a gang leader or triad.
Declan : I can’t think of a nice word….. to describe…. Ermm…
I looked at Declan and offered one.
Jackson : organisation….
Declan snapped his finger at me excitedly.
Declan : yes… yes…. Organisation !!!… hahah… organisation…. You are brilliant…hahaha….
He told me that they needed someone to maintain and build a new garden for their employer. They have went through a few but none have made the mark and their employer is very disappointed.
Declan : When my employer is disappointed….. she gets angry…. When she gets angry…. We… as employees…. Suffer…. You know what I mean…. ?? we have heard very good reviews about your work…. And we like the fact that you operate as a one man outfit….
Jackson :errr… ok….
Declan : because you see… my employer… takes security very seriously….and the lesser ….. err….. strangers we let in…. the better it is for all of us….
Jackson : errrr… I see…. Ok….can I know… what is unsatisfactory…. About your past gardeners….
Hong : YOU ASK SO MUCH FOR WHAT !!! GIVE YOU JOB YOU KNOW….
Declan : Hong please… my ears….., please wait outside with the rest of your men….. Seven can stay….
Turning to me, Declan added at Seven can’t speak, so there’s no risk of him damaging our eardrums.
Hong did a weird chomping motion with his jaw at me as he gestured with his men to head outside.
Declan : well… the past gardeners we got…. They have a bit of a checkered past… you know… they stole stuff… they don’t really perform and the garden is in terrible shape….and we have such a nice piece of land……it’s a very big property of course….a lot of potential…
I looked at my boss and his eyes were literally pleading for me to say yes. It was not hard to put two and two together. He owes them something, probably money.
There is that guilty look on his face, as if he was ashamed that he had to use me to get out of this fix.
Jackson : ok sure… I mean… if you…. Can give me some pictures…. Drawings…. I can work out a proposal…. And send you a quotation…. ?
Declan leaned back on the chair and looked at Keng.
Declan : You didn’t tell him… ?
Keng : I… I was going to….i didn’t expect you to come first thing this morning….
Jackson : tell me what ?
Declan : that you are going to be my full time employee…..
Jackson :what ?
I turned to my boss who was at a lost for words.
Jackson : I… I can’t… I love my work here, besides, I can’t just….
Seven : arGHHHHHHHHH!!!!! aRGHH!!!! ARGHHH!!!
I jumped again as I watched Seven flew into a rage. He went to this large tree trunk that was reserved for another client. He started kicking it with his legs.
His rapid and continuous kicks reinforced the rationale behind his name.
He kicked it so hard that the bark chips off and I could see the sturdy timber being damaged. He just kept stomping on it aggressively with both legs as I sucked in a deep breath and back myself closer to Keng.
Declan : Seven… please stop !!…. oh god…. I swear… one day I would get a heart attack…. sigh….. I apologise….. I apologise……. He has anger management issues…
Seven stopped kicking and shouting as he stormed out of the office 3 seconds before the whole trunk toppled onto the floor.
Keng : I’m sorry Jackson…. I wanted to talk to you about it tonight…. i… I didn’t expect….
Declan : it’s fine… it’s fine…. It’s fine…. Keng….
Declan tapped his own chest and said he will do it.
Declan : Jackson…. I want you to understand that….this is no different from what you are already doing…. We really need a good gardener…..we will pay you…. Reasonably well…. Give you the creative freedom to design….don’t worry… we’re not gangsters…. Or anything… you are free to leave if you don’t like the job….
Jackson : oh….ok..
Declan : don’t mind my colleagues… they are actually very nice people once you get to know them….
We heard some shouting outside and I turned to see Hong jumping in the middle of the nursery.
Hong : ARGHHHHHH… HAHAHAHAHAHA…..
I saw Hong head butt a hanging orchid, shattering the pot and spilling charcoal all over the floor as his men clapped. His head was bleeding a little but he was still laughing.
There was another smash as Seven leapt up and swipe 2 pots with a spinning kick.
Turning back to Declan, he continued to appeal sincerely to me.
Declan : I am certain you would enjoy yourself with us…. And I am proud to say we have zero attrition rates for the past few years….
Jackson : what about the…. Gardeners… who ermm.. didn’t quite make the mark… ?
Declan: oh them… they were redeployed… into other roles more suited to their areas of expertise….
Jackson : I see….
The door to the office open and a Indian man spoke directly to Declan in Hokkien dialect.
Kamal : Declan !!!. EH SAI BO ? WU DAI JI BO ? ( Declan, is everything ok ? is there a situation ? )
He was skinny but tall. He had large eyes like that of a praying mantis, I say that because it looked like they were about to pop out of it’s sockets. He wore construction boots, and he had a measuring tape on his waist.
Kamal : dee ji kor is Jackson ?? ( Who is Jackson ? ) why so long !!
Declan : everything is fine… thank you Kamal…. And please… get Hong and Seven out before they destroy the place….
I watch as Kamal head out, a string of Hokkien expletives left his mouth as his middle fingered and shove his friends out of the nursery as they traded curses n broad daylight.
Declan turned back to me and in a very serious tone, continued to sell his organisation.
Declan : so….what do you think…
I looked at Keng before turning to Declan.
Jackson : I… ermm… do I get to think about it… before I reply…. ?
Declan press his lips together before nodding his head.
Declan : of course… of course….. can I leave the contact of either of my 3 associates earlier… they will follow up with you regarding your decision…. And please….. let them know why if you are not interested in taking up the job…… they need to let our employer know…..Which one do you think you can click better with….….. Hong…. Seven …….or Kamal….
You got to be shitting me.
I don’t even want to go near those crazy fuckers.
Jackson : how about I get back to you directly…. ?
I said with a smile.
Declan smiled too.
Declan : well… then all you have to tell me is whether you will be starting today………. Or tomorrow….
Declan handed me a card with his name and contact number on it.
I accepted it and looked at the plain white card. It’s thick, good quality paper, textured. Declan’s name and number embossed in black with a copper outline.
I would have thought it’s from some design firm.
Well, it’s just a garden.
I’ve done so many. Even if it’s a big plot, it shouldn’t take long. I will double up my speed, finish it and get the fuck out.
Jackson : Ok…… ok…. I’ll start tomorrow……where is the property ?
Declan : alright !… hahah
Declan rubbed his hands in glee as he added and finally got up off the chair.
Declan : It’s a house….. A house in Bukit Timah…
When Declan finally got up, he went over to my boss and they had a short chat. I could not hear what was exchanged but he looked visibly relieved after the conversation.
He kept thanking Declan over and over as he walked him out of the nursery.
Keng : Thank you…. Thank you Declan…. Thank you.. I will never forget your help…. Thank you….
I shook my head at the mess those assholes left in the middle of the nursery as I picked up the broom and dustpan.
Jackson : Boss… you should have called the police….
Keng : Don’t talk nonsense… you don’t know who they are….
Jackson: They’re fucking gangsters…. Look at what they did…. Who’s going to pay for all of these….
I swept the broken pieces up and shook my head at the damaged plants.
Keng came over to help but I told him it’s ok, I can take care of it.
Jackson : this place is your life’s work…. They should all be arrested….
He bent down and tapped my shoulder gently.
Keng : Jackson …. I no longer own this place… since a year or so ago…
Jackson : what ?
I looked at my boss in surprise. What he says don’t make sense.
Keng : I own this place in name, but we fell on hard times a couple of years ago….Declan …. Bought and finance the day to day operations…..
Jackson : what…. But ….
Keng : The amount we make…. Is barely enough to make ends meet….and…. my son….he wanted to go study in Australia…. The… the financial strain is… i… I had to take a loan for his fees and accommodation…. And…
Jackson : I’m sorry… I didn’t know… I just assume all is fine…. Your plants are selling….i mean… things are moving….
Keng : How much can we make selling pots of mints and herbs… ? The competition is intense…. Only festive periods are better…..There’s also the workers’ levy, their dormitory fees…. Maintaining a business is not easy…… I’m also running on credit with our suppliers…. Sigh…. Sometimes I just feel so tired… it’s as if I’m struggling to pay the bills…..
Well, I wanted to say that maybe if his son is not spending a fortune enjoying himself in Melbourne, he would not be in such a state but who am I to comment.
It’s his decision.
I just thought perhaps the son should have been a bit more aware of the family’s financial constraints.
Jackson : Ok la… ok la…. don’t worry…. I’ll go fix their garden…I doubt they can appreciate the plants though….
Keng : hahaha…. I owe you one Jackson…. Don’t worry… I’ll keep your position here for you when you get back….i promise….
Jackson : How big is their garden… ? I will probably take what…. A couple of months ? …. Max… ? …
Keng : I don’t know…. you’ll have to go take a look and find out….
I finished up my work for that day and headed back home.
Looking at Declan’s name card, I realised I don’t know the address of where I was supposed to go the next day.
I dialed Declan and he answered within 3 rings.
Declan : Housekeeping…..
Jackson : errm…. This is Jackson…. I’m the gardener….
Declan : oh hi….what can I do for you Jackson…
Jackson : I need to know the address of where to go …..where is the property…. ?
Declan : Ahhh…. I shall text you in a minute….
Jackson : ok…
Declan : Another thing, I don’t believe we discussed remuneration….and staff benefits….let’s do that tomorrow shall we…. ?
Jackson : ok sure….
I hung up and waited for the address to come in.
Why did he answer with ‘housekeeping’ ?
Is he a housekeeper ?
I bet he’s going to lowball the hell out of my pay with either Seven or Hong standing around him.
Who knows, maybe he might get them to perform some more of their acrobatic stunts, breaking shit with their head as we talk about my pay.
With the odd jobs I’m doing on the side, I’m getting almost 2800 a month easily. On a good month I could get 3500, especially if the owners are happy with my services, including the gardening work of course.
There’s no way I’m going to accept anything lower than 2800 unless my life is in danger.
Maybe I got to factor in an additional 100 for petrol since it’s so far from where I stay.
Ang Mo Kio is not exactly near to Bukit Timah.
My phone vibrated and I looked at the road name.
What kind of place is that.
I keyed in the location in google map and was brought to the neighbourhood of bukit timah.
There is a secondary road along Binjai Park.
The property is located right at the top of the hill. It’s really in the middle of nowhere.
I mentally thought of the road I would need to take to work and plotted out the shortest route in my head.
I started surfing around for nearby coffeeshops or foodcourts and was horrified to see that the nearest hawker center is fucking far away. I would need to waste petrol to drive out just for lunch.
I mean come on, I’m just a general worker. I need my tea break, coffee, I need to eat my lunch. Working in such a isolated place, I can’t imagine having to drive all the way out, find a place to park, quickly wolf down my food and drive myself all the way back.
Unlike other landscaping jobs for horny stay at home wives, I doubt I would have the luxury of getting to enjoy a dip in the pool, or maybe an hour or two in the airconditioned interior of the house.
From the looks of things, I doubt anyone at this place would enthusiastically offer me tea or a drink while watching me sweat in the middle of the day.
I can’t make out how big the property is from the map and what is the extent of green space I need to fix. Guess I’ll find out tomorrow.
I shut my laptop and went to bed.
I don’t frequent the neighbourhood over there and I don’t know if there will be a jam in the morning.
It’s not my style to be late for work, and definitely not so if I’m working for people like Declan and his associates as he calls them.
16th December 2014
I left my place in Ang Mo Kio and made the drive towards my new workplace.
Traffic is a little heavy but it’s moving.
There’s a slight drizzle and I could see lightning in the distance.
Not a good sign for 1st day of work.
Declan never said what time I needed to be at work so I assumed 9am as the standard.
I got to Bukit Timah at 8.10am and decided to take a drive around the neighbourhood.
The main roads are busy but once I turn into the residential area, it’s like entering another world. The skies started to clear and I could see the crown of the taller trees swaying gently in the breeze.
Matured trees stood tall and imposing along the side of the narrow road looking out of place with the manicured ones behind the walls of the houses I pass by.
Rows of neatly pruned frangipani with purple flowers changed abruptly to a thick row of bamboo rustling in the morning breeze. I could catch a glimpse of the houses behind the trees and landscaping, it’s beautiful.
From modern houses with flat roof and large glass facades, to the traditional pitch roof with the signature red tiles, every one of the houses there had a character of it’s own.
Some of the gardens looked like it need a bit of work. Who knows, if I do a good job, I could use it as a portfolio to enter this neighbourhood.
I even passed by a large house with it’s own security gazebo.
The Gurkhas on duty locked eyes with me as I drove pass slowly, their fingers never far away from the trigger of their weapon.
Probably some minister staying there or something.
I continued driving as I head deeper into the large private estate.
I could hear the roar of a super car engine as it went by my beat up Kia.
Jackson : woah…..
I could literally feel my small car vibrate as we pass each other.
I slowed down when I got to the small road leading up to the address on the namecard Declan gave me.
I could see the road sign indicating that it’s a dead end once I turn up that road.
I made a left turn but my car barely went 5 metres in when a large black SUV drove out and blocked the entire road.
I stopped and waited, thinking that driver must be on his way out or something.
I waited for him to move but it remained there.
I sounded the horn, feeling a little irritated.
Yes I know you are rich, but that road is still public property man.
No one came out of the car and I looked around, there’s no alternative road up to the top of the hill.
It’s the only way in.
I sighed and got out of my car and walked towards that large vehicle. I was about to knock on the tinted windows when it rolled down.
Staring at me from inside the vehicle was Kamal.
One of Declan’s so call associates.
Kamal : OEI !!!
I decided to increase the distance between Kamal and me as I asked if he could shift his vehicle.
Jackson : I’m heading up to look for Declan….
Kamal : I know !!… I’m suppose to bring you to him ….
Jackson : oh….
Kamal looked like he just woke up. His curly hair is all puffy and unkept.
I could see old scars of what looked like needles marks on his arms as he rest them on what’s left of the rolled down window.
Some of his tattoos were faded, there is an incomplete drawing of a spider on his left forearm. I can’t tell how old or young is Kamal. He’s definitely not a young punk but he don’t strike me as old as well. Probably in the late thirties range.
He had a gold chain around his neck. It’s pretty thick, there’s something hanging at the end of the chain.
Kamal saw me looking at it and he stuff it deeper into his t-shirt.
Kamal : park your car there….. you cannot drive in….
He wound up his window and I looked over to the direction he was pointing.
Jackson : I need my tools…. Some of my gardening stuff are in my trunk….
Kamal : You will get them later… not now….
The gate to the first property on my left opened up automatically.
I drove in and parked on the large porch that could comfortably fit at least 5 vehicles. When I got out of the car, I saw a few men stepping out from the house.
They definitely don’t fit the demographic of the people I was expecting to stay in a property like this in such a neighbourhood.
The 4 men looked at me with the same kind of stares that is guaranteed to start a fight.
One of them was about to ask who the fuck I was when Kamal whistled across the open space and gave them a wave. The 4 men stepped back into the air conditioned interior of the house without a word.
I looked away and over to Kamal who is now pointing aggressively at one other man near his car who looked like he did something wrong.
His head was bowed and he nodded quietly as Kamal let loose a string of expletives. I could make out the last sentence as I went closer.
Kamal : wake the fuck up…. Or you can fuck off…..
The man apologised several times and scurried away into the house while Kamal gestured for me to follow him.
I walked over to the car blocking the driveway expecting to get in but Kamal shouted at me.
Kamal : OEI !!!! over here !! not that car !!
I walked over to Kamal who was standing at the entrance to the 2nd property up the hill. I’m beginning to wonder if shouting and speaking loudly is part of the job requirement.
Looking inside I saw 5 golf buggy parked neatly side by side.
Kamal got into one and gestured me to get in.
I turned and look all around me.
The houses are all different, built in different styles by different architects. They have their own numberings, letter boxes and even utilities meter.
Something doesn’t fit.
I got into the buggy beside Kamal and he started to drive, leaving the SUV blocking off the entire road leading up the Binjai Hill road. It’s as if he owned the whole fucking road.
As we drove along the tree lined road, I quietly observed every property we pass by on our way up.
Instead of seeing helpers washing cars, rich owners walking their dogs and talking to their neighbours, I saw instead a gathering of men.
A lot of men, scattered throughout the sprawling grounds.
In 1 particular property, I saw at least 8 men standing around smoking in the porch.
Suddenly I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand on it’s end when it became clear to me that whoever Declan worked for, she don’t just own the property at the top of the hill.
She owns the entire stretch of property from the bottom of the road, right up to the top of the hill.
All the men probably works for her.
Kamal stopped the buggy at a large black wrought iron gate that is at least 3m tall. Gold painted leaves and iron sculpted gargoyles adored the imposing gate. At the side of the gate , there’s a smaller entrance.
Hidden from view is a guardhouse that is almost the size of a badminton court.
Inside the guardhouse, a dozen screens flicker and change every few seconds and the men inside the guardhouse looked more serious and menacing that the ones at the bottom of the hill.
These are no grunts.
There’s even one of them piloting a drone that gives an overview of the whole neighbourhood.
All of them stood up and greeted Kamal, clearly he is someone to be respected.
Kamal : Empty your pockets….
Jackson : what… ?
Kamal said nothing and waited for me to remove my car keys, wallet and mobile phone.
I was surprised when I saw another guy checked me out with a metal detector.
What the fuck is this man ?
I’m here as a gardener, and I need to go through this ?
Kamal : your stuff will stay here…. You can collect them when you leave…
He grabbed my stuff, threw them into a locker, turned the lock and handed me the key before asking me to follow him.
As I left the guardhouse and entered the ground of the property I was suppose to work on, I was simply blown away by the sheer size of it.
I never knew a place like this existed on the island. It’s huge.
I could see a large house at the top of the slope but it was obvious that’s not where we are heading.
We got back into the buggy and Kamal drove me along a stone path around the circumference of the property grounds.
I counted at least 4 men that I could see stationed on the exterior of the property.
Like the guards at Istana, each of their post offered an unblock vantage view of the ground in front of them. They are no less equipped as well. A large beach umbrella provided shade while a portable fan stood on a customised shelf.
The shelf had bottles of water and at the bottom of it is a 50 litre fridge, similar to the ones in hotel rooms.
The men waved at Kamal who gave them a cursory nod as he drove with one hand.
The house itself is nothing to shout about. A seemingly normal 2 storey house with an attic. It’s definitely big. I could see some recent additions to the house as I turned the corner towards the back.
A stark contrast from the boring white walls and sloping roof, the back had a new wing. Sleek steel columns, double volume glass panels with thin black frames clad the exterior of the new structure.
There is small balcony with an assortment of hanging plants. I could see birds flirting in and out of that balcony, trying to get to the bird feeder hanging off a small fountain the size of a bowling ball.
I saw a squirrel taking a drink from the fountain before quickly scurrying up a nearby tree.
Above the new wing lies a large patio, stretching the entire length of the new addition.
It overlooks the back of house which essentially is a large piece green, stretching almost a football field in length before giving way to a thick screen of untouched forest.
Beyond the old trees, I could see a glimpse of the other properties beyond on another road.
Something tells me the owner might have bought those as well.
Kamal : here….. inside…. They are waiting….
I looked at the small structure in front of me.
It’s rectangle in shape with a flat roof that is overgrown with wild shrubs.
It’s small, maybe the size of 4 carpark lots arranged 2 by 2. It’s probably a storeroom or sort.
I could hear the hum of the compressor and noticed that the air con is new.
Surrounding the small structure, are several sad looking trees about 2m tall.
2 are dead for sure, I could tell it’s rotting.
There are also several large tree trunk in various state of decomposition on the ground. I could see fungi growing all over the side facing the sun.
It appears as if someone had wanted to use the trunks as outdoor seating or something. Those are going to be a bitch to get rid of.
Almost 2.5m in length and about 50cm thick, you’ll need a large excavator to drag it off the ground.
Kamal opened the door and I could immediately hear the din inside the small space.
Declan was trying to reason with Hong who was gesturing and grumbling while pointing at Seven.
Seven was chewing a sugar cane and pacing up and down the narrow width of the space.
When Kamal stepped in and announced my arrival, everyone quiet down.
Seven and Hong made way for me at the small table that will comfortably sit 4.
Declan : Morning !! Jackson… so glad you could join us…. Please… sit….
I felt my heart skip a beat when I hear the door close behind me.
Turning around, I saw Kamal leaning against the door.
Seven leapt onto a wooden bedframe with a mattress and sat with one leg up, balancing his elbow on his knee as he continued chewing the sugarcane.
Hong had a sling bag slightly bigger than a laptop bag slung across his huge body and he went to stand behind Declan.
Ok, calm down. I prepared for this.
I mentally rehearsed this.
This is the part we are going to talk about remuneration.
They are going to lowball the hell out of me and I know the perfect counter.
It’s not about the absolute dollar amount you pay, it’s about the value you get.
That’s not bullshit. There is value in my skills.
Declan :alright Jackson…. Before we start … can we look at your hands….
Jackson : what…. ?
Hong : SHOW US YOUR HAND !!!
I leaned back on the wooden chair and flipped my palms upwards.
Jackson : You trying to see if our fortunes match ?? you need my birth hour and dates as well ???
Seven : hahaha.. ahahhaha.. hahahah….
That was the first time I heard Seven laugh. His laugh came off a bit weird, sounded mechanical at times.
Declan : no.. no.. nothing of the sort… just want to be sure….
Declan looked at my hands with delight before Hong asked me to strip.
Jackson : what the fuck…. I don’t do guys….
Hong : fuck you la…. I also don’t do guys….
Declan : Jackson please…. I assure you… there is very good reason for this….
Jackson : and what is it…. ?
Declan, sensing my resistance, changed tack immediately.
Declan : how about we talk about your pay first……
Jackson : alright… that’s important….
Declan clasped his hands together and I quickly made the first move.
There is always the first mover advantage. I’m going to go high, they will counter offer lower, and I would counter again, this process repeats until we come to a sum we are all comfortable with.
Jackson : I’m looking at 3.5k …..i’m already doing around this amount monthly at my old place especially with the landscaping jobs on the side…..plus… now that I need to work here full time… I will be missing out on opportunities…. The distance I need to travel to work is also significantly longer and further…. As such… I believe a reasonable compensation relative to my fuel cost is justified.
I got it all out in one breath and waited for Declan to reply me.
He will ask for something lower definitely, then we will negotiate. If he’s good, he will go 2.8, I will go 3.4, he goes 2.9, and I’ll suggest we shake hands on 3.2. He’ll definitely want to win though, so I’ll accept his offer of 3.1. I could already see it panning out in my head.
I hardly breathe as Declan nodded a couple of times while I tried to appear calm.
Jackson : errm…. So…. Ok ? you serious ?? … 3.5 k ?
I almost wanted to jump for joy when i saw him nod.
3.5k a month to do gardening work, something I enjoy, where to find this kind of a deal ?
Declan leaned back all of a sudden and shook his head.
I knew it.
Declan : I’ll offer 5k…. if you take off your clothes for a quick inspection….. no touching….
Jackson : what ?
I looked at the men in the room, they didn’t look like they are joking.
What the fuck have I got myself into ? I must have walked into some gay den or some shit. Maybe they want pictures of my cock to blackmail me.
Maybe all they wanted was to rape me all along.
My eyes drifted to the sugar cane Seven was chewing and I thought about how badly the fibres would hurt.
Hong : OEI !!!
Jackson : what…ok…ok….
5k is a lot of money. With that I can probably persuade my grandfather back to get a checkup or something. If I do this for 6 months, 30k, I limit my expenses, I can bring him to a specialist at a private hospital.
Jackson : fine…. Whatever….
It’s not as if I have never been naked around men before.
I removed all my clothing, striping to my underwear.
Hong and Kamal checked me from head to toe.
They even asked me to pry open the space in between my toes.
It finally dawned on me what they are looking for.
Needles holes. They wanted to know if I’ve taken drugs before.
When Declan asked for me to remove my underwear, I did so without complain and after a quick inspection, he gestured for me to get dress.
Declan : I’m very sorry for having to do that but we just want to be sure….
Jackson : that I don’t take drugs… ?
He told me he already did a check with Keng about the kind of person I am. The reason why they are interested in me is because of their boss.
Jackson : Your boss ?
Declan : well… you see… after the first few gardeners….ermm…. inability to perform….she set some pretty strict rules on the new one we are to get….
Aside from not having a history of drugs, she wanted someone with no criminal records, someone who doesn’t smoke, someone educated, works independently and with no history of violence or gang affiliation.
He has to be local, good with landscaping and works alone. By working alone, he meant everything from buying, delivering right down to digging the hole for the plants to go into and working with fertilisers.
At no point are these works to be outsourced or given to another contractor.
Declan : so you can imagine how hard it is to find someone like that…… i’ve gone to so many landscape nursery looking for someone suitable …….so I hope you would forgive me if we seemed too…. Ermm…. Overly eager….
Jackson : errmm… I see….
Declan : I know you don’t smoke…. Keng says you are never one to touch drugs…. And so…. Here we are…. You are a god sent…. Hhahaha.. hahaha…
Hong : hahah.. hahaha… Boss lost her bet… ahha…
Declan shot Hong a look and he shut up immediately.
Something about a bet.
Their boss must be thinking it’s near impossible to find someone with the kind of requirements she gave.
I nodded while looking around the room uncomfortably.
Declan : ok…. Back to the money…..the offer is 5k a month….working hours is as and when you like…. But you need to get shit done …. Or a lot of people are going to be upset…. Especially Seven over there….anger management issues remember ??
Jackson : as and when I like… ? what… ?
Declan : You want to take weekends off ? …. Weekdays off…. Work 8 hours…. Work 10 hours… your choice…. As long as we get a garden that we can all be proud off….. if it rains, I can’t expect you to come also what…. For what ? pray for the rain to stop…. ? hahaha
Jackson : errr… ok… can we put it as ….ermm… 9 am to 6pm in the contract…. You know…. better to have it in black and white….
Hong : contract ??? what contract ?? our word…. Is our contract ???!!! you think we bluff you one ah !!!
Declan shot Hong a look and asked him to shut up.
Declan : contract… of course…. Of course…. Having things in black and white is good for everyone. …
Declan reached into his pocket trying to search for a pen and paper.
Kamal pulled out a old crumpled piece of paper which was the advertisement for a hotpot restaurant and pushed it to Declan together with a pen.
You got to be shitting me.
Declan asked what other employment terms I would like to have.
He started writing on the crumpled piece of paper.
Oh god, I’m going to get screwed so bad at this place seeing how things are going. A contract on the back of a piece of advertisement.
Jackson : What about medical …. ? ermm… sick leave …. And annual leave…. Can I claim for if I fall sick… ?
Declan : oh…. Sick ? no problem…. Dr Kamal can help you…
I turned around and my jaws almost dropped. This is definitely a joke.
Jackson : Dr….Kamal … ?
Declan : yes.. he’s our resident doctor…. Graduated from NUS…. Went on to UK to do his masters… he’s a qualified surgeon by the way…….but unfortunately…… got struck off the registrar….
I turned and looked at Kamal again.
He was squatting down, knees spread, his knee length denim stretched tight at the crotch area as he played with his mobile phone with his right hand, elbow resting on his knee.
Declan : he is a good doctor…. Believe me… he stitched me up before…. Look….
He went on to show me a scar at least 6 inches long on his forearm.
Jackson : hooohhhh…kay…..
Declan : ermmm.. annual leave……errr… what is the standard number of days now ?? ….
Jackson : errr…. I don’t know… would be nice if I get 14….
Declan : 14… ? take 21…. 21 just nice…
Hong : 28 la…. got number 8…. HUAT HUAT ( to prosper )
Declan : good idea…. 28….
28 days leave ? Who in the work gets 28 days leave in this country. I’m beginning to think this whole thing is a joke.
He went on to scribble it on the paper without waiting for my reply.
Jackson : what about CPF ? you will be contributing to my CPF account right… ? it’s the law….
Declan paused before turning to Hong.
Hong shrugged his shoulders.
Declan : tell you what… we’ll count the contribution portion…. And give you in cash.. then you put in on your own… how’s that… ?
Jackson : … err.. ok… I don’t mind…. Then what about the budget for doing up the garden…. Who do I pass the invoice to….? As in who approves the things and plants I need to get….
Declan : you of course…. You are the one that knows about plants….
Jackson :me … ? just me… ?
Declan : why not….
Jackson : errr… ok….
Declan : if you need money… get from Hong….he’ll hook you up….
Hong : I’ll give you your 1st month pay first… plus errmmm.. the CPF is what ar…how much….
Hong unzipped his bag and took out a stack of thousand dollar bills.
That lousy sling bag is packed full of money.
He counted 6 pieces before pushing them across the table.
Hong : enough ? is this enough ???
I could not believe what I was seeing.
He started counting another 10 pieces.
Hong : 10k enough to buy plants and stuff you need to start working or not ??? or you need more… ?
He pushed the mess of notes all over to me and I stared at the money while holding onto the side of my chair.
This is worrying.
Who the fuck walks around with stacks of thousand dollar bills in a faded sling bag across his chest ?
Declan : oh… we deal in cash only by the way…. I hope that is not a problem… I assure you… these are real notes…. Hahaha… sorry….. we’re a bit short on 100 dollar bills these days… and the 500s are pretty rare as it is….. I have 10 thousand dollar bills though but they are harder to break into small notes….
Jackson : what about 50s ?
Hong : you go bank ask them break for you !!!
Declan : Hong… please… I’m really going to go deaf one day…. Stop shouting by my ear….
Turning to me with a smile, he quickly added ;
Declan : And Jackson…..i need to remind you that…. Ermmm… how do I put this….. we are…errr… we trust you…. With money…. As you can see…. But…. Ermm……
Hong : He trying to say….. if you ever try to fuck with us…. Especially with money…. You is die….. YOU IS DIE….. understand …. I confirm…. You IS DIE…
Jackson : you mean ‘ you will die ? “ … got it…
Hong : No… I mean ‘ you IS die ‘
I nodded and told Hong not to go on.
He turned to Seven and asked him which part of ‘ you is die ‘ do I not get.
Jackson : I understand….. I understand… I got it…. I got it…. Thank you… ‘ I is die’….. confirm…. ‘ I is die ‘
It’s my fault, I should not have bothered to pick on his language skills.
Declan went on to say that the shed we are in is the store and rest area for me.
Declan : You can do it up if you like, you can put a bed, stay over…. It’s up to you…there’s a bathroom on the side over there…. A little cramp but it will do…. This…..
He gestured to the small cozy shed and added,
Declan : This is your lair…. Abode… studio …. if you prefer a nicer term… hahah….
Jackson : ok…. Thank you…
Someone knocked on the door and handed Kamal an electronic key card.
Kamal passed that card to me.
Kamal : …. this unlocks this door, the gate, the recreation area …. , basically anywhere that you are allowed to go…. If the door doesn’t open for you…. That place is not for you…. Understand… ?
I nodded as I palmed the card and kept it in my pocket.
Declan : Jackson…. I need to explain to you….some rules….so please listen carefully….. the house you see over there….…. We call that the castle….
Declan did not use his hand, instead he nodded over to the direction where I saw that large majestic house looming over the property.
Jackson : It sure looks like one to me…
Declan : hahaha.. yes…and in that castle….
Jackson : lives the queen…. Ok… I got it…
Declan nodded, happy that I understand where he’s coming from.
Declan : Do not go in there…..do not attempt to go near there….your key card allows you through the gates, and guard house and to your shed here …..most of the other places are out of bounds…. l
Jackson : yes… I’m the farmer….. I stay away from the royalties….no problem….
Seven chuckled again, no doubt amused by my lame joke.
Declan : good…. Good…. Food…. Is catered…
Jackson : what !….
Declan pointed to the building beyond the wall of trees.
He told me that food is available 24 hours a day at the house at the end, I just need to follow the small path leading into the trees and I would see the entrance. A small gate leading onto another property from the back.
A team of 5 cooks rotates round the clock to keep everyone fed and happy.
Declan : You can always head out to eat if you like…. Your car… stays outside….you want to go anywhere beyond the road leading up to this place…. You use the buggy….
Jackson : what about my tools…. All the things I need to buy and transport to this place….
Declan : I’m sorry…. It’s a hassle but it’s necessary…. Don’t worry…. The main gate to this place can be opened….the guards will be notified that we have a new gardener. …… they’ll get use to you in a week or so….
Jackson : ok… where can I go and dispose of stuff… where is the bin centre…. ?
I was told all trash should be brought to the cookhouse. There’s a disposal area with several bins.
Declan : You can’t miss it….
Jackson : what about trash that are too large to move or put into the bin… ?
Declan : for example…. ?
I gestured outside the shed and talked about the few rotting tree trunks at are lying by the side.
Declan : well.. you’re the gardener…. Think of something…..
Jackson : Can I call in a….
Declan :No… !… no calling anyone in… no cranes… no trucks…. Just you….remember ??
I sighed and I saw Seven opening up the top of the wooden bed frame.
I could see some tools inside, I didn’t know the bed double up as a storage box.
Seven chuckled and put 2 axes on the table as he giggled in his weird way.
Hong : Seven… ahaha.. you very fucker you know.. hahaha… hahha…
I touched the 2 axes and nodded my head.
5k a month brother, 28 days leave. I’ll chop down a forest if you need me to.
I’ll do it.
Jackson : ok…. I’ll deal with it…. So who do I go to for the proposed design of the garden…. Who signs off….and say ok… I like this design….proceed ….
Declan smiled and said nothing but I could probably guess what he would say if he did reply.
I’m the gardener.
I’ll make the decision.
Jackson : ok…. I understand… I understand….
Declan : good…. Look forward to working with you Jackson…. Any questions… give anyone here a call….
The group of them left me alone in the room and I sat back down on the chair and took a deep breath.
The room is clean, hardly any furnishing. I did a quick check, no cameras. There’s a working fridge, this could be cozy if I put a bit of work into it.
I mentally made a list of things I needed to get before walking all the way back down the hill to my car.
I drove back to the nursery to look for Keng.
I gave him a list of things I needed. Compost, fertilisers, sand, granite chips and so on.
Jackson : send them to this place….
I gave Keng the address where I needed to park my car and told him to unload it over there. I’ll have to slowly transfer it on my own.
I stocked up on some stationaries, drawing paper and several large 1.5 litres of water into my car.
Since there’s a bathroom for my use, I went home to pack some clothes and toiletries as well. I had a quick lunch at the food centre near my place before making my way back to my work place.
By the time I got back to Bukit Timah, it was already past 1.30pm
I chose the biggest buggy and loaded up my stuff to send them from the bottom of the hill to my farmhouse.
I kept an eye out for Declan and his associates, but they were nowhere to be seen.
I was literally left on my own to get things done.
A couple of guards stopped me since I was a new face around but they let me go upon scanning my access card.
It took me 2 trips with the buggy but I got my stuff into the small cozy shed.
I hung a signage of the word ‘farmhouse’ on the back of the door. A souvenir I brought from home. I got it when I was travelling with my grandpa.
Jackson : there…. Something homely….
I did some cleaning up, divided the shed into zones.
Tools and equipment that I don’t need immediately goes under the bed.
I began to have more ideas the more I look at my so call office.
I can almost picture myself here on a rainy evening, enjoying s steamboat meal while looking out to the garden I built. This could be fun.
I laughed to myself as I kept the bottled waters in the fridge, leaving one on the table.
Picking up the both axes Seven handed to me, I balanced them on my hands.
It has a good firm grip, the cutting edges are a little rusty but still usable. Just needs a good grind.
I checked to make sure no one is looking before doing a funny rendition of a dance I saw in a Stephen Chow movie.
Jackson : dah… dah… dah. …. Da dah dah…dah…AXE GANG!
I thrust my hand into the air and burst out laughing.
It’s ridiculous but nevertheless a good stress buster.
I made a mental note not to do that outside in case someone sees me
I’ll start by cleaning up the area outside the shed for a start.
The 2 rotting trees has to go.
The sun was setting by the time I was done with the 2 small trees. Their roots went pretty deep.
I was perspiring badly and I noticed there are no lights around the farmhouse.
The only light source is a hanging lamp above my door and the lights from inside.
I continued working, determined to get a bit more done before the sun sets.
I started to chop the rotting wood into smaller chunks for easier loading.
It got pretty dark by 7pm but this being Singapore with light pollution everywhere, the ambient light from the surrounding properties and street lamps is enough for me.
It was a beautiful moment as I looked at the setting sun lit the sky up in a dreamy orange glow.
Cirrus clouds peppered the horizon as I split the last bit of the rotted tree before loading it into the back of the buggy.
I looked around, it’s dark enough and I don’t think anyone will mind me cooling off a little.
I removed my top which was drenched in sweat by then and wiped my face down.
Walking over to one of the rotting trunk infested with fungi, I threw the axe down , lodging the blade 2 inches deep into the soft fibres.
I picked up the bottle of water I brought outside and exhaled.
The cool evening breeze felt amazing on my naked torso. It’s peaceful and quiet out here.
I unscrewed the cap and started to hydrate myself.
In between gulps of water, my eyes noticed something a distance away.
The lights to the patio came on and someone walked out.
I could not make out much of this person, all I could see was the dark silhouette of graceful woman. I can’t tell her age but with that poise, she must be beautiful regardless of how old she is.
She walked alone towards the edge of the patio.
Her arms are folded and she looked like she was deep in thought as she takes slow deliberate steps towards the railing. The woman looked like she just came back from work.
She’s in formal clothes. Long sleeve blouse and a tight-fitting pencil skirt.
When she got the edge of the patio, she opened her arms and rest both palms on the metal railing as she looked far ahead into the horizon. The wind flirted with the soft fabric of her blouse and I could see the loose flaps under the entire length of her stretch arm swimming like the tail of a morel eel in the corals.
I looked at her from where I stood and for a brief moment, I was transfixed by that picturesque view. Her hair is tied up but the setting sun caught several loose fringes, turning it a shade of bronze.
It felt like a painting, a piece of artwork I would love to have on my wall.
I didn’t know how long I was staring at her before she noticed me.
A sudden jolt of her head in my direction was enough to snap me out of my stupor.
She saw me, or rather, she knows someone is looking at her.
I bent down to pick up the axe and I kept my line of sight towards the lady as I slowly backed away into the shadows of the trees.
I went to the shower and was surprised that it came with hot water.
As the water rises off the grim and dirt from a day’s work, I suddenly felt butterflies in my stomach and goosebumps on the back of my back. It’s as if I was starstruck after seeing some hot celebrity in real life.
I rinsed off the soap and laughed when I realised the goosebumps was not because I saw a Hollywood celebrity or some famous personality.
I was star struck because I think i just saw the Queen.
It took me about a week and a half to clear up a 10m radius of the area around the farmhouse. There were so much trash hidden below the ground, from old sandbags to construction debris. I even dug up the ends of a spade and an old car tyre.
Clearing the ground also revealed some stone path that got swallowed up by the turfing over the years. The overgrown grass hid a lot of other structures from stone benches to pave flooring. There’s even a large concrete plinth that will comfortably fit a small table with a couple of chairs.
Some of the wild grass and weeds are as tall as me. You could probably use it as training grounds for the military if left untouched.
Someone did good work on the original landscape many years ago. With no one to take care of the ground, the wild grass just swallowed everything up.
Many of the stone slabs are still in good conditions, I followed the direction which the slabs were laid and like digging up hidden treasure, I uncovered the remains of an intricate well-designed garden constructed years ago.
Some parts just need a good wash.
I did a rough sketch of the site and soon I have a pretty good idea what I want to do. I placed the orders for materials and the plants I wanted with Keng and slowly transported everything over to the farmhouse.
I planted the bamboos first, an entire load of 40 bamboo plants about a metre tall each I ordered. I encircled the concrete plinth which is about 3 metre in diameter and I lined up the 5 metres pathway leading away from the farmhouse towards the concrete island with the same plant.
With the bamboo as the centre piece, I added some small shrubs and flowering herbs to give the walkway a bit of layer and depth.
A small bamboo forest is thus born.
Isolated planters dotted along the side of the existing stone path are quickly filled with a variety of shrubs and flowering plants.
By the end of the 3rd week, you can slowly see everything coming together.
Change is coming.
I thought Declan was joking when he said I could come and go as I like when I work, but it turned out to be true. My initial worries about one of those crazy clowns coming to harass me was uncalled for.
No one really gave a hoot about me after a week or so. No one cared what time I came to work, no one asked when I leave work too. During my break times, I would wander the grounds of the large property, I would wave to the guards at the perimeter of the castle.
They would nod in acknowledgement out of courtesy, but we never exchanged words. Not when they are working. I get the occasional glance when men pass me by on the way to the cookhouse, but no one ever came to talk to me.
The large ground is made up of so many plots of different property. There isn’t an exact boundary, every property comes with its own gates and walls. I can’t tell where the kingdom of the queen begins and where it ends. What I can gather so far is if I see a property occupied with all mean looking men, chances are it belongs to the group.
The smiles and small chats at the cookhouse are more casual but other than the simple greeting, everyone pretty much kept to their own circle.
I sit alone usually in the peculiar cookhouse.
I don’t exactly belong into any of the groups, not that I did not try.
When I asked if I could share tables, they would give me a weird look and say that the seats are taken.
Some would just point to any of the empty tables scattered throughout the ground floor.
The men working in that place varied in their age. From youthful looking 18 year olds to men in their mid fifties. Tattoos are a common sight, several spotted visible scars on their limbs.
From their conversations, I could tell most of them have a checkered past.
The food hall sat along the street like any other of the private properties on the road. From the outside, you can’t tell the special function it serves.
A large 2.5 storey private bungalow converted into a food hall of sort sure gives a new perspective to the usage of the property.
Instead of your typical living room with a sofa and TV, the whole of the ground floor is filled with tables and chairs of different sizes and design. It’s as if everything has been scavenged from different places.
They look different but everything is well maintained.
The ground floor alone can comfortably fit 60-70 diners at any one time.
There are tables set along the sides of the railings on the 2nd floor as well overlooking the dining area below.
They are seldom occupied though.
There are always empty seats on the ground floor, why would you want to carry your food upstairs ?
A team of 3 cooks managing a team of 9 others staff the kitchen on a 24 hour rotation.
There’s one who has shades on permanently even though we are indoors, everyone calls him Bran. He sometimes will just stare into space and just zone out. I don’t think he’s blind, he obviously can see.
Another never spoke a single word, he just gestured with his hands. I’ve heard people call him Meng. For some reason, he always walks around with a knife and it seems he is always cutting something.
Fruits, vegetables, potatoes, there seemed to be a never-ending list of stuff he is cutting and preparing despite the helpers doing most of the stuff.
The last one seemed to be hard of hearing, I’ve seen a few men shouting at him to tell him what they needed. Deuce. Deuce is also the most jovial of all, always smiling and waving to everyone.
The 3 cooks felt like the representation of see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Peculiar men they may be, but they left everyone in no doubt who is in charge of the kitchen and the cook house.
They run a tight ship.
You take more food than you can finish, you can be sure to get a scolding.
You don’t return your dishes after you are done, a shouting match will ensue.
You mess up the table with your food and don’t clean up after, things will get ugly.
From what I can see, it’s usually the newcomers that get into trouble with the cooks. The old birds know exactly what not to do.
During lunch, I would usually see Hong bringing a few new guys into the cookhouse. He would explain loudly that they will go there for their meals, it’s as if he’s giving new recruits a tour of the cookhouse.
I’m good with faces. I estimate about half of them never stayed after their first meal. I can’t exactly say that place is a halfway house for ex-convicts or men who need help but it seems as if employment opportunities are presented to the newcomers, it’s up to them if they want to accept it.
Most of them did not take it up. I wonder if the terms of employments are not good, or it is the men themselves who are not up to par.
I know because I eat all 3 meals there from the 2nd day onwards. Some of those new faces never appeared again.
During mealtimes, some men would come with take away containers and the cooks would promptly fill them up.
Sometimes I would see a couple of men coming in with food bags similar to the kind we see in the army. They would take away food for about a dozen men before disappearing. It appears as if some of these men have to take their meals at their assigned posts or job.
Every new observation I make about my employer raises more questions. It’s like being given just the background piece of a children’s puzzle. A large rectangle with colourful borders and no pieces to fit within.
The cook house is great, I like the food, it’s free.
What’s not to like about it ?
The spread is good too.
Not exactly like a hotel buffet but still plenty of choices. For lunch and dinner, there’s 4 dishes and a soup. Out of the 4 dishes, there will be 2 types of vegetables and 2 meat dishes. Aside from the main dishes, there will be a variety of cold side dishes from kimchi to preserved cucumbers & turnips.
There is also a large tin of crispy chicken floss available too.
You get your choice of either white rice or multi grain.
Breakfast is a variety of bread and rolls with your choice of spreads. There’s usually a pot of porridge and a large fridge facing the kitchen is always stocked with cut fruits throughout the day.
There are 2 coffee machine, a beverage dispenser that churns out a variety of hot drinks from Milo to Macha Latte. There is even a soft drink dispenser.
From 9.00pm to 3.30am, the supper kiosk will be up. It could be Ikea style hotdogs bun, hot soy milk with fried dough sticks, sandwiches, fried beehoon or once a week, live burger stations.
Never in my dreams did I expect to be able to get a greasy Ramly burger at 10pm in the middle of a private estate in Singapore.
I could not help smiling as I bit down on my burger while sipping a hot cup of coffee as I stretched my aching legs.
This might well be in the list for one of the top 10 companies to work in if not for the shady dealings I suspect they are involved in.
Without even realising, I started to come to work earlier, and I would leave later. When I’m home, I would look forward to come to work.
I don’t clock a 9 to 6 schedule. There isn’t one for me to follow anyway.
That place felt magical to me almost surreal.
I don’t know why, I just can’t explain it.
Everything just seemed so strange, it’s like stepping into a different world.
I know it’s a matter of time before I start staying over in my little farmhouse which is why I started to bring more and more of my stuff over. I even stocked the shelves with food and snacks. I filled the fridge with some simple groceries and I even brought along my steamboat hotpot.
It makes absolute sense.
I go back to an empty house anyway, why not spend it at my work place which I have grown to like so much.
On a particularly windy morning, I barely stepped into the farmhouse when it started to pour. It rained heavily and I could barely see beyond a couple of metres of the window.
Well, the good thing about being a gardener, when it rains, I can’t work.
I set up the hot pot, threw in the instant broth and started a mini steamboat session while listening to music and enjoying the rain outside.
I dunked the thinly sliced beef into a sweet tangy sauce as smiled to myself.
The song might be right.
Heaven might just be a place on earth after all.
As the 1st month draws to a close, I started doing my sums and getting all the documents in order for Declan.
Every invoice was filled properly. I accounted for every cent that I spent on gardening supplies and equipment. With my basic bookkeeping skills, I neatly entered the figures and tallied up the balance.
I decided to get new tools for the garden and keep my own in the car. No point damaging my tools of the trade for this since they can well afford it.
I barely saw Declan and his associates other than Hong. Hong would pop by the cookhouse during lunch for a bit and that’s it.
I once saw Seven walking out from the castle before disappearing around the corner. He looked angry and I could hear him grunting and making weird noises even though he is out of sight.
Kamal walked by my farmhouse a couple of times but he’s always on his phone speaking expletives in different languages. I would give him a wave and he just return a nod.
Everyone seemed to be busy with something.
No one has time for the gardener. You can’t miss the obvious transformation the plain piece of land is going through; I get the occasional pop by of a couple of guys trying to see what else I was up to.
I eventually realised they are looking for a shady corner to smoke.
The queen doesn’t allow smoking near her castle.
I could not stand the cigarette butts they leave behind so I decided to do something about it.
I can’t stop them from smoking, but I can control where they go.
As long as it’s comfortable, has a seat and plenty of shade, they will go there. I ordered a patio umbrella that comes with a solid base you need to fill with water. I set it well away from the farmhouse within a cluster of 3 matured trees.
I put in a bin for the cigarette butts and within a day or 2, I could see a constant stream of smoke rising from the oasis. I’ll just keep adding more plants to that spot, linking it back to the main garden.
There is another reason why I wanted to work late everyday other than the fact that I love my job.
I would look towards the patio of the castle in the evening, hoping to catch a glimpse of the queen, but I never saw her again.
I would walk around the estate, poking my head about, trying to see if I can see the queen going about her business, with such a large place to manage, surely she must make sure everything is in order.
However, the queen proved to be as elusive as the scarlet pimpernel.
I spotted Declan several times near the entrance to the castle. He would go about his day in his usual prim and proper manner. Always well dressed in shirt, pants and leather shoes, Declan stood out from the rest.
Like a professional butler, he takes care of everything on behalf of the queen.
I work 5 days a week as agreed, but I clock almost 10-12 hours each day, sometimes I would leave well after 11pm. The amount of effort I put in is worth every cent of the 5k pay they offered me.
On the last weekend, I decided to pop by on a Saturday afternoon.
I had no reason to head back but I had nothing to do. I had my lunch and I figure I drop by to check on some of the shrubs I just transplanted onto the ground.
Satisfied that everything is in order, I did some cleaning up for the farmhouse before walking towards the cookhouse.
It was then I noticed something interesting happening.
There seemed to be an increase in the amount of activity on the property.
It was my first weekend here, I thought it would be like any other day but I was wrong.
I noticed a significant increase in the amount of food being prepared. It’s a whole buffet spread like I’ve never seen before. 7 dishes excluding dessert lined up on the tables.
The cookhouse is also a lot more crowded that afternoon with more men loitering around. Everyone is waiting for something to happen it seems.
I took my coffee and retreated to the back of the dining area on the ground floor. I checked my watch and it’s coming to 4pm.
At 4.15pm , I almost dropped my coffee when I saw several girls walking into the cookhouse. They are all dressed in a provocative manner. Low cut blouse and skirts so short there’s no need for a upskirt picture to see the colour of their underwear.
Whistles and cat calls rang out as the pretty ladies waved and flirted with the waiting men.
At the hour passes, more girls entered the cookhouse.
By 5.30pm, there are least 20 girls having their meals and talking to the men.
From the way they are dressed and the way they are behaving, I have no doubts what their roles are.
I saw a sweet looking babe slipping her hand down the pants of a guard I recognised.
Another had her breast openly cupped and kneaded as she moaned in front of her half-eaten dinner.
Hong entered at 6pm with another 2 hot looking girls as the men cheered.
I can’t help but wonder if this is part of the employee benefits.
The girls are a mix of Thais and Malaysians based on the way they speak, I could easily pick out a handful I wouldn’t mind having myself.
I took another refill of coffee as I walked back out to the farmhouse.
I could see the men heading to the 2 properties beside the cookhouse with the ladies in their arms. That must be the place where business is conducted if you get my drift.
When I was halfway back to my garden, I heard Hong call out from behind me.
Hong : JACKSON !!! come !!! COME!!!
He gestured me over before doing a crude action of himself thrusting into thin air and his middle finger disappearing into a circle he made with his thumb and index finger.
Hong : hahahahah!!! AHAHAH!!! Jackson !!! join us …. Hahaha….
I shook my head and wave goodbye to Hong before quickly walking away.
Some of the girls are pretty but the idea of having an orgy with all your colleagues waiting in line didn’t sound particularly appealing. That is if I can call the men my colleagues.
I never expect Hong to hammer on my door, asking me to man up and join him.
Hong : JACKSON !!!! COME OUT!!!.. come out you pussy…. Hahahaha..hahaha…. you shy is it…. Are you shy ??
Jackson : no thank you… you go ahead….. I don’t need….
Hong : come out !!! come out you wuss. !!! hahaha… come… I pick one pretty one for you….
Jackson : It’s ok…. It’s ok… don’t need….
Hong : Come la !!!….
I refused to come out of the farmhouse and after a minute or so, Hong gave up and left, not before shouting out loudly several times; ‘ Jackson is gay ‘
Not wanting to take the chance of being dragged over to the whore house, I quickly left and went back home.
15th January 2015
It was exactly one month to the day since I started work at the strange place.
Declan had called me the night before to say he would be dropping by the farmhouse before lunch to have a chat with me.
I reached work early at 7am to do some simple cleaning up.
The garden looked vastly different already from one month ago.
Most of the plants I added are growing well. The few that did not root well were promptly removed and replaced.
I laid out the invoices and bookkeeping records on the table.
The leftovers from the initials sum Hong gave me was neatly sealed in a plastic bag.
Now all I can do is wait for them to show up.
It started to pour heavily at 10.30 in the morning.
From the looks of it, it’s not going to let up anytime soon.
The walk from the castle to my farmhouse is pretty far, slightly less than a 100 metres by my estimate, unsheltered. I doubt Declan would go to the trouble of making his way down in that weather as well. Not in his pressed pants, leather shoes and straight shirts.
No gardener is worth that trouble.
Since I didn’t have breakfast, I set up the steamboat again and got the broth I kept in the fridge boiling.
The fridge had just been refilled with fresh vegetables and sliced meat. As I emptied the ingredients into the pot, I started to make plans for a small space to grow fresh organic vegetables.
I barely got started when I heard commotion outside the door.
I opened the door to see Declan and Hong totally drenched because they shared a single umbrella. It’s pouring and the wind is blowing the rain into the farmhouse.
I can’t believe they took the trouble to come over.
They peered in and saw the bubbling pot of hotpot.
Hong immediately shoved me aside as he rubbed his palms together.
Declan : Ahhhh… just in time…. how kind of you Jackson… hahaha…
Hong : wah….. steamboat….. bo jio… ( Why didn’t you invite us ? )
Hong didn’t need any invitation though, he saw the tray of disposable utensils I kept and helped himself to it.
Within minutes, the 3 of us were doing shabu shabu while Hong tried to convince Declan I was gay.
Seven turned up 10 minutes later and so did Kamal.
I don’t know what happened but I ended up hosting all 4 of them and I emptied my entire fridge. Kamal even took the 2 cans of razor clams I had on the shelves.
Kamal : god… it’s been so long since I had steamboat man…. This is fucking good…..thanks man Jackson…. Can I have more of this sauce… ?
No one seem interested to talk about my work in the garden and I was left busy topping up the soup with a mixture of instant broth and boiled water. They even dunk 2 packets of instant noodles to soak up the remnants of the broth and slurped everything up.
When the soup dried up and after I served the apples I kept in the fridge as desserts, Hong was back onto the issue of me refusing to utilise the staff benefits.
Hong : Oh back to the topic… Jackson is gay…
Jackson : I’m not gay… I like women…
Hong : he refused to fuck the girls on Saturday…it’s free and he refused…
Declan : Leave him alone… you think he as horny as you ?
Kamal : Yah… you would fuck anything with a hole…
Hong : fuck you Kamal…
Kamal : No thanks….
Seven : heet… heet… hahaha.. heet.. heet….
Hong raided my fridge and started to distribute the beer I kept inside around the table after he was done with the apples. I was hoping he would not find that.
Hong : what the fuck man.. hahhaa… got beer some more… good shit ahhaha….we should come here more often…
I declined to have one and told them it was technically work hours for me.
Hong looked at me as if I said something ridiculous.
Hong : whatever la… crazy….
Kamal tore open a packet of chips and none of them offered to help clean up after eating. Seven opened a packet of cashews I wanted to save for my beer. The 4 of them chatted and snacked as if they are in a restaurant and I’m the service staff.
Fine, they’re my bosses, middle management in a way. I’ll just take it with a pinch of salt. Just think of the pay and the freedom I get when doing what I love.
After I was done clearing up, I brought the books and invoices over to Declan.
He took a look and I could see he was genuinely impressed.
Kamal was peering over his shoulders as he looked up at me as if I was mad.
Kamal : Wah…. Gloves….. $2.40…. like that also need to write…you eat full too free is it…. ??
Declan : hello… this….
Declan pointed to the book and added.
Declan : This is accountability……
Hong : hello… I also accounts one ok… ??
Kamal : please la… you are like a fruit seller…. Go by KG one… haha
Hong : eh…. Boss ask me to measure by weight…..
I saw an obvious kick Declan gave to Hong and the room became awfully quiet for a few seconds.
Someone said something they shouldn’t have.
Whatever these guys are doing, Hong, apparently is measuring and counting money not by the face value. He’s doing it by weight.
I wonder how much money they are talking about.
Declan immediately changed the subject and commented on the work I’ve done so far.
Declan : everything is looking good so far…. you’re good with money from what I can see so far….
Jackson : I just want to make sure… everything is in order…. Not nice if you know… there are money unaccounted for….
Hong sniggered and nodded his head as if I hit the nail on the head.
Hong : there are 3 things the boss hates…. So listen carefully…. Or you are fucking dead….one……. you take something that belongs to her…. Things get ugly…..real ugly…..two… you look at her wrong…. I mean if you even have any dirty thoughts while looking at her… you’re dead…. If you touch her…… I mean even by accident….. god bless your soul….
Hong did a slow slash of his neck with his thumb while staring at me with his eyes bulging.
Kamal : tell him the story about the cooks….. all new employees should know about it….
Hong stood up and wiped his greasy hands from handling the chips and nuts on his shirt.
He started to pace around the table while the rest went quiet.
Hong lowered his voice a notch and spoke with a low voice, like the leader of some camp trying to scare the newbies on their first night in a tent.
Hong : Bran….. he always has his shades on….. because…..he…..
Hong sighed before continued.
Hong : He tried to peep at the boss while she change…..
Jackson : what !!
Kamal did a popping sound with his mouth before doing the act of his right eyeball dropping out onto the table. Seven chuckled and threw a nut onto the table to illustrate the eyeball as I jumped a little.
Hong : those were early days….. before we grew to this….she’s known for her bad temper…. Today… she might just fucking shoot him in his head…
Declan shook his head but said nothing.
He would usually tell the guys to shut up but not this time. It appears as if he felt it was necessary I listen.
Hong smiled before putting his hands on my shoulder.
Hong : and for Meng…….Meng’s tongue…… was…… removed….
Jackson : what the fuck…. how does he cook ? doesn’t he need to taste ?
Hong : Don’t interrupt me….
Hong revealed that the boss found out Meng was skimming money off food orders for the kitchen. She confronted him, he denied.
Hong : she presented the proof…. And….. he still tried to insist he did nothing wrong….
Jackson : and… ?
Hong : Oh……. Somehow…. Meng….slipped in the shower that night…. Bit off his tongue…. Cleanly…
Kamal : POP!
Seven threw another nut onto the table as I looked at Hong in disbelief.
Jackson : what about Deuce….
Hong shook his head before taking the seat again.
Hong : Deuce….. got drunk……even when told not to do so when he’s working…. He had a glass too many…. Boss told him to sober the shit up or get out….. Deuce smiled and put his hands around boss’s shoulders….
Hong lowered his voice another notch.
Hong : She warned him…..she gave him a chance….he didn’t listen…..
Kamal : POP POP!
Hong : as a punishment for not listening to her warning…. His eardrums got popped. …
My mouth was slightly apart by then as I listened to the incredible tale Hong was telling me. I don’t know how much to believe.
Jackson : this is staff abuse isn’t it…. ?? but….from what I gather… the boss …. Ermmm.. must be very pretty…
All eyes turned to me at that moment.
Kamal : Oh…. Boss is pretty…. Real hot… but…. Don’t say we didn’t warn you….
Hong gestured to the skies with his palms trying to illustrate a benchmark for me to visualise.
Hong : boss is here…. Queen….
Lowering his hand down, he added ;
Hong : We are here…… farmers….
Kamal : don’t get funny ideas if you want to survive here Jackson….don’t get funny ideas….
All they are doing is making me more curious about the queen. If she’s really that hot and pretty, I would want to see it with my own eyes.
Jackson : why only the cooks….? How about the rest…. ?
Hong : oh…. There are others of course…. They usually meet with…. Unfortunate accident….. they are easily replaced….the cooks however…. She is willing to turn a blind eye and give them another chance…. It’s not easy to find good cooks these days….
Well, at least not those who would want to work here, that’s what I was thinking about in my head but I did not share my thoughts.
Declan : alright enough….
Hong : Not yet….you need to know about her personal guards…. The elites….
Kamal nodded and he continued for Hong. He drew an imaginary circle around the table. The way things work around here, they go by layers, with the queen in the centre while her support staff forms layers radiating outwards.
Kamal : The queen has a circle of 4 female guards….. they are deadly…. Don’t say I never warn you….. have you watched John wick ??
Jackson : yes…… have they killed someone with a pencil …. ?
Kamal : oh you think it’s funny do you…. Hahaha….they will kill you with their lipstick…..
Jackson : bullshit….
Kamal : rumours said the boss killed someone with her high heels before….
Before I could say anything, Hong added;
Hong : I’ve seen 2 of those girls take on 8 men before…..no joke…. Don’t fuck with them….
Kamal : and I’m seen one put Hong on the ground with one hand…. Hahah
Hong got irritated with that and gave Kamal an elbow shove. Apparently it’s not something he wants to share. Determined to get the spotlight away from him, he directed it towards Seven.
Hong : Seven can take them on…..he’s fast….
Seven shook his head vigorously and waved his hands, making a motion of his fist hitting his own head several times.
Declan : Seven can only take 2 of them at most…..
Kamal : those are the 1st layer around the queen…. Then… there’s Declan….he is the only one on the 2nd layer…. He manages…. Us….
I nodded as I digested the information.
Hong : and we… manage the 4th & 5th layer… which are the rest of the men you see…. The girls don’t deal with the day to day operations…. They just protect the queen…..
Jackson : am I in any layer …. ?
Kamal : I’m afraid we don’t have one dedicated for landscaping….
Declan : ok ok… enough with the stories…. Back to business…. Jackson….the garden is coming along real fine…. I like it a lot and the boss likes it too…
My ears perked up the moment I heard Declan mentioned his boss.
Jackson : You mean the Queen loves my work ??
Declan : of course… she gets a birds eye view of the garden from where she is… you can’t miss the transformation of a barren piece of land….
Jackson : that’s good to know….
Declan told me to add more shrub on a particular side of the garden and to reserve a special spot for a small tree.
Declan : Boss has a pot of lime she always wanted to transplant….. but couldn’t find a suitable spot. …. And make sure it’s away from the smoking point you did…. It’s proving to be too popular….
Jackson : No problem… I’ll identify a good spot for her….
Declan : I’m also please to inform you that with immediate effect, your pay… insurance and stuff will be park under a new company…. So just text me your account details…. Don’t worry about dealing with cash… hahaha… I know it’s hard to break big bills without raising eyebrows….
Jackson : oh… that’s good to know…
Hong : ok… now that we’ve got the work part out of the way…. Jackson … what kind of girls you like…..
Kamal : fuck you la….sighzz….
Hong seemed very determined to see me take up the employee benefit.
Hong : You like women… but you don’t want… is it because you virgin ? …. I know a few that takes very good care of virgins…. Serious… serious….
Jackson : No…. i.. I’m not a virgin…. And I don’t… I don’t want any….
Hong : Only a virgin would say he is not a virgin…
Hong clapped his hands together before shaking his right index finger at me as if he had it all figured out.
Hong : virgin… confirm virgin…
Declan : ignore him… and thank you for the steamboat….
Seven gave me a weird frown before showing me the thumbs up sign and raising one leg up in the air for no apparent reason at all.
Kamal burped loudly before thanking me in Hokkien;
Kamal : Kam sia… ( Thank you ) …. Ho Jiak… ( delicious ) please restock your fridge…. Speaking of which… I think we should do this more often…. I’m sick of the food at the cookhouse…..
Hong : I agree…!
Jackson : what !!??
Declan : well… I don’t mind…. That is if Jackson is willing to host us that is….
I looked at the eyes on my waiting for my reply and I quickly smiled and gave a thumbs up, indicating that I’m ok to host.
Hong : SWEE ! ( nice ) see… all virgins are very steady one….
As the group talked about when is the next day to gather, there was a knock on the door.
There shouldn’t be anyone else coming.
I opened it and the moment the group saw the man standing outside, they quiet down immediately.
He’s about my built, bespectacled, well dressed like Declan and he carried a large umbrella. The rain had slowed to a drizzle, he remained relatively dry compared to the rest when they first got here.
Jackson :Hi…. You are…
Aaron : I’m Aaron … you must be the new gardener…..
Jackson : yes hi… I’m Jackson ….
Aaron gave me a polite smile before telling Declan that the arrangements are ready.
Aaron :We are ready to move…
Declan : ok… I’ll be right there….
In the next few seconds that followed, I quietly observed the men go about their stuff.
There is no doubt that Aaron reports to Declan as well. However, he is not as close to Declan as Seven, Kamal and Hong.
From the corner of my eye, I could see Hong making looks at Seven and Kamal while they did the same.
You don’t need to be an expert in behaviour science to know he is not welcomed.
Aaron has the neatest outlook out of the group, aside from Declan of course. He’s well groomed, hair neatly gel and I could see he spends time on his eyebrows as well.
His clothes fit him well, most likely tailor made.
Compared to the other 3 who looked like your typical gangster, Aaron looks educated. He strikes me more like a banker rather than someone who would work for the queen.
Honestly, if I were to line Aaron, Seven, Kamal & Hong up in a row, from their looks alone, everyone would definitely point to Aaron and say he is the good guy while the rest are crooks.
However, something feels off about Aaron. I can’t put my finger to it but he strikes me as someone who would fit the role of a villain. A good looking villain doing good on the surface while stabbing you in the back.
I’m not saying Hong and the rest are goody two shoe but we have instincts for a reason. Hong and the rest didn’t exactly leave a good 1st impression as well but for some reason I cannot explain, I would rather have them over for steamboat rather than Aaron even though I barely know him.
Aaron : did I miss something here…. ?
Declan : we’re just here to evaluate the work of our new gardener….
Aaron : I see…. He’s a lot better than the previous few…. I love what you did with the garden Jackson….
Jackson : thank you….
Aaron : keep up the good work….
Jackson : I will….
Kamal rolled his eyes and rubbed his nose with his middle finger as Seven looked away.
There’s no hiding the level of disdain they have for him.
Aaron :Now if you would excuse us…. We need to get down to business… boss is waiting….
Turning to the rest, Aaron added that boss is changing and will meet the rest in the garage in 15 minutes.
Everyone got up and made their way to the door.
The once jovial mood Hong and the rest had was gone.
I don’t know what these guys are up to but I guess it comes with it’s own set of stress and responsibility. It feels to me as if they see my farmhouse as a sort of a refuge, away from the shit they do on a day to day basis.
Declan thanked me again for the food and I told him I will keep the fridge stocked.
Jackson : come by anytime you guys want to eat…. I will make sure the fridge is always stocked…..
Declan handed me a card of the so call new company he set up, he told me to address all invoices to that company and he will take care of the rest.
Declan : alright… I’ll see you soon…
I watched the group step off the concrete and onto the grass turfing leading towards the castle.
Aaron walked on with his large umbrella angling slightly to the left.
Declan followed, Aaron noticed Declan and offered to share his umbrella from the light drizzle.
Seven, Hong and Kamal walked angling slightly to the right but they are all heading towards the same place.
I leaned against the doorway and folded my arms, looking at the back view of the men walking away.
Turning to look at the grounds of the large estate, I could not help smiling.
I can still remember the apprehension I held before I start work with this bunch of weird and funny men. I was sure I would not enjoy my time here, in fact, my plan was to quickly finish up my work and leave but I could feel my opinion towards my employer slowly changing.
My curiosity grows stronger every day.
Besides, there’s free food, good pay, interesting dynamics and power play between different men, out of the world staff benefits, shady dealings and a beautiful queen.
What’s not to like about this place ?
The rain cleared up soon after and I went to work in the garden once again. The softened soil makes it easier for me to start cleaning up the rest of the large space.
As I pulled up the wild weeds and overgrown grass, I wondered where Declan and his team is going with the boss.
It must be something important since it involves all of them.
I went to the cookhouse for a coffee and was surprised to see the place empty.
There’s usually at least a handful of guys there for their tea breaks.
I casually asked Bran where is everyone and he just shrug his shoulders. I sipped my coffee and had a slice of fruit before leaving.
That steamboat meal marked the first of many gatherings in my farmhouse.
For some reason I cannot explain, Declan and the guys seemed to enjoy popping over every now and then. It started to feel as if I’m operating some special gentlemen’s club with only 4 members.
My farmhouse not only functions as my home base, it became a club for the guys. Club in the daytime, and my new home once the sun set.
I started staying over at the farm house, from once or twice a week, to eventually 5 days a week.
Some weekends I would stay over too because I have nothing else to do anyway. I would take my time, tend to the plants, go for a jog and head over to the cookhouse for free food.
On the last weekend of every month, I would make my monthly pilgrimage up north to visit my grandpa.
I would spend a day there with him, telling him about the weird employers I am now working for. He told me to be careful and not get involved in illegal stuff.
He still could not believe I was getting 5k in pay a month and he says he is convinced that soon, they will start asking me for kickbacks.
As in on paper, I’m getting this amount of pay. Of which I need to give back an ‘x’ amount. It’s happening all over the country, you just have to open your eyes to see it.
I reassured my grandpa that everything is fine and I will be careful.
As if determined to make the most of the money they pay me, Declan and the guys started to visit me more often at the farmhouse. Not only do I have to work on the garden, I became the unofficial service staff in the unusual club.
I could be raking up dead leaves 50m away from the farmhouse and Declan would walk by and gestured for me over.
He would sit down with a stack of documents and files, 3 mobile phones in hand before asking me for a drink.
Declan : What do you have…. ?
Jackson : Beer…. Greentea…. Or 3 in 1 coffee….. ?
Declan : I’ll have a coffee.. thank you…
Jackson : ok…
I would serve him his drink and leave him to settle his paperwork.
There can’t possibly be a lack of space for Declan to do his work in the massive castle, and I’m sure the coffee at the cookhouse taste much better than the instant one I kept.
Eventually I came to the conclusion that they see my place as a sanctuary of sort. A place to get away from it all.
Kamal would come by with Seven too.
Kamal : 2 beer….. and whatever snacks you have….
Jackson : ok…
I would set the drinks down for them before going back to my work. Sometimes I wondered if they would pay me for the food they consumed, especially when they started demanding for macadamia nuts instead of the usual ‘thumb’ brand groundnuts.
Hong comes usually on Fridays.
Brutish he might be, Hong is the only one that actually bought stuff over.
He would bring snacks, nuts, chips and the occasional carton of beer. It’s not much but I’m spending almost 500 in groceries and steamboat ingredients a month by then so every bit helps.
It comes out of my pay but I didn’t mind. My expenses took a dive ever since I started working there. Even my utility bill dropped since I shower and stayed over in the farmhouse most of the time.
If only Hong doesn’t leave a mess every time he comes around, I wouldn’t have mind him coming over that much.
Seven would come and use my toilet often. I have no idea why. I suspect he likes the lemon grass scent I kept in there. He would spend up to half an hour at a time inside playing candy crush with it’s volume on at it’s highest.
After a while, he started to come and use my shower after working out.
Seven would emerge smelling of the soap fragrance I like and beaming with a wide grin. He would give me a thumbs up, towel over the shoulder and waddle off in his flip flops, looking no different from someone who just finished gym.
Seven has his own brand of green tea bags which he wanted me to keep only for himself. It was not meant for the others.
Only when he comes alone, will he ask for those to be served.
A cup of green tea after his shower.
The garden expanded outwards with the farmhouse as the centre of it all. The transformation of the large plot is almost complete. Most of the new plants introduced rooted well, even my organic vegetable patch is blooming.
Beans, cucumber, leafy greens and even lettuce, all of them are doing really well on the fertile soil. They should be ready for harvest in another month or so.
I’ve sort of reached the boundary or the edge of the plot Declan wanted me to work on, so I started moving on to the landscaping of the individual houses in my spare time.
Almost every house I went into, the men knew I was the gardener and the first thing they asked me for was a nice shady smoking area.
The plants for the houses leading to the castle are in bad shape. Many shrubs littered with cigarette butts, there were hardly any trees matured enough to provide shade as well.
As I surveyed each and every of the houses owned by the organisation, I began to piece together a bigger picture. I could access the common area of the houses but not inside the house itself, still the large glass windows along the ground floor pretty much allowed me to catch a glimpse of what is going on.
Remember on my first day, I parked my car on the 1st unit up Binjai Hill ?
The unit opposite that housed an ambulance. No shit.
It’s a private ambulance that at times when I past by, had a full crew sitting in it, driver hands on steering wheels and engine running. It’s as if they are waiting for an emergency call to come along.
That entire house was designated as a medical centre. I’m talking trained paramedics and a doctor. Not Kamal.
There is a gym for all to use at the house closest to the castle gate.I tried my access card and found out I was given access to that place even though no one told me about it.
It’s well equipped, there’s 5 threadmills, 4 bench and a variety of workout machines. There’s even a large room with padded floor not unlike those you see in a martial art studio.
I saw Seven in it once but he was already sitting down on the padded floor totally soaked with perspiration.
I even saw the wooden figurine in Ip man movie but it was just for display only.
There are houses that held 2-3 cars with seemingly no other activities being carried out. Some looked totally empty and abandoned with overgrown landscaping.
Anyway, Declan told me to take care of all the plants within the estate. So as long as there is anything green, it’s mine.
Anything outside the castle ground that is.
The castle had a few small plots of turfing which is maintained by the helpers that staff and run it.
Once a month, the group would come over for steamboat.
Somehow someone decided that the Friday before the girls come to visit will be they day to have their hotpot gathering. The 2nd Friday of the month, without fail, the group would turn up at the farmhouse at 6.30pm.
You can imagine the amount of heckling I get from Hong trying to get me to try one of the girls.
I always said no even though I could tell his patience is wearing thin.
Hong even went to the extent of saying he would get the girls to do a reverse gangbang on me.
What about Aaron ?
Aaron comes by too. He would approach cautiously, pretending to be interested in something else but I knew he was there to look for people.
Yes, the only reason Aaron came to my farmhouse was to look for either Declan, Hong, Seven or Kamal. He must have figured out that the farmhouse is a gathering spot for his co-workers.
I did invite him to come in but he took a look at the simple and sparse interior and declined.
I eventually found out that Aaron and the boss will be away on the 2nd Friday every month without fail. I suspect it won’t be long before I figure out why the guys hate Aaron so much.
By the 4th month, I find myself starting to enjoy the monthly meal.
Honestly, I still don’t know these men well but I enjoyed listening to their conversations, of which they are careful not to reveal too much. Declan is always there to make sure.
I found out that the boss saved Seven’s life. It sounded like it came out of a triad movie.
He had acid poured down his throat by another rival gang.
Seven would have been left for dead if not for the boss. She came in guns blazing literally and saved him.
Hong told me that Kamal and him literally dragged Seven out from a old warehouse with blood spurting like a fountain from his orifices.
Hong : phussttt… phusstt….. like that.. the blood is really phussttt… phusst…. Shoot out…
Kamal : don’t exaggerate la you fuck….
Hong : I’m serious !!
Back then, the boss’s organisation was still in it’s infancy, she did a lot of things herself.
Hong : she visited Seven everyday in the hospital…. 1st class ward….
Hong gave a doeful eye look as he pouted his mouth and spoke in a high pitch voice as if trying to mimic the boss feeding Seven porridge.
Hong : come ~~ eat ~~
Seven shove Hong and showed him the finger as everyone laughed.
Hong pulled down the side of his loose t-shirt, showing off his shoulder and wiped his brow in a dramatic manner before exclaiming in that same high pitch voice.
Hong : you have to get well ~~~ have to~~~
Declan threw a used tissue at Hong and everyone laughed.
Seven gestured something before patting his chest.
Declan : He’s trying to say he’s a simple man…. Not educated…. But he always remember who is good to him….the boss saved his life….and let’s not forget, Seven was once from a rival…..
Declan was about to say the word gang but stopped himself in time and changed the word to company.
Jackson : what about you Kamal…. How did you come to work for boss…
Hong clapped his hands several times, eager to share Kamal’s embarrassing past.
Hong : GAMBling !!! hahaha…. Gamble and gamble…gamble… win never mind… always lose…
Kamal : Fuck you la…. I send in my resume….. call up for interview…. Then I impress boss with my experience….Lim BEI IS DOCTOR OKAY ( I’m a fucking doctor ) ….
Hong did his high pitch mimic of the boss once again, sticking out one of his hairy legs as he struck a pose, taking care this time round to try and boost his man boobs.
Seven threw a piece of lettuce at him and Hong caught it. He used it as a mini fan, fanning himself near his chest with his lips in another pout.
Hong : Kamal ~~ you have an interesting history…. I shall hire you…. And give you more money to gamble…do you pledge your loyalty to me ~~~ ?
Kamal did a mock punch at Hong who ducked in time and laughed.
Hong’s high pitch voice is quite harsh on my eardrums to be honest but there’s no way you can hold back your laughter looking at his silly antics.
Kamal : If boss sees you doing that…. She will fucking shoot you….
Kamal stood up and I could see him reach for his cigarette. He walked out to smoke and Seven joined him.
Hong lowered his voice and filled me in the moment the door closed, as if worried Kamal might overhear the conversation.
Hong : Kamal operated on this lady back then… ….. an accident victim…. She’s pregnant….. he did his best but he could not save the baby…..the accident kill the woman’s 2 year old on the spot as well….. when the mother came to…. …She took her own life….
Jackson : oh my god….
Declan : The mother was knocked down by a drunk driver…. Some hot shot fund manager…..he wasn’t even sorry…he claimed the woman was jaywalking….says she deserved it.. she should have used an overhead bridge..….. that fucker punched another doctor as well……
Jackson : Jaywalking… ?
Declan : the light was in her favour….it was a discretionary right turn….well… you know how these junctions are…..but that fucker …. Ploughed her and her son down and mounted the railings….and continued drinking till the police came…
Jackson : was he hurt from the crash ?? why wasn’t he arrested… ? where’s the husband… ?
Hong : Husband died of a stroke at work barely few months ago…. It was too much for her to handle…
Declan : The driver was warded for minor leg injuries….needed a minor op to remove some bone chips….Kamal was the one who fix it too….
Jackson : what…..
Hong : that’s not all…. That guy groped a couple of nurses…. And 3 months later….. got into another accident….this time round, a retired teacher in her 70s…… died on the spot….
Jackson : what a fucker…. Why is he not jailed or something….
Hong : He was waiting for the trial….when the 2nd accident happened…
Hong leaned closer to me, giving me the most sinister look I’ve ever seen.
Hong : That fucker hurt both legs this time round and he wanted Kamal to operate on him because he did a really good job the last round…….Kamal….. Operated on him…..and removed his testicles….
I gasped and looked at Hong in disbelief.
Jackson : what the fuck… how could that happen ….. ?
Hong : he fixed his legs first….then went for his balls….
Declan : The story was that the medical team in the operating theatre were horrified and they all fled screaming in horror……and by the time Kamal was forcibly removed from the OT, that man already had his dick cut into pieces, testicles removed….
Jackson : … what…. The fuck….
Hong : Kamal was arrested, charged and went into a downward spiral after that … gambled heavily… took drugs while waiting to be jailed…..
Jackson : what happened then…
Hong : Boss found him…. Cleared his debt… got him to clean his shit up…. And made it all disappear…. Poof…. Magic….
Jackson : you are fucking with me are you not… ?? how is that possible… ?
I looked at Declan, trying to see if he would clear up the air and call this bull but he did not.
Declan : it’s sad…. Really sad….
I turned to Hong and asked.
Jackson : what happened to that fucking fund manager ? he changed sex… ? is he in jail ?
Hong shook his head.
Hong : Boss made a call…. I heard her talking to whoever is on the line she needed a new project done to take care of a potential problem…..
Jackson :and … and ??
Hong : 1 week later…..that fucker passed away…. Accident…
Jackson : you are shitting me…. this is bullshit….
Hong : I’m serious… he was on a wheelchair… reversed down a slope near his place and right into a construction excavation site…… impaled himself on exposed reinforcement bars the workers are working on….
Jackson : ouch….
Hong : Tsk… tsk… tsk…. Painful….awfully painful…. But like magic… everything just went quiet…. No news report… nothing…. Kamal …. Quietly served 3 months…. And I was there to pick him up when he was released…. It’s like nothing ever happened…..
I nodded and came to the conclusion that whoever the boss is, she must be one hell of a woman with connections beyond imagination.
Jackson : what about you… how did you come to work for the boss … ?
Hong laughed and said he has no story.
Hong : I’m nothing…. I send in my application…. And she interviewed me… hahahahah… and she was impressed with my resume…. then she offered me the job.. hahaha … I am the 1st employee after Declan ok !
He laughed at his own joke, unwilling to share his past.
Declan shook his head and by then Seven and Kamal came back in.
Jackson : what about you Declan… how did you come to work here ?….
Declan said he was assigned to help boss when she first started.
Jackson : Assigned by who ??
Declan smiled and said in a joking manner.
Declan : If I tell you… I’ll have to kill you… ahahah
The rest of the guys rolled their eyes and told me to ignore Declan as that was always the reply he gave. It seems as if they don’t know his story as well.
We finished up our dinner and I served sliced fruits to the group.
After we polished up a whole papaya and half a melon, Hong said he has something planned for me.
Hong : ok ok… Jackson …. We have yet to…. Officially welcome you…. With a party…. So…. I have made special arrangements…..for you tonight…. Hahaha….
Jackson : err… no… no it’s fine… don’t need…
Hong : Too late… it’s already done…. She’s on her way…
Jackson : no… no way… I don’t want…
Hong : you have to…. I insist….
Hong stood up and started to announce to the group.
Hong : you will love her… if not…. I chop…
He did a side swipe in front of his privates, confident that I would like the sex worker he arranged for me.
Jackson : it’s Friday…. They usually come tomorrow no ??
Hong : well… for you…. I made an exception… so you better appreciate it…
Right in front of me Hong started to collect the wagers.
Hong : COME COME !! Kamal… COME !!! place your bets… !!! will Jackson fuck the girl or not !!! hahahaha !!
Declan : no way…. My money is on ‘No’ hhaha…. here….$50…
Kamal : who you sending ??!!
Kamal rubbed his chin and Hong smiled sneakily.
Hong : I’m calling Xiaoyu…
Kamal : you fucker……. $300 on yes…..
Jackson : what… ? 300 ??
Seven dug into his denim pants and pulled out a wad of fifties as well, putting 100 on yes.
Hong : hahahah… good good good….. Declan… you sure… ? want to change your bet ??
I turned to look at Declan who was obviously regretting his decision.
Declan : sorry Jackson… it’s not about the money…. I just don’t like to lose….
He shifted his wager of 50 from No to Yes and Hong laughed even louder.
I turned to him in disbelief.
Jackson : what are you so happy ?? if they win you need to pay !!
Hong : I will gladly pay hahahaha….hahaha…. just to see if you are a virgin or a gay… hahahahaha ..
He laughed so loud that the table shook as he hit his palms on it.
Jackson : sorry guys…i… I’m not going to do it…
Hong : hahah.. we’ll see…. We’ll see…..
Jackson : I’m helping you win money here dude… I don’t do it… you keep their money…..
Hong shook his head and waved his finger at me.
Hong : do I look like I need the money ??? hahahah …….No man…. has ever rejected xiaoyu before…. none…..and mind you…. Xiaoyu….. doesn’t just take every man….hahaha.. hahahah….
Hong stood up and announced that he had place a wager with Paige, the brothel owner.
Hong : I told her that…. There is a chance….. that Xiaoyu might get rejected…. By Jackson…. And she replied that… if that were to happen…. She will supply her girls for free for a month….
Jackson : what do you mean that Xiaoyu don’t just take every man ?
Hong : Xiaoyu is like Paige’s right hand women…. She’s like a precious gem… the pearl……she gets the freedom of choice… whether or not…. To take the men that wants her…… so far….. word is…. Only 1 man has had her within the group…..
Jackson : who is that….
Hong shrugged her shoulders.
Hong : We don’t kiss and tell here…. Hahahah….. I give you my personal guarantee…..haha…Xiaoyu has done less than 3 men in her life…. given the line she is in…. that’s pretty rare…. Hahahah…
Jackson : oh god…. Forget this…. I don’t care….. I’m not doing it….
Hong : We’ll see…. We’ll see….. hahaha… if you’re going to cost Paige a month worth of income…. Hahaha… I wonder what she will do to you…. Haha … by then…. A reverse gangbang might seem merciful… ahhaha….
The rest of the guys shook their head and Seven gave me a couple of pats on my shoulder.
Kamal : Xiaoyu is hot Jackson….. I would do her… serious… sweet young thing…. Innocent big eyes….
I looked at Kamal and could not help but notice Declan nodding his head as well.
Jackson : she can be as hot as she want to be….. I’m not doing it…. No way….
I stood up and cleared the table and Hong was checking his phone.
Hong : ok…. Ok…. She’s on her way over… we need to clear the place hahahaha.. hahah… good luck….
I shook my head as I went to the bathroom to do the dishes.
I’ve had my share of hot milfs and mistresses before remember ? I don’t get tempted easily. I’m not taking the moral high ground here, and I have nothing against sex workers. From my perspective, this is my work place.
It feels fucking weird to fuck at my workplace even though it’s initiated by my superiors.
Still, I could not help but wonder how pretty Xiaoyu has to be with the guys so confident I would not be able to resist her.
She’s just a sex worker, rejections should not be anything new, besides, looks and preferences are subjective. Beauty in the int eye of the beholder.
I finished washing up and hung everything up to dry.
I had planned to stay the night but now that Hong has this girl coming over, I think I better clean up and leave before she arrives.
I skipped the shower and grabbed my stuff.
When I opened the door, I realised I was too late.
Standing in front of me was a beautiful girl in her mid-twenties by my estimates.
She was about to knock on the door.
It took a few seconds for me to process what my eyes was seeing.
Xiaoyu was dressed in a sleeveless black dress that redefined the notion of what I held for a hourglass figure. She smiled at me and turned her side to face me as if giving me an orientation of her body while pointing to the garden I did.
Xiaoyu : Hi… my name is Xiaoyu…. Did you do all these… ? it’s looks amazing….
When Xiaoyu turned to face me again, I could not tear my eyes away from her body. Her breasts are a good and full ‘C’ cup and they are really testing the stretchable fabric her dress is cut from.
The dress is long, reaching down almost to her ankles but the slit at her left of her body opened up generously like a banana skin with most of the fruit exposed. The fruit in this case is Xiaoyu’s smooth and hairless legs.
A pair of blood red peep toe Mary Jane high heels gave Xiaoyu’s shapely figure a boost of at least 2.5 inches.
Her eyes are big with naturally long lashes. She has makeup on but not too thick, with features like that, she has no need of thick makeups.
She was holding onto a small clutch bag as she waited for me to acknowledge her presence.
Xiaoyu raised an eyebrow at me before breaking into a chuckle.
Xiaoyu : Are you… going to at least…. Invite me in for a coffee….. ? haha
My jaws could not close. She is hot.
Xiaoyu did not hurry me and she just waited for me to make the next move, brushing a strand of hair behind her ears, Xiaoyu bit her lips and looked shyly away as she saw me looking at her body.
Ok, this is really tempting.
I can see why Declan changed his bet when he heard her name.
I saw some movements at the trees at the back leading to the cookhouse. Hong and the guys are all there.
They were looking at me, waiting for me to make my decision. Hong was clutching the money in his hands as he pumped his hands excitedly as if he was urging his race horse to reach the finish line.
Xiaoyu : You don’t look like the kind to keep a lady waiting outside the door…. Or am I wrong …. ?
My eyes traced Xiaoyu from top to toe again and I could feel blood rushing to my groin. She’s really beautiful and sweet but something feels off.
Something is weird about her.
I can’t say if it’s the hands, or her toned body. She is too lady like, even more lady like than a female.
Xiaoyu came closer and looked at me and I could smell the sweet fragrance she doused her body in.
I could feel my resistance slowly being worn off until something snapped inside me.
I looked at Xiaoyu again before grabbing her neck with my right hand, turning her about and pushing her against the wall of the farmhouse abruptly.
Xiaoyu : ernghhhh…. You’re in such a rush……
I could hear Hong whoop loudly in a cheer in the background as Xiaoyu dropped her bag on the floor and put her hands around my neck.
She smells really good. Her lips are glossed and plump, it’s the kind of lips that would associate with a good blow after a wet kiss.
Xiaoyu : ernghhhh ~~!… not so hard….. I didn’t… ernghh.. know you like to play rough… ernghhh…
I tilt her head up slightly and smiled as I went close to her cheeks as if I wanted to kiss her but instead, I whispered softly by her ears.
My finger went to the only tell tale sign on Xiaoyu’s neck and I touched it. It was a dead giveaway. The really prominent adam’s apple on her neck.
Jackson : Pre op….. or post op…. ??
Xiaoyu’s innocent act slowly gave way to a seductive smile as she flirted with her eyes.
Xiaoyu : clever boy…
She allowed me 2 seconds to bask in my sharp observation skills before twisting my wrist away from her neck, kneeing me on the back of my knees to collapse me onto the ground.
Her sweet smelling arm went around my neck in a chokehold before I could even react. I could see Hong and the guys laughing in the back as they clapped and whistled. Hong was whooping and jumping up and down like a teenage girl in a pop concert.
I tried to break free but I can’t, Xiaoyu is amazingly strong for her size. I tried to throw her off my back by attempting to roll forward but she adjusted her weight distribution perfectly, countering my feeble effort.
She giggled by my ears as I tapped several times on her arm to indicate I give up and for her to stop.
I felt the slightest relaxation of her grip as she whispered by my ears.
Xiaoyu : now……would you prefer…. That I’m pre op….. or post op ??
I gasped for air and tried to process the question but there was only one thing on my mind.
Between Xiaoyu forcing herself onto me or into me, which one is going to hurt more.
Xiaoyu released her hold on me as I coughed and sucked in deep breaths of air.
I could hear Hong laughing at the top of his voice and I glared angrily at his direction. He quickly pushed the rest of the guys away towards the cookhouse and I could hear him ask me to enjoy myself.
Yeah, they’re having a good laugh at my expense.
Xiaoyu picked up her bag and smoothed out her dress before asking if I needed help.
Jackson : I’m fine…. I’m fine…
I picked myself off the floor and looked at the sweet looking girl, no guy, I don’t know. She looks exactly like a girl.
I don’t know what to call her.
Xiaoyu : You going to invite me in…. or we’re going to stay out here the whole night… ? don’t worry… I won’t rape you… I think… hahah…
She folded her arms and raised a playful eyebrow at me as she checked me out from head to toe.
I still have trouble coming to reason with what my eyes are seeing.
Jackson : come…. Come in… for a beer or something…. Nothing else…
Xiaoyu laughed and gave a seductive swing of her hair before walking into my farmhouse.
I thought about leaving the door open in case she decides to rape me but decided otherwise. I discreetly checked that my zip and my button on my pants are secure, some of my work pants are pretty worn out.
I’m glad the pair I had on that day is the good pair.
Xiaoyu removed her heels and held onto her bag as she took a look around the small place I call my 2nd home.
I handed her a beer from the fridge, making sure to keep a distance from her. I handed the can to her with a fully stretched arm, I don’t remember handing anyone a beer like that before in my life.
Xiaoyu : haha.. thank you….
She took a seat at the table, crossed her legs and flashed me her manicured nails.
Xiaoyu :do you mind… ? I don’t want to spoil my nails…
I opened the drink for her and got one for myself before taking the opposite side of the table.
She proposed a toast, took a sip while looking at me.
Jackson : what…. ?
Xiaoyu : do you like what you see…. ??
I looked away, unsure of what to say.
Xiaoyu : you want to touch my breast… ? it’s done in Korea…. Pretty good and natural….
I looked at Xiaoyu in disbelief with my mouth slightly open.
Xiaoyu : haha… what… ? it’s not illegal to touch a man’s breast….especially if he is willing….. my nipples are nice and pink….but it’s not as sensitive ….
Jackson : No…. no thank you….
Xiaoyu : or would you like to hear my real voice… ?? it takes years of practice to….
I shook my head immediately eliciting another round of girlish laughter.
She sat up straight and straightened her neck, rotating her head slightly left and right.
Xiaoyu : look at much as you want….hahha…. you can touch if you like…. Don’t be shy….
Jackson : err… no… it’s ok…. i…erm…..
Xiaoyu rolled her eyes and called me a pussy.
Xiaoyu : do I have fangs or something… ? hahaha…. I won’t bite you….
Jackson :But you can choke me….
She said since I’m keeping quiet, she shall do the talking. She took a sip of the beer and I could see the faint lipstick marks on the can surface.
Xiaoyu has undergone no less than 20 surgery over the years to get to where she is today. I asked her why.
Xiaoyu : I have always felt that I am a girl…. My family is supportive…. So…. Why not… you only live once….
Jackson : It… it must have cost a lot….
Xiaoyu : It did… it’s expensive… but luckily…. I got a good job….
My eyes widened and she laughed.
Xiaoyu : No.. it’s not what you think….. hahah… my body is not for sale….. but….
I felt her leg under the table rub against my calves before reaching to my groin area. I could feel her feel pushing up against my pants.
I tensed up immediately and she laughed.
Xiaoyu : It’s only available… when I say it’s available… hurhurhur…. Haha
I pushed her feet away and she gave me a childish pout that can only be describe as cute if I don’t know she is male.
Jackson : so… what do you do… for a living… ?
Xiaoyu : I teach….. self defence skills…. Krav Maga….. I spent my childhood in Haifa, Israel…. My parents work there…. My siblings are there too…
Jackson : You are shitting me….. why are you back ??
Xiaoyu : National service….came back…. Stayed with grandparents… and one thing leads to another….got a good job….started with the transitioning….. And viola….
Xiaoyu put down her drink and asked me the next question seriously.
Xiaoyu : do you want to see me naked…. ? I could show you…. hahah
Jackson : no… no… no thank you….
Xiaoyu : hahha…
I found out that Xiaoyu is teaching right where I work. Yes, she conducts regular classes for anyone who are interested, and she even provides one on one class.
Xiaoyu : you just have to book it via the intranet….
Jackson : intranet…. This place has it’s own intranet… ?
Xiaoyu : hahah… why not…. ?
She handed me a card with her details but I told her I don’t have an employee login account.
Xiaoyu : ask Declan for it… he will give you one…
I looked at Xiaoyu again, it started with me unable to believe what my eyes are seeing, now I’m having difficulty digesting what I just heard.
That sweet young thing in front of me is a martial art instructor ?
Xiaoyu : I do spin class as well….. pilates … mostly for your core muscles….but it’s only for guys I like…. so they can fuck me harder and longer…… haha
I almost dropped my beer as Xiaoyu laughed.
Xiaoyu : kickboxing…. And…. I’m in the midst of picking up jujitsu….
Jackson : err.. ok… I will think about it…. Thank you….
Xiaoyu : Boss trains with me on Wednesdays….. so I’m not available on Wednesdays…
My ears picked up immediately when I heard Xiaoyu mentioning the boss.
Jackson : the queen…. ? you train with the queen ?
Xiaoyu : yeah…. She is soooooo hot man…. I wish I was her….bad temper though… don’t ever piss her off….
Jackson :tell me more about her…
Xiaoyu narrowed her eyes and shot me a sideway glance.
Xiaoyu : a toad… lusting for the swan I see….
Jackson : I’m just curious…. I’ve never met her before….
Xiaoyu : Well, she’s always busy…. What do you want to know ??
Jackson : do you … ermm.. have any pictures of her… ?
Xiaoyu : nobody has…. You try to take a picture of her…. You’re dead…
Jackson : err… ok…. What is she like as a person… ? is she young… ? or old ??
Xiaoyu avoided my question about the queen’s age but she revealed that she finds the boss matured.
Ok. That’s a nice way of saying someone is old.
Xiaoyu : hmmm.. she is serious…. Task orientated…. Seems to have a lot on her mind all the time…..but she is a good boss…. I enjoy working for her…. I would say boss is the closest female friend I have……
Jackson : does she know… you are….
Xiaoyu : who do you think is paying my salary so I can have all these surgery… ? hahah….
Xiaoyu added that during the low seasons when the boss is not that busy, the 2 of them would hang out at cafes, go for manicures, spas, all the girly stuff you would expect 2 BFF do together, they would do it.
I nodded as the short conversation with Xiaoyu slowly unveiled more of the mystery surrounding the house in bukit timah
Xiaoyu had 2 beers before asking if I would like her to spend the night.
Xiaoyu : I can suck you off….. or….. you can come inside me….
She used the tip of her left index finger to flick my chin in a seductive manner.
Xiaoyu : I’m fine too…. If you want to suck me off…. Hahah…
I stood up immediately and thanked her for the offer.
Jackson : No thank you….i’m fine….
She laughed and shook her head.
Xiaoyu : what a pity…. I’m pretty sure you would have made me moan out loud….
Heading to the door, she added that Paige, the brothel owner was in on the bet that I would fall for her charms. Most men do.
Xiaoyu : I’m quite a good actor I think….. you are the first to figure me out so fast……usually the men don’t realised it until it’s too late…. Hahah…. Well…Paige is going to be mad you didn’t fall for this……. hahaha
Jackson : you are really pretty Xiaoyu….really hot and attractive…. But I can’t get over the mental barrier….i erm…. Ermm..
Xiaoyu : save it… you’re just a wuss……. Hahah… I don’t care… hahaha…. Come for my class ok?
Jackson : I will…. As soon as I get an employee login ID.
I watched Xiaoyu put on her heels and I sent her to the door.
Holding the bag in front of her while facing me, she looked at me like a little girl who just finished the first date with the man she loves.
She reached for a kiss and I offered my cheek instead when i saw her going for my lips.
Xiaoyu smiled as she ask if she’s going to get one.
I gave her one on the cheek in a gentlemanly manner.
Xiaoyu : good night Jackson…. Thank you for the beer….
Jackson : you’re welcome…..
As she turned to walk away, she added ;
Xiaoyu : Paige is going to send her best girl after you now….. and I assure you…. She is going to be lot harder to turn down….i think I know the type you are after….. hahah…
Jackson : If the girl is as attractive as you….. I might just go for it…
Xiaoyu gave me a naughty wink before sashaying off towards the direction of the cookhouse.
I closed the door behind me and exhaled.
That was a close one.
Xiaoyu’s looks would easily pass of as a Korean actress or a singer. Her actions, her moves, from putting on her heels to holding her beer, they are more lady-like than a real woman.
I clenched my fist, pissed at the guys for pulling this shit on me.
Relieved that it’s over, I went to take a shower.
I never expected the guys to come back into the farmhouse.
I could hear them talking loudly outside the door as I dried my hair.
Hong : Jackson !!! open up…. Hahahaha…. Hahaha… do you like what you see ?? hahahah
I opened the door and the group of them are still laughing and giggling away.
Jackson :what the fuck man….
Kamal : aiyah…. Don’t angry la…. just a joke…hahaha
Hong : hahaha….. cannot take a joke ar…… ask you fuck girl you don’t want… then you say you not gay…. I find someone in between….. you also not happy… hahaha….
Declan tapped me on my back and ask me not to take it to heart.
Declan : just a joke…. Hahha…. I will get Paige to send a good one to you if you like….
Jackson : no need… no need… it’s ok… serious…. I’m ok… ermmm.. Declan… I heard from Xiaoyu….. that I can get an employee ID for the intranet…..is that true… ?
Hong : ooohhhhhh…… hahaha… you fucker…. Send her to you… you don’t want… you prefer to book online !!!! hahahahah!! I see…. haha
Jackson :It’s not about that…. What the hell….
Declan laughed and said he will give me the details once ready.
With the employee ID, I would not only get my personal email, I would be kept up to date on the activities and team bonding events the organisation hosts on a regular basis.
There is even a monthly newsletter written by the Queen herself.
Kamal : No one logs into that shit one…. Don’t bother….
Hong : Not true… I log in to book the rooms and the girls…. Ahhaha
Kamal : Just call Paige will do… login for what… ??
Hong : aiyah… you won’t understand…. Booking online comes with a…. certain kind of thrill…. Right Jackson ?? hahah
I ignored his jibe and Declan finally put a stop to the teasing.
Satisfied with their good laugh, Seven lugged into the farmhouse a small insulated trolley with a ice box sitting on top.
Jackson : What is that….
Kamal : We keep eating your food…. Paiseh la… return you some….
Hong : all Ho liao ( good stuff ) ok ?
Jackson : It’s ok la…. once a month only….
I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the box and bag they brought along.
Aside from trays of thinly sliced premium beef, there are also sea cucumbers, snow crab legs, scallops the size of a large Chinese chess piece, there’s even a large bunch of bamboo clams.
Jackson : what the hell hahahha… are you serious… ?
I exclaim in disbelief as I brought up a tray of Uni, sea urchins flown in from Japan.
Hong : Oh… that is Seven’s favourite…
There are at least 5 cans of Mexico Abalone, that wheel brand that housewives love, together with a variety of other usual steamboat goodies.
I kept taking cans out of the bag and they commented I am the most ‘auntie’ guy they have ever met.
Kamal : What the hell man Jackson …. You are very auntie you know that…. You get excited by groceries….
I held up a tray of shrimps each the size of a small cucumber like I’m holding my graduation certificate.
Jackson : how much did you all spend on these man… hahah…
The guys helped me fill up my fridge and stock up the shelves.
Jackson : These are fresh ingredients….!!
After the fridge is filled, Hong rubbed his hands gleefully and added that they would like me to host dinner the next day.
It’s a Saturday. The day the girls will be coming.
I was immediately cautious and my face was easy to read.
Declan : Relax Jackson ….hahah…. we wont force you if you don’t want to ok…. Hahah…. But we will all be here for work the whole day tomorrow….and we are hoping to be able to have a nice meal after it’s done….. we can invite Xiaoyu too if you like…
Seven chuckled and did a comical rendition of me getting choked.
Jackson : ok … ok… fine…. Fine… looks like we need to get a bigger table soon…. I’ll get the stuff ready for tomorrow…. What time ?
Declan : 7pm works for you ?? if you have plans for the weekend it’s ok to say no….
Jackson : 7pm is fine…. I don’t have plans…. Let’s not waste the fresh food…
Hong : alright… see you tomorrow … hahaha…
It’s already pretty late, and since I’m going to host dinner the next day, I decided to just sleep over. I usually change into my loose fitting pyjamas, but for that night, I slept with another clean pair of work pants, with good zip and button.
16th May 2015
I was up early and I set off for a jog around the estate. I could see the most of the lights are on in the castle that morning. I wonder if I would ever bump into the queen on her jog, if she jogs that is.
I tended to the garden once I’m done. Some of the vegetables I’ve grown are ready for harvesting, I made a mental note on what to use for dinner later from the garden and what I need to get from the supermarket.
By noon, I had returned from the supermarket and I got about getting ready for dinner.
I woke up that morning feeling really good, I don’t know why. Perhaps it’s because I thought of a new idea I wanted to run by Declan.
I want to do a compost bin for food waste. The by products can be used as fertilisers. I spent the afternoon doing some research on my laptop so I could float my idea with Declan over dinner.
I started preparing and cutting the vegetables at 5pm.
By 6.30pm, the table is set.
Everything is ready. You just need to get the steamboat boiling and we are good to go.
I used a large bucket I usually used for tools as a chiller. Bottles of beer and cider soak themselves in the icy water waiting to be opened.
No one showed up.
I stood outside the farmhouse and looked around.
There’s no one.
This better not be another one of their stupid prank. I don’t think it is one, no point asking me to waste all those fresh ingredients on a stupid prank.
They must be held up with work.
I went back in and waited for another 20 minutes or so. I tried calling Declan but his phone was off.
None of the other guys answered my messages as well.
Well, I’m fucking starving, if they don’t show up, I’m just going to start eating on my own.
I decided to wait till 8pm.
I opened the door and stepped out again, this time round, I saw someone in the garden.
It’s a woman.
She was squatting down near the organic vegetable patch I did.
My mind immediately went on high alert.
Ok , calm down Jackson.
This must be another one of their stupid tricks.
I observed the girl quietly from where I stood. She is not dressed to the nines, nor is she in high heels with seductive cleavage exposed.
Her hair is still a little wet, she’s freshly showered for sure. She slowly got up, allowing my eyes to feast on her tight and tone body.
She has a fucking great pair of legs. The pair of grey cotton shorts looked casual, you wouldn’t take a 2nd look because it’s not skimpy short as well, but it’s the firm butts that pushes and stretch the pants that drew my eyes repeatedly over. At the bottom of the pair of shorts hung little cute furry balls going around both her thighs.
I started to wonder how that feels on your skin. The softness of the balls rubbing on your thigh.
Her legs disappeared into a pair of white sneakers with purple laces, she doesn’t look like she wore any socks.
She noticed me at the door and she turned to face me.
The moment our eyes met, I felt as if my soul had been taken away together with my breath. She is beautiful beyond words. I could not believe my eyes.
Without any traces of makeup on, her facial features are dominated by her naturally large eyes. Her lips are slightly glossy, she looked confident, intelligent and I could see she has clocked a certain mileage in life.
This is no fresh face sweet young thing with a squeaky voice, the girl standing in front of me is the embodiment of what I would call a proper woman.
The t-shirt she was wearing is a simple graphic print top. No brand, with a couple of cartoon characters at the bottom I could not identify.
She rest her hands on her waist and nodded towards the garden.
“ You did all these ?? Nice work… “
Jackson : yes I did…. I’m the gardener….
She looked around and nodded. I watch her do a 360 degree turn slowly before taking in a deep breath, puffing up her chest as she spread her arms and displaying the fullness of her love pillows like a proud peacock showing off her feathers.
Blood rushed to my dick as I gave her body another once over.
She’s fit, she works out. She must be one of Paige’s girls, another one that they sent to test me.
She is exactly my type. Paige is good. She knew someone seductive and foxy like Xiaoyu didn’t work, so she chose to send someone more casual, down to earth without seductive clothes on.
I was overwhelmed by my hormones as I looked at the woman in front of me.
I don’t usually say things like this, but I have to admit, I really like her. She’s my type.
I’m starting to get the same vibe I get when I work for some of those hot milfs in their garden. The kind of horny urge. Well, if she’s she for me, I’m going to fuck her for sure.
She started to walk towards me and I braced myself for her advance.
I felt a tingling in my dick as she closed the distance between us.
A weird and erotic thought started to creep into my head.
She is so hot, that I decided that even if she used to have a dick, I might just do her.
Even the way she walks, she oozes confidence, power and the way she speaks, she is no ordinary whore. Maybe she herself controls a team of girls.
Jackson : what’s your name… ??
She unfolded her arms and looked at me for a couple of seconds.
Yiling : My name is Yiling….
Even her name sounded nice to me. Almost poetic.
Jackson : my name is Jackson…nice to meet you….. you know what… I’m hosting a dinner… but my friends are late…. Would you like to join us ??
I gestured to the farmhouse behind me.
Yiling : Dinner…. Inside there ?? are you serious ?? hahah … shouldn’t that be filled with your gardening tools and stuff ? hahah…
I nodded with a smile.
Jackson : well…. Only one way to find out….
I extended my hand and pointed to the door with my palm faced up like an usher showing guests to their table.
Yiling : alright….. we shall see.. haha..
Yiling put her hands behind her and walked boldly towards my farmhouse.
Yiling : You’re not going to abduct me right… haha… feels like you are trying to trick me into a gardening shed… haha…
Damm she’s good, her girl next door act only served to send more blood to my groin.
Jackson : it’s real… no funny business…. I swear… haha…
Yiling : alright…. Alright… sure….who are the friends you are hosting….?
Jackson : Declan….. Hong….. Kamal…. Seven….. do you know them…. ?
Yiling : of course….who doesn’t….
I opened the door and Yiling exclaimed at the spread of the food on the table.
Yiling : wow…. You got to be kidding me…
The look on her face was one of genuine surprise. You can’t fake that. Maybe the guys didn’t tell her I prepared dinner.
I watched Yiling lift up one of her leg behind her butt, remaining perfectly balance on 1 foot as she removed her shoe. Everything she does seemed to have a sexual vibe to it.
By the time she sat down, crossed her legs and asked for a pair of chopsticks, I was prepared to use my employee benefit right there and then.
I realised I didn’t have condoms but she is like a goddess with an imaginary aura around her that I was toying with the idea of fucking her raw even though she is a sex worker.
She must be the legendary right-hand girl of Paige, the brothel owner. The one that gets to choose. This is the real deal.
Yiling did not hesitate at all, she turned on the steamboat and started putting the food in.
When I saw her do that, I was convinced that this is the girl sent to tempt me.
She did not even wait for Declan and the rest, it’s as if she knew they won’t be coming or something.
This must be the guys plan after all. Set me up with a good meal and a hot girl. What better way to end a sumptuous dinner than a good orgasm ?
What a welcoming party this is turning out to be. I told myself to work doubly hard for the organisation starting tomorrow.
Jackson : … help yourself…. Don’t be shy….
Yiling : can I get a beer please…
Jackson : Sure….
I opened a bottle for her and sat down beside Yiling. We filled the steamboat to the brim and waited for it to boil.
Yiling looked around the farmhouse and commented that it’s a cosy place.
Yiling : can’t tell at all from the outside…. Nice… do you like your work ?
Jackson : of course… I love it….. it’s a really nice place to work …. How about you… how’s work today…. All good ? ….
I immediately regretted asking Yiling the question the moment it left my mouth. What an asshole I am.
Who the fuck asks a sex worker about her work and how’s her day. It’s as if I expected her to tell me about the men she had to serve and spread her legs for.
I was about to tell Yiling it’s ok if she doesn’t answer that but she already started talking.
Yiling : it’s …. It’s been a long day for me today…. Not a particularly pleasant one… not to mention it’s a weekend…..
Jackson : I see….
She frowned and pointed the tip of her beer bottle at me.
Yiling : You know… ….
She paused and took another sip of her beer.
Yiling : …… Taking care of so many men….sigh…… it can be quite taxing…. Mentally…. I’m serious…
I nodded without a word. So much so for being selective about her clients. She did not seem picky at all.
It’s ok. I don’t mind she has been taken by so many men.
I would still fuck her.
Yiling : not only do I have to manage their expectations…. I also need to swallow…..
I nodded again understandably. Yes, I do have friends likes to cum in the girls’ mouth and watch them swallow. I like to do that too sometimes.
Yiling continued almost breathless as if she was exasperated.
Yiling : my pride and …. Choose my words carefully to deal with the size of their…. Their fucking….
I nodded again, trying not to look disrespectful.
It’s not easy.
I mean all the different cocks and dicks you need to put inside your body for a living every day.
From the bottom of my heart.
This is what I call professionalism. You don’t discriminate against size.
Yiling : ego…. You know….? men and their ego….
Well, my ego is ok sized. That is all I know at that moment as I tried hard not to drool at Yiling’s sweet face.
Jackson : yeah…… it’s… not easy….
Yiling : don’t interrupt me….. the size of their ego… drives me nuts sometimes….
She went on about how hard it is at times to get the men to see things from her perspectives and that we don’t see the big picture.
Yiling : you know what I hate most….. is when I see them taking their own sweet time when I’m obviously in a rush…. Time is precious…. I hate wasting time… it makes me angry… and when I get angry…. Everything just goes out of control you know….
I nodded emphatically and made a mental note not to drag it out.
Fuck and cum, maybe keep it to 1 or 2 positions.
Yiling : anyway… these are just things I have to deal with…. Comes with the job…. Not exactly a good position to be in…. if you get what I mean… you think I like to be at the top ?? … if given a choice…. I would rather not be….
Ok, no top.
She prefers to be at the bottom, noted. Maybe I’ll do a standing doggy although I quite like the idea of Yiling riding me while I cup onto her breast.
I gather it’s a good time to change topic, no point harping about her choice of work.
It’s a honest living.
Jackson : I understand perfectly…. Well….. at least you don’t need to be at the mercy of the queen…. I heard she’s quite a handful from Hong and the guys…
Yiling was about to reach for a piece of vegetable in the boiling broth when she paused midair for a second.
Yiling : The Queen ? ….
Jackson : yeah… the lady boss that runs this whole place….i’ve heard quite a bit of stories about her….
Yiling looked at me as if I said something ridiculous.
Jackson : Haven you heard ?? …. You’ve been working here for a while right …
Yiling : well…. I have…..
Jackson : surely you’ve heard something about the queen …. ?
Yiling : well…. Do share please… what stories are there about the queen….
She started to fill her bowl with an assortment of seafood and vegetables including a giant scallop. She’s not shy at all when it comes to food. I never expected her to put 2 giant shrimp on my bowl though.
I thought it was meant for me but she just asked if I could help her deshell them.
I started to peel the prawns as I spoke.
Jackson : I’ve heard she’s bad tempered, has violent tendencies….. she digs people’s eyes out and stuff……. Not only that…. She speaks with a high pitch squeak……. Sounds like she’s some kind of a witch that escaped from a fairytale……Hong does a really nice mimic of her I think… hahha..…. You should see it….. hahaha.. it’s quite funny……
Yiling smiled and dipped a tofu into the dipping sauce I made and popped it into her mouth chewing slowly as she savoured it’s taste before reply.
Yiling : sure…. Looking forward to it…
Jackson : well… I think they are coming any moment now…. It’s better to hear it from them… I can’t describe it as well as they do…. You should see Hong do it with a lettuce while stretching his hairy legs… hahaha….it’s awesome …. hahah
Yiling smiled and continued eating.
Jackson : how’s the food… ?
Yiling : It’s nice…. Which of these vegetables are grown here….?
Jackson : over here…. The leafy Caixin, lettuce, spinach……. Baby tomatoes…. These are from the garden…. Organic… it’s not a lot… .. so I supplemented with some from the supermarket…. I think in about another couple of months, the yield will be enough for a good meal once a week…
Yiling : they’re delicious…. You should grow more….
Jackson : I’m glad you like it…
Yiling got up and went over to the shelves, going straight for the can of abalone.
She gestured to the can, asking me to open it.
Yiling : I like this….… do you mind… ?
Jackson : Not at all…. Come… allow me….
It’s quite an enjoyable experience watching Yiling eat. You know, some people just makes everything look delicious with the way they enjoy their food and Yiling is definitely a foodie from the looks of it.
I would have offer to slice the abalone into smaller slices but Yiling just took a bite out of it once she dunk it into the hotpot for 2 seconds.
Yiling : ohhh…. This is so good…
We started to talk and I was surprise at how opinionated she is on certain issues. She’s smart, articulated and not afraid to offer a different perspective on sensitive subjects.
As we put more food into the steamboat, we drifted to the topic of right and wrong.
Jackson : I mean right is right…. Wrong is wrong… there is nowhere in between….
Yiling : No…. that’s not true.. I don’t agree with that statement at all…
Jackson : why not ? …. I mean if you kill someone….that is wrong…
Yiling : What if by killing that someone…. You are saving others… are the police wrong if they need to shoot a terrorist ? …
Jackson : Ok… I don’t meant that…
Yiling : But you said killing someone is wrong……
Jackson : ok …. Maybe strapping a bomb on yourself and denotating it in the middle of a crowded room…. That is wrong… surely you cannot disagree with that…
Yiling : What if the person is a soldier ? … that room is full of terrorist…. Murderers…. People who would kill again and again…. And by sacrificing himself…. He prevented more deaths… ?
Jackson : You don’t know that….
Yiling : You don’t know that either….. coming back to your right and wrong theory….. there’s no easy way of saying your actions is right or wrong just by looking at the surface……without understanding the whole picture….
Jackson :errr…. Ok….. robbery & stealing is wrong…
Yiling : It is… but what about a father stealing bread for his hungry daughter….. People robbing the masterminds of ponzi scams….
Jackson : Those only happen in movies….
Yiling : where do you think they get their inspirations from….
Jackson : ok… taking drugs is wrong….
Yiling : Paracetamol is a drug, leftose is a drug….
Jackson : Come on… I don’t mean that…. You know what I mean….
Yiling : Some drugs…. When administered properly…. Are powerful pain killers…. It all depends on your perspective….
Jackson : smuggling drugs is wrong….
Yiling : Every day…. People risk their lives smuggling drugs, vaccines, antibiotics into war zones…..just because it doesn’t happen in Singapore….it…
The argument went back and forth, and I was stumped several times, unable to give a reply.
This is something I was not expecting from a sex worker but despite me losing several arguments, I could feel my erection getting harder. There is this strength coming from Yiling I cannot put my finger on.
That confidence, the way she speaks. It’s turning me on more and more. Intelligence and confidence have always been my weak spot. The best fuck I’ve ever had did not come from the girls with the biggest breast or the longest legs, or the tightest ass.
It’s always the smart ones. Usually, they have the looks to compliment those brains of theirs as well.
Yiling stopped eating for a while and asked for some napkins. She’s perspiring from the hotpot but written on her face is a look that can only be described as satisfaction.
We started talking about the garden and I offered Yiling a guided tour.
Yiling : sure… why not… I could use a walk …. And we could go for another round….. the food is delicious….
Jackson : thank you… you’re welcome to drop by often….
Yiling : do Declan come by all the time… ?
Jackson : once a month usually…. For dinner with the guys….. other days….. they might pop by occasionally….. no fixed schedule…. He likes to do his admin work here……
I brought Yiling out and we started walking through the miniature bamboo garden I did. The plants are growing well, in a few months, they would tower over our heads.
Jackson : Not as grand as the bamboo forest in Sagano…. But it’s a start…
We took the winding path and I told Yiling the reasons behind my choice of plants at certain sections.
I would have expected cursory nods and smile but I never expected her to be really interested in what I am saying.
Jackson : this… a very common palm tree… we call it the lipstick palm or sealing wax palm…. The crownshafts and leaf sheath is bright red…you can extract the colours and make a dye with it…..
Yiling : to make a lipstick ..???
Jackson : hahah…. Err… I think it’s better if you just pop by the makeup store…
Yiling : hahah… good idea….
We ventured down the far end to the smoking corner as well. It’s empty that evening but I could still see a couple of smouldering butts smoking in the ashtray.
I took a bottle of water I kept in the bush and put the butts out.
Yiling : so you maintain the smoking area as well…. ?
Jackson : yeah… a lot of the guys come here …. So you can see it fills up pretty fast…. Some of them has the habit of flicking the butts all over too….
Yiling : do you smoke… ?
Jackson : I don’t… do you ??
Yiling : me neither…
Jackson : anyway…. I think I was hired partly because I don’t smoke…. Among other things….
Yiling : what other things… ?
Jackson : a string of weird requirements by the queen of course….i think Declan and the guys won a bet of sort…..hahha…. they seem pretty pleased about it…..
Yiling : I see… hmmmmm
We went around the perimeter, taking the longest route possible encircling the garden. I know it’s just me over thinking but it felt like a date of sort.
The conversation just kept flowing.
Yiling : you know what you should start planting…. Durians man… get some good saplings or something… start filling the garden with them…. Hahaha… Mao Shan wang… black pearl…..golden phoenix….
Jackson : those take a decade or more to fruit… hahha… but that’s a good idea…. We can start putting more fruit trees…. I’ve seen bats and a couple of cockatoos before…. Maybe some fruit trees would bring them in….
Yiling : papayas are easy to grow… maybe start with those…. And definitely start sourcing for the durians….. lime should be easy to grow… hmmmm… lime with tequilas …. Ooohh….
Jackson : hahha… ok… I’ll check with Declan when I see him….. I mean… if these don’t sit well with the queen….we better not do it…. Not everyone likes durians..
Yiling nodded and smiled before asking me what I thought of the owner of the property.
Yiling : what do you think of the queen…. ?
Jackson : I don’t know…. I’ve never met her…. Seen her from afar once….. cant really make out anything other than a silhouette….. my guess would be someone in her…. I don’t know… fifties…old auntie with too much botox injection……. Have you met her before… ?
Yiling : yeah… I have….hmmm… go on… I’ll see if your description is accurate….
Jackson : alright…. Hmmm… early to mid fifties…well maintained… I don’t know… probably a virgin…. Good reason for her to be too… I mean… with this amount of power and wealth….. you got to be careful with anyone who says they are interested in you right….
Yiling : true…
Jackson : so… my guess is she probably has a lot of suitors… she rejected them all….thereby depriving herself of a healthy sex life….compounding on her loneliness and causing her to be mad at everything…. That’s probably where her violent tendencies come from as well….she keeps a tight leash on Declan, Hong, Kamal, Seven and Aaron….her lieutenants …. Men who execute her order….they’re afraid of her…. And I suspect she likes it that way…… power over men….gets a kick out of it I’m sure….. some women are like this…a little sick in the head…..
Yiling : wow… … go on…
Jackson : she’s rich…. Surrounded by her circle of personal guards… all female I heard….. I suspect she makes them do more than protecting her….there’s a possibility that she turned lesbian…… and I just found out….. that she trains with Xiaoyu…. Do you know Xiaoyu ??
Yiling : Yes I do…. She’s pretty…
Jackson : Well… she’s a he by the way…. Anyway…. I also suspect the queen is using Xiaoyu in more ways beneath the surface… you know what I mean… ?? it’s only natural to make sure of the resources around you…..especially when they are available…..
Yiling : You mean Xiaoyu’s dick…. Which still can get hard….wow…. you know what Jackson …. I like how you go out of your way to elucidate the complex problems the queen is facing….. and offer a solution at the same time….
Jackson : nah… I just like to over analyse at times…hahah….
Yiling : do you like working here ? ….
Jackson : I do…. I do….I love my job….every minute of it…. I just hope the queen likes the garden….
Yiling : do you think she likes it ?
Jackson : Declan told me she likes where it’s going…. So I think I’m on the right track…. I mean she would have showed up and start throwing a fit like a spoilt brat is she didn’t right….. you know…. kicking around… uprooting shit, spitting on me maybe…..haha
Yiling said nothing and nodded.
Yiling : what would you say to her…. When you meet the queen that is…. ?
Jackson : hahah… I don’t know…. she royalty you know… haha… I’m just the gardener…. Hahah… probably ask her to chill more….be more peace loving…I don’t know…. get laid perhaps….. sex kind of you know…. chill everything down a bit…. hahah… sighz….or maybe instead of doing it with Xiaoyu…. Find a proper guy she can click with and such….
I casually observed Yiling, she did not seem too affected by my bringing up the topic of sex.
Yiling : Interesting perspectives….. you mean you would really say that to her in her face…. ?
I laughed and shook my head. After a couple of seconds and picking up a fallen branch from a tree off the path, I added my honest thoughts.
Jackson : … hmmm… actually…. I’m just kidding…. I feel sorry for her actually….
Yiling: How so…. ?
I stopped walking and looked over at the patio when I first saw the queen.
Jackson : It’s got to be so lonely at the top….
Turning to Yiling, I added.
Jackson : makes you wonder….. who does she go to when she needed to talk… ? ….. where does she go to cry without anyone seeing her do it…….where does she go to relax and just shut herself out from everything happening around her….. does she have anyone to confide in….? does she have friends… I mean genuine friends….people who don’t care about her money… power…. People who don’t work for her…. I mean real friends…
Yiling nodded as we started our way back to the farmhouse.
Yiling : Maybe doing what she do….. doesn’t allow her the luxury of having real friends ? ……. sounds like a pretty sad life isn’t it…
Jackson : we’ll never know… hahah…… well…like they say…. It’s a blessing to be ordinary…..
Yiling : That… I agree with you wholeheartedly…. Haha…
We completed the tour and got back to the farmhouse.
Seeing Yiling remove her shoes again brought my attention back to her pair of smooth and tone legs.
My dick started getting hard again.
It’s coming to 9pm. I doubt Declan and the guys will be coming.
I hope Yiling would spend the night at the farmhouse. I would gladly pay to go more than one round with her.
She put in more vegetables into the hotpot and asked if I am in a relationship.
Jackson : ermm… no… I’m not…
Yiling : Why not…. ?
Jackson : Not exactly my priorities right not….. I’m just interested in saving up for now…..
I don’t know what got over me. I didn’t exactly have a lot to drink but I found myself telling her about my grandfather’s condition. About how stubborn he is, refusing to spend my money on his treatment.
I told Yiling about how I would make the drive up all the way to Kedah to visit him and she was on the verge of tears when I told her about my grandfather bringing me up single handed.
Jackson : I’ve been talking to a couple of specialists , not cheap…. But they can’t give an exact figure….. not until they gave him a once over…..
Yiling : are you paid well here… ?
Jackson : really well….it’s crazy…. 5k a month… for gardening work…..but I’ve been spending quite a bit on food lately for the guys….. they are big eaters…..
Yiling : you mean you are paying for all their meals here… ?
Jackson : yeah…. I’m ok don’t worry….i can spare a few hundred here and there…… I’m quite thrifty…. Anyway…. Most of the good stuff you see on this table are brought by Declan and the guys……we’re supposed to have dinner tonight…… guess they are… ermm..busy….
Yiling nodded and we continued talking over another couple of beer like old friends even though it was the first time we met.
Before I realised it, it was coming to 10pm.
Jackson : ……. Enough about me…. what about you…. ? what’s your story… ?
Yiling just smiled and shook her head before adding that she has nothing interesting to share.
I felt like stomping myself on my own foot.
Why would she share her life with me anyway ? She’s just here to have sex with me, maybe collect her payment from Hong or Paige, I don’t know.
Yiling excused herself to the bathroom and I brought the box of tissue over to the bed. I even prep a packet of wet tissues as well.
We’re done eating, Yiling is probably washing up her privates before it begins.
I paced about the room a little.
This is my first time with a commercial sex worker and I’m feeling a little nervous. She’s so pretty, I wonder if I would get to book her again after that night.
I wanted to lock the door only to realise there’s no way of locking it. I mean usually Declan and the guys would knock, but there are times Hong and Seven would just walk in.
Ok, it’s unlikely they will disturb me if they want me to enjoy myself.
I heard the flush of the water closet and I removed my top.
I read online that the girl would shower with you before it begins.
Maybe give me a blowjob in the shower or something. I don’t remember what the forum said. I must make it a point to reread the threads on sammyboy forum again.
When the door opened, Yiling froze for a second as she looked at my half naked body.
I froze too as I was too nervous I didn’t know what to say or do.
Do I ask her to shower for me ? Or it’s understood that she must do it with me ? Surely taking off my top is an obvious clue that I want to begin soon.
Yiling looked at me for a couple of second before asking.
Yiling : you…. Errr…..Want to shower ?
I nodded nervously.
Jackson : Yes…yes I do…
Yiling looked at me in a weird manner and gestured to the bathroom behind her.
Yiling : well…. Err….go ahead….
She walked by me and grabbed another bottle of beer.
Ok, she is not showering with me.
It’s ok, she’s the hot favourite, Paige’s top girl. Maybe showering is something the other girls do in order to attract more return customers or something, I remember something about the girlfriend experience.
Yiling has no need for the girlfriend experience treatment, men would automatically flock back to her.
I went in and gave my body a good scrub, lathering myself well with the fragrant soap. I washed my cock properly too and used the mouthwash twice.
When I emerged, I wore only the towel around my waist.
My heart was slamming against my ribcage as I looked at Yiling dipping small pieces of beef into the dipping sauce and looking at me in a weird manner.
I’m beginning to feel like a dumb fucker.
People obviously are not done with their meal and all I could think of is sex.
Even sex workers deserve to have a proper meal first.
I took a bottle of beer as well and sat down on the chair wrapped with my towel.
Yiling’s eyes widened as she looked at me.
Yiling : do you…. Have the habit of…. Showering….half way through your meal… ?
Jackson : huh …. No… i…ermm….. I just want to make sure I’m…. clean and…. I smell good….
Yiling nodded slowly as I watch her sucked on the end of the chopstick while looking at me with her head slightly pulled back.
Jackson : go ahead… help yourself to the food….
Yiling brought small mouthful of food to her lips while keeping her eyes on me.
Jackson : I’m…. I’m sorry…. If I appear too eager…. It’s just…. I’ve never really done this before….
Yiling chewed slowly on a piece of mushroom and asked;
Yiling : what are you eager for ?
I smiled shyly and looked away, too embarrassed to say what is on my mind.
Jackson : Nothing… nothing…. Take your time… I’ll wait….
Yiling : errr…. Are you rushing for me to finish ??
I shook my head and wave my hand to indicate no.
Jackson : No… no… no…. of course not…. I never rush for my partners to finish….but neither do I drag on unnecessarily…. I’m not a virgin by the way… don’t worry….
Yiling looked away, pretending she didn’t hear what I just said. She must be thinking I am such an inconsiderate asshole.
I could feel my erection pushing against the towel as I watch Yiling bit down on a cheese sausage. I almost groan when I saw the squirt of white melted cheese spray itself to the side of her cheeks. Not wanting to let the cheese squirt out further, she sucked on the sausage, hollowing out the cheese core before letting out a satisfied groan.
Yiling : oooohh… that’s is so good….. oops…. Sorry….napkin please….
I think I started leaking precum as Yiling put her palm under her chin as the white cheese threatened to drip down. She gestured for me to get her a tissue.
Jackson : Oh my god…. I can’t take this any longer….
I handed Yiling a tissue and she wiped her mouth clean while looking at me as if I’m mad.
Yiling : excuse me ?? ….
It’s only right to ask what are her dos and don’ts, basic manners of a gentlemen.
Jackson : do you… usually swallow ….??
I was breathing with my mouth by then as Yiling gestured to the tissue she just wiped her mouth with looking at me as if I said something weird.
Yiling : without chewing ???? Swallow ? … this… ? you mean the remnants of the cheese?? Or the sausage…. ?
My erection was pushing and parting my towel by then.
Jackson : ok… ok… I’ll be honest…. Yiling….
Yiling : errrr… yes ??
I used the back of my index finger and lightly grazed the side of her face and she backed away from me instinctively.
Yiling : what are you doing ??
Jackson : I don’t usually do this……. But…..You are my type….
Yiling : What !! ?
Jackson : i…. I don’t have any protection… I hope you are ok….. don’t worry… I’m clean…
Yiling : what ?!! ….
Unable to take the tease anymore, I stood up and admit defeat.
Jackson : ok… ok… I can’t take this anymore…. Let’s do it… let’s just do it… you’re too good a actor….
Yiling : do what !! ???
I removed my towel, letting it drop to the floor, exposing my cock to Yiling.
Her eyes widened in horror as she looked at me in disbelief.
Yiling : are you fucking out of your mind??? !! Jackson !!!
Jackson : ok… enough with the acting..…. You’re really beautiful…. You are really my type………I’ll do it…. Hong wins ok… he wins….
Yiling : you’re mad !!
Yiling stood up and I held onto her forearm.
Jackson : Yiling… don’t go…. Wait…… I’m sorry….. I’ve never had sex with a commercial sex worker before…. I’m sorry… I don’t know the proper procedure…. I’m sorry….i’m sorry…
Yiling backed 2 steps away and pointed a finger at me in a warning manner.
Even the way she looks when she’s angry is turning me on. Hong must have forgotten to pay her, I mean there’s no guarantee that I would fuck her initially, so it makes sense Hong won’t pay her until it’s done.
I’m not sure if it works like this but I figured I needed to give Yiling a bit of reassurance that she is not doing this for free.
I ran naked to my wallet and pulled out the 200 bucks I have in loose change and pulled it out.
Jackson : I’m sorry…. I don’t know what is the price…. How much did Hong and the guys agree with you…. ??
Yiling : Jackson ….! I am warning you…. !!
Jackson : If it’s not enough, I can do a bank transfer…. Or… or… take the cans of abalone….. those are 150 a pop….
Yiling looked pissed as hell as she looked at the money in my hand. She must have felt insulted by the amount but how was I to know. I was not ready for this. She must be in the high 4 figure range, some super model category or something.
She stormed towards me, furious as hell only to trip on the chair she was sitting on earlier. Yiling tripped and threw herself at my naked body. I couldn’t catch her in time, I only managed to soften the impact of her falling on her knees by grabbing her arms near her elbows.
By then , Yiling was kneeling , I was holding her hands and my throbbing cock thrust in front of her face almost touching her mouth.
Both of us froze when I heard the electronic lock beep and the door burst open.
It was Hong and Seven. They were laughing up until the moment the door opened.
I heard a painful groan leave Hong’s mouth as he dropped the bag of alcohol he was holding as he covered his mouth in horror staring at me naked in front of Yiling with my cock out and her on her knees.
Seven, the man with the strongest pair of legs I’ve even seen buckled onto the floor, kneeling down as if he had just seen the emperor and lost the strength to even balance himself.
His crooked head almost straightened itself as he looked at me in disbelief while clinging onto the door frame.
Declan stepped in, saw the scene and immediately had to be supported by Hong as he fell backwards.
Yiling shoved my arms away and got up on her feet and screamed.
Yiling : arGHHHHHH!!!!
I looked at the men who are obscenely late for dinner before looking at Yiling glaring at all of them with her fist clenched on her hips. She was breathing so hard that her chest rose and fall with each breath.
My brain mentally calculated the possibility of what are the chances all 3 of them being so hungry that they are too weak to walk through the door properly and came to the conclusion it’s almost zero percent.
The deafening silence that descended the farmhouse was broken by Yiling closing the distance between us and slapping me across the cheek.
That was the first time in my life I saw stars when I blinked.
As Yiling slipped on her shoes, all 3 men by the door did not dare to look at her in her eye.
Their heads were down and they automatically back away from the door to make space for Yiling to walk out. It’s as if they wished they were invisible right then from what I could see.
I could hear myself screaming inside my head as it slowly dawned on me what I just did.
I felt like crying.
Yiling stormed out of the farmhouse and even then, no one moved. The only sound was the bubbling of the hot pot broth that was starting to dry up.
My lips went dry, my cock went limp and shrank into a wrinkled mess of skin.
Hong was the only one that spoke. He was breathing heavily, deep breaths, I could tell he was trying to remain calm.
Hong : Jackson…. Look at me…
I nodded and looked at Hong.
Hong : Please tell me this is an accident… you showered…. Came out and your towel fell…. It was an accident…. Please….
I shook my head slowly.
Jackson : I…. I thought she was the girl you all arranged for me….
Seven looked at me blankly and knocked his head against the wall several times, gesturing wildly towards Declan and Hong.
Declan : ok… ok…. Calm down… everyone… calm the fuck down…..Jackson …. Tell me….. what happened….we can fix this…. We can fix this…. Ok ?? everyone…. We can fix this !!
I swallowed a gulp of saliva as i tried to calm myself down.
Declan : Jackson …. Be clear… be concise… tell me what happened…. We have to salvage this before she blows her top….
I nodded and gave Declan a quick summary.
Jackson : I called her a whore….asked if she swallows, and I tried to pay her to have sex with me…….
The awkward silence in the farmhouse remain unbroken for almost 10 seconds.
Seven was the first to react among the 3.
One time, 1 miserable chuckle before he pulled himself off the ground only for his legs to give way again, sinking back down on the floor
Hong was just mouthing the words ‘what a fucking idiot’ over and over again without actually saying it.
Declan closed his eyes and exhaled.
I swallowed a gulp of saliva and I managed to mumble what I wanted to say.
I had sort of an inkling by then the amount of trouble I was in but I have to confirm it.
I have to know.
Jackson : For the love of god…….. Please….. please……. Someone…….tell me Yiling is not who I think she is….
No one replied me.
I had to rephrase the question.
Jackson : ok… ok…. Someone tell me…. how much trouble am I in right now…. ?
Declan exhaled and reached for the bottle of Whisky Hong just brought in and started to open it.
Declan : I don’t know…… no one ever called the Queen a whore,…………..wave his cock in her face ……………….and offered to pay her for sex before…..