Hi Everyone,My name is Jake.

I have a story to share with all of you.

I consider myself to be a really lucky chap, perhaps it’s because i’m easily contented.

I get happy really easily. I’m elated if the bus arrives right when i stepped into the bus stop, i’m over the moon if the train happens to pull up to the station when i’m there, and if i can get a seat, it was like striking the lottery for me.

Sometimes even an extra scoop of gravy over my rice or a stray piece of fish that happens to be stuck to a vegetable dish i ordered for lunch gets into my plate, it would fuel my mood for a good half a day.

I know you must be laughing at me by now but it’s ok.

I’m just a very simple person.

Average fare, a nice cup of coffee, a good bed to sleep in, that was it.

I’m happy.

Sometimes my friends say i’m lazy and too simple minded but i don’t think i am.

I’m just happy, there is nothing wrong with that.

Isn’t being happy the whole point of being alive ?

I mean as long as you are happy, the rest doesn’t matter.

My parents are hawkers, they sell wanton noodles in a coffee shop on the eastern part of Singapore. Although we are not rich, there was always food on the table.

Home is a nice 4 room flat a stone throw away from Tampines Interchange.

It’s a fantastic location, i could walk blindfolded to the MRT station. Everything i could possibly need is right within reach.

I’m the only child in the family, my parents did try to give me a sibling back then but having to juggle their noodle business and taking care of me made things a little challenging.

By the time i was 7, i kind of knew i would be the only child. They were disappointed when they could not give me a little sister or brother to play with but i told them it’s fine. Their company is all i needed.

They love me, that i could tell but they stop short of spoiling me. If i wanted something when i was young, they taught me to save up for it.

My first pager, my first phone, even game consoles.

Nothing was ever handed to me on a plate. They taught me the value of money and how hard it was to make a dollar.

It was one of the best life lessons i ever had.
Understanding the value of a dollar.

My parents did not like me to visit their place of work. It’s not because they’re embarrassed or ashamed or anything, but in their perspective, they want their son to work in a air conditioned office.

With a proper desk. Nothing oily and greasy.

They were afraid if i were to hang out at their stalls too often, i might end up working at their stalls for the rest of my life.

Jake : There is nothing wrong with being a hawker.

Dad : We all want what’s best for you Jake…. things your mum and i could never have… a good education, a good job….

We live prudently on average days, my parents chose to save up every extra dollar for my education and holidays.

Holidays for the family is a big deal. I’m really fortunate to be able to visit several southeast asian countries, this was before budget travel came into the picture. Each time we fly, it would eat into my parents’ retirement savings.

I’m ok with a road trip to malaysia but my parents wanted me to see the world.

Mum : It opens your eyes and broadens your horizon….. i read from newspaper one….haha.

My mum is one of the most amazing woman i ever knew. After a hard day’s work at the noodle stall, she still juggled with housework and taking care of the family.

Life is simple for us.

There were never really any ups and downs in my life.

I was never a top scorer, never a problem kid. It was always in the middle.

Average grade, average schools, average friends , even my looks i would say it’s just average.

I don’ think i look dashing, but it’s still presentable.

MY school years were a breeze, i just did what had to be done and got it over with.

My grades were always 70 ish. My dad always asked why i did not get 80 ish .

My mum would reply ;

Mum : What’s the difference ?? As long as he understands what’s going on, he can get 60 ish for all i care.

Dad : …………… what if next round he gets below 50 ??

Mum would just shrug her shoulders.

Mum : even if he gets a zero…… the sun still rises the next day….

It was usually at this moment my mum would make a face at me and warned me not to get a zero before whispering softly behind my dad’s back.

Mum : It’s hard to get zero….. dont’ worry… you anyhow tikum also can get 1 or 2…

I would usually laugh it off.

There was never any pressure on my grades and exams. I just knew i had to at least pass the test. Perhaps seeing how tired my parents were every day they came back from work spurred me on.

I studied diligently not because i liked it, but because all i wanted was to give my parents a good life when they grow old.

Secondary school was ok, Junior college more fun since i was attached with a really horny girlfriend. I never knew orgasm inside a girl was so good and different from masturbation until she showed me.

Staying at the hall in NUS was one of the highlights of my young adulthood. I’m the quiet and meek guy with decent grades. I don’t spill secrets or tally the scores and perhaps it was because of this traits, i had quite a few close girl friends.

I fucked all of them.

Aside from my sexual exploits with innocent girls,I took the safest route possible. Something every parent would be proud of.

Yup, you guessed it.

I graduated with 2nd class, got into the civil service right after graduation.

I had a desk, with my own computer.

Then i had a bigger desk.

And then a corner desk.

8 years on i had my own office in the civil services.

Pay is decent, parents are happy. They bragged to relatives i’m working for the government.

Iron rice bowl .

I always laughed secretly in my heart at such a term.

There is no such thing anymore.

Iron is just metal.

Metal can be melted.

Iron will rust.

At the 8th year mark, i’m turning 30.

My title read assistant director but i’m not happy.

Something seemed to be missing in my life.

For a good 30 years, i asked myself what have i done ?

I’m unhappy not with work or the environment, but more about life itself.

I could feel my heart getting restless.

It’s got nothing to do with sex or relationships, i dated, brought a few girls back but nothing worked out.

The iron in my rice bowl, had started to rust.

And i don’t like that metallic taste of metal in my mouth when i eat.

I tendered my resignation to my boss in November 2014. It shocked the whole department.

My boss fell ill.

My co workers were shocked.

One of the colleague i slept with got pregnant, by her husband that is and she blamed me.

Colleague : why are you leaving !!! Are you mad ?? see… because of you leaving i got pregnant !..

Jake : What has it got to do with me ??!!

Colleague : I was too distracted to stop my husband from cumming inside me….

Jake : What rubbish… you’re already into your 2nd trimester !…

Colleague : haha… sorry…. but i just hate to see you leave Jake.

I left the office and my last day was in the middle of december.

I did not tell my parents what i did so when i came home with a suitcase of stuff i accumulated over the past 8 years, they freaked out.

Dad : WHAT!!! ARe you fired !!!!!

Mum : WHAT HAPPENED!!!! you are jobless ??!!!

Before i could tell them what i did, they jumped to conclusion and started blaming my boss.

My mum wanted to go talk to our MP.

My dad wanted to go speak at Hong Lim park.

He was so close to sending the prime minister a email as i looked blankly at the old TV screen.

Jake: I …. quit…. no one fired me …

It took a while for that to sink into their heads and i could see they were disappointed with my decision but they kept quiet.

My parents were already in their mid sixties.

They were already talking about their retirement, bringing up the topic a couple of times during meal times.

They can’t be cooking noodles forever.

22nd December 2014

Monday

My parents did not speak with me the entire weekend. They probably thought i’m out of my mind.

I can’t explain that feeling of lightness, the amazing smell of freedom.

There was this tingling excitement in my veins i cannot explain.

It was like my body was starting to come alive. I felt energised, well rested and ready to go.

The question is go where ?

6.50am

It’s early in the morning, my parents usually leave home at 4am to start their day.

I walked around the old house and looked at old photo frames.

Pictures of my parents when they married.

Pictures of me drooling.

And the picture my parents took at their noodle stall on their first day at work decades ago.

A few more photos followed the first, i recognised some of the uncle and aunties, fellow hawkers at the small coffee shop.

They all grew old.

Streaks of white in their hair, some of their children had taken over the reins.

I looked at my dad, standing proudly in front of his wanton noodle stall.

That very stall brought me up, gave me an education and allowed me to see the world.

A smile broke out on my face as i touched the photo my parents took during the 7th month hungry ghost festival with all the prayer items.

It’s been awhile since i spoke to myself but on that morning, i did just that.

Jake : Ok. Wanton noodle……… i’ll do just that…

I showered, changed and took a cab down to the coffee shop in Joo chiat.

I had no visited the place in so many years that i got the street wrong. In the end i walked a little before coming up to that familiar street.

I looked at my parents from a distance away, smiling and chatting to customers.

Ah, i laughed as i recognised the scrawny kid that had grown up to be so huge arranging chicken at the chicken rice stall.

Even the uncle brewing coffee is the same, except he had grown so old. Wrinkles etched deeply into his forehead.

I slowly walked towards the coffee shop and i paused a distance away.

I paused.

I paused not because there was a passing car.

I stopped not because it was the red light at the junction.

I stopped because my breath was taken away that early Monday morning.

That girl had really fair skin.

She sat cross legged at a table with a stack of invoices in front of her.

Her hair flew gently in the morning breeze as she tallied each one and tapped away on a calculator.

She looked up and brushed her fringe behind her ears and i saw her full side view.

I watched her lift up her coffee and she blew on it gently, the way her lips pouted that teeny wee bit gave me an erection.

Time seemed to slow when i saw her put her lips to the cup as she sipped her coffee.

When the cup left her lips, i could see a slight red mark of her lipstick.

My mum walked out with a plate of noodle and soup in hand and set in it front of the girl.

I was barely 7 metres away.

My mum looked up and she had a shock seeing me across the small street.

Mum : What you doing here ??!!

My heart fluttered.

My dick tingled.

My throat went dry.

I crossed the road as the very girl i was looking at turned up and our eyes met.

SHe looked at my mum first before turning back to look at me.

Mum : Siao ah… you come here for what… ??

Jake : I… it’s been so long since i came here….. wanted to visit you all since i’m free…

My mum turned to the lady who was looking at us.

I don’t know why but my heart was thumping so fast.

I never felt that way before.

The lady stood up. She’s definitely younger than me, mid twenties i would say but she had an air of maturity surrounding her.

As if she was forced to grow up faster than others.

She extended her hand with the sweetest smile i ever saw on a girl.

The sun peeked out from behind the clouds and illuminated a portion of her lower cheeks. She is absolutely stunning.

I reached out my hand too.

Jake : Hi… hi…. i’m Jake..

I felt the soft smooth hands for this girl touched mine as she replied with a slight smile.

“ My name …. is Kate “

…………………………………………………….

Kate.

She said her name is Kate.

 

I had to force myself to pull my hand away from hers as my mum started chiding me for disturbing them at work.

 

Mum : You come down for what…. We very busy ok…. No time to entertain you….

I could see Kate looking at us and i was not too pleased at my mum’s attempt to make me appear as if i was still a kid.

 

There’s a pretty girl right in front of me.

 

Someone hot and sexy.

 

Someone i wanted to impress the moment i laid eyes on her.

I’m sure you understand the feeling.

The last thing you need when trying to impress a girl is your nagging mum.

Jake : i don;t need you to entertain me la…. Go… go… go… go and do your stuff…. I’ll go buy something to eat…

Mum : Later then i talk to you…

As soon as my mum walked away, Kate looked back down on her documents and her attention went to her noodles.

I don’t want to be left standing there like a block of wood so i walked away into the coffee shop.

I ordered a cup of coffee and found a table which gave me a good view of Kate.

 

It’s weird, i don’t know why but i’m mesmerised by her. It’s not just her looks, there’s something about her that just seemed to draw me close.

Was it the way she held her chopsticks ?

Maybe the way she sucked onto the ends for a few seconds before plunging it into the tangled bunch of springy noodles  ?

Maybe it was the way she crossed her legs and how one of her shoe had it’s laces undone.

 

She had a pen on one hand and she used it to tick off something on a piece of paper.

A few seconds went by and by the time I snapped myself out of my daze, Kate had adjusted her position. She uncrossed her legs and brought up her shoe with the laces undone.

Without taking her eyes off the documents, she quickly did an evenly spaced butterfly lace on her shoe.

Kate wore a pair of short grey shorts, with her legs lifted up, my eyes widened as I stared at her crotch area. The fabric of her shorts being tightly squeezed together as her well toned legs hovered in mid air for that few seconds sent blood rushing to my groin.

Her left hand went for her pen again, her other free hand had a spoonful of noodles suspended in the air between her plate and her petite mouth. Her lips had this sheen, of oil perhaps from the noodles. I felt my groin tingle as her lips parted slightly, opening just enough to deliver the spoonful of noodles into her mouth.

 

I looked away and blinked twice as I sipped my coffee.

Something must be wrong with me. The way I’m staring at her, anyone who happens to look my way would think I’m some fucking desperate virgin.

I directed my attention away from Kate and onto the plate of noodles.

Yes.

That was my purpose of coming down to the coffee shop that day.

I came with the intention to learn the trade.

Kate made that plate of noodles looked so good that i could not resist ordering one from my parents even though I was not really hungry. I went to my parent’s stall and placed an order for a plate of noodles.

 

Jake : Ma. 1 noodle.

Mum : What noodle ?? 1 strand or noodle? soup or dry, chilli or no chilli….. What kind of noodles you want ??

She barked at me without even looking up.

My eyes widened a little as I looked at her talk to a auntie while she packed her order for her.

 

Jake : Wah you so rude to your customers one ah.

 

Mum : Quick la… order and stand aside… don’t block me…

Jake : I want the same as what Kate is having…

My mum did not even bother to acknowledge me and asked me for $3.

 

Jake : Need to pay ah ?

Mum : You think what ? Your father’s stall no need to pay ah…

 

Jake : but it is my father’s stall…… and my mother’s stall too..

Mum : Money come… money come…

 

She immediately took the order of the person behind me as i dug out a fifty dollar bill.

 

Mum : No small change la…. Give me smaller notes…

Jake : I don’t have… go back then pay you…

 

She waved me aside as if i’m a pest and started to attend to other customers.

Somehow I felt I wasn’t exactly on the priority list.

 

After a 10 minutes wait, my mum barked from across the coffee shop, asking me to pick up the noodles on my own as she pointed to the ‘self service’ sign on their stall.

What the hell man, how come she delivers it to Kate while i need to carry it on my own. I walked over the same time Kate was returning her tray and utensils.

It was a good opportunity to strike up a conversation.

I racked my brains to think of some smart ass lines and was secretly pleased with myself as i half grumbled out my complaint to my mum.

 

Jake : How come you bring the food to Kate while i need to collect it myself ah ?  Your self service sign don’t apply to her ah ?

My mum shot me an irritated look as I took the tray of noodles from her.

Kate looked a little bewildered but never said a thing as she thanked my mum and return her tray.

I took the opportunity to talk to her and made a joke of having to collect my own food despite it being my mum’s stall.

Jake : You’re so lucky…. My dad owns the stall and yet I have to collect my own noodles. … at least she brings you your food… haha… haha..

The laugh came off a little awkward and I immediately regretted my statement.

Kate’s eyes widened a little and she turned to my mum who raised her hand and smacked me on my shoulder.

Mum : Haiyah !!… go away la !!…. don’’t block here block there talk nonsense can or not….

Then she immediately turned to Kate.

Mum : He something wrong today…. Sorry ah… ignore him…

Now hearing my mum say something was wrong with me really riled me up.

There is nothing wrong with me.

I meant what is the problem ?

I was about to retort when my mum shot me a really angry look that made me turn and scurried away with my noodles.

Jake : You are the one with something wrong…chey…

I sat down and dug into my parent’s noodles. The moment I bit onto the springy noodles and tasted the fragrant chilli that my dad cooked, I was hit with a sense of nostalgia .

I could not remember the last time I ate what they cooked everyday.

It has been a while.

Years in fact.

I scooped up and drank all the gravy and sank my teeth into the wanton filled with savoury meat. The char siew though was just passable as they ordered from a supplier.

Overall it was a decent plate of noodles. For the portion and the quality, $3 is really a steal.

I nodded my head as I thought about my decision to try and learn the trade.

This could work.

I mean, I could learn the trade. Get the recipe. Pay off some bloggers to write good things about it and viola.

It would set things in motion.

Before I know it, queues would form then the TV stations would come. Within a year a big F&B organisation would make an offer and pay me a million to buy my recipe.

Smack !

I slapped my thigh and snapped my fingers in the air as I finalised the plans in my head.

Jake : Easy peasy….

Piece of cake.

10.45am

I had more coffee and loitered around the coffee shop for a few hours much to my mother’s annoyance.

Kate had gone behind the drinks stall and I could see her busy collecting money and helping to serve drinks to the other customers.

It’s weird, she definitely looked well educated and all. Why would she work at a drinks stall.

I was within earshot of the drinks stall, as such, I could clearly hear what everyone was saying.

Man : Kopi siu dai suar ( 2 coffee with milk less sugar ) , kopi O gao, ( Thick black coffee ) , Milo Si Kosong ( Milo with carnation milk, no sugar ) , diao heur ( Chinese Tea ) , Loti nerng dei, Kaya guyu ( 2 slices of bread, kaya and butter spread )

It was quite a mouthful even to repeat it but Kate calmly processed the order and repeated it to the uncle who was making the coffee and collected the money from him.

Without breaking a beat, she immediately took another complex order from the man behind.

Man 2 : Kopi Suar ( 2 coffee with milk ) , Teh O ( tea black ) , teh phuar sio ( Tea with milk, not too hot ) , kim boon tai, bao. ( Clementi take away )

Wait, what the fuck.

What is Kim boon tai ?

It’s a literal translation of a old housing estate in Singapore.

Clementi.

I watched with amazement as Kate took a can of ice lemon tea and packed it for the customer.

Damm, they can actually do this ?

Ice lemon tea, clementi .

I was secretly amazed as I looked on.

15 minutes passed and I noticed another amazing skill Kate had.

You know when you pack your coffee and need it to be tied up. Kate skilfully poured the hot drink into the small plastic bag before twisting the string  around the neck with a graceful swirl, that very motion compacted the drink with the right amount of air within the bag, giving it a nice puffy and full volume.

And she did it while taking orders and collecting money too.

I got up and walked straight to my mother’s stall.

Mother : oei… oei… oei… what you want ?

Jake : Give me a plastic bag.

Before she could protest, I took one similar bag which they used to pack the soup and went straight to the toilet.

I filled it with water and did the same thing.

It was a disaster.

First I could not even get the amount of air and water ration right, then I had difficulty tying it together. Even if I did, my bag looked like a deflated dick, wrinkled and sad.

I kept trying. 5 times, 10 times, it doesn’t matter.

You keep trying till you get it right.

I was pretty pleased with myself after 15 minutes as I managed to work out the technique to this.

By the end of the 25th minute as I walked out of the toilet, I was trying hard not to smile.

It’s a piece of cake.

Estimate the liquid, leave a bit of a allowance, and tie the knot.

I must really be destined for this career change.

I chuckled as I thought of how long it took Kate to master that. Her slender fingers and her smooth hands did not look like they were meant for hard manual work like this.

I was trying to recall if there was a fragrance coming from her hands as I sat down in front of my parent’s stall. I was about to talk to my mum who was busy cutting spring onions on a chopping board when I saw Kate approached us.

The rusty fan in the coffee shop turned at that exact moment, messing up Kate’s silky soft hair and she smiled while brushing the strands back to where they were as she approached my dad.

Kate : Uncle. Usual, give me 2 packets.

The moment she said her order, I spring into action.

This was it.

It’s my moment.

I covered the short distance to my parent’s stall and immediately took the soup ladle.

You see, I know my parents would pack the soup and wonton separately for customers. They’ve got a few of those plastic mugs with opened bags at the ready. The soup and wanton would be poured in and tied up.

Jake : Pa, I do it..

Dad : Huh ??

I did not give anyone a chance to speak as I took the ladle, dropped 3 wantons into the bag and filled it with hot soup. Pulling up the bag, my muscle memory took over as I skilfully twisted and tied up the bag.

My dad’s eyes were widened as his hands were suspended in mid air with a bundle of noodles in them. I bet he too was surprised that his son could do this.

Why ? You think just because I sat in a office my whole life I can’t tie a bag of soup ?

I was trying hard not to smirk as I repeated the same for the other bag.

I told myself to be careful, don’t rush things.

I practised with cold water, this is hot soup. It’s a variable i need to be mindful off, thankfully , I tied up the 2nd one properly as well.

Jake : Thank you. $6 please…

I proceeded to bag the 2 soup and I reached over for the money that Kate was pulling out halfway from her purse.

Her eyes too, were widened and there was a slight gap in her lips as she stared at me.

Well, I wouldn’t blame her, it’s her first time seeing me and I bet she did not expect I know the trade to that extend.

Before I could bask in glory, my mum shriek from the table.

Mum : You siao ah !!! ( Are you mad ? )

Her spring onions half chopped, her chopper raised midway as she pointed them at me.

Jake : Huh ? Why ? What’s wrong ?

I could see Kate trying to stifle a smile as she turned away.

My dad was shaking his head as he started cooking the noodles that was suspended in stasis in his hands a moment  ago.

My mum shook the chopper at me as she rattled off in a shrieking voice.

She had to be really pissed by me to do that.

Mum : Noodle haven even cook, you pack for what !..

Jake : But… but you all always pack the soup and wonton separate what. !

Mum : Kate ordered noodles with soup…. Not dry one !!.

She sighed and turned back to her spring onions.

I panicked when I saw Kate biting her lips as she tried not to laugh.

Fuck..

Fuck..

I quickly removed the bags and tried to undo the knots I did.

That was when I realised the knots I tied wasn’t properly done. They were easy to tie yes, but hard to released.

Jake : Ouch… ouch… shit… ouch…

The hot soup was not making it easier too as I struggled with the stubborn knots.

My dad, probably sensing what I was up to wanted to give me a chance.

His noodles were cooked, now he held them aside as he looked at me without a word.

I was beginning to feel the pressure, the stress. I was about to curse out loud when I undid the 1st knot and spilled soup all over the counter.

Kate turned away immediately and I saw her hand went to her mouth.

Jake : Fuck.. ouch !..

The soup came out like water from a bursting dam while the 3 soggy wantons slid out like pale white goldfishes.

My dad shook his head and proceeded to bag the noodles for Kate on his own.

Dad : Aiyah… siam la siam la… ( stand aside, stand aside )

I was so fucking embarrassed that I wanted to crawl into a hole.

Kate turned around and I could see her trying hard not to laugh into my face as she passed me the money.

Kate : Nah…

Jake : Th… thanks…

My dad packed both packet of soup noodles and passed it to Kate.

Kate : Thanks uncle..

After that, she turned back to look at me.

She just looked at me.

My god, those big round eyes of hers, they pierced right into my soul. Her features are so sweet, so likable, she would melt the hearts of men with a snap of her finger.

Maybe just a smile would do.

3 seconds passed and she was still staring at me.

My throat felt dry, perhaps she wanted to say something.

Ask for my number ?

Ask me out ?

Teach me how to bag soup ? I don’t know.

I don’t care, as long as I can keep looking into her eyes, nothing matter.

Kate smiled a little, raised her eyebrow a little more and did a questioning look at me with a slight jiggle of her head.

Kate : My … change ??

It was then I realised I was holding onto the 10 dollar bill in my hand for a while.

Jake : Oh… oh… fuck… sorry…. Sorry…

I fumbled around and actually reached for my own wallet when my mum came over, grabbed the note from my hand and threw it into the drawer. She took Kate’s change and passed it to her, apologising for the embarrassing behaviour of her son.

Mum : Sorry ah Kate. I think he today never take his medication…

That was the last straw, how could my mum keep belittling me in front of Kate.

Jake : Hey… I’m not on medication ok…. I’m an assistant director in….

She cut me off before I could finish.

Mum : were… you were an assistant director… now you’re unemployed….

Kate burst out laughing at our exchange and I was determined to have the last word in this.

Jake : Well, my dad owns this stall, and since you guys keep saying you want to retire, I’ll take over from you guys…. I’ll buy over.

I turned back to Kate and reassured her my noodles would be a lot better.

Jake : Don’t worry, I’ll lend a modern twist to the recipe, confirm nice…. Are you still schooling ?? you look quite young…

Kate giggled as she kept the change in her purse, shaking her head at my question.

Jake : I meant it… i.. you know… I can recommend you some courses to take…. Skills upgrading… and stuff… short courses, diplomas… I’m considering taking some myself….even though it’s been a while since I got my degree and I think it would be challenging to head back to classes and all…

Kate laughed and thanked my parents before turning away.

Kate : bye Jake… haha

I smiled and waved her off as she turned the corner and disappeared.

My mum glared at me and shook her head.

Mum : She’s too good for you Jake… not within your league.

Jake : What do you mean ? I’m a towkay kia  ( boss’s son ) ok , my dad is a boss. Girls dig this kind of stuff… … Is Kate from Malaysia ?… how long has she been working here ? ….. why she don’t want to go and study ? … she looks quite young… how old is she ??

My mum ignored me and went back to her chores.

I mumbled to myself a little longer before turning to my parents.

Jake : But Dad, Mum, I mean it….. I’m interested in taking over… I’ll buy over the stall… just let me intern here for a few weeks .

My mum’s chopper paused in mid air again and she turned to me.

Mum : We don’t own the stall, we rent it…. You want to take over, proof you can do it first…. And we’ll sell you the recipe..

I was about to grumble about the recipe sale but I kept my mouth shut. My mind immediately weighed the pros and cons of taking this up. I came down with the intent to learn the trade and it’s just as well there’s a hot and pretty girl working at the same coffee shop.

I really think I can pull this off.

This might be really worth my while if I can get Kate too.

She looks so good in casual wear, I could not imagine her being formally dressed up in heels. She would fit right in the middle of Raffles place with a body hugging dress and a jacket.

Jake : Sure… I’ll start tomorrow…. How much is the rent? I’ll take care of it.

My mum sighed and turned to look at me.

Mum : for us, it’s a special price… since you want to take over… you go and ask Kate.

Jake : Kate ? Why Kate ? Is she the administrator for this place ?… should I approach her as your son or introduce myself as the new boss ?

My mum replied without looking up .

Mum : She owns this coffee shop…. And the other 2 further down the road.

I felt a lump appear in my throat and my mouth went dry in an instance.

Jake : Oh…..

It took a few hours before the reality settled into my head.

If I were to be really positive, talking to Kate about the rent might be a good idea to get a conversation going. My dumb idea of selling myself as a boss’s son is not going to work anymore anyway, I probably got to change tack and be a little more humble.

Kate seemed friendly enough.

We might hit it off and who knows, get into a relationship.

I bounce the idea around my head for a while and tried to think of a plan. Something long term. Even if I manage to get Kate to talk about the rent and start my internship at my parents stall, I would still need an excuse to talk to her frequently without being too obvious.

Nothing popped up as I sipped my drink in my room.

I tried to google and find Kate on social media but there were just so many Kate. It’s impossible to find her without much detail.

I paced about the room for a bit when an idea hit me.

Well, my parents operate only in the morning till the afternoon but other stalls remained opened.

I know for sure the seafood Tze char stall operates at night and so does the drink stall.

This meant Kate might still show up at the coffee shop.

I looked at my watch and it was coming to 7pm.

7.15pm

I grabbed my stuff, threw on a shirt and for the 2nd time that day, took a cab down to the coffee shop.

7.50pm

I alighted across the road and casually scanned the place. There were a few tables occupied with families having dinner. The drink stalls looked busy, the same uncle that was there in the morning was preparing drinks and I saw a beer auntie taking orders from the tables.

I tried a few position to get a clear line of sight but there was no sign of Kate.

A few units down the coffee shop, the neon lights of the pubs and bars were lit. Patrons gathered and smoked outside the pub.

Just another street down there are more KTVs and pubs. A few scantily clad babes prance by, getting ready for work that evening.

Suddenly something caught my eye.

This man.

His flowery shirt did not look like it belongs to this era. His top 2 buttons were undone and he was staring at the ceiling of the 5 foot way shop house with a cigarette in his mouth.

He hummed and sang a song as he swaggered with both hands in his pocket. He looked old, fifties perhaps but his body is pretty well maintained. His arms were sculpted, and he  had a shoulder that looked like he could lift a cow.

His hair, my god, is so old school. An image of a hong kong actor floated into my head as I watch him drag his loafers slowly towards the KTV closest to the coffee shop.

Yes.. Anthony Wong.

The classic gangster in Hong Kong drama. He looked just like him.

I watch him enter the KTV after snuffing out his cigarette outside the door.

My eyes went back to the coffee shop and I would have concentrated on searing for Kate if not for a peculiar sight that caught my eye.

Several pretty girls filed out of the KTV , at least 7 of them. They spoke in their own native language and scattered in different directions.

A couple went over to the coffee shop and ordered a drink.

I was ogling at the legs of one of the girls when my eyes lit up.

The very staircase beside the coffee shop had a surprise for me.

I knew it was her.

It was Kate.

She emerged from the staircase and my god she looked different.

No longer in shorts and t-shirt, Kate wore a white tube top with a black jacket. Her hair looked a little damp, probably just showered. She had on a pair of dark blue hip hugging denim jeans, as the pants tapered down her slim legs, it made her appear taller.

Her heels, fuck, her red heels stood out the most, propping her up by a good 2.5 inches at least.

My heart started beating faster as the sight of Kate reminded me how beautiful she is.

Kate did a brief look around before walking down the path to the same KTV.

That very one that the man went into.

No way.

She can’t possibly work there.

As Kate entered, I saw her turn the sign from ‘open’ to ‘closed’ on the tinted glass door.

Weird.

I was about to cross the small road when a car pulled up in front of the KTV.

2 men alighted from the vehicle and they chatted for a moment by the front door before heading in as well.

One of them looked really familiar.

He looked like someone I played soccer with when we were kids at the back alley of the coffee shop. I can’t put a name to the face but I know we’ve met before.

I paced up and down for a minute as I thought about what to do next.

Well, it’s a KTV, and a pub and they serve beer.

I’m just going to walk right in and order myself a drink then.

I could always pretend I did not notice the closed sign.

As long as the door is unlocked, I can walk in.

Nothing wrong with that.

I crossed the road, angled my direction towards the KTV entrance.

I could feel the butterflies in my stomach churning. My curiosity needs to be satisfied. Maybe Kate is in some kind of a trouble or something.

Without breaking step, I pulled back the tinted glass door and stepped into the pub.

And the moment I set foot inside, I froze.

There were no music playing.

The lights were on, not those dim coloured lights, I meant like bloody white lights. It lit up the entire place.

The place was almost empty.

Almost.

The bartender barked sharply at me.

Bartender : We’re closed brother !… read the sign. !

In the middle of the room, 3 chairs swivelled towards me at the same time.

On the left is the Anthony wong, followed by the other 2 who just alighted from the car.

Before I could speak, Kate emerged from one of the room with a few files in her hands.

Kate’s eyes widened and she asked me in a bewildered manner.

Kate : What are you doing here ??!!

Jake : I ….. I wanted to grab a beer…. I didn’t…. I didn’t know it’s closed…

The 3 men kept quiet as they looked at me.

Kate pointed to me and added.

Kate : Kor, Uncle and Auntie Teo’s son…. Jake…

One of the men immediately smiled and stood up, he approached me and shook my hand.

Gabriel : Hey Jake… remember me or not ? …. Gabe la…

Jake : Oh… oh… oh… Gabe… hey… how are you man !…. it’s been so long…

Some missing memories of my childhood came flashing back into my head as I chatted with Gabe. I didn’t know Gabriel had a sister, well, their age gap must be pretty big, i don’t remember seeing Kate at the coffee shop before as a kid.

We chatted for about 2 or 3 minutes when Gabe snapped his fingers at the bartender and ask him to bring me a drink.

Kate : Kor… our….. discussion ? we don’t have much time…

Gabriel ignored Kate and introduced me to the other 2 men around the table.

Gabriel : This is Andy….. and this is Uncle Ben…

I nodded with a slight smile at each other them.

Andy returned my nod while Uncle Ben just stared at me.

Gabriel casually asked about what I was doing and I told him that I quit my job and I planned to take over my parent’s business after I learn the trade.

I could see the twinkle in his eyes as he looked at Kate before turning to Uncle Ben and Andy.

Gabriel : Let me get his straight…you’re not working now… and you’ll be learning the trade…. At the coffee shop …

Jake : Err… that’s the plan…

Gabriel went on with his questions.

Gabriel : You’ll be at the coffee shop…. Everyday ?

Jake : I… guess so…. I mean… I need a while to pick up the skills and it’s not like I have anything to do at the moment… so…

Gabriel leaned forward and I could tell he was getting excited.

Gabriel  : Are you attached or married ??

Jake : No! of course not… i…

Uncle Ben cut in suddenly and asked.

Ben : You speak Chinese ? Hokkien ae hiao buay ? ( You understand Hokkien dialect )

Jake : I am Hokkien… of course I understand… but…

Andy jumped in this time round and peppered me with his questions.

Andy : Jake , stand up straight… how tall are you ? Do you take beef ?

What the fuck ?

Even my dietary preference ?

Jake : Ermm… wait wait… I’m not following….. I’m just here to grab a beer…

Gabriel went over to Kate, pulled her over so she’s standing beside me and took a step back.

Andy stood up too and uncle Ben uncrossed his legs and sat up straight.

Kate : Gabriel !…. what are you doing ??!!!

Gabriel : Jake…look…. I can give you a very very good rental rate if you take over… much better than what your parents are getting…

Gabriel sat back and pointed his index finger at me, shaking it as if he’s pin pointing a location on a map.

Andy : Gabriel , maybe we….

Gabriel : He can do it… let him do it…

Jake : Ermm.. do what ??

Kate : NO!…. we don’t even know him….! I don’t even know him !

Gabriel : Exactly… they don’t too. ! … no one knows him.. and one thing for sure…. He’s not with them…

Andy turned and look at me while Uncle Ben nodded his head.

The 3 of them turned towards Kate at the same time and she shook her head.

Kate : NO!… no… .. it’s… it’s so weird… no !…

Jake : ERm… ok .. ok.. wait… i…. I’m a bit disoriented. .. what is going on ?

Gabriel : Who else are you going to find ?? within this short period of time ??

Gabriel pointed to me and added.

Gabriel : He’s not working… he’ll be at the coffee shop the whole day… and look at him…. He got no fucking clue what’s going on… Jake is like a block of wood …untouched. Ready to be sculpted  … we know his parents for decades !…

Jake : Errrr……

I’m not sure if that was meant to be a compliment and I slowly got onto my feet.

Something don’t smell right.

It’s as if they’re trying to con me into doing something illegal.

It’s time to bolt.

I got up and tried to excuse myself.

Jake : I think… I better make a move…

Gabriel : No… Jake… sit down… I have a proposition for you…

Jake : Er… no la… thank you… I think better not…. We catch up another time…

Andy : Jake… at least listen to what Gabriel has to say.

Something was definitely way off.

I could literally smell where this was headed.

“ Help me get this luggage to another airport “

Or maybe

“ Can you transfer money on my behalf ? “

Perhaps

“ Help me bring a few friends into Singapore ?  “

These are frequent online scams and shit I read on the news.

I held up my hands, palms facing out and tried to be as polite as possible.

Jake : Guys… sorry… I don’t think I will be interested in any proposition you have… I better…..

Gabriel cut me off and pulled his sister over in front of him.

He squared both his hands on Kate’s shoulder and his head hovered by the side of her cheeks.

Gabriel  : Jake !…..i need you…… to be Kate’s boyfriend…..for a while.

I stopped backing away from the group.

Kate’s arms were folded and she looked at me for a moment before turning away.

Ben : Wahaha… KNN….( fuck ) … Chee ko pek la ( Perverted guy ) this one…. Hear Kate already saliva almost going to drool .

Jake : wh… what ?

Andy : Gabriel …. I don’t know if there’s enough time to get him ready….

Gabriel : There is…. We’ll just have to make it work.

He turned to Kate and added.

Gabriel : Can you make this work ? … I know it’s not going to be easy… but it’s got to hold up at least until the vote.

Kate looked at me and nodded.

My heart was thumping.

This is like striking the lottery.

Pretending to be Kate’s boyfriend ?

Does that mean we get to hold hands ? Have sex ?

My mind was already churning up the possibilities as I tried not to look at Kate’s tight and shapely body.

Jake : are…. Are we doing anything illegal ?

Ben : Shheezee… chey !…

Uncle Ben gave a dismissing wave and turned to his beer.

Andy : Jake… don’t worry….nothing illegal… Just need to put on an act…. For… their grandmother…

Jake : Oh…

I looked over to Kate and I could see she was staring at me.

Gabriel  : It’ll be over in 2 months…. I really appreciate the help man….but it’s not going to be a walk in the park… we need to get you ready.

Jake : Ready for what ? I have been in a relationship before… I know what to do…

I said it almost with a glint in my eyes.

Jake : What do you need me to do ? I’m sure I can ermm… deliver… haha…

No one laughed at my little joke and it made me a little uncomfortable.

Gabriel : So I take this as a yes ?? definite yes ?

I nodded my head and Gabriel snapped his fingers.

Gabriel : Done !

He gestured to Andy that they need to get going.

Andy looked at me for 2 seconds, tapped me on my arm and added.

Andy : Good luck..

Gabriel and Andy left after giving me the thumbs up .

Uncle Ben stood up too and put a cigarette into his mouth without lighting it up.

Ben : Good luck Jake…

Jake : oh…. Thanks…

Uncle Ben lit up his cigarette with a matchstick and strolled towards the door.

Ben : I hope you are ready for an adventure Jake….or you’re going to be fucked. …

He pushed the tinted glass door and left the KTV.

I turned back to face Kate and for a brief moment, we just looked at each other in the eye.

We did not say anything.

For a good 20 seconds we just stared at each other.

At that moment, I was reminded of a famous saying.

If something is too good to be true, it probably is.

…………………………………………..

Kate turned away and went to the back of the KTV and the meeting was over.

She did not say anything else to me and I was left standing there in the middle of the empty room with the bartender staring at me.

I left the pub and went across the road back to my initial observation post. 10 minutes later, it was as if a trigger had been pulled and it sparked off a chain reaction. The girls that left the KTV earlier all started to go back in.

The bartender popped out and turned the sign to ‘open’ .

A few more staff appeared from out of nowhere and snuffed out their cigarettes before entering.

This is weird.

I went back home and after my shower, chanced upon my mum in the kitchen. It was a good time to reinforce my intention.

Jake : Ma…. I’m serious about learning how to cook…

Ma : Yah… I’ll believe you when I see it happen.

Jake : I mean it… I’ll join you guys tomorrow….

She gave me the doubtful look as she sipped her water.

Mum : Set your alarm at 3.30am and we’ll see.

I looked at the time and it was coming to 10.30pm . I quickly got myself into bed I could not sleep.

I can’t stop thinking about Kate and what I was supposed to do. Eventually I drifted off to sleep with my thoughts filled with images of Kate’s shapely legs.

23rd December 2014

Tuesday

3.30am

My alarm went off and my head felt as if someone had threw a rock on it. I crawled out of my bed and quickly washed up.

I literally dragged myself into my parent’s car and knocked out again en route to the stall.

When we reached the stall at 4.15am, the lights were already on.

They immediately sprang into action, switching on lights, moving utensils out of the way to start preparing the soup broth.

Jake : What can I do… let me help.

Dad : Stay out of our way for now… just watch and observe.

I was about to take a seat when I saw Kate walk into the coffee shop.

I don’t know why but seeing Kate had this weird effect on me.

Picture this. I was about to sit down, and in my buttocks was about to hit the comfortable seat of the plastic stool but the moment I saw Kate walk into the coffee shop, I sprung back up again.

It was like a recruit seeing his officer for the first time and not knowing how to address him.

My eyes widened as I waited for her to acknowledge me.

She didn’t.

The drinks stall was already in full swing. Cab drivers and late owls queued for the coffee and half boiled eggs. Kate looked so fresh and well rested; it’s as if she slept for 12 hours straight before coming down.

I bugged my mum for something to do and she finally relented and took out a bowl of prepared wanton fillings from the fridge. She showed me how to wrap my 1st wanton with the skin and asked me to start doing it.

It took a while to get the hang of it but hey, it’s not that hard.

Scrap some meat, pressed it onto the skin, then just wrap it up.

I’m a natural at this.

5am

My dad asked if I wanted a coffee and I said yes.

Jake : I go and order for you.

Dad : No need.

He whistled across the coffee shop like a commando signalling to his men. Kate and the coffee uncle looked up and all my dad did was raise 3 fingers before returning to his work.

My mouth gasped open in awe as I looked at this exchange.

This is military grade communication man. I shit you not.

Despite the queue at the drinks stall, Kate emerged within 30 seconds with 3 piping hot cups of coffee.

She carried 3 cups of coffee in 1 hand and walked over to my table.

The cups were filled to the brim and she did not even need to balance them. She set the drinks down in front of my wanton tray and walked back without a word.

Jake : Wah !…. can cut queue one ah… ?

I did not get a reply from her and I went back to my wanton wrappings.

5.45am

The 1st plate of noodles was served and things started to get hectic. I did the only thing I can do without fucking up. Collecting money and giving change.

By 8.30am, my legs were aching from all the standing around. It may not sound like much but with our modern sedentary lifestyle, how many of us can claim we did much standing in a day of work ?

I took a step back and as I sucked in a breath of humid air in the coffee shop, I looked at my parents. Their forehead were peppered with sweat, their hair messy and matted. They did not even get a chance to grab a bite for breakfast since they stepped into the place.

The only drink they had was the coffee and lots of plain water.

The people kept coming, and they did their best to keep up with the orders.

Mum : Everyone rushing to go office, if we’re too slow they will be late ..

Post 9am, the kind of crowd changed.

A few towkays ( bosses ) , stay at home mums, the older folks, retirees came for their breakfast.

10.30am

My dad took out a loaf of bread and offered me some. I took 2 slices and wolfed it down.

Without a word, they went back to work as I loitered about looking at the scene. This is a world we pass by almost everyday in our lives.

I’ve ate at countless coffee shops, and despite my parents being hawkers themselves, I have never really taken time to appreciate what goes on behind the scene just to get that delicious plate of food or drink onto my table.

It was something many of us take for granted.

It’s a small shop with a handful of stalls and yet the characters that filled it is so colourful. From the way they talk and banter, it feels like family.

The coffee making uncle, I heard people calling him Orh Pao ( Black leopard ) , he’s old but I could see the vigour in his step and every move he makes. Kate talks to him in a rather informal manner, it’s not an employer employee relationship, more of a friend.

Orh Pao has skin as dark as charcoal but he’s definitely Chinese from the way I see him speak and communicate. A thick gold chain went around his neck and when he walk pass me, I could hear the jingle of his amulets.

He had a jade ring on his little finger, pale in colour. Orh Pao would fiddle with it as he smoked his cigarette during his breaks. Orh Pao not only makes the coffee, he sometimes help to clean the tables too if the cleaner is not around.

The chicken rice seller, a huge hulk of a man. Ah Keong. I know Ah Keong.

We’re about the same age I guess, I remembered playing with him and Gabriel in the back alley when we were young. Marbles, hopscotch, soccer, you name it. It was only for a short period though, once my parents trust me enough to be home on my own, they did not want me to hang out at the coffee shop any longer.

Ah Keong’s mum use to helm the stall, but I briefly remembered her passing some years ago when my parents mentioned it. I guess he’s the 2nd generation taking over.

Right after my parent’s noodle stall is this small booth manned by an old granny.

Auntie Geok.

She’s in her seventies and fit as a fiddle. She’s single and childless and gets by selling buns, pastries and kuehs. There is nothing special with her food as she orders them from a factory but she still gets a good crowd of people buying from her.

Auntie Geok is motherly, grand-motherly in fact to everyone in the coffee shop. She refused to accept money for her Kuehs from the people in the coffee shop. In return my parents never charged her for the noodles too.

Then there’s the Mee rebus stall by Uncle Salim. He’s semi-retired actually according to my parents, he has a son who is a doctor. There isn’t a big Muslim crowd from what I observe but Uncle Salim gets a steady stream of customers from non-muslims too.

He’s the earliest to pack up, usually finishing up by 10.30am. I reckon he only sells enough to cover the rent and probably a bit of his expenses and that’s it.

There is this unspoken warmth that radiates from the people around me. This kampong sprit so to speak.

The corny jokes about difficult customers, the complains about the weather. Everything just felt so, grounded in a way.

Simple folks, simple life.

This was something that I can really get used to.

No emails, no office politics, no long draggy meetings. Everything is just so simple.

Not to forget there’s Kate.

The warmth I was experiencing disappeared when I heard my dad shout.

His voice pierced the tranquility of the coffee shop, sending customers scurrying away leaving their food behind.

Dad : 凤飞飞 lai liao !!!!… Feng fei fei lai liao !!!! …. ( Parking warden is here , Feng fei fei is a singer that is known for her hats, a trait associated with how local parking warden’s dress up. ) ….

10.45am

It was a comical sight.

It’s as if I was witnessing fans rushing off to meet their idols.

Several tables scattered, I watched the people dash off to their cars, waving to the parking warden. Engines revved and the street was cleared within seconds.

Speed and efficiency is something we pride ourselves on.

I was about to laugh at the sight when I saw Kate walking towards me.

She gestured over to a table outside the coffee shop and I went over.

We sat down and I could see Kate thinking of what to say to me.

Kate : Jake…. This… this thing….that we’re doing… it’s serious…. I mean it…. It’s serious…

I nodded my head.

Jake : Sure sure…. Don’t worry… I’ll do it properly….

Inside my head I was thinking, you’re asking me to pretend to be your boyfriend, how serious can things get ?

I mean come on.

It’s probably to pacify some old folks for Chinese new year or some shit.

Isn’t it ?

It’s a couple of months to the new year and I guess they probably wanted to trick some relatives into thinking Kate’s attached.

Drop in some Korean or Hong Kong drama story line and I could tell you straight away what the ending would be.

Someone trying to force Kate to marry and some shit. Or maybe introduce someone to her and she’s trying to get out of it.

It’s always the case.

You know, Kate likes someone, he don’t like her…. Maybe some distant cousin likes her, she don’t and yadda,,,yadda, yadda…. Grandmother or grandfather wants to interfere, and so on.

It’s always like this.

Kate : Jake , are you listening ?

Jake : Yes… I am… I’m listening…

Kate went on to say that she has a family gathering coming up.

Kate : It’s a gathering and it’s also my grandmother’s 80th birthday…. So..

I tried my best to keep my smirk off my face as I pretended to pay attention.

See ?

What did I tell you ?

It’s for the old folks, grandmother in this case. They should just pay me to write their drama scripts.

Kate : It’s not only a birthday, it’s a gathering of ermmmm… …elders so to speak.

Jake : Hmmmm.. ok… ok…

Kate looked away for a moment before adding that besides the birthday banquet, there would also be some announcement by her brother.

Kate : It’s you know…. How do I put this to you … ermm… it’s like… ermmm…

Jake : Yes ??

Kate tried to search for the correct words before saying that it was like the general election.

Kate : You know… election… yes.. yes… an election .

Jake : HUH!?? What election. ?

Kate : Anyway, it’s a long story… I live upstairs, I’ll need to discuss this matter in depth with you later this afternoon….. can you come over about 3.30pm ?

My heart immediately skipped a beat as I nodded my head eagerly.

Kate’s inviting me to her house ?

I could feel my bladder contract and I wanted to pee. Imagine the things I could do with her in her place.

If we’re alone, just the 2 of us, so much can happen.

I could feel an erection stirring when Kate stood up and left.

Kate : See you later…

Jake : Sure… see you in a while…

I went back to my parents stall and help to wash up and wiped down the area. By 12.30 pm , I was exhausted, we swung by another coffee shop, had a quick lunch and went back home.

My parents immediately took a shower and went to catch a quick nap, a routine I was familiar with.

I was fighting hard to stay awake. My eyelids are heavy but I held on. I’m not about to fuck up my first date with Kate. For the first time, I truly felt the kind of fatigue my parents had to put up with for so many years to see me through school.

3.25pm

I got to Kate’s place and she was waiting for me by the foot of the stairs that led up to the shophouse.

She walked on in front of me and I glued my eyes to her backside as she took 2 steps at a time, stretching her already tight shorts to the limits. I could see Kate’s smooth and tight bottom, her butt cheeks, it was calling out to me.

It’s calling out to me to grab them, to hold them in my hands.

I shook my head a little, trying to get back to reality as Kate opened her gate and letting me into her house.

It’s pretty big and spacious.

Nicely done up too. Besides the nice interior, there was a large sabre on display in the living room. It looked heavy and sharp, definitely maintained regularly. Right down the hallway, was a row of spears.

You know the kind you see in Wushu schools and martial arts film . A row of 5 spears with the red hairy stuff hanging off the tip. I went over for a closer look and noticed behind the sabre, lies a oriental sword with intricate carvings. There was some words on it but I could not read it.

Kate : Here, let’s get started.

She directed me to a table with 8 folders.

Kate : You need to read through these and I’ll explain to you what this is about.

I flipped open the 1st one and it’s Gabriel.

It has detailed records of what business he owns and what he does.

I opened the other one and it’s uncle Ben.

This is weird.

What kind of nonsense is this ?

I looked at Kate and she started to explain.

Kate : I’m going to give you a summarised version of this and you need to pick up the rest along the way.

The 3rd folder I opened, it’s Andy.

As Kate went on, I could almost visualised a 3D holographic projection similar to what Ironman would have in his room.

Kate : The family or rather, the organisation …. Erm….. has 8…. Branches or Business so to speak. ….. It’s helmed by 8 members, or in a more respectful term, we call them elders. A practise we inherit from my grandfather.

Kate’s grandfather started the first business in the early fifties and built the organisation up from scratch till this day. It was impossible to manage all aspects of it and he split it up in 8 portions, each managed by someone he groomed and trusted.

The helm of which would be handed down to his or her descendants.

A flow chart materialised above my head before splitting into 8 portions below the main tab.

As Kate went on, more questions popped up into my head but I could tell it was not the right time to ask them.

Kate was serious. Dead serious.

She would stopped once in a while to make sure I was following before going on.

Her tone, her body language, and the strong words she used, it drove home the message that this whole affair would not be a walk in the park.

Her eyes, they drilled right into mine as she delivered summaries of her family. The introduction was brief, I knew it barely touched the surface of what I was about to get into, I felt apprehensive for the first time.

I was genuinely unsure about this when Kate asked if I would like a drink.

Kate : You need a coffee ?

I nodded my head as I looked at the 6th folder in front of me.

The clock read 5pm.

Without even realising it, I had spent 1.5 hours with Kate.

Our first date.

It was serious first date alright.

When you get an opportunity to talk to someone, you would surely get a rough feel of their character. Before our meeting that afternoon, I barely had any chance to talk to her, now that I did, I began to see Kate differently.

She was focused and very determined.

All the corny jokes I had prepared beforehand just went down the drain. I knew better than to crack stupid jokes when your conversation partner is not in the mood for any.

Kate appeared with 2 coffee and she set them down in front of me.

Kate : You ok ? Is it too much ?? Do you want out ???

I looked at her in the eye and shook my head.

She sat down and crossed her legs, her feet brushing against mine accidentally. There was nothing sexual about it and she mumbled a soft apology. I felt an erection stir and Kate continued with her summaries.

6pm

Kate : Ok. This is it…. You ok ?

I nodded my head again.

Kate : You hardly spoke…. Any thoughts ?

Kate leaned forward a little and her full breast pushed one of the folders, sending a jolt of electricity though my spine .

Jake : I’m… ok I guess…

Kate : You seemed a little shocked…

I admitted I was.

Jake : I… I didn’t think it would be this… serious….

Kate laughed and brushed a stray fringe behind her ear before adding.

Kate : Nobody’s forcing you haha… you can always say no…

I closed the 8th folder and pushed it aside.

Jake : No… I’m in..

We were quiet for a moment before Kate looked away and nodded her head.

Kate : ERmm… Gabriel… he mentioned that, it’s only right that we pay you for your time and effort…

Jake : No no.. it’s fine… don’t need to.

Kate : I insist… or I won’t use you…

Jake : Didn’t he say he would give me a good price for the rent ? ..

Kate smiled but she did not say a word when I mentioned about the rent.

Instead she looked up into the ceiling for a moment before she continued.

Kate : Rent is a separate matter…. Maybe when the day you officially take over, we can discuss that….

She opened up both her palms and leaned forward, asking as she did.

Kate : So…. Tell me… what’s a good price…. For your time and effort ?

Kate did not realise that she was leaning forward quite a little and her singlet was pretty loose. From when I sat, I had a good view of her cleavage and her bra. I tried to tear my eyes away but it was too late.

Kate saw and she quickly sat back straight, pressing onto the middle of her singlet and pulling the back of it to cover her modesty.

Jake : I’m… I’m sorry… I didn’t mean to…

She looked a little irritated but did not let it show.

Kate : We can pay you… in cash if you wished …..

Kate adjusted her bra strap, sending more blood down my groin as she added. I tried to calm myself down by reaching for the cold cup of coffee.

Kate : But…. I’m not sleeping with you in case you have that on your mind…

My eyes widened as I quickly waved my hands frantically in front of her, but I waved my hands without realising I was about to grab onto the mug of coffee. Needless to say, I toppled the cup, spilling the leftovers onto the table.

Jake : No…no..no… i… shit… sorry…

Kate saw my reaction and she laughed.

Kate : I was just kidding…haha..

She left the mess alone and took 4 of the folders and disappeared into a room, she entered before popping out again and asked.

Kate : I mean it, tell me how much you want…. We’ll pay you.

I took some time to think about it and I put things in perspectives.

After spending a couple of hours with Kate, my curiosity grew deeper. Not only do I want to have her, I had this insatiable thirst in my throat. It was nothing sexual, but it was a thirst to find out more about her family.

It’s just so weird and bizarre.

Seeing how serious Kate was taking this, I knew if I joke around and take this lightly, I would surely jeopardise my own chance to really get together with her. Instead, I would have to capitalise on this opportunity.

If this was my ticket to impress her, I would take it.

Kate : So how ? Any ideas ? or would you like me to propose…

Jake : Oh… sure… you have a figure in mind ?

Kate : Yup… hmmm…

I could see she was considering the figure. No one shows their hand first during negotiation, The figure she gives would definitely be a fraction of what she was prepared to pay.

Kate : 3000 ? And all expenses incurred will be reimbursed by us.. we don’t have much budget…and part of this is my own savings…and ermm… ya..i’m also doing this because I have no choice…I have friends who were willing to do it for a lot less… and.. you know… it‘s… good money for a couple of months of….

If she offered 3, I reckon her budget would be around 5, but this is not about money to me, it never was, so I made her an offer that would catch her off guard.

Jake : I would take 1500, but I have a small request…

Kate looked a little taken aback, surely she could not have expected me to ask for something lower than her offer.

Kate : Oh… oh. 1.5 ?

She blinked twice as she collected the rest of the folders, avoiding the small puddle of left over coffee.

Kate : What request ?

Jake : Would…. Would you…. Give me a chance to …. To… pursuit you properly after this is over ?

I wanted it to come out smoothly but I can’t. The stammer sort of broke the surprise and it ended up being awkward.

Kate was a little surprised as she hugged the folders in front of her chest with her mouth slightly opened.

It was fucking embarrassing as she stared at me. I stood up immediately and tried to change the subject.

Jake : I need a cloth for the spill…… do you have a cloth ? err… err…

Kate’s eyes widened and she started giggling.

Kate : you’re blushing… you’re joking right ? hahaha…

Jake : Yah… it was a joke la..

Before I could make up more excuses, Kate hit me playfully with the folders in her arms, it reminded me of my ex-girlfriend back in school, of how she would playfully hit me with her books she cradled against her breast.

Kate : haha… it didn’t feel like a joke to me…haha…

I was about to excuse myself when Kate put her folders down and asked me to wait.

Kate : Hold on.

She walked into her room and barely a second later, she walked right out towards me. Kate brushed her fringe behind her ears and stretched out both her hands for mine. I froze for a moment before I held her hands, both of them.

Kate : Since we’re going pretend to be in a relationship, we need to act the part. … My name is Kate, ………….Kate, Fang Wei Qi… .

I was blushing.

I knew it.

And I was sure Kate could see it. She was tilting her head left and right, trying to see how red I was turning.

Kate : Oh dear… you blush easily… we need to do something about this. Hey…. Hey…. Jake… look at me…look at me…

I looked at Kate, and I was totally blown away by her smile.

Kate : Calm down…

Jake : I am calm..

Kate : Yes..

Jake : Yes what ?

Kate : Your request…. My answer is yes…

My eyes widened and I could not believe my luck.

Jake : You’re fucking kidding me… you serious ?

Kate nodded her head and added.

Kate : After everything is over that is….. you wanted a chance right ?? I’ll gladly give you that chance… the rest is up to you…

I was so fucking elated that I could have an orgasm on the spot, sorry if it’s a bit exaggerating but that’s just me. I get easily contented remember ?

The smallest things makes me happy.

Kate raised an eyebrow at me and laughed before letting go of my hands.

Kate : Alright, we still have a lot to go through… we…

In my excitement, I cut Kate off and asked her to hold on.

Jake: wait.. wait wait !!! …. Let me properly introduce myself

I literally skipped into the same room Kate went into before I did an about turn a second later and exited the room with a straight face.

Kate saw what I did and burst out laughing.

I walked over to Kate and reached out both of my hands for hers.

She was sporting enough to take both my hands with a smile and I could see a playful streak in her eyes.

This shit could actually be fun.

With a straight face and the lowest voice I could muster, I introduced myself.

I could see the look of anticipation on Kate’s face and expression.

Jake : My name is Jake , Jake Teo . ( Jake Teo sounds the same as Hokkien dialect for a sprain )

Kate’s expression changed from one of anticipation to one of bewilderment.

I did not let up and cleared my throat.

I knew the moment was right.

I let go of her hands and held up my right index finger and my thumb, displaying the figure of a mock gun, pretending I’m striking some secret agent pose.

Jake : Teo,….. Jake Teo

I was about to give a smirk like smile when Kate came over and slapped me lightly on my cheek.

Smack !.

Jake : Ouch… what was that for.

Kate held both my shoulders and brought her face close to me.

Kate : Promise me something Jake…

Jake : What ? ..

Kate : Don’t ……………fucking…..…ever…….. do ……………that …….. again….

I nodded with my eyes wide open and right at that moment, the door to the house opened.

It was Gabriel and Uncle Ben.

Gabriel : Wah… good to see you guys are on track…. How’s the progress??

Uncle Ben : too early for hanky panky … what’s going on ??

Kate let go of my shoulders and took a deep breathe, patting her chest several times in a bid to calm herself down.

Jake : I’m sorry Kate ……. I didn’t think you would take it so badly…

Gabriel : take what so badly ?

Jake : This …

I struck the pose again, perked up my butt as if I’m Stephen Chow in his movie and looked at Gabriel and Uncle Ben from the side of my eyes.

Kate coughed and she patted her own chest again.

Jake: My name is Jake…. Jake Teo….

Gabriel’s jaw dropped and he froze.

Uncle Ben’s cigarette almost fell from his lips.

Barely 2 seconds passed when I watch Uncle Ben walked right over to the Sabre on display and tried to lift it up.

Jake : Fuck… fuck.. fuck…

I scrambled towards the door as Kate quickly shouted after me to text her my email.

I hopped into a cab and got back home.

8pm

I text Kate my email address and she sent me a docket of files and more documents.

The more I read, the harder it was for me to stop.

10.30pm

Kate msg : Sleep early Jake… you’re going to need it. .. good night…

Jake msg : Goodnight.

I laid down on my bed and closed my eyes thinking of how this would unfold.

One thing for sure, I can’t wait to meet the rest of her family. …

………………………………………………

 

I woke up in the wee hours of the morning again and the routine repeats.

It was as if everything had been choreographed. Hardly anything deviates from the routine.

From the route we take from Tampines to Joo chiat, to who switched on the lights, who turned on the tap, who emptied the loose change into the money container.

What my parents did every morning was the same, the order in which they did them too remained unchanged. Their individual roles clearly defined and they could go on without the need to even speak to one another.

For 2 whole weeks, I did exactly as what my parents did, taking on small roles. My responsibilities gradually grew by the end of the 10th day. I tried to make some changes to the work flow but was greeted with only angry stares and I gave up.

I did my role dutifully, asking questions and taking notes.

When my parents saw how serious I was, they slowly talked to me about the recipe. How do you prepare the chilli , which supplier to get your goods from, and to diversify your sources.

Mum : Your noodles, Char siew, everything, you cannot depend on one supplier.

Jake : Why not ?

Mum : What if something happens to one of them ? Where will you get your supplies ?

Jake : Won’t the quality be different ?

Mum : No. It’s the same, just that you need to play the game properly. If you always get goods from this supplier and not the other, in times of need, you won’t get what you want if your regular guy is unable to deliver.

She also added that if you don’t patronise other suppliers, there would be bad blood.

Jake : I never knew there’s politics in the coffee shop..

There were also some unspoken rules in the workplace that my parents slowly passed on to me.

I can take money from Kate but not Gabriel and Uncle Ben for the noodles. I have no fucking idea why.

Gabriel and Ben came a couple of times, they never offered to pay, neither did my parents ask them for money. Perhaps it was because of the special rent arrangement.

I also noticed something peculiar with our drinks bill.

No matter how many coffees or canned drinks we ordered, it was always $5. That was the amount Kate would take from my parents. We would rake up at least 6 coffee plus a couple of canned drinks in a day, not to mention the occasional half boiled eggs and toasted bread.

Once I tried to pay Kate more by giving her a 10 dollar bill and I left before she could give me the change. She walked over without a word and dropped the change into my parent’s money tin.

No one batted an eyelid.

Within the short period of time, I already got to know quite a few regular customers.

There’s a man, dressed in shabby dusty clothes , he looked like a construction worker but he’s not. According to my mum, he’s unemployed. 3-4 times a week, he would walk in, barely sober. He’s not old, in his early 40s I guess but he just bumps around. Sometimes I would hear him sing in the wee hours of the morning by the side road.

He would get a bag of coffee from the drinks stall and a packet of noodles from ours.

Not a word of thank you, he would not even acknowledge us with eye contact.

His name is Bill according to Kate. That was all I knew about him.

Then there’s the girls.

Working girls.

They would come early in the morning, 6am or so with their bosses, or rather men who booked them out for the night. You could tell they were freshly showered, the glow of sex was on their faces. Freshly fucked, freshly showered.

Most of them are lookers and they would joke playfully with my parents.

Girl 1 : Auntie… your son very handsome leh… haha..

Girl 2 : Yah lor… Got the Korean Oppa look leh… introduce to me leh… haha..

My dad would smile cheekily while checking out their skimpy clothings while I try to hide my erection. My mum on the other hand would shoo them away, asking them to stop their nonsense.

They’re big spenders, the bosses would sit down, probably feeling satisfied from the lightening of their testicles, they would chat quietly, usually passing a 50 dollar bill to the girl for the noodles.

For them, there is a special price too.

My dad would always give the proper change after taking the 50 dollar bill, the working girls would always cheekily stuff all the 10 and 5 dollar bills into my dad’s money container, bringing back only the coins and 2s.

I can’t be the only one that noticed this but no one said a word.

There were several old folks that could not afford to pay in full for their food too and my parents just accepted what they have.

Foreign workers, army boys, they get upsized noodles at no extra charge.

I asked my mum if that made business sense, she replied not everything in life is about money.

At the end of each day, I would go back for a quick shower and come right back to Kate’s place.

She did not ask me to but after the 1st couple of days, I just took it as part of the routine and she never rejected me. I would go up to her place, we would talk, she would answer my questions if I had any.

It was like visiting a tuition teacher.

The more I got to talk to Kate, the better I got to understand her.

How she thinks, what makes her tick.

Her likes and dislikes.

Sometimes I spent an hour, sometimes two.

There was once I fell asleep in her living room because I was exhausted. I woke up with a blanket on me.

7th Jan 2015

Wednesday

3.30 pm

I’ve been going on the theory part for about 2 weeks. Kate said something about moving on to the practical portion of my role the day before.

I gave up trying to decipher what she was up to after a while, there’s so much I don’t understand about her family structure and I guess the only way to find out would be to plunge myself in slowly.

I finally had a better idea of the election Kate mentioned when we first talked about this.

It’s a small one, there will be only 8 votes.

You guessed it.

The votes come from each of the so call elders within the organisation.

Gabriel has been at the helm for 5 years and it’s time to pass the baton.

Now comes the tricky part.

Ever since the beginning, the baton has only been passed between 2 families.

One would be Gabriel and Kate’s family, the other is Andy.

It made logical sense because Andy’s family has both an accounting/audit firm and a small law practice. Gabriel’s managing his family’s investment holding company. They would be the best to take up the post to lead the organisation.

The other elders held a mish mash of weird business that i wondered if they were actually making money.

Well, Uncle Ben is a rice distributor, I’m pretty sure he’s doing ok.

Let just say given a choice, I don’t think I want to venture down the route the other 5 did.

Simple math, 8 votes, you get more than 4, you win.

In the event of a tie, which everyone would do all they can to avoid because it opens up a can of worms. If 2 candidates are tied, Kate’s granduncle, who currently lives in Taiwan, would have to preside over the matter and decide who would lead the organisation.

If he deems both of them unfit, he has the right to take over. Given that he was cast aside by his brother, ( Kate’s grandfather ) , he held a bitter resentment for the family. If he gets a chance to do it, he would fuck everyone up.

You can vote for yourself, unless you are the current leader, which meant Gabriel’s vote would go to Andy since Gabriel wanted Andy to take over from him.

Together with Uncle Ben, our side has already secured 3 votes.

We need only 2 more.

Next comes the headache.

People are unhappy.

It’s the same everywhere, when the status quo remain unchanged for so many years, everyone gets restless. They start to question, would it not be better if they themselves take up the leadership of the organisation.

Kate told me that there had been rumours going around for a while.

The other elders no longer trust their families. They wanted someone else to represent them. They don’t know who yet but it would not be any of the 3 on our side.

Now, none of the elders can go around canvassing for votes or to poke their noses around asking who’s voting for who, which is where I come into the picture.

__________________

Out of the other 5 elders, one is a woman, the other 4 are men. It would not be convenient or nice for Kate to be talking to them. They don’t really respect the girls, but if Kate introduces me as her partner, it would give me an opportunity to poke around.

Why would they trust me or even talk to me you say ?

They won’t trust me for shit according to Kate unless they think I have information they might want.

They’ll talk to me, meet me up alone even, perhaps arrange a secret meeting to ask me about what Kate and Gabriel were up to.

Yeah, dagger and spy stuff I know but when the main motivation is money, you can be surprised what people are willing to do.

Money.

A lot is at stake.

3.35pm

I rang the doorbell to Kate’s place and was surprised that Andy was there as well.

Andy : EH hi…. Come in come in… we’re short of time…

I entered the place and realised all the curtains were drawn.

It’s dark and the lights were not on.

Jake : What’s happening ?

Andy : Your first practical lesson on how to deal with each of the assholes you would be meeting…

Jake : Oh…

Andy leaned against the table and gave me a summary of what I already knew. The characters of each of the elders, what dirty tricks they have and how they would manipulate people.

They had these information complied when Gabriel was poking around on behalf of his dad many years ago.

Andy : Jake… look at me.

Jake : Yah ?

Andy : These….. are not nice people… they may seem nice on the surface…. But you should always know they have an agenda….these so call practical lessons won’t prepare you much but it would at least give you a taste of what these people would do or how far they were willing to go.

I nodded my head and loosen my shoulders.

I flexed my fingers too and looked around the house.

I’ve seen this in the movies, a few guys would jump out, screaming and shouting , I would hit them, maybe they would hit me. Then they would tie me up or some shit, make me betray my friends and stuff.

Finger tips.

Andy : Here…

He showed me a few letters and digits on his phone.

“xot19”

There is no meaning to it.

Andy : All you have to do is not reveal it.

I rubbed my hands together and nodded.

I’ve been through POW (prisoner of war ) training back in the army. They can dunk me in water a hundred times and I held on. Not even a hot cup of milo could tempt me to get out of the freezing water as I struggled to keep myself afloat.

This will be a walk in the park.

Andy : Alright…. This is for Lucy …. Just to give you a taste of what to expect from her… ….. good luck.

Lucy.

The only female among the elders in the group.

Lucy owns a chain of 4 massage parlours and a KTV. No prices for guessing the extra stuff she provides on the side. Lucy had a good stable of Malaysian girls through her connection with her aunt back in Malaysia.

Lucy is a vampire in my opinion. It’s like she doesn’t age.

I’ve seen her pictures. She’s supposed to be nearing 40 but my god.

She don’t look a day over 30.

Her skin is fair and flawless. She looks good without makeup and even better with some. Lucy is snake according to the information I had read so far.

She has a great figure, from the pictures of her in her social media account, I could tell her breast is a comfortable ‘C’ . A handful. Her cleavage would make a nice resting spot for your face .

Depending on the way Lucy dressed, she can look like the hot career women you see in Raffles place, or maybe the up and rising banker at the financial district. Even in her casual wear, she looks like the hot your mother on her way to pick up her kids.

Lucy is pretty, prettier than Kate if I were to be honest. She has that matured women charm that men of all ages would find it hard to resist. I bet my savings if you see her, you would be gay if you didn’t want to fuck her.

She had taken over the spot of elder from her mum a few years ago and Lucy is a wild card. No one knows where her allegiance lies.

I cheekily asked Kate what would happen if Lucy made me sleep with her that this was her reply.

Kate : Technically we’re not really in a relationship , so I can’t do anything if you slept with her…. But you can kiss your chance goodbye after this is over.

Andy : Go in when you are ready…..

I opened the door into Kate’s room, feeling a little amused as I closed it.

These people sure are creative.

I came face to face with Kate who was playing with her phone in her chair.

Jake : Oh hi..

Kate looked up from her phone before putting it down.

The aircon was on in the room, humming softly above my head.

Kate wore a pair of light pink sleep shorts and a black singlet. I could see her bra strap on her shoulders and I felt a tinge of excitement.

In fact my erection was already starting to stir.

Kate walked towards me and I was so excited that my palms started to sweat.

Before I could say a word, Kate held onto my waist and pressed herself against me, squeezing my erection against my body.

Jake : Woah… woah…. So serious ah… hahah…

I looked down at Kate but she was not smiling.

You got to be really naïve if you think just being a little touchy feely would get me. This was the perfect chance for me.

I held onto Kate’s shoulders and she did not reject me or push me away.

This is it I told myself.

Maybe she would have sex with me, in exchange for the information.

I tried to be cheeky and bent down to try and kiss Kate but she turned away, visibly irritated.

I tried not to laugh.

I can be a pervert if I chose to.

Kate’s fingers went under my shirt, tracing my stomach and finally settling on my nipples.

Jake ; Erghh.aahh….

Her other hand joined the first and soon she was playing with my nipples under the shirt.

I did the only natural thing every guy would do.

I held onto Kate’s waist and slowly slid my hands up.

I got close.

My hands got closed, so closed to cupping Kate’s breast when she retreated and slapped me on my face.

Smack !

Jake : Owww !… hey…

I lost it at that moment and I tried to grab Kate’s wrist, within seconds I realised it was a fatal mistake.

She jumped me.

She fucking jumped me, and put me in a choke hold, catching me totally off guard. I was dragged backwards and I landed onto Kate on her queen size bed.

I was gagging and choking, tapping furiously on her arm.

Instead of letting up, Kate’s legs went around my body and she fucking tried to hyperextend my neck from my body.

Jake : oei !!!.. oeareh!!… cough!!!.. aweogig!!!!

I really thought I would black out for a moment and when Kate let go of me, I was sucking in precious gasp of air.

Andy knocked on the door and asked.

Andy : Everything ok ??

I was about to reach for the door when Kate pulled me by my hair back down onto the bed.

Jake : arcgghghghghh!!!! Cut… cut… wait… stop… time out !! aRGHH!!!… are you mad !

Kate straddled me near my groin and I froze, breathing heavily on her bed as she asked me for the information.

Kate : Tell me…. Lucy would surely seduce you with her body…. You already know what to expect…. Quick… tell me so we can end this…

I shook my head.

Part of me was stubborn and the other part a little upset she was so rough.

Kate, while straddling my body, started to move on her knees.

My breathing got faster, my heart thumping harder.

Kate got close to my face as she balanced herself with her hands by my ears. As she got closer, her hands left the side of my face, eventually Kate’s knees were right beside my cheeks.

I could not breathe.

My erection was throbbing so hard, begging to be left free.

Kate’s privates were so close to me I could smell them.

I could detect the fragrance of the detergent she used for her clothes. I could see the opening of her shorts. Not only could I see the opening from the bottom, I could see the layer behind her. That purple lace panty she was wearing.

Jake : Arhh.. aghhhhh….

Kate grabbed a handful of my hair and she bent down a little , whispering softly to me.

Kate : I’ll give you a blowjob if you tell me…

The mere mention of a blowjob shook my resolve but I gritted my teeth and ignored her.

Kate continued whispering to me .

Kate : You don’t want ? …. No ? really ? …. You don’t want me to suck your cock ?? huh ? …. Jake…. Look at me….. you really don’t ??

I was shaking so bad I knew I had to do something.

My hands were free, I tried to grab Kate’s body and pull her off my but she was faster, Kate clamped her knees against the side of my head and ears, squeezing against my temples and I tapped her arms again for her to stop.

I also forgot about the tuff of hair she was holding on and was left nursing a sore patch above my head.

Kate : I mean it Jake… I’ll give you a blow job… you don’t want ? …

I knew it was a lie. She would say anything.

Jake : huh….erghhhhh. !!! …

My eyes widened as I gasped in a breathe of air.

That feeling.

The sensation.

I looked at Kate and say her left hand had gone behind her body and she was reaching my my dick.

I tried hard not to moan as Kate rubbed her fingers playfully against the swollen tip of my cock.

She would graze them lightly before tracing the path of my zipper, pressing the cold metal down onto my erection.

Kate : Last chance Jake… I mean it… you don’t want a blow job ??

Her rubbing of her fingers intensified and I was about to beg her to stop when I felt Kate reached for the top of my zipper.

Within a split second, the zipper was off and I could feel my cock desperately straining to get out of my pants. My boxers had to be badly stretched by then.

Kate was still facing me while her left hand gripped the tip of my cock. I could feel her going for the buttons on my boxers. She realised she could not do it with one hand so she used her right as well.

By right that would give me a chance to push her off but I can’t

I was caught in a trance.

Both of Kate’s hands made short work of the buttons and I could feel the cold air of the room hit my naked dick once Kate took it out.

Her fingers.

She smooth slender fingers touching and playing with my throbbing dick.

Kate : You don’t want ? really ? blow job ??

I was losing it.

I was really losing it when Kate let go of my cock and instead stood upright with her knees, positioning her bottom right about my face.

Kate : Then how about you give me something to moan about ?

Kate parted her soft cotton shorts and I could see her lace panty.

I could even see the wet patch that was slowly growing.

Kate : I’m….. I’m wet already Jake…. See…

Kate’s finger went under her panty before emerging with sticky strand of her natural juice. It was in front of my face, right in front of me.

That strand stretched and floated above my lips for a while before falling off, landing on my chin.

Kate : I’m really wet already Jake….tell me… tell me and I’ll let you fuck me…. I’m already wet…

Kate’s right index finger pressed onto the ridge of my nose. The same right finger that she had coated with her pussy nectar. She slowly traced the ridge of my nose down before wiping it down above my lips.

I could smell Kate.

I could smell her.

That alluring scent of pheromones was driving me nuts.

Kate whispered again.

Kate : Last chance… the most we call it off and move on to the next practical… it’s fine with me…

I was shaking, shivering and I watch Kate slowly pushed her index finger under her lace panty again before emerging once more, this time round her nectar seemed more thick, more viscous and Kate pressed it onto my lips.

Kate : Tell me Jake… please….

Her finger dug into my mouth forcing me to taste her and I did, sucking and swallowing everything on her finger.

Kate laughed and asked me again.

She removed her singlet, leaving only her bra.

Kate : Tell me Jake… quick… tell me and we’ll have time for a quick fuck before Andy knocks on the door again.

I could not take this any longer.

I can’t

I need to fuck her so bad.

I nodded my head eagerly

Jake : I’ll tell you…. I’ll tell you…

Kate smiled and unbuckled her bra causing me to groan for no reason.

She lowered her body towards me and I could feel her bra cups rubbing against my nipples as Kate kissed me by my ears.

Kate : Tell me…. what is it…

Jake : X….. Xot19…

Kate kissed me again and she slowly lifted herself off me to buckle her bra back.

Jake : What… why are we stopping ?

Kate ignored my and started to put on her clothes.

I tried to get up when Kate grabbed a tuff of my hair and shook me hard a few times.

Jake : Arhhhh.. ahhhhhh. Arghhhhhh !!!

Andy started knocking on the door again.

Andy : Everything ok ??

Kate shouted back.

Kate : He said it…. Lasted barely half an hour…

Kate tidied her hair a little and opened the door for Andy.

Andy came in and saw my exposed cock.

Andy : Oh fuck…cover that please…

I regained my composure and sat back up to cover myself.

Andy : Ok… I doubt you will survive Lucy but anyway…. Next up…. Roland. … I got to go Kate… you brief Jake about Roland…

Roland.

Oh…Oh…

Roland..

I remember Roland.

Just before he left Kate asked Andy to flash me the digits once more.

Kate : Andy… show him the digits..

He looked a little puzzled but did it anyway before leaving.

My eyes widened as Andy flashed me the same set of digits on his phone.

“Xot19”

It’s the same set of number

As soon as he’s done, he left the room and Kate locked the door.

Roland.

I immediately stood up on her bed as Kate started rummaging in a box before taking out a condom and a 6 inch dildo.

Roland….. is gay…

I looked at Kate who was waving both of it at me and shouted.

Jake : You got to be fucking kidding me ….!!..

I backed away and went for the door but it’s locked.

Jake : NO!!!.. no.. no… Xot19… I tell you now… I’ll tell you now…

Kate laughed and walked over to me.

Jake : Stay back… stay back….. xot19…. Xot19….take it… take it…. It’s the same… Andy showed me the same…….stop….. stay back…… I swear I will fucking punch you Kate !!.

Jake : I will fucking punch you !..

I pointed a finger in a threatening manner at her.

Kate ignored me and came over before sitting down on the bed.

She patted to her side , asking me to join her.

Kate : Come here Jake…don’t worry…

I hesitated for a moment before heading over and sat a distance away from Kate.

Kate laughed and added it’s not for me.

Kate : It’s not for you la !

Kate put it away and said it was a joke.

Roland is not into that.

Kate got up and switched off the air conditioner before drawing back all the curtains.

Kate : We’ll talk about Roland in the living room

Right before we left the room I asked Kate one question.

Jake : Just curious… do you use that ?

Kate turned, looked at the dildo before turning back to me.

Kate : Yeah… all the time… haha

I joined Kate at the table and the moment she opened her laptop, I knew the playful Kate was gone. She’s got her game face up again.

Gabriel, Andy, Ben, Lucy.

Kate : Ok….. Roland.

………………………………………

__________________

Kate tapped away on her laptop for a while before turning it over to face me.

Kate : Roland is smart. He’s probably the smartest of the lot. He’s well travelled, devours books for snacks and he’s an avid art collector….

Jake : Oh…

Kate : How good are you with Renaissance Arts ?

I had to stop my jaw from dropping as I replied.

Jake : I’m very very good at not knowing shit about them…. Who the fuck would know this ? …

I waved my hands around the room.

Jake : You pluck a guy off the streets and tell me if he knows about this !…

Kate rolled her eyes and ignore me.

Kate : Well, it’s ok, the worst you can do is pretend you know when you don’t. Roland knows his stuff and I would rather you be honest and say you don’t know what he’s talking about if he brings up a subject that you are not familiar with.

She pulled up a screen and showed me cutleries arrangements.

Jake: What is this ?

Kate : Roland would likely invite you for a meal, he likes to host and especially you’re a guy, I’m betting he would ask you over for dinner…

Jake : will you be going along ?

Kate : I would if he asked. ….

Kate went on to tell me that Roland was particular with table manners.

Kate : Use the wrong utensils for the wrong meat, he might just throw a fit…. The word out in the street was that he once stuck a dessert fork into someone’s car bonnet. That poor chap used it for his steak after cutting them up into small bite size chunks and dunking it in the gravy.

Jake : That’s anal man…

Kate : And don’t mention anal in front of him….. unless you are prepared to do it.

I swallowed a gulp of saliva and Kate went on.

Kate : He likes to drink too. What’s your poison ?

Jake : I’m ok with wine, beer and whiskey.

Kate : He loves his whiskey, you have any particular favourite ones ?

Jake : ERmmm… Chivas ?? Johnny walker ?? ….

Kate paused for a moment before suggesting a few others.

Kate : Hibiki ? Glenmorangie ? Glenfiddich ? …. Laphroaig ??

My eyes stared straight at Kate as she tried to elicit a response.

Kate : No ?

I sighed and replied.

Jake : As my general rule, I don’t drink anything I can’t pronounce ….

Kate : hahaha…

Jake : It’s not funny, I can’t order them if I can’t pronounce them… the fuck is wrong with the distillers these days… all these fancy names…

I raised up a few fingers and counted them off.

Jake : What does Roland like ? Tiger ? Anchor ? Carlsberg ? Guinness ?

Kate shook her head and ignored me.

Kate returned to the screen and asked me to be mindful when Roland raised his glass to mine.

Kate : He’s older than you, hold your glass lower than his and look at him in his eye. … do you smoke Jake ?

Jake : No I don’t…

Kate : Roland does, he’s a pretty heavy smoker so get ready for some 2nd hand smoke.

Kate went on and asked me to keep the conversation going.

Kate : He likes to talk… so keep talking to him. Don’t zone out and don’t fucking look at your phone and scroll through facebook or some shit.

Jake : okayyyy…..

This was starting to feel like a lecture.

Another 15 minutes passed and we wrapped up Roland’s discussion.

5.15pm

Kate : Are you tired ? Can you go through one more ?

I looked at Kate and the setting sun outside the window. This might actually be a good chance to have dinner with her.

Jake : Let’s do it all today… all of them..

Kate : What ? …

She looked at the time and pointed to the clock.

Kate : You don’t need to be at the stall tomorrow ? We’ll probably be done only at 10 or 11pm…

Jake : We could … have dinner and …. Ermm…. Go through them at the same time ?? haha..

Kate’s eyes narrowed, reading my thoughts immediately.

Jake : Come on… I’ll treat… I’ll go Dabao ( order take away ) from the other street or something…

Kate nodded her head and I wanted to pump my fist in the air.

A series of crazy thoughts ran through my head.

And I meant really crazy thought.

Maybe I should get her drunk ? Or drug her fried rice or something.

Kate was still wearing the same singlet and shorts, definitely the same lace panty.

The same one she wet herself in a few hours ago.

If only I could take those article off her piece by piece, I would die with no regrets.

I tried not to grin as I asked Kate what she wanted for dinner.

Kate : Anything… you ordering Tze char ? just get something to share ?

Jake : Fried rice, stir fried vegetables and…. Sweet sour fish ?

Kate : Sounds good… I’ll go get ready for the next one.

Jake : Who are we doing next ?

Kate replied without turning back.

Kate : King.

I let myself out of the door as Kate disappeared into the store room.

Jogging down the steps, I made my way across the road to the seafood stall and placed my order.

I leaned against a old pillar and waited for my order to be cooked.

__________________

King.

Unique name I must say , Out of all the elders, he creeps me out the most.

King has only 1 business, he deals with incense and joss paper. Not only is he one of the big distributor in the country, he also has his own walk in shop. I’ve seen the photos, it’s like a minimart, the shelves stocked with a variety of household items for the dead.

Iphone , imac, bags, keyboards, cars, planes, houses, everything.

If you can find it in the real world, King has one made for the afterlife.

Some of the items were designed in house available uniquely for Singapore market, I’ve seen a picture of a COE ( certificate of entitlement ) and a IU ( In vehicle unit ) in one of his cars package.

Talk about being creative.

King is a man of few words.

He hates it when people are superficial. He’s direct, very direct when he speaks, which is why he offends people most of the time.

King is considered an outcast among the elders but he pulls his weight when it comes to money matters.

Kate subtly hinted that if any elders needed some magic done with their money, King is the one to go to.

No one can question why that paper house you are about to burn cost $13888, or why the 2 maids that comes with it cost $1888 each.

Not even the tax man can ask you why you choose to spend a 100k on offerings to burn for the dead. The dead don’t talk.

Neither does King.

Dealing with paper products made King really good with paperwork.

With Andy’s company doing his accounts and tax, you can be sure no one would ever bother him.

5.45pm

I collected the food I bought and headed back to Kate’s place.

As I walked up the stairs, I could smell something burning.

Incense, perhaps candles, I’m not sure.

I rang the bell and Kate opened the door a moment later.

Jake : You got to be shitting me …..

Kate lit a couple of candles and joss sticks on the dining table. There is also a stack of incense paper beside it.

Kate : I’m Christian actually so I’m not sure how this actually works but anyway…. These are something you should properly be familiar with.

I set the food down on the table and I immediately jumped.

Jake : Fuck !… what the fuck ! man…. What is that ?? !

I pointed to the paper figurine standing outside the storeroom.

You know the figurine of the boy and girl you see at Taoist funerals, Kate has the boy leaning against the wall, on the verge of toppling over while the girl’s face was slightly crushed.

Jake : What are you doing !!

Kate replied nonchalantly and asked me what is wrong

Kate : What’s wrong ?

Jake : What’s wrong ?? I almost fucking pissed in my pants… why do you have that here ??

Kate looked genuinely unconcerned as she walked over and picked both of the figurines up and came over to me.

I backed away immediately and started to pray to no one in particular.

Jake : Sorry ah… sorry ah…. Brothers, sisters…. Uncles…. Aunties….. sorry…sorry…. Little kids don’t know anything…

Kate : Don’t be silly Jake… come over here…

Kate put the 2 figurines on 2 chairs at the dining table and went to her laptop.

Jake : I’m not eating with the 2 of them there man… no way…

Kate laughed and explained that it was Gabriel’s idea. He wanted to see if I would freak out over things like this.

Kate : You have to deal with your fears man…. If not, you would not even get to speak with King.

Jake : Can we skip King ? He’s very creepy…

Kate : No…

Kate dragged me over to her side and pointed to the photos on her screen.

Kate : Now… it’s very easy to tell if Kings likes you or not….

She pointed to King’s place of business. His office, retail outlet and warehouse are all within the same industrial building.

Kate : This…. Sells everything meant for the gods…..while this…. Sells everything meant for the dead….

Jake : So ?

Kate : So… when you meet with him, see where he asks you to go.

Jake : Oh fuck… this cannot be happening..

Kate : I’ve been to the shops, honestly the one for the dead looks more interesting….

I swivelled my eyes without moving my head towards Kate, looking at her sideways before shaking my head.

Kate : Ok.. .. the key word here is respect… That’s what King is particular with.

Kate raised up 3 fingers.

Kate : Respect the gods, respect the dead, respect the living….

I nodded my head and asked if Kate can put away the figurines.

Kate : HAiyah !!!.. you very sissy leh…

She grabbed both of them up and shoved them right into my face.

I reared back and started praying to no one again as she laughed before keeping them in the storeroom.

Jake : that’s very rude Kate…. Some times… these things… must respect.

Kate raised up her 3 fingers again.

Kate : What did I say earlier. ??

Jake : Respect the gods….. the dead…. And the living….

She nodded her head and pointed to the storeroom

Kate : tell me which category those fall into ? Paper ?

I was speechless for a moment and Kate waved me off and began to set the table for dinner.

We did not talk about the elders as we enjoyed a quiet dinner. We hardly talked in fact but it was not awkward at all. I just felt comfortable; hopefully Kate feels that way too.

7pm

Kate made a pot of tea and we moved to the sofa.

Instead of taking the seat opposite her, I tried my luck by taking the one beside.

Kate did not react and instead opened up the next folder, putting one half on her lap and the other on mine.

Next on the list ;

Matthew.

Matthew is also Ah Keong’s father.

Yup, the huge burly chicken rice seller.

Matthew is a contractor and he rakes in a healthy profit every year. He’s not well liked by the other elders too because he’s too power hungry. Truth be told, Matthew is the one that goes around stirring up everyone’s emotions.

He plays dirty, real dirty. His forte is driving a wedge between people.

One major discontentment he has is with his son. Ah Keong.

Not only is Ah Keong fiercely loyal to Gabriel, he also refused to touch his dad’s business. This caused a strain in the father and son relationship.

Kate : One thing I should let you know about Ah Keong…. He sort of likes me I think…

Jake: What ! ..

Kate shrugged her shoulders and went on.

Kate : He expressed his feelings for me a year ago but I told him I only see him as a brother…

Images of him wielding his chopper sent a shiver down my spine and I shook my head to get rid of the image.

Kate : You should look out for him Jake… be careful… don’t be easily swayed by his words…

Jake : Orh…

Kate brought up pictures of Matthew’s office and staff annual dinner.

Kate : Matthew has the most men among all the elders…

That picture of Matthew sitting in the middle with 3 rows of men standing behind him spoke volumes. It was taken in front of some builders association. Normally you would expect rows of indian workers but not for Matthew.

Mostly are locals and Malaysians with a few Thais and Chinese.

If the occasion calls for it, other elders go to Matthew for manpower if you get my drift.

When you can no longer solve problems in a law abiding manner, you have to get creative .

With employees looking like they belong in a Hong Kong triad film, I’m sure you can resolve all your conflicts.

It was close to 9pm when Kate closed the file on Matthew.

Kate : It’s late…. You better go back and rest.

Kate stretched on the sofa and the fullness of her breast got to me again.

I could feel my erection stirring once more.

Kate saw me looking at her and she stopped stretching.

Kate : What do you want ? … I’m not sleeping with you…

Jake : ERmm… earlier you mentioned a blowjob…

Kate shot me an evil stare and I looked away.

She came back out from the kitchen after clearing the cups and teapot and asked.

Kate : We’re down to the last one. ….Terry…… You want to finish it off ?

Jake : It’s late… ermm… can I stay over ? … I mean I just work downstairs…. And…

Kate’s folded arms and narrow eyes gave me the answer I seek and I stopped myself halfway.

Kate : It’s very….. weird Jake… if you stayed over… come on… don’t do this…

I gave a sheepish smile and said my goodbyes.

As I descended down the steps, I could feel my footsteps getting lighter.

I don’t know why but I felt happy.

I’m just glad I got to spend time with Kate.

Right when I was about to get to the bottom of the stairs, I heard a commotion.

I can hear several men shouting.

Suddenly a figure flashed past me before falling down onto his back.

Curses were tossed about and several men started shouting and cursing at each other. The pushing and shoving started within seconds and the first person I thought of was Kate.

I wanted to run back up, to warn her that some men were fighting below her place. It’s getting late and that area can get a rowdy at times when people had a glass too many to drink.

I could hear someone trying to break up the fight.

Man : Aiyah. Suar la… suar la… ( forget it, forget it ) … gia la.. ( let’s go )…. Lim jiu lim jiu, ( let’s go drink )

Everyone was trying to speak and it was utter chaos.

I remained where I was, unwilling to step out of the stairwell into the 5 foot way.

Another few seconds of pushing and cursing ensure before it stopped.

Not only did the commotion stop, it stopped really abruptly.

Like as if someone flicked a switched and hit the mute button.

I saw a couple of men turned to their back before gently nudging each other back down the direction where the pubs were.

Within seconds the scene cleared.

It was surreal and I had to rub my eyes to make sure I was not dreaming.

Peace returned to the 5 foot way.

I stepped out into the open and barely 2 metres from me stood this familiar figure.

My eyes widened.

Bill tipped his dirty cap at me and I returned a nod.

He lid up a cigarette, started to sing in Hokkien and settled onto the floor right in front of the staircase.

I looked down the alleyway and I could see the group of men a distance away, whispering and pointing at Bill.

I got into a cab and made my way back home.

I never expected life to be so interesting at a coffee shop.

Gabriel , Andy , Ben , Roland, Lucy, King, Matthew .

Last one up, Terry.

I spent the most time on Terry’s files, because he’s 65, has a 37 year old wife from China and a 17 year old daughter.

You see, I’m not a pervert but when you see the pictures of mother and daughter looking like siblings instead, it’s bound to catch your attention.

They’re hot.

I pictured the shot I saw of Terry’s wife and daughter in bikini and I chuckled.

I wouldn’t mind talking Renaissance Arts with them.

I could drink fancy whiskey too, those with names I can’t even pronounce.

Hell I might even consider a selfie with a paper figurine as I visually undressed the 2 of them in my head.

11.15pm

I was about to sleep when a picture message arrived on my phone.

I regretted it the moment I opened it as I cursed in my room.

Jake : Fuck ! .

Kate took a selfie with the paper figurine and sent me a picture of it, totally killing my mood.

I threw my phone aside and sighed before closing my eyes.

Weird people, estranged families and colourful characters, it would make a hell of a story if I decided one day to pen it down.

………………………………….

When I next met up with Kate to talk about Terry, she warned me about his manners and attitude. He’s loud, thinks he’s always right and would not hesitate to get into a fist fight if he thinks he has the upper hand.

Terry is another oddball with his own quirky habits.

He’s in the gold and jewellery business and it’s been on a steady decline for a while. His designs are a dated and they cater more towards the older crowd. Terry’s usually at his small gold shop in Chinatown in the day and closer to the evening, he would head over to his workshop to keep an eye on things.

Yup, he has his own workshop with 4 staff churning out the jewelries base on his sketches and designs. According to Kate, he isn’t exactly making money and she knows he’s been asking Gabriel for money pretty often.

Terry also happens to be Kate’s grandmother’s nephew, and she suspects that he’s been asking money from Gabriel to keep up appearances and all. After an accident on a bike in his early 20s, Terry has been walking with a limp on his left leg. It gave him a phobia to get back on the road again and he never picked up driving.

He’s probably the only one in the entire group that does not own a car or drive so he takes a cab everywhere he goes.

Terry’s greatest conquest so to speak would be his young wife from China.

He married her when she was only 20 and they had a daughter that very year. The wife, Suwen, does not work, and her only goal in life would be to spend Terry’s money.

Their Daughter is in Junior college, no one had really interacted with her before so there was not much information. We only knew her name is Tiffany.

No prize for guessing what was on her mother’s mind when she gave her that name.

Most of the elders have a common problem with Terry.

His foul mouth.

He curses regularly and is said to be the most uncouth person in the organisation. He likes to antagonise people with rude and sarcastic comments, and he always likes to win an argument. He would raise his voice higher and louder until he shuts everyone out.

There is just a problem.

Terry always loses his argument, but he made up for it with his loud voice so it appears as if he’s won.

31st Jan 2015

Friday

By the end of January, word has spread among my ex colleagues that I’m helping at my parent’s place and that I’m going to take over the noodle business.

A few of my ex colleagues dropped by on weekends to support my parents stall and to catch up a little. Even my boss dropped by one day for a coffee. He kind of hinted that my position would still be available if I decide to head back but I was to give him an answer soon.

Boss : I can’t keep that position open indefinitely… but don’t worry… let me know… I’ll see what I can do.

Within that period of time, I had picked up almost all the things I needed to know at the stall with exception of the cooking part.

I could fall into the mute mime like routine my parents did every morning. Which sauces to top up, which item goes where, where to put the necessary utensils and stuff. I know the rough timing which suppliers deliver their goods and where to put them.

Small insignificant things that you would not even realise food stall owners had to do if you are not in the trade. Yet without all this behind the scenes preparations, it would not be possible to deliver that piping hot place of noodles you ordered.

I no longer got in my parents’ way at the stall, knowing exactly where to stand, which spots to avoid.

I also know some of the regulars by then, the good , the bad, the ugly.

There’s an asshole who would always pay by coins. We are fine with coins, in fact I love them but this ass always tries to sneak in a few Malaysian coins with his payment.

It was something that my parents caught on to and insists on counting his payment in front of him before giving him his noodles. I would collect the money from him in advance and spread it out in my hands while he gave me the dirty look.

He would sneer at me with his eyes when it was all ok while if I happen to catch him using other currencies, he would make some nasty remarks that we don’t trust our regular customers, in future no one will patronise us.

I always made sure he sees me rolling my eyes before dropping the coins into the money box.

Then there are those who would turn up with extra large dollar bills.

I mean come on people, how much loose change do you think a small food stall carries ?

If the 1st couple of customers comes with a 50 dollar note, it would probably wipe out all their loose change. I saw it happen a couple of times and it made me remember why some stall owners gave me the dirty look when I paid for a $3 plate of chicken rice with a 50 dollar bill.

Thankfully, the whole coffee shop functions like a community. Everyone helps each other out.

Kate has a steady supply of loose change which she would gladly exchange with us.

This brings me to the another issue about the stall.

Money.

I know my math and after a couple of months at the stall, I’ve seen all the delivery invoices.

I’ve never actually counted the daily takings but just seeing the number of large denomination bills would give you a rough idea how much you are grossing in a single day.

It’s surprisingly little.

I counted about 170 in 10s and 50s on a average day. Raw materials probably cost close to 80 a day. This doesn’t include the rent, the utilities and miscellaneous expenses.

Something just doesn’t really add up.

I don’t know how much they are paying for the rent but utilities alone for the stall is close to 500 a month base on the amount of water, gas and electricity they are using .

Don’t forget there’s still the car. They need it to travel to and fro the stall.

I asked my mum honestly one evening if they are making enough for themselves.

Mum : Aiyah… enough to get by can already…

She did not seem like she wants to go into detail so I did not probe further.

My mum however, did notice Kate and I getting closer. We talked more, and at times when the busy peak hour is over at the coffee shop, the 2 of us would retreat to a corner to have a chat.

Mum : Are you dating Kate ?

Jake : Aiyah… you don’t ask so much la… anyway… I’m not heading down to the stall tomorrow…

Mum : Tomorrow Sunday leh !…. very busy..

Jake : I have something on…

Mum : What you have ?? You go no social life after leaving your job .

Jake : Hey !… I have… things to do also ok…

Mum : You going out with who ?? your girlfriend is it ? You going out with Kate ar ?? haha..

Jake : yah la… ya la… I’m going out with Kate tomorrow..

My mum’s eyes lit up and she gave me the thumbs up approval.

Mum : don’t do anything stupid ok… use a condom…

I ignored her and went back to my room.

10 pm

After several weeks of preparation and discussion, the big day is finally here.

It was the eve of Kate’s grandmother’s 80th birthday.

I was to be formally introduced to her as Kate’s boyfriend, not that it carries a lot of weight in the family but it would be the perfect place for me to get noticed.

Gabriel said there were hardly any new faces at such gatherings for a while, everyone knew each other and being the only newcomer, I would be getting quite a bit of attention.

Gabriel : Be careful, don’t take anything anyone said at face value. These people are snakes…

That was the warning Gabriel gave me.

Andy on the other hand was a bit more casual, he just asked me to be myself and that everything would be fine.

Andy : Just stick to the plan of poking around for information and don’t get involved with other matters.

I was excited.

I felt as if I was going for a holiday or sort, exploring some foreign country I’ve never been before. All I had was a guide book, and even with the guide book, you can never be sure what surprises the new place would have for me.

One thing for sure, everyone would want to talk to me, at least that’s what Gabriel told me. He has prepared for me a list of stuff to say as well. Information that I was to casually feed to the elders should they ask.

I was not to reveal anything unless they asked and even if they do ask, I have to act nonchalant and uninterested.

What manner to release the information will be decided by me base on the situation.

Pretend to be drunk, slip of the tongue, or just plain trading of information if I think it’s worth it.

10.15pm

Kate dropped me a message to ask if I remembered to get her grandmother a present and I told her I did.

She reminded me not to get anything expensive, just a token will do and that she would reimburse me for the present.

Kate msg : Are you ready to meet the family ??

Jake msg : I hope so..

1st Feb 2015

Sunday

10am

Kate would be busy with the preparations and I was to make my own way to the restaurant for lunch.

I went to get a haircut, headed back for a quick shower before making my way down to Toa payoh

The birthday banquet will be held at a old Teochew restaurant, one of grandma’s favourite spot.

They had booked the entire restaurant for the birthday even though there would be less than 10 tables.

11.20am

I wanted to be early and I got there with plenty of time to spare.

I was dressed casually, just collared t- shirt and pants. I tried to recall the information I had digested over the past few weeks, I was full of anticipation.

There is something shady going on with Kate’s family that’s for sure but to what extend, I don’t know.

Lunch was scheduled to start at 12 noon.

The restaurant is on the 2nd floor, served by a old lift and a long flight of staircase. The restaurant had placed a sign to indicate that the place is closed for private function until 4pm. A staff was also stationed there to turn away walk in crowds

I saw a few guys milling around the bottom of the restaurant. They looked like they’re there for the birthday celebration too.

I joined the crowd and tried to blend in. It was almost like heading for a wedding reception of a friend and you’re there early. Some of us exchanged looks, most of them just looked at their phone. A couple talked among themselves.

11.30am

King was the first to arrive and he looked exactly like the picture in the file. I saw him walked towards the restaurant with both of his hands in his pocket. He strolled casually, slowly. King is thin, really thin. He’s about 1.7m in height and his clothes hung off his body. His cheeks looked sunken. A few of his staff walked behind him, a couple of them wore the company t-shirt with the name of his paper product company printed in red.

At one glance you might think he’s malnourished or something but he’s not, he’s just thin.

King took a glance around, saw that he was early and he said something to his guys before walking away.

Kate beckoned to me from the top of the restaurant and I went up to join her.

Kate : They’re mostly here, Andy told me he saw their cars at the carpark. Everyone just waiting for one another to go up first.

Jake : Is it very embarrassing to be punctual ?

Kate : Don’t ask me…. I have no idea. …

Jake : Where’s your brother and grandmother ?

Kate : On their way, will be here any minute.

Kate’s phone rang again and she left me alone, pointing to the tables inside the restaurant and asking me to make myself comfortable.

11.45am

By 11.45am , There were at least 30 guys loitering at the foot of the restaurant, they separated into groups and only talked among themselves.

Nothing was happening and I got bored.

I went in and found a seat in the corner of the restaurant. I made sure to avoid the tables with names of the elder’s companies on them. I don’t want to accidentally step on anyone’s toes.

My spot gave me a good view of the entrance, I could quietly observe everyone that walks in

11.50am

Gabriel, Kate and their grandmother arrived at the restaurant.

Kate beckoned me over when she saw me.

I was immediately introduced to the smiling old lady as Kate’s boyfriend. She gave me a really warm smile and tapped my hand a couple of times, asking me to take care of Kate. I liked her immediately.

Grandma was showed to her table by Gabriel while Kate pulled me aside.

She whispered to me that we will be sitting at the same table as Grandma but only after everyone says their birthday wishes to her.

Kate : You don’t want to be seated there like a block of wood when all the knives are flying around

Jake : What knives ?

Kate : haha… words Jake… words…. You will be surprise how terrible these people can be.

Kate took out her phone and started to unroll her headphones.

Jake : What are you doing ?

Kate : They’re very vulgar and uncouth…. I would prefer not to hear some of them speak… haha… just enjoy my music.

She gave me a smile and plugged herself in.

We stood a distance away from the main table, leaning against some chairs. Not too far that we can’t hear what is going on but not too near that we would be draw attention.

11.55am

There was some commotion at the door, people speaking loudly in various dialects. Someone just came up and was about to walk in through the door it seemed.

I looked around the restaurant. It was not what I had imagined. I would have expected staff lining up at both sides of the entrance, and probably some music from god of gamblers plays in the background as the elders strolled in like they own the world but that was not the case.

The servers were mostly old aunties and uncles, they looked tired and bored.

I sat upright, anticipating the arrival of the characters I read and heard so much about.

Uncle Ben walked in first. His hair slicked back with gel. His shirt had the top 2 buttons off and he strolled in with a swagger. A few of his staff followed close behind him and I recognised a couple of them. They usually followed him on his delivery round.

Uncle Ben has 14 employees, 9 of which are male. Out of those 9, 7 of them are Malay. I don’t see any of them around since the restaurant don’t serve Halal food. I recognised one other Chinese driver that does the delivery and I gave him a friendly wave.

He returned my wave and I felt a light smack on my arm.

Kate : Don’t anyhow wave to people.

Jake : Orh…

Uncle Ben’s staff went to the table with his company’s name written in gold on a red card and took their seats while he continued on towards Grandma.

Ben : Ah Jee !… ( Sis ) Happy birthday !!! to youuuuuuu….

He spread his arms wide and sang in an overly dramatic manner before laughing heartily.

Grandma laughed and spoke to Ben in Hokkien dialect.

Grandma : Mai dee xiao xiao la… gui huay liao … ( Don’t do stupid things, you’re already so old )

Ben just laughed and gestured to one of his staff who brought up a box.

I looked in intently as Ben slowly removed the covers.

My jaw almost dropped when I saw Uncle Ben revealing a gold longevity peach. It’s intricately carved, not very big, probably the size of a large kiwi.

Ben : 999 eh . .. swee bo !.. ( Pure gold , nice or not ) Happy birthday ah… hahaha…

Gabriel thanked Ben on behalf and accepted the present and displaying it on a table with red cloth a few steps away.

I looked down at the present I bought and felt a trickle of sweat fell from my forehead.

Uncle Ben took his seat the moment Terry stepped into the restaurant.

I saw the look they exchanged and I could immediately feel the tension in the air.

Terry walked in with his wife by his side and I could see their daughter following closely behind along with a few old staff.

Before they even got close to grandma, I could heard the sharp exchanged of barbed words.

Terry :  Aiyoh…. Ben….. so early… scare not enough rice to eat is it ?? Where’s your wife ?? Run away find back liao or not ?

Before Ben could even react, Terry pointed to the surrounding and staff.

Terry  : KNN , tak nee jiak ji dao….. jiak kao sian….. lang eh been kuar liao boon sian ( WTF, eat here every year…. So sick of the food, even the faces make me sick just by looking at them ) …

I could not believe how rude this asshole is.

Ben ignored him and sipped his tea, Kate mentioned before that Ben’s wife left him some time ago and went overseas, it was a sore spot for him and he never talked about it.

Terry went up to grandma and wished her happy birthday and he saw what Ben had given her.

Terry  : KNN …. Buy gold never look for me…. Money let others earn also don’t want to let me earn…. CCB . Ben ah… really ah…

I turned and saw Kate give me a smile, her head bobbing slightly to her music.

Now I finally understood what she meant .

Ben did his best to ignore Terry but he would not let up.

Terry : Ah khor ah… (aunt ) … come come… happy birthday ah….

I watch as he presented grandma with solid gold branch about the size of a 15cm ruler.  On the branch is a small nest with several gold eggs inside. Standing at the side, is a gold canary.

It’s about the same size at Ben’s peach. Both were arranged neatly in a glass encased box with the bird’s widespread wing almost touching the edge.

Terry removed the glass to give grandma a better look at the workmanship and she nodded in approval.

Fuck, everyone is giving gold and I felt the pressure pile on as I looked at my present again.

Gabriel received the gold and put it beside Ben’s peaches on the same table.

Terry turned and spoke to Ben again.

Terry  : eh… si bei bo lei mao leh… ( so rude ) …. KNN… ( fuck ) …. Talk to you like talk to wall…
Ben slammed down his tea cup when he finally could not take it any longer.

Terry : Simi simi …. Sio par ah ? ( What what ? You trying to pick a fight ? )

I could see grandma shaking her head from the corner of my eye while Gabriel tried not to smile.

Ben : Diam la … knn… ( shut up , you fuck ) ….. present give people your kuku jiao ( dialect for dick / bird )

Terry : Why ? jealous I got wife is it ?? you go find one la…. Find the one that ran away….

Ben laughed, sniffed and turned around, looking at the people in the restaurant that had all turned silent.

Even the servers backed away a little.

Ben : Find wife ah…. Also don’t want to find like yours… eh you chee bye ( you cunt )… you marry wife…. Just marry her enough already… don’t her whole fucking family and kampung bring to Singapore understand or not….. har ? What father, mother… uncle… cousin… simi lan jiao also related also come over… .. you scare no one know you marry china wife ah …

I could see Suwen getting visibly irritated as she turned away and folded her arms.

Terry was about to retort but Ben cut him off again.

Ben : You take MRT right ? … or take bus ?? har… your whole fucking china kampong all come and squeeze MRT… so wonder no space la.. … and you are the one always complain mrt no space… bus no space… tio bo ?? tio bo ??

Terry : CCB ! ( you smelly cunt ) .. what shit are you talking ?

Terry slammed his table with his palm and glared at Ben.

Ben : AH… I know you smell CCB every night… no wonder your mouth so foul …

Ben : You ah… you ah… this kind of people…

Ben pointed at Terry ‘s head with his index finger pointing down onto the floor as he tried to gather everyone attention.

Ben : On one hand want to protest and complain say government bring so many people in, you on the other hand bring your wife whole family over donno for fuck . Your fucking gold shop hire so many people ah !.. ..
Terry : KNN…. You not happy with me is it…. We go outside and settle this la…!!! CCB!.

Ben : Diu lei la.. ( Fuck you la ) …. You think you still small kid ah… what the fuck… 65 already still want to act like some young punk… at night also donno if your cock can stand.

Terry  : My cock can stand and got place to go… your cock, even if stand also no place to put…

Ben : don’t worry… I know where your wife goes for her spa… I can give her massage…and…

That was the last straw, both men stood up and they almost came to blows before Gabriel broke them off.

Gabriel : Enough… enough…..Guys !… hello… please show some respect… It’s my grandmother’s birthday…

Ben and Terry continued their glare at each other and took their seat.

Terry  : You watch out ! ..

Ben just flashed Terry his finger before using it to dig his nose.

I saw Terry turn and looked at my direction and I quickly looked away. That was when my eyes met Tiffany. Tiffany looked as good as the photos I saw, she dressed stylishly in a figure hugging dress and has a pair of nice shapely leg. She glances back down at the phone after meeting my eye, looking away in a stuck up manner.

Tiffany is fair and she looked like the typical JC girl you see over the weekend. She seemed disinterested in the exchange and just played with her phone. It was as if she could not wait for this to be over so she can get on with her life.

It was not hard to tell she was forced to attend this lunch.

It was a quick look but Terry saw it.

He saw me look at Tiffany.

He stood up and limped over to me.

Kate pulled out her headphone immediately and was about to stand in front of me but I stopped her.

Gabriel and Ben turned and look at me, waiting to see how I would react.

Terry walked right up to me and asked if I have a problem.

Jake : No. no problem …

Terry  : Then what are you staring at ??

I kept quiet and said nothing.

Terry : Stop staring at my daughter I’m warning you ..

Then the next thing he did caused me to snap.

I don’t know why.

I can’t explain it properly but it made me snap.

It was as if a switch has been flicked inside my head as Terry spit a glob of saliva onto my shoe.

Terry  : korrrrrrrrrsssss…. Pui !…

I had to stop myself from shivering we I gripped tightly onto the table beside me as Terry gave me a look threatening me to react. I wanted to punch him so bad but it would look bad on my hitting a 65 year old man.

It was clear he did it on purpose.

A classic case of trying to draw attention away from himself and onto me. The restaurant fell silent, everyone and I meant everyone was staring at us.

Our eyes never left each other for 3 seconds as Terry slowly turned away and went back to his seat.

Terry started shaking his legs and demanded for drinks to be served.

Terry : This is a fucking circus…. What the fuck… everyone is always late… why can’t anyone be on time…

No one moved or reacted and I felt Kate tug my arm, asking if I’m ok.

I told her I am and I excused myself to the bathroom.

I had to stop myself from smashing the mirror as I cleaned up Terry’s spit. What a fucking asshole

I took deep breathes trying to force myself to smile and when I finally did, I had a shock at how I looked in the mirror.

Well, if I’m going to play this game, I’m going to have to stop being so nice and easy going.

I’m going to make sure I fuck Tiffany and I’m going to send Terry a picture of me doing it.

And when I’m at it, I’m probably going to fuck Suwen as well.

I rinsed my face and was about to walk out of the bathroom when Gabriel came into the bathroom.

Gabriel : Jake you ok ..

Jake : Yah. I’m fine…

Gabriel checked to make sure the stalls of the cubicles are empty before pulling me aside.

Gabriel  : I need you to do something for me.

Jake : What is it ?

Gabriel opened his hands and my eyes widened in shock .

Jake : what is this for ?? !!!

Gabriel smiled and handed me the 4 golden eggs he swiped from the canary’s nest. It’s small, about the size of a M&M but I could feel it’s weight in gold.

Gabriel  : time to stir some shit… ..

Jake : What… what …..  do you want me to do ?

Gabriel : Oh… just keep it… just keep it and don’t say a word.

Gabriel gave me a wink and left the bathroom.

…………………………………………………..

 

I was visibly distressed when I left the bathroom shortly after Gabriel. Different scenarios ran through my head as I thought about what we had just done. I’m literally at the mercy of Gabriel.

If he tells on me and informs Terry I swiped his gift, I would get in a whole load of shit in front of everyone in the restaurant, and anyone can tell after that confrontation, I have a beef with Terry.

I tried my best to calm down and kept a straight face.

I’m not going to be holding onto the stupid dumb eggs that’s for sure.

Once I get an opportunity, I would dump it onto someone else. They can go pick up the mess after.

I got out into the restaurant and saw some commotion at the doorway.

The next to enter was King.

His entry was a lot more muted and normal. Just like the average uncle walking into a restaurant.

There was no fanfare of any sort and his guys knew exactly where to sit while King came up to say his birthday wishes.

Ben gave King a nod and I saw Terry did the same.

King acknowledges their nod with one of his own without a word and he continued walking towards grandma.

I did a mental note of what I saw.

So this 2 cannot get along, but they still respected King.

I was worried King would get some nice gold ornament too but I saw his hands were empty.

Good, at least there’s someone who came here empty handed.

I was about to snigger when King reached into his pocket and pulled up a package wrapped in brown paper. That was when I almost chuckled. The paper was crumpled and untidy. It was not even taped up properly.

I guess when you get to a certain age, presentation doesn’t really matter.

That crumpled wrapper would make my present look better; mine had a colourful wrapping with birthday stamped all over it.

3 seconds later the smile disappeared from my face when I saw King put 2 pieces of gold bar in front of grandmother. 100gm each. He did not even bother to wrap them up.

King : Ah Jee ( sis ) … happy birthday ah…

Grandma beamed brightly with a smile and tapped Kind’s hands.

King retreated to his seat and I could feel my palms starting to sweat.

Andy appeared out of nowhere from the back of the restaurant and I overhead him saying he was talking to the banquet manager and the chef.

He whispered something to Gabriel before joining a table with his staff .

Kate must have seen me drifting off and she removed her headphones and talked to me.

Kate : You ok ? What are you thinking about ??

Jake : er… nothing… nothing…

Kate : Tell me… what’s bothering you ??

I wanted to tell her about the golden eggs in my pocket but I stopped short of doing so.

I fumbled for an excuse as the entrance area got noisy again.

Jake : Oh… nothing.. I was thinking the entrance wasn’t really grand … you know…. Like those HK triad shows, when the bosses walk in…. got wind… got music and all…

Kate : You watch too much TV…

I was about to laugh when Kate took out her headphone and offered one side to me.

Jake : What is this for ?

Kate : Take it…. Maybe with this will have a little bit of mood.

I plugged the earpiece into my ear and looked at the doorway at the same moment and my eyes widened. My mouth opened and gasped for air. The hair at the back of my neck stood on it’s ends as my head took in the beat the moment Lucy stepped into the door.

Having some background music does make quite a bit of difference.

If you want to get the full experience, plug yourself in and go to youtube. It’s a Cantonese rap by 24 herb called ‘do you know me’ . I don’t really understand Cantonese but the beat and rhythm and the entrance of the other 3 elders just fell into place together.

 

Lucy’s entrance was a stark contrast to Uncle Ben’s swagger. She walked in with her head held high. I was immediately struck by how beautiful she looked in real life. Lucy bared her entire shoulder in a off shoulder blouse that displayed her ample cleavage. Her red blouse brought out the natural fairness of her smooth skin as it wraps around her tight and slim tummy.

A string of black pearls went around her neck like a choker and her lips, my god. Lucy had lush red lips that I would love to have it wrapped around my dick.
Paired with a pair of tight white pants and a pair of stylish boots low boots, Lucy looked as if she arrived at the restaurant on her horse. Her almost equestrian like dressing drew the stares of all the staff in the restaurant.

The beat of the music in my ears seemed to slow down everything in front of me as I took in Lucy’s grace and beauty.

Following close behind her is a company of 4 ladies. They’re presentable but I would not say they are hot. 2 more caught up at the back, slightly more presentable, more desirable I would say. Still, if I had to summarise, I would fuck all of them from a men’s point of view.

Wind appeared from out of nowhere and lifted Lucy’s fringes from her face as she flashed a bright smile.

I could feel my cock stir as I looked at her lush red lips.

I tore my eyes away from Lucy when I saw Roland enter.

It was like they timed their arrival together, one after another.

He’s pretty good looking I have to admit. Roland is well built, with a boyish face that screams mischief no matter how you look at it. He came with a few other guys with you can tell they are in the same league.

I’m pretty sure girls will find him attractive. I caught Kate’s gaze lingering a little too long on Roland before turning away. Even Tiffany was staring at Roland as he caught up to Lucy and they both hugged before kissing each other on the cheek.

Roland’s arms are sculpted; he works out that’s for sure and I can tell he even trims his eyebrows. He looks clean, presentable and definitely has the air of someone that is successful and confident.

Terry : Pok pok kay… pok pok kay… ( mimicking the sound of chicken, trying to imply they’re whores )

It was directed at Lucy but no one paid any attention to him as Terry laughed to himself when Lucy and her girls walked passed.

Then he did a childish act of covering his mouth and coughing when Roland and his men walked passed.

Terry : cough… ah gua….cough …. ah gua … ( ah gua = sissy )

I shook my head, really. How can people like Terry exist in this world. I looked at Terry with disdain and he really seemed to be enjoying himself.

Zero EQ.

Roland looked around the room while waiting for Lucy to greet grandma and saw me standing beside Kate. Our eyes met for a couple of seconds before he gave me a smile and a nod.

I returned it politely.

It was like he could pick out the new face inside the room immediately or perhaps it was because I was standing beside Kate and sharing a earpiece.

Lucy presented grandma with a gold sailboat the size of a small modem.

Lucy : Auntie , happy birthday to you…

She bent down a little to kiss grandma on her cheek and I could see her cleavage sucking me in. I noticed that Gabriel moved a little further away from Lucy when she came closed. Lucy looked at Gabriel for a couple of seconds before he acknowledged her and they smiled and shook hands awkwardly.

I can tell this 2 have a history.

Roland brought up his present and it was a pair of golden peaches sitting on a branch.

Terry saw that and made a comment.

Terry : hahaha… that’s where his lan par jee( testicles ) went la… haha

It was pretty loud.

A few guys sniggered and if I was Roland, I would be offended but instead he just smiled.

He smiled as if it was beneath him to even talk to Terry.

Roland kissed grandma too and helped pass the present to Gabriel before doing a fist bump with him.

Roland : All good Gabe ?

Gabriel nodded with a smile.

Bringing up the rear, Matthew.

Matthew arrived with Ah Keong by his side together with the rest of the men they brought along. They took up the biggest space, occupying 3 tables.

Terry : Herh !… eat free food bring so many people… cheapskate.. .. site canteen the food not nice I think… haha…

Matthew is as well built as his son Ah Keong. He’s the only one that has tattoos visible running up the length of his arm right to the right side of his neck. A thick gold chain sat around his neck and he came in, stopped and looked around the restaurant before continuing towards grandma.

He seemed satisfied that he was the last to arrive and that everyone was waiting for him.

Matthew came up to grandma and said his birthday wishes before presenting her a gold figurine of a deity that symbolise longevity.

Matthew wore a permanent smile on his face, and you can tell it’s not a friendly one. It came with a visual warning if you could pick it up.

Loosely translated, it could pretty much summarise ‘ Don’t fuck with me “

He nodded at each of the elders at their respective table before heading back to his seat.

The door to the restaurant was closed and Kate nudged me over to her grandma.

I whispered to Kate that maybe I should give my present later on but she said it’s fine.

Kate : Just get it over and done with..

Kate : Ah ma… Jake also has something for you.

I could feel all the eyes in the restaurant staring at me and I was trying hard not to tremble.

Lucy craned her neck as she unfolded a small oriental fan, fanning herself as she smiled at me in a vixen like manner.

Roland stood up as I lifted the box I carried onto the table.

Matthew folded his arms and walked 2 steps closer.

Among all the boxes, mine is the largest.

Terry : KNN… your box so big…. Ostrich egg si bo ??

Kate looked away and I could see her trying to stop herself from talking back to Terry.

Matthew : who is he ??

Kate : He’s my boyfriend, Jake.

I could see the facial expression on Ah Keong’s face change a little when Kate said that. Over back at the coffee shop, I chatted quite a few times with Ah Keong but never once did I mention that Kate and I were in a relationship.

He had a look I could not describe. I can’t say it was disappointment or anything but perhaps it was anger.

Terry : Quickly open la !!! KNN… everyone is hungry… you want the whole world to wait for you to open your present is it..

Terry stood up and walked over, limping with a swagger as he came closed in an attempt to intimate me. Ben stood up and cut him off.

Ben : Why ? People box bigger than yours you not happy is it ?

Terry : No one’s talking to you …

Ben : People box big also not happy…. His lan par ( dick ) also bigger than yours..

Uncle Ben sniggered as Terry directed his anger towards me.

Terry : Show la…. Lai… show everyone your cock !…

Roland : Yeah…. Please do… hahaha…

Terry : Yah… yah…. Show Roland…. He loves cock… hahaa…

I turned and look at Roland who has a nonchalant look on his face as he replied Terry.

Roland : Yeah…. This is the very reason I can never love you Terry…. Hur… hur….

His table of guys laughed and Kate held back a snigger.

Terry looked like he was fuming and he came over in a huff.

Jake : Auntie. … happy birthday..

Before I could do anything, Terry pushed me away and tore at the wrapper like a mad men.

I’ve never seen someone so fucking rude. He ripped off the wrapping and opened the box, pulling out bubble wrap and a figurine.

Terry started laughing very loudly as my clay figurine I got from precious moments joined the rest of their presents at the table.

Terry : KNN…. People buy gold…. You buy ang kong ( cartoon characters ) ?? hahaha…. Kate… don’t find a cheapskate boyfriend la…. Wait people think he after your money…. Haha…

I could see Kate sucking in a deep breath and she was about to hit back when Gabriel took the present from me and thanked me.

Gabriel : Thanks Jake…. Don’t bother about him…. It’s the thought that counts…

Grandma thanked me for the present too and Gabriel told the kitchen to start serving lunch.

I took my seat at the table and I could immediately feel a few pairs of eyes on me.

Matthew, Roland, Lucy , all 3 of them glanced over while the 1st dish was served. It made me feel uneasy, and with the golden eggs in my pocket, it was like adding tinder to the flames.

As lunch was served, I saw a few guys walked over and wished grandma happy birthday too, some went to look at the gold presents on display. My heart thumped with every passing second.

Any moment now someone would probably notice the missing eggs from Terry’s next, maybe it would be one of his guys that noticed it.

I looked around and racked my head for an idea. I need to fucking get rid of it.

Then I noticed Suwen’s bag. Terry’s wife, yes, her bag that was hanging behind her chair. It was slightly opened. I could walk pass and drop it into the bag .

I just needed to make sure no one sees me doing it.

I looked around the other tables and saw Lucy smiling at me and I returned it awkwardly. Her table of girls had more bags of different sizes hanging and just sitting around. If I choose that table, I might stand a better chance.

Kate : Jake … you ok ? eat leh…

Jake : yah.. yah… I’m fine…

The food started piling up on my table as I checked out Roland’s group. No way, if I approach that table, I would surely draw their attention. I was about to consider Matthew and I saw him flex his arm to reach the food in the middle. The tattoo of the centipede seemed to come alive as it wriggled it’s legs and I quickly looked away.

Then an idea struck me.

The perfect idea.

I could just fucking drop the eggs back.

Walk over, pretend to look at the presents and with my back blocking the view of others, I’ll replaced it.

Jake : I need to go to the bathroom…

Kate : Orh..

I got up and calculated the number of steps to the table. Most of the people are busy eating and talking. I could pretend to adjust the presents and quickly return it.

I took the eggs in my palm and my heart almost stopped beating.

Matthew : Lai lai lai…… lim ah ! ( toast )

The commotion was my chance, it must be my lucky day.

As the crowd raised their glasses, my hand reached forward towards the next.

My hand got closer and closer, I was barely 30cm away.

My left hand touched the clear glass cover and I removed it smoothly while my right quickly went for the kill.

Right at that moment, I almost pissed in my pants when I saw Lucy coming out from the bathroom. My heart started slamming against my ribcage but it was too late.

Our eyes met for half a second before she saw me deposit the golden eggs and replacing the covers. Lucy kept her expression unchanged as she got closer and glanced at the present before meeting my eye again.

I pretended to adjust my gift a little in case anyone saw me near the table.

As we walked pass each other, her eyes looked towards the side and cast me a glance. Her eyes, is like the sickle of the grim reaper. I could feel it tug at my soul as they look at me. I wonder how many man had died in her hands with those look of hers.

I walked briskly into the bathroom before I dared to breathe.

Jake : Fuck… fuck…

I washed my face and dried my hands before heading out.

I stepped out into a restaurant that was eerily quiet.

One moment ago they were toasting, now it’s just silence.

I got closer and saw everyone staring at me.

Stay calm Jake.

Stay calm.

I’ve already returned it. I’ll just fucking deny anything, even if Lucy says she saw me drop it back.

It’s my word against hers.

I saw Tiffany at the gift table and she too was looking at me.

Terry : YOU!!… FUCKER…. Did you take something that don’t belong to you !!!!

Jake : What are you talking about ?!!!!

Terry pointed to his gift.

Terry : Did you….. or did you not take the eggs ? !!!!

I froze and I knew everyone is looking at me. If I directed my eyes anywhere, it would cast the attention over to the other. I can’t risk looking at Gabriel, and I don’t want to implicate Lucy as well, so I kept my gaze straight at Terry.

Jake : I don’t give a fuck about your eggs… why would I want them. ??

Tiffany : You’re the last person to walk pass this table earlier….

I walked towards the gift table and pointed to his gift.

Jake : Isn’t the eggs there ?? What the fuck are you talking about ??

Terry slammed on the table and shouted.

Terry : You fucking thief !!!

I kept a straight face and warned him to mind his words.

Jake : You’re fucking eggs are still here… open your eyes and see !!

I took an extra glance just to be sure. They’re right fucking there in the stupid nest.

Terry : Yah… I know…..

He limped towards me and added.

Terry :But one is missing……

I could feel a lump in my throat as I tried to calm down.

I was pretty sure Gabriel gave me 4.

It was all I had.

Terry glared at me before turning to Kate.

Terry : Your taste…. In boyfriend….. is as bad as your father’s taste in his wife !….

With his back turned towards me, I looked at Gabriel who had a crooked smile on his lips.

I could see it in his eyes.

He was the one holding onto the last egg.

His eyes met mine calmly as he lifted his tea cup. When he brought it up to his lips for a sip, he gave me a wink.

Great..

Jake : I did not take your stupid egg… go look for it yourself…

Terry : young man….. I don’t care about the money….1 small egg like that less than 100, it’s respect…. Do you fucking know who you are talking to ??

Kate : Jake wouldn’t do something like this… !!

Terry : I know he won’t…. but he’s just not happy with me…buay song right ?? har !

Lucy : Why don’t we check the cameras ??

Lucy broke the silence and everyone turned to look at her.

Lucy : There’s so many around the restaurant, I’m sure we can see who was the culprit.

She said it with a smile as she crossed her legs and gave me a flirty look.

Gabriel stood up and asked everyone to go back to lunch.

Gabriel : Enough… !… let’s not blow this matter up….

He addressed the crowd and said as long as the gift is returned by the end of lunch, no one will pursue the matter further.

Terry turned and glared at me.

Terry : Don’t let me fucking see you near the table. !!

He gestured to Gabriel, Kate and everyone on our table.

Terry : All of you people…. Cannot be trusted…

I sat back down and I don’t know if I was fuming with anger or seething with the injustice I just suffered.

When the dish Peking duck was served, Gabriel did something funny. He started to wrap for everyone.

He wrapped me one and passed it to me on my plate. The moment he set it down, I could hear a metallic clonk.

I turned and look at him in disbelief.

I opened up the skin and saw the last remained egg coated with the sauce sitting beside a piece of duck skin.

Kate saw too and her eyes widened before turning to her brother.

I quickly wrapped it up again.

Jake : What the fuck man…

Gabriel : Actually I wanted to make sure everyone sees and know your presence…. It seems it went better than I expected…

Jake : Then now how ??

Gabriel : I can’t return it… it’ll be too obvious… … I still need to address the group later…

He shrugged his shoulder and ate his food.

I don’t fucking believe this.

I turned and I saw Terry constantly glaring at me.

Suddenly I felt a hand on my shoulder and my soul left my body.

Then I was hit with the strong smell of perfume. An alluring and intoxicating womanly smell.

Lucy’s fingers squeezed my shoulders as she extended her hand to shake mine.

Lucy : Hi Jake…. My name is Lucy…

Jake : Hi… hi….I’m Jake…

She gave me a sly smile before glancing at Gabriel and Kate.

Then she said something that doesn’t make sense at all.

Lucy bent low and my eyes caught her cleavage again as she whispered soft enough for only Kate and me to hear.

Lucy : I like it ….. when people owe me favours Jake…. Consider this your debt to me ya ?

Lucy held my hand, she fucking held my right hand which is holding the chopsticks.

Then she guided me to the piece of Peking duck on my place, took it up and put it into her mouth slowly before using my napkin to wipe off the excess sauce at the corner of her mouth while I stared with my mouth half opened in shock.

Lucy : delicious.. …

…………………………..

 

For a moment I thought Lucy was going to swallow the egg and maybe pass it back out or something but as I thought about it, it would not make sense if she did. She turned to Gabriel who was trying very hard to mind his own business wrapping more Peking duck.

Lucy : Gabriel oh Gabriel….. still the same old you…. Don’t want to get your hands dirty…

He did not reply her and Lucy continued speaking into thin air.

Lucy : You cannot delegate out everything you know…. Sometimes,…. somethings… you just have to do it yourself…. If you get my drift… haha…

Gabriel continued to ignore her and Lucy moved on to Kate.

Lucy : And Kate… you should talk to your brother …. Talk some sense into him…. No point clinging onto something he can’t hold….. oh that reminds me

Lucy touched my shoulder again and I felt as if she had cast a spell on me.

She’s friendly, really friendly and chatty in a way that guys would like. You know that classmate of yours that’s sweet, talks well and get a bit touchy when they’re excited and happy, Lucy strikes me as someone exactly like that.

There is nothing sexual in the way she touched you, yet as a guy, somehow you would enjoy talking to her, even if it’s a light bump of her arms, or a playful smack on your back, there’s this craving for this short physical interaction.

Lucy : It’s a bit dry….. the duck…. Jake… can I have a sip of your tea ??

It’s a weird request I must say.

Who in the world would go to another table and ask for a drink from someone else’s cup ?

I mean would you do that ?

Lucy’s hand stretched out halfway, she could have taken my cup on her own but she didn’t. She deliberately stopped halfway and waited for me to offer her my cup. Kate was staring at me but I was in a trance.

It’s like she knew I would do as she ordered.

I was already caught in her net as my subconscious took the cup and passed it over to Lucy.

Lucy smiled and took a small sip of my tea, leaving a nice red imprint of her lips at the edge of my glass.

I felt my erection stir.

Something was definitely wrong with me.

Why am I getting excited over that lipstick stain ?

Lucy chose to place the cup in front of me instead of back into my hands. What sort of devilish games is she playing ?

Lucy touched my shoulder again and thanked me for the tea.

Lucy : Thanks Jake…. You’re such a darling… give me your phone.. … unlock it please… thank you…

I passed it to her as if I was hypnotised and I watched Lucy keyed in her own number and gave herself a miss call.

With that she walked off to the bathroom , leaving me spellbound staring at the cup.

I could feel more and more blood rushing to my groin. I can’t explain why. Kate broke the silence and hit the nail on the head with her comment.

Kate : I know you desperately want to drink from that cup Jake…. You want to drink it from the same spot where Lucy left her lipstick marks don’t you ??

That shook me awake from my thoughts and I desperately tried to deny that accusation even though it’s true.

Jake : No…. no… of course not…. i…. i…

Kate gave me an irritated look and warned me about Lucy again.

Kate : She has a way with men Jake….. be careful of her… I mean it…

She sure does I must admit. Just spending half a day alone with her I think would be enough to get me eating out of her hands. Lucy gave off this really desirable aura, it’s like a magnet.

It just made me feel like getting close to her.

I’ve seen and met girls that I really want to fuck but Lucy, Lucy is in a league of her own.

If I were to be really honest with my feelings, I don’t want to fuck her….. I want to get fucked by her.

Kate : Jake… Jake !… you listening ?

Jake : Yah… yah… she’s…. ermm… yah… she’s a bit… scary…

I asked for a new cup of tea from the server.

It’s true, Lucy is someone I got to be wary off.

A couple of minutes later I saw Lucy walk out of the bathroom, she slowed down naturally in front of her table of gifts before stopping totally.

The mere presence of her near the table drew quite a bit of attention, eyes started to trail her every move and I could see Terry putting down his chopsticks and sitting back on his chair, staring at Lucy.

Lucy stopped to look at her boat for a few seconds before opening the cover. She reached into the middle of the deck and like a magician, pulled out the last remaining egg and held it up high in full view of everyone looking at her.

Terry stood up and pointed his finger at Lucy .

Terry : YOU!…

Lucy spoke first before Terry could.

Lucy : Don’t be crazy….

She pointed to her golden boat which is the biggest among all the presents.

Lucy : Mine is probably the most expensive one on this table…. and it was made by your company !!… why the hell would I want your stupid egg….

That caught Terry for a while and he turned and glared at me.

Lucy put the egg back into the original nest and said in a nonchalant manner.

Lucy : Well, I think the whole thing is just a gross misunderstanding….let’s not make a mountain out of a molehill…. Besides…. I’m the only one that came to this table …. I guess someone must have meddled with it and it got switched or something…

No one said a thing as Lucy calmly arranged the presents.

She opened up her palms and addressed the whole restaurant.

Lucy : Anyone wishes to add on anything ???

No one spoke .

Lucy smiled, place the cover back on her sailboat and went back to her table without even looking over.

I heaved a sigh of relief, glad that this was finally over.

I noticed however that Roland was smiling as he wagged his index finger at Lucy who maintained a haughty face before turning away.

We got to the last dish of the banquet without much fanfare and when the Yam paste was served, the area where I sat got darker. A hulking shadow covered up the lights and when I looked up, I saw Matthew standing beside me,

He spoke directly to Kate.

Matthew : Kate…. Is my Ah Keong not good enough for you ?? har ??

He said it pretty loud and within seconds Ah Keong came over and tried to pull his dad away.

Ah Keong : Stop it…. Now .! ..

Matthew shrugged his son away.

Matthew : What is the matter with you har ?? You like someone…. Yet you don’t have the balls to go after her ??? you think what ?? just being nice to someone, they will like you back ?? They will magically fall in love with you ?? Is it >?!!!!

Ah Keong : You’re drunk… stop it …

Matthew : Don’t touch me !…. I’m not drunk…

Matthew took a deep breath and sighed, I could smell the alcohol from his body.

__________________

Matthew : You…. Look down on my boy why ? Because he sells chicken rice?? Is that it ??

Kate kept quiet and looked at Ah Keong who was desperately trying to get his Dad to shut up.

Matthew shrugged him off and continued.

Matthew : I’m telling you… Ah Keong… can afford not to lift his finger and live like a king…. .. for the rest of his life ….. burpppp….. you know he has 3 properties ??? do you ??? along Bukit Timah ?? har >!!

Gabriel cut in at that point and I could see Matthew getting a little more agitated.

Gabriel : Matthew…. My Sister Kate….. She too can afford not to work for the rest of her life if she chooses to…. And yes… we know about Ah Keong’s properties… …. I was the one who ask him to buy it…

Matthew : You shut up !… I’m not talking to you…. Young punks these days….. you all have no respect for the elders….

Ah Keong : Enough !.. I’m sorry guys…. Pa… let’s go !…

Matthew : Let me finish !…

Matthew pointed a finger at Kate, accusing her of tying Ah Keong down at the coffee shop.

Matthew: You chose to stay at that coffee shop…. That is the reason why…. Ah Keong chose to stay there….If not for you…. We would have built an empire…. Just us father and Son… burp…

Ah Keong signalled to a couple of his guys and they came over. Together with much difficulty, they dragged Matthew away back to his table.

The next few minutes became a little awkward and we each pretend our dessert was the most interesting thing ever.

2pm

Gabriel took the stage and addressed the gathering in the restaurant.

He started off with a brief summary, of what has happened the past year. Gabriel congratulated the elders that has started new business or opened a new branch. He updated the group about a fund which each elder contributes to each month, the returns it has made and how he plans to grow it for the future.

Terry made a snide remark as he shook his leg and picked off pieces of meat from his teeth.

Terry : KNN…. Every month I pay CPF still not enough… still must pay this one…

Ben : Then you don’t pay lor…. Got people put a gun to your head ask you to pay or not….

Terry : Fuck off la… I got wife and kids to feed you know…. Unlike you… every month here I bite, there one chunk…. I eating grass at the end of the month…

Ben : You’re contributing the least to the fund, …. Still want to talk so much…

Terry slammed his palm on the table and stood up again.

Ben : What ? Am I wrong ??? ….. you ae sai ( can make it ) … pay more la… ! … yours is a dying trade…. Nowadays still got people want your obiang ( dated ) gold design meh ?>?

Lucy decided to step in and she added.

Lucy : Ben ah Ben….. I commissioned Terry to build me a ship leh…. Are you saying I’m dated too ??

Ben laughed heartily and replied.

Ben : Aiyoh…. Of course not…. Who dare to say you are dated ?? …. Haha

Lucy laughed too and asked Gabriel to please continue.

Gabriel went on a little more on some boring housekeeping matters before coming to the highlight of the birthday lunch.

Grandma’s birthday song of course.

A cake was brought out and a smiling grandma sat in the middle while a half-hearted happy birthday was sung before everyone clapped, no doubt glad that it was over.

I stood beside Kate and asked why Gabriel and Andy did not get Grandma a present.

Kate : We did. We pooled together and got her something, it was delivered to her place last week.

Jake : Gold too ? Your grandma really likes gold is it ?

Kate laughed and said actually she doesn’t.

Kate : It started some time back when each other the elder wanted to show off who’s doing better than the other…. And being the uncles they are, they decided to see who brought the biggest…

Jake : That’s really dumb…

Kate : Keep your comments to yourself…

The cake was cut and distributed, not everyone ate it.

Terry : Eh Gabriel… hurry up la…. You think what ? You hosting national day rally ah….

I could see Gabriel trying to hold it in as he took the mike again, this time round he went straight to the point.

Gabriel : I won’t beat about the bush…. My term as the head of the organisation is up…. I’ll be stepping down and we would need to elect a new leader…

There was a sudden drop in the noise level and everyone went back to their seats.

Gabriel : It’s been an honour to serve….

Terry : KNN la… you think you minister ah ….

King : Terry …..

King opened his mouth finally and Terry shrugged it off and sipped his tea.

Gabriel : With immediate effect… I’ll be stepping down and we’ll be nominating the next leader…

He paused and continued after looking at each of the elders at their respective tables.

Gabriel : I’ll be nominating Andy…. To take over… and as for the rest… you know the drill…

Kate whispered and explained to me that anyone can put themselves up to be a candidate for the nomination as long as he has at least one elder supporting him openly.

Gabriel just declared his support for Andy, effectively making him a nominee regardless if the rest supports him or not.

Gabriel skipped Andy and called out Ben’s name to the floor.

Gabriel : Ben …. Anyone ?

Terry : HAH!…. maybe the ghost la…hahah…

Ben ignored him and shook his leg, digging his nose with his left pinky.

Gabriel : Terry ? … anyone ?

Terry : I vote myself can ? hiak… hiak… hiak…

Ben : Diam la ( shut up ) ….. you can’t even speak properly or type a email… want to be the head…. Dick head more situable…

Gabriel : Moving on… King?

King smile and waved his hands gently, gently refusing the offer.

Gabriel hesitated before calling out Matthew’s name.

Gabriel : Matthew ….

Terry : ME!!… I support brother Matthew !!!

Kate whispered to me that they’ve already expected this to happen and that Matthew would most likely put up a good fight. He has the resources and power to influence the other elders.

Matthew stood up and was about to speak when he covered his own mouth and retched.

He waved wildly and Ah Keong guided him to the bathroom.

Gabriel : Let’s wait for him to be back…

Jake : I have a question.

Kate : What ?

Jake : So what if you become the head ? What’s so special about that ?

Kate : Your word would be the law. And… every elder is obligated to follow your instructions…

Kate gestured to the gathering of men in the room and gave me a little more insight into her grandfather’s history.

Kate’s grandfather helped each and every one of them before, one way or the other. It was a debt they swore to repay.

Jake : So there’s no contract binding them to this ?? It’s all base on what ? Trust ?

Kate : King’s warehouse was burnt down in an accident… my grandfather gave him the capital to start over…. Terry was in a lot of trouble because his partner cheated him of his money,a substantial sum, he would have folded and gone into debt if not for my grandpa.

Andy’s parents operated rent free for years when they started their business in a shophouse along beach road. Ben took over the reins of the rice distribution business set up by her grandfather.

Roland is an orphan and his education was paid for by Kate’s grandfather while Lucy’s mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer, she was on the verge of being sold into prostitution since her mum worked as a mummy in KTV clubs but thankfully she was rescued in time.

Matthew was on the verge of suicide after losing his girlfriend to someone better educated and well to do, Kate’s grandfather was the one who introduced his wife to him and they had Ah Keong. He also chipped in the capital for Matthew’s construction business.

Kate : So yeah… that’s pretty much it… they’ll all stand by their word since they swore to my grandfather…

I raised an eyebrow and gave Kate a look of disbelief.

Jake : So drama mama one ah ??? You sure or not… A bit hard to believe.

Kate thought about it for a while before turning back to check on Gabriel. He was standing a distance away and she lowered her voice to a whisper.

Her grandfather did help everyone but they were stuck together because they were forced to.

Jake : What do you mean ?

Kate : Grandpa believed that everyone would be able to achieve greater heights if they all worked together, he helped and groomed some of these people, he knows their potential…. But he also knows eventually the day will come when he’s no long around…. And everyone wants to go their own ways…. So he took insurance.

Jake : What insurance.. ?

Kate : The dirt. The dirt on each and everyone in this room.

She explained that her grandfather was a cautious man, and he kept a detailed record of the things everyone did. You don’t become successful by running a honest business, you do so by running a creative business.

Kate : Grandpa wanted to make sure the key to all these dirt were rotated regularly among all the elders, so they do it with a vote. In case his descendants cannot make it, he will be voted out and someone more worthy will be holding the key.

His ultimate aim was for all of them to work together, to help each other. If you can reach for the skies, good for you but if you are sinking and needed help, the others are supposed to chip in, this will make sure no one gets left behind.

You sink, everyone will sink together.

Kate : And of course the money la… the boss holds the purse string… simple as that.

Jake : wait… wait… wait … wait….

Kate : What ?

Jake : But what if say Gabriel is holding the key…. And Terry’s start sinking…. He can always refuse to help and nothing will happen to him right ? ? I mean….. Since Gabriel is holding the dirt…

Kate broke out into a smile and turned to check on her brother again.

Kate : Grandpa is too careful to let that happen. … you cannot let someone have too much power in his hands too…

Matthew’s laughter broke out into the restaurant as he walked towards the gathering.

Kate : Each of the elder…. Holds the dirt…. On one other….

My eyes widened and I turned to look at Kate.

Kate : The thing is no one knows…. Who’s holding on to whose….

Matthew appeared out from the bathroom and started chuckling and laughing loudly.

Matthew : Sorry…. Sorry… wahahahaha.. haha.. sorry…. This is what happen when you drink in the afternoon… whaha.. haha…

Matthew thanked Terry for the nomination and said he gladly accepted it.

Gabriel called out the remaining names and with no other replies, a 3 way fight was ruled out.

Gabriel : Ok, with this……the election will be held next month…. On Sunday, the 22nd of March…. Nominees will be Andy and Matthew….

The moment the date was announce, it was as if a trigger has been pulled, or rather it signalled the end of the lunch.

Matthew, Terry and King all stood up at the same time. One after the other they filed out of the restaurant without even saying their goodbyes. Ah Keong stayed behind and went over to Gabriel’s side.

Jake : So rude… everyone’s just leaving like that ??

Kate turned and left my side too, immediately heading over to Andy. They spoke in soft whispers while I sat down and continued to sip my tea.

Roland went over to Ben and they spoke briefly before parting ways.

There was no pattern, nothing that I could make out of.

Everyone just dispersed.

Everyone except Lucy.

She remained at her table staring at her phone.

Gabriel asked Andy to get the car and they’ll be sending grandma back. Ben and his guys started to load up the gifts.

Kate came over and told me we can go.

Kate : Thanks for the help today Jake… I need to talk with my brother and Andy later… we’ll work something out and let you know yah…

I nodded as Kate joined Ben with the packing of the gifts and they slowly made their way to the exit.

Seeing that I’m left alone, Lucy smiled and got up from her table.

My heart started thumping again.

I don’t know why she has this effect on me.

Lucy came over, dragged a chair in front of me and sat down.

Kate saw me with Lucy and she shot me a look, probably asking me to be careful.

Lucy : You owe me a favour Jake…

Jake : ermm…yah… what do you want ?

Lucy leaned forward, resting her elbow on her right knee which was crossed over her left. She supported her chin with her palm and just stared at me.

Jake : What ?

Lucy : Do you want to fuck Kate ?

I almost choked on my saliva as my eyes widened in shock.

Jake : WHAT!!!>>??

Lucy continued smiling and asked me for my answer.

Jake : Are you out of your mind ??

Lucy : Answer me… do you ??

I looked around the restaurant, except the servers clearing up, only Lucy’s table of girls remained.

I nodded my head, a little wary and unsure.

Lucy : What about me ?? do you want to fuck me too ? haha…

I looked away and stood up but Lucy grabbed my hand, tugging me to sit back down.

Her eyes stared right into mine, making me uncomfortable yet I could not tear myself away from her gaze.

The smell of her perfume assaulted my nose and I was so tempted to reach over and touch her.

Lucy : Answer me Jake… do you ?

I nodded my head too as Lucy laughed.

Lucy flashed a row of pearly white teeth and added.

Lucy : Then I have a win – win proposal for the both of us .

Jake : What…. What is that ?

Lucy : Just help me pass along a message to your friends Gabriel and Ben.

Jake : what message…

Lucy laughed and continued.

Lucy : But please promise not to lie Jake… because I would know exactly what to expect from both of them when you tell them this….do this…. And… I’ll let you have what you want….

Jake : And…. And… what exactly is that ??

Lucy stood up turned away and looked over her shoulder with a smile.

Lucy : Kate ??…. me ?? … haha…

Lucy shrugged her shoulders and laughed before she left me sitting at the chair and a minute later I received a message with her home address and an accompanying message.

Lucy msg : Tell Gabriel… I’ll be voting for Andy….. but tell Ben….. I’m going to vote for Matthew…

………………………………………………..

It was too much for me.

The events of that day alone overloaded my senses and affected my ability to process information properly.

I headed back home, took a long shower and went straight to bed.

2nd Feb 2015

Monday

5.45am

I was busy topping up the sauces at the noodle stalls when Kate brought over our usual order of coffee. She looked tired and unlike her usual self.

I managed to talk to her for a bit and found out that Ah Keong was unhappy with the arrangement of me pretending to be her boyfriend but he agreed to keep it from his father. As far as all the elders are concerned, I am Kate’s boyfriend.

Ah Keong is agreeable to Andy being the head of the organisation but it was something he could not openly support.

Kate : He’s just not happy with it… a little upset.

I really don’t know how to reply to that. I only hope it would not be awkward for us when we meet in the coffee shop that day.

Jake : Are you ok ??

Kate told me she’s fine and that she was thinking about some other stuff.

I was considering whether to tell Kate about Lucy when my mum asked me back to the stall to help her bring some heavy stuff down from the shelves.

The morning peak hour arrived and I forgot all about the lunch I had the day before. I happily packed my noodles, delivered the soup to the table, collected the money and gave back the change.

Everything settled into a comfortable pace.

No Gabriel, no Ben, no Lucy.

No horrible thoughts of old men fighting for power.

8.45am

I looked up from my notebook after scratching off the order for a table and saw this man.

This good looking and well-built man.

I don’t know him but I have seen him before.

Our eyes met and he smiled.

Man : 5 packets, noodle soup.

He looked really familiar, I’ve seen him somewhere. As I collected the money from him, I remembered seeing him at Roland’s table.

I was about to exclaim when he said Roland would like to invite me over to his place for dinner on Wednesday evening.

Man : Will you be available ? Say at 7pm ?

I was caught unprepared for a moment and I looked over to the coffee stall. Kate was busy but she saw the man too and she immediately made her way over.

Kate : What is this about ?

Jake : Roland wants to ask us over for dinner…

Kate : Am I invited too ?

Man : Sure. ………you said you’re a couple right ???

He smiled a sly smile at the both of us. It’s like as if he saw right through us but chose to kept quiet about it.

Kate : Yes we are…. We’re dating…. Were you paying attention yesterday during lunch ?

The man laughed and bowed politely and apologised although I’m not sure what that was for.

Man : Can I take this as a yes ? …. To the dinner invite ?

I looked towards Kate and she nodded.

Kate : We’ll see Roland on Wednesday.

Man : Perfect.

He took his noodles and left after it’s ready.

The moment he left, my mum started peppering us with questions.

Mum : Who is he ? Quite handsome leh…

Jake : Aiyah… nothing la… Kate’s friend..

I spent the next couple of hours thinking about it and right before we packed up the stall that morning, I told Kate about Lucy.

Kate : WHAT > ? She said that !!??

Jake : Yah… so I need to talk to Gabriel and Ben…. At least I pass the message along…

Kate says she’ll call them up on my behalf.

She was about to hit dial when she turned towards me and asked.

Kate : Is that all ? She never said anything else ?? offered anything at all ??

I swallowed a gulp of saliva and shook my head.

I mean come on, how do you expect me to tell Kate she offered herself to me ? Or even better, she offered Kate to me. I would probably get a slap.

Kate : Be careful of Lucy Jake, especially when she offers something to you…

I nodded and tried to keep my expression neutral.

12.30pm

When my parents packed up the stall for the day, I asked them to head back on their own as I have some matters to attend to.

I waited at the coffee shop for Gabriel and he arrived at 1pm.

Kate immediately told Gabriel about what Lucy had told me.

Kate : What is she trying to do ?

Gabriel : Stir shit…. That’s what she’s good at…

..

He turned to me and asked me not to read too much into it.

Gabriel : The best thing to do would be not to react. Don’t do a thing and don’t even acknowledge her….. ignore her Jake…

I nodded.

Gabriel was more interested in the dinner with Roland on Wednesday and he reminded me several times that if possible, try to get a hint from Roland where his loyalty lies.

Gabriel : He’s not fond of Matthew , but Andy was pretty harsh when he crucified Roland on the way he does his books as well, so for Roland, it’s a matter of voting for the person he dislikes less.

Gabriel left 5 minutes later and we waited a while more for Uncle Ben to arrive.

1.45pm

I told Uncle Ben what Lucy asked me to say and he immediately started cursing her.

Ben : That bitch…. No no… that witch…. I tell you…. She’s a vampire….no… I think a witch is a better description for her….. trying to stir shit… ignore her ! …

Uncle Ben then went on to say how she gave Gabriel a hard time many years ago when Gabriel was helping his dad snoop around and talk to the elders.

Ben : Be careful of her Jake….. she will mess with your head….stay away from her….. and never fucking go to her place… you hear me !!!

As of to reinforce his point, Ben grabbed me by my shirt and pulled me towards him.

Ben : I meant it Jake…. Don’t you dare go to her place alone…. She’ll eat you… you hear me ?? she’s a vampire… you know ?? you got watch the 林正英 vampire show ??? she will suck your blood !..

Jake : ok… ok… I know.

Just saying I know is not enough apparently.

Ben took it upon himself to call Lucy right there and then.

Ben : HELLO!!! … OEI!!!…. LUCY……. KNN…. Don’t come and play this kind of shit stirring crap…. I don’t give a fuck who you vote for…..but if you can bring yourself to vote for Matthew and sleep at night…. Go ahead….

He paused, apparently waiting for Lucy to reply him.

Ben : ANGRY ??? I’m ANGRY ??? Angry gi lan ah…. Why would I get angry with you !!… not worth it….. don’t disturb Jake… he’s a fucking block of wood I tell you… leave him alone ..

Another short pause followed and Ben sounded more calm.

Ben : Yah la… yah la… don’t every time come and sweet talk me…. don’t work on me one…. I’m old uncle already….

I would not have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.

By Ben’s 4th reply, he was laughing away and sipping on his coffee.

Ben : Yes… yes… you are the sweetest I know….. always send me sweet things…. I’ll get diabetes I tell you… hahaha…

Ben saw me staring at him and she switched tack again.

Ben : Okay okay… don’t change topic…. Leave Jake alone ok… he’s just an innocent boy ….. pubic hair also don’t know grow out already or not…

Jake : Uncle Ben… I’m past 30….

He gave me an irritated look and waved me off while I looked at Kate.

Kate shrugged his shoulders and looked at my groin.

Jake : I have pubic hair…. In case you are wondering… but they’re well maintained and trimmed regularly … how about you ??

Kate laughed and said she prefers waxing.

I felt my cock stir once more as I imagined the baby smooth vagina that would be waiting for me when I finally get to have Kate.

Ben : Yah yah… yah… next time when I’m free la… ok… ok… byee !!..

Ben hung up the phone and told me Lucy would not be bothering me anymore.

Ben : I warned her already… don’t worry…. She disturb you… you come to me…

He lit up a cigarette, finished his coffee and left.

Kate tapped me on my shoulder and asked me to get myself ready for Roland’s dinner.

I left the coffee shop to grab a cab back home.

2.30pm

Lucy dropped me a message

Lucy msg : What are you doing tonight Jake ? …

It was followed by a sweet emoji of a smiling face and a kiss.

My heart started thumping. I should not reply her.

I can’t.

Everyone warned me about her.

I should have deleted her contact, block her from calling me but I can’t.

It’s just the man inside me that’s stopping me from doing it.

Lucy’s 2nd message arrived shortly, weakening my resolve further.

Lucy msg : I have no plans tonight…. Want to come over my place ?? We can have dinner, and chat over some wine ??

My hands started sweating.

I don’t know why just the messages alone is giving me an erection.

Would you have replied her ?

Ask yourself this question honestly, would you ?

I was fighting the terrible dilemma when my phone rang. It was Lucy.

This must be her way of messing with my head and not giving me enough time to think.

I answered the phone but I kept quiet.

Lucy : Hey Jake…. Why are you not replying my messages… hahaa… please don’t tell me you are afraid of me ok ?? … ahah…

Her voice.

Lucy’s voice purred like the soothing call of a siren. She sounded so friendly while she attacked my sense of insecurity at the same time.

Lucy : You’re a guy Jake… I should be the one that’s afraid of you right…. You’re stronger… bigger….haha… don’t listen to those groundless rumours about me ok…

She sounded a little hurt when she said the rumours affected her personally.

Lucy : What do those people know about me anyway…. They’re all so judgemental…

She paused for a moment before asking if I would like to head over.

Lucy : It’s just for dinner Jake… nothing more… I just want to have a chat with you…

Jake : Just a chat ??

Lucy : Of course… haha… just a chat…

I hesitated for a couple of seconds and Lucy knew she had me.

Lucy : So I’ll see you at 6pm ? Is that too early for dinner ?

Jake : No… not at all… I’ll see you at 6pm.

Lucy : You’re so sweet…. See you in a while…

As I hung up, I had the feeling of butterflies in my stomach. I don’t know why but it’s like a first date.

Like I’m meeting someone new for the first time.

Or rather, it’s like heading to a date where I know I’m going to fuck her.

I took a deep breath and tried to calm myself down.

I showered and spoke to myself in the mirror.

Jake : It’s ok…. It’s ok… she’s just a girl…. There’s nothing she can do… the most I’m just going to rape her, hold her down and give her a good humping until she screams and begs me to stop.

5pm

I showered twice.

I don’t know why. I made sure I was well groomed and I picked a nice pair of casual pants and t-shirt.

Lucy text me again at 5.15pm to remind me of our date.

5.50pm

I arrived at Lucy’s place.

Lucy stays in a landed property in pasir ris right beside the Api Api river. It’s just a short taxi ride away from my place.

The exterior looked just like any other of the semi-detached houses in the area.

I rang the intercom and the magnetic catch of the gate released itself.

My heart started beating really fast again.

The short 7 meter walk to the front door from the gate seemed to take forever.

Right when I got to the door, I heard the opening of a latch and the main door opened.

I felt a gust of cold air hit me as Lucy greeted me with a smile.

She’s dressed up for the dinner.

Lucy wore a figure hugging teal coloured dress that revealed most of her legs. The dress is short, it reached well above her knees and she was wearing heels in her house.

4 inch high grey felt covered heels that shimmered with the glittery bits.

Her dress wrapped around her body like a tight bandage, Lucy did not show her cleavage but there was no hiding how well endowed her breast is. She wore a pair of pearl earrings and she had a cardigan draped over her arms.

Lucy : Hi Jake…

Lucy’s smile melted away the last bit of resistance in my as she linked arms with me and let me into her house with my shoes still on.

The interior of Lucy’s house is done up in an opulent and sensual manner. It’s like stepping into a upgraded version of scarlet hotel. The colours she used are deep, rich and sensual.

Everything is so lush and the cushions felt so soft.

The dark Persian carpet I was walking on extended all the way from the door to her living area before giving way to another larger dark brown carpet with fur so soft, I felt like pressing my body down onto it and just roll around like a baby who just started learning how to crawl.

Her dining table has been set for two . There was even a candle stand but they were not lit yet. Wine was set to breath in the decanter and I could see the chicken rotating lazily in the oven through the open kitchen.

Instead of heading to the dining table, Lucy led me towards the stairs.

Jake : where are we going ?

Lucy : Well, the food is not ready yet…

I started to panic and for a moment I really worried if the part about Lucy being a vampire was true.

Jake : erm… where…. Where are we going ??

Lucy laughed and slapped my arm playfully.

Lucy : You very scare of me is it ? haha… please la… I’m just a weak little girl… if you choose to force yourself on me… I don’t think I can fight you off…

Lucy tightened her link of my arms as she giggled and led me to the 2nd floor of her house.

Jake : I’m… I’m not like that… don’t worry…

Lucy smiled and turned to face me.

Lucy : But… what if I want you to be ? … would you ?

She turned her head slightly sideways, showing me the left of her face with her mesmerizing gaze and I was trying hard not to shiver.

Lucy : haha… I wouldn’t fight you Jake…. If you chose to…. But….

She leaned closed and whispered by my ears even though we were the only one along the corridor.

Lucy : You have to use a condom… hur hur….

She giggled at how shocked I look before saying in a normal conversational volume.

Lucy : Unless you want to hear me beg….. for you not to cum inside me ??

My erection was straining so hard against my pants that I was at the brink of turning into a monster.

I’ve never felt so evil before.

I really want to rip her dress off and press her against the wall.

It’s her tease. Her tease that was messing with my brain.

Lucy : Dinner will be ready soon…. But before that I have some domestic matters to attend to…. And….i really need someone neutral to be the judge.

I was about to ask Lucy what she meant when she opened the door to the first bedroom and I was blown away by what was in front of me.

I looked at Lucy in disbelief before turning to the 2 girls that was kneeling on the floor. Both of them were sobbing.

I recognised them. They were at the lunch the other day too.

They did not speak, just sobbed quietly as Lucy introduced them to me.

Lucy : That’s Jane on the left and Huimin on the right…

Jake : What is going on ?

Lucy : Oh… they stole from me…

Lucy dragged me over to the sofa in the room and make me sit down beside her.

She continued to link my arms and she speaks as if she was asking me which channel I want to watch on the TV.

Lucy : I hate it … when people steal from me Jake…. So I have to teach them a lesson …. It’ll be a good example…to the rest …. So they know what not to do..

I stared on in disbelief as the 2 girls continued looking on the floor.

Lucy : Both of them still owe their agent fees, so if I send them back… they would be in debt and you know the rest of the story don’t you….

Huimin : Lucy sorry… please… don’t send us back…

Jane : Lucy please… please…. We’re sorry… it won’t happen again…

Lucy ignored them and turned towards me.

Lucy : Jake will decide… Jake…. I want to send one of them back…. But I can’t make up my mind…. Can you help me ??

Jake : I… I really don’t want to get involve in this…i…

Lucy laughed and asked me to relax.

Lucy : Relax Jake… I’m not asking you to rape them or anything…they’re … freelancing on the side so to speak so even if I ask them to fuck you… it would not make a difference ….

Huimin : Lucy please…. I’ll do anything… I’ll pay you back…

Jane : Please Lucy… we’re really sorry… sob…

Lucy was ignoring them totally and she was just swooning all over me. Her fingers caressed my arm, her shoulders nudged against mine. Even her legs, she crossed them in such a way that they’re rubbing against my legs, her heels rested and rubbed against my calves and knees when she moved and talked.

My erection was bursting my boxers and I found it hard to breathe. Not to mention the room was cold.

Extremely cold.

In fact Lucy’s house felt like a fridge.

Too cold for comfort.

Lucy : Come on Jake… help me decide…

Jake : I think I shouldn’t get involved….

Lucy smiled and continued.

Lucy : Help me decide… or I’ll send both of them back…

The 2 girls immediately came over to me and started tugging at my pants, my arms and my shirt, begging me to save them.

Huimin : Please Jake… please… I would do anything…. Please…

Jane : Jake… please… I have a mother back home that needs medication… please…

Lucy laughed and waited for me to response but I don’t know what to do.

I really don’t know.

Then Lucy’s fingers went for my groin and she gripped the top of my erected cock and squeezed it gently.

Lucy : Oooh.. you’re having an erection already… you want to cum ?? I ask them to make you cum ??? you want ?? haha..

The girls took that as a cue and started to strip.

Huimin was dressed in casual shorts and t-shirt, it seemed like her day off or something. She removed her t-shirt and revealed a pair of white colour bra and panty. Jane too started to remove her singlet and denim skirt, she was wearing mismatched lingerie. A black lace g-string and a pink coloured strapless bra.

Both of them clamored towards me while Lucy laughed.

I tried to stop them, I pushed away their hands and for a good 30 seconds, I kept saying no.

Jake : No.. no.. no stop… please stop…. No !!..

It got to the point that Lucy was so amused that she asked them to stop and they did immediately.

Lucy : Jake doesn’t want to cum….

Lucy leaned against the arm of her sofa and proceeded to lift up both her legs, resting them on my lap. She deliberately sandwiched my erection in between her legs and turned to the girls.

Lucy : Since Jake doesn’t want to cum…. Shall we show him how you girls cum instead??

Jake : What ?

Lucy waved her fingers at Huimin and Jane and asked them to make each other cum.

Lucy : The first one to reach orgasm gets to stay… is that fair Jake ??

Lucy pulled back one of her legs against my thigh and in that fluid motion, removed one of her heel, dislodging it from her feet.

Lucy : It’s quite painful to be in heels all the time…. Can you be a dear Jake… help me massage my feet ??

I can’t breathe.

I was struggling to breathe.

Lucy turned back to the girls and asked what were they waiting for before placing one of her feet near my groin.

With a pained look on her face, Lucy added.

Lucy : I wore these new heels for you Jake… see… I can feel a blister coming….

I was shaking.

I really was.

Imagine yourself in my position, would you not be shaking too ?

My hands moved on their own.

At the very moment I touched Lucy’s feet with both my hands, I felt pre cum starting to flow on my dick as Jane and Huimin suddenly started to wrestle each other.

They struggled for a few seconds before hugging onto each other and I was greeted with the most fucking erotic sight I’ve ever seen in my life.

Jane reached for Huimin’s pussy and started to rub her through her panty.

Huimin on the other hand managed to grab her hand inside Jane’s panty.

They were groaning initially and within seconds, they settled into what I assumed was their competitive position.

They were rubbing each other’s pussy in front of me.

Their eyes were closed and I could see them biting their lips trying not to moan.

Jane lowered her head and tried to lick Huimin’s nipples but Huimin was faster and she started flicking and playing with Jane’s nipple.

My dick was throbbing.

My heart rate went up.

My palms were sweaty.

Lucy looked at me with her doleful innocent eyes as if nothing was happening and directed me to a particular spot on her feet.

Lucy : Yes that spot Jake… that spot…

I depressed the part near Lucy’s little toe and started massaging her feet.

Lucy’s eyes closed and her other leg used my thigh to dislodge her other heel too.

Lucy : ERnghhhh… ernghh…. Yes… that spot…ernghh…. Yes…

This is not happening.

This cannot be happening.

Huimin and Jane started moaning as well.

Right when I thought I was going to get a heart attack, I heard a loud chime coming from downstairs before a buzzer went off.

Lucy : Oh…ernghhhh… the chicken must be ready… ergnhhh….so good erngghh…

……………………………………..

I stopped massaging Lucy’s feet when I saw Huimin wrestle Jane onto the floor.

Lucy chuckled and laughed as Huimin pinned Jane down with her body while her fingers rubbed Jane’s pussy in a relentless manner. It’s brutally entertaining. I’ve never seen something like this before.

Two girls going at it trying desperately to reach each other’s privates. They were screaming, shouting at each other while Lucy chuckled in amusement. It was an all out cat fight on a different level altogether.

Jane : ERnghhh… ernghh…. Erngh… no!!… stop… stop please… ernghh….

Jane was helpless as her hands were unable to get to Huimin. Huimin peeled back Jane’s bra cups and cupped her mouth over her small pink nipples, sucking onto them as she let out a yelp.

Jane : ERnghh…. Noooooo….

I could hear Huimin sucking and slurping on Jane’s breast as she groaned helplessly while being pinned down on the floor.

Jane trashed her body about, her left hand held onto Huimin’s right wrist as she desperately tried to stop her from rubbing her wet cunt any longer but Huimin held on.

Humin tried to pull down Jane’s g-string and managed to pull it down to her knees, stretching it so much that I doubt it would return to it’s original shape.

Jane had a brief moment of reprieve and she managed to wriggle herself free. It was Jane’s turn to attack Huimin’s pussy. Instead of pulling Huimin’s panty downwards, she yanked it up in the reverse direction. She tugged and tugged as Huimin wrestled her to the floor.

I could not believe what I was seeing as my cock throbbed in excitement.

As Jane tugged and pulled Huimin’s panty, it caused a wedgie , the repeat action reduced the coverage area of Huimin’s panty to just a thin slit that rubs against her wet vagina.

Jane kept yanking the stretched panty, letting the cotton fabric rub against Huimin’s pussy and doing the work for her. Huimin tried to counter the movement and turned onto her back and I was rewarded with a view of her neatly trimmed privates with her swollen and fleshy clit exposed and parted by her panty.

With Huimin on the floor, Jane broke free and quickly attempted to gain the upper hand.

Jane spit a blog of saliva onto her fingers and Huimin screamed as she plastered her fingers onto her slit and tried to penetrate her love hole after roughly pushing aside Huimin’s panty.

Huimin : NO!… stop!!!…

Huim tried to push Jane away but Jane still managed to push her fingers into Huimin’s cunt.

Huimin : ERgnhhh… painful….e rnghh… ernghhhh…

I let out an uncontrolled shiver on the sofa and Lucy giggled at me. She reached out her long slender hands and hugged me around my neck, pulling herself upwards. As Lucy sat up, she maneuverer herself onto my thigh while keeping her arms around my neck.

My movements were restricted and I could feel the pain of my erection as by then not only was it pushing against my boxers and pants, it was also pushing against’ Lucy’s bottom.

Out of sheer luck, Jane got the upper hand as she got onto her knees while keeping her index and middle finger inside a squirming Huimin. She dug in deeper and I could see Huimin’s body had a couple of second of spasm as she pleaded with Jane to let go of her.

Huimin : Stop… stop… ernggg… ernghhhhhhh…

They struggled and both bodies managed to break off each other for a few seconds before the hugged onto each other.

They literally went all out kamikaze style. There was no longer any attempt to block each other. It’s like they just wanted to trash it out via pure endurance.

Their shoulders touched while they embraced face to face and plastered their cheeks against each other, their respective hand reached down for the other’s private.

Jane pushed her fingers into Huimin and I saw the frown on her face as she gasp. Huimin on the other hand pinched and rubbed Jane’s clitoris, swiping her wet pussy left to right, coating her entire privates with her own lubricant.

Jane ; ERnghhh…. Ernghhh…

Huimin : ERngghh… stop… ernghhg… stop…ernggg….

Both their faces were frowning as their lungs grasped desperately for air in the cold room.

Huimin’s eyes were tightly squeezed together, while Jane kept taking deep breath as she practiced some breathing technique.

Lucy chuckled at her girls and she planted a kiss on my cheek.

I was in a trance. I must be staring at them with my mouth half opened.

Jane’s fingers entered Huimin again and I heard her cursed.

Huimin : Fuck…. Ernghh… ergnhhhh…..

Huimin let out a blood curling scream as Lucy got up and pulled me to my feet.

Lucy : Come over here for a better view Jake…

I followed Lucy who tip toed barefoot towards the fray.

I saw Jane’s thumb pressing onto Huimin’s clit as Lucy pushed for me to sit down right beside them. With her index and middle finger inserted into Huimin’s pussy, I could imagine her gripping onto Huimin’s g-spot and rubbing her clit in a claw like manner.

Huimin screamed and moaned as Jane shook her hands vigorously, trying to bring Huimin to her orgasm.

Humin on the other hand cupped her palm onto Jane’s wet pussy. Jane’s a lot wetter and I could see copious amount of liquid dripping from Huimin’s fingers and onto the floor. Even as Huimin rubbed and shaked , little dew like droplets of Jane’s cunt juice sprayed and squirted all over.

My erection felt like it was going to explode.

The hardness in my cock was getting beyond the point of arousal to just plain agony.

Lucy clung onto my like a drunken koala and her fingers inter-crossed with mine.

Lucy : Interesting isn’t it ?? hahah… are you aroused ??

I could not even bring myself to answer Lucy as I tried to picture myself in each other the girl’s shoes.

Lucy : You want to lend them a hand Jake ?? hahah…. Help one side to win ??

I shook my head as Lucy urged me to touch them .

Lucy : Touch their breast…. Play with their nipples…. They’ll cum faster….. then we can have our dinner. … you’re hungry aren’t you ?? ….. or are you horny instead ?? hahahah

Lucy grabbed my hand and pulled them towards Huimin’s breast but I fought and shrunk back.

Jake : No… no… !

Lucy laughed and commented I was so tensed.

Lucy : Relax… or do you want to touch mine instead???

I turned and look at Lucy as she caressed my cheeks, exclaiming how youthful my skin was.

Lucy : If I am a vampire… I would enjoy feasting on you Jake… haha…

I tried to stand up but Lucy pulled me back down.

She got onto my lap again, pressing against my erection as I groaned.

 

Lucy : keep your boy down Jake…. It’s my dessert after dinner… haha…

She held my hand and pulled it around her waist and leaned back onto me as I take in deep breath of Lucy’s perfume. It was an intoxicating smell.

There was this sweetness in the deep fragrance that stirred up feelings I could not describe. This exotic scent probably extracted from some rare flowers deep in the tropical forest or probably conjured up in a chemist lab. That scent that sent a primal urge into my body.

I wanted to plaster my nose onto Lucy’s neck and lick my tongue along her fair skin.

Huimin : ARHHHHHHa…. aHHHHH.. aHHHHHHH… no… no… no…

Huimin’s eyes widened as she lost all rhythm on her attempt to make Jane cum.

Her body started to slouch and she frowned, moaning like a mating cat in the cold room.

Huimin : ERghnnn.. erngh….. ergnnhh….. stop… stop.. stop… ernghh… senhhh… I can’t… I can’t…. ernghHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ernghhh !!!

Huimin pushed Jane back and tried to lie down on her back but Jane held on, collapsing onto Huimin while keeping her fingers inside her vagina.

Huimin : AHHHHH… AHHHHHHHHHHHHH… NO!!!!… NO!!!!!!!!! ernghh!!!!!!!!!!!! Ernhhhh.. ernghhh.. ernghh !!!!

Huimin’s hands gripped onto Jane’s but there was no way she was pulling them out.

Jane peeled back Huimin’s bra cup and sucked down on her nipples.

Jane : Slurpzzzzz…. Zhoooootttzzz… sluprzzz…

Huimin : ERGNHNHNHNHNHN… ERNGHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!NO!!!!!

I sucked in so much air that I thought my lungs were going to explode as Huimin’s bottom reared up almost 30cm into the air before slamming down onto the floor as she screamed, thrashing and kicking at Jane.

A large squirt of water squeezed and forced itself out of her abused love hole but Jane held on, fucking her 2 fingers rapidly into Huimin.

Huimin :arGHHHHH.. ahHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH… AHHHHHHHHHH… erngh !!!!!!!!!!!.. erngh !!!!!!!!!!!!!NO NO NO… erngh !!!

The wet slapping sound of Jane’s fingers in Huimin’s vagina almost made me pass out .

Huimin turned onto her side and managed to kick Jane off as she groaned and laughed on the floor, cursing and screaming like a mad woman.

Huimin : ARHHHH… ergngngngn… ahhaha… hahah.. stop… ahaha.. erngggg… stop…haha…

Jane too collapsed onto the floor, laughing uncontrollably.

I was speechless.

Absolutely speechless.

I turned to look at Lucy who looked a little irritated.

She kicked both of them lightly and scolded them for being unprofessional.

What the fuck is this ?

What was the comment about them being unprofessional about ?

The 2 girls did not reply. Instead, they continued laughing uncontrollably on the floor much to Lucy’s irritation.

Jake : What… what is going on ??

Lucy pouted and got up onto her feet.

Lucy : CHey…. Not fun one… go go. Go…. Go away… don’t disturb my dinner.

I stared in shock as Huimin and Jane chuckled and laughed at me.

Jane made a playful grab at my erection as I literally jumped backwards.

Jane : Oh my god… did you see the look on his face… ahhaah…

Huimin : Classic look man… hahaha… Lucy… he won’t last 30 minutes I tell you… hahaha…

I staggered backwards, unable to believe what was happening.

Lucy waved them off and asked her girls to go wash up.

Lucy : Haiyah… you all spoil the mood already…. Go.. go.. go wash up…. So dirty..

The girls giggled and picked themselves up.

Huimin pinched my backside as she left while Jane asked me to enjoy my dinner.

Jane : Good luck to you Jake… hahaha…

I don’t know what to feel as the girls disappeared down the corridor into another room.

Lucy held onto me for support and slipped on her heels.

Lucy : Ok.. ok… back to serious matter…. Let’s have our dinner shall we ?

Jake : Was that all an act ??

I asked as I had trouble digesting what just happened

Lucy : Haiyah… just a joke la… so serious for what… come come… let’s have dinner.

Lucy linked arms with me again as we descended down the steps to the dining area.

For a brief moment, I realised why everyone warned me about not coming to Lucy’s place alone.

Lucy distracted my attention by asking me to help her tie up her apron.

I don’t know if she had deliberately chose the attire to wear with her apron. Once I tied them around her waist, if I were to stare straight at Lucy, she looked like she was not wearing anything underneath.

Just apron and her high heels.

She is fucking with my brain on so many levels that I was beginning to get a little disorientated.

Lucy disappeared into the kitchen for a few minutes before emerging with our dinner. It was a simple meal of chicken and salad on the side. Wine flowed freely as Lucy took the seat beside me.

Her legs were crossed and as usual, she was making sure there were multiple body contacts as we spoke and ate at the same time.

Lucy would nudged me with her elbow as she cut her chicken, asking me if it’s well marinated.

She would giggle at everything I said even though most was a reply to her questions. Lucy would paused, touched me on my arm and laughed before returning to her food.

Her every move was calculated.

Premediated.

It was like she’s casting a spell.

Her eyes would look right into mine as we engaged in a discussion about the direction the country is heading. One moment she’s all serious and professional, then she would get flirty and she would rub my calves with her heels.

That had to be the first time in my life I sat through a dinner with a constant erection.

We finished the wine and Lucy offered another bottle but I declined.

She cleared the dishes and made coffee.

Lucy : Let’s talk serious matters Jake..

Lucy brought the coffee to the patio and I was surprised to see that the floor was wet.

Apparently it had been raining for a while and there’s still a light drizzle.

A cool comfortable breeze greeted us as we settled down on the couch by a narrow walkway of lush greenery.

Lucy : Ok Jake…. I’m going to go straight to the point…

Jake : Orh…

__________________

Lucy : I know Gabriel wants my vote… but so does Matthew…

Lucy started to tell me how tightly weaved everyone’s relationship were among the organisation.

Gabriel is the landlord of several business owned by Lucy, but so is Matthew.

Lucy : I have my interest to protect…. And business being business… I cannot afford to offend anyone…..

Lucy took a sip of her coffee and smiled before going on.

Lucy : I don’t know how much you know of the family but l’m going to assume you barely scratched the surface….. so I’m going to fill you in on some stuff….. which….. I think… your so call girlfriend….. may have missed out…

I just kept quiet and Lucy went on.

Lucy went on to tell me something I already knew.

That each elder had the dirt of another.

Lucy : no one knows who’s dirt the other has…. That’s the rule….and in our case… it’s the law…

I nodded and sipped my coffee.

Lucy : If everyone keeps their mouth shut and work together…. There is a balance…. Checks and balance….. but what if…. What if ….. let’s assume…. That someone talks…someone reveals who’s dirt they are holding…… and most importantly…. Who’s they are willing to trade it for…. ..

Lucy sat forward and crossed her fingers together.

Lucy : Wouldn’t you agree…. That this information is valuable ??

Jake : No one would talk…. It’s the only card that they hold…. Why would they show it ?? It doesn’t make sense….

Lucy smiled and rest her chin on the back of both hands, she tilted her head sideways and look at me in a dream like manner.

Then when she spoke, I felt a chill run up my spine the same time a lightning streaked across the crimson sky.

Lucy : I’ll tell you mine…

Jake : No… no way…. You would just be lying to me… there’s no way I would know whether it’s true or not….

Lucy chuckled .

Lucy : I’ll show you……. See it with your own eyes…but….

Lucy paused and waited for me to ask her the question she wanted

Jake : But what ??

Lucy : I want something in return….

Jake : I don’t have anything you want….. I don’t know who’s holding on to whose’s dirt .

Lucy laughed and said she didn’t need that information.

Lucy : There’s something else I need you to do…

She asked me to finish my coffee and we went back into her house.

I felt the cold blast of air hit me again inside the house. It’s cold. Way too cold.

I looked at the thermostat on her air-conditioning and the temperature was set to 16.

Fuck.

16 degrees on a rainy evening.

Lucy might really be a vampire.

Lucy poured two more glasses of wine despite me refusing to have more and led me to her study.

She sat me down in front of a 19 inch computer screen and passed me my wine.

Lucy : hold on…

She helped me put on a expensive looking headphone and it immediately cancelled out all the ambient noise.

Lucy kept one hand on my shoulder as she sipped her wine and opened a folder and clicked play.

Within seconds my eyes widened in shock.

My hand trembled and I spilled my wine.

I was about to gasp but Lucy by then had hugged onto my neck from behind as she placed her face on my left, her right cheek touching mine.

She stopped the video after 30 seconds and removed the headphone before turning back to me.

I don’t fucking believe this but it was right in front of me.

In front of my very eyes.

In that video, I could clearly see Matthew…… and not only Matthew….

I saw Suwen….. Terry’s wife.

It was a vid of Matthew and Suwen in a hotel room together. The rest need no further explainations.

The ramifications of what I just saw started falling into place as my heart started beating faster.

Lucy : Now …. Do you realise how valuable this is ……. Say…….. to Gabriel ??

Jake : Why…… why did you show me this ??

Lucy offered me some napkins and said no one would ever believe me anyway.

Lucy : Who would ? hahahah …. Who would believe you Jake ?? ….

I was speechless for a good 30 seconds and Lucy just smiled at me.

Lucy : Work for me Jake…. I’ll pay you well….and you don’t need to tell anyone about it either…. I’m a good employer you know… hahaha…

I just kept quiet and look at her.

She folded her arms and looked at me with a grin.

Lucy : So… do you want what I have ??

I looked back up at Lucy and nodded my head.

Jake : What do you want for it ??

Lucy smiled and added.

Lucy : I want a lot of things for it…. But well…. I’ll tell you later…. Your clothes are dirty…. Take it off… I’ll wash them…

Jake : No it’s ok… it’s fine…

Lucy ignored my protest and pulled up my shirt.

Lucy : I insist…

Lucy : Pants too… see… dirty already…

Jake : No… no… wait… wait…

Lucy laughed again in an amused manner.

Lucy : Why ? Are you afraid I would rape you ?? hahah…

Jake : No… i… it’s not very nice… i…

Lucy knelt down and removed my pants, leaving me with only my boxers.

The hair on my skin stood on it’s ends in the cold house as Lucy disappeared into the kitchen.

She came back out after a few minutes and said it should take probably a couple of hours for the wash and dry cycle to complete.

Lucy : Are you cold ??? would you like something to wear ?? my clothes perhaps ?? … hahaa hur… hur….

Lucy went on to say that she has some nice winter tights and furry clothes that would keep me warm.

She fucking did that on purpose.

I don’t know why but I started getting erection again.

Lucy laughed and asked if I had a fetish for woman’s clothes.

Lucy : It’s ok… most men do…. They just don’t want to admit it…. Hur… hur…

She linked arms with me and escorted me up to her bedroom.

Jake : Where are we going ? wait.. wait…

Lucy brought me to her bedroom and when the door opened, I saw Jane and Huimin lounging inside on the couch, flipping through a magazine.

Jane : Oooh…. Lucy…. So fast strip him already ah… hahaha….

The girls teased me as Lucy brought me to her bed.

Lucy : Ignore them ok….

She sat me down on her bed and took the seat beside me.

Lucy : Jake..

Jake : Yah….

Lucy gestured to Huimin who came over with a black silk scarf.

Jake : What are you doing ?… what are you all doing ???

Huimin proceeded to blindfold me and I was plunged into darkness in a matter of seconds.

Jake : Wait… wait… let’s talk about this…. i… I don’t mind having sex…. And all but…

Jane laughed at my comment.

Jane : You’re very funny Jake… I like you… haha…

Huimin : Relax Jake… relax….

They made sure I was deprived of my sense of sight before guiding me to the center of the bed.

I was shivering in the cold and they covered me with the thick and heavy comforter.

The warmth was incredible.

I could not see but I could still feel.

I can still hear.

Lucy’s voice came up the same time I felt someone approach me on both sides of the bed.

My heart was thumping.

My erection was throbbing away.

Lucy : Men…. Are all visual creatures….but there is so much more…..to us…. Then just looking pretty Jake….

Jake : What… what are you trying to say. … what are you doing….

I could hear Huimin and Jane by my side and they each took one of my arms and straddled it, putting their bottom on my forearm and pinning it onto the bed with their body.

Jake : What is this…. What are you doing Lucy ?? …. What’s going on….

Lucy : Don’t worry Jake… don’t worry…. Consider this….. as part of your employment benefits….

Jake : Wait.. wait…. i….

There was no waiting.

There was no negotiating.

Everything just happened.

3rd Feburary 2015

Tuesday

1.15am

I struggled to get on my feet.

I walked into this house and I’m going to walk out.

My hands supported my body on the dresser table as I lifted myself off the bed.

Jane was curled up on the floor by the foot of the bed.

Huimin collapsed face down on the couch.

Lucy.

Lucy was completely caked in dried sweat as she laid on her side, panting and breathing through her mouth as she smiled weakly at me.

I almost fell as I staggered towards the door and Lucy managed to call out after me.

Lucy : Don’t forget …. Our deal ……… Jake….

I strained every bit of my muscle as I made my way to the kitchen and removed my clothes from the washer and dryer.

I struggled to pull them on and called myself a cab.

I forgot the entire journey home. I don’t even remember paying the cab driver.

3.30am

My head was spinning as my mum tried to wake me up.

Mum : Jake… oei… time to head down to the stall…

I was totally drained, exhausted.

Jake : Ma… i…. I need to take urgent leave today…. I’m very tired…

My mum smiled and I caught what she said before I drifted off again in guilt and shame.

Mum : As a Hawker….. we have no leave… no MC, no CPF….. no bonus…

She tapped me lightly on my arm and pulled the blanket to my chest and left me to rest.

Mum : You stop working…. You stop eating…

11am

I was jolted awake by the notification of a message on my phone and I literally jumped.

My body and muscles I never knew existed ached.

I laid in my bed and stared at the ceiling as I remembered what Lucy wanted in exchange for the dirt on Matthew.

It was impossible I said.

To which Lucy replied.

Lucy : Nothing ….. Nothing is impossible Jake….

Lucy : Now… go fuck Tiffany…. And make sure you get it on tape….

I got out of bed and into the shower.

As the cold shower pelted my body, I summarised the information I have so far.

Lucy has Matthew’s dirt, while she’s aware that Terry has her’s. She was not willing to share how she came to that conclusion.

So all I have to do was to get leverage on Terry through her daughter, and in return, she can make sure Matthew never wins the election by trading with Gabriel.

Excellent plan I must say although a better one just hit me when I stopped the shower.

What would it mean then, if I become the one who owns all the dirt on the 8 elders ?

……………………………

Optional read for My adventure as a hawker

My time with Lucy, Jane & Huimin – get it here

 

 


I remembered drinking loads of water and doing a lot of stretching that day at home. 

The aches and the pain in my joints burnt with each action I made. 

I don’t remember having such a intense workout before. 

12.30pm 

I don’t intend to do anything that day. I just wanted to rest. 

I strolled across the road to a nearby coffeeshop, bought myself a nice large packet of rice before heading back home to eat in front of my computer. 

As I closed up the takeaway box after finishing the last bit, my phone rang. 

It was Kate 

She wanted to know what happened to me and I told her I was not feeling too good that morning so I skipped work. 

Kate : Please make sure you get well by tomorrow then. Don’ forget we still have Roland’s dinner. 

Jake : I should be better by then. 

Kate told me that we will meet up the next day first before heading down to Roland’s place together. We were to maintain our front of a couple. 

Kate : If anyone were to call our bluff, it would be Roland… 

Jake : What if he doesn’t believe we’re dating ? 

Kate : Don’t worry, just act natural. ,.. and behave as if we’re really dating. 

Shortly after I hung up, my parents came back and asked if I was feeling any better. 

Mum : You ok or not ? 

Jake : Yah I’m much better now… sorry for not being able to go down today…

Mum : This is one of the problem of being your own boss Jake…. We cannot afford to wake up and decide not to go down to work… 

She explained that ingredients were pre ordered the day before. Suppliers would probably be on their way down sending us our orders by the time we woke up. Raw ingredients would spoil and you would be making a loss for that day. 

I nodded and told her I’m ok. 

Lucy text me late in the evening around 8pm. 

Lucy msg : I’m aching all over….. 

Jake msg : Me too… 

My phone rang almost immediately after I replied and Lucy asked how was I doing 

Lucy : Miss me or not Jake ? … hahaha… 

Jake : A little…I guess… 

Lucy chuckled for a couple of second before she got all business like again. 

She went on to tell me that she would help set up an opportunity for me to approach Tiffany. 

You see, if I pop up out of the blue, it would definitely set alarm bell ringing. Terry and I aren’t exactly best friends so the initial contact is crucial. Lucy suggested that the best way to do that would be to bump into them accidentally, or rather, let them bump into me. 

Lucy : Leave that to me …. You just need to get ready this Saturday morning.. 

Jake : Where do I go ? 

Lucy : That really depends, I’m going to call in a favour but I suspect it would not be enough. I’ll keep you updated. 

Jake : Orh. Ok.. 

I went to bed after that and the routine of my usual day fell back into place. 

I woke up, went to the stall and did what I had to. 

4th Feburary 2015 

Wednesday

11.30am

I was almost done packing up at the stall when Kate gestured me over to the coffee stall. 

Jake : What’s up ? 

Kate : What are you wearing tonight ? 

Jake : Ermmm.. pants and…. Collared t-shirt ? we’re eating at his place right…. Need to be so formal ? 

Kate : NO!…. don’t… 

Jake : Then what ?? I need to wear a suit ? 

Kate : Of course not…

Kate went on to say that Roland has the habit of going for a walk before dinner, and if he was in the mood, he would want to go for a jog. 

Jake : What the fuck ?? 

Kate slapped me on my arm.

Kate : Don’t curse at me !. 

Jake : Oh.. sorry… sorry… 

Kate : Roland…. As I mentioned before, is a heavy smoker. If he goes for a stroll, he’ll be smoking throughout the walk, I don’t think it will be more than 30 minutes….. but if he decides to go for a run, it might take an hour… 

My jaw literally dropped in front of Kate. 

Jake : You are kidding me…. but what has this got to do with us… he can walk or run… I don’t care… we’re there for dinner…. 

Kate : This is the thing… !… it’s never that straight forward with Roland… he likes to fuck with his guest…. I mean not physically….

Jake : Thank god… 

Kate : Tsk !… listen to me !… 

I sighed and nodded when Kate asked me to go down in jogging gear but with spare change of clothes and shoes. 

Kate : If we do go for a walk or jog, expect to be asked to take a shower after that and you better do…. Regardless whether you sweat or not… 

Jake : Wow…. Shower at Roland’s place…. I better make sure I don’t drop my soap man… 

Kate rolled her eyes at me and asked me to meet her at her place at 5pm. 

4.30pm 

I got changed and carried a change of clothes in a backpack and took a cab over to Kate’s place. 

5.00pm 

Kate came down and seeing her in her jogging attire caused a slight stir in my pants. 

She wore a black sports bra that’s visible through her netted grey singlet. The mesh of small holes created this illusion of can see through yet cannot really see kind of feeling as she bounced up to me in her neon blue running shoes. 

She wore a black running shorts that had light grey tights attached to the inner lining. Covering half of her creamy thighs. 

Her hair was tied up in a bun and she gave me a nod and asked if I was ready. 

Jake : Yeah I guess… 

Inside my heart I was praying that Roland would not do anything stupid. My body was still aching from the session with Lucy. My god, the array or positions and spots I fucked her in always brought a smile to my face when I thought of it. 

The way Jane and Huimin teased at me when they think I was just some sweet innocent virgin they could toy with only to realise that I was not. I was thankful I was pretty on form that evening. Perhaps it was because of Lucy, she really knows how to bring out the monster in men. 

Kate and I took a cab over to Roland’s place at Thomson Heights. It’s an interesting estate, you can say it’s in Ang Mo Kio, but it’s beside Upper Thomson, then again it’s right by Yio Chu Kang road. I’ve never been to this part of the country before. 

The cab rolled up to a large modern house that towered above the neighbours and we got out. 

Kate linked arms with me and we walked up to the gate and rang the bell. 

The magnetic catch of the gate buzzed and we entered the compound the same time Roland came out with a unlit cigarette in his mouth.

Roland: Welcome !…. to my humble abode…




We shook hands and asked if I smoke. 

Roland : Do you smoke Jake ? 

I shook my head and he laughed. 

Roland : GOOD !… smoking is bad for you … come … come… come on in… 

Kate and I stepped in and my eyes lit up as I took in the interior of Roland’s house. 

It was a stark contrast from what Lucy had done with hers. 

It was clean, as far as my eyes could see, there were only 3 primary colours in the entire house. White, grey and the deep rich colour of Teak. The dining table was set too and the cutleries looked expensive. Stainless steel with leaves of gold plated onto them and even the plates looked like they were made by craftsmen. 

The furniture in the house, the paintings on the walls, the rugs beneath our feet, nothing was chosen at random. 

You can safely say that every piece was curated by Roland, chosen carefully so that everything comes together that way he wanted. It’s spacious and airy and I felt like I entered some zen master’s lair. 

Roland : Haha… I see you’ve come prepared for some outdoor activities… 

Roland gestured to our attire while Kate pointed at his too

Kate : You looked like you’re dressed for it too… 

Roland laughed as he rolled the unlit cigarette in his mouth. He wore a full marathon finisher shirt and running shorts as well, the only thing out of place was his grey fluffy bedroom slippers. 

He looked at Kate and me for a few seconds before nodding and turning away. 

Roland : Give me a minute, let me get change. 

5 minutes later, we were stretching in the porch and by the looks of it, Roland had no plans for a stroll in the park. 

He led us on a leisurely jog though his estate and we ran without a word. He did not try to talk to us and he made sure he was a few paces in front all the time. I tried to keep pace but everytime he feels me getting closer, he would pick up his speed, leaving me gasping for breath. 

7.15pm 

All 3 of us were drenched in sweat as we approached the gate. 

I felt like vomiting. 

Roland : Let’s wash up first before dinner shall we… 

Then he said something that made me excited for the first time that evening. 

Roland : Do you guys mind sharing the same bathroom ? …. I mean…. Since you’re dating … 

My eyes literally lit up and I replied Roland straight away. 

Jake : Sure … 

Roland smiled and showed us the way to the guest bathroom. Instead of heading up to shower, he stayed behind and waited for us to enter the bathroom. 

Kate gave me an evil stare without a word. 

Kate and I stepped in and Roland gave us a smile before closing the door for us. 

Kate glared at me as if she wanted to stab me. 

Jake : What ?? We’re dating… it’s normal… 

She smacked me on my back and quickly put her finger to her lips before pointing to the door. 

Ok, this is taking paranoia to the next level.

The bathroom is not big but it’s definitely bigger than the regular one I was used to. 

It’s modelled like a hotel bathroom. A vanity top along the wall before a glass panel separates the shower and bathtub. 

Kate looked at the narrow space before turning back to glare at me. 

Jake : What ? It’s just shower…. I’m not touching or anything… 

She smacked me several times on my head before making me turn around and face away from the shower stall. 

Then almost immediately, Kate changed her mind and she made me go take my shower first. 

Jake : Sure…. 

I removed my top in an unbashful manner in front of her much to her irritation . 

Jake : You never see naked man before ah…

Kate clenched her fist as I laughed and without warning, I stripped my pants together with my underwear down together, exposing my dick right in front of Kate’s face. 

She gasped and her jaws dropped at the audacity of my action. Her eyes widened and she immediately shriek and turned around, covering her eyes. 

Kate : FUCK!!.. JAKE…. Fuck….idoit. !!! that’s disgusting !!… 

Jake : Hahahaha… 

I laughed and went to take my shower. I kept stealing glance at Kate but she kept her back towards me with her arms folded. 

Jake : I’m done… can turn around already… hahah.. 

Kate did a half turn to make sure I was fully dressed before hitting me several times on my chest. 

Kate : You’re a sick bastard… ! ..TSK!… 

Jake : I’m your boyfriend ok…. 

Kate threw my stuff at me and made me go out of the bathroom. 

I chuckled at what I did and walked towards the living room. 

Right about then I saw Roland coming down from level 2 and he was drying his hair with his towel. 

Roland’s body is well maintained despite his age. He’s got to be in his late 40s by now but he look like a youthful version of Ekin Cheng. His skin is evenly tanned and he has a rather manly outlook despite his sexual orientation. 

He oozes charisma from the way the moved and talk, honestly I think he would not look out of place if you put him in some Korean drama playing the heir to a business empire. 

Roland : All done ?? 

Jake ; Yeah.. 

He stretched out his arm and invited me over to his study before pouring himself a drink. 

Roland : do you drink Jake ? 

Jake : A little.. 

Roland : Whiskey ok for you ?? 

I turned and saw him took a bottle and poured himself a generous amount. 

Roland : What would you like? Single Malt ? blended ?…. Japanese or …. 

I looked at the array of drinks he had in front of his mini bar and replied in the most Singaporean way you could get when ordering a whiskey. 

Jake : I….. i…. I don’t want the SIAP SIAP ( smokey peat) taste kind…. The rest is ok…

Roland laughed and I could tell he as generally amused. 

Roland : hahaha… ok… ok… I understand…. Here… this one not SIAP one.. 

I turned my head sideways and watch him pour me 12 year old Yoichi from Nikka. 

He handed me the glass and raised his. 

I remembered what Kate told me in the briefing and did what I should respectfully. 

Jake : Thank you thank you… 

I took a sip of the drink and immediately fell in love with it. Roland saw me lit up and he smiled. 

He walked around his study down this small alleyway with several art pieces on the wall. 

Roland : Do you collect art ? 

Jake : I collect easylink cards only… 

Roland : hahaha… ok… do you like paintings? ? 

I remembered the part about being honest and I tried to think of a good reply.





Jake : I really don’t know what’s good….. or what’s bad….

I told Roland I can’t tell what the artist is trying to express, or how powerful his strokes are or how brilliant the art piece turns out.

Jake : I’m just a layman…. But when I see something I like….. I just like it…. There’s no particular reason why…. If it’s nice to me… it’s nice..

Roland smiled and took another swig of his drink.

He briefly talked to me about some of the pieces he acquired over the years, their history, which owner has held them before. I tried to pay attention until we walk pass this small glass enclosed room.

It’s about the size of a typical HDB bedroom. I could see it’s temperature controlled. It’s not for wine, it’s for documents, and files but I was not interested in those.

I walked closer to have a better look and I did not realise I had plastered my forehead on the cool glass panel for a good 10 seconds staring at the painting hanging on a cabinet.

I stared and I stared before Roland broke the silence.

Roland : You like that ?

I turned to look at Roland in his eye and the first thing I asked was whether that was real

He just laughed and drained his whiskey.

I turned back to look at the painting again.

I had seen a similar series of painting in Chicago. I don’t even know what attracted me to them but I just drifted towards it, staring at the painting for god knows how long before I looked at the name of the artist.

It was just a stack of hay against a backdrop.

That was it.

There was something mesmerising about the painting I could not explain.

Roland returned with his glass topped up and came to my side.

Roland : It was a gift…. From my 1st boyfriend…. He’s a German…

I wasn’t really paying attention and I asked Roland the same question again.

Jake : Is it real ? …

Roland : hahha…. .. does it matter ?

Roland added that that painting will never see the light of day.

Roland : No one really knows how many was done, there were rumours that some had always been in private collection , never revealed.

Jake : You’re shitting me right….

Roland : Hahaha…. I like your sense of humour Jake…. Come… let’s have dinner…

I tore my eyes away from the painting and joined Roland in the dinning area.

He sat down beside me and lowered his voice considerably.

Roland : Ok, I shall not beat about the bush… Lucy said…. you might be on track to getting something that I would really like….

Jake : WHAT >?

Roland smiled and continued.

Roland : Come on Jake….

He looked towards the bathroom to make sure Kate was still inside before going on.

Roland : I know you’re helping Lucy with something…. And that you would be able to trade that…… for something I want …

I kept quiet and waited for Roland to go on.

Roland : I want….. what Gabriel has…

Jake : What is that ?? …

Roland : You know what I’m talking about…

I turned to check behind me before turning back to Roland.

Jake : Gabriel….. is the leader…. He has the key to everything… why don’t everyone just ask him for it….

Roland laughed and smacked his thigh.

Jake : Which brings me to the question I’ve had on my mind for the longest time. …. Why don’t Gabriel just take all the dirt and keep it for himself ?

Roland’s eyes met mind for a second before explaining to me .

The key in this sense is symbolic and it does not refer to a physical key.

Roland : If it is one, then who’s to say the leader can’t open up the safe and make copies of everything ? Right ?

I nodded in agreement.

The key in this case refers to a 2 things. 1 is the list.

The list which would reveal who’s holding onto who’s dirt.

Jake : Why is this valuable ?

Roland : You would be able to tell a lot from that list isn’t it ? For one….You would not be holding onto the dirt of someone you are close to and definitely not someone you don’t get along with….. and most important of all… you would know where to go… to get what you want….

He waved his hands in his air like a magician and finished his sentence.

Roland : And maybe one day….. you can finally be free ….from this organisation…

Jake : Gabriel has the list ?

Roland : It’s held in trust by a reputable firm…. The leader would have access…. But all elders would be notified should he access it….. It’s only fair that way…

I nodded .

Roland : All hell would break loose then but Gabriel, or whoever is the leader would still have the upper hand.

Jake : What’s the other part of the Key ?

Roland : A location… for a item.

Jake : What item ?

Roland : Something left behind by Gabriel’s grandfather.

Jake : What does that do ?

Roland smiled and leaned closer to me.

Roland : If it ever comes to that…. You can be sure all hell has already broken loose. …

He laughed and paused for effect before whispering to me.

Roland : The 9th vote…. To end a tie… .. not to be used lightly of course… has never been used so far..

I leaned back on my chair and take in what Roland had just told me.

It was like I’m sinking deeper and deeper into this. Yet the deeper I sank, the more curious I was about it. It’s like an itch I could not scratch.

Roland : Now….. Gabriel…. Has what I want…

Jake : He has your dirt ?….

Roland smiled but he did not give me an answer.

Jake : What can you give me for it ?

Roland laughed before looking past my shoulder.

He stood up and I saw Kate in a short black dress and grey heels.

She looked beautiful and classy as Roland helped her with the chair.

Roland : Shouldn’t the boyfriend be doing this instead ? haha

He chuckled and there was a moment of awkwardness.

He poured wine for us and was about to take a seat when his phone rang.

Roland : Alright… give me a minute.

When Roland disappeared down the hall towards the main door, Kate reminded me about the cutleries.

Kate : Don’t use the wrong one !! … watch what I do ok !

I nodded my head.

My jaws almost dropped when I saw Roland open the door and received the pizza from the delivery guy.

Roland : Sorry… doorbell spoil …

Kate had a shock too as Roland brought the pizza to the middle of the dining table and asked us to help ourselves.

Kate hesitated for a moment until I stood up, opened up the boxes and asked what flavour she wanted.

Jake : Hawaiian or meat lover ?

I could hear Kate gasped in horror as I proceed to tear up a slice with my hand and put it on her plate.

She was glaring at me and I took one piece for myself too while Roland laughed.

Jake : I was warned about using the wrong cutleries….. so since it’s pizza…..

I raised a slice at Roland and he asked me to go ahead.

He looked directly at Kate and said something totally out of the blue.

Roland : I want to half the rent at my spa in Clark quay

Kate : WHAT !… you’re already getting a good price !…

Roland : You can always say no…

Kate glared at Roland for a moment before dialling Gabriel’s number.

She spoke softly into the phone for a minute before excusing herself from the dining area.

Roland turned to me and offered me something else other than pizza which caused me to choke.

Roland : Have you fucked your girlfriend yet ?

Jake : What !!.. cough… cough… what… cough.. cough…

I reached for my wine to wash down the pizza as I looked at Roland in an aghast manner

Roland : Yes….. or no…

I hesitated for a while before nodding my head.

Jake : She’s my girlfriend…. Of course we have sex… it’s part of a healthy relationship…we…

Roland smiled and Kate returned at that very moment.

Kate : Half is too much… we can do 25%…. and…

She paused.

Kate stopped talking all of a sudden.

Roland’s face had changed.

His expression, his body language was different.

Hostility was written all over his look and Kate just kept quiet as Roland drained his wine.

I too was caught off guard with the sudden change in attitude and the mood of the dinner.

Roland stood up and added.

Roland : Is he your boyfriend ?? … yes…. Or no…

Kate answered almost too quickly…

Kate : YES !..

Roland turned to me and before he could throw me the question, I nodded my head and said yes too.

Jake : YES !…

He turned, reached for a drawer, grabbed something and threw it on the pizza box.

I saw 3 condoms land within centimetres of each other.

Roland : Proof it..

Jake : WHAT !

Roland’s expression remained unchanged. He looked grim and almost frightening as he took his seat.

Roland : Proof it…. Or get the fuck out of my house…

He turned over to Kate and added.

Roland : Keep your 25%… I don’t need it…

The situation was getting awkward as the 3 of us stared at each other in the house.

I went over to Kate and held her hand.

Jake : Let’s go.. hey….hey… let’s go…

I could see Kate clenching her teeth as she engaged in that game of poker with Roland.

Jake : Let’s go la… eh… let’s go…

Kate : 30%…. that’s our final offer… ..

Roland set his wine glass down so hard that it broke at the stem on the dining table causing me to jump.

Roland : Proof it !!! …… and I’ll accept it….

Kate was breathing really hard and I could see her shoulder move up and down.

Then without a word, she grabbed the condoms off the pizza box and stormed up the stairs shouting after me.

Kate : JAKE!!!… come here !!

My jaws dropped as Kate stormed up the stairs in her heels.

Right at that moment, I turned to look at Roland who smiled and gave me a wink.

Roland : Don’t forget to get me what I want…

……………………………..

Jake : Kate…. Kate.. wait … wait !…

I watched at Kate stormed up the stairs and disappeared down the corridor.

I turned towards Roland who got up of his seat and drained his wine before heading towards the stairs.

Jake : Wait.. wait.. you cannot be serious ..!…

He ignored me and I overtook him, jumping up the stairs 2 steps at a time.

Getting onto level 2, I saw all the doors closed with exception of one.

The 2nd one on the left.

Lights spilled out from the doorway as I quickly made my way over.

Upon entering I saw Kate pacing up and down near the bed, she saw me enter and she quickly came towards me and closed the door before bolting it shut.

Before I could even ask her what she planned to do, she looked at me and asked me to pretend we were having sex.

Jake : WHAT ? how the fuck do you pretend to have sex ??

Kate shifted her weight from left to right as she looked around the room.

It was a guest room from what I could see. There were hardly any indication that anyone slept in the room recently. The sheets were tidy and straight, there was a thin layer of dust on the dresser table. The room smells nice from the lemongrass fragrance diffuser standing at the side table of the bed but you could still detect a faint musty smell from a room that was not aired regularly.

Kate asked me to start making sound, or noises of us making out.

Jake : WHAT ? You got to be kidding me…

My jaws dropped when Kate started moaning in front of me.

Kate : ERnghhhh….. ergnhhhh… yes… yess… erngggg.. aahhhh…

She rubbed her hair and gave me a pained expression as I stared at her in horror.

Kate moaned towards the direction of the locked door for a while before heading to the bed and started smacking the top of it as hard as she could.

Kate : aerghh… ernghhh…. Yes… yes… ernghhh… ernghh…. Yess..

The smacking sounded like someone dry humping his bed with his butt and I don’t know whether to cry or to laugh.

There was a knock on the door and I could hear Roland calling out.

Roland : You’re kidding right Kate ?? .. tell me you’re kidding….

Kate : ernghh…. Go away… erngghh… yes…. Jake… ernghh… yes… yess…. aHHH….

She flipped her hair and massaged her scalp as if she was shampooing her hair and I could no longer hold it in anymore and I burst out laughing.

Jake : You shooting hair wash commercial ah… hahaha…

Kate stopped what she was doing and glared at me.

Roland tapped on the door again.

Roland : Open up Kate….

I reached for the door and unlocked it.

Roland walked into the room and settled himself onto a couch.

Roland : Ok…. Go on…

Jake : You cannot be serious…. You’re going to watch ??

Roland : Yeah… why not… I’m gay… don’t worry… I’m not interested in joining in…

Kate looked like she was on the verge of a breakdown and I urged her to just leave.

Jake : Let’s go la… .. we can…

Roland spoke directly to Kate and said that his offer is valid until she walks out his front door.

Roland : So think very …………very….. carefully…

He added with a snigger at Kate.

Roland : Why ? What’s the big deal about having sex with your boyfriend ?? … or are you trying to tell me it’s all fake ??? that…. This is just something you and your brother employ to….. say…. Get access to the rest of us ??

Roland laughed and said it would be interesting if the rest of the elders know what the siblings were up to.

Roland : Well.. one thing for sure…. You know we would not even have this conversation if not for Jake….. I would never have invited you to this house….. am I wrong ??

I could see Kate clenching down her jaw as she evaluated the situation.

Seeing that nothing was happening, Roland began to call the shots.

Roland : Jake…

Jake : Yah.. ?

Roland : go over to Kate…

Jake : Why ??

Roland : Just do it…

I went over to Kate’s side and I held her hands, our fingers interlocked and I tried to talk to her.

Jake : Hey.. hey… it’s ok… let it go…. Let’s go off already… calm down…

Kate would not even look at me as she glared at Roland.

Roland : kiss her Jake..

Jake : WHAT ?

Roland gestured with his finger without speaking and he leaned back on the couch, apparently enjoying what he was doing.

He crossed his legs and rest his chin in his right hand in a bored manner.

Roland : Kiss her…

I was dumbfounded and I froze as I looked at Kate before turning back to Roland and I shook my head slightly at him.

Kate definitely doesn’t look like she was in the mood for games and shit.

She looked cross.

Genuinely crossed.

I tugged gently on Kate’s arm but she shook me away.

Roland : Kiss her… or get out of my house…

I tugged Kate’s arm again as I whispered sharply at her.

Jake : Oei !…. siao ah…. Oei !… you better reply me or I’m really going to do it.. !…

Kate looked at me for a brief moment and I gestured towards the door with my head.

I felt her resistance fade for a moment and I dragged her towards the door.

I manage to get her close before Roland spoke.

Roland : walk out…. And don’t ever expect an invitation back again…. Ok ? …. Please don’t say I never warned you…

And you know the scary part of it ?

Roland said it in a really nice manner.

You could not detect any hint of hostility in his statement but it does not make it less of a threat.

That sentence made Kate paused by the door.

I tried to drag her out, there was no need for this. I meant yes, I like Kate. I want to fuck her, to have sex with her but to do it in that manner is a bit weird isn’t it ?

How to have sex properly when you have someone looking at you ?

I meant literally just sitting there looking at you.

Not to forget he’s gay, what if he decides to jump in at the critical moment.

I would not know whether to fight for the hole I want or to protect the hole I need.

Kate took a deep breath and she turned towards me.

Her hands came to my shoulder before closing around my neck.

Her eyes, I could see it in her eyes.

She’s not a willing partner.

That level of apprehension turned me off a little.

You know that feeling right before you do it with someone you just met, that critical moment. The look on your partner’s face, it tells you a lot.

Kate tried her best to look natural and she forced a smile yet I could see her eyes shivering.

Quivering.

She nodded her head slightly at me and I shook mine at her, using the same degree of discretion she did.

It’s not right.

There was no need for this.

Ok, partly my cock was still a little sore from fucking Lucy, Jane and Huimin but to do it to a unwilling girl is just so fucked up.

Kate came close and she kissed me.

She kissed me on my lips and hugged me, pressing her breast onto my body.

I could see Roland smirking and I shook my head at him.

I even mouthed the words “ I’ll help him, but no need for this “ and I made sure the got the message but no.

He shook his head and gestured for us to carry on.

Sensing that I was not doing my part, Kate whispered by my ears.

Kate : Hug me Jake… hug me…. let’s get this over and done with…

I don’t know what to say to that.

It felt so forced.

My hands held Kate’s waist and I hugged her against me but I was not having an erection.

I swore my dick was flaccid all the time.

Kate pulled herself back and she kissed me, pushing me back towards the bed.

She was shaking.

She was fucking shaking and I could feel it.

I’m not exactly a monster and I would think I’m pretty presentable. Perhaps if I went after Kate properly, and the mood is right at that moment, all this would come pretty natural to us all.

I held her by the shoulder and tried to communicate with Kate with me eyes but she shut hers. She did not want to acknowledge me.

Roland : how long you all need to get undressed ??? aiyoh…..

Roland shook his head and looked at us in a uninterested manner.

Glancing at Kate before turning over to Roland, I knew if nothing happens, we would all be stuck there. I broke myself free from Kate and I pulled back the covers of the bed.

Kate looked at me and I could see she was about to hug her own body for comfort, her body language betraying her real feelings.

I brought her close to me again and I kissed her forehead before I whispered in her ears.

Jake : It’s ok…. Shhhh… it’s ok….. everything will be ok….

Her lips trembled as I laid her down on the bed.

I stripped myself of my top and pants before getting into bed with Kate.

Roland : you going to fuck with your boxers on ??

I paused for a moment before stripping off the last piece of clothing from my body.

Kate was staring at me and I could see she was trying to stop herself from crying.

I don’t know what I was feeling.

A quick look at my cock told me I was still not having my erection. This is just wrong.

Roland : Kate too ?? She going to fuck with her dress on ??

I shot back a remark at Roland and he raised an eyebrow at me.

Jake : It’s my girlfriend’s modesty you’re talking about…. I’ll take her clothes off under the covers..

I pulled the covers behind me and made sure it went all the way up till the bottom of Kate’s chin as I laid down beside her.

My hands touched the top of her dress, the part where the 1 inch shoulder strap held it up against her body. I slide down both straps and Kate, lifted up her body slightly and allowing me to take it off her.

I did not look under the covers, I just looked into Kate’s eyes.

If my eyes could speak, I would be reassuring her that I’m not going to do anything.

That it was all an act.

That everything would be ok.

I slid off the dress and threw it onto the floor.

I tried to estimate where Kate’s bra was but I estimated wrong and I touched the upper part of her cleavage. She jumped, so did i.

I mouthed “ sorry “ silently.

Kate returned a “ it’s ok “

My hands hovered above her breast and I felt Kate’s hands took mine. Our eyes looked straight at each other as she guided me to the front of her bra where the clasp was.

I tried to undo it with only my left hand but I can’t.

In the end I used both hands and undid it.

Kate adjusted her posture and removed the bra, bringing it out from under the covers.

Roland smiled, he looked amused and he definitely looked like he was enjoying himself.

Roland : What colour is Kate’s underwear today ?

I hesitate for another couple of seconds and Kate nodded gently at me.

My left hand reached for the bottom and I touched Kate’s stomach, brushing against her navel button. I slid a little more as I felt the soft lycra panty Kate was wearing.

The elastic band stretched when I tugged it and Kate lifted up her bottom , allowing me to slid it down partially before her legs pulled back and she removed it on her own and throwing it towards the bundle of clothes on the floor.

I tore my eyes away from the black lacy panty that just joined the rest of the clothes on the floor.

Ours bodies were touching each other and Kate was really shaking by then.

Roland : Alright… go on… go on…. Fuck… come on…

I whispered to Kate not to worry.

I wanted her to calm down.

I got up and adjusted the covers, trying to make sure we were covered.

I could just move and pretend I was fucking her.

That could work.

I did not spread Kate’s legs , I shifted both to my left and pushed them up , aligning her bottom against my groin.

She sensed what I was up to and she turned to her side.

Just when I thought we could get away with it, Roland got up and yanked the covers off roughly.

Kate screamed while I shouted at Roland .

Jake : HEY !!!..

Roland : what happens under the covers doesn’t count….. I have to see it…

Kate was trying to cover her body with her hands and instinctively I hugged onto her with my body.

Jake : Back away… give us some space…. I can’t do it with people watching…. See… my cock cannot even stand….

Roland laughed.

Jake : SEE !!!..

I turned Kate away so her back was facing us as I showed Roland my limp cock.

I even waved it around a little.

Jake : HOW to STAND like that ..!! how to FUCK with this !!>..

I never for a moment in my life would imagine that scene happening.

I thought waving around with a hard strong dick would be the normal thing to do, but it seemed waving around with a limp cock did not feel that bad either.

Roland smiled and asked me how could he help.

Jake : You can help by leaving the room…

Roland : Not going to happen… I could give you more space though….

Jake : Go over there…. Stand further back…

Roland : On one condition….. get into the missionary position….

I did not think much about it since my dick was so soft. Kate was probably dry as a desert. There’s no way I can penetrate her.

I looked at Kate who slowly turned onto her back.

Jake : It’s ok… it’s ok…. Shh…. It’s ok…

I spread her legs and lowered my body onto her. Kate’s arms reached for my neck and our bodies connected.

I could see her fear in her eyes.

Her unwillingness for it to happen.

I could feel her shaking underneath me.

She kissed me on my cheek and I could see tears fighting not stay within her eyes sockets.

Kate : Please Jake….don’t… don’t.. please… don’t….. not like this…. Don’t…

I could feel her plea in the word she whispered.

The desperation, the helplessness.

I thought I would get aroused in such a situation but no, I was wrong. My dick was still soft.

Something I was glad about.

My soft cock was pressing right onto the entrance of Kate’s love hole.

I don’t know why but we were both perspiring.

It’s ok.

As long as I don’t have an erection it’s ok .

It’s ok.

Roland looked at us for a couple of seconds before walking out of the room.

I turned and checked, for a moment I heaved a sigh of relief.

I got up from Kate and she instinctively covered her breast and looked away despite the fact moments ago her naked breast was pressed onto my body.

Jake : S…. sorry…

Kate : It’s…. it’s ok…

I thought it was over.

I really did until Roland reappeared at the doorway with something in his hand.

It caught us off guard and we hugged onto each other again in missionary position.

Roland was carrying Kate’s bag.

He unzipped the bag and reached inside.

He kept his eyes on me and pulled out Kate’s towel. The same one she had just showered with.

No.

No…

Don’t do it..

Don’t fucking do it.

My eyes widened in horror as I tried to control my emotions but it was too late.

Roland caught the twinkle in my eyes as I looked away.

Roland laughed.

Roland : Such….. a sick…. Sick… pleasure….. so many men indulge in…

I looked away from Roland but he came closer.

As he approached , Kate hugged me tighter, pressing my groin harder onto her love hole.

No..

No… I could feel something was off.

Blood was flowing down to my groin.

Roland placed Kate’s towel over my head.

Roland : Kate showered with this earlier…. Does it still have her smell ? …. Ever wondered where she wiped with this ??

The moment the words left his mouth, Kate’s eyes widened in horror as well.

She could feel it.

She could surely feel my rapidly expanding cock. It was no longer flaccid.

It was starting to come alive.

Roland removed a small waterproof bag and unzipped it.

Seconds later he took out Kate’s sweat soaked sports bra.

Kate shook her head in horror at me.

Kate : No.. Jake… no.. no. no…

I can’t help it…

I could not control myself.

I tried to turn away but Roland held the sports bra to my face, pressing it onto my nose fro a couple of seconds.

Roland : How does Kate smell ? nice ?? … she smell of her fresh sweat ?? …it’s arousing isn’t it… ?

He went on to ask how many times have I fantasied about that hot babe at the gym.

Roland : Seeing her sweaty, beads of perspiration rolling down her chest, ….. her tight work out clothes…. Do you dare to admit you have never thought of doing something like this ?

My erection was getting harder as Roland went on. My arms supported my body by Kate’s side.

As my erection got harder, I pushed myself off her a little more, unwilling to risk an accident.

Roland pulled out Kate’s running top.

Roland : This… this one… got more of her sweat…. You want to smell ?? huh ? ….

I turned away, shouting in frustration.

Jake : aRHGHGHG….

Roland laughed as he plastered it onto my face, rubbing it roughly onto me for a few more seconds.

My cock was fully erected by then.

Roland : You see…. Humans…. Are wired this way…. We’re turned on by so many different things but our sense of smell…. It’s hard to believe but it’s the truth. … you’re attracted to Kate not just by her looks and personality… but it’s her smell…. Am I wrong ??

My dick had started to throb by then and I could see the panic in Kate’s eyes.

I kept dipping down. Her spread legs started to close a little more but it didn’t matter.

My mushroom head was already resting on the folds of her vagina.

I could feel it happening.

The throbbing, my breathing, all this caused my erection to rub against Kate’s love hole.

I don’t know how much more of this I could take.

Roland pulled out Kate’s running shorts which was tangled together with her sweat soak panty.

He took a whiff too and commented on it like a chef appreciating his work.

Roland : Nice… try it…

Roland pressed her running shorts and panty onto my face and I tried to push him away.

By lifting up one arm, I lost balance for a moment and I plunge down onto Kate .

She gasped, so did i.

I could feel it.

Our eyes stared at each other in horror.

She was wet. I could feel the wetness slowly spreading.

My throbbing cock knocked gently on then entrance of her love hole.

The soft velvet folds of her vagina lips slowly relaxed it’s opening.

The wetness I felt gave way to warmth. That familiar comforting warmth.

Kate shook her head, her eyes pleaded with me.

I tried to control myself. I tried.

I really did but I can’t.

With each throb, my dick head pushed further and deeper into the soft lips of Kate’s vagina a little at a time.

Just a little.

Her vagina contracted, trying to shut me out but it was no use, each time she relaxed, I slipped a little deeper and Kate got a little wetter.

Kate : no.. Jake… no… no…

Kate shook her head desperately, she was too afraid to move.

Jake : Stop… stop… don’t move… don’t move… I’ll get up…. Don’t move…

Roland chuckled and laughed as the threw all the clothes aside.

Then he did something totally unexpected.

He striped.

He fucking stripped his pants and took out his cock.

Jake : WHAT aRE you DOING !!!

He laughed and got behind me.

Jake : NO!!!>. FUCK…fuck… NO!!!…

I panicked.

I really did.

I don’t know how close Roland was but I was eager to put the distance between us and instinctively, I did the only thing I could.

I went forward.

I pushed.

Kate’s mouth gasped apart and her eyes widened as I went beyond the point of no return, fucking myself raw halfway into Kate’s vagina.

Kate’s fingers gripped onto my arms as I immediately apologised.

Jake : FUCK… SORRY… SORRY….

I pulled back out but I felt Roland behind me and fuck I pushed myself all the way into Kate, burying myself to the hilt of my cock as Kate’s spread legs went up into the air as she moaned.

Kate : ERNghhhhh….

Roland got up and laughed before putting his pants on.

Roland : With the proper motivation….. you will be surprise how far you can go… am I right ?? …

Roland sat by the side of the bed and sat down beside our connected bodies.

Roland : Now… fuck her Jake….you are all in a relationship…. it’s normal to have sex…. fuck….do it….

I hesitated as i look at Kate.

Roland: fuck…. come on……

He issued the final ultimatum after a couple mroe seconds.

Roland : Do it Jake…. before i make you cum inside Kate…

I saw a tear rolled down the side of Kate’s eyes.

Right at that moment, Roland’s phone rang.

He answered it and i could immediately see the expression on his face changed.

It was a split second change.

He grabbed our clothes and threw them at Kate and i.

Roland : Get dressed ….. NOW!!!…

I pulled my cock our of Kate’s love hole and she moaned softly before turning away on her side.

Jake : WHat… what… what happened ??/ Who was that ??

Kate’s phone rang.

2 seconds later, mine rang.

It was Andy.

Andy called me.

I answered the phone the same time Kate answered hers.

Our eyes met at the same time as we digested what we just heard.

Matthew just passed away.

……………………..

 

I hung up the phone and for a good 15 seconds I was frozen where I stood.

Kate seemed like she was caught in a trance as well. Both of us stood naked staring into blank space for a while. It’s weird. I don’t really know Matthew. I don’t even remember speaking to him. His passing should not even register in my head, not to mention affecting me the least bit.

Yet i knew Matthew at an intimate level. From the information that was shared with me, the briefings by Kate, I knew Matthew far better than perhaps an employee of his.

I knew his temper, his character, even what food he prefers. I know where he celebrated his 60th birthday, what his favourite dish was, and how much he loved his son despite their differences.

I know Matthew was right handed, but he could write just as well with his left. He had several tattoos on his body including a unfinished dragon on his back. The tattoo artist disappeared before it was completed and Matthew did not want to find someone else to complete it.

A long white scar ran down diagonally on Matthew’s back. A Souvenir from his younger days in the streets and he could not feel anything on his pinky on his left hand.

Matthew donated regularly to temples in Singapore. In fact his company built several of them. All in all, he seemed like a nice guy.

I pulled on my clothes and Kate slowly came to her senses. She immediately called Ah Keong.

Kate : Keong…. You ok ?? … what happened ??

As she stayed on the phone, I could see tears welling up in her eyes, then she started sobbing before she hung up.

I left Kate to get dressed and I went down to the dining area.

Roland was no longer holding to his wine glass. He had a bottle of whiskey in his hand and he took a swig from it like a drunk pirate. He was on the phone with Lucy.

Roland : This changes everything….it fucking changes everything…..Ah Keong will take over…

His eyes met mine and he turned away, walking back into his kitchen.

Kate came down the steps with her bag in hand, she too was on her phone, this time round with Uncle Ben.

Kate : I know… ok…. Ok…. Thanks Uncle Ben.

The moment she hung up her phone rang again.

Right at that moment, Roland came out of the kitchen, his phone rang too after saying goodbye to Lucy.

We did not even say goodbye to Roland properly.

Kate pointed to the door without a word at Roland and he just nodded his head, waving bye to us as if we were old friends.

Kate gestured for me to call for 2 cabs and I did, she excused herself to a corner in Roland’s porch, speaking in hush whispers into her phone.

I called 2 cabs and they arrived together after a short 5 minute wait.

Kate held her phone aside and told me she needed to head somewhere and I nodded.

Jake : Ok…. Take care ya…. I see you tomorrow…

Kate : See you Jake…

I got back home, took another shower and lay down on my bed.

I hoped my phone would ring, I hoped someone would call me, tell me something but no one did. As much as I detest the politics that came with associating with this bunch of people, something deep inside me craved to be let into it. I wanted to know more.

I wanted to be part of it.

I must have fell asleep without knowing and the next thing I knew was my mum waking me up to head down to the stall.

5th Feburary 2015

Thursday

5.00am

Kate was nowhere to be seen at the coffee stall and I was too busy to ask how she was.

10am

Ah Keong’s stall remained closed too. Uncle Ben came by for a while but he only stopped by the coffee shop to grab some smokes before quickly getting into his waiting lorry.

12.30pm

I was eating lunch with my parents at a market in Bedok when my phone finally rang.

It was Kate.

Kate : Jake… where are you ??

Jake : I’m about to head back home…. How is everything ? What’s happening ?

Kate filled me in and gave me a summarised version .

Matthew suffered a heart attack during dinner with Ah Keong. They were arguing apparently. But no one knew about what.

He was fine even upon admission to the hospital. His condition was stable . Ah Keong was by his side all the time.

No one expected him to pass away in his sleep.

Kate : His wake details are being finalised, we all need to be there.

Jake : Ok… just let me know the details… I’ll head down with you…

Kate paused for a moment before saying that things are going to get intense.

Jake : What do you mean ?

Kate : Ah Keong, will be taking over Matthew’s spot as a elder…

I did my mental sums and replied.

Jake : That is a good thing right….. He has always been on your brother’s side…. With Gabriel, Andy, Ben, and Keong, you would have 4 votes. You only need one more to win…. I’m sure if you reduce the rent at Clark quay for Roland….

I did not get to finish my sentence when Kate said she got to go and she hung up.

4.30pm

I got home and took a short nap. There was a missed call from Lucy.

Jake : Hello, Lucy ? …. You called ?

Lucy : Yes… I made arrangements for… you know…. What we agreed…

Jake : Huh ?

Lucy : Terry’s daughter…

Jake : What ? …. Now ?? ..

Lucy : Not now silly… haha…we all have a wake to attend remember, don’t you ?? … haha…

Lucy added that she has gotten Suwen and Tiffany’s spa schedule from Roland. Information that might be useful for me to plan my next move.

Jake : Oh… ermmm.. ok…

Lucy : Don’t worry Jake… Tiffany is easy…. The hard part is just getting it on tape…. But that’s none of my worries….

I wanted to tell Lucy that with Matthew gone, what she had probably did not hold much value any longer but she anticipated what I had on my mind.

 

Lucy : Ah Keong would be taking over…. But I’m sure he doesn’t want his dad’s dirty laundry to be exposed… don’t you agree ? …. I meant… it’s so disrespectful…. And usually when people passed away….. only good things are said right ?? ….

I did not reply her and she said she would text me the schedule details in a bit.

Kate called me back 15 minutes later to inform me that the wake would be held the next day at Mt Vernon.

6th Feburary 2015

Friday

2.30pm

Kate did not show up at work that day too. I tried knocking on her door above the coffee shop but no one answered the door.

I did not get to take my nap after a day of work at the stall and despite feeling the fatigue building up that entire week, I knew I could not miss the funeral.

Attending a Triad funeral ?

It’s right up there on my bucket list.

Drama and shit always happens at triad funerals no ?

I put on a black shirt and dark coloured pants before hailing a cab to Mt Vernon sanctuary. I’ve only been there once for a wake of a friend’s dad but that was a long time ago.

The cab dropped me at the carpark and I alighted under the scorching sun. As the cab pulled off, the sight, the smell and the sounds the insects made reminded me of my in camp days. I text Kate to inform her that I had arrived and a few minutes later I saw her come out to the carpark.

She wore a long black dress and heels. Her hair was tied up into a bun, she looked matured and respectable.

Jake : Is everyone here ?

Kate : No. Only Ah Keong and Andy.

She told me they had just taken over the hall and things barely settled down. King was the one helping to coordinate all the necessary stuff since it was his area of expertise.

Jake : Is Ah Keong ok ?

Kate shook her head.

Kate : He’s quite affected, he did not really want to talk. He would usually talk to me no matter how moody he was, this time round he totally ignored me…

Kate pointed to the hall and left to answer a call.

I approached the huge hall, rows of wreaths lined the entire walkway and entrance. I counted at least 20 or various shapes and sizes. A couple of bees buzzed near the fresh flowers and I recognised a guy that that with King during the banquet.

He plucked off some wilted petals and sprayed on the flowers to keep them moist.

Looking around, I expected heavy security. Men in suits and shades but there were none.

I entered the hall and saw Ah Keong standing at a corner, staring at the photo of his dad. The mood was solemn in the hall. A few tables were filled with familiar faces I saw at the banquet lunch. Everything seemed so normal.

It’s unthinkable that we would see each other so soon, barely a week had passed since the lunch and here we are.

At Matthew’s wake.

I went over to Ah Keong and said my condolences and he nodded at me. I tapped him on his back and asked him to take care.

Jake : Take care bro..

I joined Andy at the same table and Gabriel walked in shortly after.

He too spent some time talking to Ah Keong before sitting down.

I listened in on Andy and Gabriel’s conversation. It’s a little inappropriate but they were already talking about taking the win for the election. Matthew is gone, there is no one else left to contest.

Ah Keong, according to Gabriel, never liked any of these nonsense. He also didn’t want to touch his dad’s business, that was part of the reason why he stayed at the chicken rice stall.

Gabriel looked a lot more relaxed, so did Andy.

Couple on the fact that all elders were obligated to cast a vote, without Matthew to cast their vote to, Andy would definitely win.

Andy nodded towards Ah Keong and asked Gabriel a what if question.

Andy : What if ?? I mean…. Really… what if ??

Gabriel shook his head.

Gabriel : Ah Keong has always been on our side… there is no motivation for him to even consider…

Gabriel turned around to make sure no one was within earshot before adding.

Gabriel : Rules are rules…. Terry supported Matthew for this election, he cannot support a 2nd candidate, not even his son….. which means it’s either Lucy, Roland or King has got to support Ah Keong…

Gabriel reasoned that he did not think that was possible since they hardly knew him.

Andy nodded and waved towards the entrance.

I turned and I saw Uncle Ben arrive.

He went up to Ah Keong and said a few words before settling down at our table too.

He seemed at ease as well, as if he was sure victory was a given with Matthew’s passing.

3.15pm

Then the drama part started when Terry arrives.

It’s like a fucking Taiwan drama.

Terry burst into the wake and exclaimed loudly.

Terry : BROTHER AHHHHHHHHH……

His face scrunched up as he walked towards the coffin.

Terry : BROTHER!!!!…..brother ah…. Ah… ah….

He sobbed loudly by the coffin as my attention drifted to Suwen and Tiffany.

They chose the furthest table and took a seat. From the way they behaved, it’s like they’re embarrassed to be associated with Terry.

Suwen looked distraught, her expressions betrayed her totally. Her eyes were red and she was in shock. I discreetly adjusted my position to observe her properly. I stole glances at the rest of the people at my table, they were deep in their own discussion.

No one in the hall knew what I knew.

Assuming Lucy kept the secret properly, I’m probably the only person that knew of Suwen and Matthew’s affair.

Suwen looked so much younger in the video, I recalled seeing her youthfulness. That bubbly smile as she hugged Matthew. Even today she still looks dashingly beautiful.

Her oriental looks appealed to me. I would fuck her too if given the chance. I could tell her figure is well maintained, she’s like that hot milf you see picking up her kid at the childcare after work.

She would pass of as a Shenton way office lady in the right attire. I could almost imagine her with her branded work bag and tight skirts and high heels, perhaps with a hello kitty kiddy bag slung over her shoulder as she bent down to pick up her child, exposing her cleavage to me at the same time.

Except her child was not a toddler.

Her child is already well into her tertiary education.

Suwen was not in some hot office attire too. It’s just something plain and simple, perhaps to mourn her dead lover.

She wore a long sleeve black blouse and black pants. Her black heels exposed her toe cleavage, and the deep dark red painted on her toes made me want to suck on them. My erection stirred and I tried to calm myself down.

Fuck it’s a wake, and there I was having an erection. I sipped my drink and looked around the hall. King appeared out of nowhere and I was him talking to a couple of his staff.

I pretended to stretch and looked at Tiffany.

Tiffany was on her phone. She refused to engage anyone from what I can observe. No eye contact, nothing. She seemed contented that the hall provided free wifi for whatever she’s doing.

Tiffany came in her JC uniforms but she wore a black windbreaker over her blouse, the windbreaker is pretty long, it covered quite a bit of her school skirt. She had that usual stuck up look on her.

There was some commotion at the door and I saw Roland walk in.

The mere sighting of Roland got her excited.

I could read her body language clearly. It’s like seeing a teenage girl ogle at her first crush.

Tiffany sat up straight and I could see her straighten her wind breaker. She then realised that the baggy dark jacket covered most of her body and she took a quick look around the hall.

I pretended to look away but kept observing from the corner of my eye. She unzipped the windbreaker and I could see her adjusting her school uniforms.

Roland came to the middle of the hall and he spoke with Ah Keong.

Suwen got up to grab some drinks and I saw Tiffany stand up as well.

No one was paying any attention to her and I watch her pretend to stretch when in fact she adjusted and pulled her skirt higher, exposing more of her legs. What a slut.

Tiffany then change seat, deliberately choosing one that was in Roland’s line of sight.

Roland sat down on a table alone and he saw Tiffany. He gave her a nod and a smile. Tiffany’s eyes lit up and she brushed back her fringe, smiling like a love struck teen at Roland.

Lucy enters next and after speaking to Ah Keong, she took the same table as Roland but neither of them spoke to each other.

Kate asked me to help her with some carton drinks and I went over.

After loading some into the fridge, I turned and looked at the hall.

Something was happening.

People began to file out.

All except the elders.

Ah Keong stood with his back facing everyone, choosing to look at the framed photo of his dad.

Lucy and Roland remained where they were.

Ben got up and joined King at his table.

Terry asked Suwen and Tiffany to leave the hall.

Kate came over and linked arms with me, leading me out as well.

The door was closed but I could still see what was happening through the glass windows.

Everyone just loitered around, no one spoke.

I asked Kate what was going on.

She told me the elders needed to talk to Ah Keong in private, since he would be taking up Matthew’s position.

Matthew was lucky he had a heir, a random thought crossed my mind as I wondered who would step up should Roland or Lucy meet with something unfortunate.

5 minutes on and we could hear voices escalating in the hall.

Curious eyes stared and a couple of them went closer to check what was happening.

The voices got louder and louder until it was apparent that Ah Keong was shouting.

Then the sound of tables and chairs being pushed and thrown around.

I pushed my way through the crowd and opened the door.

Ah Keong : IS THAT ALL YOU PEOPLE CAN THINK OF !!!

He kicked the nearest table and shouted again.

Ah Keong : WHO THE FUCK DO YOU TAKE ME FOR !!!

Ben : Keong ah… calm down..

Gabriel : Keong, we’re all trying to help..

Ah Keong must have been overwhelmed by grief. His eyes was bloodshot and nothing anyone said would get to him.

He started scolding Gabriel, then Andy, Ben too. He cursed at Roland and Lucy, even King before turning to Terry.

Gabriel : Keong… I didn’t want to do this here… but since it has come to this…. Let’s just get it over and done with…

Gabriel addressed the elders, saying that with Matthew’s passing, there was no other contender. He opened the floor to all, asking who would like to go against Andy during the election.

Gabriel : He’s the best man for the job already…. Who else is interested ?? You ?? You ?? or you ??

He pointed at Roland, Lucy and King but none of them reacted.

Gabriel said something inappropriate. He said that no one could hold a candle to Andy even if they throw their hat into the ring and I could see how that riled up Ah Keong.

Ah Keong : WHY ? Just because I never finish school, I’m not good enough ? Is that it ?

Gabriel : Keong… you know I don’t mean that…. What’s wrong with you.

Ah Keong cursed at Gabriel, saying that he had always looked down on him.

Gabriel : When the fuck did I ever look down on you ??? You’re like a brother to me … !!

Ah Keong : BROTHER ??? You consider me your brother ??!!! then why the fuck do I not have your blessing with KATE !!!

A shiver shot through my spine as all eyes turned towards Kate and me.

It did not help that she was holding onto my arm.

Perhaps everything happened so quickly that it gave Kate a scare too and she lowered her hand immediately.

Then Ah Keong said something he shouldn’t have.

Ah Keong : YOU consider me your brother… then why the fuck !!! do you have to get Jake to pretend to be Kate’s boyfriend !! … WHY can’t you get me !!!

I heard a couple of gasp among the crowd and Lucy turned towards us, shaking her head in disapproval.

Lucy : You meant… you were lying to us ???? Is that it Kate ?? oh dear…. That’s so… so…. Sick…

Lucy gave a disapproving shake of her head and I almost sprang forward to strangle her.

Kate : Ah Keong !… enough…

Ah Keong : NO… let me speak… I’ve kept quiet for long enough. …. ALL this TIME….all these years… don’t you know my feelings for you ?!!!

Kate looked like she was about to burst into tears.

Ah Keong : I know I never finish school…. But you know I’m a good guy… WHY CAN’T YOU GIVE ME A CHANCE !!! … you know how badly it hurts me to see you pretend to date JAKE !!!

Kate : I loved you as a brother Keong… you know that !…

Ah Keong : NO!!… I will not have that….

Ben : Keong… enough liao hor…. Agar agar jiu ho… ( watch your tone )

Ah Keong : You have no right to lecture me….

Ben was about to explode but I saw the sudden change in his body language. It was as if suddenly realised something. Whatever it is that gave Ah Keong that level of confidence.

Ah Keong : Kate…. I love you… and I should have listened to my dad a long time ago and win you over…

Kate : Keong… don’t do this please… not here… not now…

Ah Keong’s eyes were red and bloodshot. I could see his red veins reaching outwards like thin creepy branches in his eyes.

Ah Keong : I know….. I know you think I’m not good enough for you…. You would rather have a fake boyfriend….

Ah Keong started addressing the crowd.

Ah Keong : I KNOW…. I know you all think I’m not good enough… that I’m some uncouth hawker…. That sells chicken rice…. That my mind is simple…. I know !…

Ah Keong raised his voice a notch and spoke with his right index finger outstretched.

Ah Keong : You think I’m not good enough ??? I’ll prove you otherwise.. !! ..

Ah Keong formally announced that he would be taking over his dad’s position and he would want to run as a candidate for the election.

Ah Keong : And if I win….. if I win… the first thing I would do would be to distribute the money from our fund back to everyone. ! … I would make sure you no longer have to lease or rent your place of business from Gabriel ..

Gabriel : KEONG !!… are you mad ?? !!

Ah Keong pointed to Andy and Gabriel, he said that their 2 families has been holding onto the money for such a long time .

Ah Keong : It’s time for a change.

Terry : Swee… I support you !! .. it’s time to take back all the money…

Ah Keong turned to Kate next

Ah Keong : I’ll prove to you Kate…. I’ll prove to you….. that there’s more to me than meets the eye…. I’ll prove to you……

Andy : Keong…. Don’t do this… listen…

Ah Keong : Shut up…. I made up my mind….

Gabriel : Even if you want to run, you need someone other than Terry to put you up as a candidate. He already did it once for Matthew…

Ah Keong turned to King, Lucy and Roland.

He did not say anything.

He just locked eyes with each of them for a few seconds before speaking.

Ah Keong : The strong do what they can…. And the weak suffer what they must… Choose a side….

Lucy smiled and she put up her hand.

Lucy : I’ll nominate you…

Gabriel : LUCY !!!…

Lucy turned and gave a really innocent look on her face.

Lucy : Yes ?…. anything wrong ??

Ah Keong turned to Roland who gave him a nod as well.

Terry tapped Ah Keong on his shoulder, saying that he will be with him all the way.

Ah Keong spoke directly to King.

Ah Keong : You’ve lived under the family’s shadow for so long King…. So long…

Gabriel and Andy looked on in horror as King nodded and took Ah Keong’s side.

Ah Keong looked at Gabriel and announced in a soft voice.

Ah Keong : It’s 5 against 3 ….. I’ll see you on the day of the election…

……………

Gabriel was fuming mad and he stormed out of the hall with Andy behind him. 


The colours faded from his face and anyone could tell he was on the brink of exploding but he gritted his teeth and held it in. Perhaps in consideration of the mood Ah Keong was in. 



Andy looked a little more calm but the relaxed state he was in earlier was gone. 



Things had changed. 




Ben nod his head slowly as he stared at Ah Keong. His hands sat on his waist as his mouth twisted sideways, as if he was sucking on a stray piece of meat from lunch stuck in his teeth. 



He did not say a word . 



Ben just nod his head as if he understood something. 




From the angle when I stood, I saw Ah Keong mouthed something to Ben . 



I caught a bit of it, something about , ‘don’t judge me. you’re not a saint either ‘ 



I put 2 and 2 together and came to the conclusion that Ah Keong was now holding onto Ben’s dirt. 




A couple of minutes later several men streamed in to tidy up the hall and King directed them to adjust some stuff. More visitors arrived and the hall started to get a little packed. 



Kate took a while to recover from the situation and she left my side to talk to Ah Keong. 


Kate : Ah Keong …. Ah Keong !!… 




Ah Keong went towards the back of the hall to a rest area and Kate caught up with him, determined to have a chat and perhaps knock some sense into him. 



I saw several pairs of hostile eyes on me as I slowly retreated to the back of the hall. With the cover blown, there was no reason for me to be there any longer. 



I was in the middle of composing a text to Kate to tell her I’ll make a move for now when I saw Lucy get up from the table and checked around the hall before looking at me. 


Lucy came over to my side and I asked her what she wants. 




Jake : You’re disgusting Lucy… .what you did….…. What do you want ? 



Lucy : Me…? disgusting ?? … you’re boyfriend girlfriend act was a total fail in case no one told you that…. 



I looked at Lucy in disbelief. 



Jake : What do you mean a total fail ? 



Lucy : if you are happily in a relationship with Kate…. Would you have fucked me and my girls ?? doing the things you did to us ?? 



Jake : SHHHHHHHHHHHH….. 


My eyes widened and I quickly looked around the hall as Lucy chuckled. 



Lucy : It’s ok… no one is listening I think… you’re not exactly the male lead here you know…. 


Lucy pulled me right to the back of the hall and she leaned on my shoulder. 



Lucy : I still think of you inside me at night you know… it’s so much more….. Fulfilling than using my vibrator….. any plans tonight ?? 



As Lucy said that, she slid her fingers down and brushed it lightly over her privates. 


Jake : HOEI!!..oei… don’t do that !!!… we’re at a funeral… 




She tried to rub my crotch and I jumped back a step. 



Lucy : Hahaha…. But it’s true…. I want you to do it again sometimes… that feeling…. Being pinned down… it’s quite nice you know… … so comfortable….. the really full and stuffed sensation down there…. All that rubbing… oooohhh…. 




I retreated and Lucy laughed softly, trying to cover her mouth. 


Lucy : And that warmth… that radiating warmth that spreads out into me when you cum….. my god…. It’s been a while since I got that feeling. … it leaked for the whole night ok…. I had to wear a pad…. 


Jake : What do you want ?? 



Lucy made sure no one was within earshot before coming closer to me. 


Lucy : It’s still not too late Jake…. 



Jake : Not too late for what ?? 


Lucy whispered by my ears. 




Lucy : Get me what I want… and I can always switch sides… hur.. hur…


She adjusted her hair and looked towards Terry who was shaking his leg and rubbing his toes on the chair beside Suwen and Tiffany. 




I quickly ran through my thoughts and evaluated the situation I was in but Lucy was a tat faster. 



She did the analysis for me before I could. 



Lucy :Well… there is really nothing to stop you from walking away Jake….. you don’t need to be involved…. Seriously… you don’t owe anyone shit …. Am I wrong ?? heee.. hee… 



Her finger touched my arm, tracing my biceps before she rest her hand on my shoulder. 


Lucy : Walk away from all these, leave it all behind…. And end of story…. No complication….



Lucy started to pace around me, keeping her hand on my shoulder as she did, like a compass drawing an imaginary circle in slow motion. 




Lucy : but you can’t …. You can’t bring yourself to walk away from it all…. Your sense of curiosity… that urge to know more….. to follow things through…. To get to the end of this book….. this is what’s keeping you here…. Am I right ?? hee.. hee… 




Lucy smiled and massaged my shoulder a couple of times. 



Lucy : It’s that itch you cannot scratch, that itch to find out exactly where and how far we would go to get the things we want….. no ? 



Lucy stole a quick peck on my cheek and I gasped, desperately trying to wipe away her lip marks. 


Lucy : hahaha…. 



She folded her arms and gestured towards Tiffany with her head. 


Lucy : You still have time Jake…. Get me what I want… and you have a chance to swing the vote…



Jake : What guarantee do I have you would change your vote ?? 


Lucy : My word…I keep my promises….. 



She gave me a doleful eye look and bit her lips, tugging at my shirt at the same time. 



Lucy : I already let you fuck me…. what more do you want ?? …. I’ll let you fuck me again if you like….. do anything you want ?? 



I saw Tiffany stealing glances at Roland and I asked Lucy a question. 




Jake : How close are you to Roland Lucy ? 


Lucy : close enough… why ? … 



I whispered in Lucy’s ear and she broke into a smile. 



Lucy : see…… I knew you had potential Jake… but you still have a lot more to learn. 



Lucy whispered in my ears, planting the seeds of her warped brain in mind.



Then she whispered again.



The seed sprouted roots. 



Another whisper 



I could feel the stem of the seed pushing out of the ground. 



Lucy : You see…. Anything is possible Jake…. Anything,… but if you don’t try….. nothing will happen… that’s a free life lesson for you… no charge…




Lucy whispered her final words into my ears and I swallowed a gulp of saliva. 


I never thought evil in such pure form would exist, much less exist so close to me. 




Close enough to whisper in my ears. 


Yet I was surprisingly aroused. 



I was excited and grappled with what that meant. 




I know I’m not a bad person but this. 


This woman. 



She is slowly turning me into one and I just can’t seem to fight it. 


Lucy went over to Roland’s side and whispered in his ears for a minute or so. 




Roland casually got up, walked over to Tiffany’s table and sat down much to her delight. 


As I summarised the information I had , a picture was starting to form. 


Things got clearer. 




Lucy has Matthew. 



Terry has Lucy



Gabriel has Roland




Matthew has Ben’s


And now, Ah Keong is holding onto Ben’s dirt. 




This is getting interesting but not as interesting as what I just saw. 



Roland and Tiffany exchanging numbers right under Terry’s nose. Terry was talking to Suwen and pointing at something down the hall and Roland just did it. 


He fucking did it. 




He gave his suave smile, touched Tiffany’s hand and took the phone from her as she smiled shyly and entered his number before hitting dial. 



By the time Terry turned back, I could see Roland standing up and almost in a casual manner, ask Tiffany to study hard. 



I bet Tiffany wet her panty just looking at Roland. He may be gay but he had that suave bad boy look that girls dig. Especially young impressionable girls like Tiffany. 



Barely a couple of minutes of chatting and I could see Roland had Tiffany hooked. 



Kate came out of the rest area looking pretty disappointed and sad. 


She told me she believes she can talk to Ah Keong and asked me to head back on my own for now. 



Kate : Let him calm down for a bit. 


I called for a cab and waited outside the hall. 




Roland came out for a smoke and he gave me a wink. 


Roland : doing anything this weekend Jake ? 



I shook my head. 



Roland : Keep Sunday free then….haha.. 




Kate came out of the hall and saw Roland and I talking, she walked over in a huff and confronted Roland. 


Kate : How could you !… 



Roland : Woah.. woah… what did I do ? 


Kate : We had a deal …. About the rent and… 




Roland cut Kate off and replied in an innocent manner. 



Roland : But Kate dear…. Keong would return us our money, and with that , I can buy over my own space…. There’s no need for rent…. 



Roland finished his first cigarette and lit up another one without stopping. 


Roland : You know how much money we are talking about here Kate ? …. I’ve contributed more than a million over these years to this fund…. For what ? a return of less than 2% a year ?? …… my god… at least match the CPF rates… 




Kate : How can you compare that to CPF ? ! 




Roland : My apologies, it’s different , I know…. And yes… I know without your grandfather, none of us would be where we are today but let’s be realistic….. it’s money…. Who doesn’t want money ?? 



Roland went on to say that if he wanted, he could give up his citizenship and still get his money from CPF. 




Roland : But this ?? I can’t…. I don’t even have a choice…. I can complaint all I want, bitch about it to others , then what ? I’m still stuck here… I can’t exactly stage a protest in a park can I ? … 



Roland threw Kate a question that she could not answer. 



Roland : I can easily beat the pathetic dividend Gabriel gives us every year…. You can too… it’s not that hard…. My money is not working hard enough… 



Kate gritted her teeth and shot back at Roland. 



Kate : What about Terry ? ….. what about King ??? 



Roland inhaled and finished his 2nd cigarette faster than the kung fu master in Stephen chow’s movie. 



Kate : What about Ben ? …..You think they know how to manage their money…??!!… they’ll fucking piss it all off in a matter of months… 



Roland raised his voice a little. 



Roland : So what ? …. Just because some of us cannot manage our own money…. You’re going to force this upon the rest ?? …. Stuff it down our throat ?…. 


Kate : How can you be so selfish ? 




Roland : In what way am I selfish ?? I make my decisions based on facts and figures…. And I leave my emotions out of it….. you should try that too.. 


Roland turned to me and asked me a question. 



Roland : So Jake…. If I offer to return you all your money in your CPF account now… will you take it ?? … 



I nod my head. 


Roland : See….. 



Kate hit me in my stomach pretty hard and I bent over in pain. 




Jake : ARhhhh… 



Roland waved his 3rd cigarette and replied. 




Roland : You see…… say what you want about CPF…..i can always fill in a few forms….give up my citizenship and it’s done… speaking of which…. Kate… is there a form for me ?? … an option for me to withdraw my membership in this family??? Where do I go ?? 




Kate literally spit at Roland 



Kate : You ungrateful piece of shit !… 




Roland laughed. 



Roland : See… this is what I meant about getting emotional… it clouds your judgement… 




Roland explained rationally that he would never forget what her grandfather did for him but he’s gone, and everyone needs to move on. 



Roland : The world is changing. Look around you…. I mean seriously look around…. Our era… is over… We have progressed….. as a nation… 



Roland pointed towards the skies and said the old ways of getting things done is over. 


Roland : You see gangs of people beating each other in the street these days ?? … do you ?? 



He turned towards me and asked. 




Roland : Jake… you’ve seen a gang fight before ?? have you ?? … I’m not talking about some piss shit teenager who thinks that just by shouting some gang slogan, it magically fucks up the size of his balls or something…. I meant men really going all out to beat the shit out of each other….. have you ?? 




I shook my head. 



Roland : Kate…..Your grandfather lived in a time…. When gangsters roamed the streets… ask anyone who lived through the sixties… you think this place is as orderly as you see it today ?? 




Roland finished his 3rd cigarette and he forced himself to take a deep breath. 



Roland : The old ways… are done… gone… this is Singapore… there’re cameras everywhere… you want to be some hot headed gangster running down the alley with a bat ?? Please… go ahead… 



Jake : errrr…..


Roland : WHAT! … 



Jake : when was the last time you got in a fight ? 



Kate hit me on my stomach again and I bent over the 2nd time. 




Jake : Arhhhhh… 



Roland was about to replied but he paused. 



He paused before he stammered and could not find the right words. 




Then for no reason he laughed. 


Roland : Hahaha…i… haha… 



He shook his head. 



Jake : You’ve never been in one before…??




Kate hit me again, harder this time with a followed up smack on my head after I bent over. 



Jake : Ahhhrrghhh…. 



Roland leaned back and stopped smoking as he looked up into the sky for a moment before he laughed again. 



Roland : The last time…. Was years ago… with your grandfather Kate….When we were all young men… in the late nineties… haha.. 




Roland laughed intermittently and it was not because it was funny or anything. 



You know the kind of smile that appear on your face when you think of happy memories and thoughts, that’s what was happening. The conversation must have stirred up some memories for Roland and he laughed and shook his head. 




Roland : It was on a scale… never before.. haha…. I doubt we would see it again… 


He smiled as he tried to describe to us. 




Roland : Terry, Ben, King together with your grandfather went head in. Andy’s dad and Matthew blocked the alley, Lucy’s aunt drove her van into the fray, and me… foolish young me brought up the rear…..haha… we beat the shit out of them man… haha… 


Roland laughed and he snorted before regaining his composure. 




Roland : Kate… I meant this in the best of way…. We’re done… there’s no future down this path…. 



Kate : I’m not saying we should go back to the old ways….. I just hope we can move forward as a family….. as what my grandfather intended… 




Kate walked away from us and Roland lit up another cigarette. 


Roland : Ever been in a fight Jake ? 



I nodded. 


Jake : Small one… in school… over a girl.. 



Roland laughed. 



A lorry arrived and I saw the bulk of Matthew’s men alight from it to pay their respects. 




I asked Roland a question which happened to popped into my mind as a 2nd lorry pulls up and more men got off. 



Jake : You think…. We’ll be seeing one soon ?? 




Roland : We just might…. We just might…… 




He snubbed out his cigarette and added. 



Roland : See you on Sunday… 



A black MPV pulled up into the carpark and Roland’s men alighted. 




Jake : What’s happening on Sunday ? 



Roland smiled. 



Roland : Breakfast at Tiffany ? 





………………………….



8th Feburary 2015 

Sunday

6am

Kate did not show up for work the past couple of days, she text me that she’s trying to talk to Ah Keong. I was waiting for Roland to contact me about the plans that day and I kept checking my phone.

At 8.30 am, Roland told me that the plans will be pushed back to the following Sunday but he would require my help for a couple of days involving Tiffany.

He told me he managed to ask Tiffany out for a couple of dates but he didn’t want to do it alone.

11.30am

Roland called and he asked if I mind joining them for their date, not officially but in another capacity.

Roland : Can you be my driver ?

Jake : What ? !

Roland : Relax… I’m not out to fuck around with you but trust me… everything will fall into place…

I agreed and Roland said he would be in touch.

My Parents heard about Ah Keong’s dad and all the stall owners headed down to the wake together except me. I told my parents I actually went down already and I have some matters to attend to.

11th Feburary 2015

Wednesday

6am

He did not get back to me until Wednesday, everyone was busy with sending off Matthew and I’ve not gotten a chance to talk to Kate for a few days. Ah Keong’s stall had been closed for the longest time and a few regulars started asking us what happened.

We just said he was taking a break.

9.40am

Roland called and ask me to be at his place at 2.30pm later that afternoon.

2.30pm

Roland handed me the keys to his car, a Volvo MPV.

Roland : Ok… here’s the deal… I’ve been talking to Tiffany these few days… and she’s quite irritating…. I need to entertain her with all the non stop messages…. What is wrong with young people this days….

Roland grumbled that they liked to message so much.

Roland : Why can’t they just call ?? If Tiffany’s a guy, I would have doubt the existence on his balls man….. non stop wasapp and messages… my god….

Roland got into the back seat and gave me the address to pick up Tiffany.

It’s a HDB block right beside a neighbourhood Junior college.

Roland : Ok…I can read Tiffany like a book, …. So don’t worry about talking to her… in fact… I beg she would not even acknowledge you…. Don’t take it the wrong way though…. She’s just a young slut in the making… and you’re just not her meat….

Jake : Errr…. Ok….

I put the car into drive and pulled out of the driveway.

Jake : What’s in it for you Roland….. helping Lucy with this…

Roland : Oh… if she gets what she wants….. it indirectly translates to me getting what I want… but above all that… this is fun … hahah… isn’t it exciting Jake ?

I swallowed a gulp of saliva as I thought about what Lucy had whispered in my ears.

I could tell Tiffany liked Roland, it would be easy for him to get her, and I proposed to film them in the act. Roland may be gay but I’m sure he can put up a show, strip her, get the motion going and all, and all Lucy had to do was to tape it.

Case close.

I could help with getting the cameras and stuff from Sim lim. An army friend of mine owns a shop there selling cameras and stuff.

How was I to know Lucy would reply with something so vile.

She said it would be such a waste if Tiffany didn’t get fuck should Roland get her to strip.

I gripped the steering wheels tighter as Lucy asked me why would I turn down a perfect piece of meat lying there waiting to be eaten.

Lucy : How about you fuck her…. And pretend you are Roland…

I got so excited thinking about that scenario that I just froze and Lucy continued whispering.

Lucy : I know you must be thinking it’s impossible… but it’s not…. Roland has his way with girls even though he prefers using them on his boys… I assure you…. Roland will have Tiffany right where he wants her to be….

I took a turn and cruised down the neighbourhood as Lucy’s words played on repeat in my head.

Lucy : Right there with her eyes closed and her legs spread…. Calling out Roland’s name as you slowly penetrate her young tight vagina……

The ‘na’ in the way she pronounced vagina, lingered and echoed in my ears.

Roland : Just leave the talking to me and if she demanded anything, just do it…. You’ll have to bear with it for a couple of days but don’t worry…. You’ll get to fuck her in the end…

The nonchalant manner in which Roland describes it made me nervous. This is wrong but I could not help but get aroused by it in a weird way.

I pulled into the carpark and Roland called Tiffany.

I saw her appear from under the HDB block, looking cautiously at the car plate number.

She initially opened the passenger seat and she was surprised to see me at the wheel .

Roland : Tiffany… here… at the back…

She shut the door and got into the back seat.

Tiffany : What is he doing here ?? !

Roland : Don’t mind him, he’s actually working for me…my driver..

I looked into the rear mirror and my cock stirred again.

No, I got excited not because I saw Tiffany in her school uniforms.

I got excited not because I saw her cross her legs after leaning back, revealing more of her thighs.

I got excited because I caught the look in her eyes.

That condescending look.

That look that says I look down on you.

I despised you.

Tiffany : Is he a safe driver ?? I don’t like those bumpy rides…. Some cab driver very heavy footed with the brakes…. I’ll get car sick…

The tone in which Tiffany spoke sounded as if I owed it to her to drive her around.

Her arms were folded as she spoke, but the moment she turned towards Roland, she was a changed girl. Like a piece of butter on a warm plate, she melted away slowly as Roland asked me to drive.

Roland : Go to Seletar mall… .

Turning back to Tiffany he added.

Roland : It’s a bit out of the way but I’m sure we won’t bump into anyone there…

Tiffany nodded, happy to be in the same car as Roland.

As we made the journey to the mall in Sengkang, I found out how smooth a talker Roland was. He hit all the right spot and I bet Tiffany wet her panty right there in his car.

Roland : Well, girls your age has boundless energy…. I’m sure if I was your classmate, I’ll probably dream of you every night…. But… but…

I could see Tiffany tensing up at the ‘but’ as she waited eagerly for Roland to go on.

Roland : but I probably don’t have the courage to approach you…. Pretty girls like you are quite intimating to us guys you know….

Tiffany : really ?… hahha… no… I don’t think I’m pretty… just ok…

Roland smiled and I saw his hands move.

I can’t exactly see due to the limited angle of the rear mirror and I had to concentrate on the road as well but it seemed like he held Tiffany’s hand.

Roland : You’re pretty Tiffany, and you will only get prettier as you grow up…. I can see it… you’re going to break a lot of hearts I tell you…. Haha

Tiffany giggled and brushed back her hair, she changed the way she crossed her legs and asked Roland a ton of questions, including one that I thought she didn’t know.

Tiffany : They… they say you are gay ?? … it that true ??

Roland smiled and nodded.

Roland : I like both men and women….. but lately…. Only men appealed to me… until…. Until I saw how grown up you have become…

Tiffany laughed, lips her lips to wet them before turning to look out of the car.

Roland : You see… you have this… sweetness… very lovely sweetness….

Tiffany : Hahaha… stop it… haha… you’re making me blush…




Roland : Then you wouldn’t need blusher then… 

Tiffany laughed and hit Roland on his thigh.

‘smack’

Roland : Ohh… so you like… spanking…

Tiffany : Nooooooooooo…. No way… hahah..

Roland : What then ??.. what do you like ??

Tiffany : hhaha… I’m not telling you…

I could feel goosebumps appear on my skin as they manner they communicate got more intimate. They really treated me as invisible, like some passing driver they would not be seeing again.

Tiffany sneezed and Roland offered her some tissue.

After using them, Tiffany just threw them over to the front, on the passenger seat.

Not just 1 piece, 3 pieces.

Scrunched up tissue that looked a bit damp , almost like the wantons I wrap in the morning.

Tiffany : Sorry… nose a bit sensitive… I think the car is dusty… haha..

As I turned down into the basement carpark, Tiffany suddenly snapped at me.

Tiffany : Hey you… driver… you suppose to clean the car… it’s so dusty inside… can you do your work properly ?? be more professional…

I saw Roland raised an eyebrow towards the rear mirror as Tiffany sneezed again, adding 2 more to the tissue in front.

Tiffany : Hey… did you hear me…. so rude..

Jake ; Yes… I heard you…

Tiffany : Then clean up the car….

Jake : Ok..

After I parked, Roland and Tiffany walked on ahead as I cleaned up the tissue Tiffany threw.

Tiffany turned back and shouted after walking off.

Tiffany : Hey hey… driver… take my sweater from my bag…

Then she turned away and entered the mall with Roland.

I took a deep breath and exhaled slowly.

I grabbed Tiffany’s bag and went into the mall but I could not see where they went.

Roland text me that they are having bak kut teh on the ground floor and I went in search for the shop.

When Tiffany saw me with her entire bag she scowled and said she only asked for her sweater.

She did not even want to take over her backpack, she fucking unzipped it with 2 fingers, pulled out her sweater and waved me away.

My eyes widened and I saw Roland gave me a nod to back off.

My erection was really throbbing by then as I watch Tiffany put on her sweater, she tried to puff up her chest a little as Roland placed the orders.

Roland gestured for me to sit and ordered food for me too.

The food was served and let me ask you a question.

People put 3 bowls of piping hot bak kut teh in front of you, what do you do ?

You eat.

I took a spoon and dipped into the bowl when I heard Tiffany sneer again.

Tiffany : Roland…. Your driver very rude… we all haven eat he started eating already…

The spoon paused midway between my mouth and I stared at Tiffany.

She gave me a look as if trying to say ’ what the fuck are you looking at ‘ .

Tiffany : What’s the problem… Roland is already nice to buy you a meal… the least you could do is let us eat first….

Roland secretly rolled his eyes and I put down my utensils.

The side dishes and were served and 3 bowls of rice arrived.

Tiffany : Eh… don’t need 3…. 2 will do…

Yeah… fuck. I bet she was trying to show the, oh no, I don’t take carbo kind of shit diet but I was wrong.

Very wrong.

I expected Tiffany to just take the soup and maybe nip on some dishes but she took the rice.

She did not even want to look at me.

Tiffany : I cannot finish a bowl… later I pass your driver eat… I eat a few mouth only…

Roland : No need.. is ok.. I’ll order another…

Tiffany tapped his arm and asked him to tuck in.

Tiffany : Don’t treat your employees too well Roland…. They’ll ride all over you… I’ve seen the way some of my dad’s employees talk to him…. My god… I would fire all of them ..

I sat there in silence while they ate and chatted.

Roland showered Tiffany with praises, wiped her mouth with napkins, he even helped to debone a long rib.

Tiffany ate amid laughter and giggles.

She fucking rape her rice with the thick black sauce, mixing it in before taking a small bite.

Then she drowned the rice with the soup too, before taking another small bite.

You know sometimes you get small bits of bones ?

Yeah .

Tiffany would turn away from Roland shyly and spit it out on the napkin , but her aim is shit, I saw some went back into the bowl of rice.

Roland asked her to try some organs and Tiffany squirmed like a scared little girl, spitting it into the rice before scooping it out.

15 minutes later, they were done.

Tiffany giggled and wiped her mouth.

She pushed her bowl of left over rice to me and asked me to finish up the food on the table.

Tiffany : Don’t waste… it’s probably the nicest meal you get the whole week right…

Then she quickly turned to Roland and ask him to pay.

Tiffany : Quickly pay… if not wait he order additional things…haha..

Roland managed a laughed and walked off to the cashier with Tiffany.

After they settled the bill, Tiffany took off her sweater and said she felt a bit more warm after the meal, she fucking threw the sweater onto her bag and just walk off, expecting me to carry it for her.

I took in short sharp breathes of air as I tried to calm myself down.

I pushed Tiffany’s soggy rice aside and ordered my own.

I looked at the amount of food that had gone onto the napkin in front of Tiffany’s seat. Half eaten pieces of meat, the stems of vegetables. I never expected her to be such a messy eater.

Roland text me to inform me that they will be heading to catch a movie, he asked me to go grab a coffee or something after I’m done eating.

I was about to ask the auntie to top up my soup when my phone rang. It was a number I don’t recognised.

Jake ; Hello ?

Tiffany : eh Driver… bring me my sweater… quick… we’re going in…

Then she hung up on me.

I took another deep breathe and actually contemplating spitting or even masturbating into her sweater but I calmed down thinking that I could get to fuck her soon.

I went up, passed Tiffany her sweater and she did not even thank me.

I spent a leisurely 2 hours at the café people watching. I logged into my internet banking and realised that I’ve been depleting my savings steadily since I quit my job. I refused to accept a pay from my parents, saying that I’m just thankful they were willing to teach.

With the state things are, I only hope with my cover blown, Gabriel would still pay me the money he said he would.

The movie ended and I met Roland and Tiffany outside the mall. Roland wanted to smoke.

Tiffany happily pushed the left over popcorn to me and I threw it into the bin.

She excused herself to the bathroom, leaving me with Roland.

The moment she was gone, Roland started bitching about her.





Roland : Fuck man… she’s so touchy…. I felt as if she was out to molest me… 

Jake : What ?

Roland : She link arms with me, kept stroking my hand…. Then still must hold hand, fingers crossed those kind… she even tried to make me touch her… what is the problem with young people these days…

Jake ; She did ??

Roland : And you know what… she lost her virgin when she was 16…. To a classmate… my god… thank god for making me gay…. I’m never going to have kids…

Jake : Were you all even watching a movie ? or trading your sexual history…

Roland : She kept talking… I can’t even watch the show properly… fuck… yah…she’s only 18 and she’s fucked like 3 boyfriends already.

Jake : Wah…

Roland lit up another cigarette and noticed a auntie selling tissue paper a few steps away. She was with her husband who had a breathing tube in his nose on a wheelchair.

He reached into his pocket and pulled out a few 2 dollar bill.

Roland : Jake… do me a favour.

He nodded towards the old couple and gestured to his cigarette.

Roland : I don’t want them to kena my 2nd hand smoke.

I nodded and reached into my pocket and pulled out some coins.

I went over and dropped it all into the box the auntie held. She smiled and passed me 3 bags of tissue but I declined, waving my hand at her indicating it’s ok.

Tiffany : NO!… what are you doing ?? !

Jake : What ?

Tiffany saw the amount I dropped and she demanded for like 6-7 packets of tissue from the auntie.

Jake : What’s your problem ??

Tiffany : You know how cheap these are…?? It’s Roland’s money… I saw him passing you the notes…

I fucking wanted to strangle Tiffany but lucky for her, she walked away in time.

She carried the tissues and offered some to Roland.

I was so embarrassed that I could not bring myself to look at the old couple. They were probably in their mid seventies. The auntie pushed her husband to a corner and they shared a bottle of water.

After Roland’s 3rd stick, we went back to the car and drove Tiffany home.

She cooed like a little girl as Roland gave her a hug.

Roland : I enjoyed myself today….. shall we do this more often ??

Tiffany : Sure… I’m free tomorrow as well… same time ? ?

Roland : sure… I would walk you up but it’s not nice if…

Tiffany waved goodbye and said she understands.

Tiffany : Bye Roland… thanks for the meal and movie….

Then she turned towards me.

Tiffany : Clean up the car properly before you pick up Roland tomorrow ok ?? … be professional…. If not you’re going to remain a driver your whole life… god… at least go upgrade yourself or something…. Tsk..

The moment the door closed, Roland tapped my shoulder.

Roland : Brother…. Some things…. Not appropriate for man to say to another man….

Jake : It’s ok…. It’s ok….. we understand each other…. That’s enough.

12th Feburary 2015

Thursday

2.45pm

The car was not cleaned. Nothing was done.

The moment Tiffany came on board, Roland spoke.

Roland : See…. Much better ?? I threatened to deduct his pay yesterday…..

Tiffany immediately beamed and said the car looked so much better.

Tiffany : You see…. The problem with employees.. if you don’t keep them on a tight leash… they will always try to take the easy way out…

Roland : Wow… they taught you that in school. ??

Tiffany : Oh no… of course not.. haha… it’s just my observations…

Tiffany brought her home clothes out to change that day, when she boarded the car, she was already wearing a white singlet with grey bra. She wore a short pair of denims and kept her canvas shoes on.

She deposited her school bag on the passenger seat and cuddled up with Roland at the back. Tiffany was literally swooning over Roland, commenting that she likes matured men, while the boys back in school reminded her of kids.

I tried not to roll my eyes when she talks about her plans for the future, going to the university, getting a job, then to travel the world before starting work.

A car cut into my lane without signalling but I kept a good distance so there was no need to jam brake or anything but I slowed down a little, it was a gradual change in speed but apparently it irritated Tiffany as well.

Tiffany : Roland , hope you don’t mind me saying this…. You got to be more assertive to your employees, as in cannot be so easy going, speak up…. You know… speak up…if you are unhappy with his driving or anything… just voice out…

Roland : Oh… it feels fine to me actually…. Do they teach you this in school as well… to be more vocal ?? .. to speak up ??

Tiffany just giggled.

I wanted to turn around and show her my finger.

Assertive ? be more vocal ?

Lan jiao ….understand. I always tried to give a very polite ‘fuck you’ to the fresh grads who come into my office and think the world owes them a living. They think the world revolves around them until they get a taste of reality.

This is the problem with their generation, they learn the theories in school but no one taught them how to apply it in real life situation. Anyone can speak up, but most don’t know when to shut up.

The more they tried to talk, the more obvious it was they know shit.

I was en route to Vivo city when their conversation started to get a little naughty.

They lowered their volume considerably but I could still catch snippets of it.

Tiffany : nooo…. No.. no la… never…..touch breast only….oh… that one in staircase…

Roland : haha….never….. put inside ?? …..pain ? ….. got moan ? …. Really ?

Tiffany : have but….still young……hee hee…haha.. haha…. Scared…. Panic…yah… wet…stain..

Roland : Haha…boys…..compared to man…different… orgasm… explode…squirting..

Tiffany : noooooo…. So sick….panty will……my bra…..in my room…. …nooo… they don’t know…. Not at home…

Roland : ….. naughty….. explore….. is normal….tried before ??

Tiffany giggled.

Tiffany : I don’t know….came close…..no la…. Never do that…..

Roland : is that ? ….. so exciting….. the smell…..clean…

Tiffany : wet tissue…..stain….. uniforms…. Skirt….

Hearing bits of their conversation made it hard to concentrate on my driving.

What a slut she’s turning out to be.

I parked at Vivocity and I was left on my own.

Roland said they’ll be shopping around for a while.

4.30pm

When I saw Tiffany, she was carrying several bags on her arms. Shoes, bags, clothes, you name it. Roland even bought her a ipad mini. I was told to meet them at the basement entrance to the carpark.

Tiffany was over the moon and I could see that stuck up look she wore on her face when girls her age looked at her descending down the escalator.

With the age gap, people would probably think Roland was her sugar daddy but Tiffany was perfectly fine, she looked proud and comfortable.

After all the bags were dumped with me in the car, Roland and Tiffany went off to grab a coffee. I was not invited for obvious reasons.

5.00pm

We got into the car but have yet to drive out of our lot. Tiffany was so excited about all the things Roland bought for her that she could not wait to try them on. She slip on some heels, put the clothes on her body and tried to look at the rear mirror.

Roland : you know… I think these look pretty normal on display….. but if you wear them, you’ll make them look good…

Tiffany laughed and slap Roland on his arm, giggling like a cock starved bimbo.




5.30pm 

We drove into Sentosa.

Roland brought Tiffany into Equarius hotel and they had dinner at the restaurant. I offered to stay in the car but Roland wanted me to join them for dinner.

Tiffany : At a separate table right… ? if not a bit weird to share table…

Roland smiled and said of course.

I ended up sitting 2 tables away but I could hear their every word. The restaurant was empty except for us and a 2 other couples.

Tiffany tried to act all high and mighty, she asked if their seafood was fresh that day after looking through the menu.

Tiffany : How’s the fish today ? are they fresh ?

The server replied that their cod are air flown in everyday.

Tiffany: Ok… we’ll see… I’ll have the fish…

She took a look at the utensils and picked out the fork, asking it to be replaced as there was a speck of dust on it.

I wasn’t hungry, it’s too early for dinner anyway so I ordered a soup.

Roland : What kind of food do you like ?

Tiffany : Fine dining …. Haha… something posh…you know… not like the hawker centre or coffee shops…. So hot…. I can’t stand those places… I mean at least a café…who would want to eat at those places ?? … the food is oily, so noisy… those people got no class…

Roland : Oh.. you don’t like hawker food ?

Tiffany : Not at all… there’s hardly any presentation… just cook and chug the food there….you know like…. Ermmm.. like Lor mee ( braised noodles ) … it’s like dunking your noodles in mucus…

I almost choked on my water.

Roland : Oh… so you always eat at cafes and restaurants ah ?

Tiffany laughed and said no. Her parents still prefer coffee shops and hawkers so she try to put up with it.

Tiffany : There should be some government initiatives…. You know … round up all these hawkers… force them to attend some upgrading courses… then they can all open a café or something with air con, wifi…. Move on with the times…

Roland changed the subject when he could before Tiffany could go on any further.

Tiffany kept pestering Roland to tell her about the past. The times when he was still a bad boy and shit. I think Tiffany came in her seat when Roland told her about him in a leather jacket cruising down the street on his bike at 3am with a girl he met.

Roland : She was abused by her father… and I rescued her…

Tiffany : Really !… where did you all go ??? what did you do ??

Roland painted a picture of their short escapade, bringing her then to the now defunct Asian theme park that used to be in sentosa, before spending the night at the beach.

Roland : How about you ?? Would you like to spend a day at the theme park with me ??

Tiffany : I would love to !!!

Roland : And…. After that… we can go up to the room….. soak in the tub… and get some rest…

I could not believe how direct Roland was with his question.

He might as well ask if Tiffany wanted to fuck him.

Tiffany laughed, flipped her hair up and looked towards the distance for a while, trying to behave like a matured adult. She thought about it for a moment before replying.

Tiffany : sure…but… but I can’t stay over…. I need to be home by 10pm…

Roland smiled, took his napkin and wiped off a stain on Tiffany’s mouth.

Roland : I’ll send you heaven first…. Then I’ll send you back home…

Tiffany looked shyly away and bit her lips without saying a word.

When she excused herself to the bathroom later, Roland turned to me and said.

Roland : Ok… done…

Jake : You are really …..really ….very good with words man…. I’m sorry you needed to put up with her shit…

Roland : don’t be…. I feel sorry for you instead…. I’m only doing the talking… you’ll be the one fucking her….

Jake : How will we pull that off ?

Roland : hahah… leave that to me… … we’ll spend a day together, get her high and happy, and give her an orgasm she would never forget…. Just keep really quiet… I’ll do the talking…. And you fuck the hell out of her ….

I excused myself to the bathroom after Tiffany came back.

My phone rang when I was peeing halfway and it was Ben.

I was surprised.

Ben never called me before.

That was the first time.

Ben : Jake where are you ?

Jake : Sentosa…. Why ?

Ben told me that they were calling for a meeting.

Uncle Ben : We need to do something… we need all the help we can get….

I was told to be at the coffeeshop at 10.30pm that evening.

8.30pm

It was 8.30 after I dropped Roland and Tiffany off. Not wanting to waste a trip home only to come back out, I took a cab down to the coffee shop.

9.15pm

When I got there, the roller shutters were down. Only one small panel at the rear remained open. Light spilled out into the dark five foot way and I stepped in cautiously.

Orh pao leaned against the drinks stall with a beer in hand and nodded at me.

I saw 2 staff that delivered rice together with Ben at a table sipping on their coffee.

I sat at a table on my own and Orh pao made me a coffee.

Jake : Thank you..

Andy’s car pulled up at 9.45pm , he came out with a A2 size box. It’s about 20cm thick and Orh pao helped him with it to the centre of the coffee shop.

Gabriel arrived at 10 pm

Uncle Ben’s lorry arrived at 10.15pm. He did not unload any rice, instead I saw 12 men hop off the back of the lorry and they too entered the coffee shop. It was getting a little packed, the fans were on at full blast and Orh pao made ice coffee in several large tumblers.

Everyone hanged around; no one said a word as we all stared at the box, sipping our drink.

10.30pm

Gabriel : Let’s begin

The box cover was removed and it was a model.

You know the kind you see in condo showrooms and launches.

Yes, that kind of scaled model with roads, trees and stuff.

It’s not some fancy condo or house.

It looks really familiar.

Set on the top of a hill, I remembered seeing that before.

Somewhere.

I just cannot remember it.

I definitely have been there.

It’s a old colonial house set on top of a hill.

Gabriel looked at everyone in the coffee shop and thanked us for being there.

Gabriel : There is a high chance for a tie during the election…..

The hair on the back of my neck stood on it’s end as I look at that world war 2 memorial at Bukit Chandu.

It’s the place where Lt Adnan Saidi and the Malay regiment fought and made their last stand.



They fought and held off the Japanese for 2 days despite being out gunned and outnumbered. 

Gabriel : If it comes to a tie…. This is where we will go….

Gabriel pointed to the museum and placed 3 tokens in the centre.

Gabriel took a deep breath and revealed his secret with a heavy heart.

Gabriel : This is where we kept my grandfather’s legacy. … the 9th vote..

Gabriel pointed to a particular spot.

Ah Keong helped cast the 3 models that hid the item but he did not know which one was it. Only Gabriel knew.

It made sense.

There’s not much places you can hide stuff in Singapore. Everyday someone is digging somewhere. A heritage site makes perfect sense.

It’s perfect.

Brilliant.

No one would go mess with a place of heritage.

For a good 30 minutes, no one spoke. We all listened to Gabriel.

He had it all planned.

Gabriel : Ben has people stationed there everyday since Ah Keong’s outburst at the wake. Ah Keong is confident of the win, there’s no need for this at the moment but we cannot take any chances.

On the eve of the vote, we will be waiting there. If it’s a tie, Ah Keong will make an attempt to retrieve the last vote.

Gabriel : He must not get the last vote. …….

Gabriel allocated everyone their duties and locations.

Gabriel : Johari will be in charge on that day… all the elders will need to be at the vote.

Everyone looked at Johari , one of Ben’s men.

He lifted his arm and stepped forward.

His voice boomed deep and low in the coffeeshop, like the comforting voice of a fucking ‘zai’ ( steady ) officer in the military.

Johari : Gentlemen…. There are but a dozen or so of us…. And by my last count… Ah Keong has 37.

There was a deafening silence in the coffee shop as Johari and another guy call Herman placed in little figurines on the model. Simple math, Ah Keong has almost 3 times as much guys at his disposal if it came to this.

37 red figurines surrounded the 15 green ones on the model.

No one spoke as we crowded around the model.

A few of us folded our arms and waited for Johari to speak.

And when he did, everyone burst out laughing.

Johari : Well…… I like these odds…… We wouldn’t have to look very hard to see where to punch do we ?? hahaha…

The laughter died down after 30 seconds or so.

He took a deep breath the atmosphere inside the coffee shop changed once more.

Johari : I hope it doesn’t come to this…. But nevertheless, we have to be ready.

He calmly moved the first piece of the figurine, setting it into position like a master chess player making his first move, a few steps away, I heard Uncle Ben muttered under his breath.

Uncle Ben : And so it begins….

…………………………….





Optional read for My adventure as a hawker  



A day with Tiffany – Get it here  

 


 

13th Feburary 2015 

Friday

5.30am

I hardly slept. 

After the meeting at the coffeeshop, it was close to 1am. 

Johari set up a wasapp group to keep everyone in the loop what was happening. 

I was in a zombie like state when my parents woke me up to head down to the store. At moments like this, I would get hit with a barrage of thoughts. 

If I had stuck to an office job, I won’t need to wake up so early. 

Why can’t we start the day later ? Serve lunch instead of breakfast ? 

Before my mind could drift further, I shook myself away. I washed up and went out to the living room where my parents were waiting. 

We left the house, entered the lift and went down to the car without a word. 

It was a well-rehearsed routine. I realised that we hardly talked ever since I started my journey with them.

It’s weird isn’t it. 

I remembered I used to have more topics to talk about with my parents. I could go on non stop when I bring them out for dinner over the weekends or on holidays. I would bitch about my work, colleagues, the funny people I needed to deal with, but now that all 3 of us were working at the same place, it appears as if we had lesser to talk about. 

I’m not sure if they are aware of everything that was happening, the election, the power grab, even if they were aware, they seemed contented to turn a blind eye. Pretend everything was normal. 

Life goes on. 

We’re just normal people. Simple folks. 

The big boys can wage their wars and rattle their tails but the sun still rises every day. 

We still need to work, everyone still need to eat. 

6.30 am 

Uncle Ben walked into the coffeeshop, he was still wearing the same clothes I saw him in last night. Orh Pao served him a coffee and my Dad passed me a bowl of noodles, gesturing towards Ben’s table. 

Ben sat at the furthest corner with a view of the alley leading to the back road. 

I brought him his noodles and Ben gestured to me, asking me to join him. 

Ben : Sit Jake… sit… 

I turned and checked the stall, there was only one other customer waiting and I took a seat. 

Ben looked tired, and I don’t mean just physically. 

The look on his face spoke volumes as he took a sip of the hot soup and drank a mouthful of coffee. He looked mentally drained as well, disappointment mixed with disbelief. 

Ben : I can’t believe it has come to this…. Sighhhhh…. 

Ben took a mouthful of noodles before looking up at me. Correction, he was not just looking at me, he was appraising me. Ben looked me in the eye without a word as he chewed his noodles. 

For a good 20 seconds , neither of us spoke. 

Ben : Why Jake ? ….. why ? 

Jake ; Why what ? 

Ben : You had a good job…. Good career…. Why give it all up for this ?? 

He gestured to the coffee shop and waited for my reply. 

The words were right at the edge of my mouth but I could not bring myself to speak. 

It’s the usual you hear. 

To try something new. 

To strike it out. 

Embrace the entrepreneur sprit. 

Ben : Let me answer for you…. You’re bored….. you’re too comfortable…. And you have an itch you cannot scratch… 

I kept quiet and Ben continued. 

Ben : After a few stable years in the office, your pay increases, life gets better, you’re well within your comfort zone,…. It’s not about the money….but rather it’s that feeling of accomplishment…. Something is lacking but you can’t quite put your finger to it…. 

He laughed, took a few more mouth of noodles and continued. 

Ben : Or perhaps it’s the feeling of knowing if you continue down that path, you will spend your entire life….. working for someone… 

Jake : I was in the government services, I work for the country… 

Ben : Good luck selling that to yourself… 

Jake : There is nothing wrong with being an employee….

Ben : Yes… there isn’t….. and 40 years would have passed before you realised you are 65, with a bank full of money, CPF filled to the brim… 

Jake : Great…. Isn’t it ?

Ben lit up a cigarette and blew the smoke away from me. 

Ben : Only….. to realise you have squandered away…. Something that money cannot buy…. 

Ben : Your youth…. Your time…. 

I was about to reply Ben that I’m not some hippy shit who’s out to have fun and fool around. I’m serious about learning the trade from my parents, unlike him, and the rest of his ridiculous bunch of elders who just stirs shit, I would say I’m putting my time to good use. 

Jake : Look at all of you…. You have money, business, and the only problem with you people is you cannot get along…. It’s nothing compared to what some other unfortunate folks had to go through… 

I think that sparked of something inside me and I proceeded to give Ben a piece of my mind, using extracts from my conversation with Roland. 

Jake : And in today’s modern society, you are resorting to what ? a gang fight …. To protect something a old man leaves behind…. You people are mad…. Those days are over… 

I turned and made sure no one is near and I carried on. 

Jake : You people should just sit down and resolve your shit once and for all….. do away with all of this back stabbing crap…… fuck the election.…. just solve the fucking problem…

Ben held up his hand, sniggered at me as he shook his leg and inhaled his cigarette. 

When he spoke, it was as if everything I just said was not registered in his mind at all.

Ben : Why… do you keep using…. ‘ you people’, ‘you people’ … 

Jake : What’s wrong…. I was referring to you and the organisation… or family…. Or whatever the fuck you want to call it…. Gang ? 

Ben laughed and laughed so hard that he dropped his cigarette but he lit up another one. 

Ben : so you think you are above us all ? hahah… 

Jake : No… I happy with the way things are….everything can be simple. 

Ben pointed towards the noodle stall and asked me to look at my parents. 

Ben : Are your parents happy ? ….. 

Jake : I would think so … 

Ben : Have they expressively said they were happy you wanted to be a hawker… ? 

I could not think of a reply. 

Ben : Do they look happy to you Jake ? …. That their pride and joy gave up his nice cushy job to join them here… 

Jake : I’m old enough to make my own decisions, and I’m sure they won’t force me to do things that I don’t want to… 

Ben started revealing little bits of insights into our family’s lives that made the hair on the back of my neck stand. It gave me the chill and I could feel it creep into my spine. 

Ben : Where were you born Jake ? 

Jake : Singapore…

Ben : Which hospital ? 

This, was one of the greatest mystery for me. My parents never told me the answer and I did not bother to dig. Most of my friends were born in KK hospital, in fact, everyone in my class was except me. 

My birth certificate wrote Mount Elizabeth. 

Ben saw the look in my eyes and he smiled. 

Ben : Expensive hospital isn’t it…. Even back in the 80s, you think your parents could afford that ? …… your dad was just a hawker assistant then…. 

He tapped the side of his head, no doubt enjoying the look of pure confusion on my face.





Ben : A flat…. Right beside the MRT ?? ….Tampines.. ? ….. well…..it’s not as expensive as it is now but still….. have you ever heard your dad talking about housing loans ? …. Instalments ?? no ?? hahahahaha 

Ben shook his legs as I blinked twice , trying to make sure I was not dreaming. 

Ben : Your university fees… 

Jake ; I took a loan !!! 

I cried out desperately, trying to cling onto something in the darkness that Ben seemed to be enshrouding me in. 

Ben : Yes…. But the loan was fully paid off after you graduate….

Jake : I paid my parents back… those were their savings !… 

Ben : Hahaha…. Alright… if you say so… 

He pointed to his bowl of noodles. 

Ben : Do you know why…. Your parents never collects money from Gabriel and me ? 

Jake : You….. you , Gabriel gives them a good rent…. Below market rate I’m sure… what is a few bowl of noodles a month ? !… 

Ben looked truly amused. 

He raised his index finger and added. 

Ben : A thousand…. That’s the rent.. 

Jake ; Big deal ? … I can rent a stall to sell salted fish and provisions in a market for a couple of hundreds a month too….. Even if I go direct and bid for a stall selling cooked food, I can get one at less than 2k in the less popular markets and hawker… … 

Ben : A year.. 

Jake : What ? 

Ben : A year…. That’s what your parents pay….a year.. 

Jake : bullshit… 

Ben snubbed out his cigarette and asked about my graduation trip.

Ben : your graduation trip…. Started in London, ended in Russia, 2 months… you were in Europe….

Jake : I worked part time job !!! and I saved up for that!..

Ben : And….. your Dad’s friend…. Who owns a travel agency…….did the bookings for you… hotels… tickets… 

I stared at Ben in horror. 

Ben :You paid what… 3k ? …

Jake : It’s 3.5k 

Ben : You think that’s enough ? …. For the accommodations, the domestic flights, the rail passes ….. you’re not staying in hostels Jake… you’re staying in full service hotels….that friend is me by the way … haha… my cousin do own a travel agency though… 

I stood up from the table but Ben went on. 

Ben : Your parents are on our payroll even before you were born… they worked for Gabriel’s grandfather too… they draw a monthly pay… .. and in return…. They launder our money back then……from illegal horse betting , 4D, toto, …. But we moved on…. We’re decent businessmen now…

Ben : Actually it’s very hard to clean up large amounts before the casinos came along…. And hawkers don’t exactly make so much…. You know it actually took your parents 12 years to finish cleaning up the cash we have after we stopped taking illegal bets ?? … my god … that was long … 

He said it in such a nonchalant manner like some commentator on National geographic telling the audience that relative to the stars, earth takes 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds to make one rotation. 

Ben : So don’t come and , ‘ you people this, you people that ‘ … we’re all a family Jake….

Jake : Bullshit… pure… fucking bullshit…. My parents are just simple folks…. They sell fucking noodles…

Ben ignored me and went on. 

Ben : I’ll tell you the reason why your parents are unhappy…. 

Ben’s eyes looked towards the alley and he stood up, getting ready to go. 

Ben : They’re unhappy not because you wanted to be a hawker…. They’re unhappy because if you are here…. You would eventually get dragged into things you don’t want your kids to get into… … no ? hahah 

I could feel my heart beating faster and faster. 

Ben : Have you seen their bank statement ? their CPF statement ? 

Jake : Why the fuck would I go see their personal stuff ? …. 

Ben : hahahah…. Hahaha…haha.. 

It’s his chuckle, his laugh. It gets to me, right under my skin. 

Ben : We’re not bad people Jake…… and you know that… we’re all businessmen…. Sometimes… we just got to be a bit more creative…in the ways we do business… but the bottomline…. We take care of our family….. 

I saw Bill coming out from that alley, shuffling in a listless manner towards the coffee shop, no doubt here for his free meal. 

Ben : Get some rest Jake…. Exciting times are coming… 

Ben walked towards Bill and put his arms around his shoulder, turning him away and walking back down to the alley. 

8.00am 

I served Bill his noodles and I could see Ben trying to talk to him. 

Bill ignored him. 

Bill don’t give a fuck what Ben says. 

Good. 

I should be smart. 

I should be like Bill. 

Don’t give a fuck. 

Ben : We need your help Bill….we really do… 

I quietly observe the pair and Bill just finished his noodles, drink his coffee and shuffled down the back alley, disappearing once more. 

I went over to Ben and made a snide remark. 

Jake : Why… need him to launder your money too ? 

Ben laughed and shook his leg before telling me something that almost made me piss in my pants. 

Ben : That’s Bill…. Lucy’s ex lover….. 

My jaws almost dropped as Ben said Bill was one of their best fighter. 

Ben : He was a mix martial arts trainer once…. He can stop people easily…. And most of the time inflicting the least amount of damage while doing so….. 

Ben sighed and got up. 

Ben : Ah Keong’s men…… they’re family too…. The last thing I want is to see all of us clobbering blindly at each other’s skull with sticks and rods…..but Bill… he won’t talk to anyone other than Lucy… now he helps to look after the coffee shop after hours and keeps an eye out for Kate in return for food and drinks…. 

Jake : What happened between them ? Lucy and Bill…. 

Ben : He loved someone he shouldn’t have… 

Jake : Then ask Lucy to talk to him !…

Ben : She’s not even voting for us brother…. Haha… why would she help ?? 

Ben turned around the corner and disappeared. 

11.30am 

Johari and Herman came down to the coffeeshop as we were packing up for the day. They ordered drinks and spoke softly among themselves. They don’t look like some Chao ah beng ( gangster ) to me. 

They’re polite, you can tell from the way they speak and behave. 

I stopped what I was doing and I approached the 2 of them. 

Johari : Oh…Jake right ?… 

I sat down and I went straight to the point. 

Jake ; Do you work for the family ? 

Herman and Johari looked a little surprised but they both smiled and shook their head. 

Jake : Why then ? … why are you doing this ? You could get hurt… 

Johari : Because we’re indebted to Ben and Gabriel… all of us…




Jake : You owe them money ? 

They laughed and said it’s not money they owe, but their lives. 

I found out that Ben used to make deliveries to Boys home back then. When he was there, some of the residents would help to unload the provisions and goods. 

Johari : Ben would sneak us some chocolates, and if you gum with him…. You can smoke on his lorry… wahhahahaahahahahahahaha… hahaha… 

He laughed such a hearty laugh as he recounted the days in his youth. 

Ben plucked many of them off the streets. Most were school dropouts, Ben managed to get quite a few of them readmitted back into schools. 

Johari : Ben paid for everything….. I was left with my grandmother…I don’t know where are my parents…. Schools, ITE, then to Poly…. Then my degree… everything… everything I had…. It’s Ben… 

Herman : I would probably be in jail by now if not for him…. 

Herman worked for Ben for a few years after dropping out of school. He hated school but Ben insisted he stayed until he was done with his Polytechnic diploma. Today Herman owns a small events company. 

Herman : He’s like a father we never had….. 

Johari : Rich daddy… ahahah.. haha

Herman : hahaha.. haha.. 

Both of them chuckled playfully at the table and they told me how they once switched Ben’s cigarettes with dried grass and got such a whooping from him. 

Herman then said Johari sawed the legs off Ben’s favourite chair before enlisting in the army before both of them laughed till tears came out of their eyes. 

Herman : Fuck…man… haha..hahha.. haha… and… and.. ahha…Ben could not wack him because Johari in Tekong for BMT… whaha… laugh until we all almost died.. ahhaha… 

Their playful chuckle and infectious laughter made me laugh too as I tried to imagine how funny that scene was. 

‘ honk honk ‘ 

We looked up towards the road and it was someone I saw from the gathering the day before too. 

Johari and Herman drained their drinks and waved goodbye before disappearing into the car. 

Johari : See you Jake…. We’re heading off for prayers… 

Jake : See you… 

3.30pm 

I haven’t spoken with Kate for a while and I gave her a call to see how she was. 

Kate : I’m fine…. Trying to convince Ah Keong not to do anything stupid…. 

4pm 

I saw my parents in the kitchen doing the laundry and I thought it’s better to get some stuff off my chest. 

Jake : Dad, mum….. do you have something……. Anything….. you want to tell me ?? … about…. About the stall…. The people that rents you the stall… 

It caught the both of them by surprise and they stared at me without a word. 

That was all I needed to know.

15th Feburary 2015 

Sunday

5pm 

It was hard for me to come to terms with myself that my parents were crooks. They laundered money. Close to 400 thousand over the span of 12 years. It’s not a big sum after you break it down, I bet Gabriel and Ben won’t bat an eyelid over 30k a year but it’s not just about the money. 

It’s the thought of your parents breaking the law. 

Thankfully getting to fuck Tiffany helped my mental well being. 

I tiptoed out of the hotel suite at Sentosa and i closed the door as softly as I could, catching a glimpse of Roland cuddling up with Tiffany in bed before the door shuts. 

It was brilliant. 

Fucking sick and brilliant idea. 

My dick started throbbing again as I recalled the sick act of switching out Roland and penetrating Tiffany. My god, the way she moaned, for a 18 year old, she’s sure out to please. 

I gave her my all, burying my cock deep inside her young vagina as Roland showered her with praises about how tight she was beside me. 

That feeling of tightness and warmth made up for the morning of torture I had to endure at Universal studio Singapore. She literally treated me like a man servant but it was worth it. 

Every inch of it. 

6.30pm 

With the video clip in hand, I text Lucy to tell her about it. 

She wanted to meet that evening and I agreed. 

8.30pm 

I got to her place and she welcomed me at the door. 

Lucy : Hi Darling… 

She gave me a hug and a kiss on my cheek before holding my hand and leading me into the house. 

Lucy : Can’t fuck today though… I’m having my period…. Quite massive…. A lot of blood…. Unless you are into that …. 

Jake : Errr… thank you…. But no need… 

Lucy teased me playfully and asked if Tiffany was better and I shook my head. 

Lucy : Clever boy… 

She gave me a wink and we went to her study. She played the video, saw me and Roland doing what we did and she smiled before shutting it down. 

Lucy : Thanks Jake… you have no idea how important this insurance is to me… don’t worry… I’ll vote Gabriel….. you have my word… and….. I owe you a favour…. Big… big one…. You can use it as many times as you want…. Hur hur….as long as I’m not having my period of course…

Jake : I need something from you actually…

Lucy : Hmmm…. I masturbate for you ??? or a blowjob ?? or can you wait till my blood stopped flowing ? …. 

She sat down on my lap, held my hand and wrapped around her waist. 

Lucy : What do you need ? 

Jake : I need Bill’s help…. 

She froze. 

Lucy got up and walked a few steps away from before speaking over her shoulder. 

Lucy : Who told you that ? 

Jake : Ben…. 

Lucy : I can’t help you Jake…I’m sorry…

Jake : Why ? 

She could not give me a reply. 

Lucy : It’s just me…. being me…. 

Lucy turned around and said she cannot live her life like a caged bird, that the whole getting married, settle down kind of life Bill wants is not for her. 

Jake : You still love him…..

Lucy looked at me with a look I’ve never seen before, as if she was angry with me for voicing out her secret. 

Lucy : Yes…. I still do…. And I don’t want to hurt him by giving him false hope…. 

Lucy walked away from the study and into the kitchen. 

I sighed and got up. 

Silly me. 

Why the fuck should I even care. 

I went to say goodbye to Lucy in the kitchen and I saw her pouring herself a glass of wine. 

Jake : I’ll make a move first… 

Before I turned away , Lucy asked. 

Lucy : How is Bill ? 

Jake : He eats at the coffeeshop often… I don’t know much about him…






Lucy : He still….. is he still….. shuffling around in his…. Beggar garb ? ..

Jake : Yes…

I decided to fan the flames a little.

You never know until you try, emotions can be a good way to manipulate people .

Jake : He… lost weight…. From the first time I saw him I meant….

Lucy turned and look at me.

Jake : He used to finish his noodles and ask for more soup…. Nowadays sometimes he hardly finishes a bowl….

Fuck , if Lucy ever finds out I’m lying, I wonder what she would do to me. Bill sometimes finished 2 bowls back to back.

Jake : He was sneezing yesterday…. Coughing too…

Lucy : Oh alright…. Fuck you Jake… enough….

Lucy drained her wine and topped up the glass again before heading into the study.

She emerged 2 minutes later with a fan. A small black oriental fan that opens up with calligraphy written in gold. I looked carefully at it and it was Bill and Lucy’s initials.

Lucy : Give this to Bill….and ask him to take care of himself…. See a doctor if he’s sick…

Jake : Can you come with me ?

Lucy : I already said…. I don’t want to hurt him anymore …. Close the door on your way out will you….

With the fan in hand, I left Lucy’s place and called Ben but there was no reply.

Over the next few days, Bill was nowhere to be seen. That fan never left my side.

The first chance I get, I’m going to talk to him.

19th Feburary 2015

Thursday

7.45am

I saw Bill appear in the coffee shop but he went straight to the coffee stall. I wanted to go grab him but there were too many customers at the noodle stall. By the time I cleared the queue, he was gone again.

I saw Gabriel and Ben a couple of times that week at the coffee shop and I wonder if it was a good idea to tell them about my relationship with Lucy and how I got the fan. In the end I decided otherwise.

I would have to tell them a lot, right from the start.

21st Feburary 2015

Saturday

10am

Kate came over and asked if I was free later in the afternoon.

She wanted to pay a visit to King and have a chat with him.

Kate : Who knows…. If we can swing his vote…. We might stand a chance…

Jake : Sure…. What time ?

Kate : 3.30pm ? let’s meet here and head down together ?

Jake : ok.

3.15pm

I waited at the coffeeshop for Kate to come down when my phone rang.

I don’t recognised the number.

I picked it up and it was Johari.

Johari : Jake !…. where are you ?

Jake : At the coffee shop….why ?

Johari told me that his sources told him Ah Keong would be making a move that evening. They’re going to get the last vote even before the election.

Jake : What !.

Johari told me he say trouble gathering his people in such short notice. Gabriel is in KL for work and Ben is in Batam for the weekend.

Johari : We need as many of us as we can get…. Can you head over there now…

Jake : Oh… ok… ok… sure… sure…

He hung up and I could feel my heart thumping.

I’m not ready for this.

The election was supposed to be in March. Still a month to go yet it made absolute sense if I was Ah Keong .

Why wait ?

Why wait till the eve of the election to make your move ?

I decided to make a last ditch effort to find Bill.

Minutes later after the call, the group chat kept buzzing. I ran about a few streets and alleys, checking each corner for Bill as I scrolled through the text messages.

Fuck, based on the replies, only 7 of us would be there on Bukit Chandu.

Johari asked us to get there asap, Ah Keong would not make a move during the day and certainly not during operational hours of the museum.

I was about to give up looking for Bill when I saw a figure shuffling listlessly at the end of the alley, about to pee into a drain.

I immediately ran up to him.

Bill calmly turned around as I caught my breathe, I pulled the fan out of my bag and showed it to him.

I told him what Lucy said and added a shitload more.

Jake : Lucy asked you to go see a doctor if you are unwell, to drink more water…. Take your meals regularly….keep your personal hygiene in check…. And get a change of clothes…. To take care of yourself for the people you love…… to … to…

Bill stared at the fan in my hand and I heard him speak for the first time.

Bill : Fuck you Jake…. What do you want…

I passed him the fan and added.

Jake : I need your help…… to protect a place….

Bill took the fan from me and opened it.

He just stared at it as I filled him in about Ah Keong going for the last vote.

Bill : I’m not interested in their silly games… and rules… how is Lucy ?

I swallowed a gulp of saliva and wonder what would Bill do to me if he knew I fucked the woman he loved.

Jake : She’s doing ok…. Happy I guess… she’s healthy, dresses well, eats well…. Ermm… ermm…

Bill closed the fan, signalling the end of our conversation and met my eyes in the narrow alley.

He did not speak for 2 seconds.

Bill : Save the best spot for me… see you at Bukit Chandu…

Bill turned and he no longer shuffled his feet.

His shoulders were no longer slouching.

He did not drag his feet.

Bill walked with purpose and disappeared around the corner.

8.30pm

Johari, Herman, me and 4 others were gathered at the heritage site.

There was no sign of Bill.

10.30pm

Johari pointed to the statues that we were gathered around. We remained within the grounds of the museum despite it being closed. The security company was a subsidiary of one of Gabriel’s company, making things a whole lot less complicated.

I stared at the cameras inside the small control room.

All was quiet.

Johari gathered all of us into the courtyard, he had bought drinks , coffee and some snacks.

His sources said Ah Keong’s men had left their staging area 5 minutes ago. We should all get ready.

As we sipped out drink quietly, Johari spoke.

Johari : These….. guys……… this is our heritage…. Our country’s history….

Johari said he was upset when he first learnt about what lies within the sculptures but what’s done is done.

Matthew’s company was the contractor that did most of the works around that area including the restoration works. It made perfect sense to hide something there with Ah Keong’s help.

Johari : Ah Keong’s guys…. They worked on this site before…. They know the terrain as well as we do…. Be careful….. if all else fail… we smash the sculptures….. no one should get the vote if it comes to that.

Jake : WHAT !! ? We’ll go to jail… how can we destroy something of historic significance??!!!

Herman added that Gabriel kept another set of the same sculptures as a backup. Identical ones.

They would be replaced if anything happens.

Herman : I hope it doesn’t come to that…

I looked at the plague as the foot of the sculpture and kept my ears opened as I looked around the dark forest. It was a cool night, crickets sang happily and the moon was up high.

The raw smell of the jungle reminded me of my outfield days back in the army.

I had a quiet moment to think about what was about to happen.

It made me upset and angry, with both sides, Ah Keong and Gabriel.

What the fuck do they think they’re doing man ?

Suddenly everyone tensed up and looked towards the stone steps leading up from the carpark below.

There was some rustling of leaves and a figure emerged.

Instinctively we made a wall of bodies around the sculptures.

When the figure came into the light, I almost could not recognise him.

It’s Bill.

He looked different.

He shaved, had a hair cut. Dressed in slacks and a dryfit shirt, he looked like he was ready for some action.

Jake : It’s ok… it’s ok…. He’s with us…. Ben wanted him to help.

Before I could go ahead with the introductions, there was a loud thud.

It’s like someone dull slam on rusty metal.

Within seconds, the lights of the compound went out.

My heartbeat rose as I looked around nervously.

Yeah, it’s not impossible, nothing out of the Hollywood movie either. The electrician who worked on the site would know how to do it but that was not all. The street lamps, the fucking street lamps started extinguishing one by one.

Johari : Ohh… those… fuckers….. going all out…

Well, all it takes is a pair of pliers and knowing which wire to cut, not rocket science.

We crowded closer to the sculpture, everyone alert for any sign of movements.

Bill shook his hands, and started stretching.

I started to panic.

Fuck.

I cannot believe I’m doing this.

3 more street lamps remain within a 30m radius of the site.

The furthest one went off.

I exhaled and tried to calm down.

The 2nd one went off within a matter of seconds and I took in a deep breath as I watch Bill walked and parked his body right in the middle of the steps leading up from the carpark.

I cast one look at the old colonial building that housed a piece of Singapore’s history before I looked at the sculptures a few feet away.

Fuck these people and their stupid organisation and their stupid family and elections.

Seriously. Fuck them.

I exhaled and prepped myself mentally as I watch the last street lamp extinguished itself, plunging the area into darkness.

No one will touch the site that night.

It’s a piece of history for the next generation.

Something to remind us what our forefathers fought for.

We can forgive the atrocities committed during the war, but we will not forget the lessons it teaches us.

I could hear steps hammering up the cold concrete stairs in front of Bill.

They’re coming.

Johari : Steady……

I could hear voices… instructions being given….harsh and sharp whispers.

Johari : Steady……

I walked right up and parked myself beside Bill and clenched my fist.

Bill : Been in a fight before Jake ? ?

Jake : Not like this… not like this….

Bill chuckled.

Bill : Fuck Gabriel and Ah Keong….. you’re not fighting for them and their silly games…. You’re preserving a piece of history… tell yourself that…

The first silhouette of Ah Keong’s men came into view and Bill took off towards him like a shadow dancing in the wind.

The 2nd one appeared in front of me, towards the right, emerging out from the treeline.

I sighed and muttered under my breath something I never thought I would ever say.

Jake : The things…… I’m about to do…. For my country…

……………………..

I don’t remember what was going through my head as I rushed towards the silhouette of the man in front of me. I could already hear the grunts and shouts of the poor chap that had to deal with Bill.

It sounded like a yelp before he groaned in pain.

I was lucky with mine. Being on high ground had its advantages. All it took was a clumsy bull like charge with my right shoulder as the guy was climbing up the leafy slope and he was gone.

I could hear him curse and shout as he staggered back 2 steps after my body connected with his, he landed on his buttocks before tumbling back in a comical position and rolling 3 metres downhill onto a narrow trunk of a tree.

Footsteps hammered up the stairs where Bill was and I quickly returned to my original spot, scanning the immediate surrounding for people.

I caught a glimpse of Bill entangled with 3 guys at the stairs.

Everyone was moving and punches rained so fast all over that everything was a blur. I would have imagined a scene like Yip Man, where punches were deflected, kicks avoided with graceful manoeuvre of the body but it was not.

It was nothing like the movies or what I saw on Tv.

It was brutal.

If you’ve seen a fight before, you would know how brutal it is.

Unlike in a ring, there are no rules, no referees and no tapping out.

A punch landed squarely onto Bill’s cheeks, grazing the sides of his eyes as he threw one equally high one onto the unfortunate guy who fell sideways and stopped moving for a few seconds before groaning on the floor.

I honestly thought Bill would be the one dealing all the blows but he was taking a lot more. It reminded me of the famous saying , it’s not how hard you hit, it’s how hard you can get hit and keep going.

Bill grunted, grabbed the 2nd guy , tripped and threw him head first into a thick bush.

The last remaining guy landed a good kick, causing Bill to stagger backwards but he bounced back and drove an elbow into the side of his stomach. The man bent over before kneeling down, 2 seconds later, I could hear him retched and puke.

All these happened within a matter of seconds.

There were no longer any commotions on our end.

We took care of 4 men just like that.

No fancy Hollywood style kicking and posture, just the raw sick sound of muscles against flesh.

I heard more shouts from the bottom of the steps and I could see one more guy running up towards Bill. As he came closer, I could tell he must be the driver, he still had the keys in his hands and he was trying to stuff them into his jeans as he charged up at Bill.

Johari grunted and shouted from behind and I turned to see him being hammered by 2 chaps from both sides. Bill gestured with his head towards Johari at me and I ran over.

I tried my bull charge again at the man on the left but he saw me coming and he ducked. I tried to punch him but I guess I threw too wide a punch and he got so close to me that I could smell the stale cigarette breath from his mouth.

Before I could do anything, I felt the left of my face go numb. There was a ringing in my ear as I fell to the hard ground.

I remembered seeing Johari kicking that fellow so hard that he literally flew backwards by close to a metre before he lifted the remaining guy half way up into the air as he shouted and cursed.

Johari sent the guy into the bushes, tumbling him down towards the bottom of the slope.

I tried to get up but I can’t. The ringing in my ears didn’t stop.

I forced myself to stand up but the moment I did, I staggered and fell back down, landing on my right knee, I tried again and I fucking vomited out the curry puff I ate barely 30 mintues ago.

My balance was way off as I managed to roll away from my puke and lie by the side of the pathway leading into the museum.

I could not believe how useless I was. One fucking hit and I was as good as dead.

On Tv and in the movies, even the most useless good guy could do more than I did.

That level of disorientation I had totally threw me off. I never expected to get hit like that before. Herman was holding up pretty well , he rained several punches on a guy bigger than him and with a few kicks, he sent the man scurrying back into the darkness.

Hairul, one of Herman’s close friend remained by the side of the sculptures.

His eyes sharp as a falcon scanning the desert.

A couple of scuffle broke out near him, barely 2 metres away but he remained still. He calmly let his friends handle the attackers.

One of Ah Keong’s man charged at him, head on but Hairul was firmly planted on his spot.

Frankly speaking, if it was me, I would have panic and charged back. The most we will just collide head to head, but not Hairul.

Hairul was calm, he stood there like a fucking wall of stone even though he’s less than 1.7m in height. He’s not well built either like Herman or Johari, Hairul is skinny, his eyes looked as if they were sunken into his skull.

He was the only one besides me that didn’t smoke among the group of people that night in Bukit Chandu. I counted no less than 3 attempts to grab and pull Hairul away from his spot but none succeeded.

Hairul barely had to lift a finger. I saw him clench his fist once as one of Ah Keong’s man got too close with a small hammer in hand but he was kicked off the pathway by Herman before being dragged and sent down the slope.

Grrrounndddd…..grdooouunnddssss…..

There was this sick sound coming from the distance.

This really sick sound of something hard being dragged on the cold uneven floor,

That raw unedited sound of hard metal being dragged on the tar road and eventually onto the paved courtyard.

I tried to squint my eyes and make out what that was, with only the moonlight above us, my eyes still really haven adjusted fully to the dark.

When I realised what that was, I cursed out loud and struggled to get onto my feet.

Jake : Holy… Fuck….

I hugged onto a column and dragged my body off the ground.
It was a man dragging a sledge hammer along the floor and he was heading straight for Hairul and the sculptures.

His progress was slow and he looked too skinny to carry that properly.

The bigger guys were all engaged in the fight, one of them managed to go past the initial defenders around Hairul . Hairul was knocked off his feet within seconds but he bounced back up and got tangled with that man immediately, pushing him back a few steps.

That man charged again at Hairul, determined to get him out of the way.

Hairul’s movements were sleek and graceful. It was almost like a dance. There was this gentleness in his movements yet he struck with deadly precision and speed. He could have hit any part of the man’s body when he lashed out with the speed of a deadly cobra but he chose to drive both knuckles onto the man’s nipples, causing him to yelp out in pain.

The excruciating pain was like a wake up call, breaking the silence of the night on the ridge.

Man : AHHHHH !!

Another guy Johari just threw onto the ground went over to his screaming friend , he had his shirt torn and badly stretched. His t-shirt by then had become like some off shoulder blouse, exposing a good portion of his left shoulder.

He probably pulled his muscle or something too and he half strutted like some transvestite shaking his ass and shoulder over to his friend. I don’t know if I should laugh or feel pity for the 2 guys.

They look so comical. The tranny lookalike’s hair was all messed up too as he helped his friend sit up, supporting him from the back, His friend just kept both of his palms on his nipples as he kept massaging them in circles.

Tranny lookalike : Bro… bro !!.. you ok bo ? are you ok ??

Breast man : My…. My….. my NEH… NEH… POK!!. ( nipples ) my neh neh pok…… very painful ..ahhh… ahh…

His friend tried to pull and drag him off to the side, it reminded me of some saving private ryan war scene, where your comrades was trying to save you but that was so fucking funny that I could not help but burst out laughing.

Breast man : My neh neh….ahhhhhh…. he hit my neh neh very hard….. KNN…

His friend kept cursing at him as he dragged him from under his arms, his shirt got more and more loose, his off shoulder top dropping to the middle of his bicep before he fell backwards too, landing on his buttocks.

Breast man finally turned around and look at his friend who just pulled him out of the fray and the first thing he said was ;

Breast man : why you wear so sexy come pia zhui ?? ( fight )

Tranny : Fuck you la !.

My attention was drawn back to the action when I saw one more guy charged and lifted Hairul up and off his feet before both of them disappeared into the trees.

The sledge hammer guy continued unchallenged towards the sculptures. I staggered towards the side of the security guard table and grabbed the only tool available to me. It was a delivery trolley that was left opened.

Using it partly for balance, I pushed it directly towards the man with the hammer, shouting and swerving around Herman.

Jake : AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH….. siam ah !!!! ( get out of my way )

The man saw me heading towards him, he tried to lift the hammer but it was too late, he could tell he did not have enough time to lift it up and he made the decision to jump.

I get what he was trying to do as I charged towards him with the trolley. He wanted to jump onto the trolley platform and push me. I would fall backwards and he would land on top of me, I would have done the same too but he made a mistake.

He tried to jump while holding onto the hammer. His body left the ground but with his hand holding onto the hammer, it dragged him back down, limiting the height he could propel himself forward.

Jake : AHHHH…

Man : AHHHH!!…

The jerk back caused by his hand gripping onto the hammer caused him to fall towards the trolley as I crashed onto him.

Not only did he crash face first towards me, I fucking felt his lips hit my forehead as he planted a hard kiss onto me when we both went down.

It was a hard kiss and by the time I pushed him off, I could see his mouth full of blood. He probably cut his lips or hit his teeth or some shit.

He looked a little shocked as he spit out blood from his mouth.

Barely 3 minutes had passed since the attack began but I could see Ah Keong’s man pulling back, disappearing into the darkness. Those that could still walk grabbed their friends and left, half dragging and pulling them.

I turned to check the breast man and tranny but they were gone too.

Johari helped me onto my feet and I could feel a small cut on my forehead.

Johari :You ok ?

Jake : yah I’m fine.

I saw Bill walking over, his left eye was already red and I could see the swell around his cheeks as well.

Jake : You ok ?

Bill just nodded and went for a bottle of water.

Johari gathered everyone and asked if anyone needs medical attention.

Aside from cuts and bruises, everyone was fine.

Johari : I counted about 14 of them, … They might still have more people coming. ..

I looked around the mess we made in less than 5 minutes. Bushes and shrubs were crushed, chairs were lying in the shallow pond. Bits of clothings strewn about and I counted at least 3 shoes lying alone in the dark after their owner fled.

Johari : They’re probably regrouping and they will come with more men… if so…

He grabbed the hammer and dragged it towards the sculpture.

Johari : Hairul, smash if if they come close….

Hairul nodded.

Hairul : Which one ??

Johari : All of them, smash it to bits, don’t take any chances..

Jake : They might not come back…. Let’s not do anything stupid until we’re sure.

Herman ran towards the building and I saw him pull out the fire hose, dragging it towards the open courtyard and left it pointing at the spot where Ah Keong’s men had entered. He said something in Malay to another man who went to turn on the valve.

Bill pulled out something from his pocket and started wrapping around his hand. He did it fast, going in between each finger once before going around his wrist.

Jake : Why do you need to do that ?

His answer was cold and direct

Bill : It stabilises wrist and also protects your knuckles…

I swallow a gulp of saliva and Johari whispered harshly at everyone to keep quiet and pay attention.

I could hear it again.

The shouts. The whispers.

Voices coming towards us, carried by the cold evening wind.

It’s happening again.

There was this eerie quietness in surrounding us. The insects stopped singing, the moon disappeared behind some clouds, we had minimum ambient light , by my best estimate, we could probably see only like 7-8 metres max in front of us.

We slowly encircled the sculptures as the voices got louder.

It was too dark.

I could hear them, it was as if they were right in front of me but I can’t see them .

My heart was still slamming against my ribcage, the endorphins from the 1st wave was still bouncing around in my head.

Voices : he tao…. He tao ( over there, over there ) guay lai…. Guay lai ( come over… come over )

Voices : Kay see tao …..gia lai…. Gia lai…. Kin… ( bring the tools, bring them…. Quick )

Voices : Toh qiu peng… toh qiu ( left hand side… left … )

Johari spoke to Herman in malay but Herman was hesitant to agree. He looked like he wanted to argue but the urgency in which Johari said it made it hard for Herman to say no.

Herman and another guy ran off, disappearing towards the carpark at the bottom of the steps.

Johari : They’re all there….gathering…. Right in front of us…. My guess is they know they can’t break through if they split up…. They’re all going to attack from a single point….. head on…

Jake : Where is Herman going ??

Johari : He has some things we can use in his van …. Buy us some time…

The voices never stopped and my palms started sweating.

That feeling, it’s like you get to the top of some roller coaster ride and not knowing when the plunge would begin. That helpless feeling of knowing it will happen soon but you are deprived of knowing exactly when.

I don’t know how much time has passed, probably 3-4 minutes max. The voices got softer before it eventually stopped.

Johari : ok… it’s going to happen soon…. They probably finalised their plans….

Herman panted as he came up from behind us with 3 tubes in his hand. They were long, about 1.2m in length with a diameter of 70cm. I could not tell what they were in the dark but they looked like some PVC pipes. It looked like some home made bazooka cannon.

Bill : What the fuck is that ?

Herman : Confetti canon for my event company……. Uses pressurised air…. . made from youtube videos… hahaha….. remote controlled too…. Good for school and kids events…. Haha…

The 3 canon were pointed towards the front , each held by a man while Herman held onto the remote.

Bill : What the fuck can they do against them ?

Johari : Buy us enough time to smash everything if we have to.

Suddenly a voice rang out.

Herman brought along a large torch too, those search light kind about the size of your kettle at home.

Man : HOEI !!!.. JOHARI !!….. There’s no need to do this… !! Give us what we want… and everyone can go home…

Herman switched on the torch towards the voice and I could see a sea of bodies lined up in front of us and I felt like laughing again.

The person speaking was that Tranny look alike.

Johari : Spencer…. We’re all a family… tell Ah Keong to stop this…

With the light shining at him, he shielded his eyes with the back of his right hand, his elbow angled 45 degree upwards pointing to the skies, with his off shoulder top and the people standing behind him, I seriously think they were about to dance to the song ‘ Thriller’

Spencer : We will get what we want… by hook or by crook…

Johari : I will fucking smash it….. if you come close…

Spencer : you won’t….

Johari : Try me…

Johari waved to Herman and the light was off, returning the heritage site into a sea of darkness.

I was right beside Herman.

Hairul clutched onto the hammer and got into position.

Everyone made space for Hairul so he has space to swing the hammer if it comes to that.

I could not believe this was happening.

We’re all going to go to jail.

Destroying something of heritage value like this, what would that make us ?

The voices started again and I could tell they were advancing towards us.

Johari : Hairul….

Hairul dragged the hammer and lifted it up, raising it above his shoulder.

The voices got closer.

Johari : Steady…..

Bill coughed and spit out saliva mixed with blood onto the floor near my feet.

I could hear Spencer asking his men to keep up, to hold the line.

Spencer : go straight for the sculptures…. The ammo bag on the floor..

Hairul immediately shifted his position.

I looked at the sculpture of the 3 man firing a mortar on the ground before Johari’s voice got louder.

Johari : Steady……. Hold…..

Spencer : gia… gia… gia…. ( let’s go, let’s go… let’s go… ) …. Cheong AH!!!!! ( Charge !!!! )

The peace of the dark night shattered into a thousand pieces of glass as voices were raised. I was shaking, honestly I was afraid but I did not want to let it show.

I could see Herman’s hand shaking a little too as his fingers hovered above the button that fired the canon.

Footsteps advanced onto out position and within seconds , I could see Spencer charging right into us.

They were too fast, we couldn’t react in time.

Bodies clashed into each other and I was knocked off my feet within seconds.

I hammered a few blows, I don’t even know who I was hitting, I was kicked and hit several times too but Bill pulled them off me.

Herman was pinned down and I could see Hairul being kicked by 3 other men and his hammer was taken from him.

The cannon laid useless on the ground, being kicked around like some kid’s school project gone wrong.

It was a fucking mass orgy.

Johari tried to get back in command but he too was being pinned down by breast man and Spencer while a few other guys started kicking him.

As if suddenly imbued with superhuman strength, Johari roared and lifted himself off the floor, throwing a few guys onto their buttocks. I charged towards the man who was sitting on top of Herman and punching him, the momentum sent me and him towards the shallow pond and we landed with a splash.

I spit out a mouthful of water and pulled myself out of the water just in time to feel the skin on the back of my spine tingled as Spencer grabbed the hammer amidst the chaos.

Bill sent a guy flying onto a bush with a kick and he too grabbed one of it.

I saw one was within my reach and I grabbed it as well.

Within a split second, Johari shook off everyone who was on to him and grabbed the last canon the same time Spencer raised the hammer above his head, preparing to strike at the small sculpture in front of him.

I tightened the grip on the PVC tube and pointed it at Spencer.

Bill was the furthest away from Spencer and he charged towards him, pointing his tube forward.

Time slowed.

Everything moved in slow motion.

I could see shirts being ripped.

Shoes thrown about.

Bushes and shrubs shook angrily as twigs and branches were broken.

I saw that beautiful moment when Herman got up and grabbed the remote control and his eyes met Johari’s.

Herman smiled.

Johari’s shout ripped through the forest, shattering the serenity of the world war 2 heritage site once more and I felt the hair on my wet skin rise to attention as I fought back a shiver.

Johari : TEMBAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ( Fire )

Compress air rushed out of all 3 tubes, sending confetti towards Spencer the same time he smashed the hammer towards the ground. It distracted him.

His aim was off.

Instead of a direct hit, he went towards the side, smashing the moulded pouch on the side.

Men shouted and Spencer cursed.

I watched in horror as I saw the hammer fall beside the damaged sculpture.

He fucking did it. He really smashed it.

Bodies collided again as everyone converged towards the hammer and Spencer.

No one paid me any attention.

No one.

No one cared about the split wooden box that somehow cracked into 2 and landed right in front of me. There was a pen , a old pen wrapped in some leather like skin, partially exposed.

If it had land a metre away, I probably would have missed it but it was right there.

Right in front of me.

I looked up, made sure no one was looking and I slipped the cracked box the size of a large packet of cigarette into my back pocket.

I swallowed a gulp of saliva and wondered what ripples my action would send down the stream.

I have the 9th vote.

………………………….

 

I was dripping wet as I crawled out of the pond. I froze where I was, too afraid to join back into the fight.

It looked like a terrible mess, bodies piled on top on one another, everyone grunting and cursing.

I was afraid someone would discover what I had done, or perhaps the box and the pen would just drop out of my pocket during the scuffle.

We were making too much noise, there’s a residential estate barely a one hundred metres away. I saw another 2 men running up the stone steps, a look of urgency on their faces. I was about to run over to engage them but they were faster.

They charged right into the orgy and pulled Spencer out.

It appears as if they were not there to fight. They spoke to Spencer, pulling him back by his shirt which by then looked like a tube top. He could not be bothered, still determined to charge back into the fight.

Like a rugby team, Spencer’s men suddenly managed to build up a wall of bodies and like a sweeping broom, they swept, pushed and kicked Johari and his men away from the sculptures.

It happened so fast and all I could do was stare in horror.

Spencer lifted the hammer and with three smooth strokes, smashed the remaining sculptures and finished off with the ammo pouch.

Slam !….. Slam !!… Slam !!! …. Slam !!

The sound of the demolition silenced the entire compound as if a spell had been cast.

Everyone stared in shock at the damaged sculptures scattered all over the floor. Everyone’s eyes was searching the pieces and no one moved.

Spencer went to kick away a few pieces before bending down to examine each piece before standing back up. He looked at Johari and he just shrugged his shoulder.

One of the 2 guys that ran up tugged Spencer again.

Man : The road block will not hold much longer, we need to go now…. The police are on their way up…. Someone made a complaint.

Spencer did one last check on the pieces on the floor before gesturing to his men to leave. Like smoke dissipating in the wind, Spencer and his guys scattered into the night and we never heard from them again.

Johari’s phone rang and he answered, speaking briefly before hanging up.

Johari : Ok, we got to go…..now … I’ll try to get Gabriel… there’s nothing in the sculptures..….

I saw Bill leaning against the side of a pillar and I hurried over. He had a deep cut on his left forearm, blood was flowing freely and his face was badly bruised.

Jake : Oh fuck… fuck…

Bill : Don’t make a big fuss… I’m fine…

Jake : You don’t look fine to me….

He unwrapped his fist and we used that to apply pressure on the wound. He would definitely need a few stitches to fix that.

Bill turned and walked away slowly and I kept up with him. We went onto one of the trails that will lead us down the hill to the Hort park. He kept asking me to leave him alone but I couldn’t bring myself to.

Jake : You’re squirting blood…. How you expect me to leave you ??

By the time we got to the Hort park, Bill was walking a lot slower. We attracted some stares from joggers and a few offered to help.

Jake : It’s ok… it’s ok… he fell, I’m bringing him to the doctor…

I don’t know how many times I repeated that answer as I racked my brains for a solution.

Bill saw a bench and he sat down, saying that he needed a break.

I reached for my phone and I was thinking who I could call. Gabriel and Ben , they’re both not in town.

I scrolled down the list and the only logical choice was Lucy.

I dialled her number and she picked up on the fourth ring, answering in her usual flirty manner, but her attitude changed totally when I told her what happened.

Jake : We can’t take a cab, he’s got blood all over…do you all have some triad clinic or something you all go to? To get patched up or something ?

Lucy just kept quiet over the phone for a couple of seconds before saying she will come get us.

Bill asked me to go but I told him I have help coming.

Bill : Who ?

Jake : ERrr… my parents… I asked them to pick us up…. We’ll send you to a clinic or something…

Bill : No need… just drop me off back in Joo chiat.

It was a 45 minutes wait and I brought some water for Bill as we sat in the park.

I tried really hard not to touch the box in my pocket as I talked to Bill about Lucy .

What was their relationship like ?

Why did they break up ?

How was Lucy like ?

I peppered Bill with questions but I got no answer from him. It was either a smile, a giggle or just plain shaking of his head.

Bill : I just fell for someone I shouldn’t have.. that’s all there is ..

We were silent for a while, both our eyes were looking down towards the pavement. A pair of legs appeared, a beautiful fair pair of legs with running shoes.

I was the first to look up at the owner of the pair of legs.

Lucy had on a casual pair of shorts and a plain grey t-shirt.

She walked slowly towards us. She never even looked at me.

I look at Bill, he was shocked beyond words as Lucy walked towards him with trembling lips.

Bill tried to cover his arm and wipe off the blood stains before standing up.

By then Lucy had gotten right in front of us. Her eyes looked a little watery as she glared at Bill before looking at me.

Jake : Lucy….i …

Smack !…

I slap hit me before I could say anything more.

Lucy : HOW DARE YOU !!… You said it was just to protect a place !!!

Bill : Lucy….

Lucy gave Bill a glare and he knew better than to try and speak again.

I’ve never seen Lucy so angry before.

That raw emotion on her face was the most real and unpretentious expression I have seen on Lucy.

That mix of pain and anguish as she looked at Bill.

Lucy punched Bill lightly on his chest as a tear rolled down her cheek.

Lucy : You think you’re still young ?? … do you ??

Bill kept still, his eyes refused to meet Lucy

Lucy hit him again, a little harder this time with another punch .

Lucy : Answer me …. You think you’re still some hot shot in the organisation ?? do you ??

Lucy’s lips shook and I saw both her cheeks streaked with her tears as she hit Bill for the 3rd time.

Lucy : Answer me…..You think you’re still the young fighter you were 10 years ago ?? sobzz… answer me… sobzz…

Bill answered Lucy alright.

He answered her.

Bill : I am still that man Lucy….. I am still that man…..

Lucy’s teeth were clenched and I could see tears dripping off her chin and the bottom of her cheeks.

Bill : I’m not the young man….. I’m not the hot shot….. I’m not the fighter…… but I’m still the same man that loves you…

Holy fuck.

I almost shed a tear as I staggered a step backwards.

Lucy’s shoulder slouched, her stance softened, the tough exterior she had on all along melted away . For that brief moment, Lucy was that little girl again.

I knew it was the right moment then for me to walk away.

And I did.

I turned and walked off as Lucy leaned forward and into Bill’s arms.

As fast as my legs could carry, I got out of the Hort park and hailed myself a cab.

I reached home, showered and got into my bed at 1.30am

22nd Feburary 2015

Sunday

1.35am

I carefully lifted the box and look at the pen inside, looking at the intricate details and wordings carved into the body of the pen.

I wrapped it up properly and kept it away.

That would surely come in useful one day.

6.30am

I was back at the noodle stall and my muscles ached , I think I had a visible bruise on my face and Kate came over to ask me what happened and where did I go the day before.

There was no point lying to her about it and I came clean.

Her eyes widened and she hit me several times, cursing at me for not telling her about it.

Kate : HOW could you !!!! How could you not tell me !!!!

She stormed off and ignored me for the rest of the day.

10pm

Johari sent a picture of the sculptures at Bukit Chandu to the group chat. Everything had been replaced and touched up. With a few construction cones and signage indicating restoration works, there was no trouble at all getting the replacement done.

Gabriel was both puzzled and upset that his grandfather’s legacy was not found at the site.

He says he would get to the bottom of the matter and he thanked everyone for our help.

23 Feburary 2015

Monday

10.30am

I thought I would try my luck getting in touch with Lucy to ask about Bill but there was no reply from her.

I have yet to see Bill around the coffee shop that couple of days too, probably resting at home, wherever that may be.

Kate came over right before I left the coffee shop with my parents.

Kate : I manage to get another chance to talk to King… you interested ?

Jake : Yes.. yes… of course…

Kate : See you later at 4pm… we’ll meet straight at his shop.

4.15pm

Kate was 15 minutes late.

4.30 pm

I dropped Kate a couple of messages before I tried dialling her phone but it was switched off.

This is weird.

Kate was seldom late when she meets up with me and going uncontactable like this was virtually unheard off. It’s not like I knew her for the longest time but she’s not someone who would just go off the grid like this.

By 4.45pm, I was starting to get worried.

I decided to go on ahead to King’s shop.

King’s shop is separated into 2 as mentioned earlier , one sells everything for the living, and the other sells everything for the dead. I asked the staff where King was and he gave me a suspicious look before saying he’s in the office.

Jake : He’s expecting me…. I mean us… actually there’s one more… but I don’t know where is she…

The staff just pointed down the rows of shelves at the back of the shop.

I knew it.

I knew King would do this to us.

As I walked down the shelves stocked with offerings for the deceased , I felt as if there were several pairs of eyes on me. That weird creepy feeling of someone watching you.

I walked pass neatly arranged rows of paper iphone and Ipads, laptops, hardisk. Even paper VR googles. Anything you would possibly find in the world of the living, chances are King has one version for the dead.

I reached the old timber door with a large square glass panel in the middle and I knocked on the door.

Jake : Hello ? … hello ?

I could hear voices inside the room.

I tried the door knob but it was locked.

I knocked on the door again.

Jake : King…. Hello… King ?

The voices got a little louder.

It sounded like people wrapping up their conversation.

There was some shuffling, chairs being shifted and when the bolt for the lock snapped opened, I jumped backwards a little.

The sudden snap gave me a shock, being in such a creepy shop did not help either.

The door opened and when I laid eyes on the people inside King’s office, I realised the shock from the lock was nothing.

It was nothing compared to seeing Ah Keong, Suwen and King staring at me.

Ah Keong : What are you doing here ?

I paused.

I was about to say I came together with Kate when I saw something familiar on King’s table.

It was Kate’s phone.

King : What are you doing here Jake ? …. You need something ??

My heart started thumping and I tried to think of an excuse.

Jake : I… I needed to get something for a army friend who just passed away….

The 3 of them kept their eyes on me, no doubt unconvinced about what I just said.

Jake : I just thought maybe I could get a discount you know…. Since we sort of know each other …. ??

5 seconds passed and we remained staring at each other.

It was such a bad lie that I was sure they saw right through me.

Kate’s phone was right there on the fucking table.

Yet she was nowhere in the room.

I never expected Suwen to speak first ahead of King and Ah Keong.

And when she did, I turned on my heels and I ran.

Suwen : Get him !…. get him !…

I tore up the concrete floor as I sprinted as fast as I could towards the exit and into the staircase. I jumped 3, 4 steps at a time, desperate to get out of the compound.

I literally flew towards the nearest bus stop and hopped onto the 1st bus to arrive, panting and catching my breathe as I looked out the window, trying to see if they caught up with me.

Not good.

This is not good.

The bus barely went forward one bus stop when my phone rang.

It was a number I don’t recognised.

Jake : Hello ?

Suwen : Jake… it’s me… Suwen…

Her voice was a stark contrast from before. It sounded gentle and sweet.

Suwen : We are all reasonable people…so let’s talk things through.

There was a short pause before she went on again.

Suwen : Kate is not even your real girlfriend…

Another pause followed.

Suwen : Why are you wasting your time on her ??

It was obvious she was taking instructions from someone else. It had to be either Ah Keong or King.

Suwen : I mean it Jake… we can pay you… just look the other way….pretend you never see anything…

Jake : Let her go..

Suwen : I can’t…

Suwen was pretty insistent that we should talk things through.

Jake : You grabbed Kate… what assurance do I have you wouldn’t do the same to me…

Suwen : Don’t be crazy… why would we do that… we didn’t grab Kate… we just need her as a guest for a while…

After some deliberation, I agreed to meet with Suwen but only if I get to speak with Kate.

King got on the line and repeated what Suwen had already told me.

King : Stay out of this Jake.. It’s for your own good.

Jake : I want to speak with Kate…

He hung up on me.

I alighted a few stops later and my phone rang again.

Jake ; Hello ?

Kate : JAKE!!.. JAKE!!.. TELL Gab….ahhh

Jake : Kate… Kate !!..

There was some commotion on the other end of the line before Suwen came back on.

Suwen : 5k…Jake… we’ll pay you 5k… cash… just walk away… from all of this…

I tried to calm myself down.

The logical thing to do would be to tell Gabriel or Ben and their game would be over. Let them handle it among themselves.

I would have done exactly that . That would have been Jake’s decision but I could not bring myself to do it. Somehow over the course of that few weeks, something changed inside me.

Suwen : Jake… 8k… our final offer…. Take it… I mean it… take it… we’ll pay you cash…. Just walk away….

Jake : let her go …

Suwen : What ? 12k ? …. Do we have a deal ? …. Ok… ok… I’ll see you in a bit. Thanks for agreeing to our offer Jake… I see you in a while…

I could hear Kate screaming in the background as Suwen pretended as if we had a deal.

Suwen : we’ll go get the money and pass it to you …. we’ll arrange a time and place…. ok…. thanks…

Jake : WHAT… what ?? hey… hey !!!

Then she hung up on me.

What a fucking bitch.

What the fuck was she thinking ?

She must be thinking she could keep the money for herself while pushing the blame on me. Keong and King would think I took the money. She’s fucking pinning it all on me.

What would Kate think when she hears that I accepted the deal ?

I’ll quickly get in touch with Gabriel, tell him everything, that would prove my innocence.

I hit Gabriel’s number and right before I hit dial, I realised perhaps there was another way.

Another easier way.

I simply sent Suwen the message.

‘I know about you and Matthew’

30 seconds later, Suwen sent me her reply.

Suwen msg : Let’s meet in private…

9.30pm

Block 85 market at Bedok.

I sat near the NTUC and ate my noodles as I waited.

9.35pm

Suwen appeared.

She had changed into something casual from the dress I saw her in earlier. She looked just like the hot mother that had just put her kids to bed.

Her legs, looked similar to Tiffany except that her skin lack that radiant youthful shine Tiffany had.

Smooth and hairless, it reminded me of the time I ran my tongue up Tiffany’s legs and hearing her moan sensually thinking it was Roland.

I wonder how Suwen’s moans would sound like.

Suwen wore a pale pink bra with white singlet, the holes on her denim shorts looked as if it was specially made for the side of her shapely and firm bottom. It’s not too tight, there just that little bit of gap such that when she walked, you can see the bounce of her butt cheeks.

At late thirties, with a figure like that, she is the ultimate milf fantasy anyone could wish for.

Seeing Suwen up close sent some raw emotions down my groin as I watch her sit down in front of me and crossed her legs. Several uncles drinking beer a couple of tables away were looking at her too.

Suwen don’t look her age, she maintained and kept herself well, if you asked me, I would say she could easily pass off as someone in her early thirties, perhaps late twenties with her make up on.

She put her phone and purse on the table and I could see she was very nervous.

Suwen : How did you know about Matthew and me ?

I did not answer her question.

Jake : Help me get Kate out..

Suwen : I can’t… Ah Keong and King has her…. I’m just at the wrong place at the wrong time…

Jake : What were you doing there then ?

Suwen admitted she went there to borrow money from King.

She wanted to get out of her marriage with Terry.

Kate turned up to meet King and Ah Keong happened to be there. They didn’t know I would be joining them

Suwen : Kate was quarrelling with them, then it just happened. They didn’t plan this… they just decided to grab her

Jake : Where is Kate ? …

Suwen : I don’t know… I really don’t know..

Suwen was more interested in how I got to know about her and Matthew rather than where Kate was.

Suwen : How did you know ? who told you ?? !

Jake : I saw the videos…. Those in the hotels… from way back…

Suwen : NO… no way… it’s not possible…

I redirected the conversation, it’s important for me to be in control where we were headed.

Jake : It’s there… imagine what Ah Keong would do…. Or perhaps…

I threw a wild guess into the wind.

Jake : What Tiffany would do if she knew Terry was not her father ?? …

Suwen : She is Terry’s daughter !!

She insisted quite strongly but I still threw in some doubt.

Jake : Are you that sure ?? … sure enough to take a test ??

That silenced Suwen up completely.

So I might be right after all.

Suwen : I really don’t know where Kate is…

Jake : Then you’re going to help me find out…

Suwen : how ??

Jake : I’m sure you have your ways…

She looked away into the distance and kept quiet as she wet her lips with the tongue before brushing back her thick and silky hair.

Jake : Ask Terry…. He could go talk to King… it’s that simple…

Suwen hesitated for a couple of seconds before answering me.

Suwen : It’s never that simple when you ask Terry for something…. Why do you think I’m getting out of this marriage !…

I sipped on the soup of my noodles as I watch Suwen rest her cheek on her palm , sighing and thinking of a way to get out of this mess.

Then she said something that perk my ears.

Suwen : I know King is a little interested in me…. he once peeped at me changing at our house warming once…

My cock stirred and a smile slowly appeared on my face.

Jake : There…… there…. That’s an idea…

Suwen : It’s not an idea ….. what do you expect me to do… go change in front of him ??

Jake : haha… maybe you give him something more to…. Look at ??

Suwen hit the table a little hard and drew the attention of the few tables nearby as she glared at me.

Jake : It’s your choice….my suggestion… have sex with Terry…. Or something… then accidentally let King peep…. Get him aroused…. He’s a old man… it’s not hard to satisfy him… you know the rest…

Suwen ; Who do you take me for !!

Jake : I just want to get Kate out..

Suwen : I’m not having sex with Terry…. We’ve not been intimate for years !!!

Suwen whispered that harshly to me and I could feel my erection pushing against my boxers.

I don’t know what was going through my mind.

It had to be from the noodles I had as I offered her another suggestion.

I don’t know why I said it.

I really don’t

It just came out of my mouth.

Jake : Perhaps ….. I can pretend to be Terry ….

Suwen : You..

Suwen paused mid sentence and stopped talking.

We just looked at each other without a word at the hawker centre.

She was thinking.

Considering.

She needed that extra push.

Jake : And… you can keep that 12k you said over the phone…

I watched Suwen swallow a gulp of saliva and with that ever slight gentle movement of her head in a unsure manner.

She nodded.

……………………

 

I never expected Suwen to agree so readily to what I proposed.

Right after she nodded she stammered a little trying to organise her thoughts and put them into words. She’s been in the country for so long that you can hardly tell she’s not local. When she speaks, there’s the usual Singlish expression locals used, the occasional mix of dialect as well.

Suwen : But… wait…. I still don’t know where Kate is…. i… I really don’t know…

She looked around our table and lowered her voice considerably that I got to bend forward to listen to her speak. Suwen’s bent body exposed her deep valley like cleavage that I would love to snuggle my face into.

Suwen : And…. And how are you going to let King…let King…. You know… see… even if he did….. what makes you think he would tell me where Kate is ??

Suwen looked nervous but I could tell she was determined.

She wanted to go through with this, partly because of money.

Suwen : What if…. What if King knows I’m tricking him…. He won’t give me the money he said he….

Suwen quickly stopped talking, realising that she had let on a little too much details.

Jake : So he’s giving you money too…. Aside from the money that was supposed to be mine… ?

Sensing that she was caught red handed, Suwen came clean and said she asked to borrow about 35k from King. She would slowly pay him back in instalment. Terry’s cash flow has always been a thorn in the flesh issue for the both of them.

It seems what Terry is giving Suwen every month is not enough to upkeep her lifestyle.

For the first time, I felt sorry for Terry.

I looked at Suwen’s branded purse and shimmering phone case on the latest iphone.

She might looked like any one of the patrons at the hawker centre that evening but look just a bit closer and you begin to pick up details. Small minute details that would give away a lot.

She wore a diamond ring, not on her wedding finger, it looked awfully similar to the signature setting I saw from the Jewellery shop that had the same name as her Daughter. Perhaps that was what she was thinking about when she named her.

Her ear studs, diamonds as well.

Ok, her husband is a goldsmith, perhaps he got them cheap.

Around her neck was a thin silver chain with a pearl that looked like a droplet of tear. It had to be the tear from Terry’s eyes when he realised despite paying Suwen money every month, he still didn’t get to fuck her.

According to Suwen, Terry has been cutting her allowance for the past few years.

Suwen : It’s so hard to survive in Singapore…. And he keeps reducing the amount he give me… how to live like that ??? you tell me…

Jake : How much did he cut ?

Suwen : He cut more than 50% !!!….

I was about to ask what is the actual figure when Suwen volunteered the information. The moment I heard that figure, I wanted to roll my eyes.

Suwen : I’m left with 4k a month now….. you tell me…. how to live off this in your country ??? What about my facial ??? my spa packages….??? ….. make up ?? all this no need money ?? and my bags ?? ….. you keep bringing the same bags out…. People will laugh at you … !

At that very moment, I knew I would be doing mankind a great disservice if I did not fuck this money hungry whore. She hasn’t worked a single day since she married Terry, and now she’s turning her back on the man that’s been supporting her for so long.

I pitied Terry, I really did.

I suddenly understood why he has such a bad attitude.

If I was him paying so much for a so call wife you can’t fuck or touch each month, that frustration would build up eventually.

Jake : Oh… ok…

Suwen : You see the situation I’m in ??? … if you’re me… won’t you do the same thing ?? !!

Jake : Oh… yeah… I’m sure I would…

Suwen : I just want to live the life I deserve…. A good life… I sacrificed so much for this family….

I cut her off immediately. I’m not interested in her fucking sad story. It made me feel like I want to puke.

Jake : Ok… ok… I get it…

Suwen : No you don’t…. you don’t understand….

Suwen said it in such a sad voice that I almost believed how bad it was for her. She told me before she had Tiffany, a good facial package is about 1k odd, now to get one good one, be prepared to pay 5 to 6 k.

Suwen : You think it’s easy to maintain myself ?? if not for the fact I look the way I am… you… you think King would be interested in me ?

She said it with a hint of proudness and I just nodded my head.

Jake : ok, please… let get back to Kate….

Suwen : I don’t know where she is… I really don’t…

Jake : Let’s be rationale about this….. they grab her when she’s at King’s shop…

Suwen : Yes…

Jake : Where did they take her ?

Suwen : Outside the office…. After that King and Ah Keong came back in….

Jake : How long did they take ?

Suwen : A couple of minutes… ?

Jake : Good… that means she might still be at the compound…

Suwen pipped in and cut me off.

Suwen : They might have moved her already … it’s been a few hours…

Jake : It’s not easy moving a screaming and kicking person around…. If I were them, I would rather keep Kate in that industrial park… it’s quiet at night and King has loads of space there…

Suwen’s eyes widened and she said King had a small area at one shop converted into a illegal dormitory for his workers when they need to work late or overnight sometimes.

Suwen : It’s like a mini hostel, sometimes they need to deliver stuff late at night or early in the morning…. The staff will rest there…

Jake : Ok… there’s a good chance Kate might be there…

I stood up and was about to leave when Suwen pulled my arm and dragged me down.

Suwen : NO wait….

Jake : What ?

Suwen : If you go now… then what about my money ??

I wanted to strangle her right there and then.

Suwen got up and insisted I go through with the deal and take the money from King and Keong before we go to Kate.

Jake : Are you out of your mind ?? Kate might be starving… hurt… or scared out of her wits and you’re thinking about money??

Suwen : You are the one that is out of your mind…. You are the one that proposed I keep the money…. I don’t care…. Either you pay me… or Keong and King would…

I was fuming mad but I held it in and I asked her to call them.

Jake : Tell them… I want the money… now… if not I would spill the beans and tell Gabriel …

Suwen immediately lit up and dialled King’s number.

Right in front of me, she cooked up another story, about how she spent so much time talking and convincing me. That I made things very difficult for her.

Suwen : Yah… he’s very difficult…. It took me so long to talk to him…. And… and… sigh….

It’s not even a video call but when Suwen acts, she made sure to go the whole full mile. She massaged her forehead and said there was another problem.

Suwen : He wanted more money…. He wanted 18k…

I could hear raised voices on the other side of the phone. I tried to grab the phone from Suwen but she jumped out of my reach, gesturing me to stay away.

Fuck. And I wondered how the daughter turned out the way she did.

My am I glad I got to fuck Tiffany good.

Not only did I get to fuck her daughter, I got to treat her like a dog.

A slave.

I made her do things so despicable that it could not be mentioned even in erotic novels involving billionaires .

I made Tiffany cum till she had tears in her eyes screaming for Roland’s name thinking I was him. I tamed her like I would tame a beast from the wilderness. I whipped her into submission. Hearing her cries and moans elevated me to a height I’ve never been before.

I was never into that shit but Tiffany.

Tiffany made me into that monster.

She deserved it.

And now that she’s been tamed, I made her crave for it.

I would do the same to Suwen too if I have the chance but I doubt it.

Time is a luxury I do not have.

I needed things to move fast.

To get Kate out as soon as possible.

Suwen : I know…. And he wants it tonight…. I don’t know what else to do…. It’s your decision….

I could see her eyes brightened up and she forced herself to keep up the tired voice she was using.

Suwen : Ok… ok… I’ll talk to him… I’ll ask him to wait a while longer… ok… sure…

When she hangs up, Suwen told me that King would arrange for the money to be ready.

Suwen : Give him a couple of hours the most…

Jake : What the fuck was that…. You just asked him for more money…

Suwen : Why not… he’s rich… why not ??

Jake : Let’s go to his office… we wait there…

Suwen : No !!…he’ll know that you realised Kate is there….

Jake : Look… the whole aim of this… is to get Kate…

I turned and walked away but Suwen caught up with me.

Suwen : You go there then what ? you just going to walk in and take Kate away…. You can’t…. you still need me…

I paused and thought about what she said and my head wrapped around our original plan of me pretending to be Terry.

Suwen : Let me get the money first….

Jake : Then what…

Suwen : i… I have an idea…. But we’ll need to head off to my place first…. I need to get some of Terry’s clothes…. And… and you dress up as him… you’re about the same build…

Suwen turned me around and said from the back, I could pass off as Terry if I dressed properly.

Jake : So I walk in to face King backwards ??

Suwen : Of course not…. You can wait in the cab…. Or something ??

Jake : does that make sense ?? … for Terry to go all the way there and not even say hi to King ??

Suwen thought about it for a moment and nodded.

I thought we were stuck but with money as motivation, it seems Suwen’s brain could think and react pretty fast.

Suwen : How about we do this ??

Suwen : We’ll not meet at King’s place for the transaction…. Instead… let’s meet at a hotel…. Maybe the hotel lobby or something……… I’ll say it’s your preferred place to transact….

Suwen reasoned that it would be inappropriate for her to meet me there as a women so naturally, she asked Terry along. Terry would be in the bathroom when King arrives and I would be late as well.

She will spend some time with King while pretending to call me.

Suwen : King is so old, his eyesight is bad, I will remove his glasses….. Pretend to clean them….you will come out of the bathroom as Terry…. He can’t tell one…. Just waved to him… walk a bit… limp and walk like my husband…. I will reinforce to him that you’re coming out….. but after that you just u-turn and walk back into the bathroom….

I stared at her in amazement.

Suwen : That way, Terry would be physically there from King’s perspective…. He just has a bad tummy and needed to be in the toilet…

From then on, I would appear back as Jake for the transaction.

Instead of a simple pass the cash and fuck off transaction, I would insist on counting the full sum.

Now, no one in the right mind would allow me to walk off unaccompanied with the money. King would want to make sure I count it in front of him.

At that point, Suwen will say we can’t count that in the lobby, it will look suspicious. I will offer my room, which is a suite that Suwen will be booking.

Suwen : Get a big room … I’ll pay since I’m getting the money… haha.… those luxurious kind…. Not those cheezy cheap geylang hotel….actually I quite like Pan pacific…their suites is quite nice…

Jake : Whatever….go on… quick… then what ??

Suwen tells me that we will all head up to the room together, and they will not let the money out of their sight. If I want to count, count it in front of them.

I would agree and head up to the room to wait for them since Terry is still in the bathroom.

I would need to get back into Terry’s role , repeat the same motion of coming out and u-turning back in. Suwen would make the decision to head up with King first since it doesn’t seem like he’ll be done anytime soon.

Suwen would drag the time. Go to a different floor or something and make sure I have enough time to get back into the room before they arrive.

Once inside the room with King, she would try to tempt him while I count the money.

Suwen : don’t worry about that…. I am good with things like that… ahhaa.. I won’t make it so obvious…

She laughed and she touched her own breast, rubbing her bra where her nipples would be resting against as she gave me a flirty look.

Once the counting was verified, I would leave and hand Suwen the room key, ask them to check out, give and impression that I have taken the money and I’m going to fuck off. She would be the one checking in so she can check out too.

Suwen : Now I won’t be able to leave…. Since my husband…. Is still stuck in the bathroom at the lobby… so I would wait with King…. In the room….

Suwen almost chuckled as she covered her lips

Suwen : With King in the room….. you can head down to his place and get Kate…. Perfect plan…

I stared at Suwen in amazement.

She was beaming proudly at her scheme but there were still a few variables.

Jake : There’s still some loose ends…. What if there are people guarding Kate ?? What if King doesn’t take the bait ?? What if he know’s I’m not Terry…. ??

Suwen only answered one question.

She pulled her singlet lowered a little in front of me, showing off the curves and cups of her pale pink bra as she ran her finger across her cleavage.

Suwen : You think he won’t take the bait ?? …. You sure ??

Amazing.

Simply amazing.

I could not hold it back any longer and I spoke out.

Jake : I really wonder what did Terry see in you…

Suwen laughed with a snigger.

Suwen : He won’t see beyond my looks and body…. What does it matter… ?? Men are all the same… they just want to fuck…. Put their cock inside your pussy…. Will they look beyond looks and figure ?? no !…

Suwen added onto her earlier statement.

Suwen : You Singaporean men are the dumbest….and the most insecure… you look at Terry…. You see he like that… does he stand a chance with local girls … does he have balls to go after them ??? No… he doesn’t..

Suwen laughed and jabbed me on my chest.

Suwen : You guys don’t have the balls to go after your own girls…. And you blame it on them being materialistic…. Then you go after girls from other country thinking what ?? we’re more simple…? …. We’re easier to get ??? we’re more homely ?? … you cannot be more dumb than that….

I took a deep breath and I exhaled slowly.

I wanted to slap her but it would ruin my chance of getting Kate.

Suwen : We all want the same thing… just that we are better at acting than the dumb Singaporean women….you see…. I have Terry eating out of my hands for so long… haha… everything he said he hated about local women, he still does it for me… you just need to know which button to press.

Suwen : Buy bags ? Let me life like a tai tai ? facial ? high tea ? you name it… I did it all…. Did I say I want this right from the start ??? or course not… ahha…

Suwen did a sweep of the area behind her and added.

Suwen : This is the only reason why you Singaporean men got to marry foreign wives…. Admit it….it all boils down to this….. you men have no balls and confidence…. And your women don’t know how to play dumb when needed…

That explains a lot.

Even the part why she was sleeping with Matthew.

Suwen : True love ?? go and watch the Korean drama….i can’t wait to get my hands on the house and Terry’s CPF…. Just look at him…. Just look at him…. You think any women in their right mind would want to sleep with him ?? Are you fucking kidding ??

I stepped back a few steps and started to walk away.

Suwen : Jake !… let’s not talk about all this… let’s get on with the plan….

I shrugged away her hand and continued walking.

Suwen : Jake !… Jake !!… stop… you fuck !…

I continued walking, she can go fuck herself for all I care.

Suwen caught up and asked what the fuck was my problem.

Jake : Have you met and spoken to every Singaporean men and women ? don’t lump everyone together in your analysis

Suwen : your point is ??

Jake : Fuck off…

Suwen ran, caught up with me and grabbed me by my shirt near my neck. I was about to throw a punch when she slapped me lightly on my cheek.

Both my fist were clenched.

We were right outside the police station opposite the hawker centre.

Suwen giggled and laugh.

Suwen : But you’re not one of those I described right Jake ?? You’re different… you’re smart…. you’re confident…. You want to get Kate out….. and if you look at the big picture….you should know to work together with me….

This fucking slut just walked me right into her trap.

There I was thinking she was some innocent wife ready to be taken. There’s a Chinese saying, pretend to be a pig to devour a tiger.

Suwen : So what do you think ?? Let’s do it ?

Time seemed to slow down as I ran over the plan Suwen just proposed. I visually recreated the scene in my head and ran it through from the start till it ends.

It seems doable.

With King out of the way, I might stand a chance in getting Kate out.

Sure, he might still have people there but at least it’s one less than what I would be dealing with if King was not preoccupied with Suwen.

Yes, my cup is always half full.

There is just one problem.

If I went ahead with this, I would not be able to fuck Suwen.

I wouldn’t have mind not fucking her initially, it would be a bonus if I could but seeing how disgustingly fuck up she was. Perhaps she needed the same treatment I gave her daughter. To walk her on a leash around her neck as she crawl on the ground with her cunt dripping with my semen.

Suwen : How Jake ??

She bumped me with the side of her buttocks.

Suwen : Do it for your so call girlfriend ?? haha… let’s work together… ?

Jake : Ok… sure…

Suwen : Alright… let’s proceed as planned.

Jake : Let’s proceed as planned.

She snapped her fingers and walked off in front of me, sashaying away, showing off her firm buttocks to the men that were staring at her.

Let’s proceed as plan alright.

Not your plan though.

My plan.

I texted Roland for a favour.

I asked him for King’s number.

I left Suwen to do the room booking on her phone and excused myself to the bathroom.

Roland sent me the number within a couple of minutes.

I dialled King’s number.

Jake : I want to make a deal…

King : It’s already a lot of money… !

Jake : I don’t want the money… that’s not me….

After 5 minutes on the phone, I asked King the only question I had on my mind.

Jake : Do we have a deal ?

There was no hesitation on King’s end.

King : Look forward to work together with you Jake…. You’re born for our world…. Haha…

He hung up after that and I went back to Suwen.

King was wrong.

I’m not born for this world of theirs.

Never was.

Charles Darwin once said, it is not the most intellectual of the species; nor is it the strongest that survives; it’s the one that is able to adapt to and adjust best to the changing environment which it finds itself in.

I’m not a bad person.

I’m just Jake.

And I’m just adapting.

Suwen : You need to run through the plan again ?

I smiled and visually undressed Suwen in my head.

Jake : Sure…

…………..

It’s like doing business.

We align both our interests, and work out the best solution. Preferably a solution favoured by both parties.

There is really nothing complex about it.

You’re hungry, you order a bowl of noodles from me.

I cook the noodles for you and I earn your money.

It’s as simple as that.

In this particular situation , King and I have a common interest.

Suwen.

Besides having something in common, we have a difference in opinion with another matter.

You guess it.

Kate .

Now the challenge is how do we compromise?

We both want Suwen but I want Kate as well.

King on the other hand, don’t want Kate, but he’s not going to let her go.

My proposal is simple.

I offer King a solution to both.

I give him Suwen, and I don’t need him to let Kate go. I simply give him someone to blame, for Kate being taken away against his consent. That way, Ah Keong would not have anything to hold against King.

He can remain the innocent party, get to fuck Suwen and still play the good guy above all.

Suwen happily ran through her plan with me from start till the end. An expanded version of what she had earlier proposed, with more details this time round. She told me how Terry behaved, how he walked, how he waved. Anything that she could fill me in, she did.

We took a taxi to her place and I waited at the void deck while she went up to get Terry’s clothes. I loitered around the familiar void deck, my mind thinking of the day I picked up her daughter together with Roland.

That fresh comfortable feeling of entering Tiffany returned to my loins as I looked forward to fucking Suwen in a few hours time.
What an amazing pair or mother and daughter.

I waited for close to 15 minutes before Suwen appeared with a bag and waved me towards the main road.

We hopped onto a cab and she immediately directed the taxi towards the hotel. The cab driver barely pulled into gear and she was already trying to get King on the phone.

Suwen : King…. Yes… it’s me… yah…. I set up the meeting already…. Yes…. Jake… at the hotel…Pan pacific…. Yes… marina square that one…

There was a short pause before she went on.

Suwen ; Yes correct…. We’ll see you there in a while…. Ok… see you…

11pm

It was 11pm by the time we arrived at the hotel.

The lobby was quiet and empty.

Besides a couple of tourist queuing at the check in, it was just Suwen and me.

There’s this weird feeling coursing through my veins.

Standing in line and checking into a hotel with a pretty babe I would love to fuck.

A babe that I would get to fuck if things play out according to my plan.

I was standing behind Suwen as she meddled with her phone.

Suwen is not very tall, about the same height as Tiffany.

From her back, with her hair tied up, she looked like a girlfriend I use to have back in my university days.

She tied her hair up in a high bun, but it was not done in a tidy manner. It did not look messy too but the stray strands of hair just flowed down her smooth neck so naturally. It’s like a thin veil, blocking your eyes from looking directly at her hairless back.

Suwen’s back is blemish free.

I could see the areas not covered by her singlet.

She had no moles, no scars, not a blemish in sight. I would love to run my tongue across her back and feel for myself how smooth her back really is.

We moved forward a step, closing up the gap in the check in queue.

My eyes went to Suwen’s bra straps.

Very often we just see bra straps as 2 elastic pieces of string, holding up the bra cups. We don’t pay enough attention to the details.

My dick throbbed as I looked at the pink bra straps that was peeking out from Suwen’s singlet.

It’s not your usual strap, not those thin, flat and boring ones that you usually see.

There’s this texture and volume to it. The strap puffs up in the middle, like a really fat grain of rice. As the strap slides down south, it splits into 2 smaller ones. The pink itself, is a healthy shade of pastel pink.

I can’t describe it but it made me want to touch it.

It’s a girly colour that appealed to the masculine streak within me.

The strap that went around Suwen’s back showed up prominently through her thin singlet.

Instead of a normal clasp, I could see some criss cross tie, much like how a shoe lace would finish up towards the end. At the end of the small tie is 2 small knobs which looked like a small pearl.

There’s no way that could hold up a bra for day to day wear, it had to be a fake detail.

I figured there’s probably a hidden clasp in the front of the bra or something.

The staff at the front desk smiled and welcomed us towards them as Suwen showed them the email confirmation she got from doing the booking online.

They asked for identifications and we produced ours.

The check in process was smooth and we received the room key within minutes.

11.25pm

Suwen and I settled at the lounge area while we wait for King.

I pretended to browse through my phone when in fact I was keeping in contact with King.

Suwen too was messaging King and even followed up with a phone call.

Suwen : Hi King… yes…. Yes… Terry and i…. we’re here already… waiting for Jake…are you on your way ?? ….. ok… ok…. See you…

Suwen : King is on a cab now, he should be reaching in 10 to 15 minutes time.

We shifted to level 2 and found some seats near a bathroom.

It’s about 7-8 metres from the bathroom entrance.

Just the right distance to pull off Suwen’s proposed stunt.

Unknown to Suwen, King is already in the vicinity. He’s comfortably sipping a beer at a hotel just a short walk away.

I went into the bathroom and put on Terry’s clothes. It’s just a dated flowery button down shirt and black pants. Suwen also included a cap that Terry wore occasionally. She spared no effort on the details, even adding in a pair of Terry’s sandals.

I did as I was told and changed.

11.35pm

After I’m done, I walked out of the bathroom, limping as I did and Suwen chuckled and laugh in amusement.

Suwen : Oh wow…. You look like him… hahaa…. You are about the same built too… but you’re a lot more handsome Jake… haha….

She pointed to a few spots and I walked over.

Suwen tried out several chairs, trying to determined which on King should sit on so it gave him a decent angle of the Terry when he waves.

It should be clear enough to him that it’s Terry that was waving to him but not too close. Enough for a passing glance.

Suwen : Ok… don’t come out so fast ok…. I need to get his glasses first…. I will think of some excuse…. Help him wipe or something… then I’ll text you….

She kept reminding me that the moment I got the text I should quickly come out, there’s only so long she can clean his glasses without him getting suspicious.

Jake : Ok… ok..

I had told King about this part, he had agreed to play along, letting Suwen take his glasses. There was nothing to worry about.

11.55pm

Suwen told me that King has arrived and I was to head into the bathroom immediately.

I tried to stifle a smile and I headed in.

Less than 10 minutes later, I received the text from Suwen.

I took a deep breath, limped out of the bathroom and right in front of me, I could see Suwen pandering up to King.

Suwen : Yah… I think maybe something got onto it when you were eating earlier….

King : Oh really ?

Suwen cleaned King’s glasses with her singlet, pulling out the bottom a little to wipe down the lens. As she did, she exposed quite a bit of her cleavage from what I could see and King was happily staring down at her breast.

Suwen : Oh there… Terry is there… always stomach problem…. Haizzz…

I stood by the half open bathroom door as Suwen waved to me.

King hesitated for a moment and I could see him squint. Suwen was literally praying for him not to pay too much attention to me.

King hesitated for a second or two before waving back and calling out.

King : Terry… you ok ??

I smiled and turned back into the bathroom as planned.

I could already hear Suwen telling King not to bother about me.

She’s probably selling him the story of Terry having a bad tummy after dinner.

I changed out of Terry’s clothes and back into mine.

Then I waited for the next message from Suwen.

She was to distract King while I slip out from the bathroom, not that it matters anymore since King and I were working together.
My phone buzzed and I stepped out of the bathroom, quickly heading in the opposite direction as planned. I could almost see the nod of approval from Suwen’s head as I made a U-turn and approached the 2 of them as Jake.

I went up to the table and Suwen’s facial expression changed to one of a serious demeanour.

She crossed her legs and looked at her nails, she did not even meet my eyes as she handed the conversation over to King.

Suwen : Ok…. He’s here…. You all go ahead and settle this ok…

Jake : Hi King…

King : You’re asking for a lot of money Jake…

Jake : I needed them…

King took out a brown envelope from his back pocket and passed it to me.

It felt pretty full and heavy.

I could see Suwen’s eyes lit up as she looked at that bundle in my hand.

Jake : I want to count it…

King : GO ahead…

Jake : Not here… back in my room…

Suwen cut in at that moment and said there’s no way they would let the money out of their sight.

Suwen : We cannot trust him…..

King nodded at Suwen and said they would follow me up to the room.

King : Oh wait… let’s sit here for a while… wait for Terry…

King was about to sit back down and Suwen jumped in right on que.

Suwen : Ignore him… he’s probably going to take a while… let’s just get this sorted out…

King thought about it for a moment and nodded.

That smirk on Suwen’s face is priceless.

Everything was going according to her plan.

So far that is.

The 3 of us went up to the suite and entered the room.

We settled down at the living area and I emptied the contents of the envelope onto the table. I think Suwen just had an orgasm seeing the bundles of cold hard cash tumble out onto each other.

It was a mix of 50s and 100s. It did not take long for me to go through the bills because halfway through, Suwen offered to help. She simply could not resist the feeling of the crisp notes in her hands.

Jake : Ok… done…

I kept everything inside the envelope.

Now, if we were to proceed according to Suwen’s plan, I would then head to the bathroom first, hide the money and leave.

Suwen technically still need to wait for Terry who is in the bathroom on the 2nd floor.

Since she would be alone in the room with King, she will use her charms to hold him off as long as she could, dragging and stalling for time, buying me every precious second to rescue Kate.

There was no telling how long that would be.

She could always turn around and take the money, let King leave within 5 minutes or some shit.

I got up and gave King a look.

We have been through this before on the phone.

King stopped me from leaving the room.

King : Wait a minute…

Suwen cast a look towards King, I could see her tense up for a moment.

Suwen : Whhh… why ? … what’s wrong ?? I thought the deal is done ??

King slowly stood up he looked suspiciously at me without a word.

I could see Suwen panicking from the corner of my eye.

She quickly got up and link arms with King.

Suwen : What is wrong ?? everything ok ??

Seeing that Suwen came up to touch him, King pretended to lose interest in me for a while, choosing to smile at Suwen.

King : What’s wrong with you today ?? … hee… hee… you’re a little different….

Suwen coddle up to King, flirting like a little slut.

Suwen : I don’t know…. Maybe I had a little to drink earlier… you know… a little tipsy… haha

King : My my…. What they say about you…. Hee. Hee… but… but your husband is just downstairs…

Suwen gestured at me with her head, asking me to scram but King caught that and turned towards me again.

Suwen : Aiyah…. He’s a nobody… just some money hungry asshole… ignore him la…

Suwen smiled in a slut like manner at King, pressing her breast against his arm. King cast her a lecher like smile. Suwen gave me an eye contact and I turned and made my way towards the door without first hiding the money as agreed.

Suwen : Hey hey hey !!…

Her sudden outburst made both King and I turn to look at her.

She froze, unsure as to what to say.

I knew she would do that.

There was no way she would let the money out of her sight. Not when she was so close to having them. I know she didn’t trust me with the money on my own.

During that moment of uncertainty, King reacted right on time.

King : I don’t feel comfortable about this…

He walked over, took the money from my hand and said he’ll go down to look for Terry.

King : I want Terry to be here… I’ll go get him up…

Suwen by then was literally shaking where she stood.

Her game would be over soon if she doesn’t react.

Suwen : Wait.. wait !!.. wait…

King : What ?

Suwen : I’ll…. I’ll…. I’ll call Terry ….. I’ll check on him…. Got something call a phone right… don’t need to go down….

I could see King stifling a laugh as Suwen reached for her phone.

King : Ok… I’ll call him…

Suwen ; NO!!.. no!!!.. NO>>

King paused and asked why did she have such a big reaction

Suwen : Nothing.. nothing.. just that he don’t like to be disturbed when taking a dump… I’ll call him instead… sit King… sit… here…. Relax… I’ll check on him for you…

Suwen carried out her theatrics, making a fake call and talking to herself over the phone .

Suwen : Dear ah.. you ok ?? how’s your stomach ??

King : Ask him to come up…. Give him the room number… …

Suwen nodded, her eyes filled with uncertainty.

She hung up the phone shortly and I could see her mind racing for a solution.

Suwen : he… he cannot come up without the key card…someone need to go down to get him…

King stood up again.

King : exactly… that is why I said I go get him what ??? chey…. King gestured for the key card and Suwen handed it over to him in a daze.

King : Jake you wait here… I want another elder as a witness you took the money…

Suwen : but… but King… I can be a witness…

King ‘s voice boomed out, a little loud despite his age.

King : This is men’s business… you stay out of it..

Suwen cowered a little and retreated.

King unlocked the door and shut it behind him.

The moment he was gone, Suwen started throwing a fit.

Suwen : It’s all your fault.. !!! SEEE!!! You should have left when you had the chance !!!!

Suwen walked right up to me and started jabbing me on my chest.

Suwen : YOU are SOOO STUPID !!!!… simple things also cannot get right !! .. you stupid and dumb Singaporean men ….. STUPID !!!! you’re ruining all my plans !!..

I tried to keep a neutral expression and I replied Suwen.

Jake : Look… if you didn’t call me back, I would have already left the room …

Suwen :But you didn’t stash the money !… that was the plan… !!

Jake : Hello !… we need to improvise… not everything will go according to plan…

Suwen paced about a couple of times, stomping her feet on the carpeted floor a couple of times as she frowned like a spoiled teenager.

Jake : Relax… all is not lost…

Suwen : Then how !!..

I told her It’s simple. Leave Terry’s shoes out in the room, put his clothes on the bed and turn the shower on in the masterbath.

Jake : Terry followed another guest up… that’s why King missed him at the 2nd floor…

Suwen’s eyes lit up again and nodded eagerly.

Suwen : Then ?? Then… what’s next…

Jake : Terry would be in the shower and bathroom. King would be able to see his clothes and shit… he would think he’s inside..

Suwen snapped her fingers.

Suwen : Ok good.. then I’ll seduce him…distract him…. I can do that…. But… but… what about the transaction ?? how will we deal ?? how to transact ??

Jake : Relax… I’ll come to that later….

I told Suwen to think about what she will do with King while I go get ready the clothes in the room.

Jake : Go pour a drink… King likes to drink right… you should know what to do…

Suwen nodded and went to the minibar.

I left her in the living area and I entered the sleeping area. I closed the dividing partition partially and got to work.

Instead of taking out Terry’s clothes from my bag and arranging them, I dumped the bag aside. I bundled up Terry’s clothes into a pile and put them neatly on the floor.

I started to strip.

I removed my top and threw it in the floor.

I removed my pants and hung it on the side table.

I removed my boxers, letting my already erected cock out into the cold air of the room.

I messed up the bed.

I tore apart 2 condoms and threw the wrapper on the floor.

I quickly dropped King a message, giving him the signal.

Heading to the bathroom, I turned on the shower and wet myself a little before wrapping my bottom with a towel.

Right at that moment, I heard Suwen come into the sleeping area.

Suwen : WHAT ARE YOU DOING JAKE !!!!

I shrugged my shoulders and just walked to the bed and got into it.

Suwen screamed at me in the room.

Suwen : JAKE!!!!… WHAT are you doing !!!!! Are you mad !!!!???

I ignored her and played with my phone naked on the bed.

Suwen : JAKE!!!.. you PIECE OF SHIT !!!!… WHAT IS THIS !!

I heard the buzz of the room and got ready.

Suwen screamed at me and I never expected her to jump onto the bed. She tried to slap me and pull my hair but I held onto her wrists as she struggled. Seeing her breast bounce and move about made me feel like raping her.

It was then King’s voice boomed out loudly in the room.

It gave Suwen a shock and she jumped.

King stood tall and imposing. His eyes widened and his pointed 2 fingers at us in the room.

King : SO… you 2 planned this together !!!

Suwen : NOOO.. NO… NO.. IT’S A MISUNDERSTANDING !!!! JAKE… JAKE YOU BITCH… TELL HIM… TELL KING……

I just shrugged my shoulder and kept quiet.

Suwen glared at me with anger and hatred and screamed.

Suwen : What are you doing !!! this is not the plan !!!

King shouted again.

King : SEE… you still dare to deny !!.. you planned this !!!… where is Terry… !!!

Jake : Terry was never here… just now it was me pretending to be him …

King : WHAT!!!… what the fuck !!

Suwen : NOOO!!… Suwen charged at me like a mad women, trying to silence me but I pushed her back onto the bed.

Jake : ENOUGH !!.. it’s over !!! the plan didn’t work !!! ….

I pointed my finger angrily at Suwen.

Jake : You were supposed to buy me time…. For me to rescue Kate… but it didn’t work… I don’t want to waste time here…. It’s over…

Suwen : NO!!!.. no!!.. no!!! It’s not supposed to be like this… !!!.. JAKE!!!.. you piece of shit…

I shouted back at Suwen.

Jake : Enough !!.. I already did what you wanted… I already slept with you earlier…

I pointed to the mess in the room.

Jake : What more do you want ?

Suwen laughed and showed me the middle finger.

Suwen : Oh please… don’t flatter yourself…. I didn’t sleep with you….no one would believe you …. It’s bullshit…. Hahaha…

Suwen laughed for a while before she stopped when she realised King was not laughing.

He was not even smiling.

 

King : You… how could you do this to Terry ??

Suwen : NO… you cannot be serious… how could you believe him !!… you cannot believe him !!!! it’s not true !!!

Jake : Look Suwen… I understand … Terry …. Is a turn off…. No one would want to sleep with him….

I turned back to King again and pointed to Terry’s clothes on the floor.

Jake : King… look … she wanted me to put on the clothes again… Terry’s clothes… she wanted me to pretend to be him again… in this room…. I don’t understand her rationale but….

Suwen charged towards me again, screaming and trying to scratch me but I grabbed her and pushed her towards the bed again.

Jake : Stop it already… it’s over…

I turned to King who was trying really hard not to laugh.

Jake : She wanted the money… she made me do this… I was hoping she can help me get Kate…. But see… now it’s all gone to shit…

Suwen : NO… NO… NO… NO!!!!!!!!!!… this is all bullshit… KING !!!… don’t tell me you believe what he says !!!

I acted in a nonchalant manner and started to put on my clothes.

Jake : I don’t care what you all believe… it’s none of my business….

King looked at Suwen for a few seconds before reaching for his phone.

King : I’m calling Terry… this is getting out of hand….

Suwen :NO!!!.. NO!!.. please… NO!!!…

She went over to Terry, grabbing his hands and begging him not to call her husband.

Suwen : Please… please… please King… wait… wait… I’m sorry… I’m sorry… wait…

King : So now what ?? you admit to this.. ? what Jake said is true ??

Suwen shook her head again, screaming as she turned towards me.

Suwen : NO!!!… he’s lying… !!

King : Then why are you apologising ??? let me call Terry …

Suwen : NO!!! please….

King followed up quickly with his questions.

King : SO what is it !!!.. who’s telling the truth ??

Suwen cried and sobbed as she sank to her knees. She was on the verge of a breakdown.

Jake : Just call her husband… this kind of things… cannot hide forever…. Just come clean and get it over with…. The condoms are on the floor… get them tested if you like…. I didn’t cum… but I entered her… it’s all there…

Suwen could no longer speak as she buried her face in her palms and sobbed, begging King not to call Terry.

Suwen : Please… please… don’t call Terry… please…he’ll…. He’ll kill… he’ll kill me… .. my daughter… my daughter will hate me…

King knelt down beside Suwen and said he just want to get the story straight.

King : I’m just confused…. Help me understand… so were you working with Jake on this ??

Suwen sobbed and nodded her head.

King sighed loudly, expressing his disappointment as he gave me a wink.

King : Sighh….. so you really made Jake fucked you har ??

Suwen just sobbed louder but she did not reply King.

King : It’s ok… I understand…. He’s a young man after all and you… you’re still in your late thirties…. I understand…. Everyone has needs….

Suwen just sobbed uncontrollably on the ground.

King then dropped the bomb on Suwen, causing her to break down completely.

King : but I still have to tell Terry…. He’s my friend… he’s also an elder of the organisation….

Suwen crawled towards King , tears streaked down her face as she hugged onto King’s leg, sobbing and begging him not to call Terry.

King : You’re putting me in a difficult position…. Sigh…..

King bent down and helped Suwen onto her feet.

He wiped the tears off her face with his wrinkled hands and gave her a toothless smile.

King : But I’m sure…. We can work something out….

I saw the slouch in Suwen’s shoulders as she resigned to her fate and her eyes closed.

King’s palms cupped onto Suwen’s breast and there was no protest from her.

He grinned and walked Suwen slowly towards the bed.

King laid Suwen down and tried to remove her singlet but Suwen shook her head and tried to push King away.

Suwen ; No… no.. please… sob… no… sob…. Please….

Jake : Well… I’ll be making my move then…

I could see the hatred in Suwen’s eyes as she glared at me for putting her in that position.

King : Wait a minute… well… look… I’m already old…and… I can’t perform as well as I want to….

King gestured to me and spoke directly to Suwen.

King : I’ll need some stimulation…. To get my dick up… go…. Go ahead…

Suwen sobbed harder and shook her head, covering her own body with her arms .

King : Go on.. you all already did it once…. What’s the difference if you did it again….

Suwen screamed and kicked the mattress in frustration.

Suwen : aEHHHHH… ahhhhhhhhhhhh….

She was really on the verge of breaking down.

King : Well.. if I can’t get my cock up…. I can’t cum… then I don’t think this deal is working….

He went back to his phone and started to dial.

Suwen : NOO.. no… sob… no… sob… no…..no… I’ll do it… sob… I’ll do it…sob… sobzzz… sobz…

King gave me another wink and I walked over to Suwen .

I grabbed onto her singlet, lifted it up and off her tight body and threw it onto the floor, exposing her bra.

Her bra.

Her pink bra.

Her pink bra on her white and toned body.

No amount of words in my limited vocabulary could describe the hatred I saw in her eyes.

That level of unwillingness.

That amount of grievances.

Somehow.

Somehow, it turned me on.

I lowered my face slowly towards Suwen.

She glared at me angrily but I smiled gently at her.

I went down close, so close I could smell her perfume and the shampoo on her hair.

I whispered softly by her ears before I kissed her on her cheeks.

Jake : I’ll show you a side…. ……Of Singaporean men…… …..you’ve never seen before… …

……………….

__________________

Suwen tried to push me away but I held onto both her wrist and pin them down on the soft king size bed.

She tried to squirm but her movements were limited as I was lying partially on her.

I don’t know what I was feeling.

There’s something primal to this.

To what I’m doing.

It’s as if I had gone back tens of thousands of years. Back to the time when species mate purely by instinct. There were no such things as courtship; nothing called marriage either, no baby bonus, nothing.

You mate with the strongest.

You’re only choice is only whether you are a willing party or not.

I could see King stripping himself of his clothes as he eyed Suwen’s body eagerly.

His wrinkled skin looked like a freshly unearthed mummy’s skin. Without his clothes on, King looked like a character right out of resident evil. Suwen turned and saw the sight and immediately turned her head away.

I breathed onto Suwen’s face as more tears rolled down the side of her cheeks.

I traced my eyes along the length of her arms before kissing her near the back of her elbow.

My mouth moved lower, placing each kiss closer and closer to her armpit.

Suwen : ERghhhnnn… nooooo…. Please… no…

Not only am I planting kisses on Suwen’s arm, I’m sniffing every inch of them as well. I could smell the scent she put on herself. The sweet nectar like scent of a expensive perfume. Peel away the layer of perfume and you could smell her sweat.

The faint musky smell of her perspiration.

I kissed the part of her underarms, trying to picture how Suwen would spend the day rubbing and scrubbing her arm pits after I’m done.

Suwen : No…

I kissed her directly on her pits, my lips pouted and I sucked onto the smooth hairless skin.

Jake : Zhoootttttzzzz… zhootzz.z..

Suwen ; NO…. ernghh… no…

She tried to squirm but I pinned her hands down tighter, exposing her vulnerable and beautiful underarms to me.

I licked her arm pit from her bottom up, drawing and scribbling a bow like curve with my tongue before I slurped up all the excess saliva that had drooled onto Suwen’s body.

King was definitely aroused by what he saw and he came forward.

His skin hung onto his skeletal frame. The pigmentation on his skin had a variety of colours, black, brown and some dark greenish spots peppered his body. King grabbed Suwen’s hand and placed it on his cock.

His tool was barely erected but he still made Suwen hold onto it. He clasped her hand with his and started to wank himself.

Suwen groaned and sobbed as I kissed my way up towards her bra.

I could peel back the cups but I didn’t.

Not yet.

I wanted her to beg me.

Why ?

Why would she beg me if she was unwilling to sleep with me in the first place ?

She hates you Jake .

Why would she beg you other than for you to let her go ?

I kissed Suwen on her chin before plating my lips against her lips. She clamped them shut of course, shutting access to her tongue.

King snorted and grunted as he stroked his wrinkled cock with Suwen’s hand.

He look liked he was possessed, laughing and grunting in the room with his eyes shut. To him it had to be like a fantasy come true.

Imagine ogling at your friend’s wife for so many years, to see her turn from a sweet young adult when she was twenty to the women she is today. King must have lusted after her for years before that evening finally arrive.

Suwen may be a flirt, get touchy at times but there was no way she would ever fuck King.

Let him touch ?

Perhaps.

Give him a handjob at the most but in her current situation, there was nothing she could say no to.

Her smooth hand and skin, well maintained by her strict beauty regime is being abused by the rough uncut skin of King’s long cock.

I kissed Suwen by the side of her cheeks and whispered softly so only she can hear me.

I want to give her a glimmer of hope.

Something to cling onto in that abyss of darkness.

That ray of light that would save her from insanity.

My right hands cupped and knead her left bra cup slowly, I could feel the bra cup rubbing against my palm, the softness of the padding made me envious for that brief second. Why only women get such soft materials.

I lowered my voice so low that had Suwen not stopped sobbing , she would not be able to hear me.

Jake : I’ll…. Save you…. You want that ?? do you ??

Suwen’s eyes opened, the desperation was obvious as her retinas darted around, searching for something to focus on.

Jake : I’ll save you from King….do you want that ??

King : ARGHHHHH!!!!….hahahah… arghhhhh…

Suwen : ERnghhh… aHHH….

King made Suwen’s hand go down to his testicles and he made her play with his sagging balls. His untrimmed bush was disgusting to even look at and Suwen’s hand is all tangled up within that mess.

King : Touch me… yes… yes…. Ahhhh.. fuck…. Arhhh.. you slut…. Yes… haha… yes…. Touch my balls….. ahhh….

King was ecstatic as he felt his tool erect and contract

Suwen squeezed her eyes shut, shaking her head and I continued to play with her breast.

Jake : You see…. You don’t have much choice…. It’s either you fuck me….. or you fuck King….

Suwen sobbed and her shoulder shook uncontrollably.

King’s tummy had this extra flap, it’s like he lost too much weight over the years and the excess skin remained while the fats dissolved away.

Suwen shuddered as she turned and her eyes saw the state King’s body was in.

King’s nipples had hair growing out of them, white silvery and unkempt hair. He had a faded tattoo of a ship’s anchor on his upper left thigh the size of a credit card. As King shifted his weight, all the flab on his body moved together with him.

King brought Suwen’s hand to the tip of his cock, rubbing against his pee hole eagerly as he chuckled at how smooth Suwen’s hands are.

King : So smooth…. Your skin… it’s baby smooth…. Wow…. How did you maintain it ? …. So smooth….

King probably managed to coax up some precum and he laughed as he looked at Suwen’s hand.

He even used his index finger to touch the wet surface of Suwen’s stained palm before rubbing it between his own fingers.

King chuckled happily again and I could see Suwen trying to pull her wrist away from him. She kept trying to clench her fist, to remove her hand from King’s grip but King held on.

Suwen :No… no… sob… sob… eeeeww… no…

King finally let go after a few more seconds, panting a little from his shortness of breathe.

He walked off quickly to the bathroom to clean up. I could hear the tap running for a bit before he came out with a box of tissue. He wiped his hands dry before wiping down his cock.

Yes, King had this peculiar habit.

Something I noticed from the file Kate gave me a long time ago.

King , is particular about cleanliness.

He likes everything to be spick and span.

He could not stand stains; it gets to him in a funny way. He did not specifically spell it out during our discussion but he wanted first dips on Suwen.

King wanted to fuck Suwen first.

Yes, he wanted her clean.

Untouched.

Then he would slowly defile her bit by bit.

King told me I could have any parts of Suwen that I wanted but I was to keep her pussy untouched. It was his.

That was why I have yet to undress Suwen fully.

In return for this deal, King would give me information that would help me do what I want.

King did not want to play a direct part in Kate’s release.

It would be too obvious he let her go.

Kate was still in his shop, tucked away at a corner like what Suwen described. A makeshift hostel. King only had one staff, a caretaker that stays over almost every night because he was lazy to make the journey home across the causeway.

King told me that chances are he would be sound asleep.

King : Still, don’t expect to just walk in and leave with Kate…. It’s impossible…

The illegal hostel is about the size of your average HDB master bedroom subdivided into 2. There are 2 single beds in each of the divided rooms with their individual door and access. No soundproofing is available and King’s staff is a very light sleeper.

King : The only window you have is when he wakes up and goes out to grab his breakfast….

King’s staff, Ah Lam, wakes up at 5.30am every morning.

The short walk across the road takes less than 2 minutes. Depending on what Ah Lam orders, whether there is a queue, my window of opportunity varies.

King : I will make a phone call and ask him to get food for me when he goes to the coffee shop across the road. … you will have 8, maybe 13 minutes the most…. I’ll order noodles, there’s usually a short queue in the morning…. Probably 2 or 3 at the most…. This is all I have to say.

That would be enough.

All I need to do was to go and unbolt the door for her, there’s no lock. Just a simple latch bolt screwed up in a haste. Kate was tied up as well by Ah Keong to the bedframe so I would need something to cut off the rope too.

Suwen tried to push me off again and I adjusted my body a little, pinning her down.

Suwen : Let me go… please… please Jake.. let me go

I kissed Suwen on her cheek again, licking her face up to her ears as I turned her towards King. I pressed her face against the bed and whispered into her ears again while my hand slipped under her bra cup.

Suwen : ERngghhhh….e rnghh…..

Jake : Look…. Look at him…. You want to put that cock…. In your mouth ??? or do you want to put that in your vagina ?? …

Suwen screamed and fought to turn away from King.

King came over and he wanted to touch Suwen’s breast too.

As he came closer, his disgusting wrinkled tool hovered close to Suwen’s face and she squirmed, grabbing onto me and she pulled me towards her.

Suwen sobbed, shaking as she pleaded with me.

Suwen : Please… please….. no…. Jake… no…

King : Let me touch her breast…. I want to touch her breast….

I pulled my hands out and King roughly unclasped Suwen’s bra from the front, releasing her bouncy C cup tits from the cups.

Her love pillows sprung loose, free from the restraints. I could see the red marks made by the bra. King grabbed and filled his rough hands with Suwen’s breast, kneading them like dough as he laughed.

King : So firm…. So firm…. So bouncy…. My god… Terry is so lucky…. Fuck… feels so good….Suwen…. you have very nice breast….hahaha….

Suwen screamed and held onto King’s wrist as I backed away from the bed. King kept squeezing.

Suwen’s legs kicked and trashed on the bed as her weak hands did nothing helpful to save her breast from King’s abuse.

After a minute of playing with her tits, King stopped and started to stroke himself again. His dick had gone soft once more.

King : Jake… go go… quick…. I want to see you play with her…. Show me some live porn… … I want her to suck my cock once I get it up….aarrhhhhhhgghhh….

King stroke himself so fast and vigorous that I was worried he might get a heart attack.

I straddled Suwen and she clung onto my like a koala bear.

She literally hugged onto me and begged me to save her.

Suwen : Please… please…. Save me Jake… I’ll do anything… anything…. I’ll do anything….

A smile broke out on my face as I hugged onto Suwen, feeling the softness of her firm breast rubbing against my naked chest.

Jake : Don’t regret your decision…

Suwen : I won’t…. I won’t please… please…. Sobzz.. sobzz… I don’t want to touch his dick…

King : artghhh.. arghh.. it’s standing… it’s standing already…..

I straddled Suwen and pinned her hand onto the bed. Using my knees, I spread her legs and I pressed my groin onto her denim shorts.

I grind my bottom against her, dry humping her with her shorts one as I suck on her nipples.

They smell and taste so good.

Suwen kept wanting to pull me up, to talk to me. To whisper in my ears but I kept my head on her breast.

I needed to rub my cheeks with her nipples. I want to run my tongue around the rim of her areola. The pores around Suwen’s nipples are small and fine, her nipples itself are like juicy and plump rasins. I flicked them with my tongue and Suwen moaned sensually.

Suwen : ERnnngnghhhhhhh……

Her hand came onto my hair and tried to pull me away but all it took was another rapid tongue slap of her nipples before she let go.

Suwen : ERnfgghhhhhhhhhh…e rngh….

I used my other hand to play with her left breast, my fingers mimicked the action of playing carom, flicking and hitting her free nipple. Suwen moaned so loud that it drowned out King’s grunt.

I sucked onto her nipple, pulling them upwards into the vacuum I created in my mouth.

Suwen :erererghhhh…. Ernghhhhh… ernghhh!!!!

With her nipple being pulled towards me, I shook my head side to side as if I had an electric shock, pulling and tugging at her sensitive tits.

Suwen : argghhhahh… ernghhhh… arnghghgh… ernghh…. Fuck… fuck…er rnrerghhhhhhhhhh….

King : Wah !!! … grunt.. grunt.. grunt… lai liao….lai liao…. My erection is here….. I’m almost ready…. Hahaa…

I stopped what I was doing and reached up towards Suwen’s head once more.

She grabbed me and kissed me on my lips, taking me by surprise.

She panted, a little breathless but she did not forget to ask me to save her.

Suwen : Please Jake… please…. Save me…. I don’t want to fuck King… I’ll… I’ll do it with you…. Please… anything you want me to do… I’ll do it…

I smiled and I whispered in her ears.

Jake : Pee…. Now…

Suwen’s eyes widened in shock as she stared at me in disbelief.

She shook her head, unable to digest what she just heard.

Jake : Do it….

I kissed her on her neck and King announced he was ready.

King : Come here Suwen.. come… suck me… suck for me…. quick !!.. before it goes down again… quick…

Suwen : No… no…

She kept shaking her head at me, unsure if I was making a joke or that I meant what I said.

I grabbed her breast and kissed her again.

Jake : It’s your choice….

I stepped back and made room for King.

He wobbled , a little unsteady as he held onto his erected long cock.

Stray bits of unkempt pubic hair sprung out near the tip of his cock like some barb wire fence running out of control.

Suwen sobbed and tried to back away but King grabbed onto her hair.

Suwen : NO … no…please… NOOO… ernn… ormmpp… ooooo…rrr… ormpphhhhhhh…mmhhh….

I watch and felt my own precum start to flow as King pushed and forced his dick into Suwen’s unwilling mouth.

Suwen gagged and coughed as King tried to mouth fuck her .

Suwen : cough… cough…. Orrhmm… prhhmhmpp.. ormph….cough… gag……

King : Suck me… suck …. Suck onto me… I cannot feel the pressure…

Tears rolled down Suwen’s cheeks and I saw her squeeze her eyes shut.

Her fingers clenched and closed around the bedsheets beneath her.

I saw her body tensed up before relaxing.

Her bottom was shaking a little.

Then there was that huge shiver.

That shiver you get sometimes when you pee.

It’s that shiver.

Suwen’s shiver and spasm lasted a second or two before her shoulders dropped and more tears rolled from her cheeks the same time I saw a wet patch forming around the bed.

It was an erotic sight.

Fresh pee flowed down the insides of Suwen’s thigh, soiling the bed beneath her.

I could smell it from where I stood.

A dark wet patch slowly appeared and became more prominent as her panty and denim shorts got soaked with her own pee.

Jake ; King… king… stop… stop…

King : Why… why ??? What ??

Jake : Stop for a while….

I pointed to the mess and told King what happened.

Jake ; She peed herself….

King stepped back and pulled his cock out of Suwen’s mouth.

King : What the fuck….

Suwen collapsed onto the bed, crying and screaming into the bedsheets.

The humiliation had to be unbearable for her.

A grown women peeing in her own clothes.

King :… oh fuck… that’s disgusting…. Fuck…

I could see King’s cock slowly shrinking back down and I told him I would get her cleaned up first in the bathroom.

King was angry, it was obvious. It was written all over his face.

I don’t blame him . It’s not easy to get it up at his age.

He’s in his early seventies.

I grabbed Suwen from the bed and half carried and drag her across the room and into the bathroom.

I shut the door and Suwen sobbed and collapsed onto the floor, burying her face in her palms.

Jake : see… I said I would save you….

Suwen did not reply me.

Jake : Take off your clothes…

She did not move until I told her if she doesn’t follow my instructions, I might not be able to save her from King the next time round.

Jake : Hurry up… it’s almost 1.20am…. everyone’s tired… the faster we get this over with… the faster we can all go….

Suwen grabbed and held onto the vanity top, pulling herself up off the ground.

I unbuttoned her denim shorts, my erected cock hovering right in front of her pants. Suwen looked away, ashamed and embarrassed.

That exotic smell in the bathroom is intoxicating.

A potent mix of sweat, fear and ammonia.

My hands reached into Suwen’s pants and I touched her wet and soiled panty.

Suwen ; ERngghhh !..

She squirmed, jumped a little but I kept my hand inside , in between her denim shorts and panty.

I dug upwards, pushing her wet panty into her vagina.

Suwen : ernghh… ergh… no… no.. what are you doing ?..er ghh… no…

I dug upwards, rubbing and rubbing her wet slit.

Jake : I’m making you wet….

Suwen held onto my wrist with both her hands, trying to pull me out.

Jake : Look…. King… has this thing about cleanliness… and he wants you to be clean…

Suwen stopped resisting and started listening to me.

Jake : I need you to be wet…

Suwen : wwhh… why ? …

Jake : So I can go inside you…

I continued rubbing her pussy and Suwen gasped a little, her legs spread wider as she tried to balance herself on the bathroom floor while supporting her weight on the vanity top.

Jake : I’ll cum inside you…. Make it so sticky and wet that King would not be able to do it… doesn’t that make sense??? Har ??

Suwen moaned as I rubbed faster, I could feel her getting wet. The moisture around her wet panty started to feel a little different.

A little thicker, smoother.

Jake : I’ll fill you up with all my semen, then you will be leaking for the next few days…

Suwen : ernghh… ernghhh… ernghhhhh……e ernfhhh…

Suwen panted and moaned in the bathroom.

Jake : Yes ??

Her eyes were shut, there was no answer from her.

Jake ; Answer me….

Suwen nodded her head.

Suwen : yes…

Jake ; Yes what ??

My finger pushed into her vagina, breaching the entrance of her love hole together with her pee stained panty.

Suwen : ERnfggghhhh… erhgghhh… ernghhh…..

Suwen : Yes… yes…. Fill me up…. Fill me up with your cum… ernghhhhhh…e rnghhhhh…..

I finger fucked Suwen for a few more seconds and asked her to tell me if she’s wet enough .

Jake ; Are you wet enough ?? are you ??

Suwen nodded her head.

I asked her again until she gave me a verbal reply.

Suwen : Yes… YES!!!…e rnghh.h.. fuck….ergnhh… I’m wet enough…. Sob… sobzz…

I stopped my movements and pulled down both her shorts and panty at the same time.

I dragged Suwen into the shower.

The bathroom door opened.

King : What’s taking so long !!…

Suwen immediately tried to hide behind me.

Jake : almost done… wait a while more…

King closed the door and I turned on the shower.

Suwen automatically got onto her knees and started to wash my cock with the soap. She peeled back my foreskin , washing every inch of my penis properly. Then without needing me to ask her, she started to suck for me.

Jake : aRghh… arfgghhh… arghh…

Her mouth, her forceful suck and the thickness of her lips. They were made exactly for this.

She’s smart.

Very smart.

She probably figured the faster she can make me cum, the faster I can deposit my load inside her.

That would save her from King.

If King could not stand the smell of pee, there’s no way he would fuck her with cum dripping out from her vagina.

Jake ; ARhghgh… arghhh..a rghhh….

I stopped Suwen halfway and we washed up quickly. I could see she was anxious.

She was anxious to feel my cock inside her.

Probably wanting to get it over before King enters the bathroom again.

Suwen kept the shower on.

The hot water mist up the mirror.

A thin wispy veil of smoke floated lazily all around us.

After drying herself, she bent over readily over the vanity top, spreading her legs for my entry from the rear.

I kissed her on her shoulder and I slid my finger down her ass crack and towards her vagina.

I touched her pussy lips, they were soft, tender and moist.

I slid within them with on resistance.

A thick smooth and wet opening awaits, ready for my cock to enter her.

I rubbed my finger on her slit, spreading her natural lubricant all over her freshly washed vagina.

Jake : what were you saying about Singaporean men earlier ??

Suwen moaned and begged me to fuck her.

Suwen : I’m sorry Jake… I’m sorry… ernfggh…e rnghh… ernggg… I didn’t mean it… ernghhh/… sorry… please… please come inside me… ernghh…

I continued rubbing Suwen, coaxing more and more natural lube to come out from her love hole.

Jake : No.. no no.. it’s ok… it’s fine… just tell me honestly…. What you think…

Suwen : Eerghnhnn.. ernghh… ernghh…errghhnnn …

She was literally shaking and begging for me to enter her.

Thomp thomp thomp !!

King hammered on the door.

King : Hurry up la !!!

Suwen : You’re nice !!! ernghhh… you’re all very nice ernghh… ernghh… ernghh… Singaporean men are the nicest in the world … er ghhh… ernghhh… ernghhhh !!!… please Jake… you’re all very nice…errgnnhhhh…..

I stopped rubbing her cunt as Suwen panted and moaned, trying to catch her own breath.

I turned Suwen over to face me and I kissed her gently on her lips.

Jake : Excellent answer….

Suwen broke out a tired smile as she hugged onto me.

Jake : There’s just a problem…

Suwen looked at me with a bewildered look.

Jake : I’m not one of the nice ones.

Before she could wrap her head around my answer, I opened the bathroom door.

King was standing a few steps away, he had Suwen’s bra in his hands cupped over his mouth and nose. He was stroking a rock hard erection.

Suwen :NO.. NO … NO!!!no JAKE !!! please !!! NO>>> FUCK…FUCKKK you piece of sHIT .. JAKE !!!! NOOOO.. NOOO…

I hugged onto Suwen from behind, using her body as a shield like a hostage taker.

I kissed Suwen’s neck as she struggled to break free.

Suwen : NOO… please… please… NOOOO!!…

King put aside the bra and he feasted his eyes on Suwen’s naked body.

Right before I push Suwen towards King, I whispered into her ears while I pretended to kiss her around her neck and the side of her face.

I played with her tits as well, kneading them like a master baker playing with his dough.

Jake : Listen……. Very…. Very….. carefully…… To what I have to say…

Suwen sobbed and she looked at King’s grotesque cock.

Her chest puffed up and down rapidly as she breathed in the cold air in the hotel suite.

King pointed to the sofa in the living area instead of the soiled bed.

I finished what I wanted to say and I slowly released Suwen from my grip.

It was like watching a movie.

Everything happened at half it’s original speed in almost a lazy manner.

It got slower and slower until it appears as if someone had hit the pause button.

King grinned at Suwen.

Suwen fingers tightened around my forearm which she gripped from below similar to someone doing an underarm pull up. I could imagine her eyes switching her focus from King to the sofa.

My lips went closer and closer to Suwen’s ear before they finally touched.

I sent Suwen off with one final kiss on her left ear.

Jake : Go.

…………………………………

 

I did not whisper any magic words or spell into Suwen’s ears.

Merely reasons.

I told her to wise up, to look at King. How long does she think he can last if she masturbated for him ?

He’s a old man, gets excited easily and he should blow his load in no time.

Suwen caught my drift and I left it to her to figure out the rest of the reasons why she should bite the bullet and do the minimal.

She don’t want to get fucked by King, choosing between that and using her mouth, she would choose her mouth.

What about between using her hands and mouth ? She would surely choose the hand.

It’s simple logic.

Suwen staggered towards King and got onto her knees.

King laughed, happy for obvious reasons. He wanted to push his wrinkled old erection into Suwen’s mouth but Suwen was faster, she gripped onto his dick and started to stroke King earnestly.

King : Ohh…. Oihhh…. Ohhh… nice… nice ohh…

Her left hand went to his testicles while her right stroked King forcefully, coaxing out groans from King as he asked her to slow down.

King : Slow down…. Slow down…. Wait….arghhh..a rghhhh…

Sensing that she’s heading in the right direction, Suwen not only stroked King, her thumb started playing with his pee hole.

King : ARngngngngngn… arnfgghnhnhnhh….

I saw Suwen’s mouth went close but she did not let it touch the dick.

Instead she spit a gold of her saliva onto King’s dick and she started to massage and rubbed it all over King’s shaft. He increased the intensity of her stroking and King was asking her to stop.

King : Stop… stop… ok… ok… stop… awerghh.. aergghhh…

Suwen refused to.

She spit again onto King’s cock , using that as a lubricant, she brought King to the edge of his orgasm and he started begging Suwen to stop.

King : ok.. ok… stop… stop… please…. My heart cannot take it… stop…e rghhh.. erghghhh.. eaeweghhhhh !!

I watched in amazement as barely 3 minutes of Suwen’s stroking wet by and King was already begging for mercy. He held his breath for pretty long, his hand tapped several times on Suwen’s head.

Then it just happened.

King’s climax was hardly a climax but he still shot out a good stream of cum.

King : ARnghh… arghh… arnghhhhhhhhhhhhhh…….come out liao… come out liao… arnghhh…

The warm stream of cum hit Suwen’s face and hair, she quickly turned her face away but a good portion of it still hit her nose and bits of it dribbled down her lips.

Both her hands were tangled with the sticky white goo as King groaned and staggered backwards before collapsing on the chair.

King groaned for no reason, stretching and sinking himself onto the couch, laughing and smiling in a satisfied manner.

King : That felt so fucking good… hahah… haha… go good… haha…

Suwen got up slowly, her lips were tightly squeezed together. She was unwilling to let any of it get into her mouth. She slowly balanced the dripping cum before she dashed into the bathroom much to King’s amusement.

King gestured to me to join him on the couch and I went over even though it felt really weird to be sitting beside another naked man.

King nodded towards the direction of the bathroom and added.

King : Amazing girl isn’t she ?? .. hahaha.. Terry is so fucking lucky…. Yet he doesn’t treasure her at all….hahaha.. what an idoit…

Jake : What makes you say that ??

King started to talk a little into the history to Terry and Suwen, giving me an insight to this dysfunctional couple.

King : They used to be quite happy together…. But they stopped having sex for a long time. ….

That was something I already knew from Suwen so I probed a little.

Jake : Well… Terry is also not getting any younger… where as Suwen is still pretty hot… and…

King laughed and shook his fingers at me.

King : No… no… no… no… it’s not that… there’s something else to them….. something deeper…. Darker… ahhahaah….

Jake : What is it ?

King took his time, enjoying the feeling of keeping me in suspense.

King : Terry… has a weird…. Fetish… so to speak…

Jake ; What kind of weird fetish…

King lowered his voice a little, whispering the secret to me like a naughty school kid.

King : Terry…. Likes to play those you know….. wife sharing thing… haha… I think they have a term for it…

Jake : Woah… swinging ??

King chuckled and slapped his thigh.

King : Swinging, swimming, whatever la…. I don’t know…. But … but this I know….

He grinned his toothless grin and said Terry gets extremely aroused when he sees Suwen fuck another man.

I was speechless for a moment while King went on.

King : You see…. It doesn’t mean Suwen can go around fucking anyone and all…. Terry wants to choose who she gets to fuck…. And he wants to see it…. He wants to see it happen…. And he wants to record it… hee.. hee… hiak.. hiak…. What a naughty and dirty old man…. Worst than me don’t you think ??? hahaha..

I just stared at King without a word before I mustered up enough strength to ask him a question.

Jake : Suwen … Suwen… she’s ok with this ??

King ; Of course not !!…. it’s the primary source of their tension….i mean… after Terry revealed that to her… she was pretty put off by it….

Jake ; Then .. then ??

King : Terry kept bugging her of course…none stop in fact…

King revealed that after they had Tiffany, it somehow strengthened the urge for Terry.

King : It made him crave for it…. So much so that he did everything…. Everything… he could… to convince Suwen to do it…

My eyes widened and I could feel my cock rise again.

Jake : And then ?? and then ?? …..

King : It almost ruin their marriage…. Terry tried to limit Suwen’s days to go out, even cutting down her trips back to China to visit her parents…. Her even cut her allowance…. Anything… anything he could do to get a hold on her… he did it…

King crossed his legs and leaned back on the couch.

King : Eventually….

Jake ; Eventually what ?

King : Eventually Suwen agreed of course… haha…fuck it was so hot…

I felt my heart skip a beat for a moment and I quickly asked was he the one who fucked Suwen ?

King ; Me ?? No.. no.. of course not…. Haha.. it’s….

Suddenly King paused.

He stopped so abruptly that it was obvious he had revealed a little too much that he should have.

Jake : You knew…. You knew because you have seen the video…. Didn’t you…

King cleared his throat and sat up straight.

King : Don’t be ridiculous…. It’s all hear say…

I stared at King in his eye and I finally closed the circle and drew the conclusion, and when the words left my mouth, King’s expression confirmed my suspicions.

Jake ; You’re…. you’re holding onto Terry’s dirt…

King’s expression looked grave and he could not think of a suitable reply. He must be regretting letting his mouth loose after a satisfying orgasm.

King pointed a finger at me and gave me a warning which had no bite at all.

King : You tell anyone that….. I’ll destroy you….

I wanted King to calm down and I did what I could to distract him.

Jake : Relax… I’m not interested in your election and stuff…. I’m just a passer by… but… but… I heard… a rumour…

King ; What rumour…

Jake : That… that Suwen was cheating on Terry…

King’s grin returned to his face and he chipped in to add on.

King : It’s true… I think it’s true at least….. after Terry forced Suwen to sleep with other men…. Their relationship became a little enstranged….and I think that pushed Suwen to cheat….

King added that people tried to dig around but no one knew who Suwen was seeing.

King : She covered her tracks well it seems…. But the signs were all there….

I nodded and smiled as I tried my luck asking King about his video.

Jake ; I don’t suppose…. I can see the videos ?? haha

King shooed me away with his hand.

King : CHey… crazy… why should I show you ??

I smiled and casually asked King another question.

Jake : Just asking… anyway… if those are tapes… make sure you keep them well….. if it gets mouldy…..game over…haha…

King : You live in what era…. Still tapes… it’s ….

King paused and thought about what I just said for a moment.

King : Your tape… you mean those VCR tape ??

Jake : Those older cam corder also use those smaller tapes what…. Today is all digital….

King sat up and asked me if those will turn mouldy.

I have no fucking idea but if you asked me what is the best way to lie to a uncle in his seventies, I would tell you anything IT related and shit is the best way to go.

Jake : Of couse… all tapes get mouldy…

I pointed to the room.

Jake : There’s all these fungus pores everywhere…. You don’t store them properly..sure gone fuck…. Singapore is so humid…

King looked at me, unsure of what to say.

Jake : Ok… relax… make sure you keep them in a dry place…. Put them properly… not too hot… not too cold…. And make a copy of them la… covert to digital copies… put in hardisk or CD… can last decades…

King ; Really ?

Jake : I bluff you for what….. you don’t believe you go to any computer shop ask…. But please ah…. Don’t take your porn tapes and ask those people to convert….next day sure on news…

King ; Then how ?? What do I do ??

Jake : I can do it for you ….

I said it with a smile.

King : You fucking son of a bitch….

Jake ; hey… I won’t take them… I can do it in front of you… take a chair… sit beside me…. all I get to do is just see them once and that’s it…. Besides… what can I do it it ?? I’m not voting in your crazy election…

Suwen came out of the shower at that moment and he ogled at her body which was by then wrapped with a towel.

Suwen : I… I have no clothes to wear…they’re all dirty…

King : We stay here tonight… wait for the clothes to dry… heee.. heee…

Suwen ignored King and she turned to me, half expecting me to give her a solution.

Jake : What ??

She glared at me with a dirty look before stomping off back into the bathroom to wash her soiled clothes.

King : how long does the conversion take…?? To.. you know… put from the tape… into the computer those thing…

Jake : A couple of hours…give and take… come on…. You have to do it sooner or later… better get it done before it’s all gone…

King : You sure will get mouldy ?? I keep in a very safe place… I think it’s impossible to get mouldy….

I pointed to the streets outside the window.

Jake : 10 years ago if I tell you orchard road will flood when it rain….you’ll say I’m crazy..

King thought about what I just said for a while before he laughed and replied.

King : You chee bye… it’s not flooding…. It’s ponding la… ahhaha…

Jake : Hahaha…. So…. Give me a call when you’re ready ….??

King nodded with a smile.

King : You will fucking blow your load I tell you Jake… you will fucking cum..

Jake: Is the video any good ??

King : Just imagine seeing Suwen’s unwilling face…. Getting angry and pissed while she gets fucked by someone she doesn’t know…. And Terry ?? .. Terry’s filming… and trying to coax his wife to play along….. you tell me is that good ?? hahaha.. .

Suwen came out with her washed clothes and lingerie, hanging them out to dry in the room.

Suwen : I booked this room… I want you all to leave now…

I checked the time

It was coming to 3am

I got up and put on my clothes as Suwen glared at me with her folded arms.

King remained seated on the couch, sneering at Suwen

Suwen : You too King… get out !…

King ignored her as I pulled on my top and went to slip on my shoes.

King : I’m not done yet…

Suwen ; yes you are.. !!…

King : I’m not… ahahhahaha…. Not yet…

King took out a blue pill from his trousers and he popped it into his mouth, swallowing it without water.

Suwen : No… no !! I’m not doing it…

She turned and looked at me

Suwen : Jake… JAKE!!!… don’t go… JAKE!!! Stay please… JAKE !!!!!

I was about to open the door when Suwen ran towards me. King got up and intercepted her, grabbing Suwen by her waist as she screamed and kicked. King may looked frail but he’s stronger than he looks.

Suwen ; NO!!!.JAKE!!JAKE…please … JAKE !!!!…. wait …wait… no !!! JAKE don’t go… JAKE !!!

I stepped out of the suite and closed the door behind me, shutting out Suwen’s screams as I walked towards the lift lobby.

I too a cab back home and bumped into my parents right when they are about to leave for the stall.

Mum : You always taking urgent leave…. How to be hawker…

I gave her a sheepish smile and told her I’m going on a date with Kate.

Mum : Yah right…

Jake : You don’t believe… you see if she’s at the stall later…. I’m meeting her in a while

Mum : Where are you going ?

Jake : An adventure I hope…

They shut the door behind them and I made myself a thick cup of coffee.

I gathered up some tools that I think I will need.

Screwdriver, scissors, a cutter, gloves. I just dropped them into my bag.

I opened up google map and looked at the map of King’s shop in Tai seng.

I tried to remember the roads and immediate alleyways.

In case someone comes after us, I need to know where we can run.

I left home at 4am, taking a cab down to Tai seng and settled myself near the train station for the wait.

4.30am

King sent me a short 5 second video of Suwen on the bed. Dollar bills were strewn all over the bedsheets.

Suwen’s body were covered in sweat and cum, King was rubbing his excess cum on Suwen’s buttocks as she gathered up the notes in front of her. I could even see several pieces of 50 dollar bills stuck on her body by King’s semen.

I shook my head and kept my phone.

5am

I repositioned myself across the road from King’s shop and waited. I checked to make sure I was in the shadows, well away from his’s staff’s line of sight when he leaves to get breakfast.

5.15am

I got a message from King .

King msg : good luck.. I’m on my way back to the office….. Ah Keong is on his way too…. He’s moving Kate to his house… he prepared a guest room…

I kept my phone and stared at the roller shutter of King’s shop.

5.20am

A small door beside the shutter opened up and I saw King’ staff stepped outside the shop. He lit up a cigarette and pressed some concealed button to raise up the main shutters.

After he was done, he started shifting some shelves with goods out.

5.25am

King msg : I just hopped onto a cab…… Keong left bukit timah 10 minutes ago.

My heart started pounding as the staff took his time bringing out more stuff including a paper model the size of your bicycle. He looked up into the sky and checked the skies before dusting his hands and crossing the road to the hawker centre.

No one would dare to steal offerings meant for the dead.

The moment he was across the road, I dashed into King’s shop.

Using my phone as a source of light, I went right to the back of the shop, calling out for Kate as I did.

Jake : Kate … KATE !!… you there ?? Kate ??

I called out several times but there was no reply.

I found the door to the make shift sleeping quarters and I opened it.

Jake : Kate …KATE!! You there ??

Kate : Jake … JAKE !! is that you… JAKE!!! Let me out !!

Jake : Hold on …

I unlatched the bolt and opened the door.

Kate was on the bed, her wrist were tied up using several cable ties.

Her black leggings were torn on her left calves and as I approached her I could smell pee.

Jake ; Oh god… did you do what I think you did ??

Kate : Shut up Jake… I’ll kill you if you dare tell anyone about this….i had to go to the bathroom really bad… and I was being ignored the whole time… I’m starving too…

I cut through all the cable ties and Kate took a couple of mins to get mobile. Her legs and arms were all numb, the pins and needles took a while to go away.

Jake : We need to go now…. King and Ah Keong are on their way over …

Kate : How did you find me ?? how did you know they’re coming…. ??

Jake : Long story…. Quick… follow me…

Kate and I crept out of the quarters and into the shop.

The moment we were out, I cursed under my breathe.

I could see King’s staff heading back already.

He was right outside the shop, sipping his coffee from his bag.

Jake : Fuck…

Kate : What do we do ?

As if that was not bad enough, he compounded the problem by hanging his coffee on the shelf and he entered the shop.

I was holding onto Kate’s hand and I could feel her squeezing mine.

I looked around King’s shop and I saw something that would save us.

It might save us.

It’s a chance we have to take.

Over by the corner, there’s like a dozen of those paper figurines, standing as tall as a average adult.

I dragged Kate over and we squeezed ourselves into it’s ranks.

The lights in the shop were not on.

This might just work.

Both of us just froze as the staff shuffled his feet and walked right pass us. We saw him enter the quarters and immediately took to our feet and ran, knocking down several figurines along the way.

Jake ; Fuck… fuck…

We burst out into the morning skies to see a MPV pull up .

Kate and I locked eyes with a shocked Ah Keong behind the wheels.

Jake : Shit… shit..

It took 2 seconds before anyone of us manage to react.

Kate and I sprinted and ran, as fast as our feet could carry us.

I turned back to check and I could see King’s staff running out of the shop while Ah Keong was already on his phone.

We turned a corner, hailed a cab, panting and coughing away.

Jake : Uncle Tampines…. Pant.. pant.. pant…

Kate turned and looked behind us as the cab pulled off from the industrial estate.

We did not speak along the way.

6.20am

Jake : Welcome to my humble abode…I hope you don’t mind…. I was thinking the coffee shop would be the first place Ah Keong would go to and you stay just above….

Kate : it’s ok… I’m just so tired and hungry…

I went to my room and grabbed a fresh towel for Kate.

I forgot totally about the clothes. I don’t have anything for her.

I showered in my parents soon and when I came out, I saw Kate with her hair dripping wet, my towel around her body as she ransacked my wardrobe for clothes to wear.

I could feel an erection stirring as well as I looked at Kate’s body.

Memories of me penetrating her came back , sending warm waves of emotions down my groin.

I could feel my dick harden but it went away after a while.

I’m just too tired.

I’ve been up the whole night.

Kate pulled out one of my grey work shirt.

Kate : Lend me this can ??

I nodded.

Too tired to even try to crack a corny joke.

Kate came out of the bathroom dressed only in my shirt, and I could see the bundle of her soiled clothes in her hands.

Kate : I’ll need a bag later too….

I made instant noodles for both of us and we ate without a word. After draining the hot and spicy soup, Kate’s eyes could barely open.

Jake : Here… take my bed… I’ll sleep in the living room…

Kate : You didn’t sleep the whole night too ??

Jake : Yah… long story…

I switched on the air conditioner for Kate and watch her crawl into my bed and put her tired head down on my pillow. It’s a queen size bed actually, so there’s room for the both of us.

I pulled the covers up to her chin and I could see her eyes struggling to stay open.

Kate : Thanks…. For everything Jake…

Jake : You’re welcomed..

I could not resist the pull of my own soft bed and I crawled onto it as well but I lay down above the covers.

Then we just drifted off.

I don’t know how long we slept but I jumped a little when I felt some movements beside me.

It was Kate, she was trying to pull the covers over me.

Perhaps we were both just tired, we went right back to sleep.

The next time I woke up, it was because Kate’s hair was tickling my nose and it was then I realised that I was literally plastered against her back.

Kate was cuddled up by my chest.

We were both out for a long time , it was 4pm when we woke up.

My phone had almost 50 missed calls.

Kate called Gabriel and told him what happened.

5pm

Gabriel came by together with Andy to pick Kate up.

Kate : Jake… thanks… for the top…. I’ll.. wash and return it to you another day….

They drove off and I did not see Kate again for an entire week.

It was a weird and surreal week.

It’s like nothing happened.

My life went back to normal at the noodle stall.

Kate text me her new number and told me she’s fine , she’ll be keeping a low profile until the election.

15th March 2015

Sunday.

A week before the election.

Kate finally showed up at the coffee shop.

Jake : Hey… want to eat noodles or not….

Kate : Yah… maybe later… I need a favour from you Jake…

Jake ; Yah ??

Kate : We are not finished with visiting all the elders. …

Jake : What ? …. You cannot be serious…

Kate : we have to try…

Jake : Who else is left ??

Kate : Terry….

I swallowed a gulp of saliva and Kate looked at me eagerly.

Kate : I …. I really don’t want to meet him on my own… so… I was thinking if we can drop by his gold shop together… and…. Have a chat… or something…

I nodded and agreed.

Kate smiled and passed me a brown envelope.

Kate : Thanks !… here..

I opened it to see it filled with money. There had to be like several thousand dollars inside there.

Jake : You meant if I had said no…you… you wouldn’t pay me ??

Kate : Yeah… I probably wouldn’t have given you the money… hahha…

Jake : Fuck…

Kate : TSK !… don’t curse at me …

Kate picked a time and I agreed.

5pm

Chinatown.

Kate was right on time and both of us stood barely 20 metres from the entrance of Terry’s gold shop.

We just stared at the entrance, waiting for the other to make the first move.

Kate : Oh boy… I really hate him…. I really hate talking to him…. You too right… I’m sure…

I took in a deep breath as I looked at Suwen and Tiffany who were in a corner of the shop as well, trying on the jewelleries and taking selfies of themselves.

Kate : Jake … hey… stop looking at Suwen and Tiffany !… I know they’re hot…

I laughed and turned to look at Kate who was wearing a white sleeveless dress that day.

Jake : Not as hot as you. ..

Kate laughed.

She held up her hand, I offered up my arm, linking both our bodies together.

We took the first step towards the shop and I added.

Jake : You know the story of us being together is already blown right….

Kate : Yeah… I know…

Terry’s eyes locked onto us as we stepped into his gold shop.

Tiffany looked our way too, so did Suwen.

Kate : No rule to say friends can’t link arms right ?

I smiled and took a deep breath as Terry walked right up in front of me, staring me down as if he wanted to pick a fight.

Terry : What….. the fuck….. do you want ??

Kate : Can we have a chat Terry ?

Terry : Still the same… need women to speak up for you…. Hah !…

I ignored Terry’s comment.

The 3 of us stood there for a few seconds before Terry barked to his staff , saying that he would be back in a few minutes.

Terry walked towards a café , Kate and I followed behind him.

We sat down, Terry ordered 3 coffee without even asking what we wanted.

Terry : I go straight to the point… I know what the fuck you all want…

Kate : Ok… name your price then… say it…

Terry sniggered and looked at Kate with disdain, checking out her whole body before turning back to me.

Terry : How long more are you going to put up this fake boyfriend girlfriend act… it’s getting boring….

Kate : How much ?? just say it…

Terry pointed finger at Kate.

Terry : You know what I hate about people like you….. you think just because you have money…. You can buy anyone you wished…. Pui !!

He sipped his coffee in a cocky manner and looked at Kate.

Kate : I thought you want to go straight to the point… so just say it.. how much ?

Terry : You cannot afford me…

Kate : Try me…

Terry laughed.

Terry : 300k….. and …… I want to fuck you…. In front of your so call boyfriend… ahhaa..

I hit the table so hard with a smack that coffee spilled out of the cups as I stood up

Terry shook his legs in a cocky manner.

Terry : Why …. Why ??? What’s the problem…. You don’t have the chips… then don’t negotiate. .. haha…

Kate took a deep breathe, sipped her coffee and wiped her lips with a napkin.

She stood up without a word and we left Terry at the café.

When were got far enough from them I asked Kate the question that was burning in my head.

Jake : please tell me you are not entertaining that thought….

Kate took a while to reply me and when she did , she did it in a light hearted manner.

Kate : would you get jealous ??

Jake : Tsk … don’t be an ass…

Kate : hahaha…

We stepped into the train and right before the doors hissed to a close, Kate added softly under her breathe.

Kate : Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that then…

…………………….

Elections

It’s something we’re all familiar with in Singapore.

The excitement that filled the air.

You could feel it all around you.

There’s this tingling in my bones that I cannot describe.

21st march 2015

Saturday

It was the eve of the election and the preparations are in full swing.

There’s no rally speech, no TV broadcast with candidates speaking.

You don’t get feeds and meme on your social media account but you could feel the vibe.

That energy that flows through every corner of the coffee shop.

It’s like a campaign headquarters but no one is really campaigning.

It’s more of preparing.

8.00 am

There were a lot of things happening at the coffee shop. Instead of helping at my parents’ stall like i was used to, i was given a mountain of wanton fillings and sent to a corner of the coffee shop.

I found out on that day that come every election, my parents would sponsor close to a thousand fried wantons served with mayonnaise. No prize for guessing who’s making them that year.

As i wrapped wanton after wanton , i started to pay a little more attention to the rest of the hawker in the coffee shop. I felt a chill run down my spine when i realised every one of them were preparing in their own way for the big event tomorrow.

It had to be something significant on their calander.

I mean weekends, Saturdays and Sundays, to hawkers is very precious. It’s one of the days when they get bigger crowds, families would come out for breakfast together and all. It’s a day that would affect their takings for the entire week.

Yet on that Particular Saturday, more emphasis was being placed on the preparation rather than their business.

Auntie Geok was talking loudly to her kueh supplier that morning while serving the morning crowd. The man was going through the orders with her as she worked.

She kept reminding him about the timing to make the delivery the next day.

We’re talking about hundreds of kuehs and otahs.

Much more than her usual orders.

Auntie Geok : don’t you dare be late …. i’ll kill you ahhh…

Delivery man : Auntie …. i know… i know…. not my first year doing it…. don’t worry.

Uncle Salim too had several huge bags of ingredients at his stall.

They filled his usually empty store front.

He even borrowed a few of those huge pots you see caterers use to cook for large volumes of guest during weddings and festivities. He had to be preparing to serve a few hundred servings of mee rebus the next day at least.

No one openly said anything about the election in the coffee shop, but it was obvious they were all preparing for it. Not only were they sponsoring food , I found out that all the stalls would be closed the next day.

Everyone would be at the election venue.

Orh pao and Kate were trying to juggle the coffee stall with the Saturday crowd and at the same time trying to manage all the calls that were coming through.

I overhead Kate telling her drinks supplier to send the orders directly to the address she gave him.

Kate : Not the coffee shop yah….. don’t come to the coffee shop with this order…

Even the tze char store that usually operates at night in the corner came down in the morning that Sunday.

They will be frying bee hoon and noodles for the next day, i could see the chefs busy cutting up vegetables and other ingredients.

I don’t know their level of involvement with the organisation but one thing for sure, i know none of them were charging for the food.

I was surprised beyond words when I saw a nice gentlemen arrive at the coffee shop and I was told he’s Uncle Salim’s son.

Remember i mentioned in the beginning of the story that his son is a doctor ?

Yeah, Uncle Salim’s son came down to the coffee shop 10 minutes before Andy and Gabriel arrived.

I was introduced to him by Uncle Salim who proudly announced that his son is a doctor.

Uncle Salim : Eh… eh Jake… Jake… my son… my son…. Doctor Rizwan leh… hahaha… don’t play play….

Jake : Haha…. Hello…. Nice to meet you…

Rizwan wanted to shake my hand but i was wrapping the wantons halfway through, i signalled awkwardly with my dirty hands and he laughed, saying it’s ok.

I stood up and was about to go washed when he stopped me.

Jake : Paiseh… paiseh…. is… is meat la…. let me go wash up first…

Rizwan : It’s ok… it’s ok…. later… later… never mind…

Rizwan tapped me on the side of my arm and say we’ll grab a coffee later, he’ll go help his dad first.

Jake : Sure… sure…

He struck me as a very humble guy, all smiles and cheerful. He’s definitely one of those top students in class, teacher’s pet and then a good Junior college before going to med school.

Rizwan had a very calming effect on people when he talked. It’s like when shit is about to hit the roof but the moment he opens his mouth, he’ll solve half the problem or something.

It’s that kind of gentle voice, yet you could still feel the authoritative vide in them. Good news or bad, if you had to receive it from a doctor, Rizwan’s voice would be the ideal choice.

That was the first time I saw him and I liked him immediately.

Then i saw him remove his shirt at the back of the coffee shop to change into a plain t-shirt to serve the customers, he had a tattoo behind his back on his shoulders. A dagger with 2 wings at the side.

A familiar logo for many of us.

The text below the tattoo was broken by a scar. The spacing were too wide , the scar had to be there before the tattoo went up.

A half inch thick of pale raw skin ran down close to 30 cm diagonally from the right of his lower shoulder blade down to his left Kidney. You could see the centipede like legs of the scar the stitches left behind. They stood out like another tattoo of it’s own against Rizwan’s dark skin.

The text ‘For honour and glory’ was tattooed above and over the scar.

The word ‘glory’ was spaced far away from the ‘and’ because of the scar, it was done on purpose.

Rizwan happened to turn, and it was his turn to look a little embarrassed.

Jake : wah…

I gave him a thumb up with my eyes wide open.

There were several more scars across his chest as he sheepishly pulled on his t-shirt.

Rizwan : Aiyah… we were all young and stupid once… haha…. old days la…

Rizwan settled comfortably into the role of a hawker, helping his dad pack food and serve the customers.

Gabriel and Andy arrived around 11am and they started thanking the hawkers for helping with the big day tomorrow.

Gabriel : Rizwan…. thanks for coming….

Rizwan : Gabe…. don’t mention it… it’s the least i could do…

Gabriel : No… no… I really appreciate… all the help you’ve given us….

Rizwan : nah… nah…. Without your grandfather…. I won’t even be where I am today…

They were only at the next table and i could hear Gabriel opening thanking him for the help after the evening at Bukit Chandu.

Gabriel : That night…..at Chandu…. all the bill and stuff….send to me…

Rizwan : aiyah…. small thing la…. don’t worry about it… but Herman…..

A truck rumbled past the coffee shop and i could only make out small bits of the conversations.

Rizwan : stiches i can do…..then…….. bo bian…. x ray …… they set it

back….will recover…

Gabriel listened intently and told Rizwan that he visited Herman the next day but the rest of their conversation was cut off when they turned and walked towards the drinks stall to grab some coffee.

They returned to the table next to me and I caught more snippets of their conversation.

Gabriel : Bill…..heard he…..there too…….how……bad ?

Rizwan : Stubborn….very stubborn…. …

I strained my ears and tried to block out the background noises in the coffee shop.

RIzwan : Bill ah……Lucy…..fuck….. jia lat … jia lat…. ..

Gabriel : hahah… then how ??

Rizwan : In the end…….go over……Lucy place…. .. settle on the spot…

Gabriel’s phone rang and he said he got to go.

Rizwan : Go ahead… go ahead…. I see you around…

They shook hands before Gabriel turned to leave.

Before Rizwan could get back to the stall, Andy came over and they sat back down again.

Andy and Rizwan chatted like old friends too, talking about a couple of common friends they had. Their conversation volume is a lot louder, with more laughs in between.

Rizwan : So you’re up this year ah… haha..

Andy : Sigh…. What to do…. It’s a thankless job… but someone’s got to do it…

RIzwan turned and looked around his shoulders before chuckling to Andy

Rizwan : Ask Terry to do it la… hahaa..

Andy laughed.

11.45am

Uncle Ben arrived, together with Johari and gang as well.

Everyone exchanged greetings, crowding in the coffee shop. Drinks were served before they broke up into separate groups.

I was not included in any of their meeting but i could tell they were discussing security related matters.

Johari and his men were tasked with managing the guest that day.

Only the 8 elders and the invited guest were allowed into the voting area.

Gabriel was worried things would get rowdy especially with Ah Keong’s men.

Matthew had the habit of bringing his entire army for the elections as a show of power to the guests. There’s no reason why his son would not do the same.

12.30pm

My parents packed up the stall and they helped with the wantons before we finished up at close to 1pm.

They stall would be closed the next day. We would only be coming down to deep fry the wantons and send them to the election premise

Kate came over right before we left and I asked her how is she.

Kate : I’m ok…

Jake : Did Ah Keong ??

Kate : No… don’t worry….

Jake : What’s the situation now ??

Kate : Gabriel knows about it…. Everybody does… but no one wants to speak up at the moment….

Jake : That’s shit man…Gabriel’s going to just let it rest ??

Kate : There’re bigger issues at stake at the moment…. This has got to wait…

She told to me get a good rest, the next day will be an interesting day.

Kate : We’ll be expecting guest from overseas as well, Gabriel and Andy are busy with the logistics.

Jake : Who’s coming ?

Kate told me that her granduncle will be one of the VIPs that would be present.

In the event of a tie, he would have the final say, that includes the option of him taking over the helm.

Kate : We wouldn’t want that…

Kate’s granduncle has been in Taiwan for the longest time. He set up his own offshoot of the organisation that is related to the local triads. On the surface, everyone is friendly but her granduncle is looking to gain a foothold in Singapore.

And come every election, he would pray for a chance. A chance to get back into the local scene to restore the family to it’s formal glory.

Kate : Fungye, that’s that everyone calls him. Grandpa wind. He’s fast, he was fast, base on the stories my grandfather told me. He could strike you before you even realised what was happening.

Kate recalled fondly of sitting by her grandfather’s bedside while he tells her stories of Singapore back during the Hock Lee bus workers strike that sparked off a riot.

Kate : It was chaos. … the rioting spread, my grandfather was just staying at the next street…… he could hear the shouts, see the skies turn crimson with the fires that were started by the clash of the unions……..but Fungye and my grandpa, they stood at the entrance of the courtyard that led to their house as the clash spilled closer and closer.

I sat upright, listened intently.

Kate : My grandpa and Fungye each held a 9 inch Parang, they stood steadfast and unmoving. A couple of students tried to drag them into the conflict and to get into the house compound but they soon realised it was a mistake…

My eyes widened and I asked her a critical question.

Jake : Your granduncle is Fung(Wind) , is your grandpa Yun ( cloud ) ? !!!!

I did a martial arts stance and spoke a little too loudly.

Jake : FUNG….. YUN….. !!!

Several heads turned and Kate rolled her eyes at me.

Kate : Don’t be lame Jake…

Jake : Sorry… it just came into my head… so what is his name ??

Kate : Make a guess ?

Jake : Leigong !! ( thunder god ) ?? Qinglong !! ( green dragon ) , Jin Mao shi wang ( golden hair lion king ) , qing yi fu wang ?? ( green wing bat king ), bai mei ying wang !!! ( white brow eagle king ) !!!

Kate : You watch too many TV serial….

Kate stood up and before she turned her back she told me what her grandpa was called.

Kate : My grandpa was a combination of a snake and a dragon. … he has a tattoo of them on his…..

Jake : I KNOW !!!… SNAKE AND DRAGON !! … SNAKE (ZHUAR) DRAGON (LONG) ,,, ZHUARLONG ( PLASTIC BAG )

Kate ‘s eyes reduced to a slit before she put up a palm at me, sucked in a deep breath and turned away.

Jake : Kate… kate… wait… hey… don’t like that la…. I was just trying to lighten up the atmosphere….

Kate : go and die la…

Jake : Sorry… sorry…. So what do they call him ??

Uncle Ben came by then and answered on behalf of Kate.

Ben : We call him boss…. because he is the boss… and he doesn’t like those cheesy names…

Jake : Fungye and boss …. Has a nice ring to it…

Kate : Yah… better than your Jake tio ( sprain )

Ben laughed and before returning to his table with his men.

I went home and tried to get my parents to talk about the organisation. They were reluctant to reveal what they know or what they’ve seen over the years.

Mum : Why don’t you go back to your old job…. Aircon…. Not oily and smelly…. No need work weekends…

Dad : It’s been a few months…. Play also play enough already…. Time to go back to your old job…

I tried to prod further but they would not budge.

They kept telling me to stay away .

Mum : If one day you have family, you would also tell your kids the same thing…. Stay away… nothing good comes out of being associated with them…

Jake : Then what about you guys ??

Dad : We had no choice…. We didn’t get to study…. To go to school…. There’s not much things we can do….. unlike you….. Jake.. you have a good education…you should make use of it…

I could see what the conversation was going so I cut it short and I went back to my room.

22nd March 2015

Election day .

We woke up later than usual since the stall would not be open that day.

My parents woke me up at 6am and we got to the stall by 7am.

We fried the wantons and laid them out on several big trays.

Uncle Salim and Rizwan were already stirring big pots of gravy when we got there. Kate was nowhere to be seen and only Orh pao manned the counter. He turned away all the customers that came, saying that the stall is closed.

It took us close to 3 hours to finish frying all the wantons.

My mum stayed to clean up and my Dad delivered the food together with me to the election site.

The place where the election was to be held is a private house along Thiam Siew Avenue. Just a stone throw away from Katong Shopping centre.

A simple none descript house that sat in the middle of a large plot of land. Trees and palms filled the boundary behind the red brick walls, obscuring the views from the outside. Tents were set up on the courtyard. It’s a huge space.

I’m talking like 2 basketball courts side by side upon entering the main gate. In land scarce Singapore, this is a luxurious amount of space to be left empty. Tall tents with headroom of about 3 metres were set up, fans, air coolers were placed at regular intervals.

My dad dropped off the food and says he will go back to pick my mother up.

11.15am

The election will start at 1.30pm

There’s still a bit of time.

Johari and his men were hovering near the front gate. No cars were allowed to enter the compound. Vehicles came, people alighted and they were directed to park somewhere else.

Not even the elders’ cars were allowed within the compound.

Kate showed up out of nowhere with a Bluetooth earpiece on her left ear.

 

Kate : hey…

Jake ; Hey…

Kate : Excited ?? ….

Jake : Why ? … I’m not the one in the election…

Kate : Haha… but it’s your first time seeing something like this happening no ? …

I nodded my head and Kate took it upon herself to orientate me around.

Kate : follow me…

She explained as we went about the compound.

The round tables in the middle of the tent were meant for the men and staff of the elders. Since they were not allowed to enter the voting area, that would be where they wait. The rectangle tables surrounding the sides, those were meant for food and refreshments.

Jake : Errr….. ok…. I can tell…. I mean the food is all there…

Kate : Keep quiet…. And listen…

It’s been known that things would get rowdy during elections. Fights do break out at times and with so many people around, there were instances food caterers were injured as a result.

Kate : So…. If anything happens… stay on the rectangle tables… it’s a unspoken rule….

Jake : Orh… so those around round tables can wack… rectangle ones leave alone…

Kate : Something like that….

We entered the house and I could see 3 tables set up in the middle of the living area.

A table of 8 right up front and 2 tables of 10 flanking each side.

On the table of 8 for the elders, there were 2 tokens in the shape of a octagon coin. One in silver, the other in bronze.

Kate told me that Silver is for Ah Keong while Andy is bronze.

Kate : There’s nothing significance to the materials, it was drawn via a toss of a coin.

A red box stood on a dragon pillar about 1.2m tall.

Kate : That’s the voting box. … you cast your votes in there….

Inside the box, there will be 2 compartments for you to drop your vote. You go up, drop the token of the candidate you want and you keep the other.

Jake : Who reads the vote ?

Kate : A neutral observer from overseas…. Usually one of the VIP…

Kate then pointed to this imaginary boundary that started from a 1.5m tall white vase with blue crane paintings to the other side of the living room where a similar vase stood.

Kate : This is the line…. No one crosses this line the moment the elders are all seated….

Jake : Where will you be ?

Kate pointed to a spot at the corner just behind the line.

Kate : There… you can still see the action from there….

Jake : Can I stay with you ??

Kate : Of course… you’re my boyfriend right.. hahaa..

I laughed and we heard some commotion at the entrance.

Someone has arrived.

Umbrellas were out and about, at least 6 black umbrellas went up, sheltering the guest from the sun as he or she was led into the house.

I could hear people speaking in dialect and Chinese and as they got closer, Kate told me that was her granduncle. Fungye.

Kate : Always the first…. Always the earliest.

Fungye had to be in his mid to late seventies by now. He walked with the help of a walking stick and he had several aides by his side.

His skin is tanned and wrinkled. His eyebrow were almost white, with random strands of black. Fungye had a permanent grin on his face. A sinister grin if you read more into it.

He took his seat at the VIP spot together with 2 of his men and the rest went outside.

Gabriel arrived and ran into the hall, immediately heading forward to greet his granduncle, he gestured to Kate to join him and she did. They spoke for less than a minute and all I saw Fungye do was nod his head and smile.

His smile creeps me out.

11.45am

King arrived with 6 of his staff. He entered and greeted Fungye warmly.

12pm

Terry came together with Suwen. He’s the only one that had little to nil manpower under his charge. With a struggling sunset business, a blood sucking wife, it’s a wonder he managed to remain a elder for so long.

12.10pm

There was more commotion at the gate.

I went out to take a look and I saw 3 cars pulling up one after another. The occupants stepped out together with their aides and more black umbrellas went up into the air.

When the 1st guest stepped into the house, I literally had the air knock out of my lungs.

She is so fucking beautiful.

She had to be at least 1.7m tall and when she smiled, I could see all the men in the room turn. There was this sweetness to her that reminded me of some pretty female lead in Taiwan dramas.

Those with the sweet squeaky voice but when she spoke, you can tell she meant business. Gabriel walked briskly towards this lady and shook hands with her. I heard Gabriel call her Tracy.

Tracy : 几时来台湾玩 ? ( When are you coming to Taiwan to have fun ? )

Gabriel shook Tracy’s hands and from his body language alone, you could tell he accorded Tracy a lot of respect despite being at least a decade older than her.

He told her once he frees up some time, he will head over and buy her a meal.

Tracy wore a power pant suit and every gesture she made, every move, every turn, she oozes confidence and charisma. It’s like she could move the entire stock market if she wished.

Tracy was surrounded by no less than 6 men, mean looking young chaps with no expressions on their faces.

Right behind Tracy’s entrance, 2 more guys entered. They spoke with each other softly and they looked to be about my age as well. In fact, they looked like one of the young executives you see in town.

The only difference is the number of people that they have by their side catering to their every whim and fancy.

Gabriel went forward too to shake their hands.

Gabriel : Ollie….. hi…. Leonard…. Long time no see…

They shook hands with a smile and Gabriel ushered them to their seats.

Tracy, Leonard and Ollie sat at the table on the right, while Fungye sat on the table to the left.

Gabriel gestured to Kate and she went over.

I could hear Gabriel introducing Kate as his sister from where I stood.

Gabriel : My sister Kate… . she hasn’t had a chance to meet you guys yet….

My jaws almost dropped when I heard him do the introductions to Kate.

Gabriel : Tracy from 竹聯 ( United Bamboo ) ,Ollie from 四海 ( 4 seas ) , and Leonard from 天道 ( Heaven way alliance ) ….

You got to be seriously shitting me.

Kate shook hands with them and made some small talks.

More commotions at the gate and when I turned, I could see Ah Keong coming with his men. True enough, he turned up with close to 30 men as they crowded the entrance, staring down Johari and his men.

You could feel the hostility in the air.

Neighbours from across and opposite sides of the roads gathered, curious as to what was happening in the usually quiet house.

Uncle Ben came into the hall and Andy arrived shortly as well.

12.45 pm.

Lucy arrived with her entourage of girls, inviting wolf whistles and stares from the gathering of men.

Huimin and Jane were there too and they eyed me with a cheeky stare before giving me a wink.

Kate was standing right beside me and she immediately asked.

Kate : You explain that Jake ok…. You explain that….. if the say comes you really becomes my boyfriend….

I swallowed a gulp of saliva and I pretended not to hear her.

Lucy entered with Bill behind her, looking every graceful and pretty.

Roland brought up the rear with 3 of his guys and the gate was closed.

For a good 20 minutes, all the elders and the guest mingled in the hallway, much like the reception before a wedding banquet.

Introductions were made, small talks a plenty. I tried to listen in to as much of the conversation as I could.

The invisible boundary was not being observed at the moment. It was the perfect time for me to snoop around.

I saw my parents desperately waving at me from the entrance, gesturing for me to get out of the hall but I ignored them.

I picked up short snippets from Roland talking to Ollie about business.

I heard Lucy and Tracy talked about beauty products.

I heard Andy talking to Leonard about stocks and oil prices.

Suwen was trying desperately to avoid eye contact with King and me.

1.20pm

There was a jingle of a bell, much like the dinner bell and people started heading back to their seats.

The moment the elders started taking their seat, Johari and Herman gestured and pushed the crowd back behind the invisible boundary.

An old man who looked like he just crawled out of his grave came from the back of the house and I assumed he’s the one chairing the election.

Terry : UNCLE PO !!!… helloe !!!.. ahaha…

The old man waved weakly as he wobbled to the front of the pillar where the box was.

I tried to recall the current tally as my fingers fought hard not to tremble .

Gabriel, Andy, Ben, and if Lucy kept her promise, we have secured 4 votes for Andy on this end.

Terry, King and Ah Keong is definitely on the same side.

Which leaves us Roland.

He’s a wild card.

Base on our past conversation, he would likely vote for Ah Keong, which meant the election would turn up to be a tie.

If that happens, Fungye would have the last laugh.

I did something very stupid that day.

Very very stupid.

Uncle Po : Alright…. You all know the drill…. Let’s not waste time…

Terry : SWEE LA….. don’t waste time… let’s do it… !

Uncle Po held onto the red cloth covering the box and pulled it off signalling the start of the election.

Gabriel was the first to stand up.

He cast his vote under the watchful eyes of the guest and fellow elders, dropping the token into a small slit at the top of the box.

Terry walked towards the box with a swagger and dropped his in too.

King got up the same time as Ben but Ben gestured and allowed King to go on ahead.

Ah Keong went next followed by Andy.

Roland and Lucy eyed each other for a brief moment before Roland gestured with his hand, allowing Lucy to cast her vote first.

Lucy got up and made her vote as she gave me a look from across the hall.

Kate caught that too.

Kate : Add that to the list of explanations… and don’t pretend you never hear me…

I swallow another mouthful of saliva.

My heart started to race and my palms were starting to sweat.

Uncle Po got up, sealed the box with his red cloth.

Uncle Po : And now…. For the results…

I was trying really hard not to shake.

It’s not because I was nervous or anything, I’m not the one running in the election.

I fingered the 9th vote in my pocket as Uncle Po invited Tracy up to tally the votes.

My heart was slamming against my ribcage as I prayed that Roland or perhaps King or anyone, anyone would change their mind and vote for Andy.

Tracy walked up gracefully towards Uncle Po and he gestured her towards the box.

It’s 8 votes.

8 tokens.

8 pieces of token in a box the size of your regular cake box.

You don’t need a long time to count.

In fact, you don’t even need to count.

Tracy went up, she was smiling initially but as she removed the cover of the box and the moment her eyes saw the votes at the bottom of the box, her smile was gone.

This cannot be good.

I reached into my pocket and fingered the 9th vote, praying and praying for a miracle.

Tracy’s eyes looked up from the box and all eyes were on her.

The hall fell so quiet that you could hear a pin drop.

Terry broke the silence first.

Terry : Hurry up la !!.. just declare Ah Keong the winner… ahaha

Ben : Diam la… haven even count the vote you think you sure win ah…

Tracy’s men, sensing something was wrong began to stand up from their seat but she gestured for them to sit back down.

Ah Keong’s fist were clenched.

Gabriel looked nervous.

Then Tracy’s eyes met Fungye’s line of sight and he started laughing.

He laughed and he laughed and he laughed.

Fungye : hahah..hahahahaha…whahahahahahah….. ahahahahahahahaha ….

Ah Keong stood up from the table and demanded to know who won.

Ah Keong : Tell us … NOW!!! … who won !!!!!

Terry : YAH.. WHO !! …?? WHO won ??

Tracy replied in a voice as cold as the freezing touch of death itself as she reached in and retrieved all the tokens at once.

Tracy : Everybody lose…

The hall fell silent and the only sound that came was from Fungye.

A low growling laugh, like the wheezing of a hyena.

He laughed.

And he laughed.

And he laughed… ..

………………………………..

 

 

It took a while for the realisation that the results were a draw to sink in. 

What started as a initial confusion soon evolved into panic. The chattering started, the volume of the voices got louder and eventually people were standing and gesturing. 

Terry demanded a recount, accusing Tracy of making a mistake. 

I almost rolled my eyes at him if not for the grave atmosphere in the room. There’s only 8 votes, how many times you need to count that ? 

Tracy held up the tokens in both hands, flashing them to the floor and declared the vote a tie. Uncle Po stepped forward and verified the vote before nodding as well. 

The voices from the floor got louder and louder. 

Terry was literally shouting while Ben asked him to shut up. 

Ah Keong was in a daze, he blinked a few times, looking at Roland, Lucy, Terry and King, and even as he looked at them, he seemed confused and lost at the same time. 

Only Fungye grinned and laughed , so did his followers that sat at the same table as him. 

Uncle Po : 4 Votes for Ah Keong….. 4 votes for Andy …. 

That was all he managed to say when the room erupted into chaos. Ah Keong’s men who were peering through every available crevices and windows tried to push their way into the main hall. 

It’s like a switch had been activated, all of the guest’s followers stood up at the same time. With Tracy’s men taking the lead, they formed a impenetrable human wall along the invisible boundary. 

It happened so fast I had no time to react. 

They just shoved and pushed everyone out of the main hall. 

Uncle Po : Only the guest and elders shall remain in the room…. 

He came down from the stage, and walked behind the men that was chasing everyone out of the room. 

I was in a blur as well. 

I’m not even sure what to do. 

With so many bodies shoving and pushing around, I did what I could to protect Kate, shielding her from the mass of bodies. 

Once we were out of the room, I quickly pulled Kate aside towards the edge of the action, closer to where the food and refreshments were. 

Jake : Kate… Kate… I need to tell you something….. it’s urgent… 

I whispered harshly as I dragged Kate a distance away from everyone onto the grass patch at the side of the house. 

Jake : I have the 9th vote… 

Kate : WHAT !!! 

Jake : I have the 9th vote !!!…. 

Kate’s eyes widened in shock as she looked behind her shoulder and to our immediate surrounding. 

Then she started hitting me seriously with a frown on her face. 

Kate : You fucking idoit !!! 

She landed several punches on my arm and shoulder, hammering as she cursed at me. 

I told her I found it on that day at Bukit Chandu by accident. 

Jake : It just landed on my feet…. In front of me… i…. I also don’t know what to do !!.. 

Kate patted her own chest and tried to calm herself down as she glared at me. 

Jake : Look… we can fix this…. Let’s go in… I’ll vote for Andy…. We’ll win… ! 

Kate screamed and grabbed a tuff of my hair, shaking as I yelped in pain. 

Jake ; Ahhhhh… 

Kate : I want to strangle you so bad !!! 

Kate took a deep breath and exhaled slowly as she paced around the grass patch. 

Jake : Quick… tell Gabriel… call him… we need to get inside there now… !

Kate : Don’t be stupid Jake.. !!… the vote works only if you bring it up before the vote !!!! NOT AFTER !!! 

Jake : Why not ?? 

Kate : Have you voted before ??? You dimwit…. You ever saw people waving their vote to tell their MP they haven voted yet after the election is over ?!!! 

Jake : Oh… that’s true…

Kate sighed and buried her face in her palms. 

Jake : Then what do I do now ??? 

Kate looked around and lowered her volume before warning me. 

Kate : You keep your bloody mouth shut…. You tell no one about the 9th vote you hear me !!!… 

She grabbed my shoulders and shook them. 

Kate : You understand me Jake ? 

I nodded my head. 

Kate : Tell no one and keep it safe…. No one must know you have it….not even any of the elders… 

Jake : Why ?? 

Kate : We can still use it…. At the inauguration…. …If Fungye decides to muscle in….as a matter of formality, he needs to throw a banquet…. Introduce himself to the organisation formally….

Jake : I can use the vote then ??? 

Before Kate could answer me, we saw Uncle Po come out from the back door, he was walking down the side where Kate and I were standing. We were the closest to him and he approached us right away. 

Uncle Po : Hey you… bring some drinks… and food in… 

Jake : Ok… ok… right away… 

Kate and I sprang into action and she went to my parents and grabbed 2 trays of fried wantons, stacking them on top of another while I grabbed 2 cartons of drinks from the table. 

Uncle Po gestured to us and we followed him to the back. 

As we were nearing the back entrance, some of Ah Keong’s men spotted us and they shouted that the door at the back is opened. 

Uncle Po : Quick … come in ! 

Kate and I rushed into the back of the house and Uncle Po barely shut and bolted the door before a few of Ah Keong’s men arrived and started hammering on it. They shouted to be let in but were ignored by Uncle Po. 

2 of Tracy’s men arrived and they stood guard at the door we just entered. 

Uncle Po : Follow me… 

We fell in step and entered the hall once more. Uncle Po directed us to distribute the drinks and leave the food on the tables. It doesn’t look like another was in the mood to eat anything. 

I saw Gabriel trying to reason with Tracy as I set down the drinks. 

Gabriel : Tracy !…. look… this cannot be right… 

Tracy remained expressionless and she held up her palm at Gabriel with her wrist still resting on the table. 

Tracy : Gabriel….. we’re here as neutrals….our role is to validate and enforce the decision of the elders….. the same reason and role that you undertake during our own elections…. 

Tracy took a drink and opened it , taking a sip before she went on. 

Tracy : We have 80 branches , all over the world… if rules are not enforced…. And people object to the results of elections just because it does not align with their choices and beliefs, we would have collapsed a long time ago…… I believe the same applies for you as well… 

Gabriel : Tracy…. But… 

Tracy turned away from Gabriel, her body language is clear. There is to be no more debate on this matter. 

Suddenly Gabriel stood up and announced he would void his own vote. 

Gabriel : I concede my vote…. Ah Keong wins… 

Ah Keong was still in a world of his own and he looked shocked and puzzled at Gabriel . 

Andy immediately followed suit and announced his withdrawal from the contest as well.





Andy : I give up my contest as a candidate…..i’ll concede to Ah Keong….. he wins… 

The expressions on Ah Keong’s face is a mixture of pure confusion and bewilderment. He still hasn’t wrapped his mind around what was happening. 

Until Uncle Ben got up and said he would void his vote as well did Ah Keong finally get what they were trying to do

Ah Keong : ohh… ohh.. yes… yes…ermmm..errrr… so I win…. I win… they void their vote right… so I win… ?? 

Uncle Po : Doesn’t work that way guys…. and you know it…

Uncle Po raised both his hands to silence the floor before announcing that as per the rules of the organisation, if it comes to a tie, Fungye would preside over the rest of the election. 

All eyes went to him and he grinned. 

Fungye’s voice was surprisingly loud and powerful given his age. 

Fungye : Let’s here what the candidate have to say before I decide….. 

He pointed to Ah Keong and said since he was the hot favourite, he would like to know what he can do for the organisation . 

Fungye : Get up there…. And tell me…. tell me what can you do…. For the family… 

Ah Keong looked a little lost and nervous as he stepped up to the front. Some people are just not used to public speaking or to address a crowd. Ah Keong is one of them .

To put it bluntly, he’s just a grunt. 

He was unprepared and he was not confident enough to project his voice loud enough. 

Ah Keong : I…. I have….. I have the most men…. Among all the elders !… 

I saw Roland closed his eyes and massaged his forehead with both hands as Ah KEong went on. 

Ah Keong : I…. my…..I have one of the largest construction company….we also hold several properties…. 

Fungye : yes… yes… I know all that….. what I want to know… is what can you do…. For the organisation !!….. 

Ah Keong : I will take it to greater heights…… I will restore it to it’s former glory !!! We will increase our headcount… and manpower… !… 

Fungye just laughed, smacking the table in amusement. 

He pointed to Ah Keong and turned to the rest of the elders.

Fungye : Him ??? You all are voting him to be your leader ?? hahaha.. hahaa… 

Ah Keong stormed off the front and got back to his seat, fuming in anger from the humiliation. 

Fungye turned next to Andy, gesturing rudely to him. 

Fungye : Andy !!… you’re up… go… 

Andy was a lot more composed and he stepped up confidently. 

Fungye : Tell us…. What is your plan…. 

Andy spent a second too long exchanging glare at Fungye before he started. 

Andy : Times are changing…our old ways don’t work any longer…. This is the reason why the family has been constantly evolving as we move along…. We’ve diversified slowly over the years into business, properties and investments…moving forward…. 

Fungye : Don’t try to act professional la fuck…. A gangster is a gangster…. Hurry up… 

Andy was pissed but he continued his speech to the floor. 

Andy : We’ve phased out some of our activities over the years, gambling, 4D betting, sports betting….. going forward, our core focus should be on legitimate businesses…. 

Fungye cut in for the 2nd time. 

Fungye : Fuck you understand…. You are just giving up a lucrative side of the business to your competitor…..you stupid fool…. 

Andy shot back immediately with a salvo. 

Andy : What we did….. is right…. This is the very reason why we are out here now…. And not rotting in jail with our competitor. !.. 

Fungye : It’s a fucking stupid idea I tell you…. You’re burning boatloads of cash by not taking in the bets…. 

Andy : We made good use of our previous revenue, diversifying into investment grade properties…. Their returns….. 

Fungye slammed his hand on the table and shouted again, 

Fungye : Don’t fucking tell me about the returns of your properties when you are charging shit rent to everyone you lease to…. 

Andy was quiet for a brief moment and Fungye continued his rant. 

Fungye : Every mother fucker on that table is paying rent so low ….. it’s ridiculous….so don’t tell me about your returns…. It’s shit… it’s time you start bringing drugs back in… 

Andy : No. giving up the drug option was the best move Boss made when he was alive…..we need to understand the environment in which we operate…..there are grey areas of the law, where money could be made…. But in areas where there are zero tolerance….. like drugs… we maintain our stand in not……… 

Fungye stood up and raised his voice so loud that it silenced the people outside the hall as well. 

Fungye : That…. Was the MOST…. STUPID…… THING… I EVER HEARD !!!…. AND I TELL YOU….. NOT BRINGING IN DRUGS…. IS THE MOST STUPID DECISION MY BROTHER EVER MADE…. 

Fungye turned , not only to the elders but to the rest who were peering in from the windows and addressed everyone at the same time. 

Fungye : You stupid fools…. Everyday I see news of you bitching….. and complaining about how packed your trains are…. How expensive your cars are….bitching and complaining about your miserable lives in Singapore…… you know the reason why ??? 

Fungye paused and pointed a finger at the crowd, running it across an arc at the crowd, challenging anyone who would answer his question. 

Fungye : That’s because you people… don’t know how to have fun !!… that euphoria of shooting it into your veins… feeling it go into your bloodstreams…

Andy : We shall not discuss this any longer… 

Fungye : I’m not finished !!! 

Andy : You are !!…. 

Fungye and Andy spoke at the same time. Each trying to outdo the other with their voices. 

Fungye : I can buy every fucker in this room a car with one shipment. 

Andy : You bring anything beyond 15 grams… 

Fungye : Fuck you and your grams… I’m talking hundreds of KGs…. 

Andy : Our men… have wives and family !!! who’s going to carry it for it… 

Fungye ; This is why you would remain at the bottom of the ladder !!… you only need to sacrifice but 1 man for the shipment …. And hundreds would benefit !!… 

Andy : Fuck you… 

Fungye : Fuck you Andy … you know who you are talking to 

Andy : You have no fucking idea what you are talking about… this is Singapore we …..

Fungye : I am born here as well !…. so don’t fucking go …and… 

Andy : We are moving forward…. As business men…. Not some half fuck low grade criminals… 

Fungye : The most successful businessmen are all criminals in their own right…. Don’t come and… 

Andy : You live under fucking rock…. 

Fungye : You…. Are not fit to lead … 

Andy : No one would buy your drugs… 

Fungye ; That’s because you don’t know how to market them !!!! …. 

Fungye slammed the table several times pointing a finger at Andy. 

Fungye : You have to penetrate the schools….. start them young… introduce them to this wonderful world…. Create the market and demand… 

Andy : Go fuck yourself Fungye.. … 

Fungye : hahahah… whahaha.. hahaa… 

He laughed as Andy stared at him , speechless. 

Fungye : Look at all of you…. Like a bunch of loose sand…. Pussies… 

He lectured the elders, telling them that they are in that exact position because of their own doing. 

Fungye : Your disunity…..gave me this opportunity… I will make this organisation rise again… 

He turned to Andy next and added.




Fungye : Don’t worry…. It’ll probably take a few months for me to get into the groove of things….see how is everything being run here…. Then… we’ll see what is the best way to bring my good stuff in here eh… ahahahahahah… 

Andy glared at Fungye with a grim expressions with both of his hands in his pocket. 

Fungye addressed all who were listening. 

Fungye : Don’t worry about the police… or authorities…. I have so many of them in my pocket in Taiwan…. How much does it cost here??? I’ll buy them all !!!hahaahha…. 

No one laughed , that is until Andy opened his mouth. 

Andy : Oh… that is one thing I’m sure you cannot afford….. that’s our politicians…. You know what is the pay they are drawing… ?? 

Scattered laughs broke out among the men and elders as Fungye glared at Andy. 

Fungye : We’ll be reorganising alright….restructure as you call it…. For the future…. And along the way…. If any elders….. wishes to leave…. You are welcomed to do so…. 

Uncle Po pressed Fungye for a decision. 

Uncle Po : Fungye…. Do you have a decision ? 

Fungye : Oh fuck yeah….. neither of the 2…. Are worthy to lead….. 

Fungye walked to the middle of the floor with his hands stretched out like Christ the redeemer statue in Brazil. With his hands out, he slowly turned anti-clockwise a full circle before announcing his intent. 

Fungye : I will…. Gladly accept… the position to lead the family….. into the future… 

Voices of protest broke out and almost all the elders stood up at the same time. 

Fungye : That is all I have to say… hahah… hahaha…. Hahahahahha…. Haha… 

Tracy stood up together with Leonard and Ollie while the rest of their men cleared a path for their departure. 

Gabriel went over to Uncle Po and whispered something in his ears. Uncle Po nodded. 

Fungye went over to Gabriel and said he looked forward to the handover and for a tour of the country like what Gabriel promised. 

Fungye : I hope this won’t affect our relationship….. as relatives….it’s a… practical decision….. and I look forward to the tour….of your beautiful country…. Haha…hahahahah…. 

Fungye turned and left as Gabriel gathered the rest of the elders. 

Everyone else was to leave the room including Kate and me. 

I got back out into the open and my parents chided me for staying inside the hall for so long. 

Mum : Which part of not mixing with this group of people do you not understand Jake !! 

I ignored her and I went over to Kate again. 

Jake : What now? ? 

She just gestured for me to wait for a minute. 

Tracy was still waiting for her ride and she came over to say goodbye to Kate. 

Tracy : Maybe we can grab coffee…. This couple of days…when I’m here.. 

Kate : Sure… let’s do.. 

I waited till Kate was alone before I went over. She dragged me back to a corner of the courtyard. 

Jake : We’re all fucked aren’t we…. 

Kate : You can say that… 

Jake : What do we do now ?? We should tell Gabriel and the others about the 9th vote.. 

Kate : NO!… 

Jake : Why not ?? 

Kate reasoned that they would be so angry with me that they might just kill me on the spot. If either Ah Keong or Andy had that vote, none of this would happen. 

Jake : Shit… what have I done… 

Kate : Keep that vote safe…. Tell no one… it will still come in useful… 

Jake : Yes… you were saying something about the inauguration …..i can use the vote then… 

Kate : Yes… but we don’t know when will that be… the date can only be decided by Fungye… 

Jake : We’ll hold out till then….. I’ll vote him out the moment I get the chance to… 

Kate stared at me for a couple of seconds, as if she was thinking of what to say to me. 

Kate : Who said anything about voting ?? 

Jake : Huh ? 

Kate told me that the 9th vote can only be exercised before election. 

Jake ; Huh ? I don’t understand… then why you tell me I can use it during the inauguration ??? 

Kate : you don’t vote on that day Jake…. You use it to challenge Fungye’s right to leadership. …. 

My jaws dropped 2 cm as I stared at Kate. 

Jake : What….what if I win ?? 

Kate : Then you’re the boss…. until the next election… it’s not going to be easy…. Not only would you need the elders to be behind you…. You need the buy in of all the men as well…..every single one….

Kate looked around to make sure no one was near us before going on.

Kate : Which is why you must keep this a secret…..word has gone out that the 9th vote was missing for a while……there were rumours on both sides….…some claimed Ah Keong took it…..others suspected Gabriel kept it for himself………. If Fungye so much as get a wind of what you will be doing…… all he needed was to bribe one of the elder or the man…. 

Jake : You….. 

Jake : Got to be…. 

Jake : Fucking… kidding me… 

I said it so slow because I had to replay what Kate said to me barely a few seconds ago several times just to be sure I was hearing the right thing. 

Kate walked up to me , her body almost touching mine. 

I could smell the shampoo in her hair and her face was literally less than a finger’s length away. 

Kate : Am I smiling right now Jake ? 

I shook my head. 

Kate : That means I’m not joking… 

Kate walked off as she spoke.

Kate : We need to get the logistics of the next few days sorted out…. There’s so much things to be done… we also need to start shifting some documents out of the offices… stuff we don’t want Fungye to know….we… …Jake… Jake… are you listening ?? 

Jake : yah….yah…. 

Kate came back and grabbed my arms. 

Kate : Get a grip on yourself Jake… this is important…. We cannot allow Fungye to do what he wants… 

I nodded again. 

Jake : How… the fuck ….. do I get the elders…. And their men…..people that barely know me….. to agree to follow me… ? 

Kate pondered my point for a moment before replying with no expressions on her face. 

Kate : Start working on a good speech… 

Jake : … fuck… 

………………………………………



23rd March 2015

Monday.

6am

I was back at the noodle stall, settling into my usual routine. Kate was not at the coffee shop that day. I left the house the day before around 4.30pm with my parents. The crowds slowly dispersed but Kate dropped me a message at 9pm, saying that the elders were all still in the room.

There was nothing but anger and confusion as they blamed each other for the state of the affairs.

10am

It was a pretty slow day at the stall and we were getting ready to pack up when I received a call from Kate.

Kate : I would meeting Tracy for a while today… you want to join me ??

Jake : Of course… I’ll love to…

Kate : It’s nothing much actually…. Just a meal , coffee and then drop her off at MBS sands.

Jake : Let me know the time and details.

3.30pm

I met up with Kate at Suntec City. We waited for about 10 minutes before we Tracy showed up with a few shopping bags in her hands.

I thought she was alone until I saw her men loitering a distance away. They carried a few bags as well and they looked bored.

Tracy : Hi Kate…

Kate : Hi Tracy…

They shook hands and Tracy turned towards me.

Tracy : Is he your….. bodyguard ?? or your boyfriend ?? poor thing….. he’s stuck with you ?? He should be with Ollie and Leonard….. and wherever your brother and Andy is bringing them to… hahaha…. You know… those naughty places…haha.. who is he Kate ??

Kate laughed and looked at me.

Kate : Just a friend…. He’ll double up as anything if I need him to… haha..

Tracy : Good… can he help to carry my bags too ?? haha…

Tracy passed me her bags and upon closer inspection, I realised why her men stayed so far away.

Tracy had bought lingerie from La Senza and they filled up 2 big bags. With the huge brand name plastered on the paper bags, it’s no wonder her staff stayed away.

I could see them sniggering at each other when the bags landed on me.

Tracy and Kate walked on in front and somehow I just followed them a few steps behind.

I’m not too near that it would make them uncomfortable to talk, but I’m still close enough to catch bits of their conversations.

Tracy’s men were close by, the 6 of them shopped and bought snacks along the way as well, just like any other visiting tourist but at any point of time, at least 3 kept their eyes on their boss.

Tracy : It sucks…. Really does…

Kate : What do you mean ??

Tracy : Being who I am ….

Kate : Why is that ??

Tracy : Don’t you sometimes wished you are just a normal girl in the street ? With none of these burdens to bear ?

Kate kept silent as Tracy went on.

Tracy : I can’t choose which family I’m born into…. And I’m thankful for the material comforts my family has given me…. but sometimes….all we girls wanted… is just to be loved… and have that freedom to do what we want…. No ?

Kate : Are you unhappy ?

Tracy : Should I be happy ? …… there are death threats for my dad back home…. My elder brother is in jail….. people tried to kidnap me…. I get rape threats back home too…. Hahah…

Kate : May I ask how old are you Tracy ?

Tracy : I’m turning 29… … no man…. Dared to come after me…. haha… not after learning who my dad and my brother is… hahah…

She chuckled playfully and nudged Kate on her arm as they walked down the shops in the mall.

Tracy : I like Singapore…. It’s safe…. I feel safe…. There’s just….. order….amidst all the things that is going on.

Kate : Taiwan is safe too… it’s one of the safest in Asia as well no ?

Tracy : Not if you are walking in our circle Kate… haha…

Tracy walked into a clothing shop, flipped a couple of dresses around before picking one up and holding it against herself to look in the mirror.

Tracy : I wished I could do what Gabriel and Andy wanted to do…. To slowly steer the family towards proper and decent business….. but there’s just so much barrier….

Kate : My brother believes that for the family to survive, we all need to move on. …. Technology is improving leaps and bounds everyday…. The old ways… have to go…. We know it’s impossible to remove the stain from the family but as we head into the future…. Perhaps we can redeem ourselves… once we are in a position to do so…

Tracy : I want to do that too…. But you know what… it’s a different ecosystem altogether… some things will work in Singapore, but they won’t work back home…

She put the dress back and they continued walking down the mall.

Kate : Well, if given a chance… what would you really want to do ??

Tracy : Me ? hahaha ? I don’t know…. What do girls my age do if they’re not out bribing people and trying to put your competitor out of business ?? haha…

Kate : I’ll love to travel…. Just work and travel…. There’s so many beautiful places in the world….

Tracy laughed and pointed behind her.

Tracy : Yah… I got to bring them along when I travel… it sucks…. …

Kate laughed.

Tracy : And you know what… it might seemed I have a lot of people catering to my whims and fancies but it’s a terrible pain in the ass…. I can’t even get them to buy me my pads if I needed them…..look … they don’t even dare to come near me after I bought my lingerie…

She turned around on impulse and snapped at her men.

Tracy : You pussies… !…

Then Tracy came over to me, grabbed a handful of bras out from the bag, she laughed as she walked in a threatening manner towards her man and they scattered in all directions like rats seeing a cat for the first time.

Tracy : Hahaha…

Kate : Haha…

Tracy : See…. !..

Tracy passed her lingerie back to me and I took them and kept them in her bags.

Tracy : Jake right…. Hmmmm….. not too bad…. How much you hired him for ??

Kate laughed and said I’m not very expensive.

Kate : Quite cheap… about 3k odd….. has a degree… speaks and behaves well..

Tracy : Oh… not bad… can I borrow him sometimes ?? hahah… oh wait.. wait… he’s not your boyfriend right ?? haha

Kate shook her head and said no.

Kate : but he likes me though I think… haha…

I gave Kate an irritated look and she stuck out her tongue at me.

Tracy :What about me Jake…. Do you like me ?? haha..

I looked at Tracy, the way her facial features stand out against her shoulder length hair. She is pretty, definitely prettier that Kate if I were to be honest. She’s taller too, about the same height as me, and her smile, Tracy did not just smile with her lips, she did it with her eyes too.

She tilted her head sideways and raised a sweet seductive eyebrow at me.

Tracy : need to consider that long ?? haha…

Jake : haha.. Yes… I like you too…

Tracy laughed and brushed back her hair behind her ears, looking every bit like a sweet girl in a Taiwanese drama.

Tracy : will you go out with me ?? hahaha.. if Kate allows that is…

I turned towards Kate and she folded her arms and pretended to consider her request.

Tracy : I can pay….. I’m richer that Kate and her brother you know..hahahah…

I just smiled shyly without giving a reply.

Tracy : This is what I like about Singaporean men…. Like to pretend to be shy.. ahah…

Kate : Oh please… I don’t know about the others… but this one…. This one is definitely not shy… haha..

Tracy twitched a side of her upper lips and paced around me, stroking her chin.

Tracy : Ok… ok… I’ll consider… haha..

We came to a café and the girls took a seat while I get their orders





Tracy’s men arrived too and out of courtesy I went over and offered to get them drinks. 

I bought coffee for the guest and I excused myself to the washroom.

When I came out, Tracy offered to pay me for the drinks I got for her men but I declined to accept it.

Jake : You all are guest…. My treat…

Tracy gave me a naughty smile.

Tracy : I’m falling for you already Jake…. Haha..

I took the next table and gave the girls some space to talk.

5.30pm

Kate and I brought our guest to a seafood restaurant in Clark quay and bought them dinner.

Tracy : I absolutely loveeeeee…. Chilli crab….my god… so nice…. !!!

During dinner, Tracy helped me deshelled a crab claw much to my surprised and I hesitated for a second or 2 before accepting it.

Tracy : haha… still pretending to be shy Jake ? haha…

Jake : thank you… thank you….

Tracy : You know…. You accepted something from me… you have to give something in return…. That’s our rule…

Jake : Are you trying to bribe me ?? with a crab claw…??

Tracy and Kate burst out laughing in amusement as they licks the gravy off their manicured fingers.

Tracy : no… haha…I’m not… but…. I want something in return…

Jake : Say it.. if it’s within my means… I’ll get it for you…

Tracy smiled and crossed her legs, looking at me with her big endearing eyes.

Tracy : I’ll tell you when I think of it. … haha..

The table was cleared and when dessert was served, the conversation became a little more serious.

The casual and relaxed atmosphere was gone.

It was gone the moment Kate asked Tracy for help.

Kate : Can you do anything …. To help us… ?

Tracy wiped her mouth with a napkin and looked at her men. They understood what their boss wanted and all of them got up and excused themselves to the bathroom.

All except 2 who stood a distance away and lit up a cigarette while they kept an eye on Tracy.

I got up too, it’s only right that I gave them space to talk but Tracy asked me to stay.

Tracy : It’s ok Jake… you can stay… .. I just don’t want what I say to get spread among the rest of the men….. Fungye is pretty active in taiwan…. His men and mine hang out often at the same pubs…

Tracy took a sip of water and she turned towards Kate.

Tracy : Rules are rules Kate… there is nothing I can do… the results are cast in stone… it’s a tie…. This is of your elder’s own doing…. There’s no one to blame…

Kate : I know… but.. perhaps… you..

Tracy : I have manpower…. But I can’t fly a planeload of them over…and even if I could… they would not want to get involved in this either… it’s not our fight…

Tracy went on to say that Fungye is a ambitious man, but because he is not a native of Taiwan, he had difficulty getting beyond his current standing. He’s not getting the support he needs to expand.

Kate : Is there nothing at all ??? that you can do ??

Tracy : I’m sorry Kate… I wished it didn’t come to this but…Fungye will be in charge….and our business dealings…. Between organisations…the preferential rates…and all….. We go to who’s in charge… If the vote is not honoured…. No one will deal with you anymore… all your connections your family built up over the years… it will be gone…

Tracy asked for a refill of her drink and went on.

Tracy : I heard that there’s a 9th vote….

My heart skipped a beat when Tracy mentioned that.

Tracy : There are rumours…. That either Gabriel…. Or Ah Keong is holding on to it….

Kate : I… I don’t know about that…

Tracy : Well, let’s hope they do have it…. And that they would have the balls to challenge Fungye the right to lead….

Tracy said that while she could not help us with changing the decision of the vote, what she can do, is provide us with information .

Tracy : I’ll send you everything we know about Fungye….. as a friend…

Kate : Thank you Tracy…

Tracy smiled and invited Kate to Taiwan when things settled down.

10.30pm

I got back home and took out the 9th vote and stared at it for close to 30 minutes before putting it away and heading back to bed.

3rd April 2015

Friday

11am

Almost 2 weeks has passed and everything we knew and got used to have started to change.

Fungye increased the rent for my parent’s stall several folds, now it’s a hefty 4000 a month for rental of that stall.

We were not the only victims; every hawker in the coffee shop was affected.

Of course, the logical step would be to quit. I mean all of the hawker in the coffee shop are getting on in age. My parents cannot afford to pay that rent, not with what they are making a month. It’s crazy.

What about Auntie Geok you say ?

Her small corner stall commanded a rent of 3.5k

How the fuck do you sell 3.5k worth of Kuehs when you make mere cents off each piece. ?

She too threw in the hat and decided to call it a day but you know what ?

It’s not that easy.

You think we can just mass quit the coffee shop, pack up and go ?

Of course not.

All of the stall owners expressed their displeasure and everyone decided to call it a day. They’ve done this for decades, it’s time to step back and enjoy their retirement.

11.30am

On that faithful day, Fungye’s men came down to the coffee shop.

I was right there when they demanded that everyone continues their business as usual. This man, Liuhai. He said we were all indebted to the organisation and that we were obligated to continue our existing relationship with them.

Jake : Fuck you… who the fuck do you think you are ?

Liuhai glared at me and stepped towards me in a aggressive manner. Several more of his men came into the coffee shop while my dad tried to break up the confrontation.

Dad : Ok ok.. enough.. enough.. stop.. stop…

I was ready to punch that fucker right there and then.

I could see Orh pao grabbing the ice pick he used to break up chunks of ice and hiding it behind his shirt from the corner of my eye. He ignored the customers in the queue and stepped out of the stall.

Auntie Geok too came over, too feisty for her age as she demanded that Liuhai and his men get out of the coffee shop.

Liuhai smirk and spit a glob of saliva onto the floor. He turned and pretended to look away but he made a move on me, trying to strike the side of my head with his palms. My dad saw what he was trying to do and he jumped infront of me, taking the brunt of the blow before collapsing onto me on the floor.

There was chaos as customers ran out of the coffee shop. Orh pao dashed over and sent one of Liuhai’s man onto the floor within the split of a second. Everyone jumped him, and my dad went over to help pull him out of the fray, kicking and pushing back the attackers.

I grabbed a chair and smashed it on the head of one guy, sending him onto the floor in pain.

Uncle’s Ben’s delivery truck arrived and several of Johari’s men jumped out.

Bill appeared too out of nowhere.

The voices in the coffee shop were so loud that I could hardly hear myself shout at my Dad to get out of the fight as I hammered another fucker with the stool in my hands.

Ben separated the fight, shouting at both sides.

Uncle Ben : Get the fuck… out of the shop Liuhai…





Liuhai smirked and spit a mouthful of blood on the floor.

Liuhai : This is not over…

He left with his men and I immediately went over to my father and Orh pao.

My mum panicked as she saw my dad bleeding on her head .

Orh pao was down as well, groaning in pain.

Everything happened in a blur.

I remembered Gabriel rushing down and he personally sent both Orh pao and my dad to a private hospital.

Gabriel : Don’t worry Jake… don’t worry…. They have the best insurance coverage money can buy….

My mind can hardly register anything that couple of days.

Orh pao had a broken rib while my dad needed 12 stitches on the head.

As if that was not bad enough, he dislocated 2 fingers on his right hand and he needed surgery to pop them back.

My blood was boiling as I stared blankly at the hospital wall.

30th May 2015

Saturday

9.30pm

Just slightly 2 month after Fungye took over, the organisation was turned upside down.

Terry could no longer get money for his cash flow and Suwen took the opportunity to leave him , not only did she leave, Suwen took close to 150k worth of jewelleries with her when she did.

When I saw Terry at his shop that day, he was but a defeated old man. He lost weight, he looked sad and pathetic.

My dad recovered properly and we went back to the stall to continue selling noodles. Not because we were threatened, but because of Gabriel.

We found out that Gabriel has been paying the shortfall in rent with his own money while still charging everyone the same rate. My parents felt bad, so did the rest of the hawkers and they decided to chip in, make as much as they could and pass the excess to Gabriel to lighten his load.

24th June 2015

Wednesday

11pm

Lucy invited Roland and I over to her place for a drink.

Bill was there too.

The mood was solemn.

Roland’s overhead for his spa surged so much that he needed to dig into his savings.

Jake : Can you cancel the lease ?

Roland : What lease ?? haha… I rent from Gabriel… it’s all verbal… hahah …

Roland revealed that he wanted to pack and go as well but he too found out Gabriel was topping up the shortfall.

Roland : It’s not fair to him… not after all that he’s done…

Lucy’s pubs and KTVs too were in a bad shape.

Lucy : Fungye’s man…. They stir up shit so often…. A lot of my regular customers decides to switch spots….they’re just fucking looking for trouble… it’s bad…. My girls are unhappy too…

I found out from our drinking session that day that Fungye had decided on his inauguration date.

It was to be on the 9th of August.

Our national day. Our Golden Jubilee…

Roland : Well…. He sure chose a good day to show us the finger eh… haha..

Lucy : Fuck him… maybe he’ll get a heart attack and die…

There was no hiding the elder’s hate for Fungye.

10th July 2015

Friday

Ben, Andy and Gabriel were at the coffee shop. The chose the last table at the corner and were pouring through their documents. I could tell they were trying to hide as much as they could from Fungye but at the top of their worries was money.

I could tell they were running into serious cash flow problem.

Fungye had demanded for control of the finances, squandering away the reserves Gabriel had built up over the years. He rented a place in the middle of orchard road, and several apartments for his men.

He used Gabriel and Andy’s company as a front, employing his men and getting the valid work passes to remain in Singapore.

By Gabriel’s last count, Fungye had close to 80 men in Singapore holding various passes, from work permits to social visit passes. Those that could not remain in Singapore for long, would return home only to be back here again as tourist.

Kate lost a bit of weight as well and I could see she shared the stress her brother was going through.

Ah Keong on the other hand, had not been seen for months.

He never came to his chicken rice stall, he never even showed his face.

I heard from Kate that Ah Keong ‘s factory was used by Fungye to store duty unpaid liquor.

Kate : He’s hopping mad the last time I called him.

11th July 2015

Saturday

3pm.

I don’t know what got into me but I decided to drop by King’s shop. It’s been a while since I last saw him too. When I reached his warehouse, I could see trucks unloading deliveries and goods. The lunar 7th month is approaching in a couple of months time, King has already started stocking up on the items for sale.

I walked into his shop much to his surprised.

King : What are you doing here??

Jake : Nothing… just happen to be in the area…

King lost weight as well. I could almost see the bones under his sunken cheeks. If he had looked like a wrinkled old man before, now he looked close to a rotting corpse.

Jake : You ok ??

King did not looked like he wanted to talk but I guessed he needed and avenue to vent his anger and frustration.

He offered me tea in his office and launched into a 30 minute tirade about Fungye.

King : He stashed so much duty unpaid cigarettes in my warehouse !!!! … that fuck…. Piece of shit….

As if that did not make King angry enough, Fungye stashed them in the same space where King kept idols of deities and gods for sale.

King : His men knocked over and damaged so much of them that I prayed they would get struck by lightning …

He was panting, gasping for breath by the time he was done.

Fungye took King’s delivery truck as well for transport for his own men, and King had to lease another one just to make daily delivery.

I left King’s place and went back home.

Nothing short of the word miserable could be used to describe everyone’s situation.

Gabriel used to distribute a modest dividend to all the elders every quarter, base on their contribution to the organisation’s funds. That too has been stopped till further notice.

As the news of Fungye’s inauguration banquet spreads, everyone dreaded the arrival of that day.

My parents and I worked harder than before, toiling away at the noodle stall everyday.

We started work 2 hours earlier, trying to catch the crowd in the wee hours of the morning and we ended 2 hours later too, desperately trying to grab onto a few late lunch goers.

Gabriel initially refused to accept the extra money the hawkers put together for him, but as the months went by, he had no choice but to take it even though it was barely enough.

Gabriel : I swear….. I will return all of you…. Every single dollar…

Auntie Geok waved Gabriel off.

Auntie Geok : I so old already… bring with me to die ah…. No need la…

Gabriel wanted to laugh but instead I saw him tried to choke back his emotions.

9th August 2015

It’s our national day.

Our golden Jubilee.

2.30pm

I could see families decked out on red and white, smiling as they made their way to the train stations, no doubt to join in the celebration.

I was tired, really tired.

My parents had gone straight to bed upon washing up but I could not sleep.

I could not close my eyes no matter how tired I felt.

That fatigue of working such long hours was beginning to take it’s toll on me.

Even Kate lost weight as she rotated and manned the coffee stall together with Orh pao for 24 hours on weekends. The family or organisation depending on how you call it, has fallen onto it’s knees.

It’s pathetic no matter how you look at it. Morale was low, hardly anyone smiles anymore.

It’s like the elders fell so hard onto the ground that they could not pick themselves up again.

No schemes from Lucy.

No naughty plans from Roland

Nothing from Gabriel as well, he’s burning himself out trying to cope with the finances.

I walked across my place to the bustling mall and ordered myself a cup of coffee for take away.

I walked around aimlessly, Staring blankly at the cup in my hands, I just zoned out until I was snapped out of it by a commotion in front of me.

A toddler had fallen down, and she was sobbing away. Someone was playing with those soup bubbles and she was happily bursting it until an older boy came along and they fought for the same bubble.

The older boy shoved the little girl to get the bubble and she fell, bawling away.

I saw her elder brother rush forward, a young kid of about 5 years old.

He shouted to his parents that his Meimei ( sister ) had fell because the other boy had pushed her. The commotion attracted a few onlookers but they soon lost interest.

The older boys’ parents came and apologised, scolding their son for being naughty. The girls parents just smiled and said it’s fine. They’re just kids.

The boy pulled his sister up and helped to brush her hands and knees.

A few steps behind the parents, a old man with a head of grey hair and wrinkles on his face came to the little girl as well.

The little girl ran to her grandfather, complaining to him that the boy pushed her.

Little girl : Ah gong… ( grandpa ) korkor ( elder brother ) push me.. …. Sob.. sob…

The old man laughed and he bent down to the little girls height.

Grandpa : It’s ok…. hahaha.. it’s ok… just pick yourself up when you fall…

It was a pretty sweet scene , grandfatherly advice for his precious granddaughter, and I smiled as I sipped my coffee until something happened that caught me totally by surprised.

The grandpa turned and checked to make sure the parents are out of earshot before he gave more advice to his grandchildren.

Grandpa : If someone pushes you…. You push back… heee.. hehe…

He giggled in a naughty manner and so did the kids.

Grandpa : You push them back so so hard….. that they would think twice about coming near you again…. Hheee.. heheh.. ahha… ssshhhhhhhhh….

He put his finger to his mouth as the kids giggled, as if trying to tell them it’s a secret between them.

The kids ran off again to play and I locked eyes with the grandpa. He gave me a smile and walked back after his grandkids.

I went back home and sat down at my desk.

I took the pen I had kept in a wooden box out and stared at it.

For a good 30 minutes, I just stared at that pen as countless thoughts raced through my mind.

The fatigue, the lack of sleep.

The miserable state of affairs.

Everything that happened within the past few months just kept coming into my head as I stared at that pen .

The longer I looked. The angrier I got.

The angrier I got, the more irrational I became.

My breathing got faster and I could feel my heart thumping away.

I closed the wooden box with a snap and I looked up and out of my window at the same time, talking to myself in the empty room.

Jake : You want a banquet …… I’ll give you one you’ll never forget…

…………………………………………..

I remembered I was but a small boy of barely 10 years old when I experienced first-hand our nation’s very own Kallang roar

It was in May 1994.

I held my father’s hand as we stood amongst the crowd in the old national stadium. It was my first time seeing the grand old dame in real life. The stadium was magnificent, that structure that rose up high into the skyline, it struck a chord in me and stirred up emotions I still remembered till this very day.

Can you imagine how huge that place was to a small little kid like me ?

I thought that structure was built by giants and titans. It was only when I was much older when I realised that stadium was not built by mythical creatures from my story books. They were built by us, man.

Concrete and steel formed the backbone of the stadium, but the soul of the old national stadium was the people that filled it’s seats. Common folks like us.

Like a quiet guardian overlooking the city, the stadium’s seats were filled to the brim with people from all walks of life that day. A sea of red surrounded the green field. I was never a fan of football, but my father insisted I join him that day.

Dad : I have this feeling…. It’s going to be a hell of a day today…. It’s just going to be…

I hardly knew the rules of the game , I could hardly hear myself speak with the crowd cheering at every move the players made. It was an amazing feeling. Something money can never buy.

I wondered how the players felt when they were on the field with a crowd of 55000 cheering them on. Countless cameras followed their every move, broadcasting them to the millions of households across the country.

Jake : Pa… the players in red … they are our team right ??

My Dad bent down, looked at me in the eyes and told me something that stayed with me till this day.

Dad : Not players Jake…. Not players……… when those men are on that field, wearing that jersey….. they ….are …our… lions ….. the pride of our nation.

He broke into a smile before returning to join the crowd in the cheering frenzy.

I watched in awe as the sheer speed and agility in which our team moved on that field. There was this gracefulness within the chaos.

Their attacks fed the fervour of the cheering crowd, it churned up the dinner I had earlier, causing me to gasp in excitement whenever they were close to their opponent’s net.

I could feel that excitement in the very air I breathe.

Then right before my very eyes it happened. There were no warning, the ball flew forward, crossed over the field right in front of our striker and he flew. He flew straight at the ball , hitting it right into the net it a beautiful header.

The entire stadium erupted.

The cries of joy and cheers shook the very foundation of the stadium that day as my dad shouted with the veins on his neck bulging so tight I was worried it would burst. He literally looked towards the skies and shouted, his fingers clenched into a claw like stance for a few seconds before he turned and started hugging strangers.

Grown men hugged and high fived each other at the crowd continued it’s unbelievable roar into the night. The sound of that roar crept right under my skin, causing every hair on my back to rise up.

I looked around me and took in the sights. All the different faces, people of different race, religion and beliefs united as one as our lions basked in the cheers of the nation. It was not a simple goal.

That very goal carried with it the dreams of a young nation.

I could hardly sleep that evening when I got back home. My dad was so happy he opened a can of beer and ate peanuts in the dining room, describing the feeling to my mum.

As I grew older, that day in the stadium was never far from my mind.

I was happy that I got to be there.

On the other hand, I was sad because I never got to experience something like that again.

How I longed and craved for that very feeling I felt that day in the stadium. That fire in my small tummy. It never came. Not once.

I went to the box by the side of the room where 8 folders sat by the side of my bed. Remember the folders of documents that I poured through at the beginning of the story ?

Yeah, those were some of the stuff that Gabriel wanted to hide from Fungye. A detailed collection of information that they don’t want him to get his hands on. Fungye probably had his own information about the elders but they doubt it was as detailed at the ones sitting in my room.

I was helping Kate pack them up one afternoon when I asked if I could have them. Kate thought about it for a minute before saying that it was probably safer at my place. She made me promise to keep them safe before turning away to pack other sensitive documents.

I opened each folder and looked at the history of each elder.

They are not saints. Each of them had their hand in some shady business at one point or another. Creative accounting, getting adventurous with taxes, blatant disregard of building safety guidelines and stuff. However if I were to hold out a balance scale and put one token on the left for every shady business they did, and one on the right for something good they had done, the right far outweigh the left.

Every single elder.

Sure, they’re still not saints but if we’re talking about having to choose the lesser of 2 evils, the elders are a much better choice than Fungye.

I took another cold shower before calling Kate.

Kate sounded tired and weary. We had spoken about the vote I held a few times the past few months but nothing came out of the discussion. To her, it was an impossible dream.

Perhaps even a distant fantasy.

I would to be mad to even think I could stand a chance against Fungye. Kate eventually dispelled the idea and even urged me to let it go. You could tell the fight was gone in her too. She’s already settling into the survivor mentality.

Being able to survive the next few years trumps anything else.

Jake : Can i… go for the banquet ?

I had to ask out of courtesy because end of the day, I am not one of them.

Kate : Please tell me you are not planning on doing anything stupid Jake…. It’s not going to work…

Jake : I’m not…. I’m just curious how it’s like….

Kate sighed and kept quiet for a while before revealing that actually we were all invited. As in all the hawkers in the coffeeshop, but she knew none of us would want to go. My parents don’t give 2 fucks about Fungye and you would stand a far better chance of striking the lottery than to expect a stubborn old granny like Auntie Geok to show up.

Kate : Just promise me you don’t do anything stupid….

Jake : I won’t …

Kate gave me the address of the banquet and I did a google map search of the location. It was a huge factory in the west side of the island. Smack in the middle of an industrial estate, only one bus serves the area.

Google earth showed that it was a sprawling compound, it belonged to a construction company. This must be Ah Keong’s site, the one he took over after his dad’s passing.

It’s big, it’s like a huge warehouse, or factory, whatever you want to call it. The metal structure rose at lease 15m up.

It makes sense to have it there .

You can’t exactly book a restaurant for such a gathering.

I thought of hitching a ride down but in the end I decided to just grab a cab.

It wasn’t exactly a happy occasion for everyone and I doubt anyone would be in the mood to give me a ride. Even Kate did not offer to meet me prior to heading down.

I arrived at the industrial site at 5.30pm. The evening air felt cool and dry. The skies were clear and a steady breeze greeted me as I alighted from the cab.

5.30pm

As I walked into the compound, I saw that a lot of the heavy construction vehicles had been parked to the side of the site. Quite a few civilian cars had taken up the middle of the parking area and more arrived with each passing minute.

I cut across the huge parking compound and walked towards a gate. I recognised a few of Ah Keong’s men smoking by the exit.

Smoke and steam came from the back of house to the left of the gate, out of curiousity and to avoid having to meet Ah Keong’s men directly, I walked over to the back of house and saw the mobile caterers hard at work. Dishes waiting to be plated and served and the serving crew which consisted mostly of old aunties waited at the side.

I saw the company name for the caterer and it was a famous one, known for serving good Halal Tze char dishes. Well, even if the day is going to suck, at least everyone gets good food.

After Ah Keong’s men were done smoking, I entered the gate into a corridor. There was another gate at the end of the path, about 20m away. Beyond that I could see some of the banquet tables already laid out and men loitering about.

There were photos on the walls of the corridor. Photos of Matthew and his men.

Framed photos of them standing at a vast vacant piece of land before the factory was built.

There were pictures of Matthew and a young Ah Keong, laying the foundation for the factory. Matthew’s men and staff each signed their names on the pillars that supported that factory in the early stages of constructions and the photographs documented all that.

It was like travelling back in time as I look at the photos on the walls.

Aside from awards from being a outstanding company, most of the space were filled up with photos. Photos of Matthew and his men. I even saw Spencer’s photo up on the wall with Matthew , pictures of Spencer carrying his new born son beside a laughing Matthew.

There were pictures of them having dinner, beer and celebrations in the factory compound, even overseas trip as a company.

I passed by a set of timber door, they were opened and I could look into Ah Keong’s office past the reception counter. His office had a view of the banquet as well since the top half of an entire length of wall is made of glass.

I walked to the end and exited the corridor from the 2nd gate, stepping into the main banquet area.

Air coolers were blasting cold breeze towards the tables. The interior of that vast factory felt cool as well. It was not as humid as I expected it to be.

A makeshift stage had been set up in front of the tables. At the back of the stage, I could see the opening where the cooks from the caterers are at. Several TVs were set up along the side of the tables as well. Screens showing the start of the national day celebrations played as the guest loitered around in a listless manner.

The tables took up about ¾ of the floor space and the exit at the other far end of the factory was opened as well. Men I don’t recognised loitered around that entrance and I assumed they were Fungye’s men.

I walked around a little before coming up to the stage.

There were something interesting on top of the stage. There was a metal panel on top of the table, it had Chinese characters that says loyalty on it. It served as a backing for the items on display. On a table with red cloth sat 2 transparent acrylic box. Sitting in each of them was a 9 in Parang. I went closer to have a look and I could see Chinese characters carved into the blade itself.

One was Fung ( 风) , The other was snake (蛇) . The twin blades sat beside each other on the table. The blades were old but you could tell they were maintained regularly. The handle’s wooden grip had to be new, or recently refurbished.

The cold steel gleamed brightly in the light of the factory and I could see that they were oiled and cleaned recently.

5.45pm

Almost all the elders arrived around the same time. Perhaps they had made arrangements to, I don’t know. The banquet would start at 6pm sharp and it seems none of them wanted to be seen waiting for Fungye for too long.

Everyone wants to be just on time.

Lucy and her girls got settled down first. Huimin and Jane were there too together with a few others I saw at Kate’s grandmother’s birthday. They were all wearing jeans and casual tops. Nothing grand but they all had heels on at least. The only odd one out on Lucy’s table was none other than Bill.

I could see the girls teasing Bill as he helped Lucy wipe the side of her lips much to her annoyance.

King and Terry arrived together and they shared a table together with King’s staff.

Gabriel, Andy and Kate arrived next with their grandmother in tow on a wheel chair. Kate gestured me towards their table and I said hi to her grandmother. She just smile warmly at me and nodded.

Ben and his men, including Johari and company arrived next and they too took their seats. They just spoke softly within themselves.

Roland came in next.

He had more men than the day at the birthday. I counted 7 of them. All 8 of them looked like they could throw a 25kg barbell weight as a Frisbee. All of them wore black, as if they were attending a funeral, an obvious jibe at Fungye’s ceremony.

Another group of men arrived, about 9 of them. I saw Andy gesturing to them to take their seats at the assigned table, Gabriel went over to talk to a couple of them too. They must be Gabriel and Andy’s staff.

Ah Keong was the last to be seated. He looked like he was running the show since the banquet was held on his site.

His men took up the most tables and they too looked tired and disgruntled as they sat around, talking softly to each other.

6pm

Fungye arrived with 9 of his men, walking right up to the front of the stage and took the seat. The rest of his men slowly filled the back seats. Not all of them were present, I overheard some of them talking that it’s so out of the way, some of them got lost. A driver went missing with almost 15 men and they were trying to guide them to the factory.

6.15pm

About half of Fungye’s men were present, scattered throughout the few tables and Fungye decided that it was good enough to begin.

My heart was thumping as I sat on my seat.

It was beating so fast I was sure everyone around the table could hear it.

I was nervous. Fucking nervous.

I never felt butterflies like these in my stomach before.

There was a lump in my throat and it felt as if it was choking the air out of my lungs.

Fungye got up and slowly made his way to the stage to give his speech.

I was shaking where I sat and I closed my eyes, taking in a deep breath of air and slowly exhaled. Kate tapped me on my arm, asking if I was ok.

Kate : Oei… you ok or not ?

I nodded my head.

Fungye started on his speech to a listless crowd.

Hardly anyone was paying attention.

Lucy was looking at her nails, Uncle Ben was digging his nose while Ah Keong lit up a cigarette as Spencer spoke by his ears.

Fungye continued to speak, bringing up the history of the organisation back when it consisted of only him and his brother, Kate and Gabriel’s grandfather. I took out my phone and looked at the 8 messages I had prepared before hand.

8 messages, addressed to each of the 8 elders.

I even double checked their numbers against the ones in the folders before leaving home.

I had to be sure.

I pushed my chair back slowly and got up.

No one paid me any attention. I would have looked like I was going to the bathroom or something but I was not.

I was not.

With my phone in my hands, I walked slowly towards the stage.

No one gave a fuck until I was right by the steps leading up to it.

Fungye’s men stood up, shouting at me. Liuhai was one of the first to point his finger at me, asking me what was I trying to do.

I ignored their shouts and walked up to the stage calmly standing a few steps away from Fungye.

Fungye stopped talking and turned towards me in a cocky and arrogant manner.

Fungye : What the fuck !!… do you want ??

I could see Roland and Lucy looking on with amusement while Terry’s voice rang out as she commented I forgot my medicine that day.

Terry :Jia lat la…. Jake buay kee jia yok… ( Damm.. Jake forgot his medication that day )… haha…

Kate’s mouth dropped an inch and I could see her mouthing the words ; ‘holy fuck’ as she stared at me in disbelief.

Fungye looked at me with his chin up pointing at me, as if daring me to even say a word.

Fungye : You want to speak ??? is that it ?? har ?? you want to talk ??? is it ??

He sneered at me before throwing the microphone onto the floor at me, in the same manner he would give a bone to a dog.

Fungye : Take it then… take it…

Jake : Why are you speaking….. when no one is even listening … ??

Fungye laughed.

Fungye : Fuck you… you think anyone would listen to you then ?? hahaha.. go…. Go ahead….

I took out my phone and went to the 8 messages I prepared.

I clicked the sent button 8 times, addressing the message to each of the elders.

I sent each of them a name.

The name that no should other than them should know.

I sent them the very name of the elder whose dirt they were holding onto.

Lucy has Matthew .

Terry has Lucy

Gabriel has Roland

King has Terry

Matthew has Ben.

All these information fell onto my lap one way or the other over the course of the past few months.

This leaves me with 3 other elders which I don’t know.

I made an educate guess with the other 3.

Roland would be holding either Andy, Gabriel or King’s dirt. I eliminated Gabriel from the list because from my observation of the list, no elder would hold onto each other’s dirt. It doesn’t work that way and Gabriel is already holding onto Roland’s.

That leaves Andy and King. Which is a 50% chance of me getting it right.

I chose Andy because it made sense to me, they’re on opposite sides of the camp since the beginning.

Andy and Gabriel’s family had always been close with the baton being passed among them for the longest time. If I were Kate’s grandfather, and I had to give something of value from my family to another elder, I would give it to a family I am close with.

Andy would be holding Gabriel’s dirt.

This just leaves Ben, who would be holding onto King’s dirt.

A succession of taps sent all the messages out to the elders and I could see Fungye glaring at me, waiting for me to make my move.

Fungye : Why ??? calling for help ah??? Calling your daddy??? Or mummy ??? hahahah…. Call police ah ?? come and save you ?? hahaha…

Thanks to the beauty of technology, within seconds of me sending out the messages, I could hear the beeps and notification from the elder’s phone.

Within seconds, I heard several palms hit the table in anger. King, Terry and Ah Keong stood up immediately, shouting at me. I could see Andy’s jaw dropped while Gabriel stared at his screen in disbelief.

The sudden outburst caught Fungye by surprise and he glared at me .

Jake : You don’t need…… a loud voice …. To get everyone’s attention.

All eyes were on me as more and more of Fungye’s men arrived and streamed into the factory from the entrance at the far end.

Terry : What the fuck !!…

King : What is this !…

Ben : JAKE …. What did you do ??!

Voices rang out from the floor as I turned towards them.

Fungye shouted for everyone to shut up.

Fungye : Shut the fuck up…. All of you !!… you lowlifes….pieces of trash….

Then he turned to me , took two steps towards me and raised his hand in an attempt to slap me. I stepped back, easily avoiding his palm causing him to stager a little. This enraged him even further as he waved his walking stick at me.

Fungye : WHO…..

Fungye : THE FUCK……

Fungye : DO YOU THINK……

Fungye : YOU ARE !!!!!!

Liuhai and his men shouted and cursed at me, jeering at me to get off the stage.

Fungye : Get off this stage…. And join the rest of your shit family down on the floor where all of you belong !!….

Fungye’s face flushed red as she struggled to speak. Good, perhaps he might get a heart attack.

Fungye : you have no right !!!…. no right to even be on this stage…. Get the fuck off it !!!…

The noises of protest from the floor rose and it was worse than a market on a Sunday morning. Everyone was just shouting , raising their voices to be heard.

I too had to shout and I was surprised at how loud my voice were. I manage to project my voice towards the floor and beyond without the microphone . It was loud enough to even surprise Fungye

Jake : I HAVE EVERY FUCKING RIGHT…. TO BE HERE..!!!

Before anyone else could comment even further, I took out the old relic, the 9th vote that I had kept hidden for so long and raised it high about my head.

Gasp of surprise and shock came from the men as Fungye glared at me in disbelief.

I was not satisfied with just flashing that fucking vote at Fungye.

I wanted to give him the biggest fuck you I can muster.

I brought that pen down so hard, smashing it onto the cover that was protecting Fungye’s blade, the impact cracked the cover with a loud smack. The crack line ran along the entire cover before eventually collapsing upon itself.

Jake : As the holder of the 9th vote….. I challenge you …. On your right to rule. !!

The entire banquet erupted into chaos as Fungye tried to swing his walking stick at me but I stepped aside once more, avoiding it easily.

Fungye : You are shit !!!… all of you are SHIT!!!!….. useless …. Good for nothing !!!…. You will not survive without me !!!!…. This organisation will fall without me !!!..

Ah Keong and his men were shouting at me, nothing could describe the anger on everyone’s faces. They had every right to be angry at me, for concealing the 9th vote.

Fungye was so angry that he stumbled a little and Liuhai came up immediately , helping him down to get a seat.

Even as he helped him off the stage, Fungye was cursing at me. Vulgarities from a few different languages flew at me as Liuhai and his men tried to calm Fungye down while I was shouted to get off the stage by a few others.

I pointed to Fungye and looked at the rest of the people down the stage.

Jake : Is that the man you want to lead you ?? …. Someone like him… ??

Terry : You are no fit to lead us too !!… get off the stage… !!!

Jake : I’M NOT FINISHED WITH WHAT I HAVE TO SAY !!!.

I shouted directly at Terry and he too was shocked at my outburst.

I looked at as many of the men and women before me as I could in the eyes and I told them I was not there to lead.

Jake : I’m not here to lead you…. I don’t care about leading all of you ….. I am here to challenge Fungye’s right to do so !…

Fungye : FUCK YOU !!!..

Fungye tried to lift up his in an attempt to kick me but he fell backwards, luckily for him, he was supported by his men who helped him onto his seat.

Fungye : You will never get the support of this bunch of useless, SELFISH… thugs ..they are all good for nothing……… you are all pieces of shit !!!…. fuck you !!!

His men tried to calm him down as Fungye appeared agitated and out of control.

Jake : You heard that ?? !! did you hear that ???!!!

I pointed to Johari and his men.

Jake : He call you thugs….

Then I pointed to Ah Keong and his

Jake : He called you pieces of shit !!…

I looked directly into Roland’s eyes.

Jake: He said you all are good for nothing !!!

There were still pockets of discussions going on and I have yet to have the attention of the entire floor.

I turned and slammed my palms against the metal board, the sound rang out angrily in the factory. It echoed loud and hollow when the sound waves hit the interior walls of the factory.

Wham !… Wham !… Wham !…

Johari and most of his men stared shell shock at my ouTburst, unsure of what to do. They probably thought I was due for my medication too from the looks on their faces.

Jake : But you are not thugs !!! … all of you are much better than what he makes you out to be !!

I slammed the metal backing again, louder this time and that got the attention of all of Johari’s men including Uncle Ben.

Wham !…

Jake : DID BEN NOT PUT ALL OF YOU THROUGH SCHOOL !

I hit the board again, the pain in my palm driving up my anger.

Wham !…

Jake : DID BEN NOT PULL ALL OF YOU FROM THE JAWS OF JAIL AND A LIFETIME OF CRIME !!

Johari’s jaws dropped as well and several of them in his group stood up from their seat.

I hit the backing again, turning to King and Terry .

Wham !…

Jake : King !!! How many funerals and cremation have you paid for in all, for the old folks that passed away alone in their home with no one to claim their bodies….!! How much have you given to all the different religious organisations !!!

King too was speechless as I moved on to Terry.

Jake : And you ..!… Did you not hold on to all your staff despite your wife asking you countless times to replace them with someone younger and cheaper…. More than half your staff are above 70 !!…

For the first time, Terry stared at me in shock and disbelief. He didn’t know what to say.

Jake : Did you not pay for their medical bills as well !!?? … did you not join King on all his donations ?!!

Wham !…

I slammed the backing again, it creaked angrily at me as the sound got louder.

I pointed to Roland’s men.

Jake : Who paid for your studies !!! ….

Wham !…

Jake : Who took you in when you are rejected by your family just because you loved someone from the same sex !!..

Wham !…

I pointed to Lucy and asked how many girls has she helped out of her own dime who were cheated by their agents to work in Singapore.

Jake : How many have you secretly helped to go back home on your own dime as well !!

Turning to Ah Keong who by then was in shock, I pointed my fingers first to his men.

Several of them at the back still had trouble realising what was going on.

Wham !… Wham !… Wham !…

I hit the board 3 times, the sound of angry metal rang out so loud it hurt my own ear drums when I did it.

I got all their attention and most of them started moving closer to the stage.

Jake : LISTEN TO ME !!! ALL OF YOU !!

I slammed the backing again and I was surprised that the sound was amplified several times that round. I looked towards Johari and his men and realised that all of them had rose to their feet.

Roland’s boys too had gotten up and out of their seats. They too slammed their fists on the table the same time I slammed my against the metal.

Wham !… Wham !… Wham !…

Jake : LISTEN TO ME !!!

Jake : YOU ARE NOT MINDLESS THUGS FUNGYE MAKES YOU OUT TO BE !!..

I pointed my finger out into the crowd, exclaiming as loudly as I could.

Jake : YOU ARE BROTHERS !!! …

Wham !… Wham !… Wham !…

Jake : YOU ARE SISTERS !!! ….. YOU ARE FAMILY….

Wham !… Wham !… Wham !…

Jake : AND HE….. IS THE ONE THAT IS TRYING TO TEAR ALL OF YOUR APART ….!!

Wham !… Wham !… Wham !…

At least half of Ah Keong’s man were up on their feet, nodding their heads and acknowledging what I just said.

I stared right at Ah Keong

Jake : DID YOU NOT LAY THE VERY FOUNDATION OF THIS FACTORY WITH YOUR FATHER !!!

Wham !… Wham !… Wham !…

I addressed Ah Keong’s men before the echoes of the previous slam disappeared.

Jake : YOU BUILD THIS VERY BUILDING WITH YOUR OWN HANDS !!! ….

Wham !… Wham !… Wham !…

Jake : YOUR NAMES ARE ON THE PILLARS, YOUR BLOOD AND SWEAT ON THE VERY WALLS THAT SURROUNDED US !!

Wham !… Wham !… Wham !…

I pointed to Fungye and his men. Liuhai had Fungye up on his feet by then. They were surrounded and he knew they were in a vulnerable position. The rest of their men were at the back of the factory and at tables further away.

Jake : AND THIS MAN…. HE IS HERE TO TAKE ALLLLLL OF THESE…. AWAY FROM YOU !!!

Right at that very moment there Liuhai broke out from the gathering crowd with Fungye and managed to escaped through pockets of space towards the back of the factory. They walked briskly towards the exit, shouting and rallying their men along the way.

You could see the split in the crowd as men loyal to Fungye moved towards the back of the factory while the rest gathered closer to the stage. 2 trucks rumbled up at the entrance on the far end.

More of Fungye’s men alighted and jumped off the back.

“lai liao…. Lai liao…. ( coming… they’re coming already )

Pockets of voices rang out as Liuhai gathered his men on the far end.

They clearly outnumbered us as least 2 to 1.

Jake : ALL OF YOU WADED THORUGH SHIT AND MUD FOR 50 FUCKING YEARS TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY !!! .

Jake : Who is he to tell you what to do !!! ..

Jake : He has taken so much from all of you… leaving you with nothing but scraps off his plates.…!!!! ….

Everyone on the floor were on their feet, except the ladies.

I paced up the stage, clenching my fist into a harden ball.

 

Jake : IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE IRON IN YOUR BLOOD AND THE STEEL IN YOUR SPINE TO DEFEND WHAT YOU HAVE !!!! THEN YOU DESERVE TO HAVE IT ALL TAKEN FROM YOU !!

Cheers rang out from the bottom of the stage and Lucy was the first to react.

They say a woman’s intuition and 6th sense were accurate and Lucy demonstrated to me what that meant that day. I saw Lucy whispered to Jane and Huimin and as instructions were passed down, the hair on the back of my neck rose when I saw all the girls slipped off their heels.

Lucy knew.

She knew what was about to happen even before it did.

They took off their heels, and walked barefoot across the floor towards the office.

You might think they’re bolting, but they’re not.

A few of Ah Keong’s man ran towards the storeroom, knocking and breaking the padlock with a fire extinguisher. Seconds later, trolleys were pushed out. Metal bars, rods and timber clubs in all shapes and sizes were brought out and distributed.

There was this frenzy in the air

This lust for action.

Uncle Ben was laughing in a hysterical manner, like a hyena out for blood. He grabbed 2 metal rods and I could hear Johari giving instructions for his men to hold Ben back.

Roland ‘s boys started stretching their sculpted muscles.

Bill remained seated beside Lucy.

Lucy’s girls had gone into Ah Keong’s office and from the glass panels, I could see they had sealed and shut the door by the reception. They even pushed a couple of tables against the door.

Files, stationaries were swept off tables. Bottle waters from the pantry were gathered. I saw Humin brought out the first aid box while Jane was on the phone.

Liuhai had gathered and formed up his men at the far end. They stretch across the entire breath of the factory, 3 man deep with Fungye and Liuhai right in front.

Fungye : FUCK YOU !!!… FUCK ALL OF YOU!!… WHAT CAN YOU DO ??? HAR ?? WHAT CAN YOU DO ??!!!!! HAR !!!!COME….. COME !!!!

Liuhai kept trying to hold Fungye back, preventing him from charging towards us.

Liuhai shouted at his men and they started advancing towards us.

Terry : Coming already… they’re coming…

A metal rod was passed up the stage for me and I took it.

Jake : LET THEM COME !!

Wham !…

I slammed the rod against the metal, sounding up the informal war drum.

Jake : I SAY LET THEM COME !!

Everyone that were on their feet smashed the tables with their fist, or whatever that they were holding in their hands, It created such a thunderous din and I could see the caterers ditching their stations and running away.

Wham !…

Jake : Look at them …. Look at how afraid they are !!!

Wham !…

Jake : They’re just catering to the whims of an old man.

Wham !…

Terry :They have so many more men than us !!!

Jake : They bleed just like we do… !!!

Wham !… Wham !… Wham !…

Cheers rang out, filling the entire space and it slowed the advance of Fungye’s man. They looked scared and unsure of what was happening. They were not prepared for this. Most of them stopped advancing, looking towards Liuhai for instructions as he tried desperately to rally up his men.

Jake : LET THEM COME !!

Wham !… Wham !… Wham !…

Jake : YOU FIGHT TO DEFEND WHAT YOU HAVE !!

Wham !… Wham !… Wham !…

Jake : You fight for the future of this organisation !!

Wham !… Wham !… Wham !…

Jake : You fight !!!…………………………. FOR THIS FAMILY !!!

The shouts that greeted me shook the very structure of the building we were in. Men punched their arms into the air, raising their makeshift weapons. Several of them taunted and shouted for Fungye’s men to come towards them.

Uncle Ben wanted to charge forward but was held back by Herman and a few more guys.

Uncle ; Whahaha… ahahaha.. LET ME GO !!!… FUCK..AHAHAHAH… CHEEE BYEE… WHAHAHA… LET ME GOO !!!!! AHAHAH..

Kate’s eyes were wide open, do was her mouth as she stared at me in shock. It looked like she was going to faint anytime now. Grandma struggled to stand on her feet and Kate helped her to get up.

I have never heard grandma speak before.

At the sight of the family matriarch getting to her feet, the crowd settled down a little and I could see Gabriel asking Kate to get their grandmother out of that place.

Grandma waved for Gabriel to stopped as she walked into the middle of the gathering. She pointed her walking stick towards Fungye and bodies parted to give her a clear line of sight.

I never expected grandma to do what she did but when she did it, she showed everyone else she truly deserved to be the wife of Kate’s grandfather.

Grandma pointed her walking stick at Fungye, a look of defiance across her face.

Grandma : BEAT THE SHIT…………. OUT OF THAT …………..MOTHER FUCKER !!!

The roar was louder than before and everyone took that as a signal. Tables were flipped and over turned. Chairs were kicked out of the way.

I jumped off the stage and I could see Bill coming towards me on my right.

Roland appeared magically on my left.

It’s as if they both knew the moment I ran in, I could get beaten into a pulp but it’s not going to stop me.

As the 3 of us made our way to the front, Roland chuckled and said something to me.

Roland : There was only 2 paths for people like you Jake….

Jake : And what is that ?

Roland : You lead….. or you rot in Jail…

Jake : Why ?

Roland : Because you have that spark…. That spark… to lit the fire in the belly of men…. You would be the first to get arrested in a riot… ahhaa…

Jake : but I don’t want either…

Roland : What do you want Jake ?

I turned towards Roland and gave him my honest answer.

Jake : I want to sell wanton noodles..

Bill and Roland laughed at the same time as we neared the front of the line.

I watched as Roland removed his Patek Phillipe watch and passed it to Lucy who was still sipping her tea in a classy manner. Lucy took it for safe keeping and she gave Bill a kiss.

Lucy : Keep an eye out for that idoit ok ?? haha..

I knew she was referring to me.

I got to the front of the line and stared at the columns of men in front of me.

They were barely 40m away from us.

As I stood at the front of the line, I looked down both sides.

All of the elders were right up front. Gabriel was busy giving orders. He shouted to Johari to hold Ben back but I doubt they could as Ben laughed heartily at the gathering of man. Gabriel shouted to a few of Ah KEong’s man to look out for King and Terry.

King and Terry might as well have the pioneer generation card stamped on their forehead. This is definitely not going to end well.

Gabriel was running up and down the line, shouting for the men to close up, for Kate to get out with grandma, for Lucy to join the girls in the office.

Andy on the other hand and removed his belt and coiled it around his left hand while his right held onto a wooden rod about half a metre in length.

The factory grew quiet suddenly.

I don’t know why.

It just did.

The entire factory grew quiet.

The silence was deafening.

Far louder than the shouts and cheers we did earlier.

The only noise came from the TVs that were still playing.

Live footages from our golden jubilee national day celebration continued to stream as the 2 groups of men stared at each other.

I could not see Ah Keong anywhere.

Then his voice rang out, loud and clear in the silent factory.

Ah Keong : GABRIEL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That had to be the first time he called Gabriel’s name since they fell out.

Gabriel pushed through the bodies and came out front.

Ah Keong appeared on the left and he held 2 blades in his hand.

The 2 same blades that belonged to Gabriel’s grandfather and Fungye.

He walked towards the centre of the line from the left while Gabriel did from the right . They converged towards me and 5 steps away, Ah Keong threw one parang towards Gabriel.

Gabriel caught it with the blade facing down and I caught a glimpse of the engraving on it.

He was holding onto his grandfather’s parang.

Ah Keong and Gabriel looked at each other without a word yet that moment meant more to them as brothers than anything else in the world.

Like a well-choreographed sequence, Gabriel raised his arm with the parang into the air the exact same moment our mobile column for the parade appeared on the screens beside us.

Roland : ahhhh…. What I wouldn’t do to have one of those leopards right now… ahaha..

Scattered laughs broke out among the men.

I saw a smile break out on Gabriel’s face as he turned around and looked at all the men behind him.

His smile disappeared as soon as it appeared.

With the sharp crack of his throat , Gabriel’s voice rang out and filled the entire factory .

Gabriel : MAJULAH !!!!!!!!! ( onwards )

Everyone in unison : MAJULAH !!!!!!! ( onwards )

I could feel the metal roof and the side panels of the factory shake and vibrate as if a hurricane had hit us.

Ah Keong and Gabriel charged towards Fungye and his men.

The extreme left and right tips of our line converged like the wings of a phoenix, fanning flames towards her enemies. Ah Keong’s man ran to him, Uncle Ben was eager to get to the front as well with Herman and Johari close by his side.

The entire body went forward except me.

I froze.

I panicked for a moment.

I was scared.

This was something I had never done before.

I thought Roland and Bill would have gone as well by now but they remained by my side.

They were calm and composed.

I froze for about 2 seconds before Roland took a step forward and turned round to look at me.

Roland : You want to live forever Jake ?? haha..

I laughed.

Jake : hahah..

I tightened the grip around my metal rod and took a deep breath.

Jake : Here we go…

………………………..

 

I could feel all my senses come alive as I ran towards Fungye’s men.

This had to be one of the most stupid things I have ever done in my life. I thought of saying a prayer but who do I pray to ?

No decent religion would preach violence as a means to an end.

There were hardly any time for me to think before I heard the clash of bodies. There was this sickening crunch, that heavy smack of flesh against bones as both groups connected in the middle of the factory.

Shouts, grunts, screams and cries of pain filled the air.

It’s like I was suddenly thrown into a crowded dance floor in a club, the only difference is that everyone was trying to beat the shit out of one another.

Everything was happening at the same time around me. Someone fell on my left, clutching onto his head, another fell on my right with blood coming out of his nose. Men came towards me from the left but Roland got tangled with him as I waved my rod aimlessly in the air.

Bill pulled me aside, literally throwing me onto the floor as a heavy metal rod narrowly missed my head by a few inches. It was so close I could feel the whoose of air on the hair of my ears. Bill punched that man in the face, sending him down onto the ground.

I got up and bull charged a fellow that was trying to whack Bill from the side with his baton.

Jake : Oooff.. agghghgh…

I hit him several times with my rod but in that chaos, it was impossible for me to each take aim, much less land a proper hit. I ended up hitting him on the stick he was holding about 3 or 4 times before someone knocked me off my feet.

I probably got a couple of hits on his arm though.

I landed on my elbow as I fell, cursing and swearing in pain. Barely a minute into the fight I had already scraped my elbow, that stinging pain was like a slap in the face as I struggled to get up.

I got up and before I regained my balance, someone knocked onto me, sending me tumbling down onto my butt. Another guy stepped on my fingers as I struggled to get off the ground .

Jake : Ahhh…

I ducked my head just in time as a swing came out from nowhere. That rod connected with another chaps arms, causing him to reel in pain.

I was like the ball in a pinball machine. Bodies shoved about, pushing me as I struggled to stay on my feet and balance myself. It’s a fucking mass orgy.

There were more pushing and shoving that actual swinging of punches. Everyone were packed too tightly together.

Someone hit me at the back of my head with his fist.

Jake : Arhh.. fuck…

I turned around and was about to throw a punch onto the first guy I saw when he shouted at me.

Guy : Oei oei oei…. Jake…I’m Ah Keong’s man !…

Jake : Huh… ohh… ohh…

Before we could communicate further, both of us were pushed to the floor. Some fucker stepped on my calves, I tried to get up but another guy fell onto me.

This is fuck up.

Why is it that in Hollywood movies there always seemed to have a pocket of space around the lead actor, enough for him to move about ?

I grunted and gripped onto my rod, shoving my way through the chaos. Several men fell on top of one another, giving me about a metre and a half of opening in front of me. My eyes struggled to find and recognise people I knew.

Fuck !!!

This has got to be the ultimate fuck up !..

Aside from the elders and guys I’ve seen before, I don’t recognise most of the men in the chaos. I can’t tell who’s on our side and who’s not. Yah, there’re a handful of faces I know but with everyone happening at such a fast pace, I don’t even have time to process whether that guy is on our side or not before I was whacked.

I caught a glimpse of Roland taking a hit on his kidney and I immediately ran towards him, before I could get to him, Bill grabbed me by my shirt, one moment he was pulling me towards him then the next he gave me a kick on my chest, sending me flying away from him the same time I saw Liuhai smash a wooden bench onto the ground when I was standing barely a second ago.

The sight of him ignited the anger within me as I quickly got onto my feet. I shouted and charge towards him with my metal rod, I aimed for his head and swung as hard as I could from the top down.

There was a loud crunch as he blocked my hit with the bench. It was a really hard swing, the resulting vibration from metal hitting timber was so strong that I dropped my make shift weapon from the reverberation.

Liuhai’s bench splinter first as he staggered backwards, trying to use the damaged bench as a support to stop his fall but he broke the bench into 2 before falling backwards onto his butt. I was ready to charge at him again but I don’t have the luxury of fighting him one on one.

I registered a punch to the side of my head and I fell onto another guy who was trying to get onto his feet. The guy beneath me I recognised at Fungye’s man , he tried to grab my by my hair but I landed a punch straight at his jaw, putting him back down.

I immediately felt the sting in my knuckles and fingers and I shook my hand several times to ease the pain. If you had seriously punched someone before, you would surely know it’s not just the other guy feeling the impact.

It’s your flesh and bones against his and I’m not exactly some pro fighter in a ring.

I turned and looked for Liuhai but one of Roland’s man had him in his grip, I can’t even see what was happening when a kick to the side of my ribcage sent me rolling onto the floor.

Jake : Fuck….arghhh…

This was definitely not turning out the way I expected.

Before I could get to nurse my bruised ribcage, another kick came out from nowhere on the side of my right thigh, sending me tumbling down onto the ground. Someone tripped over me, another landed his elbow on my calves.

I was registering so much pain all over that I did the only logical thing I could. I tried to get out of the fray. It’s too messy, I can’t see shit, and I can’t do shit.

What happened to those kungfu show where the heroes duelled one on one in the middle while the rest waved their flags and pretended to dance around at the perimeter. Someone fell onto me again, and another fucker stepped on the back of my right hand.

Jake : ARhghh!!!…

I tightened my body and shoved my way out of the chaos.

Another punch hit me, closer to my left eye this time round and I could feel myself almost blacking out. I staggered backwards only to be rescued by Uncle Ben. He sent the man who punched me into the abyss of bodies with a kick and he grabbed me by my collar.

Uncle Ben ; whahahahaha…. Ahahaha…. JAKE… ahaha.. you can do better than this !!!.. ahahaha…

He righted me up and gave me one of his dual wielding rods before charging into the fold, grabbing a guy that had Andy in a choke hold.

Bill appeared out of nowhere, his nose was bleeding and he had wiped with the back of his hand, a streak of red ran diagonally across his lips and down his chin.

Bill landed 2 continuous kicks , clearing 2 of Fungye’s men from his path as he came to me.

Bill : Get back… go to Lucy !…

I nodded my head and Bill grabbed a scrawny chap from the opposite camp and literally threw him 2 metres away onto a collapsed table.

I saw an opening at the side and decided to make my way towards it. I scrambled over with my rod and with my back against the bathroom wall, I decided that was a good spot to me. The crowd was a lot thinner.

Someone came at me but I bent low, swinging the rod at the side of this ribcage, causing him to bend over in pain before I delivered a knee to his chin. I kept to the side of the walls, making my way back down the line towards Lucy and her girls.

Barely 3 minutes into the start of the fight, you could see the crowd thinning. It’s a fast hit and run thing or so I thought.

Lucy and Jane were standing at the entrance into the office armed with a metal rod each.

I think I’m just pure bad luck because it didn’t looked like anyone paid them much attention until I started going towards them. I heard a couple of shouts behind me and saw Jane tensed up, bringing up her rod into the swing position.

I turned around and saw 2 of Fungye’s men that were frequently by Liuhai’s side.

They broke from the crowd and started towards me.

I was about 6 steps away from Lucy and Jane.

Lucy : Get back here Jake !… we’ll shut the door !!

I hesitated for a moment and decided to head for the 2 guys instead.

Wrong decision. I swung my rod from right to left, hitting one of them on his back when he tried to duck but the other tackled me like a professional rugby player, sending me flying back onto the ground.

As I landed on my back, my eyes caught another 2 chaps heading for Lucy and Jane.

I head butt the guy that tackled me but instead of using my forehead, somehow my nose hit his, sending pain shooting up both our faces as we groaned in pain.

He turned to his side and I could see he was bleeding. There was a weird wet feeling in my nose and I touched it gently just to be sure it wasn’t broken. Thankfully it’s still where it should be.

Lucy and Jane were overpowered within seconds as the 2 men forced their way into the office but not for long. Lucy and her army of girls descended like vultures on the 2 poor sod. It was like a cat fight gone wrong. Their nails tore flesh and clothing off the men as they screamed, Huimin gave one of them a bald patch as she ripped out a clump of his hair before a rain of stomping feet sent them back and away from them.

I staggered towards the girls and looked at the situation.

We managed to push most of Fungye’s man out of the factory, only a few scattered pockets of resistances remained. We were winning but we were not without casualties too.

Another 30 seconds passed and the fighting stopped gradually on it’s own.

The smell of sweat filled the air. Those that could walk pulled their friends off the ground.

Gabriel looked ok aside from a torn shirt and some deep red scratches that look ready to bleed anytime on the back of his neck.

Andy’s left eye was swollen and Ben was patting his back as he spit out a mouthful of saliva streaked with blood.

Bruises, cuts, lacerations, thankfully no one seemed to be seriously hurt.

Herman and Johari’s forearms were covered with blood and they had makeshift bandages from torn pieces of clothes around them.

Gabriel was asking if they were ok and they said they were just cuts.

King and Terry were stretched out on the stage, groaning in pain as 2 guys massaged their backs.

Roland’s shirt was ripped off totally, dark red marks of scratches and bruises were visible all over. He was perspiring, blood mixed with sweat and loads of dust and dirt splattered on his chest and chiselled abs.

He was checking on his men and they looked fine too. When the group of them gathered, they looked like they had just fought off the Persians together with Leonidas of Sparta.

Fungye’s men were regrouping as well. I could see them being helped and carried outside of the factory and onto the open air carpark.

Ah Keong was breathing heavily by a table as he poured himself some tea. As the tipped the pot, blood trickled down his fingers and into his teacup.

He drank it up anyway.

Just 5 minutes of carnage and I could not believe the damage it caused.

I entered the office, the soothing touch of the cold air was a stark difference to the exterior. Even being in the office felt like I was transported to another world.

There’s even music playing on the speakers on the ceiling. Old classic soundtracks by Alex Toh buzzed overhead as the tables and chairs were filled with groaning men.

Lucy and her girls were busy trying to attend to the wounded. I could hear Jane on the phone with Rizwan, asking where the hell was he.

I heard the rumble of truck engines and someone mentioned that quite a few of Fungye’s men had loaded up and left .

Cheers rang out and I heaved a sigh of relief.

It’s over.

We pay no heed to Fungye’s men outside the factory, Gabriel concentrated efforts on tending to his own men. RIzwan arrived soon after and he was not alone. He got a few of his friends who were off duty paramedics, the first thing he did was to start fucking everyone verbally starting with Gabriel.

I never knew his command of Hokkien was that good as he gave everyone a piece of his mind.

RIzwan : WHAT THE FUcK MAN!!!… are you all still kids ??!!! FUCK… what were you thinking !..?

You could tell he was seriously angry and he was trying his best to keep it in.

It took about 15 minutes for Rizwan to get the situation under control, those men that needed immediate medical attention were loaded up into several cars , they will all be sent to Rizwan’s clinic. They even borrowed the caterer’s truck for transportation.

Rizwan carted close to half the men away from the factory including King and Terry .

I hydrated myself with a bottle of water and I was about to reach for the 2nd one when something happened .

Something I never expected to.

The remaining scattered men of Fungye were quickly helped out of the factory at twice the usual speed. It’s weird, you could see them suddenly speeding up their actions. Something was off.

It didn’t feel right.

I looked at the people around me, none of them noticed it. Lucy was trying to dress Bill’s wound, Roland and a couple of his men were smoking. Ben too was pouring water on a long cut that was swollen and starting to bleed.

The rumble of a truck filled the factory the same time I saw Kate running towards me

Kate : Are you ok ?? … i sent grandma off together with one of Lucy’s girls in Rizwan’s car …

I looked at Kate but before I could answer her, the rumble of the truck got louder. The bright headlights appeared at the entrance and the truck drove right into the factory. Liuhai jumped out from the passenger seat, following behind him, at least 20 men alighted, fresh and unhurt.

They must have been one of the trucks that got lost along the way.

I could tell these men were not the usual grunts. They’re beefier, and they looked more determined. I found out much later that they were the personal guards to Fungye himself back in Taiwan.

There were no warning.

Nothing.

It happened so fast.

Andy and a few of Ah Keong’s men were the closest to them and he was just sitting around on a chair.

They charged towards them before anyone could react.

Jake : ANDY !!!!!

I shouted just in time for Andy to turn and take in the situation. My warning alerted the rest of the remaining men as well. We had almost the same number as them but we were already spent and hurt in the earlier confrontation.

Andy got up, shouted for the men to follow him, they ran towards us, retreating to the safety of our pathetic numbers.

Gabriel was fast, he reacted immediately , picking up a stool and a sharpened rod stained with blood as he shouted for Lucy to bolt the door.

Gabriel : LUCY !!…. bolt and lock the doors !!!

__________________

The injured guys were pulled, dragged and thrown into the office and Lucy wasted no time in blocking the door.

Kate and I were closer to the other end of the stage, there was not enough time for us to run in, we were locked out.

I pointed to the exit at the back and was about to ask Kate to run when I saw a handful of Fungye’s men started running towards us from the back.

They fucking flanked us.

Kate and I were cut off.

Those that remained on the outside were Ben, Ah Keong, Gabriel, Andy, Bill, Roland , Kate and me together with 4 other guys.

I grabbed the closest wooden stick I could find and I held Kate’s hand, pulling her towards the corridor. We can get out from there.

The 2 groups connected and within seconds, 2 of the guys were already down on their backs, trying to fend off the attacks.

Gabriel saw Kate and me running towards the gate, he called out to Andy and the 2 of them ran towards us, cutting into the path of the 5 men approaching from the rear.

Gabriel shouted and Andy cursed as they threw everything they got at the 5 men, creating an opening for Kate and I to get out. Kate screamed as a hit narrowly missed her while I swung the baton I had in my hand at the man’s head, sending him crashing against the wall.

Gabriel : GO !!!!.. get her out of here !!!

I grab Kate’s hand and entered gate 2 but waiting for us at the other gate was 2 more of Fungye’s man. The shouted and ran towards us and I pulled Kate behind me.

Jake : FUCK !…

I met their charge head on, lowering my body as I got closer before jumping up and towards the man on the left. I felt a slight concussions as my head connected with the bottom of his chin, blood gushed out of his mouth as I deflected a few hits with my left arm and shoulder.

My opponent landed a punch on my face and I collapsed onto the floor.

Kate screamed as that man went to grab her, trying to pull her back into the office from the gate we just entered.

Kate : FUCK off!!.. aHHHH…

She kicked and tried to scratch him but he gave her a slap so hard that she fell to her knees.

The man that hit Kate had to be at least 1.8m tall, he was slightly on the plump side with a noticeable belly

I got up on my knees and my eyes widened in horror as that man tried to rip off Kate’s dress.

He pulled and yanked so hard, Kate’s grey dress went out of shape immediately near her left shouler, he yanked and pulled, tearing the straps holding up Kate’s dress, exposing her breast.

Jake : AHHHHH..!!!1

I ran forward and swung a punch at his head right when he turned to look at me. My knuckles connected with the side of his forehead with a crack.

A sharp excruciating pain shot through my body as I lost my balance and fell to the floor. I immediately tried to get up and swing another when I realised the last 2 fingers on my fight hand looked weird.

Fuck. !

They had popped out of their sockets and I could hardly move them.

The man ignored me as Kate screamed and tried to kick him.

He was pulling off Kate’s bra, exposing her breast, there was a snap and I saw Kate’s bra cups flew across the floor.

Kate : NO!!.. no.. no!!!! STOPP!!!!

He cupped both his hands on Kate’s breast and tried to spread her legs. I could see Kate’s white underwear as her dress was bunched up towards her waist.

I grabbed the heaviest photo frame from the wall with my left hand and swung it as hard as I could, smashing that guy’s face with it.

He shouted in pain and she got off Kate for a while.

He got up on his feet and came towards me. I shouted for Kate to run as I tried to land a kick in his stomach but instead he managed to grab my head, smashing me into the wall, cracking the plaster and the drywall a little.

My head was spinning as I sank to my feet.

My vision looked blur but I could still make out Kate kicking and struggling.

The door to the reception opened a little, just a crack. I could hear Lucy shouting for help to unblock that door to get Kate.

I spit out a mouthful of blood and grabbed another photo frame, and another , and another, smashing them one after the other onto that man who by then had torn off all of Kate’s dress.

Kate : FUCK YOU!!!.. FUCK!!! NO!!!…

I grabbed onto the man’s neck with my left arm, putting him in a choke hold and yank upwards but I don’t have the strength to hold on. Kate manage to squeeze herself out from below. She grabbed what was left of her clothes and ran towards the exit but fuck, another man appeared and she screamed.

I was backed up against the wall as the man slammed his body against my, driving the air out of my lungs.

Kate ran back towards me when I saw 3 other men enter the corridor.

Before I had time to react, one of those man flew backwards and disappeared into the factory floor.

Gabriel appeared, he swung his rod left and right, shouting for me to get Kate out.

Gabriel : Get her out !!.. get her out !!!!

The men converged on Gabriel as Kate and I ran towards gate one.

I took a look outside and the compound was cleared.

I could hear Gabriel shout in pain as he got pummelled by the group of my in the corridor

Kate : Gabe … Gabe !!!! NO!!!… KOr… ( brother ) … KOR !!!! KOR!!!! ( Brother ) ….

I dragged her out, trying to stop her from entering the corridor again as Gabriel tried to shield his head from the relentless blows raining on him.

There was a shout, a grunt much like the hulk approaching the battle.

Ah Keong appeared, knocking down a few of them men like bowling pins. He stomped one of them on the face, elbowed the other on his mouth as he fought to get Gabriel out. Ah Keong bulldozed a path while taking in blows and hit on his head and face.

You could tell his eyes were swollen, his lips badly cut and his cheeks bruised, but he hung on. He pulled Gabriel out of the fray before taking on the men himself.

Gabriel’s fingers on his left hand looked like they were dislocated as well. I shouted for Kate to stay where she was outside the gate and I ran in to get Gabriel.

I dragged Gabriel back, cm by cm with my left hand as Ah Keong fended of 4 men on his own. He was getting hit bad. Ah Keong was barely landing any punches.

He’s literally a walking punching bag as they rained blows on him.

I could not fucking believe it when I saw 3 more man appear at the other end of the corridor.

The pushed and squeeze their way towards us.

Kate came in, dropping her dress that she was using to cover her modesty. She helped me pull Gabriel back but Ah Keong could no longer hold back the advancing men.

Ah Keong : JAKE !! FUCK!!!.. GET KATE out of here !!!!

Ah Keong collapsed backwards , pinning Gabriels’ legs down as Kate and I fell onto our backs from the sudden change in momentum.

Fungye’s man shouted to grab Kate, they tried to step over Ah Keong but he held onto their legs despite them kicking him on the head and face.

Ah Keong : GOOOO…NOW!!!!

Kate screamed and cried as I dragged her out of the corridor. I was about to rush back to help them but Gabriel had gotten to his feet. He threw 2 punch, pushing them men back a little to give Ah Keong some space to get up, then he turned around and kicked me so hard, sending me out of the corridor and landing on my back.

Gabriel : GET KATE OUT OF HERE !!!

Kate sobbed and cried, begging me to do something as I massaged my aching chest on the floor.

With a thunderous shout, Ah Keong got up and tackled the 1st 3 man head on, sending the group back a few steps. They hammered him but Gabriel charged in as well, shielding Ah Keong from the blows.

It was complete chaos.

Ah Keong landed punch so hard that it broke a teeth of the man that was trying to rape Kate.

There were some commotions at the end of the corridor. Bodies parted and I could see Liuhai.

Gabriel and Ah Keong took the opportunity in the break to make a run towards us but they were not fast enough.

Kate : Come on!!! .. come on !!!!

Ah Keong was faster, he was out the gate but Gabriel tripped and fell.

Instinctively, Ah Keong went back for Gabriel.

He knew it was too late for both of them to get out without leading them right to Kate and i.

Ah Keong grabbed Gabriel by the collar, dragging him with strength that rivalled a charging bull, he threw Gabriel out the gate and grabbed the handle to close it.

Gabriel must have taken a hit to the head or something, he just laid on his stomach face down, not moving a bit.

Ah Keong shut the gate as he looked at Kate.

Nothing could describe the look of horror on Kate’s face as she plunged her body towards the gate Ah Keong was trying to shut.

No words in my limited vocabulary could describe that moment.

Kate : NO.. NO.. NO!!!! FUCK NOOOOOOOO… NO DON’T DO IT…. DON’T DO IT….AH KEONG !!!!! NOOOOOOO

Tears streaked from Kate’s eyes, staining her cheeks as time slowed down. The creaked on the hinges, the slow swing of the gate closing, Kate’s cries, all of these.

All of these were nothing compared to what I saw on Ah Keong’s face.

That look in his eyes.

That slight uptick of his lips.

That smile that he gave Kate as the gate snapped with a clank.

Kate : NO.. no… DON’T YOU FUCKING DO IT !! I’LL HATE YOU!!! .. YOU HEAR ME !!! NOOOO.. I’LL HATE YOU …. KEONG….. KEONG AH!!! .. I’LL FUCKING HATE YOU FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE !!! …NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…. SOBZZZ.. SOZBBZZ.. SOBZZ…

It was no use as Kate bawled like a baby, looking at Ah Keong.

My heart ached and I teared as I look at Ah Keong.

That look of affection on his face for Kate.

You could feel his emotions, his feelings , his soul in that smile.

In a moment like this, Ah Keong was still trying to tell Kate with his smile that everything is ok.

That everything would be alright.

Kate’s legs had trouble supporting her as she hammered on the gate with her palms as Ah Keong bolted it from the inside.

CLACK !!..

Kate : NOOOO… NOI… NO….. PLEASE…. FUCK… PLEASE… NOOOOOOOOOO… KEONG !!!! COME OUT… SOBZZ… KEONG !!!!! NO… I HATE.. YOU.. I HATE YOU !!!!

I struggled to get up on my feet in my state as Kate’s knees buckled.

Remember earlier when I said the office was playing old classic hits by Alex Toh ?

It seemed fate had this funny way of fucking with people when the classic track that all of us would know back in the 90s rang out. It was ‘把你藏起来’ loosely translated as ‘to hide you from others’

It’s a song all the boys would definitely know, a track many of us sang countless times at KTV back then.

It had been playing for a while it seemed but I only took notice of it then.

Kate : PLEASEEEE……..KEONG…. NO!!!..NO…

Ah Keong gave Kate a final smile that same moment the chorus repeated itself towards the end of the track.

Then he stood up, raising his body tall, defiant of the threats he faced.

A sharp stab of pain hit my heart when it dawned on me how much Ah Keong loved Kate when he let loose a loud roar and charged towards Fungye’s men in the narrow corridor as Kate screamed for him to get out.

Kate : NOOOO.. NOO.. KEONG !!! …Keong !!!! …

No matter how many hits Ah Keong took, he fought to stay on his feet, knocking, kicking , smashing bodies into the dry walls of the corridor.

He made sure no one got pass him to the gate.

His face was bloodied and I could hardly see his eyes through the blood.

Kate : JAKE !!!.. do something!!! Please !!! sobnzz.. sobzzz…

My body and muscles ached in places I never knew could ache as I looked around the empty carpark. There were no one around.

I started to run.

I ran as fast as I could around to the back where the caterer’s make shift kitchen were.

Entering from the entrance behind the stage , I shouted to Roland.

Jake : ROLAND !!!!

He dispatched off another guy with a knee to his face and looked at me.

I pointed to the corridor.

Jake : Ah Keong’s cornered and stuck inside !!…

The look on his face hardened and I could see him shouting to Ben and Bill.

Andy delivered another punch to a man that got tangled with him before running towards me.

Andy : Where’s Gabriel ??

Jake : He’s outside with Kate…

Andy ran past me to look for them, I was about to run after him when the door to the office opened. Huimin came running to me, pulling and dragging me in.

Jake : I’m ok… I’m ok….

Huimin ; NO you’re not !!..

The door was bolted again after I went in. Lucy came running to me with a pair of scissors.

Huimin held me down on the table as Lucy bent down to my pants. It was then I realised my right leg was soaked through. Lucy cut away the pants to revel a long cut of about 8cm. It didn’t look that bad.

Lucy : Ok.. doesn’t look that bad.

The fight was still going on outside.

Bill and Ben desperately trying to hold of the remaining attackers while Roland was trying to get to Ah Keong at the corridor.

Lucy took a look around the room.

Those that remained were hardly in any condition to fight. A couple had pulled their muscles, one had a bad sprain from a fall. Swollen eyes, bleeding nose, you name it.

She looked at the situation outside the office and Lucy rallied up her girls.

Huimin and Jane grabbed pair of compass each, the drawing tool with a sharp end while Lucy took a small letter opener about the size of the free pencils you get from Ikea.

Lucy addressed the whole room of injured men including me.

Lucy : None of you have go….….. but we’re the only help they have….

Like a switch being thrown, everyone clamored to their feet, grabbing whatever they could from the office.

The door to the office was pushed open and Lucy was the first one out.

I could see Andy and Kate carrying Gabriel into the factory from the entrance behind the stage.

Gabriel was conscious but he could hardly walk.

A guy charged towards Lucy but Jane and Huimin went up to meet him.

There were no slapping.

No kicking.

No pulling of hair.

The look on their faces was of sheer determination.

Adversity can only be overcome by your fighting spirit.

Jane grabbed onto the man’s shirt, plastering her body against him as she stabbed him several timed on his chest and arms. Huimin did the same too with her compass.

He shouted in pain as pin size globs of blood appeared on his shirt, causing him to scramble and fall in pain. It won’t kill him, but the pain would keep him away for a while.

Lucy and her girls advanced towards Bill and Ben.

Small pockets of resistance along the way were no match for our ragtag team of fighters.

2 guys ran towards Lucy after turning their attention away from Ben. I took one of them down , forgetting I had deformed fingers on my right hand for a moment and immediately regretted it.

The other guy managed to grab Lucy’s hair, yanking it back, exposing her neck but Lucy was calm and composed. She did not even squirm as she drove the letter opener into the man’s cheeks.

Blood spurted as he screamed, pushing Lucy back and running away from her.

As we advanced towards the men, more and more of them took their attention away from Ben and Bill, they chose to come after us instead. A mistake they shouldn’t have made.

Shouts rang out and a few of them came out from the corridor, Roland fought his way in and disappeared from sight.

We got closer and closer to the centre of the action.

Ben wielded 2 metal rods of different length, shouting and cursing at the approaching men.

Bill had a short baton he used as a sort of a shield while his knuckles were red and caked with dried blood.

A mass of bodies fell from the corridor as Roland emerged with Ah Keong slung over his shoulder.

Then everything happened faster, more intense.

It’s like everything was speed up.

My eyes struggled to capture everything that was happening in front of me.

My heart was beating so fast I thought I might have a heart attack.

It’s like a snap shot of things happening before me and yet I could hardly digest the information before it jumped to another snap shot.

2 of Ah Keong’s injured man took Ah Keong from Roland, the moment he was free from Ah Keong, Roland dove straight back into the fight.

I struggled to breathe as I look at Jane stab another man in the back of his shoulder several times, pulling him by his hair to his knees.

Huimin drove her compass onto another man’s cheeks as well, causing him to convulse in pain as he fell to the ground.

Lucy grabbed a stool, sending a guy face down onto the floor.

Roland delivered a hard blow to the huge guy that tore Kate’s dress with his knees, he doubled over and Roland gave him a hit to his cheeks, sending him down to the ground.

Lucy and her girls kept advancing, so did the rest of us.

Fungye’s men were dropping like flies.

Liuhai appeared with 2 more guys.

Roland elbowed one of them on his face, kicking him down the pile of groaning bodies beneath him.

Bill punched the other on the side of his head, sending him down as well.

Liuhai shouted as he charged towards Uncle Ben.

He had a sharpened stake in his hand the size of a short 15cm ruler.

Liuhai : AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH….

Ben turned as Liuhai raised up his hand to deliver the strike at Ben.

Ben calmly received with his opened left palm, allowing it to drive partially through his flesh before whacking the side of Liuhai’s ribs with his metal rod. Pain did not even register on Ben’s face.

More men appeared, spawning out of nowhere towards Ben, Bill and Roland.

Bill shouted and kicked a guy on the side of his ribcage, causing him to tumble, pulling down another guy at the same time.

Uncle Ben fended off a hit on his head with his rod, whacking the other into the man’s legs before kicking him away.

He turned and threw a rod towards Roland, missing him by mere inches as it hit another man who was trying to hit Roland with a chair.

Roland swung under Bill’s arms, his head butting into the belly of a guy trying to grab onto Uncle Ben.

Bill orientated his body, shielding Ben from a fatal blow to the head from a club by blocking it with his back.

Roland came back up, driving his knuckles into the soft tissues of the guy’s nose.

Uncle Ben’s rod swung, deflecting another club that flew towards Roland.

Bill’s legs buckled from a hit to his knees, Roland kick that man in his face, blocking a blow to Bill’s head with his arm. Uncle Ben grunted as he swung his remaining metal rod, striking a guy on the side of his head before he could grab hold of Roland.

The trio of them fought and grunted as their bodies backed against each other above a pile of fallen men.

Bill kicked one last time.

Roland head butted the last guy in front of him.

Uncle Ben delivered his final blow to a poor chap as the rest of us led by Lucy approached and gathered in front of the 3 standing fighters of the family.

Like a strike of lighting streaking across the cloudless skies, Ben shouted with no prior warning, sending every single hair on my body to stand upright as a wave of emotions shot through my body.

Uncle Ben : BEI ZHUAR BA ONGgggg !!! ( 白蛇霸王!! ) ( Triumph to the white snakes ! )

Everyone single man and women left in the factory shouted at the same time, causing the very glass panels on the office to shake and vibrate with their thunderous voice.

Everyone in unison: HUAT AH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Their unified voices echoed into the distance and faded away ,plunging the factory with a blanket of silence.

Like a petrifying spell, that last shout cast it’s effects on Fungye’s men, sending them scurrying out of the factory.

Ben, Bill and Roland stood, breathing heavily as blood and sweat rolled down their bodies.

I slowly sank to my feet against the wall as I groaned painfully.

I looked at the men and women who were left standing.

I finally heard the name of their organisation. I wanted to laugh at how silly I was a few months ago when I was still eagerly asking for their gang cheer and shit.

It was unlike any of those techno infused gang cheer I heard before. Not those concocted by kids with a few tattoos, eager to chant their composed cheers to the whole world.

That was not some gang cheer.

It was a rallying cry for the family.

A family that fights together despite their differences.

Kate ran to Ah Keong, sobbing as she tried to wake him up.

Lucy was trying to hold back her tears as she scolded Bill before hugging onto him.

It took close to an hour before Rizwan came back to attend to the rest of us with his friends.

I don’t remember what happened after that.

I remembered Jane giving me another bottle of water.

My eyes felt tired and weary.

Then I closed my eyes for a while and i blacked out.

…………………………………

I drifted in and out of sleep after everything ended that day.

I’m ok, I knew I was ok. I’m just tired.

Really tired.

Coupled with aches all over my body and the fingers I fucked up, I was literally stoned as I stared at everything happening around me.

I saw Huimin running towards Kate with a long cardigan, she probably took it from Lucy’s car or something.

Andy was helping Gabriel onto a chair. Gabriel looked ok, just a little disorientated.

Andy was limping on his left foot, his shirt was ripped and I saw him checking out a cut under his left armpit.

Ah Keong was the first one Rizwan attended to the moment he could get a grasp of the situation. It was pretty chaotic, there was a crowd surrounding Ah Keong as they tried to wake him.

I could hear someone shouting to make some space while Kate desperately pleaded for Rizwan to save Ah Keong.

Roland and Ben were the closest to me, they sat on the floor barely 3 metres away. Both of them looked on in horror as they pulled out stick after stick of crushed cigarettes. Some of them looked wet, damp in fact. Their perspiration had soaked through the packs and most of the sticks were ruined.

They had multiple bruises, cuts but other than that, they looked ok.

Ben heaved a sigh of relief as Roland managed to salvage 2 decent ones out. A smile lit up their faces as they quickly searched for a light. A small flame danced on Roland’s lighter for a few seconds and soon they were both inhaling a deep puff of smoke.

A cloud of smoke formed above their heads as they exhaled and turned towards me.

Jake : Those will kill you…

Roland : Yeah…. I know…

Jake : You know every cigarette takes away 5 minutes of your life ??

Roland raised an eyebrow, gave me a questioning look and smirked at me.

Roland : Yeah…. That’s because I spent 5 minute smoking them…. Haha…

Ben laughed too and gave me a middle finger while expertly holding onto the cigarette at the same time.

There were a couple of shouts and cheers and I could hear Rizwan giving instructions to load Ah Keong up into the car. They will be sending him straight to a private hospital. Rizwan looked damm pissed as he made phone calls after phone calls.

He was literally begging on the phone, only after a few phone calls did I hear him heave a sigh of relief, muttering thank you non stop.

It was a public holiday, it’s not easy to get help that day. Not to mention help that would keep their mouth shut after everything is over.

I must have closed my eyes for a while again after that because I don’t remember Rizwan approaching me.

I only remembered opening my eyes and hearing him say I needed an x-ray on my fingers.

Jake : Can you just pop it back ??

Rizwan : You think I superman ah…. Got xray eyes ??

He gave me the once over, asked a few questions and said that I’m fine, just needed to fix the fingers and I needed a few stiches on my arm.

A friend of his dressed my wound and I drifted off again.

The next thing I knew, Huimin was nudging me with her foot, asking me to load up into her car.

I had to drag myself to the carpark and I must have passed out again once I got in.

I could only remember stopping at a traffic junction and Huimin asked if I was ok.

The adrenaline was gone and I would feel myself sinking into this dull state of mind.

Huimin : Oei…. You ok or not…

Jake : Yah… I think so.. how about you ??

She shook her head in a gave manner before showing me she broke one of her manicured nails.

I rolled my eyes and she laughed.

I don’t even remember how long the ride was but I remember Huimin parking in basement carpark of Gleneagles hospital. She made a phone call and we went up to one of the private clinics.

I attracted a couple of stares in the state I was in but other than that, no one asked any questions. Huimin double checked a message on her phone and knocked on a glass door before pressing the door bell.

The lights were off in the clinic, it didn’t look like there was anyone in. In fact, the entire floor looked deserted.

A shadow of a man appeared and he released the magnetic catch of the door, gesturing us to enter.

He looked like a caretaker of the clinic. Dressed in a crumple t-shirt and berms, he looked as if he had just woken up from a nap. His black hair were streaked with grey as he shuffled deeper into the clinic as he munched on his curry puff snack.

He opened another door and revealed another world altogether.

Spread out on the floor and corridor were familiar faces I saw back at the warehouse. Most of them were playing with their phones, watching a movie, surfing facebook. Bandages here, a couple of small cast there, thankfully no one looked seriously injured.

Huimin saw one of her girlfriend and she went over to her as I followed the man into another room.

Man : You’re Jake right…

Jake : Yah…

The man spent some time checking out my fingers and asked me some questions. He tried to move them around a little and I squirmed in pain.

He grabbed a heavy lead apron and put it on for me.

Jake : Are you a doctor ?

Man : No… I work the pantry…..

Jake : Huh ?

Man : as far as anyone is concerned, I’m back at home, enjoying the holiday with my family the entire day…. Do we understand each other ?

I nodded.

Man : put your hand here… yah… like that…

He left the room, the xray light came on and it was done.

I went into his office and realised that that man was not just any doctor, he was a specialist.

Man : Ok… doesn’t look too bad… we can just massage it a little and push it back…

Jake : Ok…

Without wasting anytime, he took my hand, felt around the fingers a little and he fucking popped the 1st one back in. My shout was so loud, that the door to his office opened and I could see people peeping in as tears rolled down my eyes.

Jake : AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH….A !!!!!

I have never felt pain like that in my life.

That level of intensity.

That searing hot pain was the worst I ever experienced.

Tears rolled down my cheeks freely as I gritted my teeth, all my toes were curled up and my muscles tensed up tightly as if I had an electric current pass through my body.

Man : Not that bad la…. One more to go…

Jake : WAIT… WAIT !!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

I sobbed like a baby as I trashed my body backwards into the chair as I felt my finger pop back into the socket as another round of searing pain surged through my body. It was so painful that mucus came out of my nose and I fucking washed my entire face with tears.

My teeth were chattering by the time I managed to compose myself.

A bandaged was applied and he gave me a brace for the fingers before removing the dressing on my arm that needed stitches.

He cleaned my wound, prod a little before saying that he can close it with 3 stitches.

Jake : Ok… just get it over and done with.

I watch him prepare the tools, cleaned my wound again and brought up the needle with the needle driver.

Jake : Wait wait wait !!! … don’t you need to give me anesthesia or something ??!!!

Man : Ohh…. Finish already … not enough… your friends all used a lot …

Jake : WHAT !!…

Man : 3 stitches only… come on la… it’s like ant bite…

Jake : Wait.. wait… AAAAAAH!HHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

I literally choked on my saliva as I felt the needle punch through my raw and swollen skin. I could fucking feel the thread as I dragged itself through my skin. Tears flowed down my eyes as if a tap had been turned on, my knees connected squeezing my balls together while my teeth clenched down so hard I through I would crush them.

It was the longest few minutes of my life and by the time he was done, I was drenched in sweat. I might have peed my pants too as I rest my forehead flat down on the table.

Man : Ok.. ok.. done already…. Not that bad la…

I had no more strength to reply him.

I heard uncle Ben’s voice behind me suddenly and I turned around.

Ben : Why ? so painful meh…… you shout until like that…. People think you giving birth ah… !

I was made to give way to Ben as he too needed stiches.

Fuck. You want to talk like a hero right.

I’ll see how you scream when the pain hits you.

Ben needed multiple stitches on a few spots. He offered his left arm to the man and helped himself to the mints on his deck.

My jaws dropped as I saw the man filled a needle with some liquid and started jabbing them into the wound where the stitches needed to be done.

Ben hardly flinched except a couple of spots where the sting made him frown and breathe deeply.

Jake : Why didn’t I get this !!!

The man waited for the anesthetic to take effect before removing his gloves and asking me to wait a minute.

He took out his phone from the drawer and scrolled to his messages.

Man : Ok.. I read word for word ah…. From Rizwan…. Errrr….. Tell Jake….if want to be a hero…. Don’t be afraid of pain….. let him feel the full impact…no anaesthetic for him..

Jake : You got to be shitting me…

Uncle Ben was just laughing as he shook his leg.

Ben : Rizwan was asking around who instigated the fight….hahaha… everyone said it was you… hhaahha…

My jaws dropped as I turned and let myself out of the office and settled onto a couch.

I waited about close to an hour before another lady came. She called out our names and when it came to me, I got some antibiotics and painkillers.

I washed up as much as I could in the bathroom before grabbing a cab back home.

By the time I was showered and ready for bed, it was already midnight.

As I laid in bed, I could not believe what happened that day.

It took a while for reality to sink in .

What the fuck have I done.

I drifted off to sleep only to be woken up by my parents in the wee hours of the morning.

They were horrified to see the state I was in with the bruises. They asked me what happened and I told them a condensed version. My mum was on the verge of tears as she scolded me for doing something so stupid.

My dad just shook his head at me.

I could see the disappointment in their eyes that morning.

How did their son go from having an iron rice bowl, a cushy job in the civil service to that state in a matter of less than a year ?

They had to be asking themselves that question at least a hundred times a day.

10th August 2015

Monday

1.30pm

I had slept through breakfast and was only woken up by my parents when they bought lunch back for me.

As I sipped the soup , both of them sat down opposite me. I could tell what was about to happen. They hadn’t done this to me in years, the last time was when i’m still in secondary school and got into a scuffle with a classmate.

Mum : Jake… you’re old enough to know what’s right or wrong…. We can’t tell you how t0 lead your life…. But spare a thought for us…. We’re getting old… all we want is to see you grow up… get married… have kids…. That’s all we ever wanted….

Dad : Please don’t do something stupid like this again…. You could have died…

I could tell how heartbroken they were and as much as I would like to say something to defend myself, I couldn’t.

There really was nothing for me to say.

We left it at that and I spent the next few days really thinking things through.

It’s pretty fucked up once you frame it up and put things in perspective. If I were a parent and seeing my child go from having a nice decent job to being a hawker, only to get caught up in such a situation, my heart would be broken too.

Seriously, what the fuck man ?

Parents worry about their kids mixing with the wrong company in their teens while I made my parents go through this shit when I’m 30.

I probably would get a stroke if my kid comes to me when he’s 30 and says he wants to join a gang.

I dropped messages and some calls to Kate and the elders. I wanted to know if everyone was ok, and what was the current situation.

Gabriel told me that he had informed all parties and organisations that they were in contact with about the challenge to Fungye’s right to lead. Since we had the entire group in agreement , it was passed through.

There’s a vacuum for the spot at the head of the family.

Kate told me technically, I was supposed to take the reins but I wasn’t a member of their organisation to begin with. This was something they needed to clarify with uncle Po. This has never happened before.

Lucy and her girls are fine except for some broken nails and scratches.

Roland and his boys were up and about after a couple of days of rest
.

King and Terry needed several visits to a traditional Chinese sinseh, but other than that, they’re alive and kicking.

Andy was already back at work after the long weekend, while Ah Keong remained hospitalised.

Ah Keong’s injury was considered to be the worst among us. He had a couple of toes that were crushed, his shoe came off during the fight in the corridor. Ah Keong needed close to 30 stiches, and his left forearm was in a cast.

He lost 2 teeth, dislocated his left thumb, and his entire face were covered in bruises.

Kate told me that Ah Keong was recovering in a private suite in the hospital, He should be up and about in a week or so. Kate was at his side almost every day.

I asked if she was ok, she said she just felt guilty that Ah Keong got into that state because he was trying to protect her. I offered to drop by and keep her company but she declined.

The only word I got about Fungye and his men was from Roland.

He told me that his sources told him they got treated in 3 different clinics, those clinics were known to be friendly to a rival gang in Singapore. It seemed he had prior dealings with them before. If not , they would not readily offered his help.

No one knew what his deal was with them. I tried asking Gabriel about the rival gangs but he was pretty tight lipped about the matter.

Gabriel : We have moved on …. From inter gang rivalry…. Those were in the past….. in this current climate…. It’s all about doing business… to progress…

14th August 2015

Friday

I was at home the entire week. I wasn’t in any condition to cook any noodles or wrap any wantons.

I browsed a few job ads and considered sending my resume out. Perhaps it really is time to wake up from this fantasy and get a proper job. There is no light at the end of the tunnel down this path.

I can’t exactly print Director of White snake gang Pte Ltd on my name card.

Perhaps CEO had a better ring to it.

Chief entertainment officer.

Where my sole role is to entertain.

That Friday was an important day.

A meeting was scheduled together with Uncle Po that evening.

It was an important meeting for all the elders. I was asked to turn up too since they needed to decide what’s going to happen next for the organisation.

The meeting was scheduled for 5pm at the same house where we first had the vote.

This time round, it was a more hush hush affair.

Only the elders were present, and even Ah Keong came in a wheel chair ferried by a private ambulance.

While waiting for Uncle Po, Gabriel pulled me aside into the yard.

Gabriel : I need to talk to you for a minute Jake….

Jake ; Sure…

Gabriel lit up a cigarette and offered me one but I declined.

He looked at me and said that he’ll go straight to the point.

Gabriel : Jake… I’m not going to beat around the bush…. So this is as straightforward as I can get….

He took a puff, exhaled and told me to join them.

As in join the gang.

Gabriel : join us… I meant it…. Really…. Join us…. Be part of the family…or perhaps it might sound better if you see this as a employment opportunity….. join the company…

It was something I found very hard to give a direct reply to. You can phrase it differently but the fact is I’m entering what amounts to a triad. A shadow organisation.

Sensing my hesitation, Gabriel tried to put things in perspective for me.

Gabriel : We…. Are not exactly some…. Hobby club…. Or….. or… what’s that word…. I don’t know…. Gentlemen’s club or…. Grassroots or whatever…. I understand your apprehension….. I really do…. But…

He took a deep breath and went on.

Gabriel : We are trying …. To change…. Slowly… but surely…. We are changing…. And eventually that day will come…. That day will definitely come…. When we put this family on firm footing….and we will all never go back to the old ways…

Jake : I don’t know Gabriel… this is all…. It’s overwhelming…. i… I don’t know…

Gabriel : look at how far we have come….. we’re done with illegal gambling….we don’t do drugs….. we don’t even touch duty unpaid stuff…..we’re practically a normal company….

Jake : I…erm….

Gabriel : This is not like what you see in the movies…. We won’t slash our fingers, drip our blood into a bowl and make you drink it….. we take personal hygiene pretty seriously… haha

Jake : hahaha..

Gabriel : You see… it’s actually very simple…. Just compare us… to…. Any organisation…. Companies…. Countries… anyone…

Jake : har ?

Gabriel : Anyone…. Anyone can say how good or how bad we are….. anyone…. But…..but…..Talk is cheap…. Now… the question is …. How can you change it for the better.. ?

Jake : i….

Gabriel : You see something, that you feel is not right….. you can spend your time talking shit about it… how bad it is…….. how shitty things are being done….you can take photos, videos… post it online…. Add some shitty captions….. gangs are bad…. Gabriel is a pai kia ( gangster ) ….. then what ? What changed ? what has changed ?

He waved his hands in the air and added.

Gabriel : Nothing… why ?? …. Because talk is cheap….. … end of the day… nothing changes…

Jake : What are you trying to say ?

Gabriel pointed to me.

Gabriel : You are now in a position to affect the future of this organisation…. I want change… Andy wants change… we all need to move forward….

Gabriel took a deep breath and said something that I could not help but agree with.

Gabriel : We cannot remove the stain of who we once were…….but we can write a new history with who we will become….

Gabriel snubbed out his cigarette and blew the last of his smoke away from me.

Gabriel : join us…. We can do this together… maybe in 5 years….10 years… we can move beyond all these….. I believe we can change for the better….

Gabriel spread his arms and gestured around the estate.

Gabriel : Look around… look at how fast this country is moving…. You think we can keep up if we don’t change who we are ??

Uncle Ben walked out from the back of house with a cigarette in his mouth as well.

Ben : How… you brainwash him already ??? hahaha…

Gabriel : I’m not brainwashing anyone…. Jake is free to make his own choice…

Ben : Jake…..do you know why we’re still here…. When many of our rival gangs are in shambles??

I shrugged my shoulders.

Jake : I don’t know ….. you stop doing illegal stuff ?

Ben : we didn’t….not 100%…. but we’re moving towards that goal…. Breaking the law…. For a quick buck…. Is getting harder…. It’s not worth it… there’s money to be made everywhere…. People sell popiah skin can also become billionaire…

Jake : hahaha…

Ben : Don’t laugh…. I’m serious…

Jake : Sorry ..

Ben : If I know sell popiah skin can become billionaire… I won’t join gang liao… I’ll sell popiah skins…

Roland popped out from nowhere and cut into Ben’s statement.

Roland : Popish skin ? …. Sell your foreskin la… fuck..

Ben : KNN….diam la ( shut up ) hahah…

Roland : Jake…. Don’t listen to them…. Go lead your own life….

Gabriel : I thought you were in with us on this Roland ??

Roland : hahah.. I am… but I know Jake has already made up his mind…

Jake : I have ?

Roland lit up a cigarette too giving me a smug and confident look.

Roland : If he wanted to walk away…. He wouldn’t have turned up….. he can’t walk away… it’s just who he is… hahaha…

I wanted to rebuke that but I can’t.

Roland hit the nail on the head.

Andy came out too and he looked at me.

Andy : Jake….we’re not asking you to sell illegal DVDS on a makeshift table in a bus interchange…… we’re also not people who get into fights ….

He paused a little and everyone turned to him.

Andy : not….all the time…. Yah… not all the time…. Hahaha

Everyone laughed as he continued.

Andy : we’re hoping you would join us and help to transform this organisation…

Terry and King came out together and joined the group of elders surrounding me.

Terry : If he got no balls forget it la… KNN…. Nowadays…. Their generation all cannot make it one….

King : You diam la…. You yourself also half past 6 , half a bucket of shit…. Haha..

Everyone laughed and Lucy appeared.

She looked lovely that evening as she walked up and put her arms around my shoulder. I really wonder how can Lucy smell so good and alluring all the time.

Lucy : Jake….. You have something very unique…. A gift…. A gift none of the elders had…. You’re like a glue… you bond everyone together despite their difference…. There is no corporate ladder for you to climb here… and there is no need to…..

Lucy walked away from me, turn around to join the rest of the elders looking at me that Friday evening at the yard.

Lucy : Why climb……. When you start at the top ??

I looked at each of their faces as they waited for me to give them a reply.

Before I could digest what they had said to me, I heard Uncle Po call out from the house. All the elders were to gather for a meeting while I remain outside for a while longer.

I could see Kate behind the wheelchair Ah Keong was sitting on a distance away. They too were looking in my direction. There isn’t a proper path for the wheelchair and it’s near impossible for it to go on the grass patch.

Gabriel : The choice is still yours….. don’t be afraid to make it…

He gave me 2 taps on my back before he entered the house.

Kate pushed Ah Keong in before joining me at the yard.

Kate : So…. You in ?

Jake : I don’t know…

Kate : Roland’s confident you will be… he’s usually right about things like this ….

Kate and I sat down on the grass patch and we looked up into the skies, staring at the stars.

Jake : Are you staying so close to Ah Keong lately because of guilt ?

Kate : I don’t know… it might be…

Jake : But…

Kate : Jake stop…. I don’t want to talk about it right now…

I nodded and kept quiet. For a good 45 minutes, we sat outside without a word, looking up into the clear skies.

When Uncle Po came out to call us in, it was close to 9.30pm

9.30pm

I entered the hall and all 8 elders sitting around the table followed my every move.

Uncle Po brought me to the table and invited me to take a seat.

He cleared his throat, took a sip of tea and started to brief me on the outcome of their discussion.

Uncle Po : Jake…. There is a bit of a grey area here…..

When the 9th vote was created, no one expected anyone from outside the organisation to get hold of it.

Even if they did, they would not know what to do it it, much less use it to challenge Fungye. I could do that because of my intimate knowledge of the organisation. It would not be possible for me to gain that knowledge if no one trusted me in the first place.

Bit by bit, despite being an outsider, I began to earn the trust of a few of the elders.

Uncle Po : So…. If you were a member of the family…. You would no doubt be the head of this organisation since you successfully challenged Fungye’s right to rule…..but you are not….

Uncle Po gestured to the gathering of men and women in around the table and said after in depth discussion, they have made their joint decision.

Uncle Po : These people….. have a lot of differences….. they have their own opinions and ideas but this is one of the rare time they are all in agreement of this decision.

Uncle Po turned to me.

Uncle Po : Should you choose to accept this and join us…… you will continue to hold the 9th vote as a neutral party.

I would not be made an elder, nor would I vote in future elections. The only time I needed to exercise my vote was to break a bottleneck situation. Something they hope would never repeat itself again.

In order for me to remain a neutral party, I would be offered a job, with each of the elder.

Uncle Po : You need to see things, from each of their perspectives….. only then will you understand the challenges and issues they faced….. you will remain neutral, above their petty squabbles and childish antics….

I could see Uncle Ben trying hard to hold back a snigger.

Uncle Po : Stay out of their internal politics….. their shit stirring games…. Stay out of all of them…. You will exercise that vote when needed to….. in whatever way you deem is best for this organisation….

It was a lot for me to take in and Uncle Po waited a good 10 seconds before asking if I had any questions.

Uncle Po : Questions ?? No ?? Don’t you want to know your annual leave ? …. Your pay ? got bonus or not ??

Everyone laughed including Kate as I managed an awkward smile.

Uncle Po : Insurance ?? transport allowance??? What do you usually ask during an interview Jake ??

Jake : hahaha…. Ermm… I don’t usually ask this… but…..what is my notice period I needed to serve if I want to quit ??

Everyone remained quiet while Uncle Ben reached under the table and pulled out a large knife concealed in a hidden compartment.

Ben : No need notice period la Jake….. just leave behind 2 fingers…

My facial expression changed and everyone of them burst out laughing.

Ben : I’m just fucking with you hahaha…..

Roland : You wouldn’t leave Jake……but if you wish to…. You can go anytime…. On the condition that you don’t mention any of this to anyone….. ever…

I nodded my head as Uncle Po got off his seat.

He opened a cupboard, took out a bottle of whiskey.

Uncle Po first poured a glass and placed it at the altar where the tablet of Kate’s grandfather sat.

Uncle Po gave me a glass too and gestured to the tablet.

I used both hands and offered a toast to Kate’s grandfather.

Turning around, Uncle Po gestured to the elders with 8 raised glass.

I raised my glass to them, looking at each of them in the eye and nodded my head.

There were no loud gang cheer, no cries of joys, no hearty congratulations.

We raised our glasses, and we drained it bottoms up in a single gulp.

Uncle Po : Welcome to the family Jake….

As the elders slowly filed out, Kate came over and hugged me.

Kate : Welcome Jake…

Jake : Thank you…

A vote was cast that very evening. To ease the tension about the rein of the organisation always being passed among Andy and Gabriel’s family. They elected Ah Keong to head the family for the next few years.

Gabriel and Andy will be there to help Ah Keong manage this responsibility.

Everyone walked away that day, satisfied and happy.

The next few weeks that followed was like a blur. There was a small banquet thrown to welcome me and introduce me to the rest of the men and women in the family.

My parents knew what I had done. They were disappointed but in the end, they said since it’s a path I chose, there was nothing else for them to say.

Mum : Be careful Jake…… don’t do anything stupid….

Jake : I won’t…. don’t worry ma…. I’m just treating this like a normal job….. or help do some reorganisation to a company…

Dad : I have seen how much the organisation have changed over the years…… it is a far cry from what they were when they started……but still …. Be careful Jake….

Jake : I will….. nothing stupid…. I promise…

My parents finally decided to retire. They’re not young anymore and I could see they felt a little guilty for being associated with the organisation. I guess they felt that if they were not in a way indebted to them, I would never have gotten involved.

I reassured them that I’m just looking at this as part of a job experience and that I have the option to leave anytime although I doubt it would be as easy as me submitting a resignation letter.

I helped them plan a few tours, and signed them up for one of those that were led by local celebrities and they loved it. They spent their mornings at community gardens, afternoons cooking at a old folks home, and taking evening strolls in the park.

There was this warm fuzzy feeling in my heart when I see both of them back in the evening, perspiring from their walk in the park. After toiling for so many years, they could finally take things easy.

1st August 2016

Within the span of a year, I’ve worked at Terry’s gold shop, selling jewelleries to tourist and to old men with young foreign girlfriends. I’ve visited his gold factory, and watch the furnace melt gold down to be recast.

I’ve helped King on his business, taking it online, Setting up a platform for ordering religious offerings through the web. There’s even a web chat help that advises you on the type of incense to buy for different types of prayer needs.

Andy’s firm exposed me to some basic accounting skills. Within a couple of months, I could churn out a completed set of unaudited financial statement for small companies. Gabriel linked me up with businessmen, bankers, and an army of middlemen.

People who make things happen. What’s the best way to borrow money, which are the loopholes in the current policies we can exploit. It was an eye opening experience.

Uncle Ben offered me free gym classes.

Uncle Ben : Rice is rice la….. it’s not as if you are going to grow them… help to carry and deliver lor….

What initially sounded like mindless manual labour turned out to be a great networking opportunity. I’ve talked to executive chefs of hotels, I’m friends with the famous stall overs that sells popular hawker food, I skip queues for famous chicken rice, I get extra roast meat from the HK roast stall.

More than once Uncle Ben sent me home with a 50kg sack of rice.

Jake : How to finish… they’re only 3 of us at home….

Ben : Fuck la… find a girlfriend…. Get married… make babies la…..Singapore short of babies…… by then confirm can finish all the rice….

Jake : If like that… can you distribute milk powder instead…. I think those will be more useful..

Ben : Fuck you la…

He gave me a kick and shoved me out the truck as I laughed.

I learnt how to manage small renovation projects from Ah Keong and his men. I knew where the best suppliers were and which to avoid like the plague. There was always something new for me to learn everyday.

I felt like a student again. Everyday was like going back to school, learning something I never knew. There was this excitement, that fresh excitement of starting a new job. Going to a new environment.

Roland’s spa business was one of my favourite.

I spent time sitting in the sauna, soaking in the hot tubs as we chatted about his business.

When there were no appointments, I got free massages from his staff.

I made sure I only chose the female ones. Most of them are nice to me and on a couple of occasions, I got lucky with them. Extra services not in the menu.

I travelled with Roland too. Heading to resorts and small boutique hotels around the region. Roland had bought over a shop house he intended to convert into a hotel. That was one of the main project I was helping him with.

We spoke to designers, chose furniture, talked to chefs, interviewed really hot front desk babes, and of course really good looking guys too.

Life could not be better.

2 months split among Terry and King.

3 months split between Andy and Gabriel.

2 months with Ben

2 months with Ah Keong.

3 months with Roland.

And at the end of the 3 months with Roland, he bought me a car.

A modest 2nd hand Korean car.

Roland : you drop your soap later in the spa ok…. You drop it long and good …. And take your time to pick it back up……??

Jake : Errr….. I don’t think so…

Roland : hahaha…

Life was truly good that year.

Fungye’s reputation took a big hit once word spread that he got beaten by a newbie. Someone not even from the organisation that challenged him, and won. It doesn’t look like he would be back anytime soon.

He had a few hundred thousand worth of illegal goods, duty unpaid cigarettes and liquor with us. Gabriel wanted to burn it all but word was sent through, or rather a request was put through Tracy.

A phone call was all it took.

Fungye wanted them back and Gabriel could not be happier to get rid of them.

I was there when a container truck arrived at Ah Keong’s factory , and I was there too when 4 vans arrived at King’s warehouse. We watch them load up their shit, and heaved a sigh of relief after they fuck off.

What about my love life you say ?

Kate and I grew closer together, but not as lover. As friends.

We went out, coffee, meals, the occasional movie but it just never developed. Like a flower that would not blossom. We’re just good friends.

On the other hand, Kate grew a lot closer to Ah Keong. I could see it happening over the months. They got together with each other eventually.

Keong started to change.

He lost a bit of weight, dyed his hair black. Got rid of his earrings.

He wore clothes that covered his tattoos.

I got to know him a lot better when I was working with him. He’s actually a very simple person, with simple needs. He doesn’t care for branded stuff and shit, he has more money he can ever spend yet he is satisfied with a 3 dollar lunch and a 90 cents coffee.

He’s not picky about food, he laughes, he jokes, he even gave up smoking for Kate.

I’m a little jealous but I knew it was never meant to be me anyway.

I’m truly happy for the both of them when Ah Keong proposed and Kate accepted.

2nd September 2016

Friday

9.30am

I was back at the coffee shop.

Orh pao was the only original hawker that remained.

He saw me, gave me a nod and within a minute, brought me a coffee.

Jake : Gam xia ( Thank you ) ……

It was a special day that day. A small reception will be set up at Kate’s place. It was also the day Ah Keong would take his wedding vows with Kate after the buffet.

I was in charge of the catering and decorations. All the arrangements were made and I just wanted to be there early to make sure things were in order.

It’s a small reception, mainly for the elders and a handful of their men.

Ah Keong was the next to arrive. He was dressed smartly in shirt and pants. With his hair cut short, he wore a pair of spectacles. You could see how nervous he was as he came over to my table with the flower bouquet in his hand.

Ah Keong : How Jake ?? … how…. Very nervous leh….

He took out a piece of paper with his wedding vows, asking me how to pronounce a few words.

Ah Keong : this one.. this one…..eeeden ner ty….

Jake : eternity ….

Ah Keong : This one leh… this one…

Jake : oh… Cherish….

Ah Keong : Cherryyish. … tio bo…

Jake : Chin chye la…. Kate understand can liao…

King and Terry arrived together and waved to us. They took a seat inside the coffeeshop.

Andy and Gabriel arrived shortly after, taking the table next to us.

Uncle Ben arrived next with Herman, sharing the same table with Andy and Gabriel

Lucy came with Jane, Roland arrived alone.

All the elders were gathered at the coffee shop, having their drinks while chatting on that lovely morning. I made some calls, the caterers were just a junction away. Everything should be ready and up in 30 minutes or so.

Just nice.

I saw the balloon guys arriving and I excused myself, I pointed them to Kate’s place and they made their way up to start the decoration.

Then something interesting happened.

It was almost amusing to watch.

Ah Keong looked nervous and geek like sitting alone at a huge table for 8. He kept looking at the piece of paper, trying to memorise the vows.

Then the interesting thing happened.

A group of kids, they don’t look like they were older than 16. Still dressed in their school uniforms, they walked as if they owed the road. The 8 of them came to the coffee shop, they had their shirts tucked out, spoke loudly, threw curses in hokkien.

3 of them blatantly took out cigarettes and lit them up , they did not care that they were wearing their school uniforms.

Curses and vulgarities like’ CCB’ , ‘KNN’ flowed freely from their mouths. They had a stuck up attitude , the few bigger tables were occupied and so they eyed Ah Keong’s table.

One of them walked up like a gangster to Ah Keong.

Kid : Brother… you 1 person…. Sit such a big table….. can fuck off to the smaller table or not….KNN…. coffee shop you buy one ah….

From my angle, Ah Keong’s clean shaven and tidy looks made him look like a fresh graduated geek from university. He just stared at them, totally speechless.

Kid : Kuar simi kuar ( what are you staring at ? ) buay song si bo ?? ( you not happy with me ? ) ….. KNN……

As the kid raised his voice, his friends came over as well, surrounding Ah Keong.

Uncle Ben smiled and nudged Herman on his arm, shaking his leg and lighting up a cigarette.

Roland and Lucy looked on earnestly.

I folded my arms and leaned against the pillar of the coffee shop as Bill arrived, asking me what’s going on.

Jake : Nothing… watch show… haha..

Kid : CCB,…. You don’t understand English is it….. be considerate la…. What the fuck…. You one person occupy the big table…… you know this is my sor zai ( turf ) or not….

There was a look of disbelief on Ah Keong’s face as he stared at him.

Kid : ko kuar…..kuar simi lan ( still stare at me ??? what the fuck are you staring at ?? ) ….. lee chap tor lor eh… ( which gang are you from ? ) ….. lee por choot lai…. ( announce your gang name ) ….. PCB…. Buay song… diao zhui lai la…. ( Fuck you cunt… you not happy… ask your ppl down )…..

I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry as that kid spit a gob of saliva on the floor beside Ah Keong after smoking his cigarette.

A few more lit up but they were not smoking. They’re just blowing smoke. Sucking the cigarette and blowing out puffs of smoke. Then they started spitting gobs after gobs of saliva on the floor.

What the fuck was that man ?

Uncle Ben laughed so hard that he was clutching both sides of his stomach, banging his head against the table.

Kid : Siao eh ……aaee gao si bo ( fucker… are you dumb )….. kee hor gao gan la… ( go get fuck by a dog ) ….. kee lai la… ( get the fuck off this table )….

More men stream into the coffee shop, equally puzzled and amused by the incident.

The interesting thing was that no one help.

No one said a word.

Not spencer with his table of 6 men.

Not Johari who arrived with 3 more.

Not Roland’s man who was sniggering as they waited for their coffee.

Then that Kid had to act like a hero.

He flicked his cigarette butt at Ah Keong’s shirt, trying to antagonise him into a fight.

Kid : Lai la… buay song… kee lai… ( come… not happy… get up ) ….

Kate came down from her place, dressed in a blue dress that ended above her knees. Her heels gave her a couple of inches. With her hair done up, and the make up by the make up artist, she looked amazing that day.

Beautiful and elegant.

Like a queen.

She appeared beside me and I straightened my body, giving her a nod.

Jake : Morning….Your highness…

She gave me an irritated lookJake : You’re the boss’s wife… I should address you properly..

Kate : stop that shit Jake… what’s happening….

I gestured towards Ah Keong and the group of school kids and told Kate they were bullying Ah Keong.

Kate’s eyes narrowed and walked over to that table.

Bill and I went to Roland and Lucy’s table and took a seat, waiting for the show to begin.

Kate : What is this ?? … you kids should be in school….

The leader of the pack laughed as he look at Kate’s dress and cleavage.

Kid : Neh neh nice leh…. Jie jie…. ( nice breast sister …. ) your boyfriend ah…. Hahaha..

I could see Ah Keong take a deep breath as he tried to control his temper.

Kate : How dare you smoke in public like that… I’ll write in to your school !!!

Kid : Write lor…. I don’t give a fuck…. I tell you la… I always liked older girls…. Be my girlfriend la….. don’t stay with a loser like him…. Hahah…

I watched Ah Keong’s fingers closed into a fist. Kate’s hand rest on his shoulder, giving him a squeeze, trying to calm him down.

Kate : Who do you think you are ??

The kid laughed.

Kid : Lim peh is from Joo chiat 17 King kong… …. You stay with me… I guarantee you… no one dare to touch you…. How… haha…

I saw Uncle Ben choke on his coffee , laughing and spilling everything out onto the table as Herman passed him tissue paper to clean up.

Kate : Do you know who I am ??

Kid : You’re just a girl la…. With a pussy… dying to get fucked…. Hahah…

Kate slammed her palm down on the table with a smack, jolting a few of the kid, one of them even dropped their cigarette.

Kid : Why??… want to hit me ah…

He pointed to all the tables around him.

Kid : So many witness…. I take video and stomp you ah… hahaha…

As the kid laughed, he looked around the tables and everyone was staring at him.

His laugh tapered off slowly before he eventually stopped.

He stopped when he realised no one spoke or move in that coffee shop.

Everyone was just staring at him.

His friends looked a little worried to as a blanket of silence engulfed the coffee shop.

No one moved.

Everyone just stared at him.

There was this frightening tension in the air and he looked like he was about to cry.

Kate : Don’t ever…. Let me see you smoke again…

Kid : What…. What business…. Is it of yours ??

That stubborn kid just don’t know when to shut up.

Kate : Let’s ok… they’re just kids….

Kate turned to leave and the Kid was still determined to have the final word.

Kid : She ask you to go la ….. understand or not !!…

Ah Keong stood up, and at the same time, everyone in the coffee shop got up as well. Sound of chairs dragging along the floor rumbled throughout the entire street , creating a loud din.

At the sight of everyone standing up at the same time, the Kid stumbled backwards, lost his footing and landed on his backside. His friends had a shock. 3 ran off immediately.

Uncle Ben walked over, still laughing.

Ben : xiao peng you…. !!! ( little kids ) ……hui qu du shu la… ( go back to school ) …. Hahaha… King kong….. king kong extinct liao la….hahah… Joo chiat 17 king kong….. simi lan jiao… ( what the fuck is that ) … hahaa…

They helped their friend up, grabbed their bags and ran as fast as their legs could carry them down the street.

It was truly an amusing morning and Ah Keong had a good laugh about it.

During the buffet, Kate and Ah Keong thanked everyone for being there that day. It was a casual gathering.

Ah Keong said his wedding vows with much difficulty but he still said it amidst much laugher and tease

Kate gave a speech as well, telling everyone present that, together with her husband, they will take this family to greater heights than ever before.

Roland : Long may she reign …

Jake : Hahah… Long may she reign…

7.30pm

The ceremony itself was a simple affair, Tracy flew in specially for it too. Kate and Ah Keong would be flying off to Maldives the next day for their holiday. Everyone was invited, anyone that was interested are welcome. All expenses paid.

Lucy and Bill couldn’t wait, they flew off immediately after the ceremony.

Tracy left after the ceremony, that she had some errands to run.

I only got to speak with her for a while before she told me she would be at Lucy’s new club that night.

11.30pm

I had just started working for Lucy for a couple of weeks and I’m still getting the hang of it.

I walked towards one of the popular clubs in town owned by Lucy and was surprised at the long line of people waiting to get in. It stretched all the way to the back and around the building. I followed the queue, getting to the front of it.

A standard scene greeted me, a few bouncers and 2 door bitch chatted with each other.

I tried to make my way past a few guys and they told me the queue is right at the back.

I smiled and walked right past the barrier much to their surprise.

The bouncer recognised me and gave me a nod while I approached the 2 door bitch from behind. The guys that told me to head to the back of the queue stared at amazement as I grabbed both ass of the 2 girls in front of me at the same time.

They yelped and drew a few stares, cursing at me.

Huimin : You’re a pervert Jake…!!

Jane : that’s sick !… I’m having my menses la… I think you shifted my pad a little… haha

Huimin : ewww…. Ahaha..

I gestured for the guest list and asked Huimin if the guest at the vip room were here.

Huimin : Not yet…. Tracy is here though… room 10…

I tapped the names on the guest list and thanked Huimin for the information.

Since Lucy had already left town with Bill, I was to help her meet an important guest.

Friend of hers she said.

Important friend.

Lucy : She’s a old school mate of mine….i’ve been wanting to catch up with her…. She probably wants something…you know…. They always do…. Can you help me see what is it ?

Jake : Sure..

Those were the instructions she left me.

I entered room 10, Tracy was drinking, looking absolutely bored as her entourage of 8 men sat around with their beer.

Jake : Hi Tracy…

She came over and gave me a hug.

Tracy : This is fucking boring Jake….

Jake : I can see why… who brings their babysitter to a club man ?

Tracy laughed and poured me a drink.

She pulled me aside and whispered in my ears.

Tracy : Are you joining Kate in Maldives ?

I nodded and said I would be heading there in 2 days time with Andy.

Tracy’s eyes lit up immediately.

Tracy : Take me…

Jake : What ? !!

Tracy : Take me with you !!! help me ditch my baby sitters.

I shook my head vigorously and I saw one of her minders got up.

Tracy : You owed me Jake…you owed me…for the crab claw….

She narrowed her eyes at me and gave me an angry stare.

Thankfully Huimin knocked on the door and came in.

Huimin : Jake…. Room 12 is here…

I quickly excused myself and went into room 12.

Once the door close, it shut off the music from the club.

There was a man and woman in front of me.

Jake : Can I get you anything to drink ?

Woman : No need…. We’ll get straight to the point…

Jake : Ermmm.. ok…

The woman is hot, pretty and classy. Her features are sweet and sharp as well, I would definitely fuck her. The man too, look decent. Base on their body language, they don’t look like a couple.

Woman : Lucy owes me a favour… and I’m calling that favour now…

Jake : Ermmm ok… tell me what it is… I’ll past along that information…

Woman : Tell her I need to get my son back ….

Jake : What ?

Woman : Help me kidnap my son ..

My jaws dropped an inch as I stared at her in disbelief.

What the fuck did she just say ?

Woman : Tell her….. Lucy will know…

She got up in a stuck up manner and left the room, leaving me with the man who has yet to say a single word.

Jake : Is she joking ?

Man : No…

Jake : I think….there might be some misunderstanding…. Lucy runs, clubs…. KTVs…. Not a kidnapping ring….

The man nodded as he looked at me.

Man : well… anyway…. Please tell Lucy what was said…. she will understand….

He got up as well, preparing to leave.

Jake : Wait… how do I address you ?

I offered my hand and he shook mine.

Jake : I’m Jake.

Man : My name is James…..

Jake : Oh… hi James… and your friend ?

James : Her name is Ruhui…

Jake : Alright… I’ll be sure to pass the message along then…

I sent him off and got myself a beer at the bar.

See, everyday you meet new and weird people.

Weird people with weird request.

I drank my beer as Jane came over and whispered that she’s not having her menses by my ears.

I smiled and asked for another drink as Jane rubbed her body against mine in the club.

I hugged her by the waist, pressing myself against her as we kissed.

There is never a dull day.

I don’t know if this is going to last but for now, I’m going to enjoy every moment of it.

…………………………………………..

 

The end.