The aches and the pain in my joints burnt with each action I made.
I don’t remember having such a intense workout before.
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
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.
I got changed and carried a change of clothes in a backpack and took a cab over to Kate’s place.
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.
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.
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 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…
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…
I would not know whether to fight for the hole I want or to protect the hole I need.
Roland : Not going to happen… I could give you more space though….
The wetness I felt gave way to warmth. That familiar comforting warmth.
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
Kate was nowhere to be seen at the coffee stall and I was too busy to ask how she was.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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 : 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 ?
Jake : Small one… in school… over a girl..
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 : Breakfast at Tiffany ?
8th Feburary 2015
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.
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
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.
Roland called and ask me to be at his place at 2.30pm later that afternoon.
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.
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.
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 ?
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.
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 ?
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
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 : 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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