“We’re all going out for breakfast and wanted to look around the neighbourhood, you want to follow us?” Pace asked Xi Men.
Xi Men shook. “No, thanks,” he smiled. “But it is good for you guys to look around the neighbourhood since you moved over so you can be familiar with this area,”
“Do you know if there is any food specialty around here?” Jerry asked.
They all looked at Jerry, for a silly question he had asked. Xi Men won’t be able to know about the food specialty for he is dead for 5 years.
“When I was alive, there is a coffee house at the base of the hill that has nice food. I am not sure if there still bears the same food quality, but you guys can try,” Xi Men smiled. “I went there for meals sometimes when I am still alive,”
“Alright, we’ll go there and try it out,” Jerry said and looked at the rests. “Why are you guys staring at me like that?”
They shook, for they looked at Jerry’s silliness to ask Xi Men about the food, but somehow Jerry managed to get the answer.
“Let’s go then,” Barbie said.
“We’ll come back shortly,” Rainie smiled.
“Enjoy your breakfast,” Xi Men smiled.
“Well, Xi Men is right, the food here is nice,” Winnie said.
“After all the years, they do have the standard,” Vic smiled.
“Hey, how you know they still bear the same standard? You’ve been here for meals 5 years ago?” Jerry snarled at Vic.
Vic glared at him. “Okay, my fault,” he said. “Poor me, being bullied by you at times,”
“Come on, not that you don’t know the only competitor he has is Vanness,” Ken said.
Jerry immediately stopped laughing and looked at Ken.
“I’ll take that as a compliment,” Vanness said, still eating, without looking at them. “I guess Vic is the only one who always got bullied big time by Jerry for Ken still knows how to defend at times,” he smirked.
Vic looked at Vanness.
“Come on, Vanness. Jerry just teases Vic for fun and it’s not like Jerry bullies him all the time,” Ken said. “Plus, I believe if all of us take it too serious we won’t be best of friends either,”
“Give and take,” Jerry smirked. “Let’s talk of something else,”
“Clearly seen that most of the people here are rich…” Barbie said as she looked around.
“But the food prices in this coffee house are quite reasonable. Not expensive at all,” Pace said.
“So I would say it is suitable to cater for all people…” Ken said.
“Yes,” Rainie agreed.
Ken looked at Rainie. Rainie looked at him.
“I’m sorry, honey,” Ken said as he held her hand.
Rainie smiled and nodded. “We’ll talk about it later on,”
“Do you know about mansion 82…”
They all turned their heads over the source of the voice, from a lady sitting at the next of their table. The lady is having breakfast with a few other ladies, wearing sports wear. It is believed that they could have gone for exercise sessions before the breakfast.
“Mansion 82?” Vic asked. “Isn’t that the mansion we are staying now?”
They nodded. They silent and they listen attentively to the ladies’ conversation.
“What’s with it?” another lady asked.
“Mansion 82 already has occupants,”
“They have moved in for about a week,”
“Yeah… I think students,”
“We have graduated, ok, aunties,” Vanness mumbled, as all the friends looked at Vanness, before they continued eating their food, continued listening to the conversation.
The ladies do not know that these 8 youngsters sitting at the next table are the tenants of mansion 82. They also did not realize that these 8 youngsters sitting at the next table have turned exceptionally quiet because they were actually listening to these ladies’ conversation.
“They have yet to move out?”
“No signs of them going to move out…”
“Move out?” Pace mumbled. They looked at Pace, and then back to listening.
“Remember the last few times… the occupants all move out in less than 3 days!”
“3 days?” Jerry, Barbie, Vanness, Pace, Ken, Rainie, Vic and Winnie said together.
“Mansion 82 is haunted… but… they don’t know or what?”
“Not sure if they know or what, but obviously the previous tenants all know about it and move out,”
“But wait… we always say the mansion is haunted… did you see it?” one of the ladies asked.
“Don’t you feel the mansion is creepy?”
Another lady interrupted. “My husband once saw a figure standing at the window…”
“My son saw a figure in the garden!”
“A bit pathetic that the owner dies there at a young age… and then… the mansion is haunted and resists occupancy from so many tenants,”
“One family once moved in, and then they say they saw blood everywhere at the first night!”
“Another case is that when they had moved in, they heard footsteps in the house. They feel cold… then, they saw a ghost walking through the wall,”
“Not only that, it is believed that the ghost even disturb them,”
“They sleep on the bed at night, and wake up outside their room,”
“I have a relative who once wanted to buy that house, but her daughter saw a figure standing at the staircase when they went to see it. The daughter freaked out and told my relative not to buy the house…”
“Now I know why no one wanted to buy that house!”
“And which is why the house’s price decreased and it is so cheap, like no one believes it!”
“Like how I responded in the first place about the rent…” Rainie said. They all looked at Rainie, and then back to their quiet self while listening to the conversation next table.
“Since his death, not even one occupant managed to stay there more than 3 days, besides the students that are currently staying…”
“Graduates…! Aunties… graduates!” Vanness yelled softly.
“But… how? How come they can still stay there?”
“I am thinking they will move out soon, maybe in less than a week,”
“It is just amazing how come the students managed to stay there more than 3 days, all other tenants move out immediately and right now these students have been the longest-stayed period tenants ever since the death of the first owner,”
“Graduates…!” Vanness uttered softly again.
“They’ll move, I know. Soon, pretty soon,”
“No, we are not moving out,” Ken said while taking a gulp of his drink.
The rests looked at him, smiled and nodded, agreed with Ken’s statement.
“You do that to them?” Rainie asked Xi Men who is playing with his ring.
“Yes,” Xi Men said.
“But why?” Winnie asked. “They all moved out within 3 days!”
“I just don’t like people to stay in my house,” Xi Men said, looking at Winnie.
“Then what about us?” Jerry asked.
“I’ve told you on the first day you guys move in that I let you guys stay because I want you to, and all of you remind me of my friends, that is why,” Xi Men said.
“But it really sounds so creepy that blood is everywhere…” Pace said.
“It just happened that night that my blood didn’t stop oozing out from my chest… wait, there isn’t any blood oozing out these days, right?” Xi Men asked.
“No,” Ken said.
“Well, that’s strange…” Xi Men said.
“Isn’t that good?” Barbie asked.
“It is not good at all, Barbie…” Xi Men said.
“Why?” Barbie asked.
“If the next time there’s blood… it won’t stop. Just like what happened to the tenants, they saw my blood everywhere… gosh, I was rushing for something to cover my blood up that time. I think they just saw the traces,” Xi Men said. “I didn’t know when it started flowing out, but when I realized, I immediately rushed for some cloth or so… it just… drips to the floor… or splats…” Xi Men said. “That time you can consider I am a newbie in my new world,”
“All of a sudden I can imagine what you have said, and now I wanted to faint…” Vanness said.
“Whoa, don’t!” Ken, Jerry and Vic immediately hold him.
“Well, just wanted to faint… but still can bear…” Vanness smirked.
“I disturb all of them, to make them move,” Xi Men said. “And I did tell you I almost did the same to you guys when you guys came over to take a look at the house, but I didn’t,”
“Yes,” Rainie said. “I remember,” she looked at him. “But…”
Xi Men looked at them. Obviously there is another reason behind why he is chasing all the occupants to leave; not only because he didn’t want them to stay, but other reasons too. With his glare at them, no one dares to ask more.
“We just heard that from the ladies…” Pace immediately said.
“It is not surprising because indeed the mansion is haunted, and what they see, hear and talk is right, as what really happened,” Xi Men said. “I am the source why the mansion is haunted,” He then looked down to his ring. “I am the ghost of mansion 82,”
“Is there anything we can do for you?” Pace asked.
Xi Men looked at her. “What?”
Pace smiled. “Anything?”
Xi Men smiled, “I felt the urge of drinking now…” he looked at Ken. “I told you that in our conversation,”
“Yeah, and you said we can do nothing about it,” Ken said. “Mentioning of that, I totally forgot about that beer thingy until now,” he scratched his head.
“I have an idea. You want to drink?” Rainie asked.
“I’ve told you I can tell Rainie and see what she can do about it.” Ken said, looking at Xi Men, and then turned and looked at Rainie. “Yes, Xi Men expressed that he wanted to drink,”
“Sure, I’ll get you,” Rainie said.
“But…” Xi Men said, and Rainie turned looking at Vanness.
“Vanness, mind to fetch me out?” Rainie asked.
“Sure thing,” Vanness said.
“Be right back,” Rainie said as she gave a kiss to Ken.
“Back soon.” Vanness said as he kissed the cheek of smiling Pace.
“I…” Xi Men said looking at Rainie walking out with Vanness.
“So where are we going?” Vanness asked at Rainie as he closed the door.
“What is she doing?” Xi Men asked.
“Not sure,” Barbie said. “But we’ll know,”
“You got me that?” Xi Men asked, as Rainie holding a half dozen of paper-made tin beers.
“You said you wanted to drink beer, so we looked around for shops that sell paper products to burn for the dead,” Rainie said.
“Excellent idea,” Ken said. “Should have told you earlier… but that is if I remember,”
“I was surprised when she said she want to go to such shops,” Vanness said.
“So… what to do next?” Pace asked.
“We’ll go to the backyard and burn it to him,” Rainie said as she headed to the backyard. They all walked behind her.
Jerry burned the half-dozen of paper-made tin beers, and uttered the full name of Xi Men, representing that he is the recipient of the stuffs. It didn’t take long for Xi Men to actually get it.
“Thanks… now I can really drink,” Xi Men laughed.
“But don’t drink all in one shot. I am not going out to buy you that often,” Rainie said, pointing at the tin beers Xi Men is holding.
Xi Men smiled. “Anyway, thanks,”
“Can we have the rests of your story?” Vic asked.
Winnie immediately went to switch on the air-conditioner. It’s already close to 10am.
Xi Men smiled as he looked down to his ring on his finger. “My love life with Xiao You is not simple at all… we encountered so many things… Mike’s death, her life in Canada, my life in Taipei, her parents, my parents… all these obstacles…” Xi Men said. “We’ve faced it all…” he sighed.
“There must be something with the ring…” Rainie whispered to Ken.
Ken looked at her. “I feel that too,”
Xi Men looked at them, knowing what they were talking. “This ring is a gift,” he suddenly said.
They looked at Xi Men.
“Huh?” Jerry thought. “Why the sudden… out of topic?”
“They were talking about my ring,” again, Xi Men suddenly said. “Sorry, I overheard your thought,” he looked at Jerry. “This ring is very important for me,” he smiled. “Back to the story… throughout the 6 months with her that she has yet to move to Taipei… I fly over to Canada often, about once a month and stay there for a week, that’s how I sustained and keep our love,”