It’s 8.30am. Pace opened the door and headed down to the living room. She heard voices in the kitchen.
“Who’s there in kitchen?” Pace asked.
Pace looked into the kitchen, and looked at Xi Men cooking. Xi Men turned looking at her and smiled.
“Good morning, Pace,” Xi Men said.
“Oh, good morning,” Pace said, still looking at Xi Men. “Err… what are you doing?”
“Cooking,” Xi Men said. “You guys’ breakfast,”
“Breakfast?” Pace asked. “I’m…”
Xi Men smiled. “I enjoy cooking,” he said. He took a plate with ham and pancakes up and put the eggs on it. He then handed to Pace. “Your breakfast,”
“Mine?” Pace asked.
“Yes, yours,” Xi Men said.
“I’m… thanks,” Pace said, not sure what else to say. “You… eaten?”
Xi Men laughed. “I don’t eat since I die,”
“Oh… sorry,” Pace said. She looked at the friendly ghost. She began to feel comfortable having this friend.
“Go ahead, enjoy your breakfast,” Xi Men said, smiling at her.
“Your fiancée is the luckiest person in the world to have a man to cook for her,” Pace said as she sat down at the dining room.
Xi Men smiled.
Pace looked at him. “I’m sorry… did I just…”
“It’s ok,” Xi Men said. “I am the luckiest person in the world I should say… when I am still alive, of course,” he looked at Pace eating the meal. “For having her,”
Pace smiled. “How long have you died?”
“5 years,” Xi Men said, as his right hand touched a ring on his left hand’s ring finger.
“Oh…” Pace said. “You sounded mystery,” she thought to herself.
Xi Men smiled. “I am a ghost, so I admit I am a little mystery,” he said.
Pace smiled, as Xi Men heard her thought.
“You will listen to every single thought that we had?”
“No, I will only listen when I want to, and you looked like there are tremendous of questions running in your head so I listened to what you are thinking, sorry for the intrusion,” he smiled. “So, how was the breakfast?”
“It’s nice, thank you,” she looked at him playing with his ring on his finger.
“You’re welcome. Let them know when they’ve woke up that I’ve cook them breakfast,” Xi Men said.
“Sure… you’re going somewhere?” Pace asked.
“I will be here until 10am,” Xi Men said shortly as he walked to the living room.
Pace looked at him, knowing something is bothering Xi Men.
Jerry and Barbie woke up together, and opened the door. When they opened the door, at the same time Winnie and Vic opened the door of their rooms. All of them looked at each other. Jerry pointed at Vic and Winnie.
“I thought you two are supposed to be sleeping in one room?” Jerry asked.
Winnie looked at Jerry then at Vic. She closed the door behind her and walked to the staircase. Vic looked at Jerry.
“I had a fight with her last night,” Vic said.
“Fight?” Jerry asked. “She kicked you out of the room?”
“No, I move,” Vic said as he walked past him to the staircase.
Rainie and Ken walked out of their room, and stared at Barbie and Jerry who is standing there.
“What are you doing? Go down,” Ken said.
“We just met Vic and Winnie. They said they fought last night,” Barbie said.
“They look alright when we saw them yesterday night,” Rainie said.
“I know. But I saw Vic coming out from that room instead of their room,” Jerry said, as he turned walking to the stairs, followed by Barbie, Ken and Rainie.
“That’s strange. You know, Vic don’t fight that much with Winnie…” Ken said.
“I know what you mean. I fight more than him, right?” Jerry said.
“I didn’t mean that!” Ken said.
Barbie and Rainie laughed behind them.
They then heard a loud bang behind them. They looked back, and there stood Vanness. He held up his hand, as a sign of apology for slamming the door close too hard. They smiled, turned and walked down the stairs.
Rainie saw Xi Men sitting at a shady corner at the backyard playing with the ring on his finger. Rainie took a deep breath and then walked to him.
“Thanks for the breakfast,” Rainie said.
Xi Men looked up. “You’re welcome,” he smiled. “You liked it?”
“Yes, it’s delicious,” Rainie smiled. “Hard to believe a ghost can cook!”
“I cannot eat, but I can touch things. I enjoyed cooking, and I can touch the pans, so… since right now there are people staying here, why not I cook for you guys?” Xi Men said.
“Thank you very much, Xi Men,” Rainie smiled.
“They like my cooking?” Xi Men asked.
“Yeah,” Rainie said. She no longer scares of this ghost.
“Great,” Xi Men said and then stared out to the scenery of Taipei. Rainie looked at him.
“There seems to be something bothering you,” Rainie said.
“It’s like that when you become a ghost,” Xi Men said.
“May I ask… all of us can see you… so does that mean anyone can see you too?” Rainie asked.
“I choose people. Some can, and some cannot,” Xi Men smiled. “Generally I don’t appear when there are other people around. It’s their luck if they can feel my presence,”
“Oh,” Rainie smiled.
Xi Men stared back to the Taipei scenery while touching his ring.
“I heard people say once a person died, they can move to another world. Why do you stay on?” Rainie asked.
Xi Men looked down to his hands and the ring. He then looked at Rainie. “I stay on… just like you said, something is bothering me. I am not ready to go yet,”
“You have wishes unfulfilled?” Rainie asked.
Xi Men smiled lightly. “Yes,”
“Then what is it? We can help you to fulfill it if possible,” Rainie said.
Xi Men just smiled, and didn’t respond.
Winnie looked at Vic, and then Vic looked at Winnie. They both looked away and headed towards opposite direction.
Vanness looked at Vic walking towards him, and then passing next to him.
“Hey,” Vanness grabbed Vic’s arm. “What is wrong with you and Winnie?”
“Don’t ask,” Vic said as he lightly flung Vanness’ hand away and he walked off.
“Tell me something, Xi Men,” Barbie said, turning her head and looked at Xi Men.
“What is it?” Xi Men asked, as he is sitting on the couch.
“How is your life as a human?” Barbie asked. “What is the difference being a human and a ghost?”
“I don’t breathe and I cannot feel my heart beating. I don’t need to go for toilet break, or feed myself,” Xi Men smiled. “I won’t feel cold at night, but I will definitely feel burning under the sun in the noon, so I need to be transparent before and after that. I need shady and cold places,”
“You said you will be away at 10.30am… everyday?” Barbie asked.
“Yes. Unless you want me to stay on then I’ll stay on, but I’ll be invisible,” Xi Men said. “It’s just hot that’s why I need to be away from the mansion,”
“Where are you going then?” Barbie asked.
“My underworld class,” Xi Men laughed.
“What did you learn there?” Barbie asked.
“Darling, why are you asking so many questions?” Jerry asked.
“She’s just curious,” Xi Men smiled. “I learn all these abilities to touch and hold things, being able to appear as a human form, reading human’s thoughts from there. All these depends to how long you have been a ghost, and how badly you want to learn this. Of course, the longer time you became ghost, the easier you master the skills,”
“You must have put in a lot of effort to learn all these,” Barbie smiled.
“You can say like that,” Xi Men smiled.
Vic came back to them, and he looked at Winnie. He then sat down at the living room, at a couch far from where Winnie sat. It is obvious they are avoiding each other.
“Then how’s your life as a human?” Pace asked.
Xi Men silent.
“Yeah, how’s your life as a human?” Rainie asked.
Xi Men looked at Rainie. He then looked down, playing with his ring. “All of you want to know?” Xi Men asked.
They all nodded. Vic occasionally looked at Winnie and Winnie looked at him. They again turned away.
“Then I should start my story from scratch,” Xi Men said. “It will take a long time for me to finish,”
“Your life in about 30 years… you can take up to 30 years to finish it,” Ken said.
Xi Men smiled. “Well, of course I don’t need that long. Not going to update you whatever happened to my everyday life, right?”
They all smiled.
“All of you are willing to hear me out?” Xi Men asked.
They all nodded.
Xi Men leaned his back onto the couch comfortably. “I’ve never tell the story of my life to anyone. So all of you will be the first,” he looked at them. “My life has been a great journey, all ups and downs, pains and gains, happiness and sadness… I experienced it all, and I would conclude the journey of my life as the greatest journey ever… and the best thing ever happened to me,” he smiled. “The only thing I want more is time, so that I can marry my fiancée and have family with her. I wanted to spend most of my time with her, and make her the happiest person in my life…”
“Xi Men, if it is…” Winnie said.
“It’s ok,” Xi Men said, understanding what Winnie wanted to say, to ask him to stop the topic if it is going to hurt him. “I can handle it,”