Crossroad Of Love – Chapter 6

Ken and Rainie resume their communication via MSN Messenger during work time. They work closely on the M. H. Technology Event. However, Rainie had yet to finalize the mail to send to him and Joanne.

The AHW2 MDW team went for a team building trip the following weekend for 3 days 2 nights. With 2 new extra staff that is subject to come in the following month, the team to the trip comprises 9 people, which are Dr. Lee, Kevin, Henry, Rainie, Fanny, Jennifer, Tammy and the 2 news staffs, Sandra and Mandy. It was like a shopping heaven for Rainie. As the popular cold place that they went to are famous for tea, she shopped for tea leaves, with almost Kevin’s car boot is full with tea leaves!

After the trip, on MSN Messenger, Rainie spill information about the trip to Ken, which only then he knows that they went for a trip.

rainie-msn : you like tea?
ken-msn : so-so, why?
rainie-msn : I bought lots of tea leaves. If you like tea, I’ll give you a box.
ken-msn : well, I liked the strawberry tea.
rainie-msn : I do not have enough of strawberry tea to give away. But if you don’t mind, I’ll do the mix and match and give it to you.
ken-msn : I’m ok. If you do not have enough, you don’t have to give. Thanks.
rainie-msn : I have. I only have to let you know that I need to open all the boxes to do the mixing. So you can have all the flavored tea in one box.
ken-msn : you mean the box has all different flavors of tea?
rainie-msn : I need to manually mix it, then yes.
ken-msn : oh, alright. Sure, no problem.
rainie-msn : so I’ll bring it for you during the M. H. Technology Event.
ken-msn : sure. Thanks. I’ll pay you back.
rainie-msn : nah… I am giving it to you, not sell to you. Plus, it wasn’t you who asked me to buy but me myself wanting to give you a box. But don’t let them see me giving it to you, else they won’t stop talking.
ken-msn : sure. Will do. So… what did you do in your trip?

With then, Rainie furnished Ken with all the details, and Ken can feel that Rainie is very happy with the trip, and she definitely enjoy it.

Rainie took a whole week to draft the email on the M. H. Technology Event and then sends it to Ken. Ken had earlier asked Rainie repeatedly if she had sent him the email on the event, and Rainie repeatedly say ‘not yet’.

“Finally…” Rainie said after she pressed the ‘send’ button. “It’s kind of difficult to actually draft a mail that contains only the information that is important from this exhibitor handbook,” she mumbled, looking at the handbook, “But all the details that you need to know, like booth setup to booth tear down details are already in there,”. She then focused on other arrangements that she need to do, such as preparations and more detailed information that should only be known by her colleagues. Not long later, she received a respond, from Ken.

*Dear Ms. Rainie,
Thank you!
Regards, Ken*

Rainie smiled. “This guy is really well-manners,” she then looked back at the handbook. “I am waiting for the event now, I want to make sure everything works well,”

**********

It’s Sunday. Rainie will be heading to the Taipei Convention Center in an hour time. Tomorrow will be the M.H. Technology Event. It will be held for four days, until Thursday. They need to be there today to set up the booth. Suddenly, the thought of booth set up for Associations for IT Architects comes to her mind.

“I didn’t tell Joanne and Ken today is the booth setup day. Are they aware? I already wrote in the mail… they suppose to know… but… they didn’t tell me that they are coming…” Rainie mumbled. Rainie then decided to SMS Ken and tells him about the booth setup, in case he forgot. “But tomorrow is the event, I hope he doesn’t forget about it!”

[Booth set up time is from 3 to 7pm. Other details unchanged. Are you going? – Rainie]

It didn’t take too long for Ken to respond to her SMS.

[Tonight? I won’t be free before 7pm. I’ll call Joanne later and see – Ken]

Rainie responded to Ken.

[Yes. Today. In that case you still have time to do the set up tomorrow morning at 9 to 11am but you cannot enter without pass – Rainie]

Then again, she received another SMS.

[How can we get the pass first? Can liaise together with Joanne as well on this entry and setup – Ken]

Rainie knows this is going nowhere so she called Ken up instead.

Ken : Hello.
Rainie : Hi. I have you guys’ passes. Are you or Joanne coming over today?
Ken : I don’t know. But I am not free today, not before 7pm.
Rainie : Do you have a lot of things for set up? If not much, then you can do the set up tomorrow.
Ken : 9am to 11am right? I think we will come tomorrow.
Rainie : Alright then. I’ll pass to you tomorrow when you both come.
Ken : We cannot enter without pass?
Rainie : No. Plus, we need to enter earlier, because we are the exhibitor.
Ken : Is there any way for us to take it earlier?
Rainie : You mean today?
Ken : Err…
Rainie : (laughed) Most probably if you come over today, we cannot give you the pass too. It’s ok, I’ll pass to you tomorrow. Just call me once you’ve reached. I’ll bring you your pass.
Ken : Alright then, thanks.
Rainie : You’re welcome.

Rainie and the team spends 4 hours for booth setup, and then dinner and get a good rest, before a hectic week that is subject to start, in less than 12 hours.

Rainie placed the box of tea leaves that will be given to Ken into her bag. She smiled. “Hope that everything goes well, the exhibition… and no one will notice me giving Ken this box of tea leaves,” she said before she lied on bed.

Little did she know, the box of tea leaves will create havoc soon…

**********

The M.H. Technology Event will be held from 11am to 6pm on first day/Monday and from 10am to 6pm on the other 3 days/Tuesday to Thursday. Rainie had asked the team to reach the convention center at 9am for booth setup.

It was the first day of the event. Rainie, with Jennifer as her passenger, had Kevin and everyone called her once every few minutes on what time she will reach the convention center.

Kevin : Where are you now?
Rainie : I also don’t know. I’m lost. I took the wrong route. I am now stuck in jam too. But I can see the Taipei Convention Center from here.
Kevin : Huh? What are the landmarks around you?
Rainie : There is this building… call… Miracle?
Kevin : Err… I don’t know where is that… but please come as soon as possible because right now no one can enter the exhibition hall.
Rainie : Why?
Kevin : I don’t know. Something is wrong with the pass. They don’t allow us to enter.
Rainie : Har?
Kevin : You have all the exhibitor passes with you. We cannot enter using our delegate pass.

Rainie remembered, 5 of them have the delegate passes : Kevin, Tammy, Fanny, Henry and herself. The other colleagues will be using the exhibitor pass.

Rainie : Yes. Right now I am still stuck in jam, I’ll come as soon as possible.

They hang up the call.

“What happened?” Jennifer asked.

“There is something wrong with the delegate pass,” Rainie said.

“Why?” Jennifer asked.

“Now everyone is waiting for the exhibitor pass. It’s with me,” Rainie said. “They can only go in with exhibitor pass. That was weird,”

**********

Rainie reached the Taipei Convention Center at 9.15am, 15 minutes later than expected as she is stuck in jam, and taking the wrong route to there. Ken reached the Taipei Convention Center at about the time Rainie reached there too.

“Hi,” Ken said.

“Hi, here’s your pass,” Rainie said. “We do not have enough pass to enter, so we need to shuffle among ourselves,”

“Huh?” he asked.

“We have 5 exhibitor passes and 5 delegate passes. But now, only those who bear the exhibitor pass can enter. So, you’ll go in first, and they will come out and pass the pass to us. You all go in first,” Rainie said.

“Oh… so, it will be shuffling of the passes among ourselves,” Ken said as he went in with 4 other colleagues of Rainie.

In the booth, everybody is busy with their last minute setup. It was then also Rainie passed the box of tea leaves to Ken, and hoped that no one saw it. Ken is a bit surprised that she passed him the box of tea leaves a lil too early.

“I will only be here for half day,” Ken said.

“Oh? What about Joanne?” Rainie asked.

“She will be here the whole day,” Ken said. “I will not be here tomorrow too. I have something to do. I will be here on Wednesday,”

“Alright,” Rainie said.

“Did you receive any mails from Associations for IT Architects about the Architects Night-Out this Wednesday at the hotel next to this convention center?” Ken asked.

“Yeah. We are going,”

“Just a reminder. It’s at the top floor, call The Top Bar,” Ken said. “8pm,”

“Ok. It’s just after the event for Wednesday then we will head there straight,” Rainie said.

Ken smiled. “Great,”

“Hey,” Rainie called.

Ken looked at her. “What is it?”

“Remember the rumor that is set up between you and me?” Rainie asked.

“Yeah, I remember,” Ken said. “What about it?”

“In order to prevent the same thing happen again, you need to stay away from me in this event,” Rainie said. “I don’t want people to talk about you and me again,”

“Oh,” Ken said, a bit upset with Rainie’s request. “Ok,”

“Thanks,” Rainie said. She walked off.

Ken smiled lightly.

Everyone at the booth sees Rainie walking around the hall, busy looking for this and that to ensure the booth looks alright and is managed perfectly and nicely. Everyone is busy approaching people doing consulting. Ken left in the afternoon.

The second day of the event goes on as usual, with no Ken in sight. Rainie is still busy as bee. Joanne is the only person represents Associations for IT Architects for the day. Alan did come over for both days to see how it is going for Associations for IT Architects.

It’s the third day of the event. Ken reached the Taipei Convention Center. He took out his cell and SMS Rainie.

[I’m here. Call me when you can let me in – Ken]

It didn’t take too long for Rainie to walk out from the hall with an exhibitor pass. When she walked out of the hall, she looked around looking for Ken. She then saw Ken walking in with the cell on his hand, and looked at her like some kind of monster.

“Perhaps he’s just in deep thought,” she mumbled.

Ken took the pass and walked in into the hall with Rainie. “Tonight you will be going to the Top Bar, right?”

“Yes,” Rainie replied.

Soon, the time passes by, and it was lunch time.

“We are going for lunch now, stay at the booth,” Henry said.

Fanny, Jennifer, Tammy, Sandra and Mandy followed him, leaving Kevin and Rainie behind at the booth.

“Darn! It is lunch time and everyone knows this is the busiest time of the day!” Rainie said.

“They all went for lunch? All together?” Kevin asked.

“Yes,” Rainie said, looking at her watch. “I hope our booth will not be flooded with people at the time being as I cannot be able to handle all…” she turned over looking at Ken, who is busy talking to other people.

Associations for IT Architects is sharing the AHW2 MDW booth, occupying one small table. Joanne is also busy talking to other people.

Dr. Lee walked to the booth. “Hey, where is everybody?”

“Lunch,” Rainie said.

“All of them?” Dr. Lee asked, as he sat down, next to Rainie.

“Yes. Now only leave Kevin and me,” said Rainie.

“Go for lunch then, I am here,” Dr. Lee said.

“There isn’t any lunch outside anymore…” Rainie said.

“You still have exhibitor lunch, right? With the complimentary lunch?” Dr. Lee said.

“Oh yeah…” Rainie recalled.

“Go for lunch, Rainie,” Dr. Lee said.

“It’s ok. I’ll stay for the next few minutes,” Rainie said.

Dr. Lee smiled, looking at Joanne and Ken. “You know… I liked Joanne and Ken,”

Rainie looked at Dr. Lee, then at Joanne and Ken.

“Did you see them sitting down like us?” Dr. Lee smiled.

“Oh,” Rainie immediately silent.

“Well, absolutely. I asked them to come, is to work, not to sit down,” Dr. Lee said. “Associations for IT Architects really needed this. Exposure, I should say,” he looked at Rainie. “They are hardworking. You don’t see them taking a break. If you see Joanne properly, she is busy approaching people,”

“I know,” Rainie said.

“They needed to bring people to the Top Bar tonight,” he said, as he sees Joanne busy talking to the people, and seeing her poking on the paper that states the word ‘Top Bar’.

“Hey, Dr. Lee!” someone called.

Dr. Lee turned. “Hello!” he replied back. He then turned to Rainie. “Go and have lunch. Kevin and me will take care of the booth,” he then walked to his friend.

Rainie saw Joanne and Ken talking to each other, and she approached them, after Ken walked to his bag to take something.

“Lunch?” she asked Joanne.

“No, I don’t feel like taking it. You can go for lunch,” Joanne said.

“Nevermind, you can go for lunch. I’ll take care of the booth, I mean our Associations for IT Architects ‘booth’,” Ken said. “We cannot leave at the same time,”

“I know, one person must be at the booth at least at all times,” Rainie said.

“I don’t feel like eating, it’s ok, Rainie. Thanks,” Joanne said. She then hurriedly approaches a delegate with the Top Bar brochures.

Rainie then looked at Ken, “You want to go for lunch?”

“Me?” Ken asked.

“With me,” Rainie said.

“At this time… there should be no lunch anymore…” Ken said.

“Complimentary lunch,” Rainie said. “For exhibitors,”

“Well… alright… now?” Ken said.

“Yes,” Rainie said.

“Sure, give me a minute, I’ll tell Joanne,” said Ken.

“Sure,” Rainie said.

Ken then walked out of the exhibition hall with Rainie. She didn’t realize that actually other colleagues who are having their lunch just outside the exhibition hall saw them walking out together.

“Why the sudden? I mean, taking lunch with me?” Ken said.

“The rests of the team went for lunch, leaving me alone. Dr. Lee asked me to go for lunch,”

“Oh,” Ken said.

“Plus, you haven’t take lunch yet, so, I asked you along. Do you think Joanne needed us to get her something?” Rainie asked.

“No worries, I will ask her to eat something after I got back,” Ken said. “You are not afraid to go for lunch with me? Aren’t you afraid if they will say things about us?”

“Let them be, although I wish they won’t. Sometimes, even if you don’t stand next to me, they will still say things about you and me, because we are at the same booth,” Rainie said. “After all, I only want to feed my stomach,”

Ken smiled. “I’m surprised you ask me for lunch, because you requested me to stay away from you 2 days back,”

Rainie laughed. “It doesn’t matter,” she said, as they reached the coffee house.

“How many person?” the waitress asked.

“Two,” Ken said.

The waitress directed them to sit at a small table for 2, and they both sit opposite each other.

“Well… it felt awkward,” Rainie thought to herself.

“And here is Rainie, having lunch with me, just with me,” Ken thought to himself. “Like a dream come true…”

“Each set comes with a drink, so… what do you want to eat?” Rainie asked as she looked at the menu list.

“This. And you?” he pointed in the list.

“Spaghetti,” she said.

They then talked about how they have been busy for the booth and other working stuffs. Rainie laughed when Ken joked or telling funny stuffs. Not long later, Rainie’s food is served along with the drink – bottled water.

“Bottled water? How stingy,” Ken said.

“Complimentary lunch…” Rainie said. “So… I eat first,”

“Go ahead,” Ken said.

Ken’s food came pretty late, but there isn’t any drink at sight.

“Where’s my drink?” Ken asked, looking around for the waitress. “It can’t be having only one drink with two main dishes, right…” he stared at the bottled water.

Rainie laughed. “They may be expecting us to share this!”
Ken laughed and asked for his drink from the waitress. They then focused on their food, not talking much.

“Ok… what else should I ask…” Rainie thought. “We can’t just go on like this… silent for the next hour?”

“I have a couple of things to ask you… but I never know if you would mind to tell me… I…” Ken thought.

“Sorry, but if you don’t mind…” Rainie said. Ken looked at her. “I’ve finished my lunch. I need to get back to the booth as soon as possible…”

“Oh, nevermind, go ahead,” Ken said.

“Sorry,” Rainie said.

“It’s ok. I understand,” Ken said.

“Take your time,” Rainie smiled as she stood up and left.

“Gosh…” Ken mumbled.


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