*Concentrating on the document in his hands.
“Here,” a green file makes a grand entrance to his sight, directly above his document, interrupting him.
The handsome lad immediately turned his head to the right and looked at the woman.
“Mom, what is this?” he asked.
“Profile of ladies who are beautiful, nice and kind, and still single,”
He looked at his mother, and then he chuckled, “Mom, seriously?”
“This is probably the only way to get your concentration, Xi Men,”
“By shoving it to my face when I am reading my documents?” Xi Men asked.
“By compiling their data along with their pictures so that you’ll read them!”
Xi Men chuckled again, “Mom, come on…”
“Son, come on,” Xi Men’s mother retorted. “Look thru them and date one of them!”
Xi Men looked at his mother, and then he smiled, before he moved the document in his hand up, topping the green file his mother had extended and he continued reading, ignoring the existence of the green file.
“What?” he asked, looking at his mother.
“My gosh, please…” she rolled her eyes. “You are making it really, really tough for me. I have tried setting up meetings for you but you rejected that. I mean, you haven’t even seen the girl and you will reject me immediately! If you did not see them, how would you know you are not interested? So, in order to curb that, I decided to compile this file, so that you will see the photos, at least!”
“Mom, I love you and I appreciate all the hard work you have put in, but I am not interested. So, stop doing all of these, okay?”
“Date someone, then I’ll stop,”
Xi Men deadpanned, and looked at his mother.
“Xi Men, look at your friends! All of them are married and they have kids too! You are the only one who is still single, and… not to mention hearing any (wedding) bells… they are not in sight nor in mind! When are you going to get married, huh? When are you going to have kids, huh?”
Xi Men just looked at his mother, “Why are you so anxious?”
“You are getting old!”
“Old? Age is just a number,” Xi Men said.
Xi Men’s mother glared at Xi Men. “So? You want to get married when you are 50 and have your first kid when you are 60?”
Xi Men looked at his mother. “I don’t find any wrongdoings in that,”
“Seriously?” she looked at him in disbelief. “Are you telling me you wanted to do that?”
“I didn’t say I want to do that, but I did not find anything wrong with getting married at 50 and…”
“If you don’t want to do that, then start dating now. Get to know some girls… and who knows you might be interested. When the time is right, then get married. Maybe… next year?”
Xi Men gave her a deadpanned gaze.
“Or date someone before your birthday,”
“Birthday? That’s like just 3 months away,”
“I said date before your birthday; not getting married before your birthday. I am pretty lenient about that,”
“Lenient? How on earth is that ‘lenient’?” he groaned.
“In order to help you, I have prepared this for your convenient. Pick one from here,” Xi Men’s mother said, shoving the green file to Xi Men again.
“Mom, I am not going to pick anyone. I’ve told you I am not interested with knowing girls like this,” he pointed at the file.
“Gosh. How am I supposed to do this…” she squeezed her forehead.
“Don’t do anything,” Xi Men said. “I am only going to date someone that I like, not someone that you like, mom,” he said, looking at her. “And no, I am not keen with match making like this,” he pointed at the file again. “I will meet her on my own, okay?” he straightened his gaze to look at his document file.
“But you are not getting out of that CEO room of Xi Men Corporation to meet people from the opposite gender! How are you going to meet ‘her’ on your own?!” she asked. “That is why you need a push!” and she pushed the file to him again.
“Mom, please,” Xi Men gazes at her. “Please just let me decide that on my own, okay?”
His mother looked at him and then sighed, “So, it means you are not going to get married ever?”
Xi Men looked at his mother, “I will marry, if I met the right person,”
“I wonder when will that be?” Xi Men’s mother mocked and then folded her hands on her chest.
“When the time is right, just like you have said,” Xi Men smirks.
Xi Men’s mother glared at him.
“So, mom, I am going to Hong Kong in 2 days for a business meeting. Is there anything you want me to buy for you?” Xi Men asked, and then looked at the working document in his hand.
“How long are you going to be in Hong Kong?” Lei asked, looking over to Xi Men while holding a bowl of rice.
“3 days. Will be back on Friday,” Xi Men responded.
“3 days? Isn’t it a little too long? I thought one usually finishes it in a day and since travelling may take another day thus it should be around 2 days…?” Mei Zhuo asked. “I mean that’s the number of days that I have expected…”
“Dad wants me to be there for 3 days, so 3 days it is,” Xi Men said.
“Uncle will be there?” Ah Si asked, reaching for the piece of ‘bok choy’.
“Yes,” Xi Men said. “You know my dad is usually the one that travels for business, and I hardly do that. He is the one that deals with clients, but he said since this is the final stage where the client will be signing the agreement and officially transfer the project to my side (Taiwan branch) since… you know, Hong Kong is nearer to Taiwan than to New York; so wants me to go and let the client knows who the CEO of Xi Men Corporation Taiwan is,”
“Hmmm,” Lei, Ah Si and Mei Zhuo nodded in agreement.
“I understand now,” Lei said. “So you are there just to ‘show your face’,”
Ah Si and Mei Zhuo laughed while Xi Men glared at Lei.
Lei chuckled afterwards. His statement after all, is correct to a certain extent.
Only buddies can make fun of each other like that.
“Anyway, dad says it may take two to three days to finalize everything so he asked me to be there for 3 days and to assist my dad in that if necessary,” Xi Men said.
“Okay, got it,” Mei Zhuo said.
Xi Men glances over to his phone that he had placed on the table.
He then picked the phone up.
‘I have put in another girl’s profile into the green file. Glance thru the file when you are free, alright. – Mom’
There is an obvious change of Xi Men’s facial expression upon reading it.
Lei, Mei Zhuo and Ah Si looked at Xi Men.
“What is that all about?” Mei Zhuo pointed at Xi Men’s face.
Xi Men lifted his head up to look at Mei Zhuo.
“Who is that?” Lei asked, gesturing to the phone in Xi Men’s hand.
“My mom,” Xi Men said, putting the phone down.
“Your mom? Is she talking about getting you a girlfriend again?” Ah Si asked.
“Yes,” Xi Men said, and then picks up a slice of fish.
“When you have one, she’ll stop all these,” Mei Zhuo smirks.
“You know what she’s doing now? She prints the ladies’ data into papers and puts it into a file to show me,” Xi Men said.
“Whoa…” Lei, Mei Zhuo and Ah Si said.
“Since I have always rejected her request to meet up with the ladies, she said she printed them and consolidates it into a file so that I can browse the photos to see if I am interested,”
“Be thankful your mom did not do it as aggressively as my mom,” Mei Zhuo said. “She pulled me to those meetings; and I can’t even say no,”
“That is how you met Xiao Qiao, okay?” Ah Si asked, looking at Mei Zhuo.
“Do not, I repeat, DO NOT tell your mom about what my mom is doing, or your mom will call my mom and tells her this; and she will do the same thing to me,” Xi Men said, pointing at Mei Zhuo.
Lei, Mei Zhuo and Ah Si laughed.
“Trust me, I will come and strangle you if that happens,” Xi Men said.
Mei Zhuo remained laughing. “Don’t worry. I won’t tell my mom,” he said; his laughter fading to a smile, “I remember how much I hated it back then too,”
“Great,” Xi Men said, breathing a sigh of relief.
“Tell your mom that you really don’t like what she’s doing,” Ah Si said.
“It’s not that I have never said that before. And I repeat the same damn thing yesterday, that I am not interested with that way of knowing ladies but she is still doing it. You don’t know how annoyed I was with her emphasizing them,” he said. “I prefer to meet girls myself, not thru an arranged meeting like this. I hated that,” he adds. “Now it makes me feel like I want to be away to Hong Kong longer than just 3 days,”
“But how long can you do that?” Lei asked. “I mean, you can’t be avoiding her permanently,”
“I know,” Xi Men sighed again. “Oh well. Now, at least I will be away for 3 days. Get to be away for 3 days is better than none, eh?”
“Well, if that is what you feel, enjoy your freedom trip in Hong Kong,” Lei smirks.
Xi Men smirks, “Thanks,”
“And all the best for your project,” Ah Si smiled.
“Thanks for the wishes. And thanks for having lunch with me before I leave for Hong Kong tomorrow. And we’ll eat again when I am back, alright,” Xi Men said.
“Sure,” Lei, Mei Zhuo and Ah Si smiled.
Xi Men tilts his head as he reads the document in the file.
Secretary Xu, who is sitting next to Xi Men, looked over to President Xi Men talking to President Wang.
Xi Men did not pay attention to what his father and the client talked, as he is busily reviewing the document since he is about to take over the project from his father.
He needs to know what is going on and what project it is, right?
Xi Men turned his head to look at his father and the client.
“It is time to go home. My wife is waiting for me to have dinner. So, can we continue tomorrow?” President Wang asked, lowering his hand after seeing the time on his wristwatch.
“Oh,” Mr. Xi Men said, partially surprised to hear that; as they were talking about business and then all of a sudden the client just says he wanna go home. “Sure…” he moved his body to stands up.
That immediately prompts Xi Men to close the file in his hand and stands up.
Secretary Xu also followed suit.
“Then let’s meet tomorrow again,” Mr. Xi Men said, extending his hand.
“Thank you, President Xi Men,” President Wang said, grabbing Xi Men’s father’s hand for a handshake.
He then turned to look at Xi Men.
“Thank you, President Wang. See you tomorrow,” Xi Men smiled and extends his hand.
“Thank you, CEO Xi Men. You are very young and good-looking,” President Wang asked as he grabs Xi Men’s hand for a handshake.
“Thank you for your compliment, President Wang,” Xi Men said.
“Are you married?” President Wang asked.
“No, President Wang. Not yet,” Xi Men said.
“Oh? Are you single?”
What the f*ck are these questions for?
“Umm… no…?” Xi Men responded.
“Ah. My daughter is about the same age as you and not married too…”
Xi Men’s gaze changes.
“But she is still in Paris at the moment. If there is a chance, I will introduce her to you when she comes back,” President Wang smiled.
“Oh, oh… oh…” that is all Xi Men can say.
And then he smiled uncomfortably at President Wang.
“Don’t you find it odd? We were talking about business and then all of a sudden he told me he wants to go home now,” Mr. Xi Men said, tucking his hands into his pants pocket and walked.
“Maybe President Wang prioritized his family more than anything,” Xi Men, who is walking next to his father; replied.
“Maybe,” Mr. Xi Men said, as he entered the lift (to leave the building) and stood at the corner of the lift.
Xi Men enters next and stood next to his father.
Secretary Xu enters last and proceeded to press onto the button to go to the Ground floor.
Lift’s door closed.
All three of them looked at the digital panel indicator to note which floor the lift is at right now.
“Wanna go for dinner together?”
Xi Men turned his head to look at his father. “Now?”
“Hmmm, why not?” Mr. Xi Men asked.
“It is only 5.30pm,” Xi Men said, raising his hand up to flash the expensive wristwatch at his father. “Isn’t it a little too early?”
“Well, we can go early. With traffic… we may reach there at… 6.30pm?” Xi Men’s father said. “And then we can go back to hotel and call it a day,”
“Hmmm… you are right too,” Xi Men said. “Okay. We can go for dinner now then,”
“Secretary Xu, join us for dinner as well, alright,” Mr. Xi Men said.
Secretary Xu turned his head around to look at Xi Men and his father. “Errr…”
“Don’t worry about it. Just join us,” Xi Men smiled at his honorable secretary.
“Umm… okay…” Secretary Xu smiled.
“Dad, have you contacted your chauffeur?” Xi Men asked, turning his head to look at his father.
“Yes. John (the chauffeur) said he has been waiting not too far away so he can come immediately. He should reach in about…” Mr. Xi Men said, lifting his hand up to look at the time on his wristwatch, “…now,”
“Oh, okay,” Xi Men said, lifting his head up to look at the digital board.
The moment Xi Men steps out from the office building, wind blew straight to his face.
His father halted his footsteps to look around; to the left and right, trying to spot for his chauffeur.
Since his father stopped walking, Xi Men does the same.
He stood there, right in front of the building, and briefly looked at his father still looking around for the rented car & service; and with that being the least of his interest, he suddenly has a desire to check if he has any messages.
Out of nowhere he just feels like it.
He dives his hand into his pants’ pocket to take his phone out. He then pressed the button and unlocked the screen.
No messages but he needs to change the sound settings from silent to ringing mode anyway.
“On the right, son,”
Hearing it, “Alright,” Xi Men responded, his eyes remained on the phone.
Ringing Mode: On.
His father walked away to the right, and Xi Men instinctively turned to the right and took his first step while his focus is on the phone…
Because he didn’t see where he is going, he crashed straight onto someone who is walking towards him.
They are both on the pedestrian walkway, and with him standing there & moved all of a sudden, he believed this person he had crashed onto has the right of way…
“Oh my gosh, my mistake! I am sorry!” Xi Men immediately apologizes and took a step back upon the collision.
Taking the step back allows him to look at the long-haired female that has her head lowered down to look; and her left hand is rubbing her right arm.
This is how he knows he had crashed onto her right hand.
He then noticed that painful right hand is also holding onto a smartphone.
She must have been looking at her smartphone too when she crashed onto him, like he did.
Oh, at one glance, she’s beautiful.
While looking at her, she lifted her head up and looked at him. “It’s…”
Both of them looked at each other.
His eyes widened.
His jaw dropped.
Her eyes widened.
Her jaw dropped too.
He recognized that face, but he is too surprised to utter anything now…
“Xi Men, John is over here,”
That calling from his father puts him out of daze.
That also puts her out of surprise.
“I…” Xi Men looked at her, but soon gazes to his father.
He then returned his sight to her.
He, all of a sudden, stuffs his phone that he is currently holding into her hand, “Coming!” he replied to his father, and then hurriedly heads to his father.
“Xi…!” she turned around to look at him with his phone in her hand and watches him approaching a white car that is parked at the roadside.
He then gets in.
She looked at the chauffeur closing the door where Xi Men has just got in, before he walked to the driver’s seat, entered and drives the car away.
She watches the car drives away…
And then she looked at the phone in her hand. “Why… why is he passing me this?”