The Simian Line – Chapter 3

“Anything you want to buy? It’s 9pm already. Or you want to go home,” Xi Men said after the dinner in which Xiao You paid.

“I wanted to look for a cup. I broke mine recently, so… I don’t have cup to use,” Xiao You said.

“Sure, we’ll look for it,” Xi Men said.

Xi Men and Xiao You walked around the mall looking for an ideal cup. However, Xiao You has been too picky on the type of cup she wanted. It would be either the shape, the design or the size does not fit her ‘requirement’. They took an hour walking around the mall, until the mall announces that they are closing in 30 minutes.

“Xi Men, they are closing already,” Xiao You said.

“So how? You still haven’t found your ideal cup,” Xi Men said.

“It’s ok. I can look for it some other day,” Xiao You said.

“But you said you don’t have a cup to use,” Xi Men said.

“I am using some others which do not belong to me. I only wanted a cup of my own. So I can still use other cups,” she smiled.

“Well, alright then,” Xi Men said. “I wonder. It is just a cup, why do you need to search all your heart out when there are so many available ones,” they walked heading towards the car park where Xi Men paid the parking fare.

“Searching a cup is like searching for a partner for me. You needed a cup that when you look at it, you will like it, and hey, I start my day with a cup of coffee. And I filled the coffee in the cup that will start my day with. You sure you wanted to see a cup that makes you enjoy too, right?” Xiao You said.

“To me, a cup is a cup… as long as the cup doesn’t leak!” Xi Men said.

“That is your definition of cup. To me… a cup functions until it breaks. Searching a cup that you like is like searching for a boyfriend,” Xiao You said.

“Your definition of cup is very unique. But somehow it is for you, so I respect your decision to search for your ideal cup…” Xi Men said as he walked towards his car. “Anyhow, thanks for the dinner,”

“Thanks for celebrating my enjoyment with me,” Xiao You said. “I shall wait for the agent to call me on Monday,”

“They didn’t work tomorrow, right?” Xi Men said. “It’s Saturday,”

“Nope,” Xiao You said. “So… it is like the next working day that they are getting back the news to me,”

“That’s pretty quick,” Xi Men said as he inserted the car keys into the key slot of his car and started the engine. “I’ll wait for your good news,”

Xiao You smiled and nodded.

**********

On Monday at about 10am, as Xiao You is working in her office, her cell rang. It’s the agent. She is hoping for good news from him.

Agent : Congratulations Xiao You, the company has offered you the position. Are you alright with the job, the location and all?

Xiao You : Yes! Thank you!

Agent : So, now you can resign at your company already.

Xiao You chuckled :  Yes, yes, sure!

Xiao You hang up the call. She had resigned from the company but she didn’t tell it to the agent and in her interview. So she stormed into her director’s room and said she is leaving. The director looked at her, and his mood started to change. He didn’t really like it when she said she is leaving, even when she tendered her resignation letter previously.

“So you gotten a new job already,” the director said.

“Yes,” Xiao You said.

The director takes and let out a deep breath. “Ok. So when do you want to leave?”

“End of this month,” Xiao You said.

The director looked at her. “You can leave early if you want to because I know you are not happy as per you said,” he then looked at the calendar. “You can leave next week,”

“Next week?” Xiao You asked, which it is a week earlier from the exact last day as she presumed.

“Yes,” the director said. “I will arrange someone to take over your tasks and then we will have a farewell lunch for you…” he then looked at Xiao You. “I am rather busy, so you can go out now,”

Xiao You noticed the changes in her director’s face ever since she entered the director’s room and gave him the news. He held her resignation letter when she handed it 2 weeks earlier and he clearly didn’t like her to resign. And right now when she finally decided to leave, her director couldn’t even bear to see her leaving. The change in his face says all the moment she tells him she found a job and insists on leaving.

“Thank you,” Xiao You said as she walked out from the room. She then saw her director lied back on his chair like he is quite bothered with some matters, but she knows that the matter that her director seems bothered is her.

Xiao.You : hey, you there?

Xi.Men : yup, what’s up?

Xiao.You : I got the job already!

Xi.Men : see, I’ve told you!

Xiao.You : I’m happy!

Xi.Men : congratulations. When is your last day?

Xiao.You : next week.

Xi.Men : oh, that’s quick. I thought end of the month?

Xiao.You : director asked me to leave next week. Think he cannot bear to see me leaving you know…

Xi.Men : not surprising at all.

Xiao.You : so when is my candlelight dinner?

Xi.Men : hahahahaha, already ask you to WAITTTTTTTTTTTTT.

Xiao.You : hahaha, sounds forceful from you to treat me candlelight dinner, huh

Xi.Men : actually I rarely treat girls candlelight dinner unless she is my date.

Xiao.You : oh. Then we can go dutch on that.

Xi.Men : be my date then.

Xiao.You : hahahahahahahahaha.

Xi.Men : what so funny about being my date?

Xiao.You : nothing. 😛

**********

“I have always figured out that you are not happy in the office, but your condition is getting worse as days go,” said Jasmine, a colleague of Xiao You. “But I am very surprised when you leave and you didn’t tell us… until now. When did you tender your letter anyway?”

“End of last month,” Xiao You said. “My unhappiness is showed on my face?”

“Yes… but you are getting happy as these days goes too… after right now, you tell us you are leaving, then only I know why…” Jasmine said. “I know you’ve made the right choice, but I also wonder is it because of Xi Men that makes you happy?”

“I would say both. Xi Men is there to listen for me when I am not happy here,” Xiao You said. “He really cheers me up, asking me out for dinner, so that I can get my mind off from all the misery,”

“You never tell us that you are not happy here, Xiao You,” Jasmine said.

“No point doing so,” Xiao You said as she turned and worked on her notebook. Jasmine walked to her place.

“Xiao You,” Fanny, her another colleague, called her after Jasmine left.

Xiao You looked at her. “Huh?” Fanny sits next to Xiao You.

“Xiao You, we both came in and work at about the same time. We always help each other out. Since when are you not happy here? How come I didn’t realize it? You can always tell me and we can solve it together. You need not resign,” Fanny said.

“Fanny, sometimes there are things that you cannot solve,” Xiao You said.

“How long have you been unhappy?” Fanny asked.

“Six months. I have been very depressed. It is time to move on, to go out, to leave all these behind,” Xiao You said.

“You should have tell me when you are not happy… until now… you resign because you are not happy… isn’t that too late for me to do anything?” Fanny asked.

“Even if I tell you, things will not get solved. You know? Not everything can be solved just like that. Nothing can be solved just by telling you. And there is no point solving because I will leave somehow,” Xiao You said. “The point is I am not happy and for me to be depress because of a job is stupid. Life means more than just working. For me to be happy means I need to go out from here and seek my happiness. Take it that way, Fanny,” she said as a tear dripped to her face. “I am just sad right now that I have to leave you all,” she turned and looked back at her notebook, while Fanny is still struggling to accept the fact that she had resigned.

“I thought you were happy all the while, Xiao You,” Fanny said as she turned back facing her notebook.

“I have done what I can for the company. Worked til late at night, worked for 24 hours with you straight for days, I love the job in the beginning… then I started to get depressed, frustrated…” Xiao You said as Jasmine looked up from her place and looked at Xiao You talking to Fanny, “I’m not happy. Then I tell myself to give another chance for the job, but as time goes, I can’t. I had enough. I’m leaving,”

“Why are you getting depressed and frustrated?” Fanny asked.

Xiao You shook. “There are things. But some things are best left unsaid,” she smiled. “Personal,” she lied. It was about the people and the job that she started to grew sadness.

**********

Xiao You and Xi Men did constantly SMS each other for the few days. Then, it is Wednesday, two more days to go before her last day in the company. Thursday happens to be a public holiday. Xi Men MSN messaged Xiao You when she is working in the office on that fateful Wednesday afternoon.

Xi.Men : hello

Xiao.You : hey

Xi.Men : wanna go for dinner tonight?

Xiao.You : sure, no problem.

Xi.Men : I’ll come pick you. What time will you be back home?

Xiao.You : just pick me at usual time. 7pm.

Xi.Men : sure.

Xiao You drove back to her house after her working hours. After got stuck in the traffic jam for a while, she finally got herself on the smooth road to her house. She looked at the clock in the car which bears 6.45pm.

“Okay, still have 15 minutes, so I can get a quick shower…” she said as she swerved to the left at a junction which leads to her house. It took her quite sometime and then she looked at the car in front that she had followed since the swerve. “The car seems so familiar…. Eh! This is Xi Men’s car…” At the same time about a split second away, her phone rang. She looked at the call and saw Xi Men’s name.

Xiao You : Hello.

Xi Men : I reached your house already, where are you?

Xiao You : I’m behind you. I just noticed you are in front of me. Wait for me a while, while I dropped my notebook at my home and parked my car. You don’t mind I haven’t bath?

Xi Men : Nah. It’s ok. No worries.

Xiao You hang up the call. “He is early by 15 minutes!” she said as she swerved in into her house and Xi Men parked aside. “He is late last time, but early this time,” she mumbled. She quickly dropped her notebook into her house and walked out, heading to Xi Men’s car.

She got on his car and he looked at her. “You’re early Xi Men,”

“I expect it will jam,” Xi Men said. “Surprisingly it’s smooth,” he looked at her. “So, where to?”

“Is fast food alright with you?” Xiao You asked.

“Ok,” Xi Men said. “So where?”

“You decide,” Xiao You said.

“Alright,” Xi Men said as he drove. Little did she know, he is heading towards a fast food restaurant, Burger King, near his house.

“Why are we heading towards the area so close to your house? You waste so much time and petrol to bring me here for the fast food?” Xiao You asked. “There are many Burger Kings around…”

“I just thought of it at here,” Xi Men said as he parked his car. “It looks like it’s going to rain so I’ll bring along the umbrella,” he took his umbrella and they both got down from the car and walked in into the restaurant.

Xi Men ordered the food while Xiao You sat and wait at a table. Xi Men then carries the food and sat down opposite Xiao You. He put his phone on the table.

“Hey, new phone,” Xiao You said.

“Yeah,” Xi Men said.

“Can I take a look?” Xiao You asked and handed her hand out.

Xi Men smirked. “Is your hand dirty?”

“Duh, that’s offensive… don’t want to see already,” Xiao You said.

Xi Men laughed. “Here,” he handed her his phone. Sony Ericsson P1.

“Looks big…” she said as she played around with it.

Xi Men smiled. “Fit for guys,”

“I agree, guys’ gadgets,” she soon returned to him. “I am not so familiar with PDA phone so I better give it back to the owner,”

“It won’t bite,” Xi Men said as he kept the phone back into his pocket.

Both of them talk a lot, and Xiao You has been talking about her readiness to leave the company and how her colleagues take it, here and there. Xi Men smiled.

“So tell me,” Xiao You said.

“About what?” Xi Men asked.

“In the past 2 years. Do you have any serious relationships?” Xiao You asked.

Xi Men looked at her. “Hey, I am not that ‘close’ with you to share those with you,” he chuckled.

“Oh,” Xiao You said, offended.

Though they both had some ‘past’ but they both treated it as it never happens. That’s why they both can still mingle around. But up to the point, they remained as friends, without either of them having any special feelings for the other… maybe.

They remained silent for a while when Xi Men said it that way to her. He didn’t know she has been offended by his ‘not that close with you’ statement.

“I feel like going to Kaohsiung,” Xiao You started new topic.

“Really?” Xi Men asked.

“I have always like there. But I don’t have much chance to go,” Xiao You pulled and poke the straw in into her drinks repeatedly.

“We can go this Saturday,” Xi Men suddenly said.

Xiao You looked at him and laughed. “Why not you just said tomorrow since tomorrow is a public holiday,”

“Can, no problem,” he said and smiled.

“Huh? Are you kidding?” Xiao You asked.

“You said you wanna go, then we’ll go,” he said. “But you sure you wanna go Kaohsiung?”

“I am sure I wanna go but are you sure we are going tomorrow?” asked Xiao You.

“You said so, then yes,” Xi Men smirked.

After the dinner, it is raining outside. To walk to Xi Men’s car under the rain pure means wet. Xiao You stood there waiting for Xi Men to use the umbrella. He stood next to her for a while.

Xi Men stupidly asked, “Need to use umbrella?”

“Of course! It’s heavy rain!” Xiao You exclaimed.

Xi Men laughed and he slides open the umbrella and sends Xiao You to the passenger seat of his car.

**********

Xiao You looked at the neighborhood view from the balcony again. It reminds her of the Kaohsiung trip she had with Xi Men. Xi Men brought her to the Shou-San (Longevity Mountain Park) where it is cold, and he did ask her if she is cold. She said no.

“Why?” she asked innocently.

“I can give you body heat,” he joked.

Xiao You smiled remembering the flashback. Xi Men was obviously offering to hold or hug her if she is cold. But then she realized, because Xi Men didn’t talk to her that way previously, it is very weird of Xi Men to talk that way, possibly trying to hint on something but she ignores it.

And eventually Xi Men got very weird in the entire trip, the way he behave, the way he talks. Actually by that time, Xi Men has started having feelings for Xiao You and she didn’t know it.

Xiao You sat at the bench at the Shou-San while enjoying the scenery and the mist. Xi Men sat next to her. They both talk again. This time both of them shared more details, and Xi Men finally opens up, saying he hadn’t been dating anyone for the past 2 years. They both sit there from 1pm until 6pm, without moving from their seat at all. Xiao You did asked Xi Men to go around because she wanted to sit there and enjoy the scenery and she didn’t want Xi Men to sit there accompany her. But Xi Men said it is fine for him to sit there with her.

Xi Men sat there, constantly turned and looked at Xiao You who is sitting next to him. She smiled as she enjoyed the cold breeze brushing through her face. It is a moment of silence. Xiao You feels guilty on Xi Men sitting there, not going anywhere, and silent all the while. He didn’t want to talk to disturb her enjoying the scenery. Xiao You turned and looked at Xi Men, Xi Men looked at her. Xiao You tried to set up a conversation but not sure what topic to start from.

“Can I take a look at your palm?” she abruptly said.

Xi Men extended his left hand to her. “Why do you want to see my palm?”

“Lines in the palm show the person’s fate and attitude. But I don’t believe in them 100% but I take it like a guidance,” she smiled. “And the lines change as days go,” Xiao You stared and her eyes were opened wide. “Can I have your right hand too?” she sounded serious.

Xi Men extends his right hand to her too, and he moved slightly to face her. “I thought you have a right hand already. Why do you need mine?” he laughed, trying to make her laugh.

Obviously, the joke is not working. Xiao You gaped looking at Xi Men’s both palms. She then looked at Xi Men, and looked back at the palms.

“What are you doing?” Xi Men asked. “You can read palms’ lines?”

“A little bit…” Xiao You said.

“What about it? What’s with your reaction?” Xi Men asked. “What did my lines tell you?”

“I can’t believe this…” Xiao You said.

“What? These are my hands, Xiao You. What’s with my palms?” Xi Men asked.

Xiao You looked at Xi Men. “You have simian lines. On BOTH your palms,”


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