Tea Leaves and White Pearls

Late-Night Run, Breakfast, and Lovers

Match Seven: Late-Night Run, Breakfast, and Lovers:


After the heat storm died down, I looked up at the clock on the wall. Oh shit!, I thought. I shook Yao on the shoulder.

"Yao!" I whispered, "Get up! Get up!" He turned his head and slowly opened his eyes.

"What?" he asked, "What's the matter?"

"Look at what time it is," I whispered. Yao squinted his eyes as he looked at the clock.

"It's about midnight already?" he asked.

"Yes!" I said aloud. My business partner put up his hand as he shushed me.

"Okay, okay," he said, "We'll finish up the gifts and call it a night. Fine with you?" That wasn't the real problem here. I forced myself to smile and nod at him.

"Sure," I said, "I just need to make a call real quick."

"Alright," Yao replied. I slid off the table, got dressed, walked into the hall. Once I was out of earshot, I pulled out my cell phone and dialed the one number I needed in times like these. I passed around as the other line rang.

"Come on," I mumbled, "Pick up! Please pick up!"

"Hello?" a drowsy voice asked on the other line. My heart flipped in relief.

"Tina?" I asked.

"Ju?" my good old pal asked in a puzzle voice, "It's almost midnight, what's the matter?"

"I need you to make a run for me," I said.

"What?" Tina asked. I placed my hand over the mouthpiece.

"I need you to make a personal run for me," I repeated in a whisper. Tina paused for a long moment on the other line.

"Hello?" I asked.

"Personal as in…" my American friend said, trying to understand. I sighed as I didn't want to say this out loud.

"Sexual," I whispered through clenched teeth. I heard her fall out of bed on the other line.

"Ju!" she exclaimed, "You didn't!"

"Yes," I whispered, "Now can you please help me out?"

"Fine, fine," she said, "I'll be happy to help. I'll get it to you at school." I breathed out in a sigh.

"Thank you," I whispered.

"Anything else?" Tina asked. I shook my head.

"No," I replied, "Nothing at all."

"Good night," she cooed. As she hung up, something told me that I wouldn't hear the end of it at school. At least, I'll get the pills that I need. I took a moment to gather myself up and went back into the office.

Yao and I finished up the gifts at about one in the morning. My partner yawned at stretched.

"I'm beat," he said. Yao turned to see me trying to fight sleep. He shook me on the arm.

"You still awake?" he asked. I looked up at him with tired eyes. I gave him a small nod.

"Yes," I said half-mumbling. Yao leaned in and smiled at me.

"Well, let's get going," he said. I lifted my head and gave him a puzzled look.

"Huh?" I asked.

"Breakfast," he said. It took me a while to understand what he was talking about.

"Oh!" I said, "Sure, sure." Yao patted me on the head.

"I know just the place," he said. We took the cab back into the city. I stared out the window at the passing city with just one question I couldn't hold back anymore.

"Yao," I spoke, "What exactly are we?" He turned his head to me.

"Excuse me?" he asked. I turned to face him.

"You know, we…" I said in a low voice. He gave me a slight shrug.

"So?" he asked.

"We can't keep things the same now," I said. Yao looked at me with changing the curious expression on his face.

"So, what do you suggest?" he asked. I lost all words from there. What did I want after all of this? I didn't really expect things to turn out like this and I didn't know how exactly to fix it now. I looked down at my hands.

"Uh well…" I mumbled. Yao gently put his hand over me. I looked up at him with big eyes.

"We'll talk over breakfast," he said in a low voice. Despite it doing little smoother over the problem, I managed to smile and nod.

"Right," I said as I sat back. Yao did likewise and enjoyed the silent ride to the noodle bar.

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