Chapter 1 – Two Dreams

Wei Ru stands before her garden of flowers, thinking how wonderful the day’s starting out to be. Just like any other day, she spends half an hour in front of the fresh air and the colorful flowers to enjoy the overwhelming feeling of comfort she has for the early morning view. She loves sunrise. It’s a sign for a new day and a new beginning. Everything is peaceful and harmless. It gives her such comfort and security that she couldn’t help but smile to herself while watering her flowers.
She makes her way around the garden, stopping to make sure each of her flowers are still alive. Her energetic gestures make the garden even more lively. It feels like she’s dancing around the garden. Her white dress with light pink flowers shines in the early morning’s sunlight, creating a magical moment unknown to others.
As she’s finishing up with the last row of flowers, she hears her mother’s voice calling her through the glass door, “Xiao Ru! Come in and have some breakfast. Mom and Dad have to go to the shop soon. Are you coming out to help today?”
Wei Ru places the water pot down and walks briskly into the house. She greets her family with a sweet, cheerful smile. She sits down between her oldest brother and her older sister.
“Mom, I have to go help Xiao Jie with her latest project before going to the shop today since I already promised her,” She informed her mother.
“That’s fine,” Mrs. Lai said. “What time will you come to the shop?”
“Around noon,” She replied.
“That’s fine,” Mrs. Lai said, repeating the phrase from before but with more enthusiasm in it. “Young Master Chu usually comes in around that time. You have to meet him.”
“Mom, you always say that, but we never meet,” Wei Ru reminded her mother.
“I guess it’s not time yet,” Mrs. Lai said, sighing out.
“Oh well. I’ll just head over to Xiao Jie’s place now. If I’m not there by noon, I’ll call,” Wei Ru said, getting up from the table and hugging her parents goodbye while waving to her two older siblings as she walks out the door.
She grabs her light pink handbag on the way to the door. She smiles to herself, thinking of how her mother wants to introduce her to Young Master Chu so much. Her mother says, “It’s not the right time yet,” whenever they missed each other. She ponders why her mother makes such a big deal out of it. She’s only 24. She has plenty of time to meet her Mr. Right. Or as her mother puts it, Prince Charming. What’s the rush? She loves her family and her only wish is to stay with them forever. Although they only have a small shop, but she feels happy and is satisfied with what she has right now. She doesn’t want it to change ever.
South Spring Studio is known as the most popular studio in this town. It is also the place where teenagers – and maybe certain adults too – come forward to try their luck or pursue their dreams. What’s the catch? One has to convince the manager that he or she is capable of bringing profit for the studio. It’s one of the rare independent companies that do both recruiting talents and promoting their artists by recording and releasing the artists’ music.
While the recording team is helping artists record the latest hits, a drama is unfolding nearby in the main offices. It is a drama that involves their manager – who prefers people to call him as “Director” when addressed to because that would give him a double meaning to his given title – and a young composer.
“Jacky, are you done yet?” Director Wu’s voice asked, sounding quite irritated. “We’d been waiting for your song for a month now. I’m telling you, Double D’s concert will be in a week and you’re still not done. What are we going to do? Cancel the concert? You know how many angry fans we have to face? Not to mention that I have to face my employees also.”
“Music comes from inspirations, not pressure,” Jacky said lightly with a smile on his face.
“We gave you a month to write a song, Jacky,” Director Wu said, still in that irritated tone. “Don’t be pushing your luck.”
“I will have a song for you by then,” Jacky said firmly.
“They should be practicing now, not sitting around waiting for your song,” Director Wu gritted his teeth as he said those last few words.
Jacky gets up from his desk and comes to face with Director Wu. “Look, rushing me doesn’t help. I guarantee you I can come up with the song before the week ends.”
“I should already have the song in my hand. Last chance. Give it to me tomorrow or I’ll terminate the contract.”
Jacky smiles. “If you say so.” He looks towards the window at that moment, “I’m going for a walk. I’ll be right back later to work on the song.” He leaves briskly, maintaining his smile, leaving Director Wu dumb-founded.
“You better make good use of that walk or it’ll be your last one,” Director Wu yelled after Jacky before the door closes completely.
Jacky takes a deep breath of fresh air and looks around the area to decide which way he should go. He smiles, recognizing the shop nearby and heads right. He steps slowly, enjoying the wind blowing at his white suit. As he walks past several shops, a group of girls stop to acknowledge him, mistaking him for an angel because of the bright light vibe shining off him.
He walks towards the path that leads to a little coffee shop near the seaside. As he enters the shop, Mrs. Lai steps forward to greet him.
“Young Master Chu, how are you doing today?” Mrs. Lai greeted him with a warm smile.
“Just fine, Mrs. Lai,” Jacky said, returning a smile of his own. “How is business?”
“Always the same. What can I get you today?”
“Cappuccino will be fine.”
“Our Wei Ru just thought of a new dessert, do you want to try it?”
Jacky nods and takes a seat at the table near the window looking out straight at the sea while Mrs. Lai go process his order.
Jacky smiles at the seagulls flying by, thinking how much it reminds him of Director Wu. That guy is just too funny, he thought. He didn’t realize that Jacky had been done with the song two weeks after the song request. Double D had been practicing to the point of near perfection. Only Director Wu had been so tied up with his family matters that he hadn’t notice. Now it’s a week before the concert starts that he decides to finally investigate into the matter. How professional can people be?
Mrs. Lai comes back with his coffee and dessert in a few minutes, smiling still.
Jacky takes a bite of Wei Ru’s latest invention. He chews it carefully, taking in the flavors, pondering what she put in this time.
Mrs. Lai knows all too well of Jacky’s curiosity each time he test taste a new dessert. She smiles, still standing there watching him.
Jacky finally looks at Mrs. Lai again. “What is the name of this new dessert?”
“Wei Ru hasn’t thought of a name yet. She said she wants to think of it more carefully before making it official,” Mrs. Lai replied.
“What’s the current name?”
“She’s not revealing the secret at all.”
Jacky lets out a light chuckle. “She always manages to create a mystery out of her desserts.”
“You’re a mysterious person yourself, Young Master Chu.”
“I can’t be compared to your Wei Ru.”
Mrs. Lai smiles again, “I have to tend to the other customers now. We’ll talk more later. Enjoy the dessert.”
Jacky smiles as Mrs. Lai leaves.
He takes a sip of his coffee and thinks to himself. What kind of girl is she really? Always so passionate about her creations. He guesses that it’s the reason why her desserts are the best in town. Although he had been here a good six months already and had become quite familiar with the Lai family, but he had yet to meet the famous dessert creator, Wei Ru. He hopes he would be able to meet her soon. He imagines her to be exactly like her family, enthusiastic and cheerful.
He reflects back to the first time he came to the city, not sure if he’s going to make it since he just break free from his family to start on his own. He first met the Lai family when he just happened to take a walk around the area, trying to familiarize himself of his new habitat. It is through the Lai family that he found comfort and sincerity. He met a lot of other people around here just because of them. Everyone in this area is just too good to be true since their positive attitude and jubilant vibes made it so home-warming that he couldn’t help but feel at ease. It’s the exact atmosphere he needs. It would help his inspirations to come forth. He was right. He had written a lot of great songs here. It all started with this coffee shop. He knows he will succeed in fulfilling his dream of becoming one of the top songwriters of his time.
© January, 27th, 2007
Re-posted: Saturday, February 20th, 2010