Chapter 1 – Renovation

“Feng ge!” Qiao Qiao shouted through the door, knocking fiercely on it. “Come out here!”

“You just blasted my eardrums,” Tang Feng said, opening the door. “What is it?”

Qiao Qiao put on a light smile to make up for her guilt. “Want to come to lunch with us?”

Tang Feng turned on his shocked expression. “You called me out here just for that?”

Qiao Qiao nodded, her smile still on her face.

“Feng ge!” Chen Yi called out from across the room. “Coming?”

“In a bit,” Tang Feng replied after seeing Chen Yi and the others waiting for him by the door. “I’m waiting for a call.”

“Oh,” Qiao Qiao uttered in comprehension. “We’re going to Seahorse Café so if you want to come join us…”

Tang Feng nodded.

Qiao Qiao turned to leave, joining the others by the door.

“Where is Cyndi?” Tang Feng asked suddenly as he was scanning the room.

“Outside,” Qiao Qiao answered, turning around to face him again.

“Call her back.”

Qiao Qiao was curious what the topic of discussion would be but she could see Tang Feng was serious so she headed outside to call Cyndi. A minute later, Qiao Qiao came back with Cyndi. They could see Tang Feng back at his desk with his door halfway ajar. He looked up at them after finishing with his note jotting and gestured for Cyndi to come in while signaling for Qiao Qiao to go.

“Then we’re going,” Qiao Qiao said again–though unnecessary.

“If you don’t see me there, tell the others to be back on time for our meeting this afternoon.”

Qiao Qiao nodded, shutting the door to his office to give them complete privacy.

*****

“Okay,” Tang Feng said when everyone was present. “We should be ready for opening by the following week since the sign is coming next week.”

“What will we do next week?” Chen Yi asked, his eyebrows coming together.

Tang Feng tapped on the piles of paper in front of him. “Inspection, remember?”

Chen Yi nodded.

“Shouldn’t the sign already be in?” Qiao Qiao asked, swinging her pen back and forth between her fingers.

“It’s a surprise,” Tang Feng said, letting out a secretive smile.

The others exchanged a look.

“I thought you want to make sure everything works out,” Wallace reminded him. “Why take the risk of having the sign delivered so late?”

“You guys said that I can choose the name,” Tang Feng reminded them. “So let me have it my way.”

“We won’t be responsible if we don’t open on time,” Qiao Qiao jumped in, giving the others a worried look also.

“I don’t think he would risk his business,” Cyndi reassured the others, giving Tang Feng a look also.

“Don’t worry,” Tang Feng said, waving his hand at them. “I won’t hold it against you if it arrives late.”

Chen Yi and Qiao Qiao still looked doubtful. Only Wallace and Cyndi managed the calm expression. Simon didn’t show any sign at all. He just continued to jot down notes for the rest of the meeting.

*****

It had been a month since they proceeded with the renovation. Tang Feng was truly a businessman, turning the place into a more acceptable environment where professionalism was concerned. Not that it wasn’t like that before but it was more of a home to customers, less a place that they were carrying on a business. Although Tang Feng had promised to let Wallace take charge of the project but he also stepped in to discuss with them of matters in regard to the business end.

Though it had mostly been a waiting process for them since the renovation of the place was carried on for the whole month according to Tang Feng’s preferences, but they had become quite familiar with Tang Feng right now. He was serious during work but likeable after work, making them feel comfortable with him. Since he was Qiao Qiao, Yan Yan, Chen Yi, and Achel’s senior after all, the four got along with him very well, leading to them calling him ‘Feng ge’ instead of the formalities.

It had not been really all work because they did not have a brick and mortar base for discussions. However, they’d set meetings at various places to talk more of their plan. Now that they finally settled back in, they finally had their first official meeting.

Chen Yi, Qiao Qiao, and Cyndi had been working at their jobs until today. They had of course handed in their resignation letter and gave their two weeks notice to their bosses beforehand. Wallace had been relying on his savings to survive for this past month since he didn’t feel the need to search for a job then lose it again after they open officially. However, he had not been kicking back either. He occupied himself this past month in coming up with most of the paperwork that they just discussed at the meeting. After this, they would be ready to open in a week. They just needed to do a last round of inspection. It was because of Tang Feng’s cautious nature but it would do them good in the end.

© Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Posted: Saturday, June 18th, 2011

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