Chapter 17

When I pulled back from Jay, he had a nervous smile as though he was afraid that he offended me. I smiled back in return and patted his arm gently.

“I gotta go now. I’ll come back tomorrow ok" I smiled.

I left with my sweaty palm and red face. Why am I so affected by that kiss? I ran my fingers through my hair where he had touched me. Forget it, just forget it, I mumbled to myself and climbed into my Toyota. I picked up my phone.. oh yeah, I have two phones now.. I picked up my old phone and pressed speed dial number 6.

“Are you free tomorrow night?”


“Oh my, look at that huge biceps” Cindy was moaning lustily.

I couldn’t help but to laugh. We all looked like silly teenagers in our pyjamas, with rollers in our hair watching some movie with great hunks in it. I turned to my left, Gail was polishing her toe nails with some shiny blue glitter color. On the other hand, Cindy was trying to make an expression underneath her mask covered face. My poor brother Dylan had locked himself in the room, escaping from this whole girly world we set up in the living room.

“Do we have any chips left?” Gail rummaged through the empty packets.

“If only that assistant of yours could see you like this “ I teased.

“I think Neil won’t mind. He did mention he likes a girl who likes to eat" Gail smiled sheepishly.

“His name is Neil?” Cindy grinned.

I enjoyed things like this. Where my girlfriends and I just sit down and spend time being girls. Instead of losing my mind about my memory loss, I decided to try to regain them and create new memories. I finally found my comfort zone in friendships with my supposingly two best friends.

“Hey, does your brother want any of our food?” Cindy asked, gesturing to our bowl of pasta.

I got up, picked up the bowl and head to dylan’s door. Before I could knock, I heard him talking inside. Impulsively I put my ear on the door.

“I want to see you too but you have to ... no. Sarah. Listen to me, Lisa lost her memory and I.. Lisa? My sister” there was a slight pause.

“Serious, she’s my sister, no I’m not cheating on you. What do you mean so what? She’s my sister, dammit” another pause.

“Oh no no, I’m not mad at you babe. I just want to take care of Lisa until .. “ a sigh.

“Alright, fine. I’ll talk to you later”

I heard the phone being thrown on the bed and another huge sigh as Dylan laid down on the bed.

“Ge” I called out and turned the knob.

He sat up with all smiles as I brought the bowl to him. What have I done? Is my mental condition a burden to my brother? I looked at him as he smiled at me, scooping some pasta in his hungry mouth. How much his heart is hurting, I wondered.

“You look gorgeous” auntie smiled at me.

I admit, I do looked good. They must have done lots of airbrushing on my commercial. We had just brought Jay home from the hospital and it was that moment, we saw my Loreal advertisement on tv. Who is that guy running after me?

“Who is that guy?” I pointed out .

“He tried to ask you out after the shoot but you told him you had a boyfriend” I glanced at Tom and noticed he looked pained.

“Who was your boyfriend, Lisa? Was it Ryan?” auntie asked.

“It can’t be. You and Ryan were long broken up before the shoot”

Jay looked at me, like he was explaining it to me.

“Actually I think .. “ I raised a hand gesture towards Tom.

“I think that guy probably thought you're cute” Tom cut in quickly.

I looked at Tom curiously. Was he not my boyfriend during the video shoot? He was the one who showed me the newspaper clipping of us caught by the paparazzi so why.. wait, didn’t Jay know about us?

“Ge, I think you should go back home” I said.

Dylan looked stunned as if I told him to jump down the apartment.

“Is it something I have done?” he looked concerned.

“No, no. I love you here but I think mom and dad need you”

“Lisa, they are asking me to stay here to take care of you until you are totally fine”

“What about Sarah? Don’t you miss her?”

Silence as Dylan seemed to be pondering that thought.

“I will go back as soon as I’m sure you got your memory back”

“I got my memory back” I blurted out.

“Yeah right” he nudged my head playfully.

“Serious, ge!” then my phone rang.

“Hey,it’s me” a warm male voice greeted me on the other end.

“Hi Tom” I glanced at my brother.

“Do you have plans tonight?”

“No, I don’t think so” I sat down slowly.

“Can I take you for dinner?”

“Yeah, sure. I would love that”

“Great. 7pm ish?”

Our dinner was going well where Tom was telling me about the time we went fishing by the lake a month before I lose my memory.

“So you’re saying I cast the fishing rod into the lake and we waited forever without a bite?” I asked with one eyebrow raised.

Tom chuckled “Then you screamed ‘Tian Zhi, why is there no fish?’ and I pulled the fishing rod back to your side just to see there was no bait at the other end”

I started laughing in the end after Tom told the story. I cannot imagine how stupid I sounded like. Tom started laughing too.

“Why didn’t I put a bait on the hook?”

“It was my fault. I forgot to hook the bait for you" he smiled.

I nodded. Tom had been really sweet to me. He had been telling me memories about us, taking me to places that we visited. I do find myself liking him more and more but the attraction is simply not there. Silence. Tom held my hand across the table gently.

“I’m not giving up on you, Lisa. I know you are really confused but deep inside, I am confident you will be able to find that feeling again” he stroked my hand gently with his thumb.

I nodded “ Thank you” and I leaned in to kiss his cheek.

This is a man who deserves someone better than a girlfriend who is like an empty book. Silently I thanked him for being there for me, for having faith in me and for being a great friend all this while.

“Does Jay not know about us.. when we were a couple?” I asked, looking him straight in the eyes.

“No, we kept it a secret from him” he smiled

I glanced at Jay sitting across me as he put the bowl near his lips and used the chopsticks to scoop some rice into his mouth

“Lisa, have some of the beans. It’s good” he picked some up and put in his bowl.

“How come auntie is not here?” I asked.

“Mom prefers to eat at home. I’m sorry for eating like a pig, I’ve been so busy planning for the next album” he spoke with his mouth half full.

I smiled “I think November Chopin is a great album. I’m sure the next one would be equally good or even better. What are the songs in this new album?”

He motioned me closer to him with a finger and I leaned forward near him.

“It’s a secret that I cannot tell you or you might tell someone with your big mouth and ruin the whole suspense for the whole world” he teased.

“I don’t have a big mouth” I tried to look insulted.

“I think you do” he pinched my nose lightly.

I felt warm and for a moment, I was lost in his gaze.

“You know what I want?” I asked slowly.

“What do you want?” he smiled.

I leaned back on my chair “I want ice cream”

He smiled and smacked the table gently.

“Okay, we shall go get ice cream right after this”

It didn’t go as planned because as we were exiting the restaurant, we were swarmed by a bunch of people. It’s like out of nowhere these people rushed up to us, enveloping us into a huge wave.

“Damn these dogs” I heard Jay mumbled.

Then only I realized they were paparazzi. I followed behind Jay with my head bowed down. Jay walked forward and I tried to follow suit but they were hounding me mercilessly. Wait, where is Jay?

“ Miss, are you Angelisa?”

“Aren’t you with Tom? Jay’s bodyguard”

“Look here!!”

My head hurts with the camera flashes, so many blinding my eyes. I felt an arm grabbed me from the front and I screamed.

“It’s okay, come along” to my relief it was Jay.

It was like a circus going on and I glanced around to see Jay’s bodyguards holding back the paparazzi and the fans. Among them , I saw Tom in the crowd and he had a pained look in his eyes.

I dropped my keys on the table by the door and walked to the kitchen, holding the folded papers.

“Ge, remember last night ..” then I stopped.

My brother was with another girl. Judging by their expression and body language, I could sensed a thick air of negative emotions floating around.

“Mei, you’re home. Gail left some noodles for you” Dylan stood up.

I nodded as the girl turned to face me. She was pretty, slightly taller than me and has a lovely curvy body with long legs.

“So this is Lisa. She looks fine to me” the girl shrugged.

“She lost her memory, not a leg” Dylan snapped.

I cringed and stood there numbly, like Dylan just slapped me in the face.

“I don’t mean it like that” he kissed my head and handed me the bowl of noodle.

Forgiven but can be used later to redeem something.

“Mei, this is Sarah”

So this unpleasant woman is suppose to be my sister .. correction, possible sister in law. Dylan ushered me to the living room with my noodles.

“I’m so sorry she’s so cranky. She just got here an hour ago. Will it be okay for her to stay here?”

“How long?” I guessed I sound a little less excited.

“Just a few days. Don’t worry, she can have my room”

“Then you?” I asked.

“I’ll be comfortable on the sofa “ he waved his hand dismissively.

“It’s really that bad eh?” Jay chuckled.

“It really is. She’s like hogging the bathroom the whole time and she wear these heels around the apartment which just goes click clack click clack” I grumbled.

“Why don’t you just tell her off? It’s your apartment” Tom suggested.

“I would but if looks can kill, she would have killed me long time ago”

Tom laughed and got up to get some juice for the three of us.

“Oh Lisa, I got something for you” Jay took out a box.

I was speechless and so was Tom. I watched in shock as Jay took out a beautiful turquoise bracelet from the box.

“This is for you” he slipped the bracelet into my wrist.

“Thank you” I pulled back my hand slowly and slipped a glance at Tom.

He looked confused and kinda hurt. Oh dear.

“I gotta go take madam out to the saloon” he mumbled and placed the juice boxes on the table and left.

I wanted to run after him, to wipe the look of pain from his face, to make him feel secure. Although we are not together emotionally, I do care for him.

“Actually Lisa, I got something to tell you. It was not appropriate with Tom in the room just now”

“Why not?” I asked.

“Cause I dunno if I should even tell you this” he let out a nervous laugh.

I nodded. Why do I have a feeling what he is gonna tell me will break me apart even more?

“Lisa, ever since I saw you at the Loreal shoot, I feel that we have managed to connect on a higher and much better level. I think I might have just like ..”

Suddenly my Rainie Yang ringtone cut in.

“Sorry sorry” it was Gail.

“Can I kill your brother’s girlfriend?”

“I’m gonna get more popcorn” Tom got up.

Me and Gail looked at him as he walked to the kitchen, then Gail sighed.

“Lis, are you sure you don’t like him that way anymore? He’s such a sweetheart”

“I know he is. Sometimes I wish I could just hold his hand and well.. that’s it .. hold his hand. He doesn’t deserve a forgetter like me” I leaned back on the sofa.

“I’m sorry to say this but Dylan has a horrible taste in girls” Gail cringed.

She was afraid she might offended me if she said so but when I nodded repeatedly, she looked relieved.

“I agree with you. Right before they went out, Sarah walked past me like I was invisible or nonexistent!” I raised my arms in defeat.

“What do you think Dylan sees in her?” Gail asked.

“I dunno. Maybe she’s a witch who casted a spell on him” I shrugged.

Gail burst out laughing.”Imagine Sarah's long nose with boils and a pointy hat, sitting on a broom and stirring yucky stuff in a shimmering pot”

I couldn’t help laughing. Imagine Sarah turned into something so hideously she would scream her lungs out in her bitchy way. Tom came back in the living room. It had already became a custom that every Sunday he would come over in the evening with a movie and we would spend the whole night watching it, sometimes just us two, sometimes with Gail. Just hanging out as friends.

“What’s so funny?” he asked, clearly amused by two very childish girls giggling.

“We were just talking about you” I put a straight face.

“What about me?” now he looked curious.

“Lisa says you have a very cute butt” Gail burst out. I gasped.

Tom turned to me with a grin.

“You have been checking me out eh?”

“No, not like that. You wish” I smacked him playfully.

He grinned and his eyes landed on my bracelet. His grin slowly disappeared and I smiled nervously at him as I pulled my hand back. Just then Sarah and Dylan came home together.

“Oh boy, I left my earrings on the table. Be right back” Gail whispered as she got up to rush into her room.

“Hey Lisa. Guess what I bought for you” Sarah dangled a bag right in front of me.

Okay, why is she being nice to me? What is in the bag? A bomb?

“Take it. Honey, I had no idea you were buying that for Lisa” Dylan looked touched.

“Yeah, why are you buying me stuff?” I asked, trying not to sound too ungrateful or suspicious.

“I thought I should get something nice for my boyfriend’s sister. Thanks for letting me stay here. I really appreciate it. Honey, you have a really awesome sister”

Okay, why is she being so nice to Dylan? I swear, even though she is his girlfriend, sometimes she treats him like he’s a little kid. Then she turned to Tom and at that moment, I saw her expression. Her fake oh-sorry-I-just-notice-you look.

“Lisa, who is your friend?”

I am so reluctant to tell her because I could see her eyes lusting all over him.

“Tom” I gritted my teeth.

“Oh, nice to meet you Tom. What are you guys doing?” she sat down on the couch beside him.

“We were just watching Chicken Little. Wanna join us?” he gestured to the tv.

NOOoOoo! Tom, what are you doing!

“Sure. Oh honey, can you put my bags in the room?” she looked at Dylan.

Dylan nodded with a smile and went in the room. I leaned back on the sofa with my arms crossed across my chest, wearing a sulk. I dunno why but I feel insecure, I felt like Sarah had crossed over my territory. Suddenly I feel so lonely, I got up and head back to my room, with tears brimming in my eyes. My big comfortable sweater wrist pad wiped my tears away.

“Hey Lis, what happened?”

I turned around and Tom was in my room. He looked concerned and when I covered my face, he walked towards me. Suddenly I caught a glint of light from the corner of the room. What is that shiny brown thing?

“Ahh! Cockroach!” I jumped on my bed.

“Where?” Tom looked around.

“There! There! Tian Zhi, kill it please” I pointed at the corner.

The cockroach ran towards my door and Tom shut it to prevent the damn insect from leaving the room. Then he stomped on it. I cringed but I felt so much better when he flushed it down the toilet.

“Oh thank you thank you thank you” I was standing on my bed, looking down at him.

“It’s rather cute how you reacted to the cockroach just now” he laughed.

“What! They are just nasty” I shuddered at the thought of it.

Tom looked up at me “You are the girl whom I really fell for. Cockroach phobia and all”

I looked at him silently with a smile. Suddenly I felt so shy, being all afraid and jumping on the bed. I looked around the floor for a spot to land when suddenly Tom grabbed my legs, pulled me down and landed me flat on my back.

Before I could catch my breath, I felt his body covering me his lips on mine. It was warm, inviting and most importantly.. it was familiar. I ran my fingers through his hair and suddenly I had images in my head. I remembered when I had to quit my job and he was there by my side, supporting me. I remembered when I was offered the Loreal job, he had brought me out for a romantic dinner. I remembered him making me lotus soup one cold morning. Then I saw something else. I saw short moments of us together, just laughing and holding hands. Then I realize who I was touching. Hi Tom.

He pulled away and looked a little embarrassed.

“I’m so sorry, I shouldn’t have attacked on you that way”

I pulled his face back to mine and kissed him again. He touched my hand slowly and as I put it down, I could feel the bracelet slipped and fell to the floor.