Chapter 3:

Local Business

I’m in love with a Chinese Nationalist

Next school day, both Lei Mei and Sawa didn’t seem to be bothered by what happened last night. I, unfortunately, aren’t them. My mind is filled with thoughts of last night. I hate it, hate that it ended up like that. Why was Lei Mei there? why did she have to walk in at the worst moment?

Our class finally started, maybe I’ll be able to distract myself by just listening in class. Right now we should be having a Japanese literature class, as much as I hate reading literature, this might be exactly what I need to distract myself.

I stared at the board but since Lei Mei was in front of me my gaze always ended up at her. The back of her neck looked so smooth, I wanted to get a feel of it. The more I stared, the more I dozed away.

What am I doing? What’s wrong with me? With these discomforting thoughts, I keep having of Lei Mei, I’m starting to believe what Sawa says now. I can’t have myself acting like this. If Sawa even gets a glance of me looking at Lei Mei, she will without a doubt murder me.

“Hey Kingo, wanna skip class today?” I whispered over.

“No way?! Are you asking to skip class? This is a first!” He whispered back.

“Yeah, I don’t feel like sticking around today.”

“Alright, let's go at lunch.”

Great, now that’s decided I can take a nap for the rest of the lesson. Anything to keep my mind away from Lei Mei.

Finally, the long-awaited bell rang. Kingo looked over at me and nodded, we grabbed our bags and headed out of the class. As I walked out the door something grabbed the back of my sweater.

“You shouldn’t do that…” A soft voice told me.

Chills ran down my spine, I turned around to see who it was. Behind me stood Lei Mei, looking up at me in concern.

“You shouldn’t do that…” She said once again in a soft voice.

“I shouldn’t do what?”

“Skip class. You’ll end up falling behind and… and you won't be able to get a good job.” She tried explaining.

“I’m not skipping class, I'm just uh feeling unwell so I’m just going to go home.”

“Mmmm, you do look pretty red. Come to the infirmary, I’ll take a look at you.”

Damn it, I forgot that she is competent in medical stuff. I wanted to play it off nicely but I guess.

“No thanks. I’ll be heading out. Let the teacher know I felt unwell and went home.”

She stood in the doorway watching me leave, I honestly would have preferred going to the infirmary with her but this has to stop, this isn't me and this isn't what I want.

Kingo and I jumped the fence behind the school where no one could see us during lunch.

“Where should we go?” I asked

“Hmm, wanna go get some ramen? I’m a bit hungry.”

“Yeah why not, it is lunch after all. Do you have a place in mind Kingo?”

“Plenty of places. We can go to the one which isn’t too close in case they decide to send a teacher after us.”

“Has that happened before?”

“Yeah, a few times. The first time I skipped classes I made the mistake of staying too close to the school to eat, so now I go further out.”

“Pretty dumb of you to stay close to school like that.”

We still had half the school day to waste, after having ramen for lunch we ended up going around the arcades.

“What time is it?” Kingo asked me

“It’s around twenty past three now.”

“Great, school is finally over. We got through the entire day.”

“Yeah, haha. My parents will probably kill me if I went home now though, wanna hang out for a bit more?”

“Sure thing but we gotta go eat, it's time for another meal.”

“There’s a new place near me which opened up, want to go check it out?”

“Hell yeah, sounds good.”

We arrived at the newly opened restaurant, the exterior looked very modern and eye-catching. As we walked in we got greeted by an extreme amount of Chinese flags, cups, posters, texts and traditional decorations.

I didn’t realise this place was Chinese. It feels like it’s too Chinese for its own good.

“Welcome- Oh Taji, didn’t expect to see you here!”

Mrs Lei, the mother of Mei, stood behind the kitchen counter.

“Mrs Lei, nice to see you, do you own this restaurant?” I asked as we went to a table.

“Yes. I decided that I need a chance of pace, Zemin was against it but I think this is a good investment.”

“Are you running this place alone?”

“No, however, I am the only chef, which isn’t an issue for me. I have been looking for some staff to help but till then Mei has been helping, we only just opened up since I had to wait for her to get back from school. She will come down to take your order in a few moments. Want any drink till then?”

“I’ll have a glass of water, thanks.”

“I’ll have some Moka-Mola.” Kingo replied.

“Are you one of Teji’s and Mei’s classmates?” She asked while getting our drinks.

“Yes ma’am, I’ve been mates with Teji for years now. Lei, I only know for the past day or so.”

“Haha, hope that you will get along well with Mei.”

“Thanks for the drinks.” Both I and Kingo replied simultaneously.

“Who decided on these decorations Mrs Lei?” I asked curiously.

“Mei decorated it, I thought it was a little too much considering we aren’t in China anymore but she insisted. What do you think of it?”

“It’s… Interesting. Does she like China that much?”

“I think it's overkill but it looks cool anyway,” Kingo added.

“Haha, yes, I think so too. Also yes, Mei was really into stuff relating to China. I think she got fed too much propaganda. I personally don’t think it’s right but both she and Zemin are into that.”

“Oh that’s interesting, didn’t expect that from her.”

“I hoped that when we move away from China she would relax with some of the stuff but I guess it will take some time.”

“I see. Can I use a bathroom?”

“Yes, go ahead, it's just around the back to the left.”

“Thank you”

I hid in the bathroom to try to process all this information. I don’t get it, Lei Mei is into being Chinese this much? I don’t get it, I really don’t. This is too much for me to understand. I washed my face hoping to wake up from this weird dream. I must be asleep in class still.

No matter how much water I splashed on myself, nothing woke me up. I’m really not dreaming… It’s… It’s real… it’s all been happening.

As I was walking back from the toilet, I heard some noise coming from a room beside me. I couldn’t understand what those alien-like words were. I opened the door slightly and peeked in. Within the room, Lei Mei was speaking to a poster of some old Chinese man. Despite not being able to understand a word of what she was saying, something about her voice caused me to warm up. I felt tingles run down my spine. Her voice was touching me like no one ever has. Feeling something I have never felt before, trying to resist myself from peeking more only became harder and harder.

All of a sudden she stopped. My entire body froze. I get away from here but my body is resisting me, almost as if I want to get caught by Lei Mei. Do I really want to get caught by her? What would she say?

I can’t let myself be seen here. Despite my body's resistance, I finally managed to break the chains holding me down. Quickly ran back to my table and pretended like I haven’t seen anything.

Soon after Lei Mei walked out, dressed in a male waiter outfit. Didn’t expect her to dress up like that. The more I see her the deeper she gets embedded into my mind. I can’t stand this, why her, I have seen many beautiful women and none of them had made an impression on me. This feeling makes me feel uncomfortable.

“Can I take your order?” Lei Mei asked us.

“Can I have some Kung Pao Chicken?” Kingo replied

“Yes, 1 Kung Pao Chicken. Anything else?”

“Can I, uh, have… uh… Wonton Noodle Soup, p-please?” I asked nervously.

“Yes, so 1 Kung Pao Chicken and 1 Wonton Noodle Soup.”

“Yeah, that will be all,” Kingo replied.

As we waited for our food, I couldn’t resist but look over at Lei Mei. Each time she walked past, my eyes locked on her. In a male outfit, her figure was much more noticeable.

“You got a thing for Lei?” Kingo asked


“You constantly looking at her. I mean like yeah she looks cute but you never looked at no girl like that.”

“You must be imagining, I’m just daydreaming. You should know very well that I’m not into that sort of stuff.”

“Yeah, I do know, which is why I’m confused about why you suddenly became obsessed. It’s pretty obvious.”

“I’m not obsessed, seriously, I’m just daydreaming, it’s been a long day.”

“Sure man, whatever you say. Just saying, there are better girls who already have an eye on your lonely ass.”

“Really, I’m not into her. I’m not into anyone.”

Both of us stopped talking and waited for our food silently. As much as I hate to admit him being right, he is right. I might have fallen for her but not for the reasons he may think.

The food was fantastic. I’m a Wonton Noodle addict now.