Oriental Jewel – Chapter 4



Mom, what’s the name of the other English woman you work with at school?” Andy asked as they travelled home from school on their first day after vacation.

“Andy, you know who that is, it’s Elizabeth Ho. Why are you asking?” Rebecca looked at Andy in surprise. He knew very well who it was, why was he asking?

Andy pretended to be interested in something outside the car as they travelled toward Holland Village. Rebecca glanced quickly at his face and read the clear message Andy was hiding something. She turned into the driveway and parked.

“OK out with it! Why the interest in Elizabeth Ho?”

Andy grinned sheepishly. How come his Mom could read him like that?

“I met her daughter Susan when I went to Sentosa once. She told me you and Mrs Ho worked together.”

Rebecca giggled. “Andy, you are unbelievable, Susan has been to the international school a couple of times with her mother. How could you not have seen her?

“Men!” she said shaking her head.

“Well she didn’t know who I was.” Andy was on the defensive. “Anyway, she goes to night classes with me to study Mandarin too.”

Rebecca took a sudden interest in the conversation and light bulbs flashed. She turned to Andy with a mischievous grin. “So, you’ve discovered the existence of girls at last Andy. Sports not having your full attention anymore?”

Rebecca poked him in the chest and laughed. “Why don’t you invite Susan to visit with us sometime, she’s pretty isn’t she?”

Andy blushed and headed for his room with his Mom in hot pursuit. “Andy has a girlfriend!”

After night class Andy sought out Susan as students hurried from the classroom. “Are we on for McDonalds tonight?”

Susan glanced furtively around at the other students and stood looking at the floor. “OK, but only for a half hour, I need to get home or my parents will worry about me.”

They both sat on stools with sodas among the milling crowd of students and tourists. After a while Susan spoke.

“My mother and I have been invited to your place next Sunday for lunch. Dad will be in Hong Kong for an educational conference.”

Andy smiled happily.

Susan continued. “Your father invited my dad to join him at the golf driving range and dad is quite excited. He’s been wanting to learn golf for some time now and your father offered to give him an introduction to the game.”

Andy smiled again. His Mom and Dad seemed to be part of a conspiracy on his behalf it seemed.

That evening Andy confronted his parents. “So, you’ve been up to mischief with the Ho’s?”

“Who us?” His parents looked at each other innocently.

Elizabeth and Suzan Ho arrived at the Dressler Holland Village home on Sunday as scheduled and the Dresslers pulled out all stops to make them feel welcome. After lunch Matthew headed for his office to deal with work assignments while Elizabeth and Rebecca retired to the lounge to talk hobbies and work. Andy and Susan sat on the floor to watch a movie but soon got tired of that and talked about their respective schools and childhood memories.

After a while Susan spoke. “My Dad has agreed to let me go to England for post graduate work if I work hard and do my undergraduate work at NSU.”

Andy took that in thoughtfully for a while, then spoke. “Do you think they take foreign students at NSU?”

Susan looked at him with the hint of a smile. “Why don’t you ask my father and see what he says? He teaches there.”

Andy nodded. “I’ll be back in a minute, there’s something I need to ask my father.”

Andy burst into his Dad’s office and Matthew looked up in surprise. “You really need to be entertaining your guest Andy!” Matthew looked at Andy reproachfully.

“Dad, I really would like to stay home for my undergraduate work. Could you ask Susan’s father if they accept foreign students at NSU?”

Matthew looked at his son and was about to refuse when he thought of the possible advantages of and exposure to Asian education. He could make up any courses needed before his graduate program in the US later.

“Sounds OK son, now go back and entertain your guest. It’s rude to leave them alone.”

“Would you ask Mr Ho if that’s possible when you go golfing with him?”

Matthew laughed, “OK, now go!”

Andy raced downstairs and slid beside Susan on the carpet. “My Dad will ask your father if I can attend NSU when they go golfing together. I hope it’s possible.”

Susan smiled. “I’m glad.”

“Would you be my girlfriend?” Andy looked at Susan hopefully.

Susan glowed. “Let’s see how everything works out. My parents would have to approve that.”



“© Copyright Ian Grice 2016 All rights reserved

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