Jade Faces Reality
Stanley was horrified. After her reaction yesterday when she woke up she’d probably never speak to him again. He couldn’t bear for that to happen. He struggled with what to do now and reached down to try and make her more comfortable. A wave of pleasure coursed through him. “I love you.” He whispered involuntarily stoking her jet-black hair.
The words penetrated her sub-conscious and she felt at peace.
A pair of eyes watched from a distance and moved away out of hearing to make a call on a cell phone. Wong Hui at the other end of the line smiled as he received the news. “OK, you can go home now!” he said. “But be back there with the van very early and continue to watch if they are still there. Phone me if you see them returning for further instructions.”
A half hour later Jade awoke with a start trying to orient her surroundings. A wave of shame tried to intrude as she quickly recalled events of the evening and tried to remember how she was to be found in this position. But she was comfortable being there except for her legs still draped over the side now beginning to cramp. She pulled them up on the bench and went back to sleep.
Stanley found his own body cramping from his confined position, but he didn’t move quickly grasping that Jade wanted it that way. In the early morning Jade awoke and lay there luxuriating in the feeling of acceptance. “I’m sorry!” She didn’t move knowing he was not upset with her and had indeed enjoyed their time together.
The feelings Stanley had experienced being this close to Jade all night had to be expressed. “I love you Jade! I think I’ve waited all these years to meet someone like you I could settle down with. I know you don’t like foreigners, but I could try my best to fit in with your lifestyle if you’d let me.” He looked down at her face now turned in his direction to see what response she’d give.
Jade sighed. “My extended family wants me to marry you and I was angry at them for that. But now I know the real you and I want you to be my man. If you will have me I will marry you, but I need to warn you I can be aggressive at times and you will have to be patient with me. I need to be more culturally adaptive and I’ve watched how you respect my culture with appreciation. I’m yours if you want me.” She stood up to see his reaction.
Stanley tried to stand too unsure what to do next, but he was so cramped in his body from that one position all night his body refused to move. He was alarmed. “I can’t move!”
Jade laughed. “I’m sorry!”
Eventually Stanley made it to his feet and as life was just beginning to explode in pre-dawn Singapore it was time for them to move. Stanley hobbled toward the road to hail a taxi while blood coursed through his cramped limbs once again. This time Jade held onto his arm possessively.
But instead of a taxi the office van appeared out of the retreating darkness to their surprise. The driver spoke through the open window. “Wong Hui says I’m to take you both home he is requesting you to both take the day off work as he has already scheduled others to take over your responsibilities for the day. Tomorrow you will both meet him in his office before taking up your work.”
Jade turned to her shocked claimed man. “Welcome to my world!”
Wong Hui phoned his brothers as soon as the driver reported he was taking them home. It was time for the family to pull out all stops to make this foreigner welcome into their family. He didn’t know yet what had transpired between them during the night other than to be assured this man had acted honorably. Honor was important to the family but to be fully accepted by the broader community there would be much for Stanley to learn in order to see no words or actions in future would bring unintended shame on them. Foreigners could be tolerated not understanding the deep cultural do’s and don’ts as they were here today and gone tomorrow. But being within the family all cultural requirements must be met. Jade would need to be watchful.
Then Wong Hui phoned the other partners among whom he was acknowledged as the ranking senior administrator. Usually it was understood even the best of their young recruits would serve for many years before being drawn into the inner circle making decisions within the firm. They’d all come up the hard way. His plan to propose his niece’s husband as part of the inner circle would cause jealousy and discord as it was just not done. Many had served longer at this office than Stanley and Wong Hui had heard some were already jealous this foreigner had been so widely accepted by the firm’s clients. Transfers would need to be made to other world offices, for experience of course, and a swap with other foreign offices having Chinese on their staff preferably to replace them. This would have to be handled carefully. Clients grew confidence around people they’d worked with for years and this proposal could be disruptive.
But his senior partners politely declined their support. Wong Hui would have to find some other way to keep this man riveted to Singapore. They all agreed he was a great developing asset to them all, but custom couldn’t be relaxed, and he’d have to find another way. So, it was all up to Jade.
The family had rare freehold properties up on Thomson Road near the Macritchie Reservoir and not too far from there was the newly built set of towers overlooking the Reservoir at number 800. What could be better than an apartment there? Jade’s father his brother could afford the several million-dollar investments in one of the top apartments and he’d be happy to go half investment with him in in their joint names. Perhaps younger brother would be interested in joining them? The Wong family were always looking for a good deal to shore up their future. Best to keep ownership in their name as a precaution but they’d pay the yearly maintenance agreement fee and look on it as a future investment. The apartments were new, and value could only rise over time. After all, the number 800 represented double, double prosperity and it was on a hill overlooking water. Excellent feng shui! Who could resist buying at that location at any price? Once Stanley had experienced lifestyle at that level he’d see the value of remaining there for life. Wong Hui would suggest Singapore citizenship. Wong Hui was excited as he thought of all the possibilities and the eventual introduction Stanley could be given to the wider family interests overseas and his value in negotiating with Westerners. He was sharp and quickly adjusted to situations.
To be continued
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