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Chapter 8

It was late at night; the trees were gently swaying with the wind and the darkness melted with the moon creating a smooth atmosphere of tranquility and peace. The silent murmurs of the grass, crisp from the afternoon sun, can be heard through the soft breeze. Every man, woman and child were sleeping in serenity…as the harsh pounds from a heated man’s fist came crashing down on the door!

“Land Lady Doris!!!!” screamed an irate Joe, pounding harshly on her door at 12:00am.

Quickly the door flies open, only to reveal an elderly woman in her late 60’s with curlers still wrapped tight in her hair and a face so full of aggravation, the furrowed wrinkles burrowed even deeper.

“What now CHENG?” she screamed back in a highly irritated pitch.

Dragging a half naked Ariel in back of him, Joe says “There’s a creeper in my apartment.”

Ariel who had been dragged from the bathroom with just a shower cap and a towel to cover her body was looking directly at Joe as he continued to rant on about the misunderstanding.

“Who says I have been creeping around?!! That is MY apartment!” she yells back at Joe.

“Who says you weren’t?! Last time I checked, the deed to MY apartment still says ‘Joe Cheng and Mike He!” he yelled back.

“Who’s Joe Cheng and Mike He??” she said back.

“ME!!!”

“How can you be two people?” she retorted.

“Son of a…” he said trying to restraint himself.

“Well my friend rented the apartment to ME so therefore the place is MINE!” she snapped back.

“Landlady Doris, can you please explain to this obviously simple girl that the apartment has been mine for 3 years already!” he whined.

“Miss Doris, can you please explain to this obviously stupid man that the apartment has been RENTED OUT already!” she mocked.

“Miss Lin,” Doris began trying to hold back her anger. “Mr. Cheng here has been occupying the facility for years.”

“HA!” Joe yelled in triumph.

“Mr. Cheng,” Doris began again. “Ms. Lin has also RENTED OUT the place for three weeks under Mr. He’s lease, since yesterday.”

“HA!” Ariel yelled back mocking him.

“No, there’s no way can Mike could have done this without first talking to me about it. You’re not staying,” Joe said refusing to listen.

“He has, and I AM staying!” Ariel replied with a smirk.

“Why don’t the both of you stop being such big BABIES, live with each other for only 3 weeks and LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE!” Landlady Doris screamed back as she slammed the door in front of their faces.

“N-no! Doris!?! Doris!! This can’t happen!!!” Joe banged on her door screaming.

“Apparently stupid man is also in denial,” Ariel smiled.

“Apparently bag lady will not have place to sleep!” he yelled back as he headed for his apartment.

“Hey!!!” she screamed at him as he locks her out of the building.

Pounding nonstop on the door, Ariel continued to yell out to Joe until he would open the door. Slowly one by one, the neighbors begin to wake up.

“What? What’s going on?” asked one lady.

“mm, Is someone having a fight?” asked another.

“GO back to sleep!!” yelled a man from the other side.

“Open the DOOR!” screamed another.

This gave Ariel an idea. Quickly she turned back to the door and continued pounding.

“I can’t believe you would pay me so much money to sleep with you and you won’t even let me back in…”

With that Joe grabs her in forcefully and slams the door only to open it once again.

“She didn’t mean that.” he explained to the neighbors.

“Sure…” they all said.

Slamming the door behind him, Joe points a stern finger in front of Ariel’s proud face.

“Look. I don’t know how you broke in here, but you have to leave,” he said firmly.

“I’m not going anywhere!” she said just as firm.

“How’d you even get here!” he said annoyed. “I mean aren’t you rich? Why don’t you live in a hotel or something!?”

“I can’t…” she started to say but restrained herself from doing so.

“Why?” he asked again.

“Why do you have to know anyways? So noisy!” she said dodging the question.

“Oh I know…you’re here deliberately to annoy me,” he reasoned. “It’s all part of God’s plan to destroy me from the soul out!” he said making hand gestures of his body splitting apart.

“That’s right, because you’re a bad, stupid, slow man. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to change,” she said leaving him with his anger.

“Hey!” he yelled back as she reached for the door. “That’s my room!”

“Fine!” she said as she grabbed her suitcase to Mike’s room.

Slamming the door, Ariel grew more and more infuriated as she stood in front of the door unable to scream anything back to him. She hated how stubborn he was towards her and she hated how he would resort to insult her social status. So what if she was rich? She couldn’t have lived in a hotel because her parents would know she got kicked out of her house. Knowing how strict her parents were about her relationships, there was no way Ariel could admit in anyway that they broke up, so getting an apartment would ruin her. Rainie was able to help her pay for Mike’s part of the apartment until she got back from Japan and from then on, Ariel could live with Rainie. But for now, Ariel has to deal with Joe…stupid man.

Reopening the door without changing out of her bath towel, she continues the argument with Joe.

“So what if I’m rich? Is that so bad!” she screamed.

“It’s not that being rich is bad. It’s your personality by being rich, that’s bad,” he explained. “You are so caught up with your own world that you’re ego can’t let you explain to me why you’re still here.”

“Excuse me?” she asked angrily.

“Why can’t you tell me why you’re living here?” he asked frankly.

“Fine! I’ll tell you! It’s because my house was taken away from me when my STUPID boyfriend decided to take all of his dad’s money that was invested in his company and leave me!” she finally said barely able to keep in the tears. “He left as fast as he could and left me! Is that what you wanted to hear!? Is it!”

Taken aback from the new revelation, Joe just stands in front of her stunned.

“Say something!” she screamed.

“Good night.” He said quietly going to his room.

Leaving her in awe, Joe closes the door to his room lightly and sighs deeply. He finally realizes that the same thing that had happened to him had happened to her. They were both victims of swindlers. He was fired because of a swindler and she lost her home to one. Upon his realization, he grew weak and tired from the night’s atmosphere and slowly drifted asleep.

 

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