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She could feel a sudden blaze from his touch washing over her body with just a few swipes of his lips brushing lightly over hers. Complete satisfaction, she thought to herself. To be so close to the feelings and emotions that she’s been dying to express all this time. He was enveloped in her beauty or what seemingly looked like beauty for she saw nothing similar in the mirror. At this state of time, it really didn’t matter whether she was beautiful or ugly, stupid or smart, but just respondent to his every move and inviting to his soft touching. She didn’t even realize how quickly he took his hands off of her and remained stationary. Blinking frantically, she realizes her heart palpitating as her body shook her from deep within, only to find herself waking up from her bittersweet dream.
“Huh?” Yi Zhen drowsily groaned. “Oh don’t tell me it was all a dream…”
She looked at her watch and saw her hopes dying at every second that passed by that wasn’t enveloped by her calming dream. Apparently she fell asleep while she was packing up to go home. Completely exhausted by her shifts, she didn’t even notice that she had spent the night on top of the cold hard bench in the locker rooms. Lifting her body off the bench, Yi Zhen went in front of her locker and slammed her head twice on the cold metal door. What a waste of a night…
“Yi Yi!” she heard someone mutter from the outside. The voice was nearing and heightened at every step. Yi Zhen only winced and moaned as she turned to see who in their right mind would cause more ache to her pains.
As the doors spread open, light seemed to emit in the background as if the God’s were coming to save her. In reality, it was just Kris’ smile beaming from cheek to cheek, seemingly ready to burst into a grand fervor of excitement.
“Hi, Yi Zhen,” Ariel happily barged into the dreary locker room only to see her friend lazily linger in front of her locker. “What’s the matter?”
“I slept here,” Yi Zhen weakly smiled mockingly. “My back hurts. Do you know the feeling of vertebrae cracking in five different places at once? It hurts!”
“Oh, honey, you should really rethink taking that extra shift at night,” Ariel sympathetically relieved with a charming pout that still radiated her light disposition.
Groggily leveling her aching body to stand still, Yi Zhen snapped out of thinking about Calvin and suddenly remembered last night’s intrusion. All the new information she received about Ariel had rushed at her mind simultaneously as her eyes bulged at the revelation. It was late last night, and the pack still hadn’t thought of anything to do about Ariel. Now since she was the first person to see Ariel ever since, Yi Zhen was in a lost for words…
“Yi Yi!!” Kris called out from behind, as she hugged Yi Zhen’s waist. “Are we gonna go on a scavenger hunt today? Or are you busy again??”
Yi Zhen frowned a bit, and a twinge at her heart plucked gently at her as she fought back the tears. Poor Kris. She didn’t even know who her father was and Ariel was naively raising her child alone, not knowing her former lover was back in her life.
“Yi Yi??” Kris began to pout as she didn’t receive a response back. “Hello???”
“Huh?” Yi Zhen finally shook off her dream state and gave a smile to the little girl hovering under her. “Oh Kris, Come here, let me hold you in my arms.”
Not hesitating, Kris beamed her excellent smile and spread her arms out for Yi Zhen to pull her into her arms. “Yi Yi? Are we playing today or not?”
She feigned a thought for a second by placing a finger on her chin, and looked at Ariel with an awkward stare as she asked permission to play with her little friend.
“Can I Ariel??” Yi Zhen begged childishly and Kris quickly mimicked the same plea.
“Can I, mommy?” she pouted deeply.
Ariel smiled brightly and cocked her head to the side as if she was soaking in the lightness of the picture before her. That was definitely not going to happen and she couldn’t wait to break it to them.
“Absolutely not,” Ariel grinned. “We have work. And little lady, remember what happened last time you came in?”
“Yes’m,” Kris drearily responded as she nonchalantly let her head fall on Yi Zhen’s shoulder, clearly showing her disappointment. “Yi Yi, you’re not going to let this happen to me are you?? Help me!! Please!”
As Kris’ begged became more pitiful, Yi Zhen suddenly got an idea. If Kris were to roam about for a little while, then perhaps she could talk to Ariel alone and get some information out of her without Kris making things awkward. This was brilliant, Yi Zhen thought. The only obstacle would be Kris; the little devil herself. That little ticking time bomb could make things not worth the time. But this was important. She had the opportunity to talk to Ariel…and she’s going to take it!
“Ok Kris,” Yi Zhen whispered in Kris’ ear, as Ariel turned her back on them. “Here’s the key. Tell your mother you’re going to the restroom.”
Upon hearing such intriguing words escape out of her co-conspirator’s mouth, Kris couldn’t help squirm in delight. “Thanks Yi Yi! Oh, mommy…” Kris chimed in tune. “I need to go ‘number 1’,”
“Ok, do you need me to go with you?” Ariel called back as she put on her protective gear.
“No,” Kris said from afar, packing and loading up her backpack for a day’s worth of exploration. “I’ll be back in a jiffy.”
Walking into the terminal, Kris breathed in the husky smell of the terminal with one deep inhale. Another adventure worthy of her exploration and nothing was about to stop her. Her first stop began where she left off; in the middle of the tarmac.
Settling her things in the middle of the rushing weekend crowd, Kris rubbed her hands together and smirked at the ground underneath. Time to dig up another hidden treasure, she thought. As she laid her tools on the ground she picked up her screwdriver and dug up the tile ground. Ariel never knew where on Earth Kris began picking up these sorts of random tools. In honesty, ever since Kris was dropped off at Abe’s shop, Abe has been handing out tools for free to Kris so her imagination can go wild- as if it wasn’t already.
“Hey! What are you doing there?” A man suddenly called out to Kris. Uh-oh, she’s in trouble again.
Looking a bit closer at the man calling her, Kris noticed the deep voice and realized who it was before sighing in relief. “Calvin!” she called out. “It’s me, Kris!”
Repacking her things, Kris tucked her backpack behind her and ran over to Calvin for a brief hug. But once she collided on him, all he felt was the cold bitter shiver of last night’s exposure. This poor little girl, he thought.
“Kris, what are you doing here?” He bent down to talk to her. “Where’s your mommy?”
“She thinks I’m in the restroom,” Kris winked. “You wanna play with me? I’ll be your friend forever!”
Calvin gave his signature smile. “I’m sure you would, but I have work.” Lifting her onto his shoulders Calvin began to walk back to the baggage department. “Maybe some other time, but for now, you need to stay out of trouble and do as you are told young lady. Do you hear me?”
“Yes, sir,” Kris pouted and frowned. “W-wait! I see my friend!”
Over his shoulder, Kris spotted another small body just like hers roaming around the terminal. He was recognizable even from afar and Kris couldn’t help but call out to her dear friend.
“Robbie!” she yelled. “Hey Robbie! It’s me!”
“Hey, Kris!” Robbie greeted back as he turned around to see his friend. “Mommy, look! It’s Kris!
Frantically turning around, Rainie and Ella look over to Calvin and her eyes fall directly on the bright little girl waving her little arm towards them. If Kris was here, Ariel definitely was here as well. They had decided to come to the terminal to talk to Ariel privately without Jiro and Mike because they knew the men would only hassle them. And now they had their chance. Quickly they made their way to Kris and Calvin.
“Ms. Chen! Why are you here?” Kris asked, with a deep glare. “Are you waiting for your boyfriend?”
“Uh, something like that,” Ella answered awkwardly.
“Hi, Mrs. He,” Kris robotically greeted. “Why are you here? Is Mr. He going somewhere?”
“No honey,” Rainie endearingly answered. “I’m…”
“Why are you here?” Calvin asked quietly. “I thought we agreed to…to talk about this later,” he whispered the last part to the spiteful women.
“I couldn’t help it,” Rainie whispered back. “I wanted to at least see her.”
He knew that it has definitely been a long time since Rainie has seen Ariel. It was reasonable to want to see your best friend after 7 years of pain and confusion. He gave a small nod and dropped Kris off his shoulder.
“Hey Kids, you want to play with me right?” he lightly asked. They nodded back. “Well, I have this radio with me and if you press this button, I’ll respond back to you guys.”
He handed over a bulky radio over to Kris and Robbie and they pressed the button Calvin was talking about and static could be heard.
“You’re giving us a walkie talkie!?” Kris beamed. “COOL!”
“It’s only for me to listen to so you can play with it, but you must stay here ok? Your mommy, Ms. Chen and I have a few things to take care of…
After a while of being all alone with Ariel in an awkward and antsy state of mind, Yi Zhen hopped over to Ariel and pulled her friend close. Shocking Ariel just a bit with her bright beaming eyes and drool seeping through her mouth, Yi Zhen gazed upon Ariel with anticipation. This was it!
“Yi Zhen, I’m not into women,” Ariel bluntly answered as Yi Zhen closed in on her.
Slapping Ariel hard on the arm, Yi Zhen frowned to here such absurdity. “How come you didn’t tell me that you needed to get off work early yesterday so you can have a gentlemen caller come over to your house???”
“Gentlemen caller?” Ariel laughed at the ludicrousness. “What are we in, the 50’s? Besides, he didn’t come for me. Joe came because Kris wanted to thank him.”
“So he did come over…” Yi Zhen gasped as the revelations became all too true.
“How did you know in the first place?” Ariel suspiciously asked her friend.
“…Calvin told me,” Yi Zhen shyly remarked at the embarrassing nature of being caught and talking about the man of her dreams.
“Really?” Ariel raised her brows. “So you actually talked to him?”
“Mmhmm,” Yi Zhen blushed. “AND! I got a date with him tonight.”
“Oh that’s wonderful, congratulations,” Ariel sincerely smiled back in response.
“AH! Forget about me!” Yi Zhen stuck back to the subject matter. “What happened when he came over?”
“Nothing…” Ariel shyly answered as she faced downward with a smirk withering on her lips.
“ooooh,” Yi Zhen suddenly gasped. “You’re face is getting red!!! Something happened! What happened?”
And just like that, Ariel turned to Yi Zhen with that same anticipated smile that beamed the light of God. She knew exactly what that meant; delicious gossip waiting to be spilled from one person to the next.
“Speak!” Yi Zhen shook at Ariel to get her talking again. “Tell me everything. Did something happen? Oh I knew something would happen. I knew it! There isn’t a face in the world that can get that bright red unless you’re talking about a man, and he’s the only man you got,” Yi Zhen quickly chortled. “What did he do?”
“He kissed me,” Ariel quietly revealed, a bit embarrassed at the disclosure.
Yi Zhen could already feel the corny tears dwelling from her eyes. It has been a while since Ariel had been this giddy. Truth be told, Yi Zhen had never actually seen Ariel with a man who wasn’t just a friend. But, now to have Joe back in the picture was like a fairytale. Her prince had finally come back for her. Even after all these years of distance and struggle, he still longed for her only.
“…AHHHH!!!” Yi Zhen screamed ecstatically. “I knew it! Was it sensual? Was it sexy? Was it like fireballs blasting in every direction?”
“It was…nice,” Ariel answered sheepishly.
“Nice??” Yi Zhen almost spoke in disgust. “Honey, my Grandmother is nice. Nice is just a pleasant word used to describe kittens and asexual lethargic 70 year olds.”
Ariel winced at her friend’s odd thinking. “I don’t know how else to explain it. I guess it felt like a cheesy romance novel…like Fabio, without the long hair, the chest, the muscle and the accent.”
“So… it wasn’t like Fabio.”
“Exactly!” Ariel unexpectedly answered happily.
On the other side of the terminal however, Calvin had bigger fish to fry. Dragging his sister and Rainie to a corner and not to the baggage department, Calvin growled at their behavior. If they haven’t decided what to do about Ariel then what’s the point of doing anything now? They were a team, and as such, the remaining members, Jiro and Mike needed to be in the situation as well. For goodness sakes, Jiro is her brother!
“You two need to head back,” Calvin ordered.
“She just wants to see Ariel,” Ella pled. “Can’t you stop being a bossy behind and help us?”
“Please Calvin,” Rainie pled along with Ella. “Just one look. She won’t even know I was here.”
“…BOOGER!” shouted the radio from behind Calvin. Kris and Robbie were toying with the walkie.
“You never should have handed them the radio,” Ella shook her head at her brother’s ignorance.
“I needed something to kill some time,” he remarked with a glare.
“This is God…hahahha!” they heard Kris, with an altered voice, say. “I order you to pick your nose!”
Just as things couldn’t get any worse, Rainie spotted Mike and Jiro nearing. There wasn’t even enough time to panic for Rainie and Ella to think up an excuse.
“Hey,” Jiro called out. “What are you two doing here?
“Umm…” Ella thought. “We…what are you doing here?”
“We work here,” Mike answered bluntly.
“You don’t have work today,” Rainie thought out loud. “Don’t tell me you’re here to talk to Ariel behind our backs are you??”
Calvin only rolled his eyes. Women…
“Nothing of the sort,” Mike defended. “We…we…
“Are caught red handed,” Calvin interrupted. “Both parties are up to unscrupulous things.”
“BLAH GRAH BLECH! I’m the BOOGIE MAN!!” Kris continued to play with the radio, spouting ridiculous matter as Robbie’s laughter scratched at their ears.
“I’m going to kill that kid,” Calvin winced.
“What’s that?” Jiro grimaced.
“Calvin!” screamed the radio. “Robbie and I are going scavenger hunting. Be back ok? We still have the radio.”
Quickly tugging at his back pocket for the other end of the radio, Calvin ordered them to stay where they were. “Kris!? That wasn’t part of the deal, c’mon!”
“We’ll be back, don’t worry,” Kris answered nonchalantly.
“Robbie? ROBBIE!” Rainie tugged at Calvin’s hands and dragged the radio to her lips. “Stay where you are, mommy’s coming back! NO scavenger hunting! Do you hear me?!?!”
No response could be heard. The adults stood still until they finally released their inhale and frantically began their search for the children in this 635,000-square-foot facility, with crevices made for skinned knees, banged elbows…
“Momma’s coming, baby!!!!” Rainie screamed.
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