The cabin attendants delivered the in-flight meals to the passengers. After their meal, the passengers were pretty much forced to rest. The lights in the cabin were gradually dimmed and things soon quieted down. The air pressure in the cabin was simply uncomfortable, and even after turning down the lights, some would still find it difficult to sleep. Instead of resting, some passengers read books, watched movies, or used their phones.
Cin Heung never liked flying, nor was she the sleeping type. With her overhead light on, she read a CNN magazine ontrade wars, thinking that humans liked to fight over everything.
All of a sudden, she felt something heavy resting on her shoulder. Surprised, she turned and saw a sleeping man with his head lying on her shoulder.
Cin Heung felt too embarrassed to wake him up, so instead she lowered her sitting posture slightly and tried to distance herself from him. Funny thing was, the man’s head dropped along with her shoulder, which made her feel even more awkward.
Cin Heung sat in a daze and kept looking at the magazine in her hand. However, she couldn’t focus on reading at all. Instead, her attention was completely attracted by the man that slept like a baby. She didn’t want to disturb the “oversized baby” as he seemed to be sleeping so soundly on a plane.
All of a sudden, there was some turbulence and the plane trembled. Immediately, the man woke up and snapped open his eyes. Noticing that he was laying on something soft, the man turned his head slowly, and saw Cin Heung staring at him.
“Oh my!… I’m sorry!” The man jumped up and exclaimed.
Cin Heung was shocked by his exaggerated reaction. “Ah!”
The screams from the two broke the silence in the cabin. People around them looked over, and even the flight attendants came to check.
“Is there something I can help you with?” A flight attendant asked .
Cin Heung calmed her mind and said, “Nothing, something just fell.”
The flight attendant smiled and left.
“Sorry about that,” the man apologized.
Cin Heung nodded and didn’t instigate the matter.
“What happened, Cin Heung?” A woman came over and asked.
Turning to see who it was, Cin Heung saw Manman and said, “It’s nothing.”
Staring at the man beside Cin Heung, Manman asked, “Do you want to switch places with me?”
Cin Heung shook her head and said beside her ear, “Are you afraid he’ll take advantage of me?”
“I don’t think beautiful girls are easy to bully! You are, after all, the champion in a martial arts competition! If someone isn’t afraid and wants to try their luck, they should be prepared for the consequences!” Manman looked at the man and said it out loud.
Cin Heung gave her a smack, glared at her and whispered, “I’m not that scary!”
The man felt awkward and was speechless.
Seeing that things had settled down, Manman let out a hmph and went back to her seat.
After the commotion, the man’s drowsiness disappeared. He played a movie on the screen and was still worried about the matter just now.
He pressed the call button, and soon a flight attendant came to check what he needed.
“Please give me a cup of hot water and an empty cup.”
Soon the flight attendant came with the things the man asked for. Taking out several bags, the man suddenly began to work on something.
Cin Heung, who had been getting some shut-eye, opened her eyes and observed him curiously. The man stirred something into the hot water, then stirred this and poured that in. After a short while, a strong smell of coffee seeped into her nose. Excited about the fragrance, Cin Heung looked over with admiration.
Suddenly, the man handed the cup to Cin Heung and said, “If you can’t sleep or sleep well, why don’t you have a cup of coffee to freshen up?”
Surprised, Cin Heung took the cup over shyly and said, “Oh… Thank you.”
“This coffee is a combination of several coffee grounds from different regions. With a little spice, it results in a unique flavor and tastes round. Try it.”
Cin Heung took a small sip, and immediately, a rich flavor filled her nose. Not only was it not bitter, it even had a gentle flowery fragrance. This was Cin Heung’s first time coming across such coffee.
“This flavor is really unique! It also seems to have the fragrance of a flower,” Cin Heung said with delight.
“You have a great sense of smell. Care to guess what flower it is?”
“Erm…” She tasted the coffee again and said, “It’s like Jasmine… Daffodil… but seems more like Sweet Osmanthus.”
The man said with excitement, “You got it wrong, but close enough! It is Sweet Osmanthus! What do you think of it?”
“This… could be described as elegant and noble. It makes me feel a little nostalgic about the taste. The final verdict is…” Cin Heung paused and thought.
The man looked eagerly.
Even though the man was excited, he calmed himself and said, “That’s good to hear.”
Thinking that this person seemed interesting, Cin Heung asked, “Why are you so happy?”
“This is my new creation. No one has ever tasted it. You are the first.”
“Oh! Are you a barista?”
The man nodded. “It’s a pity you’re not tasting it at the perfect temperature and timing. I’m only improvising so it’s not perfect.”
“If I had the chance, I would really want to taste the perfect taste,” Cin Heung said casually.
“If you don’t mind,” the man took a business card from his bag and gave it to her. “You can come to this shop.”
Reading the card carefully, Cin Heung saw the words “Able café” and “Yeung”.
“This café isn’t in New Jersey though?”
“It’s in New York City. Where are you headed?”
“It’s a quiet place with plenty of greenery. In fact, 70 percent of New Jersey is forests. From Marlboro Township to New York City, it’s just a one hour drive.”
“Oh, I see.”
The man held out his hand, then said, “I haven’t introduced myself. My name is Yeung Yi Po, you can also call me Able.”
Cin Heung held up the card and asked in surprise, “This shop…”
“This is my shop, it’s my dream,” Yi Po said with joy.
“How passionate. Nice to meet you.” Cin Heung shook his hand.
Feeling Cin Heung’s soft hand, Yi Po looked into Cin Heung’s enchanting eyes and felt ensnared by it.
Cin Heung stared at his gentle smile. His thin lips seemed gentle and elegant when he smiled. Like herself, he had dimples when smiling. When he squinted his brown eyes, they almost seemed like they were shining.
It was as though the moment had paused. Suddenly, there was a fleeting fragrance, and the two simultaneously thought with surprise, That fragrance…?
The two finally let go of each other’s hands. After a while, Cin Heung asked, “What are some interesting places in New York City? Can you introduce some places to me?”
“Oh there’s plenty! The Statue of Liberty, operas, museums, the One World Trade Center, and many others. You can tell me in advance and I’ll make arrangements for you. My phone number’s on the card.”
Cin Heung nodded but didn’t say anything.
An old man behind said with his hoarse voice, “You two should quiet down for others.”
Embarrassed, they put their index fingers on their lips and laughed.
“My name is Cin Heung,” she said softly.
Yi Po thought she wouldn’t tell him her name and thus was surprised.
Time flew by as the two dozed off and talked some more after waking up. Time would have been hard to kill without someone to talk to during the 12-hour trip.
This night, the stars in the night sky seemed to have deviated from their orbit; two particularly bright and dazzling stars were shifting together into the distance by an unknown source of gravity.