Cin Heung drove a station wagon back from the car rental company. With that, the party of five loaded their luggage in the back compartment of the car, happily preparing for their crazy trip.
Tony’s mother came out to help them. “You girls should have more dry foods with you. Each journey may take up to several hours. Here, I’ve prepared them for you girls. Have a good time!”
“Wow! Isn’t that too much?” Seeing the bag that was full of snacks. Cin Heung said, “Auntie is so generous. They’ll probably be playing so much that they forget to eat though!”
“Auntie is concerned about Manman of course, she’s preparing for her to have a kid! Ha ha! Don’t worry! Your daughter-in-law Manman will be well taken care of! We’ll also make sure she doesn’t do anything out of line!” Sum Ting said.
Manman glared at Sun Ting and complained, “I’m not like that alright!”
“Alright, alright, of course I’m not worried.” Tony’s mother laughed.
“If everyone’s ready, we’ll be heading for Boston!” Cin Heung said with excitement.
“Auntie, we’ll be going!”
“Bon voyage! Drive carefully!”
Several slender hands reached out from the car and waved as the car drove away slowly. Out of nowhere, Sum Ting suddenly said, “I’m so ashamed of myself. I still don’t know Auntie’s surname.”
“Mother-in-law’s surname is Lei, and her husband’s surname is Duen. My future husband’s name is Duen Yat Fan, his second sister is Duen Yat Fei and the youngest sister Duen Yat Yin.”
“Uncle has a really sentimental naming sense. He wants them to ’separate like the flying swallows’.”
“Well… I heard it was because he was separated from his parents when he was a teenager, and he lived in a foreign country afterwards. This was how he got his inspiration for the names.”
“Manman, you are also surnamed Lei. You and Auntie are also somewhat related to each other. No wonder she loves you so much. Maybe her name is also Lei Shun Man.”
“Sum Ting, don’t make fun of my name, will you!”
Cin Heung drove with the help from the navigation system, steering the car onto the freeway along the path. The American freeway was like a giant transportation belt; a road could be divided into seven or eight different roads which then lead to various states. The cars on the wide road were just like a small stream of ants. From an aerial view, it was as though a large group of ants were running toward the road ahead.
It had been four hours since their road trip began; they passed through a city, some mountains and forests, as well as two metal bridges. As the scenery breezed past the windows, Wing Tung and Manman were sound asleep with their heads against each other. Meanwhile, Sum Ting had her legs up and was eating the snacks Auntie had prepared.
“You’ve been eating a lot of cookies, Sum Ting. You sure have a large appetite! If you get fat, no one will want you!”
“Fear not, fear not! Someone will appreciate me!”
Cin Heung tugged at her lips then smiled brightly. She looked at Sum Ting from the rear-view mirror and saw her joyous expression.
Turning out of freeway 93, passing through Cambridge University, Harvard, and MIT, they soon arrived in Boston.
The group found a restaurant near the shore and ordered lobsters along with other seafood. Everyone praised the restaurant and the food, so much that even the owner of the restaurant came to greet and thank them.
The boss said, “Thank you for visiting. Are you girls satisfied with the food?”
“Yes, the lobsters were especially delicious!”
“Look at how merry you girls are. I’ll buy you girls a drink!”
He took a couple of beers and said, “Help yourselves!” Then he took out a polaroid camera and wanted to take a picture with them. The boss held up the camera and aimed at himself with the women at the back. The group of women held up their beers in the back and smiled. The boss took two pictures; one was stuck to a board that had many other pictures, while the other, he gave it to them as a souvenir.
After three beers, everyone’s face was red and their moods were uplifted.
Sum Ting said, “The boss can tell that we’re a happy bunch! Alright then! Let’s talk about who’s the happiest right now! I say it’s Manman!”
Cin Hueng, “You’re just stating the obvious! Of course she’ll be the happiest! She’s getting married next week!”
Manman said happily, “I have no objections to that! After all, the bride must be the most beautiful!”
Gou Jing said, “I think your mother-in-law wants you to have a few babies immediately after getting married! I’ll want to see how beautiful you’ll be by then!”
“Having a baby?… Maybe later! I think Wing Tung is definitely more charming than me!”
Cin Heung chimed in, “That’s right! You and my brother have created a lot of sparks! Did Turnip take advantage of you! Tell us! Tell us!”
“Hmph! I don’t know what you’re talking about!”
“Come on! Did you guys… kiss?” Cin Heung asked excitedly.
Wing Tung’s face was already blushing from the alcohol. She raised her glass and drank two more mouthfuls. Of course, the girls were afraid that she would go out of control again so they asked her not to drink any more. And of course, she didn’t pay heed to their warnings. After another two mouthfuls of beer, she was brave enough to say it out loud.
“Alright! Just for you girls! That night, in a silent and dark park, we… we kissed like never before, not letting each other go. He wouldn’t let me go! Nor would I let him go!”
Raising her hands to gesture two fishes kissing, she continued, “Mwah, mwah… However, after some time, I didn’t allow him to kiss me anymore. If we didn’t stop, I was afraid we would have become wolves! Awhooo! I told him to go home and calm down but he was reluctant to leave! That’s when I knew that he won’t be able to leave! He’s my man!”
Looking at each other, the girls knew that she mustn’t drink any more. They all pretended to be happy and howled, “Woohoo!”
Clapping, they then said to Manman, “Alright! Have a rest! It’s Cin Heung’s turn now!”
“Me? You girls should know what trauma I’ve sustained recently.”
“It’s been so long! Everything should be fine right?”
Manman chimed in, “Oh! But you seem to have encountered someone right?”
Sum Ting exclaimed, “Yo mama! Something like that happened?”
“It’s none of my mom’s business! It’s Cin Heung! She met a man during the flight here… a barista I think! He looks handsome but I think he’s a playboy!”
Cin Heung complained, “He’s not that bad! He did nothing to me and even made me a cup of coffee. I just hate that when it comes to relationships… Forget it… That’s why I’m the least fortunate.”
“Don’t say that men are worthless.”
Gou Jing said, “I hope Cin Heung can find her prince.”
“Ha ha, alright! Alright! It’s your turn now! Yesterday you didn’t finish your story! Come on, tell us the sequel!”
“Erm…I like him, just that… I don’t know if he’s…” Gou Jing muttered.
All the girls exclaimed, “Oh! It’s a one-sided love!”
Gou Jing stayed silent.
“Did you give him any hints?”
“We’re still friends, of course not!”
“So who is he? Do we know him?”
Gou Jing rubbed her cheek and nodded shyly.
“Oh! Who is it? Who is it?” They asked with excitement.
She then looked at Cin Heung and Wing Tung, as if it was related to them.
Cin Heung and Wing Tung both looked at each other suspiciously, after which Cin Heung asked, “The martial arts gym again?”
Everyone was surprised that the martial arts gym had become a dating arena.
Wing Tung, with her drunken finger pointed into the air and said, “I’m guessing it’s Scott! He’s humorous! A lot of girls like him!”
“No,” replied Gou Jing.
Feeling her heart fluttering in her chest, Sum Ting asked nervously, “You… couldn’t have fallen for… Noah right?”
Gou Jing nodded again and again bashfully.
Shocked by what she heard, Sum Ting felt as though her blood had coagulated and her heart was no longer beating.
Everyone was surprised and happy about what they heard, so only Cin Heung had noticed that Sum Ting’s reaction was abnormal.
At that moment, the fading sunlight shone on the coastline while the seagulls were flying leisurely over the beach. The cool breeze and setting sun created a symphony of coolness and warmth that surrounded the girls. Some of them were enjoying the moment with their eyes shut, while others were glimpsing into their hopeful futures in their heads. In the fading dusk, the dwindling lights faintly revealed their various emotions and thoughts.