Bashu City

   Emmi looks at the card Huang Peng gave her with the phone number of his cousin’s Western Style Restaurant in Bashu City. She smiles thinking about having a weekend job and the money she could make as a server. I will make an hourly wage and tips! She decides not to wait, what if he hires someone else?. Huang Ming’s wife answers the phone and Emmi introduces herself. Mrs.Huang wipes her hands on her apron, “Let me get my husband.”

  She walks over to a short bald man that could be Huang Peng’s twin.”Honey, Peng told this girl to call you about the weekend server position.”

  He takes the phone from his wife, “Peng told you to call?”

  “Yes. I was in Mr. Huang’s shop and he mentioned you might need a weekend server. I have to be honest, I have no experience but am a hard worker and willing to learn.”

   “Do you speak fluent English?”

   “Yes.”

   “Are you familiar with French Cuisine and fine dining?”

   “I have some knowledge.”

   “Can you come in now for an interview? If you are suitable I won’t need to conduct interviews this afternoon.”

   “I need to drop off something by Crystal Lake and then I can.” Darn it! She bites her lower lip, I did promise Wang Hao I would bring the laptop to the cabin this morning. She looks at her casual clothes, I should wear a dress to the interview too. 

  Huang Ming glances at the clock on the kitchen wall, “If you can be here before noon. Once we open I won’t have time.”

 “I can definitely be there by then! Thank you Mr. Huang!”

   He hangs up and walks over to where his wife is talking to the chef, “It is unlike Peng to care about the restaurant. I should call him and find out more about the girl.”

   “Maybe she is one of Jiao’s friends who needs part time work. If your cousin wanted to talk to you he would have called. “QiQi start making the creme brule for tonight.”

   “En.”

   Emmi looks out the window, as long as I can get the notes from Ah Kum, I will be okay missing class this afternoon. I can’t let this opportunity slip away that fell into my lap. A weekend job! Yeah!

Oh…I forgot to ask Butler Han if he can take me. I could take the bus home if he is busy, but I definitely need a ride there to arrive by 11:30. “I should have asked you first, do you have time to take me to Bashu City for an interview?”

   “Your aunt’s driver has the day off so I need to take her for a dress fitting at four o’clock but she didn’t mention anything else.”

   “Perfect!” I can take the bus back to town after the interview and get a taxi from there.Actually while I am in Bashu City I should go to the Zhen Group and see if I can talk to that old fart Zhen Sihao about the Lakefront Property.

   When they arrive at the Chen Mansion Emmi runs up to her room and hurriedly picks out a black dress with small white polka dots for the interview. Then she grabs a pair of black 6cm slingback heels. When she exits her room she hurries down the stairs and out the back not wanting anyone to know she isn’t at school.This dress will work for both the interview and going to the Zhen Group. I’m excited! As long as I don’t get in trouble for missing class without permission I’m good! 

   Butler Han drives her to the edge of the woods and she rushes towards the cabin. She is fumbling in her purse for the keys when the door opens.”What took you so long?” 

    She shoves the laptop into Zhen Sihao’s hands, “Here. You have it now.”

    Brushing past him she looks at her watch then goes into the bathroom to change. After she kicks off her tennis shoes she takes off her jeans and blouse leaving them in a heap on the floor. Emmi slips the dress over her head then zips the zipper up her back. Looking in the mirror she brushes on a light coat of makeup them applies some pink lip gloss. When she finishes her makeup she brushes her waist length hair and sweeps some hair up using a barrette. Satisfied with her appearance she puts on her black heels and walks out of the bathroom.

   Zhen Sihao stops Emmi before she reaches the door.“Where are you going?”

  “Huh? I have a part time job interview, I need to hurry.”

   “When will you be back? My face itches and my bandage on my leg needs to be changed.”

   Emmi gets closer to examine his face, the plaster has fallen off in several places. When she stands in front of him he inhales her distinct floral fragrance and as she touches his cheek with her soft finger he pushes her back, “You don’t need to stand so close.” He has a strange sensation running through his body and his face feels hot.

   She steps back not noticing his strange behavior. “I will make you some medicine that will relieve the itching but don’t scratch. I told you the medicinal plaster will fall off as your injuries heal.Your leg I will check when I get back and change the bandage. you should be fine. She touches his forehead, “You don’t have a fever so the wound isn’t infected.”

 He takes her hand off his forehead. I just told her to step back now… Really doesn’t listen! 

   Emmi ignores his reaction, he is probably one of those really handsome guys who doesn’t like women touching him. She gives him a strange look, Maybe he is gay? She shakes her head, Whatever… none of my business. “I will mix the medicine now, I need to hurry so you can heat it up yourself. Three minutes on high in the microwave, stir when you take it out.” Emmi takes out the herbs from the small cabinet by the microwave and places them in a blue speckled ceramic bowl with some water. She points to a quilted potholder. “Use the potholder when you remove  the bowl. It will be very hot. Let it cool for two minutes.” She looks up from the bowl, he is opening up the laptop on the counter. “Hey are you listening!”

  “You don’t think I can listen and open the wrapping on my laptop at the same time?”

  Emmi glares at him, her green eyes flashing a murderous light as she mutters under her breath, “Sooo annoying!” She puts the bowl in the microwave and sets it for three minutes. “I’m leaving. Don’t call me unless it is an emergency. I will be very busy.”

  “You never answered me. What time will you be back?”

   “I will be back..I’m not sure..” Annoyed at his ability to piss her off when he opens his mouth she puts her hands on the counter facing him she stares directly into his dark eyes, “When I get back.”

  He has a faint smile no one has the nerve to make such direct eye contact with me, she looks like a kitten who had its tail stepped on, “Make sure it is by dinner and bring more food than last night. I will text you what I want to eat.”

  “Errr! Don’t forget to let the medicine cool off. I don’t want to come home to you whining it was too hot and burnt your tongue!” Emmi picks up her purse and wants to hit him with it but restrains herself. “I will text you when I have time later. I have important business and don’t need any interruptions!”

   After she slams the door of the cabin Zhen Sihao bursts out laughing, What important business could that little girl have hahaha. Well..a interview for a  part time job..hahaha..Shit! He wipes a tear from his eye. She is hilarious!

  While walking to the car Emmi tries to calm down she shakes her hands. He enjoys annoying you..don’t let him bother you..think about the part time job..relax.. A few more days..just a few more days.. 8000 yuan

 When they arrive in Bashu City Emmi watches the lively crowd on the sidewalks. Such a busy city, “ Butler Han,how much longer until we get to the restaurant?”

 “ About ten minutes, it is located in the City Center in the new hotel the Han Family built.”

  “Oh, that is a really good location. They must do a lot of business.” Now Emmi feels worried she thought it would be a small family restaurant. Her palms begin to sweat, “Butler Han, I’m not sure I should go to the interview.”

  “Why not? Don’t be nervous. You said Huang Peng told you that you didn’t need experience. Have confidence in yourself Miss.” The Young Miss looks gorgeous in that dress, they would be lucky to have such a beautiful girl work in their restaurant.

  She twists the hem of her dress thinking the worst case scenario is they don’t hire me. I have nothing to lose. “Thanks Butler Han. You always encourage me. I really appreciate that.”

  “Well, you know Grandma Kang and I are always here for you Miss Emmi. Your mother’s kindness to us will never be forgotten in this lifetime.The Young Madam would want you to be happy and confident.”

  “You are right! Okay, I will take the bus home when I am finished.” Emmi steps out of the car anxiously clutching her small black purse. She waves goodbye then walks towards the beautiful new hotel.

   Once inside she asks a pretty young woman at the front desk, “Where is Ming’s Restaurant located?”

   “It is on the top floor.”

   “Thank you.”

    Emmi nervously walks down through the luxurious lobby to the elevator. The top floor! Aren’t the most expensive restaurants located on the top floor of a hotel? How can an inexperienced server work there? She gets into the elevator and there are two elegantly dressed men and two beautiful women already inside. They must have come from the Underground garage. Unused to being in the city she keeps her head lowered but feels one of the woman’s eyes on her. Why is she staring at me? I will ignore the woman, maybe they will get off soon.

  Suddenly the woman says, “Miss, who designed your dress?”

   Emmi looks around, she must be talking to me. “Ahh..my dress? Well no one you would be familiar with.”

   The woman has a strange look on her face. I am the editor of Beautiful Lifestyles! There isn’t a designer I don’t know. She sounds irritated, “Tell me the designer’s name.”

   The door opens and Emmi exits quickly flustered by the woman’s domineering aura. 

   Inside the elevator Director Yan laughs, “Qing’er, I think you scared the little girl. She got off on the 16th floor and I heard her at the desk ask which floor Ming’s restaurant is on..hahaha..”

  “Shut up! The dress she is wearing is unique. I thought the use of silk with layered chiffon was interesting and the way the dress had an exposed zipper on the back was well..eye catching.”

  Director Yan checks his phone as he remarks, “A beautiful girl with her figure would probably look good in anything she wore.”

  The ruggedly handsome man standing next to him chimes in, “Whoa…the little thing is a little young for an old man like you don’t you think?”

   “ Han Weisheng! Whose an old man? You are an old man! I haven’t even turned twenty nine.”

   The elevator opens and the three of them get out on the top floor, “Weisheng, I thought you would stay in the military, why did you decide to take over running this hotel.”

“It was time, most of my friends have left the division for one reason or another and my family has been bugging me to get married.”

   “Fuck! You are getting married?”

  “ HELL NO! Don’t spread any rumors… I know how you like to gossip.”

  The three of them enter the luxurious restaurant and Huang Ming comes out of the kitchen to greet them. He bows, “I am very honored to be featured in your magazine Miss Han.”

   “Well I am featuring the nightlife of Bashu City in the next edition and your restaurant has quickly become very popular.” She walks towards the window then turns to her cousin Han Weisheng, “You made a great decision putting the hotel in this location, the view from the floor to ceiling windows is incredible.”

  “At night it is even more spectacular with the city lights and view of the water.”

   She agrees,“I’m sure. I will definitely have the photographer take some pictures at night.”

   While they are discussing the photo shoot Emmi comes in the door of the restaurant. Should I wait for someone to come out or should I go to the kitchen?  She notices the woman from the elevator and gulps, I think she was probably insulted when I ignored her and rushed out of the elevator. Wuhuu..why is she here? It would have been embarrassing to say I made the dress. I think she would have been more insulted she thought it was made by a designer. Emmi makes a snap decision. I will sneak around this direction, the kitchen should be in the back. I will wait for Mr. Huang there and hope those people don’t go into the kitchen for some reason. 

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