Ming’s Restaurant

   Emmi rides her bike across the campus to her dorm. I am going to take a nap. I am exhausted! When she enters her dorm room she takes her phone out of her backpack then tosses it onto a chair. Throwing herself onto the bed, she sighs,  Ahh.. She sets the alarm on her phone then closes her eyes. Hugging the pillow Emmi drifts off to sleep, she has a smile on her face thinking about Liu Ling..soo handsome.

   When her alarm wakes her up she groans, noooo… and rolls over to turn it off. Already.. I feel like I fell asleep ten minutes ago. Emmi stretches her arms and gets out of bed. I wonder what restaurant we are going to tonight. If it has private rooms I should wear a nice dress. She looks in her closet and takes out a burgundy cashmere wrap around dress. The dress has three quarter sleeves and the hem hangs below the knee. She made this dress at the beginning of the semester and it has been too warm to wear it until now. I am glad I got a good deal on the cashmere. She runs her hand down the dress.. Feels so soft. Hmm..what shoes, she picks a pair of nude ankle booties with 6cm heels. 

   Emmi takes a shower and blow dries her long hair. After she slips on the form fitting dress she fixes her hair into a bun, leaving several long strands of her long hair hanging down to soften the look. I think mothers’ antique jade hairpin would look pretty. She picks out a gold wrapped mutton jade hairpin and sticks it into her hair. When she looks in the mirror she smiles, “Mom, you had great taste, this hairpin is exquisite.” She applies a little makeup and lip gloss then goes into the bedroom. While she is putting on the boots YaoYao comes into the room, “Emmi, where are you going?”

  “I am going to dinner with Jiang Weiming.”

   YaoYao looks worried, “Do you like him?”

   Emmi laughs, “No..you know I only like Brother Ling. We are going to discuss a business venture.”

   YaoYao breathes a sigh of relief, although Dr. Liu is out of reach at least she won’t anger her cousin Chloe. That never has a good result for Emmi.

   “YaoYao don’t look so concerned. Chloe has left for the weekend and hardly anyone is in the dorm. Really, if she does find out so what. If this project works out maybe I will have enough money to move out of the mansion.”

  “Is that dress the one that won you the award? It is beautiful.”

  “Thanks, yes. I think if I had made it with any other fabric it wouldn’t have caught the attention of the judges. Cashmere is so beautiful and chic.”

   “Cashmere is really expensive, how did you afford it?”

   “You know Fang Li in our Chinese Literature Class.”

   “The short hairy guy with the unibrow.”

   “Ow. Very descriptive. Yes, his father’s company imports some unusual fabric for their clothing factory, mostly they buy domestically. But, anyway, he saw my backpack and asked me to make one for his sister’s birthday. He said she is very picky but he thought she would like the unique embroidery. He knows I am studying Fashion Design and he offered me a discount on any fabric I want. I went to the factory and saw the bolt of cashmere. It was the end of the lot so he gave it to me cheap.

  Are you going home this weekend?”

   “Yes. It is my Auntie LouAn’s birthday. Do you want to come?”

   “ Your aunt that you said is a nervous wreck?”

   “Ha ha..yeah that woman.She is always stressing about when my two cousins will get married and give her grandchildren. You met those twins, they are a couple of hopeless playboys. Pity the women they date. Neither one intends on getting married.”

  Emmi walks over to her desk and takes out a small embroidered pouch. “I made this for Grandma Kang but I can make her another one. It contains soothing herbs and has a light smell of gardenia. I had the skinny monk at the Tianshu Temple bless this piece of jade on the tie for good luck. Give it to your aunt.”

  “I can’t take this Emmi, it looks like you worked hard on it and the jade doesn’t look cheap.”

  “You know I stitch these little sachets to relax, it didn’t take me long. I got the silk for free from Fang Li they were scraps. The jade I got in exchange for some medicinal herbs from an elderly man in Huangdan. The blessing well..haha.. I brought him some herbal anti mosquito ointment haha. I hope your Auntie can relax and not worry so much.”

   “Well, thanks Emmi, she will love it, the herbs smell so good.”

   “I need to meet Jiang Weiming downstairs at seven so I should go.”

   YaoYao keeps sniffing the sachet, “Why don’t you come to the party.”

   “ Thanks but I have a lot of work to do in my Art Studio. I will go back tomorrow morning.”

    Emmi picks up her matching cashmere shawl, “See you Monday.”

    “Bye.” I want one of these to put by my bed.. so relaxing smelling the gardenia mixed with the herbs.

   Downstairs Jiang Weiming leans on the hood of his black Porsche smoking a cigarette. He watches Emmi come out of the dormitory. Chen Emmi deserves the title of school goddess, she looks like she doesn’t belong in this mundane world. The dress she is wearing hugs her slender body and her waist looks like one hand could fit around. As she approaches he is fascinated by her beauty and his Adam’s Apple rolls. Her face is flawless and her unusual green eyes are sparkling like they are filled with stars. He quickly drops his cigarette on the concrete then crushes it with his black leather shoes.

  “Jiang Weiming I hope I didn’t keep you waiting, Ruan YaoYao came back and we were talking.”

  “No. I just arrived. You look very beautiful” He opens the passenger door and holds his hand so she doesn’t bump her head.

   Once she is in the car she smiles, ‘You look quite handsome in that suit.”

   Jiang Weiming watches her buckle the seatbelt. He was hoping she had trouble so he could reach across her alluring body. “Thanks.”

   When they pull out onto the highway Emmi says, “What restaurant did you choose?”

  “I got a reservation at Ming’s Restaurant.”

  Emmi feels her cheeks get red, the restaurant I start to work at tomorrow night? This is a little weird. Well no one knows me I won’t mention it. I only briefly met the owner’s wife and one server. “I heard it is very difficult to get a reservation there.” And it is super expensive!

  He decides to be honest in case any of his brother’s friends are there tonight, they seem to like to hang out there. “My elder brother is friends with the owner of the hotel so I asked him if he could arrange a private room for our business meeting.”

  “Oh, your brother must be very nice to you.”

  “Yes.” My brother nice? What a fucking joke! I made him a shitload of money and he owes me.

   “I am rather excited to see the view at night. I heard it is spectacular.”

   “I am too. I haven’t been there but he said the private rooms have a balcony.”

   “Wow! Well since this is a business meeting I insist you let me pay half the bill.”

  “No. This is my treat. My last investment worked out well and I haven’t had a chance to celebrate.”

   “Is investing difficult? How do you know what is a good investment.”

   “It is hard to put in a few words, I research and analyse the company I want to invest into to see if will make a profit for me.” He chuckles,” Also I think it is a little bit of intuition and luck.”

   Emmi laughs, “Everyone says you are a genius, maybe you gathered luck in your past lives.”

   Jiang Weiming thinks Emmi is cute. He teases, “Well what I told you is between us. Let them think I am a hard working genius. You don’t want to spoil my reputation do you?”

   Emmi looks over at him and smiles, “I won’t destroy all your fans image of you as the number one handsome campus genius.”

   He starts laughing, “Well, the title is well earned.” Jiang Weiming really likes Emmi because she is not only extraordinarily beautiful but she is very down to earth. She studies hard is an independent woman. He thinks she is easy to get along with and has a good sense of humor. Even if he loses money he has decided to partner with her so he can spend more time with her.

   “You are very modest too.”

   “Also part of my charm.”

    The atmosphere in the car is very harmonious as they both laugh. He pulls into the driveway of the Harborview Hotel. When he stops he gives the keys to the valet who opens the door for Emmi.

   When they enter the Hotel Emmi notices the front desk clerk giving her a strange look. Oh my! He recognizes me from last night when I was drunk and trying to get a cheaper room. She sheepishly smiles at him as she walks behind Jiang Weiming.

  Jiang Weiming pushes the elevator button and as the elevator opens several drunk men stagger out. One fat man with a red nose stumbles towards Emmi and Jiang Weiming blocks him, holding Emmi in his arms, He gives the man a piercing gaze that contrasts with his boyish face. The man feels a surge of energy hit him and he falls backwards onto the ground. His companion picks him up as Emmi and Jiang Weimeng enter the elevator. He suddenly realizes he is holding Emmi in his embrace and quickly lets go of her body. The tips of his ears are red and the blush goes down his neck. He coughs, “Sorry, Chen Emmi.” She smells so good. What is that scent…jasmine

  “You don’t need to apologize if you didn’t block him, that gross stinky man would have fallen into me.”

   Jiang Weiming adds on points to Emmi for being understanding of the situation. I am relieved she doesn’t think I held her body intentionally. I would never overstep for fear she would know I like her. He plans on slowly having her fall in love with him. A perfect girl like Chen Emmi needs to be protected and cherished.

   They walk into Ming’s restaurant and Jiang Weiming tells the Manager at the front he has a reservation. Emmi looks around, the main dining room is full, and they are busy. I hope I can handle being a server here. They must make a lot of money. I will need to thank Mr. Huang for getting me this job.

   Emmi is standing there in a daze as the Manager starts down the hallway to the private room. Jiang Weiming turns and sees her blank expression, “Chen Emmi?”

   She comes back to reality, “Sorry.”

   He resists the urge to take her hand when he sees all the men in the restaurant staring at her like a pack of hungry wolves. I’m glad I got a private room. I don’t think I could bear all these men leering while we are eating. I might lose my temper.

  Emmi has no idea what he is thinking as they walk down the hallway. The Manager opens the door to the luxurious room and says, “A server will be right here.”

  Jiang Weiming politely says thank you and turns to Emmi whose pink lips are slightly parted in an o shape. She definitely likes the room. He isn’t that impressed having been in many five star restaurants with better furnishings but he has to admit the view is amazing. Floor to ceiling windows and a spacious private balcony.

   Emmi walks to the window. “Jiang Weiming this is …well, I have never seen such a view.”

  The server comes into the room. “Would you like to order wine?”

   Jiang Weiming looks at Emmi, “Do you want a glass? I am driving but you can.”

   Emmi thinks about it, a glass of wine sounds good. I will only have one. “Yes please, red.”

   He orders an expensive Cabernet, “We will wait to order our meal. I will have a bottle of mineral water.”

   “Do you want to go out on the balcony.”


   On the balcony next to them Jiang Weiming recognizes Han Weisheng and Sun Zhi who are smoking cigarettes leaning on the railing. He wishes he didn’t say to go on the balcony. Maybe they won’t notice us.

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