Diano smiled as he booted up the laptop. Once he was in, he double-clicked on the MSN icon. It hadn't finished logging in when a message popped up. It was Andy.
"Hello! This is a common formula in many movies. If something doesn't work out, take a break. Come back another day." Energy started fiddling with the buttons to set his training routine.
"Er... His name is Cute." Summer said trying to clear the misunderstanding. She had forgotten to point at Cute when she made the introduction.
Summer brought out the cage they'd bought in advance. She folded a clean towel and placed it inside the cage, to cushion the base.
"He's the naughtiest of the three, always full of energy and running around. It's sad that I've to restrict them to the box.
As soon as the event was over, they went back to their desks. Oliver wondered whether he should join any of the support groups.
"Man. You are acting strange. You stood me up last night and you don't think I need to know what made you do that. You've never done this before." Energy pressed on.
"Because you can never really know a person unless you meet them face to face." Summer knew it was a sensitive topic.
She was worried about Cute. She hoped he wasn't into bad company or doing drugs.
Cute wondered if he'd be required to show his Hong Kong Identity card. Although he was nineteen, he looked fifteen or sixteen years old.
Fred went to the counter to place the order. Cute wondered whether he should take out his wallet to pay for his share.
He was on a tram, midway between Causeway Bay and Central. Not many people hopped on and off on that weekend night. The ride was rough with many jolts and it disturbed his chain of thought.
Andy stood there for five minutes without saying a word. When Diano had quietened down, Andy whispered to him.
Diano drank some more water. He had reached a difficult part in his story. He didn't know whether he had the courage to go on
"I met him at a public pool. It was a long summer and I'd enrolled in a swimming course to beat the heat."
Andy looked up at his face, tears running down his cheeks. Diano dabbed a tissue on his face. He felt a strong attraction towards Andy at that very moment.
"I'd hide my face when they hit me." Andy laughed. "But I was stronger than them in studies. I had good grades and I was better at arts too."
"Yes! Samuel said the maid would be here soon," Andy smiled. "She comes once a week, only on Sundays. I'm glad she's coming in today."
Shortly before 3 p.m., the cab pulled up in front of a building that didn't look well-maintained from outside. Patches of black mould covered the white paint on the outer walls. Some of the windows needed repairing.
Diano felt tired when he woke up after a few hours of disturbed sleep. The weather had worsened. Even at 11 a.m., he couldn't see much outside the window.