[Editor’s Note : Every week we will be publishing one chapter from Ansh Das’s book, The Memory Of A Face. Needless to say, we are super excited! Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5 & Chapter 6]
Agnes meets Energy
Oliver and Energy were at the HMV store when the girls arrived.
“Hi. Agnes, this is Energy. Energy, Agnes.” Oliver made the introductions.
“Hello.” They said at the same time.
“I have booked a table at the Nahm. It’s a Vietnamese restaurant.” Oliver told Agnes.
“Let’s go. I’m hungry,” Priscilla said.
They headed towards the Water section of the Elements mall. A smiling manager greeted them and showed them to their table. Agnes picked up the menu first and started going through it.
“They serve Thai food too!”
Oliver laughed. “Yes, they do. I know you love Thai food.” He hoped Energy would remember that fact.
“She loves all kinds of spicy food.” Priscilla added.
“Oh,” Energy said.
“He can’t handle spice. He starts sweating immediately,” said Oliver.
“But I love spicy food,” said Energy. “But my body can’t handle it.”
“Er… You are different from your body meh?” Agnes teased him. Everybody smiled.
After they had placed their order, Oliver noticed a brief silence.
“Is anybody interested in going to Shenzhen for snowboarding next weekend?”
“Yes!” said Energy.
“Me too.” Priscilla looked at Agnes.
“I’d love to come along,” said Agnes.
They talked about the trip until food was served. Tiger King prawns in green curry, chicken in Pandan leaf, Pad Thai with prawns and squids, vegetarian Laksa, grilled lemongrass chicken, Hanoi beef noodle soup, braised cha ca, steamed rice and soft shell crab. It looked like a mini feast and they jumped in at once.
Oliver caught Energy stealing glances at Agnes. He was wondering if he liked her when, to his horror, Energy let out the biggest burp he had ever witnessed!
“Oops! Sorry.” Energy looked embarrassed.
“It’s disgusting!” Oliver teased him.
“In some countries, burping is regarded as a compliment to the chef or the host,” Agnes said.
“Oh. In that case, we should call the chef. Can you repeat the performance?” Oliver made a serious face.
Light banter resumed and continued until dinner was over. The girls excused themselves to use the washroom.
“So? What do you think?” Oliver asked Energy.
“The dinner.” Oliver rolled his eyes.
“Oh, the food was great. Maybe we can have an office gathering here later.” Energy replied.
“Whatever,” said Oliver, as they walked towards the ice rink.
Outside the washroom, the girls were having their own chat.
“So? What do you think?” Priscilla asked Agnes.
“I don’t know.” Agnes looked away.
“What do you mean you don’t know?”
“Well. I don’t want to think about it. Every time I meet a person I start dreaming…and those dreams soon turn into nightmares. I don’t want to go through that pain again.”
“Sorry. I didn’t mean it that way. I just want to see you happy. Please, don’t think about those stupid men. That’s the past. Like you said, this is your new approach. I support you.”
“He isn’t bad. He does take a long time to warm up though.” Agnes smiled.
“Well, he’s a nice guy. Let’s go catch the boys.”
They started walking towards the ice rink.