Under the Boardwalk - Cover

Under the Boardwalk

Copyright© 2023 by Lapi

Chapter 11

Once she pushed me to the door, I did not have any time to compose myself before meeting her Dad. Right, like this was high school and we were going on a date. Actually, she and I were dressed for a dinner date.

The doors magically opened. (nope, electronics) As some of us walked while me, was still being pushed inside. The home was 180 degrees opposite of the drag, dirty and dark streets. Marble, tapestries and carved ivory and jade were evident all around. I had to comment.

“Who keeps all this clean, does Mrs. Chiang do it by herself?”

That got me a look, a shake of her head and the comment, “men!”

While we yes I said ‘WE’ were walking further in, I was about to ask her where the ‘little boy’s room’ was. No such delay possible with this girl. From another door came Numbers two and three, also dressed like I have never seen them before. Mei-Shek was 1 or 2 inches shorter and they barely posted at 5’ something. Those ‘other’ measurement however were attention-getters, all three of them were ‘healthy’ girls; if you know what I mean.

By dinning standards in the West, the lack of a table, sitting on the floor and a room full of people was not normal in high-society. In China. We were being ‘treated’ to true Chinese hospitality, as what our seven course meal later bore out. The spot left vacant were one, directly to the right of Mr. Chiang, where a small but Chinese Jade box lay. Mei-Shek and the girls sat down behind me; they would have to eat later. Their job was to keep me fed.

There was a low, round, circular table in front of us and a dozen more around the room. The two young ladies seated next to either side of us looked younger than Mei-Shek and the one on his left side could not be Mrs. Chiang. One of the girls moved the table’s centerpiece in a counter-clockwise manner to place an empty glass, ice and a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Scotch in front of me. In China no important dinner ever began without a toast, tonight was not going to be any different, luckily our host selected a ‘random’, drink as you like, toast.

His, “Suíyì” (Cheers) started the meal off.

I do not believe he expected my response “Wàn shòu wú ji-ng” wishing him a long and healthy life. That got me a gentle pat from Mei-Shek, I guess. At this rate any ‘At a-boys’ I got were welcomed. I only had a few basic phrases memorized in Mandarin so I was very glad he continued in English.

“I wish to thank you for coming to see me and share this simple meal.

“Right, like I had a huge number of choices’ I thought to myself turning back to look at the girls seated behind me. Not any reaction from them at that comment.

“It is an important occasion when a man’s age reaches 88, a very auspicious time and one made enjoyable when shared with ‘friends’. Do you not agree?”

“Very much so Mr, Chaing.”

“Please not so formal, just call me Chaing.”

“Before much of this fine meal is presented, I have a favour to ask of you. In the past you have treated me well during my time at you Casino’s. (Vito’s really, not mine) So I wish to present you with some of my most treasured possessions. My sons, should not inherit them when my time comes and I have too many to do justice to them.”

“Mr. Chiang, I mean Chiang, you were always welcome at the casinos and there is no need to give me more gifts, I already have this beautiful box you have placed where I sit.”

“True, perhaps a most favourable ‘business deal’ then, one where the exchange will benefit you.”

“I suggest a trade, one million dollar, for the four, young, healthy, talented and beautiful ‘slave’ girls, each. Is that agreed then?”

The cough, followed by downing the glass of Scotch was not an act, it was my real reaction. What could I do or say? “You do me great honour. Aah, $ 4 million is a bit more than I carry around. It is a great price and not to insult or diminish this gift’s worth, might I meet or see these girls to see if I am worthy of your offer. My associate is arriving soon in Hong Kong and brings my personal items with her or I can offer you a bank draft?”

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