Dim Sum Mysteries - 3. Chapter 3 - Wishes
Chapter 3 – Wishes
Wednesday, Mac Worthington High School, 10:05
Emma was discussing the different ways to make the dishes typically served in Dim Sum restaurants. I don’t even remember how we began to talk to each other, but I think it all started when she saw me eat a shaomai during a free break between classes.
“So, I was wondering whether I could just use ordinary flour to make the wrapping,” she told me as we got into English class together.
It was hard talking to Emma. I had to tilt my head almost all the way back to take a look at her face. “Why don’t you experiment? You know; see what’s good and what’s not.”
Emma nodded thoughtfully, taking a seat next to me. “I just wanted to replicate the dish. Your mom and dad and the cooks at the Jade Phoenix seem to do it so effortlessly.”
At that moment, Artie Cello walked into class. He gave me a smirk. “Hey look, it’s the witness of Fred’s murder.”
I glared at him. What did he want with me? What did I do to him? “What do you want, Artie?”
“Nothing, really,” he said, smiling. God, I just wanted to sock him in the mouth. “I mean, there’s been a rumor that you might have something to do with the murder. Fortunately for you, we’re still suspecting Victoria.”
“Artie, that was uncalled for,” Emma reprimanded him, in an almost motherly tone. “Leave Ryan alone.”
Was it something Emma said? The moment Emma began talking, Artie’s expression changed. It was as if an invisible hand had seriously socked him in the mouth. Did I do that?
He turned around, somewhat robotically, and walked away, expressionless. That was weird. Just then, a familiar figure came into the classroom. Michael had a smile on his face and he was carrying a stack of what looked like flyers.
“Here you go,” he said, handing Emma and I a flyer each.
The flyer was heavily decorated and cluttered with pictures of Japanese cuisine. I read the bold, black text which had been typed in with a Japanese calligraphy-type font.
Come and taste the delicacies of the land of the rising sun! We have all sorts of treats on sale. If food is not to your liking, we’ve got modern Japanese-styled clothing for sale as well, along with trinkets and goodies of all kinds …
“What is this?” I asked, looking back up at Michael.
“I’m part of the Japanese Culture Club,” Michael replied proudly. There was that twinkle in his eyes again. “We’re holding this bazaar like thing on Friday, at Uncle Bob’s old ice cream cafe. I really hope the two of you can come – Yuki’s been looking forward to it.”
Emma tilted her head slightly to one side in confusion. “But isn’t that a little dangerous? I don’t mean to be rude, but I don’t think a lot of students will be come. The murderer –”
“Relax,” Michael said as he walked around the room handing out more of the flyers. “You’re forgetting that Yuki’s dad’s in the police. Besides, all of us from the Club will be there. Well, all four of us, anyway.”
He strode over back to where we were and looked at us pleadingly. “Please say you two will go. It’ll mean a lot to Yuki.”
Well, I wasn’t very interested, but looking at that hopeful look on Michael’s face, I kind of just gave in. “Sure, Mike. I’ll go. Emma, you in?”
“I suppose it’s better than having to finish Math,” Emma said, shrugging.
“Great!” Michael said, his face lighting up. “Yuki will be glad to have her first two guests.”
Thursday, Mac Worthington High School, 21:54
Michael offered to drive me to the school to watch the meteor shower. I was kind of excited – okay, I was really excited. I hadn’t seen anything like a meteor shower in my lifetime, so this was new to me. And, I would be seeing it with Michael.
I could never really figure out why Michael seemed to be so friendly with me. I didn’t even know he existed until that fateful meeting. Yeah, I called it fateful, because it just seemed that way, I guess. But I was glad I met him. He made me feel … warm. There was something to him, like this indescribable quality that just made him irresistibly attractive.
Michael’s car apparently had finished being repaired, so now he could drive on his own again. But the streets didn’t seem safe anymore. There were more police cars patrolling at night and ironically, it made the situation a little more tense, like we knew that something was about to happen, something bad.
When we finally arrived at the school, there were two police cars already parked there. Michael stopped the car beside one of them.
“The cops sure are getting pretty careful,” Michael remarked. “I suppose it’s all for safety.”
I shrugged, taking off my seatbelt. “Better than safe than sorry.”
We both climbed out of the car and then Michael grabbed a sports bag from the trunk. I pointed at it, confused. “What’s that for?”
“Blankets, a mat, thermos of hot chocolate and a star chart,” Michael said, grinning at me. Even in the dark, his teeth looked so good. “Who knows, it’ll come in handy.”
We headed through the sidewalks and passed a scary looking police woman who gave us the evil eye. Michael seemed to ignore her though and we eventually passed the science labs and into the large, all-purpose field.
It was mostly quiet, but there were a lot of people there already. They were mostly students, although I recognized several teachers and unknown people. Maybe family and friends. They were all lying on the ground, some on rugs or picnic mats, some covered in blankets, staring up into the dark blue canvas above us, pointing occasionally at something remarkable. I looked around, trying to find a suitable place. It was a wide place, but the place was packed and there was nowhere that was private enough.
“I know a place we can go,” Michael said, holding my hand and pulling me with him.
At that moment, I was slightly afraid of people seeing us, but I guess the stars held their attention. It was a beautiful night, and the sky was completely cloudless. The air was pretty cold, but just cold enough so that it was comfortable, somewhat.
Michael led me to this hill pretty much away from everyone else. It was just a small mound at the edge of the school grounds, but it could cover us from sight if we sat on the other side of it.
When we got there, Michael wasted no time in setting up everything. I helped him out, but he was pretty eager to do it himself. He was pretty prepared – he even brought pillows. When we were done, we both sat on the mat and began stargazing. It was nice and quiet and for a while, I just soaked in the cool night air.
“Have you ever seen the sky this beautiful?” Michael said, his voice quiet and dreamy.
“It’s nice,” I agreed. “I’ve never seen a meteor shower before.”
Michael quickly checked his watch. “It should start in about twenty minutes.”
I looked at those twinkling lights in the sky. For a moment, they reminded me of Michael’s eyes, how they shone even in the dimmest lighting. I barely knew anything about the constellations, but it was kind of mesmerizing.
After a few minutes, I could tell that Michael was looking at me. So I returned the gaze. And in that split second in time, our eyes met in a way I could never really describe. We’ve looked at each other in the eyes before, but at that time, it was different. It was like I could see something inside him through his eyes. How did the saying go? The eyes are the window to the soul. Maybe they really were.
“Ryan,” he said quietly. “I … forgive me if I’m wrong, okay, but …”
In one quick movement, he reached forward and gently pulled my head towards his. When his lips pressed onto mine, it was literally like fireworks were being set off inside me. The sudden warmth of him pretty much overwhelmed me and when he broke the kiss I was completely breathless.
We just sat there looking at each other, his hand warm against the side of my face. It felt like my heart was practically vibrating – I never knew it could beat that fast. I almost forgot how to breathe.
“Wow,” was all that I could say.
“So …” Michael said, looking down. “How was that?”
“I don’t know,” I told him truthfully. My mind was still reeling. “I’ve never kissed, ah, anyone before so … so I wouldn’t really know …”
Michael looked back up at me. I could get lost in those emerald jewels. “That was your first kiss?”
I nodded and smiled at him.
“Well, I’m glad that I had the honor then.”
He gave me another quick kiss and then we lay down on the mat. I rested my head against the palm of my left hand while my right held Michael’s hand. I was still in shock, a good kind of shock. Was I dreaming? No way, that was real. That was definitely real. You know how sometimes things are so real and so in your face, it doesn’t seem real at all? It was a bit like that for me.
Michael’s left hand began playing with the fingers on my right. “So … when did you find out you were gay?”
“I guess I’ve pretty much known all my life,” I said, my voice quiet. “What about you?”
“When I was ten years old, I think,” Michael said with a small chuckle. “That was when I found I kind of … play for both teams.”
I looked at him, unable to help smiling. “You’re bisexual?”
“Bi-curious,” he corrected me. He was still staring at the sky. “I don’t know for sure, Ryan. But I do know that I like you. I like you a lot, in fact.”
“Tell me more about you being bi-curious,” I said. What? I couldn’t help but be a little curious.
“Well, I’ve never dated a guy before,” Michael mumbled sleepily. “Yuki and I dated for a while last year, but it didn’t last too long, though.”
I snickered at that. “You and Yuki?”
“Yeah. So what?”
I grinned at him. “You have a thing for Asians, don’t you?”
Michael laughed and we kind of play-wrestled for a few seconds, just laughing and fooling around. After a while, I ended up half on top of him and he was holding me with his long arms. Somehow, I just naturally snuggled up to him.
“Ryan, maybe it’s a little too early, and I know we’ve just got to know each other,” Michael said, his tone turning unsure. “But do you want me to be your boyfriend?”
I was quiet for a while. Every part of me screamed to just say ‘yes!’ but well, not every part I guess. That annoying, tiny bit in my head, the one that held all my rational thoughts, was saying that I should be patient. Could I really be in a relationship with Michael? I wanted to, but was it wise, especially because of the murders happening? I still remember Fred’s lifeless carcass slumped against the fence, drenched in so much blood. I involuntarily shuddered and Michael held me even tighter.
Michael lifted my head up and kissed me again, softer but longer this time. That pretty much helped me make up my mind.
Our lips parted and then I spoke into his chest, “We’ll work on it together, Mike.”
“I’m still not ready to make this public, Ryan,” Michael muttered. “I hope you’ll understand.”
“I’m not ready for that either,” I mumbled. I was starting to feel a bit too comfortable in his embrace. “But we won’t be able to hide it forever, you know.”
“Hey look, I think the shower’s starting!”
I rolled off of him and stared up at the sky. Sure enough, if I paid enough attention, there were tiny streaks of light dancing in one direction. They were quick and disappeared in half a second, but it was beautiful.
Michael and I just laid there for about ten minutes, his arms around me. We were quiet, sharing this blissful moment, watching the sky. The silence between us wasn’t uncomfortable or awkward. It was perfectly natural, as if we could say everything we wanted to say to the other without opening our mouths, like we could just send each other telepathic messages.
“Wanna wish upon a star?” Michael said after a while.
“What, you believe in that?”
“Not really. But it’d be nice. Come on, make a wish. No – don’t tell me. We’ll keep it secret.”
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