2001 summer, Edmonton
That year I was 21 and had just graduated from the
University. It was so hard to find a job in Edmonton but I was not worried. I
tried to enjoy the summer, spending the time mostly at home reading and
drawing. On occasion, Joe would give me some jobs. He was working with a big
software company and they needed someone to help them design their homepage. I
also did some part time work designing advertisements too. Dad wanted me back
in Hong Kong to help him manage his business, but I was not interested.
One weekend night...
"Let go of me, I don't want to go!"
"Come on, Tin. It's fun!"
"I am not interested!"
"Don't always stick around at home, it's not
"I want to finish that novel!"
"You are my guardian! You need to protect me if some
jerks try to hurt me."
"Gee...Roy, don't use the puppy face. It's no use this
time. You are 6'2" and 30 pounds heavier than me, and all of them are
muscle. You know Tae Kwon Do and kick boxing. Why do you need a 5'8"
little man to protect you?"
My door was fully open and Roy tried to pull me out of the
house. If my neighbors were looking at us then, they'd probably think I was
"Roy, I am not clubbing with you! You know I hate
clubbing! Let go of me!"
Roy is my stepbrother. He is 3 years younger than me. Just
like me, Dad had sent him here to study. So I became his guardian. We are of
totally different characters but we are very close, in spite of that.
He's mixed. His dad was an American who died when Roy was
only 5. His mom married my dad 5 years ago and he became my stepbrother. He
has black hair and green eyes. He's very clever but decided to study at the
University of Alberta. He could have gone to a better school and I didn't know
why he wanted to study here. He's also very handsome and seemed to have dozens
of girlfriends at the same time. He went clubbing mostly with his friends but
that night he wanted me go with him.
"You are hiding something from me, Roy!" We were
still struggling and he'd just succeeded in pulling me out of the house. I was
putting up quite a fight.
He looked so surprised but retained his hold on me and
asked, "How do you know that?"
"Because you never forced me into something I don't
want to do."
"Why...you are so clever, big brother."
"Amy's plan again?"
He didn't answer but pushed me with determination into the
"So I'm right," I said when I was finally sitting
in the car. Roy climbed in and pulled the car on the road. I pulled out my
cell phone and dialed Joe.
"Hello," Joe's voice came from the other end.
"You are dead meat, Joe!" I was kind of angry.
"What?" he asked.
"Why didn't you give me a warning this time?"
"What warning? I don't know what you are talking
"Amy is trying to introduce someone to me again. Joe,
this is the third time this year," I pouted
"Huh? I have no idea. She didn't tell me this time.
Maybe she knows that I will warn you."
"Where are you now?" I asked him.
"I'm on the way to Amy's. She said she wanted to go to
"Gee... Sorry for yelling, Joe."
"That's ok, I understand."
"Ok, talk to you later." I pushed the off button
of my cell, and stared at Roy.
"What?" he asked.
"So you are the traitor!"
"Hey! It's not my plan."
"But you colluded with Amy, and you didn't even warn
"Big brother, can you just relax? Try to have some fun
tonight. If you really like the guy, maybe you can ask him out for a date. If
not, then you can just be friends. No big deal. You are too serious,
"I am not interested... Really, Roy."
"You are thinking of that jerk again, right?" I
could sense that Roy was a little angry, and not with me. Amy had told him
what had happened between Andy and me. He was quite angry after hearing that
and vowed to punch Andy if he ever met him.
"Roy, he's not a jerk."
"Whatever. I'm not going to argue with you. Can you
promise to just relax and try to have some fun tonight?"
I sighed heavily. I knew he really cared about me, and am
glad to have as my stepbrother. He's a good brother, friend, and roommate.
"Ok, I promise," I gave in with a sigh.
Roy parked the car in front of the club. There was not too
many people since it was still quite early. After we sat down and ordered our
drink, I heard someone yelling my name behind me.
"Hey, Tin? What are you doing here?"
I turned my head and saw Amy and Joe. Joe looked apologetic
but Amy tried to act stupid when I gave her an evil stare. Then I caught Roy
giving her eye signals that I knew about their plan.
Amy sat down beside me and put her hand on my shoulder.
"Hey, why are you staring at me?" She tried to act innocent this
"You are dead meat, Amy."
"Hey, let me introduce my friend to you. Tin, this is
Scott and Scott, Tin."
I looked up and saw a pair of beautiful eyes. The most
beautiful eyes I've ever seen. Just like a sea of stars. I put out my hand and
"Hi, nice to meet you," he said.
"Yeah, me too," I replied.
"Ok, Joe, I want to dance." Amy was dragging Joe
out to the dance floor. Then Roy saw a beautiful girl and headed toward the
bar table. That left Scott and me alone. Scott was still standing in front of
me, not sure if he should sit down or what. I smiled and invited him to have a
He's quite a shy one. He sat down, gave me a quick glance,
then turned his head towards the dance floor, looking at the people dancing
their hearts out. So I took the opportunity to check him out.
He had short brown hair and a pair of really captivating,
beautiful hazel eyes. He's about 6 feet tall and looked like Josh Hartnett.
His eyebrows were very thick, and I thought they were very sexy. I had to stop
myself from touching them. And every time I looked at him, especially his
eyes, I felt something special. I guess I was attracted to him.
Still, I don't know much about him and whether he's gay. In
the past, Amy had introduced someone to me whom she "thought" was
gay but it turned out that he's not. It was quite embarrassing so I was
worried of the same thing happening again. Maybe Roy's not even interested in
me since he wasn't paying any attention to me so far.
Maybe I was too over-cautious, maybe Scott wasn't interested
or maybe he's just shy, but we just sat there for over half-hour not saying
even a single word. Roy was dancing with a girl and I didn't see Joe and Amy
anywhere. I started to curse Amy.
"Did you say something?" Scott started to ask.
"Huh? No no no..." I was taken aback. I wasn't
expecting him to speak.
"Oh...I saw your mouth moving so I thought you were
talking to me."
And we were back to silence again. The music was so loud and
the beat was pounding away. I hate that kind of music. It's a torture to my
ears and was starting to give me a headache.
Suddenly, both of us started saying at the same time,
"Do you want anything to drink?"
We smiled at each other and laughed. That broke the ice. So
I got up and asked Scott what he wanted. He wanted a bottle of beer, so I
walked to the bar table, ordered a bottle beer and a glass of coke. Suddenly,
Roy appeared beside me.
"How's it going?" I asked him.
"No good. That girl has bad breath. I almost puked when
she talked to me."
I laughed. The bartender handed me the drinks and I fished
out my wallet to pay. But Roy was quicker and paid the bartender before I
"Nah," he replied, putting his hand on my
shoulder. Then he took a sip of my drink. "Gee...bro. Coke again?"
"Hey, I need to drive home so I can't drink."
"Hey, I told you to relax and have some fun tonight.
Don't worry, I'll drive tonight."
"No, you already had some beer. I want to reach home
He just grinned. I took the drinks back to our table and Roy
went to find some fun again. Scott was sitting there still looking in the
direction of the dance floor.
"Here you go." I handed him the drink. He wanted
to pay me back but I said, "Nah."
He smiled and turned to face me. "Well, do you like
"Well, actually I don't like dancing. I am a boring
guy. My little bro dragged me here tonight. He said I should not stay at home
all the time but come out sometimes and have some fun."
"Your brother is right. It's no good to always stick
around at home."
We started to chat and tried to know each other better. I
found out that he is Scott Rutherford. He was 23 years old and was in the same
company as Joe. He told me he loved playing violin, reading novels and
"I don't like clubbing but Amy dragged me out, saying
that I needed to have some fun," he smiled.
I'd finished my coke and was using my straw to fold a star.
"Hey, that's very nice! Who taught you this?"
"I learned it from Amy."
He seemed interested so I offered to teach him.
"Wow! It's looks so hard."
"Not really. Just hold this side tightly and you can do
it. Let me show you."
I held his hands and guided him through the steps. I was
beginning to enjoy myself. Maybe this night would not be a waste of time after
I was brought back to reality and was suddenly conscious of
holding Scott's hands in mine. My face turned deep red and I quickly released
Scott's hands. Then I turned around and saw Roy standing behind me.
"It's time to head home now," Roy was saying.
"Huh? Ok, I need to go now, Scott."
"Huh? Ok, bye bye."
I said goodbye and followed Roy out the club, and got into
the car. As I was pulling the car onto the road, Roy asked, "Have fun
"Yeah. Thanks for dragging me out of the house."
"Did you ask him his number?"
"Gee...phone number! Do you think I was talking about
"It's none of your business, Roy."
"You can be a jerk sometimes."
"Yeah, so shut up and put on your seat belt."
Yeah, I enjoyed the night but I was not ready for another
relationship, not yet. I still miss Andy. I still remember that song. I felt
comfortable with Scott, he didn't ask me too many personal questions. Not
where I lived nor my phone number. And it's exactly what I wanted. If he'd
come on stronger, I would feel pressurised. But he didn't and that's just the
way I wanted it. Sometimes, going out and meeting someone new is fun but to
start a relationship is another matter altogether.
I took a hot shower when I got back, then hit the sack. My
eyes were mesmerized by the night sky. I was looking out my window and could
see lots of stars in the sky, just like Scott's eyes. The night was so
beautiful that I had to capture it. So I got up, took out my camera and music
box, and walked out of the house and into my garden. Then I sat down on the
swing and opened the music box. I followed the melody and sang the words
Andrew had written, then I snapped a picture of the beautiful ocean of stars.