Heart of Greed
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Every journey has its start… Every journey has its end… How it ends is always forewritten before anyone knowing it. Being able to fall in love with someone smart, good looking and rich like the fictional character the prince of Gotham is every girl’s dream. And somehow Lisa is a lucky one. She falls in love with the future owner of the company she is working for. But is it a really good thing or is it merely a nightmare that would change her life forever? Can she survive the test of time and spend the rest of her life with him? Nobody knows until something unexpected happens...
Chapter 1 Love, Care, Responsibility
Another night to end, but was it truly the end of it, no one ever would know, until it happened....
''Good night, Mother and Father,'' Lisa smiled, planted a kiss on her mother's cheek and her father's cheek. ''Love you,'' she said, hugging them gently then tightly, like a small child not wanting to let go of her parents.
''Good night,'' they responded in a tender tone.
Her father raised an eye brow; her mother exchanged a glance of confusion with him, over such unwontedly hug. But they didn't think much about it; they knew that Lisa meant what she said, and they appreciated it. With their lips creasing into a smile as they patted Lisa's back, they said in a gentle voice, ''And we love you too, like always.''
Lisa made her way to the stairs. Turning back to look at her parents one more time, while a small surfaced on her lips, she promised, ''Mother and father, no matter how hard it is I will get a job, it's my turn to take care of your guys now.''
Her parents nodded in silence, realising what the tight hug was all about.
Then she walked up the stairs. The little smile on her face slowly faded as she made her way into the bedroom. ''If I'm rich enough independently to help them pay the bills now ..., ''she thought, closing the door behind shut.
Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Seconds flew by.
Not able to sleep, Lisa reclined in her bed, with her hand holding a photo of her parents kissing her younger self on the cheeks. Midnight approached; she looked into the picture. Bit by bit, it slowly came back to her. A small smile flickered across her lips.
''That day was a really a beautiful day,'' she reminisced. Stroking the image of her parents, she reflected how young and healthy they once were in comparison to now.
The long hand of the clock threatened to strike twelve, another minute had just passed. She breathed out a long heavy sigh at the thought of her not able to find a job to help bear the financial burden until now after finishing her degree.
The more she thought about it, the harder the night grew.
A tear almost escaped her eye, but she sniffed it back. ''No matter how hard it is, I must get myself a job so that they no need to suffer from the financial burden anymore,'' she reminded herself.
Determined, Lisa gently put the family portrait back standing on the small square table by the bed. She then swayed her attention to the round clock on the wall for time consultation. It read twelve midnight. ''Let's hope that some good news will come knocking at my door as soon as I wake up later,'' she hoped. With a slight pull at the string of the desk lamp, the room went dark. The only sound heard was the ticking of the clock – tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock as she felt into sleep.
Closing the door behind him shut, Lisa's father in his casual clothing walked to the phone by the couch to answer the call on the second ring.
''Good Morning, Jonathan's speaking here,'' he said enthusiastically.
''Good Morning, Sir. It's Mary here, a human resource officer from the Tang's enterprise. Could I speak to Ms Wong?'' asked a female officer in a friendly voice on the other line.
''Just a second, Officer Mary,'' Lisa's father said.
Lisa walked down the stairs. Her father caught sight of her walking her way down and gestured her to make her way over to answer the phone call. Lisa cast his father a curious glance. Wondering who it was, she hurried to her father, Jonathan.
Jonathan passed the phone to Lisa. ''Here you go,'' he said. He flashed Lisa a smile and patted her on the shoulder.
Her oval face slightly contorted into a look of confusion as she took the phone from her father's hand. ''Hello, Wong's speaking here,'' began Lisa while her father left.
''Good Morning, Ms Wong. It's Mary here, a human resource officer from the Tang's enterprise. On behalf of the enterprise, I'd like to inform you that you've successfully passed the first interview. We'd like to inform that your second interview is scheduled to take place on the 24th of the month, which is on next Monday. Please be here before the noon for the interview,'' the officer from other line emphasised, making sure that she had done her job to deliver the message. ''Is there anything that you'd like to ask, Ms Wong?''
No response from Lisa.
Such tidings surprised Lisa. She couldn't believe what she had just heard - she was speechless. Hope once again flared up inside her. She almost failed to resist the sudden urge to jump and down for great joy, but she fought through it, and managed it.
''Ms. Wong?'' repeated the officer from the other line.
Lisa slowed herself down, taking her time to digest the news, although it was still hard for her to believe of what the officer had just informed her. She attempted her best to gather herself, and let out a deep breath. Calming herself down at the good news received, she began to regain her cool.
''Thanks Officer Mary for letting me know, I will be there next Monday by noon for the interview,'' she responded in a calm, controlled tone.
''You're welcome. And when you've arrived, just go to the third floor for the interview,'' the officer added.
''Thanks Officer Mary'' Lisa finished.
The phone conversation came to a very good end.
Lisa gently placed the receiver back to its place. A reassuring smile tugged at her mouth, knowing that it was a sure thing that such news would bring great joy to her dear parents. Smiling to herself, she quietly pictured all the good things that could happen in the near coming days. Softly, she began to hum a tune, while walking into the kitchen, ready to share the news of her going for the second interview with her father.
All of a sudden, a splintering smash of a drinking glass from the kitchen startled her, taking her by surprise.
She trembled over to think if something bad might have happened in the kitchen. The little smile on her face faded away as her heart pounded. Speeding up her walking pace into the kitchen, she knitted her brows in concern. Praying silently as she hurried her footsteps, she hoped that it was just some drinking glass dropping onto the floor, nothing more than that.
Tensely, she stepped into the kitchen, as she braced up herself to find out what had transpired. She looked round the kitchen, her eyes leaping from one place to another. The only thing she caught sight of was her father standing there sweeping the floor, clearing up the shattered pieces of a drinking glass carefully and calmly.
She flicked her eyes up and down. Like a detective in disguise, she scanned her father from the head all the way down to the feet - no injuries nor bleeding, and looking healthy as usual.
''Dad, are you all right? What had just happened? '' asked Lisa. The quick pounding of her heart slowed down as her face began to relax, although she was still feeling concern.
Her father swayed his attention from the broken glass to his dear daughter. His round wrinkled face with deep eyes and bushy brows twisted into a wryly smile. ''Well, just some inevitable careless mistake, nothing serious to worry about, really.'' her father assured.
Lisa rolled her dark blue eyes over her father being less careful of his surroundings. But deep down, relief flooded through her, as she learnt that it was just a careless mistake, and there wasn't anything serious. ''Okay, but Dad, please be more careful next time, okay?'' said Lisa in a mild tone.
Her father shrugged his shoulders in ignorance. ''Sure, sure,'' he said in a very assuring tone, making the 'okay' hand gesture at his daughter. He then turned away from her and averted her look of concern. ''So what's the call about,'' he asked, trying to change the subject of the conversation as he stood there pouring Lisa a small cup of some hot Chinese tea.
''Oh yes, Dad. You are not going to believe this, guess what, I've passed my first interview, and now they have arranged me for the second interview, that is going to take place next Monday!'' stressed Lisa enthusiastically.
A trace of smile played across Jonathan's lips. He was proud and happy of what he had just heard. He turned to Lisa, while holding a small porcelain round Chinese tea cup. ''That's indeed a good news,'' he said. The bright tone of his voice emphasised his joy at hearing the news shared; he gently handed the tea to Lisa. ''Here is some tea for you, take a seat and enjoy it,''
''Finally, it's my turn to take care of you and mother now,'' she smiled. Lisa seated herself on a small wooden dining chair, and took the cup from Jonathan's hand. Drawing the cup to her nose, she slowly smelt the lingering aroma greeting her. She took a sip of the tea, taking her time to appreciate every bit of the taste. ''You've brewed some good Chinese tea! Thanks, Father,'' she said, her smile broadening over the taste sinking in.
''Haha, you're more than welcome. Let's tell your mum about your interview when she's home later. I'm sure she will be very happy about it,'' assured Jonathan. He winked at Lisa and took his seat. ''So I guessed, you are pretty much ready for it?'' he began.
''Yes. I am, Dad. But I think I need to revise the information I've learnt. You will never know what they are going to ask. Some extra work is needed before going for the second interview, I believe,'' she convinced.
''Well, all the best. But remember, don't overstress yourself,'' her father advised. He raised his tea cup and clinked it against Lisa's. Without another word, he nodded his head and silently toasted his beloved daughter, knowing and believing that she would not let him down.
Chapter 2: She and Him in the Dark ?
With a ding, the lift doors slid open. Taking a slow deep breath, Lisa mustered all the confidence she could get, and walked out of the lift. The ceiling lights overhead reflected her fine figure in a statement dress of a muted turquoise, while she smoothed her dress one last time to avoid herself from making a bad impression. ''Can't afford anything that would blow my chance,'' she thought.
She briefly cast her pair of dark blue eyes round her surroundings, trying to learn about the place as much as she could in the background hum of the air-conditioning. Her eyes roamed from details to details. A 50-inch square tv mounting on the office wall, tirelessly screening the enterprise's future projects caught her attention. Her curious eyes studied the projects highlighted on the screen.
For a moment or two, the world around her grew quiet, while the seconds and minutes seemed to stop passing as she stood there, fixing her eyes on the big tv scre
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