Headnote : The opening part of this story can be read in the post of 30 September 2008, here -> Part 1.
A Bingo Straight To The Heart (Part 2)
Sheffield, England – Winter of 1990
During our student days, me and my three housemates were Scrabble freaks and we play the game for hours on end almost every Saturday. It was the winter break and I was in the final year of my Accountancy course. Aida is two years my junior, studying Civil Engineering, the only Malaysian girl taking up a technical course out of the twenty Malaysian girls studying in Sheffield at that time.
Aida stayed in a rented flat a few streets away from our house and she and her housemates often join us on our Scrabble sessions. On one particular Saturday afternoon just before Christmas holiday that year, Aida as usual, turned up at our door for a Scrabble session, but this time without her girl friends. Instead she had brought along her classmate, Johari.
“Hi guys!” chirped Aida in her ever-present jovial voice as soon as she stepped into our hallway from the cold outside. “This is my friend, Johari. I hope you all don’t mind me bringing him along. Dee and Ann are away at some friend’s place so I’ve invited Joe to join us.”
It was the first time we were having a male visitor in the house and Mei Lin, my housemate who had opened the door, looked at me for a sign of approval. Aida’s friend had already stepped into the hallway and it would have been very discourteous and awkward to turn him away.
“No problem. Please come on in,” I replied.
“All right!” Aida exclaimed, smiling widely as if she had struck the winning lottery or something. “Joe, this is Kak June, that’s Mei Lin and over there is Anita and Nooraini,” she continues to introduce us.
“Hello,” Joe said. “I hope this is not too much of a trouble. Aida thought that you guys may need an extra hand at the game and has asked me to come along.”
“No trouble!” I said, “You are most welcome to join us.”
I wasn’t sure if I was entirely truthful when I said that at the time.
... to be continued.