85 CH85: Enjoy life with spice!

    "It's fun to get together and have something good to eat at least once a day.

    That's what human life is all about - enjoying things."

    - Julia Child


    Delilah had just arrived at the office when she saw something amiss. It was still 8 o'clock in the morning and usually it was quiet since people had just started arriving at work. But that day, it seems like the atmosphere at the office felt busy and buzzing. It makes Delilah who was not used to this kind of atmosphere so early in the morning a bit curious.

    Walking over to the reception, instead of going straight up, she was surprised once more to see that there wasn't anyone at the desk. As a receptionist, Bella should be at her desk before office hours started to greet the other employees and whatnot. Seeing no one was around, she looked around again.

    Just then, she heard hurried footsteps coming from her left side. She looked over and saw Bella rushing over to her. "Good morning, Delilah. Can I help you?" Bella asked when she got to her desk.

    Delilah shook her head. "Nothing. Are you busy already? You seem like you're in a rush," she commented.

    Bella forced out a small laugh as she tuck a strand of her hair behind her ear. "You could say that," she said. "The bosses will be here."

    Delilah's eyes widened in surprise. "Bosses as in... Matt and Sheila? I did not know Sheila is in the country," she said.

    Bella gave her a strained smile. "Yeah, we've actually been busy since yesterday."

    "Demanding, huh?"


    Delilah laughed. After a quick small talk with Bella, she went up to her office.

    Inside the HR department office floor, most of her colleagues were already in their cubicle, hard at work. It seems that they received the 'hidden' message, telling them that the bosses would be in the office soon. Hence why they were all hardworking.

    Delilah snickered as she walked past a couple of cubicles before reaching hers. She placed her work bag and handbag on her table and began unpacking her things. After she had settled in, she grabbed her tumbler and a packet of green tea and went to the pantry to get some hot water.

    There wasn't anyone in the pantry so it was quite quiet. Seeing that there wasn't any hot water, she began to boil some. She sat down on the chair there and began to fiddle with her mobile phone while waiting for the water to boil.

    A few minutes later, she walked out of the pantry with her hot green tea inside her tumbler in her hand. She went straight for her cubicle when she heard her name being called. She turned around and saw Amy approaching her with a smile.

    Delilah smiled back. "Hey, what are you doing here?" she asked. Amy was the admin at the other branch and she hardly went to the headquarters unless she was called over.

    Amy let out a tired sigh. "The bosses are here and he's calling all the admins and the marketing people here," she replied.

    Delilah cocked an eyebrow. "Oh?" she said.

    Amy nodded. "Yeah, I'm not sure what they were going to talk about. But probably something about the management or something," she answered airly.

    Before Amy could continue talking, there were sounds of hurried footsteps coming from outside the room. Both Delilah and Amy turned around and saw Bella and Aubree rushing over with piles of papers in their arms.

    Aubree saw Amy and immediately approached her. She then pushed the piles of papers towards Amy and said, "Here, please help me pass this around later. Matt and Sheila will be arriving soon and I'm needed downstairs to greet them."

    Amy quickly nodded. With a wave of goodbye to Delilah, she ran towards the meeting area to help set up and prepare the meeting.

    Aubree turned to Delilah, who was looking at them curiously and asked, "Are you busy?"

    Delilah turned to her and swiftly put her tumbler closer to her mouth, blowing on the hot liquid and said, "Oh yes. Very very busy."

    Aubree narrowed her eyes at her suspiciously.

    Delilah looked at her and frowned back. "What? I am very busy," she argued.

    "Busy with what?" Aubree asked. Because from what she had recalled, Delilah doesn't have any work at the moment, other than rechecking the previous months' reports and to wait for the analysis reports from other departments.

    "Busy with drinking," Delilah mumbled, her words muffled due to her mouth covered by the tumbler.

    Aubree leaned closer, her hand cupping her ear, saying, "What did you say?"

    "Imbusywithdrinkingsogoodbye," Delilah quickly replied in one word before rushing towards her cubicle.

    But before she could reach her cubicle, her arm was grabbed from behind. It was fortunate that her tumbler was on her other hand, not the one that was grabbed. Or else, hot liquid may spill.

    "Come with me," Aubree said as she dragged the other woman.

    "Hey hey!" Delilah protested.

    In the end, there was nothing Delilah could do but to accompany Aubree to greeting the two bosses who were on their way to the office.

    After a short pleasant conversation between the four, Aubree led them to the meeting room where Amy and the other employees from the General Affairs and the Marketing department were waiting.

    Since Delilah was not involved with the meeting, she could only discreetly wave goodbye at Aubree behind the two bosses' backs with a mischievous smile on her face.

    The meeting went on and on. There were times where two of the admins went out of the room to grab some refreshments and brought them inside. And the meeting continued on. And from the rigid looks on their faces, Delilah could tell how the meeting was like. There weren't any loud voices but she could still feel the tension from where she was sitting.

    It was close to lunch time when Delilah started to arrange her things on her table. She decided to have her lunch at the office cafeteria, instead of going out since she was too lazy to drive. And she doesn't want to order takeout since the delivery charges for one meal are outrageous.

    While she was grabbing her phone and purse, the door to the meeting room suddenly opened. Everyone outside the meeting room looked up and watched as the two bosses walked out of the room, a grim look on their faces.

    Delilah could not hear what Sheila was saying to Aubree but she could tell that it was quite serious, seeing how sombre Aubree looked.

    And it looked as if Aubree would just nod and listen while Sheila shot comments at her. It made Delilah curious. Just how bad was the situation during the meeting?

    Just as they walked past Delilah's cubicle, Aubree shot her a look, giving a sign, her eyes going down signalling her.

    Delilah nodded, understanding what Aubree wanted.

    After the three people left the room, more people walked out of the meeting room. Delilah looked over and saw Amy among the people walking out.

    With a forced smile on her face, Amy just nodded at her and left. It seems like she does not have the mood to talk about what had happened. Guess she could only ask Aubree about it.

    Few minutes later, Delilah was standing in front of the entrance to the office cafeteria when she saw Aubree walking into the office.

    Aubree was looking down at her mobile phone and when she was close to the cafeteria, she looked up. She then saw Delilah standing alone and waved at her.

    Delilah waved back and waited for the other woman to approach her.

    Together they walked in the cafeteria. Unlike the other days, that day, the cafeteria was unusually quiet with only a few tables being filled in. it was weird to find the cafeteria this quiet, especially during lunch time, which was why Delilah commented on this to Aubree.

    Aubree looked around and nodded in understanding. She then told Delilah that probably most people here went out to lunch because they got stressed out from the meeting earlier and they just wanted to get out of the office.

    Delilah then asked, "Was it that bad?"

    "We'll talk about it later," Aubree replied. "Let's get some food first."

    Delilah nodded.

    The two women quickly queued to order their food. Delilah decided to eat 'Wet Kuey Teow noodles with chicken' [1]. Once they had placed their order, they went to grab their seats, which was easy, considering that the cafeteria was nearly empty.

    While they were waiting for their food, Delilah immediately looked at Aubree with narrowed eyes and an expression that said, 'Okay, tell me!'.

    Aubree pretended not to notice Delilah as she carefully placed her phones and purse on the table.

    Delilah rolled her eyes and with a look of impatience on her face, she knocked on the table and said, "Heeeellllooooo?"

    Aubree laughed when the other woman kept frowning at her. "Alright, alright," she said, trying to calm Delilah down.

    She then began to tell her what happened during the meeting, or at least, a brief summary of what had happened.

    The more she talked, the more troubled Delilah's expression became. After Aubree was done talking, Delilah began to explode. "The feck was that?" she exclaimed.

    "Okay, I get it that Amy did a bad thing for not constantly replying to her text and whatnot. But she did not have to say that to her face, saying that she would not congratulate her on her new job position. She could have just kept quiet!

    And the feck with why do Amy not ask her any questions? And why does she keep asking you and Matt? Isn't it obvious? She's not always in the country and at most, she would be like, a month or two in the country. How would she know the ongoing and whatnot in the company? And in the end, everyone knows that she would be asking you and Matt. So, why would Amy waste her time asking her when she can straight away ask you two?" Delilah fumed. The 'she' she was referring to was one of their bosses, Sheila.

    "And why does it seem like she's picking on Amy a lot? What's her deal?" Delilah continued, scowling.

    Aubree cupped her chin with her palm and said, "No idea. I guessed that she's just frustrated."

    "I understand that Matt wouldn't want to be involved in this talk because he's probably worried that his wife might scold him again at home, accusing him for backing his employees, instead of her."

    Aubree just chuckled.

    "This is why it's hard to do a business for husband and wife, you know," Delilah commented.

    Aubree cocked an eyebrow. "Didn't your parents co-owned a restaurant?" she asked, curiously.

    Delilah nodded. "They did. But back then, dad wasn't involved in it much since he has his other job. Mom was the big boss. But now that mom has passed away, dad took over."

    "Anyway, and she wanted to introduce a daycare here?" Delilah continued, now in disbelief.

    Aubree snorted and nodded.

    "How the feck is that related to the company?"

    "She said since there are married employees here with kids. We can take that opportunity to open up a daycare so the employees here can send their kids here as well."

    Delilah leaned against her seat, her arms crossed across her chest. "That's one of the most ridiculous ideas I have ever heard in my entire life!" she declared.

    "One of?"

    Delilah nodded. "Yeah, there's a lot of stupid stuffs and this one is one of them."

    Aubree laughed.

    "Seriously, Bree. To open up a daycare here is not easy. First thing first, we need to get a license. A business license for it. It's not the same as the one we currently have and it shouldn't be shared. Secondly, we need the people. Does she expect the admin to babysit them? Oh god. And thirdly, the authorities would be checking the place. This is not a place for daycare!" Delilah continued, her finger tapping furiously on the table.

    Aubree sighed. "Yeah, but you know her. She has high expectations and dreams."

    "Girl, this is reality! Be realistic!"

    The two women continued to talk and a few minutes later, their food arrived. Usually, they have to grab their food themselves but probably because there weren't many people around, their food was sent over.

    Looking at the huge plate filled with chicken and egg gravy, Delilah could not wait to dig in.

    Using a fork, she scooped up the flat noodles and tried to eat. Because the gravy was so thick, it was also slippery that it can easily slide out from the fork.

    With a pout, Delilah changed her utensil to a spoon and began to scoop the noodles and eat it. The egg gravy with the noodle tasted savoury and not too rich. It has that glassy texture with a hint of oyster sauce. The noodles were fried first before being added to the gravy, which gave a smoky charred taste to the noodle. The chicken, though, was cut into smaller pieces, making it easier to chew on. And because it was cooked together with the gravy, it did not have that fried taste, rather, it tasted like it was steamed; soft and tender. The juice from the chicken was added to the gravy, making it taste more delicious.

    Delilah grabbed a bottle of soy sauce and a spoonful of cut chilis. She poured a good amount of soy sauce in her noodles and dumped the chilis after that.

    Aubree cocked an eyebrow when she saw Delilah's actions. "You like it spicy, huh?"

    Delilah looked up with a grin. "You just gotta enjoy life with spice!"


    [1] Flat rice noodle
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