42 CH42: Goodbye, my friend

    "One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating."

    -  Luciano Pavarotti


    A couple of weeks ago, Firah had just gotten married to her highschool sweetheart. It was a small wedding, with only families and friends as attendees. She did not even invited many of her friends, only those whom she was close to. Looking at the groom's side, it seems like he, too, did not invited lots of his friends either. Fortunately, Delilah was one of the wedding attendees. If she wasn't, she probably would cause a riot in the office, demanding Firah to invite her. In fact, only a few of the people in the HR department were invited, including Aubree and Howard.

    It was a nice wedding with flowers and streamers adorning the walls of the wedding hall. There were also flowers on the carpet floor, leading to the bridal dais. Delilah had fun, chatting with her colleagues, while enjoying the music and the buffet. They also took pictures with the bride and groom; doing selfie and wefie.

    Then a week later after the wedding, Firah and her husband went for their honeymoon at a nearby country. And they were currently still on their honeymoon. And Delilah had to take over some of Firah's tasks, which wasn't a lot since she had already done them before her wedding.

    Delilah was discreetly having her snacks inside her cubicle when Aubree knocked on the wall of the cubicle. She nearly choked, surprised at the sudden noise. She quickly swallowed her biscuit and drank her water. She then turned around with a smile. "Hello, Aubree. What's up?" she greeted.

    "I'm not sure how to say this but..." Aubree started. "Firah is quitting her job."

    Delilah's eyes widened. "Wait, what?" she exclaimed, shocked.

    Aubree scratched the back of her head with a sigh. "Well, she just texted me that she had just received an email from a job that she had been applying to, months ago. Remember the day when she took a day off? Apparently, she had an interview on that day. And she got it!"

    Delilah leaned back against her seat as she looked down on the floor. "Wow," she said, letting out a breath. "That's great, right?"

    Aubree grabbed a chair from Firah's cubicle and sat down in front of Delilah. "Hmm... Yes," she said slowly, her arms crossed across her chest. "I mean, I'm not saying that I'm not happy that she got a job. But..."

    Delilah gave a small smile. "Yeah, I get what you mean. I'm gonna miss her. So, she's going to send her letter of resignation?" she asked.

    Aubree nodded. "Yeah, she asked for an immediate resignation. Because her new employer told her to sign in to work immediately after her honeymoon."

    Delilah chuckled. "Okay. That really doesn't give her much rest from her honeymoon."

    Aubree giggled. "Yeah, but well. That's work for you." She then stood up and pushed the chair back into Firah's cubicle. "And yeah, I wanted to give you a heads-up because we probably will leave the position empty."

    Delilah's eyes widened. "What do you mean? So, I will be alone in this sub-department?" she asked, surprised. The HR department of the Kang Company wasn't so big. There were only a couple of them working in the department, including Delilah and Firah. Though, most of Delilah and Firah's works were more into administrative and training. And they do not interact much with the other employees in the HR department since they worked mostly under Aubree and Howard's orders.

    Aubree nodded as she stood in front of her. "I'm sure that you can handle it, right?"

    Delilah exhale a long breath. "I guess so. I probably would need to contact Firah about her other works that I'll be taking over. And also, I probably need to learn the new system that she had proposed." Months ago, Firah had proposed to Delilah and Aubree on her new attendance schedule system, where she was able to keep track of employees and their timely check-in. She further proposed that the new system will also be able to take note on the lateness and immediately cut their salaries once they were late for more than three times. She had already proposed this to the IT department, who had agreed with the system. Though, they also told Firah that they would be adding several new functions to the system.

    Aubree nodded again. "Do whatever you need to do. Alright, I'll see you around," she said, walking away, heading towards her own cubicle.

    Once Aubree was out of sight, Delilah let out another sigh and turned back around on her seat. She sat there, quietly as she watched blankly at the computer screen. She had worked with Firah for more than two years already. Although, it wasn't that long but over the months that they have worked together, they had a bond. They were not just office colleagues but also close friends. Delilah was happy for Firah but it would be weird to find her not in the next cubicle. Delilah recalled the times that they went out to the bakery together before work and how they usually go out for a job on Saturdays.

    She was still staring off-space when Deegan knocked on her cubicle wall.

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    She blinked her eyes furiously and whirled around. She saw Deegan standing behind her, a curious look on his face. "Are you alright, Delilah?"

    Delilah scratched the side of her face awkwardly. "Uh, yeah," she said. She tilted her head. "What's wrong? Is there anything I can help you with?"

    Deegan looked down at his shoes nervously before raising his head. "Nothing. Are you alright?" he asked in concern.

    Her eyebrows furrowed in confusion. "Yes, was there something wrong?" she asked again, concerned.

    He laughed awkwardly. "I'm sorry but I overheard what you and Aubree were talking about. It must have been quite a shock," he replied, nodding at her.

    Delilah pooh-poohed at him. "Nah, it wasn't," she denied vehemently. Though, she did feel a bit weird for feeling the way she was feeling. It wasn't as if Firah was the first person in her close circle of colleagues to quit. But then again, she had worked closely with Firah like a close-knit team so that was probably the reason why she felt a bit... lost.

    Deegan gave out a small smile, as if he knew that she was holding back her emotions and trying to look strong. "So, uh, lunch is about to start. Want to head down together and have lunch?" he invited, becoming nervous again.

    She cocked an eyebrow at his invitation. It has been awhile since they were together alone. She inwardly sighed. She probably looked so shocked that even Deegan noticed it and had to invite her to lunch to cheer her up.

    Delilah then began to smile mischievously. "We still have, like, ten minutes to lunch. Are you telling your own supervisor to get lunch early? At the office cafeteria where there are other employees here?" she teased.

    Deegan's eyes widened at the realization. He did not expect that Delilah would call him out over the timing. "Uh..." he stammered.

    She snickered. "I'm just kidding," she said, waving off his stammering. She stood up and grabbed her handbag and turned to him. "Shall we? Lets go to a restaurant, instead. You drive."

    Deegan grinned. "Sure!"


    A few minutes later, the two of them arrived at a small open-air restaurant. It was more like a big food stall but it has been identified as a restaurant. It doesn't have any walls, other than the rooms for the drink and cashier counter and the wet kitchen. There were many chairs and tables for dining, which was sheltered with a large roof.

    It was noisy with small families and office employees having their early lunch there. Yet, it has that pleasant atmosphere as the noise did not bother the two people who were about to have their lunch there. They went to grab an empty table and began to study the huge menu board, which was hung on top of the cashier counter.

    A waiter immediately came over to their table, with a pen and a notepad in hand. He took both of their orders and quickly returned to the kitchen.

    Both Deegan and Delilah began to have their small talk; discussing about their personal lives and what they have done before. Deegan also talked about his university, where Delilah was an alumnus. They had a lot of fun, laughing over some of the lecturers who used to teach Delilah. Deegan knew them as well as they were his current lecturers, as well.

    Right in the middle of their conversation, their food has arrived. Both of them had ordered 'Mee Goreng Mamak Ayam', which was actually Indian Fried Noodles with chicken. The waiter placed their food in front of them. They both reached for the dining utensils and began to eat.

    The noodles used for the dish was fresh yellow noodles. It has a slightly sweet taste for a noodle and was soft too. But when fried, it has that added slightly fried taste which made the noodles tasted a bit crispy and oily, due to the cooking oil. It also made the noodles more fragrant. Added with chili paste, garlic and lime, the taste also became more tangy and spicy when mixed with the noodles. Other than that, cubed potatoes and cooked chicken pieces were also added in. It made the noodles more savoury and fulfilling.

    The two of them ate in silence, enjoying the delicious fried noodles. As Delilah continued to relish in her food, she likes to put in some spicy soy sauce and bird's eye chilis to make it more spicy. She loved how the bean curds and bean sprouts were added. It brings out the crunch when mixed together with the savoury noodles.

    Yes, sometimes it was best to leave everything aside and let ourselves enjoy the food that we eat.
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