The Prince of Kuching
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5 The Next Day
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The Prince of Kuching
Author :CMShuk
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5 The Next Day

Meaghan finished hanging the wet clothes onto the pole line and carried the empty basket back inside. The terrace house in Taman Hui Sing was just large enough for their needs, but it was all she could afford for her and her sister.

Last year, a government agent came to their house to inform them that their parents, who worked for a local palm oil company, had died in a plane accident. They had been on their way to Shanghai to meet with members of a Chinese import consortium, but had never made it. Since the corporate jet crashed into the South China Sea, the bodies had never been recovered. The Malaysian government provided a small subsidy, but that was barely enough to keep her sister in school supplies, so Meaghan picked up odd jobs to supplement her income.

She sat down on the worn bamboo parquet floor holding her parents' wedding pictures, the leather cover cool under her fingers. The money she made last night in Miri would put some food on the table and a little more into her savings, but she was exhausted. Luckily, today was a rare day off.

Maybe she should check the employment agencies and see if there was a better position out there. Making the decision, she went upstairs to change.

"Apa khabar!" A familiar greeting met Meaghan as she walked towards the bus stop. Her tall neighbour, Shel Berry, was outside in front of her house. Shel had moved into the neighbourhood a year ago, and had quickly befriended the two girls. As a matter of fact, she had recommended Meaghan for the job at the party. Meaghan smiled as she ambled up to the chain link fence.

[A/N: "How are you?]

"Khabar baik, Shel. I'm fine. Thank you for helping me get the job last night." Shel waved her off.

[A/N: "I am well."]

"Never mind that, Meg. I know you are a good worker, and I know you could always use the extra money. Did you see any celebrities? Anyone I would know?" In her late thirties, Shel was always interested in Meaghan's activities; Meaghan found she liked that someone was watching out for her and Tina. It made her feel less alone.

"The job was mostly cleaning up dishes and keeping the wine glasses full," Meaghan laughed. "I did meet someone interesting by the pool, but I don't know who he was." She relayed the story to Shel, but missed the sudden focus of her neighbour when she described the man.

When Meaghan had finished, her friend quickly asked, "Did he have a tragus piercing in his right ear?" Meaghan mused for a moment, remembering the flash of the stone.

"I think he did. Why, do you know him?"
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Shel's face cleared. "Oh, nothing. It sounded like an actor I saw in a recent Korean drama. Did he sound Korean?"

Meaghan shook her head, smiling. Shel's obsession with Korean dramas was a well-known fact. She chatted a bit longer, and then headed towards the agency.

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