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Thread: Stardust Dreams

  1. #1
    Moderator Em's Avatar
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    Post Stardust Dreams

    Here is my first proper attempt at writing a fanfic - hope you enjoy it!
    It's set in modern day HK, I haven't set in stone the cast but I think you can guess my choices from some of the names.
    Comments greatly welcomed!

    Stardust Dreams

    "When a fan becomes a star and the star becomes a fan..."

    Chapter 1 – The accident

    In a large record store in Hong Kong, a pop singer is preparing for an autograph session. Posters line the front of the store and down the street. Fans are queuing for miles - girls are screaming and guys are sweltering in the heat. Security guards call for restraint as shouts of "RAYMOND!!" rise from time to time and the minutes tick away towards the allotted time. Dedicated followers have travelled from far and wide to see their favourite star in person and they are not going to be disappointed. At 10 o’clock sharp, the doors are opened and the line of eager people clutching photos and posters are ushered through and emerge with wide smiles and scribbles on CD’s as Raymond works hard to satisfy everyone. The atmosphere is livid and a great sight to see in a high pressure city still suffering from the aftermath of the economic slump.

    Across the road, there is a smaller record store which is also holding a signing session, but here the mood is more indicative of the times. Louis and Steven sit beside their posters on screens, clutching a silver marker with a pile of their debut albums to their side. Two girls walk past, looking vaguely interested, but puzzled looks on their faces confirm that they barely recognise the stars and are desperately trying to recall who they are. One of the girl suddenly looks enlightened and whispers something to her friend. They laugh and walk off shaking their heads. The record company has chosen the wrong day to release these records and disappointment sets in amongst the newcomers.

    “Seven years hard work and this is what we get!” mutters Louis bitterly.

    “You and I of all people should be used to this by now.” Steven consoles. “How many times have you been laughed at for being the extra; the supporting role; the nobody who is looking for fame?”

    “I thought that signing a record deal would be the start of better things, but this is pathetic.” continues Louis.
    “Looks like I’ll always be stuck with doing secondary roles and charity shows…I don’t know why I didn’t go and do something different. I’ll never make anything out of this career.”

    “Hey, but you’ve landed that starring role in the new major production. At least you’ll get some publicity that way. Maybe our next autograph session won’t be on the same day as Raymond’s and we’ll get a few more people. I’m sure we must be getting some sales through in other shops.” Steven always was the more positive out of the two friends.

    “Seems hard to believe anyone is going to come. I’m going home, I’ve had enough.”

    Louis storms off and Steven heads to stop him, but is called back by someone who has recognised him and wants an autograph after all.

    *

    In yet another record store not far away, a pretty young girl around 20 years old called Eva has finally awaited the release of her idol’s debut album. As she walks down the street, like a child skipping out to play, she spots the poster in the window and with a squeal of joy, rushes into the store and points to the CD she wants.

    As she counts out her money, Eva recounts her admiration for the star to the bewildered sales assistant: “I’ve been following him since he started acting on TV since I was 12 years old! I had to save all my pocket money to rent his tapes and my wall back home in the UK is plastered with his posters! Don’t tell my auntie but I came to Hong Kong to look for work because I have a bigger chance of meeting him here!”

    “I hope you get your wish!” replies the sales assistant politely.

    Full of excitement and with her mind a million miles away, Eva walks out onto the street and steps straight into the road. She is totally oblivious to the traffic on the road until a van suddenly screeches to a halt as the driver notices her at the last moment. With the sight of a front windscreen hurtling towards her, in a moment of terror, Eva finally realises where she is and what is happening - the shock is too much and she faints.

    The CD that Eva has been clutching falls to the ground and out of the plastic bag, revealing that the record she has bought is that of Louis’.

    With passers-by seeing what has happened, a crowd gathers and as she drifts in and out of consciousness, Eva sees faces of people smothering around her, people getting out of their cars to help and in the midst of these faces, she thinks she sees a glimpse of Louis - is she dreaming?

    [ July 20, 2002: Message edited by: Em ]

  2. #2
    Moderator Em's Avatar
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    In the sterile surroundings of the hospital with doctors and nurses rushing around and the occasional rumbling of a trolley being pushed down the corridor and moaning of a neighbouring patient, Eva stirs from a serene sleep: she has a smile on her face from what seems to be a sweet sweet dream. She opens her eyes a little and the bright light shuts them again. Finally, she focuses on the face of the woman beside her.

    “Auntie!” she whispers. “Where am I?”

    “Thank goodness you’re awake Eva!” exclaims Auntie Sin. “You’ve been unconscious for a day. We’re in the hospital. Do you remember your accident?”

    “No…. my CD!”
    The only thing Eva is thinking about is her memory of seeing Louis.

    “Never mind your CD, do you realise that I promised your mother I would look after you. What will she think when you come to Hong Kong to work and you end up in hospital within a month?” Auntie bursts into nag mode.
    “Auntie, can you get me some water please?” gasps Eva in an attempt to send her aunt away.

    “Okay, I’ll go and get some. Don’t go moving around too much, you hit your head when you fainted and have to get some rest. It’s a good job that the van stopped in time and you weren’t injured. You really have to be more careful!” Auntie means well, but she does ramble on.

    With Auntie out of the room, Eva pulls herself up in bed and looks around. There are a few other patients in the room but they are either asleep or reading. Flowers from well-wishers adorn the tables and cabinets. Eva turns to her own cabinet and sees her handbag, a pile of clothes and a small plastic bag. She hurriedly reaches over and pulls out the CD.

    “Thank goodness!” sighs Eva as she inspects the damage.
    The case has a crack on one side and the hinge is half broken, but she doesn’t care. Then she turns the box over and finds to her surprise there is an autograph on the insert from Louis.
    “That’s strange.” Eva thinks to herself. “I’m sure I didn’t buy a signed copy in the store, so how did this happen? Unless….. my dream…..”

    “So you’ve finally finished dreaming then?” Vanessa appears with a jug of water. “I ran into your aunt outside and she passed this to me. How are you feeling?”

    “I am ok, just a bit of a headache.” moans Eva.

    “You really ought to snap out of it you know – you get so crazy about Louis and it isn’t good for your health. You got away quite lightly this time.” warns Vanessa.

    “You’re beginning to sound like my auntie!” snaps Eva.
    “Oh, do you know who brought me in here?”

    “Dunno!” shrugs Vanessa. “Here’s a nurse – ask her.”

    Eva asks the nurse if she knows who brought her in.

    “The name on the registration documents says someone called Chiu Wai Lok. He was a witness and accompanied you here. He says he was a friend, but left in a bit of a hurry.” reports the nurse.

    “Chiu Wai Lok……..” Eva turns the name over and over in her mind and smiles. It obviously means something to her, but leaves Vanessa very confused.

    *

    After a short stay in hospital, Eva is given the all clear by the doctor and goes home to her auntie’s house where she has been staying since arriving in Hong Kong. Her Uncle Wing and cousin Gigi join her auntie in collecting her from the hospital. Once she is settled back at home, Vanessa calls to say that she is coming over.

    On her way, Vanessa decides to go shopping and is approached by a smart-looking man in the shopping centre. He stops her and hands her his card.

    “You are just the type of girl I am looking for – are you interested in becoming a model?” he asks.

    As it happens, Vanessa is very much interested in becoming a model, but she has been approached by many bogus talent-spotters in the past, so she is a little wary of this stranger.

    “I must say I haven’t seen anyone as outstanding as you. Your height, your looks – just perfect!” the man continues. “Believe me, I work for a real agency… I can make you a star!”

    He had said the magic words that every pretty girl wants to hear. Vanessa’s naivety takes over as she revels at every compliment this man offers and she begins to believe his story. He pulls out pictures of his models from his briefcase and shows them to her and she starts dreaming about how she could look like that too. Vanessa is every bit a dreamer as her friend, Eva.

    Just as Vanessa is about to give this man her number, he receives a tap on his shoulder.

    “Conman Shing! I thought I’d told you I didn’t want you speaking to any more girls!” came the firm scolding from the owner of the hand on the man’s arm.

    An expression of fear overcomes the man’s face and he turns to run away.
    “I’m sorry Officer Wai. I’ll be off now.”

    “Don’t let me see you around here again!” shouts the CID policeman as Shing disappears into the crowd.

    “Thank you!” says Vanessa with a sigh of relief.

    “You’re welcome.” replies the policeman. “Hey, aren’t you a friend of Eva’s?”

    “Yes, I think you and I have met briefly when Eva and I first arrived in Hong Kong.” explains Vanessa.

    “Oh, I’m Eddie. I’m her godbrother. Where are you heading? I was going to see Eva.”

    Vanessa explains that she was on her way over too and Eddie offers to accompany her. On the way there, Vanessa explains that she really wants to get some modelling or acting work in Hong Kong and Eddie warns of the perils of the modelling and media industry as the two get to know each other.

  3. #3
    Senior Member MYF's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I like it <IMG SRC="smilies/thumbsup.gif" border="0">

    its got a whole quirky offbeat kinda feel to it. <IMG SRC="smilies/handball.gif" border="0">

    Keep updating
    <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">
    my right arm slams shut

  4. #4
    Moderator Em's Avatar
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    Post

    Thanks MYF for your words of encouragement. Here is the next instalment:

    ----------

    Louis and his friend Michael are relaxing in a secluded corner of a trendy bar in downtown Kowloon. While the people around drown their sorrows or celebrate their successes with rounds of drinks and a dabble on the dancefloor, the two reflect on their recent experiences.

    “So you’re going to be working on the Anniversary Special show then?” asks Michael rhetorically. “They’re promoting that starlet – what’s her name? – oh yeah, Tina Hui. I’ve heard she’s a bit of a flirt!”

    “She’s not the first and she won’t be the last that I have to work with. Just have to go with the flow I guess.” Louis doesn’t seem interested.

    “I heard you walked out on your own autograph session. Are you ok?” Michael continues to ask the questions.

    “Yeah, I was just a little peeved. Not that anyone was interested anyway.”
    Suddenly, Louis eyes spark up a little as though he has just remembered something exciting.
    “Oh, something a bit weird happened that day though.”

    “Oh? What was that?” A nosey Michael pushes for more information.

    “I found a fan!” says Louis proudly.

    “Really!?” Michael is very intrigued. “So what did you do with your fan then?”

    “Well, I think she was a fan… she had bought my CD. She’d been knocked over so I took her to hospital.”

    “So was she eternally grateful? Did she pledge her life to you?” retorts Michael sarcastically?

    “Erm… I didn’t stick around long enough to find out. I guess I got a bit embarrassed.”

    “You aren’t really cut out for this fame thing are you? Maybe you should come behind the cameras like me!” taunts Michael.

    “Thing is, I can’t stop thinking about her for some reason. I keep wondering how she is…why she had my CD… whether she really does like me or not….do you believe in fate? Do you think that we will meet again?”

    Michael shrugs and gestures to the barman for another drink. “I’m not a fortune teller. Stop acting like a little kid and concentrate on your career, my friend. You’ve got a big project coming up and it’s make or break time for you. Just think, when you get really famous then one fan isn’t going to have any effect on you at all.”

    Louis is forced to agree as their drinks arrive.

    * *

    Chapter 2 - Opportunities

    Armed with a selection of junk food and her comfort cushion, Eva sits in front of her auntie’s TV watching her favourite show “Showbiz News Uncut”.

    “Today on SNU, we bring you footage of the antics at the release party of TVC’s anniversary production “Love in the Battlefield” starring Louis Lok and hot new starlet Tina Hui.

    “And here we have our latest babe on the box – Tina.
    - How do you feel about being selected to work with Louis on this high budget show?
    - I’m very honoured, thank you!
    - What sort of chemistry do you think you will have with your co-star?
    - Well, Louis is a lovely guy and we’ve been getting on really well. We play lovers … and you never know, there may be some off-screen chemistry as well!!

    “Oh! There you have it – straight from the horse’s mouth! Could this be the start of a beautiful relationship on AND OFF the screen?”

    “NO WAY!!!!” comes the scream from the sofa.

    A startled Auntie Sin and Gigi come running into the lounge.

    “What’s the matter? Is there an earthquake? Has the stock market crashed again?” Auntie exclaims.

    Gigi sees the television report and laughs.
    “Don’t worry mum, it’s probably something about Louis again.

    “Hey cuz, you really gotta snap out of it. It’s not as though he’s gonna fall for you! Who cares who he’s going out with. Maybe I should introduce you to some real life guys who might be in your league.”

    “Yeah I know, but he’s got to have better taste than HER!” returns Eva defensively.

    “No-one will be good enough for him in your eyes….” remarks Auntie as she and Gigi go back to what they were doing and Eva settles down to the latest news about Raymond.

    *

    Back at the film set, the celebrations continue and Louis enjoys the attention that the media is shedding on him. Tina doesn’t miss a chance for a photo and clings to Louis whenever she can. He doesn’t seem to mind too much, adding to Tina’s confidence as she gives out more remarks about her relationship with her colleague as the journalists pencils go into overdrive and the flashlights go off like fireworks at Chinese New Year.

    Steven looks on from the other side of the studio. He has been given a supporting role and whilst he is happy for his long time friend, he cannot help but feel that he could be in the limelight instead of him. He is approached by a reporter.

    “Hey Steven, weren’t you in the same training group as Louis at the TVC academy?”
    the questioning begins. “How do you feel about his success?”

    “I’m very happy for him.” Steven replies bluntly.

    “Why do you think the company has chosen him for this part?” continues the reporter, deliberately trying to add oil to the flames.

    “I guess he looks more like a soldier and I look more like a doctor.” Steven has an answer for everything.

    “There has always been a happy rivalry between the two of you. Is this affecting your friendship with him?” This reporter’s tactlessness is almost comical.

    “We are just good colleagues and friends….” Steven starts getting restless. “I’m sorry, I have to leave.”

    The reporter smirks cheekily as a story formulates in his mind. He has his scoop after all.

    *

    The Green Leaf bookstore in Central is where Eva works in the English books section. On this day, an awkward English-speaking customer is looking for a book on Medieval poetry and is speaking to Lucy, Eva’s colleague.

    “Do you have any books about Sir Gawain?” he asks demandingly.

    “I’m sorry! Sir Who?” struggles Lucy.

    “Gawain… it’s poetry from the Middle Ages! Don’t you know anything?”

    “Er.. Middle?! Poems books are downstairs….” Lucy doesn’t have a clue and her customer is losing his patience.
    Lucy gestures frantically to Eva.

    “Come on, I’m in a hurry…. I need this book for a paper I am writing!” the Australian man is losing his temper.

    Eva rushes over and apologises.

    “Middle Ages? The books we have on English literature are over here. I’m sorry to keep you waiting. Have you read the Canterbury Tales? Some of them are quite intriguing…”

    The customer is lead off to the correct section and Lucy wipes a bead of sweat from her brow. As Eva returns, Lucy thanks her profusely.

    “Eva, thank goodness you sorted him out. If I get another complaint from a customer, I’ll be sacked on the spot and you know how much I need this job.”

    “You really ought to go to those English classes you know. I thought that you’d already paid for them.”

    “Yeah, I have… but when I stare at pages of that scrawly English writing it just sends me to sleep. Chinese writing is bad enough!” Lucy isn’t the studious type.

    “You amaze me,” laughs Eva. “Why you decided to find a job in a bookshop is totally beyond me.”

    As the girls return to work, a dumpy, gentle looking, middle-aged man with grey mussed up hair walks up to Eva and enquires about her English accent.

    “You don’t sound like a local English speaker. Are you from abroad?” he asks.

    Eva is a little startled, but replies amicably as ever.
    “Yes, I am from England. I came to Hong Kong to work because I like the atmosphere here. Life is too quiet back home.”

    “Oh, let me introduce myself. My name is Chan Sing Wo and I am a producer for a small English-speaking radio station. I love your accent – would you be interested in coming along to the studio for a demo?”

    Eva is stunned and speechless. Wo continues:

    “I’m looking for a host for my new show which introduces Cantopop to English listeners. I think you’d be great for the job. Here is a card with my number on – give me a call if you are interested.”

    He pushes a business card into Eva’s hand and walks off chuckling to himself. Lucy who has heard the conversation is brimming with excitement and urges her to take up the offer.

    “Eva – you have to go. This guy used to be a really famous radio producer, he’s only doing small stuff now because he’s half retired. If you get a chance to work with him then you’re guaranteed to do well.”

    “But I’ve never done any DJ work before…..” Eva’s reaction is a little delayed.

    *

  5. #5
    Moderator Em's Avatar
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    “No! I am not letting you do it.”
    Auntie Sin puts her foot down and is not giving in.
    “Do you realise how complicated life in the media is? You lose all your privacy and if you’re not careful you’ll be stabbed in the back. What’s wrong with your job now? Why do you have to change already – you’ve only been there for a few weeks! What if it all goes to pot? You’ve never done any radio work before! Who is this guy anyway? You’re not cunning enough for these circles. Life in Hong Kong is not as simple as life abroad you know….”

    Eva looks on in despair as her great chance looks set to pass her by. Gigi is trying to reason but is getting nowhere and Uncle Wing is keeping out of it all.

    Ding Dong!

    It’s Eddie at the door. Gigi lets him in and he asks what the commotion is about.

    “What’s up Auntie? I could hear you from the corridor!”

    “Eva’s been offered a job at the radio station, but mum’s not letting her do it. C’mon Eddie, help me!! It’s an opportunity that can’t be missed.”

    Eddie knows that this is what Eva would really like to do, after all she has grown up dreaming about meeting the stars and has the talent and positivity to do well on the radio so he helps in trying to convince Auntie into letting her try. Auntie is still having none of it.

    “My decision is no. If you keep going on about it, I will send you back to the UK.” And with that she goes out onto the roof to collect the clothes.

    Disappointed, Eva resigns to the fact that she will have to pass on this and stay on with her current job. Gigi is extremely irritated and goes into her room to call her friends. Meanwhile, Eddie goes to see Auntie.

    “Auntie…” starts Eddie as he helps her with the washing.

    “If you are going to keep on about the job thing, then you can go back down now.” comes the response.

    “Do you remember when I first wanted to join the police?”

    “Of course, your own mother was totally against it and you ran away to my house for weeks. We had to turf you out in the end…”

    “And who was it who convinced her that it was okay for me to have a go?”

    “It was me….”

    “I know that wasn’t just because I was getting in the way at your house, was it?”

    “No, of course not. I believed that you would do well, and it was your childhood dream to become a brave and upstanding policeman.”

    “And have I let you down?” Eddie is getting to the point.

    “Well, no….” Auntie is seeing where this is going.
    “It’s not the same – you are mature and can look after yourself, Eva is still so young and so naïve. I’m just worried that her parents will disapprove and it will all be my fault for letting her get into it.”

    “Have faith in her like you did in me. Whether it goes right or wrong it will be a learning experience for her and I promise you that I will look after her and make sure that she doesn’t go in the wrong direction.”

    Auntie looks at Eddie with an air of resignation. She has looked after this man since he was very young and she loves him as if he was her own son. Grudgingly, she nods:

    “Okay, I’ll let her try but the moment she puts a foot wrong she is out. I don’t know how I’m going to explain this to my sister. You rascal – you always end up getting me into trouble.”

    Eddie hugs Auntie and reassures her that she has made the right decision before helping her with the clothes and walking her downstairs to give Eva the good news.

    *

    At the radio station, Eva progresses well with her new job. Uncle Wo has total confidence in his new prodigy and gives her all the support that she needs. Fitting in well with all her colleagues and the routine, Eva settles into her programme and is soon given a primetime slot with a chance to interview all the stars.

    “Good evening and welcome to ‘Can Do Cantopop’ with me Eva Cheung. This evening we have a treat for you all, as joining me in the studio, we have Raymond Lau. Wow… what a great honour!

    “Raymond – thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule and coming in to the show.”

    “It’s a pleasure – well it gives me a chance to practice speaking in English!”

    “Tonight as usual, we’ll be playing three of your biggest Cantonese hits and then explaining to our listeners what the song is about and talking about our feelings towards the songs – which three songs have you chosen today?”

    “Well… there’s …”

    …. Eva never imagined that she would be interviewing the stars that she has been following since she was very young. With the increase in listeners and the interest in the many people learning English, the popularity of her show goes from strength to strength and even Lucy is listening to the show and finding new inspiration to go to her English classes.

    Listening in at home, Auntie Sin is greatly comforted and Eddie carries an air of smugness as he proudly announces: “I knew she would be fine.”

    One afternoon, Louis is working in the radio station, giving an interview about his debut album. As he is leaving, he brushes past a familiar face. He turns around and takes another look, but she has already walked away. He knows he has seen her somewhere before… could it be her?
    As he wanders off, his thoughts of his fan begin to resurface.

    *

    Tina’s race to notoriety reaches new heights as she dreams up new ways of finding publicity and creating gossip with Louis. She calls him to pick her up in to take her to shoots, saying that her car has broken down – in the hope that she will be photographed in his car. As ever, Louis doesn’t seem to mind the attention, despite being warned by his manager that she is trouble waiting to happen. She grabs every opportunity to be photographed with him and the last straw is that she pretends to be drunk on a night out so that she has an excuse to stay over in his apartment.

    Inevitably, the sight of Tina leaving the house is snapped by the paparazzi and is plastered all over the next day’s press. Louis is called up by the producer to explain himself.

    “Do you realise the effect that you are having on this production?” the producer yells.
    “Every year the company invests millions on the major Anniversary show and it’s important that it goes down well.”

    Louis nods knowingly, but his mind is elsewhere.

    “We are looking to break records again this year and the last thing we need is this bad publicity. If people have a bad impression of you, then they aren’t going to watch the show and we let all our sponsors down.

    “I want you to tell the press that there is nothing going on. I don’t want your seedy personal life affecting my reputation. Now get out and get back to work.”

    With that, Louis wanders out feeling sheepish. Steven runs over to see how he is.

    “Woah! He didn’t seem too happy. Is everything alright?” He asks looking concerned.

    “I’m okay. Just all that stuff about Tina. There’s nothing happening so I’m not too bothered.” shrugs Louis. “He’ll get over it – after all any publicity is good.”

    “Well, I hope it doesn’t affect your working relationship. I’d hate for anything to go wrong with the show.” Steven adds boldly before being called away for a scene.

    *

    Michael and Louis are in the bar again, once again reflecting on life.

    “Hey, I heard about that incident with Tina – I thought you said you could handle her! Looks like she’s got you wrapped around her little finger!” laughs Michael.

    “Oh, don’t talk about her. She’s just a little girl after some attention. She’ll get over it soon. I finish filming in a couple of weeks anyway.” Louis seems unfazed.

    “I saw your friend Steven getting friendly with my boss – do you think he is looking for a part in the next major production? I hear that they are getting Raymond to do a cameo. A lot of people want to be in it because it’s bound to be a hit.” says Michael enthusiastically.

    “Just because you’ve been posted as Floor Manager for it – you don’t need to start promoting it already you know.” retorts Louis.

    “Hey, it’s alright for you guys in front of the camera, but life’s tough for us behind the scenes.” responds Michael.

    “Do you believe in fate?” asks Louis out of the blue.

    “Eh? What brought that on?” Michael is a little puzzled.

    “I think I ran into her again….” Louis’ eyes suddenly turn a little hazy.

    “Not that fan of yours?” It has clicked for Michael.

    “Yeah……. I wonder if she remembers me.”

    Michael bursts out laughing and carries on drinking….

    *

    “Radio interview? I’ll do it!”

    Louis jumps at another chance to go to the radio station. He wants to meet Eva again, but when he sees her he runs away and watches from afar. His heart wants to go and introduce himself properly, but the ego within him will not let the star bow down to the fan. Once more beaten by the stubbornness of his inner self, he walks away from the radio station after the broadcast and heads back to the TV studios.

    “Hi Louis!”

    A voice echoes down the corridor of the TV studio.
    Louis turns round to see who is calling him.
    It is Eva.

    Both of them look into each others eyes and smile. Both as nervous as each other.
    Both with the feeling of butterflies in their stomachs and blood pumping rapidly through their hearts.
    Both like an eager fanatic meeting their idol for the first time.

    A moment of silence.

    “I never thought I’d be able to do this in person, but I just wanted to say thank you for taking me into hospital.” smiles Eva, shaking so hard she can barely hold her handbag.

    Swallowing hard, Louis draws a deep breath to respond:
    “That’s ok. How did you know it was me?”

    Eva chuckles.
    “Do you think I don’t know what your real name is? That Chiu Wai Lok is Lok Man alias Louis Lok?”

    Louis is shaken. He doesn’t know how to respond.

    “EXCUSE ME!!!!!!!”
    A wardrobe mistress pushes a trolley laden with costumes past the pair and knocks into Eva. Something drops out of her bag which she doesn’t notice.

    “I’ll talk to you again soon, I have to go and meet my producer.” explains Eva as she rushes away.

    Louis composes himself and as he is about to walk away, he notices a notebook on the floor. It belongs to Eva. He picks it up and his curiosity overcomes him as he looks at the picture on the front. It is of himself, labelled on the front is the title ‘The life of Louis’ biggest fan’. As he stands in the middle of an empty corridor and leafs through this tribute to him, the whitewashed walls suddenly feel painted with images of him in all his roles, excerpts from his songs, cuttings of his interviews and feelings of a devoted supporter.

    The feeling is so strange. This attraction – is he just feeling grateful for her unfaltering support over all these years or is it more than this?
    Louis decides he has to put his fears aside and get to know this girl.

  6. #6
    Senior Member MYF's Avatar
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    Talking

    <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"> this is good. Please update soon. I don't read many modern fanfics but, this is just the perfect antidote for too much immersion in wuxia.
    my right arm slams shut

  7. #7
    Moderator Em's Avatar
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    Chapter 3 – Competition

    Up on the roof of Auntie’s house, Eva, Vanessa and Gigi have a girly chat. Armed with some cans of soya milk, some biscuit sticks and the essential chocolate bars, they sit under the light-polluted night sky and Eva carefully tells the story of the day’s events.

    “I can’t believe you actually did that!” Vanessa is shocked at the forwardness of her friend. “I would have died of embarrassment!”

    Eva’s eyes sparkle with excitement like a child on Christmas Day when he sees the tree and a great big pile of presents. She still hasn’t got over the shock of meeting Louis or his reaction to her.

    “So does it feel any different after meeting him then?” Gigi enquires.

    “Umm…” Eva doesn’t know.
    “It’s really weird – I’ve waited for so long to meet the guy in person and now I have, it feels like I really want to get to know him better but I’m worried he might not turn out the way I always imagined him.”

    “You make out like you’re about to marry him or something!” laughs Vanessa.

    “Nooo!” Eva says, acting all coy.

    “You know you want to…” Vanessa continues pulling her leg.

    “Seriously though, from how he reacted Cuz – I think you might be in with a chance.” Gigi adds. “You’ve got to meet him again!”

    Vanessa looks at Gigi’s straight face and looks at Eva’s wishful expression.
    “What planet are you both on?”

    The three crazy girls burst into fits of laughter and start beating each other with cushions and throwing biscuits around. Their joyful banter and playful gestures showing how strong their friendship is. The sound of a mobile phone disturbs the racket.

    Eva grabs the phone and forgets her manners for a split second.
    “Wai! Who is that?” she yells.

    “Erm..” The voice on the other end of the line is a little taken aback.
    “It’s me, Louis. Am I disturbing something?”

    Eva’s face suddenly goes white, as the others detect something wrong.

    “N-not at all – w-what’s the matter? And w-where did you get my number from?” stutters Eva in a state of shock.

    “You dropped your notebook. I’m sorry for looking in it, but it had your number in it… so I…”

    “Oh!” remarks Eva as she slaps her forehead. “Doh!” she mouths to herself.

    “I .. er… I was wondering if I could meet you sometime so I can pass it back to you… maybe go for a coffee perhaps – that is if you drink coffee… or maybe ice cream…” Louis is starting to fluff his lines.

    The gawping hole of Eva’s face has gradually widened to a full blown grin.
    “Yeah, sure!” she utters through her teeth.

    “Oh.. that’s great. I’ll call you again tomorrow… good night!”

    “Good nigh…” the call has ended before Eva has had a chance to respond.

    Gigi and Vanessa stare into Eva’s eyes questioningly as Eva gazes into thin air.
    Suddenly Eva grabs her head and charges down the stairs screaming.
    “Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhh!!”

    Totally bemused, Gigi and Vanessa look at each other and run down the stairs after her.

    *

    “Please Eddie! You have to help me….”

    “I’m at work. Can’t it wait?”

    “I’ll meet you at the café opposite Ikea at 4 o’clock – I won’t make it otherwise.”

    “Okay okay!”



    4:05 pm and Eddie rushes into the Café to look for Vanessa. As he spots her, she runs towards him and drags him straight back out again. As she pulls him down the street trying to avoid the crowds, he tries to find out what this is all about.

    “I’ve waited all my life to do this – you simply have to sign this for me!”

    “Sign what? Where are we going? What are we doing?”

    “The deadline is today – we have to get there before five!”

    Eddie stops dead in the middle of the street and yanks Vanessa back.

    “I’m not moving until you tell me what you’re up to.” He declares.

    From a document wallet, Vanessa pulls out an application form and hands it to Eddie.

    “I need you to nominate me for this – I can’t get Eva or Gigi to do it because Auntie Sin will find out and tell my parents. They’ll kill me if they know, but I really have to do it.”

    “Miss Hong Kong?” Eddie is flabbergasted.

    Vanessa looks up at Eddie like a lost puppy. How could he say no to a face like that? He picks up the form and signs it. Vanessa’s face lights up and she grabs Eddie, hugs him hard and kisses him on both cheeks before rushing off to hand in the form.
    Eddie shakes his head and smiles the “I don’t know” smile, shrugs his shoulders and sighs before running after her. He has another little girl to look after now.

    *

    Louis passes the notebook back to Eva across the table of a secluded restaurant.
    Eva quickly takes it and puts it back in her bag – she looks a little flushed.

    “So immature of me. I hope you don’t mind.” Eva says timidly.
    She daren’t look him in the eyes for fear that he is laughing at her.

    “No… I was very impressed! You even have pictures of me in my first ever show.”
    Louis tries to put her at ease.

    “Yes, I started following your progress from that role.” says Eva, relaxing a little as she starts talking about her life back in Britain and her love of Chinese television.

    Gradually, the initial psychological barriers between the two inherently shy people working in the public limelight are broken down and they find out a lot about each other’s lives and share their one common goal – to live for their dreams.



    The time speeds by and as the evening draws to an end, Eva looks at Louis and asks:
    “Do you take all your fans out like this?”

    Louis is a little taken aback, but replies:
    “I’ve never met a fan quite like you.”

    *

  8. #8
    Moderator Em's Avatar
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    Thanks for your support MYF!
    It's good to know at least one person is reading this <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">!

  9. #9
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    Really... this is good.... <IMG SRC="smilies/thumbsup.gif" border="0">
    back w/ a vengeance ^_^

  10. #10
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    Tonight's instalment! Little bit (not much) of action for you... <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">

    ------------------------

    Once again, Eva is sat in front of her beloved television. Out of habit, she switches on at 10:30 pm on a Friday night and settles down to the latest gossip on “Showbiz News Uncut”. Gigi joins her and Eddie starts hacking up a pineapple at the dinner table.

    “Hey, Louis is on today’s show!” calls Gigi excitedly.

    “Welcome to the show! Tonight, we bring you live coverage of the wrapping up party of this year’s most anticipated show ‘Love in the Battlefield’. Literally minutes ago, the cameras rolled on the last few shots of the show and we have now been invited into the studio to join the stars and catch up on the latest news on how the filming has gone. Here we go…”

    The camera and the host head through the heavy studio doors to find the studio littered with press and dotted with stars. The set for the final scene still stands in the background and a trolley laden with champagne and finger foods sits squarely in the middle. People are talking and laughing and the reporters are rushing around looking for a story.

    Hungry for a last bout of publicity, Tina grabs her opportunity and backs into Louis, spilling champagne all over her shirt. She falls over and Louis instinctively puts his arm out to catch her. Not wasting a minute, she lands in a compromising position in Louis’ embrace.

    Like a pack of wolves, the cameras are snapping away as the other stars looks on with a sordid mix of embarrassment, sympathy and hilarity and the shorthand scribblers jump with glee.

    “Wow! You saw it first on SNU.” The host blurts out. “Tina Hui dives in for the catch – which Louis seemed to do very well indeed! How can you deny there is nothing going on between the two?”

    Gigi stares at the screen for a moment in a state of shock before keeling over on the sofa, partially in fits of laughter and partially screaming at how obvious it was that Tina was choreographing every move of her skilful manoeuvre.

    Eva’s reaction is a little unexpected. No cursing or wild denials. No yells. No jumping around. Quietly, she slips away and wanders up onto the roof. Eddie notices her abnormal behaviour and follows her up the stairs – his big brother senses are acute as ever and he wants to know if he can help.

    Eddie sees Eva leaning against the side of the barrier, looking down at the street below. She isn’t looking at anything in particular as her mind meanders in and out of the people and traffic below.

    “What’s up sis?” Eddie breaks the silence.

    “Nothing, I’m okay.” The response is a little awkward.

    “I just couldn’t help noticing you’re a little different today – shouldn’t you be getting really annoyed about Louis and Tina at this point?” leads Eddie.

    “Maybe I’m just growing up…” suggests Eva.

    “No disputing something’s changed.” Eddie states the obvious in a way only elder brothers can.

    “I just don’t feel that way any more.” Eva tries to evade facing up to her emotions.

    “Or maybe it’s your feelings for him that have changed.” No-one understands Eva more than Eddie. He has hit the nail on the head.

    “Oh Eddie! What is happening to me? It’s so strange! Why does it suddenly feel so uncomfortable seeing him like that?” Eva can’t hold it in any more.

    Eddie pats her on the shoulder.
    “I think you know exactly why you feel the way you do. Take things easy – reality often doesn’t work out the way it does in your dreams. I just hope you don’t get hurt.”

    And with those words of wisdom, he looks on as Eva continues sighing and staring.

    *

    Eva’s radio show is gaining in popularity by the day and she has received an offer to take the show to the small screen. Uncle Wo engages in talks with the English section of TVC to find a suitable slot within an existing music show and introduce Eva to the world of television. Still a relative newcomer, Eva is modest and decides to take everything a step at a time, but she grows accustomed to navigating herself around the TV studios. Well aware of the chances she will get to bump into Louis again, her heart skips a beat each time she turns a corner or opens a door.

    “Come on girls! We are due in Studio 6 for a run down of the promotional shorts!”
    Michael herds a group of apprehensive girls dressed in traditional cheungsams and sashes in various arrangements down a corridor towards the studios as Eva walks in the opposite direction.

    “Oh no! Eva…”
    It is Vanessa. She has made it into the semi-finals of the beauty contest!
    She tries to hide and look away, but twenty years of friendship builds a sixth sense, which is hard to deflect.

    “Vanessa?! You… wha…” Eva is a little dumbfounded before giving out a cheeky smile. “You are gonna be so dead when I see you later!”

    Eva gives Vanessa the thumbs up as she continues with the rest of the huddle, watching Vanessa’s eyes roll in disagreement.

    *

    “Are you thick or is your brain lacking in a bit of usage?” Michael is losing his temper. He has been taken off the big project to look after the Miss Hong Kong filming and is not happy at all. As a result he is taking out his frustrations on the contestants.

    “That’s not fair! We’re trying our best…” Vanessa is always up for an argument.

    “You should be the last to say anything! How many times have you been late this week?”

    “I couldn’t help that! My heel broke and I missed the bus!”

    “Hey, come on – let’s just get on with it.”
    Contestant number 1: May calls Vanessa over, trying to stop the two arguing.

    “Yeah, I’m coming. I shouldn’t waste time with the likes of you!” sniffs Vanessa as she heads back to the stage. As she walks away, she sneers at Michael.
    “Just you wait until I’m famous!”



    “Who is that girl there? The mouthy one?”
    A tall, well-dressed man with a gold Rolex is watching the proceedings.

    “Oh, her name is Vanessa Ho. She is one of the Miss Hong Kong contestants, number 15 I think.”
    Another man in a suit stands beside and answers the question.

    “Really?!”

    *

    Michael and Louis sit in their usual positions in the bar. A sign on the door indicates it is called ‘Incognito’. The barman drops off their drinks, a badge on his waistcoat indicates he is called ‘Milo’.

    “I wonder if I’m pulling you down or you’re pulling me down – our careers seem to be mirroring each other at the moment.” Michael is feeling bitter.
    “Women, who needs them?”

    Louis sighs.
    “Tina pulling that last stunt was the worst thing that could have happened to me. Now the company’s put me on hold until the news blows over. They don’t even want me at the promo activities for my big show!”

    “Just treat it like a holiday I suppose. Things will pick up when they air the series. It’s not as though they’re not going to show it. At least you don’t have to face these brainless bimbos for the next six weeks.”

    “I’d have thought you were in your element with twenty pretty girls to look after.” Louis jokes.

    “Oh, they are driving me round the bend.” Michael gulps his beer.
    “Only yesterday, they were filming with some little puppies, the way they were going on – if you didn’t know, you’d think they were filming with alligators! How frightening is a Labrador the size of your hand?”

    “Well, that’s what girls are like! They can be as strong as rocks when they want to be – or timid like a mouse.” laughs Louis.

    “Talking of girls, how is your fan? Have you seen her again?”

    Louis stops for a moment. He’d put Eva to the back of his mind until now because he wasn’t sure what to do with his feelings, but Michael’s question has released it all again and he feels guilty for not thinking about her.

    “No… but I think I should.”

    *

  11. #11
    Senior Member MYF's Avatar
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    hehe... nice details, please continue <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">, i really want to know who those guys at the studio are (methinks vanessa is about to get a big break <IMG SRC="smilies/wink.gif" border="0"> ).
    my right arm slams shut

  12. #12
    Moderator Em's Avatar
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    MYF - u're really getting into this aren't u?
    Here is your answer...

    ----------------------------------
    “Odd numbers to the right. Even numbers to the left!”
    Michael is shouting out instructions once more as the pageant contestants are put through the motions for the thirteenth time in the drive for perfection. Number 14 trips over her much exaggerated skirt and in a moment of confusion, Vanessa strolls off in the wrong direction.

    “Oi! Are you deliberately screwing things up for me?” Once again, Michael loses his cool.

    “It’s not my fault I grew up speaking English! It takes me a minute to register what you’re saying.” Vanessa yells back in defence.
    “Anyway, I was thinking my right and not your right.”

    “How come everyone else manages to get it ‘right’ then?” Michael returns with sarcasm.

    “I’m surprised everyone hasn’t ‘left’, with you in charge!” Vanessa is just as sharp.

    The girls start giggling and the producer tells Michael to move it along. They run through again once more and call it a day.

    As she is leaving the studio to go back to the dressing rooms, she notices that the man in the suit has been is standing by the door. She didn’t notice him coming in, but she does notice him walking towards her.

    “Miss Ho?”

    “Yes, that’s me. Who are you?”

    “My boss would very much like to meet you. He is just outside.”

    “Can I change first?” Vanessa is still in her evening dress.

    “There is no need, you are just fine.” The man declares.

    A little apprehensive, but desperately curious, Vanessa follows the man outside to find a car parked on the roadside. A tall, richly dressed, rather handsome man steps out as he sees her coming. It is the man with the Rolex.

    “Miss Ho! I’m so pleased to meet you.” The man takes Vanessa’s hand and plants a subtle kiss on the back of it. She is very surprised.
    “My name is Joe Li. My father’s company is one of the main sponsors of the competition, so I’ve been sent to make sure everything is going well.”

    Vanessa is stunned.
    “I’m pleased to meet you too, but should I really be speaking to you? Isn’t it against the rules?”

    Joe laughs.
    “No, not at all! I’ve been watching you in rehearsals and I like your spirit. Would you care to join me for dinner? You’re certainly dressed for the occasion.”
    This man doesn’t waste any time!

    In a moment of madness, Vanessa agrees and steps into the car. Just as she does this, Michael walks out of the building and sees her. He pauses and wonders whether he should stop her, decides against it, shakes his head and walks off.

    “None of my business really.” He thinks to himself.

    *

    Finally, Louis has plucked up the courage to call Eva again and that evening, they sit at the dinner table and look awkwardly at each other. The politeness is unnatural as their thoughts desperately try to settle on a topic of conversation. It is a far cry from the relaxed atmosphere of last time.

    “I’ve not seen you around at the studios lately.” Eva finally breaks the silence.

    “Umm… no, I’ve been - er… promoting my album.” Louis avoids the real reason.

    “Oh!” nods Eva, finding it hard to pursue the subject.

    “Congratulations on your show!” Louis adds.

    “Thank you, but I’m still learning the ropes.” says Eva modestly.

    The two take a breather as the waitress comes and takes their orders. Louis orders a set dinner and Eva has a salad.

    “Thank you!” The waitress takes the menus and walks away.
    The atmosphere thickens again.

    “I… ah… I… ummm…” Louis has forgotten how to speak.

    Eva takes a deep breath followed by a long sigh. She swallows hard and smiles, looking hard into Louis’ helpless expression.

    “This is so crazy!” she announces. “Let’s forget who or what we are and just be friends!”

    There – she has got it out. She relaxes and smiles at Louis again, who in turn relaxes as well. He has remembered his lines.

    “What I wanted to say was I’d like to get to know you better.”
    He gently takes Eva’s hand. “Will you be more than just my fan?”

    Knowing that her feelings for Louis have been reciprocated, Eva starts beaming her trademark smile and nods.
    “Of course, it’s what I’ve always wanted!”

    The evening proceeds in an altogether more enjoyable mood as once again, our happy couple settle into their own little world. After the main course, Eva excuses herself heads for the ladies. On her way back, she looks across the restaurant and spots a familiar face. She settles back down and asks Louis if he knows who the man is sitting on the other side.

    Louis looks over and recognises the man.
    “He’s the son of the media tycoon, Ronald Li. I think his name is Joe. Why are you asking?”

    “Oh, nothing. Just thought he looked quite familiar.” Eva doesn’t want to blow Vanessa’s chances.

    “He’s always hanging around the studios. I’d steer clear of him – he’s been known to cause a bit of trouble.” warns Louis.

    “Well, I have no reason to cross his path, do I?”
    The pair are starting to become quite sickening.

    *

    After her first encounter with Mr Li, Vanessa is overcome by him and his lavish lifestyle and moreover, she is blinded by the attention that he showers her with. He seems totally infatuated by her and they continue their meetings together, totally oblivious to the outside world and the media who are following them around.

    Strangely, Michael feels that he ought to warn Vanessa about the consequences of her actions. However, his warnings – along with those of Eva’s and Eddie’s seem to fall on deaf ears as the headstrong Vanessa continues to throw herself into the arms of this well-known playboy. As she does this, her confidence grows to insurmountable heights and she begins to think that she has already won the competition.

    The producers are also concerned with Vanessa’s behaviour and the media attention she is getting. However, they are just as concerned about upsetting Joe and his father, so they decide to keep a low profile, at least until the night of the semi-final show.

    In the audience, Eva, Eddie and the rest of the family sit eagerly waiting for the results of the evening and the announcement of the finalists. Michael leans against a camera – he is exhausted. Vanessa is called out onto the stage with the rest of the girls one last time for the night.

    Late nights, high pressure and a boosted up overconfidence has taken its toll on poor Vanessa. As she stands on the stage looking her best, she reflects on her performance that evening. It hasn’t gone well at all. Despite the adrenalin rush, her co-ordination is impaired and she hasn’t had the energy to dance along with everyone else. She was let down in the question and answers by her limited grasp of Cantonese and her recent news hasn’t gained her any votes in the popularity stakes.

    The MC announces the results.
    “Number … who will it be? Number four…teen!”
    Miss Number 14 clasps her face in ‘surprise’ as she walks to the front of the stage.
    “Number twelve, Number three, Number Eight, Number one….”

    Like balls from a lottery machine, the numbers of the eight finalists are read out in no particular order and one by one, the successful contestants display their own little rush of emotion as they celebrate their achievement. Vanessa is not one of them and is herded off the stage as quickly as possible before the tears start flowing.

    Eva rushes backstage to meet Vanessa and as she draws near to the dressing room, she notices Joe. Vanessa is just walking out of the room and she spots him too. She runs towards him – hoping that he will offer some sympathy and support.
    No such luck. He walks straight past her and puts his arm around Number 14.
    Vanessa’s world is shattered.
    She runs out, pushing Eva out of the way.
    Eva tries to follow, but is met by Eddie.

    “Where’s Vanessa? Didn’t you spot her coming out?” she asks frantically.

    “No, I didn’t see her! Where has she gone?” Eddie is confused.

    “She ran out when she saw Joe with another girl. We have to find her before she does something stupid.”

    Gigi comes running over in a state of panic. Grabbing Eva, she pants:
    “Oh no! Vanessa’s parents have arrived from England!”

    *

  13. #13
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    Hey this is a really good story. I liked Eva right from beginning and how they started their friendship was so cute.
    Please keep writing your story. Cheers Anne
    "Women speak because they wish to speak, whereas a man speaks only when driven to speech by something outside himself - like, for instance, he can't find any clean socks" (Jean Kerr)

    "The only time a woman really succeeds in changing a man is when he's a baby" (Natalie Wood)

  14. #14
    Moderator Em's Avatar
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    Thank you for your comments - I'm glad you are enjoying it. I'm off to watch the commonwealth games for the weekend (I got tickets <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">) but there will be another instalment very soon....

    Watch this space! <IMG SRC="smilies/wink.gif" border="0">

  15. #15
    Senior Member MYF's Avatar
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    hope you enjoy the games and come up with some more great moments for your story when you come back <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">.

    [ July 26, 2002: Message edited by: MYF ]
    my right arm slams shut

  16. #16
    Moderator Em's Avatar
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    Back and tanned! Glorious games weather....
    Here is a few days work in one go - Enjoy!

    ----------------------------

    Chapter 4 – Frustration

    “What is the silly girl playing at?” Mr Ho cries in despair as he flicks through a pile of entertainment magazines, all featuring his daughter. “Does she really think that we aren’t going to find out? We live in London, not Antarctica!”

    “Shut up, old man!” says Mrs Ho. She has a worried expression on her face and is getting quite annoyed at her husband.
    “We need to find Vanessa before we start losing our temper with her.”

    Eddie and Eva have arrived at the Ho’s and are trying to figure out where she could be. They both feel equally guilty for all that has happened.

    “I’m so sorry Auntie. This is all my fault.” Eddie bows his head in shame.

    “No, I am just as much to blame.” Adds Eva. I should have stopped her when I could instead of encouraging her.”

    Mr Ho scowls at them both, but Mrs Ho shows no hostility at all.
    “Neither of you are to blame. I should know my own daughter and no amount of persuasion is going to change her mind once she sets her heart on something. You couldn’t have stopped her.”

    “We’ll go out and look for her – I’ll check all her usual haunts.” offers Eddie, in an attempt to redeem himself.

    “I’ll come with you.” Eva grabs her bag.
    “Don’t worry Auntie, she will be fine!”



    Eddie and Eva search all the local bars and restaurants, parks and amusement arcades, streets and shopping centres, but their efforts are in vain and they fail to find any trace of Vanessa. Determined to seek her out, they keep trying until late in the night.

    *

    After a long and stressful evening, Michael decides to go ‘Incognito’ and settles down at his seat next to the bar and orders a drink from Milo. Just as he starts to relax and take a breather, his inner peace is destroyed by the sounds of an argument.

    “Hey Pretty Girl! Do you fancy spending some time with me?” comes the sound of a rather drunk young man with a pink streak of hair and rings in his ear, nose and forehead.

    “Get out of my face creep!” mumbles the girl, pulling away and throwing a glass of ice over him.

    “Ow – that hurt. Who do you think you are? Don’t think I don’t know you’re that girl who missed out with the rich bloke!” This guy has been reading the papers!
    “Aww… if he doesn’t want you – I’ll take you for free!”

    Michael’s attention is roused and he turns round to take a closer look. The girl is Vanessa and in her semi conscious state, the thug is taking advantage of her. Without a second thought, all their differences are set to aside and Michael steps in to defend her.

    “Hey! Hands off her or I’ll call the police!” Michael declares.

    The thug looks at Michael quizzingly.
    “I got to her first pal, wait your turn! She isn’t objecting anyway so what’s your problem?”

    “I’m warning you! Let her go now…” Michael instructs forcefully.

    “Or what?” retorts the other man.

    Michael throws a punch at the thug and in shock, he drops Vanessa to the ground in an intoxicated heap. A fight ensues between the two as a crowd gathers round to watch. Milo rushes over to break it up and in the chaos, Michael picks up Vanessa and pulls her out into the street. He has suffered a few heavy punches and his face is bleeding a little. Vanessa is still nowhere near awake.

    As the two stumble round the corner to hail a cab, Michael wonders what he has done to deserve this. He turns to Vanessa and shakes her as she looks back at him blankly.
    “Where on earth do you live?”

    *

    Ding Dong!

    Tired and worried, Mr Ho opens the door to his apartment.
    As he looks up, he catches sight of his beloved little girl in the arms of a haggard stranger, who has a blood stained face and torn clothing. Reflex reactions get the better of him and Mr Ho’s fist finds a direct route to the socket of Michael’s eye.

    Ouch!



    “I am so sorry Mr Tsui. Do have some tea! And here is an egg for your bruises.”
    Mrs Ho hands Michael a cup and a boiled egg wrapped in a flannel. She is full of remorse but is grateful for the safe return of her daughter.

    “Thank you Auntie – there is no need to be sorry, it was all a misunderstanding. And call me Michael.” replies Michael politely.

    Eddie and Eva return after hearing that Vanessa is okay. As they are invited in by Mrs Ho, Michael spies Eva and seems quite enchanted.

    “Is Vanessa okay?” asks Eva with much concern.

    “Yes, she is sleeping. Thank you for all your efforts.” Mrs Ho says gratefully.

    “That’s a relief!” sighs Eva as she sees Michael.
    “Hi! Aren’t you Vanessa’s floor manager? Thanks for bringing her home! My name is Eva, I’ve known her for years!”

    Michael is impressed with Eva’s friendliness and her ability to remember who he is.
    “Er… yeah I ran into her in a bar. My name’s Michael.”

    Eddie steps forward and shakes Michael’s hand. “Name’s Eddie. Nice to meet you!”

    “Vanessa is so lucky to have so many good friends.” Michael comments. He turns to Eva: “You have a radio show don’t you? I think I’ve seen you once or twice at the studios.”

    “Yeah, I do hang about there quite a lot!” she laughs.

    “I do try to listen to your show, but I have to admit I don’t understand much of it.”
    Michael tries to break into conversation with Eva as she has obviously made quite an impact on him. Eddie sits back and sips tea.

    Eva smiles modestly as she notices Michael’s injuries.
    “Oh my goodness! You’re hurt – are you okay?”

    “I’ll be fine.” Forces Michael as he remembers that his bruises are starting to hurt. “It’s just a few scratches!”

    “Here, let me help you!” Eva takes the egg and starts dabbing him with it before taking her own handkerchief and wiping the blood stains from his face. She passes him the hankie and continues to rub the egg on his bruise as Michael relishes the moment. Suddenly, he stands up.

    “I’d better be going!” Michael announces.

    “We’ll be heading off too.” adds Eddie.

    Eva grabs her bag and turns to Mrs Ho.
    “I’m sorry for the trouble Auntie. We’ll call by and see Vanessa in the morning.”

    The three walk out of the apartment block and Eva asks Michael if he needs a lift home. Michael declines and rushes away to Eva’s bemusement. Eva shrugs and climbs into Eddie’s car and as they drive off, Michael emerges from around the corner to take a final glimpse of her. He puts his hands in his pocket and pulls out her blood stained handkerchief. Totally smitten, he looks lovingly at the handkerchief and smiles a dreamy smile. His evening hasn’t turned out too bad after all.

    *

    “I’m not going back with you!” whines Vanessa.

    “Don’t you think you’ve caused enough trouble and shame to the family?” argues her father angrily.

    “What do you mean by shame? It’s just you and your stupid obsession with image!” Vanessa is as rebellious as ever.
    “It’ll be okay as long as I don’t show my face back home! Just say that you’ve disowned me! Not that anyone else really cares!”

    Poor Mrs Ho is stuck in the middle of the stalemate and is totally helpless as father and daughter rally their points of view.

    “And what are you going to do here?” asks Mr Ho stubbornly.

    “I’ll find a job. I’ve had acting offers from the TV station. They say I have a lot of potential and some familiarity.” Vanessa replies proudly.

    “You are not going back into entertainment. I forbid you to do that! You are coming back to Britain with me next week and that is final!” Mr Ho puts his foot down.

    “You can’t make me leave!” taunts Vanessa. “I’m old enough to make my own decisions.”

    At this point, the doorbell rings.
    Mrs Ho opens the door and finds Eva and Auntie Sin. Eddie heads up the rear.

    “Old Ho! You have to chill out or you’ll give yourself a stroke!” Auntie Sin tries to calm her old friend.
    “You can’t exactly tie her up and drag her onto the plane can you?”

    Mr Ho throws his arms up angrily. “So what do you suggest I do?”

    “Vanessa’s growing up – she has to face some challenges in life. Let her stay here and make some more mistakes. That way she will learn some very valuable lessons.”
    Auntie’s diplomacy still works great for other people’s problems!
    “I promise you I will look after her.”

    “And look what good that has done.” Mr Ho isn’t impressed.

    Vanessa jumps in to plead with her father.
    “Dad! I promise you that I will listen to Auntie. I’ll do everything that Eva and Eddie tell me and I won’t be so stubborn and pig-headed. Pleeeeeeeease let me stay!”

    Mr Ho’s heart breaks. He has never seen his daughter so determined before. With so much pressure placed on him, he finally gives in.

    “Okay okay, I will let you stay. On one condition – any more trouble and you get straight back on that plane home!”

    *

    'When the world around is shattered and there seems to be no hope
    When your emotions are battered and you really can’t cope
    Old wounds will heal and the joy you will feel
    ‘Cos I’ll be your guide, your sword, your shield
    Where there’s love – Love in the battlefield

    Louis’ title music to his epic is a great success and with a remarkable performance on the screen, he is propelled upwards on the ladder to superstardom. Despite his bad publicity with Tina, he is accepted well by the viewers and critics as his fan base grows substantially. Finally he begins to reap the rewards of his hard work over the years.

    On the other hand, time becomes a valuable commodity and despite one or two more dates with Eva, Louis is finding it difficult to balance his personal and public life. Eva understands his desire to keep their relationship under wraps and his need to all his efforts into his progression during this critical period, but at the end of the day she is only a girl and sometimes, she finds herself feeling lonely and vulnerable. As she sits and watches the man she loves on the television she longs to be with him again and again.

    Vanessa and Gigi are still in the dark about the relationship, but begin to detect the changes in Eva’s moods. Highly suspicious, but not wanting to upset their friend, they turn to the man who is bound to know – Eddie.
    The two corner him one day and lure him onto the roof.

    “C’mon! Spill the beans!” demands Gigi threateningly.

    “We know that you know what is going on Mr Detective!” adds Vanessa menacingly.

    Eddie looks confused.
    “What am I supposed to know?”

    “If we knew, we wouldn’t need to ask you!” says Vanessa, getting a little confused herself.

    “What’s the matter with Eva?” Gigi gets to the point and pulls Eddie’s shirt front.

    “I don’t see anything wrong? Has she had a haircut or grown a big spot on her nose?” replies Eddie innocently.

    Gigi’s questioning continues relentlessly:
    “We mean about Louis! Has she seen him again? Is there something going on?”

    Eddie shrugs, calm as ever.
    “Hey, if you two don’t know how am I meant to know?”

    Vanessa has an idea and she looks at Eddie cunningly.
    “Well, I’ll just go and ask her myself and I’ll tell her that YOU told us, big brother!”
    She heads off towards the stairs, but Eddie jumps and grabs her by the arm.

    “No! Don’t do that – she’ll never forgive me!”
    Eddie stops sharply as he realises that he’s fallen for the trick and said too much. Gigi and Vanessa pull him back and sit him down.

    “Talk! Or we tickle you to death!”

    *

    “I’m sorry I’m so late!”
    Louis apologises to Michael as he rushes into Incognito and signals to Milo for his usual.
    “I got held up at the radio station because there was a big group of fans outside.”

    “That’s okay!” says Michael dreamily. “I’m cool.”

    “You seem happy tonight.” comments Louis. “Are you glad you’ve finally finished the Miss Hong Kong project?”

    “Uh huh!” Michael nods, not really listening to his friend.

    “Oi! It’s not been that long since I last met you… Okay it has been longer than usual – still that is no reason for this change! What’s happening, where did the new calm and collected Michael come from?”

    “I think I’m in love!” Michael declares.

    Louis chokes on his drink.
    “Am I really hearing this?” Louis splutters. “Mr Perfection himself, Michael Tsui has found someone who meets all his strict criteria? Who is this lucky girl?”

    Michael is a little embarrassed and declines to tell.
    “Nothing has happened yet. I’ll tell you when the time is right. Anyway, how are you getting on with your ‘fan’? I thought you said you were going to see her again!”

    “I did.” Louis is beaming.

    “And…?” enquires Michael.

    “I told her how I felt.” Louis admits proudly.

    “Wow! Good for you old friend. So when is the wedding?” jokes Michael.

    Louis laughs for a short time before a disappointed look wipes the joy from his face.
    “If only it was so simple.” he sighs. “I haven’t seen her for weeks. My manager’s warned me about being spotted with anyone while my career’s just taking off.”

    “Oh! That’s tough. I hope she understands.” Michael is very sympathetic.

    “Yes she does and she is very good about that, but I really do want to go and see her.”

    “You have to. No matter how supportive she is, she won’t wait around forever you know.” Michael seems to knows how girls’ minds work.
    “I hope things will settle down soon for you.”

    “Thanks!”
    Louis and Michael are becoming a little weary and slump into their seats. They continue their own little dreams once more – unknowing that the girl in their dreams is one and the same.

    *

    “Raymond’s been dropped? That’s not possible! That’s going to seriously affect the ratings!”
    Steven is querying the situation with his producer for his new show. He is not happy with the latest developments.

    “Sorry Steven. Raymond’s been offered a part in a Hollywood production so he’s had to pull out. We’re getting Andy to step in his role. It’s a good job we haven’t already started filming that part.” explains Producer Chan.

    “But Andy’s not half as famous…” grumbles Steven.

    “We just have to get on with it. It’s only a cameo part anyway and you’re still the lead male – what’s the problem? Get back to work everyone!”

    Once again, Steven’s career is met with another setback. His role in ‘Love in the Battlefield’ did little to raise his profile and his featured song in the soundtrack has had much less airing than that of Louis’. As the distance between their two career paths grows wider and wider, the camaraderie has started to develop into envy and ultimately jealousy. Steven must now do something to boost his notoriety and bring himself back into the ranks of Louis.

    Steven finds a perfect opportunity to create some publicity for himself. After filming his scene, he wanders to the studio next door where Tina is shooting another show.

    “Hi Tina! Do you have a minute?” he calls to her.

    “Steven. What’s the matter? I have another scene to shoot in a moment.” She is a little surprised and wary of his sudden amicability. Particularly as he was very cold to her during the filming of ‘Battlefield’.

    “As we both need a little help with our careers, I was just wondering if we could make something out of the unfinished relationship of my doctor and your nurse.” Steven refers to their parts in the blockbuster show.

    Tina understands and sees confirmation in the sneaky look and cheeky grin of Steven.

    “Lets discuss this over dinner.” She suggests. “I’ll meet you outside in an hour.”

    *

  17. #17
    Moderator Em's Avatar
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    This is a bit odd to put this in the middle, I know - but for those of you who like to have a character overview, I have written one!

    -----------------

    Louis Lok
    An up and coming television star who has worked hard for years and has finally reached a position in his career where is he finally achieving results.
    He is arrogant and ambitious, but has a sensitive side to him which he finds difficult to handle.

    Eva Cheung
    After growing up in England, this locally born Chinese girl decides to go to Hong Kong to try her luck in the world of work after graduating from high school. Totally fanatical about Louis, she is overwhelmed with emotion when she finally meets him, but finds her feelings towards him starting to change.
    Intelligent, outgoing, friendly and expressive - Eva always has a smile on her face.

    Vanessa Ho
    A pretty girl who has returned to Hong Kong with Eva after studying and growing up abroad. She is desperate to make a name for herself in the world of modelling or acting, but she is naive and easily misled.
    Eva's best friend for a long time with whom she has a special sixth sense.

    Gigi Siu
    Eva's cousin who is just about to graduate from high school and embark on a career in journalism.
    On the same mental plane as Eva, they are very close to each other and share the same ideals in life. Gigi has a direct approach to life and people can find her difficult to approach or get on with.

    Eddie Wai
    A policeman who has worked hard and is completed devoted and dedicated to anything he sets his heart on, often at the expense of his own needs.
    Eddie is receptive and understanding and acts as a big brother role towards Eva, Vanessa and Gigi.

    Michael Tsui
    Michael is a floor manager at the television studios and a good friend of Louis. They often bounce feelings and ideas off each other to help each other out. Hard on the outside, soft on the inside: Michael tries to play it cool but always ends up looking back and putting things right.

    Steven Tse
    Friend of Louis and career sparring partner of Louis. Having attended acting academy together, their careers have been a parallel since, but as Louis starts to pull ahead, Steven begins to have other ideas on how to catch up.
    Small minded and envious nature and is eager to find success - whatever it takes.

    Tina Hui
    Newcomer starlet who will jump on any opportunity to create news and raise her profile.

    Sylvia Lee
    A friend and colleague of Gigi who is nuts about Eddie, but is not brave enough to admit it!

    Frankie Ho
    Vanessa's brother who has a knack of turning up during troubled times.

    Auntie Sin
    Eva's aunt who she is staying with in Hong Kong and Gigi's mum.
    Typical responsible adult who has a habit of nagging the kids, but comes out with some sound advice when it is needed.

    Uncle Wing
    Husband of Auntie Sin who is a quiet man who loathes conflict.

    Uncle Wo
    Eva's manager and mentor who guides her throughout her career and offers the odd word of advice to Louis as well.
    Wise and tolerant.

    Joe Li
    Rich fella who Vanessa has the misfortune to be attracted to.

    Yuen Yuen
    Sexy actress

    Alice Cheung
    Eva's sister

    Mr Cheung
    Eva's dad who is a rather nifty with a broom!

    [ July 30, 2002: Message edited by: Em ]

  18. #18
    Senior Member MYF's Avatar
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    Talking

    Heh, Good work Em, <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"> (glad you enjoyed your break)

    However,

    The plot thickens....

    Please continue <IMG SRC="smilies/clap.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/thumbsup.gif" border="0">

    [ July 31, 2002: Message edited by: MYF ]
    my right arm slams shut

  19. #19
    Moderator Em's Avatar
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    Ah... the story is finally starting to come together! Read on...
    ------------------------------

    Chapter 5 – Revelation

    “Eva! Vanessa! I’ve got it! I’ve done it!”
    Gigi jumps around the lounge squealing at the top of her voice, holding a letter in one hand and grabbing the other girls with the other. She is overjoyed at the contents of the letter and isn’t holding any of her feelings in.

    Vanessa grabs the letter and has a look.
    “My Chinese isn’t that great, but doesn’t this say that you’ve been successful in your application for junior reporter for that entertainment magazine spin off for ‘Showbiz News Uncut’?”

    “Aren’t you going to university then?” asks Eva.

    “No way, not now I have this job!” says Gigi defiantly.

    “What does your mum and dad think?” Eva senses they won’t be happy.

    Gigi runs over to Auntie and puts an arm around her shoulder.
    “I know my folks will be 100% behind me, won’t you mum?”

    “It’s about time you learned how tough life is out there, I suppose.”
    Auntie replies with an air of resignation. She is not happy, but she doesn’t want to dampen the atmosphere. She picks up the clothes basket and heads upstairs to the roof.

    Auntie is deep in thought as she collects the washing. Suddenly, Uncle Wing appears from behind a sheet and gives her a fright.

    “Wah! Wing… you frightened the living daylights out of me! What are you doing up here?” exclaims Auntie.

    “I sense you want to talk,” says Uncle timidly.
    “I know you are worried about Gigi.”

    “You’ve seen how Eva and Vanessa have fared in the media circle. You know how much I am against any of them getting involved. And yet all three of them, even my own daughter has to go and work in this complicated environment. How can I not be worried?” Auntie vents her concerns to Uncle.

    “You said yourself how you have to let the girls choose their own paths.”
    Uncle speaks the voice of reason.

    “I know – that’s why I haven’t stopped Gigi… it doesn’t stop me from worrying though.” Auntie shows her internal conflicts.

    “Our daughter is intelligent and articulate enough to look after herself. And besides, she has Eva, Eddie and Vanessa to look after her. You don’t want to risk being hated forever do you?”

    Auntie nods.
    “You’re right, as an elder in the twenty-first century, we have to be open-minded and supportive.”

    “We sure do!” agrees Uncle Wing as he helps her with the rest of the washing.

    *

    At the flashy offices of ‘Showbiz News Unedited’, Gigi is shown around and introduced to her new colleagues. Like a little child in a chocolate factory, Gigi is excited and inquisitive.

    “This is Sylvia. She is another junior – you’ll both be working with Anthony. He is the most experienced and gutsy reporter in the team. Make sure you learn all you can from him.”
    Cecilia, the assistant Editor introduces Gigi to her workmates.

    “Hi, I’m Gigi! Looking forward to working with you!”
    She puts her hand out to Anthony who is busy proofreading some drafts. He waves her away. Gigi turns to Sylvia who stares at her for a few moments.

    “Siu Pui Gi!” Sylvia recognises her old school friend.

    Gigi looks at this familiar face again and her face lights up.
    “Lee Suet Man!”

    The two girls give each other a short hug and hold each other’s arms.

    “How have you been?”
    “Not seen you in years…”
    “Where are you living now?”
    “Do you remember in primary school?”

    “Ahem! Are we ready to do some work now?”
    Anthony looks up with an icy glare. He has shoulder length straggly hair, black- rimmed glasses and 6 days whisker growth all over his chin. Wearing a camouflage jacket and a khaki T-shirt, he looks like he hasn’t changed for weeks. His deep set eyes are full of resentment and he talks with an air of authority.

    “So sorry Anthony!” Gigi is keen to make a good first impression.

    “Your first assignment is a section called ‘Stars in the making’. You will need to identify who you think has the potential to become something big, go and interview them and we will feature a different person each week.”
    Anthony’s instructions are clear and direct.
    “It is down to you to contact their agents, book meetings and come up with the goods. If you need anything from me, just ask – but I’m not going to spoon feed you.”

    *

    “Call in the singing girls for the brothel scene!”
    Michael is working on a costume drama set in ancient China.

    Three girls dressed in elaborate costumes wander onto the set and gather around the leading actor. He is made up with pink cheeks and watery eyes. It looks like this is a drinking scene.

    “Take One – Action!” comes the shout from the director.

    “Drink with me!” the actor starts his lines.

    “Of course! My, you are so butch!” comes the chorus from the three ladies.

    One of the three is Vanessa. She has been given a variety of minor roles since losing the beauty contest, but is determined that she will get somewhere with her work. Michael knows of Vanessa’s predicament and respects her for getting on with life after her failure. The two have become friends and Michael looks after Vanessa on the set, making sure she doesn’t get into any more trouble. On the other hand he is always asking her about Eva.

    “Have you finished for the day? Do you fancy going for a drink?”
    Michael is after more information from Vanessa.

    “Sure!” Vanessa replies.

    “I haven’t seen Eva around for a while – do you know how she is getting on with her TV show negotiations?” Michael pries.

    Knowing fully that Eva has her heart set elsewhere, Vanessa tries to set Michael down gently, but he simply doesn’t get the hint.
    “She’s quite busy – I think they are going to let her try guest presenting first.”

    “Do you know what she likes doing when she isn’t working?” asks Michael.

    “Watching TV I think. She doesn’t get out much and she really likes Louis.”
    Vanessa tries a more direct approach.

    “Really!”
    An idea crops into Michael’s head.
    “I’m quite good friends with Louis, maybe I could get them to meet each other – I’m sure she’d like that!”

    Vanessa slaps her forehead – she can’t let out the secret, but it pains her to see Michael so eager.
    “Are you sure that’s such a good idea? They are both so busy lately.”

    “Why not – hey, I know the producer of the music show that Eva’s working on, maybe they could get Louis on as a guest!” Michael gets carried away with his planning.

    Vanessa can see something very embarrassing coming from this, but she is stumped for an idea of how to prevent this from happening.

    “Let me see… how can I let her know that I have done this for her?”
    Michael is lost on another world.

    *

  20. #20
    Senior Member MYF's Avatar
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    I like the little gestures that you put in the story - such as uncle wing helping auntie sin hang up the washing. They really neat <IMG SRC="smilies/wink.gif" border="0">

    Overall very pleasing characters.

    <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"> more please! <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">
    my right arm slams shut

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