11 Something New
"Thanks for today. I really appreciate it. If it weren't for you, I'd probably be at home bawling my eyes out while watching a sad, sappy romance movie with a quart tub of ice cream in my hands..." Jinghe smiled warmly at Hong, and she could feel something welling up in her heart. She laughed to try and push it down, but she felt the wetness in her eyes before she was able to quickly blink them away. Thankfully, Hong didn't notice.
Secretly, she vowed to herself to never cry again. Sure, it seemed extreme, but she knew she would have to stick to it. She wanted to be strong. No, she would be strong. For herself.
"Oh, it was nothing. It was probably more fun for me than for you, honestly." Hong returned her smile with a grin of his own. He pressed on his keys to unlock the car and the beeping sound rung loud in the empty garage. Sliding in, Jinghe and Hong rode silently back to the salon, each immersed in their own thoughts.
Once they got back to the salon, they exchanged farewells and Jinghe drove her own car home. It was already past 7, and her stomach was growling. Pulling into her high end apartment, she nodded to the doorman and rode the elevator up to her floor, 19.
After pulling together a quick sandwich and using her panini machine to grill it for a few minutes, she took a nice long soak in the bath and quickly went to sleep, falling asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow. It had been a long day, and she hadn't been feeling so well.
She dreamt of rolling green pastures and white picket fences. She dreamt of going hiking with Lan, during happier times. She dreamt of going to a bar with Xiayu and picking up guys.
The next morning, she rolled out of bed and ate some cereal. Jinghe applied some light makeup, with some brown eyeliner, lip gloss and mascara, then texted Xiayu again to confirm their meeting.
Jinghe: Hey, Xiayu, I can drop by in like half an hour, does that work?
Xiayu replied almost twenty minutes after Jinghe had sent to message.
Xiayu: Hey, sry, just saw this. it's a little hectic right now, do you mind coming in like an hour or two? it's your typical tuesday morning; aka, there's like twenty people in line at all times, on their phones, while impatiently yelling at the poor girl out in front in between every few sentences.
Jinghe: Of course, that'd be fine. Now I feel so insensitive; I can't believe I forgot about that. Good luck with the morning rush!
Closing her phone, Jinghe sank back down on her sofa and debated what to do to pass the time. She decided to pull out her laptop and looked up, "Best new hobbies to pick up when you don't know what to do with your life anymore." She had to smiled at that. She had only typed in the first two words and the rest of the long sentence had popped up as the top search query.
Jinghe scanned through the long list: baking, running, painting, rock-climbing, etc. They all seemed so-- She didn't know anymore. Sighing, she scrolled down further. Writing, calligraphy, gaming, investing... Hm? Gaming? She had heard people talking about how video games had become a lot more accepted, and were considered more mainstream nowadays. Her curiosity piqued, she read a few articles about the top games that were out there.
Summoner's Glory, Champions of the Galaxy, War Guild...
There was so much information that her mind felt boggled. She thought that she was most interested in MMORPG's but... it seemed like a lot of work to get any good at any of them. She browsed through a few streamers' videos, but it all just seemed very complex. You had to learn what moves there were, combos, which were the shortcut keys, the best champions, the best maps, the best strategies, the roles of different characters.... It was all extremely overwhelming.
She continued looked down the list of potential hobbies before she spotted something that looked pretty interesting.
What about learning to play a new instrument? She could do that; that'd be cool. Plus, maybe she could try learning more about singing along with it. She'd always been told she had a good ear for notes, and she'd always admired people who could just casually pull out an instrument and create beautiful music, seemingly out of nothing.
At that moment, she heard a ding from her phone and felt a little disappointed. She had wanted to do some more research, but if the message was from Xiayu, Jinghe really did need to meet with her.
Xiayu: Now's a good time if you wanna come. What's so serious that you need to talk about?
Jinghe grimaced, then quickly tapped out a vague reply.
Jinghe: Got it, will be there in 10. It's something pretty important but don't worry too much. I'll give you more details in person. See you soon.