“I remember! You said, you, you, you promised, that we could go somewhere.”
“You promised!” screeched Yaya. “I remember,” her voice quietened to a whisper.
She kicked at the seated boyfriend.
It was early Monday evening. Yaya had studied Business English all day, she was tired. Students were expected to perform non-stop at the most famous and prestigious university in all of Thailand. Parents are proud of their offspring for passing their way through to a learning place all Bangkok admired. Yaya’s were no different.
'Why?' she wondered as she strolled the short trip to her boyfriend’s hotel. "Why is it so difficult to learn here? Because my dad wants me to be a lawyer. While, I want to see the world. At least somewhere other than this city,” she mumbled to herself.
Waving at the reception lady, she marched to the lifts.
Seventeenth floor, room eighteen, 1718.
“A good number for tomorrow’s lottery?” she wondered, as she swiped her credit card-sized bit of plastic across the lock.
“Oh, you’re early,” said Church. He covered his little book and slipped it into his pocket.
“What’s that?” she asked.
“What do you mean ‘nothing’, why hide it from me?”
“I was checking my visa status.”
“I don’t want it to run out.”
“Okay, but why hide it? What are you up to?”
“Come on, I fancy a beer, let’s go to the bar?”
“I haven’t even showered. But, I could pop out and buy my lottery numbers, while you order?”
“Yeah, great idea. Let’s go.”
The bar was empty. The barman smiled, “Usual, sir?”
“Yeah, a cold one for me and a Coke for Yaya.”
She waved as she nipped to the newsagent. There, she bought sets of one seven, one eight, and every combination she could think of. Returning with her little packet of numbers, she grinned as she waved them at the barman,
“I’ll buy you a drink when one of these wins tomorrow,” she said to the barman.
“That was quick,” said Church.
“Yes, I knew what numbers will win, so I got them all.”
“I don’t know why you waste your money on that.”
“If I win, I can quit school and travel like you.”
“It’s not all it is cracked up to be.”
“Because it’s not a special thrill for you. You don’t have to take time off work, you don’t count the days before the plane whisks to somewhere exciting. Your dad pays for everything. If you had to save up, you may enjoy things more. It is all too easy for you.”
“Yeah, whatever you say.”
“When are we going to go somewhere?” asked Yaya.
“You haven’t even got a passport.”
“What if I got one?”
“No, but if I did?”
“I would take you wherever you wanted to go,” said Church, with a smile.
“Yes, where would you like to go?”
“I don’t know. What about England?”
“Too cold. Too boring.”
“It may be boring for you. What about America then?”
“Depends, it is a big place you know.”
"I’d love to visit Hollywood. How about there?”
“Get your travel documents, then we’ll think about it.”
“Okay, how about now, as I haven’t got a passport, why don’t we travel around Thailand?"
“Nah, you wouldn’t like it.”
“What? What do you mean? I love Thailand, it’s just that I haven’t seen too much of it. I’ve only seen Bangkok.”
“Well, how do you know you’ll like it?”
“It is warm, great food and fantastic beaches. At least, that’s what I’ve heard.”
“Yeah, but let’s wait.”
Yaya was puzzled, ‘Why would he not take me anywhere? A bus, car, taxi, train, or a plane, easy? Yes.’
“Why wait? I got my term break soon. Why can’t we go somewhere in Thailand?”
“You think about the seaside, I need the loo.”
Church didn’t go to the bar’s gents, he went to the lift.
“Now, where is he going?” she asked herself. “Back in a minute,” she said to the barman, leaving their drinks.
Church opened the bedroom door as Yaya watched from the lift. Creeping behind, she silently opened the door. The bathroom was open, with no sound inside. Any noise came from the bedroom, a scuffling.
“What are you doing?” asked Yaya. Church was trying to shove his half-packed suitcase out of sight.
“Er, I was eh…”
“Why is your bag packed?”
“It is not.”
“Really?” She grabbed the handle. “Swimwear, t-shirts, shorts. Are you going to the beach?”
“I’ve got to pop off for a day or two, that’s all.”
“And you would not tell me?”
A thought flashed across her mind. ‘He has left his phone in the bar.’ She flew back downstairs. Leaving Church slumped on the bed.
As a couple, they never checked each other's private messages. Yaya, however, had looked over his shoulder at his password some time ago.
“Now what was it?” she asked herself, tapping a few numbers and letters.
“Ah-ha, here it is, I’m in.”
She slammed the phone onto the table. She stormed back upstairs to the room.
“So, you are having a holiday on Pattaya’s famous beaches?”
“No, it’s...” he stammered.
“With Miss Sexy wet t-shirt. The beautiful winner of last month’s competition?”
“Argh. How do you know?” He scrabbled around for his phone.
“It is in the bar, where you left it.”
“Yes, oh. You promised to take me somewhere. I remember every word you utter.”
“Please, don’t lose your temper with me. I’m a normal bloke.”
“And I’m your average girl. Is that what you’re saying?”
“No, you are way above average.”
“Yes, really. Come here, sit on my knee.”
Yaya smiled she relaxed. Loosened the clips holding her hair up. Shook it all free. She slinked across the room.
Church grinned and looked up at her.
The first hair grip stabbed deep into his eyeball. The second gouged at the other eye. Jelly oozed between her fingers and down his cheeks.
“One, two, three…” she counted seventeen stabs in one eye, then eighteen in the other. The empty sockets stared vacantly. She swept her fingers clean and checked her lucky numbers once more.
Kicked his legs again for luck, and returned to her Coke downstairs.
“Put the bill on Church’s room, thank you.”
Jam dai, means remember in Thai.