Somewhere To Be

Free Somewhere To Be by Amy Yip

Book: Somewhere To Be by Amy Yip Read Free Book Online
Authors: Amy Yip
Chapter One
     
    T HERE WAS definitely no accounting for taste. That much Jamie Goh could say with absolute certainty as he dished up another foil tub with toxic-looking orange sweet and sour chicken, sticky and thick with MSG and sugar.
    He repressed a shudder and stuck the paper lid in place, folding the foil with an economy of movement that came from his years of working at a Chinese takeaway. His parents’ Chinese takeaway, to be precise. The Gohs were nothing if not a cliché. A fresh-off-the-boat father and an English mum, who met and fell in love and decided to join ranks with the long line of off-the-boat Chinese to cash in on the English love of sticky sweet meats and fried rice. And with Christmas looming it seemed more people were taking a break and ordering takeaway, so business was currently booming.
    “One fried rice, one chow mein, one sweet and sour prawn, one crispy beef,” called his sister, Ashley, from the front of the house. Jamie plonked his current order into a paper bag and put it in the window for Will, his little brother, to grab and take for delivery.
    This business was without a doubt a family affair.
    “Baba,” Jamie called to his dad, pulling off his apron as he deposited his last order. “I’m heading out, okay?”
    “Where are you going?” his mum popped her head in the window, passing the bag off to Will.
    “Just out, Mum. Said I’d go out to the pub with Pat. He’s been hounding me for a night out before he heads to Louise’s parents for Christmas.”
    She scowled at him and pointed at Jamie’s father, who had his back to the kitchen as he bustled about with pans of cold rice to be fried up, cracking eggs on the side of his ladle with practiced ease. “We’re so busy, Jay.”
    “We’re always busy at the moment, Mum. No different than usual. I have to go. I’m already late.” Jamie sighed, pulling on his leather coat and swirling a scarf around his neck. He shoved a beanie on his head and leaned through the window to kiss his mum on the cheek. “Lend us a fiver?” he asked with a cheeky grin.
    “Sod off, you!” She laughed, swatting him with a halfhearted flap of her hand. “Go on out into the wind and rain, then. If you’re determined to suffer.”
    “Aww, you care about me.” He grinned. “And here I just thought you wanted the free labor.” He avoided her swatting hand again and ran to the back door.
    Jamie braced himself and ducked out of the shop, hunkering down into his scarf to protect himself from the blustery rain. Definitely winter in England, no doubt about it. They were heading into one of those much maligned freezing, blustery spells where trees are felled and snow falls and the sea looks like a raging gray beast, but Jamie kind of loved this time of year. Living on the coast definitely had its perks come winter, when the beaches were absent of all tourists and the water was fighting the shore.
    He jumped on a bus and popped in his earbuds, watching the evening streets and Christmas lights whiz by to the quiet strains of a melancholy acoustic guitar and soft, whispering male vocals, settling against the window and blocking out his fellow passengers. Though, true to form, just about everyone avoided eye contact on the bus.
    His stop was a good fifteen minutes away, not so much on the other side of town as a convoluted route of small streets and one-way systems away, and when he finally let himself into his small flat he was chilled to the bone. His flatmate was definitely home, though, as the scent of garlic and tomatoes was wafting about and making his mouth water.
    For a half Chinese kid, he really couldn’t stand Chinese food.
    “Leftovers on the hob, Jay-Jay,” his flatmate called out from the general direction of the bathroom. Jamie grabbed a fork and attacked the food with gusto, linguine with a tomato and garlic sauce, rounded out with little bursts of vinegar-laced saltiness from capers.
    “You’re a god,” Jamie called back, winding his

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