213 The driving school
Ryn sipped the hot cocoa with her shivering hands. Although the shooting ended an hour before but she was still cold from the 'swimming'. Her body was wrapped tightly in a sweater despite the temperature outside was more than 30 degrees.
Mei Li looked at her sympathetically.
The shooting timing was extended because of the video recording, but if they were to use other than Ryn, it was the usual time period for shooting. Ryn had to jump into the pool for so many times, at the end of it, she was too cold and numb until Mei Li had to answer on behalf of her. Mei Li apologized when Ryn unable to answer or react to anything. But most importantly, the footage was enough for the video and Ryn would get the additional pay for it, according to the representative of the brand reassuringly.
"Are you feeling better now?" Mei Li asked.
Ryn nodded. The coldness was getting lesser as she sipped more and more hot cocoa. She rubbed her hands.
Mei Li stood up and went to get another cup of hot cocoa for Ryn.
Ryn closed her eyes and tried to fool herself of being warmer. Why did they come to an air-conditioned cafe for this? Wasn't this backfiring their attempt to make her feel better?
Nevertheless, the hot cocoa here was delicious.
Mei Li returned with another mug of hot cocoa. She watched as Ryn reached for it and sipped it slowly.
"What's your plan after this?" Mei Li asked once Ryn put down the mug.
"Hmm...? I'm going to the driving school. I can't postpone it again," Ryn replied.
"Have you chosen which driving school you want to go?"
"Yes," Ryn took out her phone slowly and swiped her finger on the screen. Once she found what she was looking for, she showed it to her manager.
"I'll accompany you," Mei Li offered herself.
"Thanks, Mei Li." Ryn kept back her phone in her pocket and continued drinking her hot cocoa. Her mind was still a bit fuzzy but at least now her brain was working.
Both the women walked together toward Mei Li's car. The people who saw them had to take another look, weird seeing Ryn wearing sweater under the hot weather. Both women ignored the weird look. Ryn's health was much more important compared to what other people thought about them.
Mei Li typed the address on her GPS system and slowly drove the car to the driving school. She glanced at Ryn who wrapped herself with the small woollen blanket Mei Li kept in the car. It seemed like the hot cocoa did nothing to warm up Ryn's body. Silently Mei Li blamed herself for agreeing to the job. If only she rejected the offer when she first received it, Ryn would not suffer like right now.
"Do you need more blanket?" Mei Li asked.
"No. This is enough," Ryn replied.
"If you feel worst, I'll bring you to see a doctor," Mei Li reminded again for the tenth time.
"No need. I feel better now," Ryn choked out, holding the blanket tightly.
Mei Li glanced at her but did not say anything more. She focussed on her driving. She could not change Ryn's mind even though it was so clear how miserable Ryn was right now. So stubborn!
They reached at the address and fortunate for them, there was an empty parking lot right in front of the driving school. Ryn got out and waited for Mei Li to do the same and locked the door. Both then walked into the building with a cheerful greeting from the guy working at the counter.
"Hello, my name is Catherine and I would like to learn driving a car," Ryn told the man.
The man quickly took out a form and handed the form and a pen to Ryn with a smile. He smiled at Mei Li too, already decided the other woman was accompanying Miss Catherine as a support.
Ryn took the pen and started to fill the form. Mei Li took out her phone and checked the messages. She also took a photo of Ryn filling the form, silently amused seeing even though Ryn was not posing but it did look like a pose.
It was funny in a way but it was not Ryn's fault. She was a natural talent.
Mei Li pursed her lips a bit. Should she send this to Ryn's media social account?
Nah... She can just put this into Ryn's portfolio. Once Ryn succeed in getting her driving licence, then it was time to announce it to her fans.
Ryn paid the fee, handed her ID for a copy and discussed the date for her first class. Mei Li cleared the date accordingly and even asked what they have to prepare for the class. It had been a long time for Mei Li's driving class so she forgot what it was and how it was.
"That was nice," Mei Li commented once they got back into the car.
"Hmm..." Ryn checked her wallet, making sure her ID was in it.
"So you want me to pick you up for the class?" Mei Li asked as she reversed and drove the car.
Mei Li glanced at Ryn and saw her eyes getting heavier. Mei Li chuckled, amused to see Ryn trying hard not to fall asleep. It seemed like Ryn had let go of herself once she was done with the driving class application.
She lowered down the music so as not to disturb Ryn's resting. She no longer glanced at Ryn, just focussing on her driving. It was getting late and the traffic was getting heavier.
Ryn woke up naturally just as the car getting closer to her apartment. She covered her mouth to stifle a yawn and then cracked her neck and hands.
"Thanks, Mei Li," she murmured as the car slowed down before stopped at the entrance.
"Hmm... See you tomorrow," Mei Li said with a wave.
"Bye. See you tomorrow," Ryn waved as well and once she took off the blanket and put it at the back passenger seat, she walked toward the building. She could not wait to continue her sleep and this time on her comfortable bed.
Mei Li changed the gear and quickly drove away. She could not wait to reach home. But before that, she had to go to the grocery shop to buy ingredients for dinner tonight. She needed to save some money instead of buying food outside.
This time around, Ryn did not bump into any of her classmates or any of the university students who have seen her in the campus. She was glad for that, too exhausted to deal with the weird look or whispers. Weren't they tired of gossipping about her all the time?
She was getting tired, honestly. She was just a normal student. Modelling was just a job, just like them who took a part-time job to cover their expenses, especially those who did not receive any scholarship. It was just a job.
Ryn unlocked the door of her house and sighed loudly once she got into the house. Her hand automatically locked the door and she then made a beeline toward the bathroom.
As she laid herself on the bed after relieving herself, washing the makeup off her face and brushing her teeth, the phone started to ring. Ryn smiled seeing the name on the screen. It was Mika. She bet Mika was calling her to cry for the injustice treatment she received from her mother and grandmother. No doubt the elder women vetoed everything during the planning, leaving this best friend of hers frustrated but too scared to say so."Hello, babe. How is your wedding planning?" Ryn asked in amused? One hand was holding the phone while another was patting the fluffy pillow to make it even fluffier for her head."Ryn~" Mika wailed. "Hmm?"I really am not happy with this. Can you believe grandma and mother want to invite 1000 guests for the receptions? Even for the wedding, grandma wants to invite 500 people? I don't even have that many family members and friends!" Mika cried."Wow, 1000 people, huh?" In a way, Ryn could see this coming. Mika was after all the first of the siblings to get married and bring the princess of the family, of course, the Longs would make it as grand as possible."I want my wedding to be intimate with people I know and close with. I don't want my wedding full of strangers and keep talking about business, " Mika cried with disgruntled."Have they chosen the venue?" Ryn asked."Hmm… that huge hall in Tower X," Mika replied. The unhappiness in her voice was evident, it almost made Ryn feel bad from smiling in amused. Mika would not be amused if she knew Ryn's expression right now."I thought you want to have a garden wedding or a beach wedding," Ryn was reminded of Mika's dream wedding. Since young Mika already planned what she wanted for her wedding and always told Ryn about it. Of course, this best friend of hers even coaxed her to have a double wedding when she and Jeremy went public with their relationship. She refused, of course. She thought they were too young to think about marriage."Grandma disagreed and mother agreed with grandma. Jeremy did not even help me," Mika was angry at the thought of her useless brother. Jeremy did not seem to work his hard helping her. At first, he looked serious but later he just followed them like a security guard and let the elders making decisions on everything. So frustrating!"Well, you should ask Jason for help. Don't tell me he didn't follow you today," Ryn gasped. Jason would not do that to Mika, would he?"He didn't come," Mika wailed, "He said he has important meetings to attend and want me to surprise him. He said he would follow whatever I want. No question asked."He ran away from grandma Long?" Ryn guessed."Of course, he was running away from grandma. Even I want to run away from her," this time Mika's voice was a bit blurred between her sob. The frustration and exhaustion building in her body and her brain and body could not take it anymore. The tears ran down like a waterfall and her body was arching painfully. She could not even lift her hand and had to use the speaker to talk with her Ryn.
Ryn coaxed Mika from her sadness. She shared what happened during the shooting."What? You have to redo the shoots twice so they could record videos?" Mika gasped She never thought Ryn was suffering during the day as well. She knew shooting underwater was Ryn's less favourite job but she, being the professional she was, would not use it as an excuse to reject the job. Instead, she would work harder to overcome her feeling and produce a good result."At least I've done what they wanted and they told me they would increase the payment," Ryn shrugged. She was happy in a way with the job she did today."So, tomorrow…" Mika started, hoping it was a free day for Ryn. She wanted her friend to accompany her for the second day."Sorry, Mika. I already have another plan," Ryn had to break the news even though it would break Mika's heart. She could guess what Mika wanted when she asked about tomorrow."Can't you postpone it? Do it another day?" Mika asked in a small voice, hoping Ryn would change her mind."I'm sorry, Mika. It's a job for me," Ryn again rejected the plea. "However, I don't have anything the day after. Do you want me to accompany you?"This question brightened up Mika's face. She nodded her head eagerly before remembered she was on the phone and Ryn could not see her reaction."Of course. You promise, okay? You can't go back from your promise."Run smiled at the eagerness in Mika's voice. Then, she yawned."I'm already sleepy, Mika. I'll talk to you again tomorrow. Good night.""Good night. Sweet dream.""Bye."Mika slid her finger on the screen to disconnect the call. Then, she reached for her teddy bear and hugged it happily. She could spend the day after tomorrow with Ryn. So exciting!