On the night of the “Screw Your Roommate” dance, Fei got dressed up. Jia and I went to visit her. She had arranged to meet Huat Chye at 7:30. She deliberated over what she would wear and ended up wearing a gray dress.
Jia insisted that Fei come by our room with Huat Chye before they left to the dance. Fei came first to borrow a gray coat of Jia’s and to have Jia help her with her hair. Someone suggested that we could just call Huat Chye and have him meet Fei in our room. Fei thought it would be unbearably weird, having him meet her with Jia and I and also Jing who was visiting us at the time. She fled back to her room and started listening to MP3s when Jia called him.
Jing and I tried to get Fei to come back but she insisted, “I just want to listen to the songs!” So when Huat Chye arrived Jia was the only one in our room and she brought him over to Fei’s room. He was not as dressed up as Fei; he had on khaki pants and a denim button-down. He laughed to see all of us there with Fei, exclaiming, “You’re all here to see her off!” Jia agreed and said that she was like the aunt, I was like the older sister and Jing was like another sister. Then the three of us were off.
Around 11:30 I thought I heard Fei’s voice outside…it was Fei, as Jia discovered when she opened the door. She must have had to talk pretty loudly to make herself heard over the noise out there. Fei and Huat Chye had just got back from dinner and spent five seconds (as she later described it) in the lounge where the dance was being held before coming upstairs.
The two of them seemed to have had a good time going out to dinner. They dined at China Delight in Palo Alto. This was somewhat significant to Fei and Jia. Jia’s first restaurant experience in the U.S. was eating there with Fei. Fei and Huat Chye had gotten the same table that Jia and Fei had had those two years ago…their tab even came up to a similar amount.
Fei commented that she had eaten a lot and Huat Chye agreed. Jia laughed, “It’s not nice of you to say so!” Fei and Huat Chye laughed and he said “But it’s true, Fei eats more than she thinks she does.” He said that Fei had been busy eating and he had been busy making conversation during the dinner. She confessed that she had set a goal to finish the leftovers.
Huat Chye commented that Jia looked very motherly. She said, “What does that mean?” I volunteered, “He means you look like his mother.” Fei, Jia and Huat Chye laughed and he denied that he meant this.
Jia told Huat Chye that he shouldn’t call her motherly, even if she did appear so…he said okay, and called her attractive. She said, “That makes my hair bristle!”
After there was talking a while Jia asked Fei and Huat Chye what they were going to do now. They said, “We don’t know. You tell us! What should we do, mom?” Jia asked me if she should make the suggestion that she mentioned to me earlier. I was not sure what she meant, but obligingly laughed as though we had joked about them making out. Indeed we had been teasing about that since sophomore year or more.
Then Jia remembered pictures, and took a picture of Fei. Huat Chye, who had been sitting next to Fei on the bed, stood to be out of the first picture. But with a little coaxing Jia got a picture of the two of them together. I asked Huat Chye whether his drawmates knew where he was. He joked, “No, I just snuck out.”
I explained what you had reported, that his drawmate Sze Yao (to whom I presumed him to be most close) had asked Fei the day before in Social Dance whether she would be going to the Kimball Screw Your Roommate. Huat Chye admitted that Sze Yao had been “kept in the dark.” I thought this was curious and told him that I had thought him more open with his drawmates; he stated that he was not…
Fei and Huat Chye left. Jia and I went to see Ying, who had said that she was going to the dance. We found her still waiting for our hallmates, whom she had agreed to join in visiting the dance floor. Then we all visited Fei and Huat Chye in Fei’s room. We did not stay long; Joann and Fei’s roommate showed up to meet Ying, and also we did not want to stay overlong for fear of interrupting whatever conversation. Huat Chye was sitting on Fei’s bed and Fei was sitting at her computer, crossing her legs, looking happy.
Fei reported well of the evening—as I overheard Jia telling Ying when the latter stopped by later in the evening. Fei said, among other things, that Huat Chye had commented on the brevity of our visit and Fei complained of his disinterest in music (he says his parents do not even own a sound system) and insistence on speaking of deeper subjects. He kept bringing up the topic of friendship.