Table For Two Chapter 173
Xiu Ling led Lin Kang to an arcade. She said excitedly before she walked into the store, "I've always wanted to visit a place like this when I was a child but mum was too poor to bring me."
Looking at the childish and pure joy that lit up his wife's face, Lin Kang felt overwhelmed by emotions. He wished he could be thrown back in time to Xiu Ling's childhood so he would be able to help her fulfill the dreams that failed to realize when she was young. Knowing that was impossible, he settled with the second best, which was to make her dreams come true in the present.
With that purpose in mind, Lin Kang followed Xiu Ling to enter the arcade. Honestly, Lin Kang could not remember the last time he visited a place like this, he was normally too busy with work to permit himself such entertainment.
Therefore, his impression of the place was still stuck in the time of his youth where arcades were seedy places for high schoolers to play truancy and you couldn't see too far ahead of you due to the thick haze of cigarette smoke and dim lighting.
However, after the governmental intervention, things had cleaned up aplenty. In fact, arcades could be considered to be one of the few places which had not been left behind by the flow of passing time.
Surprising Lin Kang, the arcade that they visited that day was clean and modern. As small as the place was, it was well-furbished and nice. The walls were painted white and there was even air-conditioning. Various assortments of arcade machines lined the walls. There were the old arcade games from his childhood and some newer ones that he had not seen before.
Machines that were meant for more than one players like air hockey and fighting games dominated the centre of the store.
Lin Kang looked around the place and failed to spot the manager. He then realized the place was fully automated. There was a machine to exchange game tokens so technically everything was self-service.
Lin Kang was impressed by how advanced things were.
Since it was a weekday afternoon, there was no one else in the arcade, they were left all alone. Lin Kang stopped beside his wife and asked, "What would you like to play first?"
Xiu Ling looked around the place and her eyes lit up with interest. Lin Kang had not seen his wife this excited before and he felt like kicking himself for not bringing her here for their date from the very beginning. He remembered this detail about his wife, hoping to put it to good use in the future.
Even though Xiu Ling wanted to play all the games eventually, the first thing that caught her interest was the crane machine. With a token or two, you would be able to operate the crane inside the machine to hook the item that you want. The prizes offered were normally either stuffed dolls or model cars to cater to both genders.
"How about that?" Xiu Ling pointed at the row of crane machines.
"Sure." Lin Kang walked over to the exchange machine to trade for game tokens while Xiu Ling went to pick out the machine that she liked.
Lin Kang joined Xiu Ling before a machine that had plushies as its prizes. Lin Kang handed Xiu Ling one of the tokens and she proceeded to feed it into the machine. Xiu Ling focused as she tried to operate the crane.
The claw managed to hook the doll that she wanted just as the time limit was running out. As the crane lifted the doll up from the pile, it shook and the prize fell off.
"Aww, that was so close!" griped Xiu Ling.
That gave Lin Kang the initiative to step up. From her first try, Lin Kang recognized the doll that his wife wanted. It was a plushy of a famous mouse character that could not be named here due to copyright reasons.
He gently nudged Xiu Ling out of the way as he slit another token into the machine. "Let me. I'll win this for you," he promised.
Since Lin Kang sounded so eager, Xiu Ling took a step back to allow the man to take charge.
The machine's music changed, signalling that it was time to start and the timer on the panel where the sticks and the myriad of buttons were started to count down.
Lin Kang operated the machine with the expertise and dexterity of a master engineer. Based on the serious countenance on his face, one would think he was operating an actual crane at a building site rather than at an arcade.
'Is he this intense and serious all the time?' Xiu Ling thought as she watched her husband.
People say that a man is at his most handsome when he is concentrating on his work. While Xiu Ling could not deny her husband's Adonis-like looks, she also hoped that he would learn to chill out sometimes. Xiu Ling did not want Lin Kang to work himself to his death.
After spending some time with Lin Kang, she realized her husband was a very goal-orientated person, too goal-orientated if she was being honest. He would set himself a target and would not stop until he had it completed. During that process, he would not consider anything else.
In a way, it was good because it kept his focus sharp and pointed but on the other hand, it might also cause him to miss out on the things that were happening in his periphery. He would not stop to smell the roses, as they would say.
Xiu Ling saw this personality being reflected in her son and she did not want such an intense life for him. She wished for him to take things at a slower pace and what better way to do that than to influence the very person that his son was modelling his behavior after?