Many languages use a vast range of honorifics for addressing or referring to people with respect. Please refer to the following links if you are unfamiliar with the Japanese and Chinese honorific system. Thanks!

: en./wiki/Japanesehonorifics

There's some Chinese words that I use that aren't in the links:
Ge – older brother; a man of higher level


He had grabbed the child by the hair and was viciously dragging her across the floor. The little girl was screaming and crying for her mother, who was nearby but held back by a group of men in suits. They were doing their best to keep her away from her child's dangerous captor. When the man pulled out the gun, people around scattered like cockroaches under a light. Those who were afraid fled, but those who needed to help stayed.

At that moment, she was neither.

He walked in front of the store she was in, yelling all the while about a man and his dishonesty. Everyone was focused on him and the panicking child; they were shouting at him to not do anything stupid. She was near the entrance when he backed into her. It startled him, it really did, and he thrust the gun at her, keeping one arm on the child. She willingly took the blow to the head, forcing white spots into her vision. As her head was knocked to the left, she kicked his knee in from the back, hooked up her right arm against his and twisted it behind him awkwardly. He fought back, wanting to shoot the child, but she pulled effectively enough to force the gun from his hand. He reached for a knife in his pocket in a desperate attempt to stab his hostage. Without much thought, she grabbed the knife by the blade, splitting her left palm open. With her right she clenched into a hard fist, she punched him in the side of the head. It was enough to disorient him and release the girl, who bolted like a tiny rabbit. Her second punch knocked him over, but he tripped her and pinned the woman against the granite floor.

When he realized the girl had gotten away, he yelled something at her and struck the woman hard across the face. He reclaimed his gun and pointed it at her, cocking the gun and unwilling to admit defeat.

The bullet caught him in his right arm, just above the elbow. He cried out and looked up, his left hand tight around her throat and his knee pressed into her stomach. It was a painful way to struggle for breath and she did not want to go through it again. They were surrounded; policemen with the guns drawn were spread across the halls like butter. They were literally everywhere.

He hadn't noticed the four men creeping up behind him, so the look on his face was expected as they tackled him to the ground, forcing his surrender. The gun went off and missed her head by a few inches, chipping a nasty hole into the tiles. Profanity and sadistic threats spilled from his mouth as his faced was pressed against the floor. She was dragged off to safety and he was handcuffed, apprehended, and taken away immediately.

She was curled up into a ball, holding her mid section and choking as she gasped for air. The blood from her hand was stained on the tiles and streaked across her face. She felt blood trickle down her neck from his savage hand. Many, many years from now, she'd look back and laugh, telling herself over and over again that it was the right thing to do.

She had no choice.

One of the cops that were near her touched her shoulder, asking her something. It took her a while to realize that he was speaking to her in Cantonese. Since coming to Hong Kong, she hadn't a true conversation with anyone.

"You all right?" he asked again. He let her roll over and helped her sit up. He signaled to the paramedics and they rushed to check her injuries. Her left palm throbbed in horrific pain, and her neck was full of fingernail gashes. Unable to speak from exhaustion, she nodded and closed her eyes, accepting the fact that she stopped the man from hurting the child. It was what she had to do.

"That was reckless," he said. "Do you ever think of consequences?"

She laughed, despite of the amount of pain that she was in. "If I didn't think of consequences, I wouldn't be here right now."

They took her to the hospital and put stitches in her hand; eleven stitches in total. There were patches of gauze on her neck and a small band aid on her cheek from where he struck her. She was sore all over, but she knew it was only the beginning. She wondered about the child; whether she was with her family safe and sound. Family was a good thing, she told herself. It was a pity that she had never had her mother's own love; but it wasn't because she hated her mother. They never got along.

I wish I had known her better.


He had read her name off the tag on the door, and said her name slowly, pronouncing the English letters carefully. It wasn't the cop from before, as she would've expected, but nonetheless another stranger. He was dressed in all black, pants, shirt, shoes, everything. He was a messy person; his shirt was unbuttoned and not tucked, his hair was a total mess, and he hadn't shaved that morning. He wore a dark pair of aviator sunglasses, probably to hide the black rings under his eyes. He literally looked like he had just woken up. He had one hand in his pocket, and the other was holding onto his cell phone.

"You're Eliah, right?" It wasn't much of a question as it was a demand. "You can talk right?"

She refused to respond. He sighed and took off the sunglasses that he was wearing and tucked them into his jacket. "Look, I work for Bao-ge. He asked me to come and personally thank you for saving his daughter. I'm supposed to invite you to come for dinner with him and his family."

Eliah wondered how he couldn't be sweating in his clothes when it was so hot outside. It was summer and temperatures were hitting well into the hundreds. They were in the hospital, but the air conditioning wasn't as high as she had hoped. She wasn't wearing much; a t-shirt and a pair of shorts, she obviously looked foreign compared to the others who were still in sweaters. He was getting frustrated with her silence.

"Look, I'm only doing my job. I don't want to be here as much as you do. I'm supposed to pay for your medical bills and ask you to come to dinner with his family."

She examined him from head to toe, purposely letting him see her uncomfortable. Her first words spoken to him put him in disbelief. "What are you, a gangster?"

"Are you joking?" He spread out his arms and spun around, letting her inspect again. "Just look at me, do I look like a school teacher?"

It forced a smile out of her. He looked like a young boy in spite of everything. He pointed at her and exclaimed, "Ah! So you can smile!"

She bit her lip, suppressing her laugh. "I'm sorry; I don't think I should go. Tell Bao that I'm thankful for his invite, but I can't make it."

"Oh come on," he pleaded. "You're just trying to make this hard for me."

It was then that the cop from before came into the room and stopped short. Unlike the gangster, he was well kept and tidy. His badge was clipped onto the front of his white jacket, his hair was done neatly and carefully and his shoes were tied perfectly. His blue shirt was tucked into his khaki pants and buttoned all the way up and not a single crease could be seen. He was the prince and the other the pauper.

When those two men locked eyes, the room was filled with such tension and hatred that Eliah could feel the hairs on her neck stand. It was like watching spy vs. spy; she was excited. She was hoping that one would attack the other and start some brawl, but to her dismay they didn't.

A nurse cheerfully came in and told her kindly that she could go home and to go see a doctor to get the stitches removed. She passed Eliah some papers and practically skipped her way out.

The thug in black peeled his eyes away and said gently to her, "I'll be outside." And he left the room without incident. His original happy self turned grave and quiet.

"Are you okay, Eliah?" the cop asked. "Did he do anything to you?"

She shook her head. "No, he wanted to tell me that his boss said thanks."

"So you do know who the girl is."

"Well no, not at the time. I do now." She looked down and clenched her fists into the sheets, making herself appear troubled. "Am I going to be in trouble for helping a gangster?"

"Oh no," he said amusingly. "I don't think so. You saved Bao's daughter; he probably just wants to reward you. Ah, I'm sorry, I never introduced myself. I'm Tony Hung."

They shook hands. He was the first real person that she'd met since coming to Hong Kong. Tony flipped through some papers on a clipboard that he was holding and said, "You live in the Wan Chai area right? Would you like a ride home? I'm off now."

If it was a different time and a different place, she would have accepted Tony's offer without hesitation. She could tell he was a good cop and a good man; someone like him was so hard to come by. But he wasn't her target and she had to turn him down. He didn't press the issue afterwards. He respected her decision and walked her out of the hospital. When they got outside, she turned to him and gave him a friendly smile. She thanked him for his help and parted ways, kindly refusing Tony's offer again.

Hong Kong was a beautiful place. It was full of life, day and night; the scenery and the food was what Eliah loved the best, but the pollution and the people weren't always so great. Compared to her home, the people were cold and self centered.

And did she ever miss her home.

As expected, the unkempt man from the hospital was at her heels the moment she was on the sidewalk. He was extremely persistent. "Eliah, please don't make this difficult for me. If you don't come to the dinner, Bao-ge is going to chew me out. I promise that this is going to be a one time thing!"

She lit her cigarette and looked at him, taking a long drag. "I've had a very long day; there's blood all over me, my hand is cut up, and my neck is killing me. I would like to go home, shower, and rest."

"Is it because I look like a gangster? We're not that bad, I promise! It's the movies that make us seem so horrible!"

He began to really chase her as she headed for the MTR station. Good. It was exactly what she wanted. "Eliah, how about this? I'll drive you home, you do what you girls do, and you can have this one dinner with Bao-ge then you can go home and forget it ever happened; just this one dinner with him and his family. What do you say?"

She pretended to think about it. She wanted to keep this guy on suspense so he wouldn't suspect anything strange. She took another inhale of her smoke and sighed, "All right, fine."

He stepped directly in front of her and winked. "The name's Nicholas Gong. And I promise that you'll enjoy this."

"I'm sure I will." Eliah faked an amused grin and let him escort her to his car. As much as she didn't want to get into the seat, she had no choice.

If she was to regain her former life, she had to play this game of deceit to the fullest.