Ashley sat next to an older lady who took a liking to her immediately. She poured Ashley a glass of wine and set a plate of snacks in front of her.
Ashley was thrilled. They had all her favorite foods from home that she missed so much. She began eating with gusto. The lady seated next to her refilled her wine glass each time she emptied it. In less than an hour, Ashley had surpassed her usual limit and was tipsy.
The evening festivities for the crew consisted of an abundance of food, wine, and karaoke. Ashley suddenly stood and asked for the microphone, shocking everyone in the room. Someone quickly handed it to her and asked her what song she would like to sing.
She happily named a song that was, in her opinion, one of the best in the Philippines. The crew member quickly found the song for her. He took the microphone, set it, and handed it back to Ashley.
“My countrymen, before I begin, I will ask you all to please bear with me if I am out of tune,” Ashley said, laughing out loud with her mouth against the microphone.
“It’s okay, Ma’am. Even if it hurts our ears to listen, we’ll still clap when you’re done!” One of the officers shouted, making Ashley and the rest of the crew burst out laughing.
Tanaga and the butler heard the commotion coming from the crew’s quarters. They looked at each other with puzzled expressions on their faces.
“Sir, was that Miss Ashley’s voice?” The butler asked with raised eyebrows. He couldn’t believe they’d been searching all over the ship for her, and she might’ve been there the entire time.
“It sounds like her. But what would she be doing in the crew’s lounge?” Tanaga asked, his expression becoming darker. “And why does her voice sound so loud?”
Tanaga was still moving slower than usual. He could hear the music as they made their way to the lounge. As they reached the door, he heard Ashley start singing. He couldn’t believe his ears. Her voice was beautiful, like an angel, soothing his aching heart.
The butler started to open the door, but Tanaga stopped him. “Wait, let her finish the song. Get me a chair; I could use a rest.”
The butler nodded and went to get a chair. “Unbelievable. Just as the song starts, he wants a chair. He’s so demanding.” The butler grumbled under his breath as he obeyed his boss’s orders.
When Ashley finished singing, the applause and shouts of praise were so loud she thought she might go deaf.
“More! More! More!!” The crew chanted as they banged on the tabletops and clinked the sides of their glasses.
“Miss Ashley, you have such a beautiful voice! Please, sing one more!” One of the crew members pleaded.
Ashley, feeling the effects of the drinks she’d consumed, was happy. She loved to sing, so she was more than willing to oblige the crew’s request for another song.
“Alright!” Ashley said through her laughter, just as the lounge door suddenly burst open.