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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Language of Memories


  1. FADE IN


  2. Act 1


  3. INT. STUDY - 21:30


  4. Listening to oldies and working on a laptop, Peter also checks the screen of the iPad Mini beside him.


  5. PETER (V.O): I've to learn some Portuguese tonight, or I'd break my learning streak.


  6. We see on screen: Eu sou uma menina.


  7. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): I think it means "I am a girl" .


  8. Peter picks the choices of "I" "am" "a" "girl" in sequence and gets a remark "Good Job!"


  9. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): I spent the greater part of the day learning Spanish, Italian, French, Japanese and Korean.


  10. Pausing.


  11. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): I've also managed some of my cars, as I'm flying out to Sydney soon.


  12. Peter takes a look of a baggage beside him.


  13. Act 2


  14. FLASHBACK


  15. INT. LIVING ROOM - 13:37 (Yesterday)


  16. Peter sees a WhatsApp image, depicting a gate, Chinese style.


  17. PETER (V.O): "Where's this?" It's from Malcolm.


  18. Spreading his fingers apart on screen, Peter enlarges the image.


  19. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): Malcolm has visited China Town, Manchester.


  20. Recalling.


  21. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): Probably on December 26, 1986, uncle Chi-ming took me there. He bought some frozen dim sum for his restaurant in Wigan.


  22. Responding to the message, Peter also sends a faded photo with a query: Why weren't you in it?


  23. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): The group photo of HKU law lecturers was posted in a classmates chatgroup. I'm curious about Malcolm's absence.


  24. Getting a prompt reply, Peter looks shocked.


  25. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): Oh, it's a preparatory meeting to do something. He couldn't make it.


  26. Peter checks the faces in the faded photo again.


  27. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): School Head Evans wasn't there either... The founding dean died in 2006.


  28. Recalling.


  29. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): I can still remember his Law of Trust lecture on "Strong v Bird Revisited".


  30. Pausing.


  31. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): He also remarked that he coined "PCLL" (Postgraduate Certificate in Laws) rather than "PCL" so as not to confuse others with his BCL (Oxon).


  32. Peter checks the faded photo again.


  33. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): I can see the face of the lecturer who supervised my paper on international sales of goods. He's a Harvard graduate. I forget his full name.


  34. Peter sends his enquiry and gets a reply.


  35. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): Oh yes, Lester...I heard that after HKU, he joined the World Bank.


  36. Recalling.


  37. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): Barry, who taught me Law on Landlord & Tenant while I was studying Housing Management, wasn't in the photo too.


  38. Pausing.


  39. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): During my admission interview in 1981, I made reference to Barry...


  40. Peter enquires again and gets another reply.


  41. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): Either he had already left the School or was too busy in operating his pub? You took over from Barry?


  42. Recalling.


  43. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): I now think of the Housing Management course coordinator and lecturer on Urban Planning...What was her name?


  44. Peter reads Malcolm's message: I'm nostalgic for the 1980s.


  45. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): When I was doing my first year in the Law School, I found her sitting in in a Criminal Law lecture and I engaged her.


  46. Peter enquires again and gets a counter query: Tse? Chiu?


  47. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): Ah, she's Rebecca! One won't forget, it's just hard to recall.

  48. .

  49. Recalling some other things.


  50. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): While some memories may warm me up from the inside, some may tear me apart.


  51. RETURN TO PRESENT


  52. Act 3


  53. INT. STUDY - CONTINUOUS


  54. Peter inserts an AI drawing entitled "Language of Memories" to a draft.


  55. PETER (V.O): Language is the memory of humans. For the past a week or so, I've been learning half a dozen languages as if I'm addicted to them.


  56. Reflecting.


  57. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): Memories have the power to evoke strong emotions that bridge the gap between the past and the present. Memories have to be shared.


  58. On his iPad Mini, Peter fills in the blank "Eu sou um" with "homem" and gets an "Excellent" remark. Peter presses "Continue".


  59. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): Memories have their own unique language - one that transcends words and speaks to the heart.


  60. FADE OUT


  61. THE END


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