“Wai Mian Xia Zhe De Na Chang Da Yu, He Shi Cai Hui Dui Zhe Wo De Ling Luan Si Xu Yi Tong Ting Xi!
It has been raining incessantly for the past two hours. As night fell, the heavy rain sounded even more relentless against the foggy window panes. Somehow, listening to the sounds of falling rain always had a calming effect on him, especially in the quietness of the night. But tonight, the unsettling feeling in his heart has failed to go away.
Since he returned from the accessories shop, he had been thinking a lot. Thinking too much in fact. Usually he would look for things to do to occupy his mind so that he will stop imagining things. But tonight, strangely enough, he wasn’t going to try and stop his thoughts. On the contrary, he seemed to relish them.
Pushing the window out slightly with his right hand, he felt a strong gush of wind rush in against his face. He stood still and let the wind whip against him face. He hoped the cold wind and rain could wake him up from his unsettled state. But to no avail. He stretched his hand out of the window and allowed the heavy raindrops to hit him on his palms. The rhythmic raindrops managed calm his senses a little but the thoughts running around in his head never diminished.
Wei Lian was clutching something tightly in his left hand, holding it close to his chest. It was the charity bear he had bought from Fang Qi the other time, the one and only thing that she had left him with. Every time Fang Qi came into his thoughts, he instinctively reached for the bear, which he placed next to his pillow.
To him, the bear held a significant meaning. It represented all the memories of the times he had with Fang Qi, happy or heartbreaking. It reminded him of her. It reminded him of the very first time his heart had experienced that nagging feeling. And now, feeling the bear in his hands, he knew that he has absolutely ascertained his feelings towards her.
Tonight, it’s raining again. How many times has it rained ever since Fang Qi left? He quietly memorized the number of times the rain had fallen. Nineteen times…. The rain has fallen nineteen times since she left. And every time it rained, the longing for her to be back by his side grew stronger. Every time it rained, emptiness filled up his heart rapidly.
Without her, his heart ached and grew increasing lonely. The whole house was horribly quiet. Sometimes, to shut out the deafening silence, he would turn on the music video channel on TV and blast the music out loud. Like what she used to do. He was missing that rowdy irritating voice dearly.
“Eh, faster la, rain getting heavier already, still walk so slow, like snail leh you!”
Pulling him roughly at his shirt, she was grumbling at the top of her voice.
“You want to get drenched your business ah, don’t drag me into it hor!”
That was when both of them were going back to the beach house after dinner at his mum’s place a few months back.
“Go and bathe la, still sit there?” She had screamed when he plonked himself onto the sofa once they reached the beach house.
“Iya wait la, I won’t fall sick la. You don’t sound like my mother can anot?” he rebutted.
“Eh please la, who cares if you are sick? I just don’t want you to dirty the sofa! I just cleaned it yesterday ok? And if you are sick hor, don’t expect me to look after you ah! Still don’t go bathe???” My goodness, this woman is more naggy than my mum, he had thought. Which man is going to want her?
While stoning by the window feeling the rhythm of the falling rain and smiling to himself at the thought of the funny times he had shared with Fang Qi, Wei Lian spontaneously started humming a tune, much to his surprise. He hasn’t written a song for a long time. After all that had happened these few months, he seemed to have lost the interest and the feeling of song writing. Something that he used to be so good at. Suddenly, the feeling returned, and the inspiration just flowed. He was filled with excitement and anticipation. He had not felt this way for a long while. With a swift motion, he closed the windows to prevent the rain from splattering in.
Making his way to his guitar lying beside his bed, he picked it up and started strumming the chords. Emotions flowed. Memories surged. And in no less than ten minutes, he had gotten the melody out. For Fang Qi. This shall be his first song for her. He hadn’t felt so inspired for a long time and he was exhilarated by how he felt. And he already had in mind the lyrics he wanted to write for the melody. It would be specially for her.
Putting back the guitar in the guitar case, Wei Lian reached out for his cup of coffee, which had already turned lukewarm. It has now become his daily addiction, and he can’t do without it every night. He slowly sipped the lukewarm coffee, and subconsciously lifted his free hand to his chain and started to play with the ring that was hanging on it. He wanted to have it by his side, so that he could give it to her if he had a chance to meet her again. Iyo, since when has he become so mushy ah??? He knew himself. He seldom did romantic things for girls. He prided himself for being a practical person. To him, what matters is the heart and not what you can do for the one you love. But this time, he didn’t know what came over him to suggest engraving her name on the ring. He didn’t care to find the answer. All he knew was he didn’t want to miss any chances again. That is, if the chances do come.
Maybe he was really going crazy, but this tingling feeling he had for the past few months had been unbearable. He has never felt this miserable before, where whatever Fang Qi had said and done kept coming back to “haunt” his thoughts. He wasn’t able to concentrate during his performances. Even though he always sang well, he lacked the emotions. When he goes out with his friends, more often than not he would end up stoning and shutting out the happy chatter. Why am I like that? Even during the times he had secretly loved Cherie, he did not experience such adverse pain.
This girl ah, why must she come and turn my life upside down lah! This girl ah……Does she knows that I am that guy who sang her her favorite song four years ago?....Didn’t she ever realized that I am always singing this song meh?.... As his mind started questioning again about his discovery of her being that irritating girl who begs him to sing her a song, he felt his eyelids turning heavy. Slowly, he fell into deep sleep, something that had been elusive for months before tonight.
2pm. As usual, Wei Lian set up his equipment in the Bugis area, where he was preparing to start performing for the day. His mood was exceptionally good, which surprised even he himself. I’m going to sing the song today, he told himself. He knows Fang Qi always hung out in this area. She may pass by here, he thought.
Hai! I’m hopeless la, whatever I do, it’s Fang Qi, Fang Qi and Fang Qi! What’s wrong with me la? I kena poisoned issit? If not, why is she constantly invading my mind! Suddenly, he chided himself quietly inside him. Then….He bit his lower lip. What is he thinking?
Seriously la, when she’s not here to scream and bicker with me, I feel very uncomfortable lay. Nobody to snatch for the remote control, nobody to sing in the bathroom as if it was her personal concert, nobody to make coffee for me…..
Yes, she might have left the country, but who knows, she might be back. Optimism flowed in his mind. He felt strangely good. He had always been a pessimist, always looking at the worst side of things. But today, he actually felt positive. He realized that having a positive outlook did make him feel much happier. Iya, don’t care lah, I just want to sing the song today la. What happier or not, optimistic or not, iyo not important la. The most important thing is, she likes the song,” he thought quietly to himself. Hai! He is thinking yet too much again. He closes his eyes and fell silent for a while and then opens them again. Okay! This shall be it. No more thinking for now. At least for now.
Finishing the first four songs from his usual repertoire of his favourite busking tunes, Wei Lian cleared his throat to proceed with his new song, his song for Fang Qi. Strumming the guitar introduction to the song, he closed his eyes and started singing….
Zhao xun yi ge mei you ji mo de di fang
Yi ge ni he wo de tian tang…
Attracted by the melodious new song, the crowd slowly grew, forming a big circle around Wei Lian. His beautiful rendition of the song, which he had written simple yet moving lyrics for, captured the attention of the audience. The strong emotions and feelings brought out in the song moved the hearts of the passing crowd. As Wei Lian ended the song, a loud applause broke out from the huge crowd that had gathered around him. He smiled and thanked everyone. Then he waited. He was half expecting someone to shout “Encore, encore!!” But after five minutes he realized it was all his wishful thinking. He chided himself quietly. Don’t be silly la, Tan Wei Lian. Where got so coincidental one? Smiling to himself while packing up to return home, he couldn’t help but feel a tinge of extreme disappointment.