Xiang Nian Shi Ke Yi Rang Ren Yue Ai Yue Shen. Na Deng Dai Ne…?
Today, Wei Lian is playing to a full house at Jose’s Place Café. It’s Christmas Eve. It has been a tradition for Granny Gin to throw a big party at the café on Christmas Eve for her patrons to celebrate the occasion. The festive spirit is high and everyone is merry making while listening to Wei Lian’s performance. Today, he is scheduled to perform two sessions, one in the afternoon and one later at night.
Wei Lian seldom changed his selection of songs in his usual repertoire. He never feels the need to, except when he caught a nice song on radio. All the songs he chose are close to his heart, songs that bore a lot of meaning to him. Moreover, the audience never once got tired of listening to his songs. But tonight is different. Somehow, deep in his heart, a strange feeling overcame him. As usual, he doesn’t know what kind of feeling this is. There was a mix feeling of hope, disappointment, sadness and loneliness within him. He laughed to himself. What kind of feeling is this? He told himself to stop thinking but his mind ran against his wishes. Amidst the festive spirit, he knew that in a part of his heart, there is this feeling called hope. A yearning hope to meet her, to have her stand in front of him again. Yet, time and again, this hope turns into disappointment and left a trace of sadness and loneliness in him.
Hai! He sat on the high stool for a break and listened through the library of music tracks in his MP3 player, his face expressionless as usual. His fingers traced over the smooth surface of the MP3 player and at the same time pressing the “Next” button to scan through the songs. “Ai Shi Ni Yan Li De Yi Shou Qing Ge….” The first line of the song came on as his fingers hit the “Next” button. Suddenly his lips broke into a warm remising smile as he listened through the whole song. He always sang this song, but since when did he also like this song? He pondered, still smiling, his face a little hung down at the MP3 player. His smile became wider as he listened on.
"Eh you. Come with me, I want to scold you some more." He said. Really cannot stand Jace! No choice. Drag her with me la!
"Eh you siao ah? I am winning liao leh! Pull me into your room for what la? You better pay me my losses!!" Oh my god, money face leh this woman!
"I yo, can you don’t anyhow kick or not?" He turned and faced her direction. Every time also anyhow kick. Does she know what is called pain or not?!
"Cannot sleep." She kicked again.
He shifted again and pulled the blanket up. He turned his back against her and ignored her. "Go out and smoke la." Go out la, go out la. Don’t disturb me can?
"Cannot sleep means cannot sleep. Where got so many afraid of this and that? Just don't feel like smoking what, cannot meh??" She screamed back with an unhappy tone.
"Then how? Go and bang the wall la. You surely will be able to sleep." Mean thoughts ran through his mind.
"Eh!!" She screamed again. He refuses to answer her anymore. Don’t care. I want to sleep. Very tired.
"Eh you can don't keep pulling or not?" He couldn't stand her harassing anymore. Irritating. Irritating. Irritating! His clothes suddenly became loose and feel larger, must be all her fault!
"I ya can la, can la, you let me follow you la ok?" She decided for him. Cannot lay, don’t want you to follow lay.
"You said you like the beach house. Since you find it boring now, you leave la." He tried to push her hands away and tried to walk past the makeshift dinning table but she stopped him. He resisted.
"You are afraid people will be mistaken issit? Or you got something to hide?" He heard her challenging tone.
"I ya you don't bo liao la." Was all he could reply.
"Then???" her voice raised by ten decibels. Iya whatever. He just wants to be out of the house now. Preferably without her following but…he knew it’s impossible.
"Iyo, you going to destroy Ah Ma's things already la." Can she kick her kicking habits?
"What la? You one day never say me you not happy issit?" She sounds upset.
"You think just because you help me fool Ah Ma you have the right to say me issit?" Got meh? He got think like that meh? No what…She think too much la.
"Iya, we are friends mah, plus you are my buddy's sister, so since we already started the act, then I help to carry on lor. You don't say until I so unwilling can a not." He is trying to help only mah. She really is think too much la!
"Eh, you know what you talking about or not? You are my girlfriend mah. I where dare to forget what you like ah? Wait you angry with me again how?" She said before mah. My memory so good, how can forget?
"Iya, I’m okay la. Nothing one la. Always like that what. Hurt a bit won’t die one la. Take soup for you mah." Hai! Just trying to be nice to her mah. Trying to be only mah….iya don’t care la.
"Er, you can always visit Ah Ma soon ma, don’t be so sad la. You still got Fang Tong, got all your friends, got me ma. Don't cry liao la, cry baby." Can she not cry? She everything also don’t care one what. I ya…why she cry?
He was always mean to her. He let out a silent chuckle inside him as he thought of the number of times he had made her mad by going against her purposely. He pressed the “Play” button on the MP3. Maybe she will suddenly appear if he sings this song? He laughed at himself for having that silly thought. But instead of hearing the song come to a complete stop, he heard the introduction of the song he penned specially for her. He had accidentally pressed the “Next” button. He allowed the MP3 player to continue playing the song. He wondered if she would know that he had penned the song specially for her? He wondered if she would ever know the meaning of the song and if she would ever accept it. He wondered if he would even have the chance to sing it to her personally. Clutching the MP3 player, he fell into deep thoughts once again…
It has been six months since she left him. He has never once stopped thinking of her. Memories of her never ceased to penetrate his mind. Every single thing reminded him of her. The beach house. The café. The shopping mall. The coffee she loves to drink. The way she doesn’t give way and face to him. Her barbaric ways. The way she loves to suddenly appear to grab his arm and hook hers onto his. Everything. Now, listening to the merrymaking of the café patrons made him feel a surge of loneliness. A hollowness in his heart. A hollowness that only one person can fill and make it whole again. She. He doesn’t want to deny it.
Taking a deep breath, he took off the earpieces and kept away his MP3 player. Adjusting himself on the high stool, he gently retrieved his guitar from behind him and strapped it over himself. Clearing his throat , he spoke into the microphone as he started to strum his guitar. “Thank you for joining me here today on Christmas Eve. I hope you’ve enjoyed the songs I’ve brought to you earlier. I’d like to share with all of you the following song which I had written recently.” He paused for a moment. Memories of her started flooding back again. Fang Qi…
“Can you sing Ai Shi Ni Yan Li De Yi Shou Qing Ge??”
"I am saying can I stay here for a few days?" the voice said again.
"Can I say no a not?" he held onto the door, afraid that she will just dash in suddenly.
"Cannot. Let me stay here for a few days, I don’t want to go home." He heard a hint of persistence in her barbaric tone.
"I ya I’m so cute, you cannot resist me la." Who on earth will say herself cute? Don’t know how true also la. Hmm. Better don’t believe her words too much.
"Eh, you free a not?" "Be my boyfriend lay." So direct. Hmm haha! Goes well with her character isn’t it?
"Wah, you finally back from your hot date ah?"
What, what? Your hot date with your Cherie mah! People ask you out you agree immediately, I ask you to help me with something small, I have to beg you until I go on my knees!!" Noisy. Irritating! He wanted to bark back at her!
"Who are you la? You think you are really my girlfriend meh?!!" " You think I really want to help you? If you are not Fang Tong's sister, I can't be bothered about you man. You think you really very attractive meh? No wonder Jake dumped you last time! You think I like you to stay here meh? I pity you only!"
"Rum and raisin!" “Wah, you also like rum and raisin ah? Wei Lian also loves it leh!" Cherie chirped, hooking her arm into his. She likes Rum and raisin ice cream too?
"I... I just want to see if you are ok..." Fang Qi finally said meekly.
"What's there to see? Hah? What do you know? You think you who ah? You know what I'm thinking meh? You think you know everything issit? You don't know ok!! Why are you following me ha? You can leave me alone or not? Why must you appear in front of us?? If you didn't appear, everything will be just fine!!! Why? What you want!! Just go away! Go! Just go!” He screamed with all his might.
Wei Lian’s eyes turned misty, his heart knotted up with guilt. Why did he always have to be so mean to her? Why did he hurt her so deeply? Why did he not treasure her when she was still by his side? From the time she came into his life till the moment she left him, he has not once said a nice word to her. But he knew that was the way they communicated and it suited them fine then. It was precisely how they communicated that feelings possibly grew without themselves knowing. When she comes back, I won’t bicker with her. When she comes back, I won’t hurt her again. When she comes back…
“I actually wrote this song for someone. Someone really special in my heart.” He said softly but surely, with a tinge of pride. He wanted to say that it is someone who has brought happiness and liveliness to his otherwise mundane life. Someone who has managed to subconsciously made him face up to his feelings. Someone who has shown him the way to love. But he couldn’t bring himself to say it. He still wasn’t used to expressing his feelings, especially to a huge crowd. To him, as long as he knew exactly how he felt himself, it was enough already. He wondered if she also knew that.