Wo Shi Zhe Ba Hen Duo Hen Duo De Shi Ji Dao Wo Xin Li Mian, Mei Xiang Dao Wo De Xin Bian De Geng Da Le… Zhuang De Man Man De Dou Shi Ni…
A figure stood at the entrance to the café, hiding behind the large afternoon crowd in the café. Fang Qi had arrived back in Singapore the day before. She was supposed to meet Jake at the café this very day as the rest were getting together to celebrate Christmas as well as support Wei Lian’s performance. Jake urged her to take this opportunity to tell Wei Lian how she really feels for him. She had told Jake to head for the café first as she was still not mentally prepared to show up and confess her feelings. What if he rejects me? What if he says eh you siao ah? We were only acting, you really took it so seriously meh? She didn’t know if she would be able to take anymore hurt. But she knew she had to do it.
The moment she stepped into the café, the familiarity of his voice filled her heart. His deep voice. The voice that used to chide her, scold her, tease her, irritate her. How she missed his voice. But as she heard him speak, her heart pounded furiously, her mind went into a whirl. She dared not bring herself to listen to what he is going to say next. Someone special in his heart. Who else could it be, except for Cherie? She knew she came back to fight for her own happiness but her emotions were overpowering her brains. She went limp at the moment she heard Wei Lian’s voice. Everything seemed to be a daze. She just didn’t know what to do next. Looking at the figure sitting on the faraway stage, her legs were as heavy as her heart.
“Zhao xun yi ge mei you ji mo de di fang
Yi ge ni he wo de tian tang
Jiu suan shi mian qiang
Ceng jing zou guo de mei yi ge huang tang
Jin wo zhe ni de shou zai duo kun nan
Wo men dou jian qiang…
Her heart ached as his angst-ridden voice filled the café, singing the heart-wrenching song. She felt like running to the stage and tell him “Tan Wei Lian! I’m back!” She felt like throwing her arms around him to hug him, to feel that familiar warmth he always radiated. But she knew she couldn’t. The song was not for her. It was for his someone special. Cherie.
As she reluctantly tore her gaze away from Wei Lian, she suddenly spotted Cherie sitting at the table in front of the stage, looking engrossed in Wei Lian’s song. Cherie had a look of admiration on her face as she looked at Wei Lian with a big smile. Fang Qi heart fell. It just kept falling, as if towards a bottomless pit. She was devastated. Suddenly she felt as if she couldn’t breathe. Cherie is still in his life. His someone special.
“This special person. Erm, she’s so special that she changed my life completely, Erm I should say she turned it upside down la haha. I don’t know how to talk well, all I want to say is in this song…” As Wei Lian said his heartfelt words halfway through the song, Fang Qi dragged herself out of the café. She couldn’t bear to hear it anymore. All the courage she had built within her was smashed within seconds. She shook her head violently, trying to force out all that she had heard. It was suffocating her. She didn’t know what to do, what to think, where to go. All she knew was - it was all over.
“Nah, your chicken wings,” Jason plonked into his seat and snuggled close to Cherie, settling the plate of chicken wings on the table. “Eh, I think I saw Fang Qi at the door just now leh.” Jason’s voice sounded worried. “Really??” Cherie turned to the café’s entrance and scanned the area for Fang Qi. “Where? I don’t see her lay.”
“I saw her standing behind the crowd listening to Wei Lian’s song. But before I could make my way through to get her, she already turned and left.” Jason lowered his voice and said to Cherie, “She looked very sad.” They both looked knowingly at each other and sighed. They knew Fang Qi still refuses to face up to her feelings. At least Wei Lian already knows what he wants. It was all written in his song for her.
“Erm, dear, could Fang Qi have misunderstood?” Jason, as if struck by a sudden revelation, directed his question at Cherie. “She left when Wei Lian said the song is for someone special. And you were the only one sitting at the table just now.” Cherie frowned and bit her lip. Knowing Fang Qi, she must have jumped to her own conclusion. She must have thought that Wei Lian was singing the song for me.
“Yoo hoo everybody!” A sharp voice broke Cherie’s thoughts suddenly. Jace sauntered towards their table, with her newfound boyfriend by her side. As usual her hands were all over her boyfriend. “This is my darling! Handsome anot??” She asked laughingly as she introduced her boyfriend to them. Jason and Cherie couldn’t help smirking. This is Jace. Her pattern never changed. She still likes to touch people all over and say all sorts of mushy stuff. Never mind la, this guy looks like a willing party anyway, they laughed quietly to themselves.
“Wah you’re all here already! Sorry I’m late!” Jake quipped as he joined them at the table shortly after Jace arrived. He had been trying to call Fang Qi the whole morning to arrange to pick her up and come to the café together. She had told him last night that she will make her way there herself, but he was not convinced. He knew this girl too well. It will take a lot for her to swallow her pride and make her feelings known to Wei Lian. He could see that she loves Wei Lian a lot. There was no doubt about that. He was just afraid she backs out at the last minute.
Jake looked around the café briefly and asked the rest, “Fang Qi is not here yet?” Cherie shot Jason a look. This Jake still hasn’t given up on Fang Qi? Not knowing that Jake was the one who asked Fang Qi to join them at the café, Jason answered quickly, “Hah? Fang Qi? She’s back meh? Didn’t see her lay.”
“Ya, she’s back.” Jake didn’t want to elaborate too much. What was important is that Fang Qi shows up now and fight for her own happiness. He looked at his handphone and deliberated on whether to call her again.
“Hello hello!” Wei Lian chirped happily as he joined them at the table. Cherie and Jason could see that their good friend was masking his feelings. They knew he was putting up a front. His sorrow, his longing for Fang Qi to return, was written all over his face and heard in his voice when he sang that special song. They didn’t know how to tell him that Fang Qi was here but left halfway. And they were still puzzled how Jake knew Fang Qi is back. Did they return to Singapore together? Not wanting to complicate matters at this point in time, they decided to keep quiet.
Wei Lian sat down next to Jason and took a gulp of water from the glass Jason offered him. “How? Many of you came ah? Haha.” He asked. “Wei Liaaaaaaaan! I’m here with my boyfriend la! I dowan you liao la!” Jace opened her mouth to boast about her boyfriend. Wei Lian almost choked on his water. Wah heng ah, you dowan me, better than striking lottery man! He thought to himself.
Laughter rang out as Jace said that. Wei Lian recognized a familiar laugh. “Eh? Jake, you came back already? Where have you been man!” he said excitedly. Jake had left Singapore for a couple of months and hadn’t contacted them at all. Sometimes, Wei Lian will wonder if he had gone to look for Fang Qi and maybe they had even patched back.
“Yo brother! Yah lah, I just came back from the States. Went for holidays mah….” Jake trailed off as a familiar song started playing over the café’s sound system. “Ai shi ni yan li de yi shou qing ge….” He noticed Wei Lian shifting uncomfortably in his seat and crossing his arms on the table, sipping his drink quietly. Did he know that this was Fang Qi’s favourite song? He decided to take a chance and find out. “Wah haven’t heard this song for a long time. It’s Fang Qi’s favourite song.” He purposely spoke about Fang Qi.
At the mention of Fang Qi’s name, Wei Lian’s heart skipped a beat. Her voice had already invaded his mind when the song started. “Can you sing Ai Shi Ni Yan Li De Yi Shou Qing Ge??” Huh, why Jake suddenly mentioned her? Is he trying to tell us something? Seeing that Jake had stopped talking, he asked in his most nonchalant tone, “So you and Fang Qi how?”
Huh? He still thought I haven’t given up on Fang Qi? This brother of his is still a block of wood when it comes to relationships. Can’t he feel how Fang Qi feels for him, before she left?
Wei Lian, hearing no response, thought he had hit a sore spot, so he kept quiet. Hai! After all they have been the closest of cousins since young, how can Jake not know his pattern? He must have thought we are still together, Jake thought to himself, almost shaking his head. He was still wondering if he should help Fang Qi that silly girl. It seems to him now that he’s got to give that extra kick to get Wei Lian started.
He was curious to know how much Fang Qi means to this silly cousin of his. And surely, there is something that the stubborn girl likes about Wei Lian, if not she won’t end up feeling so miserable. Dabbling with music and singing songs - he knew Wei Lian can handle, with much ease. But he doesn’t dare to have too high hopes on him when it comes to love relationships. It’s either the silly girl understood his style, or she doesn’t.
“Hmm…why bro? You miss her is it? Must be long time didn’t quarrel with her you feel funny right?” Jake sounded, trying to see if his words would stir some other emotions or expressions in Wei Lian’s otherwise expressionless face. His words did. Finally. Huh? “Huh? I ya, you don’t anyhow say la. She is your girlfriend leh. I where dare to?” He replied with his nonchalant attitude.
Then Jake responded laughingly with a tinge of sadness,” Iyo! Me and Fang Qi? Please la. She already so obvious that she won’t ever accept me again, you think I still got chance meh? I gave up long ago liao la! And hor, I met someone new in the States leh! Congratulate me leh!” Jake looked at Wei Lian while saying all these. The little bit of reaction he stirred up did not stay on Wei Lian’s face for long. He returned to his expressionless self, his finger restlessly tracing the face of his Braille watch.
Jake heaved a long sigh. “Hai. Didn’t know the world is so small. I broke up with Fang Qi, I came back to look her up to talk things over but I met her at the beach house. You know how shocked and scared I was when she appeared? I am scared of her telling me that she is your girlfriend. One is my brother and one is the girl I love, frankly speaking, I don’t think I will be able to take it if it is true.” Jake paused for a while and studied Wei Lian’s facial expression. Still like a block of wood. Then he continued. “But luckily no lor. My heart almost went dead when she kissed you. But I knew she wanted to piss me off la. Haha..that girl ah, I must have hurt her too much that’s why she behaved that way. I no chance liao la. What to do? Who ask me to leave her that time? She gave me so many chances and I took my own sweet time to come back. Good luck to the next guy that comes along lor. He sure will be in for a hard time man.” Jake shook his head in despair. Does he get my hint or not? But knowing him well, Jake knew he was already deep in thoughts.
“Oh ya, eh actually how you both ended up knowing each other? I don’t remember introducing you to her when we were together. Always no chance to bring her along when we met.”
Ya. Isn’t it true? The world is indeed small. Wei Lian thought inside him. Jake used to come over to his house and bunk in often when they were both still in university. He knew he had a girlfriend whom he loves dearly and who also loves him a lot back then and of course, he had heard a lot about her. However, Jake’s girlfriend often had major tests to study for thus he was always never able to bring her over to bunk in when Jake is free to come. “Ya lor.” He quipped and continued sipping his drink.
Ya lor? Only “Ya lor”? Jake gulped down his water and then continued to pester for an answer. “Eh so how? Curious how you both ended up knowing each other lay.”
Wei Lian shrugged, replying him with a “Cannot stand her” kind of tone. “I ya she just irritated the hell out of me la and anyhow barged into my beach house one day la. She doesn’t behave a single bit the way you always described lay.” Jake noted the slight smile at the corners of his lips when he answered. “A very small world. Fate bah…now that you finally know who my ex-girlfriend is…” He purposely said it aloud. He emphasized on the “ex”.
Fate? That set Wei Lian’s mind thinking again. All the memories involving her gushed through his mind. She was Jake’s girlfriend whom he never had a chance to meet personally; she was the one whom he sang the song for on the streets four years back when she pleaded; she was the loud-mouthed girl he met at the café. Then came the day they met again at the café accidentally; that morning she came barging in through the door and insisted that he allowed her to stay….the day he found out she is Jake’s girlfriend; the day he knew she had came by the accessories shop four years ago; the day he hurt her so much that she left….too many coincidences. Fate? Maybe…..