Xiao You opened her eyes, as she is lying on her side, finding out the room is bright. It’s morning. She smiled thinking about the lovemaking sessions she had with Xi Men last night. Soon, her smile faded. Today is the day that Xi Men will leave her and Jian Xiang as well as other friends. She turned her head to see if Xi Men is still lying next to her.
Thank goodness he still is. He is sleeping.
Xiao You smiled lightly as she turned her head back to where she focused earlier. Luckily he still is there. She looked at the clock on the wall. It’s 8am. She moved a little bit, but still lying on her side.
A moment later, she felt a hand stretches over and rested on her waist. She turned her head over. Xi Men smiled lightly as he slowly opened his eyes and looked at her.
“Good morning,” Xi Men said.
“Good morning,” Xiao You replied.
“Have a good sleep last night?” Xi Men asked.
“Yes. You?” Xiao You asked.
“Yes. We have tiring sessions last night,” Xi Men smiled.
Xiao You smiled and leaned over Xi Men, hugging him tight. Xi Men hugged her back and smells her hair.
“Not meant to be rude… but what time are you going to leave?” Xiao You asked.
Xi Men’s smile faded. He has forgotten he is supposed to leave today. Not at that very moment he recalled. “After 10am I supposed, depending on the sun…”
“Sun?” Xiao You asked.
“If the sun is very bright, then it will be earlier. We as ghosts look at the sun to determine if we can appear or not,” Xi Men said. “So as it to determine when I should leave…”
Xiao You moved her head over for a better position on his chest.
“What is it?” Xi Men asked, running his hand through her hair.
“I wanted to hug and feel you even longer. I want to remember this feeling so that each time I wake up from my sleep I get to feel you next to me, like how you are right now,” Xiao You said. “I wanted to wake up next to you every morning, I just wish you won’t go…”
Xi Men patted her head, knowing her wish could not be granted.
“I wish that you can still stay with me… I would be far more than happy, even if I can’t feel you every night, I still wish to hug you… even if you’re cold and blue, it doesn’t matter because it is still you, my Xi Men…” Xiao You said. “And now even that you are a ghost, you still have to leave…”
“I love you, Xiao You. I didn’t want to leave you too, but I just can’t… I have no choice too,” Xi Men said, as he felt a fresh tear dripped down from his face. Tears. He had not had tears for years. For now he felt his sadness is truly confessed from his tears as a human. Xi Men looked at Xiao You. He’s trying to be positive. “You want another session? For me?” he smiled. He felt energetic although a couple rounds of lovemaking sessions the night earlier.
Xiao You smiled and nodded.
The clock bears 9am.
Everybody is already at the dining room. Ah Si and San Chai ordered breakfast sets from a western restaurant near their mansion and were delivered to mansion 82.
“Saw Xi Men already?” Mei Zhuo asked.
“Not yet,” Vanness said.
“I think Xi Men and Xiao You will be coming down soon,” Pace said. “I’ll go switch on my CD,” she smirked at Vanness. “It’s been some time since I listened to F4/JVKV already…” she walked to the CD player.
They heard some heavy footsteps walking down the stairs. All of them looked up, and saw Xiao You and Xi Men walking down the stairs. Both of them had a smile on their face. It is a sight of a loving couple.
“It’s good to see they have some time together,” Jing said.
“Good morning everybody,” Xi Men smiled.
“Good morning,” all of them replied.
“What’s for breakfast today?” Xiao You asked.
“Delivery from a western shop near San Chai’s mansion,” Barbie said.
“Well, ok,” Xi Men smiled. “Anything, as long as it’s delicious,” he smirked. “I’m utilizing my given body as much as possible, and now that I get to eat, I only eat the best!”
All of them laughed.
It’s still Xi Men that they had always known. When he is sad, he would do or say a lot of things to make everyone feel that he is alright when actually he is not.
All of them take their seats at the dining room, with some sat separately, but all of them enjoyed their chat and laughter together, while Xi Men enjoyed his last sumptuous meal.
The time passes fast. It’s 10.15am. Suddenly, Xi Men turned his head and looked at the window. Xiao You noticed his reaction, she turned and looked at him.
Soon, all of them looked at Xi Men, on what he is doing.
“What are you looking at?” Ah Si asked.
“Is it time already?” Xiao You asked Xi Men.
Xi Men then looked at Xiao You, and the rests were shocked with Xiao You’s question. Xi Men nodded, unwillingly. Tears formed in his eyes. It is time to bid goodbye.
“You’re leaving this soon?” Vic asked.
“I have to,” Xi Men said shortly. He turned and looked at Xiao You.
“I understand,” Xiao You said, turning her head away, didn’t want Xi Men to see her crying.
“I’m sorry,” Xi Men said as he hugged her.
“You gave me and Jian Xiang a wonderful day yesterday… it’s enough already,” Xiao You sniffed, trying to put a smile on her sad face.
All of them stood up, not knowing Xi Men would have to leave so quickly. But as expected, they cannot hold him. He had promised to stay one more day for Xiao You. He did it.
“Safe journey, Xi Men…” Mei Zhuo is the first one to extend his hand, he tried to speak though it is very difficult for him to utter such words at Xi Men.
Xi Men stood up, grabbing his extended hand and hugged Mei Zhuo, men style. Slowly, one by one wishes him good luck and shakes their hand and hugged them as well as his buddies’ children and wife. After all, it is his farewell, his buddies lets their wives hugged Xi Men.
“I want you to be the Mei Zhuo that I have always know, don’t be hot tempered again,” Xi Men said at Mei Zhuo.
Mei Zhuo let out a small laugh and nodded.
Xi Men turned to Ah Si. “I know you have always been bad tempered, but I hope you will not sort to another fighting session with Mei Zhuo because of me again,”
“I’ll try to control my temper,” Ah Si smiled at Xi Men. “Mei Zhuo and I will be in good terms of friendship… no more fights,”
Xi Men smiled, and then he turned at Lei. “Eat a little more, get back into the chubby Lei that I’ve know,” he said. “And don’t be lonely again… Ah Si and Mei Zhuo will stop fighting and you can talk to them like how we all used to be,”
Lei smiled. “I’m good, dude. No worries,”
Xi Men smiled as he looked up to all of them together. “Take good care of yourself, your wives and your family. Nothing is much more precious than your loved ones… and please help me take care of Xiao You…” he said.
All of them nodded.
Xi Men smiled. He turned and looked at the youngsters. He focused at Vic. “If Winnie and you ever get into a fight again… be the one to settle it, and don’t delay,” he smirked. “And appreciate your relationship,”
“I will, Xi Men,” Vic smiled, as he placed his hand on Winnie’s shoulder and lightly pulled her to him. Winnie smiled and nodded for his latter sentence.
Xi Men smiled as he hugged Vic, men style, and then to Winnie.
“Where as for you…” Xi Men turned looking at Jerry. “Despite they always said you fight the most with Barbie… I have never seen you fighting with her these months. And I hope you both will remain this way,” he extended his hand.
“Everyday is a struggle, but we will pull it through,” Jerry grabbed Xi Men’s extended hand and then hugged Xi Men. “Thanks,”
Barbie smiled and she hugged Xi Men after Jerry did.
Xi Men turned looking at Vanness. “You keep reminding me of Mei Zhuo, and you are so alike with him…” he smirked.
Vanness bares a fake, forceful smile. He kept picturing Mei Zhuo’s playboy attitude in which he didn’t want to be ‘alike’ with!
“What’s with that look?” Xi Men asked. He cannot read Vanness’ mind as he is a human now.
“Nah, nothing… Mei Zhuo is your buddy, and I am…” Vanness stopped.
Xi Men smiled. “I grew up with Mei Zhuo. He is my buddy, and you are my friend. My new friend…” he patted Vanness. “Appreciate Pace, you both love each other pretty much,”
“Yes I am!” Vanness immediately grinned as he placed his hand on Pace’s waist.
Everybody laughed at his instant grin. Pace looked at him at his reaction.
Xi Men laughed. “You have been a clown with Jerry to me in this mansion,” he pointed at Vanness, in which Vanness and Jerry laughed together. “You both have been the clowns here, but your ‘duplicates’ have been fighting all the while… contradicting with you both,”
“Duplicates?” Ah Si and Mei Zhuo asked together.
“Vanness started with that word,” Xi Men laughed.
Vanness bares his teeth with a fake smile again. “In big problem now…” he murmured.
Xi Men laughed. “Just a joke. It’s alright,” he patted Vanness. Mei Zhuo and Ah Si laughed. Xi Men then turned and looked at Pace, “Pace, he’s a nice person,” he winked.
Pace let out a small laugh. “I know. Thanks for your ADVICE!”
Xi Men laughed, he turned, and he looked at both Rainie and Ken. He still remembers Rainie is the reason he allowed all of them to stay in the mansion. He remembers that he had to sort to Rainie’s face to remember his lovely wife back then.
Rainie and Ken looked at Xi Men.
“I’m gonna let Rainie hug you,” Ken said shortly. Rainie turned and looked at Ken with the ‘are you sure?’ look. Ken looked at Rainie. “You won’t have the chance to hug him anymore in the future. Do what you want before I change my mind…”
Immediately Rainie threw herself and hugged Xi Men even before Xi Men is ready to hug her for the farewell. “You have been a very good friend to me. You helped me a lot… I’m so sad for you to leave, but Ken and I will always learn about each other and work on the relationship,”
“Argh…” Ken let out his frustration softly as he tightened his fist.
“I thought you said you let her hug him…” Vic said.
“She… hugged him immediately when I said… duh…” Ken said.
“Oh, someone is a bit jealous,” Jerry said. “Possibly regret too,”
“No, I am not!” Ken said.
“You just don’t feel that good in the heart only. I understand,” Vanness smiled as he patted Ken. Ken glared at Vanness on his statement.
“I am glad I helped you put it thru with Ken…” Xi Men smiled at Rainie and then he looked over to the youngsters. “All of you need to work on your relationship… I won’t be here to hear all of you release your frustrations…. But good thing is you still have each other, your friends are just next door, just knock on the door of the one next to yours and you have them…”
“Thank you very much, Xi Men, for all your help,” Ken said as he extends his hand.
“You’re welcome,” Xi Men said, grabbed his hand and holds him, whispers, “Rainie is a very good lady and girlfriend. She is just as good as my Xiao You. If you lose her, you’ll regret like hell, no lies,”
Ken smiled. “Yes, I know that. You have said that repeatedly,”
“I wouldn’t mind repeat it over and over again if it is beneficial for you!” Xi Men said.
“What is beneficial for him?” Rainie asked.
“NOTHING!” Xi Men and Ken said at the same time. Then they laughed together.
“Hmm…” Rainie said.
“Anyway, I’m very grateful for all of you going all out to look for Xiao You for me, and for finding my killer. Thank you,” Xi Men said, smiling at them.
“I’m practically a bit regret doing that because I didn’t expect you need to move on to your world but what is better than seeing your wish fulfilled and having Xiao You back in your arms again?” Ken said.
“You need not keep repeating them,” Xi Men exclaimed.
“Then stop thanking us because we’ll go in circles on the same topic again,” Ken said. “You’ve thanked us enough and even give us a job so let the topic stop there and then,”
Xi Men smiled. “Alright… then just one last time, thanks for doing all these for me,”
“Duh,” Ken mumbled. “Again…”
“You’re welcome,” Rainie immediately voice out.
“Well, it is good to see Xi Men and the youngsters manage to mingle around,” Lei said.
“All of you too, I know,” Xi Men said. “With these youngsters,”
“We do, ok!” Ah Si, Lei and Mei Zhuo said.
“Ok!” Xi Men smiled as happy tears slides down his cheek. He then turned looking at Jian Xiang and hugged him, with Jian Xiang still didn’t know what is going on. Xi Men turned looking at Xiao You, who is obviously sad, and tears on her face. “Oh… honey,” he said as he hugged Xiao You tightly.
“Xi Men…” Xiao You said, as she cried pitifully.
“Xiao You…” Xi Men let her cried. “I’m sorry…” Xi Men’s tears started to flow down his cheek. He is going to leave her. “Take a very good care of Jian Xiang. Don’t let him follow my trait being a playboy. Look for our friends if you need help. Even the youngster can help you too,”
Xiao You nodded in Xi Men’s tight embrace. She then looked at him. She took her ring out from her finger, and took Xi Men’s ring out. She twisted them both as one, and she slides it back into Xi Men’s finger. Xi Men looked at Xiao You doing it.
“This ring, I have placed it with you when you died… now, it will be back to you… just like the same day we bury you…” Xiao You said. “Take good care of it,”
Xi Men smiled and shook lightly. “The ring has served its’ purpose, which is to help me find you. You keep it… you should be keeping it. It represents us, and it will represent me, and that I will always be with you, by your side… I know that it will be safe with you,” he looked at the ring and then he placed it on Xiao You’s palm. “I need to go…” Xi Men said again, as he planted a kiss to Xiao You’s forehead and looked at her. He then kissed her passionately, as more tears flowed down his cheek. He lightly pushed Xiao You who seemed reluctant to let him go, he turned and walked up the staircase.
“Xi Men!” Xiao You cries. “XI MEN!!!” she yelled as she collapsed, sits on the floor.
Everybody else calmed her down, and the ladies went teary-eyed.
Xi Men cried. He did not stop or turn back looking at her, instead, he continued walking into his room and closed the door behind him. He wants to leave in this room of his as he didn’t want his friends to see him leaving, breaking into pieces. He leaned against the door and sobbed hard, until there are no more tears to shed.
It is painful to walk away from the one he loved most; Xiao You.
“Xi Men,” someone suddenly said.
Xi Men looked up. “Ian,”
“You’ve made it,” Ian said.
“Made what?” Xi Men asked.
“You are still one piece,” Ian smiled.
“Huh?” Xi Men asked.
“Those tears on your face, are tears when you are a human. You have changed back to soul, a ghost, and that is when you don’t have tears anymore. The pain in your heart… there’s no more,” Ian said. “It’s a good thing you take a very good care of yourself even when you are given a body; how you get yourself covered when you are out,”
“I’m still… one piece?” asked Xi Men, repeating after Ian in disbelief.
“Fortunately, yes. You are one of the luckiest to be able to be a soul again after given you a body to be a human,” Ian said.
“Oh…” Xi Men said, looking on his own fingers. Blue. He put his hand on his heart. No heart beat. He looked at his skin. Cold and blue. “I’m still one…” he smiled lightly.
“But you don’t get to touch things, or talk and let your friends see you anymore,” Ian said. “You are just a normal, powerless ghost,” he smiled. “But I understand you want to go and move on already… come,” Ian held Xi Men.
“Ian…” Xi Men said.
Ian looked at Xi Men. “Yes?”
“I… I don’t want to go…” Xi Men said.
“You have all your wishes fulfilled. You found your wife, your friends, and even your son. You have also gotten more than what is in your wishlist; that is your murderer is found and charged. You even asked for exchanging your soul and skills to be a human for a day. You do not have anymore reasons to stay,” Ian said. “You knew all this. You don’t even need me to repeat all of these again. When your wishes fulfilled, you need to go. You really do not have anymore reasons to stay, Xi Men. You even make love with your wife with the body I give you…” he put his hand on his forehead. “None of those souls out there that became human for a while did that! I didn’t know if you violate any rules because there isn’t any rule restricting what you can or cannot do with your body… oh my goodness I don’t even know how to fix it if I am being asked…”
Xi Men smiled thinking about it.
“Now, can we move?” Ian asked. “Because you have all your wishes fulfilled that is why you can’t stay,”
“Can I still come back and visit them…” Xi Men asked.
“Oh, so that is your concern since you cannot stay?” Ian asked.
Xi Men nodded. “Please tell me that I can…”
“Like other ghosts. Yes, but not as often. Even if you come back, they cannot hear you,”
“I could?” Xi Men asked.
“Yes… now… let’s go…” Ian said.
“Can I…” Xi Men asked.
“Can you what???” Ian asked, started to get frustrated with Xi Men’s endless questions.
“I want to take a look at them… since I am leaving…” Xi Men said. “For one last time…”
“Duh…” Ian said. “Go,”
“Thanks, Ian,” Xi Men said as he went through the door and headed down the stairs.
Xiao You is still crying on the floor at the living room. Xi Men looked at her, and then to everybody else. Obviously, no one can see him there. Not anymore.
“Xiao You…” San Chai persuaded her.
Xi Men abruptly touched Ken, but he couldn’t. Somehow Ken turned and looked at his hand. He felt cold, some goose bumps on the spot that Xi Men tried to touch on his hand.
“It worked,” Xi Men said. He leaned over to Ken’s ear. “Ken,” he said. Ken didn’t respond. Xi Men called for a few times until he finally yelled his name.
Ken stunned, looking around, but unsure who called him. It is a very soft call of his name.
“Xi Men here!” Xi Men yelled again at Ken’s ear. “Gosh, that’s tiring…” he mumbled.
Ken stopped looking everywhere when he heard Xi Men’s name.
“Xi Men, would you just stop doing that? All the ghosts can hear you yelling,” Ian suddenly said, appearing next to Xi Men and folded his arms on his chest.
“I will come back to see you guys every holiday!” Xi Men said.
“Every holiday? That’s too much of a year!” Ian said.
“Christmas, Chinese New Year, All Souls Day…” Xi Men said at Ian.
“Don’t negotiate with me, will ya? I am not handling you, Xi Men!” Ian said. “Argh!”
“Holiday?” Ken suddenly said. Everybody looked at him.
“Here in my house!” Xi Men yelled as he tried to touch Ken’s arm again, giving him some cold chills.
“It won’t work trying to touch him, ok,” Ian said.
“I wasn’t trying to touch him,” Xi Men said as he walked to Xiao You and kneeled in front of her. “I only want to let them know that I am here,” Xi Men slides his hand on Xiao You’s cheek. “I’m here baby…” Xi Men said softly, and obviously is not heard by Xiao You.
Xiao You suddenly looked up, looked around, she stopped sobbing, but her face is obviously wet with tears that she cried earlier. “Xi Men…” she felt something on her cheek.
“Don’t cry…” Xi Men said, as he continued to slide his hand on Xiao You’s cheek. “I’m still here with you despite I’ve left,” he said, but he knows Xiao You cannot hear him.
“Xi Men…” Xiao You said, pining for him again.
“Xiao You…” San Chai said, as she persuaded Xiao You, not knowing Xiao You feels Xi Men there.
“Ok… are you done?” Ian asked Xi Men. “We need to go, really…”
“One moment,” Xi Men said as he slowly stood up, take a look at all his friends. He walked through all of his friends, to let them know he is there, even if it may not work, he hope his friends are able to feel it.
Xi Men looked at all his friends looking around and then to each other. All of them felt Xi Men’s presence. Xi Men smiled with the impact he has done.
“Do you feel anything?” Winnie asked Vic.
“Yes… you did too?” Vic asked.
“You both do? I feel it too!” Jerry exclaimed.
Barbie nodded, agreeing with Jerry.
“Me too,” Pace said.
“Yes…” Vanness said.
“I don’t think we are excluded,” Mei Zhuo said, looking at Xiao Qiao.
All of them started nodding, and looking at Xiao You.
Xiao You put her hand on her cheek. “I feel Xi Men… he’s here…”
“Yes, he’s here…” Rainie said, kneeling in front of Xiao You. “I feel it too… and I believe he will always be with us,”
“Yes, I know Xi Men will… though we cannot see him with our eyes, we know he will always be with us, his soul will stay with us, with you…” Ken said.
Xiao You nodded. “I will fulfill all Xi Men’s wishes… ensuring the best for Jian Xiang… to lead our lives to the fullest, and be happy…”
Everyone smiled on Xiao You’s words. San Chai patted Xiao You. Jian Xiang abruptly hugged Xiao You.
“Mommy, why are you crying? Where is daddy?” Jian Xiang asked.
“Daddy has left to a very happy place…” Xiao You said. “That is why mommy cry… because daddy is happy…”
“Then when is daddy coming back?” Jian Xiang asked.
“Mommy is not sure, but when it is time to come back…” Xiao You said, not sure how to explain to Jian Xiang. “…daddy will come back,” she continued as she hugged Jian Xiang.
“I heard Xi Men… he said he will come back on holidays,” Ken said, giving a smile.
“Really?” Xiao You said. “When? Which holiday?”
“He didn’t say…” Ken said. “But he said he will come back, means he will,”
Xiao You nodded lightly and smiled. “I will wait for that day to come,”
Xi Men smiled, as he stood there looking at their reactions.
At the same time, the CD that Pace switched on earlier had repeated to its first song of the CD…
No matter what is in the present, memories are the most beautiful
We have the whole world, even though it may be too far from our dream
Collect the joyful pictures, collect all we have in a time capsule
No matter what happens, I believe we will never change
Goodbye My Friend
We agreed not to say goodbye
So Long My Friend
Remember you gave me the best of times
No matter where you are at this moment
I still can feel your presence
I will be beside you at any moment
Goodbye My Friend
Although we may not see each other for long time
So Long My Friend
Remember you are my true experience
No matter how many separations
That does not lead to tears
* Direct translation of excerpts from ‘Goodbye’ by F4/JVKV
The smile has never left Xi Men’s face as he looked at his friends for one last time. “Let’s go, Ian…” Xi Men said as he walked a few steps backwards, but his eyes were on Xiao You and Jian Xiang. Ian has a small smile on his face. Xi Men has done all he could, and will leave with no regrets.
Xi Men smiled, he turned as he walked along with Ian. He then turned his head back at the smiling Xiao You again, seemingly like she had approved of him leaving.
“I love you, Xiao You. And death will never change my love for you. I’ll see you soon,” Xi Men said as he walked, and both he and Ian slowly fade and vanished to the thin air.
“If Adam and Eve didn’t eat the apple…”