Xi Men came with the rests to pick me up at 9am.
I cannot sleep last night. I only managed to fall asleep at 1am, and I am awake at 7am.
I guess I was too happy.
I looked into the mirror, hoping that I don’t have any dark circles… and I am so glad… I really don’t have!
“You slept well last night?” Xi Men asked.
“Just alright,” I answered. “How about you guys?”
“Just fine,” they all answered.
“AIYAK,” Lei uttered as he rubbed his back.
“Huh?” we all wondered.
“Lei complained on the bed is too hard for him to sleep on last night, he had backache,” Jing said.
“Oh…” they said.
“Lei is always like that,” Mei Zhuo said. “We all know he only likes his OWN bed,”
“That is so… so bad of you!” Lei said.
“So, what is in Harbourfront?” San Chai asked me.
“Harbourfront is a complex of unique shops and restaurants right on beautiful Lake Ontario. If you do not want to shop, you can just enjoy a nice stroll on the boardwalk and take in the great views of the city skyline,” I said.
“You sounded like you are the tourist guide!” Ah Si said.
“Well, we need not to be together all the time there. I believe there are many activities we can do, so, we’ll part and go to wherever we wanted to, and then we’ll come back to the limousine at 6.30pm,” Xi Men said.
“Sure,” they all answered together.
“6.30pm?” I asked.
“Yeah, we’ll take dinner together,” Xi Men said.
“What about lunch?” I asked.
“We’ll just take with our partner will be fine,” Xiao Qiao said.
“Alright then,” I smiled.
“So you’ll walk with me?” Xi Men asked. “Since for sure they are walking with their partner,”
I looked at him. I smiled, and nodded.
“Great,” Xi Men smiled.
I got to know that San Chai and Ah Si went for shopping. And I was wondering, why is she traveling all the way to Toronto, Canada… to SHOPPING?!
Xiao Qiao and Mei Zhuo are going to venture the place and walk around.
Jing and Lei are going to the marketplace there.
All agreed to come back to the limousine at 6.30pm.
I suggested dinner in Harbourfront but they said they wanted somewhere. I began to feel MORE WEIRD because there seems to be something in plan, but I have no idea what is it.
“Xiao You,” Xi Men called. “Let’s walk,”
“Sure,” I smiled. It doesn’t matter where I go, what matters is Xi Men is next to me.
I still like him, no, I loved him. Having him to celebrate birthday with me is already enough.
I’m going to treasure this moment, so much.
Xi Men took my hand into his. I looked at him. He did not explain. It seems like a spontaneous action that he is doing.
“So what can I get for you, for your birthday?” he asked.
“Actually I have everything already,” I said.
“Oh, really?” he asked.
“Yes, so, I am already very happy when you all came for my birthday,” I said.
“It wasn’t anything,” he smiled.
“It is,” I said, looking at him.
“And why is that so?” he asked, smiling.
“You guys took leave and came to Canada. And… you all know I am not in Taipei, so you all came just for me, solely for me,” I said. “It is the effort and time that you guys spared for me,”
“Well… true,” he smirked. “But we all think that, sparing a few days to celebrate a birthday of someone we know is no biggie,” he stopped walking, and I have to stop. “And more so, it’s you,” he smiled again as he started walking, and I have to start walking too.
“That is why, thank you,” I said.
“Don’t mention,” he smiled.
We walked into the marketplace, and visited each shop.
“How’s life has been for you?” he asked.
“So far so good,” I said.
“Ever had a thought of coming back to Taipei?”
I smiled. “Maybe,”
“Maybe? That’s good to hear,”
“San Chai can stop complaining that she don’t get to see you this and that,” he smirked, as he reached for a bracelet.
I laughed. “How about your life?”
“Me? Work,” he said, as he took my hand up and he placed the bracelet on my hand.
“I have a lot of those already,” I said.
“Oh, okay,” he said as he put the bracelet down, back to where he took it earlier. “San Chai did tell me a lot about you,”
“Really? San Chai told me too,” I said. “Basically about what you all guys are doing,”
“I don’t doubt that,” he smiled.
“Why is Mei Zhuo engaged with Xiao Qiao for 3 long years but did not want to tie the knot?” I asked.
Xi Men turned and looked at me. “Why not you ask him?”
“Eh, your face tells me you know why!” I pointed at his face.
Xi Men laughed. “No I am not gonna tell you that,”
“Why not?! I’m his friend too!” I said.
“It is not my job to tell you things about other people!” he said. “You wanna know, you gotta dig from the owner,”
“Oh yeah?” I said, and I poked him.
“Hey! I’m scared of tickles!” he yelled out as he tried to hold my hand.
“So, are you telling or not telling?” I asked as I still poke him.
Xi Men started laughing. “No, I am not telling,” he grabbed both of my hands.
“Tell, tell, tell,” I poked repeatedly, and since he grabbed my hands, I need to use force to pushed deep so that my hand can land on his waist.
“No, no, no!” he laughed out loud as he moved away to avoid my pokes.
As Xi Men moved, he clashed his back on other people in the crowded area.
“Oops, sorry,” Xi Men said at the man he clashed his back to.
“No problem,” the other man said.
“Nah, see!” Xi Men said. “Clash at people already. It’s all your fault,”
I laughed. I pulled him as we continued walking around the marketplace.
He smiled. He looked up. “Come,” he dragged me away from the marketplace.
“What?” I asked.
Xi Men pulled me to the boardwalk, which is a less crowded place, he suddenly stood there facing Lake Ontario. It is windy.
“Huh?” I asked, looking at him, and stood there, looking at what he is seeing.
The wind blew straight to my face and his’.
It is fantastic. Wonderful. Breezy.
I don’t know. Words can’t describe the refreshing feeling I had. It’s as though my life is so complete, with Xi Men next to me.
Xi Men loose his hand off mine. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath.
He turned and looked at me. “That is wonderful. Try closing your eyes and took a deep breath,”
And so I did. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.
Suddenly I felt a pair of arms wrapped around my waist from the back. I opened my eyes to find Xi Men standing behind me and it’s his hands that are wrapped around me.
“I told you it’s wonderful, right,” I heard he said, his face next to mine.
I nodded. “Yes, it is,”
“Yes, I didn’t lie to you,”
“It’s even more wonderful if…” he stopped.
His hands on my waist started to grab and tickle me.
“WAH!!!” I screamed because of the tickles, trying to release myself from him.
“Now that’s WONDERFUL!” he laughed as he continued tickling me.
“XI MEN!!! YOU’RE BAD!!!” I keep screaming and at the same time laughing, still trying to release myself from him.
Xi Men then released me. I ran a bit, but he is holding my hand, so I cannot run too far away from him.
“I’m so satisfied now that I’ve revenged,” he laughed.
“You’re bad. So bad!” I said.
He keeps laughing. “Well, you started it,” he smirked.
“I only poke you, ok,” I said.
“You think that since you poke me, I would only poke you back?” he laughed as he pulled me to him.
“Eh,” I tried to block him. “I’m not gonna let you tickle me again,”
“Ok, I promise. No more tickles. And you too!” he said.
“You really promised?” I said.
“Yes,” he smiled. He pulled me to him and wrapped me in his arms from the back.
We both looked out to Lake Ontario, as the wind blew to our face.
“There’s a bench. Let’s sit there,” suddenly I heard Xi Men said, slowly releasing his arms off me.
“Okay,” I said as I walked with him to the empty bench.
He sat down, and I sat next to him.
He then moved closer to me.
I looked at him.
He smiled. He patted on his shoulder, indicating me to lean my head on his shoulder.
I smiled. And I did.
Again, he placed his hand around my waist.
“How much has Taipei changed?” I asked.
“Just about as much as you changed,” he said.
“How can I be compared to the city?” I asked again.
He went silent for a moment. “I’m glad I am here,”
“Hmm?” I asked and looked at him.
He looked at me. “Basically Toronto is a nice place,”
“Oh,” I said and turned away.
“Har?” I looked at him.
He shook his head. “That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever uttered,”
“You mean shit?” I joked with him.
He laughed. “No, that is just a way to reflect how stupid I am,” he looked at me. “And what I mean was the earlier sentence,”
“That Toronto is a nice place? It really is,” I said. “Why stupid?”
“Ok…” he waved his hand like a mad person, trying to get his words that he had just said away from the conversation. I understand that sign. “I am glad I am here not because of Toronto being a nice place,” he took a deep breath.
“Then?” I asked.
“You know… when I came yesterday,” he smirked lightly as he looked out to the Lake Ontario. “I’m practically nervous that I am going to see you. So when I knocked on the door, and the flowers covered my face… I took deep breaths, before I removed it and I smiled at you… man, you really take my breath away,” he looked at me.
“Really?” I smiled.
He nodded. “You changed so much over the years. I almost couldn’t recognize you. You’re so matured when I meet you… compared to 7 years ago,” he smiled.
“People do grow up and change,” I said.
“But some things never change,” he said.
“And that is?” I asked.
“Hello,” someone approached us.
We both looked and saw a young kid. “Mind to buy a stalk of rose from me?” she smiled.
Xi Men smiled at me and then at the kid. “Sure, how much?” he asked as he took his wallet out from his pants.
“$5,” she smiled as she took a stalk of yellow rose up.
“Do you have red rose?” Xi Men asked as he took a $5 out.
“Yeah,” she put the yellow rose down and then took out a red one. “Thank you,”
“You’re welcome,” Xi Men smiled as he paid her the cash.
“May you and your girlfriend are blessed forever and ever,” she smiled before she walked off.
“She’s cute,” I said.
Xi Men smiled and then he looked at the rose, before he pointed it to me. “For you,”
“Thanks,” I said as I took it.
“No problem,” he smiled.
I smiled as I looked at the rose.
“It’s your birthday tomorrow,” he said.
“Yes, and I know it,” I said. “OBVIOUSLY,”
“So, as a tradition, I need to buy a gift for you,” he said.
“You came all the way from Taipei, and that is a gift already, to spend my birthday with me,” I smiled.
“I don’t see that as a gift though,” he said.
“It’s ok. Honest,” I smiled.
“Yes,” I looked up and looked at the Lake Ontario. Peaceful.
“What…” Xi Men said.
I turned and looked at Xi Men. “Yeah?”
“What do you feel when you saw me yesterday?” he asked.
I smiled. “I did not expect to see a person with a big flower head,”
He laughed. “You’re getting better with jokes,” he continued laughing. “And no, I mean seriously,”
“Well… I did not see it coming… I didn’t expect the surprise,” I smiled.
“We all wanted to see your surprised face,” he smiled. “And what else?”
“My first thought was… I thought it was just someone who delivers flowers to me,” I said. “And then when you showed me your face… I am kinda…” I looked at him. “Stunned,”
He smiled. “Then?”
“For 7 years, Xi Men… I did not have any point of contact from you,” I said. “I waited for you to contact me, at least we can be friends… but you…” I looked away, back to the Lake Ontario. “So I thought you did not want to befriend with me anymore,”
His smile faded. “I…”
I know he stared at me.
“Actually all this while… I did keep in contact with you. Only you did not know it,” he said.
“When? How?” I asked, looking at him.
“Hi, excuse me…” someone called out.
We both looked up at a man.
“I wanted to take a picture with my family. Would you mind to hold the camera for me?” he asked.
Xi Men looked at me and smiled. “Sure,” he replied to him. Xi Men stood up and held the camera for that man.
I looked at Xi Men lightly fling his head so that his fringe will stay in place. He took a couple of pictures for the man. He then returned the camera to him.
Xi Men sat down back to his place, next to me. “Then what else do you feel when you saw me yesterday?”
“I’m just… surprised,” I smiled.
He smiled. “You look very beautiful, since the moment I saw you,”
I blushed. “Thanks,”
He brushed the strands of hair away from my face.
“I’m still surprised that you are still single all the while,” he said. “With your requirements and now you look so perfect for a guy… how can it happen?”
I shook. “No one is perfect. And… maybe I’m just picky,” I smirked.
“Oh,” he replied shortly. He looked at me.
“Xi Men… could you not stare at my like that… I’m… embarrassed,” I said.
He laughed. “And why is that so?”
“I’m just… embarrassed,” I said.
Again, few moments of silence.
“Let’s walk around instead of sitting here. It’s also getting hot already,” I said.
“Ok, sure,” he smiled.
And so we stood up, and walked into a shopping complex there to escape the heat, the afternoon sun. Xi Men did not let his hand go from me.
We walked pass a toy shop and I looked at the giant pink teddy bear behind the glass. I smiled. It reminds me of the brown teddy bear I got.
“You like this?” Xi Men asked.
Well, I do.
“Just reminds me of my birthday wish when I was 6,” I said.
“You want a teddy bear when you are 6?” he asked.
“I want a pink one. But mom and dad got me the brown one,” I smirked.
“Come,” he said as he suddenly dragged me into the shop.
“What are you doing, Xi Men?”
“Miss,” Xi Men asked the salesperson. “How much are you selling for that pink teddy?” he pointed the teddy bear that I’ve seen earlier.
“We only have one of that. And it’s for display, sorry, sir,” the salesperson replied.
“But I really wanted the teddy,” Xi Men said.
“Xi Men, it’s ok,” I said. “Some things cannot be bought with money,”
Xi Men looked at me. He then turned looking at the salesperson. “I am willing to pay any price for that teddy,”
“I’m sorry, sir. We really don’t sell that,” she responded.
“It is my girlfriend’s birthday wish when she is young. She never got that. I only want her to be happy. Please?” Xi Men begged.
Girlfriend? Did he just mention me, as his girlfriend?
“Xi Men…” I said.
Not a CEO to beg someone for a toy for me!
“Price is negotiable, please,” Xi Men said again.
The salesperson just smiled and took a deep breath. “Ok, sir. I bought that for my shop at $10,000,” she replied. So that salesperson is the owner of the shop!
I gaped. That is SO expensive!
“Ok, I’ll pay you $12,000 for that bear. Is that alright for you?” Xi Men asked.
The salesperson gaped.
“Xi Men,” I shook his hand. “That teddy is going to cost TWD$370,000!” I whispered.
“Yes, anything… for her,” Xi Men said at the salesperson, and then he turned and looked at me. “And it doesn’t matter,”
“Ok, sir… I’ll sell you the teddy,” the salesperson said. “Due to your sincerity,”