12pm. At a restaurant.
“It’s been days since we last met together for lunch,” Vanness said, looking at Jerry.
Jerry smiled. “A bit busy lately…”
“Busy? Are you sure?” Vic asked. “Not with work, I know!”
“Hey!” Jerry snarled at Vic. Vic laughed.
“What is that all about?” Vanness asked, looking at Vic and Jerry. “What are you hiding from me?”
“You better spill it,” Vic said, taking a sip of his drink.
“Spill your drinks more like it!” Jerry snarled at Vic. Vic laughed. Jerry then looked at Vanness. “I’m currently going after a girl,”
“No wonder!” Vanness said. “Who is that lucky girl?”
Jerry stared at Vanness.
“Barbie Xu,” Vic said, and then looked at Jerry, “Right? Right, right, right?”
Jerry’s face went red. “Yes… stop asking,”
Vic and Vanness laughed.
“Great. Tell me, how was it?!” Vanness asked.
“I just ask her out for lunch, and dinner… and sometimes just offer her ride to work…” Jerry said.
“Is it that simple?” Vic asked.
“Yes!” Jerry said.
“No, I want more,” Vanness laughed. “That is just simple as you said!”
“Okay… she is my fashion stylist. So… we have to work together in a lot of things,” Jerry said. “And that’s it. I am still waiting for time so that I can make her my girlfriend,”
“Interesting! Keep me updated!” Vanness patted Jerry.
“Duh,” Jerry replied. “So what about you guys?”
“Just usual work,” Vic said.
“Same as me,” Vanness said.
“What about you and Pace?” Jerry looked at Vanness.
“What?!” Vanness said, and then turned looking at Vic, “Vic!”
“You know it better than me,” Vic smiled.
“We are not dating or something, I am not as daring as Vic!” Vanness stared at Vic.
“What? Trying to fool me as well?!” Vic said.
“What daring? What did Vic do?” Jerry asked.
“He went to the airport to send Winnie off, and he sends her a bouquet of flowers,” Vanness said.
“Hey, I didn’t tell you I give her flowers!” Vic said. “How did you know that?!”
“If you insist, Pace is Winnie’s best friend!” Vanness said, “Nah! Come back and bite your ass!”
“Woh!” Jerry pointed at Vic, “Dude! That was fast!”
“Look, I give her flowers and I don’t know how she felt for me, okay!” Vic said. “I wish Ken is here so we can tease him too,”
The smile on Jerry and Vanness’ face slowly fades.
“Sigh…” Jerry said. “So… any news regarding Ken?”
Vanness shook. “You?”
Vic and Jerry shook too.
“He didn’t contact us for almost a week now,” Vic said.
“He hides so well from everyone, even us buddies. He really didn’t want to be found,” Jerry said.
“To see it from this point of view… yes, he is hiding well. You can see how much he doesn’t want to be married with Pearl,” Vanness said.
“But he is committed to his work. He would go to office and take a look or something, right? He has a huge responsibility as a manager,” Vic said.
“You are right… but…” Vanness said.
“If that is the case and he refused to go to work also since it’s already a week… this wedding is a huge matter that he is willing to forget his responsibilities,” Jerry said.
“I hope he did the right thing… and as a buddy, I don’t want him to be unhappy…” Vic said.
“But what will happen if he comes back… will his father…” Vanness said.
They all scratched their heads.
“I think if Ken comes back… he will still walk down the same path and will be married to Pearl anyway…” Jerry said.
“Anyway… since it’s already one week, I hope Ken is smart enough to dodge. I guess with his father, he won’t wait at home for Ken to come back,” Vanness glanced at Jerry and Vic.
“You mean he will search for Ken?” Vic asked.
“Pretty high chance,” Vanness said. “It will be a humiliation to him as the Director of Zhu Corporation to see his son did not attend the wedding, and I think out of anger…” Vanness looked at them, “Just that… he wouldn’t let it be,”
“Makes sense,” Jerry folded his hand on his chest. “But if he is looking for Ken everywhere, he will for sure found Ken… no matter where he is,”
“If he is jumping from an area to another, or he stayed at the same place all the time… it doesn’t make a difference, right?” Vic said.
“I agree,” Vanness and Jerry said.
“Let’s just wish Ken all the best, wherever he is, whatever he do, I hope he gets what he wants,” Vic took his glass up, hinting for a toast.
“All the best,” Jerry said, raising his glass.
“All the best,” Vanness smiled as he raised the glass and gently hits Jerry’s and Vic’s glass before they take a gulp down their throat from their glass.
2pm. Qing Xi Village.
Ken and Rainie both sat at the park that is located in front of Rainie’s house.
“The kiss last night is beautiful, isn’t it?” Ken asked.
Rainie looked at Ken, “Yes, it is,” she smiled, and she looked away.
Ken smiled, turned and looked at Rainie, “I like you, Mei,”
“You give me a kind of feeling that I have never experience before… really,” Ken said. “And I really like it,”
“You give me that kind of feeling too,” Rainie said, and blushed.
“I wish to see where we can go from here…”
After the kiss last night, she smiled at him, she turned and shyly run to the house and then to her room. It is her first time feeling like this; being kissed and that she has affection at him. But then…
Rainie’s smile slowly fades.
“What is it?” Ken asked.
“Don’t you forget, you have a fiancée,” Rainie said, looking at Ken. “Those are the things you cannot change. It’s a reality,”
He looked at her, and then pulled her to him and he hugged her, “No… it is an arrange marriage that I don’t want at all… I don’t like that girl at all…” he said, “If only we are living in a different time, different circumstances…” Ken said. “I bet we would be happy with each other…”
“But we are not,” she said. “It’s okay, Ge. I’ll take the kiss as if it has never happened,” Rainie said. “Sometimes some people make mistakes,”
“No! I don’t see it as a mistake! I did not kiss you out of a sudden! I really like you and now I even want to be with you. I don’t like Pearl at all. I was forced to marry her and I will object no matter what…” he said. “Mei, let me settle what is pending in Taipei… and then I can give you a definite answer…”
“It’s okay, Ge,” Rainie said. “I did not doubt you kissing me. I like the kiss, I’ll treasure what we have been through these days. And it will be a good memory for us,”
“Mei, I want to fight not only for myself but for you too. I kissed you because I really like you and I have this very special feelings towards you… not because I want to kiss anyone, or not because as a gratitude to you for letting me stay here. These few days, I am very happy that I can be myself, and living a simple life here in the village with you is the happiest moment in my life, to which I have never felt before. This is what I want… not a life that is controlled by my parents. I…”
“Ge,” Rainie said, interrupting him and then she shook. “Like you said, if you could have objected the wedding, you wouldn’t let it happen and you wouldn’t have become the runaway groom,” she said and he looked at her, “It’s okay. Sometimes, you would encounter things… or someone…” she looked at him, “…and cannot be together,”
“What had happened, I’ll let it pass. I’ll take days go as it is, it’s fine,”
Rainie shook again and smiled. “We know how things work, so no point doing something against what is destined,”
Ken gives in to her, and he said no more. “I want you to know that… You are the only girl that I ever had such feelings at, and I want you to know that you will be in my heart no matter what,”
“Thanks, Ge. I cherished your presence in this trip of mine,” Rainie said.
“You taught me a lot in this trip…” Ken said. “So much that it had changed my life… but I can’t explain… I can’t put a word to it…” he looked at her. “I wish I can do this… I wish I can do something about my life for you and me… for us…”
Rainie looked at him, when he use the word ‘us’ to represent him and her, she is touched.
“It’s okay, Ge… really. It’s been a wonderful trip for me which I thought I will be spending it alone,” Rainie smiled. “To get to know you… and to like you,”
“If I can settle this, trust me I will come back to you again,” Ken said. “Have faith in me,”
Rainie smiled, and nodded, “I have faith in you, and as you just said if you can settle it; therefore, how heartbreaking this is going to be for you, I will tell you; I would not put too much hope… after all it is your father that you need to rebel at,”
“I know. It is a reality I need to deal with… it is my life that I need to deal for,” Ken said.
“I will support you,” Rainie smiled.
Ken smiled at her. “Thank you, I will get this done… for you, just… for you,”
Rainie smiled. “At least, I am glad you know what you need to do when you go back to your world,”
“Yes… you helped me a lot,” Ken said.
Rainie smirked, and she looked straight. He followed. It was silence for a few minutes.
“Mei, you have a very unique name,” Ken suddenly said. “Rainie Yang,”
Rainie smiled, “Why the sudden?”
“Nah… I was just thinking about it,” he smiled.
Rainie smirked, “My childhood friend gave me my name,”
“Oh yeah. I heard about it from Vanness, how did it happen?” Ken asked.
“Actually…” she looked at Ken, “I took this name 7 years ago when I leave this village to pursue modeling in Taipei. Winnie told me I needed a name that is easily remembered… and…” she smirked. “I am happy when I see rain. So I call myself Rainie. That means I will be happy all the time,”
“I can see that,” Ken smiled. “You are indeed happy, and you are happy under the rain!”
“You indeed remind me of my childhood friend,” Ken smiled at Rainie, before the smile fades and he looked away. “By the way, I did not tell you something,”
“What is it?” Rainie asked.
Ken looked at Rainie, “A few days back I dreamt, and I remembered a partial of the dream… as my childhood’s happening,”
“Really?” Rainie asked. “So much of a dream can tell?”
He nodded. “So much as a dream can tell, I still didn’t know which village I am from,”
“Everything in the dream… it looks like this place, this… Qing Xi Village. There is a lake in my dream like that lake,” he pointed at the lake. “There is a park in my dream that looks like this park,”
“I think that you saw these images in the day and you bring it to your dream when you sleep,”
“No. Actually, I am sure with it. In fact, I really wonder if I were from this village. Because not only I dream of this place, but I also saw my childhood friend, which you know I have not seen her since I left the village,” Ken said. “I think I stayed at a huge house that looks just like that,” he pointed at the brick house. “The repeated dreams that I had, brings a lot of unanswered queries in my mind when I saw these familiarities,” he smiled. He slowly turned and looked at the park. “I took days to understand what I am feeling. The familiarity of that house is because of the possibility that I stayed there. The familiarity of this park is because of the possibility that my childhood friend and I play a lot here. The lake… I would say the lake is could be what I overlook each and everyday for the first 8 years of my life,” he said. “Even though I didn’t tell you, these are the things that are running in my mind and I clarify most of the doubts now since I get the dreams… all of it makes sense now. I could be from Qing Xi village,”
“So these are the ‘some thinking’ that you claimed a few days earlier?” Rainie asked.
Ken smiled and nodded, “Well, I could be from this village, but I am not sure, really,” he said. “The dream has the exact same scene and words I tell my childhood friend before I left to Taipei,” he smiled at Rainie. “I remember I told her the news about me leaving at a park that looks like this… and I think when I was sitting on a bench, like this same spot,” he said. “I told her that I won’t be around to play with her, to take care for her for I am leaving to Taipei, and I want her to be happy. And I want her to know that each time she sees the rain, the rain will put a smile to her face. If not for the dream, I wouldn’t even remember these words,”
Rainie immediately turned looking at Ken.
Just in time Ken looked down therefore he didn’t see the look on Rainie’s face, “I miss her all of a sudden,”
“What else that you don’t… have? I mean… no answers?” she asked, right now paying attention to Ken’s physical feature.
“The only question with no answer? The childhood friend of mine… if she is living her life well and where she is… I don’t know her real name, but the dream appears so much that I can remember her name now. I call her Lin mei mei,” Ken said.
Rainie stammered. “Lin…”
“ZHU XIAO TIAN!”
Ken immediately turned to the calling.
“Zhu Xiao… Tian?” Rainie said, looking at Ken. ‘Xiao Tian…? Tian…? Tian ge ge…?’ she thought.
Rainie turned and looked at where Ken is looking and calling.
Ken stood up looking at Mr. Zhu. A black BMW is parked behind Ken’s already-parked BMW in front of Rainie’s house. His father was standing next to the car, with a chauffer and a few people standing further behind, like a mafia gang.
“How do you know I am here?” Ken asked calmly.
“Didn’t know you will come back to Qing Xi. My people went all out to search for you around Taipei and even out of Taipei,” Mr. Zhu said.
So those people standing further behind are the people hired by Mr. Zhu to look for Ken!
“Back to Qing Xi?” Ken asked.
“Don’t you remember the place you grow up, Xiao Tian?” Mr. Zhu asked. “Brings you nostalgic, I think?”
Ken looked at him. “Why are you looking for me? I should have known you would search for me,”
“Why, you ask me? You should know why at this point of time you shouldn’t be here at all!” Mr. Zhu said.
Ken looked away and took a deep breath, seemingly holding his anger.
Mr. Zhu took a deep breath. “Okay, you have left Taipei for a week. It’s time to go back. I don’t want to ask you or to question you about this missing case of you, now I have found you, you have to follow me back to Taipei and settle everything,”
Ken looked at Mr. Zhu, and Ken uttered, “Happy things are short-lived,”
“What?” Mr. Zhu asked, not being able to hear Ken clearly.
Ken turned looking at Rainie, “Mei, my father has found me, and I have no choice but to go with him for I know I have nowhere to run. I will try my best, Mei… I will,”
Rainie looked at Ken now, knowing he is her childhood friend all the while, “Ge…”
Ken smiled forcefully at Rainie, but she can sense the pain in his eyes. “I will remember that calling,” he wanted to kiss her, but seeing his father is behind him, he didn’t want to create a commotion, or to do anything that might harm Rainie later. “Thank you Mei… for this wonderful vacation…”
Rainie gathered her thought as fast as she could, “Sure, Ge,” she smiled, pretending as if nothing shocked her or bothered her.
Ken dunked his head as he turned. “I don’t need you to fetch me, I have my own car,”
“It’s okay. You will drive and we will follow behind you,” Mr. Zhu said as he turned, walking to his car, “So that you will go back home straight… and immediately,” he then got in into the car.
Ken tightened his fists and he swallowed hard. He did not bother them at all and he walked straight to the house to pack his stuffs.
Rainie sat on the bench in the park and her mind is firing at all directions.
“Mei,” she heard, not sure how long she has lost in her mind.
Rainie turned looking at Ken.
“Mei…” Ken said as he walked to her. “Upon seeing my dad… I know. This is not what I want. I have decided… I will… I will do everything to set myself free… This is the decision that I’ve made in split second. I will fight for myself. And I will come back to you,” he said. “Now… I need to go,”
Rainie smiled, “Bye, Ge,”
“Bye, Mei,” he said, throwing the stuffs in his car after he opened the door of the passenger seat.
Ken entered his car and started the engine, he then looked at Rainie for one last time, before he swerve out from the pathway, and his father is waiting for him, followed behind Ken.
“Goodbye, Tian ge ge… I’ve finally found you after 20 years, but I know this is it… there is no way we will meet again…” Rainie took a deep breath as her tears streamed down her cheek.