Chapter 2

It's All Coming Back to Me

Shortly before 7pm, Chin Chin set out the utensils she and Fei usually use for their meals.  While waiting for Fei to return with the take-out food, she decided to bring his clean laundry to his room.  After placing the clothes on his bed, she noticed the window was slightly opened so she went to close it.  Immedicately after, she turned around and bumped against his desk and knocked down a binder and some documents scattered unto the floor.  She recognized it was the binder which Fei kept all his important documents such as vehical purchase contracts, income tax statements, educational degree and transcripts and other personal things such as his birth certificate, passport, and health records. 
As she gathered the scattered papers, a court order document caught her eyes.  Her curiosity made her skimmed through the pages looking for any key words or statements that might reveal why Fei was ordered to appear in court regarding the new property they were moving into, the one she had yet to see because Fei kept putting it off.  Every time she wanted him to bring her to the condo, he kept saying it was not safe due to the renovation.  But when she saw the subject removal document attached to the court order, everything everything became crystal clear.  It all made sense to her how Fei had come into possession of the apartment and why he had committed himself to such a large monthly mortgage payment about two months ago. 

After coming to terms with all the information, she let out a deep sigh and shook her head in dismay.  Looking at the clock, she was surprised it was already half past seven and that Fei had not called to inform her that he would be late.  She picked up the phone by his bed and dialed his cell number again.
An elderly woman living in the same apartment building as Kwan opened the door and stepped outside carrying a big tire-size metal bowl. She stooped to place it in front of the door entrance.  Then she stood up and lifted her head to the sky and chanted a prayer to her gods to protect her grandson who had boarded a flight to England a few hours ago.  She specifically prayed that the spirits from Flight 990 would not interfere with her grandson’s flight and asked that her grandson’s flight would land safely in London, England.  After saying her prayers, she turned around again and squatted down to the metal bowl.  She reached for the match box that was sitting on top of a bunch of offering paper money and lighted a fire to it.  Because the woman lived one floor below Kwan, it only took about 5 minutes for the smoke to fill up the entire hallway and staircase that led to her home.  A couple was struggling to go up the stairscase and they were having problems seeing due to the thick smoke.  They were huffing and coughing by the time they found the door.  Feeling the door post through the thick smoke, the woman managed to ring the doorbell.
“Are you guys expecting someone?”  Kwan asked when the doorbell chimed.  When everyone shook their heads, she walked to the door and looked through the peep-hole but could not see anyone.  “It’s all covered by smoke out there.”

Fei and Chi Shan took caution and came towards Kwan who was getting ready to open the door.  Ah Kit and Ah Yuk followed behind them.
Kwan gasped at the first sight of her aunt and her dad standing in the smoke.  Bui Yee was still searching her purse when the door drew open quietly.  Kwan thought she was seeing their spirits in the smoke.  She hesitantly reached out to touch Bui Yee who made a sudden high pitch yelp before realizing it was her niece touching her face through the thick smoke.  Then Bui Yee and Mr. Mo were shot with the following questions. 

“You guys are alive!?”
“You’re not dead?”
“Why are you here?”

“How can this be?”  Kwan knew it was Bui Yee the moment her aunt yelped.

“You guys didn’t board the plane!” Fei stated in relief.

“What in the heaven's name are you guys talking about?”  Bui Yee was glad to enter the house
and be away from the smoke outside.  “Of course we are alive!”

Mr. Mo entered the house and thanked Fei and Chi Shan for their help with the 4 pieces of luggage.  Kwan hugged Bui Yee and Ah Kit did the same. 

“Wow, this is nice!” Bui Yee was touched by the welcome. She turned to Mr. Mo and nudged him playfully. “We ought to travel more.”           

“I’m so glad you guys are okay!” Kwan gave her dad a tight hug.           

“Why wouldn’t we be okay?” Mr. Mo chuckled. 

After her daughter released hime from the hug, Fei came and shook his hand. 
He spontaneously drew Fei into a hug as well. 
“I see you and Kwan are okay too, right?  So everybody is okay!”           

Bui Yee grabbed Kwan’s hands and eyed Fei with a big smile. “As long as you two are okay, then we are also okay.”

While Fei pretended to cough himself out of answering the impending question from everyone else, Kwan purposely ignored her aunt’s play of words and the look of wonder on everyone else’s face.

“Your itinerary said you were on Flight 990 to Egypt,” Kwan nodded to the TV that was still broadcasting the Breaking News.  Bui Yee and Mr. Mo turned finally turned their attention to the TV.           

“Why didn’t you tell us you changed your flight?  We talked on Friday morning.”  Kwan questioned Bui Yee.

“Well we changed our mind about going to Egypt after Ah Kit told us …..”  Bui Yee was stopped by Mr. Mo’s elbow nudge.  “Well, we wanted to come back and surprise everyone.  That’s why we didn’t call!”           

“We really thought we would never see you both again,” Ah Kit added, “Sis was mourning for you guys.”  

Kwan squeezed Bui Yee’s hands and noticed a diamond ring and a wedding band on her left hand.                                                                          
She held the hand up for everyone to see. “Oh, what is this?"

Bui Yee turned smitten and looked to Mr. Mo in a most girlish way. “It was his idea!”           
Mr. Mo put his arm around her shoulders and made the formal introduction.  “Let me introduce you all to my new wife, Mrs. Mo.”           
With that said, a chain of congratulations, handshakes, and hugs were exchanged and laughter of joy filled the once gloomy room.          

“Sorry you didn’t get to be my bride’s maid at my wedding, it was just a registry in Vegas.” Bui Yee apologized to Kwan.  Then she put on a cheeky facial expression and eyed Fei to pay attention to her words as she addressed them to Kwan, “I would rather see you as a bride instead.”           

Kwan picked up her aunt’s hint right away and noticed her family and Ah Yuk were nodding in agreement to what was just said.  She knew Chi Shan was the only person who was aware of her official breakup with Fei.  She turned to look at Fei and could tell he was still living in emotional turmoil.  So to lighten his load, she tried to brush the topic off and made light of the matter so he wouldn’t feel bad.  “Well, it might be a long time before another proposal will come my way.”           

Bui Yee caught the glance her niece and Chi Shan gave Fei a moment earlier.  When she turned and noticed the dejected look on Fei, she knew things were still not hunky dory between him and Kwan.  Noticing the change of ambience, Bui Yee suggested they all go out for dinner together.

“Yes, as sad as today is for those on the flight, and their families and friends, I must say I’m grateful to be alive.” Mr. Mo added. 

“Yes, and tonight’s dinner will be my treat! I am so very thankful right now!”  Kwan looped her arm around Bui Yee.  “Thankful because I have a new Mom!”  Then she looped her dad’s arm.  “And thankful I’m not an orphan because you both decided to come home!” 
After deciding where they were going to have dinner, Kwan approached Fei and spoke to him in a quiet voice.  “Please call Chin Chin and let her know Bui Yee and my dad are alright."  She forced herself to look into his eyes.  "Umm…it’s okay if you’d rather go home to eat dinner with Chin Chin.  She’d probably put a lot of effort in cooking you dinner tonight.  It’s okay if you …..”  
When she noticed how his facial expression suddenly turned angry, she decided to change her mind. “Or you can ask Chin Chin to join us.”
Kwan quickly entered her room and closed the door without waiting for Fei to respond.  She told herself to get a grip of the emotional turmoil brewing in her heart because the whole fiasco had brought back memories of those days when her current ‘new mother’ had tried to set the two of them up together.  Leaning her head against her door, she heard Fei dialing his cell phone as he walked away from her room.  She took in a deep breath and told herself once again to get real.  She had to remind herself that love was not enough to solve the problems between Fei and her; especially when Chin Chin was no longer a shadow or a memory.

It's All Coming Back to Me - Celine Dion

There were nights when the wind was so cold 
That my body froze in bed if I just listened to it 
Right outside the window

There were days when the sun was so cruel 
That all the tears turned to dust 
And I just knew my eyes were drying up forever (forever)

I finished crying in the instant that you left 
And I can't remember where or when or how 
And I banished every memory you and I had ever made

But when you touch me like this 
And you hold me like that 
I just have to admit 
That it's all coming back to me 
When I touch you like this 
And I hold you like that 
It's so hard to believe but it's all coming back to me 
(It's all coming back, it's all coming back to me now)

There were moments of gold and there were flashes of light 
There were…