Chapter 4

Color of the Night

                                               A few weeks later, Chin Chin invited Chi Shan to lunch.  After placing the order,                                                Chin Chin handed him a bank draft.
                                               “What is this for?” He asked when he noticed the cheque was made out in his                                                  name.  He was surprised to see the amount.  It was the same amount that he                                                  had personally lend to Fei a few months ago.  “This is from your personal                                                          saving account?”
Chin Chin smiled timidly before answering. “Thanks for helping Fei out with the down payment for the new apartment we are moving into soon.”
He didn’t know what to make of this, but now he understood why she insisted on meeting with him without letting Fei’s know about this lunch meeting.  He suspected something wasn’t quite right.  “Fei asked you to give this to me?”
Chin Chin shook her head and casted her eyes downwards so he couldn’t see her dismay.  “No, Fei doesn’t know I know about the money he borrowed from you.  I came across a document that he and Kwan signed when they made the offer for the condo.”
“I can’t take this money from you.”  Chi Shan pushed the bank draft back to her.  “I think it is best you talk this over with Fei.”
She then let out a dejected sigh.  Then she looked up at him with eyes that were seeking for support.  “If only he would talk to me about things that mattered to him.”
“Are you going to be okay?”  The last thing he wanted was for her to cry in front of him.  He felt nothing but compassion for what she had gone through in the past but he also understood the burden Fei had took upon himself to carry since her reappearance.  After seeing Fei together with Chin Chin and Kwan on several occasions, the answer to who was the best match for Fei and who he was truly in love with was obvious.   “I understand 3 years is a long time and things changed.  But you do know that he still cares a lot for you.”
​​“Yes, I know!” She blurted with agitation, she just couldn’t help herself.  She noticed the startled Chi Shan and took a sigh to calm herself down.  “Sorry …but.”
Chi Shan waited for a moment longer, when nothing came, he decided to push the subject.  “There is a ‘but’?”
Chin Chin took another sip of her coffee.  “I know he cares for me a lot, but he is not the same Fei I used to know.”
“Well, it’s not surprising.  In the short two years I have known him, he has changed a lot.  He used to be an introvert before Kwan open …” Chi Shan realized he had slipped his tongue.  “Sorry, didn’t mean to bring up the past.”
Chin Chin smiled genuinely.  “Don’t apologize.  I’d rather you tell me the truth.  Fei doesn’t tell me anything that happened to him over the last three years.”
“He is in a difficult situation right now.”  Chi Shan stated the obvious.  “He needs for you to be understanding at this time.”
“No he doesn’t!”  She took in a breath as if she was about to vent some more.  But thought better of it and let it out and turned to look out the window and stared into the distance for a moment.  Then she turned back and looked at Chi Shan.  “He needs Kwan because she is the one who understands him the most.  I now know why Kwan left him.  It’s because she really loves him and did not want him to make such a difficult choice.”
“But Kwan believes Fei is still in love with you,” Chi Shan was surprised how receptive  Chin Chin was in regards to Fei’s feelings towards Kwan; but he was also aware that Kwan had talked herself into believing Fei had never stopped loving Chin Chin.  Not even when he asked her to marry him the second time. 
“But I believe if Kwan and I were to switch role, if Fei had met her first and she was the one abducted, Fei would not be able to let go of his feelings for her to fall in love with me or anyone else.”  Chin Chin looked at Chi Shan who had to blink away to hide his own opinion in this subject matter.  She smiled when she sensed his thoughts.  “You don’t have to worry about my feelings; I know you think the same, you and everyone else who knows about us.”

                                            “I am not one to judge him,” admitted Chi Shan.  “But I certainly don’t                                                                   want to be in his shoes.”
That night, Chin Chin presented the same bank draft to Fei who refused to take it.  Not only was he agitated when she asked him about the loan from Chi Shan, he also confront her for invading into his privacy.  When asked why he went into such a big debt and why he needed to borrow from Chi Shan, he gave her all sorts of irrelevant reasons that she knew were nothing but excuses.  Finally she worked up her courage and asked him if it was to pay Kwan back for the down payment to which he reluctantly admitted.
“This was supposed to be your new home with Kwan after you two get married, was it not?” Chin Chin was rather frustrated because he wouldn’t take the money to lessen his monthly payment.  “You weren’t even planning on telling me!”

                                               “Since you already went through my documents, why do you bother asking                                                        now?” Fei interjected with annoyance and shot her an indignant look.
                                                Chin Chin was almost in tears.  “I just wanted to help you!”
                                                Fei was immediately overcome with guilt.  He calmed himself down and                                                             approached her.  “I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to yell at you.”  Though he pulled                                                     her into his embrace, Chin Chin could feel how stiff his body was.
“Fei, why won’t you let me help?”  Chin Chin asked with tearful eyes. 
“The apartment we just was as much yours as it was mine. 
You paid part of the mortgage when we first moved in together
and then you took over all on your own for the last three years.”
He released their embrace and sat her down on the sofa. 
“I want you to keep the money for your own security. 
Let me take care of the mortgage and loan. 
It’s what a man is supposed to do!”
“But the money from the sale of the apartment can lighten your load so much more,” Chin Chin was still trying to persuade him to take the cheque.  “In fact, half of the money should be yours.” 
Fei sat down next to her and took her hands in his.  “Let’s leave the past in the past.  You don’t owe me anything.  I am the one in debt to you.  I don’t want you to suffer or lack anything anymore.”
“Then why don’t you sell the new apartment and then we can get a cheaper one?”  Chin Chin didn’t want to beat around the bush anymore.  She wanted a straight answer from him.  When she looked deep into his eyes, she got it.  However, he gave her one that was far from the truth. 
“It’s not a seller’s market at this time!” Fei got up and walked to the kitchen.  That was his way of telling her that this conversation was over. 
Chin Chin followed him to the kitchen and found him leaning against the sink looking dejected.  It wasn’t the state she wanted him to be in, but she could no longer hold back the things she wanted to say anymore.
“Fei, we need to sit down and talk about us!” She emphasized the last word. 

Chin Chin had envisioned over and over in her mind how Fei would react when this moment came.  However, she had never seen such mixed emotions in his eyes as she was seeing at this moment.  Yet it was his response that gave her the ultimate surprise.
“So you want to get married now, right?!”
The Color of the Night
By Lauren Christie 
You and I moving in the dark
Bodies close but souls apart
Shadowed smiles and secrets unrevealed
I need to know the way you feel

I'll give you everything I am
And everything I want to be
I'll put it in your hands
If you could open up to me oh
Can't we ever get beyond this wall

'Cause all I want is just once
To see you in the light
But you hide behind the color of the night

I can't go on running from the past
Love has torn away this mask
And now like clouds like rain I'm drowning and
I blame it all on you
I'm lost - God save me...

'Cause all I want is just once
Forever and again
I'm waiting for you, I'm standing in the light
But you hide behind the color of the night

Please come out from the color of the night