Chapter 14

Marry Your Daughter

Bui Yee told her husband she got an invitation from a friend to have dinner at a golf course club house near the beach.  She also told Kwan the invitation was extended to her but kept her friend anonymous.  All Kwan was told was that this friend of Bui Yee’s was considering moving to the States and wanted to ask her some questions about the living conditions there.

Knowing this golf course venue was somewhat ‘high society’, Bui Yee insisted her husband wear a suit.  Kwan, however, was thinking of wearing casual golfing attire as the weather was humid and hot on this late June evening.   After being nagged by Bui Yee, Kwan had no choice but to change into the new dress she had purchased from Darling while visiting New York during Christmas last year.  When they reached the restaurant, Kwan was surprised to see Fei waiting at the terrace of the club house.  From afar, she was already mesmerized by his handsome features.  He was all dressed up in a slick navy blue suit.  She slowed her footsteps and watched as Bui Yee approached him.  It was at this moment Kwan realized who sent the the mysterious invitation.

Fei greeted Bui Yee and shook her hands. “Mrs. Mo.”

“Tsui Sir!”  Bui Yee responded with a smirky grin.

“Please call me ‘Fei’.”  He pleaded and then turned to Mr. Mo and shook hands with him.

Meanwhile, Bui Yee eyed him up and down approvingly and then turned to look at Kwan who was keeping a three feet distance.  “You can’t fault me this time when I say you two are made for each other!  See how matching you both look tonight.  You are both wearing blue and a bit of yellow for contrast!”

Kwan looked at her dress and realized Bui Yee was right about their matching attires.  She was also glad she heeded the call to dress formal for this occasion; though whatever it was, she had no idea. 
Fei then turned and stepped forward to greet Kwan.  He took her left hand in his and gave it a peck on the back.  “You look beautiful tonight.”

For fear that her knees might give way and buckle; she had to pull her hand back and quickly stepped towards Bui Yee and grabbed hold of her arm.  That was the kind of effect Fei had on her tonight.

However, Bui Yee was quick to grab hold of Fei at the same time and placed Kwan’s hand on his arm.  “Here you go, Fei!  I’ll place her in your arms again!  Don’t let her slip away again!  Hold tight!”

“I will!”  He gladly accepted and saw Kwan sending Bui Yee a glare for her betrayal.

The Maitre’D approached and asked politely. “Mr. Tsui, are you and your guests ready for me to take you to your venue?” 

Fei turned to Kwan.  “Are you ready to go in?”  When she nodded, he told the waiter to lead the way.  And then he gestured for Mr. Mo to follow the Maitre’D first with his wife. “Please!”

Kwan looked over at Fei as they started walking and wondered what mischiefs he was up to tonight.  But he wouldn’t look her way.  She also noticed there was something different about him tonight.   After they were seated, she thought she detected a tad of nervousness from him.   

“Fei, this is a really nice place!” Mr. Mo teased.  “Are you worried we are going to drain your pockets out tonight?” 
“I think that’s the least of his concern tonight!”  Bui Yee chuckled and picked up the menu.  “Fei has come prepared for us to order the most expensive wine here!”  She gave Fei a grin.  “Right, Fei?”

“Yes, for sure!  Do not hold back!” Fei pointed to the menu in their hands.  “Please order whatever your heart desires, Mr. and Mrs. Mo.”
While Bui Yee and Mr. Mo were looking at the menu, Fei picked up the stem of red rose that was on his side of the table and offered it to Kwan.  Kwan took the rose with caution, smelled it while looking at him at the same time.  She was sure he had something cooking up his sleeves.  “And what is it that your heart desires, Mr. Tsui?”
His confidence returned upon seeing her analytical smile, the one that meant she was in the game trying to figure him out.  Yet, he gave nothing away but an impish grin.  "Wait and you will find out!”

He then directed her attention to the menu.  “What do you fancy eating tonight?”

After a quick glance at the menu, Kwan was distracted and took the opportunity to look at the large room for the first time.  Knowing this was not a typical restaurant setting but a private golf club function room, she could imagine how very costly the bill would be.  However, the room felt rather cold to her because of its emptiness.  She noticed a small stage with a big screen TV and a Karaoke System on one end of the room.  There was a set of drums to the side of the stage and an acoustic guitar was leaning against one of the speakers.   She thought it was strange how their table was situated in the middle of the room like an isolated island.  The room was way too big for one table, but she did notice there were other empty tables pushed against one side of the wall.  Kwan thought this was certainly a strange set up and definitely a waste of space.
When she turned around to see what could be on the opposite side, she realized Fei was looking at her with amusement in his eyes.  She grinned and asked rhetorically.  “I guess you couldn’t book a smaller room huh?!”

He answered with a shrug of his shoulders and directed her attention back to the menu.

When a waiter approached to take their order, Fei asked for oysters as appetizers.  Kwan gave him a surprised look and chuckled.  “What?” He said and then remembered that particular time when she teased him about eating oysters.  “I’m not sensitive anymore!”

“Oh! Guess what!  People say oysters are really good aphrodisiac!” Bui Yee stated openly and then addressed Kwan by flashing her brows.  “You should let him eat more!”

This time it was Fei’s turn to blush.  But before further attention was due his way, Mr. Mo asked innocently.  “Really?  Is that true?”

“Why are you curious, Dad?”  Kwan got her golden opportunity to get back at Bui Yee. “Is Bui Yee complaining about your performance?”

Without really hearing what Kwan was saying, her dad turned to the waiter.  “I’ll have one order too please!”  Immediately Bui Yee smacked his arm and then boisterous laughter broke out around the table, even the waiter couldn’t restrain himself from laughing.

Fei welcomed that bit of euphoric moment for it helped him to relax.  After the waiter left with their order, he excused himself from the table.  Kwan thought he was heading outside to use the washroom but she wasn’t expecting him to pick up the guitar and strapped the instrument over his shoulders.

Before she was able to react, he approached while strumming the guitar and started singing to her father. 
“Sir, I'm a bit nervous about being here today, still not real sure what I'm going to say.  So bear with me please if I take up too much of your time.”

He stopped strumming and reached into his pocket to pull out a velvety box.  He placed it on the table in front of Mr. Mo.  Then he continued to strum his guitar.

“See in this box is a ring for your oldest.  She is my ‘everything’ and all that I know is … it would be such a relief if I knew that we were on the same side.”
“Cause very soon I'm hoping that I ... can marry your daughter and make her my wife.  I want her to be the only girl that I love for the rest of my life.  And give her the best of me till the day that I die.”

Fei took a quick glance at the stunned Kwan; but Mr. Mo’s pleasing smile gave him the courage to continue singing.
“I'm gonna marry your princess and make her my queen.  She'll be the most beautiful bride that I've ever seen.  I can't wait to smile when she walks down the aisle on the arm of her father on the day that I marry your daughter.”

As Fei plucked the melody of the bridge, Mr. Mo was giving the approving nod and had on the proudest smile a father could ever have.  Bui Yee was ecstatically happy and feeling really proud of Fei’s courageous proposal.
Kwan, however, was not sure how to feel.  She was totally surprised and never in her mind would have thought it possible for Fei to be so romantic as to serenade her a song for a marriage proposal.  The first time he proposed was so casual and so low profile.

Then all of a sudden, Korean, Nathaniel, Ah Kit and Chi Shan came out from behind the curtains as back up singers when Fei continued with his singing.

“She's been here every step since the day that we met.”

“He’s scared to death to think of what would happen if she ever left - again.”  His background singers came in and Kwan had to cover her mouth to hold back her laughter.

Then Fei addressed Mr. Mo again.  “So don't you ever worry about me ever treating her bad, I've got most of my vows done so far.”

So bring on the better or worse.” The back up singers came in and this time Kwan could no longer hold back her laughter. 

“And 'til deaths do us part there's no doubt in my mind.  It's time, I'm ready to start. I swear to you with all of my heart...”  He sang these words while looking at Kwan and she so touched by his seriousness that her heart started to beat frantically.  Suddenly she felt she was lacking air and had to tell her heart to settle down and trained herself to breathe.  “I'm gonna marry your princess and make her my Quin …” 

Kwan noticed he had replaced ‘queen’ with her name.  She became smitten, yet full of joy. 
Her eyes were beginning to collect tears, and she could feel the heaviness in her heart as she tried to breathe and smile at the same time.

“The first time I saw her I swear I knew that I'd say I do.”
When Gigi, Chin Chin, Ah Yuk and Ah Man came out to join the other back up singers with  ‘Ooos and Ahhs’, Kwan was so touched she let her tears flowed.  When the song came to an end, applaud filled the room and everyone was congratulating Fei for his courageous performance.  Mr. Mo stood up and shook his hand and then gave him a hug. 

“You’ve made me a very happy father tonight!”  Mr. Mo released Fei from his embrace.  “When can I walk my daughter down the aisle?”

Fei turned to Kwan and looked into her now teary eyes when replying his potential future father-in-law’s question. “In two weeks on July 8th, with your permission!”

After wiping the tears off her eyes, Kwan looked up in shock.  She couldn’t see clearly but she could sense the anticipation from everyone in the room as they waited for her reply.  She took one look at Fei, got up and fled the room with an uncomprehensible pout.

Marry Your Daughter

By Brian McKnight