Chapter 23 - Somewhere Out There

When Fei and Quin came out of the interviewing room to join the big crowd, the Director of the Academy came forth and started to give a briefing as to what just went on.

“We found out you two had a very short honeymoon because of this training, so we got you both something for your 7th week Wedding Anniversary!”  He presented them with a fancy special paper envelope with a golden logo of The Plaza.  “And of course, the best place to be for that is The Big Apple, the city that never sleeps!”

“That means it’s time to make babies!  Honeymoon is over, Flygon!”  Someone shouted from the crowd and caused a chain of repeated responses to that nature.

When Quin heard that, she had never felt so embarrassed in her life.  Even more so than the time when her crush played a joke on her.  But this time she was not angry.  She was utterly blushing.    Fei looked at his wife's rosy cheeks and was glad for once in his life that his dark tan was able to hide the heat that he knew for certain was turning his own cheeks to a shade of red.

He remained bashful as his classmates congratulated him for being such a good sport about the whole thing.  In reality, he was speechless and emotional at the same time for he had never experienced such support and team spirit before.

Here, his classmates and teammates really showed him what brotherhood was all about, and they had only known him for the last seven weeks.  He remembered how he was never able to bond well with people in the past, and so the events of this day really meant a lot to him.
That night, after an intimate feast, Quin turned over and rested her chin on her husband’s bare chest and started smiling sweetly at him.

“Why are you smiling silly at me like that for?”  Fei asked with a grin.  “Are you asking for more actions?”

“No, it’s because I’m very happy to know you ran up 9 flights of stairs in less than a minute because of me.”  Fei smiled back at her silliness and also remembered something she said.

“I thought you didn’t believe in fortune tellers!” He pinched her nose.

Quin gently poked his firm stomach with her index finger as if it was a piece of dough.  “If God can make a donkey talk, there’s no reason why He can’t make a fortune teller talk!”
Three weeks later, the end of the 10-week long FBI training was approaching and Fei was trying really hard to study for his final exams.  When it felt like his head was overwhelmed with theories and nothing else was sinking in, he decided to turn on the television to relax a bit.  It so happened that An American Tail was showing and Fei’s attention was captured by the animated mouse who started singing.

Somewhere out there, beneath the pale moonlight,
Someone’s thinking of me and loving me tonight.

Fei smiled because he could most certainly identify himself with Fievel.  And it was no coincidence Fievel the mouse triggered his memories to the time when he accused Quin for playing him like a lab mouse as his psychologist.  When Tanya came in with her lines, Fei realized Quin was just another mouse, very much like him.  She was never the cat after all. And he was suddenly overcome with a sense of missing his wife. 

Somewhere out there, someone’s saying a prayer. 
That we’ll find one another, in that big somewhere out there.

Before the song ended, he had turned off the television, got dressed and grabbed the keys to the Corvette he just purchased from ‘Buy & Sell’ that afternoon.  It was close to 9 pm when he stepped outside the main entrance door from his dormitory.  After getting into his ‘new’ old car, he sped down the Interstate 95 and headed north to the place where he knew someone was thinking of him and loving him at the same time.

In Baltimore, Quin was working on her mid-term papers when she received a call from her husband.  He said he had a surprise for her.  So she got dressed and came downstairs at 10 pm as he had instructed.  In less than a minute, she heard a loud thundering muffler rounding the corner and then the noisy open convertible came to a complete halt right in front of her.

“Hey Gorgeous!”  Fei called to her in his cool manner. “Would you be interested in a ride in this hot rod?”

Quin couldn’t believe her eyes.  The Corvette must be at least 30 years old and hot was not the word that came to her mind at first sighting.  “Are you referring to the car or you?”

Fei chuckled and leaned over to open the door for her.  “Get in and you will find out how hot this car is!”  The car was made a couple years before they were born and the previous owner had sold it to him cheap, really cheap.  “Of course, if you prefer me to be the hot rod, that’s alright too!”
So off they went to look for that romantic moon over the lake where Fei told her about a secret desire he had from watching the movie Grease when he was just a kid.  Quin pretended to be innocent.  “You mean you want to go to a Drive-In now?”

Then Fei let out an impish smile.  “Well, if you recall the movie carefully, he didn’t take her there with the intention to watch a movie, did he?”

Lying on top of his wife in the back seat of the Corvette, with no other cars or souls around them for miles, he looked deep into her eyes and said in the most serious tone.  “You make me feel like a teenager again!”  Then his mouth possessed hers and soon they broke out in loads of laughter and giggles, exactly like a couple of teenagers.

When midnight came, Fei tried to start the car but he couldn’t get the engine ignited.  After a few more tries, he turned frustrated and pounded the steering wheel so hard it caused the horn to malfunction.  Fei had to pull the wires out to stop the horn from blaring.  It truly was a good thing they were alone for miles and miles.  Soon after, they both broke out in laughter and Quin couldn’t help but tease her husband at their predicament.  “Looks like you bought yourself a lemon!”

When they both came to terms that they were going to have to spend the night here, Fei got out of the car to pull the top over.  When he returned, things got so steamy the windows of the convertible were covered with moisture.  This was their very first time when they spent the night sleeping in a car, under the pale moonlight without anyone knowing where they were.  Even they themselves didn’t know where they were, but they were very much in love with each other.
The following week was eventful for Fei as he had to complete the series of physical challenges, especially the finale called the ‘Yellow Brick Road’ which was a 6.1 mile grueling run through a hilly, wooded trail built by the US Marines.  At first Fei thought this would be like what he saw in the movies, but he could not be more wrong.  It was nothing like that, not even close.  All the participants had to climb over walls, ran through creeks, jumped through simulated windows, scaled rock faces with ropes, crawled under barbed wire in muddy water, maneuvered across a cargo net and much, much, more.

Those who successfully completed the challenge were awarded an actual ‘yellow brick’.   Holding the brick in his hand gave him an indescribable satisfying feeling of accomplishment.  Though parting from his classmates and teammates was bittersweet, he knew it was inevitable. Unlike him, majority of his classmates didn’t have the luxury of being with their wife and family every week.  As each of them returned to their respective home, Fei would continue his studies at the FBI Training Centre in Baltimore.  He would strictly be a classroom academic student majoring in the world of Information Technology.

Over these last two and a half months, he knew very well how fortunate he had been to see and do a vast array of things that many people would not have seen or done over a lifetime.  And once again, he knew the most crucial pivotal reason was because Quin gave him a second chance, a second chance in his career as well as in love.
One night while they were watching TV in their ‘Charlie Brown’ apartment in Baltimore, Fei was caressing Quin's left hand when he noticed she wasn’t wearing her wedding band.  He grabbed her right hand and asked with a tease when the engagement ring wasn’t there either.  “Did you lose your diamond ring again?”

Quin didn’t fall for his accusation.  “No, the rings are a bit tight these days, so I took them off.”

“Tight?  You used to say the diamond ring was too loose.”  Fei reminded her.

“It used to be!”  Quin gave him a cheeky smile.  “I think I’m suffering from stress eating!  It’s not easy being your wife!  ”

“Really?  Blame your glutting on me now, huh?!”  Fei rebutted and started tickling her at the waist.  “Hmm, look at all these love handles that are coming out.” 

While they were tackling each other, the house phone rang and Fei cornered Quin under him on the couch, he reached over her shoulder to answer the call.  “Hello?”

“Fei, it’s me!”  Said a very familiar voice.

Somewhere Out There - Fievel and Tanya