Chapter 24 - Total Eclispse of the Heart

As soon as they got off the phone with Chi Shan and Ah Man, Fei and Quin made plans to return to Hong Kong to attend their upcoming wedding in December.   The timing couldn’t have been more perfect because Fei would have just completed another 10 weeks of training before the next one was to begin in January 2001.  As for Quin, she would have an excuse to not waste the return portion of her air ticket which she left in open status when she flew here last year.  The only disadvantage was that they had to fly out separately due to Quin’s ticket expiring the day Fei was scheduled to write his finals.

It was near the end of November and Thanksgiving Day was just around the corner.  Just before the long weekend, Quin had an appointment to see a family doctor who accepted her as a patient because of Dr. Millard’s wife.

“Mrs. Tsui!” The receptionist called out.  Everyone looked at Quin for she was the only Asian there.  She looked at the woman who repeated the name again, and a third time.  It finally hit her that the woman was calling her.  Quin hadn’t gotten used to being referred to as Mrs. Tsui.

She stood up and apologized to the woman whom she then followed to another waiting room, a private one this time.  She sat there alone with a churning feeling in her stomach for she didn’t really know what kind of news she wanted to hear from the doctor who was about to see her.

For the rest of the afternoon after her visit with the doctor, Quin’s mind played through numerous scenarios on how to deliver such an unexpected news to Fei.  She thought perhaps she should use some creative ways to give subtle hints so he would be better prepared for the news.  She also thought about phoning him directly with the news while he was in class.  But none of them came through and when it came to the inevitable moment, she simply let it out in the simplest way there was while they were having dinner.

“I am pregnant!”

He choked on his food.  “What?!”

That was certainly not the respond she had imagined all afternoon, so she gave him a startled look.

“How?”  He made it sound like her news was a tad unwelcoming.

Quin’s heart was bruised and she was starting to feel a wave of emotions coming on and the ripples of tears were heading towards her eyes.  She was desperately doing her best to hold them back.

Seeing her misty eyes, he placed his rice bowl and chop sticks on the dining table. “I mean when?!” 

“When?!  What kind of question is that?!”  Quin’s emotions were going topsy turvy and she was having the hardest time controlling herself.  Her agitated tone came across harsh and loud.  “Does it matter when?!”

“It’s…well, … we said we would wait ….. I didn’t plan for this!”  They both spoke at the same time.

Fei was getting flustered because he didn’t like the fact that Quin was raising her voice, so instead of calming the situation, he matched her tone.  “I always used protection!”

He tried to think through the fog in his brain and could not think of a time when he didn’t.  In fact, he couldn’t even remember the last time they had been intimate to that level.  He had hurt his shoulder and back during the ‘Yellow Brick Road’ finale and then the timing was just not in their favor with her mid-term papers and his frequent late night or early morning projects with the International Central Intelligence (ICI) at the Training Academy.  “We haven’t done it for almost two months, how can you be pregnant?!”

“Tsui Fei, what are you insinuating?!”  Quin stood up and shouted the words down at him.  “Are you trying to tell me I’m not carrying your child?!”

“No! .... I mean … No!”  He had to think about what he just said.  “I just……I just don’t think we are ready to have a baby!  We just got married!  It’s only been four months!” 

He was ranting senselessly now.  His head was so blocked up that words were just being shot out incoherently.  “I…I want…I don’t know…I mean … I wasn’t thinking about making a baby when we … you know… we were just ...”

Of all the words that had hurt Quin in the past, these ones topped them all.  Never in her wildest imagination would she have thought her beloved husband felt this way for all the times they were together as one.  Now she realized those special intimate moments were nothing but segments of time when his physical lust was fulfilled.

The food in her stomach started to churn at a faster speed making her feel sick.  She decided she needed air and she needed it quick.  So she grabbed her coat and walked out of the apartment in hope to avoid throwing up.  But just before the door slammed closed, Fei’s words shattered her heart.

“Great!  Just take off!  You women only know how to run off.  You’re no different from Chin Chin!”

Quin was only planning to get some air when she left the apartment, so she didn’t have her cell phone or wallet with her.  But after hearing what Fei said, she decided to walk to the nearest commercial area where she saw people hurrying to get home or at least get somewhere to reunite with friends and family for Thanksgiving dinner. 

She felt alone, like a person without identity.  She had no friends she could turn to, and her only family member here in Baltimore had just ripped her heart apart, along with her dreams. The closest thing she felt as a family was the churning feeling in her tummy, the one that was giving her morning sickness in the early hours of the evening.  As tears washed her face, she struggled with the feeling of nausea caused by the bundle of lust in her stomach.
Ten minutes after Quin left the apartment, Fei realized she wasn’t coming back in and remorse overtook him.  He felt even worse when he noticed her cell phone and purse were sitting on the foyer’s table.  So he set out to the streets to search for her.  After two hours, Fei started to worry when he saw no signs of her.  With a futile feeling at the end of his search, he returned to an empty and cold apartment and was reminded of the day when Chin Chin went missing.

After her nausea went away, Quin returned home and found Fei asleep on the couch.  Seeing he was still wearing his runners and outer jacket, she knew he had been out looking for her.  That thought lifted her spirit for but a second or two until he suddenly jolted awake calling out Chin Chin’s name.  Instantly, Quin’s heart plummeted down like an elevator plunging to the ground from the 20th floor.  And there was nothing she could do; it was a total eclipse of her heart.

Fei didn’t realizing what he had just said, but the reaction he saw from Quin caused him to apologize.  However, it was for something Quin didn’t care about.  “Sorry, I must have dozed off!  I walked all over looking for you for two hours!”

The next morning, while Fei was jogging, Quin packed away some of their summer clothes and came across a pink plastic bag in one of Fei’s luggage.  The bag was from The New York City Ballet and inside was a beautiful figurine of the Sugar Plum Ballet Dancer.  Seeing the doll brought tears to her eyes, followed by a series of morning sickness symptoms.

Two weeks later, Fei returned home from an ICI project meeting and his wife had left him a plate of cold dinner with a letter on the MJ/dining table.  Feeling something was terribly wrong, he darted into their bedroom and searched the closet.  Quin’s luggage and majority of her clothes were gone!

Total Eclipse of the Heart - By GLEE