Chapter 25 - Didn't We Almost Have it All?

“Do I look like a Mable?”

“No, why?” Quin asked her friend.

Megan shrugged and said nonchalantly.  “Some of Peter’s friends kept calling me Mable.  I hate that!”

“Well, at least they are not calling you Meeble!” Quin teased.  “Maybe I should start calling you that for falling meeble – ly in love with Peter in only what…two months?”

Megan shot her an evil eye.  “One more joke out of you about Peter, you won’t be staying here for the next few days!”

Quin grinned at her friend’s lame threat.  “So when do I get to meet this Peter guy?  I want to know what he’s got that has finally melted your heart of steel!”

“Dad!  Get the phone!  It might be Ah Yuk!”  Ah Kit called out from the bathroom and so Mr. Mo had to get himself out of his comfy chair while watching his evening news to answer the phone.

“Hello?”

“Hi Dad.”

“Ug…I think you got the wrong number!”  Mr. Mo was about to put the phone down.

“Dad!  It’s me!”  Cried a desparate voice.

Mr. Mo chuckled thinking this was a prank call.  “No, I only have one son.  I’m sure you got the wrong number!”  Mr. Mo knew for certain his son was taking a shower and the caller’s voice was certainly not Ah Kit’s.

“Dad, it’s me.  Fei!”
Whether the start of that conversation was coincidental or divinely planned by the Almighty, Fei most certainly felt he was about to lose the one and only human father he currently have. 

Mr. Mo chuckled and apologized to Fei.  “Are you in New York?  Quin called and left a message about going to New York!”

Fei could only tell his father-in-law that he had been away for two weeks on an ICI project and wanted to know if Quin had called to tell them about their flight plans.  But what he really wanted to know was if Quin had decided to return to Hong Kong earlier than planned.  But of course, his real intention was to find out where his wife was.  Now he got half the answer he wanted.

Mr. Mo went on chatting while Fei’s mind was trying to figure out why his wife went to New York.  “Are you going to stay at Megan’s as well?”

That was when he got the other half of his answer when asked by his father-in-law if he was going to join Quin in New York.    

“Yeah, umm…Quin said Megan has a small place, we will see when I get there.”  Fei hoped he wouldn’t live to regret this lie he just told.  Quin never told him her whereabouts.  The letter she left for him only said she needed to take some time to think about their marriage.  In the letter, Quin mentioned the incident where he called out Chin Chin’s name.  She also explained how she came across the ballet figurine that was hidden in his luggage and that she understood he still had feelings for Chin Chin.  Finally she told him to take this time to evaluate his own heart because she believed he was still in love with Chin Chin.

Megan opened her door and found Fei standing there with a pouty face.  So she glared disapprovingly at him starting from his face and moving slowly down to his feet and then up again to his eyes.  Finally she asked him.  “What are you doing here?”

Prepared for the cold treatment, he could also tell she was putting up a show to protect Quin.  “Is my wife here?”

“Who’s your wife?”  Megan tried hard to annoy him by chewing gum as she spoke.

Fei let out a gentle huff.  “Quin. Is she here?”

“Quin?  You mean the one who cheated on you?”  Megan saw his regretful expression. She blew out a bubble and let it pop in front of him.  “Nope!” 

He took a quick glance over her shoulders to where the kitchen was.  There were two coffee mugs and two dirty plates on the counter top.

“She has to be here.”  Fei insisted and his eyes glanced down towards the corner of the floor behind her.

“You can search the apartment for yourself.  She’s not here!”  Megan followed his gaze and realized Quin’s slippers were at the corner.  So she turned slightly hoping to block them from his line of vision.

“When will she be back?”  Fei insisted and nodded to the dishes on the counter.

Megan followed his glance.  One of the plates had two corner pieces of toast left on it.  Fei knew his wife had a weird habit of always leaving the last bite of every piece of bread she eats, usually the corners.  Megan let out a surrending breath.  “She is not here right now!”

“I will stay here and wait for her.”  He let himself in.

Megan sighed in defeat and closed the door after him.  “Suit yourself!”
Quin returned to the apartment shortly after twelve noon.  When she heard the news being broadcasted from the television, she thought her friend was still home.  “Meg, I thought you were supposed to leave for work at 11?”

Someone turned off the television and silence filled the apartment.  “She did!”

Quin recognized his voice right away and saw him approaching from the living room, she tried to turn away from him after closing the closet.  When Fei was about to grab hold of her, she stepped back and stopped him abruptly.  “Don’t touch me!”

“Why?”

“I just had surgery.”

Fei noticed how she was holding a small cushion in front of her stomach.  He looked into her eyes when she pushed her sunglasses above her hairline.  Her eyes were cold and swollen but he could tell from her face that he was not a pleasant sight to her. He thought of the worst and articulated the iciest words out of his mouth.  “You went for an abortion?”

Quin couldn’t believe the words she was hearing and the nerves behind her eyes were burning as she willed her heart not to bleed and and her eyes not to cry.  She could only do so by attacking with words he had spoken in the past.  “You said the baby was made out of lust, so why should I keep it?”

“I can’t believe you would abort our flesh and bone!”

Quin turned to walk away from him, for she could no longer face him as she blurted words that were woundful to her own soul.  “Why would it matter to you?  You can’t even bring yourself to say ‘our baby’.  To you our baby is just a piece of flesh and bone!”

His remorse got the better of him, but it was unfortunate that it turned into accusations.  He cut into her path and grabbed her by the arms.  “How can you be so ruthless?”

“It’s not the first time you thought the worst of me!”  Quin’s agitation grew another notch.  “I’m sure in your mind there are a lot more terrible things I’m capable of doing!”

She finally lifted her eyes to his.  When he had no response, not even a gesture to object the truth in that statement, she continued to spill her heart.  “I used to think our relationship would be firm and stable once we were married and have kids.  But I couldn’t be more wrong!  Now I know nothing can take the place of Chin Chin in your heart!”

She couldn’t fall victim to the whirlpool of tears that was about to break forth from her eyes.  Her doctor had warned her not to exert herself physically under any circumstances due the the surgery.  So she pushed him aside and headed straight for the tissue box on the coffee table.  “Just leave!  I know you still care about Chin Chin.  I’ll have my lawyer contact you when we get back to Hong Kong.  We don’t have to let anyone know until after Chi Shan and Ah Man’s wedding!”

He stood there feeling shaken and agitated at the same time.  He couldn’t deny the fact that he still care about Chin Chin and thought about her from time to time, but right then he was more bothered by the fact that Quin had made the decision to give up their child without discussing the matter with him.  This was a bigger slap in the face than the one he got from Quin when he forced a kiss on her at the tennis court the time they were set up to meet by Chi Shan and his late wife.  Though this time the pain was deeper, his response remained the same.  Without looking at her, he spit out the words.  “If that’s the way you want it, I have nothing more to say! Let’s just call it quits then!”  He headed to the door and spoke these words without looking back.  “I thought we almost had it all, but you … this … this just ruined it all for us!” 

He couldn’t bring himself to say the blame was on her, so he just walked out and closed the door.

(The next day)
“Hey! Aren’t you Tsui Fei?”

Fei turned around and his eyes grew round and wide with shock for he could not believe he was looking at someone who may be a criminal at large.  He thought he was drunk, but after blinking a couple of times, he knew he wasn’t.  He couldn’t be drunk yet, not when he hadn’t even finish his first bottle of beer.

Didn't We Almost Have it All

by Jed Medela