Chapter 31 - The Day I Fall in Love

When Chi Shan and Ah Man were done with the photo session, they headed to the reception hall where the guests were enjoying some snacks and sandwiches.  The time for the newlywed couple to cut their wedding cake was soon approaching and Gigi, the party organizer, realized she had forgotten the champagne. 

“No champagne?!  How will we toast to the couple?”  Korean blurted mindlessly which caused Gigi to glare at him.

Chi Shan overheard the conversation and approached them.  “We can use Sprite or 7up.  It’s just a formality.”

“What’s the matter?”  Kwan asked as she approached with Ah Man.

“Gigi forgot the champagne for the toast.”  Chi Shan told them.

“You can always toast with wine.”  Kwan suggested.

“All the wine was delivered to the restaurant for tonight.”  Ah Man added.  “We can always use pop!”

Just then, Fei entered the hall holding two plastic bags in one arm and carrying a box with a Dom Perignon’s logo with his other arm.   Korean waved to him to join them.  He did so when he saw his wife was there as well among them.

Korean noticed the box and patted Fei on the back.  “Did someone call you to pick up the champagne?”

Puzzled, Fei furrowed his brows and looked around the small circle of friends.  “No, why?”

“Gigi forgot the champagne for the toast!” Kwan took the two bags from her husband while Korean tried to grab the box. 

“Dom Perignon!  Wow, Fei.  You know your champagne!” Korean commented.

“How much did it cost you?  I’ll pay you back later!”  It was Chi Shan’s turn to pat Fei on the back.  “You truly are the ‘Best’ man today!”
Korean was about to walk away with the box but Fei quickly pulled him back.  “Wait a minute!  I bought these for my wife.  These are non-alcoholic champagne for tonight!”

Precisely at that moment, Kwan took her first bite into the piece of White Sugar Rice Cake and her eyes shot up in surprise.  Fei chuckled when he noticed her looking at him like a puppy who just stole a bite from the cake.  Kwan couldn’t say anything with her mouth full.  She quickly pulled her husband aside to be out of hearing distance from the others. “Why did you buy me such expensive non-alcoholic champagne?”

Fei whispered back. “You cannot drink wine.  So I bought you these because you need to go around with the bride and groom to toast the guests tonight.”

Kwan looked at him with round shocking eyes.  “I have to do that?!  I thought my duties end here.  Ah…these Chinese weddings…..”

“Are you two okay?”  Gigi approached them, followed by Korean and the bride and groom.

“Yeah,” Kwan smiled.  “Go ahead and use those bottles of champagne for now.  We’ll get some more later.” 

Korean and Gigi took off with the box of Dom Perignon.  Then Ah Man noticed her Maid of Honor was eating food not on her catering menu.

“Why are you eating White Sugar Rice Cake?”  She asked Kwan.

“Did you make Fei go out to buy these for you?”  Chi Shan was curious too.  “You don’t like the food we chose?”

Kwan gave Fei a look that she wanted him to respond.  This was because she didn’t know what to say, plus her mouth was full.  Fei smiled at the adorable expression on her face and then turned to the bride and groom.  “Yeah, there’s no Ma-ma-laid Sandwiches here.  That’s the only kind she likes to eat these days!”

Kwan almost choked when Fei deliberately twisted the pronunciation of the orange jam.   She gave him a knowing look for his naughty innuendo.  He smiled his irresistible smile and put his arm around her shoulders to draw her away.  As they headed towards the wedding cake table, they heard Chi Shan asking his wife.  “Mama-lade Sandwich? What’s that?”

“Sandwiches?”  Ah Man said rhetorically and then shook her head.  “She’s really a pseudo Caucasian!”

Fei and Kwan bursted out in bouts of giggles as they approached Gigi and Korean who were busy pouring the champagne into glasses for the guests.  

Chi Shan stood watching them.  “You really can’t help but be happy when you see the two of them together.”

Ah Man nodded in agreement.  “Yeah, Fei is so different now.  I like this side of him a lot better.  He used to be such a dark and depressing person when I first met him.”

“Yes, that was before Kwan became a part of his life.”  Chin Chin stood next to the newlywed couple.  She too witnessed the scene where Fei and Kwan walked away giggling to themselves. “Even before my abduction, he was always moving in darkness.  I could never get him to come out into the light.  He was always so mysterious.”
After the afternoon reception, Fei and Kwan had two hours to spare before they were to show up at the restaurant for their duties at the banquet reception.  So the couple decided to take a stroll along the seawall, it was a walk down memory lane where Kwan dropped her engagement ring which Fei found a year later.

Fei fiddled with the diamond ring that was on his wife’s finger. “Well, I’m glad your chubby finger is holding this ring in place now,”

Kwan gave him a snub.  “What if it turns loose again after I give birth?”

Fei brought her hand to his lips and kissed her fingers.  “Then I’ll just have to get you pregnant again so that the ring will fit you forever!”

“You think I’m a pig or what?”

“No, just my Missy!” Fei teased and sat his wife down on the empty bench.

Kwan laughed because she knew he was referring to the dog in the movie Beethoven they had just watched a few nights ago. “That means you are Beethoven?” 

Fei stuck his tongue out like the dog in the movie.  Kwan laughed and squeezed his cheeks.  “Yes, you look very much like a St. Bernard too!”
                                                                                                                                
After they had their fun poking and squeezing each other, Fei finally got a chance to place his hand on Kwan’s tummy.  Then he looked into her eyes and asked.  “So why did you let me think you aborted our baby?”

“Because a friend told me to …”

“Who?” Fei looked at Kwan and knew who she was referring to.  “She was in New York?  She flew all the way from…”

“Yup…” Kwan interjected him.  “She flew in for two days to take me to the hospital for my eye surgery.  That’s what true friends do!”

Fei looked at her eyes, then looked all over her face, and then back to her eyes again.  With regret he asked.  “You had an eye surgery? When was this?  How come you didn’t tell me something was wrong with your eyes?”

“You were in the middle of your project.  The day before I went to New York, I had a bit of complication with the cornea and needed immediate surgery.”  Kwan didn’t want to tell him it was due to excessive crying because of his reaction to the news of their baby.  “It’s rare, but it does happen to patients who had cornea transplant before.”

That explanation wasn’t enough for Fei, he shook her arms out of deep concern.  “Why didn’t you tell me you were having problems with your eyes?”

“Because I was really mad at you!”  Kwan gave him a playful shove.  “If it wasn’t for my friend, you would be getting a letter from my lawyer!”

“I wouldn’t have signed the papers.”  Fei told her the truth but was surprised Kwan would actually consider the divorce path.  “Were you ever going to abort the baby?”

“No, but I wasn’t going to stay married to you if I couldn’t give our baby the best thing in life!”

“What’s that?”

“For her father to love her mother, that’s the best thing anyone can give to their child.”  Kwan’s eyes communicated her deep belief.  “I would have raised the baby on my own or with another man who would love us both!” 

“That could only be me!” Fei assured her. “I’m the only one for you and our babies!”

“You wouldn’t have known ‘cause I would’ve moved to a remote place, maybe even somewhere in Africa just in case our baby turns out to have golden tan skin like you!”

Fei smiled.  “I would have pulled all my FBI connections to hunt you down!”

Kwan looked into his eyes and saw he meant what he said.  “I was so mad at you for calling out Chin Chin’s name in your sleep.  I thought you were still in love with her!”

“I’m sorry.  I really had no idea I did that!”  Fei apologized sincerely and he saw a smile escaped her lips.  He gave her a quick but sweet kiss.  “So what made you change your mind and took me back?”

“When I heard your message on my cell before the last flight connection, I knew you came back because you loved me, not because you felt responsible for the baby.  I could tell from your message, you still thought I had the abortion.”  Kwan pinched his nose.  “Aleiya told me to make sure to only take you back if you did it out of love, not out of responsibility for the baby.  I needed to know your love for me was sincere.”  She pulled on his ear.  “And shame on you for thinking the worst of me all the time!”

“I still can’t shake away that image of you holding that pillow against your tummy.”  Fei turned the other ear towards her.  “Here, pull this one too cause I deserved it.  But please be gentle.”

“I’m not your enemy, so you don’t have to give me your other ear.” Kwan tugged his head closer and gave his other ear a quick peck with her lips.  Then she explained.  “That cushion was Aleiya’s gift for our baby!  She gave me a choice, a blanket or a pillow.  I chose the pillow.”

“Interesting gift choices!”  Fei wondered why Aleiya gave her these two options.

“Yeah, she was reading the Christmas story and one of her kids came to her and said he wanted to give his pillow and blanket to baby Jesus.  That’s where she got the idea.  She said no babies should go through what Jesus went through.  He already paid it all.”
After all the guests were seated in the restaurant; like most formality in a Chinese Wedding, speeches and toasts were given before the serving of the 9-course meal.  When Korean introduced Fei to dedicate a song to the newlywed couple, Fei had an extra surprise in stored for everyone.    He had put together a live video presentation of the entire wedding day via a satellite.  He requested special permission from his ICI project team back in Baltimore.

When Fei signaled for the music to start, the lights went out and everyone focused in on the big screen on the wall.  The video showed a live picture of the earth from space and then focused unto the Island of Hong Kong.  Chi Shan was shocked to see himself asleep in bed in the early morning hours just before his alarm clock sounded.  Now he understood why Fei asked if he sleeps in pyjamas or if he went commando.  He also told him not to change his clothes inside his bedroom, but to do it in the bathroom.  Then the next segment of the video turned back time and showed pictures of him in England.  That was when Fei’s voice came in.

Just an ordinary day - Started out the same old way
Then I look into your eyes and knew - Today would be a first for me - The day I fall in love

The video continued to show photos of how he and Ah Man first met which caused the audience to ‘Awww.’  Then the video showed Ah Man arriving at church with her father and Kwan.  Her white wedding dress complimented beautifully with the blue December morning sky.

On the day I fall in love - Sky will be a perfect blue
And I'll hear my heart forever more 
To someone who is just like you - The day I fall in love

Then a female voice came in and that was when Fei introduced his wife onto the stage.  There were whistles and cheers from the audience when Kwan stepped out singing.  She knew they were from her family and friends and staff she knew from The Central Police Station.

As the video continued to show the morning ceremony at the chapel, Fei reached out and held on to Kwan’s hand.  Then the duet continued singing together with harmonized voices.

As Kwan sang the words, she smiled at her husband when she remembered the puppy facial expression he made that afternoon.  And Fei squeezed her hand against her tummy as he thought about their little secret.

The audience clapped with cheers at the end of the presentation and Chi Shan quickly got up from his seat to stop the duet from leaving the stage.  “My wife and I want to take this moment to thank you both for this wonderful surprise!”

To avoid being under the spotlight, the duet gave a quick appreciation to the newlywed couple and once again attempted to step off the stage.  But the groom wouldn’t let them off.  He pulled them back to the mic stands and stood in between them with his arms around their shoulders as to block them from escaping.  “You two are the best Maid of Honor and Best Man that Ah Man and I could ever ask for!” 

Fei and Kwan told Chi Shan they were honored to be here.  Then Chi San turned to the audience and continued.  “Fei was my best man in both my weddings and Kwan was the Maid of Honor for both my late wife and my current wife.”

As the audience clapped and cheered, Fei and Kwan remained very quiet for they had no idea where this speech was going. Then Chi Shan turned to them.  “Now, since you two doubled up as Best man and Maid of Honor at my wedding past and present, is there something that you two can announce that can make tonight an occasion of double happiness?”

Fei and Kwan looked at each other with blank expressions.  They had no idea what kind of announcement Chi Shan was expecting, so they both shook their heads. 

“You’re sure?”   Chi Shan asked again.

Fei and Kwan nodded adamantly at the same time. 

“Nothing you want to tell us so we can make this a double celebration?  My wife and I don’t mind.”  Chi Shan encouranged.

“This is your wedding day!  The limelight should only be on you and Ah Man!”  Fei assured the groom.  “We don’t have anything to announce.”
Then Chi Shan reached into his inner breast pocket and took out his little tape recorder.  He turned to the audience.  “All of you know my last wedding came with the unfortunate announcement of death, but I am very pleased to make a different type of announcement tonight!”  Chi Shan pressed the play button and placed the device in front of the microphone.

Fei’s voice came on… “Our baby … I’m…I’m…I’m going to be a father?”
Kwan’s voice followed. “Yes! Shhh!”

Chi San stepped back and drew the duet together.  “So besides celebrating our marriage tonight, looks like there will soon be an announcement of birth!”

Kwan covered her mouth and buried her redden face into her husband’s shoulder as the audience cheered, clapped and shouted words of congratulations.  They couldn’t believe their afternoon private little conversation was caught on audio tape.  The newlywed couple took turn giving Kwan and Fei hugs.  Other family members and close friends came up to the stage and did the same thing.  When Chi Shan was finally alone with Fei, he congratulated him again and whispered in his ear. “I finally figured out your ‘Mama-laid’ sandwich!”

The Day I Fall in Love - by James Ingram and Dolly Parton