Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.

Chapter 15 - Truly

Fei wasn’t prepared for Kwan’s reaction, but he was quick to unstrap the guitar over his shoulders and ran after her.  Those who were left behind in the banquet hall felt rather unraveled and didn’t know how to respond at that moment.  All they could do was wait in the room as they watched the back of Fei disappearing down the hall.

Fei was two steps behind when he watched as Kwan walked into the Ladies Room.  He would have followed her inside if it wasn’t for the woman who was approaching from the opposite end of the hallway.  Fei realized the woman was looking at him as she got closer, so he pretended to read the sign on the door in hope that she was just walking by.  But the woman stopped in front of him and gave him the look.  So Fei had no choice but to step aside and backed off a few steps.  After the door was closed, he started pacing the hallway hoping Kwan would come out soon.  Lucky for him, Kwan did just but she was spooked by his presence when she lifted her head.  Fei noticed her eyes were very red.  

“I didn’t mean to upset you.  I wanted this to be the most romantic night for you!”  Fei reached out and took hold of Kwan’s upper arms.  “Bui Yee told me this place was very close to the beach where that classmate played the prank on you when you were in high school.  I wanted tonight to replace that horrible memory; that from now on, you’d be telling people about our story!”

Fei waited and was hoping Kwan would smile or at least say something; but her expression remained nonchalant and no words came from her mouth.  So he held on to her by the shoulders and pleaded in desperateness.  “Please don’t be mad at me.” 

 

 

Kwan was deeply moved by what Fei had just said, but her playful nature took over because she wanted to see more of his needy expression.  But when she was being shaken by him, she could no longer hold back her inner chuckles.  “Who said I was mad at you? Some of the make-up got into my eyes and started to irritate them.  I had to wash my eyes.”

 

 

The feeling of relief was so obvious on Fei’s facial expression. It looked as if he had just returned from a major battle, and he was the winner.  He let out a breath of air.  “Okay, you’re smiling now, so I’m going to take that as a yes!”   With a shy dimple smile, he reached for her hand.  “We can now go back and tell everyone we are getting married!”

“Getting married?”  She pretended with as much drama as she could and pulled her hand back from his hold.  “No, no, no. You can’t do that!  All that happened was you singing to my dad that you want to marry his daughter.”  Kwan just realized it was so much fun to play hard to get. “You said my Dad was quite a playboy once, remember?  Maybe I should ask if he’s hiding another daughter somewhere.”

Fei looked into her mocking eyes and regretted ever making that comment way back when.  He turned to look around his surroundings, making sure his potential future father-in-law was nowhere in sight or within hearing range.  That would definitely jeopardize this entire evening, let alone his future with her.  “Kwan, you know it’s only you that I love.  The ring in the box was meant for you only!”

Upon hearing the ‘love’ word, Kwan’s heart did a leap to her throat.  She realized this was the first time he ever professed his love to her by actually using the heart shaped word.  If it had been an ordinary night, she would have caved and accepted his proposal again like she did the first and second time.  However, she was having way too much fun tonight.  “How do I know there is a real engagement ring in the box?  For all I know, it could be the skull ring.”

Looking at her, Fei knew for certain that having her as his wife would definitely be filled with wits and challenges.  There would be no dull moments for sure.  But he would welcome them.  In fact, he was looking forward to take on whatever challenges she would present him.   He had noticed life was a lot more interesting when he became the mouse who could outsmart the cat.  “Well, the only way to find out is to follow me back and see for yourself.”

He took her hand and Kwan began to follow along, he then gave her a knowing smile.  “Remember what you promised me.”

Kwan stopped short instantly and pulled him back.  “What did I promise you?”

“You said if fate was on my side, you would ‘Let it be’ and marry me!”  Fei grinned with confidence.  With a touch of schmuck-ness upon a realization, he added.  “Hey!  That even rhymes!”

 

 

Upon returning to the banquet room, Kwan noticed the 4-seater square table had become a 12-seater long table.  Fancy crystals, china and silver wares were set for each placement and the long table was decorated with small vases of fresh flowers.  Even Fei was amazed at the sudden transformation of the room.  The guests were expecting Kwan to be wearing a smile upon her re-entrance; but when they didn’t see that, they all turned apprehensively quiet.

After a short pause, Kwan’s father couldn’t take the silence and spoke up.  “Kwan, you said yes to Fei?  We are having a wedding, right?”

“I didn’t say anything to him!”  Kwan addressed her father and then gave Fei a playful smirk.  In the past, she was sensitive enough not to mention her father’s past liaisons.  But she thought tonight was alright just to perk her Dad a little for taking Fei’s side.  “He only asked you for permission to marry his daughter?  I meant to ask if you have another daughter somewhere that I didn’t know about.”

As soon as those words came out of Kwan’s lips, Ah Kit, together with Bui Yee and Fei came to Mr. Mo’s defense.  Kwan was truly glad for that; especially when it came from Bui Yee who never used to side her father when it came to his affairs in the past.  Tonight Bui Yee really stepped up for her husband.  “Oh no, your Dad is very loyal.  He only has one daughter and that’s you!”

“Well you were the one who used to feed these ideas into my head.”  Kwan gave Bui Yee the get even look. “So now you’re siding Dad, huh?”  Then Kwan drew close to her dad and and gave him a shoulder hug.  “Sorry Dad.  I was just playing with you!”

“You are such a brat!”  Bui Yee chided.  “You’re going to be Fei’s wife soon and still want to play such childish games!”

“Fei’s wife?  Says who?  He did not propose to me tonight.  He sang to Dad, not to me!”  Kwan dismissed the subject and headed back to her seat.

Ah Man came up and stood behind Kwan.  “Quin, Fei worked really hard learning to play the guitar for you.”

“Ms. Mo, you have to give him a break.  Tsui Sir jumped into the polluted sea just to get the ring back for you!”  Gigi told Kwan.

This was news to Kwan so she turned to look at the jewelry box that was still sitting on the table where Fei had left it earlier.  She had no idea what Gigi was talking about until Chi Shan enlightened her by pointing to the jewelry box.  “Fei recognized right away this was the engagement ring he bought you when it was stuck to a pop can.  Remember, the one you dropped into the sea?”

Kwan turned to Fei who was grinning at her.  But she wasn’t buying what was told to her.  She didn’t think it was possible.  “No, it can’t be!”

“Open the box!”  Fei challenged Kwan but she refused to give in even though everyone in the room was rooting her to open the jewelry box that was directly in front of her.
 

Knowing Kwan’s stubbornness, Fei finally picked up the jewelry box.  Just when he was about to open it up in front of Kwan, Korean whispered something that was only meant for Fei to hear.  “Don’t worry!  If Ms. Mo won’t say ‘yes’, we still have Plan B!”

Fei ignored Korean’s comment but went on to present Kwan with the ring.  Kwan gasped upon seeing the ring.  She took the ring out of the box to take a closer look, it was indeed the exact same ring that Fei had given her.  Fei took hold of the ring and put it on her finger.  “This is the third time I’m putting this ring on your finger.”

 

 

“People say third time is a charm!  So this is good luck!”  Nathaniel added and everyone voiced their agreement with glee.

“You hear that!”  Fei pretended to lecture Kwan.  “So be a good girl and wear this ring.  And if you need to lose it or drop it somewhere, do it after we are married.”

When Kwan looked at the ring on her hand and smiled at Fei, congratulations filled the room.  However, there was one particular comment from Chi Shan that caught Kwan’s attention.  “Fei said he would only accept the training in the States on the condition that you marry him!”

“Training in the States?”  Kwan had to repeat part of the statement as she looked at Chi Shan.
  

“See!  I wasn’t lying when I said someone was considering moving to the States!”  Bui Yee added.  "And Fei really did have questions to ask you!”

“Miss Mo, did Fei get down on his knees when he asked you to marry him the first time?”  Korean teased.  Fei gave him a ‘back off’ glare, though it was a jovial one.

“No, he never did!”  Kwan shook her head.  “In fact, he has never asked me to marry him, so to speak.  He just put the ring on my finger.”

Everyone started on Fei to get down on his knee and give Kwan an official proposal.  He tried meandering his way out but finally got down on one knee.  But instead of proposing so everyone could hear, he pulled Kwan towards him and whispered something to her ear.  “Please say you will be my wife or they will play me for a fool for the rest of my life!”

When Kwan leaned back and smiled sweetly at him, Fei thought his job was done.  Congratulations were given and Fei could feel the pats on his shoulders.  And when Kwan came forward to give him a quick peck on his cheek, he thought it was time to tell the Maitre’D that dinner could soon be served.  The moment of triumph only lasted a split second because Kwan accepted his proposal with a condition.  Then his facial expression took a 180 degree turn, almost like he got instant sunburn.  That reddish glow on his tan skin was prominent to Kwan’s eyes only. 

Fei had to be sure he heard Kwan correctly, so he looked into her eyes and asked.  “Are you serious?”

Kwan nodded with a grin and rolled her eyes towards Korean.  Fei reluctantly got up and stood on both feet.  First thing he did was grabbed Korean by the neck and pretended to strangle him.

“Thanks to you, she wants Plan B!”  Fei told Korean.

Korean walked up to Chi Shan and announced to him.  “Plan B!” 

Then both of them turned to Kwan and gave her a salute.  After that, they made their way up to the stage with Fei.

“There is a Plan B?”  Chin Chin and Ah Man asked out loud at the same time.

When the others started asking about Plan B, Kwan realized she wasn’t the only clueless one.  It seemed only Korean and Chi Shan knew about Plan B.  Kwan watched as Chi Shan and Korean worked together to set up the media system.  When Fei stepped up to the stage and took the solo mic, she was overcome with regret by putting him under the limelight alone.
 

“Ummm…I didn’t know Plan B was just Fei, I was expecting to see everyone singing and dancing again.”  Kwan approached the stage and tried to bring Fei back to the table.  She took the mic.  “I don’t need Plan B anymore!”

But it was too late because the rest of the group wouldn’t let Fei off the hook.  They kept Fei up on the stage but brought Kwan back to her seat. 

“We want to see Plan B!”  Chin Chin added.  She turned to Kwan.  “Fei stayed behind at the studio everyday to practice; before we open and after we closed!  He wouldn’t let any of us stay to watch!”

“Since you practiced so hard, you need to do this!”  Chi Shan assured Fei.  “You need to show Kwan how…”  He paused.  Then he placed his hand on Fei’s shoulders.  “You know, you need to show her!”

“You need to do this, Fei!”  Korean urged on with a tease.  “But you don’t have to worry; even if you sound terrible, Ms. Mo has already agreed to be Mrs. Tsui!”    

“Yes!  See how she’s already protecting you!”  Nathaniel added.

“Sis!  You don’t need to protect Fei Goh so soon!”  Ah Kit placated his sister.  “Let us have a bit of fun with Fei before the wedding!”

Fei’s confidence grew when Kwan attempted to spare him the embarrassment.  But the more she fought for him, the more he wanted to sing the song to let her know the words in his heart.  So when the lights dimmed and the background music started, he started with a icebreaker to calm the crowd which now included the Maitre’D and a few of the servers assigned to their function tonight. 

“Kwan, remember when you asked me to show you my sincerity?”  Fei started.  Kwan’s heart was racing at this moment but she managed to give Fei a nod. 

Fei then continued.  “Well, since then, I’ve been cracking my brain to find all the ways I can do that.  I’ve even asked my boss!  Really, he can vouch for me!”  Fei noticed how Kwan turned to look at Chi Shan who affirmed her with a nod.  When Kwan turned back and smiled at him, Fei continued.  “I hope by singing this song, you will know how sincere I am about us and about asking you to marry me.”

Never in a million years would Kwan have thought it was possible for Fei to serenade her with a song, let alone propose to her in front of her family and friends.  She knew this was so out of his character and she could no longer doubt his love for her.  As soon as the music started, her heart began to melt.  And when Fei started singing the first lines, she felt as if her entire body was zapped to outer space.  In a good way!  She felt like a baby learning to breathe again.

“Girl, tell me only this,
That I'll have your heart for always,
And you want me by your side,
Whispering the words "I'll always love you,

And forever, I will be your lover,
And I know if you really care
I will always be there.”

Heat was rising to her cheeks and she was trying to pace her heartbeat back to a normal rhythm.  And when she heard the word ‘lover’, she envisioned herself as a piece of marshmallow being heated up and was about to loose its solid state. 

“I need to tell you this,
There's no other love like your love,
And I, as long as I live,
I'll give you all the joy, my heart and soul can give.”

Kwan could hear and see how some of the servers were being affected by Fei’s serenade; the distraction to glance away from him was the only way she could bring herself back to earth to take some air into her lungs.  But when Fei approached and took her hands, her heart was just about to jump out of her chest.  Kwan's eyes were seeing stars in the sky and she had to tell herself not to go into cardiac arrest.  This was one magical moment she would never ever forget.

“Let me hold you,

I need to have you near me.
And I feel with you in my arms,
This love will last forever!

Because I'm truly

 

 

When the song came to the end, Fei brought her left hand to his left chest and asked with confidence.  “Mo Chiu Kwan, would you do me the honor and accept this ring and marry me on July 8th?” 

The answer was obvious in Kwan’s eyes but they were both distracted by the curious audience.

 

 

“Why July 8th?” Several people were asking.

Only Kwan and Fei knew the riddle to July 8th, but they had no intention to respond.  Instead, Kwan said to Fei quietly.  “Tonight’s bill is going to be a big one, isn’t it?”

Fei winced at the thought of the anticipated bill which made Kwan chuckled.  Then she moved her hand that was still resting on his chest to show him the ring on her finger.  “I will guard this ring with my life for the next two weeks.  But on July 8th, you will have to put one on that will fit perfectly in front so that this one will never come loose again!”

“I promise I will do that!”  Fei smiled his relief. 

Finally, they turned to face their guests and Fei made the grand announcement.  “Please set your date, Kwan and I are getting married in 2 weeks on July 8th!”

Ending Song = Truly by Lionel Richie

https://youtu.be/13t58ZrXUZ0

Chapter 16