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Chapter 7 - Sometimes When We Touch

Kwan was in her room packing her luggage when she heard Bui Yee and her Dad outside her door.  It was obvious to her that they were trying to decide whom should try to change her mind about leaving Hong Kong.  Kwan decided to swing open her door in a hasty manner and caught their surprised reaction.  She laughed when both her Dad and Bui Yee stood erected like stones, looking very embarrassed as if they were caught in an act or something.
“What happened?  Am I intruding on the two of you being intimate?”  Kwan looked at Bui Yee and asked teasingly by memicking. “Was Dad trying to kiss you?”
The smitten Bui Yee pushed her husband away and tried to hide her blush.  “Oh no, we are already so old, we don’t do such things.”
“You got to be kidding!  There is no age limit for that!”  Kwan gave a hearty laugh.
Mr. Mo took the opportunity and pushed his wife into Kwan’s room.  “You two have a nice woman to woman talk.”  Then he quickly made himself disappear and hoped the topic of discussion was nipped in the bud.
Bui Yee entered her room and noticed there was a box sitting on her chair.  She decided to look inside the box hoping something there would give her a chance to strike open a conversation with her niece.  “What are these?”   
“Oh, just some items to give to the hospital pediatric department.”  Kwan said casually as she sat down on her bed.  “No point having them here collecting dust.”
Fumbling through the items in the box, she saw some stuff animals, photo frames, and a double heart shaped bottle filled with folded paper stars. Curious, she took it out and place it on Kwan’s desk.  “Now this would be a waste to donate to the hospital, don’t you think?”
Kwan ignored her Aunt and continued with her packing.  Bui Yee continued to fumble through more of the items and something caught her eyes.  “What is this?”  She tried to open the book but couldn’t.  
With a sigh, Kwan then reached for the keycard that fell to the bottom of the box when Bui Yee took out the stationery and inserted it into the slot by the lock.  “It’s a daily organizer!  Completely new!”
“Still a waste if you ask me to buy something if you didn’t plan on using it!”  Bui Yee said though she was sure Kwan wouldn’t have bought it for herself.  Bui Yee’s ultimate goal was to somehow break the ice to bring up the topic of Fei.  When Kwan gave her a look of disapproval, Bui Yee knew she found her chance.  “Gift from Fei?”
Kwan didn’t agree or disagree, she just gave her usual pouty look.  Bui Yee pointed to the heart shape bottle filled with stars.  “That one too, huh?”
“Yes, I am giving away everything he ever gave me!”  Kwan finally spoke up and walked away from her desk.  Then she chuckled.  “Which is not much, come to think of it!” 
Bui Yee followed her niece and sat down next to her.  Then her tone turned serious.  “So things between you and Fei are truly over?  You’re not giving him another chance even if things don’t turn out between Chin Chin and him?”  Bui Yee took hold of Kwan’s hands.  “Kwan, what if Fei realizes he loves you more?”
Kwan was prepared for this question.  She had asked herself this question in her head, in her heart, and sometimes even in her sleep over the last six months.  She had played the role of a psychologist on herself and was convinced the decision she made to walk away from this relationship was indeed the right choice.  She just didn’t anticipate it would take so long for her to get over her feelings for Fei. 
Kwan looked at Bui Yee and said with certainty in her voice.  “I cannot be with someone who loves me more.  I want a husband who will love me only!”
Chi Shan opened the door from inside his condo and there stood Bui Yee and Mr. Mo.  Suddenly, a loud sigh of relief was heard from people inside the apartment as Bui Yee and Mr. Mo watched them come out from their different hiding spots.
After closing the main entrance door, Bui Yee asked Chi Shan. “Is everyone else here?”
“You and Mr. Mo are the last one!” Chi Shan told the couple.
“And late too!” Added Ah Man.
“Yeah, we thought you guys were Ms. Mo!”  Gigi stated.
“Well, she would need to call your intercom, wouldn’t she?” Mr. Mo asked.
“Someone called but there was no one there! That’s why we thought it was Ka Jeh!”  Ah Kit interjected.
Bui Yee and Mr. Mo made a guilty as charged gesture.  Then Mr. Mo apologized.  “Sorry, we didn’t wait for the call to go through because someone let us in.  She knew Bui Yee!”
Chin Chin returned to her lookout spot and noticed Kwan had just arrived.  “Hey, looks like Kwan is walking down the parking lot.”
Korean, Bui Yee, and Ah Yuk rushed to the window and confirmed it was indeed Kwan.  They all scrambled to get to their hiding spots once again.  This time, their effort was successful as Kwan was shocked to see the empty quiet apartment suddenly bursted forth with cheers and laughter.  She was deeply touched by their act of surprising her with the farewell gathering, so much so that tears started to cloud her eyes as she went around giving hugs to her friends and family.
After hugging Chi Shan, Kwan asked him.  “Who talked you into doing this for me?”
Chi Shan smiled bashfully which made Kwan followed the direction of his gaze to Ah Man and Chin Chin.  Both the ladies were smiling triumphantly for being able to pull off the element of surprise in Kwan.
“We all wanted to do this.  Four years is a long time to be away.”  Chi Shan added.
“That’s right, and you keep turning us down when we asked you out for lunch or dinner!”  Ah Man added.
“Yes, I didn’t even get a chance to return your CD.”  Chin Chin added.
Then Kwan noticed the young man standing next to Chin Chin.  He was smiling at her as well.  “And this is?”
“Hi Ms. Mo!” The young man extended his hand. “I’m Nathaniel.  It’s nice to meet you for the first time, but a pity to have to say farewell already!”
Everybody laughed at the irony as Kwan shook his hand.  “Nice to meet you too, Nathaniel!  Call me Kwan, or Quin!”
Chin Chin noticed Kwan was smiling at her in a meaningful way, so she leaned in and whispered into her ear.  “Yes Kwan, I took your advice and decided to dance!”
“I’m really glad,” Kwan gave Chin Chin a hug for her courage.  “If one day you shall come to New York to perform, I will be the first to purchase a ticket!”
For the next hour, though Kwan tried to busy herself by mingling with the guests who came in her honor, she could not help but wonder why Fei was not among the gathering.  She didn’t want to ask anyone there, but not seeing him somehow made this farewell incomplete.  However, she tried to let the matter go by convincing herself that she already knew the answer from the last time she saw him three days ago.  He was waiting for her by the parking spot of her apartment.  Obviously, Kwan could tell he was upset about something, just didn’t know what at that moment until she got out of her car.  He was upset for two reasons.  One was that he was the last person to know she was leaving Hong Kong to go to America.  What made it worst was that he did not receive the news from her but from Korean.  The second reason was that he did not like the idea of her going to Baltimore alone.
The doorbell rang and Chi Shan opened his door to wee a grumpy Fei.  His darken facial features made it look as if he was ready to start a fight.  Chi Shan stood between the door posts with folded arms on purpose and tried his best to act like a bully.  “So you are finally man enough to show up?  But tonight, we don’t allow frowns to enter, only smiles are allowed.”
Fei gave a deadly glare and his body language was a warning for Chi Shan to step aside or else be prepared for property damage to his own residence.  Heeding the warning, Chi Shan stepped aside and let him in.  Fei didn’t even have to say a single word.
It didn’t take long for Fei’s presence to be noticed and welcomed.  Kwan was on the opposite end of the living room when Fei entered.  Immediately, she noticed he had to force a smile on his face.  She watched him go through the charade of greeting people.  When he was done, he helped himself to a plate of food and stepped out onto the balcony to be alone.
Kwan took this opportunity to walk up and stood next to him.  “If you don’t relax and put on a real smile, you’re going to need a facial massage tomorrow!”
Surprised by Kwan’s presence at first, he tensed up even more.  To buy himself some time, he intentionally took another bit of his food.  After swallowing the food, he finally turned and looked into Kwan’s eyes. “Would my real smile make you stay?”
Kwan remained quiet and let time stood still.  She then watched Fei take another bite of food.  Making sure he wouldn’t choke from her reply, she waited till the food was down his throat.  She waited till he turned to look at her again.  “Do you still love me?”
When Fei choked at her question, Kwan let out a chuckle.  Though he only choked from the air in his throat, he placed his plate of food down and turned to face her.  She could tell he was wondering if she was being serious.  Before he could say anything, Kwan smiled at him with glistening eyes.  “That’s why I can’t stay!”
She turned around to leave and Fei grabbed her arm and pulled her into a tight embrace and muttered into her ear.  “Kwan, don’t go!”
Ending Song = Sometimes When We Touch by Dan Hill