Melody of the Soul
Copyright B.G. Q. 2000. All Rights Reserved.
Tony-Gallen Lo Cathy-Jessica Hsuan
Chris-Louis Koo Sandy-Ada Choi
Tommy-Julian Cheung Alice-Nadia Chan
Eric-Deric Wan Joanne-Kenix Kwok
Michael-Sunny Chan Tina-Mariane Chan
Tommy and Cathy walked hand in hand along the numerous clothing shops. As they passed by one of the stores, Tommy suddenly stopped as he caught sight of a beautiful outfit. He pulled Cathy in the store with him.
Cathy: What is it, Tommy?
Tommy: Don’t you think that outfit suits you perfectly?
Cathy: (touching the blue, long shirt) [It does look nice, but I can tell it doesn’t suit me.] Don’t you think it would give me such a “professional” look that I might not seem like myself? Hum…Do I look that professional to you?
Tommy: That’s the whole point. I’ve never seen you in such apparels before. I think you’ll look really nice in it. Why don’t you try it on?
Cathy: (hesitating) Ok, wait for me out here.
A while after, Cathy stepped out in the outfit.
Tommy: …Wow! What can I say? Didn’t I tell you you’d look beautiful in it?
Cathy: …You think so? [Should I trust his opinion?]
Tommy: Don’t you see that everyone in this store is staring at you? (He whispered to her) And it’s not because you’re a star. With those sunglasses, the hat, and no make up at all I don’t think they can recognize you right now. Don’t worry…no one knows you’re Cathy; they’re just staring at your beautiful figure (chuckled).
Cathy: (hit him playfully) Did you learn to flatter girls like that from Eric? I’m starting to wonder how many women you say this to besides me.
Tommy: (smiled to Cathy and called the sales associate before Cathy could say anything else) Miss, we’d like to pay for this outfit here.
Cathy: Hey, wait, do you know how expensive this is? It’s $5000 HK!
Tommy: Do I seem like I would care about such a thing?
Cathy slightly shook her head as he handed the card to the sales associate. Afterward, they stepped out of the store.
Tommy: Are we going to keep being in disguise like this forever? When can I officially announce that you’re my girlfriend?
Cathy: Ayya, how many times do I have to tell you? It’s best that no one knows about this. I really don’t know how to explain to Joanne.
Tommy: It’s still hard to believe. What is it about me that Joanne likes so much anyway?
Cathy: Haha, if you’re trying to get me to say some positive thing about you, it’s not going to work.
Tommy: Oh yeah? Then why are you here with me now?
Cathy: Gee, I don’t know. You probably drugged me to agree.
Tommy: Hey, then it is still not too late to change your mind and leave me.
Cathy stopped and gave Tommy a look before walking off without him.
Tommy: (running after her) Hey hey, I was only kidding!
Around the corner
Chris and Eric were on their way to the Lavender Bar. As they made the left turn, Eric and Chris surprisingly saw Tommy and Cathy hitting each other’s hands mischievously.
Tommy: Ouch ouch, Ok I’ll stop. I better reconsider being your boyfriend since you’re violent like that.
Cathy: Fine with me! (She giggled.)
They wrapped their arms around each other and as they looked ahead, both were startled to see Chris and Eric staring at them from the end of the street.
Cathy: [Oh no! Darn it!] (She tried to hide her face and turned to the other direction, pulling Tommy with her.]
Eric: Hold it! Busted!
Tommy: Uh oh!
Eric: Hum…Chris, guess we’re going to have quite a good show today. (turned over to Chris) Hey, Chris! Hello, anyone there?
Chris: What? (Chris was still shocked at the sight of Tommy and Cathy together. He knew quite well this would eventually happen, but not today…Everything was overwhelmingly sudden as though it was just a dream…a nightmare. Chris, being unprepared for the unexpected gift, stood motionless as Cathy quickly let go of Tommy’s hand.)
Eric: Let’s go over there and have a little interview with them.
The four approach each other with “cautious” eyes.
Eric: (talking to Chris) Ahem, should you start or should I start? Never mind, of course I’ll do the honor.
Cathy: Eric, what do you want?
Eric: You all realize that I’ve been known to be a fair judge, right? So, welcome to my courtroom. Come on in! Don’t worry, I’ll give a fair sentence. (He pushed Cathy and Tommy in the bar.)
Cathy looked at Tommy, who simply shrugged and followed Eric inside. Eric also had to push Chris, who was hesitant to enter as he saw Cathy’s gloomy expression.
In the bar
Eric: Ahem, I call the witness to the stand. Chris, come forward.
Tommy: (chuckled) What the heck are you doing Eric?
Eric: Shhh…the accused does not have the right to speak at this moment! (He turned to Chris.) So, Chris, did you also see the intimacy out there or was it just I?
Chris glanced at Cathy, who was staring at the ceiling in pretension. As he was about to speak, Cathy broke in.
Cathy: Save your time, your Highness! Yes, I pledge guilty…happy now?
Eric: (with disappointment shown on his face) Oh, come on! Why did you have to make it so easy? You two are no fun.
Chris: Hey, Tommy, you’re dating Cathy and I didn’t even know?
Tommy: (wrapped his arm on Cathy’s shoulder) I’d do whatever Cathy tells me to do.
Eric: Ayya, you two are already giving me goose bumps. At least wait until you get in the car.
Cathy: (threw peanut shells at Eric) I think your nasty mind is going a bit too far. When are you going to settle down? As a friend I don’t want to see you all wrinkly and lonely.
Eric: Haha, I won’t look that far yet. I’m young and handsome as ever. (He checked his own reflection from the spoon.)
Cathy: Whoa, excuse me guys, but I have to go in the lady’s room to vomit (teasing Eric).
Both Chris and Tommy stared at Cathy as she walked away.
Eric: Hey Chris, why didn’t you say anything? I guess you’re just as boring as they are.
Chris: Sorry Eric, I haven’t reached your stage of nuisance yet.
As Eric argued back, Tony stepped in the bar.
Eric: Hey Bro, over here!
Tony: You two are quite early today (looked over at Tommy). Tommy, you’re here too?
Eric: Hahaha, you won’t believe what we saw. We…(received a kick from Chris).
Chris: We saw one of Eric’s old girlfriends dating a really rich guy. He’s just jealous.
Eric: [What?] Uh, yeah, you should have seen! Besides being rich, the guy resembles a monkey.
Eric was too naïve to have escaped Tony’s suspicious eyes. Tony said nothing, but he surely knew that they were hiding something from him. As he looked up, Tony saw Cathy walking toward them. Cathy also caught sight of Tony and she slightly halted, but after a blink of thoughts, decided to approach them. Cathy purposely sat between Chris and Eric to hide from Tony as much as possible her relationship with Tommy. Tony, though still embarrassed by Cathy’s rejection the previous time, was not about to let any awkwardness be revealed. After talking for a while, Eric, Chris, and Tommy had to leave. Cathy, alone, decided to stay and have a talk with Tony.
Tony: Ah, is it that necessary to hide yourself in a dark bar like this so that no one can recognize you?
Cathy: (smiled) Give me a break. I’ve only had three real concerts so far.
Tony: Of course it’ll take time. Just be patient. Your CDs are selling like crazy.
Cathy: Well, I’m practicing very hard right now. I hope this coming-up concert with Chris will be a success.
Tony: I can guarantee you it will be. Trust me, I’ve been running this company for a while now. You can count on my view.
Cathy: If it is going to be a big success I’d better thank you, Tommy, and especially Chris.
Tony: Hum, talking about Tommy…how is it going with you two? (He tried to sound cool and indifferent.)
He continued as Cathy raised her eyebrow in surprise. She somehow knew this wouldn’t escape Tony’s eyes.
Tony: Your acting is great. Maybe you should quit singing and consider going on to the big screen.
Cathy: Tell me what you know.
Tony: Sometimes the littlest things are the biggest clues. How long has it been? Let me guess, since that day?
Cathy: [Does anything ever escape his eyes?] It must be that blabbermouth brother of yours!
Tony: No, Chris didn’t let him say anything.
Tony watched as she drank her fruit cocktail.
Tony: Nice outfit, but it doesn’t look like something you would pick. Honestly, it looks too “professional”.
Cathy: (put down her spoon) Tommy picked it.
Tony: I wonder when I’m going to be lucky like that…to have the woman I like pick out a shirt for me (sarcastically).
Cathy: Tony, there’s something that I’ve wanted to tell you for a while already. I guess now is the right time.
Tony: (funnily observed her serious expression) I’m listening.
Cathy: As good an observer as you are, did you notice anyone who always pays extra attention to you?
Tony, of course, got the hint, but chose to remain silent.
Cathy: I’m sure we all know whom I’m talking about. If I can see what’s going on, why can’t you, right?
Tony: (After a moment of silence, he slightly rubbed his forehead.) You’re talking about Alice?
Cathy: Bingo!…You should know how much she did for you. If compared to her, what I’ve done for you is meaningless. (She patted Tony’s shoulder and took is glass of beer away.) I’m not saying this because she’s my sister…at least that’s not the main reason. Of course, you don’t have to listen to me.
Tony rested his eyes on her as she spoke each word.
Cathy: There have been many times when I saw her stay up until morning, trying to finish as mush work as possible to lighten your load. When you tell her to go west, she wouldn’t go east. She even tried to push us together three years ago. That showed clearly how much she’s willing to sacrifice for you…for us. She’d rather bury her own feelings than to spoil our chance…(smiled) very silly, right? If I were in her shoes, I’m not so sure if I could be as generous.
Tony: I know whatever I say now is not going to count. Don’t you understand that love is a totally different matter? Perhaps you have not fallen deeply in love with anyone yet? I can understand how Alice feels, but what can I possibly do? I’m grateful for it, but I won’t mislead her in any way. It’d be very foolish to start a relationship with someone who I don’t truly love because I’d end up hurting both.
Cathy: I’m not suggesting that you ask Alice to be your girlfriend. What I want you to do is to treat her like she deserves to be treated.
Tony: I’ve always known that.
Cathy: Well, if so then I have nothing to worry about (smiled and got up). I better get going. See you tomorrow. By the way, the bill’s on you (gave him a playful wink). I’ll be on me when I become famous like you said.
Tony: (smiled and shrugged) Night. [I might not be together with the one I love at this moment, but at least I know who she is. And you…Cathy? Do you really know whom you love? Or do you really love whom you think you love?]
Cathy tiredly opened the door to find out that Sandy, Alice, Joanne, and Tina were all sitting in the family room watching something.
Tina: (wiping her tears) This is so sad. Why does Julian have to find out that Jessica is back with Gallen again? Hichic… It was so close to their wedding… and the director even made him stay in front of the photography store looking at their wedding picture all night. Huhuhu, I can’t take this anymore.
Joanne: You’re too sensitive. I prefer Gallen of course. His acting grabs my breath away.
Remember the beach scene when he was trying to get back with Jessica? It actually made me cry!
Alice: Hey, what about Louis? He’s not any worse looking than Gallen or Julian!
Sandy: Hahaha, do you all realize they’re getting paid to do this to you?
Tina: Oh shut up, like you don’t get addicted to these series!
Cathy stepped in between the argument.
Cathy: Hello, watching Cold Blood Warm Heart again?
The first one to notice Cathy’s outfit, Tina ran toward her.
Tina: Hey, new outfit? Oh my…It’s so pretty!
Cathy: (smiling) You think so?
Sandy: Based on my own experience of selling clothes I bet that’s not less than $4000.
Joanne: Whoa! (She ran to Cathy and examined her from head to toes.) Hm…you didn’t buy this yourself, did you?
Cathy: Uh, who else would buy me such an expensive gift?
Sandy: That’s not your taste of clothes! You never went for that mature look before.
Cathy: Well, can’t it be that I’ve changed my mind for a new look.
Joanne: You really bought it?
Cathy nodded and saw that Alice was giving her an understanding look. She quickly changed the subject.
Cathy: Guess what, I just saw Chris when I was in Lavender Bar. I’m a little nervous about the upcoming concert with him. What if I twist my ankle again while on stage?
Tina: You shouldn’t be worried. If you can perform so well by yourself, wouldn’t it be even better since you’re not alone this time? If you happen to make any mistake, I’m sure Chris can cover it up for you.
Cathy: You think so? (looked over at Sandy)
Sandy: What? Why are you looking at me? It’s not like I’ll explode seeing you on stage with him. Come on, I have more class than that.
Joanne: Hey, we’ll throw a happy party for you if it turns out good this time.
Tina: And of course all of our friends will come and support you.
Cathy: (wrapped her arms around Joanne and Tina) Yeah! I know I can count on my friends!
After Joanne and Tina left, Sandy immediately gave Cathy the evil eye.
Sandy: Confess now, who bought you that outfit?
Cathy: All right, all right. Tommy bought it for me. Tell me the truth…it doesn’t suit me, does it?
Alice and Sandy smiled at each other with an implied answer in front of a disappointed Cathy.
Alice: Why did you let him buy it if you’re not too crazy about it?
Cathy: Ayya…You think I didn’t try to stop him? You know how he is.
Sandy: Wait, hold that thought! Am I the only clueless one around here or is the world revolving a little too fast for me? Does this mean that you two are now officially a couple?
Alice: Isn’t it obvious, Sandy?
Sandy stood up with her hands on her hips, and pressed on her every word.
Sandy: Why am I always the last to know? I’m starting to wonder if I’m really your sister or not! How can you not tell your sister such a thing?
Cathy: I wasn’t going to tell anyone. I don’t want Joanne to find out.
Alice: You won’t be able to hide it from her forever. How long do you think it would take for her to know now that it’s no longer a secret?
Cathy: [As long as possible…] It would do no good if she finds out.
Sandy: Anyway, I’m glad that you chose to give him a chance afterward. I guess my words do have an effect on you, (she laughed). Well, I don’t care if you keep it a secret from everyone else, but we are sisters so always come to us first. Remember that! (She patted Cathy’s head.)
Cathy: Yes mommy!
Chris rolled on his bed uncomfortably as his mind troubled itself with what happened earlier. He remembered exactly the thumping of his heart as he saw Tommy and Cathy hand in hand. He fought himself against regret and jealousy. Up until now, he had always wondered whether his decision to withdraw from the imaginary triangle that only he could see was right. He had somehow assured himself that seeing them together would not matter much and that Cathy will soon be deleted from his heart, but today his true feelings proved him wrong. Growing up with Tommy, he had rarely seen such a happy face. Chris smiled dryly that for once he had to face a quiet defeat that he himself accepted. Ironically, they were not just best friends; they seemed to share too many things in common, including the woman they love. Chris closed his eyes as the battle of love and friendship devastated his thoughts.