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
Cathy, still in awe, stared blankly at Tommy’s innocent face. She made an uncomfortable attempt to stand up straight. This was all too sudden to her.
Cathy: Tommy, we’ve only been together …not even a year… and then you were away. Don’t you think it’s too fast?
Tommy: For me it seemed like centuries already.
Cathy: Tommy…There are many things that we might not even know about each other. You might regret proposing tonight.
Tommy: (still smiled sweetly at her) Out of all the regrets in my life, this won’t be one of them.
Cathy: (sighed) [But if I say yes now both you and I will probably regret this for the rest of our lives.] This is too sudden Tommy; I haven’t prepared myself for it yet. We’re both young and we have our bright careers in front of us. Why rush things? (She desperately tried to find a reason to refuse.)
Tommy: …I’m not asking that we get married now. Engagement is just a commitment that we stay together even through the worst of time (he said calmly).
Cathy: (placed her hands on her forehead in disappointment) Today’s your first day back, why do we have to bring up such a serious topic?
She approached Tommy and hugged him as she whispered.
Cathy: Tommy I know how much you love me and I am very, very happy that I get to be that lucky woman… But…I just don’t think we’re ready for this type of commitment yet. You might be ready, but I’m not. I just think we should reconsider this carefully, don’t you think?
Tommy: Cathy, I don’t need to reconsider because I know how much I love you. The question is how much do YOU love ME? (he asked flatly)
Cathy felt as though a knife had struck her at her weakest point. She did not want to lie nor did she know what to say. She stood motionless, finally speaking with great difficulty.
Cathy: Give me some time Tommy. Before I can understand anyone I need to understand myself first. An engagement is something to be seriously considered. Allow each other more time. Like I said…we’re still young and we have many things ahead of us.
Tommy: (rubbed his temples) I’d hate to bring pressure on you. If you think we need more time…then let’s have more time. What’s more important is that you’re happy. (He stepped to the table and poured himself a glass of wine.) It’s no use if I force you to say yes. (Chuckled) Hey, maybe our relationship isn’t that strong afterward…
Cathy: …Don’t say that! (said a frustrated Cathy)
For a while, silence invaded the patio.
Tommy: I guess I made a fool of myself today huh.
Cathy bent down to get her keys.
Cathy: Don’t worry, there are only the two of us here…Sorry I can’t accept your proposal (She stumbled on her words.)…Well…I guess I’ll see you tomorrow.
Tommy: Drive safely (he said, not looking at her).
The minute Cathy exited the house Tommy lifted the curtain and his stare followed her as she drove away. He sat back down on the bench with the glass of wine. The room suddenly felt colder and lonelier. The candles had burned out, leaving a dark room and a half-drunken man in despair. He listened to the saddening music of Feelings without much interest. Some things are just not the same…
Chris’s silver Lexus glided on the street. His mind, surprisingly, was an empty blank. There was no need to think too hard at this moment. After all, Tommy was back and things again fell back in place. “Stop thinking Chris; you’ll kill yourself that way when you’re driving.” Finally, he managed to stop his car in front of Sandy’s bridal shop. He stayed in there, reluctant to get out until she saw him and waved.
Sandy: (very happy and surprised) What are you doing here? Did you get out earlier? Oh, but if you’re looking for Cathy she’s not here.
Chris: I’m not looking for Cathy (he said apathetically). I just happened to pass by this place so I thought I’d ask you to a dinner, or a movie of some sort. You’re almost closing, aren’t you?
Sandy: [Oh my God, am I hearing things?] Of course… Wait here a minute, I’ll get my purse.
They went to see a funny film as Sandy insisted. During the film Sandy constantly glanced at Chris while she was laughing her head off. But to her surprise, Chris was as still as a stone. After what seemed to Chris like an endless century the movie finally ended.
Sandy: (still cracking up from the movie) That was such a funny movie!
Sandy: Chris, are you ok? You don’t look too happy. Didn’t you enjoy the movie?
Chris: Oh…I guess I’m not suited for these kinds of movies.
Sandy could tell that he was definitely lying but she knew better than to invade his privacy on this “friendly” level. Her smile disappeared and she followed Chris to the car with no more questions. On the other hand, Chris felt rather bad, knowing that his mood was spoiling her night.
Chris: Sorry, I’m just tired today…hope I didn’t ruin your day.
Sandy: Of course not! You should get some rest and not over work yourself. I know it’s tough being a star but everyone needs time to breathe once in a while.
Her sincere concern made Chris feel somewhat better. He finally let out the first smile of the night.
Chris: Well, then how does dinner sound?
Sandy: Didn’t you say you feel tired? Are you sure you want to go for this dinner?
Chris: Hey, I’m tired but I’m hungry as well. Any suggestions on which restaurant we should go to?
Sandy: I’ve always liked Jerry’s restaurant. Why don’t we go there?
Chris: (hesitating) To Jerry’s restaurant?
Sandy: Is there a problem?
Chris: Uh…no, let’s go (started the engine).
Ocean Star (Jerry’s restaurant)
Jerry: May I take your order? And you should be glad I’m taking your order. I only take my friends’ orders (eyeing Chris without Sandy knowing).
Chris: No need to brag; we know you’re the boss…same as always for me.
Jerry: Ahem, does that mean two shrimp soups, a salad nicoise, barbecue ribs…. no, that should be PASTA, and two fruity cocktails?
While Chris nearly jumped when Jerry “innocently” read the orders, Sandy sat numbly staring at the menu. An upset look was evidently shown on her face.
Chris: (answering in a strangely calm voice) No, that would be a lobster sashimi and a sea cucumber with vegetables. And Sandy can make her own choice, ok?
Sandy: A crab soup and steamed oysters please.
Jerry: Not much different…both girls like seafood (he mumbled).
Sandy: Did you say something Jerry?
Jerry gave her a goofy smile to as he saw that his joke could get out of hand.
Jerry: I said we have wonderful seafood here.
As he turned around to head for the kitchen, he shook his head and slipped out the word “sisters”. Sandy, pretending like she did not hear this, drank her water casually while Chris disturbingly rubbed his temples.
Sandy: I didn’t know you go here with Cathy a lot. [If I did I wouldn’t have chosen this place.]
Chris: Once in a while, when we head home from Pacific Records.
Chris tried to ward off the arousing suspicion but was puzzled that Sandy showed no sign of concern. After their “hearty” meal both walked to the parking lot when the rain suddenly began to pour down. They ran to the nearest roof they could find; both were dampened from the unexpected. Seeing water dripping from his hair Sandy quickly took out a tissue.
Sandy: Ayya, I hope you won’t get sick when you go home.
Chris smiled as he saw Sandy’s worried look, sending an electric current through her. Even though she did not know the meaning behind this, it surely was a pleasant feeling.
Chris: What about you? Aren’t you afraid you’ll get sick too? It’s more likely that you’ll get sick before me since I’m a guy and you’re a girl.
Sandy: Hey, don’t underestimate girls. Sometimes guys’ immune system is quite weak (still drying his face).
Suddenly Chris stopped her hand. As her heart skipped a beat and her face burning, Chris smiled handsomely and when she was tapped back to the revolving earth, the five words she’d been longing to hear found their way into her heart: “Will I have a chance?” She looked into his eyes, examining the truth behind those words. Yet she could not distinguish the truth from the lies as her mind was overwhelmed with its own debate and her heart full of joy and love. She stood there, smiling like a dummy, not knowing what to say or to do. All that needed to be said or done was already present in her eyes.
Sandy: Are you fooling me? Don’t play games with my heart.
Chris: Do I look like a jerk to you?
Sandy: I don’t know (she mumbled).
Chris: So is that a yes?
Sandy avoided his eyes. Still, her cheeks were hot and she uncontrollably let out a nod. Her heart and her mind were together on this. The rain slowly ceased and they walked to his car hand in hand.
Cathy twisted and rolled on her bed. The beautiful sound of the rain on her window did not drive her into her peaceful sleep as usual. She turned on the yellow light on her nightstand and sat herself up. For the first time, the silence of the night gave her an awful sense of loneliness. She had everything she was wishing for…her sisters, friends, career, and a caring boyfriend. What was it that made her heart feel so empty and kept her up in the middle of the night? Many times Cathy wanted to let out her feelings. But how could she when she did not comprehend the situation herself? Or did she… Could it be that she was lying to herself? Who would listen to her without mocking or blaming her of her own problems? “You’ve got such a perfect boyfriend that cares for you and loves you so dearly! What else are you asking for? …What? Excuse me? You might be in love with someone else??”
…So she kept her thoughts imbedded internally.
Cathy picked up the picture frames on one of her nightstands and studied each photo with love. There were the five Dragon Princesses. Alice, a calm and mature person, a listener with great advice… Sandy, a friendly, honest person who speaks her mind… Joanne, the match-maker, the whiney, feminine portrayal… Tina, the crazy, wild girl who is always in a playful mood…
And there were Mr. “Know All” Tony-her first love, egotistical Eric, the gentleman Michael, Jerry-Garfield the cat, and Johnny Hercules. On another photo was Cathy herself and her favorite cousin Peter, the assured lawyer, AKA the “devil slayer”. Then her smile disappeared when she came across the picture that Tommy, Chris, and she took together. She wondered to herself if they could still smile happily as they did in this picture… Things change, people change…feelings change.
Cathy placed the frame back to its place and climbed down her bed. The rain had ceased; only a few drops of clear water were dripping down from the roof. She opened the door to the balcony. It surely was colder. She cringed up on the swing-bench and watched the colorful city as the pleasant tune of raindrops played the music of her soul. Suddenly, a silver Lexus stopped in front of her house. “That looks like Chris’s car”, she thought. She curiously looked down. Yes it was. Chris stepped down from the driver’s seat and made his way to open the passenger’s side. Cathy got up as she saw Sandy stepping out. No, her eyes did not fool her; they were holding hands! Cathy stood with her mouth opened as Chris kissed Sandy on the cheek. She grasped onto the railing, unable to move. While Sandy was still hugging Chris he looked up and noticed the exasperated Cathy. He awkwardly let go of Sandy and looked away. When he glanced up again Cathy was out of sight. The night was going to a long one.
"Friendship often ends in love; but love in friendship - never."
-Charles Caleb Colton
"Blushing is the color of virtue."