Chapter 18 – So Life Goes On

As I stood at the seaside waiting for Ting Wei, I never felt so carefree before in my life. All of these years, hanging onto something I thought was the most important to me, but it was all but an illusion. It was all an illusion in disguised for happiness, nothing more. I swung my hands up and down slowly, feeling the wind blowing lightly into my face. I could finally face myself since I had found the answer. And I would end it all today. No more games. I must start anew – from this day on.
I finally dropped my hands to my sides and turned around when I heard footsteps coming closer to me. Yes, Ting Wei was here. He had came alone liked I ask. He was wearing his favorite outfit – light blue and white striped shirt with dark blue jeans and black sneakers to complete his outfit. His hair looked fresh and cleaned like the morning’s light. As he came closer to me, his smile became even wider. I maintained my calm expression.
“It’s a nice day, huh?” He said. “Shao Han, want to…”
“I want to talk to you about something,” I cut him off. “Then afterward, you can decide if you still want to join me for a drink at a nearby café or not.”
He smiled. “Sure.”
He tried to take my hands into his, but I took a step back. His smile faded. He looked at me with sad eyes.
“I want to get things straighten out first,” I said.
“I understand,” He said, his cheerful smile showed on his face again.
“After so many things happened, I realize I shouldn’t be so stubborn anymore,” I began. “From this day on, let’s just be regular friends.”
His smile faded. “Shao Han…”
“I’m not giving you a hard time nor am I trying to pull any tricks, because I’m never like that,” I said, my face still maintaining its calm expression. Maybe a bit too calm to the point of being passive – like my voice. “I can’t come up with some lame excuse like being naïve or innocent in the past, because weren’t we all? The most important thing is that right now, I know what I really want. I also know what I don’t want. I don’t want to be tangled in this triangle any longer. This relationship has been a mistake from the start and I’m partially blamed. So today, I want to end it all and set all of us free. You can continue your life however you want, but I don’t want to be a pawn in your game anymore.”
After I said those words, I walked away.
“Shao Han,” He called in a pitiful voice.
I didn’t turn around. “What is there to talk about anymore? I think we should all put this behind us and move on. If you don’t want to be regular friends either, that’s fine with me.”
“I admit I was hesitant and indecisive,” He said.
I turned around to face him again. I stared him down with a stern look. “No one is totally at fault. We all were. But it’s too late to mend everything because we can’t undo any of it. We didn’t trust each other to share the hardships together, so what’s the point of playing this game of tug?”
“Shao Han, I promise you from this day on…”
I raised my hand up to stop him. “Enough. You didn’t get it. After so many things happened, how can I just erase it from my mind? I can’t lie to myself that I will put this behind me and accept what has already happened. I don’t want to fight anymore. I didn’t want to in the first place.”
“If it’s about Jing Jing, we already…”
“This has nothing to do with Jing Jing. It’s my own decision to end this. It doesn’t matter if it’s Jing Jing or not .What if it’s someone else in the future? I don’t want to go on like this anymore, wondering every single day whether you have someone else or…”
“Shao Han, it will never happen again…”
“It doesn’t matter anymore, because there will always be some doubt existing in our relationship.”
I didn’t want to repeat what I had to say anymore. If he didn’t get it, so be it. Life would go on. I turned around and walked into town again, leaving him behind for the last time.
As I reached the outskirt of town, I saw shops opening up and people beginning to wander around. Everything was coming alive again as people began another day of hard work. I stopped at the edge of town to watch the scene, feeling more appreciative of its repetitive routine. Then I heard someone calling me.
“Excuse me, Miss,” A man’s voice said.
I turned to my right to see a tall guy wearing sports clothes and lugging a backpack over his shoulder.
“Yes?” I asked.
“Could you tell me where is Evermore Fitness Center?”
“Evermore Fitness Center? Don’t you mean Everlasting?”
He fidgeted around a little and pulled out a piece of paper from a side pocket of his backpack. He looked up at me after studying the paper carefully. He had a nervous expression on his face, possibly from embarrassment. “I’m sorry. Yes, Everlasting.”
“It’s all right,” I said politely. I put on a friendly smile to ease the situation. “Are you new in town? I haven’t seen you around before.”
“Yes,” The guy said. “I just got a job offer here so I’m just coming here to look around.”
“Oh? How about if I walk you there? It’s not far, but it gets complicated around here.”
“Really?” His eyes brightened. “If that’s okay with you, Miss.”
“I’m fine with it. It’s nice to meet you, Mister…” I extended my hand.
“Johnny Yan,” He said, shaking my hand.
“I’m Angela Chang,” I said, withdrawing my hand at the same time. “Just call me Angela.”
“All right. Uh…should we go now?”
“Maybe we can go for a cup of coffee or tea afterward,” He said. “I mean it’s my way of showing some appreciation for your help.”
I could see the sincerity in his eyes, so I smiled. “That’ll be great.”
He smiled also, looking more relief, as we made our way into town, heading back to civilization.
© Monday, July 14th, 2008
Posted: Saturday, March 13th, 2010