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last updated June 10, 2004

Chapter 1

After F3's drink with Sha Ge that night, Mei Zuo as walking to his car, was thinking about what they were imagining. What could have Shan Cai and Ah Si been doing at this very moment? He smiled at the thought. They're guess would probably be right. They must be arguing again about "who's the real pig-head!". He suddenly felt his spirits lifting up, though he didn't show Xi Men and Lei. Xi Men was laughing crazily again (probably drunk more than Mei Zuo was) while Lei was carefully looking over at where Xi Men was walking. Then he thought of something deeper, making him frown a bit. Then,

"I'm taking Xi Men home. He wouldn't be able to drive this way." Lei whispered to Mei Zuo.

"Yeah." answering quickly, "He just can't get off the thought of Ah Si and Shan Cai pig-heading here and pig-heading there!" he said jokingly. "If he still drives, he could end up a being a pig-head in the hospital again."

Lei was looking at Xi Men who was bidding Sha Ge goodbye and was about to get into the car then asked in a serious tone, "What about you?".

Mei Zuo was pretty confused. He didn't understand what Lei was talking about.

"Me? I'm not drunk. I was just lost in a thought, that's all." He answered.

"I'm not talking about you being drunk. I meant..." Lei looked at him in the eye. "I meant you finding yourself your happiness as well, just like what Ah Si did."


Chapter 2

He was shocked. He stared at Lei for about ten seconds before looking away. He tried to avoid the question and asked Lei as well. "Well... er... What about me?... Lei, Are you okay?" Mei Zuo gave a light punch on Lei's arm. He was under the impression that Lei was off-color due to the fact they were just talking about Ah Si and Shan Cai who finally got back together, that he wasn't paying attention so much to that topic that he noticed Mei Zuo's deep-thought looks.

Lei smiled before answering"Me? I've never been happier and I've never felt this clear ever since Chin left. Did I tell you Ah Mei talked some sense into me?"

"Ah Mei? Ah Mei talked some sense into you? I thought she was very childish." Mei Zuo said with a little laugh.

"Not necessarily talked. Her childishness helped actually. She kept on forcing questions to me about who Shan Cai really is to me. And that's where I realized who am I really supposed to be for her. I am to be her friend always."

Lei really looked serious. Mei Zuo was starting to think Lei was really half-drunk that's why he's like this. But, no. Lei wasn't talkative even before, even if he was drunk which was not often seen.

Then Lei continued, "Unlike me, you have greater happy opportunities waiting for you."

Mei Zuo confused, "Like What?"

"You're the one who knows that and you have the power to make it happen. If I were you, I wouldn't let the chance just slip away. You should -"

"Lei, let's go! You small pig-head..." Xi Men called to Lei from the car. Sha Ge was calling for Lei, too.

Lei nodded and started to walk to the car, leaving the immobile Mei Zuo who was about to enter his car then called out, "Lei, What should I do?"

Mei Zuo was eagerly waiting for an answer from Lei. He was just looking for an answer or someone to confirm that the thing he was thinking of very deep very Lei cut it up and talked to him was exactly the right thing.

Lei, before getting inside the driver's seat just nodded and smiled at him. Sha Ge talked to Lei and Xi Men through Lei's window for a moment before they drove off. Mei Zuo was left sitting inside his car already but the car door was still open. Sha Ge walked up to him and said "You guys should come often here now that Ah Xing isn't here. I'd be very lonely with no one to drink with."

"Sure. But for the moment, you have to bear with your empty house. Why don't you go to Bhutan and be with Ye Sha?" Mei Zuo asked trying to look happy in front of Sha Ge.

"Probably. But I know she would like it so much to visit Taipei again, soon. So maybe I'll just keep my place and wait for her."

"Okay. Just inform us when she's back. Dry-cracker Shan Cai would be happy. Maybe She and Ah Si would be here by the time Ye Sha visits."

"Okay. Drive Safely!" Sha Ge finally bids him and started to walk back. Mei Zuo then closes the door and drives off.


Chapter 3

He was driving on the road now but he still kept on thinking what Lei had said. He was feeling a bit of a heavy-head, probably because of drinking. But what gives more weight to his mind is the thought of what to do.

"How did Lei know that I'm thinking of it that very moment?" He thought.

"I'm not talking about you being drunk. I meant..." Lei looked at him in the eye. "I meant you finding yourself your happiness as well, just like what Ah Si did."

"Pig-headed Hua Ze Lei talked to me about happiness when he's there left with nothing but him and his 15-hour sleeps." He said to himself with a 'was-he-kidding-me smile'. "What's 'happiness' supposed to mean anyway? I'm happy with what I am right now." He continued talking to himself.

Then Lei continued, "Unlike me, you have greater happy opportunities waiting for you."

"...greater happy opportunities waiting for me...?" Snapped onto his mind in an instant...

"You're the one who knows that and you have the power to make it happen. If I were you, I wouldn't let the chance just slip away. You should -"

"I should...... what.....?"


The car behind him is blowing its horn. He was staring off blankly that he didn't notice the green light. He then suddenly stopped by V.S. No, he thought, he shouldn't bother too much about it. Not now...

When he went in, the place wasn't too crowded; there were just a group of people in one big table.

He was drinking alone in the usual couch he and Xi Men sat, staring at his glass. Then someone suddenly covered his eyes with both hands. He stayed still. Then the person spoke in Japanese. That girl's voice seemed so familiar. It couldn't be, he thought.

"Ai Sha?"


Chapter 4

Mei Zuo woke up the next day and sat-up on his bed. He was trying to recall what had happened last night. Then with a bit of shock, he remembered. Ai Sha came and surprised him. It was already half-past eleven in the morning as he looked on his watch from his bedside clock. Again he was lost in his thoughts. He thought "What's that supposed to mean? I wasn't expecting her to even come back." Then flashes of the old scene came to him. The moment Ai Sha stole his wallet, when she pretended to cry that her brother was dying which wasn't true, when she told her story about her grandmother, when they praticed dancing and when Ai Sha was to leave for Japan, she returned his wallet and gave him a kiss. Then the new scenes came, the picture of Ai Sha telling him stories about her getting along with her mom very well and how she got back to dancing and got a decent job as a dance instructor.

At about one in the afternoon, he was getting dressed for his date with Xiao Qiao. He was picking up a navy-blue long-sleeved when his cellphone rang. Half-buttoning his shirt, he then retrieved his phone from his bedside table.


"Hey, it's me, Ai Sha. How are you?"

"i'm just fine. We were together last night, and that wasn't even a whole day when we separated. Hey, where are you staying right now?" asking to sound a bit more cheerful but he looked as though she wasn't the one he wanted to talk to right now.

"Well, I'm still with Ma Yi. Besides, I know no one else here so where else am I going to go?" she answered slowly in her same poor-mandarin accent.

"Oh, okay. What's up?"

"Well, nothing much, I just wanted to ask you if you could meet me up at the same gym we practiced dancing before."

Mei Zuo was hesistating to ask why. But unknowingly, he answered yes. He started to go fast on dressing up. When he stared at himself at his full-length mirror, he felt stupid. He was wearing his shirt neatly with his black pants and leather shoes. He thought "Nah! this wasn't the way I used to dress when I was with Ai Sha." So, he took them off and tried to find his casual clothes. He went to his other closet and rummaged through it. Then he found the red sleeveless top he wore when they practiced dancing. He had a smile on his face while pulling it our from the closet. And finally, he was dressed, wearing the very same thing he did when they were practicing. The jogging pants and his huge brown shoes. Apparently, he was smiling all the way he dressed up and then, slowly while still staring at himself at his full-length mirror, the smile was wiped off then muttered "Oh God! Xiao Qiao!"

He ran to his bedside table again and took his phone. He dialled a number quickly and tried to sound as calm as possible.

"Wei?" answered Xiao Qiao.

"Xiao Qiao, it's me. Er... Uhm.... Ah, how do I say it?" he said, with a bit of a stutter.

"You're stuttering, what is it? Did something happen? Just tell me, it's okay." She answered with a light voice. Judging from her voice, she would probably be smiling lightly again but with a bit of worry.

"Well, uhm, I met an old friend last night and asked if we can spend a little time together today. Uhm... Is it okay if... if... ("Oh God think of something good!") if we can have dinner instead?"

"Mei Zuo, what's wrong with you? Of course it's okay. You probably would get busy later. Would you like it if I'll just meet you later? She asked.

"No! Of Course not! I'd pick you up there later at seven! Don't leave home alone okay?"

"Okay. I'll see you later. Have fun!"

"Okay. Bye." He ended the call, and hurriedly, he went out and took the car.


Chapter 5

Mei Zuo stopped for a moment to the old coffee shop he and Ai Sha used to meet and ordered a drink and some hot buns for take-out. Then, stopping in front of the building of the gym, he took a deep breath first before stepping off the car. When he entered the gym, Ai Sha was there already and was preparing the sound system.

"Hey there!" She greeted him. And then, their dancing piece came up. The very same song they rehearsed for the dance contest. "Come on and join me!"

"Nah, Ai Sha, I.... dance?!" Ai Sha was pulling him into dancing their dance steps. "Ok ok, I'll put this down.."

And so there he went dancing with Ai Sha. He was giving out his very best, just the was he did before. And after the dance, they sat down on the floor and started on to their drinks.

"Didn't know you still remembered every step," said Mei Zuo "I merely remembered the routine."

"Well, I don't know really. Maybe because I teach dancing now and I tend to get ideas of dance steps from the one we have done before." She answered. The smile on her face was brighter than it ever was. Mei Zuo smiled back. And then he asked, "What brought you back to Taipei anyway? Are you here to visit Ma Yi?"

Ai Sha took a moment before answering, "Well, yeah, for one is to visit her. And the other one is to see you."

Mei Zuo was as though he was struck by lightning. The smile was wiped off his face again and all he was able to do was bow his head down. He then asked quietly, "Why?"

Ai Sha answered almost immediately, still with the very cheerful voice, "I told you once before. Were you able to understand it?" She then said the very same sentence in Japanese she told Mei Zuo before she went off for Japan.

"Yes, I was able to work it out from a friend."

"That's the reason."

"But why?"

Ai Sha didn't answer. She just smiled. Then Mei Zuo, not realizing it was staring at his watch and the time is almost ten minutes to seven.

"Ai Sha, I'm sorry but I have to go." and he started to pack up.

"Wait! Wait a minute, I have something to ask you."


Chapter 6

Mei Zuo stopped dead. (“What now?”) All the while since Ai Sha turned up, he was thinking that Ai Sha wanted to see if they can return to that little something they had between them before. He thought that Ai Sha wanted to say something that would make things very bad for him. He thought Ai Sha was to confess something. Everything went more complicated and his head was buzzing lots of stuff more than what it had last night.

"I know you're in a hurry but, can I see you again?" Ai Sha requested in a bit of a shaky voice.

"....Okay" answering after about 20 seconds Ai Sha asked him. He then smiled and walked away.

In his car, he took the earphones for his cell and started to make a call after driving away from the parking area.

"Wei? Xiao Qiao, I'm sorry if I get a bit late but I'm coming alright?"

"Ok. I'll be waiting." Xiao Qiao answered.

Rushing to Xiao Qiao's driveway, he saw Xiao Qiao was waiting for him already outside. She was wearing all formal. She was wearing a long black dress, fit to her body that shows her beautiful curves. She had her hair down again but this time, it had little curls on the end. Mei Zuo was like watching a dreamy woman walking towards the car. It took him a moment to realize he was still wearing casual. Xiao Qiao, who was now placing her seatbelt said "You look good!"

"Good? I'm not appropriately dressed for our dinner! Look at me!"

"I told you, you look good. But my wear doesn't matter okay? You can wear anything you want. Doesn't matter where we go as well, It's fine with me. Next time, tell me what to wear so that I can match yours, ok?"

"Okay. Uhm, can we not go into the old restaurants tonight? Can I take you somewhere more 'common'?"

"Of Course." She answered with a smile.

Mei Zuo took her to the coffee shop he and Ai Sha went eating. They ordered every same stuff he and Ai Sha used to eat.

"It's a nice place, actually. Have you been here before?" Xiao Qiao asked starting to open up her salad.

"Yeah. It's pretty simple and not too elegant. I get tired of ‘pure elegance’ at times, you know. Makes me feel bored and I would want to leave"


"Yes, honestly." Then Mei Zuo thought of something then asked Xiao Qiao, "Can I ask you a favor?"


"The next time we go out, can you wear something like this? Well, uhm, T-shirt and ordinary jeans?"


"It's not that I don't like you dressing up so formally, it's just that-"

"It's okay. I like the idea." She cut in into Mei Zuo's reasonings. “What are you thinking anyways?”

Mei Zuo was shocked. He didn’t see that question coming. Why did he ask anyways? (“Stupid! Why the hell anyway?”)

“Well, I just thought, maybe we could loosen up a bit. Don’t you get tired of dressing up in formal clothes? Wearing make-up and trying to meet and greet everyone at banquets? I know you’re used to that and you do it pretty well but, don’t you…”


Chapter 7

“I do get tired!” She answered with a bit of excitement. She had a different smile on her face, as though she was happy that the subject was brought up. The smile she had was like when Mei Zuo presented her repaired cello.

“Huh?” Mei Zuo was surprised.

“Well, yeah, I’m used to it. Right after I mastered studying my first piece with the cello, my father made me go to every banquet he hosted to show-me off to his business partners that I can play music well. Thanks to my inspiration, I just kept on playing the cello. Thinking it was always for him, and that playing will help me get to him, I got by every time it was socializing time."

Mei Zuo felt flattered. She mentioned him again on her stories. The thoughts on Ai Sha suddenly vanished and not knowing it, he was staring at Xiao Tao as she took a sip on her iced tea. Xiao Qiao noticing the stare,

"Why are you staring at me like that?" she asked lightly with pure amazement on her face.

"Nothing. It's just that this is the first time you opened up something about what you want. And," Mei Zuo finally bowed his head down a bit and thought first before continuing, "you mentioned that person in your stories again." Now, looking at Xiao Qiao with a wide smile, "He wants you to know he's very happy." Mei Zuo leans forward to reach on Xiao Qiao's face and lightly touched her face.



Chapter 8

Mei Zuo drove Xiao Qiao home and before getting off the car, Xiao Qiao gave a light kiss on Mei Zuo's cheek. Mei Zuo was yet again shocked. He just stared at her with a light smile and even before he asked why, she said, "Mei Zuo, Xie Xie Ni. I've never imagined that you would listen to all my stories and know what are my thoughts and feelings. I promise the next time we go out, I'll wear casual clothes. Wan an!" She then gets off.

Mei Zuo was dumbfounded. He never felt this way before. He felt a sudden urge that he wants to spend more time with her. Xiao Qiao was now walking to the gates when Mei Zuo got off and called her off.

"Xiao Qiao..." he called off and then ran to the other side of the car, almost halfway to where Xiao Qiao was.

Xiao Qiao just turned back and faced him.

It was as Mei Zuo was rooted to where he was. He wants to say something but doesn't know what it is, do something but has no idea of it. He was just staring at her from head to foot.

"Mei Zuo, What's the matter?" She looked a bit puzzled at him.

"...Xiao Qiao, you really look beautiful tonight. I just forgot to tell you." Mei Zuo was with a dead-serious tone.


Chapter 9

Mei Zuo was driving home when he remembers the thoughts of Xiao Qiao on his head, while he was staring at her at the driveway. Cute, no, he thought. She wasn't cute, she wasn't pretty. She WAS beautiful. ("Actually, she really was a babe!") Mei Zuo parked the car and as he was to push the button to close the main gates, he saw a shadow of someone standing outside. He stared carefully, closing on his fists inside his pant pockets. He walked a bit closer to the slowly closing gates. Then he thought, it couldn't be a burglar coz the figure was an outline of a small person. He walked a bit faster and before the gates closed, the person was now walking away. The moonlight reflected on the long hair of the lady and realized it was Ai Sha.

"Ai Sha!" he called out. Ai Sha stopped and looked back at him with an expressionless face and then the gates closed.

Mei Zuo hurriedly went back to the garage switch box and opened the gates. He ran to the gate and saw Ai Sha there sitting by the streetside.

"Ai Sha! What are you doing here at this hour?" He was a bit worried about her. ("Had she been waiting for me here for hours?!")

"Nothing, I just wanted to see you." Not looking at him, Ai Sha's voice was a bit shaky.

"Why? Is there something wrong? Come here, come inside. Its cold out here." He pulled her hand and stood her up. When she got up, the moonlight shone on her face and saw that there was tear or two on her face. Mei Zuo was crazy confused and worried.

"Ai Sha, What is it? What happened?"

Ai Sha then hugged Mei Zuo and broke into tears. She talked slowly and in tears she said, "Mei Zuo, Did you know? I never felt so happy in my life. Ever since the time you took me off from the police station, I've felt you're a very special person. No one has ever been that good to me. And then when I had to go through accepting Grandma was dead, you were there."

Mei Zuo hugged her tight and then pushing her away, calmly he said, "C'mon. come inside and stay here for the night. I'll ask Ah Yuen to prepare a room for you. It wouldn't be safe to go home now and I'm kinda tired already. Come 'on stop crying."

Ai Sha hugged him again and now said, "Mei Zuo, xie xie ni..."

He had the comforting gesture on his arms when he lightly patted her back. And, holding her hand, he pulled her into walking to the house.


Chapter 10

"Ah Yuen! I'm home."

"Xiao Ye, Ni Lai Le. Would you like the servants to prepare you a hot bath?" Ah Yuen Ge was just there dimming the lights on the corridors of the entrance.

"Yes please, Ah Yuen, and ask them to prepare a room for Ai Sha, She'll be our guest tonight."

"Shi, Xiao Ye. Would there be anything else?"

"Nothing, We'll be in the dining room for the moment, I'll have Annie prepare us some tea."

Ah Yuen proceeded to the stairs and Mei Zuo ushered Ai Sha to the dining. Annie, the lady keeper in the kitchen was just coming out from the kitchen with prepared tea for them.

"I figured you'd have some, Xiao Ye, it was very cold out there."

"Annie, how did you know?" Mei Zuo was joking with Annie.

"Well, Xiao Ye, I saw you coming in from the gates and Xiao Jie here is quite red already. I figured its very cold outside, the windows had a bit of mist." She was now placing the tea on the table along with bite-size hot buns that looked freshly heated with butter.

"Annie, xie xie."

"Hao Le, Xiao Ye, I asked them to get Xiao Jie clothes, too. When you're finished, just leave them there and I'll fix them up when you leave." Annie now left for the door to the kitchen.

Ai Sha took a sip of the tea. She was feeling a bit shy now, Mei Zuo even bothered to take her in. "Mei Zuo, is it really ok I'm here?"

"Of course." He just finished a bite of the buns. "C'mon, drink some more tea. You're very very cold-" Mei Zuo's phone suddenly rang. Looking at the I.D. it was Xiao Qiao.

"Wei?" He stopped, motioned to Ai Sha that he'll just take the call and stood up, he went inside the bar where it was far from Ai Sha.