Saturday, January 2, 2021

 


Dinner time. Xiao Tang was full of questions.

"Papa, how come Nai nai  is rich and you're not? I heard that you and Mama were hiding from her. Why is that? And why were you so angry when you saw her? Did she do something wrong?"

Dao Ming Si and San Cai looked at each other. 

San Cai spoke. "Dao Ming Si, I think you and Xiao Tang should have a little father and son talk after dinner."

Dao Ming Si nodded and said, "Xiao Tang, after dinner, Papa will go to your bedroom. There are things we need to tell you. Finish your dinner first then wash up afterwards, okay?"

"Okay, Pa."

That evening, Dao Ming Si told his son everything. He did not sugar coat the facts, he spoke to his son like he was speaking with an adult and not a 5 year old. He knew he understood. This way, there will be no more secrets, Dao Ming Si told himself. After he had tucked Xiao Tang in bed, he gave him a kiss and wished him good night. As he closed the door, Dao Ming Si had a feeling of relief. No more emotional baggage. This is what family is supposed to be.

San Cai was listening outside Xiao Tang's bedroom, listening to the father and son conversation. When Dao Ming Si came out, San Cai hugged him tight. "Thank you Dao Ming Si. Now that everything is out in the open, we can have peace of mind. No more running, no more hiding. You are the best husband and father any woman can ever have."

"I need to claim my reward then." Dao Ming Si had a naughty smile on his face.

"Reward? What reward?" San Cai had a puzzled look on her face.

"My reward for being the best husband!" Dao Ming Si says.

"Oh. Do you want me to cook something for you?" San Cai replied.

"Nope. I will claim my reward in the bedroom!" Dao Ming Si lifts San Cai up on his shoulder and carries her into their bedroom.

"Dao Ming Si!!!" 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

"Hua Ze Lei? Did you get to speak with Meizuo?" Ximen was on the phone with Lei.

"Yes, I did. He called me. That was wonderful news. I knew that in time, they'd patch up. We should give each other a pat on the back. It just seemed like the stars were all aligned we won heaven's favor. Happy to know Ah-Si has come to his senses." Lei said.

"When are you flying back home, Lei? We are all invited to Dao Ming Feng's birthday celebration next month. It would be nice if we would all be complete again." Ximen asked.

"I can book a flight next week. There is not much work to do at the office right now so I am sure my father would let me go on a vacation." Lei said.

"Great. Meizuo is staying here. It was only his mother who flew back to Los Angeles. His fiancee will  flying in from California a few days from today, so he stayed. So I guess we will complete. I am so excited to be with you guys again!" Ximen was smiling ear to ear. 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Dao Ming Si and San Cai have decided to travel to Taipei to visit San Cai's parents. 

"My parents will be so surprised. I am excited to see them!"

"See who, Mama?"

"My Ma and Pa, Xiao Tang. You will get to meet your Wai po and Wai gong." San Cai replied.

"Wow. Before it was just you, and me and Papa. Now I have a Nai nai, a Wai po and a Wai gong!" Xiao Tang was jumping with excitement. "When are we going to see them?"

"Next weekend we will go to Taipei to meet them." Dao Ming Si said. He then whispers to San Cai, "I hope they will be happy to see me too. I know they think I stole their daughter from them. Please protect me from your mother's frying pan."

San Cai jabbed her elbow into Dao Ming Si's side and laughed. "Haha. I don't think my Ma would hit you with her frying pan, but if she would ever attempt to, I will protect you."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Dao Ming Si,Xiao Tang and San Cai stand outside the gate of her parents house. She rings the doorbell.

"Who is it?" San Cai hears her mother's voice. She keeps quiet. Rings the bell again.

"I'm coming, I'm coming! Stop ringing the doorbell! Electricity is not cheap!" Oh, that familiar high pitched voice that I miss so much, San Cai says to herself.

The door opens. Dong Mama is stunned to see San Cai, Dao Ming Si and Xiao Tang standing there. She drops to her knees and cries.

San Cai helps her mother up. "Ma... I'm home."

"Is it really you? Am I dreaming? San Cai? 6 years!"

"It is me, Ma. You are not dreaming. Come here, Dao Ming Si. Don't be scared of my mother. You know she adores you."

"Master Dao Ming Si..."

"No more titles, Dong Mama. I am just Dao Ming Si now. Oh, by the way, meet your grandson, Xiao Tang."

"Hello, Wai po. Xiao Tang greets his grandmother with a shy smile.

"My grandson? Lao gong! Your daughter is back! Come here and meet your son in law and your grandson! Lao gong!!! You pig head! Come here!"

Dao Ming Si and San Cai smiled. Just like the old times. 

The family had a lovely time catching up on each other's lives. San Cai told her mother about everything that happened and most especially about the recent incident of meeting Dao Ming Feng, the reconciliation, and all that. San Cai's parents were happy that all turned out well, even if it took years. Dong Papa's happiness was so evident in the way he played with his grandson. Even with a bad back, he willingly let Xiao Tang ride piggy back on him. 

The family stayed there for a night. The next morning, they were set on visiting Dao Ming Feng. San Cai gave her parents a big hug. She gave them her address and phone number in Hsinchu. 

"Ma, Pa. You can visit or call us anytime you want. It would be a nice break for you guys to do some travel once in a while. We'll have to go now. Dao Ming Si promised his mother a visit too." San Cai said.

"I will miss you Wai po and Wai gong. When you visit me in Hsinchu, I will show you my trains. We can play the whole day." Xiao Tang said as he embraced his grandparents.

"Oh, I will miss you too, Xiao Tang." Dong Mama kisses Xiao Tang. "Be a good boy to your parents always."

"Yes, Wai po."

Dong Papa pulls Dao Ming Si aside and says, "You better take good care of my daughter. You hear me?"

"I will treasure her with my life." Dao Ming Si says with all sincerity.

The three leave after saying their goodbyes.

Meanwhile, at the mansion, Dao Ming Feng was busy ordering the butler and the maids to be prepared for Dao Ming Si and his family's visit.

"Are my grandson's toys in his room? Did you get everything a little 5 year old boy would like? The food? Is it ready? They will be here soon."

Dao Ming Si and his family alight from a taxi. They got off a block from the mansion and walked towards the gate.

"Pa, where is your Mama's house? Is it still far to walk?" Xiao Tang asked.

"No, my son. Just a few meters more and we will be at the gate." Dao Ming Si replied.

"Here we are!" Dao Ming Si pushes open the gate. Two men in suits greeted him respectfully and bowed.

"Young Master Dao Ming Si. You're back!" One of the men said.

"Young master? You are Young master Dao Ming Si? Papa?" Xiao Tang looked puzzled. "You must have been really rich."

"Hush, my son. Just keep walking. Your Nai nai is waiting for you." San Cai said.

When they reached the foyer, Xiao Tang could not control himself and said, "This is Nai nai's house? It is as big as the earth!"

"Xiao Tang!" Dao Ming Feng calls out to her grandson

He runs to her side and hugs her. "Nai nai, Papa said you were rich but I did not know you were THIS rich!"

Dao Ming Feng smiled. "In time, Xiao Tang, you will have all this."

"Ma..." Dao Ming Si said. "We have already talked about this."

"I'm sorry. San Cai, come inside. The food is waiting. I asked the chef to make a sumptuous dinner for us all."

The family enjoyed a good meal and a lively conversation. This was something new to Dao Ming Si, because his mother rarely talked to him during their meals. It felt wonderful. And to think his mother was actually having a nice conversation with San Cai. Perfect. Just the way I want it to be. Dao Ming Si said to himself.

Dao Ming Feng calls for the nannies to help Xiao Tang upstairs to his room. "I got toys for you in your room, Xiao Tang. I hope you will like them." Dao Ming Feng said.

"Thank you Nai nai!," and he runs upstairs with the nannies.

"San Cai," said Dao Ming Feng, "Don't forget to invite your parents to come on my birthday. I want all of you to celebrate with me. This is going to be a very special birthday for me."

"I will let them know, Madam, I mean, Ma." 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

The family goes back to Hsinchu after spending the weekend at San Cai and Dao Ming Si's families. Xiao Tang enjoyed his little vacation and was eager to go back to Taipei to see his grandparents. 

Meanwhile, Dao Ming Si went back to his work at the restaurant and San Cai busied herself with taking care of her family. On the 28th of the following month would be a special day for everyone. This reunion would mark the start of emotional healing, and that both Dao Ming Si and San Cai never expected that this would happen this soon.

A day before their trip to Taipei, San Cai was looking at the clothes she had in her closet.

"What should I wear, Dao Ming Si? I am scared your mother would not approve of a casual attire. You know all her big wig business friends would be there too." San Cai said.

Dao Ming Si hands her a present. "Here, sweetheart. Take this. I saved some money out of my pay check last week and I got you a pretty dress. I hope you like it."

San Cai opened the box. Her eyes widened at the sight of what was inside. It was a satin gown in the prettiest shade of lilac. "Thank you, Dao Ming Si. I love it. But you shouldn't have spent so much for this dress. But still, thank you! But what about you? What are you going to wear?"

"A coat and tie of course. I got one for Xiao Tang too." Dao Ming Si smiled at his wife who was still marveling at the beautiful dress.

"We better get to bed early. Mama called. She said she will have a driver pick us up tomorrow at 8 am, so we don't have to take the train. She's going to have someone pick up your parents too. Please let them know tonight so they will be ready."

"I will. Thank you so much for this dress." San Cai kisses Dao Ming Si on the lips.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

The big day finally arrives.

The Dao Ming mansion is all decked with tables for the guests, complete with very expensive tablescapes. The entire garden has been lined with flower bouquets - tulips and chrysanthemums imported from the Netherlands.

Guest started arriving and Dao Ming Feng greeted them all with a smile on her face. Yu Tian made an announcement asking everyone to take a seat. Dao Ming Feng then spoke to the crowd.

"My friends, today is a very special day. It is my birthday but other than that, today I celebrate the homecoming of my son, Dao Ming Si. You may have heard rumors about our family issues, but its all in the past. Please let me introduce him to you once more. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my son, Dao Ming Si, his wife San Cai and my beloved grandson, Xiao Tang."

Everyone stood up and applauded. San Cai had her head bowed. She was not used to this kind of attention. "Look up at the crowd and smile, sweetheart." Dao Ming Si said.

"Do I look okay? Is my hair okay?" San Cai whispered.

"You are the most beautiful woman I have ever laid my eyes on." Dao Ming Si looks into her eyes and smiles.

San Cai blushed.

"San Cai! Mama is here!" Dong Mama was waving at her daughter, telling everyone around her that she is the mother of Dao Ming Si's wife. 

"Thank you everyone for your warm welcome for my son and his family and your heartfelt birthday greetings. Please sit back and enjoy the day. Wine will be served right now and the meal will follow shortly after. Again, thank you." Dao Ming Feng said to the crowd.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Hua Ze Lei, Meizuo and  Ximen and his wife Xiao You arrived. Dao Ming Si run to greet them.

"You made it! I am so happy that we get to have this chance to be together! Come in, come in!" Dao Ming Si had his arms around his friends.

San Cai greeted them soon as she saw them. "Lei, Ximen, Meizuo... thank you for coming. It seems like it has been forever since we were together like this."

"You look beautiful, San Cai. So elegant in that dress." Hua Ze Lei could not keep his eyes off San Cai.

Dao Ming Si puts his arm around San Cai's waist and says, "She sure is beautiful. I am the luckiest man alive."

Yes you are, Ah-Si. You are very lucky to have San Cai as your wife. She would have ended up with me, but I could never replace you in her heart. You are the one she loves, not me. I am just her good friend, and I vow to protect her forever from any harm and hurt. You can count on that Ah-Si. Lei said to himself.

"San Cai, you and Xiao You go ahead and enjoy. I am going to do some catching up with these three monkeys. Haha!" Dao Ming Si laughed.

"Okay," San Cai said, and then took Xiao You by the hand and led her to the gazebo which was quite a distance away from the crowd. Then they heard a familiar voice.. 

"San Cai! San Cai!" And they saw Qing He running towards them.

"Qing He!" San Cai gives him a hug. "How are you? I did not know you were here too."

"My father's company was chosen by Dao Ming Feng to build her new hotel in Keelung. I am glad that she did. This would be a big boost for my father's company."

"Come here and sit with us, Qing He. It has been years since we last had a good conversation." Xiao You said.

San Cai looked around to check on Xiao Tang. Her son was busy riding the electric toy car that Dao Ming Feng bought for him. San Cai had to chuckle watching the three nannies chase after her son.

This is such a wonderful day. San Cai smiled.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

In the meantime, Dao Ming Si, Hua Ze Lei, Ximen and Meizuo were engaged in a lively conversation. They were reminiscing about their younger years, their college days, the red tags, and their spoiled brat moments. All of a sudden, Dao Ming Si turned serious.

"I can never thank you guys enough. really. I still don't want this kind of lifestyle for my son. Too complicated, too stressful for a young boy. I'd rather want him to have a normal life, to mingle with kids his age, to be want he wants to be. But I am happy now that my mother and I have finally understood each other. It seems like a huge weight has been taken off my chest." 

Dao Ming Si then asks Ximen a question. "Ximen, you know that San Cai and Xiao you are the best of friends. Maybe you can let Xiao You visit San Cai once in a while. I know it will make both of them happy. Can you do that?" 

"Sure, why not?" Ximen replies.

Dao Ming Si then turns his attention to Meizuo.

"Meizuo, will you please hurry up and marry that girl? We are not getting any younger. Do it now while your knees can still hold you up! Hahaha."

"No rush, brother. I will marry her when the time is right. For now, let's just drink and have fun!" Meizuo raises his glass for a toast.

Lastly, Dao Ming Si speaks with Hua Ze Lei.

"Lei, my brother. I know we have had so many misunderstandings in the past but you were always there, supporting me, helping me. You have been my wife's crying shoulder and I really appreciate all those things you did to help her through her troubles - even if most of  her heartaches were because of me and my mother. I wish you find a wife who will care for you. Someone like San Cai. Honestly, if fate had it that me and San Cai did not end up together, I really wished she'd end up with you because I know you would treasure her like I do."

"Ah-Si. There is no one else like San Cai. I have been and will forever be her best friend, you know that. I will protect her and not allow anyone to give her heartaches again. That is a promise I will make to you, today, tomorrow and even beyond this earthly life. Promise me you will cherish my good friend and much as I treasure her friendship."  Hua Ze Lei said.

"I will, Lei. Promise you that."

"These two guys must be drunk! Cut out the drama, you too! Today is a happy day! Let's celebrate!" Meizuo said, laughing.

"I raising a glass to celebrate your homecoming, Ah-Si. Welcome back! Cheers!" Ximen said.

"Cheers!" All four friends raised their glasses, drank their wine and smiled.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Suddenly they heard a commotion. Dao Ming Feng's security personnel were running. Dao Ming Si stood up and tried to find out what was happening. He looked towards the gazebo where San Cai was. He saw her running towards Xiao Tang and grabbed him. Dao Ming Si started running towards his wife and son. Hua Ze Lei, Ximen and Meizuo followed suit.

What they saw stopped them in their tracks.

President Shui had a gun pointed at Dao Ming Feng's head. He was furious.

"Listen everyone. This woman here promised me the building contract. Then all of a sudden, she gives it to Chen Builders Corporation. Dao Ming Feng, do you know how much money I lost? I have sealed contracts with suppliers and hired workers then you would just drop me like a hot potato? You will have to pay!"

Dao Ming Feng answers back, "I never promised you anything. I gave every bidder a fair chance. It was your mistake, not mine!"

President Shui slaps Dao Ming Feng.

"Shut up, you bitch! Today is the day you will burn in hell." He cocks his pistol. The security personnel move in an attempt to disarm President Shui.

"Stand back or I will blow her head up right now."

Dao Ming Si flung himself towards the gunman. He wrestles with him trying to free the gun from his hand.

"You will do no harm to my mother!" Dao Ming Si shouts.

"Dao Ming Si!!!!" San Cai was now crying hysterically. "Dao Ming Si!!!"

"Papa!!!" Xiao Tang cried

President Shui was strong. He managed to kick Dao Ming Si in the abdomen. Dao Ming Si fell on his back in pain. President Shui pointed the gun at Dao Ming Si. 

"You will join your mother in hell today."

Bang. The sound of a gunshot.

President Shui drops his gun. He could not believe he could shoot someone out of anger... because of money.

Security personnel wrestle him to the ground and cuff him.

Dao Ming Si was shocked to see Hua Ze Lei beside him on the ground, bleeding from a wound on his chest.

"Lei! Lei! Why did you do that?" Dao Ming Si was frantic. 

Lei spoke while gasping for breath. "I do not want her to get hurt anymore. Remember I told you just now that I will protect her? She cannot lose you Ah-Si. That will break her heart.  Do not feel bad if I took the bullet for you."

"Hua Ze Lei!!!" Dao Ming Si was crying. He shouted at the crowd. "Someone please call an ambulance! Please!!!"

"I am fine, Ah-Si. It will only be my body that you won't see. But I will be with you guys forever in spirit. Promise me you will have a good life. Take good care of her."

"Hua Ze Lei! San Cai was beside him now. Don't do this!"

"San Cai. My best friend. I love you. I have always loved you...Please take care of yourself. I will see your guys in the next life."

Hua Ze Lei died in Dao Ming Si's arms. 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Several years passed.

A teenager lays flowers and a toy train on a tomb marker.

"Hello, Uncle Lei. I am a big boy now. I am doing as I promised you. Mama is fine. She reminds me of you everyday. She tells me stories of how good a friend you are. I hope to find a friend like you someday. Papa is learning about the Dao Ming business. Nai nai is not forcing him to do it. It was Papa's decision. Nai nai is old now and Papa wants to make sure he knows what to do when the time comes that Nai nai cannot do her job anymore. We still live in Hsinchu. It is a nice place to grow up. I love my school, and I am working hard to get a scholarship too. I am going to make you proud of me, Uncle Lei. But most of all, I want to thank you for everything that you did for us. Please continue to watch over us, Uncle Lei. I love you, and yes... See you in the next life."

The End.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

© Eileen L. Layno 01/02/2021

Part 1 - Click here
Part 2 - Click here
Part 3 - Click here
Part 4 - Click here

3 comments:

  1. My happy surprise for Qing He appearance ended with what happened. I love Lei. I can so imagine him doing that. My heart bleeds. I am sure Ah Si is too. But the story is wonderful. Thank you for writing it💛

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am happy to know you enjoyed the story. I wish this story could reach more Meteor Garden / F4 fans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. divineYan / angel_leighFebruary 8, 2021 at 2:09 PM

      When MG first premiered, there was a popular fic site with lots of following. Sadly that site was closed many years ago.

      Also it seemed not many of the original MG fans enjoy reading still. Or maybe they just dont know where to read more stories. Try wattpad if u want but its mostly the fans are mostly of the new version.

      Hope you could continue writing💛 i thank Honey for sharing the link of your story☺️

      Delete

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