15 years ago…
“it’s your destiny to find love elsewhere, you must leave for your own good.” Fortune teller told a woman.
Her heart sank. “Maybe it is the time to leave” she thought. She decided to leave everything behind and head to America before her visa expired.
“But, where…?” she wondered. Opened the map and closed her eyes, then point a place, opened her eyes – New York!
“ok!” sounded so determine.
She sold whatever she had within 2 weeks and had quick farewell with friends and family, telling them her so-called plan… which was no plan! Some tried to convince her it is crazy; some believed she will return when she noticed there were no love, no money and no job, very soon.
Deep down, they saw the sparks in her eyes and admired her courage.
At the airport anxiety attacked, “that’s it? Start from scratch?” she doubted for a sec and approached to the gate. Battle between the doubt and excitement stopped her from sleeping. She tried to plan her trip with the Lonely Planet she picked in the dutyfree.
“travelling New York?!” a man asked. “yes… oh, no” the woman said.
“so is it a yes or no?” he laughed. “oh wait, how long you’re going to stay? where are you staying?” the man never expected an answer and kept shooting her with questions. She smiled.
Despite her silent, the man continued, “you obviously confused by the book, let me suggest you some interesting spots to visit. I’m a frequent traveler to New York, maybe able to help. At least for the first few days….ok… here and there…” without her permission, he started to plan her trip with her book, meticulously. She had no words but kept her smile and nods, listened carefully and took a good look at him.
He’s at his 30s with thick clean cut hair, looks very soft in touch. Big eyes with strong facial feature. Delicate and dedicated. “it’s your destiny to find love elsewhere, you must leave for your own good.” she remembered the fortune teller said. “That’s it?! That easy? I met him once I started the journey?” She couldn’t help to be excited.
“hey, are you here?! Sorry, am I speaking too fast?” the man apologized. “My wife said I always like that, makes people tired…”
WIFE! She heard nothing but the gun shot to her butterflies…
“no, you’re very kind, maybe I’m too tired. Thanks!” she pretended to sleep.
The moment she set foot outside the JFK, she lost. “hey, where you want to go?” A deep bull voice woke her. It’s a taxi driver. She hopped into his cab and stared at him from the mirror, he saw her red eyes. “I don’t know where to go, I don’t know why am I here…” She cried. “oh… calm down, tell me when you can think of anywhere, I’m just keep driving.” the bull voice said.
He took the road by the seaside or sunny places, believed that could make her feels better. He felt sorry for her. “what a beautiful day!” finally, she noticed. “yes, it’s the day for picnic!” he was happy. “please take me to your picnic spot.” she smile. “yes, ma’m”
She told him her story on the way, he listened carefully.
“isn’t it crazy?!” she asked. “Yes, it’s a hell of a story. But don’t you want to hear something crazier?” he asked. “Why not?”
“Will you marry me?” the bull proposed, she didn’t know what to react.
“I am not rich, but will provide what you need, you don’t have to work. I love to be married but my ex doesn’t want to stay home and take care of a family, we divorced. No child.” he took a deep breath and continue. “After I heard your story, I believe I can make you happy. I will be home for you on time everyday, all you have to promise is to make dinner for me.” he stared and wait for her answer.
She was shocked. “that’s him?”
“you’re here, why not give it a shot?” he pushed, he made a ring with a note from his cash box and put it in her finger.
“that’s it!” he said/she thought.
They lived happily ever after. He did what he promised, be home after work, at 6 sharp! She always heard him sing when he approached the door, a happy signal for the wife. Dinner always ready, he could smell it at the door. As promised. It’s been 10 years since they met.
“there is a gun fight in the XX avenue, police reported an innocent by stander got shot to death earlier… the victim was a male taxi driver in 40s, his name is…” The news reporter announced her happy life is over.
No one home for her dinner, again, she lost.
The time reversed in her mind, to the night before the incident. At 5:57 pm, he approached the door with his favorite jazz. He opened the door and walked to the table for her well prepared dinner. She smiled.
She always woke up with tears the morning after, for a long time, she noticed the food never been touched though she kept cooking. “Can’t let him hungry.” , every night. Others noticed her bizarre routine, tried to keep her occupied and hope she can overcome. She seems normal at the day time.
“I must leave, it’s 4, gotta get the dinner ready.” or so she seems…
For 2 years she lived between the present and the past. One day, she asked her brother-in-law to take her to his grave. “I never been there for him.”, “ok, I’ll take you there tomorrow morning!” he’s glad she finally came to her senses.
“I have to be home for the dinner.” or so he thought.
“I’m sorry to let you sleep like that.” she talked to his grave while cleaning the headstone and the messy grass around it. “I’ll be back to plant you some flowers… roses? or Peony? Oh… Frangipani! We had Frangipani trees back home, it smells great in summer. you’ll love it….” her brother-in-law overheard it, felt sorry and weird, yet relieved that she tried to cope with it.
“it’s holiday tomorrow, why don’t we go out for picnic?” she asked. “ok, I ask Jess to prepare it. The kids must be thrilled.” “No, I will prepare it, you have no idea what your brother likes to eat. Please pick me up tomorrow, thanks!”
“sigh…” the brother sighed silently.
A smell of omelet with onion and cheese woke her up. “it smell so great, you made it for me?!” smile happily, “eat up, we need to buy the seed before the picnic.”
At noon, they picnic by the lake, the in-laws overheard her dream talking. “Sorry that I never give you a child… why? can you stay for one more day?…”, “I am not going to cook for another…” she’s angry. “leave, leave, you just leave me alone…!” she cried and woken up. “hey, it just a dream…shih…” Jess tried to calm her.
Its always delightful to watch kids planting trees. It was a fine day. “hey, kids we need to go home, wash your hands and help mama to pack things!”, “we wait at the car.” he said.
“I am sorry to yell at you, you never stop provoke me though…” she complained. “ok, ok, I will take good care of myself and your trees… I wouldn’t cry…” her tears dropped again. “Will you come back?” her head dropped seems she finally, finally accepted he will never come back.
Everyday she visit his grave and water the trees, clean his headstone, talk a little and head back to her little garden cafe.
“what’s the smell? refreshing!” he asked the lady at the counter. “it’s Frangipani! The flower blossom in summer.” she replied.
“It’s you, you settled down in here! how’s life?” he is the neighbor in her flight.
She smiled and tell him her story…