OPENING COMMENTS: The Protagonist, Ve nam is not one to love easily or quickly, but when she does it’s with her whole being. Neither, is she one to wear her emotions on her sleeve. She persevere and endure, and you will continue to see this throughout the story, but especially In this chapter when she is confronted with her past, and the painful reminders of what once was. I fell in love with Luc song in this chapter. His flimsy though valid excuse for butting his head into Ve Nam’s business was transparent when he completed his given task, but continued to be attentive to Ve Nam throughout the night and following morning. He teased and baited her in order to pull her out of her gloomy mood, and it worked when she regained her spirit enough to mock and teased him back. He doesn’t ask, or pry into her past, he’s just present and there as a supportive hand if she needed and this is why Luc Song is BAE, enough said.
Chapter 5: Gentleness after drunkenness
Ve nam turned her head, smiled and asked, “why did you do that, your words were too harsh.”
“Man Man’s pregnant, she had an abortion this morning, did you know?” Ky Quyen’s face was cold as ice. Her eyes filled with hidden emotions, Ve nam couldn’t comprehend. Ky Quyen seemed very offended by it, even found it disdainful.
Ve Nam was surprised at first but quickly calmed down, shaking her head and said, “no I did not know, nor do I care to know.”
Honestly, they have lived together for over a year now, being young and energetic, pregnancy is to be expected. Although, hearing this Ve Nam couldn’t help but feel pained.
Ve nam smiled, turned and was about to step into the room when Ky Quyen reached out and grabbed tightly onto Ve nam’s arms.
“Are you dead, why do you have no reaction? Is that the kind of person you want to love? Wake up already! Do you want to spend the rest of your life sitting around, wondering how many enemies he will make. Do you want your (future) children to have a pile of half brothers and sisters? What kind of person lives with their girlfriend, impregnate her but does not say anything to her family. Man Man, had an abortion this morning, and yet he still came to the class meeting. What kind of man is that? Disgusting.”
Ve Nam was silent for a long time, then raised her head, and emotionlessly said: “I did not say that I loved him. Whoever he decides to live with has absolutely nothing to do with me. You do not have to worry for my sake. ” Ve Nam’s voice was a little cold and emotionless, she pause for a moment, tilted her head to Ky Quyên and said: “Besides, you shouldn’t scold him anymore. Berating him for being a scum is the same as reprimanding me for being blind to it before.”
Ky Quyen, with nothing left to say, patted Ve Nam’s shoulder and then turned to Luc Song, frowning she asked, “What are you doing here?”
Luc Song said coldly: “I’m here as her bodyguard, according to the instructions of her brother.”
Tieu Tinh pulled on Ve Nam sleeves, leaned close to her ears and asked, “What kind of God is this handsome guy?”
Ve Nam replied, “my brother’s friend. He’s staying at my house temporarily.”
Class leader To Duong the ever enthusiastic person, ran over and shook hands with Luc Song: “Ah, so you’re Nam Nam’s boyfriend, then come join us!”
Obviously, he misunderstood the meaning of the words bodyguard.
Luc Song did not correct him but went straight to the Karaoke room instead.
Ve Nam along with everyone else entered the room as well.
Everyone ate and drank, the atmosphere becoming boisterous.
Perhaps, everyone here was hoping for Hui Chi Hang to leave, Ve Nam was the only one unsettled, though it did not show on her face. Hua Chi Hang, the prince, who has been pursued by so many girls, is now being rejected and avoided.
How sorrowful, Ve nam thought
The boys were seated together drinking beer, Luc Song also drank a couple glasses. His calm face did not betray any emotion.
The girls chatted with each other, and picked many songs to sing. Mostly, songs by SHE. Because of Ky Quyen, Ve Nam and Tieu Tinh deep affections and inseparable friendship 1. They love to sing songs by the trio SHE. Ve Nam stood in the middle and commanded.
” You remember the song we sang that won us the prize right? In any order.”
Tieu Tinh nod her head “OK”
Ky Quyen annoyed said “too much talking, let’s begin already.”
Ve nam clicked on the song “Yes, I Love You.” The three of them sang this song in the singing competition during the second year of university, in the end they won 2nd place. The first place winner was Hua Chi Hang. Ve Nam held the microphone and read the prelude:
I focused all my strength
Listening to you, looking at you, waiting for your messages
You owe me that information
Your owe me the answer to my question
Do you love me?
Do you love me?
Do you love me?
The bitterness choked Ve Nam’s heart, her eyes blurred, the tears stuck in the corners of her eyes eventually fell down. Ve nam tried to hold them back, fortunately, her tears did not turn into a waterfall. Ve nam held the microphone and sang like she was expressing all the repressed feelings trap within her heart, though the person it’s intended for will never hear.
Love you, love you, yes I love you
Did you hear that?
My heart has answered you a thousand times
The people by you, those who think they love you, do not care
I want to be at the same horizon as you
Love you, love you, yes I love you
Haven’t you heard?
Can you throw away the stupid stuff?
I’m afraid that love is like a flower’s bloom
If it is far away then it will not be possible to return.
… … …
The voices of the three girls were very good, they combined the high and low notes well, their combination perfect.
To Duong laughed and said to Luc Song, “you do not know this, but those three are the best trio in our class. They won first prize in our high school singing contest. Every day, after school they would practice singing together. Thanks to their influence, the whole class memorized all of SHE songs.” Luc Song smiled without saying anything.
To Duong felt slightly reproachful towards Luc Songs lack of response, so he continued by saying “you’re Nam Nam sings very well right? Her singing voice is very similar to Hebe in SHE. In terms of high notes, that is. In our class, only she can compete with me in that department. I can go up to Cao nguyên Thanh Tạng (song), but Ve nam can sing Chomolungma, Hehe. “
Luc Song leaned against the sofa, quietly gazed at Ve Nam, and said: “This song does not suit her.”
“Nothing. Keep drinking. This time, you lost again. “
Luc Song changed the topic of conversation but his eyes were still glued onto the girl singing and and dancing wildly next to Ky Quyen and Tieu Tinh.
Ve nam finished singing, sat down when suddenly a hand appeared in front of her. The hand with long slender fingers wrapped around a glass of wine.
“Here drink a little wine, your voice is probably hoarse by now.”
Ve Nam smiled said “thank you,” and downed the drink in one go, the wine made her eyes watery, Ve Nam coughed for a while before gradually adapting.
“It burns” Ve nam stuck her tongue out as she spoke
“Want to drink some more?”
Luc Song’s gentle voice resounded in Ve Nam’s ears, then a bottle of wine appeared in front of her.
Ve Nam smiled and asked: “Are you trying to get me drunk?”
“Haha, with the way you drink, you’ll still be drunk without my assistance.” Luc Song’s expression and voice was still so gentle.
Ve Nam glared at him, then picked up a bottle and continued drinking.
Actually, this is the first time Ve Nam allowed herself to drink freely.
Before, Ve nam participated in many small social gatherings. When her parents accompanied her, she of course did not consumed any alcohol, even when she went out with her friends, still, she did not drink, mostly because Ve nam hated the strong alcohol smell. Moreover, she studied medicine for several years, as well as physiology and pathology, so she understood the many harmful effects alcohol has on the body. This further her disinterest in drinking.
But today Ve nam really wanted to drink, her desired was strong.
She consumed another glass, when suddenly in front of the Ve Nam coalesce the event of that infamous afternoon, when she first confessed to Hua Chi Hang. She was reminded of the phrase “Who are you?” Along with the careless look he had as he turned away.
A few more glasses down, and the image of that winter, years ago appeared, when she sat behind Hua Chi Hang on his bike. Recalling, the image of him wearing the black jacket as he blocked the wind for her with his back.
The beloved memories of her past kept materializing, her mind rummaging through them like flipping through an old photo album. Each memory like a tinted picture capturing the events of her recent past, one after the other the memories coalesce before her very eyes, she wanted to reach out and grab hold of them but can not.
In the end, the scene of Hua Chi Hang’s tall and strong frame as he embraced Man Man and left replayed in her mind. In the background the chandelier was flickering in the dark.
Ve Nam considered, maybe she was drunk after all.
Ve Nam have always looked down on weak, and emotional girls but now when the shoe is on the other foot, she questioned why this happened to her.
The tears that can not be controlled are despicable.
Ve Nam did not recall how much alcohol she consumed that night.
She just remembered the gentle hands on her shoulders. She recalled being picked up, and tucked into the car. The smell of the car made her nauseous, Ve nam clung onto her supporter and puked. Vomiting her heart and lungs out, like she wanted to empty the contents of her stomach. The pain she felt afterwards was akin to her internal organs being pulled away from its current position to somewhere else, causing her entire body to curl up in discomfort.
After vomiting, she fell asleep.
In her dream, Ve nam dreamt about the one short month she and Hua Chi Hang were together, in particular when he would accompany her to her self-study class.
Students in this curriculum are quite few, so Hua Chi Hang would always find a vacant room available.The two of them would run straight to the lecture room. Each time, in the self-study class, Hua Chi Hang and Ve Nam would always be the only people in the room. 2.
This was during the second year of university, Ve Nam had to study for the obnoxious “pathology” class. She had to memorize the symptoms for diseases. With just nephritis, there were already 5 different kinds. It was difficult to memorize. Ve Nam studied until her headache with dizziness and still she couldn’t remember it all.
Hua Chi Hang always sat next to her, but said very little.
At times, he would lay down on the table to sleep, read a newspaper, or excitedly look at the drawings in Ve Nam’s textbook, then commented “how nauseous.” Ve Nam took a pen, tapped it on the table, smiled and said, “The organs in your body are like that.” Hua Chi Hang stuck out his tongue and said, “Cut it off then.”
Ve Nam grinned.
Seeing Ve Nam’s smile, Hua Chi Hang leaned in close to kiss her face. Ve Nam wanted to stop him but he held onto her hands, “there is nobody here, what are you afraid of?”
Ve Nam frowned: “I have to concentrate on studying, you can’t disturb me.”
“You are so boring. If you wanted to concentrate on studying, why did you bring me along?
“You came here on your own volition.”
Hua Chi Hang looked coldly at Ve Nam. Seeing that Ve Nam calmly lowered her head and continued reading, he expressed frustration and went to lie down on the table to sleep.
After class, they would stroll around the campus and went out for dinner, then Hua Chi Hang brought Ve Nam back to her dormitory. Before going home, Hua Chi Hang often kissed Ve Nam, a soft and gentle kiss that made Ve Nam’s heart pound. The feeling of being overwhelmed in sweet happiness enveloped her.
The smell of cigarettes in Hua Chi Hang’s mouth became one of the strongest olfactory memory Ve Nam has.
One month later, Ve Nam finished the course on Pathology.
Ve Nam received good marks. The two also broke up then.
Recalling that month, due to the pressure of studying and exams, Ve Nam and Hua Chi Hang spent most of their time together in the self-study room.
The time of happiness that the two shared was very short, indeed.
Too short, Ve Nam thought forlornly
“Hua Chi Hang … ..”
Ve Nam softly called his name, dreamily she grabbed onto a hand, unlike the cold hands of Hua Chi Hang, this hand is warm and dry, with long fingers, a hand that seemingly able to provide comfort.
Ve Nam released the hand but the person held on tightly.
“Idiot, if you want to cry, then cry.”
Ve Nam did not remember if she cried or not, but she woke up the next morning with irritated eyes. She got up, went to the bathroom, and looked in the mirror to assess the damage- a new national treasure has been birth today, Ve nam glumly thought. The bruise under her eyes were so bold, she looked like a rare panda. (In China, the panda is called the national treasure)
Luc Song and her parents were sitting next to the breakfast table, when she came out. Luc Song smiled at Ve Nam and said: “Sit down and eat.”
Luc Song said it like he was the owner of the house and she the guest.
Ve Nam wondered if in Luc Song’s dictionary perhaps there is no such word as “embarrassed” but only “thick skin.”
The thickness of his face is giving the wall a run for its money.
Ve Nam sat down, bowed her head and ate the buns.
Ve Nam’s Mother smiled and addressed her: “Nam Nam, you came home drunk last night, acted ridiculously and scared everyone out of their wits.”
“You went around hitting everything in sight with a pillow, hugged and tried to gnawed on the TV, then you opened the window to try and climb out, you acted crazy ….”
Ve Nam said, “Alcohol stimulates the central nervous system, leading to body imbalances, so that’s normal behaviour. “
Her mother shot her a glare while Luc Song calmly drunk his milk.
Ve Nam raised her head and asked Luc Song: “Right, did I by chance vomit on you last night?”
“All over me, I washed the clothes already.”
Ve Nam’s mother recovered her calm after her upset a moment ago, she smiled and said to Luc Song “fortunately, Luc Song was there yesterday, otherwise, Ve Nam would’ve been arrested by the police for her unstable behaviour.”
“If he wasn’t there, I wouldn’t have dared to carelessly drink either” Ve Nam said calmly, she continued,
“Before last night, I’ve never been inebriated, I did not know how I would behave after getting drunk, because Luc Song was there to watch over and take care of me last night, I wanted to experience it, so please stop nagging me.”
Her mother did not say anything after that. Ve Nam raised her head to look at Luc Song: “Do you need me to take you around today?”
“No need, you should rest.”
After breakfast, Ve Nam’s parents left to run errands, Luc Song stood up and headed towards his room, when he passed Ve Nam he said softly “you cried a lot yesterday, very barbaric I might add, your tears and runny nose got all over my shirt, you even hugged me, first hitting me with your fist, then you got bored and started kicking, of course there was some gnawing and biting thrown in as well.” He held up his arm, there was an obvious bite mark on it, “You are a fierce beast. If I did not use force to repress you, then I’m afraid I would be a corpse by now. “
Ve Nam laughed “Sorry, I do not remember anything.”
Luc Song sighed heavily, laid his hands on Ve Nam’s shoulders, patted her and said, “Okay, now that you’re done crying, it’s time to forget.” He paused for a moment and continued, “The message left under my story, that’s from you right? I’ll tell you some good news, to grant your wish, I’ve decided to run away.”
Ve Nam looked at him: “Oh please no. I’m afraid of being cursed by your readers to death. “
Luc Song laughed: “Just teasing you, I’ll write till the end.”
“Yes, try to write well”.
Unexpectedly Luc Song seriously said, “The ending of one story means a new one begins. The earth will not stop turning for anyone, life still goes on, whatever may happen, even if you’ve hit rock bottom, whether you decide to try to escape or brave it out, depending on one’s psychology, everyone’s experience and reaction will be different.’
Ve Nam coldly said: “Look at you, speaking like an author, spewing philosophy. In terms of psychology, I am more knowledgeable in this department then you are, like a kid trying to fool the expert.”
Vệ Nam smirked: ” Your family has an educated lineage, your blood is full of literature. What is literature? Literature is art. ” (TN:I think she cracked a joke, but I don’t get it.)
Ve Nam laughed.
Luc Song did not smile any longer, he said softly, “Well, you should head to bed, I’m going online to play some games with Ve Dang.”
“Don’t you have to write the ending?”
Luc Song rubbed his chin, and said seriously: “For boys, playing is priority. It’s as important as one’s soul. “
Ve Nam stared at his retreating form, and said gently: “Thank you.”
Luc Song turned his head back, smiled, flicked his hair in a seductive manner and said: “It’s nothing, since we’re on the subject matter, I would recommend you to reduce your fat. My hand almost broke from dragging you up the stairs. “
After that, he turned and closed his door.
Ve Nam really wanted to say, “Luc Song, even if you write about corpses, but please do not use the word “drag” for living people.”
- Gan bo khong roi, means stick together, will never part
- Every time they sit in the empty room.)