Chapter 5 01/25/2010
 
Grandma Lin wanted to know if I kidnapped little Lei Wei. She shook her head sadly at me and said,

 
"This is not how to deal with your pain. Forgive your sister and give the baby back to  his parents."

 
"Grandma, I didn't kidnap him. I'm his nanny." I told her.

 
"Why is he home with you and not his parents, it has been almost two days."

 
"His uncle, Mr. Cheng is out of town on a business trip. He should be back tonight." I answered. Little Lei Wei was sleeping on my bed. I touched him on his cheek, such soft skin.

 
"You better be getting over-time pay. I don't mind little Lei, but I don't want anybody taking advantage of you."

 
Grandma had shorten Lei Wei's name to little Lei. I've taken a liking to that name too. In just two days, I've fallen in love with little Lei. I love his energy, his curiosity and his baby babbling. There is just something so magical about baby, their smell, their soft skin, their unconditional faith and love. Looking into little  Lei's eyes, I knew he loves and trust me to watch over him and care for him.

 
"Don't get too attached to little Lei Ariel, someone's ringing the doorbell, go answer." Grandma said firmly. I grinned, grandma had a chair next to little Lei and is hovering over him like a protective grandma bear.

 
~~~~~`

 
Mr. Cheng walked inside grandma's apartment and sat down. He appeared exhausted, his business suit was wrinkled and in need of  major ironing.

 
"Just a few minutes." He said and then fell asleep. He was still holding a suitcase in his hand. I carefully loosen his fingers and took the suitcase from him and placed it by his feet. I covered a blanket over him and decided to cook dinner.

 
One hour later, dinner was ready. Mr. Cheng was still sleeping. I could hear little Lei in the bedroom making baby gibberish. Grandma was in there talking to him. What a pair! Grandma was complaining about a bingo game she lost and little Lei was cooing happily.

 
"Grandma, dinner's ready."

 
"Come on little Lei, let's eat!" She sang gliding toward the kitchen.

 
"Who's that snoring in our living room?" Grandma asked.

 
"Little Lei's uncle." I said. Grandma went up to him and yanked his shirt. Mr. Cheng stirred and yawned.

 
"Dinner time." Grandma said loudly. Mr. Cheng rubbed his eyes and stared blankly at grandma. After a few silence seconds, Mr. Cheng jumped from his seat.

 
"What happen?" He asked.

 
"Nothing, you fell asleep. Dinner's ready." Grandma answered. She handed little Lei over to Mr. Cheng and pulled him toward the dinner table.

 
"Mr. Cheng, what is your first name?" Grandma asked.

 
"Joe Cheng"

 
Without missing a beat, grandma quickly asked,

 
"Parents? Siblings?"

 
"No, they're all deceased."

 
"Uncles, aunts, cousins?"

 
"Yes, one uncle he lives in America."


"Girlfriend?" Grandma asked quickly. There was a rhythm going on. Joe paused for a seconds and then answered,

 
"No."

 

"Looking for one?"


"No."

 
"What do you think of Ariel?"

 
"I...I think she's nice." Joe Cheng stuttered.


"Grandma!!" I tried to stop her. How embarrassing.

 
"What's your plan for little Lei?"


"Little Lei?" Joe asked.


"She meant Lei Wei." I explained.


"He needs a stable home. You need a wife, little Lei needs a mother...I order you to date Ariel, do you agree?  say you agree!" Grandma said. She was smiling and nodding at Joe.


Grandma was practically hovering over Joe. He leaned back in his chair as far from grandma as possible.

 
"Say you agree Joe." Grandma commanded.



"Agree?" Joe answered looking extremely confused.

 

 "...No" I tried to intervene but no one was listening to me.


"It's all set! First date is this Friday! hahahaha." Laughed grandma.  

 
Joe and I glanced at each other, our eyes met briefly and before I lowered my gaze. Poor Joe Cheng had a "What just happen?" look on his face but was too much of a gentleman to dispute grandma.
 
Chapter 4 01/04/2010
 
The baby was crying its head off yet the young man sat still as a rock staring at the baby. He had a terrified look on his face almost as if he was helpless and did not know what to do. I assumed he was the baby's father. They had the same light tan complexion and high nose.


"What is the baby's name?" I asked politely. The young man signaled the secretary to leave the room before answering me.


"Lei Wei."


"Is it okay with you if I hold him?" I asked. Lei Wei's father nodded his head and immediately handed me the baby. I held him in my arms and felt his forehead. Normal temperature. I checked his diaper, it was dry.

 
"When did you last feed him?" I asked. The young father shrugged and counted his fingers.


"Where is his bottle?" I asked. The young father pointed to a  bag next to the table. I opened the bag and looked inside. Empty bottles. There was a container of baby formula but no spoon.

 
"Can you hand me a cup please?" I asked waiting. The young father pushed a number on his desk phone.

 
"Yes, Mr. Cheng?" It was the secretary.

 
"Bring me a clean cup."

 

A few seconds later, the secretary walked in and handed him a clean cup.

 

"Anything else?" She asked.

 

"Wait a sec please." I said, quickly I poured some powder into the cup and transferred it into the empty bottle making sure that I had the measurement correct.

 

"Please add warm water...just to this line." I handed the bottle to the secretary.

 

"Do as she ask."  The young man ordered.

 

The secretary nodded and left.

 

Lei Wei had stopped crying. I was gently rocking him back and forth and answering his baby talk with my own baby talk.

I heard him making cooing voices and giggling. I held him up against me and smiled. Little Lei Wei smiled back mimicking my facial expression.

 

"How many months is he?" I asked.

 

"Six months."

 

"Aww....cutie pie, did you hear that? You're half way to being one years old! Aren't you just so excited?" I said in a high pitch voice and snuggled him. Lei Wei giggled and started a string of baby babbling.

 

"You sure have a lot to say, what a day this must have been for you!" I nodded as if in agreement with his baby gibberish. The secretary came back in and handed me the bottle.

 

"Here you go, you hungry little precious you." I said, little Lei Wei quickly grab hold of the bottle. He was obviously very hungry.

 

I sat down with Lei Wei in my arms. Somehow he took hold of one of my finger and wouldn't let go. What a beautiful baby!

 

"What is your name?" Lei Wei's father asked.

 

"Ariel Lin, and you?" I asked.

 

Instead of answering me, he handed me the baby's bag and said,

 

"Take him home with you today. You're hired."

 

"What?" I asked confused.

 

"I hired you to be Lei Wei's nanny as of today. This is a twenty-four hours job which means he has to be with you at all time. So take him to your home and I'll go see him later."

 

"But...but...where is his mother?" I asked.

 

"She's dead."

 

"Oh." I didn't know what to say.

 

"I think it's best if he stay with his father...I can care for him while you are working but he needs to be with you too." I advised.

 

"His father is in prison."

 

I was wrong in assuming Mr. Cheng was the father.

"How is Lei Wei related to you?" I asked.

 

"His mother was my sister."

 

Things was starting to make a little more sense. Not quite sure what to do, I picked up the baby's bag and with the baby in my arms left the building. I...have a baby...

 
 
 

 

Since I was sixteen years old, I knew I was going to marry Danson Tang. The moment I fell into his arms from our family's backyard tree I knew he was the one for me. I never once looked back and question my decision. I did not ask nor wondered if there was someone else for me. It was always Danson.

If a person was looking at me from the outside, they would say "How pathetic to live one's life grooming to be a man's wife."

And...they would be absolutely right. Since the age of sixteen, I lived my life for Danson Tang. I was his best friend, I was there when he was at his lowest and I was there when he was at his highest.  I thought I was the wind beneath his wings...I wanted to be the wind beneath his wings, his happiness was my happiness.

Throughout high school and college, while my friends was deciding what they wanted to do with their life...I scheduled my time around Danson. What colleges was he applying to? What major? I lived my life through him.

On the day I left my small hometown, my friend, Ella Chen was at the train station with me. I said my goodbyes to my parents at home. I was glad that Ella stayed with me. It was  a little less lonely as I step in the train...I at least had someone to wave goodbye to. I remembered a question Ella asked. She wanted to know if I had cried yet.  I frowned, I did not know what she meant.

Ella sighed and said,

"You didn't cry when Danson that ass married your sister on your wedding day! I wanted to know if you had time to process everything and cried your eyes out alone?"

I shook my head.

 

"You're still holding it in? Ariel...it's time to let go."

 

"I'm fine." I tried to reassured her. Ella held my hands.

 

"No, it's not okay. It's not okay and you need to let go...I'm so worried about you."

 

"I'm fine." I said again.

 

"I am so glad you're moving to Taipei. Do you know how jealous I am? Invite me over once you settle down, please?" Ella smoothly changed the topic and wrapped her arms around me.

 

"I promise."

 

I want to keep my promise to Ella. After a few weeks living in Taipei I realized it was time I get a job. Whether I was ready  or not...it seems it was time I start practicing living my own life.

 

Part of living my own life means I need money...therefore I had no choice but to look for a job.  Job hunting...what scary words! I've worked in department stores when I was in high school and was a regular babysitter in the neighborhood when I was in college. I was sadly inexperienced in the real world competitive market.

 

~~~~

 

Denied, denied, denied...lack of experience, etc., etc., job hunting was a great way to bring down one's self esteem. It's been over three months and I've met with enough job rejections to last me a lifetime. I was at my wit's end and waiting for my last interview of the day. If I fail this interview, it would make it my 254th rejection.

 

I had waited in line for almost two hours inside a very large waiting room. There was one person in front of me and a few more behind me. I was surprised when I first entered the building that this was the place held for a nanny job interview. I had expected it to be in a home setting. The job ad stated, requirement: Nanny position Great Pay! Must be young and energetic!

 

No other details was given, the pay was unbelievably high for a job taking care of children. Armed with rejection experiences, I knew I had nothing to lose and decided to give it a try.

 

After a long wait, it was finally my turn. The secretary opened the door and invited me inside. I think I was expecting to see someone older, perhaps a woman? Instead I found myself face to face with a young man, not much older than I...maybe two or three years older with a baby in his arms.


 
 



I could not live in the same house with Rainie and Danson, I tried very hard to be happy for them, to hide my pain, but each day that Rainie's stomach grew bigger...I felt I was dying inside. Danson...seems so happy with Rainie. Was he ever happy when he was with me? When did he stopped loving me? When he held me and kissed me...was he thinking about Rainie? Did he make love to her on the same day he told me he loves me? Questions, useless questions running through my head every day. What made me so unattractive, so unlovable that my sister...of all people...my sister...?

Some days were better than others. My friends told me I was better off without Danson...of course that was what friends were for. Life goes on, everything was the same...even though I was dying inside...life...people go on living.

My stepmother did not want Rainie to move out. She was after all pregnant and being the protective grandmother that she is...she wanted to make sure Rainie was in the best of care. My father despite being very disappointed in Rainie and Danson, even though he loved me and was hurting for me...agreed with my stepmother that Rainie and Danson live in the same house with them. Again, I became the intruder. No one directly told me I was making them uncomfortable. Nobody asked me to move out...but I knew eventually I would have to leave.



My father wanted me to go live with my grandmother in Taipei. My stepmother, Rainie's biological mother also encouraged me to start my life over. Besides, the newborn will need my room soon.

The day my sister gave birth to her son, I visited her at the hospital. My nephew...so tiny and vulnerable. Danson was holding his son gently in his arms. Rainie was sleeping, she appeared exhausted after a long labor battle.

"Say hi Auntie Ariel. Hi...." Danson held his son's fingers and pretended to wave to me. He counted his son's fingers and his toes one by one. Beaming with pride in his eyes, Danson asked,

"Isn't he precious?"



I nodded. I felt an ache in my throat, almost as if I was going to cry. I felt the verge of tears threatening to spill over my cheeks.

He...could have been mine, my precious baby. I knew then and there, I had to escape. I was twenty five years old...with no direction in life. Each day living my life aimlessly....nine months ago...nine months ago I thought my life had finally begun, yet it was the day I stopped living.

~~~~~~~~~~


I moved in with my grandma on the day Rainie gave birth to her son. Grandma Lin is very independent. After grandpa Lin died a few years ago, she refused to move back in with my parents. She told my father she wanted her freedom and wanted to enjoy the last few years of her life before she died. I was surprised grandma Lin did not object to me moving in with her. Grandma lives in condo, most of the residents are senior citizen.

She showed me my room and said,

"I am busy every day doing things you youngster won't like. If you need me, call me on my cell phone."

"Thanks grandma." I said. She touched my hand briefly and said,

"You've been quite lonely haven't you Ariel dear. I can see you haven't been eating, you're thin as a stick. Tonight let's eat your favorite dish!"

I nodded. She smiled and closed the door. I've been hearing a lot that I lost weight, thin as a stick and looked like a ghost. I never cared about my looks and if I looked like a ghost, I prefer to stay away from mirrors. I unpacked my small bags of clothes, books and a few family pictures. The room was small, but tidy. Just perfect for me.
 
 

Have any of you ever wondered what it is like to be the person left standing alone at the altar? I have read many stories that ended happily ever after...where the woman or man was saved from a life time of misery by the person they love right at the nick of time. They were saved from an unwanted forced marriage. How romantic isn't it to run away hand in hand with your man or woman leaving your would be husband or wife behind, humiliated and left to deal with the chaos.

 
I...was one of those abandoned bride...but that was it. I was not left standing at the altar alone and crying. No...in my case it was even more humiliating because my would be husband...didn't run off with the love of his life. No, instead he and his real love after confessing their love for one another right when I was about to say "I do" hugged me and fell on their knees begging for my forgiveness. In one instant I became the bad guy, the person that stood between their love for one another. I...became the other woman. How I wished they had follow tradition and run off hand in hand so at least I would be left with some dignity.
Here I am...staring blankly at the two people whom I loved and thought loved me....if it was possible for the ground to open up...I wish it would open up and engulf me...anything was better than the stabbing pain shearing through my body.

The whole day suddenly speed through my head...someone once told me right when you're about to die, your whole life flashes by. I don't know if I was dying or not...but for me, the whole day flashes through my head as I stared at my would be husband's tearful face and his true love's sobbing figure.

It felt so unreal that just this morning I was filled with such happiness, I couldn't help wondering if everything was too good to be true...and it was too good to be true.

Everything was wonderful, from my father walking me down the aisle and handing me over to my groom to our vows. I think in my excitement I overlooked many things. If I was to be honest, I did notice my soon to be husband was being overly nervous, very unlike his normal behavior. He avoided looking me in the eyes throughout his vows. I brush it off as cold feet and didn't think too much of it. I couldn't stop smiling, we were finally going to be married after four years of engagement. I believe in my heart he was my soul-mate.

...then I heard him shouted,

"Wait! I have a confession!" right when I was about to say, "I do".

I paused and waited. The guest suddenly fell silence and all eyes was on us. From the corner of my eyes I saw my step-mother standing up and my father trying to stop her.

"I'm sorry Ariel. I don't love you. I don't think I can go through with this....I love...I love Rainie."


He...he loves...Rainie? My younger, slender, petite beautiful half-sister Rainie.

My heart...literally stopped beating. For a moment I died. My head felt dizzy and it was difficult to breath. My knee was wobbling, yet I had no choice but to stand because right in front of me...my sister, Rainie grabbed hold of me and fell on the floor sobbing. I could hear her repeating,

"Sorry, please, sorry, sorry, please, sorry."

I hurt...my heart hurt...was it possible for one's heart to completely breaks into thousand of pieces? I hurt so much I think if not for my pride I would just fall flat on the ground and die.

The man I loved...loved for eight years since I was sixteen years old...Danson Tang got down on his knee next to Rainie and he too asked for forgiveness. He said he had stopped loving me but didn't know how to tell me. He said he didn't want to hurt me but realized he could not live the rest of his life pretending to love me when he loves Rainie. He asked that I blessed him and Rainie...and let them marry on my wedding day. Danson...said Rainie was pregnant and they planned to be a family.

My wedding day...my dress, my ring, my jewelries...my groom... became my sister's. I...became the bridesmaid.
 
    Picture

    Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?

    Two hearts that has been shattered  into pieces...will they find love again?
    After she was abandoned at the altar, Ariel stopped believing in forever love...
    Joe, lost his family and thought he did not deserve happiness until Ariel came into his life...Can they put their past behind them and start over? To find out, please read Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?

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