Alright, it’s the last episode and it’s a Zhi Shu and Xiang Qing’s exclusive special, and ~rosie requested it. So here we go:
In the quiescence of the night, Xiang Qing’s phone starts to ring. Ring Ring Ring, Xiang Qing clumsily stumbles across the bed, fumbling for her phone. It’s Ah Jin and Christine calling from England, wearing traditional Chinese wedding clothes, spreading their newly wedded happiness. Flipping the phone shut, Xiang Qing looks out of the window, letting the joy of Ah Jin and Christine’s matrimonial unity sinking in. Zhi Shu gently approaches and hugs her from behind.
I’m glad Ah Jin and Christine worked out.
Sorry that I woke you up.
It’s alright. I can’t sleep when you are stumbling around. … Sorry, I forgot to turn the light on for you last night when I went to sleep.
It’s alright. It’s like life, only after stumbling around can happiness be found. Look at Ah Jin now, he’s incandescently happy.
Did you know, having you, is, the best thing in the world.
Holding Xiang Qin in both arms, Zhi Shu bends down, buries his head into her hair and lightly kisses the nape of her head. Once, twice, then a third time. Xiang Qin turns around to return his kiss. They kiss again. More passionately.
The next morning, a vicious flu violently spreads through town causing most of the hospital staff and Xiang Qin’s family to be sick. As a result, the hospital turns into a hectic battlefield from the shortage of staff, the precautionary steps of sickness prevention, and the ever-so-demanding hospital duties. Even Xiang Qin gets called into pediatrics division to help out. Fortunately, so does Zhi Shu. What a “beautiful coincidence”. The couple work side by side in perfect harmony.
During lunch a nurse from the pediatrics ward approaches Xiang Qin to express her gratitude for the help. Xiang Qin is happy to prove herself useful. Not long after, another nurse joins Xiang Qin for lunch and informs Xiang Qin that Dr. Zhao from Ophthalmology is looking for her. Xiang Qin suddenly remembers that she underwent a check up in the ophthalmology department.
In the doctor’s office, Dr. Zhao sternly addresses Xiang Qin’s negligence of her own health and proceeds to bring about the bad news. The nyctalopia that Xiang Qin has is a manifestation of a more severe condition – retinitis pigmentosa – where the rod cells of the retina degenerate over time and will eventually result in tunnel vision or blindness. Xiang Qin’s photoreceptors have started to show signs of deterioration, which explains her blurry vision in dim environment. “Retinitis pigmentosa is an x-linked genetic disorder, which means the disorder is heritable”, the doctor pauses, “have you and Dr. Jiang thought about having children?”
Very much deflated, Xiang Qin walks back to the pediatrics ward to resume her duty. She watches Zhi Shu playing with a little boy and a smile creeps up her face but fades as quickly as the thought of her recent consultation with the doctor hits the replay button. Zhi Shu spots Xiang Qin and walks toward her. Together, they watch the children with their mothers and Xiang Qin exclaims the wonder of the intricate bond between a mother and her child. Half smiling, Zhi Shu looks into Xiang Qin’s eyes and tells her that she will understand it the day she becomes a mother. Xiang Qin shyly looks away. A nurse from the ER rushes over for Dr. Jiang’s help at the emergency room. But before he leaves, Xiang Qin faints in his arms.
Back at home, Xiang Qin sits up from bed, disoriented. The entire family is gathered around her, all are concerned about her well being. Xiang Qin waves off their uneasiness with her familiar talk of the hospital and how cooperative Zhi Shu and her were at the pediatrics ward. Similarly in return, Zhi Shu teases her that her presence has definitely made a few of the patients learn to Not get sick so easily. What a dysfunctional but cute family. But having a doctor in the family sure is a good thing, especially when he is a genius. Zhi Shi is able to deduce Xiang Qin’s pregnancy that brings about joyful glees to the rest of the family as well as a sense of unease to Xiang Qin. That night, while sleeping, the doctor’s diagnosis loops again and again in Xiang Qin’s head.
“Am I pregnant?” Xiang Qin thought to herself while sitting on the bench by the door, “Wasn’t I supposed to be blissfully happy?” Zhi Shu’s mom’s usual warmth makes Xiang Qin more afraid than ever of disappointing those she cares about with an unhealthy baby. When Zhi Shu’s mom leaves, Xiang Qin couldn’t hold back the tears anymore. Drop by drop, they roll down Xiang Qin’s cheeks in silent mourning. Xiang Qin regains her composure to not alarm anyone. That night, she tries to walk around in the dark. But the disheartening reality only casts a thicker layer of dread. Xiang Qin makes a decision.
The next morning when Zhi Shu wakes up, Xiang Qin is no where to be found. What’s left behind is only the letter that bids him farewell. Zhi Shu is at first skeptic, but when he couldn’t find Xiang Qin after flipping the house upside down, the blow that Xiang Qin really is gone strikes him hard and cold. He runs out of the house in his pajamas, half searching, half letting the reality sink in.
After getting dressed, Zhi Shu visits the first logical place to look for Xiang Qin – the hospital – still half heartedly hoping it’s just a silly joke or a misunderstanding of some sort. Xiang Qin is, not there. A fellow nurse tells Zhi Shu that Dr. Zhao from the Ophthalmology department has been looking for Xiang Qin. Unclear Xiang Qin’s reason for leaving, Zhi Shu promptly finds Dr. Zhao for any possible clue. The Dr. regurgitates the diagnosis to Zhi Shu, who, after understanding Xiang Qin’s concern, calls home to assure everyone that he will bring Xiang Qin back.
Xiang Qin is all alone. She walks and walks until she reaches the lake where Zhi Shu and her had their first date. The memories of the first date, the wedding, and the happiness at those times play in her minds eye, frame by frame. She bends down to touch the water in reminiscence…
Zhi Shu arrives at the lake, but Xiang Qin is long gone. Feeling lost, he walks over, sits down, and looks at the river, thinking. Thinking about Xiang Qin.
Xiang Qin walks and walks and stops at the high school where she first hands Zhi Shu the love letter that started it all. She leans against the fence, thinking to herself, “Zhi Shou could’ve found a perfect woman to live with. Instead, he chose me. Yet I kept bringing him trouble when all I wanted is to embrace him with the best things in the world…”
Zhi Shu runs to the high school where everything all started. While panting, Zhi Shu cries out, “Xiang Qin! Yuan Xiang Qin, where are you? Come out!”
Xiang Qin walks and walks and comes to the wall where Zhi Shu first kissed her, the memory of the kiss still fresh in mind. She extends her hand and softly strokes the wall with all the yarning in the world. Leaning against it, it feels like she’s back on the night when Zhi Shu kissed her and left after making a face.
Zhi Shu’s search brings him to the wall. But what awaits is the lingering scent that only reminds him: Xiang Qin is not there. Frustrated, Zhi Shu starts to hit the wall. Once, twice, and then, he starts to cry.
A day passed.
Xiang Qin aimlessly traverses the street, wondering where she could go. Then, she decides. She is going to visit Grannie Qiu, her first patient.
She finds Grannie Qiu’s place only to discover that Grannie Qiu has passed away. Xiang Qin looks at the pictures of her, Grannie, and Zhi Shu, memories of the past flow back in slow motion. Xiang Qin takes one final look around the room in remembrance of the old, lonely Grannie and exclaims the fragility of life before finally, closing the door behind her.
Xiang Qin’s final stop is Zhi Shu’s private office, where all the memories of her and Zhi Shu are neatly arranged in the little office. The notes, the pillow, and the model, every little detail. She turns to the computer and watches the picture slide show of Zhi Shu and her looping on the blog. Finally, Xiang Qin collapses onto the desk, sobbing uncontrollably.
Zhi Shu walks in.
He pulls Xiang Qin into an embrace and tells her:
Don’t leave me. No matter what happens, I’m here.
Don’t be afraid.
Where in the world can I find a better match than you, then embrace her in a perfect hug, like this. And allow her to complete the incomplete me.
But what if the baby inherits the same genetic disorder?
The baby will also share half of my genes. I believe every life has its value.
As long as it belongs to you, I’ll love. Whether it’s good, or bad; ugly, or beautiful; sad, or happy, as long as it’s coming from you. Please, trust me. I can stay by your side during every hardship. Please, please don’t ever consider leaving me again. Please don’t leave me. I’m scared. I’m scared of the tomorrow without you.
Zhi Shu takes Xiang Qin home. That night, before they go to sleep, Zhi Shu tells Xiang Qin:
Did you know, I’ve never worried about our future. I’ve never considered whether the baby will be pretty or ugly, intelligent or obtuse, or even if it will be in perfect health. They are not important to me. What’s important is that I love you. I really, really love you. The baby is our firstborn and the continuation of our love.
The drama ends with Xiang Qin and Zhi Shu going to the hospital together for an official checkup for the baby. Xiang Qin accidentally steps on dog feces. Instead of ignoring her, the way he did on their first day of college, Zhi Shu bends down, pulls her onto his lap, and cleans up the feces with a pen. Congratulations Xiang Qin, your day dream came true.
To make up for my lack of ability to capture the true intensity of the pain/misery/angst/whatever other synonym, here is a short video of the 43 kiss scenes in They Kiss Again and It Started with A Kiss. Enjoy!
On a childish notion, I WAS RIGHT at guessing Xiang Qin’s reason for departure from looking at the preview in my previous post!!! (Special reference to comment #4)