Why did Anna attend grandma’s 80th birthday party in place of Chen Xin Yi? Why did Xin Yi wander off on her own like a lost soul two years ago? Why did this devastated woman run away from Cun Xi in the pouring rain to meet her fate? If Ji Cun Xi had indeed buried himself in sorrow the past 750 days or so, he hadn’t reflected enough to ask himself those questions.
Then one day, Anna’s dog ironically and inadvertently compromises her owner’s secret (detail here). All of a sudden, everything is crystal clear. (I hope the dog doesn’t fall into a postpartum depression from the moral dilemma between inducing its owner #2 and #3’s ultimate happiness and pushing the truth that endangers its owner #1’s impending marriage, which may very well turn into countless visits on a counselor’s couch or multiple instances of stuffing her face with strawberry cakes with no strawberry. *shrugs*)
Ji Cun Xi storms out in rage, running fast and furious to Anna’s apartment. The sound and the fury swoosh past the wind, bringing back Xin Yi’s anguish plea to spare the baby. Thud thud, the rhythmic sound of Ji Cun Xi’s feet striding the hard pavement cruelly reminds him of the abortion papers again and again…
Anna opens the door to a gulf of wrath, who wastes no time to demand an explanation for the sinister intention behind the abortion papers Anna handed Xin Yi two years ago. Anna quietly shuts the door behind her, avoiding Cun Xi’s eyes. (Someone hand her a shovel so she can dig herself a hole Right Now.) Then she finally speaks, “Have you ever put yourself in my shoes? You told me you would go back to her Only for the remainder of her pregnancy, but how can I not be alarmed?” (Seriously, who in their right mind can tolerate that? After all, we don’t live in
Gabriel García Márquez’s Colombian novels where complaisance is common place.) Ji Cun Xi lowers his voice and sits down, “I can understand your intention to make Xin Yi leave, but I cannot forgive that your way of protecting your love made me lose Ji Nian Ping forever.” “If I had known, I wouldn’t have done what I did. I would let the child born, let Chen Xin Yi leave after labor… Maybe everything will be different now…” Cun Xi shakes his head quietly, “You are wrong. From the moment you chose not to step foot on the boat, everything has changed.” (Hmmm, imagine Anna does get on the boat but catches Xin Yi and Cun Xi in bed after some major love making…) Cun Xi lets the remembrance of meeting Xin Yi the first time flow back into his head, then he continues, “The moment you chose the plane ticket, our paths have changed course. You decided to fly, and I, I tried to accept Chen Xin Yi and become a father.” Cun Xi walks toward the window, his back facing Anna, “I didn’t want Ji Nian Ping to come into this world at first. But as time goes by, I find myself anticipating his birth more and more. With that, I also find a peculiar inclination towards Chen Xin Yi.” He turns towards Anna, “I am the one who should say sorry. Every time I see a pregnant woman on the street, I can’t help but worry about her; each time I hear someone call out Xin Yi, I would turn to look; whenever I see a little kid, I give in to the temptation to look a little longer. Anything and everything tells me I can’t forget the feeling of falling in love with Chen Xin Yi.” “I know I know I know!” Anna stands up, “I thought as long as I keep you beside me, I will be able to change you one day. But I never thought that the three years we had plus the two years now is no match to the brief three months you spent with Chen Xin Yi!” (How tragic.) Cun Xi takes a step closer, apologetically, he tells Anna, “I’m sorry, I cannot marry you.” Anna clutches Cun Xi’s sleeve, begging earnestly. He only pushes her hands away and walks out of the door without a second word, without a second glance. Leaving nothing behind but Anna’s voice echoing through out the apartment, announcing the end of her love struggle. (Quick! Hand her a cup of water before she dehydrates herself from crying too hard.)
Once out of Anna’s apartment, Cun Xi tells Anson to prepare the boat for him, he is going to Jiang Mu Island. To avoid an one on one stare down between Cun Xi and Dylan, Cun Xi sets foot on the dock right when Xin Yi and Dylan are ready to leave the island. (Isn’t it a little too obvious that Xin Yi isn’t going to leave with Dylan? She doesn’t even have a luggage with her for show.)
Ji Cun Xi makes a run straight to Xin Yi’s house. He hollers out Xin Yi’s name several times, finally Xi Shi, Xin Yi’s mother, comes out with a duster to chase the annoying monkey away. She points to the Large poster on the door which says “Holy Fighting Ground, Anyone Whose Name Starts with Ji Shall Die” to emphasis the fact that Cun Xi isn’t welcomed here. (Obviously, monkeys can’t read.) Once Xi Shi reveals that Xin Yi has gone to take the boat with Dylan, Ji Cun Xi is gone in an instant.
Whenever Ji Cun Xi is in a hurry, something/someone always comes up to hinder him. EVEN THOUGH it makes no difference since he meets Chen Xin Yi on her way home from the dock anyway. This time, Cun Xi is ambushed by Feng Jiao and her husband Wu Qi Qi, who are dressed in appropriate attires to accentuate the blaring contrast of their body shapes while holding an especially salient umbrella as if their jewelries don’t emit enough golden rays that scream “ALL EYES ON ME BECAUSE I AM RICH” already. Oh, it’s “I AM RICH!!!”! Almost forgot the exclamation marks.
Cun Xi gets rid of the two suck ups and proceeds to cross the bridge when he sees Xin Yi walking towards him with her head down. She looks up and sees him. He walks towards her. She edges to the side, he blocks her. “I thought you went to Paris with Dylan already.” Cun Xi breaks the ice first. Xin Yi says nothing. In a flash back, the apparent situation is regurgitated:
On the dock, Dylan jokes that perhaps it’s fate that arranges for him to take Xin Yi away a second time. Xin Yi pauses and tells him that although he has been with her throughout the toughest times of her life, she cannot use him. Dylan lets a glimpse of disappointment sweep past his face, but when he looks up again, that daunting regretful look is replaced with a poised cheerfulness. “I knew you would say that,” he says, “but I’m not a man who gives up easily. None of us are married, I still have a chance right?” She gives him a hug and sends him off with a hearty encouragement.
Cun Xi presses Xin Yi, “When you were helping me deliver the puppies, you said you are afraid of being tricked by me a third time. Is that an indication that you still have feelings for me?” “Nope.” Cun Xi blocks Xin Yi again and continues, “You didn’t go to Paris with Dylan, is it because of me?” “No!” He blocks her again, “Do you still love me?” “I-Don’t-Like-You. Is that enough? Bye.” Cun Xi blocks Xin Yi once more, “But I like you.” *Gasp*
Xin Yi gives him a look, “Please. Two years and three months ago, you had no intention to marry whatsoever; two years ago you didn’t want anything to do with a child. What do you want Now? Don’t forget Mr. Ji, you, are about to get married.” Xin Yi turns to leave. “Two years and three months ago, I had no intention to marry. But once I married you, I often thought marriage isn’t so bad after all. (Hey, guys out there who aren’t up for commitment, listen to this!) If you think two years ago I didn’t want that child, you are mistaken. I have never given you any abortion papers. What I wanted to give you is a better, upgraded version of the divorce paper. (Like that’s any better.) But at the time, I didn’t even know what I wanted. Two years later, I still don’t want to get married. I canceled the wedding. Because I like you.” (MAN those money that went into the wedding preparation are all wasted.) “You… You didn’t give me the abortion papers?” “No, because I liked Ji Nian Ping too.” Obviously soften by the confession, Xin Yi is still unwilling to let her true feelings slip.
She attempts to penetrate Cun Xi’s defense again, which she had already done two years ago. (Ok, not that punny.) He extends out two arms to block her, telling her loud and clear that if he lets her go this time, he will vow to be her slave forever. (Win win situation) She simply ignores him. Finally, he says, “The only way you can leave now is if you jump off the bridge.” “You think I wouldn’t?” Xin Yi moves toward the edge of the bridge, Cun Xi hovers over to stop her, Xin Yi catches the opportunity and zooms past Cun Xi towards the other end of the bridge. Hah, slick. Running away from Cun Xi, Xin Yi yells back, “See you later! Oh no, I mean, never see you again!” Cun Xi replies back, “Chen Xin Yi, mark my words, you won’t be able to run away from me! The divorce papers are still with me! I haven’t filled out the dates! I’m going to go back and fill in the date to 2100 so you’ll be my wife a lifetime!” (Hmm, married but separated. That works too.) Feng Jiao and Qi Qi who are hiding behind a block of stone overheard the entire exchange, an asinine plot is on its way.
Dylan is on the boat, still sad over the fact Xin Yi chose Cun Xi over him. His phone rings just in time to distract Dylan. Ever since his meeting with Anna in Shanghai, Dylan has cast a fair amount of suspicion on Anna’s past. He hired a private detective to find out about Anna’s background and is confirmed that she is indeed adopted. Her adopted mother is currently in Shanghai.
Xin Yi receives a call from her blind date, asking her if she has time the next day at eight.. .. to teach pottery to elementary kids. Xin Yi agrees to sub for two months while the original teacher is on vacation. Xin Yi’s two money-crazy sisters AKA Pro gold diggers call up Cun Xi to leak the information, hoping to secure this rich brother-in-law. (Technically, if Xin Yi marries Dylan, they would also get the generous brother-in-law they wanted. Dylan should earn more points since he is a self-made man.)
Dylan returns to Shanghai, alone. He looks up Anna’s personal info online. From age to least favorite food, everything seems to match. Could Anna be the Xin Yi Dlyan has been looking for? (How sad, this Xin Yi is replaced by the other Xin Yi, then this Xin Yi comes back to reclaim her place but is re-replaced by the other Xin Yi again. Confused yet?)
With a bottle of wine, Anna licks her wound in the quietude of her dance class deep into the night. (Not a good place to drink. Unless she plans to drunk drive. Or better yet, pass out on the dance floor.) She toasts herself in self-mockery, then drops on the desk to weep while casually knocking over the wine glass and letting it shatter into pieces. A student walks into the scene to retrieve her jacket only to witness it. (Guess students in TW roam freely in and out of classrooms by themselves, despite the late hour. But then again, if you plan to drink yourself to dawn, you would lock the door and make sure no one bothers you or sees you in this devastated state. Our Anna must be too aghast to even consider keeping her unhappiness a private matter.)
Xin Yi goes to her pottery class in the morning and surprisingly receives a pot of borage from her secret admirer – Mr. Z.
As more kids flow into the classroom, Xin Yi’s teacher’s assistant AKA oldest sister starts to take roll. When Xin Yi hears the name Cun Xi, she jumps up and starts yelling, “JI CUN XI WHY ARE YOU HERE?” towards the door without so much as lift her eyelid. Turns out, she’s yelling at a kid called Xie Cun Xi. Ever Since Ji Cun Xi’s various contributions to the island, “Cun Xi” became the hottest name on the island, so popular that the name “Xin Yi” has dropped to second place. Now, that’s new. Soon after, the real Ji Cun Xi arrive in the classroom. Before Xin Yi has the chance to say anything to the stalker, a hive of fans, mostly adults, crowds around Cun Xi for autographs and pictures. You would think an elementary school contains mostly children, somehow there are more adults than kids in Xin Yi’s class. Worse yet, Ji Cun Xi wears white to a pottery class. White, of all colors. All’s well, Cun Xi settles down after showing Xin Yi proof of registration. And class commences.
Xin Yi walks towards Cun Xi and tells him that he was late, and the punishment for a latecomer is to stand outside of the classroom. Right then, another student, mind you, an adult, walks in late. Such luck. Cun Xi stealthily hides a smile. Qing Xia, Xin Yi’s sister comes to the rescue just in time to prevent a volcano from erupting. Finally, Xin Yi cools down and starts class.
Xin Yi walks around and sees Cun Xi flipping the clay with two fingers. She bends down and half mockingly tells Cun Xi to realize that this dirty world is the one she belongs to, as for him, he should return to the lavish life he resides in. Half antagonizing, half demonstrating his sincerity, Cun Xi picks up a piece of clay and rubs it on his white suite. He turns towards Xin Yi, “My world isn’t complete without you. I won’t give up.” (How do you spell corny? C-O-R-N-Y, corny! But hey, it works on Chen Xin Yi, so wth.) During the remainder of the class, Xin Yi’s gaze fall on Cun Xi from time to time, and a smile would creep onto Xin Yi’s face, whether she realizes it or not.
Towards the end of the class, Xin Yi asks if anyone has questions. One of the students raises her hand to ask Xin Yi why she filed a divorce with Cun Xi, is there a misunderstanding? Cun Xi looks up at her expectantly. She clears her throat and answers, “No, there is no misunderstanding.” Another hand shoots up, “If there is no misunderstanding then why don’t you two get back together?” As everyone urges Xin Yi to answer, she looks around pensively, trying to come up with a plausible response. Then her eyes falls on the borage. She picks it up and explains that she has someone in mind already.
Cun Xi opens his mouth, Xin Yi stops him and tells him that this Mr. Z is different. He has been encouraging her for awhile. Even though no formal admiration has been declared, she will gladly accept it if he were to express any particular inclination. (Nice irony. Chen Xin Yi just dug a trap for herself.)
The bell rings, Xin Yi collects all the cups her students made during class, Cun Xi hands her the cup, it’s an ordinary cup with a picture carved on it: a father, a mother, and their child standing together, hand in hand. Xin Yi pauses at the sight of the cup, but soon regains her normal demeanor. She assigns a 200 words report from everyone, except Cun Xi. She wants a 2,000 words report from him. If he fails to hand in the report, then he doesn’t need to come to class anymore. Before leaving class, Cun Xi secretly buries a small piece of paper inside the pot of borage. Although reproach and cold shoulder are all he’s been getting, Cun Xi leaves with a content smile on his face. 😉
Life continues to slip downhill for Anna. There is a little girl in Anna’s class called Angel, who is practically a miniature version of Anna – always working hard for the sake of her ambitious and overly critical mother that she no longer has a life of her own. Anna’s motherly instincts take over, she assures the little girl that under the stern exterior of her demanding mother, there is a tender and loving heart that wants her own little girl to shine on the stage. Because when you are on stage, you are showered with the attention of everyone. (and your faults are magnified too.) To become that icon of grace and beauty, they must all work hard on their techniques. The little girl is encouraged and picks up her confidence again. Unfortunately, the Anna duplicate also inherits Anna’s bad luck with injuries. Angel accidentally steps on a shard of glass and is sent to the hospital for three stitches. The girl’s mother is furious, because her daughter will not recover in time for the dance try out.
Walking out of the hospital room, the mother overhears two fellow classmates’ conversation, which reveals Anna’s neglect to clean the dance floor after breaking a cup from the previous night’s drinking. Anna is in deep doodoo. The mother vows to make sure Anna will not be able to teach anymore.
Xin Yi is at home reading reports. Specially, the one Cun Xi wrote. The report started as an embellished appraisal of the teacher’s beauty, then it turns into an outright confession and a lengthy explanation of the reason behind the cup. Finally, Cun Xi ends it with another emo “oh you make me complete, I cannot live without you~”.
While Xin Yi is engrossed in report reading, her sister Qing Xia creeps up on her and makes fun of Xin Yi. They eventually discover the little slip of paper Cun Xi buried in the pot of borage. The paper gives out Mr. Z’s msn and asks for a chance to chat with Xin Yi online.
And the two chat for 94392483 hours and they each wake up with huge dark circles around their eyes. Then they get addicted to chatting online and start to wait for each other to sign up. Ok I made that up. The truth is, the two do chat. Xin Yi asks why Mr. Z didn’t show up in front of the church in Shanghai, Mr. Z asks her back why she wants to see him so badly. She frankly tells him that his encouragement is her driving force. He takes the opportunity to ask whether she has a boyfriend or not. Without hesistation, she says no. (Poor Dylan.) Cun Xi waves his fist at the screen at the no, “what am I to you?” he demands the computer screen. Suppressing the surge of excitement, he asks Xin Yi if she has any admirers. Her answer is affirmative. “But”, she adds, “He is a jerk.” Cun Xi’s nostrils flares up, he types back, “Seems like that jerk
means quite a bit to you, otherwise you would put him out of your mind completely.” She admits, however, she also admits that there is still a barrier between the two of them. She explains that each time the jerk is nice to her, it only lasts three minutes. Although he’s been ardent with his pursuit, who knows when he will sway to the other side of the wall again? She does feel comforted, however, when he revealed a shocking truth to her the other day. Seeing that the truth plus the confession at the bridge worked, Cun Xi yells “yes” like a little boy in front of the computer screen. Before bidding each other goodbye, Mr. Z advises Xin Yi to give “that jerk” one last chance. Xin Yi agrees to give the thought some consideration.
Dylan pays Anna’s adopted mother a visit. The woman is infamous for being difficult. She has chased visitors out of the door several times in the past. Dylan decides to try anyway. He rings the doorbell several times, no one answers the door. Finally a voice behind him starts, “Who are you looking for?” Dylan turns around and sees a woman in a wheelchair. He walks towards her and introduces himself as a reporter from an art magazine, wanting an interview. She promptly refuses, he cuts her off with a display of interest in her daughter Anna. The woman stops rolling her wheel chair and looks up at Dylan with a smile that marks clear derision. “Anna? Does she have any value anymore? Ever since she was kicked out by Royal NY two years ago, she has disappeared. No one is interested in her anymore.” Dylan is not offended, he asks her, “If I’m not mistaken, you were a famous dancer before. If it weren’t for the stage light that accidentally fell on you, you would probably still be active.” The woman looks up at Dylan with a sigh. She lets him in.
“Being able to stand on stage as the Odette has been the dream of my life. But when I knew I couldn’t dance anymore, I was filled with hatred. I asked God why didn’t he take away my life? Let me die instead of suffer in this state. But I also knew I am not a woman to be defeated so easily. I had to complete my dream. That was what led me to the orphanage.
“That was also how I saw Anna. Unlike all the other kids, she did not ask for candy. All she asked for was her brother. From that instant, I knew, family means everything to her. (Mistress of Manipulation, I bow to you. May your twisted ways never find its way to contaminate another.)” The woman smiles a hysterical chuckle, “Only a child like that can fulfill her mother’s ambition. She knew she was an abandoned child, so she would work extra hard for my approval, even if it meant dancing till her foot bleeds. Even when I told her she is undeserving as my daughter, she would still try to achieve my goal.” Dylan looks away in disgust, “Treating a child like that, has it ever crossed your mind that it might be too cruel?” The woman corrects Dylan, “I’m not the cruel one, reality is. Her family didn’t want her; God took away my feet. We are only getting what we wanted from each other.”
Dylan looks up and sees a picture of Anna and her morbid adopted mother, he is assured that Anna is his sister. The mad woman continues, “Ever since her injury two years ago, she has forfeited all chances of becoming the first Asian Odette. So close. I even spent a large sum of money to reinstate her, but she left for a man. A man! (Alas, that man abandoned her too.) Even if she doesn’t sit in a wheelchair like me, she is no different from me. Her feet may not atrophy, but her heart has withered away.”
“No. Anna only needs the love of her family. You’ve been using her. That’s why she left you to chase after her happiness.” “What do you know? Do you know being #1 is the dream of all dancers?” “THAT’S YOUR DREAM NOT ANNA’S. She tried so hard only because she wants someone to love her.”
The adopted mother leans closer and shakes her head while frowning, “You are not a reporter. Who are you?”
Dylan stands up and looks down on the woman (Punny? No? Well, I tried.), “20 years ago, a single mistake separates Anna from me and pushes her into your trap. You have used up Anna. All these years, she’s been working her hardest to achieve your ambition. You two don’t owe each other anything anymore. From now on, you live in your own illusion while I take care of Anna.” Dylan picks up his jacket, ready to leave.
“WHO ARE YOU?” the woman screams.
I, am her brother.
The humble post-it girl can flaunt once in awhile, but the prideful ballerina can’t flounder even once.
PS: the recap just gets longer and longer. *covers eyes in horror*