Troubled, she picked up the yellowish paper and began to reread the letter that was addressed to her,
It is unfortunate for me to write to you for the reason of letting you know that our father has passed away last week. In order for the lawyer to carry out his will, you must be present. Please try to get to our father’s Hilltop Mansion at GuangXi as soon as possible. Let me know when you are coming so I can arrange for someone to pick you up at the train station.
Your Brother Ron”
Before Myolie Ng could put down the letter on the desk, the train suddenly came to an abrupt halt. She was knocked down onto the floor by the sudden change in momentum. As she tried to gather herself up, a person had already entered the cabin through the window and knocked out the light of the lantern. Myolie wanted to shout, but a hand had already covered Myolie’s mouth before any sound could escape from her mouth. The unidentified person whispered softly into her right ear, “Hush. Don’t make a sound."
It was that familiar and comfortable voice that seemed to calm Myolie down. His voice, so tendered and secured, was something she had longed to hear for so long. While her mind lingered into her past memory, a sudden knock at the cabin’s door shattered her thoughts into pieces.
“Follow me,” he took her right hand and pulled her out of the train’s window. She almost fell with her head first before he lifted her up from the ground. As they started to run away from the train, they could hear loud noises filled the cabin that they just escaped out of. Myolie inhaled deeply as the person in front of her sped up. The corners of her eyes caught sight of three to four masked persons running behind them in a distant.
As they made a quick turn around a row of houses, they slid into a huge dimly lighted barn. Without startling any of the cattle inside the barn, they climbed onto the second floor through a long, wooden ladder, and hid behind stacks of boxes. They sat down with shoulder touching shoulder; her hand was still held by his.
Villagers around seemed to be awakened by the racket created by the newly arrived masked men. Several villagers holding axes and broomsticks shouted at the masked men. After a few moments of verbal exchanges, the leader of the masked men seemed to give up on the chase. He led his men away and disappeared quickly. The villagers dispersed and returned to catch on some sleep.
As silent fell once again, Myolie pulled her hand back, and asked softly, “Is it safe to leave now, Bosco?”
Bosco Wong shook his head and whispered back, “No, let’s wait until dawn arrives.” He took out a pocket watch and studied the time.
She wanted to ask him so many questions, but it would not be a wise decision to ask them now. As she pondered boringly, her eyelids started to weight heavier. Slowly, her head fell upon Bosco’s shoulder as she drifted to sleep.
While Myolie had fallen asleep, Bosco was unable to do so. He studied her facial countenance; she really did not change much with the passage of time. It was almost three years since they had last met. And for the past three years, each and everyday he had been thinking about her. He often wondered whether she had been doing the same thing as well, thinking about him all the time.
Quickly, he dismissed that thought, for his heart would still ache when he recalled how she had broken up with him. Besides, he had obligation on his own part too, for a ring on his engagement finger provided the biggest proof.
He closed his eyes and let darkness cleared out his confused mind…
Inside a luxurious two-story mansion, Ron Ng sat awakened on his bed. As a soft tap came at the door, Ron stepped off the bed with the slightest movement possible, for he did not want to awake the woman sleeping beside him. He quickly exited the room and joined his servant who waited for him obediently.
Bernice Liu, the woman still on the bed, stirred in her sleep. Suddenly, she opened her eyes and dressed up quickly. She sneaked out of the room, following Ron and his servant closely behind. She witnessed them walking down the stairs and settling in a small guest room at the first landing. She quickly hid behind an enclosed area around the stairwell, a place where she could hear from the guest room.
A man clad with black was already waiting for Ron inside the guest room. When Ron and his servant entered, he remained seated in the brown leather chair. He smiled at Ron and greeted him, “Mr. Ng, I am sorry for interrupting your sleep, but Fred said you wanted to see me.” He tapped his half-gone cigar on a small porcelain container before continuing, “So what do you want from me this time?”
Although Ron was used to his guest’s behaviors, sometimes he still could feel anger rushing in his blood. However, he happened to have a better mood that night. He settled into a comfortable sofa and crossed his legs. He uttered, “I have a new assignment for you.” He paused to think of something, then continued, “If the men I sent tonight failed to do what they were asked to do, then please take care of my sister for me.” He waved his hand in front of his throat as if to mimic the action of cutting his throat.
“Your sister?” the guest asked curiously, “I did not know Mr. Ng has a sister. May you enlighten me further?”
Ron smirked at the question as if it was amusing. He explained slowly, “My father had an affair many years ago with a talented painter. The woman gave birth to a baby girl, carrying the same artistic talents as her.” He looked at the guest straight into the eyes, “The girl is a famous painter now, known as Scarlet.”
Upon hearing the name “Scarlet”, the guest knitted his eyebrows. Of course he knew her. He still remembered the fateful encounter he had with her three years ago. He inhaled deeply and asked, “May I ask the reason why Mr. Ng would want her dead?”
Ron sat back and grinned slightly. He answered, “I don’t want to share my wealth with my half-sister. I don’t think anyone would do that, right, Raymond?”
Raymond Lam did not answer to the question. He bit his lips and asked, “So when should I commence the assignment?”
Ron fixed his long sleeping robe and got ready to get up from the sofa. He yarned and answered, “Don’t worry Ray. She will be here soon.”
Sun rays slipped through the cracks of the wooden planks of the barn, waking up Myolie from her sleep. As she opened her eyes, she found Bosco was gone from her side. She looked around worriedly, until she found him on the ground level gathering milk from a cooperative cow. She wondered how Bosco managed to tame the cow to cooperate with him.
After fifteen minutes, Bosco returned to the second level of the barn, carrying with him two bottles of milk and two slices of bread. He handed one bottle and one slice of bread to Myolie while took a seat next to Myolie. He whispered, “Have breakfast.”
Myolie bit into the bread and took a sip from the bottle. The milk was still lukewarm and tasted surprisingly sweet. She continued to eat away while looking at Bosco. Her eyes rested upon the shining ring on his third finger of his right hand. She put down the bread and finally asked sourly, “Are you engaged?”
Bosco avoided Myolie’s gaze. He emptied the milk bottle, and replied curtly, “Yes.”
Myolie looked down and finished her breakfast in silence. She knew perfectly the two of them could never be together after what happened three years ago. She whispered, “I shall continue on my journey now.” She bit her lips and got ready to leave.
Bosco held onto Myolie’s left wrist and warned her against leaving, “Why do want to go to meet your brother when you know the road will only lead you to death?”
Myolie shook her wrist off and replied sternly, “I don’t care.” She climbed down the ladder and landed on the ground level of the barn. Bosco followed her quickly and asked, “Do you even understand what kind of situation you are in now? Those men I rescued you from last night were sent by your brother.”
Determinedly, Myolie answered without looking back at Bosco, “Although this road may lead to death, I will still take it. And it is none of your business.” She carefully made her way out of the barn and peeked outside. As she found it safe to leave the barn, she walked out and exited the farm area, leaving Bosco staring at her back while still standing at the door of the barn.
Sighed deeply to himself, Bosco followed Myolie’s footsteps. He knew how stubborn Myolie could get. Even though he could not stop her from going forward, he would protect her from any danger that may harm her.
Knowing Bosco was following her closely behind, Myolie continued to walk forward without taking a glance back. Soon, she reached the train station and purchased herself a ticket to GuangXi. As she boarded the train, rain had started to fall.
The train cabin that Myolie and Bosco were assigned to was only half full. Myolie took a seat at the front row by the window. She extended her hand out of the window to let rain drops fell on her palm. An old memory started to replay in her mind…
Myolie pushed the paintbrush made out of glass from her desk down to floor, crashing the glass into thousand of pieces. Tears filled her eyes and had started to roll down. She looked at Bosco and shouted, “It’s over between us. I don’t want to see you anymore. Get out!”
Bosco looked at the glass pieces on the floor. The glass paintbrush was a birthday gift he had given her last year on her birthday. He stared heart-brokenly back at Myolie and asked, “Why? We are perfect together. Why do you want to break up with me now?”
Myolie pointed her finger to the door and said clearly, “I told you to get out! My love for you has died. I don’t love you anymore. Please get out from my sight immediately.” She took a seat on her bed and folded her arms across her chest.
Didn’t know what to say, Bosco nodded his head several times. He walked out the door and exited the apartment, with his heart already broken into pieces…
[End of Flashback]