Tag Archives: romance

天长地久 • Timeless

Solvil et Titus once ran a series of commercials featuring renowned Hong Kong stars, moving storylines and that unforgettable tagline, which I suspect, greatly influenced the way I love. Here’s my translated take on it and my favourite commercial from the series.

不在乎天长地久
Not for love timeless
只在乎曾经拥有。
But having once loved.

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Weekly Writing Challenge: Moved by Music Somewhere in Time

I have always loved writing around music; not only do apt tunes draw out the right emotions with heightened intensity – as required to put them into words, they sometimes recount our stories in ways we could never tell.

While I love Michael Crawford’s rendition, here is the original piece that inspired it all:

Somewhere in Time

Twenty-eighth March. With a wry smile, she thought about all those twenty-something entries in her journals that meant something. Just as she thought everything has subsided, they take her on that devastating journey one more time.

Just once more tonight.

That evening, he had invited her to watch an old travel-back-time movie that was screening on the English channel together over the phone. She turned off the lights in her living room, switched on the television and dialed his number.

“Is it you?”

“Yes.”

She froze. Weren’t those the exact words they exchanged the first time they met? Richard and Elise, the writer and the actress, she and he.

“Did you hear that?…” he sounded just as amazed as she was. A mystery that went unexplained while the plot spent itself into a poignant ending, telling the story of a love that changed their lives, both of them gripped in intense silence till the last moment that it ended.

Like the protagonists, she was consumed in his presence. It was terrifyingly intoxicating and there was nothing else she wanted, and nothing else she could do except to want him.

It was just another evening, chatting over the phone again, but that night his tone was more brooding than usual. He was calm, yet the silence was deafening.

“I told him, I tried. But he doesn’t want to let me go.” The situation was not on her side, and she was confused and troubled. She needed a kind word, but he was in no state to give her it.

“I cannot be with you like this… do you know what I feel every time you leave me to go to him? I want you in my life completely, or not at all. Can’t you see? I need you here with me!”

She could almost see his pained expression and touch his despair. But she too had no words that could comfort him.

Twenty-eighth March. Her fingers pressed the dials on her phone and she placed the receiver to her ear as the familiar dial tones repeated themselves. She waited.

“Hello.”

One word, and a tremendous surge of peace washed over her tormented mind, soothing her aching heart. He sounded so reassuring that for a while, she forgot their predicament as they chatted about school and other trivia. But as they started making plans to meet over the next couple of days, she grew hesitant, brought back to the reality of her compromised situation. And he, sensing it, became brooding too. Then it happened, so suddenly. Without warning, their conversation took a turn for the worst.

“I know you are not in the position to decide… so I will do it for you.”

“I will do it because I cannot bear seeing you in this state over me, over us. It will be for the better.”

That quiet afternoon, behind closed doors, she hung onto the receiver, too overwhelmed in shock and pain that sent her reeling to say anything. And for what seemed like a very long while, not a word they uttered. Only the silent wrecking sobs that shook her body and the taste of hot new tears that could not stop. She knew he was silently crying, but she could not dry his tears any better than he could hers. There was no turning back. He had decided for the two of them.

Quietly, he hung up. It was but a quiet Saturday afternoon in March.

Long after, the dull pain that would surface on all those twenty-somethings each year always served as fresh reminders of how inept she was at fighting for the one to whom she truly belonged, and how helplessly she allowed the course of her life to be changed by him.

Yet, it was but the one time she tasted true love, so pure and devastating, in all its bittersweet glory.

End of Act Three

 

The above text appeared originally in a previous post as part of a novelette I have been writing. And I think I may have found the song for the final act, the lyrics of which again tells it perfectly:

We laughed, until we had to cry
And we loved, right down to our last goodbye
We were the best, I think we’ll ever be
Just you and me, for just a moment

We chased that dream we never found
And sometimes we let one another down
But the love we made, made everything alright
We shone so bright, for just a moment

Time goes on
People touch and they’re gone
And you and I will never love again
Like we did then

Someday, when we both reminisce
We’ll both say, there wasn’t too much we missed
And through the tears, we’ll smile when we recall
We had it all, for just a moment

Time goes on
People touch and then they’re gone
But you and I will never really end
We’ll never love again
Like we did then

We laughed, until we had to cry
And we loved, right down to our last goodbye.

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Act Two: Romanza

“It is rather brooding, yet somehow a passion flows through,” he thought aloud. “Yes, it does seem like that doesn’t it?” she agreed. Her brows furrowed in slight frustration. “I really want to get this right; the emotions in this piece can be so tedious to listen for, it would slip right past the audience if there is no accurate introduction to it.” She leant against the wall, letting the music slip into her consciousness, feeling his presence. He’d wanted to hear the song to get a better picture of its mood so she brought it over that day.

The music swelled and rose as his fingers traced her hair to her cheek, and he felt her breath on his fingertips as he touched her lips. He placed his mouth on hers, tasting her breath. “I know the passion in this song,” he said.

“I knew you would.”

Twenty-third December. They were on the way to lunch with two of his close friends; it didn’t seem that insane that she had just known him the day before. “Here’s my number – remember it now,” he grinned. She watched as his finger pressed the dials on the public phone… nine..three..one..six..seven..six..eight..one.. slowly, surely. “Aren’t you gonna write it down for me?” she asked. He smiled. Then, her hand in his, they crossed the road together.

Twenty-fourth December. “It was all a lie – I just wanted to bed you. Forget about me.” The tears couldn’t stop streaming down her face. “No, I don’t believe you! Don’t leave me… please don’t go.” The pain was so intense and so real, piercing right through the heart. All she could do was cry while he remained silent on the other line. After what seemed like a long time, he broke the silence, his voice cracking with stifled tears. “Forgive me… please, don’t cry. I just… don’t wish to see us suffer for what we are headed for.” She had died then resurrected with his words, and it was all she remembered.

Days passed, he in her life, she in his.

She would go to his house when she had afternoon classes and spend the morning with him. They would have breakfast at the nearby café and chat long after. She shared her dream of living in a house amongst fields; he talked about how they’d live out their lives there together. She would tidy up his room while he worked on his assignments. He would read her the plays he wrote and make changes from the suggestions she gave. He would play on the piano and sometimes she would sing.

He would meet her after classes at the fast food joint near his school, and they would take long walks around his neighbourhood. He opened her heart to social work and to the simple pleasures in life. Some nights when the stars were out, they would lie in the middle of a field and he would point out where Orion’s Belt was.

Some evenings would find them back at his home, enjoying each other’s company as they watched the reddening of the sky before it turned dark. He would always walk her down, pushing ten dollars into her hand for the cab before it sped off.

She loved receiving messages from him on her pager: 1-177155-4 or simply with his number to return call. The latter almost always meant an arrangement to meet him, which she looked forward to. She loved the gentleness in his voice and manner, and knew the affection reflected in his eyes were real.

He was her soul as she was his, and they were one and the same. He would know what she wanted to say before she had even said it, and she would mirror his thoughts in her words. Though he never said it, she’d always known they knew, as if they had known each other for the longest time. He showed her what it was to love, and to be loved.

The melody surged and fell, and she felt the back of his hand brush against her skin. He reached within her dress as his shirt buttons came undone. Then she stopped, hesitating. He watched her intently. “We are not going there, alright? Trust me.” She nodded.

The melody pulsated as instruments joined in, adding to the colours and hues. She could feel his heartbeat as he pressed against her, slowly, then more urgently. She pulled him down to her, tasting the moistness on his skin, watching him gasp as the crescendo reached its climax, crashing against her, sweetly excruciating.

She looked up at him gazing down into her face with a trace of wonderment. As they lay together listening to the embers of the ending, she knew, for the first time she would have given in, if only he had asked.

If only he’d just ask.

– End of Act Two –

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