DR is like the see-saw in the play – one moment he’s sliding towards YQ and the next towards Maggie…
A troubled-looking YQ is scrubbing the toilet bowl furiously while her astute mum observes that the only times she’s been this way were when she’s nervous about something. Cue unbidden flashbacks -- herself waking up beside DR in the hotel room and she begins scrubbing again.
Her already rattled nerves are further amplified when she inadvertently drops her cellphone into the toilet. Oooooooppsie. She sends her cell to be serviced while the shop owner advises her to switch to a newer model – a multifunction cellphone. She refuses, further proof that she’s resistant to change.
Meanwhile, YQ’s mum has summoned DR over for help because her computer has gone nuts on her. DR thinks the computer is infested by a virus most likely from some errant emails on porno sites. Daddy is anxiously keeping a tab on their conversation. Hehe. Mum tries to get YQ to come down from her room, unaware she’s already left the house.
The shop owner loans her a temporary cellphone. YQ wanders off to an art exhibition alone after which she shows up at her company requesting for a private audience with her boss. She recommends Nic for the vacant Central District Chief post, her reasons being partly personal and partly professional.
When she is about to leave, it’s raining again. And Nic appears before her with an umbrella again. He knew what she’s done and thanks her. She tells him honestly that she just wanted him away from her. She retrieves a rain coat from her handbag and walks away. Attagirl. But she thinks the better of it and offers him one last piece of advice:
“Actually, you’re very competent. Your competency can definitely take you places. You understand women very well – but that should not be your weapon, because you and women are not enemies but unique friends. Friends or enemies – that depends on you.”
She strides off, feeling much better about herself, also remembering what DR said about her – someone who even after being hurt, only has nice things to say about the other party.
In her house, DR leaves after lunch and bumps into YQ who just reaches home. They stare at each other, both overwhelmed by memories of that night. What happened??!
Their awkward interactions do not escape the notice of Mum who tries to find out if they’ve fought but YQ denies. Alone in her room, YQ couldn’t help reliving the memories of that night…
They have a drinking and talking session just like they always do, lounging on the bed, reminiscing about their school days and how they’re always opposing each other. In fact the only time they were in agreement was on Ding Li Wei being a bastard. DR confesses to hating her most when she was dating Ding – because he felt that she lost her identity by being so subservient to him. She takes a dig at him by declaring all his relationships fail which he explained that the primary cause was his ex-girlfriends couldn’t accept that his best friend is …HER.
They continue their conversation while replenishing their beer stock at the convenience store, going on about what is the right kind of love and how sex influences a relationship.
The casual tone of their conversation turns slightly serious when they find themselves in an unfamiliar and intimate position, especially for DR.
YQ: Why do people say that a man and a woman can never have a platonic relationship?
DR: Probably because it’s everyone’s experience that brought about that conclusion…
YQ: So…that means…you don’t see me as…a woman?
DR: It’s you who don’t see me as a man…
YQ: Then, why did you say, you will never love me?
RRRrrring. Oh blasted cellphones. Blasted timing…by who else but Ms. Maggie. Zzz. YQ steps into the washroom, aware she’s jealous that he’s talking so intimately with another woman but does not know the reason. Oh puh-lease…is it not obvious enough??!
Anyway, she enters the room again to find DR asleep while on the phone. She tells an anxious Maggie not to worry and that they’re not in that kind of relationship. Pffftt…as though that’ll really put her at ease. I’m betting Maggie will be fretting the entire night. YQ looks affectionately at the sleeping DR…
The next morning, they wake up side by side on the bed, her head pillowed by his arm. He asks her softly, “Are you awake? My arm is a little numb…”
She stares at him dumbfounded, before her slowly conscious mind registers the situation and she sprints away from the bed in response. He smiles at her, trying to pretend everything is normal but she’s still too shocked to reciprocate.
The ride home is no less awkward as YQ comes to terms with these foreign feelings. It’s affecting YQ more because it’s the first time she’s ever seen him as a man but for DR, it’s probably what he does best – hiding his true feelings from her, as he’s done for the past 15 years.
DR meets Maggie for lunch and as expected, she’s non too happy about her boyfriend spending the night with another girl, best friend or not. She springs a hypothetical question on him- yup, THE favourite question of all girlfriends of all time – who would you save first if both of us were to fall into the sea? He expertly answers that he would have prevented that from ever happening, thus rendering her question moot. LOL.
Meanwhile YQ is rotting at home, watching TV. She receives a disturbing phone call, but instead of freaking out or getting annoyed, she advises the caller to watch some idol dramas and get a good cry which is much more gratifying than making such phone calls. J (That is my remedy too! Dramas can be so cleansing to the soul…). She continues watching her TV …which is actually…about her and Nic dubbed in Korean. LOL.
Next day at work, DR and Maggie have a little lovers’ quarrel in the staffs’ rest room. About his impending promotion. Right before everyone. LOL.
When DR walks Maggie home after work, she makes him promise to call her 3x a day as part of her love management. After some haggling, they agree on 2 calls and 1 message a day. When she invites him to her house, he declines again. Maggie remarks that he’s a little different since his trip to Taizhong. She kisses him when he tries to explain and tells him that kissing goodbye is part of her love management.
At home, Maggie stares at her list and cancels the one about working together. She feels uneasy and tosses on her bed restlessly.
DR is facebooking at home. He learns that Jhao Mei Nan has broken his engagement with his fiancée and they’ve decided to be friends. The word friends reminds him of YQ’s question…
He shows up before her in front of her houses and asks her if she wants to know the answer to her question. Before she could make sense of his cryptic words, he grabs her for a kiss. @.@ She pushes him away, thinking he’s out of his mind. He tells her he’s very clear-minded and goes on to explain that for the past 15 years, he’s --. She stops him from saying anything more, reminding him they can no longer be friends if he says it…and she tells him, I can never love you.
DR startles awake. It’s just a dream, thank goodness. Or more precisely, the dream represents the demon in his heart. The scenario he fears most, the thing that stops him from confessing his love for YQ. It’s so sad.
His phone rings. It’s MeiNan calling the gang out to complain about his ex- fiancée moving on with some other guy. DR accurately points out that he’s so not over his alleged ex and that it’s only his fear of marriage that is leading him to make such a miserable choice.
YQ arrives at her desk to a familiar coffee with an attached note. It’s Nic, buying her coffee for the last time. The second note is a p.s. that reads:
“Maybe you’ll find it hard to believe, still I’d like to tell you this….If I do like women, without a doubt it would be you…”
Feeling upset all over again, she decides against calling up DR and calls her mum instead, crying and seeking comfort from her confused mum.
DR looks at his mother and Uncle Bai’s friendly interactions and wonders if it would be the same for him and YQ when they’re 50 years old. His thoughts are interrupted by a phone call from Mei Nan. Apparently, he has accidentally dropped his wedding ring into the drain. While his friends work on retrieving the ring, Mei Nan rushes to salvage his relationship with his girl.
YQ busies herself with work. In a very curious twist of fate, she ends up having dinner with Zhi Lin (Henry’s ex ex gf) and Lala (Henry’s current gf). The girls have a rather nice bonding session, discussing the merits and demerits of Henry. Zhi Lin remarks she feels rather good after speaking good of Henry. YQ sums it nicely by saying it’s because her memories of him are no longer tainted by hurt and hate but are now colored by pleasant feelings. The girls go on to have a karaoke session, getting drunk in the process.
On the other hand, DR makes good on his promise and cooks fried rice for Maggie, the two of them spend a cozy evening having home-cooked dinner and watching TV. He sees her list and reflects that to certain people, love is not a feeling but consists of a list of criteria.
When it’s getting late, he excuses himself and Maggie gives him her house keys. And before he leaves, Maggie closes her eyes in anticipation for her good night kiss. He kisses her forehead, but she’s not satisfied. He kisses her cheek and still it’s not what she wants. Tired of waiting for him, she kisses him instead, on the lips. DR is his usual self, passively accepting even though he’s not particularly enthusiastic about it. He mulls inwardly, what is his criteria for love…
DR sees YQ and the girls walking drunkenly on the streets. He looks a little disappointed noting she’s looking pretty happy. He wonders sadly if she’s been happy in the past few days they’ve not been in touch.
The girls wake up in YQ’s house, bewildered. YQ muses how perfect it would be if DR is a girl.
Mum nags and grumbles about how unbecoming of her getting home all drunk and disturbing the neighbours. YQ thinks nothing of it until Mum mentions how she’s been asking around for potential suitors. YQ blows her top, cringing in embarrassment of having the entire neighbourhood clued in on how desperate she is.
DR is attending the same art exhibition as YQ had and wonders to himself:
“Cheng You Qing, if I’ve seen the things you saw, walked the path you walked, would I be that much closer to you?”
YQ is back at the cell phone shop reclaiming her serviced cell phone. Being the techno-idiot that she is, she has been ignoring calls and messages because she could not recognize her own ring tones. She goes through her unread messages, most of which are from DR, smiling in satisfaction. She replies to the message where he asks her out for a trip. He calls her back, like immediately. They speak like they always do…comfortably while arranging the details of their trip…and find themselves just within a few feet from each other. They smile and laugh, both relieved to be in touch with each other again, relieved they’re not being ignored by the other.
Charms of a mature lady #4: Smile – allows you to defeat your enemies and yourself.
This episode offers our protagonists a taste of what it would be like to be without each other’s company and it’s obviously a test they both fail miserably. I know it’s perfectly understandable that DR is not willing to risk that precious friendship to confess his love, but will he regret it if he never makes a move, especially as in the preview for the next episode, a certain Mr. Ding Li Wei is making a comeback into YQ’s life.
That being said, I’m feeling particularly sorry for Maggie here. Sorry she’s caught up in the complicated relationship between DR and YQ, sorry it’s so obvious DR is sooo…not into her…sorry that she has to take the initiative in everything…and sorry that she’s looking particularly pathetic trying her damnedest to cling on to DR.