From Boston they turned south to Plymouth, Hartford, and Long island, visiting cities and having fun along the way. They visited a winery that fascinated Wing Tung, walked into a chocolate factory that was a child’s paradise, stayed in a cottage in the wilderness with animals roaming at night, and also visited a giant shopping center that they couldn’t finish in a day. They even tried staying in a dirty and simple motel. Everything gave them a taste of the American life.
Their last stop was the densely populated New York City. They found a hotel in Manhattan and had a short rest. Cin Heung and Sum Ting stayed in the same room, while the rest of the girls all stayed in another bigger room.
Cin Heung was packing her luggage in the room when Sum Ting’s mobile phone rang. Immediately, Sum Ting took her phone and went into the bathroom hastily. Astonished, Cin Heung overheard the whispers coming out of the bathroom. Soon, Sum Ting came out of the bathroom and without saying a word, she laid down on the bed. She didn’t say a thing and only looked at the ceiling.
Concerned about her, Cin Heung asked, “What’s the matter?”
“You seem to be worried about something after we’ve left Boston.”
Cin Heung walked to the edge of the bed and sat down. “Is it something related to Gou Jing?”
With eyes widened, Sum Ting asked, “How do you know this?”
“I just feel that you’ve been avoiding her.”
“Cin Heung, you sure are observant.”
“So what’s the matter?”
“Well… I don’t want to talk about it… Just forget about what you’ve noticed!” Sum Ting turned away and pretended to sleep.
Looking at her back, Cin Heung felt uneasy as if a storm was already brewing.
Sum Ting felt tired both physically and mentally, and she said that she wanted to stay in the hotel to rest. Cin Heung wanted to go to 42nd street alone, while the rest of the girls decided to go shopping in Times Square.
42nd Street was a famous street in Manhattan for being full of theatres. The whole street was full of lights. Just like a performer standing on a stage and letting the silvery stage lights shine on her, Broadway was famous all over the world.
Walking along the street, Cin Heung checked the numbers in front of each theater. She walked through several streets and saw some very famous plays: The Lion King, Phantom of The Opera, Les Misérables, and more, but these were not what she was looking for.
She hadn’t planned to come here originally, but somehow she had arrived at New York and was even thinking of her.
She made Cin Heung make a promise to visit her after coming to America. All of this, because she had once kissed Cin Heung’s face… Cin Heung had been wondering since, why did she not reject the feeling. Cin Heung still thought about her and today, Cing Heung had come to 42nd Street of New York just for her.
She needed to resolve her perplexed feelings.
Cin Heung arrived at a renovated old American building. There was a steel staircase nailed on the outer wall while hundreds of light bulbs flashed English words across it. A big flashing billboard at the door read, ’Violinist Stirling Live Concert’.
She had found it.
There was a poster of Stirling on the wall. Stirling, with her golden hair, looked up at the sky with her pointed nose, enjoying the fresh air. She wore a long white dress with only her toes touching the surface of the water, as if she was levitating above the water. Her bright smile showed her liveliness and unrestrained expression of emotions. It was as though nature was in perfect harmony with her at this moment.
Cin Heung bought a ticket and while she was waiting to enter the theatre, she visited the souvenir shop. There, she noticed some decorations which had engravings of Stirling’s name. When she saw a magazine about her, she picked it up and looked through it.
The magazine listed the producers, some sponsors, and one of the columns was a long speech. Cin Heung read the speech, and was stunned for a few seconds. With that, she decided to buy the magazine.
The theater hall had a more traditional look to it. This was evident by the renaissance decorations and paintings hung around the red curtain on stage. There was even a huge oil painting of Cupid and other angels on the ceiling.
The usher instructed Cin Heung to her seat, the middle seat in the first row. She sat down and waited for the performance to begin. The rest of the audience took their seats, and soon, the lights of the theater gradually dimmed while the red curtains drew to the sides like a pair of wings.
In the middle of the stage, a column of silvery light shined on. Stirling appeared on the stage like a fairy, sitting on a large classical leather sofa with her violin in her arms. She slowly stood up, and the stage light followed her leisurely pace to the front of the stage.
With grace and beauty, she lifted her violin to her shoulders. Placing her bow to the string, she calmly performed the first piece.
The intoxicating music enchanted every audience. The rhythm of music led to the ups and downs of the mood. With her eyes shut, Cin Heung savoured the quick and joyous music, the melody of joy and sadness constantly flowing through her heart. The pleasant timbre rang throughout every corner of the theater.
Stirling continued to play many pieces, including familiar ones, popular titles. as well as new ones. Cin Heung could feel the music evoking different moods in her.
Cin Heung then thought of the testimonial she read in the magazine. “I was having trouble writing my new song, but when I travelled to a foreign country and met this Asian girl, inspiration burst out of my mind because of her. She took me everywhere to experience the different customs, and she introduced me to interesting things. She took care of me meticulously, so much that I felt she didn’t think of it as mere work. Her sincerity towards all my trivial things and the way she cared for me, it made me smile from my heart. Leaving her made me look forward to a future… The expectations of falling for someone for the first time… Like love… It goes beyond race and gender… This was what inspired me to create this melody.”
When she finished playing a song, she went to the edge of the stage. The lights on the stage shined on the faces of the audience. Stirling had the habit of looking at the audience, and when she saw the middle of the front row, she froze. Excited, as though she had won the lottery prize, Stirling took a few deep breaths and said, “The next piece was written when I went to a foreign country. I wrote it for a person dear to me.”
Cin Heung stared at Stirling’s sparkling eyes. Those eyes showed how long she had been waiting and how long she had been yearning. Suddenly, there was a feeling of grief in Cin Heung’s heart. Why was she sad? It was as though something had been waiting for her for a long time.
Stirling began to play her original piece, her eyes not once leaving Cin Heung. Cin Heung suddenly felt her heart beat violently. In her lifetime, it seemed only this woman could make her feel this way.
Stirling completely infused her emotions into the music. Every note, with her violin, permeated their hearts and minds. Cin Heung’s eyes became watery without her noticing, while Stirling also shut her eyes and teared up. With her best effort, Stirling completed the whole piece with much elegance and emotion. At the end of the song, tears rolled down from both their cheeks. The thunderous applause was seemingly just for the two of them. Soon, the red curtain closed, separating them again.
After the music ended, the audience also left. Still sitting in her seat, Cin Heung was then reminded by an attendant that she had to leave. She nodded and stood up with some difficulty; slowly, she walked toward the exit. Suddenly, sounds of footsteps came behind her, stopping just behind her. Cin Heung also came to a halt and raised her head. Feeling that the person behind her was breathing heavily, Cin Heung already knew who she was. She turned around and saw that it was indeed the person in her mind, Stirling.
Stirling looked at Cin Heung. After a while, she roused herself and hugged her tightly.
Cin Heung closed her eyes and allowed Stirling to hold her. She buried her head on Stirling’s shoulder, smelling the body fragrance from her body, that crisp baby lotion smell. Adored, Cin Heung couldn’t help but hold Stirling’s slender waist.
After some time, Stirling said, “You gave me a big surprise!”
Cin Heung was also emotional. “I didn’t expect this!”
Biting her lower lip, Stirling couldn’t believe it and said, “You’re really here! I had a hunch.”
Love could turn the impossible possible, while music could break the barrier between people. In order to search through the depths of her heart, Cin Heung needed courage to face change.