I was planning to write this story to offer it as a Christmas gift to a friend of mine. That is no longer possible, so now I'm going to dedicate this story and many others in her loving memory.
This story is in memory of Rachel, a soul that no longer is with us, but that won't ever be forgotten. She's the reason why I've got this story written up for Christmas, she never wanted me to give up.
Wherever you are…
WE MISS YOU.
Learning To Breathe
The break up
"Damn him!" She growled into the phone.
"C'mon Mei, you know what he's like!"
"But, Sakura, there's only two weeks until the wedding, and we haven't even done the seating arrangements! You don't want Syaoran next to his ex, or yours!"
"Good point, but I never even understood why you invited them, in the first place." Meilin knew Sakura was pouting.
"I told you, they're Tong's friends, and he wanted them there!"
"Fine, but I still think it's a bad idea, Mei!" Meilin giggled at this.
"But, Sakura, he disappeared on me!" She continued to whine.
"Mei, calm down!"
"Sakura, I've known him for two years now, I've dated him for one, we're getting married in two weeks, and now he's bailing out on me!"
"Of course he's not!"
"He is! He's probably forgotten all about me!"
"I'm serious; he's probably off with some bimbo!" There was a bitter tone to her voice, now.
"Meilin, he's changed. He isn't the same womanizer he was in college, or he wouldn't have proposed to you!"
"I wish I was so confident about that, Sakura…but I fear he only ever proposed to me so he wouldn't lose me – and, being the idiot I am, I fell for it!" She exhaled deeply as she said this.
"You aren't an idiot, Mei, I'm sure he wouldn't do that!" Sakura did the best she could to convince her friend.
"Sakura, you know as well as I do how uninterested he was in the entire wedding."
"He was!" She tried to reassure Meilin, but to little avail.
"Yeah, he loved the wedding planner, he flirted with her a couple of times, and with the caterer, my sister, my mother, and even my elderly grandmother!"
"Are you sure he wasn't just being friendly?"
"Sakura, he even flirted with Fanren's daughter." Meilin was exasperated, now.
"So, she's only four, for God's sake!"
"Mei, what are you getting at?"
"I love him, I really do, Sakura…and I do want to be with him, but I just…I'm not all that sure my feelings are reciprocated."
"Mei, he loves you; if he didn't, he wouldn't have had the guts to talk to your father…"
"I guess I'm just being paranoid, huh?"
"It's only natural. You are having a major case of cold feet. After all you are-" But Sakura was cut off, mid-sentence.
"The first one to get married, I know!" Meilin completed it for her.
"So you just have to hang up, dress in that outfit he likes…even if it's not your style-"
"I don't know why I let him convince me to wear that crap, Sakura…I can't remember the last time I dressed in clothes I liked!"
"As I was saying, Mei…go get dressed up, and surprise him with dinner at his place, okay?" Sakura's voice was uncharacteristically sharp as she said this.
"Thanks for the help, Sakura! Oh, and say hi to that cousin of mine for me! Bye."
She hung up, walking to her room. Since that morning, she'd had a bad feeling about going anywhere near her fiancée, but she missed him, and they were supposed to have dinner that night.
"Stupid thoughts…he loves you, and you love him!" She mumbled this to herself.
"Yes, I do." She was stern, now.
That's funny, I thought you liked him, and loved T-
"I do love him, of course I do! If I didn't, I'd never have agreed to marry him!" She was close to screaming, now.
Now you're lying to yourself…
Meilin blocked out the annoying voice in her heart, reaching for a black mini dress, hoping she wouldn't have to wear them after the wedding.
She pulled it on, squirming; and, looking in the mirror, it seemed shorter than she remembered, just barely skimming the top of her thighs, preserving what little modesty she had left; it hung off her shoulder, completely hugging her figure, so much so, she wondered how she'd ever managed to get in it.
As if to justify the entire outfit, in her mind, she wore a red belt, slipping on red boots to match. Her make up was too heavy, for her taste; in fact, she was completely disgusted with her appearance – the only thing she didn't mind was her hair, a bun with a few strands loose at the front to frame her face, and the pendant round her neck.
"The things I do for love." She muttered, fingering her necklace, a white gold chain with a ruby pendant, carrying a photo of her and her fiancée inside, along with the inscription; 'Nothing can ever tear us apart; love you forever, T'.
Grabbing her trench coat and bag, she sighed, slamming the door on her way out.
It was time to pay her fiancée a visit.
Meilin's Fiancée's Apartment
Meilin turned the key in the lock, but the door was already open, much to her surprise.
Strange…he never leaves the door unlocked, even when he's at home.
She frowned, noticing his keys on the floor, along with his coat and briefcase; she picked them up, placing the keys and briefcase on the entrance table in the hall, and hung the coat with her own.
She drew her cell phone out of her bag, turning it off with a flourish, not keen to be disturbed.
Tonight's just for the two of us.
She walked around for a little, wondering where he might be; she figured, as it was so quiet, he'd simply be resting after a hard day at the office.
Might as well start dinner, I suppose.
She began taking everything she needed from the kitchen cupboards, but stopped as she heard a muffled thump coming from somewhere within the apartment. She shook her head slightly, assumed she was merely imagining things. She was about to start peeling carrots, when she heard the sound again.
Don't tell me there's a thief in my future home?
I'll kill the bastard!
She gripped the kitchen knife she'd been holding even tighter, now
After listening carefully for a couple of minutes, she soon heard the noise again, and, this time, she was sure it was coming from her fiancée's bedroom.
That bastard thief's going through our stuff…my lingerie!
"Easy, now!" It was then she heard her fiancée gasp.
Stupid Tong, scaring the shit out of me! Well, if he's up, I can go say hi…
She stopped, dead in her tracks, however, when she heard a woman giggling. She frowned, her eyes becoming two slits of fury, and she clutched the knife even tighter.
He is dead.
She threw the bedroom door back, so that it hit the wall behind it with a loud bang; not that she cared, all she could focus on now was killing her fiancée.
"So, what do we have here?" Tong and the woman sat upright at hearing her, the woman's face draining of all colour, and Tong losing the ability to speak.
"I thought, when you cheated on me, it'd be with someone better, not Suki Shimura!" She said this last part with a mimicking tone.
"Mei, sweetheart, it isn't what you think!" Tong stammered, not even taking his eyes off the knife.
"Oh, so you know what I'm thinking, now? Please, enlighten me?" She would've laughed, in different circumstances.
"Uhmm…well, you see…" He tried to bide his time, but it wasn't proving very helpful.
"We were just checking that the…mattress was okay…y'know, so you wouldn't hurt your back!" He kicked himself mentally for the lame excuse.
"Yeah." Suki nodded her head , just wanting to get out of there alive, scared to death of Meilin.
"Tell me something?" She snapped.
"Do I, by any chance, have stupid written on my forehead?" She cut him off.
"No!" Suki responded to this, although she soon regretted it, as Meilin's attention was now focused on her.
"Shut up, bitch, this is between me and him." She threw the knife, now, and it hit the head of the bed with a loud 'crack'.
"If you allow me to say, you have great precision." Suki gushed.
"What are you talking about? I missed!" Meilin's expression was blank as she said this, and Suki knew she wasn't lying.
"Mei, you shouldn't have done that!" Tong was staring at her, now, but if he was scared, he didn't show it.
"Throwing the knife!"
"Why? Because I could have hurt her?" Her fury was increasing by the second, until she heard his egotistical reply.
"No, because you could have hurt me!"
"Bastard, how dare you?" Suki snapped at him.
"I could've been certain that I'd told you to shut up!" Meilin punched the other woman, now, resulting in a loud cracking sound.
"Ow! You broke my nose!" This was muffled as Suki clasped her bleeding nose, tilting her head up.
But Meilin had had enough, and grabbed the nearest thing to her, which happened to be a bucket of red paint, and dunked it over Suki's head.
"Oops, looks like you're not gonna get to redecorate any time soon, huh, T? Sorry, such a waste of perfectly good red paint…"
"Mei, sweetheart…" He tried in vain to reason with her.
"You know, the sad thing is, I think I always knew you were gonna cheat on me." He couldn't meet her gaze, knowing her ruby eyes would be filled with pain.
"Mei, I wouldn't! This was all a stupid mistake!" He stood up, trying to hold her in his arms, and, when he did, he felt her body shake with either a sob, or pure anger.
"This was an one time thing, it won't ever happen again!"
She put her hands on his chest and pushed as hard as she could to disentangle herself from that hug.
"Don't touch me!" She practically screamed this, as though it physically hurt her.
"You are what you are, and it won't change – you'll just keep on flirting and cheating, even if you say you won't."
"But, Meilin, I love you!"
"No, you don't. If you loved me, you wouldn't cheat on me, you wouldn't make me change. Because this-" She gestured to her outfit.
"You look stunning!" He said, taking her in for the first time since she arrived, dwindling on her long, creamy legs.
"Is not me. It's all the sluts you used to date." She removed her engagement ring and threw it at him, and he caught it with ease
"I don't want to marry you, you aren't worth my time!"
She headed towards the door, stopping only to say; "You can call off the wedding, and it's better you tell the truth…oh, and if you ever see me on the street, don't talk to me, you might not get away without a black eye. And I hope you remembered to renew your insurance, like I told you…"
"I didn't…"He muttered, confused.
"Tough luck!" She smirked at this, although he didn't notice; in fact, he didn't even register what she'd said until it was too late, and a loud crashing sound came from the sitting room.
"Meilin, not the family vases!" He shouted, running to the source of the noise, in only a pair of black, silk boxers.
"Mei, not the glass table!"
Suki stood in the hallway, listening to the couple in the living room, still drenched in a mixture of red paint and blood. She tried to go unnoticed, while stealing a glance into the dining room, which was completely destroyed.
"Mei, put that ashtray down, it was gift from my grandfather-"
"So? You don't smoke!" She replied, enjoying the feeling of her anger taking control.
"It's a memory!"
"Fine!" She shot him a wicked smile.
"I told you to catch it!"
"Mei, you can't destroy my entire house!"
"Wanna bet?" She set her eyes on his plasma TV, smiling.
"Please, not the TV set!"
"Say goodbye…" She pushed it gently, not enough so that she was tired out, but enough to send it toppling over.
"Nooooo!" Tong tried to catch it, and failed miserably.
He fell to his knees, staring at the debris of his living room. It took him a while to notice that he was now alone in the room, and his face darkened in realisation;
He ran to the door, forgetting the fact that he was still in his boxers, and tore it open, running all the way to the garage - he could have taken the elevator, but the stairs was quicker.
When he reached it he realised the reason why a man should never piss of women – his brand new car, a black Mazda X1, was covered in scratches, the windshield completely smashed.
"All done!" She said, handing him the baseball bat with a quick smile, before heading to the elevator, and leaving him to sink to his knees.
"My precious belongings…" But, after thinking about it, he realised he had a lot more to worry about.
"Heck, Syaoran's gonna kill me when he gets wind of this!"
She stepped into the lobby, grabbing the doorman on her way, knowing he'd call the media almost immediately.
"Mr Gum, I think you'd better call someone to Kai-kun's apartment, everything's been destroyed!" She did, briefly, wonder if Tong would press charges, although she soon reassured herself – she was a Li, he wouldn't dare – and for now, his humiliation would be revenge enough.
As she got home, the first thing she did was to throw all the clothes that he'd made her wear on the floor, in a blind fury. She hadn't even noticed she was crying, until the tears dripped onto her hands, and she began to wipe them away, furiously.
Suddenly, it all became too much for her, her heart began to ache, and it was just all too painful.
Subconsciously, she lay on his side of the bed, inhaling his musky forest scent, and, before she knew it, his entire pillow was drenched with her tears.
To be continued
A.n: To the readers that read my other stories, I'm really sorry for not being able to update. I'm trying very hard to type it up. But I'm afraid it'll take awhile for me to update another. I only need to have time to type it, which is what I'm lacking of.
I hope you enjoy this gift…