The walk from the clubhouse to the pier must have been at least around 600 metres. We took nearly 12 minutes to get there. By then, my right arm carrying the heavy umbrella was about to give way and my left arm carrying Huiyi’s bag was completely drenched.
It was such a long walk that I had to reassure her countless times that we were about to arrive. The further we walked, the heavier the rain poured and the darker the sky became. In my mind, my hope for a sunset vanished with every passing minute.
And you know the sunset is over when the street lamps start to glow.
By the time we arrived at the pier, the placards had already lost its adhesive power to remain on the railings. Yvonne improvised and leaned these placards along the railings instead. She looked like a cartoon character carrying a blue polka-dotted umbrella, guarding a $3,000 guitar and five placards that read, “Will You Marry Me? / 让我照顾你”. All this, by herself, as she waited for nearly 30 minutes.
When we finally arrived at the scene, I whispered “Hold the umbrella and enjoy the music, dear!” loudly into Huiyi’s ear. Then I strapped on my guitar and reached into my pocket for my plastic pick. I made a final mental run-through of the chord progression and the Chinese lyrics.
I looked at my iPod and realised that it was still playing the third song so I skipped that track and moved to the fourth song immediately – the original version of 让我照顾你. I left the song to play for just one minute (so that Huiyi would register it in her head), then I pressed “Next track”.
At long last, Huiyi was listening to my version of 让我照顾你
I signaled to Gideon and Caleb that Huiyi’s blindfold would be removed in less than two minutes. And they got into position. I decided to give Yvonne the honour of removing the blindfold. And she took her place beside Huiyi.
They were ever-ready. I was more than ready. This was it already!
On my cue, Yvonne proceeded to lift Huiyi’s blindfold.
Huiyi finally regained sight and had all of five seconds to take in what was going on around her – the venue, the rain, the crew, the guitar, the three “YES!” placards Yvonne slotted into her hands, the drama of the moment… And her fiancé-to-be standing in the rain, ready to belt out the song of their courtship.
EVERYTHING led up to this moment.
If you know me well enough, I would never do anything without reason. The last person she saw (before being blindfolded) was me and the last voice she heard (through the iPod) was mine as well. So I planned it in such a way that I was the first person she saw when she opened her eyes, and the first voice she heard when the earphones were removed.
I looked into her eyes, and chorused 让我照顾你 as earnestly and as sincerely as I could.
I meant every single word I sang. And I sang my heart out to her. I wasn’t there to impress… I was there to assure. I wasn’t there to be a star… I was there to start a new phase of my relationship with her.
Huiyi stood there with bewilderment in her eyes. She was shell-shocked to say the least, and was still trying to get her head around what was going on. She had no idea this was coming her way… Nothing in life prepared her for this moment…
Next chapter: the question we’ve all been waiting for.
This Garage-Band-mixed-MP3 was part of my arsenal of logistics on the actual day. I also brought along my iPod Nano, and had lined up four other significant 五月天 songs before this original composition played as the fifth song on the playlist.
I had to ensure that the entire playlist took around 20 minutes to play from start to finish. I will explain why later. I chose songs that represented different phases of our courtship. These were the songs I selected in sequential order:
- 让我照顾你 (by 阿信)
- 让我照顾你 (by 阿舍)
I remember taking out three blindfolds, charging all the gadgets that I needed for the day, packing the all-important ring, earphones and a change of clothes for the evening. I said my bedtime prayers and told the Lord that I’ve done that I possibly could. I guess I could say that I prepared ‘til my maximum, but I think it’s fair to say that I’ve prepared ‘til my optimum. Now I depend on His grace to see me through.
Yes, I think I am finally ready to write about how Friday transpired!
Next chapter: the actual visit to USS.