Our First Chinese Valentine’s Day

This year, Chinese Valentine’s Day fell on 6 Feb 2012.

I had everything planned out – where to go in the afternoon, what to eat, and where to hang out in the evening. I gave The Girlfriend a little invitation card and even prepared a gift (if you’re curious what the gift is, check out “Chinese Valentine’s Day”).

Unfortunately, on that very day, The Girlfriend sent me a message apologising as she was down with stomach flu.

Ouch.

Well, no worries. It just means a change of plans. There are other ways to have a romantic celebration.

Once I was done with school, I made my way down to her place and gave her the little gift that I made.

It was a good thing she had a piano in her home. The next best thing I could do there was to play sweet music for her. I never took piano lessons, but it was a good thing I made it a point to learn a few piano pieces on my own years ago. (Unfortunately, I can only play one piece well – the rest? Well, so-so only.)

As a starter, I asked her, “Did you know that you can easily generate random classical Chinese music?”

“How?”

“Just by hitting the black keys at random!”

“What?! Nonsense! I don’t believe you!”

She tried it at first, but it didn’t sound very Chinese to her. Haha… The Girlfriend refused to believe you could make classical Chinese music just like that. Now that she was very skeptical, it was the perfect moment to wow her in disbelief! It was my turn, and I began pressing black keys at random, and voila – instant classical Chinese music! Very soothing and beautiful too!

The expression on her face was priceless.

“How?! It’s not possible!!!!!!!”

“Of course it’s possible! Can’t you see what I’m doing? You just got to get the rhythm right!”

(Note: If you don’t believe what I just wrote, go ahead and give it a try on a piano or keyboard – you WILL get instant Chinese music!)

Haha… That was a cool way to get started with my little musical performance for her.

Next, I treated her to my rendition of Pachelbel’s Canon… in C! (Yes, musicians, go ahead and cringe! =P I was lazy when I taught myself this piece years ago as a beginner – I transposed everything from D to C major so that it was easier to commit to memory. Now it’s just stuck to my mind and muscle memory as such.) Haha… I’m glad to know that she enjoyed it. It’s the only piece that I play best.

After that, I decided to be adventurous and play several songs that I had not played in a very very long time.

The first one was Aselin Debison’s rendition of “Somewhere over the rainbow” and “What a wonderful world.”

Somewhere over the rainbow way up high
And the dreams that you dream of
once in a lullaby.

Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly
And the dreams that you dream of,
dreams really do come true.

Someday I’ll wish upon a star, wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney tops,
that’s where you’ll find me.

Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly,
And the dreams that you dare to, oh why, oh why can’t I?

Well I see trees of green and red roses too,
I’ll watch them bloom for me and you.
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world!

Well I see skies of blue and clouds of white;
and the brightness of day,
I like the dark;
and I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
are also on the faces of people passing by.
I see friends shaking hands saying,
How do you do?
They’re really saying, I – I love you!

I hear babies cry and I watch them grow,
they’ll learn much more than we’ll know.
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

Someday I’ll wish upon a star, wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops.
High above the chimney tops,
that’s where you’ll find me.

Somewhere over the rainbow way up high
And the dreams that you dare to, oh why, oh why can’t I?

The second one was Utada Hikaru’s “First Love.” But since neither of us understood Japanese, I used the English lyrics by “Jessa Zaragoza.”

Once in a while
You are in my mind
I think about the days we’ve had
And I dream that this would all come back to me

If only you knew every moment in time
Nothing goes on in my heart
Just like your memories
How I long here to be with you once more

You will always gonna be the one
And you should know
How I wish I could have never let you go
Come into my life again
Oh don’t say no

You will always gonna be the one
In my life
So true, I believe I can never find
Somebody like you
My first love

Once in a while
You are in my dreams
I can feel the warmth of your embrace
And I pray that one day you’ll come back to me

If only you knew every moment in time
Nothing goes on in my heart
Just like your memories
How I long here to be with you once more, yeah

You will always be inside my heart
And you should know
How I wish I could have never let you go
Come into my life again
Please don’t say no

Now and Forever
You were still the one
In my heart
I believe I can never find
Somebody like you
My first love

You will always gonna be the one
And you should know
How I wish I could have never let you go
Come into my life again
Oh don’t say no

You will always gonna be the one
So true, I believe I can never find
Now and forever.

Yup, just those three pieces for the day. We even sang the two songs (above) together while playing it on youtube like a mini karaoke session.

After our short musical session, we went out for dinner to a nearby place. It was so surreal. After dinner, we took a walk around the area, and for some strange reason, the entire place was so familiar to me. I rarely visit the far western side of Singapore. It was therefore very strange that I was in a place that I remembered so well.

Well, as we kept walking, we passed by a hawker centre. And immediately, I remembered why this place was so familiar. It’s so surreal – unbelievable! That hawker centre was the first time I made contact with The Girlfriend about four years ago. 13 December 2008. That was the first time I met her. It was a two-day seminar (and overnight camp) thing. A group of us went to this very hawker centre for lunch, and she was one of them. It was during that lunch that I first spoke to her.

Amazing! I even remembered where we sat for lunch. Well, it wasn’t too hard to forget – it was one of the tables at the corner, very near to a stall selling fruits.

Wow… Just wow.

Anyway, being the 15th day of the Lunar New Year, the night sky was illuminated by a bright and beautiful full moon, decorated by Venus, Jupiter, and the stars. We took a stroll back to her place where there was those reclining chairs near the swimming pool. And there we sat, in a reclined manner, holding hands, and just gazing into the beautiful night sky for hours.

There’s something very beautiful about holding hands. When you have held the hand of your beloved long enough (provided you are not moving), you’ll begin to feel the soft gentle beat of your beloved’s heart. That soft gentle pulse has something very comforting about it. What’s more awesome is when you realise that both pulses begin to synchronise with each other, two hearts throbbing in unison, connected simply via the touch of a hand.

When I hold your hand, I am connecting my heart to yours. Cor ad cor loquitur. It is the moment where heart speaks to heart, where my heart speaks to your heart, and your heart speaks to mine. The heart’s soft gentle pulse, a wordless form of communication. We speak without talking, and listen without hearing. And yet, we are communicating in a subtle way. Each beat a silent message, saying: “I love you.”

I’m so glad there was a last-minute change of plans. Personally, I think this was way more awesome than the original plan that I had in mind. To play the piano and sing to The Girlfriend, to enjoy the moon, stars, and planets in the night sky, and to visit the place where we first met each other. Totally surreal, totally sublime, totally awesome.

This was our first Chinese Valentine’s Day, and it was the best ever.

We can’t wait for the Western Valentine’s Day. It’ll be another first for us. =)

(If you’re a new reader here and you’re wondering why we’re sharing such stories, read “A Prologue to The Relationship” for the inside scoop!)