♪I once was lost but now am found♪
♪Was blind, but now I see♪
We have a lot of habits in life, good, bad, mundane, a few so acute we can’t live without, some sneaking in, surreptitiously replacing the old in our heart giving us a new calmness to take for granted before we are cognizant… and often we label it: falling in love. A breaker of a circuit can trip, our heart can skip a beat without forewarning, it takes deducing through the tangle of wiring to find the short-circuit which might’ve been wrong all along. We take for granted the lights to be on with the flip of a switch. It is seldom easy when heart is beating by a judgment-clouding rhythm, on top of the old comfort of denial, until it snaps.
LL is taking a bath as the circuit breaks. She shouts out YK’s name, the most natural thing, with a future YK commenting in the voiceover:
back then LL gave no thought of whether it
(me in her life) was a good or bad habit…yet.
He opens the door just wide enough to slide her a candle with the consideration of her modesty, without a thought of being taken for granted. YK fixes the breaker. It is not only the electrical circuit he fixes. A light bulb with LL holding the stool in place, the morning joe…and the lady in need of breaking her old habits, and opening her eyes to the new ones without taking things for granted.
LL AND YK, in sync: I am getting very used to…your company.
Our lovely ladies are catching up, they have been taking their bodies for granted and little problems are creeping up. LL sprinkled in a lot of HYK being caring about her in the conversation without the aware at first, but that is what the bff radars of Tiffany and JiaYi are here for.
YK is making her the morning cuppa, which is another too sweet nicety of what Tiffany and JY brought to her alert: are they or aren’t they?!
Why are you robbing work from the handymen et al?
I am definitely more convenient, and FREE of charge.
and more gorgeous and perfect and FREE… for hugging and cuddling…
I am an independent, strong woman.
…who does not actually mind some free hugging and cuddling, just saying
YK: You have already lost with the thought of stressing on womanhood,
as if a woman’s worth is only relevant when she has beaten the guys.
…Do not roll your eyes.
Imo, a lady can be better than a guy in anything, but a man can also take care of a woman.
LL: You are always full of pleasant surprises.
Whatcha looking at?
YK: You have been singing me praises very often lately.
But LL owes YK one when she forgets about their ‘chore’ of shopping, together, too busy arranging a badminton date with WT. Hmm, I refuse to get over how YK have never forgotten a word from LL, nor mundane chores around the house when LL is concerned, this one is practically a weekend ‘date’.
Chat segued into the same gender issues LL and YK sparred over and LL points out WT holds a more chauvinistic view than YK. She puts in her opinion WT’s cold front with Helen is mostly due to his inexplicable man pride.
Over a casual lunch with Boss, LL puts in a nice word to ease the tension between father and daughter because LL is awesome like that. DaddyBoss is ready to move forward, but he wants LL’s opinion on whether WT is serious about settling down with Helen, seeing they are close friends, to deem if WT is fit for his baby. If so, he is going to parachute WT a dream position with his connections, an offer that Daddy assumes is hard to refuse. LL knows better. It will be a very hard pill for the proud WT. If it plays out knowing how WT will erupt adversely to the good intention from Dad’s stance, his relationship with Helen will be even direr, perhaps. Helen’s loss maybe her gain, that’s how the equation is working in LL’s mind.
It is a chance for us to see the reality clearer.
Same for you, LL.
Off she plans to treat YK to a home cooked meal in her good mood because of a possible chance.
YK ceases his own opportunity helping out Helen while LL has a nice dinner waiting:
He even musters up the courage to tell Helen he has loved her since forever:
Alas, Helen has fallen asleep. Poor YK has just confessed his love to thin air, he can’t help but grimace a smile of what a sad joke he is:
As he wraps her in his coat, inches from her gorgeous face, he remembers her singing Amazing Grace like the angel she is.
♪Was blind, but now I see~♪
How can he forget the warmest affectionate hug she initiated when they first met, ‘a hug from home’ she called it.
She perks up at once with a call, and he knows she has hopes up it is WT. While he is so immersed in the memory of his falling, she only has WT on her mind. It is her mom, Helen told her she is with a coworker. Coworker, worst than being friend-zoned. And that will snap him out of the moment. The hurt is palpable, but he is not shocked at all. He is oblivious it is odd to not be more emotional. As usual, Tony is so impeccably perfect with every nuance, every pause, every utterance of every word, but here in particular.
*A reminder: it is perfectly acceptable a bodily function in your vicinity, Tony/YiKang. *
HYK! YOU CONFESSED!?
Just when LL is about to holler at his tardiness and cute smirking, YK explains with the ‘good’ news. He has confesssed after spending time with Helen.
But she was asleep and did not hear a word.
I am relieved. I have done something I set out to do and now I have no regrets.
LL has every reason for her WTF perturbed faces.
Are you NUTS?!?!
Helen clear as stone answer to YK’s confession starts with her asking YK if he has ever been in love. Nothing burns more for the guy pining, who just uttered a precious confession to be asked the elementary question from the girl, leading into the heart of the conversation: airing out how much she is in love with WT. Helen’s take of what being in love is awesome. YK assumes Helen is on the receiving end of being moved by WT, as in WT wooing Helen’s love, and in YK’s pov, WT has not done enough to be worthy. Instead Helen tells YK WT gives her a peace of mind from the jittery. This is what love is to her, not the grand gesture of WT giving up his dream, sacrificing for her, but steadfastly including her in the fabric of his future. It is not one skip of a heartbeat, but the guy is the now the pacemaker her heart is set to safely beat on.
YK gets his clear-cut answer, he tells LL. Love is not earned by a summation of moving gestures and words. That is the relief YK was talking about, not simply his confession, but his letting go, there is no place for him but love Helen by genuinely wishing her happiness with WT. Now he can have a peace of his mind to choose to love Helen as a very caring bff:
My advice as a buddy of yours is to get along with WT.
‘You just do not love her enough!’ LL harps.
Very true words.
‘You should’ve told her…you have no idea how awesome me, HYK is!‘
I KNOW RIGHT! Preach, sister.
But I bet Helen knows how awesome HYK is but people do not fall in love with every perfect human being they come across (OR DO WE!!?!?!? XDDD). YK knows something is up with LL, the weekend BBQ party boss is inviting WT along is probably an unintentional trap as the Chinese saying goes, a 鴻門宴/ Feast at Hong Gate.
They do spend more time a few feet from each other than most other comrades united in the same battle. LL is frustrated with YK contented with gazing at Helen from afar instead of shamelessly confessing his love without abandon as love condones.
YK, ‘Right back at you!’
Aggie steps up her game this episode, this wistful face of her in shock, in joy, brimming with tears takes my breath away. Too bad our WT is nowhere as good and convincing but I totally buy her Helen hopelessly in love. There is also a blink and you miss littlest perfect reaction shot of YK lifting his brow then straight to a slight hint of a smile of happiness for Helen. LL lowers her head a tiny bit, as if she can’t bear to look. She knows she is about to see WT and Helen being thrown under the bus.
WT is feeling like an animal trapped in a gilded cage as Daddy dumps his plans on him, on them un-discussed. Helen is first quite delighted but seeing WT is not amused she is immediately on edge. LL is eager in anticipation on how her ‘chance’ rests solely upon how WT will react. YK’s face is obvious.
LL: My love is worth risking it all for a good fight!
The face YK makes as Boss is making his announcement has nothing much to do with WT getting a nod from Helen’s Daddy, I suspect it is mostly due to his disappointment of LL. His hunch is LL withheld the information from WT, anticipating the big fallout, that was her cause for celebration cooking up a feast last night. LL bursts out she is not YK, she can not be nobly standing at the sideline, handing over happiness for someone else. As if love is a commodity you can give or take at free will. To YK, LL puts him up a pedestal more noble than he is. It is not a sacrifice when he has no choices to toggle with, no happiness to give to begin with.
Imo, LL did nothing wrong if this conveniently gains her a chance. Daddy’s plan is a consternation WT has to face himself, as good as she understands WT, she has no absolute control over his life. And it hits YK, LL has not grasped there has never been a choice to fight. YK walks into LL in the middle of her move on WT, there is the guilt where he has nudged LL twice for doing as she accused him of failing, an honest confession her feelings, but he knows this will only lead to crash and burn for LL atvm. There is also the element of he needs to see for himself if LL, whom he keeps praising as a fine lady, will lower herself and do something despicable to him. He has also unconsciously secured himself in LL’s life where he would always be conveniently there in case she needs him…handing a tissue when she cries, saving her when she is wretched, quips a brutal earful when she can not see the way out.
WT: You make me chill to the bone.
WT is failing at every thing asked of him today, looking like an idiot because of LL, he says. Argh. I do not care to know WT well, but he would probably be a narrow-minded, hotheaded no show seeing the occasion as a trap. It is only logical if this is a well-meaning BBQ Daddy is inviting him to, WT should have a plan for better footing with Daddy second time around, if he is that serious in having a future with Helen. Also, it is not hard to assume Dad has an agenda. I see Helen’s Dad proactive in patching things between them with good intention even when how he goes about is heavy-handed. Did this 35 year old guy show any effort but whine and woe is me?!?! And now it is LL’s fault?! She commits a best friend’s treason, he accuses. Have you ever crossed your pigeon *sorrypigeons* brain Mr WT, this is all for what?! What pushes a loyal bff through thick or thin to ‘betray’ and enjoy him suffering? This pushes LL over the edge. She meets her end of the comrade bargain with her confession no less tragic. She hollers back he has changed, his attractive qualities now gone with him stubbornly stuck in a relationship that is not doing him good…as in, fr LL’s pov, robbing her of her WT to the very core of his being.
‘But today, my best friend is nowhere to be found’, WT whimpers.
In other words of WT: You pour your heart out, your love for me over 15 agonizing years spilled and all I want is to get stoned. *Sadface**pouts* I lost my drinking buddy!!!
We know YK is the sweetest guy always having a tissue at hand for a crying ladyfriend. But here he is also rubbing rock salt on LL’s bleeding wound. He jabs this must be exactly what LL wants, ceases the window of opportunity at WT’s weakest and makes her advances. LL disagrees on his deplorable judgment of her character. She has never planned to confess right there and then.
YK: You are just scared of losing again, unsure of how WT will respond.
It is hard to savage as the number of breakups keep piling on between the two of you.
*O.U.C.H. My heart bleeds for LL. *
Yes, I am the very definition of failure.
A part of me wanted to shush YK with a kiss when first watching this scene. If I were in LL’s shoes, a hug and a kiss would fare much better. MUCH. But he goes on and on. Lets pretend YK does a voiceover like he did at the very beginning of episode for me, ‘mookie back then while watching this scene, had not given a thought if this was insanely AFDGJFHGDAFDSFJGGHFGD lovely words from my mouth per usual or…bad for her sanity.’
But I should know a mookie will later memorize his every word from this point on.
YK: I just want you to know…
He should not be everything in your life.
How long has it been since you last immersed yourself in a song?
Sing a karaoke?
Take a stroll at the night market?
Watch a movie?
Read a book? Let alone a magazine? A manga?
I just want you to know you have other choices…
My VO for YiKang, ‘At that very moment, YK has not thought of himself as a choice for LL. BUT HE IS!’
I have missed my chances, lost my happiness!
And I am boldly fighting it back.
How is this the most heinous crime?!
There has never been a window.
What is gone, is gone.
You are not even friends with him.
Again I vote for YK shutting the front door and just kiss.
Yup, regret all over his face. He knows his foot in mouth is at it again. He knows he has hurt Ji AnLei some more when he has no intention to at all.
These are brutal, scarily honest words LL does not want to hear at all, but she did anyway before stomping away in tears. Isn’t it intriguing YK always has this edge of running his mouth off impulsively with an urgency, as if he is taken over by a burst of emotions unbeknownst to him out of concern for LL, yet making perfect sense to her. It is always the opposite with Helen, where everything he said is coolbeans tenderest thoughtful sweetness.
YK: You and WT will be fine.
You are the girl, my inspiration.
I remember your every smile, how you look at me every time, the first hug you gave me.
I know you so well… I know what exactly you will say next.
‘I have never thought of it.’
You would say.
And YK smiles, less pensively than usual.
I still love you, but as a friend now.
We are never at the right timing.
What is in a love declaration? A love so overwhelming you have to spill and risk it all and it is different for everyone. LL wants a lot from it, she is not ready because her hunch is she is not going to get her desirable outcome. Helen proclaims her love for WT to YK without a premeditation, genuinely in love, it occupies her thoughts, flowing naturally into words WT does not need to hear it, he must’ve felt it. YK makes his feelings known twice, first time out of the simple intention, fishing for a chance. But I suspect it is also him not as desperately wanting Helen’s love back, but just expressing his own, that gives him the courage. As he overcomes the jittery, the relief that takes its place, that pensive calmness allows him to see clearly what his love for Helen is. He loves her, but they can only be friends. She is not the one for him to have and to hold. As he is letting go and moving on with an honest friendship, he makes his confession the second time,to serve himself…not for a gain of affection, but a tidying up of his own feelings before moving on to be a true friend of Helen.
I could’ve skip the hundreds of cap and 3000+ word count above.
My favorite scene thus far, bar none is at the 1:04:03 mark. The lines unceremoniously worked in the dialogue earlier, like saltpeter, charcoal and sulfur lying around a Chinese cook’s kitchen 2000~ years ago, with just the right alchemy when we revisit, spoken when we are let to experience every word in depth as they are put into action…we have the most glorious understated fireworks. Dazzling, nuanced drama fireworks I am not worthy to witness.
Dinner time is for fussing over, obviously for quite a while, the safety and whereabouts of an adult only when you are YK and the grown lady he is terribly worrying about is LL to the point he is dialing her sex-sex-sex bff. Lets build the timeline, a lunch party with all the drama could not have ended earlier than 3pm when LL dashes off, crushed many times over. YK then settled his own agenda, comforting Helen, tidying up his one-way pining in a neat bow with a confession then settling in being good friends for life. I bet he has since been having his mind solely on LL. By 7~pm, he is home with 2 bento boxes, has entered her room to check on her as a last resort, has fetched doggie usually kept in her room. He is feeding it for her…all the while worried sick. It must’ve only been a few hours, quite possibly an eternity to YK.
Tiffany, Is AnLei at your place?
Yes, Little Aunt/Ji An Lei is now on first name basis ‘AnLei’ to YiKang, a new intimacy he is not fully aware of. I bet nothing escapes Tiffany though.
‘Where are you? I will come find you’, he texts her.
LL’s screensaver is of course a picture of her with Tiffany and JiaYi <33333
This is the first time I see texting used not for the lazy purpose of selling us gadgets, apps and icons. What is glorious with this OTP is they are so open to communicating with each other with ease. Everything comes so naturally. They have their squabbles, their differences, but never plot devices of misunderstandings and unnecessary stewing of emotions. At the beginning of the episode, the voiceover of YK is as if he is rewatching along like me, inserting his commentary of LL back then is not aware of all the good or bad habits that stuck or has newly formed between them. The same can be said of a concerned YK forming an out of character impulsive habit of snappy cutting remarks bursting at LL without his usual resolve and sensitivity. There is a saying 打是親,罵是愛/but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. You care, therefore you nag, YK. He regrets his insensitivity right away, hurting an already devastated crying LL. He must’ve repeated his own heartless words, like flogging himself inside, as he jumps on his motorbike, looking for LL over town with no clue where she is.
That is nothing out of the ordinary of what is expected from a swoonworthy hero, looking for a lost and bruised heroine, ‘saving’ her. But this drama never settles. We do not just get a swoon-worthy voiceover. He puts his words in black and white text after text to her, man enough to face his own heartless shame, those brutal hurtful words head on, admitting his fault, sincerely apologizing literally just hours later while never shy from expressing his full-on concern for her…AND totally respecting her need for space, the boundaries. What a brilliant use of the cliched phone messages. LL can not be in the mood, nor let go of her pride so soon to have anything to do with YK, let alone listen to another word from him. She could have turn the power off her phone, there is no need to put it coveted on top of her purse even if she is wishing for a call from WT and all she is getting is the exasperating YK instead. She is clicking his messages, reading them and he in turn can see on his screen of her acknowledging, with the tiny little check ☑ next to his texts, in this tiniest gesture letting him know she is alright enough but she has no care for letting him a step further. It is almost her giving him a nod to continue to be very concerned for her, but do not worry too much, perhaps his messages buzzing constantly through the night gives her an ease of her mind. She can still has her knight in motorbike showering her just as much virtual tender loving care as she cares for. And how sensitive and perfect YK is when he has his head back?! He is moving enough to move mountains. This wifi tango they are doing, with this perfect distance is made more unbelievably poignant when LL is internalizing his earlier harsh word, as terrible as it must be for her to swallow and set it in motion. As if he has gifted her the guide to feel better, not because YK is hot and she is attracted to him, no, but because her head is still screwed right and he makes perfect sense to her. There really is nothing more regrettable than someone as desirable as LL to pour her every ounce of verve down the drain over some guy instead of taking better care of her own self-worth, loving herself first and foremost. He has wormed into a significant place in her heart, she listens and she goes about to do almost as he said, every word, every hug of an advice out of his no-strings attached new habit of taking care of her well being, looking out for her. Even before he comforts a dejected Helen, he budged himself into LL’s business with WT and out of this new impulsive habit, spitting everything on his mind as if it is of utmost urgent to let out his disappointment and frustration over her stooping so low, and to shake brutal sense into a blind LL.
YK texting his freeforming unedited thoughts, every one screaming how much he cares about LL, how much he is trying to pore over every thought of LL from his understanding of her, predicting what she is doing exactly, discarding all his own prejudices. He would never have thought his words would hold a resonance in LL at this point, LL is not conscious of his effect on her herself, just going along with her gut, which has made a habit of taking comfort in YK’s words and thoughts for her.
(I am thinking, would you be singing at this karaoke?)
LL’s face softens.
YK’s texts to LL:
19:21 Where are you? I will come get you.
21:14 I am at a karaoke, thinking, would you be here singing?
The receptionist told me there was a lady here singing by herself.
She just left.
I hope it was you.
At least I know you are trying your hardest…
to let yourself feel better.
*And please feel better for your own sake, AnLei.* YK must be wholeheartedly hoping.
And LL is doing exactly that. She flops herself alone in a karaoke room, music is blasting, she is not singing. Even if she can’t process it, the buzzing of her phone must not be too offensive. Someone is thinking, caring about her, very much.
One by one, she attempts to enjoy simple pleasures in life she has forgotten, coinciding with the happy list for AnLei YK gushed out earlier.
And we see LL smiles, almost childlike. She is reading Urayasu Tekkin Kazoku/Super Radical Gag Family. What a choice and gosh I split sides reading it back then too, LL!
YK, texting LL:
You are not returning my messages.
I can understand.
Just knowing you have received them,
give me ease of mind.
The word Helen used to describe herself in love is 踏實 ‘treading, landing on solid ground’. Her heart has a place to settle, a haven to be at ease. YiKang says an ease of mind 安心, his heart will feel at ease, safe, secure, a calmness…just because he has a hint of LL is trying to feel better, a task he no longer has any confident he is any good at, being so full of himself.
(How are you doing?)
I am sorry.
What I said today, was too crass, too harsh on you.
So full of myself, as if I am good enough telling you what to do.
I have no place to judge you, my love life is a mess of its own.
As LL reads the silliest riot of a nostalgic manga, guaranteeing a chuckle, watches a sad movie to cry her hearts out, strolling the food stalls, YK has been just a step behind. His senses heightened,filled with worry and desperation, any tall girl in red cardigan catches his eye as his Ji AnLei.
Through it all,
I am most grateful to have you as a companion.
By my side.
It is so good I have you here with me.
To save a wretch like me,
eaten up by loneliness and despair.
I hope when you are down and despaired,
you can allow me to be by your side.
YiKang finally catches up on AnLei. It is not hard to guess she will gravitate here, but my gut is YK makes all the previous stops hoping AnLei did listen to a few of his words and would not resort to regressing back to the bad habit of pining after WT for some old comfort
Sigh, seriously WT, I do not know how you can take your languid time, saying your lines about you and more you when LL is breaking down in tears. YK has his brows tense and frowned, I bet if instead of LL’s back, he sees her face flooded with tears, he would’ve dashed to give her a shoulder to cry on in 0.01 second and we would need WT no more.