LMA – Chapter One (part 1)
Love Me Again (可不可以再愛妳) by Yuan Yuan (元媛)
I read LMA by YY at the same time I read FM by BGWWW.
The translation of LMA is meaningful because in real life there is no second chance do over.
LMA translation is dedicated to readers who are grieving. Have Kleenex tissues handy, and remember to cherish unconditional love.
LMA – Chapter One (part 1)
Luo An Hai didn’t expect that one day she would witness her own funeral.
The last thing she remembered was being on a plane to England for business negotiations. If she had succeeded then the majority of shareholders would vote her way, and she would become the CEO of Luo’s company.
But she didn’t expect the plane crash.
Her last thought was that ten years of hard work fell down the drain. She had endured ten years living at the Luo Mansion, and fought to keep the homewrecker and the homewrecker’s son, Han Ting Hua taking Luo’s company from her hands.
She couldn’t accept the moment her dream was within grasp, her life would end in a plane crash.
A second after the plane crash, she was standing in front of her tombstone.
Her father had aged since the last time she saw him.
She froze. Unexpectedly her father was sobbing at her funeral. She hadn’t called the aged man her father since their estrangement the day he brought home the homewrecker and Han Ting Hua.
She resented her father for marrying her mother for money. Her mother loved her father deeply. But what did her mother receive? Her mother ended up dying of a lonely heart.
Three months after her mother’s death, her father had the audacity to marry the homewrecker. She didn’t doubt her father would have divorced her mother if her mother didn’t cling onto their loveless marriage.
She didn’t want her father to live a happy life with the homewrecker and Han Ting Hua if her mother had to live a miserable life of pain because of them.
Even at the funeral the homewrecker was a good actress, but she wasn’t fooled by the homewrecker’s fake tears.
She hated the three of them. Her father treated Han Ting Hua as if he was her father’s biological son. Living at the Luo Mansion, she was the outsider while the three of them were a happy family. She was her father’s biological daughter yet he had wanted to give Luo’s company to Han Ting Hua.
She scoffed at the young man’s indifference. Han Ting Hua didn’t need to attend her funeral if he just wanted to gloat at her downfall.
She fisted her hands. She was powerless to do anything to change her fate. What could she do six feet under?
Instinctively she followed the three of them back to the Luo Mansion. It was their home, not her home. Even if the Luo Mansion wasn’t her home, it rightfully belonged to her after her mother’s death.
The dark empty spacious room at the Luo Mansion was her bedroom. Suddenly someone stepped into her bedroom.
Why did Han Ting Hua enter her bedroom? He couldn’t see her while he was stroking the photo of her on the bedside table. Did he want to tear her bedroom apart and renovate it? She waited for him to make his next move, but he only sat on her bed and stared at the photo of her.
He didn’t leave her bedroom until sunrise. She didn’t understand his odd behavior. But she expected he was plotting to steal everything that belonged to her, including Luo’s company.
She didn’t expect he would return to her bedroom after work, and that he would sit solemnly on her bed staring at the photo of her again.
She didn’t understand why he didn’t break everything in her bedroom. Why did he keep everything in her bedroom at the same spots she left them before her plane crash? How could she get answers if he couldn’t hear her? All she could do was watch events unfold in front of her eyes.
A year later, on her birthday, Han Ting Hua brought a birthday cake into her bedroom. He stared at the photo of her until the candles waned.
During that year, her confusion and suspicion turned to curiosity and acceptance. She silently watched Han Ting Hua’s odd daily routines.
Years later, her father and the homewrecker died. Han Ting Hua was living alone in the Luo Mansion. Why didn’t Han Ting Hua get married? She didn’t understand why Han Ting Hua turned down all the hot young women who chased after him because of his good looks and status.
For years, Han Ting Han maintained her bedroom in its original condition, and he stared at the photo of her at night. She was frustrated she couldn’t understand Han Ting Hua’s odd behavior.
The next year, Han Ting Hua adopted an orphaned boy, and raised the orphaned boy like a biological son.
After Han Ting Hua’s adoptive son grew up, Han Ting Hua fainted often. She heard Han Ting Hua’s doctor say he had lung cancer. Despite the doctor’s advice, he didn’t undergo lung cancer treatments and his health rapidly deteriorated.
She didn’t understand why Han Ting Hua didn’t fear death. It was as if he wanted to die sooner.
Her frustrations grew as Han Ting Han’s body withered away. What was wrong with him? Why didn’t he undergo lung cancer treatments? Why did he skip meals? Why did he sit in her bedroom and stare at the photo of her after every time he fainted?
Finally she witnessed Han Ting Hua’s funeral. She ran to his tombstone, and didn’t know why her hand instinctively touched tenderly the photo of him on his tombstone.
She remembered Han Ting Hua’s last day. He had held the photo of her, his usual solemn lips actually smiled, he whispered ‘An Hai’ and he died.
‘Idiot,’ she said and sobbed.
She clutched her chest. Why did her heart hurt immensely when she was dead?
End of Chapter One (part 1)
LMA – Chapter One (part 2)
In the midst of Luo An Hai’s continuous sobbing, she heard someone calling her.
‘Mistress,’ Mrs. Chen called.
Luo An Hai’s eyes opened widely, and a blurry face of a younger Mrs. Chen appeared.
‘Mrs. Chen?’ Luo An Hai asked.
How did Mrs. Chen see her? She remembered Mrs. Chen left the Luo Mansion to live with Mrs. Chen’s daughter-in-law and to take care of Mrs. Chen’s grandchildren when she was a twelve-year-old.
At her funeral, Mrs. Chen had sobbed as much as her father. She looked at her surroundings. Why wasn’t she at the cemetery? What was she doing in her bedroom at the Luo Mansion?
‘Mistress, did you dream about your mother?’ Mrs. Chen asked, looking worried. ‘Your mother was stubborn. What good did stubbornness do for your mother? I can’t believe your mother hasn’t been gone that long, and yet your father remarried. Your father told the household that he’s bringing his new wife and her son here today.’
Mrs. Chen’s heart hurt for Luo An Hai. How could Luo An Hai’s father be that inconsiderate and bring home a step-mother for Luo An Hai so soon after Luo An Hai’s mother’s death? What if Luo An Hai’s step-mother mistreats Luo An Hai?
While Mrs. Chen worried about Luo An Hai’s well-bring, Luo An Hai’s heart was full of confusion and suspicion. She didn’t understand what Mrs. Chen meant by her father’s new wife.
‘Mrs. Chen, did my mother pass away three months ago?’ Luo An Hai asked.
‘Yes mistress,’ Mrs. Chen said. ‘Your father isn’t a man. How can a man marry another woman just three months after your mother’s passing?’
Mrs. Chen’s reply confirmed Luo An Hai’s chaotic suspicion.
‘Mrs. Chen, can you go outside?’ Luo An Hai asked. ‘I want alone time to clear my head.’
‘Mistress, you look pale,’ Mrs. Chen said. ‘Do you want me to call a doctor?’
‘I’m fine,’ Luo An Hai said, smiling faintly. ‘Mrs. Chen, I think I heard someone at the front door. Perhaps they’re here. You should go greet them.’
‘Mistress, have you forgotten?’ Mrs. Chen asked. ‘Your father told you he wants you to greet them at the front door.’
Mrs. Chen was angry at Luo An Hai’s father. What sort of a father demanded their grieving daughter to welcome a step-mother after losing their mother three months ago? But Mrs. Chen understood a servant like her had no right to lecture Luo An Hai’s father.
‘Mrs. Chen, I’ll come downstairs soon,’ Luo An Hai said calmly, but there were goosebumps on her legs. ‘I just need to wash my face and brush my hair to look presentable.’
Luo An Hai jumped out of bed after Mrs. Chen left her bedroom. She rushed to the bathroom, and her younger self that was looking back at her made her body tremble.
A familiar wrinkled blue nightgown was baggy on her younger lanky body, her hair was naturally black and sad autumn brown eyes reflected out of the mirror.
Her fourteen-year-old self looked so naive, self-righteous and rebellious. Her heart couldn’t believe what her eyes proved. She had heard of wormhole theories and time travel, but they belonged in movies and books. She didn’t expect time traveling to the past would happen to her.
For years her soul had roamed around the Luo Mansion after the plane crash. Yet when her soul was reborn, it entered her fourteen-year-old body on the same day her father brought home the homewrecker and Han Ting Hua.
Memories of her resentment toward her father and the homewrecker flooded her mind. She had hated her heartless father who gave everything that belonged to her to the homewrecker and Han Ting Hua. She had caused tension in the Luo Mansion to make their lives miserable. Only her mother’s servants were loyal to her, and everyone else had hated her.
But memories of Han Ting Hua living like a foolish monk after her death also flooded her mind. She couldn’t forget even on his last day, he had held the photo of her.
‘What a foolish man,’ Luo An Hai whispered.
She fisted her hands. Even if she had travelled back to the past, she couldn’t let go of her resentment. The difference was Han Ting Hua’s foolish behavior softened her resentment.
She heard her father’s car, and the sounds of footsteps on the pavement. Without hesitation she ran barefoot downstairs, and met them at the front door.
‘An Hai,’ Luo Cheng Hua called.
Luo Cheng Hai couldn’t believe his daughter would greet his new wife wearing a nightgown. But he was happy his daughter listened to him, and came downstairs so he let it slide.
‘An Hai, come here and greet your step-mother,’ Luo Cheng Hua said.
Luo An Hai took a step closer to them.
‘Hello An Hai,’ Mai Fang greeted nervously.
Luo An Hai wasn’t dazzled by the forty-year-old gentle looking Mai Fang in a conservative dress. She never understood why her father loved a plain woman like Mai Fang compared to her beautiful mother.
No matter how much Mai Fang tried to please her, she had always hated Mai Fang. But after her death, she didn’t expect Mai Fang knew her favorite dishes and brought them often to her tombstone.
Mai Fang felt self-conscious having Luo An Hai stare at her so she quickly introduced her son.
‘An Hai, this is my ten-year-old son Ting Hua,’ Mai Fang said. ‘He’s your new younger brother. Ting Hua, greet your new big sister.’
Han Ting Hua stared rigidly at Luo An Hai.
‘Ting Hua, don’t be rude toward your big sister,’ Mai Fang chastised.
Han Ting Hua sealed his lips and turned his head away from Luo An Hai.
‘Ting Hua!’ Mai Fang called.
Mai Fang couldn’t believe her son who usually was well-mannered decided to choose the first day meeting Luo An Hai to be rude.
‘Mai Fang, go easy on Ting Hua,’ Luo Cheng Hua said. ‘Ting Hua’s still young. He’s not used to his new home yet.’
Luo An Hai watched her father pat Han Ting Hua’s head and smiling endearingly, but her father’s smile disappeared when he looked at her.
‘An Hai, starting today you’re Ting Hua’s big sister,’ Luo Cheng Hua said. ‘I want you to take good care of Ting Hua.’
Luo An Hai never understood why her father only reserved his affections for Mai Fang and Han Ting Hua, but her father was always cold toward her. Her father rarely made eye contact with her. He only spoke to her out of anger if she provoked him or voice his disappointments toward her. She used to believe her father hated her, and he wouldn’t shed a single tear at her funeral. But at her funeral, he had aged tenfold and sobbed like a broken man.
‘I will,’ Luo An Hai said softly.
Luo Cheng Hua didn’t know how to react to his daughter’s sudden obedience. He had prepared mentally to expect his daughter’s anger. He didn’t expect his daughter to behave like a mature adult.
Luo An Hai wasn’t surprised by her father’s stunned reaction. Her rebellious younger self suddenly being obedient would make anyone stunned. But her death had opened her eyes, and she knew being rebellious led to nowhere. Her father, Mai Cheng and the foolish Han Ting Hua weren’t truly her enemies.
‘Hey little boy, follow me upstairs,’ Luo An Hai said.
She walked upstairs and didn’t turn around to check if Han Ting Hua had followed her.
Luo Cheng Hua and Mai Fang on the other hand were shocked Luo An Hai easily accepted Han Ting Hua as a little brother.
‘Ting Hua, hurry up and follow your big sister upstairs,’ Mai Fang said.
Han Ting Hua was nudged toward the stairs by his mother. He looked up at Luo An Hai’s back, and hesitated. He turned around, his mother nodded so he ran upstairs.
End of Chapter One (part 2)
LMA – Chapter One (part 3 of 3)
Luo An Hai led Han Ting Hua to the third floor of the Luo Mansion. The third floor used to be her domain. Besides her bedroom there was a study room, a music room and a guest room on the third floor. But her father had contractors convert the guest room into Han Ting Hua’s bedroom.
Perhaps her father naively thought if she and Han Ting Hua lived together within close quarters then overtime she and Han Ting Hua would bond.
In the past she didn’t make an effort to get along with Han Ting Hua. No matter how much she provoked him, he would always act like a stone and not react to provocation, not even one facial flinch. Looking back she regretted how petty she acted toward him, and how much she undermined him to stop him from being CEO of Luo’s company while she was alive. If she was in his shoes, she would think it wasn’t worth fighting with a hot headed petty person.
The young Han Ting Hua looked like a little school boy who didn’t reach her shoulders in his plain white shirt and pants. Back then she didn’t look closely at the expression in his eyes. If she had, she would have noticed a subtle vulnerableness in his eyes as if he feared rejection. It was her compulsive nature to capitalize on an opponent’s weakness.
‘Are you scared of me?’ she asked, peering down at him.
He was young, but he understood when someone tried to intimidate him. He took a step back, and put his guard up. If he showed a hint of fear, his opponent would break him down.
His biological father died years ago, it was his adoptive mother who raised him. The uncertainty of his family life at a young age had forced him to mature sooner than children his age.
When a group of boys ganged up on him, he didn’t back down. He fought back to protect himself and won. He walked home with pride, cuts and bruises that broke his adoptive mother’s heart while his adoptive mother tended to the cuts and bruises on his body.
Later his adoptive mother met uncle Luo. Uncle Luo bought them clothes, sent him to a private school and gave them protection against people like the group of boys who picked on him because he came from a poor single parent family.
He understood uncle Luo was a married man, and it was wrong for uncle Luo and his adoptive mother to have a love affair. His adoptive mother had broken in front of him, she apologized that she was in love with a married man. Uncle Luo’s financial support lifted a heavy burden off her shoulders, and secured a good future for him.
Last night his adoptive mother explained to him that Luo An Hai was going to be his new big sister, and no matter how much Luo An Hai was going to mistreat him, he couldn’t retaliate because his adoptive mother had hurt Luo An Hai and Luo An Hai’s mother deeply.
He listened to his adoptive mother, and let Luo An Hai make the next move.
Luo An Hai didn’t get any pleasure tormenting Han Ting Hua who wasn’t intimidated by her.
She sat on the sofa and pointed at the tea set on the coffee table.
‘This is your bedroom,’ she said. ‘Pour me a cup of tea.’
He silently poured her a cup of tea.
‘What a good boy,’ she said and accepted the cup of tea from him. ‘Listen, I don’t want to play mind games with you. The truth is I hate you.’
He didn’t react to her direct cut.
‘I hate your mother too,’ she said. ‘I don’t want to play happy siblings with you. Never forget who you are. You’re from the Han family, and I’m from the Luo family. We’re not siblings. You’re lucky I’m going to tolerate your presence in my home. Make sure you stay out of my way, and don’t cause trouble for me. The most important thing is that you should hate me too.’
She put down the empty cup of tea on the coffee table and walked out of his bedroom.
‘I’ll never call you big sister,’ he said.
At the door she turned around. He looked directly into her eyes and spoke with an air of a man.
‘You’ll never be my big sister,’ he said.
‘You’re right,’ she said. ‘I’ll never be your big sister.’
She had flashbacks of her mother’s family having no control over her father. Whatever her mother’s family invested in her father, he made them richer by tenfold. So her mother’s family had to turn a blind eye to her father’s affair with Mai Fang. After her mother died, he parted ways with her mother’s family who opposed him marrying Mai Fang. Her mother’s family were powerless to stop him from marrying Mai Fang because their company relied heavily on Luo’s company.
She wasn’t close to her mother’s family except for her maternal grandfather. After her mother and maternal grandfather died, her father invested her trust fund and gave her full control of her trust fund after she turned twenty-one. So by the time she turned twenty-one, she was rich enough to never worry about money problems. But being rich wasn’t enough for her. She had wanted to see her father, Mai Fang and Han Ting Hua be miserable and pay for hurting her mother.
Looking back, she was naive in her past life. Although her resentment toward them lessened, she still couldn’t forgive them.
The next morning, she silently ate breakfast at the dining table opposite Han Ting Hua. Her father sat at the head of the dining table, and Mai Fang sat where her mother used to sit next to her father.
‘Cheng Hua, you should cut back on coffee,’ Mai Fang said.
‘Fine, I’ll listen to you,’ Luo Cheng Hua said, switching a cup of coffee for a glass of milk.
She couldn’t stand her lovesick father and lost her appetite. She put down her glass of milk and stood to leave for school.
‘An Hai,’ Luo Cheng Hua called. ‘Wait for Ting Hua to finish his breakfast. His school is near your school.’
Han Ting Hua quickly finish off his breakfast.
‘Xiao Hua, this is your lunch box and pocket money,’ Mai Fang said. ‘An Hai, I made you a lunch box too. Do you want to take it to school?’
Luo An Hai looked at the three tier lunch box Mai Fang always prepared for her. She used to knock it out of Mai Fang’s hands. Her father would be angry at her, but Mai Fang always asked her father to calm down. Back then she couldn’t stand Mai Fang’s presence, and said she didn’t want to eat lunch made by a prostitute. Her father raised his hand to slap her face, but Mai Fang protected her. She had looked contemptuously at them, called her father blind old man and walked to the car.
She didn’t want to repeat a foolish past so she accepted the lunch box from Mai Fang and walked to the car.
Luo Cheng Hua and Mai Fang were surprised at how calmly Luo An Hai accepted the lunch box.
‘Xiao Hua, listen to your big sister,’ Mai Fang said.
Han Ting Hua nodded, and followed Luo An Hai to the car.
In the car, she looked out the window and ignored Han Ting Hua. He wasn’t bothered and read a book.
‘Hey, are you a dummy who only knows how to obey your mother and big sister?’ she asked, turning her head to face him.
He put the book on his lap and made eye contact with her.
‘My mother asked me to get along with you,’ he said. ‘Besides, didn’t we agree yesterday that you’re not my big sister?’
Luo An Hai looked out the window again. It wasn’t fun picking on a smart-ass little boy.
End of Chapter One (part 3 of 3)