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 Season 5

Episode 49

(It's not a date)

"I was asking you to have dinner with me tonight,"  Anthony repeated. He previously checked Lisa's hospital schedule and learned she was on day duty. So both of them would be free that evening.   

  "Are you free tonight?" he added. Lisa nodded immediately, and there was a mix of delight and surprise on her face. 

"Yes, yes, I'm free. And of course, I'll have dinner with you,"  she said trying to hide her excitement.    

 "It's settled then. I will pick you up at your house later,"  he said, face devoid of emotion. He thought, 'We live in the same neighborhood anyway so I can drive by her house.'   

 "Thank you. That will be good,"  Lisa instantly agreed. "I have to get back to work now,"  she said, adding," You then get some rest, okay?"  

As Lisa walked away, Anthony went back to his office, a frown on his handsome face.     

That evening, he drove to Lisa's house and parked outside. He dialled her number to say he had arrived and waited for her to come out of her building. She was made up beautifully, and caught the attention of many passers-by. But Lisa ignored them all, her eyes focused on Anthony alone.     

She opened the passenger door and asked Anthony coyly," Have you been waiting long?"   

 He replied briefly," Nope." Anthony stared at Lisa, and noted she appeared to be underdressed. "Get in quickly. It's too cold outside!"   

 Lisa misread his concern. She quickly got in the car, and then inquired," So, where are we going to eat?"    

She had expected Anthony to take her to a western restaurant. She quietly hid her disappointment when he drove to a hot pot restaurant instead. They ordered a two-flavor hot pot. At the end of their meal, Lisa's make-up, initially perfect, was now a mess.   

Noticing that Lisa was contend with her food, Anthony spoke up. "I invited you to dinner because I wanted to apologize."   

 "Excuse me? Apologize, for what?" Lisa stopped eating to stare at Anthony. She was bewildered why he was apologizing.    

 "I wanted to say sorry for misunderstanding you that day when Autumn was admitted at the hospital,"  he began. He paused, thinking of how to go on.     

Lisa dismissed his apology. "It's not a big deal,"  Lisa said bluntly. "No need to say sorry." She wanted to do something romantic. "Anthony, I heard there is a nearby park where couples go for a walk. Would you like to take a walk later?" Lisa inquired with a smile. Anthony had no reaction.   

She added," It would be very romantic to walk in the park hand-in-hand, don't you think so?" She looked at him expectantly.     

That was when it dawned on Anthony that Lisa had mistaken dinner for a date. The truth was he had two reasons to treat her to a meal. First was to apologize for his mean behavior recently, and second was to show his gratitude for her helping Autumn at the emergency room.     

But it was never his intention to get back with Lisa. And this bothered him, so he had to set things straight. "I'm afraid you got all this wrong. I just wanted to apologize to you and thank you for helping Autumn. But I never meant to get back together with you,"  he said uncomfortably.   

  Lisa froze at his words. Suddenly, so many thoughts were running in her mind. 'I thought he asked me to dinner because he wanted to start dating again. He probably loves Autumn, but I believed he and I were still possible. She is a married woman, after all.'  

Lisa's hopes started to crumble. 'Now, it seems he just wanted to treat me to dinner as a thank you for helping Autumn.'    

She felt jealousy slowly envelop her entire being.     

In her eagerness to reconcile with Anthony, she traveled to China alone and took great pains to adapt to life here, something that was so difficult. But it turned out Anthony wasn't even willing to give their relationship a chance. She suddenly realized the joke was on her.  

   Lisa refused to show her pain and shame. Her voice when she spoke again was cold. "Are you turning me down because you've fallen in love with someone else?" she asked bluntly.   

  Anthony shook his head, sad about how things were unfolding. "No." He looked at Lisa. "I told you it was over for us. And we can't be together anymore. 

You need to move on. If you really like the life in China, stay and I will welcome you warmly. But if you're only here because of me, I advise you to leave. We're just friends, nothing more."  

But Lisa was not finished. "Are you closing the door on us because you have your eye on another woman?" She could not believe what was happening.    

 Anthony replied, frustration in his voice," Even if I love someone else, it's none of your business. I don't think I need to explain anything to you."    

"Is it Autumn?" Lisa asked with certainty. Anthony's head snapped to stare at Lisa. "What are you talking about? How could I…"    

"Maybe you can keep others in the dark, but you can't fool me,"  Lisa said gruffly. 

"I've known you for so long and I know you so well. You never paid that much attention to other patients the way you did to her. I should have guessed that day when she blacked out and you carried her out that something was going on,"  she accused.   

"That's rubbish! I treat her like my little sister. Our grandfathers are good friends so I have to be a little nicer to her than my other patients,"  he defended himself. 

"She is married and pregnant. So your accusations are offensive to me and humiliating for her!" he spat.     

"Oh, come on…" Lisa sneered. "It doesn't matter if she's married or has two children. You would still love her! Loving has nothing to do with status or identity. 

You simply love her and everything about her. And even when you know it's impossible, you still couldn't control your feelings for her, could you?" she had raised her voice.    

 With a bitter smile, she went on," And that's exactly how I feel. I knew you would never get back with me but I still couldn't help but move to China to be close to you. And I am not giving up on you, even if I only have a very slim chance of getting you back."   

 It was ironic that Lisa and Anthony were in the same boat — loving someone they couldn't have.   

"Stop it! Shut up!" Anthony shouted at Lisa, his outburst attracting attention. He thought to himself, 'Here I was thinking no one could see what I felt for Autumn to avoid getting her into trouble. But Lisa has seen through my feelings and the thoughts I was harboring about her. I now have no choice but to face those feelings for Autumn.'    He heard Lisa's voice. "No, I won't stop! I can tell from your eyes that you have feelings for her. 

Do you think you're doing her any good by keeping your feelings a secret from her?" Lisa was on a roll. "Let me tell you this: you can't keep her in the dark forever. The truth will still come out. 

Someday, all of your secrets will be revealed. What are you going to do when that time comes?"    

She suddenly felt calm. Shifting to a softer tone, she looked at Anthony and said, "Your love is a burden to her. Why can't you take your eyes off her and pay a little attention to me instead?" 

Desperately, she added," I will yearn for nothing more if you can show me even just a little love."  

Anthony panicked at Lisa's declaration. "Enough! Stop talking already!" he growled, fixing a steely gaze on her. "No one will ever see or know how I feel about Autumn. And if you tell her, I will never forgive you,"  he threatened.    

 "Why would I?" Lisa responded with a bitter smile. "My wish is that she never discovers what you feel for her. This way, I will have you all to myself."  

Anthony gave up. He stood up to pay the bill. "It's late. I'l take you home," he told Lisa.

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