1st January 2020
The alarm on my mobile phone set off, waking me up suddenly from a dream that I vaguely remembered the moment I opened my eyes. I looked at my mobile phone to check on my e-mail which was the routine every morning before I stepped out of my bed. No important e-mails for that morning, thus far. I then jumped out of my bed and headed to my bathroom for a hot bath.
After soaking under the hot shower for some time, I got myself dressed and then headed to my kitchen to prepare breakfast for myself. After checking the groceries in the kitchen, I decided to prepare a plate of fried noodles with frozen mixed vegetables which I had purchased a few days ago at the mart. While having my noodles, I thought of what I should do for the day since it was a holiday today and I thought to myself, “Ah…I think I should take a walk in the park today.” It would be nice to just hang out at the park to relax for the day. After washing the dishes and clearing the kitchen, I stepped out of my apartment to head to the park as I had planned in my mind.
The park was full of adults, children, and pets. “What a lovely sight!” I thought to myself with a smile on my face. I walked near the lake while scanning the area for a chair to settle down. I found an empty chair and sat down. I had packed my MP3 player with my favorite songs the night before. I quickly placed the earphone into my ears and started playing the MP3 player while watching the people around me. There were many families, having a picnic there. Suddenly, I saw a pair of hands sticking out of the lake. A child was calling out for help. Oh, dear! I was never into swimming and so I was hesitating for a moment. Yet, the call for help had pushed me to jump into the lake to save the child. A lady was helplessly shouting, asking for someone to save her child. Alas! There was no time to waste. I quickly packed my MP3 player into my water-proof sling bag and ran to the area where the child was in the lake and jumped into the lake to save the child. As soon as I jumped into the lake, I quickly held my breath and looked around for the child. The child was nowhere to be seen. However, I kept on looking until I felt like I was losing my breath. Then, I slowly felt like my head was getting lighter and I felt like my body was becoming limp. I felt like I had drowned.
“Am I dead?” I felt the question running in my mind. Then, I heard a faint voice from far away. I felt someone’s arms around my body, and I felt like my body was floating. I tried to open my eyes, but I did not have the energy to do so. Then, I felt like someone shaking my body roughly. Someone was trying to get me to open my eyes. Then, I felt someone’s lips on my mouth, blowing air into my mouth a few times until suddenly I felt like some water through my throat and I quickly vomited the water out of my mouth. I slowly opened my eyes, and I saw a faint shadow of a man hovering over my face, observing me closely. I blinked my eyes a few times to get the focus of my eyes right and then saw a young, handsome-looking man watching me closely with an alarming reaction on his face. He was saying something, but I could not understand a word he mentioned to me. “What kind of language is he speaking? Why does the language sound foreign to me?” I thought to myself. Upon seeing that I was not reacting to any of his questions, he quickly lifted me in his arms and walked to the area where his carriage stood with some of the guards waiting for him.
A guard ran to him and asked him,” Are you alright, master?” He nodded and then carried me into his carriage and ordered his men to move since I felt the carriage moving after he mentioned it. “Where am I?” I was asking myself. I was too weak to move after being drowned for some time before my savior found me. The carriage stopped and the young man lifted me again into his arms and walked swiftly into a building that looked ancient at a glimpse. I felt the young man’s silky clothes on my cheek. “This cannot be the current era that I am in since men in my era do not wear silky clothes,” I thought to myself. I felt slightly confused, yet I did not have the energy to think further. I closed my eyes and just relaxed against the young man’s body. I felt my body was set down on a silky material, and I slowly opened my eyes. I saw strangers in strange clothes looking at me intently. Then, an elderly man checked my pulse on my wrist. After a few minutes, he told the young man in a foreign dialect which somewhat sounded like Chinese to me.
“Oh my God! Where have I landed after falling into the lake?” I thought to myself. The question popped into my head when I saw how the men were dressed in long, silky, and colorful robes. “This is impossible. Have I traveled through a time travel portal? Was there an eclipse of the sun on the day I jumped into the lake?” I thought to myself. All those questions were running in my mind at the same time. I could barely keep my eyes open as I felt like my body weaken and quickly fell into a deep sleep.
695-Time travel to Zhou Dynasty
I opened my eyes again. I felt better compared to how I was a few hours ago. I somehow felt that it must have been a few hours since I felt chillness around the room that I was in. I tried to lift my body from the silky mattress and in a flash, I saw the young man by my side. He asked me something. This time, it sounded like he was asking me if I was alright, from the little Chinese dialect I was familiar with. He was speaking in Mandarin. I nodded my head in agreement, and I saw him relax a little. Then, he ordered his maid to bring something, and I saw a maid carrying a bowl and walking in my direction. He aided me to sit up and then ordered the maid to place a table in front of me. Another maid placed a bowl of porridge on the table in front of me. After that, the young man excused the maids, and all the maids left the room, leaving the young man behind. The young man then lifted the bowl of porridge and took a spoonful of porridge to feed me. I complied and started eating the porridge obediently since I felt my stomach growling a few times as I was resting earlier.
Once I had finished eating the porridge, the young man took a small silky handkerchief from inside his sleeve and wiped my mouth delicately. I took that chance to observe him closely as he wiped my mouth without hurting me. He was Chinese, with his narrow eyes, thin eyebrows, and thin, pinky lips. He was clean-shaven, and his skin complexion was as white as porcelain. He had a smooth face-complexion and long black hair, half tied on top of his head with a long white ribbon. His white silky robe had a soothing scent of sandalwood since his silky handkerchief also smelled of sandalwood. Even the robe which I was wearing had the scent of sandalwood on it. The scent of sandalwood was always refreshing to me.
After the meal, the Chinese man sat in front of me and called out for someone to enter the room. A young man who was not as well-dressed as the young Chinese man entered the room and sat beside the young Chinese man. When the young Chinese man spoke, the other man translated. I noticed that the translator could speak in English. The young Chinese man asked,” Who are you?” I told the translator that my name was Nandini Asha Raj. Then, the young Chinese man introduced himself as Zhang Li Wei as translated by the other man. Then, I was asked how I landed in the lake and I told the whole story. I watched the young Chinese man who was referred to as Zhang Li Wei’s expression changed as the other man translated my story to him. The translator had earlier introduced himself as Wu Zhi Wei. Wu Zhi Wei was also surprised at my story since there was a thin line of absurdity and miracle in the events which had taken place before I landed into the lake where Zhang Li Wei found me.
Then the Chinese man known as Zhang Li Wei mentioned something to Wu Zhi Wei. Wu Zhi Wei nodded in agreement and translated to me,” Master Zhang said that it is safe for you to stay here until you find a way to return to where you came from. However, while you are here, you need to oblige with the rules and regulations of this household to avoid suspicion amongst the servants and Master Zhang’s family members. Master Zhang will introduce you as a guest from the Indian merchant’s family who are here for a trade and you will just have to play along with Master Zhang’s plan. I will also try to purchase some items of clothing from the Indian merchants. Until then, please do not step out of Master Zhang’s residence”. I nodded at him. I looked at Master Zhang who stood by the window while Wu Zhi Wei spoke to me and then turned to Wu Zhi Wei to say,” I clearly understand what you are saying. I must thank your master for saving me just now and for the delicious food. I must say that I did not expect to land myself here more so to cause any harm to Master Zhang. I will do as he says and rest assured that I will follow all the rules of this household until it is time for me to return. Speaking of which, when will the next eclipse of the sun be? I remember that it was an eclipse of the sun on the day I jumped into the lake.” Wu Zhi Wei smiled and said,” Don’t worry. The eclipse of the sun will be happening in three weeks. Until then, we will keep you safe, and Master Zhang will send you off to the same location where he found you.” I let out the breath which I was holding in satisfaction at Wu Zhi Wei’s words.
Then, Master Zhang turned around and mentioned something to Wu Zhi Wei. Wu Zhi Wei said to me,” Master Zhang said that we will prepare a bath for you now so that you can wash and then retire to bed. A servant will serve you in a while.” “Thank you, Mr. Wu,” I replied. Master Zhang and Wu Zhi Wei left my room and after a while, a servant knocked on the door. I opened the door and was given a note which read that the bath was ready. I followed the servant to the room where a big tub filled with hot water and rose petals was. I undressed and entered the tub. My body relaxed at the feeling of warmth from the hot water and I felt sleepy at the rose fragrant. I must have dozed off when I felt a tender hand touching my bare shoulder. I opened my eyes and after cleaning myself, I left the bathtub and dressed before leaving the bathroom. I went back to my room and rested in my bed. I wondered why I came to China during the Zhou Dynasty. I knew it was the Zhou Dynasty from the antiques in my room that I quickly recognized seeing on Google while reading on the Zhou Dynasty back home. I did read on Google that the Zhou Dynasty was the most prosperous time under the reign of Empress Wu Ze Tian. However, I would not be able to have a view of how the residents were living since I was not allowed to wander outside the vicinity of Zhang Li Wei’s mansion. Despite the restriction imposed upon me, I felt good that I got the opportunity to travel back in time during the Zhou Dynasty since the lives of the residents in China were secured. Tomorrow, I would be able to explore Zhang Li Wei’s mansion further and I rested with full anticipation of the next day.
I was awakened by a servant the next morning, and I was led to the bath again to wash. Then, I was given the costume which was prepared by Wu Zhi Wei for me. The costume was red-colored and consisted of a half blouse, a long skirt that was light-weighted, and a muslin cloth to wrap around me. I dressed up easily since I was familiar with the costumes prepared by Wu Zhi Wei. I tied my hair up in a messy bun but the servant shook her head and said that she was appointed to groom me. She then braided my dark red and brown dyed hair. I was then led by the servant to the dining room for breakfast after the grooming. As soon as the door opened, I noticed that Zhang Li Wei and Wu Zhi Wei were seated in the dining room. They were discussing something while sipping the hot tea as they were waiting for my arrival. When I entered the room, both of them stood up to invite me to the dining table. I smiled and seated myself in front of Zhang Li Wei. I noticed how Zhang Li Wei’s eyes were observing me from head to toe when I entered the room earlier but his face remained expressionless. Chinese men from ancient times barely had an expression on their faces from the books that I had read before, and I smiled at the thought. Both the men in the room looked at me questioningly, and I said,” You must excuse me for my insolence but I cannot help smiling at the thought that what I have read about the Chinese gentlemen during the ancient times is accurate.” Wu Zhi Wei translated my words to Zhang Li Wei and Zhang Li Wei asked what it was that I had read in the books. I replied,” I read that Chinese gentlemen of the ancient times were not expressive. I noticed this quality in the both of you just now.” Wu Zhi Wei smiled while translating my words to Zhang Li Wei and Zhang Li Wei also smiled. Wu Zhi Wei replied to my comment then,” We were trained since childhood to hold our expressions as a matter of discipline since we practice martial arts far too often which require us to have a tough disposition.” I nodded while trying to digest that piece of information. I replied,” That is amazing.”. Then Zhang Li Wei invited Wu Zhi Wei and me to help ourselves with the food prepared for us. All the food looked tempting. The servants had prepared fried noodles, spring rolls, fried Tofu, rice with some vegetable dishes, and chrysanthemum tea.
We enjoyed the food as all the food was delicious. While having my breakfast, I observed Zhang Li Wei closely. He was dressed in a light-colored costume which made him look angelic, with his long silky hair and smooth milky skin which further accentuated his angelic look. He was graceful in having his food. I had read about the way of life of the ancient Chinese and all that I had observed so far were true. The Chinese were graceful in their table mannerisms, disposition, attires, and in the manner, they spoke. I was mesmerized by the look of Zhang Li Wei. I must have been observing Zhang Li Wei for a long time since Zhang Li Wei caught me observing him. I blushed when I noticed how Zhang Li Wei looked at me with a mysterious smile on his face. For the next two weeks, I had a similar routine of activity of having breakfast with both men in the morning and then spending the rest of the day exploring the area of the mansion.
On the last third day of the final week of my stay at Zhang Li Wei’s mansion, I was escorted out of the mansion after breakfast, and I was to follow Zhang Li Wei to the town, according to Wu Zhi Wei. We walked around the town where there were many stalls selling accessories for both women and men and street food. As we walked by the street in town, I noticed many types of items that had Arabic and Indian qualities. I had read that foreign trade was active during the Zhou Dynasty wherein the Chinese residents had access to items from around the globe since Empress Wu Ze Tian allowed the trades from around the globe during Her Majesty’s reign. As we walked, I noticed the architecture of the buildings built along the way, and I was mesmerized by the look of them. All the buildings were built with extreme precision and minute details of carvings on the walls of the buildings. “The residents of China had a good living during Her Majesty’s reign,” I thought to myself, still mesmerized at the beauty of the architecture of the buildings there.
After walking for a while, we reached what looked like a park. The park was decorated with red paper decorations, and I saw many Chinese families gathered at the park. I turned to Wu Zhi Wei and asked,” What are these people doing here?”. Wu Zhi Wei said,” We are having a function here where all the eligible maidens are required to join the competitions such are sewing, dancing, playing musical instruments, drawing, and martial arts so that eligible bachelors can choose the maidens of their choices to marry.” I smiled at Wu Zhi Wei’s reply. I said to Wu Zhi Wei,” I see. This is fascinating indeed.” Wu Zhi Wei then escorted me to the place where I was to be seated. I noticed that I was seated next to Zhang Li Wei. Zhang Li Wei looked at me and gave me the most refreshing smile as I sat down next to him. He then poured some hot tea and offered the tiny cup of hot tea to me. I thanked him and accepted the tiny cup from his hand. At that moment, our fingers touched slightly. Like a reflex action, I quickly apologized for touching his fingers. At that time, I noticed a spark in his eyes. “Goodness. He looks angelic and handsome at the same time,” I thought shamelessly to myself. I quickly turned my head away to focus on the competition as I felt my heart beat faster at the way he looked at me. I noticed that Wu Zhi Wei was seated next to me. I decided that it would be safest if I had turned my attention to Wu Zhi Wei since we communicated easily because he could understand Tamil and English language. I understood that Wu Zhi Wei had learned the two languages from the Indian and English traders who had been living in China. Wu Zhi Wei had a different look from Zhang Li Wei since I had noticed that Wu Zhi Wei preferred to wear dark-colored attires although he had long silky black hair like Zhang Li Wei’s. Wu Zhi Wei was also a tall, handsome man and a learned man with vast worldly knowledge.
During the whole session of the function, I tried to hold as many conversations as I could have with Wu Zhi Wei instead of turning my focus to Zhang Li Wei. At one point, I was immersed in the competition that I had blindly reached for my teacup when I felt that I had touched Zhang Li Wei’s fingers. When I turned to look at whose fault it was, I noticed that it was my hand touching Zhang Li Wei’s smooth hand. I looked up to witness Zhang Li Wei’s reaction, and I noticed him observing my face questioningly yet there was a hint of mischief in it as though he was teasing me. Feeling irritated at myself, I quickly removed my hand from his and apologized. After all the events for the competition were completed and the winner of the competition was announced, Zhang Li Wei was invited to distribute the award to the respective winner. I did not expect Zhang Li Wei to be the guest of honor for the function. “He must be a respected person in this community,” I thought to myself. I reminded myself to behave properly when I was in the company of Zhang Li Wei since I noticed how respected he was by the people who were present at the said function. Once the function ended, Wu Zhi Wei, Zhang Li Wei, and I were escorted to a carriage which was sponsored by the organizer of the function to take us to Zhang Li Wei’s mansion. In the carriage, I was seated in between the two men. I tried to balance myself throughout the journey back to the mansion so as not to fall on either man. However, I fell into the arms of Wu Zhi Wei when the carriage suddenly ran over a big bump on the road. I felt Wi Zhi Wei’s strong hands around me to stop me from falling off my seat. I felt one of his hands was wrapped around my bare waist. I felt my stomach flutter at the touch. “Does my adrenaline have to work at this point?” I thought angrily to myself. I quickly lifted myself from Wu Zhi Wei’s grip and straightened myself on the seat. I looked sideways at Zhang Li Wei and noticed the amused look on Zhang Li Wei’s face and was irritated by his attitude. I quickly adjusted the muslin cloth that was wrapped around my body to cover my bare waist to avoid feeling uncomfortable in the presence of the two men.
Once the carriage had stopped in front of Zhang Li Wei’s mansion, Wu Zhi Wei stepped down and offered a hand to me for support as I got down from the carriage. I held his hand strongly and stepped down from the carriage and allowed Zhang Li Wei to step out of the carriage as well. We walked into the mansion when Zhang Li Wei stopped me and whispered into Wu Zhi Wei’s ears. Wu Zhi Wei smiled slightly and looked at me. I could not read his expression. Wu Zhi Wei said to me,” Master Zhang said that he enjoyed the day with you and would like you to join him in his study after dinner.” I was happy to hear that and said that I would like to join Zhang Li Wei. Wu Zhi Wei translated my reply to Zhang Li Wei and then we parted ways to our rooms. When it was dinner time, a servant knocked on my room door. As I opened the door, she bowed and told me that she had brought the food for dinner. I moved aside to allow her to enter my room. I was so delighted to see many types of food prepared for me such as rice with a sweet-sour dish that contained fried fritters made out of wheat flour, a stir-fried dish containing mixed vegetables, a tiny bowl of sweet delicacy containing boiled wheat flour balls, and a plate of dragon fruit. My mouth watered at the sight of such delicious food that I quickly settled down in front of the tiny table to wolf down the delicious food. As I had anticipated, the food prepared for me was exquisite. After my dinner, I called out for the servant to clear the dinner table. Thereafter, I was informed by the servant that my bath was ready. I then followed the servant to the bathroom where the tub of hot water was waiting for me to dive in and relax my tired physique. I rested in the bathtub while rewinding the events which took place earlier at the park in my mind. I smiled at the awkward situations I was in with Zhang Li Wei and Wu Zhi Wei. Yet, I felt amused at the events which took place as I did not see any negative reaction from either of them. As I had researched, both the Chinese men were graceful in their mannerisms and I liked that quality about them.
After grooming, I headed to Zhang Li Wei’s study. My presence was announced to Zhang Li Wei, and I was invited into the room by the servant in waiting. I stepped into the room. The room was filled with antique items that I could only find in antique shops back in my hometown. The yellow glow from the candles that filled the room created a romantic vibration around the room. Zhang Li Wei was seated in front of his low table and I noticed him writing something using a brush and black ink. He looked up at me and smiled as he gestured me to sit in front of him. Then, he said in English,” Thank you for accepting my invitation and for coming today.” I was shocked that Zhang Li Wei spoke fluent English. I asked him,” Can you speak English? Then why did you pretend to not know how to speak the language?”. Zhang Li Wei replied,” I have intended to keep this a secret so that I can observe my opponents who can converse in English.” I nodded in comprehension. Zhang Li Wei then opened his desk and took a sachet made out of pink silk cloth. He handed it to me. I took the sachet from his hand and opened it to discover a white jade in it. He then said, “I would like to present this white jade to you as a souvenir which originated from the Zhou Dynasty for your safekeeping. It is a rare white jade which is priceless. Anyone who owns this white jade will have abundance in his or her life and I would like you to have it.” I was lost for words. Tears filled my eyes as I was utterly flattered and impressed at Zhang Li Wei’s kindness. I replied,” Thank you so much, Mister Zhang Li Wei, if I may address you as such.” Zhang Li Wei then said,” Please, there is no need for such formality between us. I think you are a nice person and your presence here is a good thing as well because my jade business witnessed unimaginable profit on the day you came into this household. I am thus presenting this priceless gift as a sign of good luck in return for the abundance that you brought to my almost dying business.” My heart was filled with happiness.“ Zhang Li Wei is indeed a kind man,” I thought to myself. Zhang Li Wei further added, “I hope that we will be able to meet again in the future even if we need to undergo reincarnation because I think that our meeting was pre-destined. This is because I have not encountered an incident like this before and the fact that your presence brought abundance into my life shows that the Goddess of Mercy has brought you into my life for a purpose of saving my dying business which was about to be closed. In other words, you are a gift from heaven for me.
I was speechless as I listened to the words Zhang Li Wei uttered to me. Miracles happened, but a miracle had never happened in my life. Yet, a miracle such as the time travel to the Zhou Dynasty was a rare one. Also, the fact that I had landed in China during the reign of Empress Wu Ze Tian was reflective of how I had felt when I researched the lives of the residents of China during the Zhou Dynasty. I had always thought that Empress Wu Ze Tian had contributed so much to the history of China but Her Majesty’s contributions were left unsaid or unappreciated because Her Majesty was the only female ruler of China who had achieved the unattainable by the previous Emperors. I felt honored to be allowed to witness the most unattainable era of the glory of China through this time travel. I thanked Zhang Li Wei for his precious present and returned to my room. As I laid on my bed, I replayed the conversation that I had with Zhang Li Wei earlier in my mind and I smiled without realizing it. I must have slept for only an hour as I suddenly woke up and could not continue my sleep. I then covered my body with a long muslin robe which hung in my room and walked out of my room to get some fresh air. As I walked along the corridor outside the mansion, I noticed a place where I could have a sit to enjoy the view at night. As I was observing the moon which stood gloriously in the pitch dark sky, I heard a faint movement and quickly turned around only to find Zhang Li Wei walking towards me. He asked me as he walked and sat beside me, “ Why are you out here alone, Miss?”. I replied,” I woke up suddenly and could not return to my sleep. So, I have decided to get some fresh air and enjoy the beauty of the moon for a while out here.” Zhang Li Wei then took my hand and placed my hand in his and said to me,” I have been waiting to tell you this since the day I found you in the lake but could not do so. I find you extremely gorgeous, Miss. You look different from the maidens in this country because of your honey-colored skin which glows in the morning and under the sun. I know that you will return to your world in a day, but I feel that you should know how men see you since I have noticed that you are not confident about your look from the almost 3 weeks you have been here. You may not have noticed how men have been noticing you earlier today at the function but you were the main attraction so much so that a gentleman inquired about your background from Wu Zhi Wei. So, what I am trying to convey to you is a little advice to always be proud of who you are because you never know how people look at you until you socialize with them. Although men generally have an attraction towards women, yet, men can recognize natural beauty when they have such encounters.” I was surprised that I blushed slightly at the truth of his words. In three weeks, he had read me well. It was a shame that a man like Zhang Li Wei did not exist in the world where I belonged. I replied with a smile, “Thank you for those kind words and I will bear them in my mind when I return.” We then watched the moon for a while before returning to our rooms.
It was the eclipse of the sun again and that meant it was time to return to the future. Zhang Li Wei had my new clothes prepared the night before. I washed and changed into my new clothes before having breakfast with the two men. We had delicious food for breakfast. After breakfast, a carriage was waiting for Zhang Li Wei and me in front of the mansion. We stepped into the carriage which took us to the lake where Zhang Li Wei found me. Wu Zhi Wei was waiting at the lake as both Zhang Li Wei and I stepped out of the carriage. As we reached the lake, Wu Zhi Wei looked at me and said,” It was an extraordinary experience to have met you, Miss, and I wish you abundance and joy in your life when you return.” He then took out a sachet from within his long sleeve and handed the sachet to me. The sachet had the scent of lavender. Inside the sachet, I found a small green jade flower pendant with a yellow sapphire in the middle of the flower-shaped jade pendant. It was a lovely piece of jewelry. “Thank you so much for such a lovely gift, Wu Zhi Wei. You didn’t have to get me anything but thank you anyway for such a thoughtful gift,” I said to Wu Zhi Wei. Wu Zhi Wei only smiled as a reply. Then I turned to Zhang Li Wei who was standing close by. I said to him,” Thank you, Zhang Li Wei, for securing my safety during my stay in your world. It is time to part ways now. Please take good care and if destiny allows, we shall meet again in the future in a different situation.” Zhang Li Wei took my hand into his and lifted my hand to his lips. To my surprise, he kissed my hand. His lips felt so soft on the skin of my hand that I blushed immediately. Zhang Li Wei who was observing my reaction smiled when he saw the pink-colored cheeks on my face. Once we had exchanged our farewell, I turned to step into the lake, and slowly, I dived into the lake despite knowing the possibility of not returning was evident. Within seconds, I found myself waking up on a bed at the hospital with the buzzing noise of doctors and nurses moving around busily. I sat up on my bed for a while when a nurse approached. She said,” Ah, you look fine now, Miss. You have been unconscious for 2 days now. I asked the nurse then,” Would you know the person who brought me here, sister?” The nurse replied,” Oh, a young man saved your life when he found you by the lake and admitted you here. He could not stay as he was rushing to return to his hometown in Shanghai and has left his contact number in your desk drawer in the event you would like to contact him later.” “Thank you, sister,” I said to the nurse. The nurse smiled at me and further added,” By the way, your belongings are carefully placed in your desk drawers. The doctor has discharged you and so you are ready to leave the hospital at any time of the day.” “Thank you, sister. I feel fine now and so I will clear the bed soon,” I replied to the nurse. The nurse smiled at me and walked away. I then removed my belongings from the desk drawer and walked to a changing room to get dressed. I left the hospital upon making payment of the hospital bill and returned home. Once I returned home, I quickly showered and then drowned myself to sleep for a good eight hours before I was awake again. Then, after having instant ramen for dinner, I sat in the living room and checked the two sachets that were presented to me. I then got my gold chain to place my pendant into the gold chain to wear it around my neck and the white jade presented to me was placed in my jewelry box in the safe-box at home. I felt refreshed once the green jade pendant touched my skin. “Nobody would believe me when I tell him or her that I have traveled through time to China and landed in the Zhou Dynasty,” I thought to myself although the White Jade and the green Jade Pendant were evidence that I did travel through time. As I stood in front of the mirror while admiring the green jade pendant on my neck, I suddenly remembered the number of the man who saved me at the lake. I removed the piece of paper from my backpack. “Alex Zhang Li Wei” and a contact number were written on the piece of paper. I was shocked at the sight of the name written on the piece of paper. I quickly got hold of my mobile phone and dialed the number stated on the piece of paper. “Hello?” a man answered.
I asked,” Hello, is this Mr. Alex Zhang Li Wei?” The man replied,” Yes this is him. May I know who is calling, please?” I said,” This is Nandini Asha Raj. I was made to understand by the nurse at the Adventist Hospital that you were the one who saved my life at the lake and admitted me to the hospital three days ago.” He then said,” Ah, yes, I did. How are you, Miss? Are you out of the hospital already?” I replied,” Yes, I am fine, thank you and I have discharged myself yesterday. By the way, I would like to meet you, Mr. Alex. Is it possible to meet you for dinner sometime?” The man then replied, “ I am currently in Shanghai for a business purpose and will be back in London tomorrow morning. Perhaps we can meet in the evening then.” I was glad and said,” That will be great, Mr. Alex. I will make a reservation at The Swan’s for tomorrow at 7 pm under your name. Will that be alright, Mr. Alex?” The man laughed slightly and replied,” Yes, that will do. I will be there at 7 pm then. Goodbye, for now, Miss Nandini.” “See you tomorrow, then Mr. Alex. Take care,” I replied and ended the call.
The next evening, I chose to wear a pink-colored summer dress for the dinner. I reached The Swan Restaurant at 6.30 pm and was waiting for Mr. Alex’s arrival while having a glass of white wine. As I waited for the arrival of my savior, I read a book that I brought along on the Zhou Dynasty. I was immersed in the historical facts of the Zhou Dynasty that I did not notice the arrival of my guest. “Excuse me, Miss Nandini,” a voice called me. I looked up from my book and was taken aback by the sight of my guest. There stood Zhang Li Wei in a well-tailored suit and well-trimmed hair with a smile that was so similar to that of the man whom I met in the past. I stood up and welcomed him to his seat. The moment we were seated, the waiter busied himself in bringing the food which I had ordered much earlier since the cuisine was the restaurant’s special recipe. I must have been staring at the man in disbelief because the man said with a smile on his face,” Are you alright, Miss Nandini? You look like you have seen a ghost.” “Ah, yes…I am alright Mr. Alex. I was just surprised for a moment because you look like someone whom I have met recently and the resemblance is striking that for a moment, I was stunned.” The man said,” Oh really? The man must be someone dear to you judging from the way you have reacted.” “ Yes, he is a wonderful person,” I replied. “Please help yourself with the dish that I have ordered, Mr. Alex. This is a special recipe of this restaurant, and many come here only to have a taste of this dish,” I then said to the man, changing the subject while regaining my composure. “Thank you for inviting me here, Miss Nandini. I hope that you have completely recovered from the drowning. May I ask what you were doing in the lake, if you don’t mind?” “I was taking a break at the lake, and I was walking along the lake when I must have tripped and fallen into the lake,” I replied.” I see. Well, are you feeling alright now?” he asked me while observing me intently. I replied,” Yes, I am perfectly fine now. May I ask something, Mr. Alex, if you don’t mind?” “Why, yes please,” he said with a curious expression on his face. “Would you by any chance have an ancestor by the name of Zhang Li Wei in China, Mr. Alex? You see, I am interested in the history of China and the rulers in the past and I would love to learn more about the people from the past from the Chinese people I meet here,” I said to him. The man replied,” Why, yes, Miss Nandini. As far as I know, my Chinese name was inherited from my mother’s ancestor who specialized in jades. He was an influential person during the Zhou Dynasty and was an expert in the field of jewels concerning jades.” I sat there listening to his words in disbelief. “So, he has reincarnated as he said he would,” I thought to myself.
We talked for a long time that we did not realize that it was time to leave the restaurant. Once we left the restaurant, we walked on the pavement towards the lake where he had saved me. We sat down on a bench facing the lake. I looked up at the sky and saw the full moon shining brightly in the blackened sky. The man then broke the silence between us and said,” You know, Miss Nandini, when I first saw you lying in my arms, I felt that I have seen known you from somewhere although I have not met you before.” I smiled at his words. “So, he is the one whom I met in the past,” I thought to myself in confirmation. “Probably this is what they call a link from our past life,” I replied to him. “Whatever do you mean, Miss Nandini?” the man asked me with a confused look on his face. “What I mean is that it may be that you are the reincarnated version of your ancestor who had the wish to meet me in the future,” I replied to him. At that moment, I removed the white jade which I had in my purse and handed it to the man. The man looked at the white jade and recognized it right away. He exclaimed excitedly,” This white jade looks similar to the white jade that my ancestor had kept in my family residence in Shanghai! This jewel is designed for lovers. Where did you get this white jade?” I felt the need to reveal the real reason why I was found in the lake to the man at that point. I told him what transpired on the day I traveled through time and the meeting I had with the man’s ancestor. The man listened to my story with a shocked expression on his face and by the time I completed the whole story, the man had regained composure.
The man then turned to face me and said,” I knew that we had a special bond in the past the moment I saw you lying in my arms because I had a sudden recollection of an image of a man who resembled me holding a woman who resembled you. Although I did not give much importance to it then, yet I understand now why that sudden recollection appeared in my mind. I am the reincarnated version of my ancestor, Master Zhang Li Wei and you are the lady who I had saved in my past life. He then took out the white jade which resembled the white jade which I had in my possession. We observed the jewels together and at that moment, we noticed something shocking. My name and Zhang Li Wei’s names were carved on the white jades. I looked at the man, and the man looked back at me in awe. He then touched my cheek and said,” I see that our destiny is intertwined, Nandini. You are my soulmate whom I missed in the past and my yearning for you must have created caused the reincarnation of my soul and the past event repeating itself. We are destined to be together, Nandini. Are you willing to accept me in this lifetime?” Tears rolled down my cheeks as I listened to his words and I said,” Oh, Alex. I dived into the lake with much regret because I thought that I would never see you again. However, I was not aware that your love for me was so strong to the extent of making the past event repeat itself to create this meeting between us. I will not make the same mistake of missing you again. I love you, Alex.” At that moment, Alex held my face in his hands, and we kissed. “Thank you, God, for bringing the love of my life into my life in the most unexpected way,” I prayed to God in my mind. We had decided to meet our parents to get their blessing for our marriage as we had decided never to delay our union any longer and then returned to our homes with longing hearts and renewed love.
The next day, I received a call from my agent that all my paintings which were exhibited in the art gallery last month got sold out. The price for my 10 paintings was determined at USD50,000.00 per piece. I was tremendously delighted to hear that news since I had been having a hard time selling my paintings previously. Suddenly, an unexpected thought came to my mind. I touched the green pendant which hung around my neck. “So, miracles do happen at the right time in our lives,” I thought with a victorious smile on my face as the meeting with Alex the night before came into my mind.