Koj Yog Tus Ib
Here are bits and pieces of the draft of a love story I wrote some years ago and never finished. .. . Now, I’m planning to finish it off. If you’re interested, please read it, give me feedback and comments! Thanks (^_^) Remember it’s only a draft …..
KOJ YOG TUS IB
Thaum koj nrog kuv nyob, koj hais tias
Wb txog kev sib hlub nyob zoo lis no
Tsis muaj hnub yuav khiav mus
Vim kuv yog koj tus ib
Tias hlub tus kawm haus koj lub siab haus koj lub plaws
Yog koj nyiag thaub kuv lub siab mus
Ua rau kuv tsis paub xyov yuav hais lis cas
Es, puas yog koj dag ntxias
Los yog koj lub siab hos hlub kuv tiag
Zoo lis koj thaub cog lus cia
Tias yuav hlub kuv ib leeg xwb
Yog thaum nyus kuv lub siab, qhuag muag los
Koj puas yuav pov, puas yuav cev ntxais tev los xov
Yog thaum txhoj kuv lub siab, qhuag muag twb
Koj puas yuav plwg, puas yuav hlub lis koj taub hais tseg
Koj muaj zoo lus, es puas muaj zoo siab
Yog koj hais thauj, es puas yuav hlub tiag
txhob cia ntxhaws liab thuaj, es nws tos koj xwb
Txhob lav dag, kom kuv thuaj rau koj cov lub qab zib
Thaum koj puag kuv haus koj swj ntiam
Kuv tsuas xav kom wb nyob haus zoo lis nos
Tsais yuav tsog tsis thaub koj vim kuv twb hlub koj
Haus kuv siab tswj tsis muaj leeg tug yuav zoo lis koj
Haus kuv lub siab lawm os
“Ethan, look!” Ntsab Iab cried out in aspiration as she pointed to the colorful hues developing on the horizon.
The setting of the sun before her eyes took her breath away. As she remembered, it wasn’t long ago that Ntsab Iab and Ethan have taken their first kiss under the sunset. It was that same moment afterwards that Ethan proposed on his knees to Ntsab Iab. She still remembered it as if it were only yesterday. Before she knew it, she saw herself accepting the proposal and was engaged to Ethan right after. Everything went by so fast that it seemed almost like a dream. She and Ethan have recently just met for a month, and here she was engaged to Ethan and going to see his parents. As she looked down to where sparkles from a diamond rhinestone sat lovingly on a platinum band on her ring finger, tears welled up in her eyes. She quickly stopped herself from the surges of crying from happiness.
The car quickly sped on the highway as the sun slowly elevated from the skies, sloped down to the highway and touched the road, beaming its golden rays above the horizon. Ethan quickly glanced to where Ntsab Iab sat and sweetly gave her a smile. Then his right hand left from the wheel of the car, captured Ntsab Iab’s left hand on her lap and gave it a gentle squeeze. Ntsab Iab sweetly looked at Ethan and smiled at him. Ethan continued to smile dazedly as he looked straight ahead on the road. No sunsets can ever be able to take his breath away like the beauty of his Ntsab Iab, he thought. And now, she was his. He again gave a squeeze to Ntsab Iab’s hand and softly caressed her palm with his thumb.
“What are you smiling at, Ethan?” sweetly whispered Ntsab Iab as her right hand came over and laid on top of his right hand on her lap.
“Mmm..,” smiled Ethan.
“What are you smiling at?” Ntsab Iab curiously asked again.
“Oh, I was thinking how lucky I am to have you.” Ethan said and turned to give Ntsab Iab a quick but caring smile.
He then looked straight ahead toward the road. His hand held Ntsab Iab’s hand tighter and quickly gave it another gentle squeeze. Ntsab Iab’s heart skipped a beat. How she wished this moment would freeze in time. She had not felt such great emotions ever since the day her life changed with the death of her mother and shortly followed by her father’s tragic car accident, which had handicapped him and had left him in the care of her eldest sister. This time, instead of the sorrows she felt during those days of crises, she was feeling a different emotion in her heart. It was a feeling of complete happiness. That feeling of being wholesome, she thought. Like she had found her other half.
She closed her eyes and held Ethan’s hand tighter. Somehow she knew that Ethan would be the one for her from now. She knew that no matter what happens no one would ever make her feel like this again. She had prayed for love, and her prayer was received. She realized that life wasn’t like those fairytales her mother would sometimes tell to her and her sisters before bedtime. Yet, deep down her heart, she prayed that her love story would be like a fairytale of “happily ever after.”
Ntsab Iab began to reminisce to those years of crises to the day she met Ethan and tears began to well up in her eyes. A tear rolled down to her cheek. Ethan turned to her side and noticed it. He gave her a concerned look while gently squeezing her hand.
“What’s wrong, Iab?”
“Huh?” Ntsab Iab quietly answered as her hand quickly wiped the tears away. “I’m just thinking how special you are to me.” She paused to pull her emotions together while looking down at Ethan’s hand in hers. Then she quietly said, “Thank you, Ethan, for coming into my life.”
“Iab, you make me complete,” Ethan lovingly said as he turned to face her again and gave hand another loving squeeze. “Now, no more tears, alright? We’re almost there. You know my parents have been waiting for weeks just to meet their future daughter-in-law. And, every time when I talked with my mom on the phone, all she would ask me was when she was going to see you,” spoke Ethan in his husky masculine voice.
Ntsab Iab turned to Ethan and gave him a smile. She then laid back her head to the car seat. The song “You Are the One” began to play on the stereo. Ntsab Iab closed her eyes. She has forgotten how tired she was this whole day. Everything was a rush like the day Ntsab Iab accepted Ethan’s engagement proposal. Right after when she had finished her finals, Ethan had popped up at her apartment and had insisted that she went with him to visit his parents at his house for the short 3-months summer break that she would have from her demanding medical curriculum at Harvard Medical School. Since she couldn’t think of any excuses but to yield to Ethan’s convincing demand, she quickly made a phone call to her family and let them know her whereabouts for the next couple of weeks before her flight back to her family’s house in Ohio. She had only packed up a few articles of clothing when Ethan pulled up in front of her apartment. Ethan was a XXXX Law graduate, who had recently been in the eyes of publicity after winning the case against a Boston’s mafia prostitution triad. At only 28 years old, Ethan was named as one of the nation’s best prosecuting attorney. His dark, Asiatic features accented him with a look of a mysterious rogue that defined confidence in anything he sought and want as a man of ambition. Before his taking up of his father’s partnership firm, it was a business dying in bankruptcy. After 2 years, Ethan had quickly claimed back the firm’s name. Within a year, Ethan was appointed to the Oval Office as one of the staff members for the President’s general attorney assistant.
Before Ntsab Iab knew it, the car halted stop and she immediately jerked from her slumber. She moaned quietly while still in her dreams with Ethan and her on their wedding day. Not wanting to wake up from her dream, Ntsab Iab shut her eyes tighter until Ethan whispered to her ears, “ Iab, we’re almost here. “
She quickly opened her eyes and saw that her head had somehow fallen to rest on Ethan’s shoulders. She had not felt this sensual closeness of their bodies since the day Ethan kissed her. His husky voice on her ears just before brought tinkling sensation to her spine as though she and Ethan have become one. She quickly then pulled up her composure, with the thought that they were still on the road. The song “Thaum Koj Hais Rau Kuv” now played. Ntsab Iab finally saw the darkness of the night before her as she looked outside her window.
With eyes opened wider, Ntsa Iab saw a gate opened up to a lighted driveway. Ethan then drove up to the driveway and curbed up to a large, marbled veranda. Ethan stopped the car in front of the marbled mansion, and quietly turned off the engine. He glanced at Ntsab Iab and said, “Iab, welcome to my home.”
Ethan turned to give Ntsab Iab an assuring smile and said,” I’ll get your bags while you wait outside. I don’t think it’s necessary to wake up Fred to help us with the bags. It’s frankly quite too late.”
Ethan then left to the back of the trunk to get her bags. Ntsab Iab slowly cleared her throat and quickly checked her face in the rear mirror as she ruffled back her hair to tie in a ponytail. She then turned to the back seat and grabbed her purse. As she opened the door and made her first step to cement driveway, she sighed. A deep feeling of fear paralyzed her next step to the stair leading up to the mansion. She had lost all thoughts except that she was going to be the next mistress in this house. Still in disbelief, Ntsab Iab gave another sigh and then turned to follow Ethan to the trunk of the car.
“Ethan, let me help you with some of my things.” Ntsab Iab hoarsely said.
“Iab, I got it. I don’t want to wear you out. Tomorrow will be a big day,” replied Ethan as he flashed Ntsab Iab his sweet smile. He came around the car with Ntsab Iab’s luggage and took her hand in one of his while pulling the luggage with the other hand. Ethan led Ntsab Iab up to the stairs to the front door. Before turning the doorknob, Ethan turned around to face Ntsab Iab. His dark eyes pierced into Ntsa Iab’s as he deeply stared at her. Then he sweetly whispered, “Iab, you’re home.” He bent down his head and lightly brushed a kiss on Ntsab Iab’s forehead.
The moment Ntsa Iab landed on her bed, she fell into a deep slumber. As she turned to one side and curled up next to the sheets of blankets, she could vividly see herself running through a white blanket of clouds. She seemed to be panting from running, but instead turned around to see her stalker. There, chasing after her slithered a large python. Ntsa Iab grasped in panic and began to run again. Before she knew it, the python slithered its way to Ntsa Iab and coiled its body around hers. Ntsa Iab squirmed in pain as she tried calling for her mother’s help. Fear struck her paralyzed as Ntsa Iab saw the python’s mouth opened and his two fangs slashed into her skins. She called out for her mother’s name again. Without any avails, she cried in pain. Squirming with all her strength to somehow rid herself of the python and her dream altogether, she woke up crying out loud, “Niam..kuv niam.”
She opened her eyes and with relief she saw the sunlight beaming down from the opened window. I’m only been dreaming, Ntsa Iab sighed in exhaustion. Ethan loves me, and a dream is just a dream and nothing more, Ntsa Iab told herself over and over before she threw the blankets over and left to the bathroom.
Ntsa Iab quickly showered and finished her toiletries. She then decided to put on a soft azure chamois to go with her plaited skirt. Before long, she heard knockings at her bedroom door and Ntsa Iab left her bedside to open the door. When Ntsa Iab opened the door, Ethan stood in front of her. Ethan was dress in khakis pants and a pale peach polo shirt. His dark black hair was jelled back. With the arrival of his presence, the sense of his Armani perfume was lightly smelled.
His masculine defined jaw lines tensed as he curled his lips at the sight of Ntsa Iab. As he flashed her his seductive grin, and caste his dark eyes over her pale face, Ntsa Iab felt a tinkling of chills running through her spine as if he had already stripped her to her nakedness with his mesmerizing eyes.
Ethan caught Ntsa Iab’s eyes with his and then asked, “All set, Iab? Hum.m”
“I’m set, Ethan,” gulped down Ntsa Iab, as she lowered her lashes from Ethan’s hold. She then shyly bashed a loving smile to Ethan.
Ethan chuckled lightly and said, ““Iab, you look very lovely this morning. I hope you slept well last night. If you needed anything else, just let me know, alright?”
Ntsa Iab flashed him another smile and nodded with understanding.
They headed down the spiraled staircase from the family quarters to the family tearoom. Just below them, sitting outside on the patio, Ntsa Iab saw Ethan’s parents. The sun rose with such radiance as it caste its lights upon the day’s morning. The warmth of early spring morning from the sun brought birds chirping and butterflies flying around the garden near the patio where Ethan’s parents sat. Mr. Song XueKwm was dressed in casual slacks with a yellow polo shirt. His face seemed to show immense aging signs for a man who was going to be in his mid-60s. Those years of struggling his partnership law firm from bankruptcy before Ethan had taken over his position definitely had brought down the effects of hardship to Mr. Song’s health and physique. His wife, Mrs. Song Cis was a plump, round vibrant woman. Dressed in a pink azure flowery dress, her face seemed to beam with radiance all the time while she talked on about her day’s events to the Mr and Mrs Song.
As Ethan led Ntsa Iab to her last step to the floor, Ethan’s arms went around Ntsa Iab’s small waist. He then bent down to Ntsa Iab’s ear and softly whispered, “Here are my parents. They’re going to love you.”
Ntsa Iab took a deep breath as her pale ivory face began to flush deep red from nervousness. When they got to the patio’s table, Mrs. Song Cis quickly left her seat to come and give Ethan a motherly hug.
“Ethan, dear. You’re finally here. Hopefully, the trip didn’t tire you,” sighed Mrs. Song Cis with concerns as she turned to look at Ntsa Iab. Then she extended her right hand and held Ntsa Iab’s all the while saying, “Well, dear. Tell us who’s this lovely lady. You know, your father and I have been waiting for this day to come.” And, she gave a wink to Ntsa Iab while comforting it with her radiant smile.
Ethan took Ntsa Iab’s hands in his and cleared his throat. “Mom and Dad, this is Ntsa Iab Yang.
Ntsa Iab smiled at Mr. and Mrs. Song and replied, “Nyob zoo os. Zoo siab tsib nes ob leeg. I am so happy to meet the both of you two, Mr. and Mrs. Song. This must have been such a quick notice of our arrivals to both of you since Ethan just told about our visit yesterday evening. I don’t know what to say, but Ethan….”
Mrs. Cis quickly interrupted, “Dear, our Ethan is always this way. Whatever he wants he finds a way to get it. Ethan’s just a brute when it comes to getting his way.”
Mrs. Cis gave out a light chuckle and went back to her seat. “Ntsa Iab, come, come. Come and sit,” Mrs. Cis pointed to a seat next to Mr. SueKwm,
“Ethan, dear, take yours. Sue and I were just having our breakfast. We didn’t want to wake both of you two up since we thought that your long trip must have worn you both out. Now, I’m glad that we can have breakfast together.”
Mr. SueKwm flashed Ntsa Iab a smile. As Ntsa Iab took a closer look at him, she noticed that although his deteriorating health has very much worn down his physique, Mr. SueKwm still has this charming look in him. Ethan SueKwm Song must have inherited his sophisticated look from his father, thought Ntsa Iab.
They took their breakfast. All the while, Ethan and Mr. Faj talked about the daily ups and downs of the stocks and the recent scandals. Mrs. Cis talked with Ntsa Iab.
Mrs. Cis asked, “Ntsa Iab, I heard Ethan said that you’re attending XXXX University. That was our Ethan’s old school. You know, it seems as if it’s only been like yesterday that Ethan was at XXXX , in their Law School. Oh..”
She paused. Her eyes began to reddened as she continued, “How time flies! Our son Ethan is so different now.” Mrs. Cis’s eyes trailed down to her plate with an almost sadness to her last words, as she forked into her scrambled eggs.
Ntsa Iab wondered what happened during those years Ethan was in law school. Did something horrible happen to Ethan? Thought Ntsa Iab. Ethan never had really told Ntsa Iab anything about his college years, or even his life. Ntsa Iab has once or twice asked Ethan about his past but Ethan abruptly replied with a choppy matter-of-factually that “the past was the past; no used to bring it up.” After that Ntsa Iab never brought up the subject again. Not only that, Ntsa Iab knew in her heart that what matters was the present and the future. Ntsa Iab has fallen in love with Ethan and that was what mattered. Love would conquer it all – even all barriers, Ntsa Iab told herself. And she felt it, as she looked at Ethan’s face, which glowed in radiance from the lights of the sun. The contours of his defined jaw lines to the profile of his nose accented his roguish handsome features. Ntsa Iab smiled at Ethan as he caught her eyes scanning him.
Ethan abruptly said, “Iab, I think it’s time to tell.” Ethan took down his napkin from his neck collar and cleared his throat.
“Ahem. Mom and Dad, I like to announce something very special to all of us. Something that both of you have been waiting for ever since I graduated from XXXX Law School. I have proposed to Iab and Iab have accepted it. I have already planned to announce the engagement this coming week at Dad’s birthday party. Iab’s parents will hopefully be arriving this Friday, Ethan turned to Ntsab Iab, “I know Iab, this has been so quick, but I’ve already called your family about the plans. And they have agreed to come as well.” Ethan sweetly smiled at Ntsa Iab as his eyes sparkled with love.
Mrs. Cis grasped in joy and gave out her big smile at Ntsa Iab. “Ntsa Iab and Ethan, we are so happy for both of you. Ntsa Iab, you don’t know how much this mean to us. Ethan’s father has not been well for the past couple of months and we have been expecting our Ethan to marry before anything happens to Faj or me. We like to see our grandchildren soon,” Mrs. Cis said.
Mr. SueKwm replied, “Well, Ethan, my son, it’s finally you got yourself a wife. You know, your mother and I have been waiting for our grandchildren since the day you graduated.” Mr. SueKwm smiled and reached out to touch Ntsa Iab’s hand. “Dear, welcome to our family.” Mr. SueKwm turned to Ethan again and said, “Ethan, have you told your brother and sister. I’m sure they would be ecstatic as we are.” Mr. SueKwm turned to Ntsa Iab and said, “Ntsa Iab, I’m sorry that Ethan’s younger brother Joe and sister Emily couldn’t meet you at breakfast this morning. Joe won’t be back until this Wednesday, and our little Emily is still sleeping.”
Ethan quickly replied, “Emily! I’ve almost forgotten to ask about my sweet darling sister Emily. Dad, how’s Emily doing these days since I’ve been gone?”
Father and son continued talking. When breakfast ended, Mrs. Cis decided to show Ntsa Iab around the family’s garden while Ethan and Mr. SueKwm continued with their talks about politics in the coffee room.
As they walked through the garden’s pathway, Mrs. Cis pointed to several rose bushes she favored. From time to time, Mrs. Cis would ask Ntsa Iab about her family and tell her that their families knew one another back in their old country of Laos.
“Ntsa Iab, if I’m correct, your father and my husband knew one another briefly before the break of the war. At that time, I believe they were both colleagues at Dong Dok. How is your father doing these days? I heard about your poor mother’s death. My sympathy goes out to you and your family. Aren’t all of your mother’s five children daughters only? ‘Tis a shame that your mother passed away so early when you poor girls haven’t even settled down yet. Now, I’ve forgotten but what number are you to the youngest? And how many of your sisters have married? I’ve recently met your oldest sister who married one of our relatives. She’s as beautiful as you, Ntsa Iab.” Mrs. Cis smiled. “Even I think my Ethan isn’t a match for you. How in the world did he catch himself such a beautiful girl like you!” exclaimed Mrs. Cis.
Ntsa Iab replied, “Niam taim Cis, Ethan and I met at some friends gathering. I believe our friends who knew each other from school hooked us up.” Ntsa Iab smiled to Mrs. Cis. “When I think about it, it still gives me a laugh. Ethan didn’t seem to pay much attention to me when we met. I guess after several dates and getting to know each other, I fell in love with Ethan. And when he proposed to me, I couldn’t refuse him. I knew Ethan would be the man I like to someday settle down with,” passionately said Ntsa Iab.
Mrs. Cis then continued, “Ntsa Iab, did Ethan tell you of his previous engagement? Ethan had a hard time pulling himself up after the break-up of the engagement. I think it really had changed my poor Ethan’s perspective on love after that experience. His ex-fiancée was his girlfriend whom he met at Harvard. Her name is Sia ChangKi. Her family is also a good friend of the family. I guess, she couldn’t go through with the engagement and decided that she wasn’t in love with Ethan at all. It really had pained poor Ethan after she left him that day of the announcement of their engagement with another of her male friends. But I’m happy now that you’ve come into our Ethan’s life. Although, I’m an old lady, I can tell that just with your presence at our Ethan’s side brought more warmth in his heart than ever before. Sia and Ethan are still friends. For Heaven’s Sake, she’s been an attorney at Faj’s law firm ever since she and Ethan graduated together.” And Mrs. Cis chuckled, but in her eyes showed a gesture of hurt remembering back to her son’s tragic experience with love.
Ntsa Iab cried inside at hearing Mrs. Cis’s recollection of Ethan’s past love. Ntsa Iab had remembered that Ethan refused to tell her of anything about his love life. She then had forgotten to ask him again after she realized that he would change the subject every time she would bring it up. Now, Ntsa Iab understood the reasons. At the same time, she became envious at Ethan’s ex-fiancée Sia for having so much impact on Ethan and angry at Ethan for refusing to tell her of his past love. After all, she thought, she had told Ethan her entire life of growing up as a conservative girl who had paid more attention to her books than her male friends. She didn’t even remember if she had ever dated a guy or even had liked a guy before she met Ethan.
Ntsa Iab and Mrs. Cis finished their tour around the garden, and they left to join in with Ethan and Mr. SueKwm. When they entered into the coffee room, Ethan was on the phone while Mr. Faj was slowly sipping his coffee paying attention to Ethan’s phone conversation.
Mrs. Cis asked in a concerned voice, “Is everything all right, dear?”
Mr. XueKwm replied, “It’s alright, dear. It’s just work related. I think they may need me back at the office.” Mr. XueKwm turned to Ethan and tiredly said, “Son, let me know if they need me back at the office.”
Mrs. Cis took her seat on the sofa across from where Ethan stood next to the telephone table. Ntsa Iab followed and sat next to Mrs. Cis with a concerned look. Before long, Ethan hanged up the phone, walked over to Mr. Faj’s oak desk and laid hand on Mr. XueKwm’s shoulders.
“Dad, Sia called and said that it was urgent. Something about a client and her case. If you don’t mind, I’ll go and take your place on behalf of you. I still think you need your rest for the next couple of days as the doc prescribed.” Ethan turned around to Ntsa Iab and continued, “Iab would you mind coming along with me? I think it won’t be long until we can tour the city afterwards.”
Ntsa Iab sweetly smiled and replied, “Sure, Ethan.”
Ethan then turned to his mother and said, “Mother, tell little Emily that her brother is home. Also, let her know that I brought her a surprise. Also, don’t let her know anything about Iab yet. I like to surprise her.” And with that, Ethan gave out a big smile and wink at Ntsa Iab for participating with his mischievous game with his sister.
Ethan and Ntsa Iab left in Ethan’s BMW to his father’s partnership law firm near the Lower Downtown part of XXX City. The drive to the firm from their house in Manhattan was about a mere 2 hours drive. On the way, Ethan told Ntsa Iab about his years working there in place of his father after graduating from Harvard and the difficulties of it as being the younger of the two partners at the firm. Ethan gave a slight grin and said, “Being new to the market and all was the most difficult. Those years were some tough ones, but after looking back to them, I am proud to say I’ve made it through it.”
Ethan turned to look at Ntsa Iab and gave her his dashingly handsome smile. While at the same time, his right hand came and took hers on her lap. Then Ethan took Ntsa Iab’s hand and brought it up to his lips and kissed it. Ntsa bashed her eyelashes in shyness at his sensual gesture. Ethan looked at Ntsa Iab again, and smiled to himself as though her shy gesture amused him.
“Iab, I love the way you smile with that bashful look.” Ethan chuckled with amusement. “Anyway, enough with my boring work. What should you say we do after when I’ve taken care of Dad’s business? Should you and I go stroll down Central Park? I know of a good place to get these really good Hmoob foods. It’s just been recently opened near Central Park. Mind if we stop there as well?”
Ntsa Iab replied back, “Of course not. This is your hometown. You show me where we go and I’ll just go wherever you go.” Ntsa Iab then gave Ethan another of her sweet smile that just seemed to take his breath away. Ethan then smiled and said, “Alright. That’s our plan then, if everything goes well.” At his last words, he trailed them with a down look as he continued driving his way to the firm.
When they got there, Ntsa Iab could see that the firm was nested in the middle of suburb and downtown XXXX City. It was located on a silhouette skyscraper building with the name, Song & Chang, S.C. Mr. SueKwm’s flat resided at the top of the building with its 15 floors. Two-thirds of the top of the building was rented out for residential living with the top four levels belonging to Mr. Song and Mr. Chang’s personal compartments. The rest of the bottom floors were for the two partners’ work-related associates and their individual law offices. Mr. Song and Mr. Chang shared the 5th floor as their main office.
Ethan pulled his car to the curved driveway and parked next to the entrance door. Ethan got out of the car and quickly went to Ntsa Iab’s side to open the door for her. As they got into the building, a tall slender reddish blonde came horridly to Ethan’s side. She