Hear Me [聽說]
Starring: Ivy Chen, Eddie Peng & Michelle Chen
Lin Xiao Peng (Michelle Chen) is warming up to prepare for her swim meet, and Lin Yang Yang (Ivy Chen) is across the pool setting up the camera to take pictures of her sister’s race.
As they call for the race to start, Yang Yang times the camera and races over to Xiao Peng’s side to give her the cue to start. Huang Tian Kuo (Eddie Peng) arrives at the gym just after the race is over, with bento boxes the swimmers ordered. After seeing nobody at the front desk, he walks into the pool area and sees Yang Yang telling a joke in sign-language to Xiao Peng. He comes up to the two and laughs along with them—and they stop laughing and glance at each other and then him. Way to make an entrance, Eddie… He breaks the silence by saying he’s there to deliver bento boxes. Yang Yang tells her sister she has to go to work and runs off, leaving Tian Kuo to ask Xiao Peng for Yang Yang’s name in sign-language.
As Tian Kuo is paid and leaves, he sees Yang Yang crash her motorcycle. She’s scratched up, so he insists on driving her to the hospital before she returns to work.
After dropping her off at the door of the hospital, he boldly asks for her MSN username. So old-fashioned, haha!
After returning to his family’s restaurant late due to the detour to the hospital, Tian Kuo gets a good lecture from his mom about all the bento’s that went cold waiting for him to deliver, how they now have to make new ones, and how he’s going to have to eat all the leftover bento’s.
Yup, all seven boxes! Turning back to the kitchen, the dad asks for Tian Kuo to come help make the lunch boxes and the mom responds, “It’s already one, let him eat first. He’s still growing.” To which the dad scoffs and says, “He’s already a twenty-something-year-old…why would he still be growing?”
The next day, Tian Kuo is selling lunch boxes on the street and especially saves one for Yang Yang. She drives past and sees him, so comes over to say thank you for the ride to the hospital.
They officially introduce themselves, and he asks her why he never saw her online. She tells him she’s busy because of work, so she hasn’t had time to go on yet. As she’s eating the lunch box he saved her, she remembers and says she’ll pay him back.
He responds that she can pay him by going out to a movie with him—and he’ll pay for the tickets. How much more obvious and direct could he be?!?! But she rejects him (sadly), saying that she doesn’t have time for a movie because of work.
She thanks him for the food and rushes off, and he screams out for her to be careful as she shoots across the street.
Back home, he’s online, looking at all the messages he’s sent Yang Yang already.
The first time I saw you, you reminded me of a great white heron… I recently brought home a plant and I’m trying to raise it right now. I really love plants. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not an otaku that just stays at home all day… As he’s having imaginary conversations with Yang Yang, his mom comes in and catches him mumbling to himself, telling him to knock off the daydreaming and help her at the restaurant.
Later, Tian Kuo comes down to the restaurant, but to make a special “lover’s bento.”
There’s pork-chop soup and an overflowing bento with extra food in it.
His mom sees it and tells him he can’t sell if for the regular price—he must bump up the price! Tian Kuo responds, “Love is priceless!” as he drives off to find Yang Yang.
He brings her food at her house, and she invites him in to sit. She insists on paying him back for all the food, but he keeps changing the subject.
The house is filled with medals and certificates of all the awards Xiao Peng has won for swimming, and Yang Yang is very proud of her sister. Tian Kuo asks if it isn’t a burden for her to be the only one working to provide for her family, and she responds that if Xiao Peng wins a gold medal, they will get paid and it’ll all be worth it. Yang Yang suddenly remembers that she has to go to work, and invites him along.
Turns out she’s a street-performer: a mimer.
After a successful time at work, Yang Yang says she’ll treat Tian Kuo to dinner. They go to the night market and find a noodle restaurant.
After dinner, she says she’ll pay.
Yang Yang pours out her coins she’s earned from work and starts counting and sorting them. Tian Kuo notices that there are other customers waiting to be seated, so he ends up paying and then they leave. Yang Yang is upset about that, and the two get into an argument about money.
She thinks that he looks down on her job and thinks little of coins and loose change. He says he never thought that, but she’s already angry with him and says she’ll pay him back when she has changed all her coins into bills. She leaves alone and he is unsure of what to do.
Meanwhile, Xiao Peng had come home from swim practice and fell asleep while looking through old photo albums. There ends up being a fire in the neighborhood but she doesn’t see the alarm, so she doesn’t get help until the firefighters come.
Yang Yang rushes to the hospital and apologizes for not being there for Xian Peng. Yang Yang is upset with herself for not going straight home after work, but Xiao Peng says she only inhaled a little bit of smoke and everything is fine.
However, when Yang Yang brings some tea to the hospital the next morning, she overhears Xiao Peng’s teammates discussing that Xiao Peng might not be able to swim due to possible lung damage from the smoke inhalation.
After their argument, Tian Kuo goes back to where Yang Yang was miming to see if she’d be at work, but she is nowhere to be found. He ends up going to the noodle shop they had gone to for dinner and is reading a poem and practicing the sign-language for it so he can “read” it to Yang Yang. He overhears the shop owners discussing Yang Yang, and how she was so adorable and sweet, but how unfortunate that she was deaf. Upset by their judgments of Yang Yang, he throws down a bunch of coins to pay for his meal and leaves.
At his family’s restaurant, his parents can tell that he’s upset about something, so the mom sends the dad in to talk with Tian Kuo. He tells his dad that he doesn’t even know if they are dating or not, but that he really likes this girl.
The dad doesn’t see what the problem is, and Tian Kuo asks his dad, “Would you guys be okay if I were to date a deaf girl.” His dad doesn’t know what to say, and his mom is equally perplexed. Tian Kuo tells them that she is really kind, out-going, cute, caring, and loves her sister—but the mom is still worried, saying to the dad, “Tian Kuo knows sign-language, but we don’t.”
Tian Kuo eventually goes to Yang Yang’s house to find her, but she hides inside refusing to open the door. He leaves a box at her door and leaves.
He has bought her a glass heron coin bank as an apology gift. She is touched, but still is keeping her distance from him.
The next day, Yang Yang goes to the pool to wait for her sister, but after her sister gets out of the shower, she tells Yang Yang to go home first because she will be waiting for friends to go out to dinner. Yang Yang says she can go with them, and Xiao Peng snaps back, saying that she doesn’t want Yang Yang to tag along with them. Hurt, Yang Yang walks home alone. Along the way, she sees all these poster boards of trees set up on the streets.
As she stops at her own front lawn, she sees Tian Kuo in a tree costume with lights strapped around him. She gets a text from him and opens it to read, …there are 137 types of plants or wildlife becoming extinct every day. At that rate, the heron might one day become extinct. So to prevent you from becoming extinct, you must bring the tree in front of you home to raise! Awww…. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the best timing. Yang Yang asks if he has ever considered that they wouldn’t get along well, alluding at the hearing impairment that may become an issue between them in the long run.
That night, Xiao Peng comes home drunk and Yang Yang warns her that she shouldn’t be drinking because it may affect her ability to swim well. Xiao Peng tells her that she won’t have to worry, because the coach told her her speed has been dropping and she’s unable to compete in the qualifying rounds to be in the Deaflympics—that her four years of hard work has been all for naught. Yang Yang apologizes again, saying that it was all her fault. Xiao Peng is extremely upset, saying that Yang Yang still doesn’t get it. Sure, Xiao Peng is upset about not being able to swim, but she’s most upset because all Yang Yang’s sacrifices were also for naught. Xiao Peng knows how hard Yang Yang has to work to be able to support the both of them, but Xiao Peng can’t even earn a gold medal for her sister. It boils down to the fact that Xiao Peng feels as if she’s a burden to Yang Yang, and is unable to contribute anything to their family. Yang Yang tells Xiao Peng that she is not, and has never been, a burden; that in the next life, she would still want Xiao Peng as a sister.
After their argument is settled, Yang Yang goes online to see that Tian Kuo has messaged her, but also sends a response to something she never said. She asks if he’s got the wrong girl, and he responds that he is tired but really misses her, so he imagined that she said she really missed him too, and he wrote a response to that in order for him to go to sleep peacefully. He also asks her if she is worried about the hearing impairment issue between them… But she signs off, and he’s left staring at a picture of her as his screensaver and dreams of kissing her.
The next day, Yang Yang and Xiao Peng go to a museum to watch herons and waterbirds. Xiao Peng reminds Yang Yang of their childhood, and how she used to run along the beach like a heron. Yang Yang tells her sister that a boy once told her the same thing. Xiao Peng guesses it’s Tian Kuo, but Yang Yang tells Xiao Peng she doesn’t plan on dating Tian Kuo because he is also deaf. Wait—what???
Xiao Peng asks if it’s because of her—that Yang Yang wants to focus all her energy on protecting Xiao Peng and therefore doesn’t think she’ll have time or energy to care for Tian Kuo as well? Yang Yang looks upset, because she knows that the case. It’s Xiao Peng’s turn to act like the older sister and take charge—she tells Yang Yang that she needs to learn to trust that Xiao Peng is capable of caring for herself. Once Yang Yang has learned to let go, she can open her arms to embrace Tian Kuo. Xiao Peng tells her sister that one day, she hopes to see Yang Yang fly free and happily like a heron, unbound to any responsibilities or burdens—and when that day comes, Xiao Peng will be extremely happy for Yang Yang.
Tian Kuo returns to the restaurant after bento deliveries, and gets a packet with pictures of food and some money.
He realizes it’s from Yang Yang and starts to chase after her, but then glumly returns to the restaurant. His parents tell him to chase her, but he says even if he chased her, his parents wouldn’t accept her anyway, so what’s the point.
His parents can tell that he really loves the girl, so his mom suggests to his dad that they sign up for some sign-language classes…implying that they’re willing to accept Yang Yang! Tian Kuo is ecstatic and runs off to find her.
Tian Kuo gets to the pool as Yang Yang has dunked her head underwater, so he starts having an imaginary conversation with her again behind her back.
She lifts her head up just as he says, “Yang Yang, I want to invite you over to my house for dinner, is that okay?” And in a higher voice, he pretends she responds, “Why?” Him: “Because I want to introduce you to my parents.” Her: “Why?” Him: “Because I like you; I want to be your boyfriend.” He leans in to pretend to kiss her, just as she turns around to face him.
He’s embarrassed and freaks out, so he jumps in the pool and swims to the other end. Hahahaha! He finally gets out and walks back to her. In reality, he says the same thing as his imaginary conversation, and she asks the same questions, but instead of telling her he loves her, he says, “Because I want to help you find a job at my family’s restaurant.”
The next day, Tian Kuo drives the two to his restaurant, and his parents are all dressed up and formal as if they were attending a wedding, loll…
So they sit down, and the dad brings out a notepad. Written on it are introductions, as well as comments on how Tian Kuo and Yang Yang are meant to be because they are so similar.
They are both hard-working, optimistic, cute, out-going, good to parents, kind, etc. and they end it with, “So, will you marry him?” Hahahahaha!
What a proposal! Extremely embarrassed, Tian Kuo whispers to his parents that she’s not even his girlfriend yet! His parents try to whisper back that it’s okay, but Yang Yang interrupts them and says, “I do.” Dumbfounded, excuse my pun :D, they all stare at her.
Tian Kuo: Aren’t you deaf?
Yang Yang: No, I can hear.
Tian Kuo: Then how come you never said?!
Yang Yang: You never asked me…
Tian Kuo: But I’m sure I’ve spoken in front of you before!
Yang Yang: Yeah…yesterday. But technically, you weren’t talking in front of me, you were behind me.
Tian Kuo: You heard it all? Then how come you still lied to me?
Yang Yang: But you weren’t truthful either, I asked you why you wanted to introduce me to your parents and you said you wanted to help me find a job.
Yang Yang admits that she likes Tian Kuo too, and Tian Kuo’s parents are thrilled.
The two go to Yang Yang’s house to hang out and talk through things, and she asks how he know sign-language. He said he learned in college, and she says he must’ve been a very good student. He admits that it was only after meeting her that he went back and started refreshing his sign-language. He leans in to try to kiss her, but she bolts upright and says that she used to hate sign-language—until her sister asked her if the piano sounded beautiful. From then on, she worked harder than ever to learn sign-language so she could describe to Xiao Peng all the beautiful sounds of the world. Tian Kuo says that he knows that feeling, because he too wanted to allow Yang Yang to understand the sound of rainfall, because he believed that it was the sound of longing.
She envelops him in a super-hug, and he notices the other heron coin banks. She said that every time she thought of him, she’d put a coin in, and over time, it filled up and she had to buy new ones. She lets him go for a second, and then hugs him again, grateful for everything.
Afterwards, Xiao Peng tells Yang Yang that she is temporarily quitting the team and finding a job to help with the family expenses. Yang Yang tells her that she doesn’t need to worry about money, but Xiao Peng is adamant and has a clear plan in mind. During this time, she will continue to practice and prepare for the next qualifying rounds, as she finds a job to support herself—because she cannot win gold medals forever.
In the end, Yang Yang and Tian Kuo are watching on and cheering hard as Xiao Peng warms up and gets ready for a swim meet—assuming it’s the qualifying rounds for the Deaflympics.