When we returned back in England we agreed that we should not see each other the following week. Just not to annoy Barbara's mother. Five days later Barbara phoned me and asked me if I could please come to visit her at Addenbrooke's Hospital.

There she told me that her mother had seen the Iranian girl in Cambridge while we were on holiday. The girl was so startled that she confessed that the holiday was fake. This way her mother found out that her daughter had a boyfriend and that she had gone on holiday with this boyfriend and also that the boyfriend was not Chinese.

Things must have gone completely out of hand that Friday when Barbara came home. I don't know what exactly happened but Barbara had to swear she would never see me again. The following Monday evening, when her mother was playing mahjong outdoors, Barbara swallowed the contents of a bottle of sleeping pills. Luckily her mother came home in time. Barbara was rushed to the hospital where her stomach was emptied.

I couldn't believe what I heard. In hospital we talked about what to do now. I asked her to come and stay in my parent's house, just like Heather stayed there, we had enough spare rooms. I told her that I could even persuade my parents to take financially care of her. But Barbara didn't want to leave her family and assured me that everything would be alright now and that I didn't have to worry. But that she would understand if I wanted to leave her now. I told her that I didn't want to leave her and that I was going to stay in England for her (My mother got homesick, therefore my parents decided to go back to Holland coming summer. They assumed that I would go with them. Barbara knew this, but we never talked about it.)

I was interviewed by social worker. She told me that this was a classical case of a suicide situation which she encountered before. But there was nothing she could do about it if Barbara or her family didn't want to be helped.

Barbara's mother and uncle agreed that Barbara was allowed to see me again.

I don't think that the pictures we took during the holiday were ever developed.

 

 

第一次

当我们回到英格兰后,我和翁美玲都决定我们下个礼拜最好都不要互相再见面了。因为我们不想再惹恼她的母亲。五天过后,翁美玲给我打电话,问我能不能来安登布克的医院来看望她。

在那里,翁美玲告诉我,当我们在度假时她的母亲在剑桥校园里碰巧见到了那个伊朗女孩。那个伊朗女孩也吓了一跳,并且向她母亲承认,所谓的学校组织的文化旅行完全是假的。翁美玲母亲这才发现,她的女儿有了个男朋友,她和男朋友两人独自去度假去了,并且那个男朋友不是个中国人。当翁美玲周五晚回到家中,事情一定超出了想象。我不知道到底发生了什么事情,只是翁美玲不得不发誓以后不会再见我了。第二周的星期一晚上,当翁美玲的妈妈在室外打麻将时,翁美玲服下了房间里放的整瓶的安眠药。幸运的是,她妈妈及时回到了房间,翁美玲被紧急送到了医院去洗胃。

我不能相信我所听到的。我和翁美玲谈了谈我们现在应该做些什么。我希望她能来我父母的房子里住。就像希瑟一样住在我们家。我们家里有足够的房间。我告诉翁美玲,我甚至能迫使我父母在经济上帮助她。但是翁美玲不想离开她的家庭,并且让我相信,一切都会好起来的,我没必要担心什么。但是她知道也许我会离开她。我告诉她,我不会离开她,我将为了她留在英格兰。(我妈妈得了思乡病,因此我的父母觉得在暑假来临时搬回荷兰住,我父母设想我也会跟着他们回荷兰。翁美玲知道这个事情,但我们从未提起过此事)。

一名社会服务人员告诉我,翁美玲的服安眠药行为是典型的自杀例子,这种例子她也碰到过许多。如果翁美玲或是她的家庭不想接受帮助,那她真的是没有什么可以做的。

翁美玲的妈妈和叔叔同意她能够再与我相见。

我想那些旅行照片没有被冲洗出来。

 

(translated by Zhi)

 

Comments   

# RE: The first timeGuest 2010-06-29 23:04
So sad to read this title, knowing what "the last time" means. :sad:

She couldn't fight with her family, because in a Chinese family, discipline is enforced through affection, not violence.
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# RE: The first timeGuest 2010-07-01 13:41
This is quite the shocker. I had no idea. Sad indeed. I can't thank you enough Rob for sharing with us.
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# Re: The first timeGuest 2010-07-01 14:24
Yes, agreed with Barfan, this is Chinese Family, She must be take care her mother feeling ...couldn't fight with accepted.
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# RE: The first timeGuest 2010-07-01 14:25
Quoting candace:
Yes, agreed with Barfan, this is Chinese Family, She must be take care her mother feeling ...couldn't fight only accepted.

sorry typing error
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# RE: The first timeGuest 2010-07-01 18:29
Being a obedient and loving Chinese daughter DOES NOT mean that you cannot "reason" with your mother. Both mothers and daughters have equal responsibilites. Living in "unreasonable fear of your parents" is not healthy. Since Barbara seem like a responsible person (studying hard and working in family business), she has proven herself worthy of making "good judgement calls". I don't think her mother should keep pushing Barbara like that. Dominating your daughter is not the right way to bring up a child. As we can see the ending, her "mother's way of bringing up children" FAILED Barabara.
Barbara should have stand up for herself.!
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# RE: RE: The first timeGuest 2010-07-01 23:16
Life's hard for both Barbara and her dear Mom. Loss of father, moving to a new country, living off a tiny restaurant (I saw it today, and I was shocked at how small it is)... This isn't a usual family, so it shouldn't be judged as one.

I am in no position to judge the Mom, but if you ask me, I would say she did an excellent job. Who else do you think that brings Barbara all her charm? As to what exactly causes Barbara's tendency toward suicides, probably only God himself has the right to speak.

The last thing I want to do is to argue with anything or anyone here on Rob's website. But I really can't help when seeing the poor Mom is blamed, after she is already hurt so deeply by life's cruelty. There is another post somewhere on this website blaming the Mom with words like 'she deserves it living lonely'. I am speechless.
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# RE: The first timeGuest 2010-07-01 18:36
By the way, I am Chinese too. I love my mother very much and vice versa. My mother is "very traditional- old China woman style". I have college education, very hardworking, and I can make sound judgements. I always "point things out" to my mother in areas which I think my mother needs help herself. My mum had no education BUT we got along very well.
a) I listen to her b) She listens to me as well. Being a obedient Chinese daughter DOES NOT mean you DO AS YOU ARE TOLD - like a "door mat"!.
Mothers and daughters should have MUTUAL RESPECT.
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# A connectionGuest 2010-07-04 08:17
It was interesting that played the role of Wong Yung and had similar problems in the trilogy of The Legend of the Condor Heroes. The character she played trusted and loved Kwok Jing, but her father Wong Yuerk See doesn't approve it. There was a scene in "West Heretic/East Venom" of the trilogy where Wong Yung and Wong Yuerk See discuss love, parental guidance, and happiness. This scene and many others really connect real personality.

Thanks for posting again. This one was actually very touching!
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# love storyGuest 2010-07-05 15:06
it is so touching. i am a hong kong chinese.
i love your story...
boy you still miss you, this is so touching.
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# RE: The first timeGuest 2010-07-13 02:24
So sad ... :sad:
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# RE: The first timeGuest 2010-07-13 02:25
i cried for you :cry:
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# the first timeGuest 2010-07-30 14:05
as a chinese person myself, my parents were strict and they will always take notice of who my friends are and that. i just don't like it when they suspected me and talked for hours about it, you could almost imagine the outcome, if they found out
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# I agree with you BarfanGuest 2010-09-13 20:53
I agree with Barfan about the stict traditional parenting also bring out the charm. It is very inconvenient but it is true. I was like her when I was in high school, and still do find the traditionally brought-up Indian girls in the classical indian dance classes very charming.
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# RE: The first timeGuest 2010-09-13 20:58
The problem with the isolated & strict upbringing though, is that a person brough up this way is usually NOT prepared for dealing with real-life relationships or situations. There is a tendency for emotional fragility and seeing life through a romanticized filter, which is great for being an artist and with one's true love. But when things don't go well, it can be terribly crushing!
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# RE suicideGuest 2010-12-14 02:24
well, now its clear that she did got a suicidattempt from the past, this will probably increase the chance of suicide that cause her life. She seemed to be a very emotional girl, and easy to be heartbroken if her relationship got broken.
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# Re: the first timeMelanie from USA 2011-09-23 03:09
I think Barbara suffered from some emotional problems due to loss of father,no sibling,lonely and stuggle immigration life in the early life. If at that time her mother and she accepted the social worker's help such as counseling, it might helped Barbara build a healther mental and emotional life, the tradgy would not happened later on. But I would not blame her mother because most of Chinese don't go to counseling even today, needless to say in the 1970's.
After I read all the series, I have no doubt that her mother loved her but i feel that her mother didn't really understand her. She even didn't try to know what her daughter wanted and what was the best for her daughter. However, on the other hand, i don't blame her mother, because she had to take care of the resteraut to support their life. She might not have time to understand her daughter's world. I remember my parents worked so hard to bring up four kids, they don't even have time to understand the kids' thoughts.
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# RE: The first time (1977)Mickey 2012-05-31 17:01
I was crying when I read the article.So sad
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# 感动王力峰 2013-02-07 10:32
看了你的文章很被你感动 翁美玲没有看错你这个男朋友
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# Felixxueming 2013-02-10 15:56
There are many years passed, you still keep in mind of Barbara and recur the details you have experienced.
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# 感动翁迷 2013-05-07 09:00
翁美玲是被他们家逼急了,可见她对你的感情有多深,是个一往情深的好女孩
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# 怀念阿翁想你的365天万卫明 2014-12-10 07:58
我想无论时光怎么流失,你[youtube]800[/youtube]那甜美笑永远映在广大影迷心中
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# RE: 10. The first time 第一次 (1977)Ann 2017-05-04 09:28
很高兴翁美玲曾经有你这样的男朋友,还有你那温馨的家庭也曾让她感到温暖,我也从中体会到西方平等文化和中国家长制传统的区别!
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# Romeo and JulietMissy_Leo 2017-10-15 18:23
I looked at your old photos, especially those taken in Italy, and Barbara reminded me so much of Zeffirelli's Juliet, shy and a bit naive but very bold in love. The two of you were Romeo and Juliet. You were probably her first love and it must have been intense. First love is forever. First love pales other loves. I'm glad you were once Barbara's forever. Unfortunately, Chinese parents tend to have prejudice against western men, thinking they aren't the faithful type. I never liked Kent when I was little. He often played the bad guy, the coward. I didn't know she had attempted suicide before. Now I couldn't help but think if she had committed her last suicide in the UK rather than Hong Kong, she might not have died ...
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