Beibei has finally divorced Dabin, and put an end to the loveless, seven-year sham marriage. Her decision to marry Spring Ocean, a man who is 10 years younger, is the talk of the town. It shows the former playgirl is now ready to become a wife and mother. The wedding takes place on the roof of the Beijing Grand Hotel, overlooking the ancient Forbidden City as well as the neon-lighted commercial district. Beibei looks gorgeous in her Vivienne Tam red bridal cheongsam. Spring Ocean is wearing a $650 two-tone silk reversible Shanghai Tang jacket. The wedding consists of musicians, performance artists, and a DJ for entertainment. Celebrities and notables, from authors to movie stars, are seen in the crowd. Niuniu is invited by Beibei to be the master of ceremonies for the party. When people are seated, singer Lan Huahua, who Beibei represents, sings I Love You in different languages to the newly-weds. Lily, the popular Chinese zither player, performs Flowing Water on her 400-year-old guqin. Spring Ocean and his band play their new experimental piece, a Buddhist-like chant mixed with upbeat techno dance music. After the music, Niuniu goes around to greet everybody. CC returns from London. She has been promoted to the directorial level in a multinational PR company. But her problem has always been the same: she missed London when she was in China and now she misses China when she is in London. Here comes Feifei. He is Niuniu's family friend, the slacker who believes he is the last prince of the city. He is learned, but has no college degree and no steady job. But CC finds him charming as he tosses around names such as Tchaikovsky and Dostoyevsky. During the whole conversation, he has never mentioned money, which is rare in these circles. Nick, the expatriate Brit who dumped CC for another woman, Little Fang, who later dumped him for Sir William, is having a drink by himself. Niuniu learns that these days he is running a translation agency with a new young girl he is sleeping with. Nick is nearly more Chinese than British now. He often can be seen in the neighbourhood markets and food stalls, bargaining just like a local. Colorful Cloud has flown in alone from Missouri. The almost diva, almost actress, and certain legend in her own mind, in reality is a joke whispered about behind her back. Her claim to fame is that she has married her first husband's grandson. She hasn't changed at all as she asks Niuniu to introduce her to the young hunks in Spring Ocean's band. Lulu has just landed from Berkeley, California. She's tanned and happy. Even more than just happy, she looks thrilled and excited as she has a man beside her. He is cute and friendly. She takes Niuniu aside and says: 'My new date is an engineer. Science and technology people are smart but single-minded, which makes them good husbands I think.' 'Both you and Beibei are lucky today!' Niuniu says. 'Yes. I'm lucky. I have two men from California with me right now,' Lulu says. Niuniu replies: 'Double dating? I didn't know you'd be so liberalised this fast by living in Berkeley!' 'The other guy is for you,' says Lulu, winking at her and pointing towards the back of a tall man. As he turns around, Niuniu gasps as she sees him. John, with whom Niuniu was madly in love while she was in the US, now stands before her. He broke her heart by refusing to make a commitment. He was the real reason Niuniu had returned to China. Looking at him, a flood of cherished memories surges into her head. She remembers with clarity their shared moments of passion, love and pain. She doesn't know how Lulu located John, but she is overwhelmed by his presence. John breaks into one of his killer smiles. 'How are you Niuniu? I've been looking for you,' he says, his electric gaze filled with yearning. Upon seeing him, Niuniu realises that she has suppressed her memories of him. Her past is like a sleeping forest - silent, yet vast and deep. Without a way of saying goodbye to the past, can she really move on? Since coming to China, she's been a good listener for her friends, and a dedicated journalist who collects other people's stories. But what of her own? It's time to begin her own story; whether it's a continuation of the past or the start of a new chapter in her life. This is Annie Wang's final column. The book, People's Republic of Desire, a collection of these columns, will be published in the US next May. Annie would like to thank readers for their support and letters over the past two-and-a-half years.