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Chapter 32: Chu Yuan Jiang’s Depression


I began to pay attention to Chu Yuan Jiang’s mental state. After careful observation I did notice something strange. He had been too quiet recently. When we lived together in the past, we always bantered with each other. Even though we were no longer kids, it’s still weird that he become so taciturn.

I felt a bit worried. I asked the private doctor to come and give Chu Yuan Jiang a careful examination in the weekend. In front of Chu Yuan Jiang, the doctor told him to rest more; after the examination, he pulled me aside, “Has he been in a bad mood recently?”

I was unable to answer him immediately. I had been pretty blithe recently. “Not really. He just doesn’t talk much.”

“Does he react quickly?”

“He… He often stares blankly at the flowers.”

“I suspect that he is slightly depressed.”

“No way. He often smiles at me.”

“His body is not recovering well. The red blood cells, protein and vitamin in his body has been low since he left the hospital. Now a minor flu can strike him down.”

“Then… Can you give him some medicines?”

“Give him morphine? Depression is a psychological issue, chemicals will only make it worse.”

I checked on him who was watching TV on the sofa. “But I really don’t think there’s anything wrong with him. He is fine. I come back to cook for him every night, and he eats a lot.”

“Do you communicate with him a lot?”

“Not a lot. I usually come back very late. He is staying at home jobless now, so I don’t want to upset him by talking about my job.”

“Look.” The doctor lifted his chin and pointed at his back.

“He is not watching the TV. He is in a trance. Have you not noticed? Besides, his reaction is slowed.”

“Should I take him to a psychologist?”

“It’s mild now. You can try cheering him up first. Some people have antipathy against therapists.”

After sending the doctor away, I felt I had to talk to him heart to heart, “Yuan Jiang, to be honest, are you hiding something from me?”

He answered calmly, “I have nothing to hide. On the contrary, you keep acting stealthily and talking nonsense about the great people. I can only ask you, not interrogate you.”。”

I was shocked. I didn’t expect him to go so far at one blow, so I decided to confide as well, “What do you want to know? I will answer exactly what you ask today.”

“…I don’t want to ask you anymore.”

“Why not?”

He raised his eyes and stared at me, “Junzi, in the past I was your umbrella. As long as you enjoy a luxurious and carefree life, I was happy. But now I am just fed by you. Other than eating and sleeping everyday, I have nothing to do like a dead man. This is tormenting my heart. I have no self-worth living like this. But neither do I want to turn down your kindness.

Even though Han Dong is dead, but that incident was spread out. Call me glass hearted, call me petty if you want, but I just can’t get over it. And you still work for Lin Ye everyday. I can’t bear this!

Junzi, I know you have done a lot for me. You even sold your company. When I woke up in the hospital and saw you at the first sight, I almost cried, but my heart was warm. At that time I was so lucky to have you there, otherwise I might not have made it. But sometimes I felt it would be much easier if I was shot dead early on.

I know you don’t deserve this, but I don’t deserve this either. To be frank, Junzi, we are never the same type of people. I am a burden for you, and I don’t feel comfortable about this either.”

“What are you talking about? What burden?” I replied hastily, “Didn’t we live together in the past too? Didn’t I wash your clothes and cook for you too in the past? What’s wrong with our current life? We are still treating your legs. It’s not like it’s incurable. On my part, I didn’t sign my life away to Lin Ye. Even if I did, I definitely can think of ways to escape from it. Now we are just waiting for your body to get better, and your sentence to be reduced, then we can start a new life. I can take care of you, and we can do anything we want. What’s wrong with that?”

Chu Yuan Jiang lifted the corner of his lips slightly, but his eyes were cold, and carrying a hint of sorrow, “I am being honest with you here. If we didn’t go separate paths and thus hang out less, we would have fallen out long ago. There was nothing you have done that I liked; and every thing I did was boring to you. Sooner or later we would look down upon each other. Do you think I make sense?”

Then what do you want? I will listen to you completely!”

“What’s left for me to ask for? We are both at other people’s mercy! Now to live is to suffer!”

“Then why are you still talking? Why can’t you just put up with it?”

“Haven’t I been putting up with it? It was you that asked me about that today. What were you babbling with that doctor in the room just now? Do you think I am an idiot? That I can’t guess? I know whether you are going to pee or poo once you take down your pants!”

I laughed bitterly, but soon fell silent again. After a long silence, I suggested, “Hey, if we can go aboard would that solve the problem? What do you think?

He looked at me, and I continued, “They have good doctors. Once we are aboard, we will be free. We can do whatever we want. How about earning money like we did when we were teenagers?”

He hesitated, and spoke slowly, “I have never been abroad.”

“There are Chinatowns. It’s the same as here, and the Chinese community speaks Chinese. No one knows you or me. We can cure your legs, and start over.”

He just looked dazed and kept his mouth shut.

I knew that his heart was coming alive.

“Will that work?” He asked me.

“Of course. How can you not trust me?”

He paused, then said, “From now on, spend three days every week at home with me, and buy me a walking stick. I need to practice walking.”

“Sure.”

“Don’t go to Lin Ye’s place all the time.”

“I am under his eaves[1]…but it’s not gonna be like this for very long….”


Footnotes:

[1]A Chinese saying “Being under the eaves, dare one not low his head.”


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