Chapter 14: Countdown
When I woke up once again, it was already night time.
Fang Xieyi and Xiao Lu were both beside me.
I was more clear-minded this time round. I asked, “What happened to me?”
Xiao Lu kindly stretched his hand over to arrange my hair before consoling me, saying, “You’re fine.”
I looked up at Fang Xieyi. Hewas leaning near the window, enjoying the night breeze with grace. He turned his head to look at me and said faintly, “You fainted just now.”
The wind might have been a little cold as he pulled up his collar before continuing, “Stop moving about so much thinking that you’re already completely safe from death.”
I blanked out for a moment before I recalled. Although my suicide attempt had failed, I was still terminally ill.
I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. It seems like god was still not done messing with me!
“The doctor says that it’s better to have the operation done as soon as possible…” Xiao Lu looked at me, his eyes shining like a pure and kind fawn.
Fine, let’s do it. We have already overcome the most arduous issue. Surely there will be no problem with the operation.
I remember that they have already found a suitable donor. Please don’t tell me that something went wrong with that and turn my current revival into my final moments in life.
Even if god wanted to mess with me, he wouldn’t do it this way. It’s too uncreative.
(Orange: Even if I wanted to mess with you, I wouldn’t do it this way either. It’s indeed too uncreative.)
“Then let’s get it done soon. I can do it. Are there any issues?” Isn’t it just replacing my bone marrow with someone else’s? Although it sounded a little disgusting, I’m still righteous and brave.
“Xiao Heng…” Xiao Lu was still looking at me pitifully like a fawn, not knowing how to continue.
“Xiao Heng.” Fang Xieyi said, “It’s not so simple. What if your body rejects it? Have you ever thought about it?”
Of course I hadn’t. Although leukemia was a terminal illness, I always thought that we can start celebrating after we found a suitable bone marrow donor. Didn’t Xia Mingxiu survive this way as well?
“Based on your condition, the success rate is only 50%.” Fang Xieyi was expressionless, but he unconsciously started looking for his cigarette. “If there’s a rejection, you’re finished. If you take good care of yourself, you might drag on for another three to five years…”
Ha. So there was still something like this.
So it wasn’t the time to celebrate yet.
I was secretly starting to feel guilty. I’m a kind and righteous person, I didn’t do that many harmful acts. Why is it that there are so many issues in my life? It’s making the people around me live their days in anxiety.
Three to five years… I’m such a greedy person. Naturally, three to five years would not be enough to satisfy me. However, right before me lay two choices. A three to five years of remaining life, or a long remaining life that came with a possibility of immediate death due to the rejection of the bone marrow.
Both the choices are a tasteless gamble.
If I choose to live my remaining three to five years, Luo Yuchen will definitely treat me with lots of love and take good care of me. I will be waited upon and live very happily. However, this will definitely be very painful to the people around me
I’m still not selfish to that extent.
What about a long remaining life? Everyone would think that it is definitely much better than just three to five years, but it also meant that more variables exist.
Who knows how long the remainder of your life will be. Can you guarantee that a comet wouldn’t strike the earth tomorrow? Can you guarantee that people will still treat you the same no matter how much time has passed, even till death when facing your not exactly charming face that is aging every day?
To add on, there’s a 50% chance that you will die straight away.
Both the choices given to me were dissatisfying and they still had the cheek to let me choose.
“Where’s Luo Yuchen?” I asked. Now that I think of him, I realised that I haven’t seen him around ever since I woke up.
“Sitting outside.” Xiao Lu humphed unhappily.
“Xiao Lu chased him out.” Fang Xieyi said with a smile, “I will call him in.”
Xiao Lu was obviously unhappy with Fang Xieyi’s action. He wanted to ask him to stop, but didn’t.
There were bruises on Luo Yuchen’s face. He came in and walked towards my bed with a lowered head and said softly, “Xiao Heng, I’m sorry.”
I was unable to control the pain in my heart. I pulled him down immediately and hugged him.
Who was it who dared to hurt the face of our celebrity Luo? Was he not afraid of being besieged by the fans?
He buried his head onto my neck and nuzzled slowly like a gentle kitten.
The wound on his face must have been given by Xiao Lu and Fang Xieyi after I fainted. They must have felt that I fainted because of the fierce Luo Yuchen.
It was clearly not his fault, why do these people always use him to vent? Why did Luo Yuchen bear the misunderstanding and harm when it was clearly not his fault?
Xiao Lu was feeling indignant as he looked at me dote on Luo Yuchen. Fang Xieyi leaned against the window and looked towards the sky, which was very clear.
I said softly beside Luo Yuchen’s ear, “Luo Yuchen, I will undergo the operation.”
He nodded his head strongly, causing a bumping sound as his head hit my shoulder bone.
I continued, “After I recover, you can only be with me. Every day, you have to eat the food I cook and drink the tea and milk I make. You have to kiss me once a day. You’re not allowed to randomly go out with someone else. You’ve got to be back home before midnight. You can switch on the table lamp when we sleep at night.
He desperately knocked his head onto my shoulders as if pounding garlic. Then, I finally felt scalding drops of water flowing down my shoulder.
The operation is scheduled on Sunday, one week after I woke up. No one had any objections.
My thoughts were simple. I wanted to quickly recover so that I didn’t have to see Luo Yuchen’s forced smile everyday.
If I was asked whether anything has happened during the one week wait, it would be that Xia Mingxiu has visited me once.
When he came, Luo Yuchen was helping me buy some biscuits from the supermarket while Xiao Lu and Fang Xieyi went for lunch. Xia Mingxiu seemed relieved not having to see Luo Yuchen.
He sat facing me. I still felt awkward, perhaps because we hadn’t been close or because of our many years of entanglement.
I definitely had to apologize to him, but I’llwait till I have fully recovered. If I say it now, it will be difficult to distinguish the implications of my words. After all, a person on his deathbed tends to say words which rid them of their guilt and pain. It wouldn’t be as sincere and meaningful.
Xia Mingxiu was also feeling uneasy. I think he might be worried that I will doubt his reason for visiting me.
I’m no longer the same narrow-minded and paranoid me.
“Thank you for visiting me.” This sentence could either be just a polite sentence or heartfelt words. Right now, these are my heartfelt words.
Xia Mingxiu probably understood. He smiled shyly and looked around the room uneasily.
“I should have come earlier.” Xia Mingxiu lowered his head slightly. Smiling apologetically, he continued, “I just felt embarrassed and a little afraid to see you. Please don’t mind it.”
The one who should be embarrassed is me.
“I have realised a long time ago. If I hadn’t been so selfish and instead pointed out to Luo Yuchen earlier, you guys wouldn’t have…” He reminisced about the past with a lowered head, as if he was the one in the wrong. He said, “I have been feeling very guilty ever since I learned about your accident.”
“Xia Mingxiu, it isn’t your fault.” I said.
Xia Mingxiu, you’re just too kind. Why are you the one feeling guilty?
You shouldn’t be suffering for mistakes you didn’t commit, and you definitely don’t need to be responsible for a mistake you didn’t commit.
“No, it’s my fault.” Xia Mingxiu hooked the corner of his lips up and forced out a smile as he said, “Since the beginning, you have been the one who was truly able to affect Luo Yuchen’s feelings. It has always been very clear to me. Luo Yuchen treated me gently and well out of habit. He was never angry with me except when it was related to you. To be honest, I’m very envious…”
That’s right. On the other hand, Luo Yuchen was often angry with me. He often turned violent and was fierce all day long. However, I wasn’t expecting Xia Mingxiu to feel envious of Luo Yuchen treating me badly while I was pitifully jealous of Luo Yuchen treating Xia Mingxiu well.
“He likes you, yet he doesn’t realise it himself and is unwilling to admit to it. Actually, it’s also painful for him. He doesn’t know just what is wrong, so he could only pick on you with all he’s got. As long as it’s something you’ve done, whether right or wrong, his reaction will all be over exaggerated.
Is that why he treats me so badly and violently?
Xia Mingxiu’s explanation actually makes sense.
I thought I understood Luo Yuchen. After all, I understood his temperament, taste and mannerism. However, Xia Mingxiu was able to analyze Luo Yuchen more rationally than me. He traced Luo Yuchen’s actions to the root cause to understand him.
“Did you know? Luo Yuchen has never truly loved anyone before you.”
Never truly loved before? I don’t agree with this sentence. Xia Mingxiu has actually equated their wonderful relationship to ‘never loved before’.
Things have changed as time passes. We no longer have to cover up our past ten years.
Although it’s painful, it’s already in the past.
Seeing my doubtful eyes, Xia Mingxiu smiled helplessly and said, “A youth’s moment of confusion doesn’t count. When I appeared, you’re already there. I have known I will never be able to intrude.”
“Luo Yuchen is actually very innocent, to the point he didn’t understand his own feelings.” Xia Mingxiu smiled with slight regret and relief.
“Afterwards, he came to find me asking to live together. He was clearly unable to bear with his feelings for you. At that time, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. He clearly cares for you, yet he was so afraid he foolishly chose to escape.
Xia Mingxiu continued speaking. As I listened to his voice, my sight slowly moved outside the window. The afternoon sun of May is warm. It shone lazily on the treetop, lighting up the quiet green.
A very long time seems to have passed and many things have happened. Luo Yuchen has changed. I have changed. However, Xia Mingxiu who’s in front of me is still the same as ten years ago. Looking at him, I thought quietly, why was he able to stay the same as before?
“The gravest mistake I’ve made was the fact that I didn’t tell him. I thought I could be like you. If I lived with him, he may fall in love with me unknowingly, just like he had done so with you as time passes. That was my wishful thinking at that time.”
“Xiao Heng, I’m sorry.” He said once again.
His black eyes were bright, firm and pure, just the same as before.
I shook my head. There was no need to apologize to me. His choice wasn’t wrong. If I was Xia Mingxiu, I would have taken the same path.
Or I should say that I haven taken this path before Xia Mingxiu had. I took the path for ten years.
The afternoon sunlight was wasted. The two of us faced each other at a loss of words similar to all the love rivals forced to sit together. But in actual fact, we were appreciating each other in our hearts.
Because we were both chasing after the same person, we suffered the same pain and we were both similarly foolish.
“Xiao Heng, you will recover.” Xia Mingxiu said.
En. I will work hard to learn from you and don’t let it defeat me.
Outside the window was a large patch of green. I could only see the trees, but I assume that the grass is blooming with flowers of May.
Death doesn’t suit such a beautiful season.
Therefore, I will work hard not to smear the bright spring with defeat.
Xia Mingxiu felt around his pocket for a moment. He pulled out a small golden coloured sachet hesitantly and passed it to me.
I knew that it was definitely a protective talisman. Such a small object was always carrying too heavy a prayer.
Regardless of whether it could carry the prayer or not, it always represented a beautiful thing. That was what people need to truly appreciate.
“This is something from ten years ago.” He said, “It protected me back then, I’m giving it to you now.”
It has been ten years. I looked at the sachet before me, which still looked clean and new. It must have been well kept with extreme care.
“Luo Yuchen gave it to you.” I stated. It was a question that didn’t need an answer.
“Please don’t mind it…” Xia Mingxiu’s face reddened. He said in embarrassment, “I don’t mean anything else.”
Of course I knew.
I knew how precious it was to Xia Mingxiu. Such a small sachet contained his many years of yearning and memories. It contained all of teenage Luo Yuchen’s heartfelt feelings from ten years ago. It was something Xia Mingxiu always cherished from the bottom of his heart.
Now, he was giving it to me.
Giving the sachet to me was similar to Xia Mingxiu giving the person whom he had poured all his most precious feelings on to me.
“I will cherish it.” I said to Xia Mingxiu seriously as I received the sachet solemnly.
I will cherish this blessing and that person.
You should cherish yourself too. Everyone should be happy.
Xia Mingxiu didn’t come again on the actual day of the operation. He flew to an island on the other side of earth. He might currently be staring at a turtle in a daze.
I think he will find a place to quietly recover.
Then, he will return before us one day, smiling once again like nothing has happened.
I wasn’t wearing anything except the patient gown as I prepared to enter the operation theater.
I wasn’t used to wearing only outerwear with nothing inside.
All of us didn’t know what to say. Inside the empty room, there were only the chairs and four people. It was very quiet.
Xiao Lu sat there without saying anything. Fang Xieyi ignored the ‘no smoking’ notice and started smoking while leaning against the window. Luo Yuchen held on to my right hand tightly. The atmosphere was so quiet and oppressive, as if something was going to break loose. It made me feel like I was heading to an execution ground.
The atmosphere was too oppressive, I couldn’t help trying to lighten the mood. I said honestly, “Ah, I feel a little nervous…”
“It’s not like we’re asking you to go hold a concert!” Xiao Lu gave me a glare, strongly disdaining my weak mental fortitude.
Well sorry for my weak mental fortitude. There’s a 50% for me to live. Why do all of you look like you’re holding my living funeral?
Right now, I have a strong urge to ask Luo Yuchen if he has anything to say to me. I don’t mean anything by it. I just felt that he was too abnormally quiet. However, I didn’t dare to ask. If I ask, I’m afraid that it will really turn into the final words before my end. I’m also scared that I will make him cry.
I wouldn’t be able to take it. Although Luo Yuchen had a tough shell, he was very soft inside. I’m most afraid of seeing him cry. If he cried, it meant that he was hurt so much the pain has cut through his tough outer shell into his heart.
However, he was really too quiet. I looked at him worriedly and stretched my hand to touch his hair.
My other hand was caught by him too. Holding onto both my hands, he brought me into his embrace. After I was stable in my position, he started unfastening the silver object hanging on his neck.
I knew that he had my ring hanging on his neck.
I guessed that he wanted to help me put on the ring. It was very obvious and his subsequent action proved that my guess wasn’t wrong.
To my surprise, however, there was not one, but two rings on the chain necklace.
He helped me put on my ring. It was a perfect fit.
Then, he put on the other ring on his own finger. It fit as well.
I looked at the ring on his hand. It matched the ring on me, but I still felt doubtful.
I thought you had forgotten where you threw it?
“It was in the box.” Sensing my doubt, Luo Yuchen lowered his head and answered with some difficulty.
Box? What box?
“It’s for the earring you gave me. I have always been wearing it for the past ten years, so the box has been empty…” Luo Yuchen looked into my eyes. Smiling apologetically, he said, “One day, I found this ring inside the box. I don’t know when it went in there…”
I remember the exquisite amethyst box used to hold the earring. When I received the box, I even scorned Xiao Lu, asking him whether the box or the earring looked better, that the actual thing I was buying was more inferior.
Because it looked so exquisite, I couldn’t bear to throw it out. Therefore, it was placed in one corner of the glass cabinet used to display decoratives.
The lost ring had been in there.
It definitely wasn’t placed there by me. I always remember where I place something. Luo Yuchen always threw his stuff around and threw the ring to a good place.
It was originally used to hold the earring I forced him to wear. Now, it is holding on to the ring that symbolizes our love and oath?
That doesn’t sound bad. I feel that this is a very good sign.
The lone earring has finally become a pair of rings.
The rings were simpler, a tad uglier, and a little lacking in taste and design compared to the earring, but it was much warmer and peaceful.
I feel that I can be with Luo Yuchen like this forever.
Then, it was finally time to enter the execution ground.
I let out a long breath. Then, I looked outside the window. The sun was shining brightly and the trees were unmoving. Very good. There wasn’t any strong wind and cold rain.
Luo Yuchen didn’t cry unkemptly while holding on to me. Neither did he refuse to let me go while hugging me.
Of course he didn’t. We weren’t parting forever.
When I looked back, he smiled and waved at me.
Hence, I followed the doctor in without worry.
“Xiao Heng.” He called me.
I looked back again.
He said, “Xiao Heng. When you’re back, teach me how to cook.”
I smiled and asked, “You really want to learn?”
He nodded his head affirmatively.
I said, “Alright.”
I lay down on the slightly cold surgical bed and felt the anesthesia slowly traveling throughout my body. I felt like I had a dream.
It was a very long and absurd dream. I couldn’t remember most of the content.
In my dream, I was still me and Luo Yuchen was still himself. However, we didn’t seem to be in this era.
Because I saw him holding an elegant folding fan, looking back at me with a smile while standing in the air. The fragrance blew into my face when he opened his folding fan.
I was so pathetic. Immediately, blood rushed towards my brain. I stood there foolishly, and stared at him like an idiot.
Then, many things seem to have happened. Yet, I could only remember his alluring smile as he stood in the air.
I think we have already known each other for a very long time.
I loved Luo Yuchen so much, probably because I was infatuated with him for too long. Now that I think about it, it probably didn’t start from middle school. Instead, it may be an ill-fated relationship that has been set since our previous or previous previous lives.
If not, why else would it be so intense and persistent, as if the love was flowing out from our blood?
I think that we probably didn’t get together in our last life. Or else, why do I feel so sorrowful as I foolishly look at him when he is clearly smiling?
Last life… He probably wasn’t willing to love me…
Therefore, the strong yearning and sorrow was carved into my life the moment I was born. It led me to him and I fell in love with him once again. Finally, I made him fall in love with me.
Through the passage of time, we were no longer the same people as before.
Despite that, I continued looking for him and chasing after him. Not giving up even in the face of death, not turning back despite the obstacles.
Infatuation. This was Xiao Heng’s infatuation
Isn’t it foolish? Just like the Yu Gong moving the mountain, he continued moving and moving despite being unable to see any change or the wind and rain that came. Finally, one day he woke up and found that he had unknowingly moved God’s heart. The things he had never dared dream about or wish for were all suddenly in his hands.
I had thought he would be like Kuafu chasing after the sun, fated to die on his way there. Unexpectedly, the results turned out great and worth celebrating.
After the clouds drift away and the rain stops, the rainbow forms and the area is bright and clear. Afterwards, the flowers will bloom and the greenery will flourish.
Such an elegant phrase didn’t match my personality, but it was the only phrasing I could think of when I first woke up.
I feel that I have finally grabbed hold of all my happiness.
I had once given up my hope and pursuit.
Fortunately, I had a chance to restart.
Not everyone can experience such a miracle. The lucky me would probably never experience it a second time.
Therefore, I have to cherish it.
For those who have found, haven’t found, failed or are still searching, I wish that they don’t give up on hope and happiness.
Because, you will find it one day. Even if you can’t find it, you can wait. You can wait for it to come and knock on your door on its own.
I believe that God won’t give up on anyone.
I’m an example.
“Luo Yuchen…” I called him, secretly feeling happy, as I felt like a master ordering his slave around.
“What is it?” As expected, he ran over worriedly. Ever since I woke up, celebrity Luo has greatly displayed his slave attitude, answering all my questions and fulfilling all my needs.
“Hello.” I said.
It’s a hard earned chance to restart. Hello, beauty Luo. Please take care of me.
“Did your brain get damaged?” Luo Yuchen looked at me and said worriedly, “A bone marrow transplant shouldn’t affect one’s intelligence.”
I rolled my eyes.
Forget it. Luo Yuchen, who has never been perceptive in this area wouldn’t understand my current poetic heart’s lament.
Fawn – Fawn is also pronounced as Xiao Lu in Chinese but with a different ‘Lu’ so Xiao Heng kind of made a pun of Xiao Lu’s name.