Chapter 5: Silent Night
After sunset, the room darkened, and Luo Yuchen finally came back to his senses. He started searching through my luggage again.
Then, he found it — my wallet.
He took out everything containing information about my identity: my passport, driving license, credit card, membership card for the supermarket next to my previous home, and my library card.
After arranging all the documents in front of him, he found that the item we were both searching for was missing — my ID card.
If my ID card was there, he would have been able to confirm that I was coming back. However, it wasn’t there. But since my passport was present, he could only conclude that I was still in the country.
I didn’t know where my ID card had gone. Thinking about it, the only possibility was that Fang Xieyi took it away. I wasn’t very sure about the law regarding this, but ID cards most likely would have been returned to the government when someone died. There was no point in keeping them, and people might use them for illegal activities.
The sky already turned dark. Sensing that I wouldn’t be here, Luo Yuchen left dejectedly.
For some reason, he took my ring along.
Luo Yuchen was extremely quiet on the way back. It felt strange to me. I only realised his current state when he switched on the lights back at home.
His whole face appeared a ghastly white, and the colour of his lips was horrifying. I then remembered that he hadn’t eaten anything since this morning.
He was born with a weak stomach, but he didn’t know how to take care of himself. When he was young, he often had stomach pain. During the time I stayed with him, I meticulously took care of him every day. I constantly nagged and forced him to eat properly, so he got better. However, it had recurred again today.
What’s worse, he actually took out a can of ice-cold beer from the fridge and started drinking.
Young master, you’re having stomach pain. Did you think that you could suppress it with a cold drink?
I was furious. Did he simply lack common sense, or was he trying to torture himself?
Halfway through drinking, his stomach started protesting as expected. It felt so painful he shrunk into himself, and the beer fell onto the floor.
His back was bent, and his right hand clutched his abdomen. Cold sweat started forming on his forehead.
Wanting to help him, I instinctively went forward, but I went through his body instead. Seeing this, I felt ridiculous.
He painstakingly stumbled to the sofa and immediately curled into a ball. Both of his arms hugged his stomach, and he couldn’t help but groan.
As if he was drowning, he raised his head and sucked in large gulps of air. He sweated non-stop, and the veins on his neck could be seen. Since he was thin, I could clearly see his abdomen convulse from the outside. He kept hugging himself, clearly tortured by the pain.
I was very worried, but I couldn’t do anything. Xia Mingxiu was currently at L.A, and I couldn’t touch anything. The only thing I could hope for was for Luo Yuchen to call the doctor himself. However, Luo Yuchen was currently in too much pain and wasn’t in the condition to call for help.
I was like an ant on a hot pot. Luo Yuchen had actually fallen down from the sofa and was now writhing on the floor. I’ve never seen him in so much pain before, and I almost cried out of distress. His body convulsed, and he vomited, but barely anything came out. His face already turned a frightening white. I wished to hug him. I shouted at him, but it was all useless. I could only watch as he tossed around and suffered.
The pain continued, and his voice became hoarse from all his shouting. He had used up all his strength and just laid dazedly on the floor. In the midst of it, he had vomited bile. It dirtied his face and stained his shirt, but he wasn’t in the state to care. He still groaned in pain, and he continued hugging his stomach in his half-conscious state.
Seeing him like this, I worried that it would be dangerous for him to lose consciousness. I shouted at him, pleading him not to fall asleep.
He didn’t respond. For a moment, I forgot he couldn’t hear me. I thought he had completely lost consciousness. Fear sunk into the pit of my stomach, and I slapped his face non-stop to try and wake him up. He stayed still. I hooked my arms under him and lifted him up.
I already carried him to the sofa when the realization of what I had just done struck me.
I was already dead. Why was I able to touch him?
I thought I was dreaming, but he really did move from the floor to the sofa, and I was the one who carried him.
I raised my hand to touch myself. And, as if I was still alive, I could touch my own face.
I couldn’t feel any warmth, but I certainly felt my face.
Then, I tried touching the sofa and the coffee table. I could feel them!
I didn’t know if it was a death god or something else that was hiding somewhere trying to play a joke on me, but I could only thank them now.
No matter what, saving Luo Yuchen came first.
I called the hospital immediately. When the other side picked up, I hurriedly shouted the present situation.
Despite that, what came from the phone was the beautiful, yet hesitant voice of the nurse on duty: “Hello, this is S City Central Hospital. Please say something.”
“You can’t hear me?” I practically shouted for my life.
“Hello, please say something…”
I felt helpless as I held onto the phone. What should I do? The living people in the hospital were unable to hear me. I hung up the phone and stood up, wanting to head out to call someone for help. However, an invisible force held me back. It was then I remembered — I could only move about three metres away from Luo Yuchen.
Despite the fact that I was miraculously able to touch, the situation was still bleak.
His face was turning blue, and he trembled non-stop.
Without any other options, I could only try the method I always used to dissolve his stomach pain. I searched around. Fortunately, he still had some medication. I started boiling water and prepared a glass of warm milk. Then, I took some ginger and started cooking ginger brown sugar water.
When I brought the medicine and cup of warm milk, he was awake. However, the pain put him in a daze.
“Cold…” He said with a hoarse voice.
Although I couldn’t feel the temperature of the air, I remembered that this house should be warm due to the heater, even in the winter. Yet, Luo Yuchen felt cold. He had probably expended too much energy.
My heart ached. Scolding myself for my mistake, I quickly grabbed the thick blanket on the side and covered him up. Carefully holding him in my embrace, I coaxed him, “Here, have some medicine, and it won’t be painful anymore.”
Since he was in a daze, he didn’t respond to me. Instead, he said, “Xiao Heng, I feel cold…”
He only called my name, but to me, it sounded like something exploded beside my ear.
All he did was softly call out my name, but I was instantly overwhelmed.
I couldn’t help but hug him tightly. I knew that my body wasn’t able to give him any warmth, but I still wanted to hug him as if he would feel warmer.
Although he looked pale in my embrace, he still looked as handsome, beautiful, otherworldly and moving as usual.
“Xiao Heng, Xiao Heng, I feel cold…” He continued rambling. Then, seemingly like a lost child who found his mother, he started crying.
“I know, I know.” I knew that he was in pain. I knew that he felt cold. I coaxed him, saying, “Here, have some milk, and you won’t feel cold anymore.”
I wasn’t sure whether he knew what he was doing, but he still managed to take the medicine and drink the milk I gave him.
Since my hand was cold, I used warm water to wet a towel and gently rub the painful area under his shirt.
He leaned into my embrace, brow no longer as scrunched up as before.
I stood up to go change the towel, but he pulled me back.
“Xiao Heng, don’t go…”
“I won’t go,” I replied.
“Don’t go,” he said. Then, he cried again.
My heart ached so much as I watched him. I felt like hugging him again, but I didn’t.
I brought the first aid kit over. While holding onto his stomach, I helped him treat the wound on his head.
When he was rolling around the floor earlier, he hit his head against the leg of the table.
After bandaging his wound, I fed him the ginger brown sugar water. When he was finally sleeping calmly, I started cleaning up the mess he had made. When I finished cleaning, I looked up at the clock. It was already 3am in the morning. Standing up, I went to cook some porridge. In any case, I didn’t need to rest anyways.
This will be his breakfast. If he doesn’t eat, he will get another stomach ache.
After I finished cooking, I went back to the living room and adjusted the blanket for Luo Yuchen. I then sat by his side and watched his sleeping face.
He no longer appeared a ghastly white, and colour had returned to his lips. I stretched out my hand to help him tuck a strand of hair back from his face.
A few strands disobeyed and fell back. I laughed and tried to tuck them back again.
But I was no longer able to.
The smile dropped from my face.
I tried touching myself, but I couldn’t. I tried touching the sofa and Luo Yuchen, but I wasn’t able to touch either of them.
I wasn’t able to touch anything I was mysteriously able to earlier.
Since I was well aware that I was already dead, I quickly accepted the fact that I wasn’t able to feel again. However, I now realised just how much I missed the world where I could touch Luo Yuchen.
If I could go back in time to the day I moved out of Luo Yuchen’s house, I definitely wouldn’t cut my wrist again. No matter how uncertain I was of life, I shouldn’t give up and take the easy way out.
If I could be reborn, I wish I would only be a distant fan. I would listen to his album everyday, hang up his posters and go to his concerts. If that is what my life would be like, then I still might have a chance to touch him when I ask for his autograph or handshake.
I finally understood. It was probably due to this obsession of mine that I was still here.
Initially, I was worried that no one would be around to take care of him when he woke up. However, my concerns quickly disappeared. The afternoon came shortly. Luo Yuchen was still asleep, but the sound of keys unlocking a door could be heard. Xia Mingxiu was back.
Since I already cleaned up the mess in the room, Xia Mingxiu didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary and thought Luo Yuchen was sleeping as usual. He quietly walked into the kitchen and spotted the porridge I made. His brow lifted in surprise. He must have thought that Luo Yuchen cooked it, and his expression shifted to one of happiness. Since I made a lot of porridge, he filled a bowl for himself.
I wasn’t going to be petty about a bowl of porridge, but I felt perplexed when I saw this scene.
Luo Yuchen had also woken up when Xia Mingxiu returned to the living room and sat beside him. His expression filled with doubt when he saw Xia Mingxiu. Then, he asked with a hoarse voice, “…It’s you?”
“Who else could it be but me?” Xia Mingxiu laughed.
“I thought… it was…” Luo Yuchen looked around. His expression changed from doubt to gloom.
I suddenly remembered a story. In the story, there was a mermaid who saved a prince. However, the first person the prince saw when he woke up was the princess of another country, so he thought the princess had saved him. Hence, the prince gave up on the mermaid and married the princess. When the mermaid saw that, she turned into bubbles and disappeared.
In my case, the prince hadn’t even woken up yet, but I already turned into bubbles and disappeared.
“What happened to your head?” Xia Mingxiu asked, eyeing the gauze on Luo Yuchen’s head.
Luo Yuchen touched his own head and was also stunned. He didn’t remember what happened to it. Then, he stood up and touched his stomach. It seemed like it still hurt, though definitely not as much as yesterday.
He walked to the mirror and looked at the white bandage on his head. With a doubtful expression, he said with a hoarse voice, “I think… I had a dream last night…”
He was in so much pain last night that he appeared half dead. It was not surprising that he couldn’t remember anything.
He probably forgot that he called my name and even cried.
I didn’t know whether he called me because he saw me or because he was thinking of me, but I was glad that he didn’t call me Xia Mingxiu.
Luo Yuchen looked at the still-somewhat-weak person staring back at him in the mirror. Then, he suddenly turned around and asked Xia Mingxiu, “When did you come back?”
“Just now.” Xia Mingxiu lazily laid down on the spot Luo Yuchen previously occupied. “I’m going crazy from all the airplane rides. I’m so tired… Help yourself, I want to rest a little. I still need to fly to Milan the day after tomorrow…”
Hearing Xia Mingxiu’s words, Luo Yuchen looked around doubtfully. Then he walked past Xia Mingxiu and went further into the house. He opened the door to every room and took a look inside.
Sigh. I couldn’t possibly be hiding here.
He probably remembered seeing me last night, but wasn’t sure whether it was a dream or not. Then, as if possessed, he walked into the kitchen. I already washed the glasses used to contain the milk and ginger brown sugar water and put them back to their original places. However, another piece of evidence still remained — my porridge.
When he saw the porridge, he first came out of the kitchen to ask Xia Mingxiu: “Xia Mingxiu, did you…”
However, Xia Mingxiu had already fallen asleep on the sofa.
He walked back into the kitchen. Seeing the contents in the pot, he filled a bowl.
He only tried one mouthful when his eyes teared up. Then, he smiled.
I didn’t understand why he made that expression. But what surprised me further was what he did afterwards.
He removed the chain necklace he wore around his neck. I had seen it yesterday when I was rubbing his stomach with a warm towel. Hanging on the silver chain was an obsidian crystal with a piece of jadeite embedded into it. It was rather sophisticated. Undoing the clasp, he removed the obsidian pendant. He then reached into his pocket and took out the simple ring he got from my apartment. After slotting it onto the necklace like a pendant, he wore it back around his neck.
I stared blankly, a sense of foreboding overcoming me. If I was still alive, such a scene would probably make me so happy. I would die and revive again, or pound the bed and laugh for three days straight. However, this wasn’t something I wished to see now, no matter the reason behind his action.
Thinking about me after my death would only cause harm and nothing else.
The next day was the 31st of December. It was the last day of the year, and everywhere people went, a festive mood flourished as families gathered together. Nevertheless, the police officers, doctors, nurses and firefighters still had to work… Similarly, the celebrities shouldn’t expect to rest as well.
As a human, it was inevitable that one would complain about having to work on such a day. To add on, they had to attend an evening party for New Year’s Eve. Even the patient Xia Mingxiu couldn’t help but groan, as he still had to fly to Milan on New Year’s Day. Despite that, celebrity Luo Yuchen, who had to retake the publicity photos for his new album, was in a rare good mood. Overshadowing the gloominess he displayed a few days ago, his smile was very bright and beautiful today. It was so dazzling to the photographer’s eye, he started wondering if Luo Yuchen took the wrong medications today.
Not only was Luo Yuchen in a really good mood, he clearly had more energy to spare. Usually, he would laze on his bed whenever he could. Yet, not only was he full of smiles after a whole day of work, he even took the initiative to find the person in-charge, saying that he wanted to add an additional self-composed song into the new CD.
In any case, there was still two months before the scheduled release, and he couldn’t really reject Luo Yuchen who was a big-shot celebrity. Hence, the person in-charge let him do what he wanted. However, he couldn’t help but feel puzzled as he watched Luo Yuchen leave jubilantly.
During the evening party, Luo Yuchen and Xia Mingxiu met again in the lounge. Since they had been celebrities for so long, they chatted leisurely, unlike the newer celebrities who were nervous in front of the crowd.
Xia Mingxiu said, “Everyone was saying that you’re especially happy today, and they all came to ask me if something good happened to you.”
“Not at all.” Luo Yuchen said. However, he soon laughed after he saw Xia Mingxiu studying him.
This was so different from the Luo Yuchen I knew. I felt weird as I watched from the side.
During the ten years we spent together, he had an expressionless face everyday. When he did smile, only the corner of his lips were curled, or he would just give a cold snort. No one knew if he was laughing or mocking. During the month I saw him be with Xia Mingxiu, the most I saw was a warm and kind smile. He had never once smiled as widely and happily as he did today.
Hearing his laugh, Xia Mingxiu laughed as well and lightly shook him, “Why are you laughing? Tell me~~”
In the end, the fool really told him. The extremely cold and heartless Luo Yuchen actually said with a shy and timid look that seemed very cute and awkward: “Xiao Heng visited.”
If I was Xia Mingxiu, I would have definitely gone mad if I saw my lover saying that sentence with that kind of expression.
However, Xia Mingxiu placed himself as an outsider once again. After staring blankly for a moment, he asked impatiently, “What happened afterwards?”
There was no jealousy, no envy and no anger. Like an old gossiping aunty that could be found at any alley, he waited earnestly for the details. If I hadn’t seen them have sex personally, I would have thought that they were purely friends.
Before I died, there was something I was very clear about. I have an unrequited love for Luo Yuchen. Luo Yuchen ignored me and loved Xia Mingxiu seriously, and Xia Mingxiu also seriously loved Luo Yuchen.
I wasn’t able to let Luo Yuchen go, which caused him and Xia Mingxiu to suffer. Thus, I decided to sacrifice my own love for the better good. However, I couldn’t bear letting him go. And after seeing the prediction of my lifespan on my medical record, I decided that a moment of pain would be better than a life of suffering.
However, the strange things that happened after I died made me uncertain of the relationship between Xia Mingxiu and Luo Yuchen. I was starting to wonder how Luo Yuchen truly felt about me and doubted whether suicide was the right choice.
“Afterwards… I think my stomach illness attacked me again, so he took care of me for the whole night…” As Luo Yuchen spoke, his face slowly reddened. I wasn’t able to adjust to the sight.
“Oh, so the porridge I had that morning was made for you by Xiao Heng.” As expected of Xia Mingxiu, he quickly understood and made the correct guess. “Then, where’s Xiao Heng?”
“I don’t know… When I woke up, you were already there… He probably left.” Luo Yuchen sounded somewhat regretful.
“He left? Do you know where he went?”
“I don’t know.” Luo Yuchen looked dejected after saying so.
“How can you not know?” Xia Mingxiu was angry, but he couldn’t do anything about it. So instead, he asked, “How is he?”
“He seems fine…”
Recalling the fact that I was ill, their expressions became heavy.
“If he was able to take care of you for the whole night, he should be fine.” Xia Mingxiu was the first to cheer up. Trying to comfort Luo Yuchen, he said, “Since a suitable bone marrow has been found, Xiao Heng will be fine.”
There was another round of awkward silence.
Luo Yuchen and Xia Mingxiu were getting further and further away from the right track. I couldn’t see anything related to “love” when I looked at them now. Instead, they looked like sworn friends with one being very interested in the other’s love life and was trying his best to fan the flames.
Looking at it, the interest they had for each other when I was still alive seemed to be a faraway dream now. They were so into it when they partnered up to push me out of the picture. I’ve only died for a month. Why did their love for each other stagnate so much?
Was it because their love was too smooth sailing that it ended up stagnating instead? After the disappearance of the insurmountable obstacle, which was me, from their love journey, their rugged road had become a bright road with the chirping of birds and the fragrance of flowers, so they lost their interest?
Or was it perhaps the seven years itch — or ten years itch for their case?
I don’t understand, and I’m not resigned to this.
I was able to accept it if I closed both my eyes and pretended not to know anything. However, I wasn’t able to accept it if I knew that I only needed to wait another month for everything to change, but failed because I thought that everything was done for.
I finally let go of him to let them pave their path. I thought that they would live in happiness after I died. That’s why I did that.
Yet, I died only to see their love of ten years turn into friendship within a month.
Then, what was the point of me dying?
“What do you intend to do?” Xia Mingxiu asked very seriously.
My head went numb. With this sentence, things suddenly jumped to the “let’s make it clear” phase, which was also the break-up and showdown phase.
Ant on a hot pot – It means that one is very anxious and cannot sit still, seemingly like an ant running about on a hot pot.
Took the wrong medication – If one took the ‘correct’ medication, he would be cured back to ‘normal’. If he took the ‘wrong’ one, he would not be cured back to ‘normal’ and will be ‘abnormal’. Luo Yuchen was behaving ‘abnormally’ today.