Chapter 16: A man’s tears (pt. 2)
The procedures for enrolling to an American school for Xia Mu is not complete yet, so Shu Yawang is thinking of finishing her work project before leaving. Since Xia Mu don’t have a place to stay and Yawang can’t bear to have him leave, they decide to live together.
Xia Mu will drop Yawang off to work and pick her up every day, and as they part, both of their eyes show reluctance to say good-bye. Sometimes, they will turn their heads and smile at each other. When they return to their home, it’s their own warm space. They often lie on the couch, conversing as they watch TV with cups in their hands. Shu Yawang is the one who often cooks, and she will always cook so much that it fills up the whole table, feeling satisfied seeing Xia Mu eating everything. Every night, she will give him a good-night kiss and every morning, Xia Mu will gently wake Yawang up, repeating the cycle.
Yawang often sits on the big office chair in the study, talking to Xia Mu about her design with a bright smile on her face. There will be a row of willow trees beside the lake and an octagonal pavilion. The center of the park will be a green lawn and there will be a playground being built at the south side of the park. At the north side, there will be an elegant water fountain and there will be a bird cage not far from the fountain. There will be many white doves inside the bird cage, and as people walk by, the white doves will fly about, making their white feathers look like angel wings. Every time Yawang talks about her design, her eyes will brighten, making her look like that cute girl she was before.
One time, Yawang is sitting on the office chair and asks a question to Xia Mu with a big smile.
“Xia Mu, what kind of flower do you like?” Xia Mu puts down the book he is reading and thinks for awhile.
“Peach blossoms?” Yawang knit her eyebrows. “But it’s an almond blossom park!” She said in a slight upset tone. Xia Mu don’t like seeing her upset, so he smiles back at her.
“I like almond blossoms too.” She looks at the computer monitor and ponders for a bit, then her eyes brighten, like she got an idea. She kisses Xia Mu’s cheek and displays a mysterious smile.
“Wait until the park is done with its construction, you have to go then!”
“It will definitely surprise you!” Xia Mu looks at her bright eyes and cheerful smile, his love for her suddenly pouring out from his heart. He bends down and kisses her soft lips, surprising her and making her freeze in position. Her eyelashes flutter as she feels her lips burning and her face turning red. Xia Mu’s eyes seem to be smiling, he closes his eyes and slowly deepens the kiss. After a while, his lips depart from hers. She glances down to the floor, too embarrassed to look at him. The corner of her eyes reveals shyness, and that makes the corners of his lips lift up. He hugs her tightly, speaking to her with a nice voice.
“By then, let’s go see it together.” Shu Yawang feels her face flush and she nods her head. Xia Mu purses his lips, displaying a faint smile, then hugs her tightly again. They both hug each other without saying a word, without moving an inch. Yawang opens her eyes and rests in Xia Mu’s embrace peacefully, holding onto him lightly.
“Xia Mu…” She suddenly blurts out.
“Hmm?” Yawang opens her mouth, wanting to ask him. Xia Mu, are you happy? Being together with me, do you feel happy? But at the end, she bites onto her lips and decide not to ask.
“I just want to say your name.” She laughs softly.
“Okay.” He answers back. She laughs out loud, Xia Mu is still like this, he haven’t changed at all. He will always say okay, okay, don’t like to say more than a word. But because of this cold and indifferent young adult, she always want him to have his happiness. To spend the rest of their lives peacefully, a peaceful life, simple and calm, maybe Xia Mu thinks that if they can spend their lives like that, it’s happiness.
However, one day when Xia Mu goes help Shu Yawang find the information of the location that she forgot to bring, he discovers a cardboard box in a drawer in the study. The box’s appearance looks old and shabby, and Xia Mu didn’t give a second thought before opening it. It’s a box full of letters, and none of the envelopes were opened. He looks through them; the same envelopes, the same handwriting, the same person. He closes the box and turns his head away angrily, feeling his heart sinking. He wants to put the box back, but he couldn’t help himself to pick up an envelope. He look at the words, a familiar handwriting.
He remembered Shu Yawang would go downstairs to the mailbox first thing every morning, and there would always be mail for her. She would get them out with a smile on her face, carrying the mail and jumping up and down as she goes back upstairs to her room. She would read the letters over and over again until she finally puts them back. That time, she also had a box, it was a pretty pink box. She would mark his letters by numbers and carefully store them into the box. If she have nothing to do, she will take out the letters and count them. Xia Mu would stand outside the door and look at her counting the letters. That time, she was very far away from him. Her smile, her twinkling eyes, and her heart all left far away through the letters to the boy named Tang Xiao Tian.
Xia Mu sits down and takes out all of the letters, counting them one by one. The letters fall down to the table, just like how he’s feeling right now. During this time, Yuan Zhu enters the apartment and sees that the door to the study is not closed, so she walks right in and sees Xia Mu, greeting him with a warm smile.
“Xia Mu, you’re home?” She walks closer and notices the box Xia Mu is holding.
“Oh! Those letters…” Xia Mu puts down the letters and turns his head to look at her.
“What about them?” Yuan Zhu gives a slight pout and looks at the letters in confusion.
“Before you came, Yawang asked me to get rid of them. That’s strange, I was sure that I threw them out in the garbage downstairs. How did they came back?” Xia Mu’s body suddenly shakes in anger, his eyes starting to water as he stares at her blankly.
“Were you counting them? There’s no need, there were 1089 letters, Yawang counted them almost every single day. She only counts them, but doesn’t reads them, such a strange person…” Yuan Zhu lowers her head and starts to fix up the pile of letters on the table, but she feels something is wrong, so she raise her head back up and look at Xia Mu. He looks like he fell into the depths of despair, looking like he’s about to cry. She takes a step back in bewilderment.
“Xia Mu, are you okay?” She asks cautiously. He didn’t answer back and she looks at him in guilt, like she said something wrong…
“If there’s nothing, then I’ll leave now.” She walks to her room and grab her belongings, exiting the apartment in panic.
Shu Yawang have been waiting for Xia Mu in the office the whole day, but he didn’t show up. She feels uneasy and decides to call him, but he didn’t pick up. She is worried that something happened to him, so she quickly request to leave work early and runs back home. When she opens the door, she sees Xia Mu sitting in the study, feeling relieved to see him there.
“What happened? You didn’t come or listened to your phone, making me worried to death.” She knits her eyebrows in frustration. Xia Mu have his head down, not saying a word. Yawang think it’s strange and takes a step forward.
“Xia Mu?” Then, she notices the letters on the table and starts to put them back.
“That, these are….these are…I’m planning to throw them out.” She tries to explain in a panicked tone.
“You threw them out then secretly picked them back?” She stops what she’s doing and bites onto her lips, then gives him a foolish smile.
“What are you talking about?”
“You still love Tang Xiao Tian, Shu Yawang is still in love with Tang Xiao Tian.” He tells her in a sad tone.
“No….no. I, I…like you.” She looks at him hard.
“You’re lying!” He looks at her in the eye, each and every of his words carrying pain. “You love Tang Xiao Tian, you will love him forever, you will only love him! I know, the Shu Yawang who don’t love Tang Xiao Tian, cannot be Shu Yawang.”
“Xia Mu!” She yells out his name, tears streaming down her face. She steps forward and holds onto his hand tightly.
“Xia Mu, I like you, I really like you. I want to be with you, I want to give you happiness.”
“Then, Yawang, what about your happiness?” He asks her softly, looking at her. “Can I give you happiness?”
“You can!” She looks at him with a stubborn face. “You can.” Xia Mu didn’t say anything, he knits his eyebrows and displays a sad expression.
“Xia Mu…” She calls him anxiously, clutching to both of his arms. “Enough, enough of this. We already gone through so much to be together right? Weren’t these past few days happy? Aren’t we happy? Why are you being like this? You don’t believe me? I really want to be with you!” She starts to cry, and Xia Mu walk towards her to give her a hug.
“Don’t cry, don’t cry Yawang. I know, we’re together, we’re together.” Yawang hugs him back tightly, continues to cry in his embrace.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, don’t be mad at me. I will throw them out, this time, I will definitely throw them out.” He didn’t reply back. He knows that even if she is able to throw out the box, will she be able to throw out the person in her heart? Will she be able to? Being with him reluctantly, is she really happy?
The next day, while Shu Yawang is still in a deep sleep, Xia Mu left, and the kissing fish necklace that Yawang always wear also disappeared. She searches for him frantically, then discovers a letter placed on top of the table.
Let love be free. –Xia Mu
“Why did you leave? Why won’t you believe me? Why?” She repeats herself as she holds onto the letter, slumping herself to the floor. This time, she didn’t cry. She’s not going to cry, she will never cry, because the boy who told her that he wants to kill someone whenever she cries, left. When Yuan Zhu returns home, Yawang is sitting in the corner of the living room. Even when she walks past her, Yuan Zhu didn’t notice her. It’s not until Yuan Zhu comes out of her room from getting her belongings that she finally notices her. She pats onto her chest from the scare.
“What are you doing? Sitting there like a ghost, you want to scare someone to death?” Her eyes glance around the apartment in suspicion.
“Where’s Xia Mu?” Shu Yawang turns silent first, then speaks up.
“He said he wants me to be free.” She closes her eyes, grabbing onto her hair with her fists. “Freedom? What is freedom? I don’t need him to set me free.” Yuan Zhu heaves out a sigh and crouches down to Yawang’s side.
“Yawang, is it because you feel guilty, you want to compensate Xia Mu, so you’re together with him?”
“Don’t deny it so quickly, take your time to think about it. Do you truly love Xia Mu? Love him more than Tang Xiao Tian?” Yawang closes her eyes and knits her eyebrows.
“Yawang, if you don’t love him enough, you should let him go. You should set him free.” Yawang stares at Yuan Zhu blankly, her disheveled, long hair falling down to her face.
“Don’t you think that Xia Mu deserves a sincere and complete love?”
“Yes, he deserves it.” She replied, her tears slowly falling down. “He was supposed to have a bright future, a dreamlike love, a warm family, a perfect life…”
“I know I should let him go, but…” She lowers her head. “But, but I love him. Why won’t you guys believe me?”
“I really love him, I really want to be together with him. I want to see him the first thing in the morning when I wake up, I want to say good-night to him every night. I want to give him a warm family, I want to give him happiness…I love Xia Mu! I really love him…”
How can she not love him? From the moment she sees him standing with a gun, from the moment he saves her out from the ambulance, from the moment he tells her to abort the baby, her heart starts to get infiltrated with his love. She don’t even know when she fell in love with him. Yes, she feels guilty, but how can she not be? She wasted six years of his life. Yes, she wants to compensate him, but there are thousands of other ways to compensate him, but she chooses to be with him. If she don’t love him, she will certainly not make that decision, because she knows, Xia Mu is a prideful person, he will not accept a love based on guilt.
She can’t forget Tang Xiao Tian, he is an important person to her, she really can’t forget him. But the feeling of love for him slowly diminishes, maybe after some time, she will be able to forget him and be able to face him. It’s her fault, she didn’t express herself well enough, she have done something that causes a misunderstanding, she deserves it.
“Then go find him! Make it clear to him!”
“He won’t believe in it, he don’t believe me.”
“Then tell him until he believes it! Yawang, didn’t you say you want to give him happiness? Then go!” Shu Yawang lifts up her head.
“You’re right! I should go find him, go make things clear, and not have him secretly leave again. No matter where he goes, I’ll follow him.”
“Good luck! I support you!” Yuan Zhu raises her fists, giving Yawang her support. Yawang calls Uncle Cheng, begging him to tell her where Xia Mu is. At first, Uncle Cheng is unwilling to, but after Yawang keeps on begging him, he finally tells her. Xia Mu is now currently staying in a five star hotel in W City, and will take the 10am flight the next morning to America. Yawang hangs up the call and wears her jacket before bolting out of the apartment. She is certain, this time, she will not hesitate. She will hold onto his hand tightly and look at him, telling him “I love you.” until he believes in it.
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