Special Episode 2: Do you still remember that child?
Do you still remember that child? The child who always like to sit in the corner, the child who grew up living in a military compound, the child with a tragic life, the child who’s as beautiful as a doll, do you still remember him? He would always wear a blue plaid shirt, dipping his head down in silence, his beautiful side profile making people unable to move their eyes away. As he looked at you, those empty eyes, that impassive expression, those deep dark circles, did those made him unforgettable? I ruined the most beautiful child’s life. Meeting me, maybe that was his life’s biggest catastrophe.
I can never forget that boy. I remembered the first time I saw him, he looked like a doll; so beautiful and cold with a lifeless expression. At that time, I never thought that our tie would be so deep, and I would not believe afterwards that I would owe him so much. I always thought that I was taking care of him, protecting him. I always thought that he was my most quiet, most beautiful younger brother. I always think about the things that happened when we were young, those things have already happened a long time ago, but why were they still fresh in my memories?
When he was young, he liked to stay in my home. No matter when, if I was home, he would be there. From then, I always thought that he was my younger brother, my dear younger brother, the person whom I will treat well for the rest of my life. When we were young, we were always together, like siblings in a family. In the winter, we would sit by the windows, squinting our eyes as we extend our red and cold hands out to the sun. I would place an earplug in his ears as we listened to the CD player, but he would always shake his head and refuse, complaining that the music I listened to was too loud. Then, we would sit side by side, basking in the sun and listening to music, and sometimes we would hear the rustling of the leaves nearby.
In the spring, we would bring Tang Xiao Tian and Zhang Jing Yu along with us to go hiking on the tallest mountain in T City. Xiao Tian was worried that I’ll be tired, so he’ll always reach his hand out to help me. Then, I don’t know where he popped out, but Xia Mu would always hold onto my hand and not let go. Haha, that time, I really thought that this child was possessive.
In the summer, I don’t like to go out. I would always drag my drawing pad to his room and turned on the air conditioner to full blast, eating fruits leisurely as I draw. Then, he would sit on the floor by my side, either reading a thick book or playing with his toy models. His eye expression was focused and serious, so beautiful. Every time when I draw, I would always glance towards his side profile and stared at him blankly. He would lift his head up from my staring and looked back at me, his black pupils reflecting myself. That time, I thought I was the most happiest Shu Yawang. At that time, I owned all of the happiness; my youth, my Xia Mu; they were my heaven. The memories of my youth all contained happiness, and that happiness stayed until a devil intruded.
That devil ruined me, ruined Xia Mu. I would never forget the second day after the incident. I rushed into the company to look for Qu Wei Ran, and after I pushed open the door of the conference room, I saw him covered in blood and I was shocked. As I approached closer, he lifted his hand and rubbed off, not someone else’s blood off his face, but the tears on my tears. He used his bloody hand to gently wipe away the tears on my face and looked at me as he said,
“Yawang, don’t cry. Yawang, don’t cry.” I will forever remember these four words as my tears continue to fall down like raindrops. (Yawang is two words in Chinese)
That child, that beautiful child would always make me feel touched. He would always think of me and always placed me first. He would prove it by his actions, hitting into my soul deeply. He killed someone because of me, helped me aborted the baby because of me, and surrendered himself to the police because of me. He was always there for me, he said he couldn’t get his happiness, so if I had mine, he’ll be happy. He was willing to do anything for me, so how can I just throw away his happiness? Grandpa Xia told me that what he most regretted doing in his life was handing Xia Mu over to me. This strong, old man, looked at me with resentment and regret on his deathbed.
“Shu Yawang, you ruined Xia Mu, you ruined his life.” Yes, I ruined Xia Mu, I ruined the most beautiful child in the world. Meeting me , maybe that was his life’s biggest catastrophe.
Tang Xiao Tian
I can never forget that boy. I remembered when we were young, Zhang Jing Yu had told me,
“Xiao Tian-ah, be careful. That Xia Mu will become your love rival when he grows up.” That time, I just laughed it off, not taking his words to mind. I never thought that this silent and gloomy boy would take Yawang away from me. I knew that he liked Yawang, but all the kids in the military compound liked her. I knew that he treated her well, but whoever knew Yawang would treat her well. I knew that he would do anything for her, but I didn’t think that he would kill someone for her.
Yes, I underestimated him. I always thought that he was just a little boy who grew attached to the neighbor girl; a crush that will not blossomed or having any results. I never thought of him as my rival, or anyone to be my rival. I always thought that our feelings for each other would never be shaken by others. But he did it, he really did it. Since he was young, he would be using a small hoe and digging into a corner of my wall. When a storm finally hits, my solid wall will break down. Hehe, but I don’t blame him, really. Losing Yawang was my fault. I, Tang Xiao Tian never resented anyone from my wrongdoing, and I never will. In fact, I really liked him, really liked this clean and silent boy.
I always wanted my mother to give birth to another younger brother. When I was young, I followed my mother and would asked her countlessly,
“Mama, Mama, make a younger brother for me.” My mother would always say,
“If not a younger brother, how about a younger sister?” I tilted my head and thought about it, then refused. I just wanted a younger brother, a beautiful and brave younger brother. From then, after I’ve been trained by my father, I can go train him. I can tell him to do push-ups and run around the playground, hehe. So when I first saw him with Yawang, I thought that this beautiful boy was very cute, it would be great if he was my younger brother. But this guy was reluctant to become my younger brother. No matter how I tried to get close to him, he would always have that cold and indifferent look on his face. Whenever I gave him good food, he wouldn’t want it. When I wanted to teach him how to fight, he would ignore me. Alright, I admit that he rarely looked at me, and when he does, he would looked at me coldly with his gloomy eyes. This type of Xia Mu was frustrating to me, I was also considered to be the king of children, but why does he only like Yawang and not me?
He really clung onto Yawang; I remembered during high school, both Yawang and I were in our first year in high school and he was on his first year of junior high. Students in the first year of junior high don’t need to attend late study, so they can leave after finishing with their classes during the day. But because he wanted to go home with Yawang, he would stay in his classroom and have a self-study session until Yawang goes to pick him up. He would pack his bag and go home with Yawang. I remembered it was summer that time. Yawang would be riding her bicycle with Xia Mu sitting behind her, his eyes drooping slightly and his hair moving from the gentle breeze. His face will carry a trace of indifference but the corners of his lips would be lifted slightly. Under the dim starry sky, the bicycle wheels would keep spinning as their shadows disappeared; that scene have always been imprinted into my mind.
It was not until a few years later when I thought about it and suddenly realized that he have been in love with her for so long. It turned out that his love for her was very deep. It turned out that I really lost, lost to the child under the starry sky. That beautiful child whose easily satisfied as he lifted the corners of his lips into a smile. That boy must have been my enemy from my past life, of course, he was in this life too. That child took away the woman who I loved the most, but I don’t blame him.
Qu Wei Ran
I think that this boy and I had resentments throughout our lifetimes because when I first saw him, his sharp glare told me that he will become my enemy. Every time we met, he would always give me a cold warning.
“Don’t appear in front of Yawang again!”
“I would not let you go from this!” But when he’s like this, I become more happy. I wanted to know what would happen if I keep on appearing. So what if he won’t let me go? Is that scary? Wow, such a cold glare, I’m so scared! I can’t help it but to laugh at him, I’ve seen people like him often. Every time I have a new woman, I would meet those types of people. Every single time those people would say some harsh words to me, but at the end, they were nowhere to be found. Their women would continue to stay by my side with smiles and tears and cling onto me. I got so tired that I wanted to call them and tell them,
“Hey, I’m giving you back your woman, she’s no fun.” For this boy, will he give me any surprises? Because of him and Tang Xiao Tian, I was determined to have this woman, this woman named Shu Yawang. Obtaining her doesn’t need much effort, just a few glasses of alcohol. Luckily, she was very fortunate by having men who wanted to protect, but also because of this, she was in this simple and unguarded accident, or rather, she was stupid. All women are actually the same, their cries are no different, even their reactions afterwards are the same.
After obtaining Shu Yawang, I’m not really happy, I’m actually a little tired. So I would sit and look at her coldly as she cries, as she acts out, and as she vows to report me to the police. How could she report me? I smiled and helped her go into the cab, telling her maliciously that whether she’s going to sue me or wants me to take responsibility, it doesn’t matter. Yes, it doesn’t matter. Whether she’s going to disappear or really asks me to take responsibility, I’m fully prepared for it. Besides, I’m waiting for her tears to bring the boy with the sharp glare and my fellow comrade. That boy did not disappoint me, he really came after me.
He raised his gun and asked me, “Why did I bullied Yawang?” I laughed, how can there be so much “Why” in this world? If I want something, I’ll have it. He angrily said he will kill me. I shrugged my shoulders without a care, too many people had said that to me, yet I’m still living well. I was laughing coldly in my mind, he wouldn’t dare to fire his gun. Maybe that was the most incorrect judgement I ever made. He fired his gun, and as the bullet hit through my chest and my vision turned bloody, then I really believed that he would kill me because of this girl, this girl who’s not even his girlfriend. It turned out that it’s not just all talk, he really liked Shu Yawang. When I woke up from the coma, I saw Shu Yawang who became my wife sitting beside the bed. At first I was happy, really happy. But not because how much I love her, it was because I found my best tool for revenge. Xia Mu, I will not let you go, I will torture you to death like how you did to me.
Xia Luo (Commander Xia)
“Guilty of attempted murder, sentenced to six years in prison and stripped off of political rights for life!” The voice in the TV sounds cold and mechanical as it echoed throughout the villa. The nanny standing nearby walked forward and asked if I wanted to change the channel. I don’t have the energy to say either yes or no. The nanny looked at me helplessly with a hint of empathy before turning around and leave. Empathy? Me, a military commander of the 44th district, needed a woman to feel empathetic towards me? Empathetic for what? She sympathized that my son died early and now my only grandson is being sentenced to six years in prison? Six years! I glared at the TV screen as they reported on other news, but his news kept on echoing in my ears.
The judge at the end sentenced him to six years and removal of political rights. He was only eighteen years old….my grandson was only eighteen years old. I don’t dare to think about what would happen to him while he was serving in prison. Even though I had made all the preparations in the prison center, there’s no guarantee that he would be bullied by other prisoners or be able to take care of himself. And after six years when he gets released, what should he do? He’s deprived of political rights, his life had not even began when it already came to an end.
The doorbell suddenly rang and the nanny walked out and walked back in, telling me that Shu Yawang was standing outside and wanted to come in and see me. Come in? That girl had the guts to still see me? I angrily threw my cup down to the floor, yelling at the nanny to kick her out! The nanny walked out, frightened, and I slumped back onto the couch. She still had the guts to see me? She’s not afraid that I might shoot her? This child, when did she start seducing my grandson? When did my grandson became inseparable from her? That girl had a boyfriend! What I regretted the most in my life was bringing her into my house! I really regretted handing my grandson over to her. She trained him to become a wild dog, a wild dog who’s only loyal to her. If only I have taken care of Xia Mu myself, maybe the results would have been different?
Maybe it’s a punishment, because Xia Mu looked so alike to his father, so whenever I see Xia Mu, I would think of my dear son who died young. Every time I think of him, I become miserable. I can’t control my feelings, but I don’t want to infect Xia Mu with grief, that child already suffered enough. So I called up my men and have their kids play with him. It’s that child, that child with a very clean smile, that child who would stand up straight whenever she sees me, that child who was a bit afraid of me. That girl….how did I thought that she would bring Xia Mu out of the darkness when she actually drove him deeper into it! I don’t understand what’s so good about this girl. That girl had a boyfriend, and she knew your feelings for her, yet she was still tangled with you. A girl who casually drinks outside with no preparation, what’s the point of feeling regret or frustrated when the accident already happened?
The nanny came back and said that Shu Yawang refused to leave until she sees me. Refusing to leave until she sees me? Did she came to apologize? That’s really funny, what’s the use of apologizing now? What’s the point of regretting now? Yes, I know, this is not her fault. Yes, I know that she didn’t mean it. But I cannot forgive her, cannot! I told the nanny if she wants to stay, then let her stay. If she wants to act crazy, let her go crazy, she have nothing to do with my family. The nanny left and I stood up to place my hand on the railings to go upstairs. At this point, does Shu Yawang really think that I would forgive her after her apology? No! Impossible! I will never forgive this girl for the rest of my life, I never will. But Xia Mu, my only grandson, do you know how I felt when I saw your thin face when I visited you in the prison center? Grandpa’s heart ached, Grandpa wished that I could take your place in prison. Xia Mu, my bright child, how can Grandpa protect you now? Xia Mu, my only grandson, my pride.
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