Special Episode 3: Rrison
I think of a girl every day and every night; I missed seeing her face, missed talking to her, missed seeing her warm smile. I kept on thinking and thinking about her, thinking about her so much that it’s turning blurry. I think this is what my love is; painful, sweet, longing for, and blissful.
“The court’s verdict is Xia Mu, male, eighteen years old, shot the plaintiff Qu Wei Ran in 13A of Hyde Industrial Group building on June 2, 2004 which resulted in serious injuries. According to the <People’s Republic of China Criminal Law>, he is guilty in attempted murder. He is to be sentenced to jail for six years and have his political rights removed for life!” Following the “ping” sound from the judge’s gavel, he would have to say goodbye to his freedom. Six years, it’s not long, but it’s not short either. Xia Mu looked at the front with indifference, forcing himself to not look back, to not look back at his family who’s sitting in the gallery, to not look back at her. He wanted to show that he’s not afraid, that he doesn’t care, so maybe, they’ll feel better.
Two court officers pushed him forward, his hands being handcuffed from the front. His sullen, cold, handsome face displayed a sickly pale expression. He dipped his head down as he nonchalantly passed by her. He didn’t turn his head back to look at her and didn’t even stop for a second, he just kept on walking. He heard her crying softly, heard her calling his name, but he couldn’t stop, he couldn’t look back. He felt that if he did look back, he might not hold back and cry. Now, he felt that his heart is aching, aching so much that he can’t bear to take a look at her, seeing her cry, hearing her gentle voice. He’s not scared of going to jail, he’s really not afraid. He just, just couldn’t bear to leave her, he’s really reluctant to.
Xia Mu gently bit his lips as the corners of his eyes started to turn red. He stood up straight and stared straight ahead, not slowing down his pace. He thought that at the end, in her eyes, he’s a man that she would be proud of. He was afraid that she never thought of him as a man, afraid that in her eyes, he’s been the younger brother that she needed to protect. Younger brother…Xia Mu closed his eyes as he tried to endure this pain, he really hated that term. The court officers behind him gave him a push and he walked into the prison van, sitting in silence as his body rock against the van’s movement as he’s being transported to the place where he would live for the next six years.
Prison, to Xia Mu, was a place that he saw on television, and now, it’s right before him. It stood tall and exudes a gloomy atmosphere. It opened its mouth, wanting to swallow him whole. The prison van slowly creeped towards the prison center and Xia Mu turned his head back, watching the gates closing behind him. Little by the little, they locked him inside, locked away his freedom, his youth, his future…
Xia Mu quietly followed the prison guards and the prisoners stood by their cell doors, looking at him in curiosity. Some whistled at him, some yelled at him, and some even laughed at him. Xia Mu still had that expressionless face on him, his empty eyes and handsome face showing no emotions. Maybe it’s because of his emotionless face and attitude, some prisoners were unhappy and started to spurt out malicious words, causing a chaotic scene. The prison guards held out their batons and knocked them against the iron bars, telling them to be quiet! But it was useless, the prisoners got more arrogant and shouted even louder. Xia Mu just calmly walked down the hallway like he was not the one who caused this chaotic scene. The prison guards can’t help it, but pushed him to walk more faster until they reach to the most inner cell, room 209. They opened the door and had Xia Mu entered the cell.
Xia Mu lifted his gaze and looked around; it’s not big, there were two bunk beds, one of them being empty at the upper bunk at the right side of the cell. The cell also contained three more prisoners, and they measured him up with their eyes: thin, pale, young, no sign of danger.
“Get along well! Don’t stir up any trouble!” The prison guards warned them before closing the door and turning their bodies to leave. As the guards walked further away, the inmates’ eyes lighten up, showing excitement and cruelty, like a hungry wolf seeing a sheep appearing right before their eyes. Two of the inmates stood up, one of them being a fit, young man.
“Hey new guy, what’s your name?” He asked arrogantly. Xia Mu took a brief glance at him, then turned back, ignoring him.
“Damn, quite arrogant aren’t you?” The man grabbed his collar and easily lifted him up as he spoke to him with a threatening tone.
“Don’t you know what this place is? Let me teach you something, teach you doll a lesson!” Then he suddenly swung a fist towards him, but Xia Mu shifted his body slightly to the right and stopped the man’s fist with his right hand. He used his left hand to strike, pulling with great force. The man stumbled forward and felt that his vision blurred as he fell down to the floor. Another inmate rushed towards Xia Mu, but he raised his leg and kicked him at the most vital part. The inmate couldn’t scream out from the immense pain as he rolled around the floor and clutching onto his lower body. The first inmate that fell to the floor slowly crawled up, but as he placed both his palms onto the floor, he realized that his right hand had no strength. It felt limp and then instantly, pain was spreading throughout his body. He held onto his right arm as he walked up to the cell door and knocked onto the iron bars.
“Guards, guards, my arm is broken! I need to go to the infirmary, the infirmary!” The prison guards who were not far away quickly turned their bodies and rushed back to the cell, opening the cell door as they shouted angrily,
“I told you to behave! Keep on creating trouble, who did it?”
“I did.” Xia Mu confessed calmly. The prison guards stared at him as they lectured him.
“Newcomer, listen to me. If you want to leave this place safely, you better change yourself. If you fight with others here, we can extend your sentence! Understand?” Xia Mu lowered his gaze and didn’t answer back. Then, the prison guards looked back at the other three inmates.
“And you three, stop doing this tradition of welcoming the newcomes, he’s a murderer!” The three inmates looked at Xia Mu in shock, how would anyone believe that this cold and handsome boy would dare to kill someone?
After that incident, maybe it was because of Xia Mu’s fighting skills, or maybe it was because of the title “murderer”, no one dared to provoke Xia Mu. The inmates in prison thought that this boy was too quiet, always sitting in a corner and leaning his back against wall. He would dip his head down, his handsome face carrying a pale expression and his beautiful yet empty eyes wander around aimlessly, and even his quiet breathing was scary. Even though Xia Mu was quiet, he still had a strong presence among the inmates, and they could not help it, but to look at him. They would pretend to test him him out to see if they could get a reaction from him. The inmate whose arm was broken by Xia Mu, shouted at him after watching him the whole day.
“Hey kid!” After blanking out for a long time, Xia Mu finally snapped back to reality and looked at him suspiciously.
“It’s visiting hours soon, will there be someone that will visit you?” Xia Mu lowered his glance and didn’t reply.
“Hey, can you say something? If yes then say yes, if no then say no, why are you so boring?” The inmate kept on talking to Xia Mu.
“I guess no one is going to come for you, seeing how boring you are. I guess your family is dead?” Xia Mu lifted his gaze and gave him a cold glare.
“Yo, you know how to glare, you know how to get angry, haha, finally you’re not like a dummy.” The man laughed out loud. Finally not like a dummy? Why does that sound so familiar? Ah yes, she had said that to him before. That time, he would always ignore her, she would always provoke him by stealing his toy models and opening up his wounds. Then, when he got angry, when he cried, when he bit her, she would say,
“Pft, you can shout, you can cry, you can get angry, you can hit others, good! Finally, you’re not like a dummy!”
As Xia Mu thought about that girl, thought about his childhood, the corners of his lips lift up. He remembered that they would fight almost every single day. He hated her, and told everyone that the person he hated the most was Shu Yawang. He remembered when his grandfather wanted him to speak, he would ask him,
“Xia Mu, who did you hate the most?” Did he really hated her? At first he did. That time, he don’t want anyone to get close to him, he liked being in his own little world, but she forced herself in. Regardless whether he wanted it or not, she barged into his world, telling him that she wanted to be his friend. Every day, she would go to his room and occupied his bed and grabbed his toy models, destroying his quiet, little world. So, he hated her, refused her, go against her.
It was that one night when Tang Xiao Tian provoked some hooligans in the internet cafe. Even though she was trembling with fear, she still wanted to protect him. At that time, she didn’t hesitate to have him hide behind her, not letting the hooligans discover him. When she was getting dragged out by them, she gave him a look, telling him to run away. That look, he still remembered to this day. It carried fear and panic, but as it looked towards him, it showed worry, urging, and even relief, relief that the hooligans didn’t discover him. He thought, it was then that he started to accept her, just a little bit. But what really made him accept her was this phrase:
“Xia Mu, you become my pride, okay?” As she asked him under the moonlight with her warm eyes and gentle voice, his heart started to pound really hard. It was then that he know his heart can pound so quickly! From then on, he started to anticipate her arrival. Even though he continued to ignore her, refused to talk to her, and showing a face of dislike when she arrived, he knew that he started to use less strength as they fight and turned less confident when he said he hated her. When he’s with her, he turned less stingy with his toy models. Sometimes, he would even secretly climbed up to the window to see her when she’s arriving. After he kept on thinking about the memories, Xia Mu’s expression warmed up, his eyes no longer looking cold and empty, and he unconsciously murmured out a sound…
“Hey, did you just said something?” The inmate asked in bewilderment. Xia Mu was also bewildered, did he just said something? What did he say?
“Hey Old Xu, that kid just spoke.” The inmate with the broken arm ran to his friend excitedly to talk about the gossip.
“If he spoke then he spoke, it’s not like he’s mute, what’s the big deal?” Old Xu replied back, looking at Xia Mu with a look of despise. After a while, he coughed and asked a question,
“Hey Old Zhu, what did he say?”
“I thought you didn’t want to know.” Old Zhu said with an unhappy look on his face.
“I didn’t say I didn’t want to know, I just said that the kid is not mute.” He argued back. “Tell me, what did he say?”
“I just asked who did he killed that led him here.”
“He said Yawang.”
“Yawang, who’s that?”
“How would I know? But hearing the name, it sounded like a girl, maybe it’s someone he likes.”
“Judging from his cold face, he would like someone?” The two inmates started to chit chat and made their assumptions. Prison life is very boring, so a little gossip can make their conversation go on for a very long time.
The visiting hours are approaching and all the cell doors are opened. The prison guard held up a small book and started to read names off from it. The inmates who were called, walked out of the cell happily and waited in a line by the door.
“209–Xia Mu, Zhu Qiang.” Old Zhu stood up excitedly after hearing his name.
“It’s probably my daughter who came.” He turned around and patted Xia Mu’s bed.
“Hey kid, stop daydreaming, someone is here for you.” Someone is here for him? Who will it be? Grandpa? Uncle Cheng? Yawang’s father? Or….her? Thinking about the possibility of her coming here made Xia Mu’s heart clench. It’s an indescribable feeling; he wanted to see her, but was also afraid to see her. He wanted to see her so much that he’s going to turn crazy, but if she saw how he looks now, she will definitely cry. He don’t want to see her cry. Every time he sees her cry, he thinks of her tears are like sulfuric acid, desperately eroding his heart, hurting him so much that he wanted to break whatever is near him, hurting him so much that he’s going to turn crazy. But if he don’t see her, she will start having thoughts. She would blame herself, thinking he’s not living well, thinking he’s being bullied…in that case, wouldn’t she be even more sad? Then….go see her! Even if she does cry, at least….at least he still saw her!
Xia Mu clenched onto his fist tightly and followed along to the visiting room. The small iron door was opened and Xia Mu crossed over the sill, seeing the family members sitting in a row across from the clear glass. Xia Mu was able to find her amongst the crowd, and as Shu Yawang lifted her gaze to the door and saw him, she was stunned for a moment, but soon greeted him with a faint and gentle smile. It’s just like what it is in his memories, warm and beautiful. Xia Mu kept looking at her, not realizing that he slowed down his pace as he walked towards her and sat across from her.
“Yawang.” He spoke softly as he looked at her. His voice was so soft, so soft that if he spoke a little bit louder, he’s afraid that she would disappear. He looked at the person sitting across the glass, calling out the name that he’s been burying deep inside of him. Shu Yawang continued to look at him, the corners of her eyes turning red. She bit her lips and gently murmur back a sound. Xia Mu didn’t say anything afterwards, reverting back to his quiet self. In fact, he had a lot to say to her, a lot of things to be concerned of. But…he who’s naturally reserved, doesn’t know where to start. Fortunately, she’s been accustomed to his silence, so like the old days, she was the first one to speak. Maybe in this world, only Shu Yawang can endure his silence. He stayed silent, but she was able to read his words and his answers.
She told him a lot of things that happened; told him that his Grandpa’s health is good, told him that she’s been in a good mood, she changed her job and moved into another city. She’s been working hard on her job, her boss thinks highly of her, and her coworkers like her. She also told him that her current roommate was his high school homeroom teacher. She smiled faintly as she talked about herself, knowing that’s what he wanted to know about. And him, he continued to stay silent as he heard her speak and looked at her, looked at her smile, looked at her facial expression as she speak, and watched her every move. She looked happy as she talked about her things, but he felt that something was off, so he interrupted her.
“What about Tang Xiao Tian?” What happened to Tang Xiao Tian? That man that she’s been in love with, that man who she will spend the rest of her life with, why didn’t she mention him? Her smile slowly turn stiff and her eyes revealed a trace of pain. She looked to the side, avoiding his glance, and he remained silent as he waited for her answer. After contemplating for awhile, he heard her say,
“We broke up.” He was stunned, not believing what he just heard.
“Why?” Shu Yawang bit on her lips hard, then said,
“Because…because…” She looked at him, not wanting to continue, but he continued to stare at her, stubbornly wanting to know. She heaved out a sigh and gave a bitter laugh.
“Because I…really missed you.” He looked at her suspiciously. She lowered her head and continue to murmur in a low voice, like she’s talking to herself.
“I really missed you. Every time I eat, I would think, have you eaten yet? Every time I have a conversation with someone, I would think, how long has it been since you last spoken with someone? Every time I wake up, I would think, what are you going to be doing today? Working? Attending classes? Xia Mu, I missed you…I really missed you.” As she spoke, tears are flowing down. She quickly dips her head and wipe away the tears, her long hair hiding her face. Xia Mu’s heart started to clench, he really wanted to hug her, wanted to wipe away her tears. Then, it seemed like Yawang thought of something.
“Xia Mu, where’s the fish necklace that I gave you?” Xia Mu raised his hand and took out the the fish necklace for her to see. She looked at the fish with a faint smile, then looked back at him.
“Keep it safely in your hands, I’ll wait for you until you get released.” Wait for him until he gets released?
“What do you mean?” Shu Yawang’s face suddenly flushed and replied with a coy tone,
“This you don’t even know…” At the end, she didn’t say what does she mean. Just from the things that she told him during their meeting have created a lot of speculations. He knows that she’ll be waiting for him until he gets released, he knows that she broke up with Tang Xiao Tian….they finally broke up? He always thought that they will never break up, they will love each other for the rest of their lives, and he would stay at the side, silently watching them.
At first, he really lost hope. In his eyes, there is no other couple in this world that are like Shu Yawang and Tang Xiao Tian. Every time Xiao Tian comes over, she would always be happy and mischievous that you would want to tweak her nose. And sometimes, she would turn shy and bashful, making people unable to move their eyes away. Those expressions belonged exclusively to the man that loved her blindly. Before, when he sees them together, he felt that they were very happy, so happy that he don’t even have one shred of hope. But now, he has hope. Before seeing Tang Xiao Tian, that’s how Xia Mu thinks. But now, maybe she might be his? Or maybe from that day on, the person that Shu Yawang is waiting for is now him? Would it be like this? Is this what she meant?
Because of Shu Yawang’s visit, Xia Mu daydream less compared to before. He would go attend classes with the inmates and participate in correctional labor. Even the inmates in room 209 can clearly feel that Xia Mu is in a good mood. How he is now is not like how he was before, although he’s still quiet and doesn’t talk much, they felt that his soul came back. At times when they were gossiping, they would turn their heads around and discovered that he’s been listening to them. Because of his attention to them, they began to approach him. Old Zhu would tease him and asked,
“Was that your girlfriend who visited you?” After the inmates heard Old Zhu’s question, they would laugh and join in.
“Of course, if not, how will he be able to continue to live?” Xia Mu shook his head, not saying a word, but he raised the corners of his lips. Girlfriend? No one have ever said that she was his girlfriend before. The feeling that he’s feeling in his heart, it’s so strange! Sweet, yet itchy, it’s indescribable. He maintained that feeling until the second visit.
He thought that it was her again, but as he crossed over the sill, he saw that man. That man was dressed in a military uniform and was looking closely at him. Xia Mu doesn’t know why, but maybe because of how Xiao Tian looked, he felt guilty. He walked over slowly with his head down. The man across the glass was also silent for awhile before speaking up.
“Xia Mu, you…” But after saying these three words, he couldn’t continue. He bite onto his lips and turned his head away. Xia Mu lift his gaze and look at him, just from looking at him, he knew what he wanted to say. He wanted to say,
“Xia Mu, how have you been? Xia Mu, did anyone bullied you? Xia Mu, I’m sorry.” He is that type of man: honest, kind, a man who takes responsibility. He understands him, but because of that, he finds him annoying. It’s because he can’t beat this type of Tang Xiao Tian, he can’t compete against him, he can’t hate him. Tang Xiao Tian doesn’t know how much Xia Mu envied him. Ever since he was little, he envied Tang Xiao Tian; envied over his strict father, his warm mother, his close friends, the girl he loves. But now, he’s envious over the military uniform he’s wearing. He’s really envious, but his pride won’t allow him to! Xia Mu turned his head away and took a deep breath before looking at him face to face. He understands Tang Xiao Tian, he knows that Xiao Tian doesn’t want to see him, like how he doesn’t want to see him. So the reason why Tang Xiao Tian came to see him, the thing that made him be in a hurry and has something to do with Xia Mu can only be one thing.
“Xia Mu, do you know where Yawang went?” Of course, it’s because of her. Xia Mu lowered his head, not saying a word.
“The day after you were sent to prison, she was gone. She left a letter at her home and then left. Her parents were worried sick and all of her friends don’t know where she went. So I thought if there was a possibility that she came to see you?” Tang Xiao Tian looked at Xia Mu with a hopeful expression. Xia Mu, you know where Yawang is, right?
“I’ve been looking for her for so long, but I still couldn’t find her.” Xiao Tian sounded like he’s about to break down.
“Can you tell me where she is?” Xia Mu have his head down, not saying a word. He…he don’t…he don’t want to tell him. He’s scared, scared that if he finds Yawang, then his small strip of hope will shatter. Yawang likes Xiao Tian so much, so much, so so much…Xia Mu closed his eyes and bit his lips hard. Tang Xiao Tian saw how he reacted, so he took a deep breath and stood up.
“If you don’t know, then forget it.” As he turned around, he heard Xia Mu murmurmed from behind,
“I just know she’s in W City.” Tang Xiao Tian had his back facing Xia Mu and he didn’t move an inch as he said,
“Thank you, Xia Mu.” After that, he hurriedly ran out. Xia Mu slowly lowered his eyes, yes, she likes him so much, so , so…this is her happiness. He never thought about his own love and sacrificed her happiness. The kind of love that’s not needed will only become a burden, a rope that is tied tightly around her, binding her, making her unhappy. So, he told him, go find her! Give up on her!
The next few days, Xia Mu was a mess. As he was working, he accidentally lost a hammer and popped a boss’ (most likely an inmate who everyone refers to as boss) blister with his hand. During class, his eyes would wander to the windows and he would not even touch his food during mealtimes. His eyes would not focus on one area, completely immersed in his own world. No one knows what he’s thinking, some people are born with that kind of aura, being in their little world. When Xia Mu doesn’t speak, room 209 is as silent as the water. The inmates there felt like there’s a big rock pressing against their chests, making them having difficulty to breathe. No one understands why Xia Mu reverted back to how he was when he first came in, and no one can tell what he’s hiding in his heart, even if they talked to him, they couldn’t get a response.
Over time, they turned more fearful as they looked at Xia Mu’s eyes. They’re afraid that if they talked to him, he would break down, and get themselves in harm. Old Zhu had asked Old Xu,
“Why do you think Xia Mu recently became like this?” Old Xu nodded his head like he had some sort of thought.
“He got dumped?” Then the two shook their heads, got dumped? Impossible! Last time it was a man who visited him, if it’s to break up, it should be the girl. Then, Old Zhu suddenly thought of something and looked at Old Xu with widened eyes.
“Maybe that’s the girl’s new boyfriend and broke up with Xia Mu on her behalf. Girls, you know, are sensitive.” Everyone knows that something is wrong, but cannot give a convincing answer about it.
This boy would sulk the whole day; as he study, work, eat, and sleep, he would do everything according to schedule, but it seemed that something left. This boy, it’s like his soul have left him. Xia Mu would occasionally look out of the iron window of the cell, hearing footsteps passing by at a fixed time. At first when he heard the footsteps, he would become anxious until he couldn’t hear them anymore. She didn’t came, she still didn’t came. A voice in his heart would shout at him,
“Tang Xiao Tian found her already! They’re already together! Give up! Give up! From the beginning, the person that she loves is not you!” Everytime he hears these words echo over and over again in his head, it felt like nails are plunging into his heart, feeling the pain as it bleeds as his breathing passes through. His heart is hurting, is empty, but why does he still yearns for something? He would play back the scene where she visited him in prison over and over again. She said,
“I really missed you. Every time I eat, I would think, have you eaten yet? Every time I have a conversation with someone, I would think, how long has it been since you last spoken with someone? Every time I wake up, I would think, what are you going to be doing today? Working? Attending classes? Xia Mu, I missed you…I really missed you.”
He would never knew that the words that she told him with a flushed face would give him so much courage and hope, but now it has turned into despair. Whenever he dreams at night, he would dream of a shadow waiting for him outside the cell door, then another shadow would stand next to her. At the end of the dream, he would be staring out of the iron window, watching them acting affectionately and walking away….He would wake up from that dream and clutched onto the fish necklace as he sat silently, starting to think about her again.
Six years, it’s not long, but if you said it’s short, it seemed like it was endless; living in the dark every day, not seeing day or night. He does not intentionally count the days and nights these past six years, and was not eager to go out. As he was about to forget the outside world, someone told him,
“Xia Mu, you’re released from prison.” He looked up to the window as a ray of light shines into the darkness. He looked at the prison guard, his eyes showing neither joy nor sorrow. He’s always like this, placid, like water and fire not immersing together. He lowered his eyes and changed into the clothes that the prison guard brought over for him. He walked out of the room step by step, his roommates looking at him with an envious expression. As he walked out of the door, he turned around and looked at them. Then he hung his head down and left without saying a word.
“Did that kid just looked at us?” Old Zhu asked in shock.
“Damn, we’ve been living together for six years and this is the first time he looked at us.”
“Why do you think he looked at us?”
“I don’t know.”
“Is it to thank us for taking care of him these past years?”
“You’re thinking too much…”
“Then why did he looked at us?!” Old Xu shouted at Xia Mu’s back.
“Hey kid, go out and be a good man! Don’t come back in here!” Xia Mu who was far away, suddenly stopped. He turned his body around and looked at them with his eyes as dark as ink.
“Take care.” After saying that, he turned around and left. Old Xu froze for a moment, and didn’t speak up until after a long time.
“That kid is more beautiful now than when he just came in.”
“Damn, it’s been way too long since you seen a woman.” Old Zhu commented with a look of despise, but he also admitted,
“He really is a beautiful child.”
The main entrance door opens up, creating a piercing sound. She hurriedly places her hand down and walks a couple steps forward. She looks closely, seeing another door behind the main entrance door opening up, and a pair of long legs stepping forward, followed by its skinny and tall body frame. He walks two steps forward, standing below the sunlight, lifting his head up and squinting his eyes to see the clear, blue sky. Shu Yawang looks at him from afar, he’s wearing a navy blue jacket and a baseball cap, his beautiful and exquisite face loses the trace of youthful innocence. He seems to find her staring as he blinks his eyes and turns his head around, looking back at her. He still have that expressionless look, she looks at him as the corners of her lips lift up, giving him a light smile as she looks at him. When he sees her smile, his facial expression softens and the corners of his lips slowly lifts up. Beneath the sunlight, the two who are standing a distance apart, looks at each other, smiling at one another.
No one knows who steps forward first, but the distance between the two starts to diminish, the two stopping when they’re only one step away from each other. Shu Yawang lifts her head to look at him, Xia Mu have grown taller and more handsome, but his aura haven’t changed with his skinny, handsome face displaying the same expressionless look, his eyes still looking empty and cold, and his never-changing dark circles. Yawang looks at him closely, looks at him carefully, her lips carrying a smile, but her eyes reddening with tears, the tears flowing down her face. Xia Mu raises his hand to wipe the tears away, and she brings down his hand and holds onto it tightly. She looks down to his hand, it’s now firm and rough. She rubs his palm and suddenly cries out loud, his hands…his pair of beautiful hands that are like a piece of artwork…now it’s filled with scars and calluses, just like those construction workers. Just how much did he suffered? She rubs his hand with force, trying to smooth out the calluses on his hand.
Xia Mu sighs out loud and pulls his hand away to pull her into his embrace, hugging her tightly.
“Don’t cry, you know I’m scared to see you cry.” He tells her softly. Yawang raises her arms to hug him back, nodding her head in his embrace.
“I’m not crying, I won’t cry.” She speaks with a choked voice. She hugs Xia Mu for awhile as she cries, and when she finally calms down, she rubs her face in his embrace to dry her tears. Then, she lifts her head and gives him a big smile.
“Xia Mu, welcome back.” He gives a small smirk.
It ended, these endless six years have finally came to an end. He had almost forgotten the color of the sky, forgotten the crowded streets, forgotten today’s date, tomorrow’s date, the day after tomorrow’s date. Sometimes, he would look at his reflection in the mirror and see his more stiff profile. He would raise his hand and gently rub against the mirror, his empty eyes carrying a trace of doubt. Is this him? Is this Xia Mu? In the quiet prison center, with its metal gates and iron bars. Six years, it was not as easy as he thought. But even then, he never regretted it, never did…
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