Chapter 2 To possess and to lose
We spent our lunch time in the library and looked at books that were way out of our depth. I could only sit there in a daze, waiting until Xiaoya told me to leave because the class was about to start.
In the afternoon I had physical education, which I don’t like even though my motor functions were well developed. Perhaps it was because every time I ran faster than the other team, I couldn’t help but wonder if it was because I had a mysterious power that made me run faster than others. If that’s the case, then I’m a cheater. Even if it’s not the case, there’s simply no way to verify because in this world, I was born a cheater; a cheater who could escape everything, a shameful cheater. Fortunately, the finishing point was not far away and I didn’t need to continue thinking about this painful thought. In the end, I still ended up first.
Xiaoya’s cheering, the teacher’s unavoidable expression, the sound of praise and envy of everyone else – they all fused together and entered my ears and transformed into pain, creating a feeling of suffocation. I wanted to escape, but I was afraid to escape. I was afraid that if I continued escaping, it would become habit. There was a saying that a habit would turn into nature. What should I do if that were to happen, how would I face others, how would I face myself, how would I continue living my life?
I walked slowly towards Xiaoya and she rushed towards me with a pleased look before hugging me while laughing out loudly: “Awesome, you won again, let’s go to KFC to celebrate!” The kind of happiness she showed was like I was her greatest pride. However, I couldn’t feel happy at all and just slightly nodded my head. Maybe I had already forgotten that feeling called happiness and how to express it.
“For next Monday’s sports festivities, you have to give it your all! You’re my class’s greatest hope.” The PE teacher Yang patted my shoulder while saying.
“I will.” I quietly replied.
“If it’s you, then there won’t be any problems with winning at all.” Sunao came and encouraged me. However, none of them knew. None of them knew that I was a cheater, and that I didn’t deserve their encouragement or envy. It only made me ashamed.
“That goes without saying, she is my best friend! – Lin Jin.” Xiaoya playful added.
Lin Jing, it was the name my daddy gave me. With it, I had this identity, had schoolmates, friends, and everything that I currently possess. However, did it really belong to me? I did not know and even if I spent thousands of years, I might not be able to get an answer.
“Making a posture as if Lin Jin is part of your family….” I didn’t know when Xiaofeng managed to stand behind me and start talking. A shiver erupted from my spine as if a general with outstanding military achievement was standing on a killing field in the center of countless corpses and someone suddenly patted him on the back. It was undoubtedly an extremely scary thing.
“What happened to you, don’t tell me I scared you?” Xiaofeng looked at me with a blank expression and asked me concerned.
“It’s nothing.” Something I often used to say. My schoolmates said it was my mantra. Maybe, I wasn’t too sure myself, but during all these years, I seemed to say those words quite often. Perhaps because these words were easy to say and I could not find anything else to say anymore. I sometimes worry that I might even forget how to talk one day, as it is often said: “Time can make you forget everything.”
“Why are you in a daze again! Recently, you always seem to be staring off into space. Is there something on your mind?” Xiaoya caught me red-handed again.
“Xiaoya is right. I also think you have something on your mind.” Xiaofeng then secretly conspired and whispered in my ear: “Do you have a boyfriend?”
“It’s nothing.” I said those words again.
“What’s nothing, you should at least say if you don’t have anything on your mind!” Xiaofeng looked surprised at me.
“Alright, I don’t and I also don’t have a boyfriend.” I loudly replied.
“Keep your voice down, the teacher is still here!” Xiaofeng didn’t know what to do and covered my mouth, while her eyes kept looking around. Her eyes looked as if they could speak while indicating: “Where’s the teacher, where did the teacher go?”
“It’s alright, just pretend I’m gone.” Yang walked towards her from behind.
“Teacher, how could you say that you’re already gone?! You’re still so young!” The embarrassed Xiaofeng suddenly tried to be sarcastic, to change the topic.
“I must say, you have quite the sharp tongue. No wonder your nickname is Aristotle?” Mr. Yang joked.
“As a teacher, how could you so casually give your students nicknames, wouldn’t it be unfair towards your other students?” Xiaofeng asked and grinned cheekily.
“This was not invented by me. You should ask your classmates!” Replying with a smile, Mr. Yang left, leaving us to do our own activities.
“If you don’t have a boyfriend, then what else could be on your mind?” Xiaofeng turned her head and asked.
“It is you guys who said that I have something on my mind.” I replied.
“Are you saying that there is nothing on your mind?” Xiaofeng asked again.
“There is nothing.” I replied full of confidence.
“If there is nothing, then forget about it. Just pretend that we made a mistake, alright?” Xiaofeng sighed, full of doubts.
Not being able to find another interesting topic, everyone stopped talking and went to do their own stuff. Some played badminton, some hacky sack, and others formed a circle to exchange rumors.
I continued standing there, staring off into space.
I couldn’t remember what else I did that day, and even when I went home, maybe I had already learned how to forget. Perhaps those small things were just too easily forgettable.
That night, when the moon illuminated the sky, I quietly left my room – It was also something that daddy gave me. I knew very clearly what I wanted to do, but it was not clear yet whether there would be any results. However, I still had to go.
I stood on the roof of our neighbor’s house and looked at my daddy’s room, where the light was turned off. A grim feeling suddenly emerged from within my heart, but I couldn’t say exactly what kind of emotion it was. It only made me feel unpleasant. Was it shame? Maybe it was! When an owl hooted, I suddenly disappeared into the vast darkness.
When I stopped my body, I had already arrived at the entrance of a remote mountain village.
The village was small, but there were a lot of families living inside. The houses were built next to each other, and used this small area of land to its fullest extent. When I walked into the village, I immediately saw the house where the accident happened. The owner died in a bizarre way and the house was closed down, but someone tore the seal and the remaining part was floating in the night wind. It seemed to want to say something, but unfortunately no one could understand it. I went straight towards the house and unexpectedly discovered that the door was unlocked. It was unlatched, how could this be possible? I pushed the door open and suddenly a shadow that was hiding in a corner of the house flashed in front of my eyes. I leisurely walked into the house before closing the door. At the center of the room, there was a square table with four chairs placed around it. I sat down on the northern chair and said coldly: “Come out, I know you’re here.”
However, even after waiting for some time, she didn’t come out. I used an even more indifferent voice and asked: “I suppose you want me to help you come out. I don’t want to hurt you, but even if you can’t die, you will still feel pain.”
“If I come out, can you promise not to hurt me?” A timid female voice asked.
“Are you still talking conditions with me?” I asked sharply “Do you really think that you still have the qualifications?”
“I …” Like someone who stopped breathing, the voice was cut off all of the sudden. Even after waiting for some time, she still did not issue any trace of sound. Since I did not have time to wait any longer, I sneered: “Do you think if I wanted to make you disappear, I would still need to talk so much? Thinking about it now, maybe it would be simpler just to make you disappear. ”
“Don’t!” When the voice came out, a woman, wearing a white dress with fear written on her face, stood in front of me. Her expression resembled that of a child that did something wrong and couldn’t help but make people pity her.
“Don’t be so afraid, I just wanted to talk to you.”
“About what?” Before I could finish my sentence, she already interrupted me and asked. However, she immediately noticed her mistake and quietly lowered her head without making another sound.
“I created you, because I did not want you to die in such a sad state. After the transformation, you obtained immortality and normal food could no longer satisfy you, therefore you started to live such a bloodthirsty life. There is no gain without loss, such is the truth of this world. Right now you are a member of the blood family and can choose to join either the Camarilla (Secret party) or the Sabbat (Magic Party). However there is one thing I do hope you can remember: If you are thirsty, you can suck a human’s blood, but please cherish their lives like your own. If you can comply with this one rule, then you will not see me again.” Having said this, I calmed down and waited for her answer, which was also the result I came for.
“I understand, but…” Her voice got fainter and fainter. At the end nothing could be heard anymore.
“But what?” I asked.
“But I want to see you again, although you are a bit scary… but, but I think you’re my only family member. I.. I… besides you, I have no relatives.” She stuttered and her pale, snow-white face shone in a sweet light.
“Soon you’ll find out that in this chaotic and uncertain world, you still have many of your so-called family members. However, not all those family members will love you, and some relatives might even try to kill you. You have to keep this in your mind.” I advised in a fatherly manner.
“I’ll remember it.” She obediently listened and answered.
“That’s good. I hope we don’t see each other again.” Finishing my sentence, I turned away, preparing to leave and suddenly turned back while adding “It is in your best interest not to quench your thirst in such a crowded place, since there are no lack of hidden demons amongst humans.” Just when my voice faded, I suddenly heard something happening outside the door. It looked like someone discovered us; maybe someone noticed us or maybe saw the torn seal or the unlocked door.
“You leave from the back door. If you see someone, you might not be able to control yourself again. I do not want to get involved with that kind of trouble.” I ordered.
“What about you, what will you do?” She was suddenly concerned about me.
“Me? If you are worried about me, then don’t be. Leave fast!” I ungratefully urged her.
“By the way, what is your name?” Just when she was about to leave, I suddenly called out to her again to ask.
“I don’t have a name!” She replied somewhat sadly.
“Then you will be called Xiaojie!” I even named her.
“Thank you!” She looked at me and gratefully thanked me.
“Alright, you should go now!” I urged again.
Just when she turned and left, a lone figure came out of the house and disappeared in the distance in just a few seconds. Perhaps she was very pitiful, very lonely, but it was her choice, her life. She was required to face it herself; no one could help her and she was helped by no one. I always thought that survival was a person’s own business. Perhaps because of this, I did not go with her. Maybe. . . . . . .