FM Chapter 48

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Wen Tao’s Side Story

On the day that she went to America, I went to the KTV and roared for a whole night, singing till my tonsils were swollen and cheeks were tired. But even in the end, I still didn’t cry.

I came out from the KTV and saw Venus hanging on the horizon in solitude, a picture of destitution.

So what if we both loved each other, didn’t we still quarrel as if we were trying to kill each other, both refusing to back down? Getting together and splitting apart so many times, tossing love away without even a crumb remaining. Feeling nothing but emptiness and loneliness.

The eternity that I had believed in before, believing that we would be each other’s soulmate, they were all just illusions.  Once the scenario changed, these flew away with the wind. In the future, she would be under the morning sky while I would be under the night; while I was under the night sky, she would be under the morning. The distance between New York and Beijing is  ten thousand kilometers; it separated all of our history together.

I will never believe in love again. At the very least, I would relieve myself of all my convictions about it. I would no longer be restricted. I would pursue work, studies and hobbies as I pleased. If others saw me, they would say I was living free and easy, just being me. I smiled cheerfully; yet, even I was unable to tell whether those others could see the real me.

As a person who sought the news, from that day onwards, when I woke up I would begin to read a little of the news. Beijing’s BBS hot news would always revolve around the topics of marriage and dating. A smile flashed across my face and I wanted to browse other websites. Unexpectedly one day, the mountain of books that were stacked on the side suddenly collapsed. One by one, the large reading materials continuously rained down with a bang and smashed on top of the mouse. It clicked open a dating advertisement and the computer immediately crashed. The picture remained on the screen of the banner with the words, “I am looking for someone, I have a lot of hobbies but my favourite is reading books. Looking for: Handsome guys with a good personality, willing to engage in a special event”.

As such, I stared at this piece of advertisement for a long time. As I was waiting for the computer to reboot, I kept rereading the contents of that advertisement that was about looking for friends, until I had even memorised it. I smelled the scent of an interesting piece of news coming from it. It successfully evoked strong feelings of curiosity within me so I went along with it. I thought about sending her an email. Life was boring and I would give myself something interesting to do.

I didn’t expect that on that very night, she would reply my email and glibly asked for a meetup as if she were extremely excited. My heart was jittery, it felt as if I was going to a brothel to meet a prostitute. It made me feel filthy, and that I had degraded myself. This made me feel even more hollow.

So, for the first time, I did not behave like a gentleman and chose to be late.

At first glance, I didn’t have a good impression of her. She looked ordinary, with a small round face, single eyelids, and two tiger teeth. She even had multiple acne scars on her forehead. An average face wearing an average dress.

Just like popcorn in a machine, she kept on bouncing. I forcefully convinced myself that I was just participating in Ru Ting’s birthday party. I sighed inwardly, thinking how could this social circle be so small. Ru Ting was my senior from high school and during our gatherings, I often encountered her. After meeting a few times she was totally devoted to following us, saying that she liked whatever kind of men. When she really started attending high school, that was only when she knew the name of that guy, just that she had no opportunity to get to know him. This girl used Ru Ting to entice me, wanting to use me as her male partner. I wanted to use this as an opportunity to become the ‘World’s Greatest Guy’ kind of handsome/suave man. Every man for himself; so I agreed.

On the second day when I saw her in front of me, dressed in a black western outfit, with short hair that gave a good looking appearance, I suddenly admired her. Shouldn’t a person that is filled with vitality look like this? How was it that my heart, which had long withered away like the dead dried grass, could be blown away with a single gust of wind?

During the birthday feast, I got to know Fang Yuke. I was born with an extremely keen sense of perception and I knew he did not like Ru Ting at all. While conversing with Ru Ting, he remained gentle and refined, without a single ripple. However, when he was talking to her, his mood would constantly be affected, and his eyes when he looked at her were filled with adoration and pain. This was a poor man who was unable to obtain the object of his love. However, when I looked from Ru Ting’s point of view, I did not empathise with him. On the contrary, I hated him.

Despite this, I realised that she was actually an extremely fun brat. She had a little bit of intelligence, some personality; she was naive and foolish. Especially when I had easily caused her to lose face in front of the person that she liked, it gave me a perverted sense of happiness. I wantonly pursued an ambiguous relationship with her without knowing why. Why would I fight for justice on behalf of Ru Ting? For the sake of a joke? Or was it for the sake of reviving my long-dead heart?

I engrossed myself in some business debates relating to some student union affairs for a long time in order to quickly forget about this person. However, one day I discovered this brat sneakily wearing a face mask. It had accidentally been taken off by me and it revealed a disfigured face. I proceeded to crack jokes at her expense to provoke her, especially since Fang Yuke was there. I carried Ru Ting’s banner, maliciously attacking Fang Yuke’s point of weakness. I used my blatant pursuit of love as a method of attacking him. In the end, I realised, that while I was doing doing that, I had started to stir up feelings from the bottom of my heart. These feeling were bringing me closer to my true self.  These were feelings that I had long since buried many years ago. These were the buds of love. I was contemplating  whether to kill these feelings or to develop them. She steadfastly rejected me, explaining the situation clearly to me like a caring sister. I laughed bitterly in my heart. I thought to myself, I should continue to live a free and easy life, continue to live as me.

When I had decided to cool off these feelings that appeared right but were actually wrong, I received an invitation to their class gathering, which was their symbol of peace. I actually agreed without a second thought. I knew that these were desolate feelings that would last for a long time; something that came as a result of meeting her that time. I wanted to listen to the sound of her laughter, listen to her flawed arguments and sarcasm. I wanted to see the evil smile that she had whenever she thought she had gotten her way while believing that she was infallible.

My powerful memory and powers of perception would be the pride and joy of my entire life. But this was the first time I hated these abilities. Because I quickly realised that her heart had sent Xiao Xi off only to welcome Fang Yuke in. I began to be worried about their interactions together. I proudly boasted of all my achievements during the gathering, like a foolish and immature child. But what choice did I have? I’d said so earlier; love did not bombard my brain, it bombarded my heart. My ability to reason looked down upon my actions, but my feelings obstinately clung to what I wanted to do. It was as if I were a different person, I was swaying between the clear and the fuzzy, swaying between persevering and giving up.

On that day, Ru Ting cried as she called me, telling me to take that girl away, to quickly take that girl away. I knew then that the situation, which I had predicted, had happened. This brat had always paraded the fact that she treated her feelings with paramount importance. Now that she had managed to fulfill her wishes, was I supposed to congratulate her? She would definitely be celebrating in indescribable joy, proudly beaming all around.

I thought, wretchedly, that they would break up quickly because love, in the face of the tortures of time, would wane and fade away. Amidst the trivial matters and the dealings of everyday life, it would break and diminish, eventually leaving only time for one to ruminate on the memories. For these two people who had no experience in dating, they would be passionate in the beginning only to clash eventually.

I decided to wait until a good opportunity comes along to take advantage of the situation.

During military training, the brat really ended up quarreling with him.

Actually, I knew that I was going to lose once again because I saw that even if the two of them acted like they had eaten gunpowder, even while they were quarreling, they were ready to give in for the sake of peace at anytime. A situation where they were ready to walk out the door, yet, strangely, turn back. A situation where they had not even said two mean sentences but were already afraid that they would hurt the other party. No wonder they would always quarrel with each other. Mutual quarrels were their strange ways of getting along with each other. I even predicted that if they were ever to have a real quarrel, they could only have a cold war.

What could I do? When I tried to reach out to love, which was alternating between appearing real and fake, she had actually declared who her heart was given to in a straightforward manner. When I was determined to believe that love was a passing fad, something that would break, something unreliable to toy with, she had lifted up her head like a bright light. When I could only take advantage of the times when she was dazed enough for me to pull her little hand and tell her of my inner feelings, she had instead, given him a kiss full of deep emotion right in front of my eyes.

So, I would rather believe that love had never come back to me.

Love was a spirit, one could only commit to it like a disciple. If one believed in it, one would have it. But if one didn’t, they would never have it.

 


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