Almost at the END of the ROPE
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“Dad, I have something to ask you.”
Bai Han Qi turned over. His face was only a few inches away from Bai Luo Yin as he stared directly at him. His back straightened out as an earnest and solemn expression drew out pleasantly across his face.
Bai Luo Yin felt a bit awkward and uncomfortable, “Why are you wearing this kind of expression huh? I just want to have a chat with you.”
“Oh…” Bai Han Qi immediately loosened up, allowing his body to relax, “I thought you wanted to discuss about national affairs.”
If it was to discuss national affairs, no one going to ask you…
Bai Luo Yin thought to himself.
“I wanted to ask you, what kind of person do you think Gu Hai is?”
One of Bai Han Qi’s finger immediately sprung forth out and poked Bai Luo Yin’s head, “What did I say? I was certain that there was a problem between you and Da Hai…”
Bai Luo Yin let out a long sigh, “First, don’t worry about that, just give an objective opinion on Gu Hai as a person.”
“That kid, is absolutely wonderful.”
Bai Han Qi then proceeded to raise his thumbs upward in approval.
Bai Luo Yin laid on the bed, his chin rested on the pillow as he quietly waited for Bai Han Qi to continue. However, Bai Hai Qi only grunted twice to reiterate his approval of Gu Hai’s excellent characteristic. Afterwards, no other words followed those two sounds.
“Yeah, what else is there to say?”
An air of defeat hung close to Bai Luo Yin’s face; his obsidian orbs glared at Bai Hai Qi, “Can you be a bit more specific about it? For example, his character, personality, his behavior towards other people…”
Bai Han Qi rack his brain out for a second before prudently saying, “There’s no problems with his character, his personality is pretty good, and his behavior toward others is quite good as well.”
…it’s the same as not saying anything at all…forget it. There’s no need to ask anymore, asking is the same as not asking anyways.
Bai Luo Yin pulled the blanket over his body and planned on going to sleep just like that.
Finally, when Bai Luo Yin decided not to hold on to anymore hope, Bai Han Qi, contrariwise, slowly began to speak again.
“Da Hai ah…that kid. He comes from a good background, yet he’s not vain. He’s ambitious, hardworking, and also generous. The one thing that I like about this kid the most, is that, he’s realistic. He would never play any dirty tricks or deceive people. Before I thought, you youngster don’t have any conscience, but now I know that it’s not like that. Kids nowadays are very conscience, and some don’t have any good conscience. But Da Hai, this kid, is straightforward. He wears his heart on his sleeves. If he likes something, he likes it, if he doesn’t, then he doesn’t. He is absolute and can make a clear distinction between what he loves and hates. He means what he says and will absolutely stand by it.”
Bai Luo Yin silently listen before his eyes opened again, slightly widening. His lips parted and he asked, “Are you good at telling if someone is good or not?”
“Of course, my brain may not be as good as yours, but I definitely know people better than you do. How long have I been living? How many people have I met already? You’ve only live for this long, those bit of people you’ve met only amounts to the number of fingers on your hands.”
Bai Luo Yin asked again, “Do you think, someone like Gu Hai, if he were to get irritated, he’d do anything?”
“Like what? Give me an example.”
“For example if he dislikes a girl and found her to be an eyesore, would he find someone to violate her…those kinds of things?”
“How can that be?” Bai Han Qi easily knocked the question down, “Da Hai’s conscience is absolutely honest and proper. He would never do anything so wicked and lacking in virtue.”
“What if he really hated the girl?”
“Even if he were to hate that girl, it can’t be more than your mother? Did he do any of that to your mother? As for Meng Jian Zhi that guy really knows how to pissed people off right? Da Hai only gave him, what, maybe a few punches? Did he kill Meng Jian Zhi?”
Bai Luo Yin didn’t utter another word afterwards as his eyes gradually shifted toward the wall.
Afterwards, Bai Han Qi became really tired. When his eyes became hazy and unconsciousness slowly beckoned him, Bai Han Qi patted the blanket that was wrapped around Bai Luo Yin’s body and muttered: “I swear on my head, Da Hai, definitely would never do anything of that nature. Don’t foolishly ponder about it anymore. Quick, go to sleep.”
Did I really misunderstood him?…
Bai Luo Yin’s eyelid soon became heavy and slowly they dragged him into slumber.
After midnight had sauntered by, he slept really lightly. The side of his ear were engrossed with Bai Han Qi’s snores. Bai Luo Yin couldn’t clearly discern whether he was dreaming or reminiscing.
A scene of the night that Bai Han Qi got married, played out in front of him. Gu Hai placed him on his back and carried him toward the rooftop. He hugged him tightly and said,
“I promise you, besides your dad, no one will ever be as good to you as I am.”
For the first time ever, under Sun Jingwei most earnest and heartfelt persuasion, Gu Hai, after an unprecedentedly long period of time, agreed to return home and celebrate the New Year with Gu Wei Ting.
It was already the 28th day of the twelfth month of the lunar year.
The streets seemed more desolate, more desperate than ever. And, since all signs of traffic has miraculously disappeared, the drive proceeded without any hindrance.
It is a common knowledge amongst all the residents of Beijing that whenever any holiday arrived, Beijing inevitably became a city of ghosts, empty and lonely. Those revered traditions and customs that once reigned above all, has gradually lessen over the years. People has, without a doubt, become more and more materialistic. And this, in turn, has weakened people’s interest in celebrating the coming year.
Half a month has gone by quickly, since Gu Hai returned to his residence. This time, he only needed to grab a few things before taking leave.
Bai Luo Yin’s car remained untouched, shielded under the protection of the garage. It was in the same spot; in the same positive as it was before. Never once did Gu Hai’s sight land on it as he drew the key out of his own car’s ignition and sauntered into the elevator.
The elevator, slowly yet surely, rose. Gu Hai stood alone in the empty elevator when suddenly, a simple string of thought sprung up in his mind. He thought that for the past two weeks, he, himself, haven’t lived like a human being…like an actual person.
Every day, besides eating, the time meant for sleeping was spent training. He simply didn’t give himself the time or space to think or reflect at all. Occasionally, as a distraction, he would seek out an older soldier and listen as he shared his experiences in the army. It was only then, would his spirit and energy sneakily reassembled into his body, sobering him up.
There were no fucking differences, between him and the military dogs, that were crazily running around wildly on the training ground! This is how Gu Hai would describe himself.
Gu Hai looked into the cabinets and flipped through some clothes. He had planned on staying at home for a few days.
Since the day Bai Luo Yin heartlessly wounded him, until this very second, each and every single one of Gu Hai’s feelings have diminished. Those feelings that engulfed and defined a person were no longer there to be seen.
Before, he had thought that the hardest thing to endure was living under the same roof as Jiang Yuan, but now, even that was no longer considered a problem. Sure enough, it was time…time was needed for people to learn how to tolerate things.
Finally, when he got to the bottom of the wardrobe, he saw a neatly folded school uniform jacket. It was wrapped in a layer of clothes, encasing it, like a box.
It was the jacket that Bai Luo Yin had personally hand washed for him.
At that time, it was so precious that nothing in the world could compare to it. He never even had the heart to wear it. So there it remained, in the wardrobe, untouched.
As if a spell was casted upon him, Gu Hai tore at the wrapping and flung the jacket to the ground. He mercilessly stomped on it three times. Each time his foot made contact with it, he felt as though, he had just trampled on and crushed his own heart.
Into his eyes crept the old somberness of heartache.
With not even a second to spare, the aching charged forth and traveled toward the core of his being. It began to gripped tightly around those invisible strings that held his heart together. Firmly it squeezed and attacked at that empty and miserable pulsating muscle. There was nothing he could do to ward off those unshakeable heartaches. The pain was unbearable…so painful that Gu Hai wanted to bash his head against the wall.
You fucking idiot! You can just fucking stay with her until you’re fed up. Just let her lie and play around with you. Sooner or later, the day you fucking suffer will come!
“Tomorrow is the 30th day of the month,” said Shi Hui.
Bai Luo Yin silently looked at her and asked, “When are you going back?”
“Go back? Back where?” Shi Hui’s bright eyes sparkled.
“Go back abroad. You can’t just abandon your studies just like that right?”
An indifferent expression painted itself onto Shi Hui’s face, “So what, abandoning is abandoning. In any case, I want to stay here beside you.”
“Don’t say anything!” Shi Hui covered her ears, “I don’t want to hear it, I don’t hear it.”
Bai Luo Yin lit up a cigarette and silently smoked.
Shi Hui’s focus remained on Bai Luo Yin. The entirety of him veiled her vision. That was already the fifth cigarette Bai Luo Yin smoked since they sat down. She heard other people say that men smoked to pass time.
Bai Luo Yin smoked frequently…
Does it mean, during times like this, he found unbearable?
Shi Hui tried to will those thoughts away; she did not want to let those it consumed her. But the facts compelled her to think such thoughts over and over again. Since she came back until now, Bai Luo Yin’s expressions has lessened.
Initially, she could still see some excitements and nervousness, but now, only apathetic remained.
She had thought that if she suffered such a big grievance, Bai Luo Yin would take pity on her and be more caring toward her in any way possible. But, on the contrary, besides the usual concerns here and there, Shi Hui couldn’t feel anything else.
Sometimes she also felt tired. And at times, she would secretly wipe away her tears as well. She had also thought of giving up. But when she thought about things all over again; about all the feelings and energy that she had sacrificed, she couldn’t…she was extremely unwilling to let go.
Feelings can be rekindled and reconstructed, but finding a second person like him was out of the question.
“Bai Luo Yin, why don’t we go abroad together? That way, my studies won’t be abandoned and you’ll also have an even better prospect and broader view of the world. Before, you didn’t have this option, but now you do. Why don’t you go out and charge forth? Do you know? Foreign high school’s life is pretty good. It’s not like how you guys spend it here, so mundane and even the livelihood is inhuman. If I didn’t miss you, I wouldn’t even come back. Think about it, okay?”
When the three members of the family were eating, Jiang Yuan excitedly said, “You know, about Luo Yin going abroad, there’s hope.”
The color on Gu Hai’s face changed, but he pretended not to hear anything and continued to eat.
“He came around to that idea himself?” asked Gu Wei Ting.
“More or less.”
The more Jiang Yuan talked the happier she got as she picked a piece of fish for Gu Hai, urging him, “Xiao Hai, you can go together. You two can take care of each other.”
“I won’t go.”
“Eh? Aren’t the two of you pretty close. To the point where neither one can leave the other?”
Gu Hai coldly rebuked, “I don’t want to go.”
Jiang Yuan still wanted to say something when Gu Wei Ting who was at the side said, “If he’s not willing to go then don’t let him go. He can stay here and afterwards he can enlist in the army. Staying in the army is the same thing.”
“I guess so…” Jiang Yuan laughed, having nothing else to say.
Gu Hai spoke again, “I don’t want to enlist in the army.”
“You don’t want to enlist in the army?” This time Gu Wei Ting’s eyebrows twitched, “Why won’t you enlist in the army? Since you were little, you grew up in the army. When there’s nothing to do, you would go back there and run. If you don’t enlist in the army, then what do you want to do?”
Gu Hai calmly looked at Gu Wei Ting and with a blank expression he said, “I ran there, but it doesn’t mean that I like it.”
When he was done speaking, he placed his chopsticks down and returned to his room.
Gu Wei Ting wanted to get up but Jiang Yuan forced him to stay.
“It’s New Year, don’t put any more pressure on him. Let’s wait until after the New Year to talk about it again…”
Right at that moment, the cell phone that sat on the side rang. Jiang Yuan patted Gu Wei Ting on the shoulder, “I’m going to take the call, you stay here and eat slowly.”
Once the cellphone was placed against her ear, she could immediately hear a sweet voice wishing her well.
“Auntie, Happy New Year.”
“Ah, it’s Shi Hui right?” Jiang Yuan’s brows rose in delights. She was all smiles upon here that sweet voice, “Auntie just finished eating. Say hello to your family for me.”
Jiang Yuan immediately changed the topic to what she was most concerned about.
“That’s right, how was your talk with Luo Yin? Last time, didn’t you say, Luo Yin might just go abroad for your sake?”
“Yes, that’s true. But I ran into a little bit of difficulty. Bai Luo Yin said he’s reluctant to leave his father.”
Jiang Yuan’s brows knitted together into a frown, “I knew it, that hindrance would be Lao Bai. Don’t worry, I go over and have a talk with Lao Bai later and try to persuade him.”
“Auntie’s really powerful.”
“I’m not as strong as you, you silly girl! I’ve spoken to him many times about this matter before, but each time he would ignore me. Now, he’s definitely thinking about it. It’s all due to your hard work.”
“But…I feel really useless.”
“Oh goodness, my little lucky star, you have more than enough capabilities. Listen to Auntie’s words, from now on, talk to him a lot more about it and constantly remind him as well. Your words will get to him. Leave his father to me, Auntie will concentrate on him. In short, let’s both work hard!”
“Yes Auntie, I definitely won’t disappoint you.”
Are you Addicted?