Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
“I pray that the heavens will bring her back to me.”
Qin Zhi’ai wept even harder like a child.
Enough time had passed that her quick trip for magazines had turned into her name being broadcast repeatedly over the airport intercom system.
“Ms. Qin Zhi’ai, passenger of flight MH2345 bound for M, your plane is about to depart. Please board now.”
But Qin Zhi’ai heard nothing as her sobs became so loud that they were audible throughout the store.
“Yusheng. Yusheng. Gu Yusheng…”
When Gu Yusheng woke up from a nap on the sofa in Old Master Gu’s hospital room, Xiaowang had only recently arrived.
Seeing him rouse from his sleep, Xiaowang immediately greeted him. “Master Gu.”
Gu Yusheng’s eyes fixed blankly on the ceiling, and he finally asked, “What time is it?”
Her plane was scheduled to depart at noon. Now that it was already 12:15 p.m., Gu Yusheng presumed her plane had already taken off. Distracted for some time, he finally responded in a faint voice, as if talking to himself, “The plane has departed…”
“Huh?” Xiaowang hadn’t caught what he’d said.
Gu Yusheng didn’t repeat himself and, with a vacant expression, he laid back on the sofa for a while to collect his thoughts before sitting up again. That was when he finally noticed that, in addition to his grandfather and Xiaowang, Liang Doukou was also in the room.
Seated beside his grandfather’s bed with a towel in her hands, she was whispering softly to his grandfather and dabbing the towel on his face.
He said nothing and Xiaowang followed suit. Only Liang Doukou’s soft, gentle murmurs could be heard.
Gu Yusheng was suffering from a headache and a stuffy chest, so he decided to head outside for some fresh air and a cigarette. He rose from the sofa and, ignoring Liang Doukou’s attempts to speak to him after she realized that he was awake, he strode toward the door of the ward.
Upon seeing him leaving, Xiaowang proceeded to stand up and was going to follow him but, without turning around, Gu Yusheng said softly, “You can stay here,” and he exited the room after pulling open the door.
After taking the elevator downstairs, he walked out of the hospital and onto the main street.
Watching the ceaseless traffic and crowd, he suddenly felt that the city he had grown up in and that was ingrained in his bones was unfamiliar.
She’s gone. She said she’ll never return to this city again. She has ceased to exist in this city forever…
Gu Yusheng stopped in his tracks and looked up into the foggy skies. All of a sudden, his lips cracked into a smile.
Gone… She’s gone. My parents are gone. My dreams are gone. My grandfather is unconscious. Nothing else is left for me…
At this point, Gu Yusheng broke out into laughter and soon he was cackling and becoming increasingly louder, until his cries became heart-wrenching and pathetic.
That night, he had slipped the currency note with the message “Little sweetheart, I’m sorry” into her pocket.
He had apologized to her.
He had also asked her to take good care of herself.
He had done all that there was left to do.
What else should I do?
Gu Yusheng stood rooted to the same spot for some time before dragging his feet and trudging forward.
After taking a few steps, he felt weak, as if he were drained of all the energy left in him.
There didn’t seem to be anything left for him to do.
She had already started her new life and no longer needed him. He would not even be able to wait for her anymore…