It is the first anniversary of the blog so you get this, lol. You will find out why Yi Chen and Mo Sheng broke up seven years ago, but I think this is not the full story which will be revealed much later. Oh poor Yi Chen, our lidge wants to give him a pat and a hug, lol. Then, the focus of the story will shift to mostly Mo Sheng and her trip back to her hometown.
Chapter 4.1: Fate (translated by peanuts and edited by lidge)
4.33: She did not understand, what happened to make him think like that too?
“To this day, I still doubt if those words I said at that time were the real reason that justified you running away to a faraway place.”
Yi Chen’s voice was not high or low, but each and every word weighted heavily on her heart.
How could he say that? He actually said that!
She remembered clearly the circumstances of that day. After hearing what Yi Mei said, she immediately went to him for confirmation. Yi Chen would never lie to her. If he said no, it would mean no. She definitely would believe him. But if he really liked Yi Mei, then what to do ……
On the way there, the worst-case scenario she can think of was Yi Chen would tell her that he also loved Yi Mei, but she never expected she would encounter a terrifying glare, hatred in his eyes and those hurtful words that cut like a razor.
“Go away, I do not want to see you!”
“Zhao Mo Sheng, I wish I never knew you!”
Such determined tone and attitude. Thinking back now, she still felt bitterness in her heart. Now, he went so far as to say she turned her back on him?
“What do you mean?” Mo Sheng stared at her shoes and asked in a low and clear voice.
The two of them stood in the middle of the constantly flowing crowd so they more or less attracted the attention of the people around them. Yi Chen pulled her to a secluded place, released her and lit a cigarette.
How to tell her? Truthfully?
He began to speak: “That day, your father came to see me.”
Seeing her shocked look, a faint mocking sneer emerged on his handsome face. “You didn’t expect this? Ah! I also did not expect my girlfriend to turn out to be the mayor‘s daughter.”
Mo Sheng’s face suddenly became pale. Mayor’s daughter! Mayor’s daughter! Such a sarcastic form of address!
She and Yi Chen came from the same place – Y City. At that time, this delighted finding was regarded as fate and coincidence, but now it is a big embarrassment.
If he knew she was the daughter of Zhao Qing Yuan, then he must also knew ……
Mo Sheng unsteadily said: “You should know about my dad‘s matters?”
“Yes.” Yi Chen nodded his head. Zhao Qing Yuan’s corruption case shocked the entire country. He accepted huge bribes up to tens of millions. When it was discovered and he was arrested, he committed suicide in prison which was big news at that time.
Mo Sheng closed her eyes, it did not matter.
“What did my dad say to you?”
Yi Chen dropped his head. He could still remember clearly what Zhao Qing Yuan told him that day. “You are a very outstanding young man. Little Sheng likes you very much so I don’t want to object. If you are willing to go to the United States together with her, I’ll help you arrange everything. You do not have to worry about visa, housing, university …… ”
Such attractive conditions!
6.52: A long time later, Yi Chen said wordlessly: “I am a poor student who depends on my part-time job wages and scholarship to survive so what do you think he said?”
Mo Sheng kept quiet because she knew her father well. He had always been dismissive of people who were of no use to him. She could completely imagine the excessive words he said to Yi Chen. Otherwise, why would the cool-headed Yi Chen vented his anger on her?
“I’m sorry.” The truth turned out to be like this! What she had thought as the truth turned out to be completely wrong. Mo Sheng was confused.
“Who are you saying sorry for? For yourself or your father? If it is on behalf of your father, then there is no need.” Yi Chen said coldly.
Mo Sheng weakly tried to explain: “I …… did not know at that time.”
“Then why didn’t you come and ask me?”
Yi Chen’s voice sounded grim and sharp as if coming from hell, “You did not even bother to ask me before sentencing me to death. Zhao Mo Sheng, can you imagine how much I hate you all these years?”
Mo Sheng was shocked until she took a step backward, yet she could not escape his grasp. Suddenly, he grasped firmly both of her shoulders, his strength was so great until she suspected if her bones would be crushed into pieces.
“I’ve never messed with you so why did you want to mess with me? Since you messed with me, why did you give up halfway?” Yi Chen groaned hopelessly. Such a despair and angry questioning tone made Mo Sheng unable to say “sorry.” Thus, she subconsciously closed her eyes and did not dare to look at him.
“Now, I just want to ask you,” Yi Chen gradually became calmer and stared at her with his scorching eyes, “If at that time you knew everything, would you still leave?”
Would she still leave? Mo Sheng stared blankly and speechlessly as she never thought he would ask this sort of question.
If it was seven years ago, she would definitely without hesitation say “no.” After all, at that time, the reason she went to USA was merely to escape from the pain of the failed love relationship. But how about now? Now, she already knew everything that happened seven years ago had been planned ahead by her father for her to flee to USA. Otherwise, how could the visa be ready within a few days? Also, how could everything in USA had been arranged beforehand? Everything had been decided without her knowledge so she had no doubt that at that time even if she did not want to go, she would be forced onto the plane.
Mo Sheng lowered her head: “I’m sorry.”
Yi Chen understood and swiftly released her. The disappointment and anger in his eyes were so great that they could slice her alive into a thousand pieces.
A good while later, he calmly spoke up with difficulty: “What about now?”
What about now? Mo Sheng was puzzled.
“Do you want to come back to me now?” Yi Chen, a little stiffly, said.
The outside world suddenly became quiet. Mo Sheng looked at him in astonishment and could only hear the severe beatings of her own heart.
“I’m not going to waste too much time on this. I am also not interested to get to know another person all over again and have a relationship so you are the most suitable, right?”
Really? Mo Sheng listened in a daze, her heart slowly squeezed in pain.
9.29: Because they knew each other, because she was suitable?
But Yi Chen, did you really know the Zhao Mo Sheng in front of you? This person, who at times she also felt like a stranger, a stranger …..
However, all these things were no longer important.
She no longer had the energy to chase a distant heart. She also no longer wanted a relationship that could destruct any time. She could no longer endure to see the whole world come tumbling down around her again.
Hence Yi Chen, “I’m sorry.”
Forgive my cowardice. I did not expect that even you could not give me courage.
Surprisingly, she so quickly rejected him. Yi Chen paused and said: “You do not need to give me an answer so fast, you ……”
Mo Sheng gently interrupted him: “I have married.”
Shocked into speechlessness, frozen into rigidity. Yi Chen looked at her in disbelief and word by word very clearly asked: “What did you say?”
Mo Sheng stared at her own shadow on the floor and whispered: “I married three years ago in USA.”
Yi Chen’s complexion became chilly and gloomy. The air which emitted from his body could have frozen the surrounding. He stared at her fiercely, as if any time, he would stretch out his hands and strangle her to death.
After a very long time, she only heard his thoroughly ice cold voice, “Zhao Mo Sheng, I must be mad to let you trample all over me like this.”
10.40: Time passed like usual. Today, after Mo Sheng saw the National Holiday’s notice on the office’s bulletin board, she found out how time quickly flew by and it was already the end of September.
The summer had come and passed.
The closer to the holiday on the first of October, the atmosphere in the office became more relaxed. On the 30th of September, when it was about time to get off work, Xiao Hong came over and asked Mo Sheng: “Ah Sheng, what are you going to do on the seven days National Holiday?”
“I have not thought about it yet.” Mo Sheng was sorting out photos on the table.
“I am surprised you have not thought about it, I have already started to look forward to this holiday since the Labour Day holiday on the first of May.”
Her exaggerated facial expression made Mo Sheng smile, and she casually asked: “How come such a long holiday this year?”
“Every year is also like this ah.” Xiao Hong was slightly baffled, then immediately understood, “Oh, you’ve been aboard for too long so you probably don’t know that the seven-day long holiday was implemented for several years to develop tourism. Oh, this year, I intend to go to Phoenix Ancient Town. Do you want to go together?”
Looking at her sweet face, already knew for sure, she would be going together with that Mr. Doctor. Mo Sheng smiled: “Do you want me to help you to take couple shoots throughout the trip? I charge very high fees.”
“Aiya! You are hateful!” Xiao Hong blushed in embarrassment and covered her face. When she put down her hands, she saw that Mo Sheng, who was chatting and laughing with her just a moment ago, had become silent again and looking pensive.
Xiao Hong gave her a little push. “Ah Sheng, are you okay? You are a little strange lately.”
“Ah? Oh, no ah.” Mo Sheng recovered herself, “Suddenly, so many extra holidays, I am thinking what to do.”
11.35: After work, she did not know how to kill time so she wandered around. The streets had become a lot more lively, and the shops appeared like brand new. Mo Sheng strolled along the beautiful shop windows and occasionally stopped to buy some snacks, then continued walking aimlessly.
Until she saw the familiar quaint university gate, Mo Sheng only realized she had walked to C University. She was also startled as she had walked about half of the city from her place of work to here.
The front of the university gates should be more lively than usual as there were students everywhere with a happy and simple smile on their faces while carrying their luggage. Mo Sheng recalled her days as a student, who also felt happy and excited for a long time due to holidays. Thinking about that now, it truly seemed like a dream.
0.30: Mo Sheng, with her hands in her pockets, strolled on the boulevard in the university. Her current mood was not as volatile as the last time she came together with Yi Chen but more calm and serene. Since leaving this university, her life seemed to have veered down the wrong path. But the past can’t be undone, how to continue on the right path from now onwards?
“Do you want to come back to me now?” Mo Sheng thought about Yi Chen’s deep voice again. She stopped walking, closed her eyes and waited for her heart to stop throbbing about the past.
Once, she had imagined countless times being back with Yi Chen. When she was abroad and her mind started to wander, she would fantasize about reuniting with Yi Chen, and the two of them together happily. It was her only comfort in those long, lonely days. All her strength and perseverance were derived from this kind of happy imagination. However, after returning to the country, when Yi Chen wanted to use a kind of rational and ice-cold attitude to turn her fantasy into reality, she retreated.
They were no longer the simple young girl and young boy in her memories. The crack caused by the seven years of separation always reminded each other of their pain. Perhaps, it was merely a small wound but still extremely painful.
Because they cared too much so they were overwhelmed.
In fact, everything was already decided between them seven years ago.
Unconsciously, she also walked to the side of the field. There were many people jogging on the track.
How long would it take for her to run 800 meters now?
Mo Sheng’s small body passed through the railings, and she walked onto the field. She stood on tiptoe on the starting line and counted silently “1,2,3.” Using the speed for the 800 meters test, she dashed out.
With eyes closed, she sped through the night wind to reach the finishing line.
2.20: “Four minutes and twenty-five seconds, too slow.” Yi Chen tapped her head once.
“Slower than yesterday.” She whispered gloomily. Then, she raised her head and looked at him with her luminous eyes, “Yi Chen, what about during the test, you run in front of me, and I chase you from behind? Like that, I’m sure I’ll run fast!”
After being glared at by Yi Chen, Mo Sheng felt a bit dejected for not being appreciated, which was obviously a good idea, “What about dangling your photo in front of me……”
“Zhao Mo Sheng, don‘t you feel ashamed!” Finally, Yi Chen could not help but become angry at her, but his ears slowly turned red.
Smiling, she opened her eyes, but the finishing line was deserted.
Suddenly, her heart felt a sharp pain, the clearer the details, the more pain she felt. Without warning, the tears, one by one, started to drop gradually and could not be suppressed. Mo Sheng sat on the ground, buried her head and cried aloud bitterly.
From then on, any finishing line will no longer have Yi Chen.
3.23: The final train stop was Y City.
Last night, after coming back from C University, Mo Sheng went to bed early. The next morning, she woke up at around 4am because she could not sleep. She stared expressionless at the ceiling for a while, then got up and tidied up a bit before going to the train station.
This was the first time she returned to Y City after coming back to the country.
The train arrived on time in Y City at 11am. It was raining so it was a lot more cooler than A City. The cold winds blew, making people curl up shivering.
Standing on the steps of the train station, her fingers drew together her flimsy clothes. Mo Sheng looked around at the city where she grew up, her heart feeling sadness as well as happiness. She did not know if this could be called homesickness.
“Miss, are you here on holidays ah, do you need somewhere to stay, the lowest rate in the city.”
“Miss, do you need a tour guide ah, National Holiday cheap deal……”
When she was walking across the square, she encountered many people soliciting customers. Maybe the lost expression on her face made her look like a tourist instead of a local. Mo Sheng slightly mocked herself in her heart.
Fortunately, the location of the bus stop had not changed, and the bus route also had not changed so she could find it easily.
Someone seemed to have said that you could take the local bus a few times to truly know a city because it will take you through all the vital places in the city. Mo Sheng looked at the pedestrians, vehicles, streets and shops outside the bus window. Due to the drizzling rain, this Jiangnan small town looked blurry, just like her current mood.
“Qing He Village is next, passengers who wish to get off, please get ready.”
After getting off the bus, she saw many old houses. Looking back, Qing He Village also had a history of more than ten years. Mo Sheng grew up here. She never thought that one day, she would stand on the familiar downstairs of her house and feel desolate as things remained the same, but she had changed.
This time, she has come back to look for her mother. Mo Sheng had not kept in touch with her for more than seven years so she wondered if she still lived here.
The rain outside became heavier so Mo Sheng, dripping wet, rushed into the corridor. She knocked on the door, but nobody came to open it.
She went out? Or had she moved out?
She waited at the front door for over an hour, but still no one came back. The wet clothes affixed to her body, resulting in her freezing cold.
Mo Sheng suddenly remembered something similar to this happening before when she was a child, when she ran home from school in the rain, but there was nobody at home. Hence, she waited at the front door for more than two hours before her father carrying a briefcase came back.
She could still remember his father’s very distressed look at that time, he hugged her tightly in his arms and kept on saying: “Daddy is bad. Daddy is bad. Little Sheng, you can beat daddy’s backside? ah!”
Mo Sheng was born when her dad was approaching middle age but whenever they were together, he would behave like an old naughty boy bringing her everywhere to play, not in the slightest like the powerful and prestigeous mayor Zhao. However, he was simply too busy and had little time for his daughter. Many of Mo Sheng’s classmates were envious of her father being a government official but little Mo Sheng wrote this in her essay: My wish is for father to come back on time from work daily. There will be no uncle visiting my house and having discussions with father every day.
But whenever there was time, her father would spoil Mo Sheng rotten, completely unlike her mother …… in her memory, mother has always appeared cold and cheerless. She also rarely smiled at her daughter ……
6.39: “Little Sheng!”
A surprised shout startled Mo Sheng from recalling her memories. “Aunt Huang.”
The middle-aged woman standing in front was Mo Sheng’s neighbour. Her husband was her father’s former municipal colleague and had a close relationship with her family.
“Little Sheng, when did you come back? Quickly come in, quickly come in. Look at you all drenched by the rain.” While Aunt Huang was opening the door, she greeted her.
After wiping herself with a towel, at last she felt a lot more comfortable. Mo Sheng somewhat uneasily spoke, “Aunt Huang, is my mother still living here?”
“She is still here, otherwise where can she go? You are terrible, went aboard for so many years but no news at all, leaving your mother alone here.”
It was not that she did not want to keep in touch ah. Mo Sheng felt a little sadness. Seven years ago, when she was aboard and had just learned of her father’s death, she immediately called home, but her mother very calmly said to her: “In future, you don’t call again and also don’t return home. Your father already ruined part of my life. Finally, I can live a quiet life now so I do not want to see anything related to him.”
Then, she hung up the phone. Later, when she dialed the number again, it was already disconnected. Much later, she also found out some hidden secrets, which until now she still dared not believe from his father’s old school friend, Uncle Li in USA ……
Mo Sheng did not answer Aunt Huang’s complain, “Is mum doing well?”
“I did not hear of her having any health problem. Too bad, you’ve come at the wrong time. Today, she just followed the tour group organized by the local community to go sight-seeing and will only be back five days later. You can stay at my house first.”
Went traveling? Mo Sheng did not expect this answer. It seemed that she had been doing well. Mo Sheng dropped her eyes, gently smiled, stood up and said: “Aunt Huang, I’m leaving.”
“Not waiting for your mum to come back?” Aunt Huang asked in surprised.
“I am not going to wait. Actually, I just wanted to see if she is living well, and I have some things to ask her.” Mo Sheng paused, “Now I know she is doing well, and suddenly I do not want to ask about those things anymore.”
The ending was already in this way. The reason was no longer important.
“Aunt Huang, thank you. Please do not tell her I came.”
Before she left, she asked Aunt Huang for her father’s cemetery address. No. 157, Area A, Mount Jin Ji, seemed like a residential address arrangement.
8.58: Since it was not Tomb Sweeping Day, there was hardly anyone on Mount Jin Ji. Mo Sheng sat beside her father’s tombstone, her head resting on the stone, just like when her father was still alive and they were chatting.
Mo Sheng chatted with her dad now: “Dad, you won’t be angry with me for only coming to visit you after such a long time? Actually, I’ve always been reluctant to come back ……”
“I’m too weak and afraid I couldn’t handle it. Because when I left, you were alive, your arms hugged me, your body radiated warmth, a lot of warmth, why are you now only a tombstone?”
“I always feel as long as I don’t return home, it seems as if you are still alive. I can still remember the cheese biscuits you bought me before I boarded the plane …… At that time, you lied to me and said you let me go to USA to see if it is good or not. If it is not good, I can come back. But, I feel it is not good at all, yet I couldn’t come back ……”
Mo Sheng used her sleeve to wipe the photograph of a young, smiling man on the tombstone who looked a bit like Mo Sheng: “Dad, was this picture taken when you were in university? Don’t think by using such a young photo, you can impersonate as a young ghost.”
The mountain was shrouded in a thin fog and so quiet as if the world had no sound. Mo Sheng knocked at the tombstone, “Daddy, you are ignoring me.”
A long silence later, Mo Sheng’s eyes gradually became hazy like the fog on the mountain. “Dad, he said, ah, that is Yi Chen, you still remember him? He said we could be together again …… Do you think it is a good idea?”
Naturally, nobody answered so after a while, Mo Sheng muttered softly: “Actually, I also feel it is not a good idea. He is so outstanding and always has a lot of admirers so he can find someone better. We’ve been apart for so many years and are virtual strangers now. If we get back together, there will bound to be plenty of conflicts. Very soon, he will be thoroughly disappointed with me again as he used to be disappointed with me often …… then if we break up once again, I do not know what will happen to me. At least, I am used to my current life without Yi Chen ……”
She could no longer continue talking anymore. After sometime, Mo Sheng said softly: “Everything in my life is also going very well so you do not need to worry about me …… Dad, I am going.”
11.16: The rain had stopped when she descended the mountain. At the foot of the mountain, she looked back at the almost disappearing mountain top, covered by darkness and mist, as if there were already two worlds.