Fangirling Chinese Novels

You Are Still Here (原来你还在这里) – Chapter 44 [EPILOGUE]



Our central storyline has reached its conclusion but what about the fates of the other characters?

Chapter 44

Someone once advised me “Never gossip about your colleagues in the washroom.” Apparently, this was rule number seven in a famous guide to surviving the corporate world. I’ve always abided by this rule but there are others who pooh-pooh it.

“ … Look at you. Your lipstick is too over the top. You better not get caught by our supervisor!”

“What are you afraid of? The supervisor doesn’t have the time to concern himself over such nitty-gritties. If we women don’t even have the freedom to put on make-up, then where’s the fun in life?”

“Funny you should say that. There are women who don’t care about make-up.”

“Haha I know who you’re referring to. Is it Mo …”

The two young nurses giggled uncontrollably before one of them said “Considering the kind of woman Dr Mo is, do you think she’s ever been in a relationship?”

“Who knows? Though I can’t imagine any man tolerating her razor sharp scary looks.”

“The way I see it, most likely some boy has broken her heart before that’s why …”

“Haha! Keep it down. We don’t want other people to hear us.”

“What are you afraid of! She’s not on duty today.”

I stood quietly in my cubicle. Many people derived pleasure from gossiping about others and I was glad I was able to be their source of amusement. Before they left, I unlocked my cubicle and walked out to the wash area where they were. As I was washing my hands, I felt I owed them an explanation so I said to the nurse whose lipstick was frozen in midair “I’m sorry to say I exchanged shifts with Dr Wang today.”

After carefully wiping off every last drop of water from my palms, I walked round the two nurses who were still staring at me dumbfounded and exited the washroom. However they choose to insult me upon my departure doesn’t matter.

After all, they weren’t exactly wrong.

I’ll never forget that night after the National Examinations had concluded. That dark, empty KTV corridor echoed with the singing from the various lounges and that did little to calm my racing heart.

I never thought that I would bump into him while returning from the washroom. His face was ruddy as he made a mad dash for the washroom. Obviously he had drank too much. When he passed me, he didn’t even glance in my direction. But I knew, it was my last chance; I didn’t want to graduate with regrets.

“Zhou Zi Yi!” I yelled out.

He took another step forward before looking back puzzled. He looked past me as he tried to determine who had called out to him.

I told myself, Mo Yu Hua, count from 1 to 7 and calm down.

I could sense my feet making its way slowly in his direction as a faraway voice enquired “Could I take up some of your time? There’s something I have to say to you.”

He stared at me baffled.

I confessed “I like you. For three years now, I’ve liked you.”

To be perfectly honest, I never once held hope that he would reply “So have I.” In fact, I had prepared myself for the worst. But when he stared at me incredulously and said “You have got to be kidding … Oh please let me off.”, I knew my emotional shield wasn’t as strong as I had hoped it would be. So now, even after more than a decade has passed, I still remain resolute in my belief that the most hurtful of words often emerge from the prettiest people.

Yun Jin always found it unfair. “Why?” she would question me, “Apart from a handsome face, what do you see in him?” I was never able to answer her.

Love never made sense but bystanders always strove to tease out a plausible reason. Most people are able to find their soul mates while others fall for the imperfect. I belong to the latter.

I had been classmates with Zhou Zi Yi ever since Year One. The first day of my senior high schooling, I sat in the newly renovated classroom feeling out of place as the conspicuous country bumpkin in the spick and span environment. Then, I saw him stroll in casually. It had been a stormy day and many school mates looked bedraggled. However, somehow, he managed to avoid the fate of the other drowned rats. His uniform was immaculate and his shoes was pristine white. He seemed just like an angel that had descended from heaven. I never thought a boy could look so perfect.

I don’t know how many other female classmates ogled him as I did. When he walked passed me, I bent my head low such that my eyes were trained on his dirt-free sneakers. Funnily enough, I suddenly recalled all my past brushes with the opposite gender like my uncles and male friends. They spent years barefeet working hard in the fields up to their waist in mud and their feet always had grime which couldn’t be washed off. A pair of six dollar boots could last my father three years and he would wear that same pair faithfully throughout the seasons. Perhaps I fell for him at first sight; he was like a dazzling bolt of lightning that split open my sky such that I caught a glimpse of another world that was far removed from my home in the fields.

There I stood in the dirt desiring after the one in the clouds.

I once spent many months trying to get rid of the stubborn dirt entrapped beneath my fingernails from the many years of laboring in the fields. I also spent those months scrutinizing my round face in the mirror and trying all sorts of ways to improve it. But eventually I had to face up to reality – I was destined never to become a person of his class. Thus I had to work hard and even harder at my studies because I knew apart from that, nothing else could change my fate. Even if I couldn’t become the flawless swan like he was, I refused to remain an ugly duckling

Even though we had been classmates for three years, up until that moment, we had never once talked to each other. I don’t think he even knew my name. He was just like Cheng Zheng – everyone was envious of him. If Cheng Zheng’s cool attitude towards women caused them to stare from afar, then Zhou Zi Yi’s generous smile easily earned the delight and ire of many. Of course, his smile was reserved only for the pretty ladies.

He was both the most considerate boy as well as the ringleader in teasing girls. His grades were poor and when he created mischief, he did not hold back. But both the principal and teachers were extra forgiving of him because apart from his likeable face, his father was the head of the province’s largest real-estate company.

Later, I found out he was also a kid that nobody loved. In all three years in senior high, it was his father’s assistant who attended all the parent-teacher conferences in his parents’ stead. According to hearsay, there was only him and his nanny living in his mansion most of the time. In fact, whenever he had the chance, he would invite friends over to his place to enjoy unbridled fun.

In our second year at senior high, I heard someone mention that his father had made a rare visit to the school to meet with the principal. Even more shocking was his luxury car had been smashed beyond recognition in that same visit. It was the most sensational news in a long while. However, because they never managed to capture the perpetrator, the matter died down. No one ever knew that I had witnessed him in the school’s parking lot smashing every window of what appeared to be an expensive drive. It was coincidence on my part really.

So even the world up in the clouds wasn’t perfect. When a woman’s love has some traces of maternal love mixed in, it would become even more irretractable. I pitied him but I was also aware that if he came to know of it, it would be the most absurd situation – my pity wasn’t worth anything. I was a nobody not only to him but also to the rest of the world. Nonetheless, he became the softest spot in my heart.

My love was a secret and it was hopeless. I am not Yun Jin, I cannot control my feelings. My rational mind warned me to stay clear of him, but my treacherous heart always betrayed me. Thus, I chose to confess that fateful night. I didn’t dare dream that any result would come out of it. All I wanted was to leave my teenage years behing without regrets.

I loved a handsome boy in my youth. Even though he viewed me as a monster and fled terrified upon my confession, even though I became the laughing stock in his circles, I never regretted it.

The effort one invests in his academics always has better returns as compared to the attention one invests in people. My diligence paid off and I entered my dream university, becoming the first female in my county to successfully escape the fate of a farmer. With my poor father’s full financial support and overflowing expectations, I began university life in the city. My life in university can be summarised as stints in one laboratory to the next. I’m not an exciting person by far and was a born introvert hence it comes as no surprise that I don’t have many friends. Thankfully I had Yun Jin. Us being in the same city culminated in the establishment of a close friendship.

The summer of our first year in university, Yun Jin hesitantly brought news of his having a girlfriend. Frankly, I already knew. I rarely left comments in my friends’ social media but I was always lingering on the various platforms to see what he was up to. His was an open relationship that was well documented online. From the many photos posted online, I could tell the girl was just like him – another pretty face. Seeing his contented and blissful smile, I knew he was truly in love. He wouldn’t remember me. Perhaps when the couple was joking, he would mention me – how this unknown country bumpkin had professed her unwanted love for him.

I assumed that was how I would spend the rest of my life – secretly watching him live happily from afar. I never expected that when I next saw him, it would be the sixth year post graduation. By that time, he had carved a name for himself in the real-estate world. More importantly, he had become engaged to his sweetheart.

When he made a stopover at G-city and organised a gathering, Cheng Zheng rang me up to ascertain my attendance. I knew Cheng Zheng’s motivations – he was afraid that if I didn’t attend, neither would Yun Jin. He badly needed an opportunity to heal the cracks in their relationship. Cheng Zheng couldn’t have known that even if he had not made that call, I would still have attended. I am not one to hide from reality. Another way of putting it would be I desired to meet Zhou Zi Yi confidently.

That night, Zhou Zi Yi had approached me to make small talk. He told me “Yu Hua, you’ve become prettier.” I was flattered. Even though I knew his words could never be taken seriously, my heart was making somersaults; at least he knew my name!

The six years had made his handsome appearance even more suave but it also helped me perfect the art of looking unaffected. We sat across each other and drank; if someone had told me years earlier that there would come such a day, I would have scoffed at him. When we were both sixty percent drunk, he teased me and asked if I had found the man of my dreams. I laughed and enquired if he had forgotten how I used to be infatuated with him back in senior high. My words made him double over in laughter as he pat my shoulders in approval of my sense of humour. For that, we toasted.

What he didn’t know was that the many years since the fateful night had confirmed it for me – I would never love another like him. The world is a place of cruel irony; the line between fact and fiction is often blurred. The person I loved was right before me but he didn’t even know it. He also didn’t know I would never lie about certain things.

That day he had too much to drink and he said many things. I was the same even though I was usually a quiet person. Eventually, he was completely wasted and I flagged a cab to see him back to his hotel. He rested heavily on my shoulders and slurred “Yu Hua, you’re an interesting person. If we could turn back the time, maybe I would have fallen for you heh.” My reaction was to laugh in unison. I wasn’t a fool. Zhou Zi Yi was a businessman through and through; even when he was drunk, he would not let himself be forced into a corner. He said “if we could turn back time” but we all knew that wasn’t possible. What he meant to say was, he would never fall in love with me.

When we reached his hotel, I staggered and stumbled my way to his room as I tried to balance both our weights. The other guests in the elevator caught a whiff of the stench of alcohol on us and took in the sight of us with hands around the other with unmasked disapproval. When the hotel staff unlocked the door to his room, I was so exhausted I dumped his body unceremoniously on the carpet of the luxury suite. I had done my duty as a former classmate. He lay on the carpet and struggled with loosening his tie. I couldn’t stand seeing him fumbling helplessly so I bent down and helped him. As I reached out, he yanked abruptly on the other end of the tie, causing me to teeter and I narrowly avoided falling on top of him.

“Don’t go …” He begged.

I got up and called the male staff on shift to watch over him.

As I made my way back to the elevator, I clasped my burning face in my cold, shaking hands. I had to admit, my heart was racing back there. Any normal woman will not be able to remain unmoved in the presence of the man she loved. I could have stayed and used drunkenness as the perfect excuse to spend a night with him. Then at least I would have memories to last me a lifetime. But I, Mo Yu Hua, am simply unable to bed a man who keeps chattering on about missing his fiancée. I couldn’t bear to lower myself to that level. I was destined to pine after him from afar.

The next day, he called to thank me and invited me out for a meal. I declined him, citing school as an excuse. I couldn’t cope with a second night whether he intended it or not.

In the end, he returned to Shanghai. The gathering changed our friendship and we kept in contact. Sometimes he would call to make small talk, other times he would pour out his frustrations concerning snags in his career or relationship. Chen Jie Jie was his fiancée and the one name he mentioned the most. She was indeed a fortunate girl to have Zhou Zi Yi the infamous player fall hard for her. She could leave him in the country without reservations as she studied in Europe. While I dare not say he didn’t sleep around in her absence, he was definitely emotionally faithful. I believe apart from her beauty, there must have been something particularly winsome about her.

My days passed in a blur as I shouldered more responsibilities as a resident. There was an advantage to studying medicine; it helped me forget the fact that I was single even at the ripe age of twenty-five.

In my seventh year of university, I had just assisted in a simple appendicectomy when I received an urgent call from Meng Xue – Zhou Zi Yi had been in a serious car accident in Shanghai and his life was hanging in the balance. She asked if I wanted to fly in to Shanghai with her but I declined. There was no meaning in going there. His family’s affluence would ensure his getting the best treatment if he didn’t die. If he died … If he died, nothing would have changed.

I stood rooted to the spot, stunned at my own heartlessness. My senior cum mentor, Dr Wu, was shocked “Little Mo, why are you crying?”

Was I? I wasn’t aware of it then. I touched my face, I was indeed crying.

“Nothing. My eyes was irritated is all.” I replied.

Dr Wu smiled and dropped the matter “Perhaps you should go to the washroom to handle your “irritated” eyes.”

In the subsequent days, I reported for work as per usual and went for my break as per usual. I refused to enquire about how he was faring miles away. However, in my dreams, I was haunted by an ocean of blood.

On the sixth day, Meng Xue called. She sighed “Luckily he’s tough. He’s out of the woods but still not in a good shape. His ribcage is broken in three parts with one fragment narrowly avoiding piercing his lungs. His spleen is ruptured and one-third has been removed. His left nasal bone is fractured as is his left femur. Sadly even the rich are bound by circumstance; even in his state, his parents are held up by business and only managed to accompany him for two days before rushing off. His fiancée is slightly better and she calls everyday. She claims she’s preparing for a major examination and can’t make it back. His family has hired private, highly qualified nurses to care for him round the clock. But even then, nurses cannot take the place of family. Seeing him like this … it’s really sad.”

I hung up and mulled over it for a long time. Even before I came to a decision, I found myself already packing. I called Dr Wu to request a long leave of absence. His tone became serious on the other end “Little Mo, you should know that this residency is crucial. It affects your chance of employment with the better hospitals. You’ve always performed stellarly and our hospital has always been keen on signing you on. If you should take a long leave now … You really should think twice.”

“Senior, I’m certain.”

That very afternoon, I took all my allowance from my residency and flew straight to Shanghai. When I landed, I rushed to the hospital immediately. At the sight of Zi Yi wrapped completely in gauze, I simply couldn’t connect him with the carefree man I knew. I stood next to him and set down the luggage in my hand. He was so weak he couldn’t speak but when he saw me, a single tear rolled out of the corner of his eye.

In the subsequent days, I made arrangements with the staff there. The nurses would tend to him as usual but I would take over any specialized care that needed expertise. The nurses’ burden was lightened yet they enjoyed the same pay so naturally they were more than happy to accept my offer. As for the hospital, I told them I was a friend but I’m sure most of them treated me as his girlfriend. It was not surprising for who would believe that a simple friend would abandon everything to care for him so meticulously? Thus in the many days after, whenever the doctor on duty teased him “You rascal, your luck is pretty good huh. You managed to stay alive despite the horrific crash and you even have a professional doctor as a girlfriend to take care of you.” I never corrected him.

Zi Yi had always been physically fit so his wounds healed relatively quickly, After twenty odd days had passed, he could even sit up in bed and most of the casts were removed. However, his hands and feet were still in plasters and he couldn’t care for his own hygiene. Whenever I gave him a wipedown, he would blush furiously and his body would tense when I reached his lower half. To me, any part of the human anatomy, be it male or female, was exactly what it is, human anatomy. Thus I often reassured him “You don’t have to feel awkward in front of a doctor. I’ve seen some larger than yours and some smaller than yours. You can relax. Yours isn’t at all special.” However, a month later, as I was cleaning him as per routine, I found a portion of him had an unusual reaction. I have to admit, I felt no less embarrassed than he did so I coughed lightly and remarked “Seems like you’re really making a good recovery.”

For two months, we were in our own world. I even slept in his VIP room. Every night, I would converse with him before we fell asleep on our respective beds. He hated the nurses’ way of doing things and refused to let them near him. Even his meals were rejected unless I fed him. There was even once when I went roaming in the hospital grounds and returned a tad later than usual. I hadn’t even entered his room but I could hear him throwing a huge tantrum at my absence. I almost thought I was important to him until the day of his discharge. I had made a short trip to the hospital canteen to grab breakfast but when I returned, I could no longer squeeze my way into his room. His parents, friends, and even subordinates had swarmed the room. Even from a distance, I could smell the ugly fragrance of fresh flowers.

I sat at the other end of the hospital and finished both sets of breakfasts silently. When one is full, one wouldn’t be as sad. When I finally walked back into the room, the mass had long gone. It was so pathetic really; I had harboured hopes that he would be like the dashing male leads in dramas and make a reappearance just before I gave myself to despair. He would say “I’m still here.”

But of course, he too was long gone. Humans are like that. Even when they know it was impossible, they still hoped.

The only person remaining in the room was a middle aged man who claimed to be his father’s assistant. He expressed sincere gratitude on behalf of the Zhou family. One could tell he was an honest and kind man. When he said “We know that Ms Mo has taken good care of Mr Zhou on account of their close friendship. But as compensation for your time, we would like to present you with this. Should you refuse, we would assume that you don’t take Mr Zhou as a friend.” as he pushed a thick package towards me, I realised I didn’t have any reason to refuse him. Hence, I accepted it and weighed it in my hands. The Zhou family sure was generous. This sum was enough to hire the best doctor in all of China. I tore open the flap and counted twenty pink notes before returning the rest to him. “Could you please relay my thanks to Mr Zhou for paying my return airfare?”

When I flew back to G-city, the first thing I did was to visit Yun Jin. There she lay on the bed with a deathly white face that was no different from the bedsheets. When she saw me, she took a long time before finally choking out “Yu Hua, the child is no more. The doctor says I’ll never have children in future.”

I sat by her bedside and clasped her hand in mine as her tears flowed freely. Even a girl so adept at protecting herself could be so stupid in the name of love. Could it be that every woman had to be silly once in their life before they learned to be strong? She was the same. As was I.

When I was still by Yun Jin’s side, I received a call from Zi Yi. He said “Yu Hua, I’m grateful to you. I’ll never forget this. If you should need my help one day, come hell or high water, I will get it done.”

I listened to him quietly before replying “What would I need that requires you to go through hell or high water? Don’t think so highly of yourself. I went to Shanghai not for your sake but for my own. You don’t owe me anything.”

When I hung up, I told Yun Jin “He’s such a shrewd person through and through. Everything has a price to him. Did you hear? He said to thank me, he was willing to go through hell or high water. That is the price he set on me … but what fault is it of his? He never made any request of me. Everything that I did, I was willing. I did it for myself, not because of compassion for him.”

When my tears had dried, I had an emotional breakthrough.

On my return to my hospital, I received a strict warning. Thankfully, due to my otherwise good performance, I didn’t receive worse punishment.

Half a year later, I received Zi Yi’s wedding invitation. It was clearly written – Groom Zhou Zi Yi and Bride Chen Jie Jie sincerely invite you, Ms Mo Yu Hua, to their wedding on xx/xx/xx.

She had finally come home. The prince and princess were destined to be together. It was just as well that the lovers had reunited.

The eve of the wedding, Yun Jin asked me “Yu Hua, will you attend?”

I replied “I will. Why not? Since I have to give a red packet, I might as well go and take a look for myself.”

“That’s good. If you go, you can pass them my red packet. I have work-related stuff tomorrow, I won’t be going.”

I agreed readily because I knew the true reason for her unwillingness to attend – she didn’t want to meet him.

The day of the wedding, I dressed simply because I knew better than to compare myself with the fortunate bride. Moreover, I wasn’t pretty myself. When I passed the couple my red packet, I offered my congratulations sincerely “I wish you eternal happiness.” I looked at Zi Yi and stared into his eyes but he broke the gaze and looked away. Then, I presented Yun Jin’s red packet “This is Yun Jin’s. She wants me to send her well-wishes on her behalf.” The dashing best man looked forlorn at the news.

I thought of Yun Jin’s deathly white face. Love was such a strange thing. It didn’t allow another to gain because one had lost. No, it made everyone suffer the same heartbreak.

I left the washroom and promptly forgot about the two nurses as I returned to my clinic. Doctor Zhang, who was in the clinic opposite mine, saw that I had returned and he leapt to his feet eagerly “Dr Mo, you’re back! Please handle everything while I go to the toilet.” Everyone had to grow old and die someday, isn’t this why the hospital’s “business” was always so prosperous?

I was reading a case note intently as I yelled out “Next!” Very quickly, someone occupied the seat before me. I looked up and waited patiently for the patient to begin.

He said “Doctor, I hurt here.”

He pointed at his chest. I advised him seriously “If you’re having chest pains, I strongly recommend a referral to Internal Medicine.”

“What if I’m also bleeding?”

“In that case I can stem the bleeding first.” I pretended not to notice the exaggerated and playful manner in which he was clutching his chest.

My patient grew silent as his mischievous grin slowly disappeared “Yu Hua, I’ve divorced.”

This wasn’t something new. I replied “If that’s the case, you can see a psychiatrist or a counsellor.”

“Yu Hua, can we talk as friends?”

“You’re spending good money to be here. This is the only way we can talk. If you’ve nothing else to add then I’m going to call for the next patient.”

That night, I called Yun Jin. Because of her mother’s matter, she had returned to the county. I hadn’t met her in a long while. She informed me that she had quit her job. Then I heard a familiar albeit unexpected voice in the background “Yun Jin, who are you talking to?” She covered the receiver and I could only make out muffled voices on my end. After some time she replied “Let’s continue.”

I couldn’t help but ask “Did you quit for him?”

“You can say that. Since I’ve decided to begin afresh with him, then I owe it to him and our relationship to leave the company. He claims he doesn’t mind but I don’t think I can continue working under Xu Zhi Heng. It’ll only make things awkward.”

“Are you really set on starting things over? Aren’t you afraid history will repeat itself?” I wasn’t being a wet blanket. I’ve seen for myself their many quarrels and reunions. If love could resolve all problems, they would never have separated in the first place.

“I can’t be sure of anything. Not all problems can be resolved even when we face them bravely as a couple. I’ve come to realise that we can’t be calculative in love. We can only be forgiving.”

Perhaps she was right.

Yun Jin continued “There’s something even funnier. I woke up last night to the sound of someone going through my things. I had such a scare and I turned on the lights immediately only to see that it was him. I asked him what he was doing in the middle of the night and he said he was looking for our household registration certificate.”

I teased “He can’t be thinking of proposing?”

Yun Jin also chuckled “That’s what I asked him too. He merely replied ‘Su Yun Jin, a man at twenty-eight is in his prime while a woman at the same age will start to show signs of ageing. Hence we have to get married right away.’”

“This sounds like Cheng Zheng alright.”

“Yu Hua, will you believe me if I said that sometimes love needs a bit of impulsiveness? I replied him ‘When does the office of registry open?’ Who knew that the office only opens at eight? The two of us started waiting outside at seven like the idiots we are. When they finally opened their doors, we discovered that they were only handling divorce cases that day.”

I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. “Yun Jin, have I mentioned that I’m really envious of you?”

It’s true, no matter how many obstacles she faced, as long as she was willing to turn back, there would always be someone waiting and ready to help her. But where was my person?

After Zhou Zi Yi and Cheng Zheng became business partners, they moved their office to G-city. Since he was divorced, Zi Yi no longer had any reason to remain in Shanghai. Later the same year, I was sleeping one night when I received a call from a very tipsy Zi Yi. There was loud music in the background. He slurred “I’ve had too much to drink. Can you come get me?” I know I should have turned him down but I didn’t. I asked him where he was before changing.

When there was a first, there would always be a second time. I became his lifeline. Soon it came to be that whenever he had finished entertaining clients, he would drop by my place. He said it was because he loved the tea I brewed.

Zi Yi loved Bi Luo Chun green tea but its fragrance was too overwhelming for my liking. I preferred Liu An green tea. Whenever he visited, I would always serve him his favourite tea before brewing my own mix. Oftentimes, he would leave after drinking unless he was dead drunk. On such occasions, he would spend the night.

Back in the hospital, my mentor Dr Wu constantly reminded me “Yu Hua, transferring to Dublin is a wonderful opportunity. This offer won’t be extended to you forever. You must make a decision fast.”

Yun Jin asked “If you should stay, then it should be for someone who’s worth it. But what am I to make of the both of you right now?”

I didn’t answer her. I knew he depended on my warmth. Perhaps this was what his rich parents and beautiful ex-wife couldn’t give him. Eventually, I learned the reason behind his separation. It was a simple problem actually. She was unhappy that he spent too much time meeting clients whereas he was frustrated that she didn’t view family as a priority. Pretty people were all the same – they tend to be haughty and stubborn and both of them was no exception. What was originally a small issue became a bonfire out of control and both grew tired of the constant fighting and decided to separate due to “irreconcilable differences”.

Everytime I saw him off, I would sit quietly in the spot he had occupied for a long time until even the tea had cooled. Yun Jin was right; she said “Zhou Zi Yi is merely using you. He enjoys this arrangement because he gets to have your company but at the same time, is not beholden to any relationship responsibility.” Sometimes people choose to plunge into the deep knowingly.

Sometimes he would sigh “Yu Hua, you’re no longer young. Don’t drag it anymore. Find a good man and settle down.” Indeed, I was already thirty. How much time did I have left? Back in my county, a twenty-five year old unwed maiden would be a source of worry for her parents. If she was my age, she would simply be viewed as a freak. My parents who were once so proud of my achievements now dreaded my name coming up amongst my relatives. They called, nagged, scolded and even tried to matchmake me but slowly they accepted that it was futile and they let me be. They pretended that I didn’t exist to save themselves the worry.

On my thirtieth birthday, Zi Yi took time off specially to celebrate the milestone with me. He said “Yu Hua, why couldn’t you have been my family?” I didn’t answer him. He was a practical and cruel person. He was clearer than anyone else that that wasn’t what I wanted to hear.

By this time, Yun Jin and Cheng Zheng had long since married. The two stubborn people still butt heads occasionally but having once lost each other, they learned to appreciate the other. Just as Yun Jin had mentioned, love needed perseverance and forgiveness. It was regretful that they couldn’t have children. In the past two years, they had tried all methods of conception but the result was always disappointing. Yun Jin didn’t say it but I could sense her stress. Cheng Zheng was not only an only child, he also hailed from such an affluent family. Perhaps this was the price they had to pay for the mistakes in their youth.

Two months after my birthday, Zi Yi formally invited me to dinner. When I reached, he was already waiting. I’d known him for such a long time and he was rarely punctual.

I sat down and observed that he was unusually serious and tense. Thus I decided to get to the bottom of the matter immediately “If you have something to say, you can just say it straight.”

He hesitated for a long while before raising his head to look at me.

“… Jie Jie has returned. I realise I still love her so … I intend to remarry.”

Because I just entered the warm restaurant from the wintry outdoors, my glasses were fogged up. I took it off calmly and slowly rubbed at it with cloth. Just as he reached the pinnacle of anxiety at my non-response, I replied “Oh.”

From beginning till end, I had always been a bystander. Apart from being privy to certain details, I had no other rights.

Before I left, I told him “I wish you happiness.”

I meant what I said; I truly wished him well. Perhaps only then could we both forget each other.

At night, I returned to the hospital. The patients were still as numerous. When I passed by the operating theatre, I heard a relative let out a heart-wrenching sob. After being accustomed to working in a hospital, one became immune to death. Day in and out, people died from road traffic accidents, physical assaults, cancer, virus … but no one ever died from sorrow.

Yun Jin dropped by to drink with me. When we were both tipsy, she cursed in a low voice “Zhou Zi Yi that jerk.”

In all the years I knew her, I had never heard Yun Jin scold anyone so I couldn’t help but smile.

Was there a rule that ordained that the person you loved must love you back? There wasn’t.

So I said “He’s not at fault. He just doesn’t love me.”


Yingniang’s comments

As the translator for this novel, I’m very heartened to read that most of you love our two leads. It wouldn’t have been such a fun ride if no one felt anything for our couple. It may come as a slight surprise then that neither Yun Jin nor Cheng Zheng are my favourite characters. Mo Yu Hua rocketed to the top of my list with this heartbreaking epilogue and mysterious Shen Ju An comes second. Which brings to mind, what is Ju An’s story?

Some of you have rightly pointed out that Xin Yi Wu likes her characters to make appearances in her other works and this is the case for many of the supporting characters here. This despite it being the first book she had ever written. Let’s take one moment to admire her foresight and literary talent. Peanuts and I have discussed this early on and we thought it best that I make a mention of certain supporting characters which also include Lu Lu and Zhou Zi Yi. Yes, Zi Yi’s story doesn’t end here. I’ve put all of it under an extra cut in case some of you want to read the original text. Having said that, for those of you who can, you should read the original texts because some things are just sadly lost in translation.

Before I end off, I would be completely remiss if I didn’t thank my mentor, Peanuts, for her patience and guidance. She has helped me to source for pictures as well as bridge any differences in content between the original text and the published version to maximise your reading experience and for that I cannot thank her enough. She has truly been a great help in easing my load. For all you aspiring translators out there, I would recommend you giving it a try right here on this platform (subject to tryouts)! You’ll be in good hands a la Peanuts for sure.

I also want to thank Hui3r for allowing me on her platform as well as all you readers for following the story, leaving comments and liking posts. It’s been wonderful interacting with all of you (please do continue to leave comments, I would drop by occasionally to reply them and that’s a promise.) You may not know this but the excitement you may derive as readers from noticing a new post is out is the same excitement we translators get when we receive notification of a new comment!

With that, I take my bow from the translating world. Truth be told, I undertook this project because I love writing and the experience has only deepened my love for the art. I know I still have much to improve on and I will try to go over all my posts and make the necessary edits when time permits. Perhaps I will make a reappearance when the drama version of You Are Still Here is announced because the story means so much to me. I know I can’t wait for news of its dramatization, what about you?

P.S. Do rate the story over at You Are Still Here’s Shu Sheng Bar page!

Warning: Major Spoiler Alert






Shen Ju An 《山月不知心底事 – The Moon Doesn’t Understand My Heart》 

Shen  Ju An’s first love is Yuan Xiu and the gold ring was a gift from her. Because of a twist of events, Yuan Xiu becomes a social escort and Shen Ju An leaves for university. They separate.

Yuan Xiu gets involved with a man called Ye Qian Ze. However his wife, known as Xiang Yuan, is not to be trifled with.

Despite having broken up, Ju An still seeks her out because he can’t forget her and eventually Yuan Xiu becomes pregnant with their child. (Note, it was never explicitly stated that it is Ju An’s child and it may well have been Qian Ze’s child with the only clue being Yuan Xiu fought hard to keep the child.)

Unfortunately for Yuan Xiu, Zhang Yue is also not to be trifled with. When the latter discovers that Yuan Xiu’s child is most likely Ju An’s, she is livid. In a surprising show of cunningness, she approaches Xiang Yuan and informs her of Yuan Xiu’s pregnancy and misleads her into thinking the child is Qian Ze’s. Xiang Yuan eventually causes Yuan Xiu to suffer a miscarriage.

(This was an interesting show of devious brilliance from Zhang Yue because Shen Ju An grew to hate Xiang Yuan. He never once suspected that his wife was the mastermind.)

After a series of further run-ins with Xiang Yuan, Yuan Xiu is admitted into a mental asylum. However, it is not stated if Yuan Xiu has truly gone insane or if it’s Xiang Yuan flexing her influence. Most notably, Shen Ju An does not go to her rescue and does not assist in getting her acquitted from the institution.

Over time, Ju An begins to see the error of his ways and feels guilty for his mistreatment of Zhang Yue who genuinely loves him. When a quarrel causes Zhang Yue to leave for France, Ju An chases after her. It is hinted that their relationship improves gradually.



Zhou Zi Yi and Chen Jie Jie 《许我向你看 – Let Me Look At You

Back in senior high, Chen Jie Jie bore a child out of wedlock with another man. Her parents were ashamed and they forced her to give the child up for adoption. She was even made to swear never to seek out the child again since she was already matchmade as a child to Zi Yi. Her parents subsequently arranged for her to attend the same university as him.

We know their marriage dissolved at one point. As for their remarriage, that Zi Yi loves her is no secret but on Jie Jie’s part, she had no choice because her family had landed in financial trouble. They desperately needed the Zhou family’s wealth to tide them through. Eventually, she and Zi Yi have a baby boy of their own.



Lu Lu 《马路天使 – Angel of The Road》《晨昏 – Evening Twilight

Lu Lu is Lu Sheng’s step-niece. Lu Lu’s father and Lu Sheng are half-brothers with the former being the illegitimate son. Their almost non-existent brotherly ties become further estranged when both of them fall for the same woman with Lu Lu’s father ultimately emerging triumphant.

Being the twisted psychopath he is, Lu Sheng orchestrates the murder of Lu Lu’s parents under the guise of an accident. He then acquires guardianship of Lu Lu though he remains distant.

However, one day, something snaps in Lu Sheng and he rapes Lu Lu who was too weak to resist his vile advances. It becomes a vicious cycle. Initially, Lu Lu doesn’t escape because Lu Sheng is all the family she has.

Later on, Lu Lu meets a sweet suitor named Chen Lang though Lu Sheng goes all out to destroy their romance. However, they remain steadfast in their love and Chen Lang proposes to elope. Although Lu Sheng eventually agrees to give Lu Lu her wings, he reneges on his word and speeds after her in a bid to prevent her from reaching the airport.

Lu Lu notices his car in her rearview mirror and accepts that she would never be able to escape his powerful clutches. She smiles before ramming her own car into the divider, killing herself instantly. Lu Sheng himself is seriously wounded though he survives the crash.

Unfortunately, Chen Lang never learns of Lu Lu’s demise and the story ends with him misunderstanding that Lu Lu wasn’t willing to abandon everything to leave with him.

59 thoughts on “You Are Still Here (原来你还在这里) – Chapter 44 [EPILOGUE]

  1. I wish Yu Hua had a happy ending of her own. It’s heartbreaking for her to be in love and continue to love a man who will never love her back. Zi yi, you’re a selfish bastard who strung her along. T_T poor Yu Hua, she was probably my favorite character.

    • Admittedly from the very start, I never paid much attention to Yu Hua. I thought she was an unimportant character and one that was added to highlight unrequited love. But I liked that there was an entire epilogue dedicated to her though I can also understand that since she never did come to the forefront of the story, not many are interested in her storyline.

      Thank you for reading!🙂

  2. Lu Lu’s story jut broke my heart.😦😦
    She was such a sweet, bubbly girl, who could have guessed that she was hiding such great pain. It really goes to show that what you see on the surface is not the whole story.

    Honestly, Shen Ju An/Zhang Yue’s story doesn’t interest me that much, and neither does Zhou Zi Yi’s. I’m not worried about Yu Hua, she’s a trooper.

    I wished the epilogue would have focused less on the secondary/tertiary characters and given us greater insights into Yu Jin and Cheng Zheng’s life post make-up, post marriage, etc ’cause lets face it – the novel was them, their story. And as much as I adored Lu Lu and Yu Hua, I could have gone with an open ending for them, well Yu Hua got an open ending (some what) so more so with regards to Lu Lu. 😥
    Funny how life works, ey? If I were given an open ending for Lu Lu, I would have been annoyed – wondering whether or not she got away from that bastard and found happiness. However, now that I have closure and it isn’t the closure I want, I wish I was left in the dark.

    Yet, with all that said, I’m kind of happy (a little) that the author bucked convention and didn’t give everybody happens endings with rainbows and sprinkles. It ties in nicely with the themes that were presented throughout the novel – real people, dealing with real issues and in life very few get happy endings and as depressing/demotivating as it may be, “Shit happens, that’s life!”

    As always majors thanks to you yingniang for bringing this story to us. Your hard work and dedication are greatly appreciated! Again I say, “Thank You!”😀

    • My sentiments exactly regarding Lu Lu! The only reason I dug into her backstory was because of that one scene where she hid from her own uncle. I never imagined her past would be so dark and frankly, disturbing. When I read she committed suicide, I had to reread the text to ensure I wasn’t seeing things.:/

      As for Yun Jin and Cheng Zheng, I know their cute moments can never be enough! Especially since there was such an overdose of angst in the middle. But I guess, their story has been told and the only thing I’m curious is whether they had a child of their own eventually. Xin Yi Wu sort of addresses that and her message probably is that they’re in this together and they’ll keep trying. I’m glad actually. If the epilogue talked about how they miraculously had children, and that love conquered all impossibilities, I would have hated it. It would have been too convenient and too contrived. Indeed, “shit happens!”😀

      Thank you so much for reading Sage!🙂

  3. *scatters flowers* Amazing job, yingniang. You set the bar high with your translations. 🙂 Best of luck with everything and hope to see you pop up here occasionally on the blog.

    • Senior Hoju!! Haha I know school is still easier to cope with than work😡 so jiayou with Really, Really Miss You!😀 Thank you for your well wishes and yes, I’ll definitely make it a point to check back occasionally. Haha, I felt a little strange today not having some translation-related task to complete. :p but anyway, I’ll miss posting and I’ll ease the “homesickness” by reading the stories here now that I have the time.🙂

  4. Thank you so much for all your hard work in translating this novel!!!

  5. No said love is fair and will be recuperated. The amount you give out, doesn’t equal to the amount received. That is love. It be heart broking to see Zi Yi use Yu Hua the way he did.

    Lu Lu story is quite tragic, with such a sad ending.

    Thank you for the super love epilogue, and all your hard work❤❤

    • I loved that the novel ended with the recurring theme that love isn’t always fair.

      Thank you so much for reading Sutekii!!🙂 Jiayou with your site’s translations!!

  6. It is indeed sad. But people in desperate emotional state make decisions that hurt others and themselves. Zhou Zi Yi did not love Yu Hua. The only thing he did wrong was the fact that he gave her hope, strung her along, and used her love for him to comfort him. But did Cheng Zheng not do the same thing with his girlfriend (OMG what is her name??) before he reunited with Yu Jin? Didn’t his girlfriend comforted him in his hardest time for YEARS only to be pushed to the side/curb once Yu Jin enters back? I think the whole point of the epilogue is to show that in love, you don’t make rational choices, you make emotional choices. In addition, you can’t really earn love. Someone can do everything right by you and you still wouldn’t love them back.

    I for one, think that is it actually better off for Yu Hua that she didn’t end up with Zi Yi. She should get someone who loves her wholly for being the f**king great character that she is. I support a spin off with Yu Hua as a lead that entails her meeting a passionate younger man who falls deeply for her stoic ways.

    • Haha her name is Xiao Tong! Thank you for your comment, you highlighted a good parallel.🙂 it’s amazing what the readers’ affections for characters as well as the skill of the author can achieve ie differing verdicts on a similar crime.

      To be perfectly honest, I’ve not read any of Xin Yi Wu’s other works due to a lack of time. However, I read from a forum that Yu Hua did go to Dublin eventually. Who knows, maybe Xin Yi Wu will develop Yu Hua’s story better. (though that seems like a forced happy ending for everyone)

      As I was reading your comment, I was suddenly reminded of the scene when Zi Yi broke the news of his remarriage. I imagined a kind-looking albeit dowdy woman taking of her glasses slowly and polishing them, all while her heart shatters inside.😦

      Thank you so much for reading Jennyannyen!🙂

      • Congratulations on completing the translations!🙂

        Yup, Yu Hua went to dublin and there’s quite a lot of fanfiction in chinese wanting to give her a happy ending. It’s very sweet. There’s this part which I don’t know if it is canon or fanfic (because I found Xin Yi Wu’s other chinese stories too sad to read) when Zi Yi asks Yun Jun if it snows in Dublin – and all the fans read it as Yu Hua having some kind of place in his heart. Actually, I love Yu Hua’s epilogue and all that it represents – we all mean different things to different people and it will never be equal. Yu Hua’s story also resembles the kind of short stories I like to read for c-novels, where the story meanders and there is no fixed start and end. Only characters trying at the end of the day to love and be loved.

        • Hey Decembi! Haha thanks for reading🙂

          Aww that’s so bittersweet. It’s ironic how Zi Yi knows what it’s like to feel unloved yet he acts the way he does to the one person who is true to him.😦 But it only makes him a jerk and not a villain. Mmm actually, he probably is equally sad and frustrated that he can’t find it in himself to love Yu Hua … When I read about him making frequent appearances at Yu Hua’s place, all I’m thinking is he’s trying, he’s trying, he’s trying …😦 though Yun Jin calling him out on leading her best pal on is also spot on.

          Haha I see; I only like certain kinds of open endings. Most of the time I NEED to know who ends up with who :p cause I hate to deal with warring interpretations of the endings when I go on forums post-readings haha. But I must say, whoever wrote that scene on the snow did a really good job! So many budding writers on the net.🙂

          If you ever decide to brave through Xin Yi Wu’s world of angst, please do translate them over on your site😉 I really admire Xin Yi Wu’s recurring characters theme and it’ll be nice if the readers get to enjoy her full body of works as well😀

  7. While it’s good to know the side stories of the other characters, how I wish it wasn’t this long. Though I like Mo Yu Hua but I was hoping for more Cheng Zheng and Yun Jin interaction. I really can’t get enough of this two!!😀

    Thank you Yingniang for pouring your heart and soul in translating this story. I am really grateful that I had the opportunity to follow you. For a person like me that don’t understand any form of Chinese dialect and take delight in reading, I consider it a big treat to read it in English. You deserve a bouquet of flowers for an awe-inspiring translation.💐💐💐💟

    • Aww thank you so much for all your encouragement and support thus far! I really appreciate it.🙂 You Are Still Here is not usually ranked as Xin Yi Wu’s best work so hopefully, someone else will translate her other works so that more people can learn of her literary talents.🙂

      Haha I’ve just mentioned it in one of the comments above but anyway while I agree more adorable and warm moments between our central couple would have been ideal (given all the angst Xin Yi Wu put us through), their story has been more or less told and I would hate any contrived, superficial ending haha. :p also, Mo Yu Hua is more well-received over Yun Jin back in China so the epilogue did make a substantial impact.😉

  8. from what i read, may i say that you like a ‘dramatic’ genre.. hehe.. i dont know why i named it that way.. ‘dramatic’😀 but it seems like you like a story that has some complex problems..
    but i really enjoy reading you translations.. thank you so much…. ^^ jiayou!

    ps : i pity Lu Lu! aiyooo.. such a tragic story.. life is kinda unfair, somehow..😉

    • Hahaha hi Yui! You’re absolutely right, I do prefer tear-jerkers and angsty books as a rule of thumb.😉 I find that I get more emotionally involved when the plot is a bittersweet one. As to why I translated this novel then … Well it may surprise you but since I was only doing this for the writing aspect, I didn’t really mind which book I translated. In fact, I started my translations blind in that I had no idea where the story was heading or what it was about hahaha! Fortunately for me, Hui3r and Peanuts recommended a really good book to translate😉

      Talking about dramatic … Haha I have to confess I did entertain the thought of writing my own faux sad conclusion before releasing the original text. HAHA that would have been a good prank😀 unfortunately (or fortunately) I lacked the time and creativity to do so :p

      Thank you for reading Yui!🙂

      • i feel you.. i used to like that kind of genre and storyline.. but then, people learn, people change, haha.. now i like something simple and easier, LOL.. silent separation, best time, and sealed with a kiss are still acceptable for me, but something like Lu Lu’s story.. i give up..

        you should write your own story Yingniang.. i wonder, how sad it could go..🙂

        • Haha yeah my mom thinks I’m something weird for loving stories/dramas that put my heart through the wringer :p But I also enjoy comedy eg Peanut’s Wipe Clean After Eating😀 I need a balanced diet of both genres really.

          Another thing I must say is that Xin Yi Wu does twists very very well. I hate predictability so I was pleasantly surprised by her plot developments on many occasions. Lu Lu’s story is really good; I mean who saw it coming?!

          Aww thank you for your support but I have to acknowledge my lack of creativity.😦 It would most probably be a makjang mess haha so I better leave it to the writing talents.🙂

  9. Thank you so much for you hard work in translating this novel. I really appreciate it. Previously, I was okay and didn’t feel sorry for Xiao Tong that Cheng Zheng left her and chose Yun Jin. But after I read Yu Hua story, from her POV, what have she done, I realised how sad it was for the girl that have done many things and didn’t get the guy. It does happen in real life. Just because we give our best effort it doesn’t mean that we will get what we want but i can’t help being heartbroken.

    • I totally agree with you. I thought it was a bit unfortunate that Xiao Tong’s character wasn’t well fleshed out. I get that she was written to be a wooden, boring person but the potential was there to create a great/interesting supporting female lead. (Note, the version of Xiao Tong I’m referring to is the one written in this original text that I’ve translated. The Xiao Tong in the published text is a little different but then again the published version had notable differences …)

      I also love the recurring theme that love is unfair! I love Yun Jin’s Cinderella analogy and I love the parallels between the Cheng Zheng-Yun Jin/ Cheng Zheng-Xiao Tong/ Zi Yi-Yu Hua (and if we include the other works Zi Yi-Jie Jie) and reading how the different pairings are viewed by the readers here.

      Thank you so much for reading Luna!🙂

  10. Oh my god, yes!!!! I would be ecstatic if it become dramatized!❤❤❤ !!

    Yingniang, thank you once again for your translations and hard work. You did an awesome job🙂

    • Haha any particular actors/actresses you hope would portray the various characters?😉 I’m not an ardent supporter of any actor so I wouldn’t mind any talented one. I do quite like Joe Chen though (haha 90s kid growing up in the early millennium) though I think she’s too spunky to portray Yun Jin. Zhou Dong Yu might be a good choice; she has this vulnerable, quiet image.🙂

      Thank you for reading Mish!!🙂

  11. Thank you for ALL of your fantastic translations!😀
    I agree that translations help improve various aspects on writing and critical thinking ( um i couldn’t find a better wording of this >..<

    • Oh :O my long comment got cut off. All well, thank you for your translations. I shall wait for any future translation endeavor. Nevertheless enjoy your reading😀

      • Haha thank you for your kind comments!! I really appreciate it.🙂 Yeah writing is really therapeutic and it feels good knowing that there is a lasting product at the end of it all. I was lucky to be able to translate a story as decent and interesting as this.🙂

        Thank you for following the story!!🙂

  12. Yingniang, you are a very skilled, prolific writer. It’s been such a treat to read your fluid translations and insightful commentary. I guess the author is trying to say that life and love is unfair, and we don’t get the luxury to choose who we love. It just happens. MYH may have sacrificed a lot, but it would be worst if ZiYi decided to be with her out of guilt. Love just doesn’t work that way. Even though YJ is not my favourite character (I actually don’t really like her that much), I enjoyed seeing her mature and reflect on her decisions and actions. CZ is too alpha for me, but I admire his unwavering love for YJ. That’s what makes it romantic and I’m a sucker for devoted male leads. Thanks again for all of your hard work!

    • Hi Lily, thank you for your kind words! I really really appreciate it🙂

      I second most of your opinions on the characters! ^ ^ In fact, while Mo Yu Hua didn’t have her happy ever after with Zi Yi, neither did Zi Yi – he willingly entered a one-sided relationship and be doomed to a loveless marriage. Like you and the others have astutely pointed out, love just happens.

      Haha yes, though Cheng Zheng is this relentless sweetheart, he’s too domineering for my liking. When he mentioned earlier that he’s only human and that he too would become weary one day, I was moved. We know how doggedly he chased after Yun Jin so he must have truly felt helpless at their situation for him to voice out his uncertainty and vulnerability. But luckily, they made it through🙂

      Thank you so much for reading!!🙂

  13. Hi! I just wanted to say thank you for this project. I followed you throughout the whole story and really appreciated your hard work! Once again, thank you!!

    PS I totally agree with Lily, i dont want ZiYi to be with MYH out of guilt. Since she is free of him, she can now go meet someone new! =D

    • Haha I agree with Lily too😉 and since this is a story and not reality, I must admit that I don’t particularly wish for Xin Yi Wu to write another novel that has Mo Yu Hua romancing a new man😡 oh dear, try as I might, I still sound so heartless no matter how I phrase this > < in (somewhat paltry) defence, I like that Yu Hua's love for him is steadfast and anyway it has been hinted that it is unlikely to change despite it being unreciprocated. It brings to mind a quote "Love is patient, love is kind. It is not self-seeking, not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs." By including this detailed epilogue, I'm of the unpopular opinion that Xin Yi Wu doesn't intend to develop Mo Yu Hua's lovelife any further. But of course, I could be very wrong :p

      Thank you so much for reading and following the story enthusiastically!!🙂

  14. Many thanks for you, so many chapters but n short time you accompilsh it…i am happy for our OTP, get the second chance and treasure it.. but what give the me ” tsunami” is MYH story…(feel sad for lu lu story too ).. Half part of me say her stupid, how can academic woman do that, devotion until endless time???? but heart is heart, like MYH say to Ziyi, She doing this for herself…so maybe reading MYH story like drinking green tea..for the first swig it bitter after the time the sweet come…..

    Looking for your next project

  15. PS…
    the picture really something…its give loneliness aura, alone in the big city ..waiting for someone, that you know will never come…

    • Hello Inas! Haha I like your green tea analogy.🙂 It’s so apt given that they referenced it😉 Yes, I know right?! It’s so rare that an epilogue revolving around secondary characters can be as gripping as this.

      As for the pictures, you have Peanuts to thank for mandating that each post should have one! Haha, at the start I didn’t particularly care for the pictures since my interest was only in the writing but I’ve come to realise that the pictures do help to set the tone.🙂

      Thank you so much for reading!!🙂

  16. I’ve just finished reading the story. I think Mo Yu Hua will be fine and have happiness in her own way. I really like Lu Lu but her story is so sad (too sad for me). Anyway, thank you very much for your translating. I enjoy reading it. Thank you

    • Hello Nan!

      I think the really commendable thing about Yu Hua is she’s rational and tough. She may hurt but she won’t let it stop her from living her own life whether she moves forward or not. To be able to find that special someone one can love so wholeheartedly is a form of blessing too, even if it may not be reciprocated.

      Yeah Lu Lu’s plot-twist came as a shock to everyone😦 Frankly I don’t really see the point of constructing such a tragic end because it’s too tragic and unnecessary even to me. But then again I didn’t read the novel on Lu Lu’s parents and Lu Sheng so maybe it tied in with some theme there or other. YASH circles around the theme of steadfast love (Mo Yu Hua, Cheng Zheng, Zhou Zi Yi and Xiao Tong) as well as the fact that love isn’t always reciprocated so yeah this epilogue didn’t fit in to me.:/ It’s a bittersweet, coming-of-age story that could have done without this especially since readers’ attention completely shifted from our main couple.

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting!!🙂 I’m glad you liked it!🙂

  17. Hi yingniang!

    I am sorry I have not been here for your grand finale. I still have a few of your chapters to catch up to and will comment once I finish reading. I have dropped in today to let you know I have nominated you for the Sunshine Award. Please go to this link and read the post and the comments.

    Thanks again for your hard work at translating!

    How is school going, by the way? And how are you doing?

    • Hi Melanie!

      Haha thank you for reading You Are Still Here thus far! Looking forward to your comments.🙂

      Thank you also for the nomination! Will definitely do up a post😀

      School is tough as always haha. I miss translating but it does feel like a whole lifetime ago even though it’s only been just over a month? INSANE! How about you?🙂

      • Hey yingniang!

        I have finally finished reading your translation of You Are Still Here. Wow!

        Even though I sympathized with Xiao Tong, I was really happy that Cheng Zheng ended up with Yun Jin. Xiao Tong was very obviously a rebound/consolation prize, someone that Cheng Zheng thought would help him get over his hurt and love for Yun Jin. I don’t necessarily think Cheng Zheng was wrong to try to move on, and I don’t think he really fully realized that Xiao Tong was nothing but a consolation prize until he saw Yun Jin again after all those years.

        Did Cheng Zheng and Xiao Tong consummate their relationship? I am a bit confused. It sounded like he initially imagined Xiao Tong as Yun Jin and dove at her passionately. When he realized she was not Yun Jin, he willed himself to complete the act but couldn’t. Anyway, that scene alone is very telling that Xiao Tong is not the woman for Cheng Zheng!

        I do blame Cheng Zheng for not immediately breaking up with Xiao Tong once he realized that his heart would always belong to Yun Jin. It was unfair, at that point, to drag her along, but I suppose he thought he could somehow force his heart to accept her if he held onto her long enough. I also thought it was highly inappropriate of Cheng Zheng to make romantic overtures at Yun Jin that time near the elevators after the doctor Yun Jin was dating brought her home. He was still attached to Xiao Tong at that time, and yet, he was obviously very willing to sleep with Yun Jin had she caved in and accepted his passionate advances.

        Also, did Cheng Zheng call off his relationship with Xiao Tong, or did Xiao Tong break up with him?

        But I digress! I was saying that I am glad that our two leads eventually ended up together, because quite honestly, they would never be happy with anybody else.

        Like some others, I did not really like the epilogue. It was very well written and opened a window into the Mo Yu Hua character, but I thought it was unnecessary and incongruous with the rest of the story, unless it was to act as a “prologue” to a novel centered around Mo Yu Hua. The epilogue should have contained more information about the leads. Though the real world sometimes never ends up with all loose ends neatly tied, I really need my fictional world to do that. I need that miraculous paragraph that tells us that Yun Jin and Cheng Zheng finally managed to conceive, whether naturally or with the help of a reproductive medicine specialist. The author never specified what went wrong with Yun Jin’s prior operation that led to her having very little chance of conceiving in the future. However, unless both her ovaries and her uterus were removed, there is still a possibility, especially in today’s world of advanced reproductive medicine technology. And even if the Chinese do not have that capability, then with Cheng Zheng’s family’s wealth, they can certainly afford to send Yun Jin to the United States for help with conceiving. Therefore, I was left with a bit of a bad taste when I did not get the closure I wanted for Jun Yin and Cheng Zheng, and instead got a very long story about Mo Yu Hua’s unrequited love.

        Anyway, that’s my rant for the day.

        Moving onto cheerier comments, I want to say that Cheng Zheng will always have a special spot in my heart, because he somewhat reminds me of my husband back when he was trying to get my attention when we first met. We met during our training, and I never knew he was alive until he kept trying to give me more work and increase my work load. Needless to say, he made me VERY angry, but I was too nice and polite to tell him to buzz off. So I continued to smile politely at him through clenched teeth, while badmouthing him to all my friends/colleagues behind his back. I would try to avoid him, but he would somehow find me in any hiding spot after he looked at the work board to determine if I was working the same shift that night. When my rotation finally ended a few days before his did, I was so glad! But he found my work email through the work directory and contacted me, and somehow, using methods very similar to Toupai’s in hoju’s translation of Really, Really Miss You, squeezed his way into my life. A few years later, I asked my husband why he was being such a jerk to me and picking only on me at work back then, and he sheepishly said it was the only way he could get my attention. He said I was always surrounded by other guys at work that he couldn’t even get me to look at him, so he could only hope that I would finally see him if he ticked me off enough. 😛

        By the way, I’ve come up with three questions for you! I’m very interested in what your answers will be! Scroll down to the comments to find my questions at the following link.

        • Hahaha hi Mel! The hui3r team has responded😀 Thank you for your kind nominations once again!🙂

          My one quibble with You Are Still Here is that the title gave the ending away:/ but I’m glad the plot was organic and made sense and Xin Yi Wu didn’t force an abrupt happy ending on us. (Haha at one point I kept challenging the readers to review their staunch belief that Cheng Zhang and Yun Jin are the destined OTP but the readers kept brushing my misleading statements aside HAHA :p)

          I didn’t study much literature but, just as other readers have pointed out, I really admire XYW for the themes and parallels drawn in the story which might not have been as appreciable without each secondary character🙂

          Mmm while it wasn’t explicitly stated, I think Cheng Zheng and Xiao Tong reached a common understanding that their relationship had always been languishing in barely lovers territory so they parted amicably instead of Cheng Zheng dumping Xiao Tong or vice versa!

          As for Yun Jin, based on the severity of her clinical picture, I’m hazarding a guess that she was experiencing a ruptured ectopic which is an indication for emergent treatment to stem the profuse internal bleeding. Procedure of choice would be removal of the fallopian tube which is the most common siting of an ectopic. Hmm for the doctor to comment that she wouldn’t be able to conceive in future, I don’t know if perhaps her other fallopian tube was diseased or if somehow, a hysterectomy was performed?

          Haha I’m not Xin Yi Wu but I think she didn’t elaborate on their ending because the story always revolved around Yun Jin being insecure and unsure so their happy ending really is that she finally accepted Cheng Zheng. If the ending was about them becoming parents, then it would’ve trivialised Yun Jin’s struggles and (I sound like a horrible witch here) forcing a bow on top of an adequate gift :p it would’ve been too perfect and too convenient😡 haha at least to me ;p

          Aww your story on how you met your husband is so enviably CUTE!🙂 haha it’s almost like a scene out of a drama or a novel as you have pointed out😉 thank you for sharing it with us!!😀

          Thank you so much for reading Mel!! I really appreciate it😀

  18. wow after reading this novel in one day, i didnt want to let go. I think this story is better than silent separation. Dont understand why Cheng Zheng is ranked below He Yi chen. I didnt think He Yi Chen was really that great.

    • Hello! Haha thanks so much for reading and leaving such an encouraging comment🙂 those nights of translating were hell so it helps to know that people enjoy the product!🙂

      Hahaha on the contrary, I liked Silent Separation more than You Are Still Here :p but unfortunately for me, Peanuts and Lidge beat me to it and they did a smashing good job if I may say so😀 Silent Separation was short and intense but YASH is more fleshed out so it was a real treat reading both😀

      Lucky Cheng Zheng receiving much love once again, good for him!! :p

  19. Thank you so much for translating this novel!

    It started out so cute and I read it 3 sittings. I was lucky with the way I parted my readings. Chp 1-10 was their cute high school era where it all started and then 11-30 was just so so frustrating to sit through.

    I hated Cheng Zheng and how at times he was just TOO MUCH but at the same time you loved him still. I also felt so humiliated with Yun Jin, the whole scene where their parents met, it was enough that she knew they were poor but for Cheng Zheng to secretly butt in, she really didn’t want to depend on him. This part was just so so infuriating to go through considering both sides. I almost wanted to stop reading all together I was so mad at them. Yun Jin also just couldn’t show Cheng Zheng that she loved him and you can tell she did but because she felt that she owed him she would avoid conflict and brush things off. That moment Cheng Zheng said, “Yun Jin, let’s break up.” I FELT MY WORLD COLLAPSE FOR BOTH OF THEM. I stopped reading here.

    This morning I ended up finishing the rest and my god these two are meant to be. In the end they couldn’t stop thinking of the other and being humans once you’ve lost a companion you need a new one. That didn’t mean they loved their companions though. When she looked at her earring I just knew Cheng Zheng would have the other pair, I screamed when she noticed he had a necklace and I screamed even more when she finally saw it herself. BUT MY GOODNESS I SOBBED WHEN SHE REVEALED TO HIM WHAT HAD HAPPEN TO THEIR CHILD. HE COMPLETELY BROKEDOWN. HE WOULD HAVE LOVED THAT BABY. THEN I SOBBED EVEN HARDER WHEN HER MOM PASSED AWAY. HE WAS THERE AND THAT JUST KILLED ME EVEN MORE. I’m also glad he matured and I felt it. He was truly a lot happier yet childish with her and she too had changed. I couldn’t believe she was a third party, but at the same time I could because she knew it would be easy to break off the relationship and no one would really be hurt.

    I really loved the conversation between Yun Jin and Zhang Jin Yin. When she said that she’d be more hurt than Zhang Jin Yin if Cheng Zheng wasn’t happy I died. I just.

    “Be a good loser. Like I proposed earlier, this game determines everything. You didn’t reject me and played. So, from now on, you’ll be handling all the household chores because I need some time to find a new job.”


    Granny resumed her plucking of vegetables as she replied “Haven’t you always been together?”
    Both of them stared at her dumbfounded before they gripped each other’s hand in unison “Yes granny, you’re right.”

    “When your great-grandfather and I were still young, we always bickered. Now fifty years later, no one argues with me anymore …”

    THEN THIS LOSER “Su Yun Jin, a man at twenty-eight is in his prime while a woman at the same age will start to show signs of ageing. Hence we have to get married right away.”

    I actually really love Cheng Zheng’s parents. I love that they never once looked down on Yun Jin and the same goes with Cheng Zheng.
    That moment she said she wanted someone equal to her. He is her equal in so many different ways they’re on the same level.

    Reading the Epilogue I feel for Yu Hua. Unrequited love is still love. I secretly wanted her to end up with Dr. Wu huhuhu.

    Again thanks so much for translating this! Were there any major changes in the new version?
    There’s a movie planned ( Wu Yifan and Liu Yifei being the leads) which is probably why you’ll have an influx of people reading and I’ll be recommending this of course!!!

    I hope my comment was coherent enough, I really liked the pace and how it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows to get to the end.

  20. Thank you for translating such a good story. I’m a Kris fan. I’m glad that Kris plays Cheng Zheng in the movie.

  21. I just cried over Mo Yu Hua. It is sad that Zhou Zi Yi doesn’t like her. TT

  22. I have not read this novel, only while searching for something to read came by this epilogue. I cried buckets! Am still crying. She is so pitiful! zi yi really is not that great but she just loved him for who he was. I cried so much when she went to care for him after the accident and how she said that she did it for herself, to feel comfortable, to feel better. Love is blind indeed.

  23. Pingback: [SPOLIER] For Those Interested in Reading the C-Novels Kris is Adapting in Movies | Exo(tic) Planet

  24. Hi,
    I’ve read this twice. For real. And I never get bored of it.
    reading this novel, I felt conflicted. The female lead, I felt for her. She was strong, and determined in her own way and she was the type with few words and, maybe because of her low self esteem, she was pessimistic.
    while tge male lead was too much in love and kind of demanding, he showed his love by lots, and lots, of affection and confession. And so, he felt insecure and uneasy all the time.

    They had their faults and imperfections but they weren’t wrong. It was just the situation and life.

    This novel showed me, how, even, for two people who were actually madly in love with each other could have a disastrous relationship. We, could only assume with ourself put into counts, but we never tried to saw things on their views. Even when we think that’s best for them, it doesn’t mean that way on their perspective. So, their love, had hurt them instead. Or maybe that was because they were simply too young? I don’t really know. Though, they could appreciate the others and underststood better of each others as they had known how it felt to be separated.

    I love this story to bits. I can’t say that I hate thrm for what they did, it was part of themself. Their faulty characters were more humans than anything.

    I thank you very much for translating this beautiful novel with such a skillful translation, it is really amazing. You’re awesome and I love you! keep going!

    Wish you a happy day!


  25. Thank you soooo much Yingniang!!!!

    I’ve learnt a lot from this book. I really feel bad fro Mo Yu Hua. But what I liked about her the most was she didn’t turn vicious or bitter. She carefully assessed and accepted the situation. I hope Xin Yi Wu writes a book for Mo Yu Hua.

    As for CZ and SYJ they have finally been able to understand how they love each other. I’m happy they finally cleared things up^^

  26. I hate zi yi from the bottom of my heart….. He is seriously very very ungrateful. ….using someone who cared for him so much for someone who doesn’t even care….

  27. First off, thank you dear Yingniang for your hard work. If during your process you think the author’s writing got lost in translation then I have no regret not being able to read the original, for your translations alone left my spirit a bit dejected enough. I’ve jumped in much later, but thank you sincerely for taking on this project and Hui3r for hosting!

    I’ve never been much into the ‘young love’ stories, only if the story calls for it in the earlier stages. I guess I prefer more serious plots where the characters are already a bit more established upon entering the story. But You Are Still Here could not do without so I was quite surprised I found myself terribly missing their high school years most. I didn’t know what I was getting into, but this turned to be much darker than I had imagined.

    I’m not sure what is making me feel so sad, but I’m thinking it must be the natural sorrow of following them since high school and seeing how broken they become as adults. I keep thinking about Cheng Zheng’s innocent ways of getting Yun Jin’s attention in their youth and how dark his ways become as adults before ultimately realizing how lost they were. With all that’s happened, up until the point of their big separation I really didn’t feel her love for him. I guess maybe I thought like Cheng Zheng on this matter–that she didn’t love him because she didn’t appear to care. And even we were the ones who got to read her mind, I wasn’t very convinced. Indeed, when we return to her years later and it’s written that in fact he still very much so lived in her bones, I was a bit glad that she got to experience the pain he went through, while unbeknownst to the readers of the fatal traumatic incident of course. (I’m not that evil. -__- ..)
    I sort of wish and wonder if the author had dedicated a small portion to Cheng Zheng during his mini disappearance (after she told him about the baby) I would feel a better closure to that part of their life as that’s what Yun Jin had clung onto. To me that’s what was missing. Just a few words from his mind or how he coped would be okay. His time of grief and regret I think is vital as it ultimately had him return to her to change their lives once and for all. Even after the satisfactory ending, I was still left with a heavy heart. *sigh*
    I wasn’t sure I was going to be so interested in the epilogue realizing that it was through Yo Hua’s eyes. In the end, I think her view tied everything in so beautifully. This character that was in and out, who we liked, but had barely known had actually become an important friend to Zi Yi–who would have thought?! Quite thoughtful of Author Xin to write her story and even making it more pitiful than our main couple. From the whole epilogue above, what struck me most was Yo Hua talking about how if Yun Jin was willing to turn back there will always be someone waiting and ready to help her while Yo Hua wondered where her person was. That certainly is true. I’ve gained a lot of love (as I think we all have) for this girl in just the epilogue. I believe she will meet a good Dr. and live a blissful Zi Yi-less life.
    And those side characters–! I’m going to remove that portion from my memory. Seriously, poor Lu Lu. =(

    I’ve only cried once while reading (EVER) but this story marks my second set of tears while reading. I’m not sure how significant other readers took it, but somehow I knew that the author would have us return to the temple in G-City. When she saw her name written by him years prior, I couldn’t help my tears. It’s something so obvious at the time he wrote it, but since then their lives had changed tremendously. When he wrote it, he held so much innocence. But even then, now, what he had written in the log is still unchanged. He still wanted her present day. It meant even more because he didn’t even believe in making wishes at the temple.

    By the way did anyone else guess beforehand that Cheng Zheng’s silver necklace with the hidden pendant would turn out to be the one lost earring? Yun Jin didn’t need to think anymore as I was already picturing that aquamarine clip-on hooked to the silver chain, lol. It is quite a nice symbol of them: a matching pair, but currently lost and not together. Naturally, what is lost will find its way.

    Since they’re going to keep trying, I think that somewhere down the road Cheng Zheng and Yun Jin will miraculously have a baby. *wishful thinking* Even though they’ve hurt one another for so long, they too deserve another chance at giving life. Their journey, their struggles with each other and themselves and eventually putting the pieces back together proves it. The present Cheng Zheng and Yun Jin owe it to their 17 year old selves.

    Though through this story some scenarios didn’t go according to my heart’s wants, the author in more ways than one made up for it in her writing. I can recall several passages in which I had to instantly go back and reread what was so beautifully raw written. Yun Jin’s Cinderella theory and Yu Hua’s recollection of her looking at Zi Yi’s spotless sneakers/her father’s $6 boots are just two of my favorites.

    Again, all thanks to Yingniang for her efforts in delivering Xin Yi Wu’s beautiful first piece.

  28. Noooo Yu Hua doesn’t get with anyone? Man, that epilogue was so sad, and Lu Lu ends up committing suicide because her half-uncle can’t let go of her? Oh man… that went a depressing route. Even after reading this entire thing I don’t know if I liked Cheng Zheng – he basically got Yun Jin to fall in love and tried to smooth everything over with “love”. I was a bit disappointed when they got together the first time actually but after they grew apart for awhile that felt ok, that Yun Jin could voice her frustrations and Cheng Zheng would listen instead of whining.

    Still can’t get over Yu Hua ARGH. Although I always have second lead syndrome, it sucks when the guy/girl ditches the girl/guy that’s done everything for him for the main lead. I thought for sure that epilogue was going to lead somewhere either with Zi Yi being an 2nd lead in her story (because he doesn’t want anyone to take her, but he doesn’t love her). Bah humbug.

    Zhang Yue clearly also knew something was up with Lulu and she didn’t help. The summary makes like it’s a good thing the fiance never finds out she dies on the way on the airport but I don’t know I think the fiance would want to know she loved him back.

  29. At first it was the title that lured me into reading this, then the story and characters. But when I reached the ending, I felt pangs in my heart, my heart was knotted and twisted for YH. She who is the best kind and loving friend will forever be alone and love him unconditionally. First, I thought the title represented the female pov, that the male lead character will stay and choose her after so many years and things she did for him. But, dang! Man oh man, I am completely mistaken. But overall the story was nicely woven and gripped my attention to stay through their journey.

    Thank you for translating this one, Ying Niang!

  30. One of the best novel I’ve read but also one of the worst too. I praise the author for its originality and the translator for her time.

  31. Gaaaahhh…!! At the first part I really like the characters but the it became too heavy for me on the later part. And I was not consoled with Yu Hua’s fate when it came to love life. It’s like I’m seeing myself in her – those high school loves – the unrequited types haha. Dear author, please make Yu Hua’s story a happy one – PLEASE! Even plain people deserve happiness. At least even if I cannot attain romantic happiness – make it happen even in fiction. hahaha

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