Chapter 63 – He will understand you, I will always be here
Later, after discussing the matter with Chen Yang for a long time, Su Yi decided to cover her horridity with fake hair.
She’d just gotten into the new set and started filming for more than half a year. In a short while, it’d be the new year, and the notice for their holidays had finally come.
While looking at the calendar, Wu Xue asked, “You’re going to Chu Ying’s for the new year this year, right?”
Su Yi’s face reddened. “I still don’t know.”
“What’s there not to know about this, hurry up and settle this. If you can’t go to the Chu family’s place then come to mine.” Wu Xue said, “Remember, ask Chu Ying when he comes by.”
This time they were filming in Beijing. It was a major reason Su Yi took this role. Long-distance relationships – experiencing it once or twice was enough, more than that it’s just painful.
She nodded. “Got it, got it.”
Very soon it was her turn. Before leaving, she seemed to remember something and asked, “It’s almost new year, did you help me send the money to Xiao Bao?”
“I did that a few days ago. Relax, I remember it all.”
Su Yi nodded. “Then that’s good.”
Today, she didn’t have a lot of scenes. Before the skies darkened she was done filming.
After packing, Wu Xue said, “Let’s go, I’ll send you home.”
“No need. I’m going to the supermarket to get something, you can go back first.”
“Which supermarket, I’ll send you on the way.”
“Nevermind that, you’re not going to a date?”
Wu Xue paused, saying unnaturally, “Date? I’m single.”
“Don’t act, it’s not like I don’t know you.” Su Yi laughed, tugging her mask on tighter and zipping her coat up to her chin. “Leaving now, see you tomorrow.”
It was snowing lightly outside. Su Yi had her umbrella and was about to open an app to call for a cab. Unexpectedly, the moment she unlocked her phone she got a call from a strange number.
A number belonging to a place she hadn’t seen in a while.
She hung up without thinking about it and the other called again very soon.
A vague unease surfaced in Su Yi. She had blacklisted plenty of numbers from this place. If the other couldn’t get through to her she’d always go to find Wu Xue and never call a second time in such a short time.
She hesitated momentarily before turning into a sparsely populated street and, before it automatically hung up, picked up.
“What’s the problem?”
Su Qin first complained a lot. “What’s the issue, acting like a thief – why’d you pick up only after so long?”
“If there’s nothing on, don’t call me.” After saying that Su Yi wanted to hang up.
“Ai-ai.” The shrill voice called her. “Something, there’s something.”
Su Yi said, annoyed, “Speak.”
Su Qin, “You should come back this year for Chinese New Year.”
“Just that?” Su Yi said succinctly, “No.”
“Xiao Bao died, you have to come home to see no matter what won’t you?”
Su Yi thought that she heard wrong. “What?!”
“Can’t you hear? Ay, I said this phone is horrible, this time change one for me,” Su Qin said.
“I asked you what did you say?”
“You can hear?” Su Qin’s tone was relaxed. “Xiao Bao is dead.”
Su Yi felt dizzy. As if hit, she stood there for a long time, unable to move at all.
On the other end of the telephone, Su Qin was still speaking. “Wei–wei? Are you still able to hear? Can you not hear again? Wei, speak!”
Su Yi was getting a headache from her voice. Enduring the heartbreak, she said with the sort of voice that showed how hard she was grinding her teeth, “How did he die?”
She finally couldn’t help it anymore. “Su Qin, are you an idiot! It’s February! You tell me Xiao Bao drowned??? Don’t you just want money, I can give you! Don’t scare me with this during the New Year’s!”
Su Qin was probably momentarily shocked and didn’t react for a while. She was born in the village and spent her life being a shrew, so now she didn’t give way. “Who’re you talking to? What’s with the insults? It’s New Year’s, do I have nothing to do so much so that I’d curse people to die? Even if you don’t find it unlucky I do! It’s not like you don’t know he’s an idiot! When an idiot wants to go into the water they won’t care about the season, they’d take off their clothes and jump in!”
Su Yi’s heart began hurting. She held onto the pipe beside her, leaning against the wall. The umbrella fell from her hand. With crimson eyes, she asked, “What were you doing then?”
Su Qin paused as if feeling the guilt she so rarely felt. “I… what else could I be doing, I was at home.”
“Su Qin.” Su Yi was certain. “You left Xiao Bao at home alone again to go play mahjong.”
Su Qin said, “Don’t speak such rubbish! So? Are you coming back or not, if not I’ll bury him tomorrow.”
Su Yi’s throat tightened and she managed a hard- “I’ll go back at once.”
After hanging up, she leant against the door and slowly, slowly slid down to a crouch. She looked far ahead as if seeing the figure of Xiao Bao walking into the water.
The phone notification sounded. It was a coloured picture from Su Qin of Xiao Bao lying on the grass, skin white, completely lifeless.
Su Yi stared for a while. Half a minute later she finally couldn’t hold it back anymore and started crying. The snowflakes fell on her, her hair. She cried louder and louder, her legs going weak enough it couldn’t even support her, leaving her to fall to the ground.
She had planned to go home recently and bring with her the toys she’d bought before. But she hated that place so much she dragged it out, all the way till now.
If she had gone back earlier, she’d tell Xiao Bao that it’s cold, that he should wear more clothes, that he should put on his hat, that he should tighten his scarf…
Then would Xiao Bao have not died?
She cried so hard her head hurt and she couldn’t breathe. Her phone rang again. She didn’t even look, only burying her head between her knees and crying out loud. Although she was in an isolated corner, she was so loud there were already some people surrounding her.
Quite a few people came up to ask her, “Girl, what’s the problem? Stop crying, it’s so cold, hurry up and go home.”
“Yeah, what can’t you get over, stop crying.”
“Little girl, your phone is ringing, how about you pick up?”
Su Yi couldn’t even hear what they were saying, and she couldn’t stop.
A familiar voice cut through the crowd, landing on Su Yi’s ears. She had yet to react before someone had hugged her. The other had taken off their gloves, putting the hand on her cheeks trying to help warm her up.
Chu Ying was frowning hard. “What happened?” He sounded worried.
Su Yi cried so hard her head was splitting apart. It took a long, long while before she came back to herself.
She said hoarsely, “Captain Ying, I don’t have a family anymore.”
She had long since refused to acknowledge her family, in her eyes Xiao Bao was her last relative.
And she didn’t protect him…
Su Yi had once tried to take Xiao Bao’s custody. But everyone told her there was no possibility at all. Xiao Bao had parents and was never abused, how could he be given to an aunt like you?
This couple – one liked gambling, the other drugs. Su Qin’s husband had been sent to the rehabilitation centre a few years back. Su Qin was rather smart, she treated Xiao Bao well enough after knowing that she had these intentions. No one could find any faults in the way she treated him – the only fault that could be found was that of negligence.
The mentally disabled were most afraid of negligence.
Su Yi went back to Ding County overnight. In the car, she was deathly pale, no longer crying. She stared out of the window with vacant eyes.
Chu Ying reached out a hand and held her tightly. He had never felt like this before. He never knew the sight of someone’s tears and sadness could hurt so.
Su Yi allowed him to hold her and asked, “Tell me, is it possible that when I reach I’d find out that this was all a ruse Su Qin played to trick me into going back?”
Chu Ying didn’t reply and Su Yi didn’t open her mouth again.
If he said yes now, that was to give her a very fragile hope that would be broken and shattered too easily. It’d only make things worse.
When they reached Ding County, the sky had yet to lit up. The banging on the door was particularly rattlingly loud in the silent little town.
“Coming, coming, who is it so early in the morning?”
The door opened creakily. Su Qin had on a bedhead and, seeing the people in front of her, spoke again only after another pause. “Are you dying? Why’re you coming back so early, you’re rushing for your reincarnation?”
At this moment Su Yi was the least able to handle people talking about reincarnation. She asked coldly, “Where is Xiao Bao?”
“Who is this? Oh-oh, I’ve seen you, you’re the big boss who is dating Xiao Yi on the news? Hurry and come in—”
“Su Qin!!” Both of Su Yi’s hands were curled into fists, banging loudly on the door, frightening the other into quivering. “Where’s Xiao Bao?”
“Why are you so loud? Am I deaf?” Su Qin dug her ear. “All right, go wait for me in the living room.”
She called it a living room, but it’s really just a small space outside of the room with a few chairs.
Su Yi looked around. Nevermind a memorial tablet, Su Qin didn’t even put on incense.
Not too long later, Su Qin came out with a cup of warm sesame paste. She handed it to Chu Ying, trying her best to look seductive. “It’s so cold, hurry up and have something warm to warm yourself up.”
Chu Ying looked her over closely, saying nothing and not extending his hand.
Su Yi nearly broke into a laugh.
“Why are you in such a hurry?” Su Qin rolled her eyes at her. “Follow me.”
Su Yi was about to go when the person behind her caught her.
“If something’s the matter, call me.”
Su Qin’s room was very gaudily decorated. Su Yi even saw an open jewelry box on her table displaying a few gold necklaces.
She tried hard to convince herself to calm down. “When did Xiao Bao die?”
“Just two days ago.”
“Two days ago and you told me only yesterday??”
“Does it matter when I tell you? If I told you earlier, would he revive or what?” After saying that, Su Qin coughed lightly and got to the point. “Because he was found by someone else, the town says that he cannot be kept, so he was cremated on the night.”
Su Yi was so immersed in grief, she could calmly accept everything. She nodded. “Where are his ashes?”
“I asked you to come, isn’t it to discuss this with you?” Su Qin said, “You’re his aunt, and since he’s young you liked him the most. Of course, you wouldn’t be able to bear his ashes being scattered just like that in this dingy old town and never be able to leave here for his lifetime.”
Su Yi thought that it couldn’t be so simple. “What does that mean?”
“What I mean is, since you like him so much, how about you just take him and go. It’d be good for me too.” She laughed twice. “As long as you give me a hundred thousand, you can take Xiao Bao away.”
The sound of two slaps was very heavy and loud.
Su Qin was still glaring, she certainly didn’t expect Su Yi to get angry. After she reacted, she rolled up her sleeves and was about to pay back.
“If you dare touch me even once, don’t even think about the money.”
Su Qin’s hands froze in mid-air, and she looked especially ridiculous.
Su Yi finally couldn’t help it anymore, laughing out loud, but there wasn’t a single bit of joy in her eyes.
“Su Qin, look at you, how pitiful! Give me Xiao Bao and I’ll give you ten thousand immediately.”
Su Qin frowned. “I haven’t even seen the money, what if you cheat me?”
Su Yi said expressionlessly, “I’m not sinking low enough to play games with you.”
Su Qin hesitated for a while before handing Xiao Bao over. He was hidden in her closet.
A small brown box…
Su Qi called Wu Xue at once, letting her give Su Qin a hundred thousand.
After hanging up, she took the guy and left without turning back, leaving behind only “Su Qin, from now on we are not at all related, don’t call me up again.”
She found a good place for Xiao Bao in the cemetery. The day they buried him, only her and Chu Ying were there.
When the guy asked her about her past before, there was one thing she hadn’t said.
Their parents died early, so she had always stayed with Su Qin. While her husband was a drug addict, she loved gambling. So they spent a lot and didn’t earn enough. In less than half a year they’d spent everything their parents left.
One morning, before the sky lit, she was dragged awake by the couple to be sold to someone as their wife. She was very weak and this wasn’t that irregular in that little town. Even if someone saw, they’d close one eye.
Although Xiao Bao was mentally challenged, he did understand something. It was a cold winter, he’d run out barefoot and hugged her legs tightly, refusing to let go no matter what, refusing to let them pull her away.
No one expected Su Qin to find him troublesome and, in a pique, kick him down the mountain. He’d bled so much. The couple, afraid that things would escalate with the possibility of death, only then stopped.
After she finished speaking, Chu Ying only hugged her.
Su Yi said, “Say, I haven’t gone back for so long to see him – would he blame me?”
“No,” Chu Ying said very gently, comforting her. “He’d understand you, know that you’re busy and that you have a reason for not wanting to return.”
Su Yi couldn’t help it anymore and started sobbing.
“You’ll never be alone.” Chu Ying ruffled her hair, the wetness on his shoulder icing over his heart. “I’m still here, I’ll always be here.”