The Taming of the Yandere

 

V2 Chapter 16: The Diary That Should Have Been Burnt

 

When people grow older, the distance between them and others may grow. They’ll start to think about a lot of things.

Back then, I would always want to stay at my grandparents’ house during summer and winter break. However, after getting off the train, my destination was typically the white mansion.

At last, the holidays had come. I always felt like I couldn’t wait to meet Xue.

Every time I saw her, I was like a bamboo shoot, growing taller in a blink of the eye. But Luo Xue always stayed the same.

Skinny, small, and pale. However, every time she saw me, a smile would light up her face without fail.

She stayed the same, but I had changed.

Both physically, and mentally.

After I had determined that she didn’t like me through the prank, a gap started to widen between us.

I had treated her like my best friend, even someone I loved. But in her heart, I was no more than a regular companion.

To her, my existence was just nice to have. Then why do I have waste my energy on her?

From then on, the holidays weren’t spent at my grandparents’ house, but rather I signed up for numerous cram schools. The study habits that Luo Xue drilled into me hadn’t diminished.

Luo Xue would still call me from time to time, but I kept our conversation to no more than courtesy.

When I was asked why I wasn’t coming back on break, my excuse was always my studies.

But our meetings were inevitable.

Every time I had a long break, my grandparents would always order me to go back with “wishing to see their grandson” as an excuse. In exasperation, I was forced to stay there in the last few days.

Sometimes, they would bring me to see Luo Xue. I wasn’t really willing to go, and never chatted no more than a few minutes with the grown-ups. I never engaged in long conversations with Luo Xue, either.

Until…. The summer break of 8th grade.

….

One day, not too long after getting off from school, my grandfather called me on the phone. He wanted to see me.

“Fan, it’s summer break. Come home, your grandma misses you.”

Grandpa’s deep, scratchy voice trickled from the speaker.

If you miss me, just say it yourself, stop talking about Grandma! Grandpa always acted very strict, and rarely said anything nice.

“I don’t want to go, I just signed up for cram school!”

I immediately declined. There’s no time, I have a lot of stuff to do now that summer’s here.

“You must come back! I’ve already talked to your mother about canceling the cram school.”

Grandpa’s tone was like steel.

“Canceled?”

I didn’t understand at all, and almost yelled.

“Xue wants you to teach her your studies. You haven’t done that for a long time, have you?”

Grandpa’s voice quivered.

“Xue?”

My heart throbbed.

I hadn’t been in contact with her for a long time. If it was possible, I really wanted to meet her.

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Since the cram school was already canceled, I could only go to my grandparents’ house and study with her.

I spent a day and night on the train, then switched to a charter bus.

In the evening, I finally arrived at my grandparents’ town.

Walking on the sturdy cobblestone road, the familiar gray-white cottages appeared before my eyes.

My hunch-backed grandparents weren’t the only people waiting for me. In front of their door, there was another middle-aged man.

That was Luo Xue’s father.

He told me that he wanted to invite me to stay at his white mansion for a while.

The mansion had air-conditioning, and my grandparents only had a few paper fans.

With the hot and humid climate and many mosquitoes, the mansion seemed much more appealing.

I didn’t hesitate much when I accepted his offer. I also wanted to pull my grandparents along, but Grandpa said that he didn’t like the air-conditioner’s gasoline smell, and the cold air triggered his arthritis.

I arrived at the Luo house.

The silver-haired girl leaned on the doorframe, standing in a dignified manner. She smiled at me sweetly, as if we just parted from the night before rather than a long time.

The old feeling I always got from when I was little resurfaced. Naturally, I returned to the Lu Fan from so many years ago.

No worries or hesitation, just enjoying her presence. Who cares about some shitty romance.

I just want to be with her, so what if she doesn’t love me?

I brought out my summer homework to do with her. She was overjoyed, stroking the otherwise very normal workbook excitedly.

We did page after page, until we finished on the last day.

“I’m really happy that Lu Fan could study with this much focus. No wonder why you didn’t come last year, you were really studying your best at home!”

Luo Xue praised me with confidence.

“I just tried a little harder, haha….”

I scratched my head, looking at her from the side embarrassedly.

“You have to study just like this in the future. Remember, Lu Fan learning for the two of us!” Luo Xue laughed.

“Of course. Whenever I have time, I’ll come teach you.” I promised.

“….” She paused.

“Lu Fan, after a few days, I’ll have to leave the country. I might not come back for a very long time…. As for studying, I’m afraid that it’ll be very hard to come across another chance….”

She bowed her head in sorrow.

“Why do you have to leave?”

I was very shocked.

“Because I miss home.”

Luo Xue smiled softly.

“Isn’t this your home?”

I was getting a little nervous.

No, if Luo Xue left the country, would she come back? If she didn’t, then I might never see her again.

“It’s a new home, a home without any pain. But I’ll really miss this place.”

Luo Xue smiled in reminisce, gazing outside in regret.

“No pain?”

I felt a small chill behind my back.

“The air over there is very fresh, not stuffy like here.” Luo Xue explained.

“But, I don’t want you to leave… I…”

I started to become restless.

I love you!

I don’t want you to go!

Are you going to take away my privilege of just looking at you, too?

“I have to.”

Luo Xue turned her head away, not looking me in the eyes.

“Luo Xue, I love you, could you stay?”

I shouted at her back.

There wasn’t going to be another chance to say this other than now.

“Lu Fan…. We’re just best friends, forever best friends, please?”

Luo Xue’s voice shook.

I was still rejected, without any hesitation whatsoever.

“….”

My throat closed up.

Well, I really just can’t let go of a broken heart, can I?

“Sorry…. I think I have to go now, my grandparents made dinner as farewell, and I have school tomorrow morning.” I spoke mechanically.

“Lu Fan…. I….”

Luo Xue buried her face in her elbow, seeming to want to say something.

“Goodbye!”

I gathered my bag, and stood to leave.

“Goodbye….”

….

I returned to school the next day with an empty mind.

I planned to numb myself with studies, but I thought about Luo Xue every time I opened my book. I couldn’t focus at all.

Until a package arrived from my grandparents’ house.

It was an elegant box, with a lock of long silver hair in it. There was a slip of paper inside, printed “In memoriam”.

Under the box was a letter from Luo Xue.

She told me to keep my grades up, in order to study abroad so she could see me again.

Did she really leave the country?

Luo Xue….

But, strangely, Luo Xue’s diary, which she never let me touch, was at the very bottom.

Was it placed there by accident? She never let me read it, did she send it to me specifically?

She would always take little notes in it secretly, and when I peered over absentmindedly, she would always lunge on top of it to block its contents.

A postcard laid on top of the diary. On it was a black church, with countless white crosses behind it.

On the back, Luo Xue’s father had written in hard black fountain pen.

“Thank you for the days you spent with my daughter Xue.”

“Xue told me to burn this diary after she left, but I think you should take a look first.”

“I hope that you respect her wishes.”

The diary that should have been burnt, and the ominous postcard.

I had an ominous feeling.

After reading the diary from front to back, I realized.

Xue really did leave the country.

…..

She went to the country of heaven….