The Fading Away of Our Youth (So Young) - novelonlinefull.com
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In the middle of the night, Zheng Wei was woken up by the sound of her cellphone ringing. Even before, she had been sleeping very lightly, so the abrupt sound disturbing the quiet night made her feel even more apprehensive.
Zheng Wei was very afraid of calls in the middle of the night; she would a.s.sume that some terrible thing had happened. The last time she had been woken up by a phone call at midnight, her mom had been internally bleeding in her stomach and had been hurriedly brought to the hospital. Thinking about it now it made her extremely worried. But, she didn’t want to turn off her phone even more in fear that she would miss something important.
“Excuse me, are you Ms. Zheng Wei?” The sound from the other end of the phone was that of a male stranger.
Zheng Wei’s heart shook as if it had been clawed at by Shu Bao. She said, “I am, who are you?”
“I am a police officer from the XX branch at the XX police station. I would like to ask whether you are a family member or friend of Ruan Wan. She is at XX Hospital right now. She is very injured. Your phone was the last number that she called in her cellphone’s history. Could you please notify her family to come to the emergency room at XX Hospital as soon as possible?”
Zheng Wei’s brain was foggy for a second and she completely missed the last half of what the police officer had said. All of her uneasy hunches had been confirmed in that moment. Stumbling, she put her coat on, grabbed her purse and ran to the hospital.
When she got on the taxi, the driver asked, “Excuse me, where would you like to go?”
Zheng Wei mechanically replied, “XX Hospital, please go fast.”
The driver saw her expression in the rearview mirror and asked, “Miss, is anything wrong with you?”
“There’s something wrong with me?” Zheng Wei had a scare and then she finally realized that her entire face was soaking wet. She rea.s.sured herself, thinking, nothing will go wrong, no one will have any problems. Ruan Ruan was the kind of the person that G.o.d would definitely protect.
She suddenly realized that she should call Wu Jiang. The hospital that Ruan Ruan was at wasn’t the hospital where he worked. When he picked up the phone he also got scared and said he would leave immediately.
Zheng Wei ran the entire way to the emergency room. The operating room’s light was on and at the entrance there were many people wearing visor caps, wearing different police uniforms.
“Is Ruan Wan inside?” Zheng Wei’s face was pale as she asked the question.
A couple of the people looked at one another, and one of them who seemed to be in charge replied to Zheng Wei, “Excuse me, are you… …”
“I am Zheng Wei, her close friend. What’s wrong with her, it isn’t serious is it? What happened, before she got on the train she was perfectly fine.”
The person who was in charge grimly explained the entire story to her; the actual course of events had been pretty simple. About one hour into the train ride, the police station discovered a major wanted criminal on the train. In the process of arresting the person, he/she had tried their utmost to resist. Furthermore, they had even had a lethal weapon on their hands. Among the officers partic.i.p.ating in the arrest, there had been a young and impulsive officer. In a moment of desperation, he actually disobeyed orders and shot twice in the midst of the small, crowded train pa.s.senger car. One had hit the criminal straight in the back while the other accidentally hit Ruan Ruan, who had been too late to dodge it in the frantic crowd.
“This is our organization’s fatal mistake. We are truly sorry. The man who opened fire has already been detained and the doctor is currently tryin
g their best to rescue Miss Ruan. Regarding this matter, we will definitely give her family a full explanation.”
Zheng Wei felt like weeping but she had no tears; a vigorous police chase, a gunbattle, it all just seemed so impossible, so distant, like it should only appear in a movie. And she and Ruan Ruan were both just normal people with ordinary lives, struggling to find a little bit of happiness. And how could such a thing happen so close to the sweet Ruan Ruan, how could it happen to her best friend. A gunshot! Ruan Ruan’s body was already so frail, and she was even one month pregnant… … She leaned against the wall of the emergency room and sobbed uncontrollably.
“Miss Zheng, are you okay?” In her unclear line of sight she saw two overlapping, worried faces looking at her.
“There were so many people on the pa.s.senger car, why did it have to be her? Bullets don’t have eyes, can it be that even G.o.d couldn’t see them? Why did such a thing have to happen to such a sweet woman?”
Fl.u.s.tered, Zheng Wei wiped at her tears and prayed inwardly: We will definitely survive this, Ruan Ruan and her child are both still alive right now! Although she doesn’t practice a religion, all G.o.ds and buddhas should be supporting kind and good-hearted people, right?
The light indicating that the surgery was ongoing finally went out and the bloodstained doctor finally walked out. Zheng Wei held her breath and heard the doctor clearly say, “I am extremely sorry, the bullet was embedded in the tricuspid valve. After we began the surgery and cut into the right chamber of the heart, we could that the bullet fragments were too hard to remove from the surface of the heart. When the patient arrived she had already gone into cardiac arrest due to ventricular fibrillation*. In the end the rescue attempt was ineffective. May we ask if you could please contact the deceased’s relatives and close friends?”* – If you would like to gain a better understanding of what this is go here
There was a mirror inside Zheng Wei’s heart that had been hit by a heavy blow. After a deafening cracking sound, there was the sound of thousands of shards of gla.s.s shattering, seemingly without end.
The doctor’s mouth was closed and she only understood one phrase: dead!
Ruan Ruan, who was beautiful inside and out, who had accompanied Zheng Wei throughout her youth, to be proclaimed “dead” from the doctor’s mouth, for the first time, Zheng Wei discovered that white was the world’s most despair-filled color.
The color of the face of the man in the visor next to her also changed. Some people whispered in each others’ ears, some were conferring with the doctor, and others were trying to comfort one another. Zheng Wei was numb from the pain. Her fingernails dug into her palms and she didn’t even feel the pain. She broke her silence by erupting into a wailing, horrifying cry; her Ruan Ruan, her little bit of happiness that she always looked forward to, was never coming back again.
Zheng Wei’s grief was unrestrained and loud but it was unclear whether this outburst of tears was able to flush out all the bitterness and pain inside her heart. People died everyday, people’s dreams fizzled out, but it shouldn’t have been Ruan Ruan. From the start, she should’ve lived the most peaceful life. But now, she had actually died on the operating table because of a completely random accident.
Just as Zheng Wei turned to the police officer, the phone in his hand began playing a familiar ringtone, “… … We are all good children, the kindest children, believe that love can last forever, oh… …” This song, “We are All Good Children,” was Ruan Ruan’s favorite song which Zheng Wei had even helped her download as her phone’s ringtone.
The police officer opened the phone and said, “It’s someone called Zhao Shi Yong calling, do you want to take it?”
It was only now that Zheng Wei remembered that Zhao Shi Yong still might be persistently waiting in S City. “I’ll take it,” she said, and took the phone, picking up and saying, “h.e.l.lo.” Perhaps it was because of the pain which changed her voice, actually making Zhao Shi Yong unable to differentiate that the person speaking on the other end of the phone wasn’t Ruan Ruan. Mumbling, he hesitantly said, “Ruan Ruan, I’m sorry, today my fiancée and my mother actually suddenly came to visit me, so I can’t go to S City right now. Can you wait for me another day, I’ll fly there immediately tomorrow. You have to wait for me… …”
If Zhao Shi Yong had been standing in front of Zheng Wei at that moment, she really didn’t think she would’ve been able to restrain herself from ripping him apart. “You didn’t come!”
It was he who had made Ruan Ruan commit to the meeting, and he actually hadn’t gone. In the middle of her tears, Zheng Wei sighed long and deep.
Zhao Shi Yong finally heard something wrong with her voice. “You aren’t Ruan Ruan? Zheng Wei? Are you Zheng Wei? Where’s Ruan Ruan? Does she not want to listen to my call anymore? Tell her that I really didn’t do it on purpose, making her wait for me.”
“She can’t wait for you anymore.” Zheng Wei bit her pointer finger so she could speak clearly.
“Are you crying? What happened?” Zhao Shi Yong also began feeling scared.
“Ruan Ruan died.”
The phone line fell into a strange silence.
Suddenly, Zheng Wei couldn’t cry anymore. This was the man that Ruan Ruan loved, she had been the moth drawn to a dangerous flame just for this kind of man? He isn’t even fit to be a flame, he’s just a wishy-washy loser! However, if Ruan Ruan had been beside her, she might’ve just laughed bitterly and said: “I was the one who decided to go see him, no one forced me. What did he do wrong?”
Zheng Wei said to Zhao Shi Yong, “Are you afraid now? Don’t be afraid, she died on the train because of an accident. It has nothing to do with you. In the eyes of the law, you are not guilty, and even morally, no one could criticize you. You simply couldn’t come because you were busy. Even if you had come, she still would never have made it to the meeting place. So, you can be at ease and get married, happily living your life.”
Zheng Wei heard fragments of weeping, but that didn’t stop her from continuing on her rant. “Zhao Shi Yong, I only want to know, for the rest of your life, if you ever dream of Ruan Ruan, how will you feel? If it were me, I wouldn’t feel at peace ever again for my entire life. In the days to come, no matter how much happiness I felt, I would always feel ashamed… … Zhao Shi Yong, why weren’t you the one who died!”
The phone was taken away from Zheng Wei by a stranger nearby as she collapsed and broke down. Leaning against the wall, she slowly sank to the ground. What was the meaning of the law? She couldn’t even sentence this kind of man to death. The person who we wish the most harm against won’t die, but must continue living well. After a brief period of sorrow, he would still get married and grow old without a hitch.
Zheng Wei felt that this wasn’t fair for Ruan Ruan, but she was also happy for her. If this disaster couldn’t have been avoided, at least Ruan Ruan had died on the train to S City before arriving there. This could be considered a small bit of luck, because this way, she would never know that that man had stood her up. She would never be disappointed.
Right before Ruan Ruan died, thinking that Zhao Shi Yong was waiting for her, her heart had probably been happy.
Wu Jiang appeared in the corrider of the operating room in a hurry. When he saw the tears on Zheng Wei’s face, his heart had already felt a chill. “Doctor, the family of the deceased that you wanted to find is right here.” Zheng Wei pointed at Wu Jiang indifferently as she spoke to the doctor. She saw the flash of pain and shock on Wu Jiang’s face.
She had almost thought that Doctor Wu was only a sage of life and Buddha, and couldn’t feel heartbreak and pain. “Zheng Wei, what is going on?”
Zheng Wei stared at the half open door of the operating room and said, “You finally finished your surgery? Then go take a look at your wife and your child… … Oh, that’s right, you don’t know about the child yet, do you? It’s Ruan Ruan’s fault for not having enough time to tell you, besides, you’re so busy, when would you have time to think about these kinds of things. From now on, it’s your responsibility, I’m going home.”
She clutched at her jacket tightly as she walked forward, trying to warm herself up– if there was any warmth to be found anywhere anymore.
When I left Wu Jiang, I never said goodbye.
Lao Zhang’s car was parked in front of the hospital and he was standing in a daze at the end of the hallway.
Tonight was super crowded, they all kept showing up one by one. If Ruan Ruan was watching over this all from the sky above, would she be used to it? After all those days waiting till dawn alone, she had long before already gotten used to the loneliness. Fortunately, it was all over now. “It was I who personally drove her to the train station, it was I who personally sent her to her death?” It was like Lao Zhang was asking Zheng Wei, and also like he was asking himself.
Zheng Wei didn’t reply to him and just walked right past him.
Forgive her for not being able to give him comfort, but in the end, everyone had to lick their own wounds.