The Fading Away of Our Youth (So Young) - novelonlinefull.com
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Zheng Wei got on the taxi nearest to the entrance of the hospital. This time, the taxi driver didn’t inquire further about her strange behavior. People who worked near the hospital were only afraid of getting used to too much death.
The taxi dropped Zheng Wei off at the lobby of her apartment. While she was paying, she took a look at her window. It was dark and let in no light. She was suddenly afraid of this place, where she had lived alone for over four years. Without hesitating, she gave the driver the name of a place, before she even got off the car, directly driving to another place.
As per her instructions, the taxi driver brought her to the lobby of an apartment in a rather stylish, Southern style area. Zheng Wei had been here twice. It was full of memories. Unexpectedly, on a night such as this, she had found her way to the place that she wanted to go. She knocked on the door.
The sound of the knock echoed for a long time before Zheng Wei finally heard the sound of footsteps. The door opened to reveal a sleepy Lin Jing. Shocked, he stared first at her pajama clad body draped by a coat then back at the clock in the living room of his apartment, which showed that the time was 2:30AM, in the wee hours of the morning.
“What the heck are you doing?” Lin Jing asked.
Zheng Wei lowered her head and stared at her shoes as she asked, “Is there anyone inside, if there is, I’ll leave immediately.”
“What nonesense are you saying?” Lin Jing coldly replied, “Its the middle of the night, first come in and then we’ll talk.”
He stood aside to let her inside than closed the door. “I don’t even know how cold it is tonight, what the heck are you doing dressed like this… …”
He hadn’t even finished his sentence before a soft body pounced into his arms, interrupting him. Lin Jing couldn’t react in time and was in an awkward position but she still clung on to him tightly.
“Zheng Wei, is the reason you came over only for this?” He seemed to still be brooding over the last thing she had said that day.
Zheng Wei looked up, and all he could see of her round face was her big eyes and sharp chin. Lin Jing faintly felt that something was wrong but was unable to guess what might have happened.
“Do you not want to?” She asked.
He laughed self-deprecatingly and said, “Am I that desperate in your eyes? If I just wanted to find a woman, you would not be at the top of the list.”
What was strange was that Zheng Wei wasn’t provoked into anger by him; instead, she said, with a pale face, “But I want to, just treat it as helping me. Don’t ignore me, okay?”
In his confusion, Zheng Wei stuck herself onto him, going on her tippy toes to kiss his face. But then Lin Jing made contact with her frozen, slightly salty face.
“Did you cry? What happened, don’t cry, first tell me what happened!” He finally confirmed that something must’ve happened, but he couldn’t take back his past anger and hateful words.
“Shhh… … Don’t talk, Lin Jing, just hold me.” She nestled herself into his arms, like a small, trembling animal snuggling into a warm balloon on a cold winter night.
Lin Jing originally hadn’t thought of doing that, but he couldn’t resist her constant nagging. She wanted warmth, he could only give it, and now his interest had gradually grown. The two gradually shed their clothes as they entered the bedroom, then fell onto the bed that was still warm from when Lin Jing was lying on it.
Lin Jing responded to Zheng Wei’s madness and he reciprocated with the same demands on her body.
He got the feeling that Zheng Wei needed him that night,
whether it was his body or his soul. Even if there was a good reason for all this, however, when she had needed a comforting embrace, the first one she had thought of was him; that was already enough.
Subconciously, he reached out a hand to pull on the bedside lamp, but Zheng Wei stopped him. “Don’t turn on the lights, just leave it like this,” she said.
When he entered her it was extremely smooth and she was especially warm and moist. Like a vine, Zheng Wei squeezed him tightly, and when he moved, he was at the absolute peak right in-between pain and pleasure.
They hit the peak much faster and more intensely than they had ever antic.i.p.ated. Afterwards, when Lin Jing tried to pull out, he discovered that she was still clinging tightly to him, refusing to let go. He a.s.sured and comforted her for a while and in the end, brushed some hair from her face and said softly, “I’ll be with you in a bit, listen to me.”
When he sat up he pulled the light on. Through the light, Lin Jing discovered that the spot where the two had had s.e.x on was covered in blood, and the white sheets were also stained. At first he was extremely alarmed and fearful. After a few dazed moments, he quickly reacted. While he was wiping away the blood, he angrily said, “Did you eat the wrong medicine or something, why didn’t you tell me earlier if it had come, isn’t this just harming your own body? This is simply unbelievable!”
Zheng Wei let him reprimand her and didn’t even offer an explanation. After Lin Jing had turned around, she silently began crying as she faced his back. When she finally spoke it was still lost and broken. “Lin Jing, Ruan Ruan, she died, she died… …”
It hurt too much, if the pain in these difficult words had not been let out of her, she thought that she herself would die too.
Lin Jing stared blankly at her and said, “Ruan Ruan? Wu Jiang’s wife Ruan Wan?”
Other than weeping, she was unable to even nod her head. Fortunately he understood, and didn’t say a single word. Turning around, he hugged her, letting her tears flow as if there were no end.
Lin Jing carried her into the bathroom to wash the liquid off the both of them, and she obediently let him manipulate her body around, only moving once he had removed the stained bed sheet and they had lain down on the bed. She turned to face him and curled up in his arms, her head against his chest and her legs bent, as if she were a newborn babe returning to the safety of her mother’s body. Quiet and white, she quickly fell into a dream.
Having a dream was really good, at least until Zheng Wei saw Ruan Ruan who was refusing to tell her something. She was standing on the busy train platform, her smile bright.
Ruan Ruan said, “Wei Wei, don’t cry. I’m really happy, this was the ending that I wanted.”
Zheng Wei actually stopped crying. She remembered a night, many years ago, when she, Ruan Ruan and Xiao Bei had been drinking beer in their dorm room and had talked for a long time about their dreams. No one would’ve imagined then that their words would’ve become reality. Whether this was lucky or unfortunate, maybe it had already been predestined to happen long ago.
The sky was still dark when Zheng Wei awoke from her dream, slowly regaining consciousness. She close her eyes again and lay still, but Lin Jing surprisingly wasn’t asleep either. Zheng Wei felt him lightly and carefully sit up, as if he was trying not to wake her, get out of bed and walk outside to the bedroom terrace.
She thought she heard the sound of a lighter, and after, the faint smell of smoke from the direction of the terrace drifted towards her. She had never known that Lin Jing smoked.
Just like that waft of smoke, Lin Jing once again gently lay back down next to her, turned off the light next to the bed and tucked her in. Just as sleep was about to claim her, she felt his lips softly and carefully kiss her brow, leaving behind a faint smell of smoke.
Zheng Wei remained motionless, and Lin Jing’s breathing slowly evened out. Maybe she would never tell him, that this night, she had been awake had received his gentle forehead kiss. A tear flowed down and dropped soundlessly on the pillow, and finally, this tear was completely unrelated to her sorrow.
No matter how many times she badgered him and asked, “Do you love me,” and no matter how many times he replied in the affirmative, none of them would be able to compare to this moment of gentleness, this kiss which had nothing to do with desire. At this moment, Zheng Wei was finally willing to believe that the man beside her loved her, when all was said and done. It didn’t matter how deep this love was, it didn’t matter whether this love was mixed with other things. Love was love, and there was no doubt about it.
Daybreak finally arrived and Zheng Wei awoke on an unfamilar bed. The pillow beside her was already empty and she opened her eyes, looking at the thin slit in-between the window curtains letting in sunlight. The sun would come out every day, but for people, sometimes once they left, they would never return.
When Lin Jing pushed the door open he was already neatly dressed. Seeing that she was awake, he sat beside the bed and pa.s.sed her cellphone to her, saying, “Call in to take the day off, you can’t go back to work this way.”
Zheng Wei knew that he was right. Zhou Qu wasn’t there, so she called to the director of the managers office. The director quickly agreed that at this time, it might be best if she didn’t come in to work.
“Want to keep sleeping or do you want to eat something?” Lin Jing asked.
“I still want to sleep, you should go to work now. If I leave I’ll make sure to lock the door for you.”
“No need, I took the day off too.”
“I’m really okay, you don’t need to specially stay here to keep me company.”
“Do I need to admit that I was also really tired last night, and also received a fright, for you to understand that I also need to rest?”
Zheng Wei finally smiled, then closed her eyes and lay back down. In her half-awake, half-asleep state, it was as if she heard his phone ring many, many times, and he lowered him voice to speak. Vaguely, she heard him delegating work matters. Afterwards, she thought that he probably turned incoming calls on vibrate, because she didn’t hear the phone ringing again. All she knew was that he would always walk to the terrace to receive phone calls.
After finishing the last of the phone calls, Lin Jing walked into the bedroom. Zheng Wei had already sat up.
“Not gonna sleep more?” He smiled and said.
Zheng Wei honestly said, “Your phone is really noisy.”
Lin Jing helplessly said, “Recently there’ve been more things going on.”
“They probably have to do with Er Fen.”
He didn’t deny it.
Zheng Wei’s eyelashes quivered and she said, “Lin Jing, you didn’t call me for a whole month, I thought you didn’t want anything to do with me anymore.”
Lin Jing said, “I think that it would be good if we weren’t together during this time. We all say that there’s a clear line between the company and our personal lives, but to actually make a clear distinction is pretty hard. There’s a lot of pressure on me about Er Fen’s case; everyday there are people from all different places calling me with all sorts of intentions and purposes. I can understand that you’re worried for Zhou Qu. Right now what I can tell you is that at the moment, the problems that we’ve found with Er Fen’s accounts aren’t super serious, and Feng De Sheng is also a very loyal person. He himself has stepped forward to shoulder a lot of the blame, so his punishment is unavoidable. On Zhou Qu’s side, if there isn’t anymore evidence put forward about the financial records, his problem won’t be very big. You can rest a.s.sured.”
“To be honest, you don’t have to tell me these things,” Zheng Wei said.
Lin Jing smiled and said, “That day after I returned from your place, my heart was really unsettled, and I was probably a bit angry too. I admit that it was only when I got involved with Zhong Jian’s case did I realize some part of what you had been going through. That made me feel once again like being together with you wasn’t impossible. I’m an action-oriented person; when I want something or someone, at the slightest chance, I will grab on and I won’t let go. So, even if I didn’t meet you because of what happened to Wu Jiang’s wife, I had already planned to go look for you sometime. Of course, I know that my ident.i.ty makes it pretty convenient for me to stay close to you, but if Chen Xiao Zheng was more determined, or if I were in his shoes, I would never give up so easily.”
Zheng Wei was a bit surprised, but she didn’t try to question him further and quietly listened to him continue. “To a man, one’s career is extremely importnat, but there are also some things in our hearts which we need to cherish carefully too. I already said that I wasn’t a perfect guy, but I’m definitely not as despicable to use a woman’s feelings to further my own goals. Wei Wei, seven years ago, I thought that leaving you was the best choice, but I still regretted it. And this kind of regret deepened as the years went by when I didn’t see you or hear any news about you at all. I want the person who will spend the rest of their life with me to be you. If this isn’t love, then I don’t know what love is. I don’t have the guts to tell you that I would die for you or anything along those lines, but I promise, if I am by your side, I will try my utmost to give you happiness and protect you completely.”
Zheng Wei didn’t say anything, and Lin Jing’s heart felt a bit unsure, as if all of his past feelings of failure and powerlessness were all originating from this troublesome person in front of him. He was wondering if saying these kinds of things was too early; how could he have made the kind of mistake that teenagers do when they’re in love. So, he chose to step back and said, “Of course, what I’m saying right now is just showing how I feel about this, if you don’t want to change what we have now, we can maintain that. As long as you don’t say “that” again, then I won’t have to say things like this again. It really hurt my feelings… … I’m done speaking now, you’d better say something too. I’m really not used to you being this calm.”
(Note: “that” – I think this refers to work stuff, like to do with Er Fen’s case. Or maybe it’s questions about whether he loves her… I don’t even know. Also, when I wrote “it really hurt my feelings,” it was more like Lin Jing was saying that those kinds of things can hurt people’s feelings, because in Chinese you don’t really need p.r.o.nouns sometimes. But, he does mean himself, just in a more subtle way. He’s not saying it outright (which is kinda awkward) like what I have written here.)
Zheng Wei turned her head towards him and said, “Don’t bother me right now, I’m reflecting over what you’ve just said. To be honest, the feeling of getting a confession right after waking up is pretty nice.” Once she was done speaking she began to look intently around his room.
Lin Jing let out his breath, excitedly grabbed her hand which was resting on top of the blanket and asked, “What are you looking at?”
Zheng Wei said, “Lin Jing, I really admire you, your room is actually so clean and spotless, yet when you come over to my messy apartment, you don’t even show a single reaction.”
Lin Jing laughed and said, “Aren’t I just doing what I’m supposed to do in that situation*? Honestly, even disregarding everything else, that bed of yours with make my arthritis appear 20 years earlier.”
* – “When in Rome, do what Romans do”
Zheng Wei slowly rested her head on Lin Jing’s shoulder and let out a long sigh.
Ruan Ruan, sometimes what we want is really just a shoulder we can lean upon.