Unleashing those Cruel words
Since Jiang Yuan’s eyes fell on Bai Luo Yin, she remained silent. When she thought of how he was perhaps considering her suggestions, her face that had been heavily painted with anxiousness for the past few days had finally allowed a slight smile to appear.
“Son, everything that mom has done are all for your sake. You don’t have to think about how things are with Gu Hai. After all, he is Mr. Gu’s flesh and blood—his biological son. Even if he remained in the country, he will still be in a relatively safe and reliable position, but you are different. Although Mr. Gu has thought about you, the treatments he gives you will certainly differ from Gu Hai. Mom doesn’t want you to be subjected to or forced into this position.”
After a long while, Bai Luo Yin suddenly opened his mouth.
Hearing herself addressed in such manner, the smile on her face ceased to be.
“Luo Yin, what did you just call me?”
Bai Luo Yin looked at Jiang Yuan indifferently with his insouciance, frankness, and tendency laid out across his face. “Then what should I call you? Aunt Jiang? Mrs. Gu? Or Madam Gu?”
A disturbingly sallow complexion, almost as if death had warmed over, washed evenly across Jiang Yuan’s beautiful and charming cheeks—this layer of sickness was persistent and hard to cover up.
Bai Luo Yin peered at the pile of documents on the table and calmly said, “Can you not make me feel disgusted towards you?”
‘Disgusted,’ this word was like a sharp stake that was being cruelly pushed into Jiang Yuan’s chest, stabbing her heart. The momentary feeling of peacefulness that she felt was exploded abruptly as her lips went pale and her trembling figure faced Bai Luo Yin.
The moment she parted her lips, she sobbed and choked convulsively.
“Disgusted? Did you say that I’m disgusting? In spite of everything I did for you, all you can say is that I’m disgusting? Bai Luo Yin, what in the world… how many kinds of medicine did Bai Han Qi shove down your throat to ensnared you, to make you carelessly slander and condemn your own mother like this?”
“Don’t use your ugly heart to measure other people’s conducts and deeds. Besides you, no one around me are that wicked or immoral.”
Jiang Yuan exerted her strength to pulled Bai Luo Yin out of his seat before she hissed and wailed with an interrogating tone. “You say that I’m wicked… immoral? You actually took my good intentions toward you as immoral? Bai Luo Yin, will you only be satisfied after you’ve killed me?”
Bai Luo Yin coldly flung Jiang Yuan’s hand away. There was a silent pause between each word that came out of his mouth. “Don’t wrap that egotistical heart of yours with a motherly-love notion again. I’ve never taken you as my mother. I never did before, I never did now, and in the future, I never will either!”
Jiang Yuan’s body became paralyzed as she stumbled to one side of the sofa and placed her hand on her tightened chest. She was in such grievance that she wished death upon herself.
“Also, in regards to all those things that you have said about going abroad.” Bai Luo Yin picked up the documents on the table and slowly tore each sheet in front of Jiang Yuan’s face.
“Don’t waste your energy doing these pointless things again. Did you think that an insignificant little girl can deceive me into going abroad? You’ve really thought too highly of her! You’ve really thought too highly of yourself! If I, Bai Luo Yin, ever wanted to go abroad in the future, it won’t be through those two filthy hands of yours!”
A big pile of shredded paper suddenly crashed onto Jiang Yuan’s head, slowly scattered in front of her eyes, and landed around her. The fruits of her hard labors were all destroyed in one day!
As he made his way to the front door, Bai Luo Yin turned around again and glanced at Jiang Yuan’s cold face.
“Don’t hurt my family again. If I find out a second time, I will make you pay back tenfold!”
When he took his first step out of the room, the loud and painful sound of sobs transmitted throughout the vicinity. It was as if a war had broken out in heaven and the muffling sounds of thunders struck this earthly ground—rhythmically, one after the other, shrouding the entire world in the midst of its thick haze.
Bai Luo Yin’s footsteps were a bit stagnant as he lightly closed his eyes. He opened them again and not even the slightest sign of any emotions remained within him.
On the fourteen of the first month of the lunar year, Grandma Bai was released from the hospital and the Bai’s household returned to its usual tranquility.
In the afternoon, Bai Han Qi and Aunt Zou came back from their trip to the supermarket and brought back many gifts. They had planned to go from house to house and present it to the neighbors as an apology. Bai Luo Yin also wanted to accompany them. Since the problems arose because of him, it was only right that he should be the one to go in place of his parents and apologize. But in the end, Aunt Zou refused to let him go. She said that no married man’s son should show their face like that because it was not auspicious. With that, he was forced to remain in the house with Meng Tong Tian.
Meng Tong Tian was quite a big kid now. He only liked to play with his toy sword and a toy gun. When Bai Luo Yin walked out of his room, he caught sight of Meng Tong Tian handling a fake machine gun while randomly shooting at the trees in the yard.
Noticing how the boy played with such vigor, Bai Luo Yin could not help but approach him.
“Give it here, let me see.”
Meng Tong Tian very generously passed the gun over to Bai Luo Yin.
Bai Luo Yin weighed it in his hands for a second and found it to be rather heavy. The meticulous workmanship was clearly visible, no matter the size, the weight or the patterns, only a few craftsmen could achieve such expertise and make a fake product pass off as genuine.
“This gun is pretty good,” Bai Luo Yin praised.
An intensely proud expression tickled across Meng Tong Tian’s face. “Of course, my classmates always want to exchange or play with it, but I am unwilling to give it to them. Even if they buy those low-quality ones, it still can’t be compared to mine.”
Looking at Meng Tong Tian’s arrogant manners made Bai Luo Yin want to laugh.
“Must be quite expensive, huh?”
Meng Tong Tian’s little head rose up and down, “I don’t know. Gu Hai gege gave it to me.”
The color on Bai Luo Yin’s face changed once the name “Gu Hai,” penetrated his ears. He gave the gun back to Meng Tong Tian and sat to the side and proceeded to watch Meng Tong Tian happily play around. Then he started to smoke a stick of cigarette.
Kids at this age made people extremely jealous of them. They were carefree and without any worries at all. Thinking back to when Bai Luo Yin was about that age, he would also scuffle around in the alleyway all day long as well. At that time, who would have thought about his single parent, poverty, and other things alike? The entire day was spent foolish playing around and the only thing in his head would be what can he do to make his life even livelier.
A state of simplicity and purity was truly enriching.
“Gu Hai gege also bought me many other fun things. I kept them in the room over there. I don’t want to open them since I want to wait until my classmates get here before I open them. When that time arrives, it will still be new. Let me tell you, you better not sneakily tear them open for me ah!”
Bai Luo Yin was still lost in thoughts. When both of Meng Tong Tian’s fists stretched out toward his nose as if to guard off a thief, Bai Luo Yin smiled softly. He pulled on Meng Tong Tian’s belt and flipped him over, allowing him to turn a somersault.
After Meng Tong Tian steadied himself, he felt extremely cool and wanted to try it again.
Bai Luo Yin was unoccupied anyway so he played with him for a while longer. Finally, Meng Tong Tian became tired and sat down on a little chair to the side. While he played with the bullet cartridge, he counted them, looked at Bai Luo Yin. “Why hasn’t brother Gu Hai come over recently?”
Bai Luo Yin appeared dejected as he replied, “He’s spending the New Year at his own house.”
“After the New Year is over, will he come back?”
When Bai Luo Yin turned to look at Meng Tong Tian, he was met with a gaze of expectation.
“Why, are you looking forward to seeing him?”
Meng Tong Tian nodded in excitement, “Because we’re both suffering from the same illness.”1
Suffering from the same illness?
Bai Luo Yin thought about it for quite a while but he still could not figure out, in what ways were Meng Tong Tian and Gu Hai alike?
“We’re both being tormented by love.”
That sentence sent shock down Bai Luo Yin’s spine. Tsk, it wasn’t enough for Gu Hai to commit those sins, he just has to drag a child into it.
“The last time we talked, it was for a very long time. Gu Hai gege spoke of all the pain that was in his heart and I also found out about my own pain. Gu Hai gege said that we’re both suffering from the same illness. After I thought about it, what he said was really true.”
You fucking bastard! You even went as far as to talk about this kind of thing with a kid?
Of course, only Gu Hai would do something like that.
Bai Luo Yin teased Meng Tong Tian intentionally, “Tell me, what kind of pain do you have in your heart?”
“Aiii…” Meng Tong Tian seemed rather melancholy again, “I like a girl in my class. It seems like she is also interested in me but she has never admitted to it.”
Since Meng Tong Tian said it in such way, Bai Luo Yin could roughly understand what Gu Hai so-called “pain” was at that time.
“Then, did the pain end and the happiness come yet?”2 Bai Luo Yin asked.
Meng Tong Tian shook his head, “What does that mean?”
Bai Luo Yin finally realized that Meng Tong Tian was just a seven years old kid, how in the world could he understand so many idioms!
“I asked, in the end, did the girl admit it or not?”
Meng Tong Tian shook his head again, “I forgot. I switched a few times already.”
Bai Luo Yin, “…”
Not soon afterward, Yang Meng came to visit because Bai Han Qi and Aunt Zou had not only gone to their house, carrying a pile of stuff but they had also apologized to them. The truth was, Yang Meng and his parents had stayed at his grandmother’s house the entire time. They had only returned that very same day, hence, they did not know anything about this matter. They were quite baffled to receive such a large pile of things and the person who gave them the gifts had also bow excessively.
“What provoked your dad?” Yang Meng laughed mischievously.
Bai Luo Yin sighed and hung his hand on Yang Meng’s shoulder while wearing a lazy appearance.
“Two days ago Jiang Yuan came to cause trouble at our house. It was so chaotic that the neighbors in this entire street became restless. My dad thought that since it was New Year and having made the neighbors hear everything was quite bad, so he is going house to house to apologize.”
“Is it necessary to apologize because of something like that? Your dad is too conscious! Let me tell you, my mom roars all day long in the yard without missing a single day, moreover, she roars because she wants the neighbors to hear it. If her and my dad were to quarrel at night time, everyone within these five streets could hear them. But the next day, it’s as if nothing had happened and they would strut proudly out the door and go about with their days.”
Bai Luo Yin maintained his usual quietness.
Yang Meng glanced at Bai Luo Yin who had not uttered a single word either. His eyes shifted back and forth before his elbow eventually jabbed his friend’s side.
“That’s right, I didn’t get to ask you yet but how are things with you and Shi Hui?”
Bai Luo Yin only replied back with two words, “Completely over.”
“Completely over?” Yang Meng was taken aback.
Bai Luo Yin was quite unwilling to discuss this topic. He only told Yang Meng that Shi Hui will probably go back abroad after the New Year was over.
Yang Meng gazed regrettably at his friend since he felt a great pity toward this matter.
“Tell me, why didn’t you cherish such a good opportunity?”
Bai Luo Yin tugged at the collar of Yang Meng’s shirt and faintly said, “Don’t talk about her anymore. Why are you looking for me? It can’t be because my dad went to your house?”
“No, tomorrow is the fifteenth day of the first month of the lunar year—the Lantern Festival! Let’s go for a stroll around the temple fair3 together! It is boring to stay home all day!”
Bai Luo Yin thought about it. Since there was nothing for him to do at home anyways, it would be better to go and relieve his boredom and drive away all his worries.
“Okay. Then, I’ll go and find you early tomorrow morning.”
1 同病相怜: this idiom means those who have the same illness sympathize with each other or misery loves company.
2苦尽甘来: literally means – bitterness ends, sweetness begins; the hard times are over, the good times are just beginning
3 temples fair – For residents of Beijing, attending a local miaohui, or temple fair, comes second only to the big family dinner when celebrating the Chinese New Year. Typically held at temples and parks, these week-long events combine religion, shopping, culture, entertainment, and food, and are open to all. Temple fairs trace their roots as early as the Wei dynasty, but today they’re lively gatherings, packed with things to do.