A very sad chapter in my opinion as we read about what happen 25 years ago on the day Xiao He He was born where her father sacrifices his life to save Zheng Xie. A sad and unforgettable memory for him indeed.
Chapter 5.2: We are all already born with our Fate
There is a vase of fragrant white roses. Zheng Xie does not like the smell of flowers. He was going to throw the flowers into the trash, but after thinking, thinks that it is wrong so got the waiter to take it away.
Zheng Xie truly admire both He He and her mother. They are actually the biggest victims, but Aunty Lin decided to keep quiet and remain calm all these years, never once mentioning those incidents that she had to go through.
With the same calmness, Xiao He He with the exception of the anniversary of her father’s death, grew up without ever having a big birthday party. In contrary, her life is filled with sunshine and good health. She never think that there are anything missing in her life in comparison with those whom are better off than her, as if people whom are born without any father.
But he cannot forget. It’s been 25 years already. The scene that day is still vivid and fresh in his mind. It seems like his own Pandora’s Box, all of his unknown weaknesses, such as weak, timid, anger, resentment, regret, self-pity are all set in the box, carefully hiding his fear of being found by someone else. His mother was there. After the event, she felt sick and slowly she died.
That day, Zheng Xie with his mother went together to the toy counter in the departmental store to pick a gift. This is because Zheng Xie is being rewarded by his mother from receiving a “small red flower” (star given by the teacher) in kindergarten.
Zheng Xie put down the toy submachine gun that he was holding. Next to him is a man who said in a loud voice: “Show me the doll. The Male doll, no…. no…. both I will take. I do not know if my child would be a boy or a girl.”
Zheng Xie looked up and saw a tall and strong man with thick eyebrow and big eyes just like those heroes on TV. But under the both arms of the man, he carried a large stuffed doll. He quietly laughed.
The man looked at him and grins while snapping his fingers: “Kid, do not be a picky eater, eat more vegetables and in a few days, you will be higher than the gun.” Before he left, he touched his head. Zheng Xie tried to dodge and almost bite him.
Then, he is not clear on how things started, just heard a scream and then intermingled with a rasping voice that shouted: “Freeze! All get on the ground.” Among the panic, a loud gunfire sounded, not his toy gun sound, but like those on television. The air emit a pungent smell.
Those on this level, including the staff are mainly women and children. Someone cried shrilly and soon more people began to cry. Another voice shouted: “Cry some more, I hit you!”
Zheng Xie was grabbed and push to the ground. The person whom is holding him is shaking like a sieve. Then he suddenly realized, his mother just went to the counter to pay. And the person holding him now is not his mother.
Even in his young age, he vaguely understand that he cannot cry. Otherwise he and his mother will become the target of the bad guys. Just now, he could hear very clearly the sound from the bad guys, indicating that they are very close.
He is very scared and bite on his lips to refrain from making any sound. But he was surprised with a scream. The scream came from his mother.
When he looked up, he saw the bad guy grabbing his mother’s hair and pulled her out. She was trying to climb over the people to look for her child.
All the thoughts in the clever little head of Zheng Xie is the bubble of instinct. He struggled to break free from the arm of the man and rushed out:
“let my mother go!”
A long time after that, he finally understand the cause of the incidents. Two of the scarred criminal on the run, while dodging the police, fled to the mall children’s department, trying to hold unarmed women and children as hostage to achieve a breakthrough. In the process of escaping, they even killed a policeman and took a pistol.
At that time, in several armed police who rushed to the floor, Zheng Xie became the first hostage in the hands of the criminal. They grabbed his neck and held a cold gun to the head, far from the confrontation of the armed police.
The young Zheng Xie is extremely scared. He clearly remembered his late grandfather who once said that boys cannot cry no matter what. But imagine, if he is dead and went on the newspaper tomorrow, his family and love ones would be very sad.
His ears are buzzing, could only hear them talking. He is having difficulty in breathing from his fear. He saw his mother lying on the ground but there is no blood. Probably she has fainted. That’s is good. This way, his mother does not have to see him killed by the criminal.
Zheng Xie’s mind is in a mess. Someone exclaimed and his head was heavily hit. His vision darkens and followed by burning pain.
He thought he was going to die but suddenly heard a shout by his ears: “You dare to step forward, I will shot the child.”
A gush of wind, the grip on Zheng Xie’s neck loosen and was fiercely pushed to the ground. He got up just in time to see someone with a gun pointed at the criminals and were fighting together. The man yelled at him: “Run!” While the criminal’s gun is kicked, Zheng Xie saw the tall uncle as his rescuer. However, he only managed to run a few steps before he was caught by another person.
Zheng Xie remembered the uncle rushed to grab the fist of the guy who caught him. With a raised of a hand, thrown Zheng Xie and shouted: “catch the child!”
This was the last sentence Zheng Xie heard from his savior alive. When Zheng Xie has safely fallen into the hands of those who catches him, he wanted to look and see the uncle but his eyes were tightly covered.
The criminal lost their hostage and their guns and soon was detained by two armed police. Zheng Xie vaguely heard crying, shouting and the sound of an ambulance. He was carried into the car and his mother was also carried into the car. Zheng Xie’s injury is very light, just broke his forehead by the criminals with their riffles butt. While his mother, the shocked induced her hidden heart disease.
The uncle who rescued him is also a police office. He took leave of absence in the afternoon so had been wearing civilian clothes. He turned back when the crowd got into disarray. After he grabbed and thrown Zheng Xie into safety, he was stabbed in the heart by an unexpected sharp knife.
In the evening, Zheng Xie’s father rushed to the hospital and looked at his wife whom have got out of danger. They brought Zheng Xie, whose head is in a bandaged through the countless stairs and corridors. It is just like the day in the shopping mall, bloody white coat walking everywhere, woman screaming and the sound of children crying.
Zheng Xie closed his eyes and cover his ears until his father pulled his hand down and said: “Xiao Xie, open your eyes and see this little girl. She was born this afternoon. Her father is the hero who saved you today.”
That is Zheng Xie and Xiao He He’s first meeting. Zheng Xie saw a crumpled small thing, smaller than his small dog.
He stared at her, trying to see where her eyes is when she suddenly opened half of her eyes and flat with a thin mouth.
Zheng Xie thought she would be like the other children crying along the hallway. But the little thing turned her lips upturned, seems like laughing at him.