In the last chapter, He He finally meet Zheng Xie and spend 1 day with him when she went abroad under student exchange program. After the day, she was relieved that their relationship seems to be back to normal before the incident that happen.
Aunty Qian (Zheng Xie’s mother) whom had always treat He He like her own daughter passed away. And after her funeral, Zheng Xie went missing. He He headed out to search for him. Will she able to find him? What happen after she found him?
Chapter 22.10: Two People’s Time Machine (两个人的时光机)
He He went to the mountain that she and Zheng Xie used to climb together. On the back of the mountain, there is a singular form of boulders and has a very beautiful scenery. The cars are not able to go up the mountain. Access is only via walking a very steep stone steps with the chain for hands to hold on the side. Climbing this mountain is extremely difficult.
Happy or bored, Zheng Xie like to climb this mountain. He He as a child likes to follow him, so he often bring her along. Climbing halfway, when He He becomes tired and could not move, he would piggyback her up the mountain. In fact, when he is bored, from his words and deeds it is hard to determine. But these are the time when he does not like others to disturbed him. He He by his side would pick a lot of wild flowers, scaring the butterflies and sometimes got frightened by the other insects. While Zheng Xie would quietly sit on the rock in daze watching the sun setting down. When the day color fades into darkness, he will piggyback the half asleep and tired He He back down the mountain.
Later when He He is bigger, he refuse to piggyback her up the mountain. When He He climb and is out of breath, he will lead her like a pig by grabbing and dragging her up to the summit. Soon after, He He stopped following him up to the mountain. Sometime she suspect that he will bring his good physically fit girlfriends to climb the mountain.
With great effort, He He climbed the mountain. On top of the hill, she need to climb over another two small hills to get to the back of the mountain. These are little bare hills with no stairs. There are only some roughly cut holes in the boulder, just like rock climbing. He He climbed the first hill and thinks to herself. If Zheng Xie is not there, then she would have no strength to climb down, and could only wait for people to rescue her.
But Zheng Xie did not disappointed her. He is really sitting on the stone of his favorite spot. His back is facing her, looking at the sun. The wind on the mountain is very strong. It feels like one can be flown off anytime.
He He stood about ten meters behind him. She dare not move forward. Her eyes are a little teary as she don’t know what to say to him.
Zheng Xie keenly turned to her direction. He saw her and then he moved a little to the side. He patted the space next to him, motioning for her to sit down.
Just like that, she sat down quietly beside him. Accompanying him to watch the sunset. The sun settled down, the red ball covered the beautiful horizon.
Zheng Xie is silent and He He kept quiet. When the red ball finally sand around the horizon, the wind suddenly become cold.
He He winced and leaned toward Zheng Xie. She only wore a black T-Shirt and jeans that day.
When she leaned on Zheng Xie, she found that it is wrong so moved away. Zheng Xie’s hand gently embrace her, giving her a little warm to rely on.
Zheng Xie still looked ambiguously at the unclear skyline. He said quietly: “You still remember this place although you have not been here for a long time. My first time here, my mother was the one who brought me. I climb every step on my own. She was very happy. Not long after, she had her heart attack. Since then, she was not able to climb mountain, always climbing halfway before turning back down. She once said, the sunset here is more beautiful than any other places.”
With a heavy heart, He He’s tears start to fall again. She looked hard at the sky, trying to force back her tears. She found a lot of stars in the sky.
She was a little afraid of the stars, so subconsciously looked down. There was a bright flash that rolled over, so she thought it was meteor shower. So she turned to look but only see tears rolling down Zheng Xie’s cheek. He is silently shedding his tears that looks like shinning stars in the dark night.
For a long time after that, He He almost forget the ridiculous night that happen between her and Zheng Xie but she could clearly remember this moment. Zheng Xie’s head on her shoulder, the drops of tears on her neck, down her collarbones a little wetting her clothes. And she is held him like a child in her arms, her tears dripping onto his hair and face. Eventually their tears fall together. At the moment, they were really the closest, even replacing the accidental intimacy memories.
He He cannot remember when and how we got home. She woke up feeling very weak. She is on a drip and the surrounding is very bright.
A bunch of people around her cheered when they see her awake. “Awake! She is finally awake. Xiao He He, how could you scare us like this?”
Her mother was sitting at the side of her bed. She was relieved to see her waking up, revealing a little tears in her eyes, and then quickly concealed it. She quietly said: “How could you not know how to take care of yourself. You had a fever and you did not know about it. Finally fainting on the mountains. Zheng Xie had to piggyback you while take careful step by step down the mountain. The mountain stairs are so steep and it was also so dark. Very dangerous. If you both accidentally slipped…..” She stopped, turned her head and then after a moment, turned back.
He He was hospitalized and on drip for a full five days. In fact, the morning of the funeral, she had already felt a little uncomfortable. She held on and then later forgotten about it.
Her mother accompanied her for two days. She receive many calls asking her questions or to report some results. Later, Zheng Xie persuaded her to go back to school to continue the experiment in order not to lose the months of hard and exhausting work. He will take care of He He instead.
The remaining three days, Zheng Xie turned into a very dedicated nanny. Cutting fruits for He He to eat, he would cut it into small bites. When He He want to read, he said that reading book when having a high fever will hurt the eyes, so patiently read to her. He He is afraid of being pierced and see blood. So he carefully helped her cover her eyes.
And on the fourth day, He He was finally able to speak. She said: “You must be bored. Let someone stay with me, you go and do your own things.”
Zheng Xie said: “I have nothing else to do. This is interesting. Just like how when you were a child, playing house while holding a pile of dolls.”
He saw He He revealing a slightly pouting face. He reached out to squeeze her mouth and said: “Your expression just now look exactly the same as when you were a newly born. You were this tiny when you were just born.” He reached out and show her how tiny she was, smaller than a cat.
He He said: “You must have lots of homework to catch up right? Why don’t you go back to school?”
Zheng Xie said: “I have already got enough credit. Have also passed all the papers. So no need to go back until graduation time. Your next semester you do not have any internship, come over to my company to do odd jobs.”
He He said: “I want to think about it. I am very sought-after.”
Later He He often think, at the cost of her love, she had killed her own demons in exchange for true spiritual tranquility. She and Zheng Xie could safely adjourned their siblings’ relationship, starting all over again.
It is said that a woman’s 25th year of life, there will be a hurdle. The mood will not be quiet. He He had always not believed this and now she finally believed it.
She spent several years unscathed. She thought she had completely put that incident behind her. Her heart no longer hold any grudges and in moderation having Zheng Xie in her life. But because of the two witnesses in the same afternoon in front of her, all the work of covering the incident have all been broken.