TL: Trigger warning=description of suicide.
Chi Xueyan got up from the sofa and went to the bathroom to wash.
He brushed his teeth, washed his face and looked up at himself in the mirror.
He Qiao heard him whisper, “I’ve lost so much weight.”
This was the first time he had heard Chi Xueyan talk to himself.
He Qiao stared at the lone person reflected in the mirror with some trepidation.
Chi Xueyan reached out and touched his black hair, asking in the mirror again, “Will you not recognize me?”
He thought about it before simply turning and walking outside the house.
He Qiao still hadn’t recovered from that whisper when the door closed.
He stayed in the empty room blankly and saw the sunlight shining through the window penetrating the glass shards on the coffee table, refracting several dazzling rays of light.
The collection of fairy tales that was suddenly put down remained on that page and was stained with fine dust with the passage of time. There were also large shards of crystalline glass resting on the page.
On the slightly yellowed page was the epilogue of a fairy tale.
The beautiful bird flying in the wind looked at the dried water marks that have long disappeared on the land and quietly missed the puppy who fell in water that it met by chance.
It was drenched all over and didn’t want to talk about the coldness of the water. It just followed the guidance of the bird and destroyed the plants on the shore with its claws in revenge.
It has gone bad but it still has clear eyes.
But now there was only the bird’s lone monologue.
[I used to feel that there were countless joys in life, joys so great that even love isn’t necessary. I don’t need another little bird. ]
[But after you left, I suddenly couldn’t find even a trace of happiness.]
[I can’t find it anymore.]
[The days of adventure with you seem to be the real joy.]
An hour later, Chi Xueyan returned home while carrying a plastic bag in each hand.
There was new red hair dye and stir-fried chestnuts with hot sugar.
In fact, he hadn’t wanted to eat chestnuts for a long time.
However, this home seemed to be missing a chestnut scent.
It was a scent that should have been there a year ago.
He put a paper bag full of chestnuts on the dining table, not intending to eat it. He was about to enter the bathroom when he was attracted by the news on the TV.
“…… The planning of the cross-sea bridge is already in progress. It will bring a new future to this beautiful hot land. We are now located at the simple artificial bridge that attracted a lot of attention…”
The location host held the microphone and kept talking about the bridge, many, many bridges.
Chi Xueyan listened for a while and found some familiar fragments from his increasingly rigid memory.
He had seen the news that also happened in this place.
It was probably also a year ago.
He Qiao was still sitting next to him at the time.
They came across the news and chatted a bit about it.
What was the chat?
He couldn’t remember.
Chi Xueyan stopped thinking about it. He looked at the now empty sofa, smelled the scent of chestnuts spreading in the room and suddenly laughed.
It was as if he had crossed time to see the man who had sat there and spoken to himself.
Time fell like snow.
It was almost the happiest day of his life.
The evening with light snowflakes that finally couldn’t wait for the fragrant chestnuts.
If only life could be lived all over again.
He wanted to meet He Qiao earlier before everything fell irretrievably.
It was a pity that life couldn’t be repeated.
In addition, he didn’t live this life well.
On days when he didn’t watch TV or read, Chi Xueyan had nothing to do and always looked out the window, repeatedly thinking about the fading past.
If only he hadn’t gone chasing that ethereal dream.
If only in a moment of misunderstanding, he said, ‘Not me.’
That person who had always been stubborn would believe it, because he knew that Chi Xueyan didn’t lie. He wouldn’t think that the other party was gambling in acquiescence.
If there was no misunderstanding, he would still pay for the operation for the aunt who had the accident, but he would no longer have the slightest feeling for Lu Siyi.
He also believed that Lu Siyi would remember to return this help. Then after that, they would be on two completely parallel lines, returning to the original state.
He would still have a happy and complete life and maybe he would meet someone he really loved.
The unilateral pursuit in the past was just a small mistake. It was a short detour. As long as it was turned back in time, it wouldn’t have much impact on the future.
People are born snow-white. How could they never make mistakes when they had to walk alone in the world for so many years and were stained with so many colors?
Living in their own perspective was inevitably accompanied by more or less paranoia of all types.
Free people would go the wrong way, stubborn people would go the wrong way, painful people would go the wrong way, kind people would go the wrong way and naïve people would go the wrong way.
It was just that some mistakes were long, too long.
He was on the wrong path and got a bit further from his destination every day.
Since a long time ago, Chi Xueyan had always been envious of children. It was because the mistakes they made were often childish and cute. Their souls were also clear and clean and they were most easily persuaded by the correct truth.
At the beginning of life, everything was as clean as snow, as if there was always a chance to start over.
He had long forgotten those distant days as a dentist, but now he remembered very clearly those innocent faces. There was the unconcealed laughter and tears in front of the blinds of the consultation room.
Meanwhile, he had lost those emotions for a long time.
From the moment he got through the phone call that was picked up by the police, Chi Xueyan lost his ability to distinguish between happiness and sadness.
It was just like he also lost the ability to express love and hate calmly.
He only felt very tired now, exhausted with every breath.
There were 24 hours of alternating day and night every day, but the taste was always numb and bitter.
He wanted to get a good night’s sleep.
So Chi Xueyan took the hair dye, passed the kitchen and walked to the bathroom.
In the past, he always couldn’t figure it out. There were countless unknowns and wonders in this world. Why were there so many people who had to rely on sleeping pills in exchange for the arrival of a new day?
Now he finally understood.
He had a perspective similar to theirs.
It was about a difficult life.
However, he didn’t like to take medicine.
He just liked to eat sugar.
A serious and rigid old professor in college once reprimanded him, “Chi Xueyan, you know how to cause chaos! Is there anything you can’t do?”
That day, he said in a very serious tone. “Yes, such as giving up on causing chaos in the world.”
Now it was time to give up.
He no longer loved himself, was no longer obsessed with strange gadgets and no longer chased the mysterious unknowns full of wonder.
He waited all year and the four seasons were pale and boring.
He didn’t want to do it any longer.
The TV in the living room was still playing. Chi Xueyan stood alone in front of the mirror, carefully covering each wisp of natural black with crimson. He waited for it to be colored before rinsing it with water.
After dyeing his hair this time, he remained in the bathroom.
Today, he didn’t bleach his hair. The dyed red hair was very dark in color and was no longer dazzling.
It was darker than the sudden gush of blood.
The rich liquid flowed down the pale skin, into the misty hot water and smudged the bathtub filled with water. It turned it into a clear red, like a diluted sweet syrup.
The pungent smell of hair dye blended with the rusty smell of blood.
He gave up on the world.
It was in that transparent and helpless embrace, in the invisible snow.
His fingertips gradually loosened weakly and the tip of the knife fell to the ground, making a clear sound.
It turned out that the cold blade hurt so much.
On that snowy day, did He Qiao feel the same way?
If there was an afterlife, he hoped that his parents would always be happy and wouldn’t feel the slightest pain for their son’s willful actions.
He hoped that He Qiao could spend the four seasons with pure beauty without hatred.
He wants He Qiao’s life to always be lucky, a flawless luck.
Even then it would make them never meet again.
It was clear outside the window, but Chi Xueyan thought in a daze that there was a lot of snow.
Life passed coldly. In a trance, it was like a warm embrace.
In the illusion, the scenery flew by and the seasons passed. The lonely winter returned back to the warmth of the past, or perhaps it entered the next winter.
His last wish seemed to have come true.
There were no more seasons of pain and oppression.
Four seasons that could be embraced.
At the moment when the breath in his arms completely disappeared, the soul that had been wandering for a whole year suddenly started to forget.
But He Qiao didn’t want to forget.
He didn’t want to forget his mother, his father…
In addition, the one who smiled and stretched out his hand to him when they reunited after the blind date.
He wished he was a stronger person.
He wished that he didn’t forget each other’s fates.
He also wished that he could watch Chi Xueyan from both near and far.
If the premise of their bond was that they both fell into the abyss, He Qiao would rather not fall in love with him again, as long as he could see that this wanton person was still living well.
So he thought, ‘If only I don’t like men.’
This was the only way he wouldn’t fall in love with Chi Xueyan.
—Although the idea was naive.
He had been a naive person since he was a child and he might’ve never changed.
In the most naïve hope, all landscapes changed. Rotten pears leaped up the treetops, withered petals bloomed again and melted water droplets condensed into ice. The boundaries between memories and wishes were blurred.
The small yellow flowers in the corner of the park ignited the life that was about to wither.
It was like going back in time and it was like stepping into the next new cycle.
It was retracted and tucked away into a dark green glass that was once again intact.
He Qiao’s last wish seemed to have come true.
He hadn’t forgotten anyone.
He just forgot who he was.
But the soul that wandered in the vast sea of people needed an identity after all.
In the flowing life, wandering souls chased the wind that drifted away. The wind used its remaining strength to retain a dirty snowflake.
He Qiao’s memory went back to that lonely dusk when it was snowing, frozen on the bag of sugar-fried chestnuts that he hadn’t been able to bring home.
The memory, which floated like an illusion, was later covered with noise and became a secret buried in winter.
In these blurry and mottled noises, only a few fragments that hadn’t been erased floated out.
Chi Xueyan’s death, news that he didn’t know the origin of and those ifs, full of hope.
He was a calm, sensible, rigorous and meticulous man who liked to read the news. He had a talent for finance and had a natural idea that didn’t quite match his calm personality: make the world a little better.
Most of the memories in his mind had nothing to do with himself, they belonged to others.
Like an outsider, he suddenly walked into a story with a complete context.
He remembered the story but he didn’t know who the author was.
This story was like an old dream floating in the void, like a novel that was too sad and tragic.
He Qiao, who had started a new life, thought that he should’ve transmigrated into a book and come to a novel world with protagonists and villains.
The protagonists were Lu Siyi and Duan Ruo and the villains were Chi Xueyan and He Xiao.
There was also an insignificant minor supporting character, He Qiao, who happened to have the same name as him and the same birthday.
He became He Qiao.
But there were many differences from the other He Qiao.
For example, he didn’t like men.
For example, there was no hatred in his heart, only faint regret.
It seems that everything could be changed to be a bit better as long as the error could be corrected in time.
He adapted to this identity very smoothly. In the blink of an eye, the day came when ‘He Qiao’ originally entered the main story.
His mother, who had a warm smile, asked him if he wanted to go on a blind date as if he was meeting a new friend.
He Qiao looked at the photo of the blind date and tried to map it with the image in his memory.
He didn’t reject the offer.
His mother asked him to dress more formally.
And he did.
He arrived at the agreed upon place in advance and seemed to attach great importance to this blind date.
He sat by the window and waited until he saw a beautiful sapphire blue sports car approaching.
A moment later, the red-haired young man with a flamboyant temperament walked into the cafe and was the focus of everyone’s attention.
Seeing Chi Xueyan with his own eyes, He Qiao noticed the small but dazzling black snowflakes in his ears at first glance.
This should be a detail that wasn’t in the original novel.
A turbulent world intertwined with somewhat chaotic memories.
Perhaps this was the slight difference between fiction and reality.
He Qiao quickly put aside the doubts in his heart and simply felt sorry for the villain’s future fate.
“How long have you been waiting?”
“I haven’t been waiting long. I just arrived.”
The standard question and answer would be followed by talking about the weather and the road conditions when they arrived. Then it would be extended to each other’s hobbies, careers and families.
Chi Xueyan, who could speak in an amazing manner, suddenly made a joke about obtaining a marriage license.
He laughed and described a very bad version of himself.
He Qiao thought for a while.
This coincided with his intentions.
The coffee on the table was steaming and the rose-colored evening outside the glass window was so beautiful.
So he seriously answered the other party’s joke.