Posted 2018.06.28
Updated 2018.07.11 (15:07)

11.1

That Frightening Night

It was May 1st, not quite summer yet. In the city, the chances of thunderstorms were low this time of year, so who would have expected that we’d be woken by the roar of thunder.

I’ve lived for nearly 19 years now, but I never knew that thunder could sound like that. And that lightning could flash so brightly. It was terrifying…

More importantly, that rumbling sound seemed to come from right above our heads. The lightning could strike us at any moment and leave us with only bones… It was too scary!

I buried my head into my sleeping bag and covered my ears to muffle out the sound of the thunder. But it was no use. Were the Duke of Thunder and Mother of Lightning having a fight tonight? The thunder continued to sound, and it seemed to be moving closer and closer to my ears. I was so scared my body went rigid and my head started to swell.

Zhong Yuan, also woken by the noise, turned over and murmured, “Nature wants to show off its power? What great weather.”

What a freak!

The fear inside me grew. Who knew if the next bolt of lightning would strike me right on the head? Was my life going to end here on this night? Please, no. I haven’t lived long enough…

Just then, I heard Zhong Yuan’s voice again. Alongside the lightning that turned the world bright as day, in that kind of atmosphere, it sounded so strange. “Blockhead, are you scared of thunder?”

I trembled as I replied, “I’m not scared of thunder. I’m scared of dying.”

Zhong Yuan laughed out loud. Then he said, “It’s OK. Even if you die, you’ll at least have a bunch of people who go with you.”

I wailed, “I don’t want to die. I hope everyone can live long and well. No one needs to die…”

Zhong Yuan extended his arm and gently pat my shoulder. “Don’t worry. It’s not that easy to die.”

I ignored him and wriggled out from my sleeping bag. I turned on the lantern we had and then started rummaging through my backpack.

Zhong Yuan asked curiously, “What are you doing?”

I answered, “Writing my will.”

I pulled out a brand new notebook and pen from my bag. Good thing I packed all these things.

Zhong Yuan also came out of his sleeping bag and slid over to where I sat. He asked, “Do you really think you’re going to die?”

My eyes swept over him and I replied profoundly, “Child, a person must always be mindful of potential dangers.”

Zhong Yuan knocked me on the head. “Can you really call me ‘Child’? Come on, call me ‘Brother Zhong’.”

Ugh… I glared at him without giving a reply. I flipped open my notebook and started writing my will. Hm, what should I write? If I were really to die, what kind of message would I need to leave for the living?

I tapped my ballpoint pen on my chin, and then finally, on the first page of my book, I wrote: Dad, I love you.

My handwriting looked frail and fragile, revealing the struggle and my resentment of death. I looked at those weak words and suddenly grew angry.

No, I’m not really going to die, am I? I haven’t even fulfilled my job as a daughter to my old dad yet…

Just then, Zhong Yuan snatched the small notebook from me. I turned and glared at him again, and that’s when I saw that he was looking at me strangely.

He must be making fun of me for my ugly handwriting. When I thought of that, I grew even more angry. Without any hesitation, I snatched my notebook back. “If you want to write something too, I can let you have a piece of paper.”

Zhong Yuan shook his hands. “I’m worried that after you die, your will will be lost, so I wanted to help you out. It may be useful for you to have an oral testament.”

Although I suspected that he had some ulterior motive, his words did make some sense.

Zhong Yuan continued, “So, aside from your dad, is there anyone else you have any words for?”

I thought for a moment, and then I said, “Tell those heartless roommates of mine to say some good things about me at my funeral.”

Zhong Yuan nodded. “Anything else?”

“Tell the laboratory professor that I’m sorry. And also, congratulations.” The guys in my class nicknamed me ‘Lab Killer’ because it seemed that every time we conducted an experiment, I would break some equipment or machine. That’s also the reason that I was in such dire straights and had no money for food or anything else.

Zhong Yuan asked again, “Anything else?”

I thought again and then shyly replied, “Tell Lu Zijian that he’s my idol.”

Zhong Yuan narrowed his eyes. “Anything else?”

“Something else?” I tilted my head a moment and then shook my head. “No, I don’t think so. My death may be grand and bitter, but I’ve lived a pretty modest life.”

Zhong Yuan asked, “You don’t have any final words for me?”

I hit myself on the head. “Oh yeah, I nearly forgot… Zhong Yuan, can I ask you for a favor?”

Zhong Yuan nodded arrogantly. “What is it?”

I laughed and responded, “About that… Can you take a photo with your camera? And then burn it for me when I die? I…”

With an unpleasant expression, Zhong Yuan said, “Just wait for your death then.”

I was speechless.

He couldn’t even help fulfill such a small request? What a petty person.

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