Scarring Jasmine-Chapter Seven Deal

04/25/2024 Thursday 42-59F Sunny

“Pit-pattering”. He felt the rain was punching him in the heart. Compromise, a second chance, back to normal…He sat up, laced his knees with his hands. He had never been with a woman before. Assume that he married a girl; in the worst scenario he failed to fall in love with her; yet at least he gave his parents and himself a try, an answer; then no matter what further choice he could go with from there, he shouldn’t be the one to be blamed. Furthermore, one thing for sure was, there was no gain for him from staying at home; he definitely couldn’t win over his father head-on. 

Yu’s door was half closed. Wang pushed it open and walked in.

Yu was reading in a couch by the window; he saw his father, but didn’t say anything, just turned the book page.

The light coming from the window cast a perfect profile of Yu; his jade-like skin color looked almost transparent; and his girlish face bore a faint lonesome look. Wang’s heart softened. Yu was his younger son; his favorite one, whose exquisite and delicate persona always reminded him of an ancient fine art: Each line, each color, each shade, all was carefully designed. He suspected that God must have been mistaken to let Yu be his son; because none of the other family members shared half of Yu’s beauty, including his daughter Ying. Yu was the only rose on the bush.

Wang made a cough. Yu closed the book, tucked one arm to hold his head, and looked impatiently at his father.

“What’s that guy, the one in Beijing, his name?” Wang asked, “Your brother told me once. I remembered his family name is Yang, and there is a character sun in his name.” 

“So what’s the issue?” Yu turned his head away. 

“Is that the way to talk to your father? Who taught you that?” Wang’s anger started to bubble up. “Go read this news yourself!” Wang threw a page of newspaper to Yu’s feet. Yu picked it up, and saw a circled news item at the corner: 

“Express News—A man named Huisun Yang was executed last night in Guangzhou, at the age of twenty-three. According to the police, days ago they received a secret report saying that Yang was a revolutionary. The police caught him in a restaurant; later they searched Yang’s apartment, where they found a lot of supporting evidence as well as a pistol.”

Yu’s face turned pale. He sat stunned for one minute, then tore up the newspaper page, crying: “No, that’s not true! He isn’t a revolutionary!”

“So, the police lied? How well do you know him? Lucky that you weren’t with him, or else you would be caught by the police as well! This is the result for challenging authority!” Wang scolded.

Yu couldn’t answer. He knelt on the floor crying heartbrokenly. Wang walked back to the door, and found his wife was there. 

“What happened?” She darted a look at Yu, then switched her eyes back to Wang. 

“That man Yang, Yu’s friend, was executed. The newspaper says that he was a revolutionary. Now Yang is dead, Yu has nothing to think about. Go comfort him and let him stop crying.” 

Qiao shivered. She inspected Wang’s face, asked in an undertone: “Was it you who did…” 

“Watch your mouth!” Wang interrupted her words, “Do what I told you! Get your son ready for his engagement!”

Sometime after, Yu’s sobs lowered to quiet weeping. He tried to get on his feet, then realized that his mother was sitting by his side and watching him. The deep sorrow and sympathy blended in her eyes made her look so touching. 

Seeing Yu stand up, Qiao reached out her hand to him. “Come and sit here, son.” Yu did. She stroked Yu’s hands, looking at them with tenderness: “How long haven’t we sat and been so close like now? You used to be a trouble-free kid; your father and I were always proud of you. But I don’t know since when, I felt that you were drawn further from me. You no more told me your feelings, nor shared your world with me. You are my son, I always want you to be happy, to be an honorable man. No matter what you did, I forgive you unconditionally. 

But please, I beseech you my son: No more stupidities; no further hurting your parents. He is dead, we can do nothing about it. The living must move on and look forward. Both your father and I are in our fifties; you can rely on us to guide you about what you should do and what you shouldn’t. You are young; you were lost in the past. All your father did was to save you and to save the family’s name; you must forgive him, don’t rebel against him anymore. Otherwise, what’s the good of being captive in this house? Isn’t six months enough? Compromise a little bit, give you and us a second chance, try to love a woman. That girl is very pretty; after the engagement, you can request that your father either let you go back to finish your college or work in his office. During that period, before the wedding day, you can slowly adjust yourself back to normal. I have said all I can say. Think about it.”

Qiao breathed out a deep sigh, laid his son’s hands back on his legs, then left. 

Outside the dusk had fallen.

Yu stayed in bed for two days. He heard “Pit-pattering”– It must be raindrops falling on the windowpane. He opened his eyes and found himself in darkness. His mind was clouded. His mother’s words were still haunting in the room like blinking fireflies. He tried not to think about them; but somehow, he couldn’t deny that perhaps she was right. Was what he did in the past wrong? Was he really lost? Oh Yang, that courageous burning soul! He was red roses; he was flaming youth; he was the only one that ever melt his, Yu’s, icy world, and dug out his enthusiasm. Now this enthusiasm was instantly frozen by Yang’s death--How could he face his future?

“Pit-pattering”. He felt the rain was punching him in the heart. Compromise, a second chance, back to normal…He sat up, laced his knees with his hands. He had never been with a woman before. Assuming that he married a girl; in the worst scenario he failed to fall in love with her; yet at least he gave his parents and himself a try, an answer; then no matter what the situation would be, he shouldn’t be the one to be blamed. Also, one thing for sure was, he could gain nothing from his protest; he definitely couldn’t butt heads with his father and win. 

“Pit-pattering”. The rain was continuing; it wouldn’t stop until he gave in. Yu fell back on the bed and closed his eyes.

Next morning Yu showed up in Wang’s study. “Father,” he stood in front of Wang’s writing table, combing his hair backward with his fingers to cover his embarrassment. “I will accept your arrangement for my marriage, only if you can allow me first to go to Guangzhou to mourn for Yang at his grave; second to finish my college courses in Beijing before I get married.” 

Wang stared at Yu’s face while he was giving his answer: “The first one is ok; I will let A Liu go with you. But I can’t accept the second one. You should stay around me before and after the engagement!” 

Yu didn’t back off; he proceeded in a calm way: “Father, I still have more than two years’ college to go, but I will try to finish it as soon as possible. A college degree is very important to me, I have made a lot of efforts toward it. At campus I will behave myself in a normal manner. If you can’t trust me, then send someone to watch me. Please reconsider my request.” 

Wang sneered: “It seems like you have planned very well. Are you negotiating?” 

Yu looked straight at his father: “Father, I am not negotiating. I respect you. But please also respect my feeling: I need some time and space to heal myself. Then I will try to love the girl whom you chose for me. If you think what I asked is too much for you, then I guess there is no deal.”

Wang lowered his eyes, tapped his index finger on the table. At last, he let out a heavy breath: “Son, about the wedding date, it isn’t my choice only; we also need to find out what’s the opinion of the girl’s family. You can leave for Guangzhou tomorrow, stay one night there; then let’s get the engagement done. I will try to work out the other issue as per your wish. But a deal is a deal, don’t play games with me. I for sure will let my men watch you!” 


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