Cry Me A Sad River Chapter 19to20
Cry Me A Sad River - Episode Two – Parts 19 to 20
The phone number that starts with 138 and ends with 414 saved in her phone; she can’t memorise it and it can’t even be said to be familiar to her. Yet the owner of these numbers has a name called Yi Jiayan.
Even she herself has forgotten when she has changed ‘dad’ to ‘Yi Jiayan’. Syllables she once repeated many times a day just disappeared into nothingness in her life. Aside from chapters in texts books or novels, she rarely ever interacts with the term ‘father’.
An unexpected blank space in her life in the shape of two lost words*.
Like when you fall asleep accidentally while watching a film in the theatre, when you wake up, you realize that you’re missing a part of the plot, the people around you are still deeply immersed in the film, yet you can never get it back. And so you continue watching it in confusion and slowly you’d realize that even though there’s a part missing, it will not affect how the future plays out.
Or maybe it’s like a question you cannot solve in a test paper. An extremely realistic hollow feeling. A lump somewhere in your heart that you cannot smooth over no matter how hard you try.
Yi Yao pulls open the door to her room and sees that the living room is pitch black. Her mother has gone to sleep.
Yi Yao looks at her watch. It’s nine-thirty. She tugs on a jacket and leaves the house.
Passing by Qi Ming’s window, the yellow light from his room illuminates her face. She suddenly feels an misplaced sense of sorrow in her heart.
She heard that address accidentally from her mother. It had hidden itself away in a corner of her mind, existing in her sub consciousness. She had thought that finding the place would be difficult yet she found it easily, and she received confirmation from the old man below that, “Oh, Mr. Yi, yes yes yes, he lives in 504.”
She stands at the door with her hand on the bell and yet she does not have the courage to press down on it.
Yi Yao stands in the corridor; the cold bright light above her head is s bright that it gives people a headache.
Yi Yao holds her phone in her hand and ponders if she should give her father a call first. Just as she flips open her phone, the door to the elevator opens with a ping. Yi Yao turns to see a woman that is not young yet dresses as if she is leading a young girl. Behind them is exits a man holding two large bags.
The man look sup to see Yi Yao and his gaze becomes agitated and he looks panicked. He opens his mouth but no sound comes out. As if he doesn’t know how to face the scene before him.
Just as Yi Yao opens her mouth, she hears the young girl call out crisply, “Daddy, hurry up!”
Yi Yao swallows the word “dad” that had almost escaped her mouth. Like swallowing a sharp metal blade, it hurts her entire chest.
A very simple living room. A simple sofa and a glass tea table. Although it’s a simple apartment, it’s still a lot cleaner than a house in a longtang.
At this moment, Yi Yao is sitting on this sofa. The woman her father had married later on is sitting on the other end. She changes the channel on the television repeatedly with a look of annoyance on her face.
Yi Yao clutches the glass of water her father had poured for her as she waits for him to put the young girl to sleep. The water cools gradually in her hand until the point where Yi Yao no longer wants to hold it. She places it gently on the table.
When she bends down, she can see into the bedroom from the corner of her vision. From the open door, she can see her father reading from a colourful fairytale storybook and the young girl beside him seems to have fallen into slumber.
When she was young, every evening, her father would read stories to her just like that, allowing her to drift off to sleep in fairytales. The her then had never had a nightmare before. Tears well up in her eyes when she remembers this. As if someone had just poured acid into her stomach, her throat tightens. The cup she has been holding slips in her grip and a splash of water lands on the glass surface of the table. Yi Yao wipes it with her sleeve when she sees that there is no tissue around.
Her tears fall onto the back of her hand.
The woman beside her snorts in disdain.
Yi Yao bites back her tears. It is true that her behavior at the moment is pretentious and sentimental. If it were her, not only would she snort but also add in “really now”.
Yi Yao wipes her eyes and sits straight.
After another ten minutes, her father comes out. He sits opposite her and looks awkwardly at Yi Yao before turning his gaze to the woman.
A surge of sadness moves up her heart when she looks at her father.
In her memory, even on the day her father left the longtang, his backview was still tall and broad.
And now, her father’s hair has dashes of white in them. Yi Yao tries to control her voice as she asks, dad, how are you?
Her father glances towards his wife before nodding his head awkwardly as he says, Yes. The woman increases her rate of changing television channels with an even more irritated look on her fae.
Yi Yao sniffles, “Dad, thank you for always paying my school fees, it must be hard on you……”
“What did you just say?” The woman suddenly turns, “He’s paying your school fees?”
“Yi Yao, what are you saying,” Her father panics, “When did I pay your school fees? Young kids sprout the most nonsense.” Instead of saying it to Yi Yao, he sounds as if he is trying to kiss up to the woman. An embarrassed smile appears on his face.
Yi Yao’s heart sinks at that moment.
“Cut that out,” The woman’s voice is sharp and reprimanding, “I always knew you’ve been giving money to them! Yi you’re really something aren’t you!”
“What did I even do!” It is obvious that her father is agitated yet he tries to control his anger, “Don’t you know exact how much money I have? You see me collect my pay every single month! Where do I get extra money!”
The woman thinks before turning away. After sitting down again, she picks up the remote control before opening her mouth, “Why are you screaming. Crazy.”
Her father turns to Yi Yao, “Did your mother tell you that?”
Yi Yao says nothing. She presses her nails deeply into her palms.
The young girl in the room wakes up due to the ruckus and screams for her father.
The woman rolls her eyes. “Hurry up and go in. You made our daughter wake up.”
Yi Yao stands and turns to leave without saying another word. She realizes that she really shouldn’t have come.
When she opens the door, the woman throws out, “Bring the trash outside the door down while you’re leaving.”
When Yi Yao exits the building, the cold wind hits harshly onto her skin. Her tears lose their temperature rapidly in the wind. They cling tightly onto her face like two streaks of ice.
Yi Yao bends to unlock her bicycle. She fails to insert her key after many tries. When the key still refuses to go in after she uses much strength, she stands and kicks the bicycle. It falls to the ground with a clatter. Yi Yao squats down and cries loudly.
After a while she stands and pushes her bicycle up. She thinks it’s time to go home.
Just as she was about to leave, she hears footsteps sound from the stairwell. Turning, she sees that her father is chasing after her. As he does not have a coat on, he’s shivering in the cold.
“Dad you need not send me home.”
“Dad I know. You can stop now.”
“I didn’t ask why you came to find me today.” The large clouds of white breath emitting from her father’s mouth are like small clouds floating before her.
“……Dad, I want to borrow money from you……”
Her father lowers his head and pulls out a wad of cash from his pocket. There are large notes and small notes He takes four of the largest note, “Yi Yao, take this four hundred…….”
It feels as if someone is injecting hot water into her heart.
Slowly defrosting her limbs that have been dying slowly.
“Don’t say anything. I only have these. I don’t have anymore!” Irritated tone.
As if the light has suddenly gone out from all the street lights, everything seems to be engulfed in darkness instantly.
*Father has two characters in Chinese.