Chapter 7: The Price of Youth
I think this is one of the most (if not the most) evoking parts we’ve had so far. Although it is incredibly long, it is exremely sad but also very infuriating so do read it all, even if you read sections at a time.
Prepare tissues and pitchforks and read on!
1. An Injured Hand
When we are young, we lack fear for time and life. We behave recklessly without thinking about the results or understanding to fear the consequences. So, often during our youth, we only need a little more rationality and self control to avoid making mistakes. However, when we understand this idea, mistakes usually have already been made; when we haven’t yet made any mistakes, we don’t take in any well meaning advice.
Xiao Bo’s mid-semester exam results were quite good, he was already in the top 80 of his year group so if he can reach top 50, with the school’s past performance results in the province, he will definitely be able to get into a famous university. Although the competition became more and more fierce the higher in ranking you go, Xiao Bo was filled with confidence.
Brother Li and I were both very happy. Brother Li specially urged Wu Zei and other staff to go to him if there were any matters and to not disturb Xiao Bo to let him prepare well for the gao kao.
The weekend after the mid-semester exam finished, Brother Li invited me, Xiao Bo, Wu Zei and Enchantress out to eat. He said it was to congratulate Xiao Bo but actually, it was to find an opportunity to get together. Nowadays, it was hard to see Xiao Bo, even I have to run to the high school department to see him.
That guy was really going all out to get into a good university.
We chatted and ate, in the middle, I got up to go to the bathroom. When I came back, I passed a small room and hearing the name “Ge Xiao Fei”, I couldn’t help but stop in suspicion.
In the middle of the girls’ laughter, I was able to hear parts of their conversation.
“Really? She got an abortion when she was only fifteen?”
“Really! Ge Xiao Fei, I heard that her grades are pretty good, she’s a student in No.1”
“Eh? In No.1? That’s one of the top schools in the province, what else did you hear, quickly tell, how did she get pregnant?”
“How did she get pregnant? Of course it’s because she slept with a guy!”
Loud laughter ensued.
“I heard that she changed countless boyfriends when she’s so young……”
My hands and feet went cold, didn’t everything pass already? Why is it like this? The sound of their conversation still reached my ears. I suddenly felt violent resentment, why are there so many people in the world who like to discuss other people’s rights and wrongs? Why do they like to use other people’s wounds to entertain themselves with? Why can’t they just care about their own things?
Without thinking, I walked inside and slapped the face of the girl who was sitting near the door and spreading the gossip.
After I slapped her, I realised it was Zhang Jun’s girlfriend.
Everyone became speechless and the room was silent for a few seconds before she jumped up like an angry wild cat and started hitting me. Her girlfriends also reacted and started to hit me.
I was beaten to the floor and my glasses fell. Everything became fuzzy in front of my eyes, I felt my hair being yanked painfully and a few handfuls were probably yanked out. My legs were also being kicked by high heels and in numbing pain.
In midst of this, I felt an empty wine bottle on the floor. In my predicament, I instinctively used the wine bottle to smash the person hitting me. After it smashed into the person, I felt a warm liquid on my hand, the heavy weight on my body also lightened. I tightly clutched the remaining half of the wine bottle and as soon as I saw a black figure getting close to me, I stabbed forwards.
They started to shout, “Murder, someone’s killing people……”
Someone suddenly grabbed my hands. Just as I wanted to strike at them backhandedly, the wine bottle in my hand was immediately taken away.
It was Xiao Bo’s voice. There was trembling in his voice, he used his hands to wipe the blood on my face, “Where are you hurt?”
“I don’t know.”
The sound of crying and shouting mixed together and when I was truly awake, I was already inside the hospital.
The female doctor was Brother Li’s middle school classmate. She satirized Brother Li, “How is it that someone’s hurt again? If you don’t fight for three days do you feel uncomfortable all over? Don’t depend on me to gently treat you guys, I can’t be polite to you people who cause disorder in society! Say, why doesn’t the police put you all in jail?”
Brother Li forced a smile, “Today it’s my little sister. Treat her gently.”
The female doctor looked at me, “Luo Qi Qi? I’ve watched your speeches before on television, it was really good. I thought you were a good student, why are you also fighting?” As she spoke, she used a gauze to clean the blood on my body. I realised that although the blood was all over my body, I only had a wound on my palm. Most of the blood were probably other people’s.
As the doctor pulled the glass out from inside the wound, she shouted at Brother Li, “Do you see this? If this piece of glass was set just a bit deeper, her hand would become useless. How are you a brother, you don’t even learn good yourself, you’re bringing your little sister down with you.”
Brother Li smiled along but Xiao Bo’s complexion was very sallow.
After the doctor finished pulling out the glass and stitched it up, she stopped scolding us. She gently asked me, “Isn’t it painful? Why don’t you make any sound? If it’s painful, just shout it out.”
I clenched my teeth and didn’t make a sound. Brother Li smiled, “If she was the type to shout out her pain, she wouldn’t end up like this. We were all at the back, if she really wanted to teach someone a lesson, why would she need to do it herself?”
The female doctor got mad and glared fiercely at Brother Li, “It’s words like these that turn people bad. She is a young girl, even if she had some problem, she has her parents, her teachers, the police, why does she need to fight?”
Brother Li gave a hollow laugh and didn’t dare say anything else.
After the wound was treated, Brother Li and Xiao Bo brought me out. Wu Zei came over, “Nothing major happened to the others, one of them had their arm stabbed open and one got a head injury.” Wu Zei jabbed my head, “Did you eat the wrong medicine today? Xiao Bo, you should discipline her better, why is her temper so impulsive? I just asked, they said that a few sisters were eating and she randomly came in and started hitting them.”
Brother Li ordered, “We’ll pay the medical bills, get someone to go and buy some health products and say lots of good words……”
I immediately said, “You can’t! She deserved it! Why do we have to pay her medical fees?”
Brother Li hurriedly spoke, “Ok, ok, ok! We won’t, we won’t!” But he secretly flashed a look at Wu Zei.
One of Brother Li’s men said, “People who come out to mix all highly value their reputation. The person who got hit this time was Zhang Jun’s girlfriend, this might not be easy to explain.”
Just as we were talking, we saw Zhang Jun and a few of his strong friends walk in. Zhang Jun’s girlfriend also appeared from nowhere and stuck to Zhang Jun’s side, “Zhang Jun, she hit me for no reason. Two of my friends were beaten so bad they’re currently hospitalized. This matter definitely can’t be let go.” After she finished talking, she glared fiercely at me.
Zhang Jun saw one of my arms in a sling and froze for a bit, he probably only found out that his girlfriend also fought.
Brother Li walked over warmly, clutched one of his hands and put his other hand on his shoulder and led him to a corner talking non stop.
Zhang Jun’s girlfriend wanted to go but Brother Li raised his head and said, “Us men are discussing matters, women shouldn’t participate.”
Zhang Jun’s girlfriend’s face turned bright red but she knew that in this circle, the rules were truly like this.
I don’t know what Brother Li said but I saw Zhang Jun nodding. Brother Li called Xiao Bo over and stood to the side himself. Zhang Jun violently punched Xiao Bo’s abdomen fiercely three times. Xiao Bo hunched over in pain. After a little while, Xiao Bo stood straight and Zhang Jun fiercely punched him another three times. This time, Xiao Bo couldn’t take it and his whole body knelt down.
No matter if it was Brother Li’s brothers or Zhang Jun’s friends, they all stood there watching, following the rules of handling matters.
I wanted to call out but no sound came out. Tears started forming in my eye sockets.
Brother Li walked over and smiled at Zhang Jun then shook his hand. Zhang Jun smiled as he helped Xiao Bo up again. Xiao bo also smiled and they shook hands as if the people fighting just then weren’t them.
The three people chatted for a bit then Zhang Jun left with his people. His girlfriend stood there for a while dumbfounded then chased him, “Is it settled just like that? What about my friends’ injuries? How do you want me to tell them? If you don’t think it’s embarrassing, well I fucking feel embarrassed……”
The five of us got on to Brother Li’s old car. Enchantress, Wu Zei and I sat at the back and Xiao Bo sat at the front. I was quiet, Brother Li was quiet and Xiao Bo was also quiet.
Wu Zei felt it was suffocating so he asked Xiao Bo, “Are Zhang Jun’s little fists strong?” The Enchantress elbowed him and he quickly shut his mouth.
I suddenly asked, “Wu Zei, what do those girls today do?”
Enchantress said, “Apart from Zhang Jun’s girlfriend, there is another who is part of the art troup, one does crafts and one is a primary school music teacher. Oh, and that girl who you injured on the head has a hair salon.”
I sat there dazedly, feeling powerless all over. Perhaps I can think of a way to shut their mouths but what about the mouths of other people?
After I got home, when mom and dad saw my hand, they became flustered.
I had long become an expert at lying through my teeth so I told them that I was sitting on Guan He’s bicycle and accidentally fell down, I used my hands to protect myself from the fall but I never thought that there was broken glass on the ground. My hand was cut open and Guan He didn’t have the time to tell her parents as she rushed me to hospital.
Guan He was a top student in the minds of both teachers and parents so they believed her testifying even more than gold.
The next day, I went to school with my hand tied up in a gauze. When Guan He saw, she asked in concern, “What happened?”
I said, “I told my parents that when I went out playing with you, I fell down from your bicycle and injured my hand.”
Guan He froze for a bit then readily said, “Okay ah, I got it.”
I didn’t have the energy to listen to class or to read. Straight after class, I went to find Xiao Fei. She laughed at my stupid appearance but fed me already peeled chestnuts.
She was sporting a short haircut and with a blue and white sportswear and white sport shoes on, she looked like a tomboy.
I smiled, “Xiao Fei, can you agree to something?”
“You have to be a strong person.”
Xiao Fei stared at me surprised but after a while, she smiled and nodded, “I will.”
“No matter what happens, you have to be strong.”
I said, “You have to forever remember what you promised me today.”
Xiao Fei stared at me and worriedly asked, “Qi Qi, do you have some incurable disease?”
I hit her with my other hand, “You’re the one who has a disease.”
“Your words sound like the dying words of people with diseases on TV.”
“Anyhow, you have to remember you promised me you’ll be strong.”
“What exactly happened to your hand? Did you really fall down from the bicycle and get stabbed by a piece of glass?”
“I really injured it from falling down from the bicycle.”
A few days later, I looked down from the middle school department’s building to see Zhang Jun’s girlfriend. She was probably waiting for Zhang Jun and he went down to see her.
Not long after, the corridor was full of people, all in front of the windows watching.
They talked for a long time and most of that time, it was the girl who was talking. Zhang Jun had his hands in his pockets the whole time with his head lowered looking at the ground, it was completely in line with his spiritless state at school.
Just as everyone was getting bored, suddenly, his girlfriend hit him. Zhang Jun dodged her hit which made her even more angry and she kicked and slapped at him. Zhang Jun stopped dodging and let her hit. She cried and hit and shouted, I only heard the words, “bastard”, “asshole”, “I was blind” again and again. Zhang Jun had his head lowered and after the girl got tired, she ran off like the wind.
Everyone was speechless but Zhang Jun looked as if nothing had happened. He went and stood by the trees alone for a while then walked back up the building.
Everyone watching dispersed. I was standing in front of the window and couldn’t be bothered moving. He glanced at me then also stood by the window, staring out in a daze.
There were quite a few nail marks on his face and it took two weeks for it to disappear. The whole middle school department knew about him getting hit by a girl.
Even at home, my little sister kicked and hit, showing our parents how the girl beat him, making my parents wide eyed with shock, thinking that they sent their daughter into a film and television class instead.
The rumour about Xiao Fei spread to the school in the end and girls started secretly discussing it, the teachers also discussed it in their offices.
What a hot topic! A middle school girl getting an abortion can become headline news in the times now so what is there to say about ten years before?
Xiao Fei still obliviously went to school and studied, it seemed like the person in the rumour is always the last person to find out.
Everyday after class, I went to find her and used up all her time. I could only use my tiny power to distance her from the rumor.
Finally, even my mom and dad heard about it. Mom worriedly asked me, “Didn’t she sleep over once at our house? Is she still your good friend now?”
I coldly said, “I don’t know.”
Different versions of Xiao Fei’s abortion appeared, apparently she went out to play and was gang raped by four people. No one knows who exactly the father is.
Xiao Fei finally found out about everything. Her teachers and classmates looked at her differently, the girls refused to talk to her and the guys all peeked at her. She quietly went to school and went home, I could only find her during recess to read with her or sit with her.
One day, when we were sitting on a bench, a group of girls from the high school department specially came to see her. Although they pretended to be passing by us, but that kind of stare was like burning at a stake, it was enough to burn someone to ashes.
Xiao Fei suddenly ran to the school gates. I chased after her but she shouted at me, telling me to “get lost”. I stopped and watch her disappear into the streets.
From that day on, Xiao Fei stopped coming to school. I went to her house, the first time, her mom opened the door but refused to let me in, telling me to leave and to stop coming to find Xiao Fei. After that, the door was always closed.
With the spread of gang rape rumours, the local police station got involved and started an investigation.
With the police investigation going on, the rumours spread faster, our entire city, from 80 year olds to 18year olds all knew that No.1 had a girl who messed around with boys who then took advantage of her.
After the police got involved, the four guys were found very easily. Two of them were actually from another very famous top middle school-they were students from the Experimental Middle School. One of them was in their third year of middle school and the other was a first year high school student. The other two were also students.
More and more versions of the rumour developed, some said that the four guys had planned it out, they would get Ge Xiao Fei drunk then do sexual things to her; some said that it was a coincidence, Ge Xiao Fei had low self esteem, got drunk and messed around with the four guys; some said that the four all had relationships with Ge Xiao Fei and some said that only two of them raped her, the other two were too cowardly and only participated in getting her drunk.
All parents started watching over their daughters strictly, they weren’t allowed to go out and play with guys, I was also restrained by my parents and I wasn’t allowed to go out on weekdays. On weekends, I had to be back before dinner time.
I was the closest person to Xiao Fei but during all this, I was like everyone else, having to find out through gossip.
I calculated the time the incident happened, it was just when Wang Zheng left this city so no matter if the four guys were intentional or unintentional, the reason for Xiao Fei getting drunk had nothing to do with him. However, I believe that even if Xiao Fei was drunk, she wouldn’t do anything with them. They were probably out to get revenge so they got together to teach the ‘proud and arrogant’ Ge Xiao Fei a lesson.
Because Xiao Fei’s parents refused to appear in court to press charges, refusing to accept the incident, the families of the four boys spent countless amounts of money as bribe. In the end, the four boys weren’t charged with any criminal activity but, for the sake of giving all the parents an account, the school still took action. The Experimental Middle School expelled the two boys and the other two from normal schools were also kicked out. Furthermore, other schools, including technical schools, all announced that they will never accept them.
Xiao Fei’s life was ruined by them but because of Xiao Fei, their lives were also destroyed. When Xiao Fei’s parents went out, they didn’t dare raise their heads and because the guys’ parents had rapists as sons, they suddenly became old. I heard on the news that one of the mothers had a heart attack and nearly died.
For a period of time, I really, really hated them but I quickly heard that one of the boys from the Experimental Middle School was beaten by his father with a belt. His father ended up breaking three belts and the boy was rushed to hospital. His wounds haven’t recovered yet but he secretly left our city and went to Xi’an to join the army. Not long after, his parents got a divorce.
Xiao Bo told me, “They have paid their mistakes with their lives, they’ve even paid their parents’ lives too.”
I know what he said is true but, I still hate them.
I became so silent it was scary. I often went for an entire day without speaking. Every weekend, I would go to Xiao Fei’s building and wander around below the apartment. I didn’t dare go knock on the door, I only wished that she would be able to see me and agree to come out and meet me but she never appeared.
Instead, I gradually heard some other gossip from their neighbours. Apparently Xiao Fei’s father used to be a soldier (this is also the reason of how I got to know Xiao Fei at the military primary school.) He was in the army all year round and had a terrible temper. After he transferred to a civilian life, he felt somewhat under-appreciated and undervalued. He liked drinking and when he got drunk, he would hit Xiao Fei’s mom.
The old people sighed, Xiao Fei was a smart and capable girl but because her father kept beating up her mom, she naturally didn’t like to stay at home. She liked to go out and play but when a girl played outside too much, of course it was easy for incidents to happen.
I gradually started to understand the cause and effect, so it was like this!
Xiao Fei’s father probably didn’t start hitting Xiao Fei’s mom after he left the army, he probably was already hitting his wife when he was in the army so when we were in primary, Xiao Fei didn’t like going home and started to like wandering around outside thus becoming best friends with me who also didn’t like going home.
This was also probably the reason why she wanted to sleep at my house. She must’ve been filled with dread inside and wanted to avoid seeing her father hit her mom.
On the outside, she was completely different to me. She was bright and cheerful yet inside, she also had a repressed and lonely soul so we were able to snuggle up and share each others’ warmth.
In this world, there is bound to be a reason behind every unusual thing that happens, why didn’t I think of it earlier?
Xiao Fei made her father greatly embarrassed, would her father hit her after he gets drunk?
I started to get scared. I ran and knocked on her door, no one answered. I kept knocking and knocking until from behind the door came her mom’s voice, “Xiao Fei went away, you don’t need to come and find her any more.”
“Where did she go?”
“I sent her to stay with her aunt for a while.”
I was half in disbelief but I could only do this much. I begged the person behind the door, “Auntie, please don’t hit Xiao Fei. Right now she only has you guys.”
The sound of her mom crying passed through the door, “I know, go now!”
I continued saying, “Auntie, please tell Xiao Fei to not forget what she promised me.”
There was no sound from behind the door. I could only quietly leave.
During this storm, the end of term exam passed by. My results were too horrible to look at, I was third to last in the class.
Teacher Wu was extremely disappointed, I don’t know if it was because she was truly worried about a good student dropping in ranks or if she was worried about her salary bonus.
My mom sat me down for a chat and lectured me sternly. She decided to limit the time I have to go outside to play. I suddenly changed from the silence I usually have in front of the and charged at her, “Since you guys cast me aside to my grandpa when I was little, then no matter what I turn into now, you can’t blame anymore! It’s fine for you to just care about your darling daughter, no matter if I live or die, I will take care of that myself! No need for you guys to care!”
My mom was so angry her fists were shaking but she didn’t dare to hit me. Inside, she was very clear that if she touches me just a little, with my extreme stubbornness and the conflict between us, there was a great possibility she would push me completely away from them.
Perhaps it requires a thousand days to learn to be good but you only need a few days to learn to be bad.
The day after Lunar New Year ended, I was riding my bike home and unexpectedly, at the intersection, I saw Xiao Fei. She was wearing an old fashioned black woollen coat and smiled at me.
I didn’t dare to believe what I saw with my eyes so I rushed to her, “Xiao Fei?”
She laughed, “You still remember me!”
I was unable to speak, I only knew how to clutch her hand and smile foolishly. She said, “Let’s go somewhere to talk for a while.”
I agreed and immediately took her to the side of the lake on my bike. As it was winter, the entire lake had a thick layer of ice on the top. We sat on the lake and chatted.
She asked me, “How was your end of semester exam results?”
“Not very good.”
She sighed, “Qi Qi, you have to study hard. Don’t waste the brain the heavens gave you, not everyone has the chance to study.”
I didn’t say anything.
She raised her head, the expression on her face was very sad, “Sometimes, at night I will suddenly wake up and cry, longing that everything didn’t happen, that this was all a nightmare. As long as I wake up from the dream, I will still be able to sit in the classroom and listen to the teacher teach. Right now, even when I think of the despised homework and annoying teachers, I would still think that it is very valuable. If I could be able to do homework again, listen to the teachers teach again, I am willing to give up everything in exchange. However, no matter how much I regret, how much I know I was wrong, there is no one willing to give me a chance. No one is willing to give me a chance……” Xiao Fei’s tears rolled down her face, drop by drop.
My face was also covered in tears but I refused to cry out loud. I could only use my sleeves to continuously wipe the tears.
Xiao Fei looked at the sky silently for a long time then suddenly smiled, “Qi Qi, you have to trust me, I will remember the thing I agreed you and be a strong person.”
She asked, “Do you have any money with you? I want borrow some money from you.”
I hurriedly searched my pockets, luckily I had red packet money*, there was two hundred and thirty dollars altogether.
*[Money children receive during New Year’s.]
She took it and carefully put it into her pocket. We sat side by side for a long time before she said, “It’s too cold, let’s go!”
I pushed my bicycle and asked, “Is the money enough?”
Xiao Fei smiled, “Where would you find someone who thinks they have too much money?”
I hurriedly said, “If you need more, I can help you get some.”
“You want to ask Brother Li and the others to borrow some right? I don’t need their money, no matter how much money they have, they aren’t good people. Qi Qi, you should stop hanging out with them so much.”
If someone else said these words, perhaps I would have already started fighting with them but to Xiao Fei, I could only lightly say, “I’m also not a good person.”
We passed by a small shop and an idea struck me. I told her, “Wait for me for a while.”
I pushed the bicycle inside the small shop and said to the boss, “I want to sell this bicycle, give a price.” I know that these small shops accepted stolen goods, from televisions to a pack of cigarettes. The son of one of my dad’s managers often stole the cigarettes other people gifted his dad and exchanged it for pocket money.
The boss sized me up, “Sixty.”
“One hundred, this bicycle is pretty much new. Plus, I didn’t steal it. You can rest assured and give your daughter to use.”
The boss looked at me for a bit, seemingly deciding if my words were true or false. Finally, she agreed on the exchange.
I took the one hundred dollars and walking out of the small ship, handed it to Xiao Fei. Xiao Fei saw that I left my bicycle inside and already understood where my money came from. She didn’t reject it and after she put it inside her bag, she said to me, “I’m leaving.”
“When will you come and find me again?”
She smiled, “Next time I’ll treat you to lamb skewers.”
She walked a few steps then turned back to me, “Qi Qi, I will remember what I have agreed you, you also have to take good care of yourself. Remember, you have to study hard.” After speaking, she left with firm and resolute steps.
Her silhouette became smaller and smaller. I stared at her shadow and although I felt heavy hearted, I started to develop new hope.
Because, she let me think as if all of the clouds will one day, finally disperse and we can still sit in front of a coal oven and eat lamb skewers while drinking tea. We can still cuddle up on the sofa chatting while we paint out nails and discuss the hairstyles on the magazines.
However, I never thought that this was actually the last time Xiao Fei and I met.
A few days later, Xiao Fei left a few words and left. The news that she left home spread around.
Her parents once hated how she made them embarrassed, perhaps they wished she was never born but after she disappeared like they wished, they crazily looked all over for her but didn’t have any news on her. Some people say that they saw her buy a train ticket to Guangzhou and some said they saw her buy a train ticket to Beijing.
Because I sold my bicycle, when mom and dad asked me, I was already too tired and couldn’t be bothered making a lie. I simply told them the truth. I didn’t expect that not only did they not get angry, dad even dragged his old friends who worked on the rail network to help search for Xiao Fei.
I started feeling a little remorseful and at unease because in this period of time, I had been cold towards them and they both seemed very thin and pallid.
Xiao Fei’s parents went to Bejing. Later, they went to Guangzhou but they never found her. Xiao Fei’s mom completely lost her sanity and went half mad. Xiao Fei’s father became an alcoholic and never had the energy to hit people again.
After confirming that Xiao Fei really left, I wasn’t able to sleep at night. I would feel regretful for a while, I shouldn’t have lent her money and then I’d feel regretful over not giving her more money. As soon as I fell asleep, I would have nightmares that Xiao Fei bumped into bad people, that she had nothing to eat, that she had nothing to wear.
I wasn’t able to eat anything and I couldn’t sleep well. My body and my mental state were both falling apart.
Faced with my rapidly thinning body, mom and dad weren’t able to shout or hit me, they could only urge my little sister to play with me more and used me to go to sketching classes, hoping that other things would be able to take my mind off my worry for Xiao Fei.
During the winter break, third year high school students still had to go to class but Xiao Bo gave up on his revision classes to accompany me as much as possible, telling me all kinds of reasoning. He told me that even if I wasn’t there, Xiao Fei would still leave, I wasn’t the one who caused her to leave. He analysed it, Xiao Fei leaving wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, she left for a place where no one could recognise her, perhaps she could start afresh so she should be living happily. He also used popular television drama ‘the Girl from the Outside’ from a few years back as an example, although Xiao Fei only had middle school knowledge, she was very smart and wouldn’t be worse off than the Chen Xiao Yi in the drama. Since Chen Xiao Yi was able to do well, Xiao Fei will also definitely find a job and take good care of herself.
One day, he gave up on his class and ran over to find me.
I was sitting on a stone bench watching him pass through the cold sunlight. Suddenly, I discovered that he was also very skinny.
All of a sudden, my tears started falling, unable to be held back. He didn’t comfort me, he just quietly sat by my side. After crying for a long time, I told him, “Don’t skip any more classes. You have to get into a good university. In the future, I can only go to the same university as you.”
He replied, “Okay.”
I no longer mentioned Xiao Fei again but inside, I would often ponder, why did everything become like this? During summer break, didn’t we agree that we would study hard together, wasn’t everything very promising? About Xiao Fei’s abortion, only Xiao Fei, Xiao Fei’s parents and me knew about it so who spread this out?
Although those guys violated Xiao Fei, they didn’t know about Xiao Fei’s abortion. Even though they wanted to flaunt it so they weren’t able to keep it a secret and told other people, at the most, rumours would secretly spread between the students that Xiao Fei wasn’t a virgin any more but the school never lacked in these kinds of rumours. Those ‘non virgin’ girls are still living very uprightly today.
I once asked Xiao Bo but he said that he didn’t know.
Only a few years later did Zhang Jun tell me the cause, the rumours had started inside the hospital. The doctor and nurse who helped Xiao Fei with the abortion didn’t comply with their medical ethics. They told the shocking story of giving an abortion to a young girl to their friends and family who then told their friends and family. In the end, one spread to ten, ten spread to a hundred and it became the best topic of idle chat and the people who knew about it grew more and more.
Those four boys showed off to their friends about what they did with Xiao Fei and it spread between the guys. Quite a lot of people knew that the ‘Fei Er’ in No.1 was no longer a virgin, at least, at the end of the second year of middle school, Zhang Jun had already heard ‘Fei Er’ had been penetrated.
When Xiao Fei’s abortion rumours spread, the people who heard both rumours compared the rumours and pieced it together, resulting in the police investigation later on.
In this matter, Xiao Fei and the four boys all made a big mistake but the ones who made the biggest mistake was that group of doctors and nurses. If it wasn’t for them, even if this was was a mistake, it was a mistake that could be corrected. However, they didn’t give this group of teenagers a chance to return back. Instead, they brought about the tragedies of the families.
At the time, China’s laws weren’t perfect, otherwise, they should be brought to justice for leaking a patient’s private matters. I can only curse them and hope that their consciences work so when they think of the tragedies of the five families, of the five teenagers that were ruined, they will have nightmares every night!