Zhou Hua Fan opens her eyes and watched as her life flashes by her in waves and ripples, it was like a dream she could not control. A nightmare she couldn't escape. "What do you see?" The voice whispers in her ear as she watches herself scream angrily at a family before leaving her father and mother angry and broken-hearted. She watches silently and stubbornly as she curses in her heart at them, see what? She mocks the voice inside, see them humiliate, and curse my existence? See my home becomes more and more unwelcoming of my presence?
Hua Fan watches as the boy sits still in silence as if the scene before him had nothing to do with him. She sneers and the voice hisses in response to her sneer and disgust seeing the boy again. The image brought back terrible times, the image of the skinny boy reminds her of the disaster he had caused her and her family. "Tell me what you see." "I see them getting what they deserve, I see the mercy I granted them by dying earlier than them." The scene moves once more to when she was in her bedroom an hour after the boy had arrived at her old home, she was reading quietly while nursing the wounds her parent's actions had given her earlier.
It was a lavish and mature room for a young girl but it did seem to match the girl's quiet and peaceful-looking aura. She felt an ache in her chest seeing the young and innocent girl before her. "..." That is until someone at the door knocks and her pretty face twists into an ugly expression when she hears who it is. Zhou Hua Fan's eye flashes with surprise and recollection watching this scene with the tiniest bit of regret in her heart. But her face was soon twisted exactly in the mirror of the young girl who opens the door. The man outside her bedroom door says something to her causing the young Hua Fan to say something distasteful back to him, thus causing him to turn red in anger. The man starts yelling demanding her to leave her room in an authoritative and arrogant manner.
The young Hua Fan screams back before stubbornly staying where she was glowering at him with an equally red and angered expression. Being defied the man grew even angrier and Zhou Hua Fan's eyes flash with hatred when she sees the fear in the young girl's eyes moments before he shouts at her again taking a menacing step forward. His hand raises causing his wife who was hiding around the corner to rush forward shouting and holding him back as the girl slams the door on both of them. Inside of the room, the girl slid down the door sobbing quietly in her lap crying her heart out rubbing her eyes raw.
Her mother pleads outside her room unaware of the crying girl's muffled sobs, her father was still furious and leaves the hallway stomping downstairs. "What do you see?" It asks her again, Zhou Hua Fan was about to reply bitterly when the scene changes to nighttime, a boy leaves a plate of food at the door and a glass of juice. He knocks quickly before leaving around the corner before the girl inside could see him. Hua Fan's voice caught in her throat, her breath was held in as her eyes widen. Her stunned expression and wide eyes following the boy's shadow as he snuck away. What? She could not speak as the young girl opens the door and looks down to see the food, Hua Fan watches as the young her wipes her tears, grabbing the things without a word. Did he leave that for me? Not my mother? Hua Fan could say nothing but bite her tongue, recovering herself quickly she took back her shock glaring at the boy with hatred that accumulated for years.
"What does it matter? He took everything from me who knows if this was part of his plan to try and win me over?" He did not win her over in the end. The voice was quiet for a second before saying, "Why does he have to suffer for your parents' mistakes? They took in a child and put him above you? So you take it out on an innocent?" Her eyes grow colder as she answers back even more venomously. "A poor child who is like a snake waiting in a fruitful bird nest before he devours the whole family." The scene changes once more to a gorgeous college girl who was arrogant and cold towards her classmates.
Hua Fan although on the inside was confused by the sudden change in scenery looks at her college self with hesitancy. She watches and remembers the arrogant heir who walks up to her seat to flirt and try to play with her long black hair boldly. When she doesn't respond to his advances or stop his hand from moving closer, his confidence rises. His friends watch from a distance with equally disturbing smiles on their faces. The girls in the classroom look on making no move to intervene, some watch with disgust, some with excitement. The young Hua Fan moves back gracefully and successfully catches all the boy's eyes as they look on lustfully. Her slim waist elegantly moves with her like a perfect jade ballerina as she gives the heir a hard look and leaves the room with her books in her right hand. "Are you showing me this because you are saying I should of allowed that pig to touch me freely without complaint?" She crinkles her nose at the heir who watched the younger her leave with a straight back. The voice doesn't say anything, seemingly having a "Wait and watch" attitude.
What the young her didn't see, was the darkening expression of the man and his friends glaring at her as she leaves. Hua Fan frowns as they follow the young woman outside where she was preparing to enter her family car. Then, a jerking sensation as if someone had grabbed her chin forcefully causes her gaze to fall upon another shocking development. The first thing to enter her mind was shock and a bit of confusion. Just past the college gates behind the first building hidden in the shadows was the boy who had also grown since the last scene. His expression was unlike one she had ever seen before, she did not think this person would be capable of making such a cold rage-filled expression. His clothes were untouched and yet, the young heir and his two companions lay on the ground groaning in pain. He steps onto the young heir's chest and leaned forward and seems to have threatened the young man into shrinking back in fear.
Hua Fan did not say anything, watching as he straightens his back, wipes off the dirt from his clothes, and fixes his cuffs in a cool manner before turning around to head towards the college gates where the family car was waiting for him. The young her gives him a look of disdain and revulsion before climbing in before him arrogantly. She even sneers at him insulting his attire and attitude mockingly while doing so. He doesn't respond, instead, he merely slides in the seat beside her quietly taking her insults. Seeing as she didn't get a response again, the young Hua Fan shoots him another distasteful look and moves as far from him as she could get in the car. "I never asked him for help. Those fools would die if they harmed a hair on my head anyway."
Her voice was cold and her heart didn't even ripple once, she had restored her passive demeanor, in fact, her reaction was rather normal seeing the person she hated the most in the world had done something for her. She didn't care, and she didn't want to care. Why should she? What did his actions have to do with her? Didn't he drive her to her death and drive her out of her home without an ounce of remorse? What did she owe him when he already ruined her life?
The voice hisses once more, hating her dense and unfeeling reaction. "Keep watching." Very soon, Hua Fan found herself at another event in her life that she didn't recall all too well. Or time from which she had avoided a huge obstacle due to unknown forces. Her expression went from cold and passive to lightly confused then fury. This... Scene after scene plays before her eyes. Every single thing she didn't see behind her back. Blocked schemes, small kindnesses. Over and over she saw the things hidden behind her back. Hua Fan's legs shook as she loses the strength to stand, her expression was pale and she couldn't control the trembling in her heart.
What is this? What in the world is this??? This is a lie!! "You're lying to me!!" She exclaims with a dark glower around herself talking to the voice in her head, the anguish in her heart and mind-melding as one for the voice who was showing her these things. These lies! They were lies!! "I do not lie." The voice spoke in a flat tone, that hide nothing. Hua Fan clutched her head and screams angrily back at it. "LIAR! He took it from me! He took everything!! HE TOOK IT ALL!!!!" The voice was silent, it watches Hua Fan lose her mind, her soul was lost and her heart was in turmoil. Her nails dig into her scalp as she took in deep gulps of air to try and recover from the strange emotions swirling in herself.
"The truth is not always what we want it to be. The things we think we know are illusions the heart clouds our minds with, as much as we wish for our hell to become our heaven, the truth will always be that we are in hell. Your truth is hidden behind delusions of hatred that is nonexistence." "Shut up!!" "Your hatred was misplaced, your emotions of love and hatred are wrong." "Shut up! Shut up!!" "In reality, do you not know the truth already? Hasn't it been long festering in your mind and soul? That the one that you thought you love is the one you hate, that the one you hate is-" "YOU SHUT UP RIGHT NOWWW!!!!!" Hua Fan's scream pierced the dark space she was in, echoing over and over across the black plane of existence she had been entrapped within.
It was a shriek that held all the pent-up emotions within her heart it was deafening and painful to listen to. Hua Fan's eyes stare down in a panicked daze staring down into her lap as she shaking her head, muttering to herself. "Lies...They are all lies.....He took everything...He took everything from me.. Liar...Liar.." But the voice did not take pity for her, it did not feel any type of emotion for her outburst that was so full of raw emotion. It went on as if she had never interrupted, "Was it truly taken? Or was it already a given? You were born a girl, you were born unworthy in the eyes of your family. You were born a flower that could not support a palace, an empire. You were born a disappointment to everyone. When he showed up it was only natural for your family to choose him over you. You are immature, selfish, stupid, conceited, immoral."
Hua Fan stops her mutters and felt her heart squeeze again, her eyes close slowly listen to the voice lecture her and insult her worth, her being. She listened to it tell her the TRUTH. "You're unruly, uncontrollable, wild, a menace to those around you, arrogant without purpose, and worst of all, you are cruel to those who love you." He doesn't love me.....He can't, he can't love me. She shook her head murmuring a weak protest, "Lies..." "I do not tell lies. Although I do not understand why myself, he indeed does care for a horrible person such as yourself. Zhou Hua Fan, do you understand what your selfishness has done to him?" Her voice cracks, "It just doesn't make sense... I hate him...I do...He took everything from me. So why would he..."
The voice came up close to her left ear and whispers something that chilled her soul and spreads panic through her heart. "Zhou Hua Fan, be honest with yourself, do you REALLY hate him like you so claim? Or, was it that, you hated the fact that he had everything you wanted and yearned for, yet, he took your heart as well without your consent?" She chokes on her breath inhaling sharply with a white face that showed just how horrified she was it knew her darkest secrets that satisfied the voice into backing away. "Are you still unconvinced?"
"The difference between the good and the bad is unclear, it is a grey area for you and him. He did not wish to take what you wanted, but he was forced to accept the position to protect the one he cared for. And you, you despise him for taking what was your birthright, but deep down..... You and I both know what it is you truly feel." Hua Fan was silenced and her eyes dulled like a lifeless doll, the voice saw her appearance and gave an arrogant scoff. "Who are you to play the victim?" "Enough." Hua Fan flinches hearing the deeper and dreaded presence appear, the arrogant voice from before was silenced. The deeper voice spoke to her slow and steady, a complete contrast to its nasty counterpart. "Girl, do you understand why we have shown you these things?" Hua Fan kept silent, the voice gave her a moment before speaking again. "We will give you a choice." Hua Fan finally gave a reaction, she laughs harshly, "A choice? Is this not hell? Is this not making me repent for my sins? Came to gloat? Are you here to tell me which pool of lava to jump into?"
The solemn voice let her rant and spit curses, it let her vent and mock it, it did not retaliate. It only waited, "...We will let you fix what you have done, we will take you back." Hua Fan jerks her head up hearing the unexpected words, she felt hope then dashes the hope away to sneer at the voice. "What is there to fix? You cannot take back time just like you cannot take back a life." And did she even deserve it? To fix the things she had done?...No. No, she does not. It's too late... "We can. It is also your duty to fix the mess you have created." She hisses at it, "Just let me die in peace!!" The voice was quiet for a long time, Hua Fan's expression goes back to soulless and hopelessness as she covers her face in her hands to hide the teardrops that stained her cheeks.
It was too late..."Do you not care for the future of that person?" The woman tensed, seeing the reaction it wanted to voice stirred the embers of the woman before they died down again. The black space swirls before her eyes, spinning, and spinning, causing her to lose her sense momentarily before it stops. Hua Fan narrows her eyes and looks around herself..... A funeral hall? "Did you not hear me? I said leave me-" "Fan'er!! My baby Fan'er!!!" Hua Fan's heart rattles and her head swivels towards the heart-wrenching cries of a voice so familiar yet foreign, one that she hadn't heard in so long it became a long-sealed memory in the back of her mind. The heartbreaking cries sending hateful ripples in her heart that she quickly silenced and froze herself, she recovers and her eyes grow cold.
"You know how to play jokes, but why should I care if this woman is crying?" Did she ever care when I had cried? Did she ever look my way when I lost everything? Did she stand by my side when I fell ill and died all alone with no one by my side? She watches with a stone face as the man by her side cries crocodile tears, she sneers at his "sorrowful" act. "You make me disgusted." She couldn't help but curse at him wanting to spit at the ground by his feet but she was too proud to do so. "Keep watching." Keep watching what? Watch the show put on by these fake people? Watch them dirty my resting place?
Her funeral place was surrounded by "family" and "friends", she felt sick to her stomach seeing the insincere scene. The woman and man kept on crying in front of her coffin making her feel nauseous, it was sickening, infuriating. They were using her till the very end! "What are you all doing here?" Her heart stutters as she once more spun around to see a very familiar-looking older man, his appearance resembling the Zhou family very much. With a sharp and handsome face, he gave a pleasant vibe, a few white hairstreaks along with his once dark and healthy hair. The ice in her heart cracks when she saw the clear wrinkles and dark circle beneath his dark brown eyes showing just how tired and stressed he currently was. He usually a naturally easy-going aura, but when serious like he was now, he was very intimidating, a natural leader. For once, Hua Fan couldn't sneer in the face of the person before her. Her hand unconsciously twitches and she let out a disbelieving whisper, "Third Uncle..?"
Her pale hand reaches towards the man who appeared in the entrance, the people in front of her coffin were silenced by his appearance as he reveals an angry expression seeing their black outfits and crying expressions. "Third Uncle-" She moves towards him, only, he passes right through her body making Hua Fan's eyes widen and her heart shutter. She looks down at her translucent body and stares at her hand with a blank expression. "Get out!!" Leaving her conflicted emotions aside Hua Fan turns around to witness her Third Uncle's angry roar as he pushes the man beside the crying woman. The man seemed stunned, then he also grew angry and shouts back at her furious Third Uncle. "Cao Bohai! You dare prevent me from visiting my own daughter's funeral?!"
Her Third Uncle gave the man a disbelieving look that quickly got consumed by the fury in his eyes, "Daughter? DAUGHTER?! Zhou Feng Ming you uncouth scoundrel so you still remember you have a daughter after all this time?!" He catches Feng Ming by his collar making the attendees present all exclaim in horror as the two glowers at each other. Feng Ming's wife, Yun Yi, screams and pulls at her Third Uncle's sleeve, panicking. "Brother-in-law let him go! Don't do this! Not in front of Fan'er!!" He shakes her off with a disgusted look and turns back to Feng Ming who was still stubbornly glaring back at him. "Feng Ming, you listen to me, the day you caused my niece to cry till she fell sick was the day I lost all my respect for you as my older brother. And if you even had the slightest trace of regret for what you had done, you would have prevented her death instead of coming here dressed in expensive clothes and crying fake tears to make a show of her last time above the surface."
He shoves Feng Ming away looking completely revolted and disappointed in his older brother, Feng Ming's eyes flash and he steadies himself before he could fall over. "Get the hell out of my sight before I call the guards." Hua Fan felt her eyes water seeing her heartbroken uncle whose warm and gentle temperament was no longer seen. She still remembered the time when he would tell her of her adventures when she was very young, the way he lived to be free and explore the world. But now...Her death seemed to have broken his wings and desire for freedom. Her nose sours, "Third Uncle..." Feng Ming storms off, his mourning expression was completely wiped away and his tears had miraculously dried as fast as they came. Yun Yi sniffles and stares at her husband's back, her legs shake and give way as one of her friends held her up in a panic. "Yun Yi!"
She shook her head and wipes her tears but they continue to fall as she again recalls her daughter who was now gone. Looking over at Cao Bohai, Yun Yi didn't conceal her regret and sadness. "Bohai...." But the man shook his head and turns away from her, "Yun Yi don't...Just leave, Hua Fan..." He brought a hand to his face and tilts his head back as if to try and stop the tears from falling, he croaks weakly. "Just leave..." Yun Yi covers her mouth while shaking, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry Bohai..*sob" In the end, one by one, the people who came to fake cry left the awkward and the statue like Cao Bohai who didn't move from his spot. All but Hua Fan who had long shed tears on her frozen expression of guilt, for a long time Cao Bohai stood by her coffin staring down at the cold porcelain body. She had never seen a grown man weep before, and couldn't stop herself from being consumed by guilt and sorrow that drowns her.
When he left Hua Fan silently wipes the remnant of her tears and felt bitterness, as she was about to speak the sound of footsteps echoing through the empty funeral hall made her pause. The footsteps come closer, and Hua Fan could hear the heavy footsteps of the person and could tell in her mind the person was heavyhearted. "Take me back." Her sad expression dashed away like the wind to be replaced by a cold and sharp look, she refused to look behind her towards the person who had entered. The voice asks her a question unfeelingly, "Do you understand?" Hua Fan shut her eyes, "Take me back right now." She demands with a warning in her voice. She felt the swirling world around her and felt all her muscles relax, but then, when she opens her eyes. She was blinded by a scene that made her pale considerably and takes a step back. A man with dark and silky hair that was cut short was within her sights, the complete opposite of how he had looked when she saw him when she was alive.
He appeared unhealthy unlike before, his eyes also had dark circles that dampened his handsome features looking to have deteriorated with his lack of liveliness. He was dressed in a black suit seeming to have just gotten back from her funeral it seems, his dark obsidian eyes appear almost as lifeless as she did making her heart clench. He was once a bit more sturdy and upright looking, but the person before her was messy, lost..... He sat in her bedroom with more than one drink surrounding him with her picture within his sights. Hua Fan could not breathe, she didn't want to see this. He should not be here. Why is he here?! She was angry, she was infuriated, she was frustrated. "Why are you here?! Get out of my room!!"
The man continued to stare at her photo listlessly and drink, obviously he couldn't hear her. But she didn't care, she was angry, she needed to tell him, she needed him to leave. "Get out of my room!! Don't you hear me!! Get out of here this is not yours!! It's mine!!" How dare he come in here?! How dare he!? Did she give him the right to mourn her death?! Did she let him come into her room?! Why!?! Breathless from her shouting Hua Fan froze as the man lifts a single hand to lightly touch her photo shattering her thoughts completely. "Fan....are you finally at peace?" Hua Fan could not speak, she couldn't think, she could only stare at him blankly without an answer to his question...He smiles to himself seeming to stop himself from letting the smile fall. "Are you resting well now?"
Falling to her knees across the room from him, Hua Fan places her face between her knees...and wept...