Quality Check: Kittsune
First Published on Ainushi.
“Miss, are you awake?” Mama Yu gently knocked on the door to my room.
“Come in, Mama Yu. I’m up already,” I swiftly replied.
Mama Yu pushed open the door and walked in. When she saw me combing my hair at the dressing table in high spirits, she seemed to think something was strange, but she was still very grateful.
“Miss, you look a lot better than yesterday.”
I joked with Mama Yu childishly. “I’ll grow old if I spend all day moping around. I’m already thirty years old, so I have to take good care of myself.”
“Miss… the young masters are waiting for you downstairs… they… they…” A difficult look returned to Mama Yu’s face.
I knew what Mama Yu wanted to say. I walked over and gently leaned my head on her shoulder.
“Mama Yu, don’t worry about us. I’ve already made my decision.”
In the living room, Zhao Yi Bo and Zhao Yi Xuan were already waiting downstairs in impeccably dressed suits. Their expressions were absolutely gloomy, and their mental states looked miserable. It looked like they hadn’t slept at all the entire time, and I felt a tiny amount of vengeful pleasure inside.
I ignored them and walked straight past the two of them into the dining room. Then I sat down at the table and started to leisurely eat my breakfast. They didn’t follow me inside, and the other portions of breakfast on the table remained untouched. They probably hadn’t eaten breakfast yet.
Nevertheless, I did not pay them any mind and I continued to eat the food that I liked. With my mind set free, suddenly all the food seemed to taste better. By the time I finished my breakfast, an hour had already passed.
I walked out of the dining room, and the twins who had been sitting silently on the sofa immediately stood up. Two pairs of inscrutable eyes simultaneously converged on my face.
There was a moment of silence. Zhao Yi Bo opened his mouth and said, “Qing Xia, it’s about time for your appointment with the doctor. Let’s go.”
“Another checkup? Didn’t we have a checkup already yesterday?” I feigned ignorance as I responded.
“No… it’s a procedure, to abort the child.” Zhao Yi Xuan said with difficulty as he moved his eyes away from my face, almost as if he didn’t want to meet my eyes.
“An abortion? I heard it hurts a lot.” I pretended to be alarmed as I spoke, “I read some news about the abortion procedure in the newspaper. I heard that they use a machine that looks like a soup spoon to stick inside the uterus to grab the embryo and grind it into mush. Then they’d let it flow out. Alternatively, they could use a large pair of pliers and scrape around a bit inside the womb before pulling the little embryo out. If they don’t judge the depth correctly, it can make you permanently infertile, and if it’s severe you can lose a lot of blood…”
As they heard my words, the expressions on their faces turned even more ugly. It seemed like this frightening scene was playing before their eyes.
Seeing their ashen faces, I felt slightly pleased from making my little revenge. They had locked me up for nine months, so a trivial retaliation like this was letting them off easy. In the future, I’d have more for them.
“There won’t be any complications,” Zhao Yi Bo said stiffly. “Doctor Liu is a respected specialist. He’s very experienced, and there won’t be any mishaps.” I didn’t know whether he was trying to comfort me or himself.
“There’s no procedure that can guarantee 100% safety. What if I’m stuck in the hospital forever? My parents…” I started to weep.
“…” They silently stood in the living room, but they didn’t continue to press the topic of going with them to the hospital.
“You should rest more.”
In the end, they left those words and fled the scene in disarray.
Seeing the sorry silhouette of their backs, I burst out laughing. I laughed so hard that tears appeared in the corners of my eyes.
“Miss, you’re so smart. This is my first time seeing the young masters looking so depressed.” Mama Yu chuckled as she watched the twins’ flustered retreat. “So it sounds like you plan to keep the child?”
“Yes. I’m not exactly young anymore, and if I don’t give birth now, I might not be able to have another one.” I smiled amiably all in good fun.
“So you’ve forgiven the young masters…?” Mama Yu cautiously looked at me, seemingly not wanting to bring up the events from the past that had brought so much suffering.
“Forgiven them? No way in hell! I’ve always been tormented by them, and if I don’t get paid back in full, I refuse to accept.” I expressed my grudge childishly.
Mama Yu chuckled as she looked at me. It seems like she took my words as a joke, and she walked into the kitchen to clean up the dishes.
After being frightened by me, Zhao Yi Bo and Zhao Yi Xuan didn’t mention the topic of abortion for a long time. They started flipping through medical textbooks on the topic of pregnancy. If you didn’t know any better, you might have thought that the Zhao clan was going to change their business model, and the twins were going to switch their careers to become doctors.
Around four months later, they once again arranged an appointment for me with the doctors.
The hell? Were they so desperate to become murderers? I protested angrily on the inside.
“I heard that around four months, the child is roughly fully developed. At this time, an abortion is dangerous, and it is easy to get an infection or have hemorrhagic bleeding. The child is big enough for you to see its limbs and body features, so any disfigurations are…”
Their faces turned white, and their throats choked up, as if they were about to throw up.
Serves them right! Seeing their ugly expressions, I took joy in their suffering.
After hearing this terrifying description, they didn’t have the courage to bring up abortion ever again. However, as my delivery date drew closer, they became absolutely fretful and anxious, but I didn’t have the energy to comfort them. My pregnancy made me tired all the time, and I spent my most of time resting in bed. I also didn’t want to comfort them. Even though I was willing to give them one more chance and start completely over with them, the main reason for this was that there was another life inside of me. I didn’t have the stomach capacity to truly forget everything that they had done to me.
Even though the meaning of life was in the future and not in the past, the past was still something that couldn’t be erased.
Very quickly, my delivery date arrived, and I went through a day and a night of painful labor. A beautiful white and chubby nine-pound boy was born into this world.
Even though I had been in a relationship with two men at the same time, and I knew that logically speaking there was only one true father to the child, I didn’t want to investigate whether Zhao Yi Bo or Zhao Yi Xuan was my son’s real father. I just wanted to hold what was precious to me right now in my hands.
Zhao Yi Bo and Zhao Yi Xuan had waited outside of the delivery room for a day and a night, and their beaten and exhausted looks were even worse than me who had gone through childbirth. I couldn’t help but wonder whether I had given birth or if they had given birth.
Because the fathers of my baby were famous celebrities, the birth of their son received a lot of media attention. All the major public figures in the business world sent flowers to express their congratulations, and not long afterward, I received a gift that Yan Shui Lin personally sent.
“Qing Xia, I wish you all the happiness in the world.” Although she was trying her best to maintain her composure, I could tell that she looked lonely deep inside.
“Shui Lin… I’m sorry…” I didn’t know what I could say to comfort her, so I only apologized.
“Not at all, as long as you’re happy, it’s good.” She smiled and then knelt down to play with my baby. “He’s adorable.”
“Shui Lin, they didn’t trouble you too much afterward, did they?” I asked with worry.
“They gave an ultimatum to my father. Either I get transferred out of the country to a subsidiary branch, or they’ll wage a full out war. This was why I was sent out of Taiwan.” She smiled without seeming too bothered. “They were already very lenient, because otherwise Jue Shi Shipping wouldn’t exist today. I’m very grateful.”
“…” So it was all my fault. When I get a chance, I absolutely must settle this debt with the twins.
“On the other hand, my eldest brother returned home, and this is all thanks to them. If they hadn’t threatened my brother, who knows how long he would have stayed buried in some tiny village in the middle of nowhere.” She brought up Yan Bo Nian with a bright smile.
“Is your eldest brother doing well?” I asked with concern. Even though I didn’t have too strong of a connection with him, he had accepted me at the time when I was most in despair.
“Fairly well. Wounds of the heart always take a long time to heal, but at least he has returned home.” She said this, but somehow it felt like her words were referring to herself as well.
“What about you? Is this the outcome you wanted? Are you happy right now?” She redirected the topic to me, and she stared at me in complete seriousness.
Happiness? What kind of life was a happy one? I didn’t know, and I didn’t think she would be able to give me an exact answer either.
I saw two men carrying a tonic and fruit as they briskly walked towards me. They had a look of displeasure as they glared at Yan Shui Lin who was sitting beside my bed. I thought to myself, at least right now, I was happy.
“I’m very happy.” I responded to her with a smile.
Unhappy people each have their own reasons for being unhappy, and happy people each have their own reasons for being happy. There is no secret formula to happiness.
“Broken-Winged Angel” The End.
TL: Thank you for reading BWA. I know the ending is quite disappointing, and in fact I was actually upset and really wanted to rant when I first finished reading this novel. Forgive me for roping all of you in with me. ｍ（｡≧ _ ≦｡）ｍ
Before we move onto the epilogue, I just wanted to put a very important public service announcement that if you ever find yourself in a position of domestic abuse or are wondering if you (or a loved one) may be experiencing abuse, there are many ways you can reach out for help. If you live in the United States, I recommend the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Many states that have their own local and culturally-specific programs as well.