ZhouXiang laid on the ground for fully 20 minutes. After confirming that YanMingXiu was really in deep slumber, he gently pushed YanMingXiu’s hand away from his waist and moved his body away from YanMingXiu's embrace.
ZhouXiang rubbed his face. His head hurt a bit. He really wanted to flop down and sleep for a long time.
Seeing that YanMingXiu is still laying on the ground, ZhouXiang pulled himself up, poured himself a glass of water and took a deep breath. Then he squatted down and dragged YanMingXiu up. He had intended to get YanMingXiu into the bedroom but looking around the apartment, the room that looked like a bedroom is a long distance away from him. He really didn’t have the strength to drag YanMingXiu that far away. So he just pulled YanMingXiu onto the sofa. It was such a short distance but he was so exhausted that his head sweated bullets.
If he didn’t drink liquor, he could still carry YanMingXiu on his back. But unfortunately after drinking, his legs are a bit feeble. It was already good that he could stabilize his footsteps. To be able to move a person that is 184 lbs. would be too strenuous.
After getting YanMingXiu on the sofa, he saw that there was blanket drying outside the balcony so he grabbed it and draped it over YanMingXiu.
ZhouXiang glanced at his watch. It was already 4am. If he didn't go now, the sky will be bright soon.
Although he decided to take this risk during the day, his heart kept drumming. Many bad thoughts flowed through his mind, making him feel that it would be wrong for him to go, yet also wrong for him not to go. But after having few glasses of liquor in his stomach, he's become much bolder. With time ticking by, he stood up and left without hesitation.
He took a taxi back to the neighborhood of his former home. It was just 5am; the sky was already getting brighter. The morning cleaning workers under the street lights are doing their best to clean the streets.
ZhouXiang asked the driver to park the car at the back door of the neighborhood. He remembered the surveillance camera CaiWei mentioned last time so he tried to be even more cautious. This back door is in an area that is very remote. It is the door that the cleaners often use when they pick up garbage. ZhouXiang coming in from here, basically no one will see him.
He entered his building and walked up cautiously.
The corridor is especially quiet. This is the time when people are deeply asleep so it's relatively a safer time.
ZhouXiang was really able to get the spare key out from the fire hydrant box. It seems that they did not suspect that the “thief” had actually used the spare key. LanXiRong also put the key back. After all, if he didn’t know the location of the key himself, who would have thought of it? With the key, ZhouXiang’s heart is a lot more settled than before. It seems like god have given him an escape route.
He carefully opened the door and bolted into the condo.
The living room looked just like it did when he made his hasty escape, even the soil that he threw at LanXiRong's face was scattered on the ground.
ZhouXiang took a deep breath and quickly walked into the bedroom. He purposely ransacked the cabinet and bedside table and then go into the study to open up all the drawers to create the illusion of it being rummaged through.
The only room he really didn't touch is the living room. According to what he overheard that day, the three of them decided to only stay in the living room in order to preserve the crime scene. So how the living room looked, they would remember.
Fortunately, there is nothing valuable in the home. Otherwise, the average person's first reaction upon realizing that he had been burglarized would be to check and see what is lost. Adding on, YanMingXiu and the others were able to remain calm and to the largest extent able to preserve the scene.
ZhouXiang spent less than 10 minutes from the time he entered the condo till the time he left. He also knew that he might have left a loophole. After all, he's not a real thief or a criminal investigator. But he was able to accomplish the easiest thing he can think of to hinder the solving of the case. He believes that creating this chaos will definitely work.
After doing all this, ZhouXiang quickly left. Just halfway down the stairs, his cell phone suddenly rang, scaring him out of his wits.
ZhouXiang didn't look and quickly hung up. The ringing sound was not too ear-piercing in the quiet corridor.
He didn't dare to stop running till the moment he got out of the neighborhood. It wasn't until he got to where he thought was safe that he took out his cell phone. ChenYing had called him.
ZhouXiang called back.
“ZhouXiang ah, you're still not back yet?” ChenYing obviously had just awakened, her voiced sounded a bit unclear.
“Yeah, I just finished drinking with my colleagues. I'm coming home now. Mom, could you not sleep (because he wasn't home)? Don’t wait for me.”
“I fell asleep. I saw that you haven't returned when I got up to use the bathroom. I'm not worried. It's fine as long as you're coming back. Don't be out so late in the future. You'll be very tired," ChenYing yawned.
ZhouXiang hung up. At this time, the day was already getting brighter. ZhouXiang got on the earliest bus to rush home.
After returning home, he was too lazy to wash his face. He simply fell asleep on the single bed in the living room.
When he woke up the next day, it was already at noon.
He opened his eyes and look at the clock. He first felt that he was late for work and wanted to get up quickly. But then he remembered that he had already requested the day off from CaiWei because he is was going to go get ChenYing’s exam results.
That is today.
ZhouXiang's heart started trembling.
"ZhouXiang? Are you awake?" ChenYing softly asked on the side.
ZhouXiang sat up and flung his head, “Mom, why didn't you wake me up.”
“Tell you to do what? You got back so late yesterday." ChenYing gave him a towel, “Go wash your face first then come eat."
ZhouXiang simple took a shower because his body reeked of alcohol. The smell was really bad. Although this cheap small apartment is very dilapidated, ChenYing is a woman who loves to be clean. The apartment inside is very organized and very clean. There is not an area that is dirty. ZhouXiang, standing in the apartment felt that he's in conflict with the fresh air in the apartment.
After he cleaned himself up, ChenYing had already changed into a particularly neat and decent outfit, sitting on the sofa, quietly staring at the second-hand TV that ZhouXiang bought, even though it wasn't turned on.
“Mom,” ZhouXiang called softly.
ChenYing turned around and smile, “Eat first. After you eat, we can go to the hospital.”
ZhouXiang came over and crouched down in front of her, holding her hand, “Mom, don’t go, I'll go by myself.”
“I will go with you, my own illness. I need to know more than anyone else.”
ZhouXiang still wanted to persuade her but ChenYing raised her hand and stroked his wet hair. “Don’t persuade me. Ah Xiang, your mother is much stronger than you think. Even if the doctor says that I have cancer, I'm also not afraid. Seeing that you had awakened before I die and also have such a good job, I am at ease to go accompany your dad knowing that you'll be able to live on well.”
ZhouXiang’s lips trembled; the rim of his eyes a little red.
ChenYing patted him, “Hurry up and go eat."
ZhouXiang reluctantly suppressed his emotions and casually raked through his hair. He went to eat the particularly rich breakfast ChenYing made. Afterwards, he went to change into his clothes and then the both of them headed out the door.
This time ZhouXiang wanted to take a taxi and ChenYing didn’t stop him. ZhouXiang can’t stand ChenYing’s depressing mood of seeming to accept her death. He tried desperately to cheer her up. She did smile but it was with reluctance.
The two waited in line at the hospital for two hours. Finally, it was their turn. They walked into the same doctor’s office from last time and closed the door. The room was quiet. The doctor glanced at them and pointed at the chairs in front of them, “Sit.”
The two sat down.
The doctor informed them of the results using many medical terminologies. ZhouXiang completely didn't understand. In fact, it wasn’t just him. Even ChenYing who seems to be carefully listening, her head was buzzing and her eyes blurred.
But they did not miss the last term, “uremia(T/N).”
T/N: Uremia is the condition of having high levels of urea the blood. Treatment is to perform dialysis or a renal transplant. Classical signs of uremia are: progressive weakness and easy fatigue, loss of appetite due to nausea and vomiting, muscle atrophy, tremors, abnormal mental function, frequent shallow respiration and metablic acidosis. Without intervention via dialysis or kidney transplant, uremia due to renal failure will progress and cause stupor, coma and death. Because uremia is mostly a consequence of kidney failure, its signs and symptoms often occur concomitantly with other signs and symptoms of kidney failure.
The doctor looked at the mother and son solemnly. “You can go to a bigger hospital for a second opinion. But uremia is not difficult to diagnose. We can certainly diagnose it here. In fact, you should be thankful because uremia is not a terminal disease. As long as the patient keeps up with the dialysis treatments, she can definitely prolong her life. "
ZhouXiang led ChenYing out of the doctor’s office. In the bleak hospital corridor, there are various types of doctors and patients moving about. They may all have unspeakable pains. Everyone’s expressions look very somber. The usual look of despair on this ordinary mother and son didn't attract the attention of others.
ChenYing murmured, “Why does it have to be this disease? Why this?” She had taken care of ZhouXiang in the hospital for two years and had seen all kinds of illnesses. For a family in poverty, the financial pressure of uremia is impossible to endure.
The doctor said that her condition is more serious and suggest that she do dialysis twice a week. Each time, the fee is ¥400. In one month, the expense would be more than ¥3,000. Moreover, uremic patients can't perform any heavy physical labor. She basically lost the capability to work. ZhouXiang had just started working, how could he support the both of them, at the same time treat her?!
ZhouXiang looked at the mottled walls of the hospital. He wanted to say something but it is lodged in his throat.
Is this considered fortunate or unfortunate? At least as long as treatment is adhered to, there are many people with uremia who can live for a decade or two. ChenYing is already 60 this year. For a person to be able to live to 70 or 80 years old, her life is already considered to be fulfilled. However, where can he get the money?
¥800 is needed a week, this does not include the cost of other medicines and nutrient products. He can only earn six or seven thousand on average every month, and he still have to pay for the rent, meals, transportation, and etc. They still owe more than ¥300,000 debts. Adding on, if they can find a kidney donor for the kidney transplant, that would be an additional ¥100,000 of expenses. Where can he get the money?
If he was the former ZhouXiang, he would resolutely sell his condo and get more than two million to overcome this hardship. But what does he have now? He has nothing, only a sickly mother who desperately needs money for care.
ZhouXiang had never felt so desperate.
ChenYing's subtle voice sounded as if it wasn't from her body. She said, "I'm not going to do the treatment."
ZhouXiang looked up, “Mom…”
ChenYing shook her head tiredly. As if she had gotten over and accepted the situation, “I can’t burden you. This disease is a bottomless pit. We can't afford to treat it. You're still young and not yet married. I'm not going to do the treatment…….” ChenYing kept shaking her head, her tears streaming down her face.
ZhouXiang took a deep breath and somberly responded, “Mom, you must get treated. If not for any particular reason but for the mere reason that you can’t leave me alone. Our lives had been average but at least we are still here. If the person is gone, even if life is good, what use is there? Mom, you must get treated. You can't do this to me." ZhouXiang refused to believe that he is destined to not have a mother in this life. His real mom died when he was very young. Having been born again, he actually got a mom. But now this mom is facing impending death, he can't accept it. He definitely can't accept this. His real mom died from an accident, this he is helpless from preventing. But with ChenYing, at least there is hope to save her. The only problem is with money… nothing but money.
ChenYing just shook her head with tears continually falling. Her eyes full of despair. She really wanted to die than to be alive and burden her son.
ZhouXiang would not allow her to refuse. He did all the procedures for her first dialysis.
When ChenYing was getting treated, ZhouXiang asked if she had any medical insurance or similar that could be used.
ChenYing shook her head hopelessly. After her husband died, she collapsed emotionally and couldn't work so she retired early. Later, ZhouXiang was also hospitalized. Her medical insurance been depleted at some unknown time. Whether it can be used now, she's not even sure herself.
ZhouXiang racked his brains to think of ways to make money, but there is nothing.
He even wanted to confess his identity to CaiWei. However, uremia is a disease that needed treatment indefinitely. It can't be dealt with just tens of thousands of yuan but is a multi-million expense. Once he opened this mouth to CaiWei, CaiWei cares very much for their comradeship and still felt guilt toward him (his death), he can certainly lend him money. But he definitely can't pay it back. CaiWei has a wife and children to support, and a father who had a stroke. The pressure on his shoulders is not much lesser than him. How can he open this mouth to ask CaiWei? He didn't confess earlier or later, but did so when he needed money? Using CaiWei's guilt and comradeship to force him, this kind of thing, he really can't do it. Besides, CaiWei may not be able to understand. ChenYing is not his real mother after all. He pondered over this again and again, but still felt that he shouldn't get CaiWei involved. He didn’t want CaiWei to hate him.
So, who else can help him?
LanXiRong? One or two million, maybe is not much for him…
No… no way. LanXiRong had been very sad over his death. How could he tell him the truth when he needed his money? Besides, he and LanXiRong are not close to this extent. What qualifications does he have to use LanXiRong?
Besides, the most important thing is that he knew that he won't be able to pay the money back. No matter how successful LanXiRong is, the money didn't just blow from the wind. At that time, what does he have to compensate for LanXiRong?
ChenYing’s dialysis took and entire five hours. ZhouXiang stayed next to her, not leaving her side, but he didn't lift his head.
At this time… who can really help him…..?
End of the chapter