It turns out…
My mother could suddenly speak, she stroked my hair and said: “Is it exhausting?”
I laughed: “What is exhausting? You wouldn’t even know how happily I live every day.”
“Fei Fei, you’ve gotten skinnier.”
“That is what happened when I went to the gym to exercise.” I stood up, “I want to to learn how to skate now.”
Whatever I thought of came. Underneath my foot was a skateboard. I stepped up to give my mother a show, when suddenly I felt a small wind beside me, Zu Zu Ferlande skated by me. His appearance was so beautiful and behind him was a small dog at a flying pace.
I said: “Zu Zu, slow down, wait for me.”
When I said this, I was about to catch up, but Zu Zu didn’t turn around. I was in a hurry, anxious to chase him, when my movements suddenly changed and I fell to the floor in an instant. I was so hurt that I began to grimace in pain and finally yelled.
This pain made me break free of my dreams. I opened my eyes, snow white on all sides of me. A person’s face, kind, asked me: “Miss, what is your name?”
It turned out God was a French person. The good part was that I had learned this language.
“Am I in heaven?”
“Sheng Xin Hospital of Paris.”
“Your body has a lot of wounds, but don’t worry, they are all light injuries.”
“I want to go out and walk around.”
“You still need a few days.”
“Thank you, I am a Chinese exchange student, Qiao Fei, at the moment I am in Paul Valery University.”
“Very good. This is what we need to know.” The doctor smiled to me, “Your body’s condition is very good.”
I lay on the bed, my body hurt. But I felt very clear. I was encased in bandages. I wanted to take a picture of my current self and take a look at it later. It would definitely be very fun.
“What happened? Doctor.”
The person that kept talking was a kind-hearted, middle aged person. He pondered for a second: “The Lyon Station exploded, you are wounded.”
My heart sank little by little: “I want to ask you, there was a gendarmerie. At the time he was by my side, where is he now?”
“Are you talking about Mr. Zu Zu Ferlande?”
“At the time, Mr. Ferlande, to protect you and the civilians, he rushed towards the criminals. We tried our best, but we are very sorry.”
At this time, my heart was absolutely quiet.
Many of my confusions from childhood were answered.
It turned out that after someone passed away, he really would have a soul. I had just dreamed of Zu Zu. He had come to say good bye to me.
He was so shy, and didn’t like to talk. When I called him, he didn’t reply, leaving just like that.
He was still a child, who was mad at me, but only gave me a view of his back.
Zu Zu, I offended you, to such a frank and straightforward you, my waywardness and coldness offended you.
I didn’t have time to apologize.
Yes, Zu Zu, you were mad at me, or else you would definitely have brought me with you.
The doctor said: “Miss, please rest well.”
“Sir,” I slowly called that unfamiliar doctor, “Do you know? Gendamerie Ferlande was only 18 years old, he applied to go to Côte d’Ivoire.”
“Miss, here, he ended up on duty for Paris.” The doctor said.
I didn’t know if it was my physical pain or my emotional pain, but I kept sleeping. Sometimes I would be awake, and want to count sheep, and continue to sleep. I felt feeling, Zu Zu, his heart was so good. He would give me another chance, he would keep coming to see me.
When I was awake, I found that the bandages on my body lessened. The doctor came to see me and told me I had recovered very quickly. And there some people who came to see me. A Chinese, the embassy education department teacher knew of my condition, and came to express his condolences. He told me, “Exchange students also affect the hearts of the motherland and the government.” They asked about my life and my condition. They asked me if I had any requests. I said: “Please don’t let my parents know about this matter.”
After a long time, I could walk, but my hands were still bandaged. The doctor said, that place had suffered a serious injury, and I had to take care of it carefully, otherwise my activity would be impeded. I often went to the garden to take a walk. The time passed quickly, it was the beginning of summer. Paris also had an incomparable southern sun. Sometimes I would sit in the long chair in the garden for the whole afternoon. My heart thought of and missed Zu Zu all the time.
Someone came to see me. It was Aulde.
University had already taken a break. My paper’s due date was postponed. Aulde came to Paris. She had already helped me complete the remaining formalities at school, and returned the house rent. She had also helped me organize my luggage, which was registered in the Chinese Federation Office.
She was so thoughtful, and I didn’t know how to thank her. What I owed them, the two siblings, I did not know if I could repay it in this lifetime.
Aulde gave me a cigarette, and lighted her own cigarette. We sat in the garden.
“When Zu Zu passed away, I told myself, I would never come to see you again.” She spat out a smoke ring, “My beloved little brother.
But, later, I thought, if he was here, Zu Zu would definitely do this for you.”
“Zu Zu is buried under the French flag and with his comrades, Fu Ling. He was buried in the National Heroes Cemetery of Paris. Are you willing to go see him?” Aulde said, as she continued to smoke.
“Can I? Aulde.” I asked.
She looked at me. After a long time, she reached out her hand to hug me: “You must know, Fei, this is not your fault. God brought him away, definitely because there are other errands he must run.”
I went to go see Zu Zu myself. At the Heroes Cemetery in a corner, I found him. His tombstone was plane, his epitaph had but a few words, and was very simple: Zu Zu Ferlande, young gendarmerie, Blue Helmets Corporal, for Paris, he stayed here.
There were some flowers next to the tomb. I didn’t know who had come to see him before. I placed my white lilies with those flowers, my face very closet to his tombstone. The chilled quartzite gave off a cold atmosphere. I kissed his name on it and said: “Zu Zu, are you cold?”
“Zu Zu, this time, I’ll hug you, all right?”
As I said this, I glued my body onto his tomb. So cold, Zu Zu, this time let me give you some warmth.
By my side, someone walked over. I looked up. It was actually the old woman from the train. I looked at her. She looked at me.
“What happened to you?” She asked.
“My friend passed away.”
“Then what happened?”
“Look at all the people here. They are all so happy over there, do you believe it?”
“I don’t believe it. That side is cold. My friends are all southerners. He would not be comfortable.”
“How did you know? Did you go there before?
That side is really good. Not like the way you think it is.”
“How did you know? Did you go there before?”
“Then bring me.”
She looked at me contemptuously: “Hmph.
Let me tell you, they only went to another place. Just like my Francois.
Do you understand? For them, everything has yet to finish; everything has just begun.”
The old woman was a gorgeous weirdo, crazy.
But I had heard her last words through my ears. Everything had yet to finish, everything has just begun.
I was willing to believe it.
For safety reasons, the doctor only took off the bandages on my hands when I was discharged from the hospital. I looked at my palm for a long time. It had a healing jagged red scar on it, embedded in my already messy hand pattern.
My hand suddenly had an entangled curve.
I laughed. The good hearted Zu Zu had never left me. He would forever stay in my life like this.
When I was going out of the hospital, something else happened.
The emergency truck came in, the stretcher brought the patient in, bloody. When they were handing over the patient, the doctor said, it was a car accident.
I stopped in my tracks, I heard the patient use Chinese to say: “Save me quickly.”