Memory Lost (美人为馅): Chapter 4 9


Chapter 4: First Dream

Zhou Xiao Zhuan finds Si Si in a small alley.

In a curvy alleyway in an old city, there’s an easy to miss little store piled with many groceries and snacks.  Si Si is wearing a simple t-shirt and jeans, without any makeup, and sitting by the cash register.  If you don’t look carefully, you wouldn’t be able to recognize her as the enchanting woman at night.

This is a rather surprise to Zhou Xiao Zhuan.

There are quite a few nightclub mistresses who have a secondary job, but most of them are in sales, models for auto shows, or are still university students.  He has never seen one who opens a small store to make a living.

What’s more surprising is that Si Si doesn’t seem to be that old, but she actually has a son; a two to three year old strong boy, who keeps hugging her and calling her mommy.  And every time she lifts the little boy up, her facial expression is extremely gentle, “Dou Dou, be good!  Dou Dou, do you want to eat some fruits?”

Everyone has their own stories and secrets.  The same goes for Si Si.

“Pretty girl, a pack of cigarettes please,” says a man in blue coverall standing at the entrance.

“Okay!”  Si Si puts her son down and bends down to fetch a pack of Baisha cigarettes.  When she lifts her head, she spots Zhou Xiao Zhuan nearby.

Zhou Xiao Zhuan immediately smiles at her.

Si Si’s mouth twitches.

_____

Si Si coaxes the child to sleep.  She then turns around with her hands on her hips and stares at Zhou Xiao Zhaun enduring her patience, “Mr. Policeman, how many times do I have to tell you for you to believe me?…..We were really only drinking tea and having a chat that day.  We didn’t do anything unlawful!”

Zhou Xiao Zhuan obviously doesn’t believe her, but it’s too difficult for him to press further.  Furthermore, after seeing her child, he hesitates to make things hard for her.  Therefore, he shifts his gaze left and right, and decides to use the roundabout method that Bai Jin Xi often teaches him.

“Um……Si Si, this store you have is not bad.  But are you able to manage taking care of the kid yourself?” He starts chatting about her everyday life.

Si Si responds impassively while tidying up a shelf, “It’s alright.”

“I’ll introduce more customers to your place,” Zhou Xiao Zhuan says sincerely.

Si Si pauses, turns to look at him, and then continues to tidy up the shelf.

This is a perfect example of two people who have nothing to say to each other.  And then it’s mainly Zhou Xiao Zhuan talking to himself with Si Si answering him only once or twice.

When it comes to that man, she always says that she doesn’t know.

In the end, when he is about to leave, Si Si suddenly calls him and says, “This morning, ‘he’ called me and said that if the police comes looking for me, then I should relay his message to that police beauty.  But this has nothing to do with me.  I’m only relaying his words.”

……

Zhou Xiao Zhuan repeats “his” exact words to Bai Jin Xi, causing her to be in rage.  She squeezes her phone standing in the small room beside the lab, not knowing what to say.

Zhou Xiao Zhaun on the other hand, tries to probe, “Hey Leader, what exactly happened last night?  How did you dislocate your shoulder?  How come you haven’t told me?”

“I’ll tell you when I come back!”  She disconnects the call directly.

When she turns around, her eyes meet Xu Si Bai’s pure gaze full of inquiry.

Bai Jin Xi puts the phone back in her pocket with a straight face, “Something came up at the station.  I need to go now.”

Xu Si Bai nods.

Bai Jin Xi is clearly annoyed, so she cannot concentrate on the autopsy anymore.  She thumps her way down the stairs, hops onto a bus, and leaves.

The setting sun shines through the gaps of the curtains, seeping into the cold room.  Xu Si Bai’s mood is not affected by Bai Jin Xi leaving midway; he continues with his autopsy report.

Assistant Xiao Yao pauses for a minute but can’t help to say, “Teacher Xu, you’re not giving Jin Xi Jie a ride back?”

Xu Si Bai’s hand holding the scalpel freezes for a second, and then continues cutting through.  He answers calmly, “She doesn’t need someone to.”

Xiao Yao says, “But……Teacher, since you’re analyzing in the lab all day so you haven’t noticed this.  The ratio of men versus women is very unbalanced in the police force, especially in the criminal investigation department.  Everyone is razor sharp and vicious like a wolf.  It’s amazing how she and you are such good friends……”

Xu Si Bai turns around and glances at her, “What are you trying to say?”

Xiao Yao, “……How come you’re not her boyfriend?”

Xu Si Bai is stunned for a second, and then smiles.  His voice is as calm and gentle as sunset, “She and I, are fine, just the way we are now.”

“But!” Xiao Yao says with an exasperated expression, “If you like her, you should find the courage in yourself and pursue her!”

Xu Si Bai smiles again as usual, and then lowers his head and continues to examine the body in front of him.

______

The night arrives.

The temperature decreases in Jiangcheng tonight.  The cool night breeze makes others feel refreshing.

But Bai Jin Xi is twisting and turning in bed, unable to sleep.

If someone continues to be nosy, she can forget about relocating her shoulder after it is dislocated.

She can almost imagine the way the man in the dark said these words with his heartless attitude.

She will ask the district chief about this tomorrow.  He is clearly bullying her, so there’s no way she’ll let this slide!

After letting out her rage, she stares at the old greyish white worn out ceiling.  Just as she is about to doze off, she suddenly remembers the day that she woke up in the hospital four years ago.  An unfamiliar doctor and an unfamiliar nurse tell her regrettably, “Bai Jin Xi, your parents have passed away in this fire incident.  Due to a prolonged period of time without oxygen, your brain has been affected.  You may not be able to recover your memory.”

Everyone has an uncultivated place in their hearts.  But as a twenty-one year old that year, everything became uncultivated for her.  She had to start over.  What did mom look like?  What did dad look like?  She didn’t know, and couldn’t remember.  When catastrophe strikes and ruins everything, only those who are impacted would know the feeling of helplessness and emptiness.

She closes her eyes, and sleeps.

She has always had dreamless nights.

______

The sound of water.

The sound of pounding rain can be heard from the deepest of the forest.

She brushes the thorns and bushes away and takes one step at a time, getting closer and closer to the source of the sound.

It’s a waterfall; an incredibly tall waterfall.  The white-colored stripe of falling water looks just like a river running downwards.

A person is sitting under the fall.

“Who are you?” she asks curiously.

The man is wearing a dark blue t-shirt and long black pants.  Both of his hands are on his knees.

The water is pouring down, but he doesn’t budge.

“Who are you?” Bai Jin Xi asks again.

He lifts his head slowly, and looks at her.

Bai Jin Xi stares back at him blankly.

Those are a pair of dark, dark brown eyes, as if there’s no end to them.

Slowly, tears begin falling from his eyes.

Bai Jin Xi looks at him blankly.  An unexplainable feeling of grief suddenly pinches her heart.

As if it’s uncontrollable.  She chokes with tears all over her face.

At this moment, the man suddenly raises his head slowly and looks behind her.

She turns around to see where he’s looking.

Another man; a man wearing a white hoodie and long white pants is holding an axe, fiercely swinging it towards a person on the ground time after time.  The person’s head instantly bursts, making a puddle of blood.

And then the killer turns towards another person.

“What are you doing?!  Stop!” Bai Jin Xi shouts.

The killer pauses, slowly stands up, and turns his head to her.

He’s covered with blood, his gaze like a hawk.

In the next second, he has already gotten in front of her, staring down at her, and raising his axe.  Bai Jin Xi struggles with all her might, but he keeps her still by holding on her arms and legs.  She can’t move at all.

His cold and eerie face makes it look like the Grim Reaper has come.  The sharp axe is dripping blood in his hand.  The corner of his mouth curves up slightly, revealing a smirk.  He suddenly lowers his head and kisses her deeply; their lips and tongues intertwining, making her breathless.

……

Bai Jin Xi wakes up opening her eyes wide.

The greyish white ceiling is still before her eyes, and the light of dawn can be seen through the window.  In the spacious home, only she is quietly lying on the bed like a dead body with her face full of tears and her back covered with sweat.  On top of the night stand, her cell phone’s screen lights up and rings non-stop.

Shit!  What kind of dream was that?!

Bai Jin Xi sits up immediately, wipes away the tears with her hand, and grabs the phone, “Hello?”

Zhou Xiao Zhuan’s voice comes on crisp and clear in a hurried and serious manner, “Leader!  There’s a sexual assault case last night at number 10 Daoli Lane!”


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