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My Lover Will Never Return
by Gen Wang

To be more exact, it was I that had driven her off. At that time she was studying in Junior Two, while I was a Senior Three. Though we did not live in the same village, I had to walk by her gate on my way home. We didn’t get to know each other until one day she stopped me and handed to me some test papers. She seemed to have kept them in her hand for a very long time. I was sure that she had borrowed them from others, and she must have tried her best, otherwise she couldn’t have succeeded. However, I failed the exams. So every day I didn’t do anything except stay inside. I didn’t dare see any old friends or any relatives. It was then that she flew into my heart.

One evening after supper, I felt rather lonely but I had no way out. Suddenly an idea came into my mind. Why not climb up the tree at the back of our yard to see the faraway scenery? As soon as I was up the tree, she came into my sight. She stood on a low hill not far from our house, with a basket in front of her, lost in thought. Occasionally, she looked up to my house. I got excited. Never had I felt so happy in my life! So I jumped off the tree and stole out of the house towards her. When she found me, she looked even more excited than me. At first neither of us spoke. All we could do was look each other up and down as if we hadn’t seen each other for ages. She made her way towards me. “Why don’t you approach her?” said I to myself. When we came close, both of us stopped, but still there was silence.

“Why don’t you come out?” she started to say, looking a bit shy.

“I would not like to see you.” said I, sighing deeply.

“Be a man!” she said, stepping much closer to me. “I know that you are depressed, but, since you have done your best, it was not your fault. Sometimes hard work doesn’t bring success.”

I felt a little relaxed and for some unknown reason we started our trip along the path up the hill. Night fell but we didn’t feel afraid. Suddenly there came a strange sound and she threw herself into my arms. I could hear that she was holding her breath. It was all because of the sound.

“Don’t be frightened. I am here with you.”

She didn’t say any word. Instead, she placed her face on my chest. I felt a bit astonished but I embraced her tightly. We were like that for almost five minutes. Then she began to talk.

“It is late now. I think we had better go back. And when I left, I didn’t tell my mother.” So we made our way back. I offered to see her home and she didn’t refuse. Soon we came to her house. She said nothing, but smiled to me before she entered.

I turned to go back home. The moon seemed to walk with me. That night I thought a lot.

Since then, every evening after the sun had hidden itself behind the hills, she used to come to the fields near my village with a basket as if to find some wild vegetables for the next day’s food. Nothing else happened until one evening we returned after our pleasant chat. She told me that she had decided to stop school because her mother couldn’t do all the farm work alone. Besides, her two younger sisters had reached school age. I thought she was right to do this, and I told her about my secret that I had decided not to have any further education. At the beginning, she looked a little surprised and then she began to smile. I also told her that my uncle had found a part-time job for me in a big city and that I was leaving tomorrow. Suddenly, her smile died and she looked far away. The evening sun shone on her face and I could see tears streaming down her face. In a few seconds, she became as happy as before.

“Why didn’t you tell me earlier?” she talked to me.

“I had thought this would come to you as a surprise.” I smiled.

“It was too big a surprise to me.” She pretended to be rather angry.

“Don’t get angry with me.” I begged.

She didn’t say anything, but stood there for a moment. Then she moved towards me. In a flash she fell onto me. I had no choice but to hold her with both my arms. It was such a strong fall that both of us fell down on the ground. When I tried to get up, she stopped me.

“Shh.” She wanted me to listen to the frogs singing in the field. Oh, how happily they sang! I had never listened to them singing before. It was not that I didn’t like to, but that I had no time to go there. As you know, every day I had so much homework to do and I couldn’t spare a minute to visit the beautiful places. How tired I was! Now I never felt any tiredness though she laid on me. To tell you the truth, it was just what I liked to do best. I looked into the sky; the little stars twinkled again and again. Perhaps, they might not understand us. Or they were wondering why this had happened, for in their world this never happened. When I moved my eyes, I found that she had fixed her eyes on my face. I didn’t know which part she was watching. Maybe my face was a book and she was trying to read it in the moonlight. Or I was a dictionary and she was trying to look up a new word which she couldn’t understand. I didn’t know, sorry, I really didn’t know. I had to keep my eyes closed and tried to find an answer to this question. Not until she put her lips onto mine did I realize that she was still lying on me. It all happened in silence and it all happened naturally. And a small breeze began to blow. We felt a little cold. It was early autumn but we felt a bit cold. At this time of year, the villagers usually wore their warm clothes, but we were both dressed in our summer shirts. We had to return. On the way back no words were spoken, but we were shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand.