August 03, Wednesday – Sky City
"August is supposed to be summer. I wonder why it rained," Lily said while watching the thick, black clouds swirling all over Hong Kong. The rain started around three in the morning. Three hours had passed and it seemed like the rain would not stop anytime soon.
The grey sky rumbled followed by a loud boom of thunder. Lily continued watching the large splatters of raindrops on the floor to ceiling window of their room. It was like an endless waterfall, cascading over the earth from the heavens.
"You hate the rain." It was Zhuo Jingren. He was holding two cups of coffee with a gentle smile on his face.
"Brings back old memories," Lily answered as she accepted the coffee from Zhuo Jingren. She looked at the swirling hues of brown inside the cup before she looked at Zhuo Jingren. As expected, he was already staring at her. "It was raining that night," she said, her gaze returning to the splatters of rain.
Lily heard Zhuo Jingren let out a sigh but she did not turn her head to look at him. He must be tired of hearing her stories, she figured.
"Go on," Zhuo Jingren said. "Go on. I want to hear it."
This time, Lily looked at him. The sincerity in his voice was so apparent that even a toddler would notice it. The same sincerity that was visible in Zhuo Jingren's face.
"I was desperate," Lily began. "I… Qin Mo kicked us out of the Qin Mansion and I… I didn't know anything. I didn't attend college, and mother, well… she was already old. No one would want an old woman to work for them. My small savings from my allowance was just enough for our rent, and I was trying to find a job. I didn't know any of the basics so… I… I tried to apply as a hostess."
Zhuo Jingren's brows instantly furrowed when he heard Lily's story. For some reason his research did not show this. All he knew was that she and her mother had been kicked out of the Qin Family and then they got into an accident.
"Mother did not agree with that idea at all, and we got into a fight. I mean… that was the only thing I could think of to earn money. We needed money and I am beautiful enough to be an escort."
"So on my first night she showed up and tried to drag me home. Of course, my boss got angry and she kicked us out of the club. I was so mad I refused to talk to her while walking. She was explaining and trying to convince me. She was saying something about going back. She kept on apologizing about everything. She said her pride was too big for her to accept the truth. She was crying while I… I was angry and never listened."
Once again, Lily did not notice the tears that had been streaming down her face.
"I was walking very fast and she was trying to catch up while talking about giving me back everything that I deserve, and I honestly thought she was crazy or something. She was talking about going back to Europe and of other things that I wasn't aware of."
"Then I lashed out at her and ran across the street." Lily let out another sigh. "I was so angry that I did not notice as the car approached me. All I remember is my mother hugging me as the car hit both of us."
"All these years… I thought it was me who killed her." Lily turned her gaze back to the man beside her. She didn't even notice how she ended up in his embrace. Lily was so engrossed in her memories that she never noticed that Zhuo Jingren was already cuddling her. "I refused to tell anyone else about this as I feared they would blame me."
"My grandmother only knew that it was drunk driving. The driver was punished by the law, and he died just a year after I arrived in Europe. My grandmother said that the driver had an acute kidney disease at the time of the accident. I didn't ask her any more questions, afraid that she might ask me for details about that night."
"I refused to think about it and would get angry if someone asked me about it," Lily said gruffly. "I was a mess back then. When I woke up in the hospital, three days had already passed after the accident. And… they only give me her ashes. They said they'd been instructed to do so by Qin Mo himself."
"After that they told me that I lost my child and the ability to give birth because of the accident," Lily said, taking another sip of her coffee. "I was alone. On that night, I lost my mother, my child, and the ability to give birth."
"I was not able to take the trauma so I tried to kill myself."
"Well… I failed over and over again, until Qin Mo asked his people to send me to a psychiatric ward. And that was where my grandmother found me."
Silence instantly engulfed the room. Not even the rain and the occasional rumbling of thunder was enough to break the deafening silence inside the room. Still Zhuo Jingren did not say a thing. His arms were around Lily. Last night, Zhuo Jingren assured her that he would be here for her and she believed him.
Right now, both of them were aware that all Lily needed was someone to listen to her deepest secrets. She did not need any advice, nor did she need anyone's pity. All she needed was someone who would listen to her.
"How does it feel to kill someone?" she asked, her gaze glued to his handsome face.
In response, Zhuo Jingren looked at the dark ominous clouds swirling in front of them. "The first impulse that I got after killing someone was to flee," he answered. "To be honest, emotions won't hit you immediately after your first kill. Maybe it's the adrenaline. I don't know. But when it hit me… I… It was a pure mental torture."
Then he shifted his gaze towards her, meeting her light brown eyes. "It is something that I would not want you to feel, ever."