"Will saving you… make you love me?" he answered in a weak voice. "If so… then I would gladly do it without batting an eye."
Zhuo Jingren's words truly touched Lily. Unable to control herself, Lily burst into tears. She bit her lip and felt the muscles in her chin tremble. "Stupid."
"Why are you crying?" he asked. "I'm not going to die… I mean… I still want to marry you… so don't worry too much about it."
"How could you still say something like this when you are in this state?" Lily asked, her pearl shaped tears silently rolling down her cheeks. "You really should stop loving someone like me… I can't give you anything more which you don't already have," she said. "People who are close to my heart end up dying."
"I am not just some people…" he answered before letting out a long sigh. "So can't you give me a chance?"
"Lily, what secret are you hiding?" he asked. "I think you should tell me… at least, before I bleed out and die."
"Didn't you say that you won't die yet?" she retorted.
"That was before you said that people who are close to your heart ends up dying," Zhuo Jingren said, earning a chuckle from Lily in the midst of her sobs.
Lily turned her head towards Zhuo Jingren. Though she couldn't really see his reaction clearly right now, she was almost sure that he must be looking at her with all gentleness. She turned her gaze away from him before she let out a long sigh. Silently, she composed herself and arranged her thoughts.
"I was pregnant during the car accident seven years ago," she started. "It was your child." Lily felt Zhuo Jingren stiffened beside her but she bravely continued, "On that night, I did not only lose my mother, I also lost our child and possibly the ability to conceive in the future."
After a long silence, Lily said, "Say something."
"Silly woman." She heard him chuckle. "Did you think that something like this would change how I feel towards you?"
"Did you think that I would blame you? Or did you think I would lash out at you?" he asked. "I would never do that Lily…"
Lily then felt his hand reached out to touch her cheeks, wiping the tears off her face. "Let's leave the past behind, alright? I wouldn't mind anything about your past. What I care about is the future."
"A future with you," he added before his hands enveloped hers. Lily felt her eyes burning, the walls around her heart shook, threatening to collapse at any moment. She forced herself to hold it in but beads of tears once again started to fall down from her cheeks, without any signs of stopping.
Lily closed her eyes, her grip on Zhuo Jingren's hand tightened. When was the last time that she had revealed her true emotions to anyone? When was the last time that she had let her guard down exposing herself like this?
Silent stream of tears flowed down her cheeks and her heart was beating wildly. Competing voices were screaming in her mind. One voice was urging her to accept the man next to her. Another voice was telling her to protect her heart. She had been through a lot. 'Will I risk getting hurt again if I open my heart to him?' On the other hand, Lily also felt like a jinx, because the people who are close to her didn't end up too well. 'What if Zhuo Jingren end up…like them...'
While Lily was lost in her thoughts, Zhuo Jingren was moving slowly towards her, closing their gap. Without saying anything, he wrapped his arms around her shoulder, pulling her towards him. His warmth gave her all the assurance that she needed.
"Marry me Lily…I know that I have no right to dictate your heart, but I have the right to love you with my own," he whispered into her ears before he kissed her temple. "Let me give you the best that you deserve… Let's have a future together and stop thinking about the past."
Lily bit her lip, her mind was conflicted. She turned her head to face him. Feeling his warm breath against her ears, she knew that they were now very close to each other, their faces were perhaps just inches apart. She let out a sigh as resolution filled her whole being. "Let's get our certificate as soon as we can."
Zhuo Jingren was right, they have to leave the past behind and move on… together. Lily decided to give in and be selfish once again.
Zhuo Jingren instantly froze. Lily's words seemed to echo inside him.
'Lily is going to marry me?'
Zhuo Jingren's already ashen face seemed to have lost all its color. He widened his eyes as he felt his heart stop beating. It was as if all of his blood had been drained out of his body. Coupled with his already weak body, Zhuo Jingren felt dizzy and the world around him seem to be spinning. 'Is he going to faint?'
'How embarrassing,' he thought inwardly before his world went black.
"Hey!" Lily immediately panicked when she felt the man's body had turned limp, weighing down on her. "Zhuo Jingren! Are you joking?" she said before she embraced him, his limp body leaned against her small frame.
Did this man faint because of excessive blood loss? Or was it because she finally agreed to his marriage proposal?