The Love in That Summer
She enjoyed Strauss, KFC and Brazil Espresso, I know, she was like a busy bee in an office building in a decent grey dress suite. That was the case before she met me and all this has vanished since she fell in love with me.
Let me date back to 1997. I started my so-called business and she followed me without any reservation. That summer came very early and the flowers made a red city. We lived in a small suburb house, which was an illegal construction, with wind blowing through four sides into the house. That made our temporary home.
Just for saving money, we walked to our downtown store in the mooring, ate very simple lunch just worth 1.5 Yuan for each, and walked back home in the evening, thus we felt totally exhausted every day. We seemed to live through one whole year in such situation.
We tasted hardships and sorrows in those days. At that time, the business was my totem, while the love was her belief. These were all on which we could rely to go ahead.
One day, we walked home very late. She sat at the bed edge and washed her feet. I went to the landlord for boiled water to make instant noodles. When I came back with a thermos bottle, I found that she had fallen into a sound sleep. She kept a pose of being totally exhausted with her feet dunked in the basin. One of her arms was under her body, thus a light snore could be heard. I tiptoed to the bed with the intention of flipping her over to make her more comfortable. I gazed at her face, a young and pretty one which was filled with tiredness. On this pretty face, I found a mosquito.
That summer, the city was like a huge steamer box. We put off the time of buying a mosquito net one day after another just for saving money. I knew mosquitoes flew everywhere in our room, but it seemed nothing to me. So exhausted when lying on the bed, I doubted whether I would wake up even if someone cut a piece off my body, let alone mosquitoes bit me.
The mosquito lay on her forehead and sucked her blood greedily. She was sleeping like a baby and feeling nothing at all. Perhaps she was dreaming of our business turning better. There came a sudden throb in my heart. I reached my hands and waved, but the mosquito cared nothing about my threat. With the intention of patting it to death, I raised my hand high, but could not bear to pat down. I was afraid of waking her up — because she was so worn out.
Between her and me, a puny mosquito was harming her at the moment. I stood there woodenly with my hand in the air. I fell into conflict and worry. Suddenly, I began to detest myself deeply. On that summer night, I stood there with an extremely guilty feeling for her and our love. After the mosquito flew away, I forgave it, but I could not forgive myself.
When I passed by a peddler’s stall one day, I found a pink mosquito net priced at 16 Yuan. Many things could be done with the money at that time. Then I stayed up the whole night, waving a hardboard to keep mosquitoes from approaching her just like a guard. I acted as her temporary mosquito net. After a while, she woke up and gazed at me. Ten minutes later, tears flooded her face.
The next day a pink mosquito net hung in my room. We just kept silent when hanging it on our bed. I gave it to her as a gift, but I did not tell her my intention. I felt it was like a full-blown rose which could be regarded as my compensation for the love. But I thought that nothing could really make it up. That day was also her birthday.
Still later, there was a period of time, I got or we got 160,000 Yuan. We bought a lot of things, but we never bought a mosquito net. We did not need mosquito net any more, because no mosquito could fly into our well-decorated room. However, I always feel that all my money and belongings are far less valuable than the 16-yuan mosquito net to her or to our love.
That summer was gone. We could do nothing but love each other.