I’m Right Here
Being addressed as such made Ning Ning feel breathless, she did not know how to face him in that moment.
“No, yes, here…” Ning Ning spoke incoherently for a moment. She looked at him a little nervously before she said quietly, “What I mean to say is, I’m right here…”
Wen Yu seemed to be affected by her nervousness.
He frantically pulled his arm off her neck and stood up straight in front of her, as if he was accepting her, accepting the review of the most important person in his life. He took two deep breaths and said, “After the funeral, I was adopted by Mr Shi, he is a good person, I got on well.”
“Yes,” Ning Ning said, “I know.”
“I studied medicine in university, then I switched to the psychological field. After I graduated, I worked at a psychological clinic… A lot of my customers are from the entertainment industry. There were people who said that I was after their money, but that was not the case, I just wanted to help them.” Wen Yu looked at Ning Ning without blinking. “Help…people like you.”
“Yes.” A feeling Ning Ning had not felt in a long time crept into her heart, like an emerald moss, gently covering the ice cold wall. “I know…”
“I…have been trying my best to do good deeds, helping everyone I can.”
“Yes, I know.”
“God says, good begets good, and evil leads to evil, if there is good to be had from my good deeds, I hope they would befall a person.” Wen Yu’s eyes had a trace of the glistening of a teardrop. “I prayed that she would be able to return to the mortal realm. I prayed that when she comes back, she would be born in a good family—a mother who loves her, a father who protects her, I prayed that she could grow up without any troubles or worries, healthily, happily, and to once again…appear in front of me.”
After he finished speaking, he took two deep breaths. He remained rooted on the spot as he opened his slightly trembling arms, waiting for her to hug him like when he was a child.
I remember you, love you, pray for you, I have always been waiting for you here.
Time quietly passed by, seeing that she didn’t move, Wen Yu said with a little unease, “Aunt Xiao Ning…”
Afraid that he was making things difficult for her, he stopped speaking after that, the arms he raised up also dropped down dispiritedly.
In the next moment, someone hugged him.
“I’m here.” Ning Ning hugged his waist, her face buried in his chest. “I’m right here.”
I have always been by your side, I have never left.
Time spun around, the fog also spun around, it looked like it drew a circle between them from the ends of time. From the ends of the fog, the two of them met again.
“I’m also here.” A mischievous voice rang out from beside them.
Ning Ning looked over, Shi Zhong Tang.
The fog had dissipated, it had come to an end, they had returned to Life Theater, returned to their own bodies.
“Who’s there?” Wen Yu looked over.
She noticed where he was looking, Ning Ning frowned as she asked, “You still can’t see?”
Shi Zhong Tang was standing right in front of them. Wen Yu looked at her and asked, “See whom?”
He really still could not see him.
It should have been due to the box that held Life Opera House. Even if it was made into a mask, it still had a special effect, it had allowed ordinary people who could not see the movie theater like Wen Yu and Cui Hong Mei to have the ability to see the movie theater in a limited period of time.
So, the reason the movie theater had not been doing well…was because the box was lost, because the mask was lost?
“It’s your brother,” Ning Ning said, “your brother is also here.”
Wen Yu was stunned. “Brother…”
“Dummy, look over here.” Shi Zhong Tang pressed down on his shoulders and turned him in a direction, then he hammered him on his chest as he laughed, “Little Brat, you’re almost as tall as me already.”
Wen Yu looked down at his own chest.
“He said: Little Brat, you’re almost as tall as me already.” Ning Ning said.
Wen Yu slowly looked up, there was no one in front of him, he slowly reached out with his fist, his fist was stopped mid-air by an invisible chest. After a long while, Wen Yu quietly called out, “Big Brother…”
Shi Zhong Tang tilted his head. Although his peach blossom mask covered his face, Ning Ning thought that the corners of the mouth behind the mask must be curved up.
“Say something.” Ning Ning placed her hands behind her and smiled at Shi Zhong Tang. “I’ll help you convey your words.”
“My matters are not urgent, you’re always by my side anyway.” Shi Zhong Tang said with a laugh, “Let’s attend to your matters first, you must want to see her right now.”
He was always like this, seeing through her easily, seeing what she was really thinking of.
“What’s the matter?” Wen Yu asked.
“I…” Ning Ning looked at Shi Zhong Tang, then looked at him, “I want to see someone.”
Wen Yu thought about it before he smiled. “Is it your mother?”
“Yes.” Ning Ning’s eyes started to sparkle.
On the screen, <<A Chinese (Boy) Ghost Story>> had already begun screening, but none of the three of them stayed to watch. They walked out of the entrance together instead. The moment they walked out, Ning Ning stopped in her tracks and looked at the poster by the entrance.
Title: <<A Chinese (Boy) Ghost Story>>
Starring: Ning Qing, Ning Ning.
The poster was still very lively.
A group of masked people dressed in white was encircling Ning Qing and Ning Ning at the center of the stage.
She was still unable to change Ning Qing’s fate. He was still a masked person who came out from the movie theater and returned to the movie theater. But she changed the fate of the villagers, she changed…the fate of Mama.
The person who danced on the altar till the end was her, it was not Mama who had substituted in for her halfway through!
Did that mean…Mama wouldn’t have to die?
“Calm down.” While they were on the car ride to her house, Wen Yu handed over a water bottle. “Want some?”
“Thanks.” Ning Ning grabbed the water bottle, twisted it open and took a sip. Due to the fact that she was too nervous, some of it spilt out, she frantically wiped her mouth, her hand was trembling slightly.
Did she succeed? Can she see Mama again?
The tires came to a screeching halt, the car stopped at the foot of the building.
Ning Ning frantically got out of the car, she rushed up the building at her top speed, then she took out her keys from her purse in a panic and put the key in the keyhole.
With a click, the door gently opened.
She felt as anxious as a person returning to their hometown after being away for many years.
She was so anxious when she was going up the stairs, but she lost the courage to take the step forward at this moment.
“Go in.” Wen Yu who had been behind her for an unknown time said.
“I’ll go in with you.” Shi Zhong Tang held her hand with a smile.
Ning Ning took a few deep breaths, raised her other hand and flicked the light switch.
Gentle light filled the place, it illuminated her and Mama’s cozy little house.
She walked in gingerly. She walked past the shoe rack, it only had her shoes, she walked past the living room, it only had a tea set for one, she walked into Mama’s room, the shoes Mama loved, the tea set Mama usually used, Mama’s hat…Ning Ning had bought them back from Cui Hong Mei and placed them back in their original positions neatly.
It was just that Ning Yu Ren was not around.
Ning Ning did not say a word, her eyes started to water.
“Don’t cry.” Shi Zhong Tang held her hand tightly, he bent down and looked at her. “Isn’t there another place you have yet to visit?”
“…Right.” Ning Ning wiped the tears out of the corner of her eyes, turning around to look at Wen Yu. “Can you send me on another trip? I want to go to the hospital.”
How could Wen Yu reject her request?
The car stopped at the hospital entrance. Would this be the last chance? Ning Ning got out of the car. She looked at the hospital, filled with expectations and fear. It was not a hot day, but her back was covered in cold sweat.
Wen Yu took a look at Ning Ning, then another, he hesitated for a moment, then carefully held her hand.
No matter how strong a person was, they would still have times when they were weak, times where their entire body would go cold. At this moment, the most useful thing would be another person’s warmth, another person’s hand.
Her heart that was beating like a mad drum gradually calmed down, Ning Ning laughed at him hoarsely. “Thank you.”
The three of them walked into the hospital together.
This time, Ning Ning walked very slowly, but there was a limit to how slow a person could be. The door to the ward opened, the hospital bed that Mama once laid in…was empty.
Time seemed to stop at that moment.
After a very long while, Ning Ning got her hearing back. She heard a familiar voice by her side, “What brings you here, are you feeling unwell?”
“Uncle Huang…” Ning Ning looked at the white coat beside her—Ning Yu Ren’s former attending doctor, Doctor Huang. She hesitated for a moment before she asked, “When my mama left…was it painful?”
Doctor Huang was taken aback, then he smiled gently. “No, I think she was more blissful than a lot of other people, because in the end…you were by her side.”
“Is that so…” Ning Ning murmured, tears rolled down her face continuously.
Doctor Huang was very busy, he could not remain there to console her, someone called for him after a while, he told them he would be right there. He looked back at Ning Ning, he saw that her hand was held by Wen Yu in the corner of his eye.
“Young Man, console her well.” Doctor Huang gave Wen Yu’s shoulder a pat. “This is a good girl, she’s worth your effort.”
Wen Yu was stunned for a moment, then he nodded solemnly.
Even if no one told him to, he would still treat Ning Ning well.
…After all, he was no longer a child, he had strong enough arms to shelter her from the wind and rain now, didn’t he?
After Doctor Huang left, Ning Ning cried on the spot for a while, sobbing, “Actually I’ve…guessed that this would be how it ends.”
She looked at the hospital bed in front of her. She had wished so much that the person she loved the most was lying on it, looking at her, gently telling her, “I’m right here.”
But the bed was empty, there was no one on it.
She was not here.
“Mama could enter Life Theater for the sake of changing my fate, then there is no reason she would not go in after she found out what happened to Grandfather.” Ning Ning cried. “She’s always like this, silently giving, not letting us know.”
If she had not entered Life Theater, Ning Ning would have never known how much Ning Yu Ren had done for her.
Changing one’s fate was a very dangerous thing. The past and the future were closely connected, changing one thing would affect everything. Sometimes, she clearly only wanted to change one person’s fate, but she would accidentally change the fate of a lot of people.
Ning Yu Ren paid with her life after she took this path.
She successfully saved Ning Ning.
But it was very obvious, her luck was not always so good, in the end, she still could not save Ning Qing…as well as herself.
“Give way, please give way!” Doctor Huang’s voice rang out behind Ning Ning. She looked around and saw a stretcher getting pushed from the entrance, on the stretcher was a familiar face—Director Chen.
“Stop! Stop!” Director Chen saw her too, he shouted his head off.
The stretcher stopped, Director Chen got up with the help of Chen Shuang He. He was panting, shouting at Ning Ning as if it was his last breath, “I’m dying soon, before I die, I have to leave something in the world…Ning Ning, get ready! I want to reshoot <<Phantom of the Theater>>!!”