“If we ever leave each other, when will we meet again… Now that I understand this poem, was I too late?”
A euphonious voice rang through the earphones; it was beautiful yet saddening. The handsome graceful sound turned into a harsh tone at the last sentence, the tone was mixed with subtle hints of depressing sigh, gentle yet hopeless, it could almost tear up a person’s eyes.
A good voice was just like a good wine that had been stored up for hundreds of years, sozzled, clear and leaving a musky scent behind… it was as if she was drunk just by listening quietly to the voice, like she was in a dreamland, not knowing when and where was she.
Mo Lan closed her eyes and listened to her earphones, the subway was noisy and filled with different kinds of noises, there were white-collared people who were on their phones discussing about business, little children who cried and made fuss around, and even the squeaky laughter women made in the midst of their conversations.
However, all these chaotic sounds did not bother Mo Lan.
This was because she was fully concentrate on her radio drama.
This radio drama was titled ‘Affection Difficulties’, the story took place around Song Dynasty which was about a sad and tragic love story.
The male character in the story, who was also her secret crush, was a handsome young man who came from a rich family. He was always fooling around, looking for highly-paid prostitutes and any orphaned girls by the roadside, his daily mantra was ‘my feelings for you is true and genuine.’ However, he did not mean a single word he said.
One day, a son of highly respected general wanted to bribe this young man, so he gifted him a blind girl. This blind girl had lost her eyesight when she was involved in an accident when she was fourteen, her features were of average, even so, she was smart and brilliant.
The young rich man wanted to try something new and different, in order to show off his generosity and elegance, he brought this blind girl with him everywhere he went.
One fine day, when he was on a boat along Xi Hu River, the young man was attacked by assassin. He was hugging his fine ladies at that when suddenly a sharp silver sword flashed in front of him. When everyone was fleeing all over the boat, trying to escape from the attack, the blind girl quickly rushed in front of him to protect the young man.
The sword pierced right into her heart and she died instantly.
After that, when the young man went back to his home and gathered the blind girl’s stuff, he noticed a note. One of the pages wrote about the famous poem ‘Qui Feng Ci’ by Li Bai:
If we ever leave each other, when will we meet again.
The writings were neat and feminine; it was so passionate.
The young man stunned and cried aloud, clutching the note tightly.
His heart sunk since then, he never married anyone from then on and he was all alone until he died.
The radio drama ended the story with a sad soundtrack, Mo Lan sighed a bit as she took out her earphones.
She always felt the emptiness and heartbroken feelings whenever she listened to this radio drama.
‘Affection Difficulties’ was the first radio drama her crush acted in. She could still recall the first moment when she heard his voice, she was hooked by it until now.
In the drama, his voice was so captivating and flirty, ‘look at your fine features, too bad you are blind. Even so… I’ve gotten used to the beauties in my city, you’re something different.’
She could imagine how flirtatious and elegant he was just by listening to his voice.
Mo Lan turned off her KuGou playlist on her phone and smiled to herself. She could still remember… when the radio drama had just released, her crush broke the scale of having thousands of fans per day, by the end of the week, it had hit up to millions.
Every girl could not restrain themselves under his voice, this included herself.
Her phone vibrated slightly, Mo Lan looked down and realized her phone battery had only ten percent left. She took out her portable charger from her bag and plugged into her phone. As a voice fan like her, having a portable charger was her daily necessity when she was out, because her phone would always give out the red light signal when she listened to her radio dramas.
When she was deep in her own thought, a loud feminine voice rang across the subway hallway:
‘The next station is East Hangzhou, please get ready for this stop and remember your personal belongings. Thank you for riding with us and your cooperation, we wish you a safe journey.’
Finally, she was here.
Mo Lan put her phone and her power bank into her bag, she stretched her body before leaving.
She checked her seat once again to make sure she had left nothing behind, Mo Lan then stood up and lined up at the door. She stopped on her tracks after a few steps.
Tilting her head, she noticed a man in big checkered jacket who was sleeping across her position, she felt a sense of familiarity.
There was no one beside him, his head was bowed slightly and his black hair was covering half of his face, he looked so peaceful and calm.
She tried to recall this man in her mind but she could not figure out anything. Mo Lan shook her head, it was probably a mistake, when she was about to step out, she saw the man’s ticket on the tiny seat table, it was clearly written ‘Nanjing – East Hangzhou’.
He was supposed to get down at this stop?
So… he did not listen to the station announcement earlier?
She squinted her forehead, there was only five minutes left until the train stopped, if he continued sleeping, he would have to ride the next train again. Mo Lan imagined the trouble it would cause him; it would be such a nuisance then.
Mo Lan had never struck up a conversation with strangers in her whole twenty four years before. Even though she was slightly embarrassed, she walked up to the sleeping man and woke him up softly, “excuse me… sir, please wake up.”
She called him about three times but he did not give any response.
Mo Lan had no choice but to extend her hands and patted on his shoulder.
The next moment, the sleeping man shook at the pat and covered his mouth yawning, then, he tilted up his head slowly.
The man looked up lazily as he spoke this word, his drowsy eyes looked at her curiously, he was so calm.
Mo Lan lost herself in his eyes instantly. His eyes were so mesmerizing like a fox in the novel.
She looked away, her cheeks were flushing red, she reminded him, “Sir, I saw you were asleep so I just wanted to tell you that the next is East Hangzhou.”
“Oh…” The man rubbed his eyes and he was awoken slightly.
Mo Lan looked at him again and noticed his flirty eyes had turned into clear black and white.
Just as the man opened his mouth wanting to say something, the announcement rang again, ‘East Hangzhou station has arrived, please kindly leave the cabin if this is your stop.’
Mo Lan was stunned and said bashfully, “I’ll leave first.”
Mo Lan turned and went out quickly before he could say anything. Her slim figure vanished among the crowd instantly.
The man watched her left, his eyes were concentrating. Then, he stood slowly and strolled off the subway.
Mo Lan called a taxi right after she left the station and headed straight to her magazine company to get a document file from her manager, she then went to chop the document file and called another cab to Hangzhou Xi Hu straightaway.
This was her first time in Hangzhou.
Mo Lan worked as a novel writer, she worked in a small yet well-known magazine company, she never delayed her work every month and sometimes, she would post up some small articles on her company’s magazine.
She should not have run this trip to Hangzhou this time, but since her co-worker who was supposed to run this errand had gotten into some trouble, Mo Lan took up this what she had thought would be easy task.
However, her motive of this trip was to travel to Xi Hu. In the radio drama ‘Affection Difficulties’, Xi Hu was the place where the scene of the blind girl died for the young man’s sake took place, this scene had stuck in her mind for a very long time.
There was only his voice, it was not a movie drama, but from his voice, she knew how heartbroken the young man was.
‘Hey girl, don’t try to scare me, you haven’t even finished the Wu Yan Poem, the blossom wine is not ready yet… Don’t sleep, open your eyes and look at me once more… Are you listening to me, I forbid you to sleep!’
Mo Lan remembered clearly as she closed her eyes slightly, her crush’s voice broke a bit when he was screaming the sentence, as if he was trying to be strong even though his bones and veins were separated.
The mixed emotions in this sentence were so intense.
Mo Lan had a dream after falling in love with her idol, that was to let him act in a radio drama that she wrote. Therefore, she would type non-stop on her computer every day and night, sometimes she was too tired and fell asleep in front of her computer. When she woke up, her crush’s blog would fill with numerous comments and responses from other fans.
This happened because he changed his profile data to ‘not doing any new dramas’.
From then on, he vanished from the network fantasy world, he never received any invitations, any new drama skits, any recordings and even his YY. He rarely even blogged in these three years.
His fans had also trying to find him desperately since his disappearance, even though he disappeared for some period of time, his fans did not decrease, in fact, it increased drastically, therefore, he had new and old fans fighting to look for him.
After all, out of ten people, about eight of them decided to join in his fans forum after listening to his radio drama.
Just like her.
“Miss, you’re here.” The taxi driver parked his car by the roadside, he turned and smiled at her.
“Ah… Thank you, sir.”
She came back to her senses and paid the taxi driver, Mo Lan then stepped out of the taxi, her heart was beating in excitement.
She was greeted by a cold breeze when she got out of the vehicle. It was piercing cold. She folded up her coat’s collar and thought, it was not only Nanjing, everywhere in the city was cold this year.
She put on her beanie and wiped off strands of hair on her face, Mo Lan tiptoed excitedly and looked forward at the glancing lake. She stood on her feet and walked over to the beautiful Xi Hu.
Part of the lake was frozen, perhaps it was not cold enough, the middle of the lake was still gleaming with clear water, she could even see beneath the icy lake water. There were cherry blossom trees, peach trees and some sycamore trees by the bank, but they were all left with dried-out leaves, hanging by the branch.
The nobleman of Tang Dynasty, Bai Ju Yi once recited a poem about Xi Hu, it went like this: a group of women were having their time under the trees along the lake. They were having so much fun that when it was time for them to leave, they left with a heavy heart, each step they took they turned around and started to miss the place.
Mo Lan strolled with the breeze along the lake, she laughed bitterly as she got nearer. Each step they took they turned around and started to miss the place? Apparently, the people from the olden days were good at lying, she could only see the reality now…
There were not many crowds in Xi Hu because of the weather, Mo Lan was glad that she was all alone to enjoy this tranquillity.
Suddenly, her ringing phone broke the silence, her ringtone was a lyrical oldie. Mo Lan was irritated by this, she clenched her forehead and took out her phone from her coat’s pocket, it was her cousin sister.
Mo Lan’s cousin sister, An Xiao Luo was also a voice maniac like her.
Two years ago after Mo Lan’s graduation, she came to Nanjing from her hometown in Zhejiang Wu Town to work, she stayed in the city with her cousin sister who had been working in Nanking for five years.
Both of the girls rented a small condominium with two rooms, even though it was not spacious, their place was very convenient with tight security, therefore they continued staying there at ease.
After spending quality time with each other for some time, they came to know their mutual interest in voice maniac. What’s more was that An Xiao Luo was also the golden queen in a famous social networking sites called An Zhi Mei, she was very popular there.
Mo Lan picked up the call and before she could greet her cousin, a blabbering exciting sound shouted in her ear, “Xiao Lan Xiao Lan, do you know, our secret idol has sent out message on Pai Pai! I’ve been waiting this for thousands of years, I’m about to cry out now!”
Mo Lan stunned at this, her hand slipped slightly, she almost threw out her phone, “are you serious? It’s not some April Fool’s joke right? I remember the last time he sent on Pai Pai was during the last New Year…”
“Of course it’s true, Pai Pai could deceive people, but voice couldn’t, I’ve saved everything ok! Now his comment box was exploding, I am asking you to go listen now!” The voice continued to squeak and shouted from the other side of the phone.
Mo Lan hung up her phone immediately and tried to calm her emotions.
She could not care less about her phone battery right now, she switched on 3G without hesitation and opened her Pai Pai, undeniably, her secret crush sent out a message on the top.
The attached picture… it was the winter scenery on Hangzhou Xi Hu.
Realizing her abnormal heart rate, Mo Lan breathed deeply and tried to calm down, then she opened up the message.
‘A group of women were having their time under the trees along the lake. They were having so much fun that when it was time for them to leave, they left with a heavy heart, each step they took they turned around and started to miss the place. Mmm… winter in Hangzhou is quite chilly.’
Her fingers shivered slightly when she read it, Mo Lan sighed in disappointment, indeed… it was that enchanting voice.
This Pai Pai message was fifty-eight-second long, the first forty seconds were the poem, it was graceful and clear, she was completely dazed by it. Thee voice stopped for a brief moment and he continued his last sentence, his tone was low and it gave out a hint of laziness, even so, it was so hypnotic.
This was probably the charm of CV, there was no need of actions, his voice could grab anyone’s heart.
Mo Lan listened to his message on repeat mode, after ten times hearing it, she touched her own cheeks and realized she was blushing in the winter of mid-January.
But she could not be blamed… His voice was too enchanting; it was enough to make girls her age fell in love instantaneously.
Once she composed herself, Mo Lan realized that the poem that he recited was exactly the same poem she was thinking about. So… was this the connection between her and her crush? Mo Lan bit her lips, still could not believe in any of this.
She did not have her laptop with her, so Mo Lan saved the message in offline mode. Then, she scrolled below the message and noticed bunch of comments were flooding the message, it was only five minutes ago since he posted the status and now the comments had hit thousands.
‘My idol, are you getting new job soon? I’m so excited that I’m climbing up my balcony now!’
‘I’m going to cry, do you know how long since I’ve heard your voice on Pai Pai, I know you wouldn’t have disappeared without saying anything, I’ve been waiting for three years, you would come back right?!’
‘I’ve told my mum that my ears are getting pregnant, and she scolded me for that, I beg you to take up new job, I want to have kids with you!’
Mo Lan typed speedily on her phone,
‘My ears are pregnant! My idol I’m in Hangzhou too~ This is so coincident, it’s very cold now, so please wear more clothes, don’t fall sick. ^^’
She put back her phone into her pocket and started to smile widely in bliss. Her secret crush… was in Hangzhou. As she thought, she felt the air around her was fresher than before.
You might not believe it, but there was such person on Earth, everything was fine when he was quiet, but once he started speaking, the whole world shook.