Couple of Mirrors – Chapter 25: The Baby’s Father
(cn: abortion reference)
After the bombshell from the last chapter, Yan Wei sits on a bench in the hospital corridor, fretting. Now that she has the baby to think about, will she choose to go back to Zhou Heng?
Her thoughts are interrupted by Zhou Heng’s friend Feng Hong, who sidles up to her. ‘You must be Youyi’s friend?’ he says. ‘My name is Feng Hong. What’s yours?’
‘What do you want?’ asks Yan Wei.
‘Do you believe in destiny?’ Feng Hong asks dramatically.
‘I never believed in destiny before,’ he continues, ‘but the moment I saw you, I realised it was true. I don’t know why, but when I saw you, I could swear I’d met you before. You’re like a shining ray of light in the darkness… I know instinctively that you’re the person I’m destined to be with, the person who can cradle my wild heart tenderly in the palm of her hand…’
He produces a red rose, seemingly out of nowhere, with a flourish. ‘Even if you were to stab me in the heart, I would cherish the wound so much that a flower would bloom from it.’ He present the rose to Yan Wei. ‘You’re the one for me, I’m sure of it. There can be no mistake.’
Yan Wei looks coldly at him, unimpressed. ‘Was that a magic trick?’
Yan Wei slides a knife out of her sleeve. ‘I know a magic trick too.’
She proceeds to shred all the petals from the rose…
…and walks away, leaving Feng Hong to stare in dismay at the denuded stalk.
Yan Wei wanders back towards Xu Youyi’s room. Even from the outside, she can hear Zhou Heng saying, ‘Youyi, you’re finally awake!’
She leans in close to eavesdrop.
Inside the hospital room, a newly conscious Xu Youyi asks, ‘Zhou Heng, why… why are you here? Where’s Yan Wei?’
Zhou Heng takes her hand. ‘A friend of mine told me he saw you at the hospital, so I rushed over immediately. Yan Wei’s gone out; she has something else to do.’
Xu Youyi turns her face away from him. ‘You should leave. I don’t want to see you.’
‘Please don’t say that, Youyi,’ says Zhou Heng. ‘I know it’s all my fault. I didn’t even know you were pregnant. I hope you can give me a chance to make it all up to you and the baby.’
This comes as a shock to Xu Youyi. ‘I’m pregnant?’ she asks. No wonder my period was late this month…
‘Yes,’ says Zhou Heng. ‘The doctor said you’re one month pregnant.’
‘Even then,’ says Xu Youyi, ‘I still don’t want to see you. If you don’t leave at once, I’ll tell the doctor to get rid of the baby!’
‘Youyi…’ Zhou Heng begins, and is interrupted by Yan Wei bursting in through the door.
‘She said she doesn’t want to see you!’ Yan Wei tells him.
‘You’re an outsider,’ says Zhou Heng. ‘You have no business interfering in my family’s private affairs.’
Xu Youyi cuts in. ‘Zhou Heng, the way I see it, you’re the one who has no business here!’
Yan Wei stares at Zhou Heng triumphantly.
Zhou Heng stands up and literally points a finger at Yan Wei. ‘You!’ he begins.
He doesn’t get to finish whatever he was planning to say, because Yan Wei catches hold of his wrist, twists his arm behind his back, and shoves him out of the door. ‘Get out!’ she yells.
She slams the door shut behind him.
Xu Youyi sits up. ‘Yan Wei…’
Yan Wei sits down in the chair vacated by Zhou Heng. ‘How are you feeling?’ she asks.
‘Don’t worry,’ says Xu Youyi. ‘I’m feeling much better. Although I’m still not sure what happened. When I woke up, I found myself already in the water, and Agent Bai had vanished without a trace…’
‘There’s something very fishy about Agent Bai,’ Yan Wei declares. ‘He drove straight to the lake earlier. He was clearly planning to murder you.’
Xu Youyi thinks back to the flask of tea Agent Bai gave her. ‘Did the Zhou family get to him as well?’ she wonders.
‘We’ll know once I hunt him down and question him,’ says Yan Wei.
Xu Youyi nods. ‘Mm.’ Then she asks, ‘By the way, what were you doing all the way out there?’
Yan Wei begins to panic. ‘I was… taking a walk…’
‘You took a walk… all the way out of the city?’ Xu Youyi asks dubiously.
Xu Youyi thinks back to the time she arrived back at the studio to find Yan Wei out of breath and covered in sweat, and Yan Wei’s weak explanations at the time. Then she throws her arms around Yan Wei.
‘Yan Wei, you’ve been secretly following me around and protecting me these last few days, haven’t you?’ she asks. ‘That’s why you were able to rescue me in time, right? If it weren’t for you, Yan Wei, I’d be dead by now…’
‘Someone’s trying to kill me,’ Xu Youyi adds. ‘And now I’ve just found out that I’m pregnant. I don’t even know if I should keep the baby.’
‘I’m here,’ Yan Wei reassures her. ‘I won’t let anyone hurt you. And the baby is innocent, after all…’
‘That’s what I think, too,’ says Xu Youyi. ‘But the baby’s not going to have an easy life with me. And besides, the poor thing won’t have a father…’
Yan Wei grabs hold of Xu Youyi’s shoulders. ‘Xu Youyi, if you don’t mind… I can be the baby’s father! I can protect the two of you forever!’
Xu Youyi’s heart thumps, hard. Then she chuckles. ‘What are you saying, silly? You’re a woman, like me — how can you be the baby’s father?’
Yan Wei looks utterly deflated. ‘Just pretend I never said that. I’ll go and buy you some porridge.’ She heads towards the door.
‘Yan Wei…’ Xu Youyi calls after her departing back.
Yan Wei turns to see Xu Youyi smiling at her.
‘Even though you can’t be the baby’s father,’ says Xu Youyi, ‘Maybe you and I can both be the baby’s mothers together?’
Yan Wei stares at her, speechless.
‘Even though the baby might not have a father,’ Xu Youyi goes on, ‘I’m sure they wouldn’t be too lonely with two mothers instead…’
Yan Wei strides back to Xu Youyi’s bedside. Xu Youyi looks up expectantly.
‘I do,’ says Yan Wei.
Xu Youyi reaches out and takes her hand. ‘Yan Wei…’
Please view the original manhua here.
- I have chosen to render the not-necessarily-gendered-especially-in-speech third person pronoun 他 as ‘they’ where it is used to refer to the baby.