"The Zhang Ya behind Yu Jian's door likes to smile, and she is pretty when she smiles, but somehow, I sense a trace of sadness hidden behind it. And does she recognize me or not? Is the appearance of this Zhang Ya a coincidence, or was it influenced by that story book? The turning point in Yu Jian's life was when his own class teacher resigned. It was during that period that he turned on the ghost fetus. In other words, one of the most important people in the world behind Yu Jian's door is his 'teacher', the only person who lent him aid during the most difficult period of his life.
"Is his intention for me to go through what he went through, using my memories to replicate his past?"
Leaning against the advertisement board, Chen Ge looked into the rain that somehow felt appropriate.
"Regardless of the reason, perhaps this is a good chance for me to get to know Zhang Ya."
Patting his face lightly, Chen Ge made himself snap out of it.
"This might look and sound like a high school romance drama, but in essence, it is still a ghost story, I must not let my guard down." The rain did not seem like it would stop any time soon. Chen Ge 'borrowed' an umbrella from a passing stranger and returned to school. The sky was already dark. This world did not seem to have a good concept of time. Everything happened in a moment and changed very fast. Holding the hammer, Chen Ge wandered around the school.
"Even when night falls, there is still no sign of any ghosts or Specters. Is this still the Li Wan City that I remember?"
There was no murderer or Red Specter; it was just a typical normal small town.
"Wu Sheng had his voice taken, so everyone behind his door had their lips sewn. Jiang Ming had his hearing taken, so his world was exceptionally quiet. Fang Yu had her memory stolen, so her world was gray and white. The similarity between these children chosen by the ghost fetus is that there is something lacking in the worlds behind their doors. The thing that they were deprived of was reflected in the pedestrians behind the door, but this world is obviously different. Everyone looks normal. They do not look like they are disformed in any way."
Chen Ge stood in the corridor holding the umbrella when his phone suddenly vibrated.
"Zhang Ya? Why is she calling me?" Chen Ge glanced at the caller ID and then answered the call.
"Where are you now? Why aren't you home yet‽" Zhang Ya's rather angry voice came through the phone.
"How do you know I'm not home?" Chen Ge was shocked, and the question slipped out instinctually.
"Your father is worried sick about you! He's looking for you everywhere! Do you know how many people he's called?"
"My father?" Well, that was another character Chen Ge did not expect to show up. His eyes widened immediately. "Where is he? I'll go find him now!"
His blood was rushing through his body. Chen Ge took the umbrella and ran out the school. A fire seemed to light up inside him. It won't be my real father, will it? Could it be a trap laid down by the ghost fetus?
"He's hurrying toward the school. A student said that he saw you return to school."
"Thank you." Hanging up, Chen Ge carried his small bowl of hope like a candle in his arm and charged into the heavy rain. He ran out the school gates, past the bus stop, and beyond the convenient store before stopping at a junction. The traffic was heavy, and different roads led to different destinations.
"Chen Ge!" A familiar voice came from the opposite side of the street. Chen Ge turned to the voice, and a man wearing an old jacket was running over the zebra crossing. He was slightly shorter than Chen Ge. The man who was normally so sunny had his wrinkles creased up in worry. The rain drenched his jacket, and the man ran to Chen Ge's side, still catching his breath. Suddenly, he closed the umbrella and smacked Chen Ge on his arm. The sound was loud, but it was not painful; it was more for show.
"Why didn't you come home after school? If you have something to attend, you should inform me. I wouldn't have stopped you! Do you know how worried your sister and I were?"
Looking at the familiar face, even though they had not met for more than a year, the man appeared to be much slimmer, and there was more white in his hair. Chen Ge did not speak. The candle in his heart was slowly overwhelmed by the rain. When he first laid his eyes on the man, Chen Ge knew this was not his father. It was just a figment of his memory, a part that would disappear eventually.
"You are not him." Holding up the umbrella, Chen Ge walked to the man and raised the umbrella above both of their heads. The voice was familiar, and it was filled with discipline, concern, and disappointment. All these things weaved together to complete the perfect image of a father. They did not take the bus and walked home. The man was initially quite angry, but after some stern words, he stopped talking. The father and son walked silently in the rain.
When they were almost home, the man suddenly signaled for Chen Ge to wait. He went to the nearby shop to buy two braised pork trotters. When he came out, he saw an old man selling vegetables on a pushcart. He was standing close to the shop to avoid the rain. Probably due to the rain, the wares were not selling so well, and after a whole day in the rain, part of the vegetables looked quite rotten already. The man took out his wallet and walked to the old man. Then he came back with two large bags of vegetables. He helped the old man clean up his cart before returning to join Chen Ge.
"Can we finish so much food?" Chen Ge slowly lowered his head, mumbling the next sentence from his memory. "It's fine. We have a fridge that can store them for a long time..."
"It's fine." The man shrugged. "We have a fridge that can store them. We can ration them out."
The two walked into the hall. Before they reached their home, the door of one of the houses opened. A girl about thirteen poked her head out. When she heard the footsteps from inside the room, she was too excited to wait for them to get to the door, so she hurried to come open it first.
"Did... did you find... find my big brother?" the girl stammered, and her hands were shaking uncontrollably. She hung by the door, and her lips were slightly uneven. The gap between her teeth was wider than normal, but she carried an angelic smile on her face.
"Ruoyu, quickly go back in, and be careful not to trip." The man carried the bags and two trotters into the room. Chen Ge trailed behind him silently. The room was sparsely furnished, but the feeling was warm.
"Big... big brother..." The girl looked thirteen, but she acted like a five-year-old. When she saw Chen Ge come in, she lay on her side like a doll.
"Ruoyu? Luo Ruoyu?" That was the name of Director Luo's daughter. She suffered from Angelman Syndrome. After she passed away, Director Duo had placed her ashes at the theme park. In fact, New Century Park had been built for her.