Chapter 58 Isolation and Helplessness
On that day, Lin Qin returned home with injuries all over his body, but what awaited him was darkness.
The nanny had taken a leave for personal reasons, and Father Lin was away on a business trip.
Despite it being June, Lin Qin huddled on the living room sofa, shivering in the chilling cold, feeling completely alone.
From that day onward, Lin Qin visibly changed. He spoke less, stopped going out to play, and stayed in his room alone every day. And even at school, he sat in the farthest corner, isolated and silent.
However despite his silence, the torment he endured only escalated. Whenever he was returning home from school, classmates would take broomsticks and lash him, all the while calling him a lunatic.
And walking on the playground, soccer and basketballs would be thrown at him from various directions.
He was like a rat in the gutter that everyone wanted to mock and punch when they saw him.
During that time, bullying Lin Qin had become the politically correct thing to do among the school students, and those who spoke up for him were isolated and also bullied.
After a few instances of this, no one stood up for him anymore. Even if they felt sorry for him, they could only watch from afar, sigh, and then walk away casually.
The students were like this, and the teachers in the school were no different. Lin Qin’s previous homeroom teacher was an example. It wasn’t easy to become a teacher at a prestigious school, and they didn’t want to be transferred like Lin Qin’s previous homeroom teacher.
The most they could do to help him was to turn a blind eye to what was happening on the campus.
Watching all of this as well as Lin Qin’s suffering, Fang Ming Hui was filled with a sense of accomplishment. This was the consequence of rejecting him!
One day, Fang Ming Hui and Lin Qin met in the restroom and he asked Lin Qin to beg him. He promised that if Lin Qin opened his mouth to beg him, he wouldn’t have to endure the torment he was currently facing.
He wanted Lin Qin’s submission, and whenever he wanted it, Lin Qin had to take off his pants.
Lin Qin didn’t say a word. Instead, he stared at Fang Ming Hui with eyes growing increasingly dark. He wouldn’t bend down, even if it meant death.
And seeing Lin Qin refusing once again, Fang Ming Hui ordered someone to fill the sink with water and then pressed Lin Qin’s head into it forcefully, showing a determination to drown him.
However even while being drowned, Lin Qin didn’t beg for mercy, his spine remaining straight.
In the end, Fang Ming Hui didn’t want to take a life, so he left Lin Qin, who was barely conscious on the restroom floor, locked the restroom door, and ordered that no one was allowed to open it without his command.
Perhaps Fang Ming Hui forgot about this command until school hours ended, and the school gate was locked, but the restroom door remained closed.
Lin Qin who was locked inside was exhausted and hungry, feeling as if his body was on fire, delirious.
Outside the window, a storm raged, thunder roared, and it seemed like a lightning strike had taken out the power, because the entire school was engulfed in darkness.
Lin Qin huddled in a corner, surrounded by pitch-black darkness where he couldn’t even see his own hand in front of his face and outside, the wind and rain sounded like wails of ghosts and howls of wolves, with only the occasion flashes of lightning bringing brief illumination, making it even more terrifying.
That night, as Lin Qin’s consciousness faded, he believed that he wouldn’t wake up again.
When he regained consciousness, he found that he was in a hospital. He tried to speak, but his throat was searing, as if it had been burned.
His father entered the room hurriedly, stroked his head gently, then realizing that his fever had subsided, instructed the nurse to take good care of Lin Qin because he had a business matter to attend to. The whole time, he didn’t even have time to exchange a single word with Lin Qin before leaving.
Father Lin had learned of Lin Qin being hospitalized from a teacher who had provided vague details– Lin Qin had fainted at school, and they had brought him to the hospital. The teacher didn’t dare to tell Lin Qin’s father the specific reasons.
And Father Lin did care about his son, otherwise he wouldn’t have rushed to the hospital after work. However in his mind, he probably didn’t consider Lin Qin’s illness a serious matter, because seeing that Lin Qin’s fever had gone down, he turned to his work without asking about Lin Qin’s life at school.
In his impression, Lin Qin was a well-behaved child who had never been a cause for concern, so he had always been confident in Lin Qin.
When Lin Qin saw his father, there had been a flash of hope in his eyes. However after his father turned and left right after, that flash faded completely.
He had actually wanted his father to transfer him to another school, but his father didn’t even have time to listen to him.
At that moment, feelings of despair swept over Lin Qin, and his eyes fell on the windowsill of the hospital room, and for a brief moment, he even considered jumping from there.
In doing so, everything would end, and the torment he was suffering would vanish with it.
After the nurse left, he removed the IV tube from his hand and staggered out of bed, step by step, walking towards the windowsill.
The hospital room was dark, with only the faint glow of the TV illuminating it.
Soon, another light came in through the window, as if an angel were summoning Lin Qin, telling him that if he came over, he would be free from endless suffering and no longer subject to all the grievances.
Lin Qin’s mind went blank, his gaze hazy as he walked toward the windowsill.
However just then, after a television ad, there was a broadcast of an awards ceremony.
“Let’s welcome the Best Actor winner, Meng Chao.”
Lin Qin was already at the window, about to climb out when the actor receiving the Best Actor award walked up to the stage on the television.
Lin Qin opened the window and was about to climb out when a deep voice came through the television to his ears: “I believe that people should never be defeated by despair. No matter the circumstances, only by staying alive can you change your situation. Succumbing to despair is only a victory for those who want to harm you.”
Lin Qin’s raised foot came down slowly, then he turned, and leaning against the wall, he slumped to the ground in complete exhaustion.
In reality, he was afraid to die, which was why he didn’t dare give in to despair.
Lin Qin thought self-mockingly, then he couldn’t help but look at the TV.
And it just happened that they were showing a close-up of the new Best Actor. He smiled into the camera and said, “I wish that every person struggling in despair can break through the layers of clouds and welcome the all-encompassing sunlight.”
He really has a beautiful smile.
Lin Qin thought to himself, then surprisingly, his heart began to warm slightly because of this smile and those words.
His name was Meng Chao, right?
Perhaps because Meng Chao had encouraged him in his time of despair, Lin Qin began collecting information about Meng Chao like a maniac after leaving the hospital. He knew that Meng Chao’s first starring film focused on people with depression. He knew that Meng Chao won the Best Actor award for that film. He knew that Meng Chao…
Gradually, in Lin Qin’s isolated world, there was now a place for Meng Chao. He became Lin Qin’s mental refuge, his obsession, helping Lin Qin endure the darkest days of high school.
From the day he met Meng Chao, Lin Qin knew that he had broken through the layers of clouds and welcomed the sunlight that belonged to him.
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