Translator: Red Sky
Chapter 17: Twenty year agreement
“Your wife’s family agreed?” I asked him. This question was the true issue which made people helpless. Many lovers had to break apart due to this obstacle.
“They didn’t agree. After we had just settled in the coast city, her mom found us.” The male ghost talked with a bitter smile. One could imagine how terrified a son in law who hadn’t received his wife’s mother’s acknowledgement would be at that time.
“She cried and begged her mom to give her a year. If my business didn’t grow in a year, she would return home. Her mother slapped her.” The male ghost revealed a guilty expression.
“What happened a year later?” I was becoming impatient to know what their ending was. I was hopeful that this affectionate couple would be able to live happily. But, when I looked at the ghost in front of me, I realized that their ending might not have been a happy one.
“I was someone that had just graduated college. I didn’t have background nor capital. She was just exaggerating me by saying business. In that year, I did two jobs every day to earn enough money, so I could proudly say to my wife’s family that your daughter didn’t marry the wrong guy.” The male ghost laughed. But, within his smiling expression was a lot of helplessness and bitterness.
“The deadline arrived quickly. Wife’s mother didn’t give us a day more. She arrived outside our rented place; ready to take her daughter back.”
“I and my wife both worked very hard in that year and after living frugally, we saved fifty thousand Yuan. I took out all that money; I wanted to show her that we put in our best effort and wanted her to acknowledge us. But she still didn’t accept.” The male ghost spoke while clenching his hands.
“Wife didn’t return with mother in law; she said she was pregnant and it wouldn’t look good for the family if she returned. Her words completely infuriated mother in law. Mother in law beat her up, then she left without looking back.”
“After mother in law left, wife told me that all her escape routes were gone now. She gambled, gambled on me being nice to her for the whole life, gambled on me getting success in the future.” Tears fell down the male ghost’s eyes, he wiped them off and continued to speak.
I lightly sighed and stood up. I took an incense burner and put three incense sticks in it.
“Your wife was a great woman. Did you achieve what she hoped? Also, did your mother-in-law come looking for trouble again?” After burning the incense sticks, I asked.
“Thank you.” The male ghost voraciously breathed in the threads of fragrance released by the incense sticks. After a while, he embarrassedly thanked me. Humans and ghosts were different; humans eat food, ghosts smell fragrance.
“When my wife told mother in law that she had my child, it was actually a lie. But a year later, she was really pregnant. It would be only some time before she went in labour; but right at such a period, my mother-in-law visited our home once again.” The male ghost revealed a trace of fear when he spoke of this.
“She brought a bad news to us: father-in-law was kidnapped when he went for business in foreign lands, and he was later killed.” “Wife fainted when she heard this; but my attention was on mother-in-law whose body was completely drenched as if she had just come out of water. The thing is that it was hot that day, very hot. She was holding an umbrella while standing inside the room, smiling at us.” The male ghost gritted his teeth and spoke.
“When I was flusteredly calling for ambulance for my wife, my mother-in-law said I took away her daughter so she will also take away our child.” The wall clock was moving with tick-tock sounds and right when the male ghost spoke of this, it chimed midnight.
“There is no time, no time. She is coming to take my child!” The male ghost looked at the wall clock with fear as he repeatedly spoke.
“Bang, bang, bang!” When the chiming of the clock stopped, someone knocked the door of the store.
“Don’t… don’t open the door! Please don’t open the door, she is here!” As soon as the male ghost heard the door knocking, he stood up and walked to and fro in the room, while imploring me.
“There are many things you can’t run away from. You need to face it in the end. Anyway, don’t worry; with me here, no one can harm you.” Foster father taught me this; now, I was using foster father’s frequently spoken words to comfort the ghost beside me.
“Excuse me, is master here?” I opened the door; an upper class woman who was clothed in cheongsam and was holding an umbrella, asked me from outside the door. Like the one inside the room, the one before me wasn’t a human.
“Father passed away; if you have some matters, you can tell them to me.” I turned around to take a glance at the male ghost who was curled up in the corner, then said to the female ghost outside the door.
“I had an agreement with him and now it is due.” The female ghost was clearly much difficult to deal with than the male ghost. She brought a paper in front of my eyes and coldly said.
“After twenty years, I will come take my daughter. At that time, master cannot interfere.” Displayed in front of my eyes was an agreement letter; it only had two simple sentences on it and was signed by foster father and this female ghost.
“Let’s talk inside.” There was not a soul in the street. Maybe it was because of these two ghosts; the air was filled with a gloomy coldness. I leaned to the side and hinted to the female ghost.
“Where is Little Tong? Why are you alone? Speak, where did you put my Little Tong?” Only seeing her son-in-law in the room, the female ghost freaked out. It was apparent that she was a very strong woman when she was alive.
“Mother, Little Tong is dead. She died after giving birth to our child. Forgive me mother, I didn’t take care of her.” The male ghost was afraid. But hearing his mother in law ask about his wife, he came out of the corner, kneeled on the ground and spoke while crying bitterly.
Twenty years had gone by. Every time, he saw the daughter his wife had given her life to, he would deeply miss his dead wife. In these twenty years, he finally had his own business and was also successful in it. But he never remarried, he chose to raise his daughter as a single parent, because he felt he would be betraying his dead wife if he remarried.
Because of this, the rumors that he was g*y was spread between those women that had tried going after him. They simply couldn’t believe that there was someone in this world that would not go after other women. But he didn’t care, all he lived for was to take care of his child. Because his and Little Tong’s blood flowed on their daughter’s body.