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Today’s weather was very clear. The sky appeared blue just like that person’s eyes.
Lin Yifei’s car was on the highway to Washington Airport. He had been listening to the news countless times on the radio.
“Chris Osborne, a 23-year-old American athlete who just won the Men Olympic Fencing Championship this year was seriously injured in a car accident yesterday morning and was sent to the hospital for treatment. He died at 12:30 p.m. on the same day…”
Pa – the radio was turned off. Lin Yifei’s shoulder trembled. His eyes began to blur. Unable to resist, he finally stopped at the side of the road. He laid his head on the steering wheel and let his tears fall. After more than a minute, he wiped away his tears and moved on.
When he received a phone call from Chris’s father two hours ago, he thought that it was all a joke, just to scare him into returning to New York earlier. But when the news broadcasted all over the radio, Lin Yifei realized that it was all true.
Chris Osborne, his best friend was really gone.
He caught the latest flight back to New York and didn’t dare to read any of the magazines and newspapers. He just looked forward to the moment of landing with his eyes closed.
It was Keven Phil who met him at the airport in New York. He was Chris’s number one rival on the court but was also a good friend of Lin Yifei.
“Lin…Mr. Osborne is dealing with his grief, so I came to pick you up.” Kevin’s normally lazy and cynical expression was replaced by a solemn face. He took the luggage from Lin Yifei and led him to the parking place.
“What’s going on? How can there suddenly be an accident?” Lin Yifei still couldn’t accept Chris’s departure. “He is a very calm and cautious person! He can’t…”
“According to the preliminary judgment of the police, it’s because there were reporters after him. You know Chris is very reserved and doesn’t like to be followed by reporters. He must be trying to get rid of them. Who knows that a pair of young people riding a motorcycle would drive illegally from the opposite side, Chris wanted to avoid…As a result, he crashed into a phone booth, causing the entire car to turn over…”
Lin Yifei took a deep breath. “I see…can I still look at him?”
“Yes…Mr. Osborne postpones the funeral to wait for you.” Kevin smiled helplessly at Lin Yifei, “Because you are the most special.“
“Am I…?” Lin Yifei looked out of the window at the passing scenery that was moving backwards, just like lost time.
The Osbornes were very rich, but Chris was not born with a golden spoon. His mother was originally a student at the Conservatory College of Music, but later she dropped out of school because she became pregnant with Mr. Osborne’s child, which made her life difficult. In order for mother and child to survive, she had to take to the streets and suffered humiliation. Chris was not brought back by Mr. Osborne until he graduated from elementary school, after his mother died of lung disease due to overwork. The environment fostered Chris’s sharpness and apathy. Some friends once joked that Chris’s only tenderness was all given to Lin Yifei. This amused Lin Yifei because he knew more about Chris’s vulnerability under his shell than anyone else.
Chris’s funeral was held in a famous church in New York, but all of the people present were only Chris’s relatives and friends. There was no media and no extra people. His coach sat next to Chris’s father while keeping his eyes closed. Chris was the most brilliant highlight of his coaching career. Chris’s father, Mr. Osborne, looked very calm. He loved Chris very much. Although the reality widened the gap between him and his son like a gulf, since Chris never forgave his abandonment of his mother, Mr. Osborne, who had experienced many storms in the market in his mid-50s, stared at Chris lying there as if his son was just asleep.
Everyone took turns to present the bouquet. Finally, Lin Yifei came to Chris’s side.
This guy was still handsome and elegant with high nose bridge and sharp eyebrows. Lin Yifei didn’t know how much he envied his appearance. There were countless girls chasing after him when they were in college together and after graduation. Thanks to this guy, he didn’t even have girlfriend.
When he called two days ago, this guy even said that he was going to knock him out of the semifinal at the Olympic Fencing Championship, so that he wouldn’t have the opportunity to enter the final and compete one-on-one with Kevin Phil. It was humiliating. But if Chris could live, Lin Yifei was willing to be angry with him every day.
Lin Yifei didn’t want to attend the dinner after the funeral. He didn’t plan to discuss Chris’s life with others while drinking champagne, because he knew Chris’s personality. He didn’t plan to share the little things between himself and Chris with others.
“Hey, Lin…” Mr. Osborne walked up with a faint smile that couldn’t hide his sadness. “I think you might prefer to come to Chris’s room with me.”
“Of course.” Lin Yifei followed Mr. Osborne upstairs. When they opened Chris’s door, they saw a simple and elegant room, just like Chris’s personality.
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“We haven’t touched any of his belongings. I think you might like to collect some.” Mr. Osborne opened a drawer and took out an album. “Chris only had two albums. One was with his mother when he was a child. I left it as a souvenir. The other one is this. It’s very thick…all of them taken with you.”
Lin Yifei opened the photo album. The first one was his funny photo when he joined the university fencing team. He lifted up the T-shirt and drew a pig on his stomach. Lin Yifei smiled, “I really don’t know where this guy got this photo…”
“Chris would treasure every piece that belongs to you.” Mr. Osborne’s words shook Lin Yifei’s heart.
“Maybe you haven’t noticed, but you aren’t just ‘special’ to Chris. If you’re just special, he didn’t need to rush about because you couldn’t find a suitable coach. He wouldn’t be happy because you made it to the world top seven. Well, even if these situations can happen between two good friends, he wouldn’t be unhappy because you have a girlfriend. Maybe Chris really hated me as his father, but I love him very much and watch his every move.”
“You…mean…” Lin Yifei’s mind was blank.
“He loved you. He was not the kind of person who talked about love. You have to understand everything yourself. Maybe it will be better for you to keep the impression that Chris is your good friend forever, but as his father, I really want you to know. Please don’t hate him because of this. After all, he had already left.”
Lin Yifei froze in place. The photo album dropped from his hand and fell to the ground. It happened to open right on the night Chris won the Olympic Fencing Championship. The two of them escaped from the fencing hall to avoid reporters and took photos with their mobile phones while eating hamburgers at McDonald’s.
At that time, Chris smiled warmly.
Lin Yifei remembered that Chris really didn’t smile very often. He only smiled when he was with himself.
In the evening, Lin Yifei stayed in the Osbornes’ guest room.
When Kevin left, Lin Yifei took him to the garage.
“Judging by your expression, did Mr. Osborne tell you?” Kevin leaned against the car door and looked at Lin Yifei with a little smile in his eyes.
“…Even you know?” Lin Yifei was somewhat surprised.
“Anyone who comes close to you Lin will make Chris go crazy. We didn’t say anything, thinking that you would understand sooner or later. That guy Chris wouldn’t let us tell you what’s on his mind.” Kevin opened the car door and sat in, “Lin, Chris has already left. I suddenly feel lonely in the fencing bout. You have to work hard. The next Championship will be the finals. Take Chris’s place and beat me.”
Having finished saying that, his car raced off and headed for the darkness.
You like me? Is that so?
Lin Yifei hissed.
You think I will understand sooner or later, but I understand too late.
Returning to his guest room, Lin Yifei knew that he couldn’t sleep. The photo album was lying beside the pillow. He turned it over and over again many times. Perhaps Chris was hiding his thoughts too well. If no one told Lin Yifei, even till today, he would still think that he and Chris were just pure friends.
Suddenly, there came a quarrel in the living room downstairs. Lin Yifei wanted to go down and have a look, but he also realized that with Chris’s departure, the Osbornes’ family should have a lot of internal affairs to take care of. It’s not appropriate for him to go out.
Only this quarrel became fiercer. There even came the sound of porcelain being smashed. Mr. Osborne’s roar showed that the situation was tense.
Lin Yifei decided to go down and have a look.
As soon as he walked down the stairs, he saw Mr. Osborne fell and sat amidst the broken pieces of porcelain with his palm bleeding. Opposite him were Chris’s cousin Elizabeth and her casual boyfriend John. John, with a gun in his hand, pointed to Mr. Osborne and shouted, “Why? Liz is your only niece! You left Chris’s fencing hall in Washington to an outsider!”
“No reason why! Chris’s property is completely distributed according to his will!” Mr. Osborne stood up with a straight face. Seeing Lin Yifei standing behind him, he couldn’t help showing a worried look and motioned with his hand for Lin Yifei to go upstairs immediately. “I advise you to stop that now! The Butler has already called the police!”
Sure enough, the sound of a police car was heard outside the window.
“You old sh*t!” John was so nervous that he accidentally pulled the trigger.
“Bang-”, the whole place was shaking.
Lin Yifei stood there. Mr. Osborne shouted and rushed over, but he was a step too late.
“Lin-” Mr. Osborne covered Lin Yifei’s chest tightly. He lowered his head and realized that it was none other than himself who was hit by the shot.
It hurt like burning flesh and blood.
“Lin-you can’t have anything happen!” Mr. Osborne helped Lin Yifei to lie down. Lin Yifei’s breathing became difficult.
The roof of the Osbornes’ family made Lin Yifei feel dizzy. His sight began to turn pale. A picture unfolded before him. It was the first time he saw Chris in the fencing hall of the university.
He was wearing a white fencing suit, holding a sabre in his hand. He made a graceful and sharp salute. The world seemed to have stopped because of him.
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“I’m waiting for you.”
Lin Yifei smiled slightly.
“Here I come.”
Mr. Osborne’s cries of pain and guilt faded away. All his breathing stopped, even as his thoughts remained.
If, I mean, if I can start over again, what will happen to you and me?
T/N: There might be some discriminating remarks in the beginning, but overall this novel doesn’t have heavy racist undertone.
I was going to do minimal edits and update fast, then I realize that I just end up editing the heck out of these chapters anyway. So, I’m just going to take more time to ensure high quality and update slower.
Additional notes: Some chapters in this novel have titles while others don’t. It depends on the author’s mood, I guess. The author doesn’t live in the U.S. So, there will be mistakes in terms of cultural references.
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