Edited by Planetes
At night, when they were about to sleep, Yi Tian did not dare to be careless again. He thought of all sorts of methods, but felt that none of them would work. In the end, he decided to just share his bed with Mu Ran, reaching out with his right hand and holding him tightly against his chest. The two of them had never been so intimately close before, but at a time like this, Yi Tian was not completely in the mood to think about this, while Mu Ran did not even react at all.
At around three or four in the morning, Mu Ran shifted about in Yi Tian’s arms. Yi Tian was not a heavy sleeper, and so he immediately woke up. First, he tightened his arms reflexively, and only when he confirmed that the man was still there did Yi Tian then open his eyes, looking at him.
Mu Ran was looking into the distance, his mouth moving a little, chanting away very quietly. His body moved forward, seeming as though he wanted to get up. Yi Tian leant over, listening to him, but as the volume was too soft, he could not hear anything. Suspecting that Mu Ran wanted to go to the bathroom, Yi Tian hesitantly relaxed his grip. Without the restraint, Mu Ran almost immediately got out of bed. However, his objective was not the washroom. He opened the door, walking out, and Yi Tian hurriedly pulled the blanket away, getting out of bed as well and following him.
Just as Mu Ran was about to head downstairs, Yi Tian grabbed him nervously. Frowning, he said in a low voice, “Go back and sleep.”
However, Mu Ran seemed to be unable to hear him. He looked straight forward as he mumbled away, even trying to struggle away and continue walking forward. Noticing how determined he was, Yi Tian thought he might as well not stop him. Relaxing his grip a little, he carefully went down the stairs with him.
Once downstairs, Mu Ran entered the kitchen. Afraid that he would grab a knife, Yi Tian tugged him back. However, Mu Ran suddenly increased his strength, throwing his hand away as he walked over to the fridge and opened the door. Yi Tian froze, deciding to stand there and watch him.
There were a lot of ingredients in the fridge, and they had been bought by the auntie who came to cook today. After taking a few eggs, Mu Ran turned and found a little pot in the cupboard. He washed the pot, filled it with some water, then carefully placed the eggs inside, putting the pot over the stove and starting the fire. Yi Tian frowned, his heart suddenly pounding harder.
Standing in front of the stove, Mu Ran quietly watched as steam rose from the water that was gradually heating up.
He was no longer wooden and expressionless. The corners of his mouth were slightly curved, and the smile on his face was gentle and warm.
Once the eggs were cooked and cooled, Mu Ran sat down by the table. Looking down, he peeled the eggs without a sound. The smooth, tender egg white was revealed, and where he was holding the egg, he kept a tiny bit of shell on. Then, he looked towards his side, smiling and holding the egg out.
There was no one next to him.
Just like that, he continued holding the egg out to a spot that was empty, looking like a funny statue.
Time ticked by. The brightness in his eyes dimmed bit by bit, and his smile too slowly faded away. In the end, his fingers became limp, and the egg fell onto the ground.
Standing by the side, watching the entire time, Yi Tian did not say anything, only walking over and holding Mu Ran’s hand that was still reaching out, leading him back to the bedroom upstairs. Mu Ran did not struggle. Instead, he opened his mouth, seemingly wanting to say something. In the end, he still did not say a word, only dazedly staring at Yi Tian back and obediently following him.
When they returned to the bedroom, Mu Ran pretty much fell asleep the moment he got into the bed. He was just like a robot that had ran out of charge, without the energy to even open his eyes. Instead, Yi Tian, next to him, did not sleep the entire night.
The next day, Xu Ran came over for a psychotherapy session with Mu Ran. However, this time, no matter how hard she tried to communicate with Mu Ran, he did not speak a single word. He maintained his stiff sitting posture the whole time, and his eyes looked forward, unfocused. Xu Ran did not expect that the situation would suddenly become so serious, as just a few days ago, Mu Ran was still able to talk to her in a somewhat fragmented manner.
“Did something abnormal happen to him last night?” Xu Ran knew that Mu Ran had tried to kill himself again yesterday, but that was not possible to cause such a severe deterioration overnight. Yi Tian looked at the man who had become even more stiff and wooden after waking up in the morning, saying in a low voice, “He most likely had a hallucination last night.”
Frowning, Xu Ran looked at Yi Tian, her face questioning, and Yi Tian recounted Mu Ran’s actions.
Xu Ran pressed her lips together, falling silent. That day, when Mu Ran was speaking to her, his thought process was already a little confused. She only got a general gist of the cause and effect, and she was not very clear about the details. Even when she asked him about the most crucial matter, his mute mother, Mu Ran would only mumble to himself, looking absentminded as he repeated, “she’s the only person in this world who is good to me”. According to Yi Tian’s narration, she could only speculate that last night’s hallucination had caused a secondary trauma to Mu Ran’s psyche, worsening his illness.
Just like this, the silence lasted for quite some time. In the end, Xu Ran was still resolved, and she told Yi Tian, “I’ll prescribe him risperidone and sulpiride.”
She actually did not recommend such pharmaceutical intervention, as no matter how good the antidepressants worked, they had their side effects, and could cause one to be reliant on them. However, right now, if they did not provide such an intervention, this person would be gone, just like that.
“No.” With a poker face, Yi Tian refused her, looking at the man sitting quietly on the couch, whose eyes were completely empty. Xu Ran had mentioned these two medications to him over the phone last night, her intentions only to tell him that if the psychotherapy was ineffective, or not effective enough, they would simultaneously treat him with the medicine. Yi Tian was unable to accept the side effects of these medications. Furthermore, up till now, he was still unwilling to admit the truth that Mu Ran was actually considered a mentally ill patient.
“He’s already in a catatonic depressive state, his illness is becoming more serious! Right now, he still has some survival instincts, and he knows to eat and sleep. If this continues developing, he will lose control of his bowels and urination, he will stop eating and drinking, and he won’t even swallow his saliva! By then, what will you do? Your sympathy would have been emptied, and you’re going to throw him out again? You might as well just kill him right now!” Xu Ran became more agitated the more she spoke, finally straightening up in her seat and pounding the table.
Yi Tian did not respond, while next to them, He Xudong could no longer hold himself back, and he asked falteringly, “Laopo, umm, I just wanna ask, he really can’t hear what we’re saying, or is he pretending?”
Xu Ran glared at him, her eyes filled with daggers. “You jolly well pretend for me to see!”
He Xudong bowed his head, rubbing his nose in silence. Xu Ran turned to look at Mu Ran, who had been quiet the whole time, not reacting at all to their conversation. “A person’s subconscious will protect themself, preventing them from suffering. This is what is commonly known as our defense mechanism. His psyche has received a severe trauma, and yet he is unable to die. As such, his body has automatically reacted in a way to avoid harm, sealing him in his inner world, cutting his senses off away from the world, and so separating himself from the source of his suffering. He can definitely hear us speaking, but he no longer is able to compile the words together, gain meaning from them, and react accordingly.”
Completely confused, He Xudong looked at her. Xu Ran sighed. “It’s just like a person in a rural area. The only way they have of communicating with the outside world is the phone in their hand, yet there is not a single bit of signal in this damn place! Like this, even if he has a phone, he is unable to contact anyone, and no one is able to contact him as well!”
He Xudong nodded, enlightened. However, Xu Ran sneered at Yi Tian, adding, “You’re really quite impressive, to have forced a person to this stage.”
Yi Tian did not speak, but behind Xu Ran, He Xudong had an expression of “please don’t mind her, her temper’s like that”. To tell the truth, Mu Ran’s current situation, looking as though he was turning crazy, was very tragic, but he was unable to feel the slightest bit of sympathy. A disgusting person was disgusting, and no matter how pitiful he was, it was useless. Becoming like this, was it not his own fault? Naturally, He Xudong was not so stupid to express this. He did finally understand that his wife was the sentimental sort who was tough on the outside and soft inside. Whenever she heard some sob story, her eyes would fill up with tears. If she were to find out what he actually thought, would she not kill him?
“You should go back first.” Yi Tian, who had been quiet the whole time, suddenly spoke up. Xu Ran turned to look at him, and expressionlessly, he reasserted, “I won’t let him take the medications.”
Her face changing, Xu Ran almost wanted to hit him. He Xudong hurriedly grabbed her hand, and Xu Ran, so angry that her voice was trembling, asked, “You’re actually deliberately taking revenge on him, right?! You just want to see him slowly turn mad, and die in the most wretched manner, correct?!”
“Enough, enough, laopo, calm down a little. That’s not what Yi Tian meant.” He Xudong could not continue listening. He soothed Xu Ran, trying to lead her outside.
Xu Ran glared at him, forcefully throwing his hand off her and striding quickly out of the door. He Xudong gave Yi Tian a resigned smile, and hurried after her.