A Friend Who I Loved for a Long Time chapter 3

Extra : The Granddaughter’s Perspective

Grandfather said he hoped grandmother could meet him in her next life.

 

____________

 

In my memories since I was born, my maternal grandparents loved each other very much. It was just like the phrase my mother said, “They treated each other as honored guests1.” Although I didn’t quite understand what it meant, I could see that grandfather loved grandmother a lot.

When I was eighteen years old, my grandmother’s health began to deteriorate without a reason. It was like she had gotten sick all of a sudden. Mom said that grandmother had a kind of illness that accumulated over the years.

It was only then that I slowly learned the story of my grandmother when she was young from my paternal grandparents who had a good relationship with her and the adults of my parent’s generation. Since childhood, my family had been happy and harmonious, my parents rarely fought. The few times they had a small fight, grandmother would console them for a long time. Grandmother always said to not fight in front of the children. Grandmother always told me that there were many people in the world who loved me.

I didn’t understand why my grandmother would suddenly say this to me until I heard her story one day. There were a few memories of my great-grandparents. My mother said that they divorced a long time ago. Although the relationship between grandmother and them grew to be better, it was still a deep worry in grandmother’s mind. I never met my great-grandparents. I only heard my grandfather say that after they felt guilty, they were very kind to my grandmother. My grandmother did not bother with things in the past. Later, when they died, my grandmother cried for many days.

I thought there must be love, but I still think my grandmother had lingering fears. That’s why she put so much emphasis on family love with me.

Thus, I was very blessed. From the time I could start remembering things, my grandmother would always go to a person’s graveyard with a bouquet of white prairie gentian flowers2. Once I followed and watched. My grandmother did not wipe away tears, she just gazed into the distance with an empty look and said thank you.

The man had passed away many years ago, but there was someone who always went to see him at his grave. Grandfather secretly went there once. He and my grandmother said the same thing: thank you.

I heard my mother say that grandmother called that person Ah Lin. It looked like he was her friend when she was young.

 

_

 

Only after growing up did I realize that the person called Ah Lin loved my grandmother all his life. He took my grandmother out of the fog, but he stayed in the darkness of the graveyard forever.

Grandmother said she was ashamed. That his friends were still in touch with grandmother.

They always blamed my grandmother for being ruthless. Grandmother never refuted. She only said, “Ah Lin told me to move on, to go to a better future, to live.

He said to move on and don’t look back. I listened. All these years, I tried my best to move on and did not dare to look back. Amidst the commotion with the insults and quarrels that were enough to drive people insane, I kept moving forward. But, I didn’t look back to see what I had missed.”

I didn’t quite understand what grandmother said, but I knew who she said she had missed.

I was thinking that maybe grandmother needed to move forward and reject the past. That’s why she abandoned everyone in the past. In this way, grandmother’s friend would probably understand, and he could break up with grandmother and let her go.

Listening to those stories, I did not know why I choked up a bit and wanted to cry. Maybe this kind of love was too deep. Grandmother didn’t suffer all her life.

My grandmother fell ill when I was eighteen years old, and I fell in love in that same year.

I took my boyfriend to the hospital ward to meet my grandmother. I knew that this old woman was the most concerned about me. I had just finished the college entrance examination, and my parents did not agree with me falling in love.

Grandmother was still ill that day. She woke up and heard my complaints. She looked at me and my boyfriend. When she spoke, my parents paused. Grandmother had always been imposing, and my parents did not dare to make a sound.

I looked my grandmother in the eye, and then I suddenly realized that she seemed to be looking at someone else through me.

Grandmother said in the hospital ward that day, “What’s wrong with falling in love after the college entrance examination? Youth only happens once. Go and love properly and don’t leave behind any regrets. Don’t be like grandmother…”

Grandmother didn’t continue talking, but I knew what she meant.

Perhaps regret from youth was always remembered for a long time.

 

_

 

Grandmother had been ill for more than a year, and her mental state was getting worse and worse. It was to the point where she sometimes didn’t recognize people. But she still remembered me, my mother, and my grandfather.

As we all knew, she would not recover from her illness. On the day she was discharged from the hospital, grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She gradually began to forget about the people around her and their names. It wasn’t long before she fell ill again.

It was on the night when I was twenty years old. My grandmother was carried into an ambulance. My family cried until we only had silent tears. That night, my grandmother had a moment of clarity. She looked into my grandfather’s wavering eyes and forced herself to utter a few words.

It was not I love you.

It was “Thank you”.

Unlike a normal person with love, grandmother looked at us all with a disoriented look.

In the middle of the night, I stayed up to watch over her. Grandmother didn’t want to sleep and insisted I bring the picture next to her bed at home. I had to go along with her wishes and brought the picture from our home.

She looked at the picture over and over again and opened the frame to a letter. At three o’clock in the morning, I said her name, but she didn’t recognize me.

She asked me who I was again and again, and she said, “Help me find Ah Lin. I want him to take me to see the sea, and this year’s cherry blossoms are almost in bloom.”

I knew her consciousness was completely hazy, as if she were in a nightmare and didn’t know what she was talking about. My grandmother was crying, and she probably didn’t even know she was crying.

Grandmother forgot everyone, but she didn’t forget Ah Lin.

Her consciousness seemed to have been in chaos a long time ago. She was sometimes clear and sometimes not. Her mind might not remember it.

But I knew that grandmother remembered Ah Lin.

Grandmother passed away that day with that picture in her arms. At four o’clock in the morning, my grandmother passed away.

 

_

 

I didn’t know that the reason why I didn’t feel like crying a lot was because I knew that my grandmother had gone to see Ah Lin.

No, to be exact, it was Ah Li who had gone to see Ah Lin.

The old people who told the story were speaking about Li and Lin.

I was not going to have a grandmother anymore.

In the days that followed, I finally knew how it felt when a close relative had left. I didn’t cry at my grandmother’s funeral, but I cried over trivial things. Grandfather told me not to cry.

He said it was a good thing. Grandmother went to find that man.

I was gasping for air as I cried and saw the tears in my grandfather’s eyes.

I asked my grandfather why he was not jealous and sad.

Grandfather said, “Your grandmother has been with me all her life. Even though she only said thank you, I know she has a place for me in her heart as a close relative. I think it’s fine. What’s more, I need to thank Ah Lin. If it were not for him, I might not have been able to successfully chase your grandmother. In this life, I have accompanied your grandmother and will stay faithful until I die. I was very happy with the one I love, and I am content with my happiness.”

Grandmother never said I love you to anyone, the most she said was thank you.

Was it because the love she could not express  had disappeared a long time ago when my grandmother was eighteen years old? I did not know.

 

_

 

Later, I asked my grandfather who the person in the picture was. My grandfather told me that he was the person who was the best to my grandmother and the one she was going to meet in her next life.

I remembered that I once asked my grandmother this question, and my grandmother replied, “He’s a friend.”

I came back to my senses and was a little at a loss. I continued to ask my grandfather what about him? Grandfather told me that this life was enough.

“Will grandmother meet him in her next life?”

“She will.”

 

—End—

 

The author has something to say:

I hesitated for a long time to write this perspective. At the beginning, I presented Ah Li’s later years hastily, so I wrote this part from the perspective of her granddaughter. In the end, Ah Li didn’t remember that she died holding a picture of Ah Lin, and she was already in a trance. That’s why the part about her death in her later years was very brief. However, Ah Li always remembered Ah Lin.

I don’t know why, but this really stabs me. As for Ah Li’s husband, he had no regrets because he spent his life with the person he loved, and Ah Li was willing to be with him. Maybe Ah Li was a rational and ruthless person. She didn’t remember asking her granddaughter to get the picture at the end. She was deceiving herself to not feel guilty and deceiving herself that the way she treated Ah Lin was just in the past. However, she still wanted to meet Ah Lin in her next life.

In the end, the relationship was more like a grateful friend, and the feelings of self-hate for not accompanying him through his sick days.

Learn from these experiences. I wrote until this part.

In the future, if I write about this again, it will also be on Weibo: 阿玖去看海i


A Friend Who I Loved for a Long Time

A Friend Who I Loved for a Long Time

爱了很久的朋友
Score 7.4
Status: Completed Type: Author: Released: 2021 Native Language: Chinese
Ah Li, I will beg to the heavens so that you can live a bit longer. I will risk all my luck and my life. I am willing. —————— Ah Lin, marry me in our next life.One sentence summary: He only told me that he wanted me to live.

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