When I came home from the company late at night and walked alone through the quiet Wutong Avenue, I thought of Qi Shi.
He was a good friend of mine when I was a child. His name was very interesting, homophonic of the characters for ‘knight’.
I’m not going to tell my own story, it’s more about him.
In our childhood, people often lived close to each other, or simply in the same compound. At that time, the buildings were not high, and the rooms were small. Every child would have some regular friends. They would play downstairs for a while every afternoon, and then they would be called home by adults near their windows.
The first time I saw Qi Shi was at noon on a Sunday. At that time, there were no weekends and only one day a week was allowed away from school. I was not old enough to play in the sand so I was playing ball with my little brothers. It was just a colorful ball. It couldn’t be called a soccer ball.
In the hot summer, there were a few middle school girls in colorful clothes walking by, and my eyes would stop and follow them. At that time, I was already interested in girls, but I didn’t know how to talk to them. The girls in the same grade as me were very rude and disgusting, while the older girls were like fairies, which made me feel like I was far away.
The brief distraction caused me to lose the ball. I was so angry that I decided to kick it back. After venting my anger out on the ball, it flew along the grass and hit a child.
I knew I had made a mistake, so I ran to apologize. The kid was very small and thin, hiding in the shade. Luckily I didn’t kick the ball hard enough and he wasn’t hurt.
Later, I learned that his name was Qi Shi. He was a child of the family upstairs. At that time, I was surprised that he was not hurt, but his face was red and his body was shaking. After all, I kicked the ball, and I was scared and called out to my parents.
My parents didn’t blame me, but they talked to me solemnly about Qi Shi. Now I know that he seems to be in poor health, and his brain is abnormal. He seldom comes downstairs.
At that time, I felt very guilty because I accidentally hurt a sick child. I went to the door to apologize and got an understanding of the situation from Qi Shi’s mother. I stayed to chat with Qi Shi for a while and drank his family’s mochi juice.
I was shocked by the stacks of books in Qi Shi’s room. He is one year younger than me, but his physique is as thin as several years younger than me. However, there were no toy guns, toy masks, etc. in his room, there were many books like the adult’s room.
It was not until we all went to high school that I could roughly describe how many books there were in his family. Foreign novels and ancient novels were available. There were hundreds of encyclopedias and detective reasoning books. Some of them were like reference books and comments. In a word, they were the kind I definitely didn’t read.
After learning that Qi Shi was not in good health, I felt a kind of sympathy for Qi Shi when I was a child. I would give him the most popular trading cards, promise his parents that I would protect him, and then carefully protect him when he was outside.
I always thought that since Qi Shi was fond of reading and studying that he would be very good at learning, but later I learned that he didn’t even go to school. Until he was ten years old, there were no schools willing to accept him.
Qi Shi is not a normal child. I’ve been vaguely aware of this since I was a child. It’s just that the ‘crazy’ people in my impression were the ones who would yell and attack others. Qi Shi was very quiet, so I couldn’t think of the possibility of ‘mental illness.’
I liked to chat with him, though I couldn’t keep up with his thoughts. He seemed to have many imaginary friends. He would point to the bookcase and say: every night, a police uncle will come out and arrest the monsters from the house; Miss Dove will send him a letter, in which he tells a prince that Thumbelina’s life experience is very hard, and asks the prince to treat her well; when his mother is sad, she will shed a lot of tears, drowning the whole house… He would struggle and suffocate in the water.
I didn’t tell this to my parents. Even when I was young, I knew it wasn’t true. I was afraid that once I said it, I wouldn’t be able to play with Qi Shi any more.
When I graduated from primary school, I used to take Qi Shi out of the compound by bike and ride along the tree-lined road by the river.
I rode my father’s bicycle and let Qi Shi sit on the front bar. I had the illusion that I had become more mature and tall because that’s how adults ride with children.
Qi Shi was more normal than before. At least he no longer stared at my back when he talked to me. We parked at the side of the fence and lay in the shade of the willow, behind me there were some kids a few years younger than us that walked past, but I forgot to look.
I’d been watching Qi Shi’s eyes, and I didn’t know what kind of world he saw with them. He looked across the river and across the bank, his lips moving as if to speak to someone in a low voice. When I asked him, he said that there were several soldiers who went over to arrest the bad guys. He was quietly reminding them to pay attention to their safety.
Then he pointed to the sky, he said Superman came, he meant a kite, and the bad guys couldn’t run anymore. At that time, I had just seen the image of Superman and had no idea what the hero had done.
I knew the world in Qi Shi’s eyes was different from mine. So I asked him, “What do I look like?”
“You look like you?” He looked at me in confusion.
“Just tell me. I want to know.”
He thought about it for a moment, and then he pointed down from my head, “The crown on your head is made of gold and silver. Your cape is a little crooked. Maybe you just touched it. You also have a sword, and your boots are stained with mud…”
At that time, I was so surprised that I sat up. I was wearing a T-shirt with a round neck, big shorts, and black shoes. How could Qi Shi think of me like that?
He thought I was a prince or a king. I felt a strange kind of joy.
I thought of the girls in light dresses. Looking at their bigger and more mature appearance than mine, I felt far away, and couldn’t imagine that I would play with those girls when I grew up.
I knew that princes and kings always married princesses from foreign places in cartoons and fairy tales, but I had no idea what was good about ‘princesses.’
But I liked Qi Shi very much. Even though he was seriously ill, I always felt that there was something about him that attracted me. I thought, if I really am a prince, then I don’t need to play with princesses. The prince has to protect the princess. I don’t want to protect the princess. If it was Qi Shi, then it would not be the same.
Later, I went to a very ordinary junior high school, and Qi Shi also entered the first grade of junior high school at the age of fourteen and was in the same school as me. By this time, I was already in the third year.
It seemed that Qi Shi’s mental problems had been treated and alleviated, and his mother had been running and working around it secretly, finally enabling him to enter normal school. He was very autistic in school, looking pathetic. I worried about him, afraid that he would be bullied by my classmates. That if he said something strange to others, they would laugh at him.
To my surprise, he learned to be silent in school and not to say what he saw easily. He told me secretly that his parents told him not to say those words to others, so he kept the secrets in his heart and eyes.
He loved reading books and even textbooks, but his grades were still very poor, which was a pity. Soon after, his class, and even in the entire grade, there finally spread a rumor that he was ‘insane’ and ‘mentally retarded.’ His behavior was really different from ordinary people. He had no friends and often looked at nothing.
Since he entered junior high school, I went to school with him every day. People in the school shook their heads and sighed when they talked about him, but I hated it very much. They think that I am caring, responsible, and loyal since I insisted on helping Qi Shi, the neighbor. They think Qi Shi is a disabled child and not healthy.
In fact, when I grew up, I couldn’t deny that Qi Shi was really the kind of person who needed help. But at the age of fifteen, I was heartbroken.
Because of ‘helping’ Qi Shi all year-round, the school gave me some honorary titles and certificates. At the school meeting, the principal praised my ‘deeds’ in front of the students on the playground. He called me by name, but hid Qi Shi’s name, although everyone knew who was being ‘helped.’
I looked in the direction of the lower grade, looking for Qi Shi. He was a small boy who always had to sit in the first row, but I couldn’t find him. Later, I learned that he did not come downstairs at all. When he wrote his composition essay for class, every word was lower than the space of the manuscript, and it was said that no one could understand the content. At this time, he was left in the office by the teacher.
After school, when I saw Qi Shi coming towards me, I felt a burst of inexplicable sadness and anger. It was as if what I experienced during the day was not recognition, but punishment.
While praising me, they were also demeaning Qi Shi.
On the way to school, I read Qi Shi’s composition. Qi Shi seemed unable to examine the topic at all. He can grasp one or two keywords, but he can’t understand the meaning of the whole paragraph. His composition has no theme, and it must be very bad in the eyes of the teacher. It was mixed with words that no one could recognize, it was not the language of any country, just random symbols.
This was only his first day of junior high school. His composition materials were related to Dayu’s flood control. Obviously, he understood who Dayu was, so he began to write a lot of things related to ancient wars, but it was not a narration or a discussion. Because he likes reading, every sentence is smooth and even beautiful, but no one can understand the context.
They’re like a torn film, like something directly mapped out of his mind. His thoughts were jumping around and getting more and more exciting. What he described was not the wisdom and hard work of Dayu’s flood control, but as if a distant hero was struggling and fighting endlessly.
I didn’t think there’s anything wrong with Qi Shi, but I also knew that people didn’t like children like this.
Then several times later, I found that people in his class began to bully him. Because Qi Shi was in poor health, those children did not dare to beat him, but they made things difficult for him and ridiculed him in all kinds of small ways. They deliberately hid his things and Qi Shi’s reactions made them laugh. They even deliberately took advantage of Qi Shi’s slow-moving weakness, knocking over his lunch box, and instructing him to do strange things. I was angry, but I couldn’t punish those kids. I was not with him, and I was going to graduate soon. I was afraid they’d be more aggressive in the future.
Soon after, I took the entrance examination for high school and was about to graduate. On the last day of the semester, I was waiting for Qi Shi to walk home together again. When he came out of school, I noticed that his eyes were red and puffy. I was very frightened and asked him if someone was bullying him, but he told me: it is a great honor to offer courage for justice.
Qi Shi always yearned for heroes, mysterious agents, Superman, ancient heroes… Maybe it was because his name was a homophone for ‘knight’ that his mind was full of things that were not ordinary.
Maybe because he was weak and small, he yearned for those things, or maybe he’s had a different perspective of things from us since he was born. After all, we were not sure that if he saw exactly the same things as others.
I couldn’t understand what happened at that moment. I saw his grazed elbows and his scratched-up fingers. I lifted up his trousers and saw he had bruises on his knee. I thought about it more, and finally, I couldn’t help wiping away my tears.
I was going to high school and I couldn’t protect him anymore. No, I’d never really protected him before.
People praised me for being a friend of Qi Shi, but what did they give him? What else did I give him?
In the future, I may be more and more unable to protect him. I know it was a cold reality, and I was shocked by my coolness and despicableness: by this time, I had clearly understood that Qi Shi was really abnormal, and even though I liked him very much, he was still abnormal.
In the future, I would go to high school, go to college, look for a job then make friends with the kind of girl I yearned for when I was a child. I would become an adult and spend my adult life like my parents. I would go along this clear road, and Qi Shi would no longer be with me.
At that time, Qi Shi looked at me with big eyes and suddenly turned to stand in front of me.
I tried not to go too far, it was not a good thing for a 15-year-old boy to shed tears.
Qi Shi looked at me, took a step back with his right leg, and then slowly lowered himself. He was still looking at me when he put his right hand on his left chest, and knelt in front of me on one knee. “Your Majesty, no matter how many enemies there are, I will defeat them for you. No matter how dangerous things are, I will be on your side with my sword. I will always be your knight, and it is my honor to fight for you.”
I was stunned. I remember when I was a child by the river – Qi Shi said I was wearing a crown, a cape, and held a sword.
Of course, he is not my princess. He thinks I am his king and he is my knight.
It was the first time I had this experience. I knelt down and cried with him.
I didn’t see Qi Shi’s expression at that time, because my eyes were blurred by tears, so I didn’t dare to take a good look at him. I never cried like this before in my memory. I was weaker than a little girl, but I couldn’t help it.
Later, I heard from my parents that Qi Shi was injured that day because of two things: a boy in his class bullied a girl, knocked a stack of books she was holding to the ground, and deliberately lifted her skirt when she was in a panic. Qi Shi, who seldom spoke at ordinary times, rushed to protect the girl and was pushed to the ground by the boy.
Originally, the student didn’t dare to touch Qi Shi, because the teacher said that Qi Shi was very weak and had a lot of diseases like this and that. However, the students were very young back then and knew that they would be punished in case of an accident. This time, the bullying went on. After pushing Qi Shi down, he insulted Qi Shi and me.
Qi Shi was angry, and he rushed to attack the student. But Qi Shi, of course, couldn’t beat him and could only suffer the losses. Fortunately, other students in the class pulled them away in time.
I knew that Qi Shi thought he was really a knight. He protected the ladies and protected the king’s reputation. By contrast, I thought my future was bleak without Qi Shi.
As I grew up, I learned more and more about this. I no longer thought that Qi Shi’s personality was ‘interesting’ as I did when I was a child, but gradually realized how serious his mental problems were.
I knew what Qi Shi’s future would be like, and it wouldn’t be the same as mine.
It was not his life that I grieved for, but that I might betray him.
Then I went to high school, and a year later Qi Shi left school and went to another institution for treatment.
Qi Shi had learned to use some communication tools, and could also type and surf the Internet. His mental problems were very complicated. He could learn basic life skills, but he had great obstacles in cognition, understanding, and feedback of things. When he got home, I often went to see him, and I could feel that he was better than before. At least in some extremely mundane, daily conversations, he looked very normal.
He could understand the words “Are you busy with your homework”, “Which one is delicious, beef rice noodles or pickled vegetable rice noodles?”, “A few words can be typed in a minute”, but he still did not address or call me ‘Your majesty’.
When his family was away, I brought him to my house to watch Titanic. His mood changed like he was watching a different film, when he saw the lower-class cabins begin to fill with water, he was afraid, but he tried to endure it. As the disaster in the film was approaching, he even began to breathe harshly and tremble.
I was so scared that I stopped the movie. I remembered his description a long time ago: he said that his mother would drown the whole room with tears when she was sad, and he would drown in her tears.
I still couldn’t fully understand what he saw and felt. That time I put my arm around him and touched his hair, but he threw off my arm and ran out the door.
He pushed me to safety. I had no choice but to go out with him, and he just took a long sigh of relief.
It was the first time I found out that my thoughts about him might not be as simple as responsibility. I couldn’t find any reason to not like Qi Shi. No one would think that a boy with mental problems was worth liking… but I just wanted to stay with him.
I had to protect him, and he also believed in me, one day his parents would leave, he could only trust in me.
As a teenager, I felt a sense of detachment: I felt more stable and mature than my peers and more like a man than they were. I would search for disease-related information, learn some psychological knowledge, and maintain academic excellence as much as possible. I knew that I had to sacrifice a lot of energy to make myself excellent. I had to become very strong so that I could choose a different road from others and continue to accompany Qi Shi.
I had to be like a real king.
Qi Shi was never able to enter ordinary schools again. Even if some schools would accept him, he couldn’t keep up with the teaching progress. Qi Shi’s situation was very strange. He indulged in books and knew more knowledge and stories than his peers, whether it was literature or science. However, he couldn’t use them to form reasonable logic. He even talked in a strange way, not to mention taking exams.
I didn’t know how I was used to talking to him. I could feel what he needed through his inexplicable sentences.
Qi Shi and I got commendations during high school. This time, it was not from school, but from the district. My parents were a little uneasy because of my behavior, but my grades and the commendation I got helped dispel their doubts.
I didn’t like the awards, and the only reason I appreciated them was because they made my elders not object to my association with Qi Shi. For Qi Shi, I had to go to a local university. I didn’t go out to play with Qi Shi in my third year of senior high school. I had no time at all. But after all, Qi Shi lived on the upper floor, so I could be a little relieved.
Just three days before my exam, Qi Shi’s mother committed suicide. She jumped out of the window and landed on the concrete floor. In the early morning, everyone in the courtyard was shocked and speculated on why she did it.
I rushed upstairs in desperation. Qi Shi was huddled in a corner of the room, looking at the open window. Soon after the police came to investigate, he had to leave the room temporarily. I insisted on taking him to my house. His father was numb and just waved to us.
Then I remembered that Qi Shi’s mother jumped out of his room. The building was not high, I didn’t know if his mother struggled for a long time before finally dying.
My family was a little dissatisfied with me bringing Qi Shi home. But after all, something like this happened, and they were afraid of affecting my mood before the exams, so they didn’t say anything.
I closed the door of the room and hugged the tiny Qi Shi. He didn’t tremble or cry. His eyes were like he was looking at something I couldn’t see.
“At that time, I saw,” Qi Shi whispered, “she took up her sword, her back to the sun, and she said to me that in the future, I should fight alone, protect everything I cherish, and burn my life. Then, suddenly, a cloud came upon her, and the devil wanted her to give in and tear her body apart. She rode on a golden dragon’s back, and the dragon flapped its wings into the blue sky and flew up high… “
“Stop it…” I could feel a cold chill on my back.
I knew that Qi Shi watched his mother do it, and maybe even kept his eyes open in the room until dawn.
A few days later, I walked into the examination room, still normal. After that, I found that Qi Shi’s father was treating him badly.
These kinds of gossip spread very quickly among people. They say Qi Shi watched his mother die without stopping her. I know Qi Shi couldn’t hear the gossip, but I could.
I thought it was unfair. When Qi Shi went out of the door, everyone thought he was an abnormal madman, but when there was a tragedy, everyone forgot that the world he saw was not the same as ours.
Angry, I recalled what Qi Shi said, and the more I thought about it, the more I felt there was a problem. I could read into what he said to a certain extent, this time… the more I thought about it, the more scared I became
Who was the “dragon” and “mother” sitting and riding into the clouds?
Before I had a lot of exam questions in my mind, I didn’t think about it in detail. Fortunately, I didn’t think of it until after the exam, otherwise I would have been distracted. Before I made up my mind to continue to ask, something unexpected happened. Qi Shi’s father was taken away by the police for questioning.
This made the neighbors have more speculations, but it was not good to ask Qi Shi directly. After all, I knew that he was not very normal.
That day, I went to deliver food to Qi Shi. As soon as Qi Shi saw me, he took out a diary from his clothes and a mobile phone from his underwear and presented them to me with a dignified face.
At first, I was a little surprised and embarrassed. Qi Shi never did such strange things. But when I opened the diary and took the cell phone, I understood.
Not only did I get it, but I felt cold.
It was his mother’s diary and cell phone.
He said his mother’s tears when she was sad would flood the room because his father would press her head into the water again and again until she would almost drown.
There were a lot of photos on the mobile phone, some of which I was embarrassed to see. Only Qi Shi could tolerate those pictures.
Even I didn’t think I could discuss it with my parents. Those photos had been left by Qi Shi’s mother secretly. Some parts of them were too private to be seen. In the end, I told my parents about it. I expected the response: they told me not to talk about it, not to worry about it, because it was someone else’s business.
However, Qi Shi only believed in me. If I didn’t help him, who else would stand by him?
I knew why the police took Qi Shi’s father, and I knew that they had found some old injuries on Qi Shi’s mother’s body… But it didn’t work. They couldn’t get any evidence against him.
In the end, his father came back. I don’t know why his mother didn’t have her family come forward.
It was a rainy evening in the summer. Qi Shi went out of the house and outside the building, complaining loudly again and again about how the devil persecuted the lady he was loyal to. People in the building poked their heads out in curiosity. I knew they couldn’t understand what Qi Shi was saying.
Only two people came out, one was me and the other was Qi Shi’s father. That man must understand, even if every word from his son was absurd, he would still feel guilty about it.
I held Qi Shi tightly, and his father glared at us from a few paces away. I felt very helpless. I couldn’t make Qi Shi safe, let alone face his mother’s death. I could only watch him go home with his father. The whole world thinks that he should. No one is our champion.
Maybe his father didn’t dare do anything to Qi Shi because he realized I knew something. Now I’ve almost forgotten how I came over in those days, and my mind is in the dark. I was very worried that Qi Shi’s father would send him to a mental institution. Although I now admit that he needed the treatment, I was scared at the time.
In the end, it didn’t happen, perhaps because it was expensive.
Later, I was accepted to a local University. I thought I could go home to visit Qi Shi once a week or even every two or three days, but I didn’t expect two things.
First, the undergraduate campus of our school moved to the suburbs, and it took hours to come back by car; second, in my junior year, the courtyard of my family had to be demolished, so I had to be separated from Qi Shi.
In those days, I tossed and turned every day. I thought about the far future and wished that there was a way to be with Qi Shi. I even thought about what kind of work could make money quickly, so I could rent a house and live with Qi Shi… But my family and his father would not allow it.
One Saturday, Qi Shi’s family moved out. I didn’t feel very sad when I said goodbye to him. I just thought it would be troublesome to meet him in the future. After all, we all had mobile phones, and Qi Shi called and texted.
I went back to school on Sunday night, and as soon as I turned on the phone in the morning, I received several messages from Qi Shi. Before I could see them one by one, I received a phone call from my mother saying that Qi Shi went to my door last night.
I was shocked. It seemed that Qi Shi was not a human being, just like a dog who was abandoned and ran home. I secretly gave a little complaint that my mother didn’t tell me in time, but didn’t say it out loud. Then I called Qi Shi’s mobile phone. It was turned off. Maybe it was out of power.
I ran out of the campus like a headless fly, calling a taxi. In the car, I read the text messages, still, each word was strange, like logical confusion, but I could understand.
It’s true that Qi Shi was looking for me. He said he could not leave the battlefield without permission, not without his king.
He also said that he hoped I would forgive him. He went to a space he didn’t know. There was no sun and no trees, there was only darkness. So he wanted to return to his own country.
I was sad and afraid, worried about what would happen if Qi Shi ran around alone. I kept thinking about where he might go, playing his mother’s tragedy over and over again in my head.
When people are confused, their memory becomes fuzzy. Now I can’t remember where I went to look and who I asked that day. All in all, I found him by the river in the end, in a way that I felt very frightened.
Maybe because I often took him there, he had been waiting for me. I saw him from a distance on the bank. He was lying on the edge of the railing, walking back and forth, as if in a hurry. Before I could call him, he jumped over the railing and into the river.
I was so scared that my legs went soft, but if I went over, I felt like I was going to die. When I got there, I realized that things were not as terrible as I thought.
Qi Shi should have sank as soon as he jumped. I knew he couldn’t swim at all. Fortunately, there were two old people swimming naked in the river – although it’s not very good to swim in their birthday suits, they do it every summer in the river. The two old men quickly swam to Qi Shi, and each of them held one of his arms and pulled him up.
I don’t even remember thanking them at that time. My mind was a mess and I didn’t know what to do. All I remember is that I took the limp Qi Shi, stroked his cheek, pulled the hair close to his face, and knelt down to kiss him.
There was also a smell of river water in his mouth. I don’t know how the old man who was swimming could bear the smell. It’s funny to think of it now. Qi Shi was not unconscious at all, but his eyes were dull and seemed to be frightened. I’ve been doing something between artificial respiration and kissing, and I didn’t know what happened to me.
The gray-haired old man, wrapped in a towel quilt by the bank, told me not to panic and said that the child was okay. It took me a long time to calm down. The two old men may think I was only doing an unprofessional artificial respiration, so they don’t make a fuss.
Then I understood what Qi Shi was doing. I underestimated him. He would not give up his life easily. On the contrary, he regarded the people who swam naked as victims in the sea. He was duty-bound to save people.
Even Qi Shi insisted that it was his armor that sank him into the water and that a siren in the sea saved him. I looked at him with tears and laughter, slowly dried his hair with the towel I had just bought, and told him that he shouldn’t do this anymore in the future.
He asked why, and I said there were sirens nearby. There was no need for knights to go into the water to save people. This was the king’s order.
He again covered his left chest with his right hand and solemnly agreed.
I had doubted whether it would be bad for him to cooperate in this conversation. I should try to make him better, no matter how, instead of making him worse.
I was ashamed of my own powerlessness. I couldn’t come here with him as we did when we were young and pick him up every day. Every time I think of his family and the scene near the river, I feel deeply afraid.
But as I calm down to think, I can’t accompany him recklessly, because I had decided that if I wanted to protect him for a long time, I must take a different road from others. I wanted to be a real king so that the knight who was loyal to me also had a peaceful and happy future.
This was Qi Shi’s fight and mine. I had to stay away from him for a while, seemingly mercilessly and had to try again and again to explain why his king didn’t need company in a way he could understand.
I began to study harder in my junior year, and I opened my own business while I was busy with graduation. I was not good enough, I had to work very hard. I still had the kind of mood when I was a child: I felt better and more capable than my peers. I was very proud because I had someone who I wanted to protect for a long time, and I knew he was always willing to protect me.
As I grew older, I had a lot of courage. I was not as afraid of the so-called “adults” as I was when I was a child. Therefore, I took the initiative to go to Qi Shi’s home and proposed to take care of Qi Shi in the future.
I had no doubt that his father would agree, and he didn’t really care. Qi Shi’s father was so drunk in the daytime that I felt disgusted. In my opinion, this man should have been put into prison for a long time, but because of his interference and the indifference of his neighbors, the evidence in Qi Shi’s hands at that time was useless.
In order to keep the evidence of the conversation, I was afraid that I would not be able to explain clearly after the conflict in the future. I kept my mobile phone in my hand and turned on the camera.
In the conversation, I became more and more convinced that I had to take Qi Shi away.
The reason his father didn’t want to agree was very easy to understand, not because of love or anything, but out of control. I could see that he was the type who wanted everyone around him to submit to him.
Even I suspected that his violence against Qi Shi’s mother at that time might have been a similar twist.
I firmly took over Qi Shi’s shoulder and repeatedly solemnly said that I would take care of Qi Shi. I had decided.
I spoke as a man, not as a junior.
I didn’t expect such a big thing to happen this time.
On the one hand, I regret that I was rash and trying to act tough. On the other hand, I was glad that I did.
His father suddenly lost control, first yelled, and then stopped us at the door. This time, I was not afraid of him, but I could see that Qi Shi was a little afraid.
Qi Shi murmured something. I couldn’t hear clearly. I knew he was very unstable now.
Just as I was about to break away, the man took out a sharp knife from the kitchen and pointed it at us. In this way, I was also afraid and urged him to put down the knife and discuss it slowly, but it was too late.
He didn’t want to threaten people, he really wanted to hurt people.
At that time, the man yelled something that is still fresh in my memory, he said: you are such a cheap person, don’t take my child away from me.
I could guess who he mistook me for and why Qi Shi’s mother died so tragically.
The crazy man rushed directly at me. I had nothing to stop him. I grabbed Qi Shi’s wrist and ran into the side room.
Qi Shi’s new home was very small. It was basically a one-bedroom with no hall. We had no place to hide. At this time, Qi Shi suddenly broke away from my hand and rushed out from behind me. He yelled at something. It was too chaotic at that time. I didn’t hear it clearly.
It all happened so fast and he was cut by the knife when he was blocking his father. For a moment, I didn’t know where he was hurt. I only saw him fall backward and blood was dripping onto the floor.
I desperately asked myself to be calm. I grabbed an ashtray from the table and threw it in his father’s face. When the man fell down, I held Qi Shi in my arms. We hid in the toilet and locked the door.
Now think of it, I know that my performance was too weak. A young man in his early twenties was afraid of an old man in his fifties. But at that time, I was afraid. Even if I saw a thief or a robber, I wouldn’t be so afraid. The craziness in the man’s eyes didn’t seem human.
Through the toilet door, I could hear the murderer outside moaning and aching and getting up as he bumped into the door. I thought it would knock him out.
It didn’t end like a hero’s play. Qi Shi was injured and I didn’t help him. In the end, I called the police while facing the door, and the police subdued the man when they arrived.
When I saw the blood, I was really afraid Qi Shi would die. In retrospect, I had been afraid of this countless times since I was young.
On the way to the hospital, I remembered the words Qi Shi had just called. He said, “I’m no longer afraid of you.”
After I got to the hospital, I learned that Qi Shi also had a lot of old injuries, which were in places that others could not see, such as his thigh and back. So I had never seen it.
This made me believe that after his mother died, he described his father as a shadow and a devil, which is not an exaggeration. The world he saw in his eyes was really different from ours, even if he was a normal teenager, the place where he lived had always been hell.
We needed to cooperate with the police. The mobile phone video that I had been holding in my hand played a crucial role. At this time, I didn’t worry that people would see what I said in the video, such as I said to take care of and protect Qi Shi. I didn’t need to be ashamed of it.
Qi Shi was not dangerous, but he had lost a lot of blood and suffered a lot from the treatment of wounds. I went to visit him every day, holding his hand, and everyone else in the ward thought we were brothers.
When he was better, we talked in a low voice, as if those strange conversations belonged to two people’s secrets.
The story of his father was later on the news, because of my personal will, my identity was hastily hidden. That day, I took Qi Shi back to the hospital to remove his stitches. I was afraid that he would be hurt, so I held his hand.
The nurse smiled at him, trying to keep him as comfortable as possible. And he smiled back at her.
I know that Qi Shi was afraid of pain and hospitals. He was trying to show that he was not afraid.
He clenched my hand as the nurse took the thread out, and he whispered a passage.
I remember, he used to read it, and the day he faced his father, he spoke them. These sentences were in English. Qi Shi had read a lot of books and had a little English foundation. But after all, he was not educated enough and his pronunciation was very strange, so I couldn’t distinguish them before.
“I will be kind to the weak.
I will be brave against the strong.
I will fight all who do wrong.
I will fight for those who cannot fight.
I will help those who call me for help.
I will harm no woman.
I will help my brother knights.
When I got home, the house I rented now, of course, I searched the Internet for this passage and read it with him to help him correct his pronunciation. He knew the meaning of every sentence, didn’t need me to explain it, and he was very happy to read it better.
Up to now, my parents still don’t quite agree with my care and company for Qi Shi. In this matter, I know I can only be a selfish person, I will not compromise.
I try to be as good as I can, as Qi Shi insisted with his knight manifesto.
If I were the king, I would be his backing, his iron walls, his solid fortresses, and his warm homeland forever.
Since about a year ago, I contacted Qi Shi again for continuing treatment. I had a lot of discussions with doctors, and I also made them know more about Qi Shi. When some less common treatment is needed, Qi Shi will be encouraged, and he will face his own battle bravely.
When the time was right, Qi Shi was hospitalized. I was extremely reluctant to do so. Even when I faced a pile of data, I thought that many things showed that Qi Shi could not fully recover at this age. But in the end, I convinced myself that I couldn’t be selfish. I should give him this opportunity.
At the suggestion of the hospital, the interval between visits was very long. But I could really feel his change every time.
I knew that some part of him could never be the same as others, but he could really get closer to the real world, even a little bit more. At least it would stop him from doing dangerous things. After that, I would go pick him up. This was what I had discussed with his doctor, and what’s more, I had made an appointment with Qi Shi.
I hadn’t seen Qi Shi for months now, but I’ll pick him up in a few days.
I think of a few days ago. Every time we visited, we would walk in the garden, sometimes I would kiss him on the forehead, and we would recite his favorite Knight’s declaration——
“I will be true to my friends.
I will be faithful in love.
Well, the knight oath comes from another material. It seems that it is said to be the former Knight oath, but I really don’t know about the specific textual research. I didn’t write it myself!