Like he promised he came back the next summer and he brought many gifts along with him. He passed each person in the village a gift and everyone thanked him gratefully. Since I was ten now I was aware that my time here was limited and that the times I may see him was even more limited. During that summer I was preparing for my travels and was sewing a shirt for myself. Clothing took a lot of time and effort to make so I had to start early. When he saw what I was doing he was curious and asked me about it. After I explained that I was making clothes he suggested that I should go play because if it's clothes I want then he would ask his servants to buy as many clothes as I needed. I bluntly refused his offer.
He asked me why but I did not want to say. We ignored each other for three days because of this. This was also the only fight we had. After those days we went back to being ourselves and he even got me to play with the other village kids. I felt such joy that day when he helped me fit in.
At the beginning of our relationship, everything felt so childlike and simple. We were simply just friends, best friends. It wasn't until later on when our relationship grew to be much more than that.
After that summer he did not return for two years.
He came back on the summer of my 13th year and he went through a major change. He grew taller, his voice became deeper and the most noticeable change was that he became much more handsome.
A part of his personality also changed. He became much quieter and did not really want to be close with others, especially girls. However, he was still okay with me being around. Under the shades of the tree, he told me that he was absent for two years because he was sent for training. There he learned to use the sword, command an army and how to be an effective soldier. I did not think much and thought that his family were soldiers of the army and did not question what he said.
After finishing his stories he asked about what I did during these two years and I replied that I stayed the same, reading, eating sleeping, the usual. I did not tell him that I was going to leave the next year and that this would be the last summer that we will meet. During these two years, I had prepared almost everything I needed, clothing, shoes, money, food. All of those were stuffed away under my bed.
I will never forget that day. The day when the friendship between two children evolved to became a bond much more complicated and also much more unforgettable.
The day began with many clouds in the skies...
"Xing! Let's play hide and seek." A girl called out.
"Heh? Xiao Xiao, you know that we are way too old for that game." Xing said as she walked over.
"So? There no age limit for hide and seek. Of come on, only for one round pleaseee." Xiaoxiao begged and Xing could only give in.
Thanks to Yanjing, Xing was able to fit into the village and made friends. One of her first friend and her best friend is Xiaoxiao. Xiaoxiao was a very outgoing girl and would always be very lively and optimistic. She may be loud sometimes but she was like the sunflower of the village. Her positivity and smile can cheer up anyone.
Xing agreed and Xiaoxiao immediately let go and went for her next target, Yanjing. It did not take her long before she successfully pulled him in and got him to accept. It took him some time to pry her hands off of him and after he got Xiaoxiao off another wave of girls surrounded him. It was an ending wave and Xing watched from a distance away and could not help to laugh at the dilemma he was facing.
HIde and seek was a simple game and although the players were all teenagers, all the players are very competitive. Xing took a daring step and hid in a small cave that was covered by the drooping branches of a willow tree.
'They won't be able to find me here.' Xing thought as she smiled and sat inside the cave.
She crawled into the cave and surprisingly the cave was very deep and dark. The ceiling of the cave only got lower so she was on her hands and knees. The cave floor started to feel damp and then suddenly Xing's hand misplaced and landed on plain air. Surprised, she lost her balance and fell into the clearing. It turned out that the cave actually led to open space inside the cave. She fell down and her head hit the hard floor which knocked her unconscious.
She did not know how long she was knocked out but after a couple of hours, she was awakened by the splattering of rain as it hit the ground.
"Huh. How long was I out for?" She sat up in the darkness and her eyes took some time to adjust to the darkness.
The cave was really small and the six of the clearing was no bigger than 10 square feet and the height of this clearing seemed to be about five yards. She looked up and saw that the only light was coming in through the cave she fell from, which was located at the top of this ceiling. She studied the cave and touched the walls. The walls have mosses climbing up it and it feels very moist.
'This must have been a well before.' She thought and looked around as she tried to formulate a plan to climb out.
"Argh!!" She groaned and ruffled her hair.
This well was made up of stone and since it is moist, it is too dangerous to climb up without a rope because she would most likely slip halfway through. She racked her brain for ideas but as the time in the well grew longer and the light beginning to dim, fear began to form in Xing's heart.
"Help! Help! Somebody." She screamed.
"Xiaoxiao, Someone. Yanjing!" In the growing darkness, Xing began to shake and her calls became more desperate. She yelled out for help until her throat was dry but no one heard. It was like someone had turned the mute button on her. The rain falling from the heavens have muffled her calls as multiple water droplets fell into the ground and the rain began to pour.
Her throat felt dry and she could no longer scream because her throat hurts too much. She sat down and huddled in with her legs folded over her chests and shivered from the cold.
'Am I going to die here?' She questioned herself but she immediately shook her head.
'No. I can't I'm only 13, I have so much to do. I have so much planned, I can't die, not yet. I'm too young to die!'
Suddenly a faint voice echoed through the well. "Xing?"
Xing immediately looked up at the call of her name and hope grew as she saw the growing intensity of the yellow light and the sound of the fire crackling.
"I'm here!" Her throat still hurts, and her voice came out hoarse but she did not care. This was her chance to get out of here.
"Xing?" The voice came out stronger and masculine. Yanjing looked down into the clearing towards the sound of the voice and when he saw Xing he immediately jumped down.
A smile blossomed on XIng's face as she watched Yanjing jump down. In her eyes, he was like an angel descending from above.
"Yanjing." She mumbled and fell into his arms.
She could no longer stand up by herself, she was weak, tired and her legs did not have enough strength to support her. Yanjing caught her and took a step back. He looked bewildered for a second and then he wrapped his arms protectively around her.
"Xing." He whispered her name just loud enough for her to hear.
"Young Master?" His servant called out from above.
"Throw down the rope." The servant nodded and thew it down for him.
Very carefully he hugged Xing and tied the rope around them. As they were pulled up, Xing silently cried as she began to break down. When they were up and out of the cave, she could not hold it in anymore. She did not care and hugged onto Yanjing as she cried. Her tears mixed in with the rain as she cried out her fears, pain, loneliness. Ever since her uncle had told her about her parents and the obligation he was under, she never cried again. When she was isolated by the village and ignored by her last remaining family members, she did not cry from the stress. She may seem to not care but the truth was that she held it all in. She did not want to be seen as vulnerable so she kept her sorrows deep down inside her and ignored it. However, as her sorrows increased she found it harder to control herself from having the emotional outbursts. She repressed it and did her best to not think about it because she knows that if she was to let her feelings out, then everything would erupt out.
Yanjing's arrival in her life gave her hope and happiness. When she is feeling these new emotions she felt as though her sadness were being cleansed and transformed into happiness. These new feelings helped her to become more close to him and to open up more. However what she did not notice was that the more he bombarded into her heart the less guarding she is towards him. She trusts him and wants to rely on him.
As she let all the oppressed emotions out she realized just how important he was to her. Because it was only around him that she doesn't have to act strong and nonchalant.
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