Li Ming nodded, his expression solemn. Zhu Yi had told him roughly what the situation was when they met for the first time. Of course, he hadn’t gone into much detail but he had at least mentioned that the courses had been supposed to be taught together with his girlfriend but that she wasn’t able to do so any longer after an accident so everything was left for him to do.
At that time, Zhu Yi had indeed seemed incredibly stressed. If he hadn’t been, he never would have told Duan Zhi Hao about it. Since he always needed to focus on others — whether that was Rong Xiang or the participants of his courses — he probably only had those few moments when chatting with other business people to think about himself. So he finally complained about being overworked, something he might not have dared to admit at other moments.
Coincidentally, he had complained to exactly the right person. Duan Zhi Hao immediately thought of him when he heard about Zhu Yi’s plight, so he inquired further, and then directly went on to ask whether he’d be interested. And thus, the two of them met and he came to work for Zhu Yi.
After the two of them had spent more time together and he even met Rong Xiang, he had also learned about the rest of her story so hearing her say these things now, he wasn’t too surprised. Still, he couldn’t help but feel that it was a pity.
Even though she had only said that Zhu Yi’s life had changed completely through no fault of his own, the same was true for her. She hadn’t been responsible for the accident. In fact, in this case, maybe nobody was. Not in the sense that anyone’s recklessness had caused this, at least. From what he knew, she had been hit on the pedestrian path after somebody lost control of their car because of a previously unknown health issue.
But then, no matter who was or wasn’t responsible, it couldn’t change what had happened to her. “It changed your life a lot. Both your lives. And it still does, I guess.”
Rong Xiang nodded and patted the armrest of her wheelchair. “Yeah, you can say that for sure. But it’s gotten a lot better on Ah Yi’s side. I mean, he has you to help out now and after the first term was done, he also knew how many customers’ contracts he could renew and how many he’d better send elsewhere.
“As for me, I’ve gotten used to being like this by now. I still had hope at the beginning that I’d be able to walk again so I put all of my energy into healing and getting better but there are some things you can’t achieve no matter how much effort you put into them.
“Anyway, I’m alive and that’s what counts. I never thought about how it was to be disabled and, of course, I wouldn’t have wanted this for myself but I can deal with it. Sure, I can’t deny that it’s different from before and my life will never be what I imagined it to become. There are things that I can’t do any longer, a lot of things that I really enjoyed, to be honest. But it’s not the end of the world and I know that I can go on living like this even if it’s hard sometimes.”
Li Ming nodded. “Yes, no matter what, you can always find new things you’re passionate about if the previous ones don’t work out anymore.”
“Exactly. But, of course, it’s easier to say that now.” Rong Xiang smiled and then sighed deeply when she thought back to the past year. “Especially in the beginning, it was tough to look at it that way. Everything just felt so … hopeless. As if, no matter what I do, it wouldn’t get any better.
“What really didn’t make it easier was that I always had the feeling that if it had just been me, then it would only be my burden to bear. Sure, that wouldn’t have made getting used to this new type of life any easier but at least it wouldn’t have implicated anybody else.
“With Zhu Yi having to go through this together with me, I felt like I was burdening him as well. He had to carry something that he shouldn’t have had to and I felt that it was unfair, that I shouldn’t have done that to him.” She looked at her boyfriend, smiling wryly.
She knew that Zhu Yi didn’t like her talking like this but it was what she had felt. And even if it might hurt him to hear, she wouldn’t pretend that it had been otherwise. This was also a part of her journey now, a part of what her life had become. She didn’t think that it was good to pretend otherwise.
Zhu Yi also knew what she was thinking and reached over, grabbing her hand. “You weren’t and you’ll never be. I hope you know that.”
Rong Xiang turned her hand the other way and interlaced her fingers with his, but turned to face Li Ming instead. “Look at him! If you have that kind of boyfriend, it’s also a kind of burden. He’ll make you feel that no matter what you do, you’re going to somehow take advantage of him just because he lets you.” She rolled her eyes but there was still a smile on her lips.
Yes, when it came to her boyfriend, after going through all of this, she didn’t have a doubt that he would always be at her side. If he could stick with her through this, he could stick with her through everything. So no matter in which way life might suck otherwise, at least their relationship would always be a good one. Just that alone gave her hope for the future.