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Season 10

Episode 8

(His Warmth (8)

As the game was his sole form of contact with Xu Wennuan, whenever he missed her more than usual, he would open the game habitually and look at her profile picture while telling himself that they were not completely out of touch. This thought would make him feel slightly better.

She had been sleeping soundly for the past six months. Except for the recent night when she had sent him a message to thank him, she had only been replying to him early in the morning, so when he saw that she had sent him a message in the middle of the night again, he became anxious. He quickly opened the chat window and, through the smoke from his cigarette, he saw the words “my stomach hurts…”

She’d sent the message only two minutes ago, so Lu Bancheng immediately replied to her without hesitation, “Have you taken your medicine?”

A minute passed, and there was no response, so he sent her another message. “Did you call the doctor?”

There was still no reply after two minutes, even though the game showed that Xu Wennuan was still online. Lu Bancheng became increasingly uneasy. He searched around and, while fumbling for change in his pocket, walked over to a public phone booth to call her.

The phone rang for a long time, but she never answered, worrying him greatly. He then called her again and, when the phone rang the fifth time, he ended the call and verified her address on his phone, as he had helped her find her apartment. He immediately called 120 to send an ambulance to her apartment and then quickly ran to his car as he fumbled for his keys in his pocket.

Lu Bancheng had lived in Beijing since he was a child, and his familiarity with the heart of the city allowed him to swiftly navigate his car to Xu Wennuan’s apartment building. After parking, he ran into the building and took the elevator to her apartment’s floor. At the door of her apartment, he pressed her doorbell several times, but she didn’t answer.

Lu Bancheng roughly approximated the configuration of the floor and came up with an idea. He pressed the doorbell of her neighbor’s apartment, and a minute later a middle-aged woman opened the door. He succinctly explained the situation, followed by his intention to use the woman’s balcony to access Xu Wennuan’s balcony. The woman was confused and hesitant, especially with the idea that perhaps Xu Wennuan wouldn’t want him in her apartment but, after her concern for Xu Wennuan being in a life-or-death situation, she finally told Lu Bancheng that if he didn’t appear in her doorway and tell her what was happening within three minutes, she would call the police.

Lu Bancheng hastily agreed and thanked her. He then took off his shoes, entered her apartment, and walked onto the balcony. Without even slowing down, he smoothly flipped over to Xu Wennuan’s balcony, where he found the French door locked, but through the glass, he clearly saw her sprawled motionlessly on the carpet. He immediately spotted a plant, picked it up, and threw it at the window. At the sound of glass shattering, the neighbor anxiously yelled from her own balcony, “Young man, what are you doing?”

Lu Bancheng ignored her and went straight inside. He randomly grabbed Xu Wennuan’s cell phone, purse, and some clothes before he bent down, lifted her up, and strode out of the apartment.


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