40 The hand that remained empty

Yating said, "Ai, you always just call me Yating."

Ai kept quiet for a moment.

"I think this is the correct way of addressing you. I don't want anybody to misunderstand our relationship if anybody hears us."

He blinked. "Misunderstand? There is nothing to misunderstand about our relationship."

Through the shades, Ai glanced at him. "What relationship is there between us?"

Stunned, he replied, "I..!"

Yating wanted to convey his feelings for her, but he had saved that confession for another special day.


She didn't respond.

He took a step forward but she promptly stepped back, making him perplexed. He panicked and cautiously asked, "Ai, what happened? Did I do something to make you angry? Please tell me. I will make it right," he said with utmost sincerity.

"There is nothing."

"Is it about your story? Are you stressing about the plot? If yes, then don't. I will help you."

Ai declined his offer. "No, thank you. Xing Bi is my editor. She is there to guide me."

"And I am the Chief Editor and also…"

Someone who loves you a lot…

He cleared his throat. "I mean I am always there-"

"It would be in my best interests that you don't show favoritism."


Her icy, indifferent voice struck his heart akin to a knife. He clenched his fists, knowing the reason behind her anger.

"I know…it's because you didn't get the chance for the book signing event. I know. But I promise…One day…"

His eyelashes fluttered slightly with the soft wind, and his gaze held a myriad of unknown and inexplicable emotions swirling within it.

"I am sorry, Ai…" He trembled. "I am really sorry…"

She said nothing.

"I will leave now, Gu Yating," she turned, but his request stopped her in her tracks.

"Will you please at least call me Yating, Ai?"

"It's better this way."

Yating stared at her, unable to discern the reason for this source of distance between them.

He twisted his watch on his wrist with a hint of slight nervousness. "Then…Christmas. We had planned to meet on Christmas. I have something important to say to you," he held in his breath.

Ai softly clenched her bag. "...I will be busy that day."

He froze. "You had agreed to it before."

Ai said nothing.

"Are you lying, Ai?" He asked, almost about to hold her wrist. But he stopped himself, respecting the distance between them.

She shook her head. "I am not lying. I want to focus on my story, so I will be working."

"On a Christmas?" He asked in disbelief.

"I am free to work whenever I want."

An uneasy and ugly emotion bubbled up in his chest. He tried hard to shake it away, but his heart still felt unsettled. For the whole world, he was a tough and cold Chief Editor but only towards Ai, he showed warmth and care.

Ai gazed at him and wanting to quickly leave his side, she turned. But in her haste, she lost her footing and was about to fall.

Her eyes widened in horror. She could see herself getting lighter in the air and the sky above the shopping complex appeared before her eyes.

Yating froze. His body turned stiff rigid at the sight of her falling.

Ai watched his expression filled with shock and disbelief. His body didn't move to help her.

He is not moving. He is not moving.

Just like my last life…

He is just standing there…

In that single second, her whole lifetime zapped before her like a flash.

A life she had already lived before. A life where she had died once before. A life where she fell off a building, but Yating hadn't held out his hand to save her.

Tears rimmed in her eyes. The voices resounded in her ears.

'Ai…I was so tired. You snatched everything away from me. Everything…One by one…I lost everything…'

She recalled that fateful night of her past life. The terrace of that building where she stood with Guiying and Yating. The sight of Guiying crying miserably in front of her. The bitter words which Guiying spoke tore apart Ai's heart.

'I wanted us to stay together, Ai…I wanted us to be friends forever.'

'But I couldn't take it anymore…'

'Why did everything have to change? Did you ever understand how I felt!?'

The next thing she remembered was falling from the roof as Guiying accidentally pushed her. The horror on their faces was evident.

Terrified, Ai had reached out her hand for help. Yating was standing just before her. If he could only extend his arm and catch her…

But he didn't. He stood frozen at his place. Ai desperately flailed her hand, begging with her eyes to hold onto her.

"Yating!!! Save me!!!" She cried at the top of her voice

But until the very end, her hand was empty. She only felt the cold air harshly hitting her palms. Then her whole body felt the chill. The night air fluttered her hair and dress. Her skin was getting cold as she rapidly fell.

And then came the impact that tore her apart with pain. Her bones shattered. Her body became numb.

Right now, Ai felt the same sensation creeping in her body once again.

I am going to fall…

I am going to fall again…

It's going to be painful again…I don't want it. It hurts a lot…

Tears slipped out of her shades. Even though she knew that she wouldn't get any help from Yating, her voice wanted to scream.

Help…Somebody please help me…

I don't want to fall again.

I don't want to die again…

Her vision blurred into darkness, as black as that fateful night of her past life.

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