A Friend From Different World – Chapter 43

Ken opened his eyes, staring straight at the ceiling. He cannot be able to fall asleep. Each time he managed to sleep, he would automatically open his eyes 10 minutes later. That is a very bad sleeping problem that he suffered.

He slowly turned his head and looked at Rainie sleeping on her side of the bed.

“If only I can sleep well like her,” Ken mumbled.

He turned and again, staring back at the ceiling.

The talk he had earlier with Xi Men causes him to think a lot, and unable to sleep. It keeps running over and over again in his mind. That is the thing that bothers him.

Ken took a very deep breath. Slowly, his mind wanders back to what happened earlier between him and Xi Men that causes him losing his sleep…

———-

“Decide?” Ken asked as he looked at Xi Men. “Decide what?”

“My wish to meet Xiao You has been fulfilled. Even my hope to know who the killer is… is already found out,” Xi Men said, looking at Ken. “I have nothing to worry anymore,”

Ken smiled. “I’m glad for that,”

“And I’ve seen you youngsters be able to mingle with my friends regardless of age and generations. It looked so wonderful. They were so happy with you. You were like a replacement of me, to complete the gang… to replace the emptiness in them, upon my death,” Xi Men smiled, taking a deep breath.

Ken frowned with the way Xi Men talk.

“Everyone will be able to lead life like how I want them to be. Xiao You… I’m very relieved that she can lead her life without me…” Xi Men said, turning his head and looked at the scenery.

“Xi Men?” Ken asked. He stared at Xi Men whom is staring at the scenery of Taipei. “You sound weird,”

“Ken, I’ve decided,” Xi Men said again. “Since all my wishes were fulfilled, I am leaving,”

“Leaving? To where?” asked Ken.

“Where I should be, move on… away from the human’s world,” Xi Men said. “To my world,”

“What?” Ken said.

“I have nothing to worry anymore,” Xi Men said.

“But isn’t this is where and how you want it to be?” Ken said.

“Yes. But I am not like you. I am not a human. I’m a ghost. I live in a different world. I stayed because I cannot move on without knowing what I want to know. And now that all my wishes had come true, I can go,” Xi Men said. “Like I always said, if I wanted to go when my wish is not fulfilled, the people of the underworld will not allow me to cross over. But if my wishes have been fulfilled, I need to go,”

“But you can stay, right? Xiao You and Jian Xiang need you,” Ken said. “You said for 50 years,”

“50 years are for the reason that if my wishes have not been fulfilled,” Xi Men said. “I need to go sooner or later. Plus… Xiao You and Jian Xiang have been living all this while without me… they can cope with it,”

“Then go later!” Ken said. “Did you see the happiness in Xiao You and Jian Xiang upon seeing you? Especially Jian Xiang, did you see his expression? He is so happy to see you!” Ken said, furiously.

“No matter what, I am not a human!” Xi Men yelled. “I cannot eat, I don’t breathe… I cannot feel my heart beating… and even I cry… there are no tears. I am dead, Ken… no matter what, I still live in a different world,”

“I know, Xi Men. I know how painful it is when you see yourself differently compared to others around you so stop comparing!” Ken said. “But we go through hell to bring all of this to you because we know what you are not capable of!”

“Yes, a human body,” Xi Men said.

“Xi Men, this is not what we want. We do not want to see you leave after all the things that we’ve done for you,” Ken said. “We saw the happiness in you!”

“I’m very thankful for all of you to find Xiao You, and had let me know how well she leads her life. She is really… tougher than I think,” Xi Men repeated his words. “I am always worried what she might and will do… To me, she is very fragile… but when I see her now, she is not…” he looked at Ken. “She’s strong, she’s matured…”

“Now, tell me what you feel all this while,” Ken said, looking out to the Taipei scenery. “As a ghost, whatsoever, words from your heart,”

Xi Men looked at Ken. “All the while my wish is that, I wanted to know where Xiao You is, badly. I didn’t know and I’ve never thought for a second that you guys will go the extra mile to get my wish fulfilled. Yes, I finally meet my wife back along with my son and friends… and I thought that was it. Then… you guys said you wanna get my killer into the jail, and I am so worried that one of you will die or injured just to get him,” Xi Men said. “I had always disagreed with you pretending as me… but the majority wins… and I cannot say no, after all of you determined to catch him, and I am forced to be there to protect you. And then all of you get him…”

“I regret helping you fulfilling your wish,” Ken said, annoyingly.

“Don’t be. If you didn’t do that, perhaps I will just… not knowing what to do next,” Xi Men said.

“I, and I believe all of us, don’t want you to leave,” Ken said.

“If a ghost has a wish unfulfilled, he or she can stay… but I have all of it granted. So it is a must for me to go,” Xi Men said. “You have to understand, Ken… I am a ghost… I’m dead. And I cannot do what a human can do… to protect my family, to earn money, to…”

“We are only asking you to be there for Xiao You and Jian Xiang, is that too much to ask for?”

“I can’t,” Xi Men said. “There is a limitation of what I can do and you know it. Why do you want to force me? Even you can see now that you and I are different,”

“I don’t see any difference between you and me because we have our loved ones,”

“I am talking to a human and you are talking to something that doesn’t exist physically,” Xi Men said. “I do not have any senses anymore, I cannot taste the food, I cannot shed a tear, and I barely know what it feels like to be a human anymore, because I am not,” he looked at Ken. “How do I be able to protect my family when I am fragile? Much fragile than her?”

“You are not fragile, you just choose not to be here,” Ken said.

“No,” Xi Men said. “Not that,”

“If you are fragile, how do you be able to appear as a human form or as a ghost to those people you want them to see you? If you are fragile, how the heck do you be able to read people’s mind?” Ken said.

“If I am not fragile, why can’t I appear under the sun? If I am not fragile, why I can’t be able to find Xiao You and need you guys to track her down?” Xi Men said. “I do not have life. I cannot live on. I cannot do anything anymore, do you know that?”

“What do you mean you cannot do anything anymore?” Ken asked.

“Let me take you as an example. You want to work, earn money, marry Rainie, have kids with her, be a grandfather, enjoy the rest of your life with her. That’s what you want, right?” Xi Men said. Ken nodded. “Then what about me? Can I work? Can I have more kids with Xiao You? Can I spend the rest of my life with Xiao You? You answer that for me,”

Ken silent.

“I know why you react that way. I wanted to be with Xiao You too. But I can’t,” Xi Men said, pointing to himself. “It is very painful to die and leave her. Now, I can only bring her a temporary happiness because I am not a human who can give her a complete life. I used to, but I can’t, not anymore,”

Ken went silent. He took a deep breath.

“I never know we are so similar in terms of character and attitude to each other,” Xi Men said. “You are just equally as stubborn as me, refusing to accept my explanation and decision,”

“Did I make a mistake by pretending to be you to get your killer caught?” Ken suddenly asked. “If I don’t get him, you will still stay, right?”

Xi Men smiled lightly and shook. “I don’t know. Maybe not too… because I only want to see Xiao You,” he looked at Ken. “I was thinking if I found her, I want to stay by her for a very short period and then probably I’ll leave. And probably all I’ll do is just seeing her from far, not to interfere her life. I have yet to make all these decisions and you bring her to me, ask her to see me… you make the decision for me!”

Ken smiled.

“And then… I thought… ‘alright… I’ve seen her, she’s doing well with Jian Xiang… so I’ll stay around…’ and you guys come up with the ‘find the murderer’ idea… I was like… ‘what?!’ and you guys make the decision for me again!” Xi Men said.

“We just fulfilled your wish… and plus, we cannot let the murderer runaway just like that,” Ken said.

“All I want is to see her, not to appear as a human form for her to see me,” Xi Men said.

“Why you didn’t want her to see you?” Ken asked.

“I didn’t want her to see me like this, not a ghost!” Xi Men said. “All the while, I tell you I want to see her, not asking her to see me! And I have always been expecting you youngsters would go out, possibly get some news for me, and let me decide what I want to do next! But you decide for me already that I should appear in a form where she can see me!” he looked at Ken. “I am not like you, Ken! I…” he abruptly stopped. “Whatever,” he shortly said. “It’s all happened. So be it. Keep on saying it or complaining about it won’t change what had happened,”

Ken silent, looking out to the Taipei scenery just like Xi Men. “Thinking back, it didn’t make any sense,”

“What?”

“You give us the ring and all information for us to find your friends, we earn their trust, but you don’t want to let them see you?” Ken asked. He let out a small laugh. “I honestly have no idea why you want us to look for Xiao You in the first place, gain her trust, and then you get to see her and she won’t be able to see you,”

“I… I am indecisive all the while. I want to see her, but I have not thought to the point for her to see me. I only want her to come to mansion 82 and I want to see her… but from her perspective…”

“It’s okay. You need not explain,” Ken said. “All’s said and done. Don’t bother,”

Both of them went silent.

“Anyway, I really thanked you for that,” Xi Men said. “And now you leave me in doubt on what to do next,” he looked out and sighed. “It is not easy to make this decision, after she has seen me… Jian Xiang has seen me… it’s a life that I have always wanted but I know it is far from reach…” he looked at Ken. “It’s right now in front of me, I feel it… but I know it is not for me anymore…” he patted Ken. “I cannot stay, I really need to go,” he turned and walked.

“Then you tell them yourself about your decision. Don’t try to walk off just like that without any word,” Ken said as he turned and walked off, passing Xi Men. “And don’t try to drag me into this matter because I will not do the talking for you despite we looked alike,”

Xi Men stunned. He really wanted to just leave them there and then, without wanting to tell them. It seems like Ken knows what he is thinking. “Ken, why do you want to make this so difficult for me?” Xi Men asked.

“I know possibly you want to leave without telling us,” Ken stopped, turned and looked at Xi Men. “Why do you make it so difficult for me? For us?” Ken asked.

“I know you’re angry, Ken, but…”

“Everyone will be far more delighted if you could at least explain this, about you wanting to leave or something. For Xiao You, for Jian Xiang. Anyhow, you decide,” Ken said as he turned and walked in into the mansion.

———-

Ken scratched his forehead as he recalled the entire flashback. He took a very deep breath and let out the sigh out too loud.

“Hmm…” Rainie mumbled.

Ken immediately turned his head and looked at Rainie slowly raising her head up. She slowly opened her eyes and looked at Ken.

“What time is it?” Rainie asked.

Ken turned to look at the clock placed next to him. “It’s 3.20am,”

“3.20am?” Rainie asked. “What are you doing?”

“Me?”

“You can’t sleep?” Rainie asked. “You sighed… loudly,”

“No… I mean, I woke up,” Ken lied.

“You woke up?” Rainie asked, as she closed her eyes and slumps her head down on the pillow. “At 3.20am?”

“I… had a nightmare,” Ken lied again.

“Oh…” Rainie said.

“I’m going back to sleep,” Ken said.

“Okay…” Rainie’s voice getting softer, “What nightmare was that…”

“Just…” Ken stammered. “Someone wanted to go…”

“Someone… wanted… to… go…?” her voice gets softer and softer by each word she uttered and she dozed off to sleep in no time.

“How am I supposed to tell you this, Rainie?” Ken murmured.

He turned and looked at the clock slowly ticking until the sun rises.


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