Conflicted – Chapter 113

“There is a hairline fracture of approximately 1.5 inches long on your skull, but since it is a fracture and there is no depressed bone, no surgery is required. CT scan result shows 100% perfection; no swelling, no bleeding, no blood clot, no damages to your brain or nerves, thus brain functions should not be affected. However, if you have experienced any difficulties pertaining to brain functions, do come back to the hospital any time in the future, Mr. Xi Men,” the doctor lowered the report and looked at Xi Men. “We will do all we can for you,”

“Thank you, Dr. Huang,” Xi Men said, lying on (hospital) bed that has been tilted at 30 degrees.

The brain surgeon gave a small bow to Xi Men, before he moved and stood aside.

Xi Men and everyone in the room looked at Dr. Ting now.

“Mr. Xi Men, first of all, I would like to say that the medical team is delighted to hear that you’ve regain consciousness,” Dr. Ting said.

Xi Men smiled faintly. “Thank you for you, and the medical team’s hard work. If not for the successful surgery, there is no chance at all for me to be still alive,”

Xiao You, who is sitting on the chair next to Xi Men’s bed, looked at Xi Men.

Xi Men smiled still. “Please present your report,” he said, looking at Dr. Ting.

“Alright…” Dr. Ting said. “The stab wound…”

Everyone looked at Dr. Ting.

“It is… deadly,” Dr. Ting said, lifting his head up and looked at Xi Men.

Everyone looked at Xi Men.

“I know,” Xi Men answers calmly.

Dr. Ting then looked at the medical report again, “The stab ruptured a blood vessel, resulting in serious bleeding and also injures your small intestines,”

Everyone looked at Xi Men again.

Xiao You bites her lower lip.

Xi Men nodded slightly, acknowledging the damage that has been done to him. “Do you have it repaired?” he asked in layman terms instead of medical jargon.

“Yes,” Dr. Ting said. “Of course we do,”

“Then I trust you have fixed everything ‘inside’ for me,” Xi Men said, giving him a small smile.

Dr. Ting replied Xi Men’s small smile, “Yes, we do,” he then looked at the medical report again, “Oh, I would like to mention… we’ve discovered excessive gastric acid in your stomach, which will lead to your stomach rupture again if nothing has been done…”

Hearing that causes Xi Men to stare straight at Dr. Ting, before he glances over to Xiao You.

“But don’t worry, I have administer medications for that and you do need to take a few more doses of oral medication,”

Xi Men immediately smiled upon hearing that. “No surgery required?”

“Not needed. No ulcers discovered,”

Xi Men breathes a small sigh of relieve upon hearing that.

Xiao You heard that and she glared at Xi Men.

“Moving on… 12 stitches have been done on your abdomen, and…” Dr. Ting looked at Dr. Huang.

“10 stitches on your head,” Dr. Huang answered.

Xi Men nodded.

“Minor cuts, bruises and abrasions on your cheeks and jaw, and extensive bruising on side of body and several parts of hands and legs, as well as both wrists and both ankles,” Dr. Ting reads from the report.

That prompted Xi Men to lower his head down and looked at his wrists.

Xiao You also lowered her gaze down to look at the bruises on his wrists.

Everyone else looked at Xi Men.

Ah Si frowned.

“And that is all,” Dr. Ting said.

“Okay, thank you for the report, Dr. Ting,” Xi Men lifted his head up and said.

“You are welcome, Mr. Xi Men,” Dr. Ting said. “And… I want to say, you are really lucky, Mr. Xi Men,”

“Why do you say so, Dr. Ting?” Xi Men asked.

“It is a major car accident, but all you and Miss Yang were injured at are on the heads; knocking onto the glass window (pointing at Xiao You) and on the door lining (pointing at Xi Men). No spinal injury, no neck injury, no other possible high impact-caused injuries have been discovered on you and Miss Yang,”

“Seatbelt saves lives,” Xi Men smiled.

“I believe that too,” Dr. Ting said.

Xi Men smiled.

“Again, if there is anything… any pain or possible side effects from the accident appears in the near future, do come back for examinations, Mr. Xi Men, and Miss Yang,” Dr. Ting said.

“Sure, will do,” Xiao You smiled.

Xi Men nodded.

“And where as for the wound on your abdomen…” Dr. Ting adds.

Xi Men’s smile fades as he looked at Dr. Ting.

“Considering it is a fatal wound and also the amount of blood you have lost… it is a miracle that you…” Dr. Ting stopped right there.

“Did not die,” Xi Men continues.

All of them looked at Xi Men, while Xi Men’s eyes are fixated at Dr. Ting.

Dr. Ting smiled earnestly at Xi Men, “Your determination and your will to live is extremely strong, Mr. Xi Men. Dr. Huang and I know it throughout the surgery,”

Dr. Huang nodded in agreement.

Xiao You looked at Xi Men.

Xi Men’s gaze is still at Dr. Ting, and he (Xi Men) slowly smiled.

“You are not just lucky, Mr. Xi Men. You are a strong person too,”

“Thank you, Dr. Ting,” Xi Men said. “So, when can I start walking?”

Xiao You darted her gaze to Xi Men. “You’ve just regain consciousness!”

“I’ve slept for 3 days. My back and butt hurts from sitting and lying down,” Xi Men replied.

Xiao You rolled her eyes. “Oh gosh…”

Dr. Ting smiled. “Every individual’s recovery is different. You can start walking whenever you felt the pain is bearable to move around with. For starters, you can walk around your bed so you can go back to the bed to sit and rest when you needed to, and the next phase, you can go out and take a short walk at the corridors,” he said. “Walking, or moving about is good actually. This is to prevent muscle stiffness especially on your legs since you’ve been lying on the bed, prevent blood clot and increase strength and fitness. I hope the walking will also be able to help you get back onto normal daily lives quickly,”

“Oh…” Xi Men said.

“But don’t rush it. Start doing it when you felt you are comfortable enough to do it, as your wound is still pretty fresh now,”

Xi Men smiled, “Okay,”

“And have someone to accompany you,” Dr. Ting said.

“Sure,”

Dr. Ting smiled, “Anyway. I believe you would like to be with your fiancée and friends now. I would like to conclude our reporting…”

“Wait,”

All of them turned to look at Ah Si.

“Yes, Mr. Dao Ming?” Dr. Ting asked.

“There is something that bugs me. I heard you mention extensive bruising on his body,” Ah Si said.

Dr. Ting looked at the report on his hand, “Yes…”

“May I know… is that a kind of impact from the car accident?” Ah Si asked.

“No,”

All of them looked at Xi Men for answering the question instead.

“It is not from the accident,” Xi Men said. “Mark inflicted that to me. He kicked me several times when I was lying on the floor,”

Everyone exchanged gazes, while Xiao You only looked at Xi Men.

Xi Men then turned to look at Dr. Ting and Dr. Huang, “Thank you for the report,”

“You are welcome, Mr. Xi Men,” Dr. Ting said. “I will come back regularly to check on your condition, Mr. Xi Men. So I’ll see you later,”

“Sure, Dr. Ting. Thank you,” Xi Men said.

Everyone watches Dr. Ting and Dr. Huang walking out from the room.

Dr. Ting then paused right there at the entrance, and turned around to look at Xi Men from the door. “I think you have a visitor,”

“Visitor?” Xi Men asked.

“A policeman. He is sitting right here,” Dr. Ting said, glancing to the police inspector, before he looked at Xi Men.

Everyone in the room exchanged gazes with Xi Men.

“Why is there a policeman?” Xi Men asked the F3, and then turned to look at Xiao You, “Do you know?”

Xiao You shook. “I have no knowledge about it,”

Lei steps up, “He came before, and he’s here to record both of your statements. We told him you are still unconscious, and Xiao You is not ready to speak to him, so we asked him to leave,”

“He said he’ll come back again… and… it’s a coincidence he came back today,” Mei Zhuo said, exchanging glances with Lei now.

Xi Men and Xiao You exchanged glances, before he gazes over to the door.

Lips sealed as he thought about it.

Ah Si turned to look at Mei Zhuo and Lei, “Well, I don’t think Xi Men is ready to talk about it today. Let’s ask him to leave again and come back another day,” Ah Si said.

“Yeah, I guess that’s better,” Lei said, reaching for the door knob already.

“No,” Xi Men said, causing Lei to stop what he is doing, and everyone looked at Xi Men. “This matter has to be done sooner or later,” Xi Men said then looked at the guys, “Ask him to come in,”

Lei, Mei Zhuo and Ah Si exchanged glances, while Xiao You turned to look at Xi Men.

“Are you sure?” Ah Si asked. “Are you ready to talk about… it?”

Xi Men looked at Ah Si, and then dropped his gaze briefly.

He isn’t ready, but…

Like he said; it is a matter that sooner or later has to be done.

He raised his head up and nodded, “Yes,” he said. “And my parents are not here at the moment. It is best I do it when they are not around. The details will be too much for them,” Xi Men adds. “So, let’s do it,”

**********

Xiao You sits on the bed next to Xi Men, and their hands entwined together, while Xiao You’s previous seat; which is next to Xi Men’s bed, has been given to Inspector Zhang.

The friends are in the room too.

This will be the perfect time for all of them to hear what actually happened.

Inspector Zhang sits there, waiting for Xi Men and Xiao You to start.

Silence.

Plain silence in the private room.

So quiet that if a fly flies past, everyone can definitely hear it.

Inspector Zhang swallowed the lump in his throat.

‘Maybe I shouldn’t have been this persistent to record statement…’ he thought to himself in the intense environment.

Correction: Intensely QUIET environment where no one dares to move or speak.

Xi Men looked at his and Xiao You’s entwined hands.

“Everything is well-planned,” Xi Men breaks the silence while his gaze is still at their entwined hands. “Every single thing,”

Everyone looked at Xi Men, while Xiao You lowered her head.

“Mark has begun following Xiao You and me three weeks ago,” Xi Men said.

Inspector Zhang looked at Xi Men, before belatedly writes down on the stack of papers he brought with him.

“There are times I feel as though I am being watched, but I thought I was just being sensitive,”

“So am I. I noticed there is a black car near my workplace once in a while,” Xiao You adds, exchanging glances with Xi Men.

“Mark launched his attack the other day because he thought I already found out he is following us. The truth is, I didn’t really know he is. On that particular day, I do notice a black car, but did not exactly think it is really following me and Xiao You. At the expressway, he swerves and hits the left side of my car…” Xi Men closed his eyes.

=====

*Flashback.

From the corner of his eyes, Xi Men saw the car approaching from the left; that he turned his head to look at it at the speed of lightning but within split second, the other car had hit his car from the side, hard.

*CRASH!

There is no time for Xi Men to react.

Or rather, there is no way Xi Men could avoid this.

Not only the car hits from the side, it pushes Xi Men’s car to the right and pinned the car to the concrete divider.

*SMASH!!!!!

When the car hits the road divider on the right, Xiao You hits the right side of her head to the window and has knocked her unconscious.

After the car has hit the divider, momentum brought Xi Men to hit the left side of his head to the hard lining of the driver seat’s door.

*Flashback ended.

=====

“I fainted,” Xi Men said, opening his eyes now. “But I was on a phone call with Lei, I heard him calling out for me… and that woke me up,”

Lei pressed his lips together.

Xi Men closed his eyes, “Someone broke my window… and I don’t remember anything after that,”

“Mark broke your car window, and then opened the door from the inside, and carries you & Xiao You into his car,” Lei said. “He then drove away,”

Xi Men and Xiao You looked at Lei.

“How do you know about that?” Xi Men asked.

“We have CCTV recordings of the accident site, sir,” Inspector Zhang said.

“Oh…” Xi Men said.

“That is how we manage to track Mark’s car to look for you,” Ah Si said.

Xi Men smiled faintly, “So that’s how…”

“Took a bit of effort though. He went to a place where there are no CCTVs,” Mei Zhuo said.

“But you guys found me and Xiao You at the end,” Xi Men smiled appreciatively, and then turned to look at Inspector Zhang, “Thank you,”

“My pleasure, sir,” Inspector Zhang smiled.

Xiao You gently squeezes Xi Men’s hand with a small smile on her face.

Xi Men smiled at Xiao You before the smile slowly fades, “And then I woke up… both hands and legs being tied up… my head hurts and my stomach churns… sitting in front of Xiao You in a dark place… with a pendant light above us,”

“I was being tied up too. My head hurts as well,” Xiao You said, looking at Xi Men. “Due to the accident,” to which Xi Men nodded in agreement.

“Mark reveals himself in front of us, and that is when we know it was him,” Xi Men said.

“I am sorry for interrupting, sir, but Mr. Hua Ze, Mr. Ling and Mr. Dao Ming has mentioned that you do have friction with Mark. May I reconfirm this with you?” Inspector Zhang asked.

Xi Men swallowed the lump in his throat, “Yes,” he said. “It is…”

Everyone looked at Xi Men.

Xi Men and Xiao You looked at each other.

He then looked at Inspector Zhang, “He… fools around with my cousin-in-law while he was married,” he said, while tightening his grip on Xiao You’s hand.

And now everyone exchanged glances.

Xiao You’s eyes strayed.

Is that all that he is going to say… or describe?

They all know Mark fooling around with Ivy does not concern Xi Men, but the fact that Xiao You is Mark’s wife when he fools around is the one that triggers Xi Men.

“And that leads one thing to another… he got divorced, and business dealings didn’t go through,” Xi Men said.

Ah Si gulps down the lump in his throat.

Inspector Zhang nods briefly. “Oh, so it is a form of revenge or dissatisfied with…”

“Yes,” Xi Men said again to Inspector Zhang, without letting him finish his statement.

“Hmmm… okay,” Inspector Zhang writes down on the note.

“He then left for Japan with intention to revive his company, but he failed,” Xi Men adds.

Lei, Mei Zhuo and Ah Si exchanged gazes.

Xi Men reveals almost everything, except the important ones.

Well, probably that is too personal for Xi Men.

Or maybe, it is not necessary to tell it to someone else.

Xi Men then looked at Inspector Zhang, “He is upset. He is angry. He is full of vengeance,” he said, “To him, I caused everything. So he came back… wanting to kill me,”

Xiao You’s grip on his hand tightened.

“He planned all of this; the accident, the kidnapping, and the planned murder; all of them,” Xi Men said. “He said… he wanted to execute this weeks before my wedding to Xiao You. So… clearly, his motive is to have me dead… and unable to marry Xiao You,” he looked at Xiao You when he said that.

Lei, Jing, Mei Zhuo, Xiao Qiao, Ah Si and San Chai exchanged glances upon hearing that.

“So… he said he wanted me to bleed to death, until you and your team shows up and interrupts his plan, thus, prompted him wanting to stab me again so that I will die immediately… but in the end…” Xi Men said at Inspector Zhang.

“I understand. We came right at that time,”

Xi Men nodded.

“But he kidnapped Miss Yang and…”

“Despite he kidnapped Xiao You, his target was me. All me. That is why he hit me, and he stabbed me, leaving Xiao You unscathed,” Xi Men looked at Xiao You, “I mean, quite… unscathed,” he corrects himself after seeing the bruise on her face.

Xiao You just drops her head slightly and bites her lower lip.

“He just wants her to see me die in front of her,” Xi Men continued.

Xiao You pressed her lips together now, and tears formed in her eyes.

“That is all, Inspector Zhang,” Xi Men said, looking at the police inspector. “I have nothing to add,”

Inspector Zhang nodded. “I understand now. I completely understand his motive now. Since I have your statement and the answers, I can leave now. Thank you, Mr. Xi Men & Miss Yang,” he said and stood up. “And get well soon,”

“Thank you too, Inspector Zhang,” Xi Men said.

Xiao You gave him a brief smile.

Inspector Zhang then gave a small bow to Xi Men, before he turned to give bows to Lei, Mei Zhuo and Ah Si, and he left the room.

Everyone stays silent for a while in the room.

“I can’t believe Mark plans to murder Xi Men…” San Chai said.

“I can’t believe that too, until I see Xi Men lying on the floor with a pool of blood… and a knife in Mark’s hand… I think I have subconsciously believed that,” Ah Si uttered.

“You choose not to tell Inspector Zhang that Mark is Xiao You’s ex-husband. Is it going to be okay?” Lei asked.

“He asked if we have frictions. He did not ask my relation to Mark,” Xi Men said.

Everyone exchanged glances.

Xi Men then gazes over to Xiao You, seeing Xiao You looked utterly…

“Xiao You?” Xi Men called.

Xiao You sniffed.

Everyone looked at her.

“What is it, darling?” Xi Men asked, looking at Xiao You lowering her head down.

“I am sorry… I am so sorry…” Xiao You begins to sob.

“What are you sorry for?” Xi Men asked, beginning to worry.

Even the friends went quiet, and are waiting for her to explain.

“Because of me…” she said in between of her sobs, “Because of me… Mark, he… he…”

Xi Men just looked at Xiao You.

“He targeted you…” she sobbed. “I am sorry…”

“It is not like that, Xiao You…”

“Xi Men, I am sorry…”

Xi Men then darted his gaze to his friends, “Can you guys leave us alone for a while?”

Mei Zhuo gives a brief nod and immediately turns to the door.

Everyone is quick to move and leaves the room, with Lei closing the door as the last one out.

“Xiao You,” Xi Men called, tugging her hand. “It is not what you think,”

“Xi Men, I am really sorry! If it is not for me, he wouldn’t do this to you! If it is not for me, he wouldn’t injure you or try to kill you!”

“No…”

“Because of me, Xi Men! Because of me! I am so sorry!”

“Xiao You…”

“I feel so guilty, Xi Men…” she buried her face in her hands.

He looked at her, tentatively lost his words because he heard that one word he basically hated to hear, especially coming from Xiao You. “Guilty?”

She continued to sob, “I am sorry…”

“Guilty?” he repeated. “Are you saying you felt guilty towards me now? Then what are you going to do?”

She lifted her head up slowly and looked at Xi Men.

“You’ve felt guilty towards Juliana and Mark before this; that is why you did not accept me. And now you are feeling guilty again? Towards me this time? So what do you want to do now? Cancel our wedding?”

“I…”

“And how many times are you going to feel guilty? Are you going to feel guilty towards everyone else too? To Lei, Mei Zhuo and Ah Si for donating their blood to me? To Jing, Xiao Qiao and San Chai for staying back and coming to the hospital for days night to wait for news of my condition? For Alex (Lei’s son), Wei Yi (Mei Zhuo’s daughter), Wei Juin (Mei Zhuo’s son), Ah Chen (Ah Si’s son), Ah Mei (Ah Si’s daughter), Ah Xiang (Ah Si’s youngest son) for unable to see much of their parents every day?” Xi Men questioned.

She looked at him, not managing to say anything but letting her tears flow.

“Are you going to feel guilty towards everyone now?” he repeated his question. “Can you for once, don’t be too hard on yourself and look at things beyond your understanding? Things don’t always happen because of you, Xiao You, it doesn’t,”

“But…”

“Stop feeling guilty and listen to me,” Xi Men interrupted and holds her arms.

She looked at him, swallowing the lump in her throat to control her emotions.

“I want you to know it is not your fault,” Xi Men said.

Xiao You sniffed, “How is it not my fault when…”

“Because it is mine,” Xi Men said. “It is my fault,”

She looked at him, tilting her head slightly so she doesn’t understand. “You…?”

He wiped her tears, “I am his target because he hates me,”

She continued to look at him, her tears streamed down her cheek.

“Have you forgotten what I’ve done to him? In order to protect you from a cheater like him, I make him leave you; and with that, I’ve threatened him. And in the end, I make him leave this place because I want him to stay away from you. No matter how terrible my condition is, I fork money out from my savings and pay him to leave. I have been mean to him, Xiao You. That is why he hates me,” Xi Men said. “And to him, I am the one that took everything away from him,”

She sniffed.

“Because I make him leave you after cheating on you, and seeing we are going to get married, instead of feeling guilty for cheating on you, he felt that I took you away for myself. Ah Si did not give him the project, and he felt I am the one behind that. I promised him business contacts, Xiao You, but when he said he has no money to even leave the country, I took advantage of his condition, asking him to pick money or the contacts. He took the money, for he rather has something certain than business contacts that may not bring any projects to him,” Xi Men said. “He believes that if it wasn’t because of me; you’re probably still with him, he probably gets the project from Ah Si, his company wouldn’t go down, and things will all be good now. That is why he hates me,”

Xiao You looked at Xi Men, another tear rolled down her cheek.

“So you can imagine his hatred, Xiao You. He saw the article about us getting married; so he comes to the conclusion that I really took you away from him to make you my wife. I offered him the money before Xi Men Corporation sinks into crisis, so he insisted I pay him even though he knows my company is in critical situation, knowing it will strain me financially. He was just waiting for me to go down. So when I managed to get the company out of the crisis and instead, make it better, he is completely enraged; ranting about how I can save my company and he can’t,”

Xiao You’s gaze lowered, as she remembered Mark ranted about this when they were held captive.

“Like I have said… since he felt I have taken everything away from him, he did this to me,” Xi Men gently touches his abdomen, on the spot where Mark had stabbed him with a knife.

Xiao You’s gaze went to where his hand lands (on his abdomen).

“This is a repayment, Xiao You…” he uttered. “Repayment of what I have done to him. But instead of taking valuable objects from me, he wants the most valuable thing one could ever had; my life,”


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One thought on “Conflicted – Chapter 113

  1. wah. all these guilt is so hard on XY. does she always feel so b/c she think that it’s all because of her that started everything and lead to the suffering of those involve?

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