Fated enemies’ first verbal promise, twenty years ago…
On the ground floor of an old apartment complex were public laundry rooms and bathrooms for tenants, which facilitated hot water. During most mornings, housewives bathed their young children and afterward they let their children play whilst they washed their families’ dirty clothes.
Twenty years ago two housewives, Mrs Gu and Mrs Zhen were washing clothes next to each other in the laundry room.
‘Little sister Gu, what floor are you on?’ Mrs Zhen asked.
‘Fourth floor, west side,’ Mrs Gu said.
‘Really? What a coincidence! I’m on the fourth floor too, on the east side,’ Mrs Zhen said.
‘Oh? That means we’re neighbours,’ Mrs Gu said.
‘Then we’ll need to take good care of each other,’ Mrs Zhen said.
‘That’s right!’ Mrs Gu said.
Mrs Gu and Mrs Zhen got along well and they were elated to find out they were neighbours. They chatted happily whilst they washed clothes.
‘Ah!’ a child cried out.
Mrs Gu and Mrs Zhen turned around to see whether it was their young daughter or son who cried out.
A naked chubby little girl covered in soap bubbles, dragged something with her into the laundry room. In her chubby hand she wasn’t holding a hand or gripping a shoulder… she was holding a little boy’s ‘taboo’ between his legs.
‘Mum!’ the little girl called. She ran to her mum and she spoke loudly. ‘What’s this? Why does Zhen Lang have one but I don’t have one?’
The laundry room was steamy and it was hard to see things from a distance clearly so when Mrs Gu’s daughter stood in front of her, she looked closely at what her daughter was holding… she immediately scolded her daughter loudly. ‘Gu Jing, let go of it right now!’
The little chubby Gu Jing puffed her chubby cheeks and pouted her lips. ‘I don’t want to. Why does Zhen Lang get to have one but I don’t? Is it because when you found me from a rubbish bin you left something behind?’
Mrs Gu panicked when she saw her stubborn daughter was determined to hold onto her neighbour’s pitiful son’s ‘taboo’ between his legs, she quickly gripped her daughter’s wrist. ‘Hurry up and let go! You’re going to break Zhen Lang’s ‘toy’ if you keep holding onto it tightly.’
‘I don’t want to!’ Gu Jing protested. Because she wanted to protect her new favourite toy instead of letting it go, she held onto it tighter. ‘This toy is soft and it’s fun to play with. I want one too. Mum, tell Zhen Lang to give it to me.’
The pitiful little Zhen Lang cried a waterfall of tears. ‘Mum, it hurts…’
Mrs Zhen patted her pitiful son’s shoulder. ‘Mum, I don’t need it, it hurts… give it to Gu Jing.’
‘Gu Jing,’ Mrs Zhen called. She gently patted little Gu Jing’s chubby cheek. ‘You have to wait until you and Zhen Lang are adults then he can give it to you.’
‘Really?’ Gu Jing asked. Her eyes lit up and after a blink, her eyes looked suspiciously at her new favourite toy. ‘What if when Zhen Lang’s an adult, he gives it someone else?’
‘Then you need to always stay close to him and don’t let him give it to someone else. What do you think?’ Mrs Zhen said and her eyes gleamed mischievously.
Gu Jing nodded her head and she reluctantly let go of her new favourite toy. ‘Zhen Lang, you have to promise me in the future you can only give this toy to me, you can’t give it to someone else.’
Zhen Lang cried and nodded his head as a promise at the same time.
Gu Jing looked at Zhen Lang and her naughty mind told her eventually the toy would be hers so she needed to comfort Zhen Lang who was keeping it safely for her until she was an adult.
Gu Jing rubbed Zhen Lang’s wet cheek. ‘If I give you a kiss, don’t cry anymore, ok?’
Zhen Lang tilted his head to the side, he thought for a while and he nodded his head.
Gu Jing beamed and she kissed Zhen Lang’s cheek loudly.
Mrs Zhen patted her son’s head. ‘Gu Jing gave you a kiss so you need to give her a kiss too.’
Zhen Lang sniffed his nose, he looked at the smiling Gu Jing and he reluctantly gave her kiss.
The first time Gu Jing and Zhen Lang exchanged a verbal promise with each other they were only three years old.
End of Chapter One