A Girl with Granted Wishes

[Extra] On The Other Side

[PROLOGUE]

Humans are equal. Everyone in this world has the same degree—and the same level of equality. Whites, blacks, we
e all the same. The eastern, the western, the north, or the south, we are all the same. I believe in this and you believe in that, there is no difference between us. We are all the same. What a harmonious world.

But its not how the world plays. We are actually equal, we are, but not really equal. Do you think beautiful women and ugly women are equal? Handsome men and ugly men are equal? Meanwhile they are both human, aren they? Humans are born with destiny. You couldn have chosen what you were born with, by whom, when and what you become. This is whats called destiny. Even if fate itself couldn produce equality, what else could?

Wealth, power, and can you call something else that would make people different—that can make us all different? It might be profession. But aren all types of jobs the same, as long as you
e honest and fair? But their salary is different right? If indeed all the jobs are the same, why not just generalize all the jobs salary? If its not about egoism or prestige, what is honesty after all? What is fairness either?

We live in a world which is full of magic. Opportunity in adversity, have you ever heard that proverb? Be careful, someone might take an advantage of your bad luck today. How much cacophony has been created in this world, some of which are damaging and beneficial at the same time. Imagine that you
e hating someone. Seeing that person struggling and facing a hard live makes you feel a sense of satisfaction (I hope you
e not like that).

What are we really seeking for in this world? Happiness? People said that being happy is simple. But the real question is, can people without wealth and power be happy? I often heard people complaining about their financial condition. On the other hand, can people with a massive amount of wealth, miles of power, influence as large as the land and the sea be happy? If so, congratulations.

May I ask you something that a little bit sensitive, how many times in your life have you sacrificed something for something else? Have you ever regretted having chosen that path? Were the results worth the sacrifices you made? Yeah, what else can it be? Life is choice, but sometimes the choice itself is not really a choice. Sometimes we choose this way because there is no other choice beside that. One by one the problems were resolved, but also one by one the other problems emerged. Problem solved with problem.

What you plant is what you will harvest. The problem is that not all crops will be nicely harvested. You have to always irrigate them at the right time, keep the pests away, protect them from the weather changes (I don know much about plants, but I think you get what I mean). Sometimes all the crops fail before the harvest time. But at least youve planted something. As long as whenever we make an effort always has any meaning in it, I won hate this life.

***

”Try to answer this question. ”

Our lecturer speaks on the podium with his distinctive body language. Disheveled as usual, especially his hair. Do geniuses always look like this?

That middle-aged man shows this picture:

A train is going through a forked rail. There are five people tied up on the first track, and one person tied up on the second track.

”Suppose you are the one who driving the train, ” he continues.

”This train can be braked, and you are the driver. You can go any other way than these two rails. The question is, which rail will you take? If you take the first rail, five people will be killed. If you take the second rail, one person will be killed. ”

.

The class is going silent for a moment. No, its been quiet ever since. Taking classes at lunchtime is annoying for real. Ive been feeling the rage of my stomach going mad. I just want to eat, thats all.

Oops, two in the afternoon. It means class time is over. I know this one lecturer here is always on time; he precisely values time more. He immediately closes the meeting and doesn forget to add some to our list of homework. We have to answer that question in the form of a resume that has to be submitted at the end of the, semester? What a long time. Oh well, right now I can only focus on my struggling stomach.

I immediately close my notebook and follow that old man out of the classroom. Not to chase and meet him to exchange some ideas in a discussion. I just want to go out before them, thats all.

I walk rather hurriedly through the only access corridor to the campus cafeteria. We are forbidden for running in the corridor. It would be very troublesome if we collided. The books will scatter and you have to pick them up one by one. What about injuries?

Finally I arrived at the cafeteria. However, theres something that is no less surprising. The cafeteria windows which were usually full of various kinds of snacks currently opens the curtains of its horizon. Yeah, now we can see the view of the back side of the canteen through it. In the other words, the food were gone, all of them. Theres no more food.

What should I do? Faint? No, no, its just too embarrassing. Oh my God, I just want to eat. I know there are other canteens on this big campus. But thats way too far. Crossing the faculty building is like facing the whole ocean.

.

I remember something. . .

My wallet went missing this morning.

.

Good. Even though theres some food still in the canteen, as long as I have no money, Theres nothing I can buy. Why can my day be more troublesome than this? Ive reported it to the campus security, but my wallet hasn been found until this afternoon.

As a result, I finally came back empty-handed—and an empty stomach. Just pray so I can last longer until this afternoon over, at least until I get home.

I went back up to the second floor. The canteen is on the first floor. The next class starts at half past three. Theres still half an hour to go. But what can I do, Id rather sleep than feel my growling stomach. By the way, class ends at four in the afternoon.

***

I don know how I can get through all this. My hunger is finally faded away—not completely, though. I quickly barged out as class ended. I can barely focus. I accidentally hit the lip of the door with my shoulder. It doesn hurt anyway, but I hope no one sees it.

Again I walk in haste. My house is not too far, it maybe about fifteen minutes away on foot, but my feet started to tingle.

***

Long story short, I got home. My grandfather is the only person I live with. And Im the one and an only child in this family, and if you
e wondering where my parents are, they
e definitely not here. They
e still alive—I guess. No, they are really still alive, in prison. As a grown-up, you can say that my life isn very smooth compared to the others. My grandpa is not as strong as he used to be. Theres an inn around here and thats where my grandpa works as a cleaning officer. Meanwhile, I work every night as a waitress in a cafe. I think this is enough to meet the needs of two people. Although sometimes I need some extra money for college.

As a family, we don usually talk too much. Hows your college going? Is your grade good or bad? How are you doing? Maybe thats all it is. Grandpa didn want to interfere in my life any further, and neither did I. Normally, people of grandpas age no longer have to work hard to earn money, because its their childrens turn to carry out their duties. But sometimes the world itself is not always that normal.

I smell a delicious aroma.

”You haven eaten yet? ” Grandpa seems to know what I feel.

”Come and eat, the innkeeper gave us a present. ”

Grilled fish. I haven smelled it in a long time.

”Hows your college going? ”

”Good, ” I shortly reply.

”Oh, and yeah, you got a letter earlier. ”

Im feeling a bad hunch.

”From whom….? ” ”Mother and father?…. ”

Grandpa silently sighs and doesn say a word. His face turns gray.

”Why don we just burn that pile of trash? ” I mean the letters.

It takes a moment for grandpa to continue the conversation.

”Its okay, its okay. Ill keep this letter as Im used to. You know where to find it, don you? Maybe someday youll want to read it. ”

The conversation ends here. This is my longest conversation with grandpa this month.

I am currently 22 years old. Those letters, I have received them since I was 10. My mom and dad were already in prison at that time. Thats the time when I started living together with my grandpa.

The letters always arrive on my birthday. Yeah, today is my birthday. But if its just a letter with a happy birthday notes in it, I don think the need of it. I also don know what I really need either. I don know, thinking about it all got me a headache. I want to go out and get some fresh air.

***

Out here, I have a secret place I usually go for relaxing myself. This is a large flower garden. A field covered in sunflowers from start to end. The yellow color blends with the twilight. The scent also perfectly fits.

The wind this afternoon is quite cold that I regretted leaving my jacket behind.

This wind reminds me of one thing: the butterfly effect. Do you believe that a big storm can be caused by the flapping of a butterflys wings?

Im not a philosopher or anything like that. But I think I got the point. No matter how small something is, one day there will be a moment when it can be something big. Just like you roll a small snowball, it will get bigger over time as it rolls. Ive never tried it, though.

My eyes are fixed on the setting sun. Im currently facing myself to the west. Below there is a long bench, both of us are facing the flower fields, but in the opposite side. Often I see lovers making out there. I admit that this place is quite romantic. Whats clear is, that bench is unquestionably not my favorite spot.

Alright, I guess its enough relaxation for today. I need to get ready to go to the cafe. My shift starts this evening.

***

This is not the only cafe in the town. A cafe that made in a medieval style. There are spartan shields and swords plastered over the cafe clerk, complete with legality certificates made from rough paper fibers. The table was deliberately not smooth. Illumination comes from the lantern-style lamps that are not too bright. I don hate this place, I quite like it actually.

Bang!!

My heart almost fall out. One of my fellow waitresses drops the tray, right next to me.

”Are you ok? ”

”Its okay. I just slipped. ”

Luckily what fell was only an empty tray. There are lots of kids here. We don want any shards of glass that can hurt our feet.

Sometimes we do a medieval-style shows in front of the cafe. Wars, hostages, heroes, and that sort of thing. Thats why many children come in here.

Riingg….

My cell phone rings.

”Hello? ”

”Good evening, are you the one who reported that you lost your wallet today? ”

It turns out to be a campus guard.

”Good evening, yeah, I am. Is there anything I can help with? ”

”Is your wallet brown, the one with the silver bunny pin on it? If so, it means your wallet is found. Since its getting late I suggest you to pick it up tomorrow. ”

”Okay, thanks. Ill pick it up tomorrow. ”

”Okay, good night. ”

The phone call is closed.

Im so relieved. At the moment I thought I have to fast until the end of the month.

All right, now its time to work.

***

My work time ends later than its used to be. This was because one of our comrades who was in charge of cleaning was injured in his hand. I didn know exactly how it happened. I only heard the sound of glass falling back then. The point is, I was doing his shift tonight, together with my own shift.

The street is completely empty. There aren too many people passing this way—which I usually pass on my way home. Theres not much lighting around here either, but the place is bright enough.

Its a full moon tonight, so its brighter than usual. Guess what, I think Id like to take a glance at the flower garden.

. . .

Who is there?

. . .

Ghost?

. . .

No. I think shes human. No, its indeed a human, what else can it be? A girl. Behind me from the middle of the flower garden. She dresses in white. Thats all I can see.

What is she doing out there?

Praying?

. . .

Her hair start to move wildly by the wind. The air becomes very cold, and…

. . .

What?

Since when?

. . .

I can look away from what Im seeing right now. All the sunflowers there are…

. . .

…dead.

. . .

I almost didn see any second. It was just like a blink. I didn see it slowly wither or fall one by one. But in one blink, all withered and fell at the same time.

What is this? Am I delirious or something? I pinch my hands and cheeks repeatedly. But no, its really real.

Its like Im seeing a pile of dry leaves. But this time, there are so many and in such a vast space. The wind blows once again and everything flow away like a storm. Almost hitting my face, I cover it just in case. My vision is rather blurry, and the night is getting darker.

I want to run away but,…

…Im still curious.

The girl remains frozen there. The only thing that moved is her clothes and hair. Her hands are still in the same position as before.

Was it because of that girl?

Half of myself couldn happen to believe it. But there is no other answer. Is this some kind of ritual or something? After all, why should it be here in the flower garden? Wait a minute, who the hell is she who can do all of this? Is she a real monster?

I looked left and right, no one around here. Maybe I shouldn see something like this. Ill just walk away and pretend this is all just a fantasy.

Thats how it is going to happen. But….

…..damn, Im really curious. My curiosity reaches the top of my will. Maybe its okay if its only me, the one that sees it. Its her own fault if she gets caught or people found her after all. This is a rare opportunity. I don want to move away. Ill watch it until its finished. By the way, when is it over?

For some reason I feel the wind turning around. This time it comes from, the ground? Down here? Really, Im not joking. My shirt is almost pulled up. Not really a hard flow, but sure enough to make the withered flowers flutter above.

Here she is.

The girl moved a little. She begin to raise her hands in line towards her head and…

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