Translated by Novice Translations
Proofread by Yserieh
At a Loss
On the way back from the hospital to the studio, the sky suddenly filled with light snow. The snow was like grains of rice that fell from the sky onto the windshield. Before people could take a closer look, it had already turned into droplets of water.
This should be this year’s first snow, the pedestrians on the road were a little excited. Their hurried footsteps paused from the sudden snow and they took out their phones to take pictures.
Mu Xiaoya also likes snow very much. If this were the past, she would definitely stop by the side of the road to enjoy it for a while, or call Bai Chuan to watch it with her. But at this moment, there was a crossroad in front of her, because the snowy road was slippery, and traffic became congested.
Winter nights always come earlier. When she parked her car in the parking lot near the studio, the sky was already gray. Mu Xiaoya looked out the window, and several shops along the road had even turned on their lights.
It’s 5:20pm and Bai Chuan will get off work after a while.
Mu Xiaoya got out of the car and locked it. She then accidentally discovered the pharmacy in the corner behind a row of sycamore trees. In the spring and summer, the trees were lush and leafy, and the pharmacy would be camouflaged and difficult to see. When autumn and winter caused the leaves to fall, Mu Xiaoya discovered their studio was diagonally across from them. There was even a pharmacy along the road.
”Girl, what medicine would you like to buy?”
Mu Xiaoya was shocked to discover that entered the pharmacy unknowingly. A 40 or 50-year-old elder sister in a white lab coat asked her with concern.
”I… do you have contraceptives?” Mu Xiaoya asked with difficulty.
”Yes ah, what kind? The before or after contraceptives.” The pharmacy elder sister asked, the person has already walked to the counter and placed the contraceptives there.
”The after.” Every time she answered a question, Mu Xiaoya becomes extremely uncomfortable. Fortunately, the pharmacy elder sister didn’t have strange eyes. She had a common expression as if she was doing business.
”Then take this, it’s useful to take it within 72 hours after.” The pharmacy elder sister picked out a box of medicine and placed it in front of Mu Xiaoya.
Mu Xiaoya looked at the white medicine box and didn’t reach to take it after a long time.
”Do you want it?” The elder sister urged.
”Much… how much?” Mu Xiaoya returned to her senses.
”39.”139 yuan is $5.52 USD, dude that is so cheap, when I bought it at CVS, the after pill, it’s about $50
After receiving the money, the pharmacy elder sister handed over the medicine. Seeing the girl’s blank face, she couldn’t help but add a few words: “Little girl, if you want to have a child, just discuss getting married with your boyfriend.”
She has seen many people who come to buy contraceptives. None of them had this expression. The hesitation on her face was apparent, she obviously doesn’t want this.
”I’m married.” Mu Xiaoya replied subconsciously.
”Your husband doesn’t want children?”
”Then not ready yet?” The elder sister understood.
Mu Xiaoya nodded.
“Also, it’s true that you young people don’t care for your children at all when you’re working hard in your careers ah. And women are under more pressure by modern society. Being a mother really isn’t a simple decision.” Then she said, “But if you really want children, don’t worry too much. Sometimes a child is like a little sapling on the outside, but in fact, you don’t have to worry too much ah. As long as you love them, they will grow up ah. This medicine is effective within 72 hours, you can think about it again.”
Mu Xiaoya thanked her and walked out of the pharmacy. She walked blankly ahead and about two or three meters away, she suddenly stopped and looked down at the box of medicine she just bought.
It’s just a box of contraceptives. In today’s society, the function of this thing was the same as a TT. But in Mu Xiaoya’s perspective, these two things have different methods on achieving their goals. This is a contraceptive after the event. If she takes it, if there’s a small life growing tenaciously in her womb, then she’s extinguishing the life of her and Bai Chuan’s child.
But if she doesn’t take it, she might become accidentally pregnant and a child with her bloodline will be born in ten months. Then in another two years, when the child just learns how to walk and call out mother, they will lose their mother forever.
Since her rebirth, Mu Xiaoya had been fortunate and grateful. She’s glad that she is able to come back in time and have the opportunity to make different choices, giving her insights of the future and to address her many regrets. But at this moment, she hated her foresight and wished she didn’t know anything. At this moment, she would probably be excited to speculate whether she was pregnant, rather than hesitating to take medicine.
At 6:05 p.m., because of the slippery snowy road, Bai Chuan arrived at the studio a few minutes late. He hurriedly pushed the door and walked in.
”You’re here? But Xiaoya hasn’t come back yet, would you like to call her?” Fang Hui saw Bai Chuan and said with familiarity.
”Not here?” Bai Chuan was startled. Today, Xiaoya didn’t say that she would come back late ah.
”She went to the hospital during the day. She’s probably delayed by something.” Fang Hui said.
Bai Chuan nodded and turned to the bar. While walking, he took out his cellphone to call Mu Xiaoya, but when he was about to dial from the floor-to-ceiling window at the bar, Bai Chuan found Mu Xiaoya across the road.
Bai Chuan immediately put away his cellphone, turned around and walked out.
”Yi, where are you going?” Fang Hui saw Bai Chuan suddenly run out again and glanced outside doubtfully. She followed the direction of Bai Chuan’s steps and also saw Mu Xiaoya. “Really, can’t wait to cross the road.”
Fang Hui smiled, picked up her bag that she already packed, and directly left work without saying bye to the two.
”Xiaoya.” Bai Chuan shouted happily while running to Mu Xiaoya.
Mu Xiaoya returned to her senses and looked over. She saw Bai Chuan running towards her. She unconsciously puts the medicine from her hand into her bag.
”You… got off work so quickly?” Mu Xiaoya asked with a guilty conscience.
”It’s already 6:10.” Bai Chuan showed his watch to Mu Xiaoya.
”It’s so late?” Mu Xiaoya was startled, apparently not expecting that she would stand on the side of the road in a daze for a long time.
”Let’s go buy vegetables.” Yesterday, there was no food at home. Bai Chuan had been thinking about going shopping today. As he said that, he took Mu Xiaoya’s hand so they can walk to the shopping mall nearby
”Your hands are so cold.” Just one step, Bai Chuan stopped. He twisted his eyebrows and wrapped Mu Xiaoya’s chilly palms in both of his hands. It seems it wasn’t enough, so he lowered his head to breath on Mu Xiaoya’s hands. A burst of white fog sprayed Mu Xiaoya’s palms, but it didn’t bring much warmth, but it did succeed in bringing her whole person to life.
”It’s not cold in the mall.” Mu Xiaoya reminded him.
”That ….. let’s quickly go to the mall.” After two steps, Bai Chuan suddenly stopped again. He took off the scarf from his neck and wrapped it around Mu Xiaoya. “Okay, let’s walk quickly.”
Everything seems fine and he didn’t seem to miss anything, so Bai Chuan smiled happily. He grabbed Mu Xiaoya’s hand, quickly pass through the traffic lights and they took refuge in the mall’s warm heat.
”Is it still cold?” Bai Chuan was uneasy and wanted to confirm.
”It’s not cold anymore.” Mu Xiaoya shook her head. “Let’s go shopping.”
After buying groceries, they return home and cooked dinner. After the simple meal, Bai Chuan washed the dishes while Mu Xiaoya watched TV on the sofa. Like two peas in a pod, the two people’s mood was calm again, which causes Mu Xiaoya to temporarily forget about the matter regarding pregnancy. She doesn’t want Bai Chuan to detect her abnormality, at least before she figures it out.
Here, Mu Xiaoya was still worried about whether she was pregnant. Over there, Bai Chuan, who had just tasted meat for the first time and had the taste etched to his marrow. When the two laid in bed, he straightforwardly and calmly put forth his request.
”Is it okay?” Bai Chuan’s face was expectant and his hands were eager as he covered Mu Xiaoya’s waist.
”No.” How can Mu Xiaoya be willing, she replied with a cold face, and directly rolled over.
Bai Chuan was a little disappointed but didn’t ask again. He just reached out as usual to hold his wife to sleep together, but this request was also rejected by Mu Xiaoya.
Bai Chuan was at a loss. His elder brother didn’t mention that Xiaoya would be angry after rejecting him ah.
Bai Chuan who was worried, had a rare insomnia, but found that even early the next morning, Mu Xiaoya’s mood wasn’t good.
”Are you angry with me?” Bai Chuan asked uneasily at the breakfast table.
”No.” Mu Xiaoya shook her head.
Bai Chuan carefully dissected this for a while and made sure that Mu Xiaoya didn’t lie to him before going to work at ease. She just waited for him to return home from work, then when they laid in bed, he complained to his wife’s back again: Didn’t she say she wasn’t angry? Besides, I didn’t ask for it today ah, why can’t she sleep in my arms like before?
”Are you mad at me?” Bai Chuan asked with great certainty at breakfast on the third day.
”No ah.” Mu Xiaoya replied, then gave Bai Chuan a strange look.
But the sensitive Bai Chuan didn’t believe Mu Xiaoya this time, he looked at Mu Xiaoya stubbornly.
”Really not, eat fast or you’ll be late for work.” With that, Mu Xiaoya bowed her head and kissed Bai Chuan’s face. Bai Chuan was stunned, and the doubt in his heart was instantly dissolved by this sudden kiss, and he became happy again.
Bai Chuan took a taxi, and Mu Xiaoya also left to the studio. She made the last modification to the latest design draft and sent it to Fang Hui before ten o’clock.
”This is the latest design draft, have a look.”
“I have nothing to worry about if you drew it, but help me with my design, what do you think of this?” Since the studio’s business is officially on track, the division of labor between the two was unconsciously clear. Mu Xiaoya focuses on design while Fang Hui focuses on operation. She has been busy for half a year and it wasn’t easy for her to have time to design. Finally, Fang Hui suddenly realized that she hasn’t designed a pair of shoes yet.
”It’s good ah, much better than when you were in college.” Mu Xiaoya glanced at it and said with admiration.
”Go go go. What’s better than when I was in college? Don’t be sarcastic, you say, do you think these will be hot?” Fang Hui asked.
”Hot or not hot. I can’t guarantee, but if it were me, I would buy such a pair of shoes when I see them in the mall.” Mu Xiaoya smiled.
”That’s it.” Fang Hui laughed happily. “Give me your USB flash drive with the design drawings. I will also load my design drawings and send them to the factory together.”
”It’s in my bag, you take it yourself and I’ll scan it.” Mu Xiaoya would scan the design draft in her hands.
Fang Hui handed over her design draft to Mu Xiaoya, then went to Mu Xiaoya’s office to rummage through Mu Xiaoya’s bag. Only when the zipper was unzipped, an eye-catching white medicine box was prominently displayed in front of Fang Hui’s eyes.
Fang Hui was startled, picked it up and looked at it. She found that the medicine box wasn’t opened yet, so she put it back again and found the silver USB stick in the side pocket.
”Have you found the USB flash drive?” Mu Xiaoya asked.
”Here.” Fang Hui handed over the USB stick.
Mu Xiaoya took it, added a scanned copy onto the USB flash drive as a backup, then sent a copy to Fang Hui’s email: “I’ve sent it to your email, you can directly send it in a while.”
”Okay.” Fang Hui glanced at her inbox to confirm that she received the design draft. “You take the medicine and I’ll take care of the rest.”
”What medicine?” Mu Xiaoya wondered.
”Contra…” Fang Hui glanced at the two employees sitting next to her and lowered her volume. “The medicine in your bag ah, it hasn’t been taken yet. Go ahead and take it, or it won’t be effective.”2Dude its no longer effective, this is the third AFTERNOON after they had sex. (72+hours since they had sex in the evening) That sperm already swam and penetrated her egg to form the zygote…unless Bai Chuan’s sperms failed their mission…
Mu Xiaoya just reacted and replied: “I haven’t thought about it yet.”
”What is there to think about? If you want it, then don’t take it. If you don’t want it, then take it.”
”I want it, but I don’t dare.” Mu Xiaoya answered.
”Because of Bai Chuan?” Fang Hui hesitated and said, “If you’re worried about autism, it’s something that won’t be inherited.”
”Not because of Bai Chuan, but because of me.”
”Because of you? Because of you?” Fang Hui was puzzled.
Because I’m not sure if I’m qualified to become a mother.
”You don’t understand the minds of us married women.” Mu Xiaoya went off topic.
”Yes, then you married woman can go and discuss it with your husband.” Fang Hui was too lazy to ask, anyway, no matter whether Mu Xiaoya finally decided to have the child or not, she will support her unconditionally.
Mu Xiaoya smiled, returned to her seat, glanced at her bag again, then picked up her cellphone to send a message to Bai Chuan: Come back early after work, I have something to tell you.
Bai Chuan: Okay.
Irresponsible little theater:
Bai Chuan: I was rejected.
Bai Zheng: … (I don’t want to know.)
Bai Chuan: Xiaoya is angry.
Bai Zheng: … (I don’t want to know.)
Bai Chuan: What should I do?
Bai Zheng: … (Don’t ask me.)
Bai Chuan: I won’t do that sort of thing anymore.
Bai Zheng: How can that be?!