Xue Zhao has gone abroad, so we won’t meet him for a short time. But not to worry, as Ming Xing sets out on a nostalgic ride through her home-city and also her University. We get to see what lengths Xue Zhao had gone to, just so that he would meet his Ming Xing again. So, go on and fall in love with our OTP all over again!
Chapter V (Part 1): Souvenirs of Love.
Ming Xing took a rare leave from work and started getting ready to just go out and get a life.
It’s been a very long time since she slept without nightmares. And yesterday night, it wasn’t any different, having been plagued by the worst memories of her life the entire night.
Naturally, she looked gaunt. But her looks dominated the tiredness and the aura of power around her hid all her weaknesses well.
She dressed up in a loose Tee Shirt and worn-out jeans, before walking out of the apartment and getting into the pre-ordered taxi.
“P University,” she told the taxi driver, ignoring his stunned look at her. Not many people have seen the famous reporter Ming Xing in casual clothing.
After ten whole years, she’s going to visit her old alma mater, the P University. And also the library in it, where the entire saga began. As she stepped inside the hallowed grounds, her emotions underwent an intense turmoil. She felt a sense of belonging and nostalgia.
This was the place where she’d found her ground and also her love.
She touched the huge iron-wrought gates, and wiped away the tears that formed in her eyes. Sighing, she walked inside the campus. The students curiously followed her, while the Professors stopped in their tracks when they saw her.
But everybody recognized her as The Li Ming Xing of ‘Open Heart’, the nation’s biggest television show.
Some of the old Professors in her faculty, who’d taught her, were still working here. And when they saw her, the first thing that they asked her was, “How have you been all these years?”
The suppressed emotions boiled out, and finally she wept tears of joy. She bowed to them and her head touched the ground. This was the only way she could pay back all the love that her teachers had given her.
After a long time, they reluctantly separated because they had to attend their classes, but not before they extracted a promise from her that she would return to give a lecture to all the Broadcast Journalism students of the University.
Then she started walking down the cobbled path to the library. When she entered, the very silence of the library felt sacred to her. She saw an old hunched lady sitting near the librarian’s desk and shook her head in disbelief. It’s been so many years and Madam Qin is still working here…
The old lady was writing something in the Register, so Ming Xing approached her, and asked, “I’m looking for a part-time job and am interested in taking over the job of the Senior Assistant Librarian.”
Madam Qin didn’t look up, as she said, “That job hasn’t been given to anybody in ten years and won’t be given to anyone else until the original employee returns.”
“And what if the employee has returned to claim her job?” asked Ming Xing, softly.
Madam Qin stopped writing and finally looked up. Her eyes filled up with tears and her lips trembled, as she asked, “Ming Xing, is that you?”
Ming Xing tearfully nodded. She hugged old Madam Qin, as Madam Qin shed tears of joy. “You foolish girl! Where were you gone all these years? We’ve all been waiting for you to return home!”
Home. Ming Xing’s heart finally calmed down. She’s home. And her home’s in the University. She’s always belonged here, so she didn’t know how she’s managed to stay away from home so long! She knew that she missed her home only after being away from it for ten years.
Madam Qin affectionately ruffled her hair, and said, “Little girl, go take a look at what these foolish Administrative people have done to our library! I hope that now you’ve returned, at least you will drum some sense into those fogeys!”
Ming Xing frowned and nodded. When she started to take a proper look at the library, she was shocked.
The old and huge wooden bookshelves, and also the paperback books were all gone. They were replaced by electric plugs and tablets and iPads were connected there.
In short, the P University’s library is now a ‘Digital Library’.
Ming Xing felt her heart break into pieces. This library held so many memories for her. It was behind those bookshelves that she and Xue Zhao had first fallen in love with each other. It was the ink and paper of the books over here that became her best friends. She found solace over here whenever she needed it.
“They have transferred all the books to the storeroom. They were about to throw away the old bookshelves before someone came forward to buy all of them. They were even going to give me a computer to work on, but I refused saying that I’m happier writing entries in the old Registers. They resisted, but I was firm. Finally, they had no choice but to give in,” said Madam Qin.
Ming Xing had an urge to see those bookshelves one last time. She wanted to touch the rough wood and see the engravings that many lovesick couples make on them, and which admittedly, has even her name and Xue Zhao’s engraved upon them.
But she knew that the ship has sailed. Turning to Madam Qin, she asked, “May I know where I can find the old copy of ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’?”
Madam Qin frowned, before apologetically saying, “I’m sorry, my dear, but the same unknown person who’d bought the bookshelves had also bought the book’s copy too. That and one more book had been sold to him.”
Ming Xing nodded, feeling disappointed. Hugging Madam Qin, she bid her goodbye and walked out.
And when she saw a red Ferrari waiting outside the library, she stopped in her tracks.
Because Liu Jin, looking carelessly handsome, was leaning on that Ferrari.
Was i the only one, or did someone else also feel very heartbroken when Madam Qin informed Ming Xing that all the paperback books are gone?
Probably everyone realized by now, the extent to which digitization has taken us. The memories associated with the books suddenly feel a bit incomplete. Even in our real lives, we feel the huge void when we read the books in our iPhones or any other phone or tab. The thrill and the feel that we get when we read actual books is so different.
Anyways, i’ll be back with the next part of the next chapter, because i’m sure that you guys are totally done with the angst. We’re going to get to the meaty parts now, so please continue being hooked.
And i guess it’s become a regular drill for us, but i’m again reminding any kind translator out there to translate the words ‘The Lone Star In My Constellation’ as poetically as they can into Chinese script, and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org .