"I just like the feeling of holding your hands...When was the last time we did it? Once more, please....."
This was the first time I heard those words. From you? Whoever said it, I could differentiate a guy's voice for the first time too. Crisp, clear, distinct, gentle, approaching straight to my unheeding ears, and then, my heart deep within...Much more penetrating than all voices I have ever picked up before...Is this a prelude to a coming miracle? Through all and all, I could sense a change heading my way for the first time in 14 years! My hearing, having fallen to a slumber for that long, was showing signs of awakening...Oh Come, I will be waiting!
-Gui Gui (Li Xiao Xing's nickname in this story)
Tears filled her weak eyes as Gui Gui crouched down in front of the red public phone booth. She had failed again and it angered her boyfriend greatly. She embarrassed him for countless times by not being able to tell the difference between his voice and other guys'. She could understand how miserable this had caused him all along. So she led a life of self-hatred by shifting all blame into her own vulnerable heart. There was no remedy available and since the age of six, she has been frightened by the same intimidating voice without end. Or seemingly, rather. The reason was, today, on her 20th birthday, she sensed a difference seeping slowly but surely into her burdened soul.
For an instance, she sat bolt upright, looking at every direction in her immediate surroundings. She glanced at each corner of the street, making sure not to miss any, like a blurred child in search of parental comfort. Still with tears streaming more and more down her face, she finally stood up and kept asking silently herself that whoever was it uttering those words. True, she yearned to hear them spoken to her straight from Wang Zi, but it was not like the usual feeling he gave her. It was fresh and captivating. However, she did not have much choices, he still held the status as her boyfriend. He has not called it the end to their relationship yet. Gui Gui armed herself with the courage to believe. Perhaps, he was really the one who had spoken in the midst of her overwhelming sadness a minute ago. Thus, for now, she quickly wiped her soft wet cheeks dry and with the strong determination that had kept her will to survive on through the past years, she hasten herself to run searching for him again, like how she had always done whenever they got into disagreements.
From another side of the booth, Shi De tried to take the initiative to hold her hands once again, but she drew back and turned about to avoid his gaze.
"Phoebe...," he hesitated.
"Do you still not understand, Shi De?" she reminded out of frustration.
He breathed hard, "Okay, tell me then...What's the difference between our past and now?"
She did not bother to look back at him, "Difference?? How old were we then before you left for your overseas studies? It's that simple, time can change alot of things, even our hearts!"
He shook his head to reject her harsh words and went up to stand in front of her again, "What is time anyway? Even though I have been away for 3 years, it felt just like a blink of eye the moment I saw you. And when I was in England, it felt like eternity! Time is the most unstable substance in this world! Phoebe, don't you think so too?"
She only covered her ears, "I don't know...I really don't know, stop pressuring me! Stop calling my name!!" She shoved him aside and spotting the change in the traffic lights, ran hurriedly away across the street.
"Phoebe!!" Shi De called aloud and was about to chase after her when a passing car honked at him. The light has switched to red.