When Chun awoke in the hospital, the worry-stricken face of Xiao Mai was whom first appeared before his eyes. He was grateful of her assuring presence.
"How do you feel now?" Her comforting voice soothed his soul immensely. He managed to respond with a smile of relief.
He tried to sit up and she quickly helped him. Recalls of what happened earlier in the library flashed back and forth in his mind. He then carefully reached out with his hand to his bandaged left chest.
"Does it still hurt?" Xiao Mai asked with undue concern.
Feeling the most vulnerable part of his body, realisation then dawned on him.
Rather overwhelmed, Xiao Mai nervously put her hand over his, "It will take some time, but the doctor said that for sure, it will heal...Chun, don't worry..."
He looked up at her, grasping the depth of her care for him and took her hand, "Xiao Mai, thank you...I also know...it's finally gone..."
She was confused, "Huh? Gone?"
He nodded and explained, "I was involved in an accident as a kid and it left a strongly visible scar on my left chest, exactly over where my heart is..."
Xiao Mai was disheartened, "My, so that's what causing you so much insecurities?" Her thoughts faintly reverted back to that evening...
Considerably safe from the road and tightly clinged within his arms, Xiao Mai did not appear aware of the timely rescue and continued to wallow in her severe grief. It stunt him to realise her completely hardened to her sensations and response to all that was happening around her.
Her relentless sobs made her gasped for breaths, eating up her strength and resilience little by little.
Seeing her this way, Chun was filled with contrition. Slowly, yet also surely, he could feel aches springing forth from deep inside.
In the midst of the unrestrained emotional turmoil, Xiao Mai unknowingly reached out with her freezing hand, to fondle against the skin of a distinct fleshy thickened scar seen through the clarity of his translucent white shirt before her eyes.
He affirmed, "Right before I collapsed after the accident, all I heard was the words of some form chanting there would be a curse on my love life...When I regained consciousness days after, I could not feel my heartbeat and pulse anymore ever since then..."
Xiao Mai was shocked, "Really? Chun, I..." She remembered that night what she had spoken to him...
Xiao Mai's eyebrows creased into an unpleasant frown as he purposefully looked away from her. She pouted, "I am not even asking you to give me all your biodata and you're already treating me like a sneaky paparazzi! Chun,..."
He still remained indifferent to her ramblings. Xiao Mai then resorted to grab his arms and turned him to face her again out of fiesty impulse. Disregarding his reluctance, she cried, "Look at me, I will tell you what my intention is in taking this course..."
She fought against her emotions to soften her tone and continued earnestly. He let out a sigh and unawarely stared down at her pair of soulful-looking eyes.
Xiao Mai fervently asked, "Do you believe that our hearts can live on forever, persisting on to eternity? I mean, not the 'physical' heart but the invisible one, that which has been tightly woven into the tapestry of our souls?"
Time stood still in the midst of them as her words repeated in his mind even after she had uttered them. They somehow affected him intensely. The more he mused over them, the more he felt attached and drawn towards their essence.
"Chun...?" she began to sense something not right.
His head now felt extremely heavy and painful all of a sudden. Next, he also experienced an incredibly dizzy spell. Vision started blurring, he held onto her in order to not lose his own footing.
Xiao Mai became flustered, "Chun, don't scare me...Are you feeling not well?"
He attempted to assure her despite having little to no effect at all, "Fine...I'm fine..."
Soon, everything blacked out within the realm of his consciousness.
Xiao Mai blinked back tears, "I am so sorry, Chun...I did not mean to be so harsh on you..."
He smiled calmly and brought her hand to his chest, "Those are all in the past...My heart is alive to my senses once more, all thanks to you..."
She wondered, "Alive to your senses once more? You mean, you can feel them again, after so long?"
He nodded. When she did understand, her dispirited face once more showed a contented smile.
He then slowly took off a chain he had always been wearing with that precious ring bearing the engraving of a burning flame and let Xiao Mai wear it instead.
She did not get why he has to give her. He explained, "The problem I had with my heart, there is only one person in this world, a chapel nun who knows about this secret of mine. She has compassion on me and thus, gave this ring to me, so that I can be reminded whenever I see it, that the source of life, 'Love's ever burning flame' is still in my possession. And now, I have met my Angel Saviour, so I want her to know that what she has caused me to recover, is as priceless as the rest of my life..."
Xiao Mai was at a lost for words upon hearing all he said to her. She did not know how to express to him the extent to which she was so immensely touched. It all turned out that streams of tears trickled down one after another down her warming cheeks.
He drew near, withstanding the pain in his injured parts, and closed their distance to wipe dry her face. Yet, Xiao Mai could not suppress her surging emotions. Therefore, he naturally kissed those heartfelt tears of hers, until who-knows-when they will stop flowing.
Soon, his lips easily found their way to her tender lips and they continued to revel in a sweet, loving embrace.
"I love you, Xiao Mai," he whispered against the smoothness of her skin.
"I do too, Chun," she declared intensely in the affectionate moment of their mutual confessions for each other.