184 Ashen

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"W-what are you saying?" Abi was shaking her head. She didn't want to believe him. Why would Alex die just by marrying her? Her Alex was… strong and invincible! "You are not making any sense, Mr. Qin. You don't have to… you don't have to tell me such a ridiculous lie just to stop me because I'm not going to believe you," she added, bravely, despite her hoarse voice.

Ezekiel Qin leaned away from her, not tearing his eyes off her.

"I'm leaving, Mr. Qin," she said and was about to walk away when the man stopped her. He slammed his hands on the wall, trapping her in between them before he leaned in on her again and whispered something in her ear.

The whites in her eyes turned pure black, as if a black hole had just sucked all the light in them. And then her hand clung to his jacket to keep herself from losing her balance. Abi's world seemed to be spinning out of control. The world that was so steady and bright had all of a sudden become grey and cold. Abi could feel herself losing her determination and her happiness dwindled down to ashes. These emotions were slowly being replaced with a painful, desolate, hopeless feeling that settled in deepest corners of her soul.

Ezekiel let her cling onto him. He didn't say a word anymore until Abi left, looking like her world just crumbled down.

Ezekiel leaned on the wall as he watched the door that had just shut closed. His brows knotted into a hard knot as he stared at the floor.

"I know you're there, Kai," he then uttered without lifting his face and Kai suddenly appeared.

Kai was looking at him with great displeasure.

"Zeke, what did you tell her?!" Kai asked him. His voice sounded urgent and extremely worried.

Zeke finally looked at him but his face was still unreadable.

"I suggest you go now and follow her," he casually said and Kai gritted his teeth.

"Zeke, I don't understand why you're doing all this. Alex is… Alex is finally looking really alive and happy. Why can't you just let them be?"

Ezekiel's usual calm gaze became a little sharp as he moved and grabbed Kai's shoulder. "I know you are going to stay neutral until the end but hear me, Kai, you will understand why I needed to do this when the time comes." His voice was firm, brimming with unquestioned authority. "Leave now and don't take your eyes off her. Also, I'm sure you won't do it but I still want to remind you not to even think about saying anything about this to Alex. You wouldn't want a pointless battle to break out because of this," he added before he walked towards the door and left, while Kai closed his eyes with a creased brow and drew his lower lip in between his teeth and bit it hard.

Abi spent hours in the hospital just watching over the sleeping little girl. She never spoke. She looked like she was being crushed by a tonne of bricks. Her shoulders drooped her whole body emitted a kind of sadness, the kind that one would feel after they had just suffered a loss of a loved one, and her eyes were unfocused. However, there were no tears in her eyes, despite her complexion being ashen.

The usual cheerful, optimistic girl looked like she just taken a huge step back from life.

When she left the hospital, Abi didn't even know where to go. She went home just to ask the driver to turn around and go back to the city. She didn't want her family to see her like this. She went to the orphanage just for her to stay outside, unable to make herself enter the house. She knew that she looked awful and there was no way she could show her devastated face to the lively children inside.

She went to the park and sat on the swing. She looked around, noticing every single mundane thing; the grass swaying in the wind, people walking about minding their own business, even just watching the leaves fall from the trees. The sky had turned grey but she didn't even react.

A lone star appeared in the sky and she lifted her hand, as if to grasp it in her hand. She smiled but there was no glimmer in her eyes. It was an incredibly bitter smile.

"Abi?" A voice startled her and she immediately stood up and looked at the face of its owner. It was Chris.

Abi attempted to speak but her voice cracked. So she cleared her throat first and did her very best to fake a smile.

"C-chris… what are you doing here?" she asked and the man walked closer to her with a bright smile.

"Thank god I managed to catch you here. I just came from your house and uncle Andrew told me to come here to find you. You were not answering your phone so…"

"Oh, it's… I'm sorry, I didn't see it because I put my phone on silent mode," she replied and the man looked relieved.

"I actually thought you were deliberately ignoring my calls because you didn't want to speak with me anymore. Haha." He grinned and Abi faked another smile back. "By the way, uncle Andrew said you were living with your friend Kelly. Are you going back now? I will give you a lift there," he offered but Abi politely declined.

"Uhm, thank you but I'll be fine. I don't want to trouble you so I'll just take a cab."

"Abi, I understand we were separated for many years but I am still the Chris that had been with you since we were young. That's why… please don't treat me like I'm someone you can't bother bothered with. Besides, it's already getting dark, it's dangerous for a lady like you to ride a cab alone." 

While Chris was explaining Abi finally realized that it was already dark.

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