A Different Way of Rescuing the Child who Fell into the Water
“Help! Please… please, I beg you… save my child, please. Please save my child!”
I didn’t hesitate for a moment. I didn’t care whether others would help the child or not. That was their business; it had nothing to do with me. I, however, had to save the child. It was my obligation and mission. I didn’t need to think. I only needed…
I had just taken off my shoes and thrown my clothes onto the ground when a girl zipped past me and leapt into the river. She was so quick that I didn’t even have time to respond. She dove into the freezing cold river without any hesitation and then surfaced in a fashion similar to a fish. She quickly swam toward the child waddling in the centre of the river. She tightly grabbed the young child but found herself stuck in the same predicament the child was in. Sadly, she was too small. As a result, the current instantly pulled her down. She struggled back to the surface. She sunk, but she managed to go with the current and push the child up to the surface. Wait…
While the scene looked perfectly fine, something was bizarre, and the feeling was very strong. I felt as though I was reliving a day from the past, but the day deviated considerably to how I remembered it.
“What exactly is the problem? What happened? Why do I have this feeling? Shouldn’t the day have panned out this way? Under normal circumstances, though, this day should never have taken place. This shouldn’t have happened. It’s strongly unlikely no matter how I think about it,” I analysed.
As I initially said, her small size made it difficult for her to pull the child along. She desperately swam toward the shore; but nonetheless, it was evident it was an arduous task judging from her facial expression. The moment I spotted despair flit across her countenance, I shoved aside the people around me and jumped into the river.
The freezing cold water was comparable to iron blades cutting my skin. The current threw me around several times before I could regain my footing, and get my head out of the water. I quickly grabbed the muddy step by the shore and reached my other hand to the girl desperately swimming over. I shouted, “Hurry! Hurry! Hurry and grab my hand!”
The girl finally managed to grab hold of my hand. I firmly grabbed her small, freezing hand. We clasped each other’s hands tightly in case the current pulled us apart. She dragged the child along with me as her anchor. The onlookers finally gave their applause after seeing the child reach the shore safe and sound.
I pulled the young girl in. Suddenly, I felt a feeling of familiarity for some reason. It really was a familiar and intimate feeling that I couldn’t describe with words. It was as if I had held her hand countless times before. Holding hands with her felt incredibly natural. I had an impression there was a point in time where I could wake up with her hand in mine every morning. Every day. Her hand would be within reach for me every day.
The girl lifted her head out of the water. Her wet, black, short hair stuck to her pale face, thereby resembling strings of seaweed. She looked up at me with her surprised green eyes. She was slender and her long ears…
“Lucia?!” I instinctively shouted her name.
Lucia’s panic was visible in her gaze. Startled, she questioned, “Your Highness?! Your Highness, why are you here?! Wait… Where exactly is this…? Why am I here…? Why are you here, Your Highness?”
The familiar and intimate voice blew away all the confusion shrouding my mind. The air around, the voice, the warmth, the cold and everything returned to me.
“I lived here. I, originally, lived here. I understand this place. I’m familiar with this place. I understand all of this. This is where I lived as Zhu Liangzhe. Is this… real life?” I quickly pondered.
I grabbed the step in front of me with all my might. The people above rushed over. They all tried to pull us up. The three of us finally reached the shore. People rushed over and tightly wrapped us up with blankets. Accompanying their applauses were the sounds of cameras and praise. The police brought over cups of hot water. They gave me big pats on my back and complimented me. I ignored them, though.
I was concerned about Lucia, who sat on the ground and spaced out. She scanned the crowd in a flustered manner. The crowd scanned her with the utmost curiosity and whispered amongst themselves. Her unusual appearance – from their perspective – probably surprised them. Maybe they thought she was a foreigner.
“Look, look, she looks to be a foreigner. She’s so pretty. Her petite look makes her so adorable.”
“But look at her ears. Her ears look different. Even foreigners would look human.”
“No, no, no, she might be different. People have different shaped ears.”
“You think she can’t understand your slander?”
“She’s a foreigner. I doubt she can understand Chinese.”
Someone’s abrupt sobs dispersed the crowd. A woman bolted over and hugged the child lying on the stretcher. She was the child’s mother. On the other side, a man knelt down next to us in tears. He sobbed and expressed, “Thank you. Thank you for saving my child. Thank you!!”
“No, no! Don’t do this; don’t do this. I only did what I should. I only did what I should. Please get up. Please. You don’t need to do this. You don’t have to.”
I quickly helped the man up. He tightly grabbed onto me and cried. All around were applauses and flashing lights. I gave him light support until two policemen helped me persuade him to leave. A doctor came up to me and inquired, “How do you feel? Do you need a check-up at the hospital?”
“No, please check on her instead.” I pointed to Lucia.
The doctor knelt down and tried to speak in English to see if Lucia understood. She looked at him confused and refused to let him touch her. The doctor asked me, “Do you know her?”
I bobbed my head: “Leave her to me. I’ll take care of her. She’s my girlfriend. Please take the child away first. We are all right.”
“Okay, okay. If something comes up, come to our hospital, and we will provide you with a free checkup.”