Chapter 12: Gone

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    Yan Zhiming steps out of his room with some broken hangers. He hears some soft wailing in the dark hallway. He quickly flips on the hallway lights but then it goes silent. He keep calm and quickly goes to dispose of the broken hangers in the trash. After he turns back off the hallway lights, he hears a sigh and a wailing again. 

     He tries to find the source of the wailing that leads him to Anbao's door, lights escaping the bottom of her door. He leans on her door and hears her silently crying in the night.

Yan Zhiming: Is something wrong? Is it a sad drama or movie? Maybe she just need her time alone right now.

    Yan Zhiming quietly walks away and shuts his door in the night. 


    Someone barged into Yan Zhiming's room, frantic: Zhiming, wake up, my child, wake up. (shaking Yan Zhiming)

    Yan Zhiming opens his eyes as he hears his father's footstep go over to his window and open his curtains wide, the sun is not even out yet. Yan Zhiming reach his night stand and put on his glasses, standing up sleepily, putting on his slippers. His father guides him out his room.

Yan Zhiming sleepily: Dad, what is it? It's (looks at the clock) 6 in the morning.

His father: Yan Anbao is gone. My sweet niece is gone. (Yan Zhiming suddenly feels very awake)

His mother walks in from the front door: She's not in the house of the yards.

Yan Zhiming: What? Where did she go?

His mother explains: I don't know. I woke up this morning so she can have breakfast before going to the restaurant but when I went to check if she was awake, she's not in bed. She's not in the house or in the yards. 

His father adjust his glasses: We tried calling but her phone is off.

His mother to his father: Call your brother.

His father: What will I tell my brother? That I lost his daughter?

His mother takes out her phone: Maybe something happened. (Checks her phone, seeing that she got a message from Anbao's mom) Oh! Lili texted my something last night. (the family of three coup together over the phone as Yan Zhiming's mother opens the message, she reads it outloud) "Yu, we lost our dog today. Anbao just received the news. Please, keep an eye on her. She usually goes off to be alone." 

His father wince: Well, now we know.

Yan Zhiming: Perhaps she went somewhere to be alone.

His father: Where? She doesn't know this area too well....Maybe she just left. Get in the car, Zhiming. Let's go through the streets.

      After a few hours of driving through the streets, checking locations that Anbao has gone with the team, checking the school, and even going as far as the other side of the city, checking her old ground around Hai Guang. Still no sign of Anbao. They return home as Yan Zhiming's mother is still on the phone with Anbao's mom who is worried but calm.

Yan Zhiming's mother to the phone: They couldn't find her anywhere. Should we call the authorities?

Anbao's mom: What? No. My daughter will return. She probably won't want this big search for her, how embarrassed she would be.

    Yan Zhiming thinks again and again, there's one place they haven't checked. He pulls out his phone and messages Xinglong.


Yan Zhiming: Xinglong, is Anbao at the restaurant?

Xinglong: No, she just called early in the morning saying she's sorry but she can't make it today. Is everything alright?

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