XXXIII | Paper Hearts

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When Alexander drove up to the intersection ahead, he suddenly felt flustered. He didn't know where he should go.

He was now on his own again.

His father didn't want him, his mother had passed away, and the woman he loved just left him. He was back to the old days. Living alone.

It had been a long time since he felt lonely. In that instant, he was buried underneath it.

Alexander aimlessly drove for who knows how long, but in the end, he drove back to York Garden.

Rays of sunlight bathed the white mansion with the red roof, making it look particularly beautiful. He stopped the car and walked into the house. He looked around the entire mansion. It was no different from usual, but it felt notably empty.

The dining room's door was wide open. He saw that the breakfast Isabelle had made was still on the table; it hadn't been tidied away. He could almost envision the two of them there, eating breakfast.

The bottom of Alexander's eyes flared up, and he hurriedly went upstairs. He pushed open the bedroom door and saw her dressing table. It was usually full of make-up products, but now completely empty. The pain in his heart grew even more.

He staggered over to the bathroom, where her face cleanser, shower gel, shampoo, and conditioner were all gone. She even cleared out her toothbrush, cup, and toothpaste. Also, the cabinets in the changing room were half empty. All that was left were neat rows upon rows of men's clothing.

She left, just like that... as though she had never even existed in his world... as though those eight months were all a dream... The reality of waking up was far too cruel.

Alexander felt that his breathing was unstable. He quickly left the bedroom in a panic and flew down the stairs, and out of the mansion. He got in the car and felt that his heart was slightly more comfortable.

They had just split up thirty seven minutes and forty eight seconds ago, and he already missed her inextricably.

He couldn't stay here. If he did, it would only cement his longing for her.

Alexander fumbled as he started up the car and left. He drove carelessly for a long time, until the night was approaching. He stopped then at a flower shop, got out, and bought a bunch of chrysanthemums. Then he got back into the car and drove out of the city.

About two hours later, he drove to a cemetery. He drove along the winding road and half-way up the mountain, then stopped, got out, and walked to a lonely gravestone. He placed the chrysanthemums in front of it and knelt down. Looking at the black and white photo, after some time, he said, "Mum... I'm here to visit you."

The howling of wind halfway up the mountain responded. Alexander raised his hand and gently rubbed the black and white photo. He spoke again in a low voice. "Mum... Do you know... I really do love that woman... I've mentioned her to you before. She's called Isabelle... What a nice name, right?

"She has a beautiful smile. You don't even know... Besides you, she's the only woman in the world that has wished me a happy birthday... But, Mum... She's James's fiance... You'd definitely tell me to not do anything to let James down, right?

"So, Mum... right now, I'm on my own again."

As Alexander said this, he suddenly covered his face with his hand, and quietly knelt there in front of the gravestone. His shoulders started to tremble ever so slightly.

After two hundred and fifty-one days of being reunited, they had to split up again. The anguish was far more intense than imagined.

Every moment of these two hundred and fifty-one days gradually replayed in his mind in slow motion, one frame at a time.

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