Chapter 11: The Surgery
Translated by Shiya of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
In the first half of Li Sui’s life, he had never heard someone talk about matters regarding life and death so lightly. Just like when people watched movies where people hung themselves, people would often feel something at their necks too. When Li Sui heard Lu Shang, he clearly felt something cut his heart open, it hurt so much. In his mind were all kinds of screaming, but he was exceptionally calm, using one hand to hold Lu Shang and the other to reach for the phone.
Uncle Yuen was called, and Li Sui basically had to pick Lu Shang up to get him to the car. They drove to Rui Ge Hospital, the doctors didn’t say anything and pushed Lu Shang straight into the operating room.
“Prepare for first aid treatment.” Li Sui only heard that and was separated from Lu Shang by the closing door.
Buzzing sounds echoed through the hallway, Li Sui was panting heavy breaths. He lowered his head and rubbed his face, not sure if it was his sweat or the rain. Li Sui was only wearing a shirt. He was in a rush, blood seeped out of the wound on his arm when he wasn’t paying attention. It began to soak the sleeve of his shirt, mixing with the rain.
Not many people passed the hallway, it was so quiet that Li Sui was positive he could hear his own roaring heart. Li Sui didn’t feel like sitting down, nor liked the idea of standing still, so he walked in a circle outside the operating room. Just then, Uncle Yuen walked in with a receipt in hand, he saw Li Sui and paused for a moment.
“Uncle Yuen.” Li Sui nodded his head politely.
“Why are you still here?” Uncle Yuen walked over to Li Sui, “We don’t need you here, go home and get some rest, I’ll call Xiao Zhao to drive you home.”
Li Sui stood still, “His…his disease, is it serious?”
Uncle Yuen looked like this was difficult for him to talk about, he said, “You should ask Lu Lao Ban yourself when he wakes up.”
“I’m just worried.” Li Sui said with a powerless voice.
Uncle Yuen glanced at the bleeding wound on Li Sui’s arm. Remembering the little things Li Sui did on the way to the hospital, the care Li Sui had given Lu Shang, Uncle Yuen’s voice softened, “This is an old problem. It was terrifying and close every time, but he also bounced back every time.” The moment Uncle Yuen began talking about Lu Shang’s disease, he sighed, “He himself had a lot of experiences in the disease, us worrying won’t do him any good. Just believe in him, that’s all we can do now.”
Li Sui stared at Uncle Yuen, feeling sourness in his heart. No wonder Lu Shang didn’t sound like a person who was sick, it wasn’t the first time already. Li Sui didn’t know how Lu Shang managed to hang on all these years.
The door of the operating room opened, out came a middle-aged man wearing a surgical gown. He took his surgical mask off, behind it was a face similar to that of Leung ZiRui. Uncle Yuen handed the man the receipt he was holding, they talked for a while, in the conversation were a bunch of professional words. Li Sui didn’t understand a word, the only thing he could do was stare at the huge blood stain on the man’s gown.
Lu Shang was perfect in Li Sui’s heart, he was forever elegant and polite, he maintained a low profile and was reserved. If humans were stored artifacts, Lu Shang would belong in the most precious showcasing shelf. Li Sui couldn’t handle the thought, how could things like surgery and bleeding happen to someone like that?
Feeling the gazes that fell on him, Li Sui raised his head. The doctor glanced at Li Sui, then he looked back at Uncle Yuen, it seemed like they had reached a consensus. The doctor went back into the operating room, while Uncle Yuen went over to Li Sui, bringing him to the emergency room.
Re-bandaging the wound didn’t take long. Li Sui was young, his body healed quickly. The nurse wanted to hook Li Sui up with a bag of saline, but Li Sui refused. At the end, Li Sui only received an anti-inflammation injection. Uncle Yuen was waiting at the door, after the treatment was finished, he walked Li Sui out of the hospital.
Xiao Zhao was waiting in the car outside. Li Sui listened to the pattering of raindrops, he turned back and asked Uncle Yuen, “When will he wake up?”
“I think at least tomorrow.”
Li Sui asked, “Will there be someone to take care of him?”
“There will be nurses, caretakers, and all the doctors here know him. You can go home at ease.”
Li Sui was still worried, after thinking for a long while, he opened his mouth, “Uncle Yuen. Can I stay here and wait for him to wake up?” The difficult expression returned on Uncle Yuen’s face, this time Li Sui didn’t wait for Uncle Yuen to speak, he said, “I can accompany him and talk with him. I also have the strength to carry him, he won’t be mad if I was there.” Li Sui lowered his head, then adding one more sentence, “Also, I think, he might not want the nurses to touch him.”
Uncle Yuen didn’t feel right making Li Sui leave after he said those words. He knew the kid wasn’t wrong either. Lu Shang was always conflicted about going to the hospital, he also hated examinations that involved people coming in direct contact with his body, he always bickered with Leung ZiRui on the topic. Li Sui could be counted as the rare few people who had physical contact with Lu Shang, so having him around might be convenient.
“Then… you decide. Don’t run out of the hospital, if Lu Lao Ban can’t find anyone after he wakes up, it’d be difficult for me too.” Uncle Yuen agreed to Li Sui’s request.
Li Sui found the nurse and got a charger from her, he charged his phone and sat outside the operating room. On usual days, Li Sui just studied and did exercises as he didn’t have a hobby. Lu Shang would at least watch movies, while Li Sui would watch them half-way and fall asleep for the rest. Hence, he couldn’t think of anything to do now besides meditating.
This hospital didn’t have a lot of staff, so the environment was a little ghostly. The staff that passed by also walked lightly, making the building feel extra empty. Li Sui had no idea how long he would have to wait, so he went down to the convenience store and bought bread, the store sold millet congee too. Li Sui bought and packed up a bowl of the congee for Lu Shang, even knowing Lu Shang won’t be awake any time soon, and even if he did, chances were he wouldn’t be able to consume anything.
When Li Sui returned to the spot he was sitting on, the seat was already occupied by an old lady. She was holding a walking stick, looking like she was waiting for someone. Li Sui sat beside her, he put the congee on another seat beside himself.
“Little guy, what time is it now?” The old lady suddenly turned her head to ask Li Sui.
Li Sui took his phone out, replying, “It’s five minutes past two now.”
“It has past two already, why is he not out yet…” The old lady was very old, her face was covered in wrinkles, she seemed a bit obtuse. However, her face was clean and tidy, her clothes were clean and had traces of ironing, it seemed like she was well taken care of.
“Are you waiting for someone?” Li Sui asked.
“Yes, Da Chuan is having surgery inside.” The old lady seemed to be in a panic, “It’s already two, why isn’t he out yet…”
Li Sui began to find this weird, there was only one operating room here, and they wouldn’t conduct two different surgeries in the same room. The first thing Li Sui considered was perhaps Lu Shang was pushed out just now when he was gone, and another person was having a surgery now. But of course, the time didn’t match, so he went to ask the nurses. Just as Li Sui thought, that wasn’t the case, Lu Shang was still in the operating room.
“Maybe you have gone to the wrong place?” Li Sui went back and asked the old lady, “The one inside is most likely not your family member.”
“He’s not in there?” The old lady asked, “Is this not the heart surgery operating room?”
Li Sui froze and replied, “Yes…”
“Da Chuan, the doctor said his surgery will end at two, why is he still not out yet…” The old lady was really nervous right now, she also looked very agitated.
Li Sui was going to ask her more questions, but a nurse came in, seeing the old lady, she gasped, “Why are you here again?” After saying that, she smiled at Li Sui apologetically, then picked up the old lady’s hand and led her away.
Li Sui recognized her as the nurse who gave him the charger earlier, he heard her colleagues called her Xiao Min.
“Wait, is there a problem?” Li Sui walked up to stop the nurse.
“No, everything’s fine.” Xiao Min blinked, she looked around and saw that no one was there, so she said to Li Sui’s ear, “This old lady has Alzheimer’s.”
“But she just said someone called Da Chuan was having a surgery in the operating room.”
Xiao Min glanced at the muttering old lady, she said sympathetically, “Da Chuan was her husband, he had a heart surgery here two years ago. Before the surgery, the doctor told her that the surgery will last to two o’clock at most. But her husband was old, so he couldn’t hang on after the surgery; he died on the operating table.”
Li Sui felt his body trembling, his pupils constricted. Xiao Min didn’t notice that and continued, “She was waiting here before too, but her husband never came out alive, the only thing that was pushed out of the room was a corpse. The old lady was too shocked, she couldn’t handle it and…” The nurse shrugged, “She became like this. From that day onwards, us nurses would sometimes find her waiting here. Seating here like how she did just now, as if his husband was still inside having the surgery. It’s really quite tragic when you talk about it.”
“Da Chuan. Hey, Da Chuan…” The old lady was still muttering.
“I will see her out, her family will be here searching for her soon.” Xiao Min blinked her eyes at the stunned Li Sui.
Li Sui stared blankly at air, as if he had still not finished processing the story. Seeing the old lady faltering as Xiao Min brought her out, seeing her sorrowful eyes when she turned around… It was as if a huge hand was strangling Li Sui, it was suffocating. He suddenly had a thought; deep down in the old lady’s heart, she probably knew, she knew that her Da Chuan would never come back.
Dejectedly, Li Sui sat back on the chair, no matter what he tried, he couldn’t calm his heart. A sense of helplessness spread from the sole of his feet to the back of his head, as if half of his soul was drained away. Li Sui looked at his palm, it was covered with cold sweat.
Li Sui had never considered death, much less considered it happening to Lu Shang. However, that person was behind that door right now, suffering in ways unimaginable to Li Sui. Li Sui suddenly felt a huge wave of nervousness, it swept away all his efforts in trying to stay calm, the corners of his eyes were also sore.
Luckily, the door to the operating room opened soon after that. Li Sui immediately stood up, he was so nervous and scared that he didn’t even know what his hands should be doing. A few nurses pushed the medical bed out, on the clean white bed sheet was Lu Shang, his eyes were still closed, his face pale. Blood was stained under Lu Shang’s chin; Li Sui saw the nurses wipe it away with medical cotton soaked with alcohol.
Li Sui was going to follow them, but the chief surgeon caught him by the shoulder.
“You must be Li Sui.” The doctor took his mask off, showing a light smile, “Nice to meet you. I’m ZiRui’s uncle, Leung QiZai.”
“Grandpa Leung.” Li Sui said emptily, all his focus was on the bed that was being pushed away.
“He’s fine, he’ll be able to get out of the hospital in two weeks or so.” Dr. Leung followed Li Sui’s gaze to the bed, “It was a close call this time, but luckily you brought him to the hospital in time.”
That was when Li Sui finally snapped back, he gasped, “Was it that close?”
Dr. Leung peered at Li Sui, “Close but not there yet. Intensive work plus prolonged insufficient rest, even a normal person can’t handle that, how could a heart disease patient?”
Li Sui’s shoulders slumped, he was blaming himself while feeling depressed, “He has never told me any of this. Is there anything I can do to help him?”
“There are professionals who would deal with his medical needs, but maybe you can try to help him relax. He’s too stressed out, both mentally and physically. Continuing would be very bad for his health.” Dr. Leung made an analogy, “The human body is like a spring, if you kept pulling on it for too long, it will lose its springiness.”
Li Sui repeated what the doctor said in his heart a few times, he felt like he had an epiphany of sorts. Dr. Leung continued, “The details of his disease are top secret. I’m not sure if he told you or not, but don’t tell anyone when you get out of here, okay?”
Lu Shang never mentioned this to Li Sui, but Li Sui was never a blabbermouth. Remembering how Lu Shang avoided people when he had an episode, Li Sui could figure out Lu Shang didn’t want anyone to know of his disease, so Li Sui nodded his head in agreement.