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True Story
I only Have Eyes for You (1)

11 November 2006

Recently a Chinese media (The Chinese Women’s Daily) has selected top 10 contemporary true love stories from nearly 3000 entries.

Here is one of them:

By the time Zhang Jian (张剑) left home after high school to go to Guangzhou looking for work, he was just 19. Like a lot of Jiangsu man, he has slim and delicate features, which helped secure him a job as security guard at the special economic zone.

In the neighbouring city of Shenzhen there was an 18-year old girl named Yanzi (燕子), and like many girls from Hunan, she’s tall, exquisite, gentle and cheerful. After obtained a computer-training certificate, she worked in the office of a foreign-invested company.

When Zhang Jian met Yanzi at a party, they fell in love at the first sight and exchanged phone numbers. Since then, though both were thousands miles away from their families, they felt lonely no more. The young lovers spent all weekends and holidays together and cared for each other.

Some months later, Yanzi followed Zhang Jian to visit his home at a village in Pei County, the birthplace of the founding emperor of the Han Dynasty, and was warmly welcomed and whole-heartedly accepted by his family. Zhang Jian’s parents promised to prepare for their wedding after they’d grown a few years older.

At the time it seemed to be a match made in heaven; no-one suspected that the path leading to their wedding would be so long and so rocky.

About a half year later, one day when Zhang Jian was on duty, a white car crashed into a garden fence and was badly damaged. Zhang Jian dashed forward to help the driver, a young woman in her late twenties, get out of her car. Quickly he arranged for the car to be taken away for repair, and found a taxi to take her home.

Since then, whenever the young woman, Rong, paid a visit to her business friend there, she would go out of her way to engage in small talk with Zhang Jian. And if he was not on duty, she would then invite him to yum cha.

Once when they sat down for a drink, Rong began to tell him her sad personal stories. Zhang Jian felt for her and tried his best to cheer her up, and that somehow touched Rong to the heart greatly. Few days late, she declaimed to him that she loved him.

On hearing this, Zhang Jian was taken aback. Once gathered his thoughts, he fished out Yanzi’s photo from his wallet to make it clear that he had already had a girlfriend.

Rong was puzzled. As the wealthy owner of a large trading company, she wasn’t prepared to be refused by man, let along by a poor man. "But, she’s just an office clerk … How can she help you in your career development?" She frowned. "You’re a man, surely the career success is the most important thing in your life. Just come to think of it, by sharing my business and wealth, you can become a successful businessman instantly. Besides, I truly love you, does that not matter to you?"

"But I love her," said Zhang Jian, and believed that was enough reason.

But that was not enough for Rong to give him up. Quite contrary. Zhang’s stubborn love for a poor girl only proved that he was a man of trustworthy and integrity, which made him all the more attractive to her. So she began calling him daily, sending him gifts and cooking him meals.

That was not what Zhang Jian wanted however - he worried their closeness would hurt Yanzi's feelings. So he resigned from his job. Yanzi resigned too, and followed him home.

A Jiangnan village

Zhang Jian’s parents made a living off a small apple orchard. To help the young lovers start own business, Zhang’s father gave the pair 2,000 baby ducks.

As a city girl Yanzi initially had a hard time adjusting to village life and duck-herding work, but her love for Zhang Jian made her strong and she was determined to stick it out. One year on, by the end of 2001, the pair had earned enough money to open an interior deco store at a nearby town. The business was good, but the work was equally backbreaking. As they could not afford to hire staff, the pair had to do everything themselves. And Yanzi’s hands, used to fly up and down computer keyboard, were full of cuts from metal and glass. But she felt content and happy, because she was with the man she loved.

Another year passed. And they thought they were blessed, for they were able to live together and work together, and as they witnessed how their hard work brought success in business.

Then misfortune struck.

At the end of the 2002, Yanzi received an urgent phone call from her mother, saying her father was diagnosed with cancer. Next day, the pair closed their store and hurried to her sick dad’s bedside. One week later, Yanzi was struck by a motorbike.

She lost her consciousness almost immediately.

At hospital’s emergency room, the microscopic examination revealed extensive damage to her brain, and within a single day, she underwent two open-skull surgeries.

Peering through the window to the intensive care unit, Zhang Jian could barely recognise her face. He darted out onto the rooftop, and cried and shouted savagely. When he eventually returned to the building, the nurses noticed his bleeding lips and blood-smeared hands. He was evidently biting himself like a raging beast.

Yanzi survived, but remained in deep coma. Zhang Jian stayed at her bedside day and night, calling her name, "Yanzi, wake up, I’m your Ar Jian, please, look at me, I beg you …"

But Yanzi did not respond. One month had passed, Zhang Jian had talked himself hoarse, yet Yanzi had no sign of opening her eyes.

Zhang Jian fell into a dark pit of despair, and life force was slowly drained out of him. He began drafting his last letter to his parents and preparing for his own demise … …

I only Have Eyes for You 2

(Reference: 唤醒生命的爱, 周瑜 亦清)

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