only Have Eyes for You (1)
Yanzi had been in a full-on vegetable coma for two months.
During this time, with constant talk, gentle touch and tender
kiss, Zhang Jian did his best to wake her up from deep sleep.
Yet for all his effort, he knew he was failing. And gradually
his will to battle for Yanzi’s life, for their future, and
indeed for his own mortal existence melt like ice and break
Then one day, a story in a magazine was like a ray of sunshine
in a stormy sky that renewed his hope. It was a report about
how a famous Hong Kong TV presenter in a similar condition
regained his consciousness and eventually mobility after
bone replacement in head surgery done by Dr. Ling at a Beijing
Taking the magazine with him, he jumped onto the northbound
train to Beijing.
He failed, however, in his attempt to see Dr. Ling. Eventually
he went down on his knees by a gate where he learned Dr.
Ling was most likely to go through, holding a large sign
that read "Please save my Yanzi!"
Beijing in February was still chilling cold. Zhang Jian’s
head bent against biting wind, but he did not move away
from the spot, nor did he get up from his knees. When night
set in and some people eventually found out that Dr Ling
went overseas and wasn’t expected to return in a near future,
he could not even say a word in reply. He was totally frozen.
He returned empty-handed to Hunan. But his confidence in
the bone replacement miracle did not wane. When two months
later the local doctors all gave up on Yanzi, he decided
to bring her home and take care of her himself. And he began
to save money for the surgery.
In the following two months, he nursed Yanzi during the
day while worked as a motor taxi driver at night. One early
morning, when he spoke at Yanzi’s ear about the events of
the past, he noticed her lips were dry, so he got a wet cotton
tip to apply water to them. As he did so, he registered a
motion on the lips. He thought it must be his imagination,
and kept moistening her lips. Yet her lips moved again, accompanied
by a swallow sound from her throat.
Zhang Jian started to his feet and was for a while gasped
for air in disbelieve. Then he burst in exclamation, "Yanzi,
my baby!" He cried out and was wild with joy.
This time Yanzi's eyes moved in response.
"Yanzi has waken up!" He roared, and eventually
chocked with tears on the shoulder of Yanzi’s mum who hurried
in on hearting the shout.
Over the next few weeks, Yanzi made a fast progress. She
no longer needed feeding tube, drainage tube and
infusion line, and patch memories began to emerge in her
mind that previously was like a gaping black hole. Zhang
Jian could clearly feel her eyes bore into him with intensity,
following him around, and her sight became more serene and
tender by the day. When Zhang Jian read or spoke to her,
she would keep a tight grip on his hand.
One day, Zhang Jian said to her, "Yanzi, you remember
me, don’t you? Do you still love me? If you do, raise two
fingers; and if don’t, raise one."
There was an unaccustomed light in her eyes. With an effort,
she slowly raised her left hand, and, in a deep sound gasped
from her throat, two fingers were stretched out.
Zhang Jian was rendered mute and immobile. It was after
a long while that he was able to hold Yanzi’s hands close
to his heart, letting happy tears dropping down silently.
Another year had passed, and Chinese New Year 2004 was fast
approaching. On the New Year’s eve Zhang Jian’s mother called.
Yanzi clearly recognised her mother-in-law-to-be’s voice,
and signaled that she wanted to listen.
Her in-law-to-be wept on the other end of the line, and
kept saying "My dear …… dearest daughter…" Hearing
that, tears streamed down from Yanzi’s cheeks. As the past
stories slowly unfolded from the fragments, she sounded a
sharp scream that was full of sorrow and agony.
Observing these, Zhang Jian felt the surgery could not be
delayed any further to prolong that pain. But he still had
a long way to go before he could save 40,000 yuans for the
Then one day, phone rang, and he heard a familiar voice
coming from the receiver: "Ar Jian, How are you? Haven’t
seen you for four years …"
It surprised him greatly. The voice was from Rong.
"I heard about you in online chat room, and got your
phone number from a friend. I wish to do something to help
out," said she.
In the follow up calls, Rong elaborated how she was going
to help. She would take care of Yanzi’s medical bills, and
if the surgery did not work, she would pay for her nursing
costs for the rest of her life.
"Why do you want to do that?" asked Zhang Jian.
"Because I want your love, and want a life with you," replied
she. "You’ve done enough for her, now let me heal your
That wasn’t what Zhang Jian wanted to hear.
"But wait, don’t hang up," Rong urged. "Listen
to me, Ar Jian, she needs that special medical treatment.
How are you going to provide it for her?"
Zhang Jian chocked up.
"Ar Jian, please think carefully, if you really love
her, you wouldn’t deny her an opportunity to a possible recovery,
This time Zhang Jian fell into a long silence. Finally he
agreed to meet and talk.
The day for the meeting eventually came. Before leaving
home, Zhang Jian got a pan of warm water, and gently washed
Yanzi’s face and hands. When he finished, he heard Yanzi
squeaking. Before he could figure out what was going on,
she rolled off the wheelchair, and when reached the pan she
thrust a hand into it. After some fuddling under the water,
she produced a silver ring and, with her shaking right hand,
placed it on her left middle finger. Having done that, she
emitted a push of breath, grinning broadly at Zhang Jian.
The scene struck a chord in Zhang Jian’s heart. He brushed
away a tear at one point. It was an engagement ring he gave
to her at her 20th birthday. After accident, she had forgotten
so many things, but did not forget this ring.
He realised that without his love, recovery to Yanzi might
well be pointless. Broken down altogether, he held her in
his arms. "… My daring … daring … Yanzi …." thick
sobs chocked his words back, and it was until relief came
in a flow of tears, he could then resume, "I won’t go
anywhere … I’m going nowhere …"
It was all beyond Rong. Just who or what was there to press
a healthy young man to make a sacrifice for a near vegetable
girl? She decided to see it for herself.
Once entered the room, she was shocked to notice just how
poor they were. They almost had nothing, which made Yanzi’s
quality wheelchair stand out.
And she scanned the girl in the wheelchair. With a piece
of bone missing from her skull, Yanzi’s face was distorted
beyond the recognition. Sitting in front of her was Zhang
Jian, still young and still handsome, talking to her while
massaging her legs. As he looked at that disfigured face,
his eyes were glistering with tenderness and affection.
He never looked at Rong like this, and at that flash moment,
Rong knew, he never would. He only had eyes for one woman,
whatever she became.
Realising her battle for his heart had been lost, she wept
soundlessly as she walked out of Yanzi’s home.
And Zhang Jian walked into the office of a local newspaper.
He wanted to place an advertisement to sell ten years of
his youthful labour in exchange for the operation fees.
When the story spread through the media, there were strong
responses both in Changde city, where Yanzi and Zhang Jian
lived, and Pei County, where Zhang Jian’s parents waited
for the young couple to return. A large number of people
contacted the newspaper to find out how to make a donation.
With the help from many quarters in the community, including
a hospital, Yanzi at last submitted to the surgery.
On learning the news, the students at a primary school near
her home crafted 5000 paper birds. They believed once the
number reached 10000, Yanzi would be able to stand up, side
by side with her beloved Zhang Jian.
Zhang Jian and Yanzi at home after her