The scene scared the wits out of me and I grabbed my bag before rushing out of the cafe with all my strength. A feeling crawled in my head; a feeling that if I were a second later, I would have been seized by that thing.
I frantically ran straight for home. My mother came out of the kitchen while still wearing an apron. Upon seeing my pale face, she panicked before walking up to me.
“Xiao Hua, is something the matter? Did something happened? Why is your face so pale?”
As she spoke, she warmly embraced me into her arms. Smelling the familiar scent, a lump formed in my throat and the tears streamed down my cheeks.
“Mom… I threw the bracelet away, but it somehow came back to me. And then at the cafe, the people were acting strange… I even saw Xiao Huang’s neck twist as he lay on the floor giggling. Wū wū(crying sounds), I’m really scared…”
The moment she heard what I had experienced today, she started crying with me. My father who just got off from work saw us crying in the living room and panicked.
“Xiao Hua, honey, what happened!?”
Once my mother and I calmed down, I described to my parents the events that had happened to me in the cafe today.
Their faces paled instantly. My father seemed to remember something and sighed. “In the end, one can escape fate…”
After the bridal offering when I was eighteen, I had managed to live a peaceful life in the two years. The unfortunate event that night also began to fade away and I thought that the nightmare would disappear over time.
But unfortunately, the nightmare returned day after day, torturing me since the beginning of last month. The event that I thought I could forget was slowly dug out, making me relive the experience over and over again.
After the event in the cafe, I did not go back to work and dared not call the manager. I ate my dinner alone and returned early to my room as I waited for nightfall.
The lights in the living room were still switched on. My parents sat on the sofa as they cuddled to watch the evening news in the television. Their voices were soft; placing my ear near my bedroom door, I could hear their exchange.
“Hubby, what do we do now? Don’t tell me that Hades really came to find our Xiao Hua?”
“Ay, we've already brought her out of the village and into this city. We’ve lived a comfortable life for 2 years, so why would it suddenly appear now?”
The sighs of my parents could be heard which made my eyes water. My hands involuntarily went to touch the crimson jade bracelet around my wrist and the pulp of my finger traced the carvings on it.
Suddenly, a gust of cold air could be felt from behind, touching my back. A deep and beautiful laughter resonated behind me.
“Ronghua, my queen…we haven't seen each other for two whole years, miss me?”
I felt a cold pair of hands slide into my sweater and slowly caressed my skin. Finally, they grabbed my chest, which made me fiercely gasped in a breath of chilly air.
He whispered into my ear, “You’ve grown.”
His tone brought about humor and his breath was chilly. Still, I was not sure what he was referring to, or more specifically, which part he was referring to.
No matter how frivolous his tone may be, I did not relax and my body felt as stiff as stone. The creepy feeling rose from the soles of my feet and all the way up.
My lips trembled. Turning my head around, I saw a long-haired man hugging me from behind. His hair was as black as ink and was longer than mine, and on his face wore a red Japanese Oni* mask with two sharp horns.
A mix of crimson red and black on his robe; like the way the ancient people dressed. I had no mood to observe the patterns on his robe but instead, cried out loud and begged, “Please, let me go! I do not have what you want nor am I beautiful!” However, all he did was stare straight into my eyes.
He grunted and began to move his hands around my body. His fingers continued to slide around my body until a point where they almost slipped into my most secret part. Pressed forcefully against the cold door, all I could do was tremble in fear.
“Mhm, you are destined to be my queen. The moment you wore this crimson jade bracelet, your life belongs to me.”
I was pressed tightly against the door and tears trickled down the edge of my eyes. My body remembered the experience it had in the past, and as if what was happening now was the same as on that night during my eighteenth birthday, the event flashed in my mind.
My hands clung onto the door. Once in awhile, I could hear the conversations my parents were having in the living room, and their occasional sighs. But on the other end, I was not able to utter a single word from my room, as if my mouth was zipped tightly. There was nothing I could do to go against the pervert who was teasing my body.
“Accept your fate.”
The cold mask nestled itself at the back my of neck, and a pair of deep and dead eyes locked firmly onto me.
“Two years ago, you were offered to me and became my sole wife. Your resistance now is futile.”