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Chapter 16 The arrival of winter at the end of the sixteenth world

When I woke up, I hid in bed.The bed gave off a familiar smell.The bed is my bed and the room is my room.But I feel that everything is somewhat different from before, like a scene copied from my memory.Stains on the ceiling, scars on the plaster walls, without exception. It was raining outside the window, and the winter rain was as clear as ice and sprinkled on the ground.You can also hear the sound of rain hitting the roof.But the sense of distance is difficult to grasp.The roof seems to be close to the ear, but also seems to be a kilometer away. There is the figure of the colonel in front of the window.The old man sat in front of the window with a chair, straightened his chest as usual, and stared at the rain outside without moving.I don't understand why the old man is so persistent in watching the rain.Rain is nothing more than rain, nothing more than what slaps the roof and wets the earth and pours into the rivers and rivers.

I tried to raise my arms, to touch my cheeks with the palms of my hands, but I couldn't.Everything weighs heavily.I wanted to tell the old man aloud, but I couldn't make a sound.Clogged air in the lung lobes also cannot be expelled.It seems that all body functions have collapsed and nothing remains.I opened my eyes and looked out the window to see the rain and see the old man.Why is my body in such a mess?I can't remember.Just thinking about it makes my head hurt like it's about to split open. It's winter, the old man said, knocking on the windowpane with his fingertips, winter is coming, this time you can know how severe it is.

I nodded slightly. Yes, it's the Wall of Winter that's making me suffer.I rushed to the library through the forest.I suddenly remembered the feeling of the girl's hair touching her cheek. The library girl brought you here, please help the janitor.You are so burned that you are talking in your sleep.I was sweating so much that I had a bucket full.It happened the day before yesterday. the day before yesterday Yes, you slept for two full days and two nights.The old man said that he thought he would never wake up again.Did you go to the forest? sorry.I said. The old man took the hot pot off the stove and put the things on the plate.Then he helped me sit up and leaned against the back of the bed.The backrest creaked.

You have to eat first!The old man said, whether it is thinking or apologizing, put it later.Have an appetite? No, I say, not even bothered to inhale. But this has to be drunk anyway, three sips is enough, after three sips, the rest is fine.Three mouthfuls and you're done.Can you drink it? I nod. The soup had herbs added and it was disgustingly bitter.But I still gritted my teeth and took three sips.After drinking, I felt my whole body softened into a ball. Well, the old man poured the soup back to the plate, the bitterness is a bit bitter, but it can get the sweat out of you.Get some sleep and wake up feeling much better.Sleep at ease, I will be here when you wake up.

When I opened my eyes, it was pitch black outside the window.The strong wind knocked raindrops on the window panes.The old man is beside my pillow. How are you feeling better? It seems to be much more comfortable than before.I said, what time is it? eight pm. I was eager to get up from the bed, but my body was still a little unsteady. where to?the old man asked. The library, you have to go to the library to read your dreams. To put it bluntly, you can't even walk fifty meters like this. But I can't rest. The old man shook his head: Gu Meng will wait for you, and the gatekeeper and the girl know that you can't move, and the library is not open.

The old man sighed and walked to the stove, poured a cup of tea and turned around.The wind knocks on the door every once in a while. From my point of view, you are afraid that you are interested in that girl.The old man said, I didn't intend to ask, but I have to ask, because I will always be by your side.People always talk in their sleep when they have a fever, so there is nothing to be ashamed of.Young people are all in love, right? I nodded silently. Nice girl, very concerned about you.As he spoke, the old man took a sip of his tea.However, in the way things are going, it's probably inappropriate for you to have an affair with her.I didn't want to say this kind of thing at first, but the matter has come to this point, it's better to reveal a little bit.

Why not? Because it is impossible for her to return your kindness.It's no one's fault.Neither you nor her.To put it boldly, it is the system of the world, which cannot be changed any more than the flow of a river can be reversed. I sat up from the bed and touched my cheeks with my hands.The face seems to be smaller. You probably mean the heart? The old man nodded. I have a heart and she doesn't, so no matter how much I love her, I get nothing, right? good.The old man said, you are losing too.As you said, she has no heart, neither do I, no one else. But she cared a lot about me, didn't she?She took me so seriously and nursed me without sleep.Isn't this an expression of the heart?

No, not right.Caring and heart are not the same thing.Caring is a separate function.To be more precise, it belongs to the surface function.That is just a habit, not the same as the heart.The heart is something deeper and stronger, and more contradictory. I closed my eyes and picked up the scattered thoughts one by one. I think so.I said that the loss of people's hearts is probably caused by the death of shadows, right? Completely correct. That is to say, her shadow is dead, so the heart cannot be lost, right? The old man nodded and said: I went to the town hall to check her shadow's file, so I can't make a mistake.The child's shadow had died when she was seventeen, buried in the apple grove according to the rules.Burial records are also preserved.For more details, just ask her directly, it will be easier for you to understand than listening to me.But one thing needs to be added that the child was separated from the shadow before he was sensible, so he even had a heart in his own mind, which is completely muddled, unlike people like me who voluntarily abandoned the shadow when they got old.After all, I can still detect the movement of your heart, but the girl is indifferent.

But she remembered her mother clearly.Said her mother still seemed to have a heart, even after Shadow died.As for why I don't understand, but wouldn't this help?She may also have more or less the remnants of a heart. The old man shook the herbal tea in the cup a few times and drank it slowly. Let me tell you, Colonel Dao, the wall is a wall that does not let go of any leftovers of the heart. Even if there is a little bit left, the wall will absorb it all. end. Are you saying you can't hold out any hope? I just don't want to disappoint you, this town is indestructible, and you are small and fragile.You should have experienced it through this incident.The old man stared intently at the empty cup in his hand for a long time.

But you can get her. Got it?I asked. Yes, you can sleep with her and live with her.You can get what you want in this town. The problem is that there is no heart, right? Heart is not.The old man replied that soon your heart will disappear too.Once the heart is gone, there is no sense of loss, no disappointment, no lost love.There is only life left, only a quiet life without wind and waves.You must like her, and she may like you too.If you want it, it is yours, and no one can take it away. Incredible!I said, I still have my heart, but sometimes I can’t find it, or rather, I can’t find it very often.Even so, I still have the heart to return to such a firm self-confidence after all, and it is this self-confidence that sustains my existence.Therefore, it is difficult for me to imagine what it is like to lose my heart.

The old man nodded silently and frequently: Think again, there is still time for you to think. try it.I said. The sun was not seen for a long time after that.As soon as the fever subsided, I got out of bed and opened the window to breathe the air outside.two or three after waking up My limbs were still so weak that I couldn't even grip the banisters of the stairs and the knobs of the doors with ease.During this period, the colonel still made me drink the bitter herbal soup every night, made porridge-like things for me to eat, and told me the war stories of the past by the pillow.There was no mention of the girl and the wall, and it was inconvenient for me to ask. If there was anyone who should point me to it, he should have pointed it out. On the third day, I recovered enough to walk slowly around the official building with the help of the old man's cane.Between walks, I found my body became very light.Presumably the weight has been lost due to the fever, but that doesn't seem to be the case.It is winter that gives incredible weight to everything around me, and I am the only one who has not yet entered the world of weight. From the slope where the official building is located, the west half of the town can be seen: the river, the bell tower, the wall, and the farthest west gate can also be seen faintly.I wear sunglasses, and my eyesight is poor, so I can't recognize the smaller scenes one by one, but I can still see that the winter air has given the town an unprecedentedly clear outline, just like the monsoon blowing from the Beida Mountains, all the ambiguous dust in the streets and alleys. The brain blew out without a trace. While looking at the town, I remembered the map that I had to give to Shadow.Due to being bedridden, the deadline for submitting maps has been delayed by nearly a week.The shadow may be afraid of me, or he may be disheartened that I have abandoned him.Thinking of this, I can't help feeling sad. I asked the old man to find a pair of old work shoes, tore off the soles, stuffed the small stack of maps into them, and sewed them up as they were.I'm sure Shadow took the soles of his shoes apart to find the map.Afterwards I begged the old man to meet the shadow, and handed the shoe directly into his hand. Shadow only wore a pair of thin sneakers, and his feet would suffer from frostbite whenever there was snow.I said the gatekeeper was not to be trusted.I'm afraid I won't let us meet. This is not a problem.With that said, the old man took the shoes. At dusk the old man returned and told me that he had given the shoes directly to Shadow. I am very worried about you.said the old colonel. how does he look It seems a little cold.But never mind, don't worry. On the evening of the tenth day after I had a fever, I reluctantly walked down the slope to the library. When opening the door of the library, I may be nervous, and I always feel that the air inside is stagnant and stagnant than before, like a room that has been abandoned for a long time, and I can't feel the breath of people.The fire was out, and the kettle had cooled down.Open the lid of the pot and see that the coffee inside is white and muddy.The ceiling seems to be much higher than before.All the lights were turned off, only my footsteps made a wonderful sound like stepping on ash in the darkness.The girl was not there, and a thin layer of dust fell on the counter. I sat on the wooden chair wistfully, waiting for her arrival.If the door is unlocked, there is no doubt that she will come.I was shivering with cold, waiting quietly alone.But after waiting and looking, she still didn't come out.The twilight is getting darker.In a trance, it seems that only me and the library remain in the whole world, and everything else has disappeared.I'm all alone at the end of the world.No matter how long your hand stretches out, you can't touch anything. The room also has the depression of winter, and everything seems to be firmly nailed to the floor and table top.A person sitting withered in the dark feels that every part of the body has lost its normal weight and is expanding and contracting at will, just like standing in front of a distorting mirror and making tiny movements. I leaned out of the chair, pressed the light switch, threw the coals in the bucket into the hearth, struck a match and lit it, then returned to the chair and sat down. Turning on the light, the darkness seems to be getting thicker; lighting up the fire, on the contrary, it seems to increase the cold. Perhaps I have closed myself too deeply in myself, or it may be that the paralysis-like feeling that remains in my body drags me into a short sleep.When I woke up suddenly, the girl was standing in front of me, quietly looking down at me.As the yellow powdery light illuminates her back, her silhouette is framed by a looming shadow.I looked up at her for a long time.She was wearing a blue windbreaker as usual, her hair tied in a bundle was tucked into the neckline, and she exuded a cold breath. I thought you weren't coming.I said, I've been waiting here for you. The girl poured the leftover coffee from the jug into the sink, rinsed it, filled it with fresh water and put it on the stove.Then he pulled his hair out from the neckline, took off the windbreaker and hung it on the hanger. Why do you think I won't come?she asked. I don't know, I said, just feel that way. I will come whenever you need me.Do you still need me? I nod.I do need her.Meeting her deepened my sense of loss.But no matter how deep I need her. Hope to talk about your shadow.I said, maybe what I saw in the past world was your shadow. Oh, yes.I thought of this too at first, when you said you might have seen me. She sat down in front of the fire and watched the fire for a while. When I was four years old, the shadow left me and went outside the enclosure.Shadow lives in the outer world, I live in the inner world.I don't know what she's doing there, just as she doesn't know anything about me.When I was seventeen, Shadow came back to town from outside and died.The shadow always returns here before dying.The caretaker buried her in the apple grove. So you became a full-fledged resident of the town? Yes.The shadow is buried with the rest of the heart.You said that the heart is similar to the wind, but I think it is we who are similar to the wind, right?We don't think about anything, just go all the way through.Neither grow old nor die. Did you see her when Shadow came back? The girl shook her head: No, no.It seemed to me that there was no need to see her, she must have nothing to do with me. But that could also be you. perhaps.But either way, it’s the same thing these days, she said.It has already been hooped and sealed. The kettle started gurgling on the stove.To me, it sounded like the wind coming from several kilometers away. Even so you still need me? need.I answer.
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