Song Yan is pulled by the other firefighters, his head is full of dark ashes and sweats. He is holding the kid and yells: “Xu Qin!”
Xu Qin immediately comes forward: “Give the kid to me.”
Song Yan passes the kid to her. He then takes his canteen and starts to drink.
Xu Qin checks the little boy condition, he doesn’t choke. He is breathing weakly but he just inhales the smoke and faints.
She undoes the collar of the kid’s shirt and takes the wet towel to wipe his face and chest. Then she holds the kid and goes toward the door. “Could I use the elevator?”
Suo Jun: “It’s safe.”
“Okay,” Xu Qin holds the kid and goes downstair.
Downstair outside the lobby, there’s an ambulance outside.
Xu Qin passes the kid to her colleagues and she just returns back home. The firefighters are coming down in successive.
Yang Chi passes from her side and smiles: “Thank you ah, Jie (Sis).”
Xu Qin: “You are done?”
Yang Chi: “The fire is successfully extinguished, the door could be opened now so we could check it out.”
Xiao Ge also thanks her: “Fortunately because we could borrow your balcony, we could extinguish the fire quickly. If not, it’ll take time.”
He then wipes his sweat.
Xu Qin looks at his red hands, she says: “If there’s someone that is injured, let me take a look. I have first-aid kit at home.”
Xiao Ge is startled and looks at his own hands. He waves his hands: “It’s okay. We would go down and work.”
Xu Qin doesn’t keep them for long. The group of firefighters just go out. Song Yan comes out from the living room and he passes her side.
“Thank you.” Song Yan says.
Xu Qin shakes her head.
Everyone starts to leave.
The noisy room just turns silent and empty. Xu Qin is standing near her shoes shelf. She looks at the living room. Everyone is gone, there’s only a water stain, smoke ash, stain. It’s a bit messy.
Song Yan and other firefighters are looking around the burnt apartment to find any fire left behind. Then they contact the property management and the owner of the apartment. The owner is rushing to be back home.
Song Yan leaves two firefighters to deal with the aftermath, the others are returning to the fire station.
All of them are getting ready to leave, they enter the elevator and Song Yan instructs them: “Yang Chi, you accompany political instructor to check on the equipment, then when you are back at the station, Xiao Ge would write a report.” Then he says: “I would stay here and then I leave.”
Yang Chi doesn’t respond: “It’s enough for Xiao Fei and Lao Jiang to stay here. Captain, you should just go back and have an early rest.”
Song Yan says: “I’ll go upstair for a while.”
Yang Chi is puzzled: “2701? Why?”
Song Yan: “We made a mess at the apartment, we should help out.”
Yang Chi: “That’s right. Ge (Bro), then let me help you. I’ll help you to tidy it up.”
Song Yan: “No need. It’s okay for me to do it. Don’t add trouble.”
Yang Chi: “How could you say that I’ll add trouble. Ge (Bro), I am good at ………”
Suo Jun uses one of his hand to grab Yang Chi’s collar and drags him inside the elevator. He presses the button and says to Song Yan: “Go.”
Song Yan runs upstair using the staircase. He arrives at Xu Qin’s family. The door is opened and he could hear the water sound from inside.
Song Yan comes inside and looks inside. The living room is so messy, there’s no one inside. Xu QIn is holding a wet towel, she comes out from the bathroom. Looking at Song Yan, she is surprised: “You left something?”
“No.” Song Yan looks at the floor: “We borrowed your balcony, I would clean up first before leaving.”
Xu Qin doesn’t refuse.
Song Yan takes off his firefighter suit and takes off his shoes too. He goes to the restroom and looks around. He asks: “Where is the mop?”
Xu Qin: “I don’t have.”
Song Yan glances at her: “You use the towel?”
Xu Qin coughs: “I only have this.”
Song Yan is speechless and watches her for a while. He shakes her head and finds this thing is so hilarious. “It’ll be tiresome, wait.” He says then goes out.”
Xu Qin asks: “Where are you going?”
Song Yan bends his body and wears his shoes again, he looks at her: “I’ll go down and buy a mop.” He stands up straight and asks: “What else you don’t have here, I’ll buy it too for you. Broom, detergent, cleaning rag…..” He looks at her expression and asks: “You don’t have it all right?”
Xu Qin says while she fists her hands: “Em.”
Song Yan: “…….”
That man just goes out.
Ting, there’s a noise from the elevator. Xu Qin takes a look at the corridor outside. He is gone, she comes inside the room and looks at his firefighter suit. It’s big and very thick. The suit looks so dirty.
Xu Qin walks toward the balcony, it only takes a while till she sees Song Yan is running out of the apartment building and quickly disappears on the corner.
The first day of November, the apartment building is surrounded by ginkgo trees.
Xu Qin comes back inside the room.
After a while, Song Yan is back too. He is holding a broom and a big plastic bag of things.
“Why are you buying so many things?” Xu Qin takes a look. He seems to buy a lot of things for cleaning like absorbent cleaning rags with several colors, ordinary cleaning rag, detergent, scouring ball, brush; he even buys several packs of trash bag.
Xu Qin frowns and asks: “Why are you buying so many things?”
Song Yan folds his sleeves: “You still have ‘face’ to grumble.”
Xu Qin: “……….”
Song Yan snorts: “Your place has no sense of home.” He then goes to the bathroom with a mop and switches on the water tap to wet it.
Xu Qin stands there for a while, she takes a cleaning rag and goes into the bathroom too.
Song Yan asks her: “What happened to your throat?”
“I have a flu.” Xu Qin answers.
Song Yan asks again: Are you okay?”
Xu Qin nods “Better.”
He switches off the water tap and squeezes the water from the mop. He comes out of the bathroom. Xu Qin also wrings the cleaning rag and follows out.
Song Yan is moping the floor on the balcony. He is tall and very strong. He could clean it after once and twice. She usually calls cleaning service to clean her house, the cleaners sometimes take a while to clean it.
Xu Qin goes to the clean the railing fence of the balcony. Xu Qin somehow slips when she cleans up, Song Yan is fast, he just grabs her arm and let her stands up straight again.
Xu Qin feels her heart beats so fast.
Song Yan lets her go: “Be careful.” Then he continues to mop.
“Oh.” Xu Qin gasps lightly and goes to clean up again.
The wind on the high floor of tall building is so heavy, it makes her shiver.
Song Yan suddenly takes the cleaning rag from her hand. “Get in. The wind is blowing heavily right here.” He says expressionlessly.
Xu Qin: “I could do it.”
“If your flu is getting worse, I wouldn’t take any responsibility.” Song Yan says.
At last Xu Qin returns to the room. Song Yan is there, cleaning up for everything.
The railing fence on the balcony was stepped by the firefighters so it’s so dirty, it also makes Xu Qin’s cleaning rag so dirty. Xu Qin notices it, she takes another cleaning rag and wets it again. Then she goes toward her and takes the dirty one from Song Yan. Song Yan is so efficient in doing it. He is cleaning so seriously.
Song Yan returns to the room and closes the door. He cleans up the mop again and goes to the living room to clean all the water stains and footprints.
Xu Qin doesn’t sit around, she goes to boil up water with her new kettle.
The time is moving slowly, everything is so natural. They are not chatting with each other, the atmosphere in the room is silent and peaceful.
She is preparing a tea, while he is moping the floor.
This moment, her mind recalls another moment.
Song Yan is done in cleaning up. He has arranged everything in the bathroom.
“Drink tea first before you leave.” Xu Qin pours the hot water into three cups and places the tea leaves. “You sweat a lot, you need to make up for it.”
She places the cups in front of him.
Xu Qin: “The tea is a bit hot, just sit down for a while.”
Song Yan says: “My body is dirty, I wouldn’t sit.”
Xu Qin feels awkward, yet he is so unrestrained.
Xu Qin points at the bar stool: “Just sit down there, later on I’ll clean it up.
Song Yan consider for a short moment and goes over to sit down.
Xu Qin asks: “Do you have any injury in your body? I’ll treat it for you.”
Song Yan looks at his hands: “No.”
Xu Qin: “What about your wrist? It should have an injury.”
Song Yan pauses and lifts up his eyes to look at her. He even doesn’t notice that his wrist is hurt.
Xu Qin is calm and takes a first-aid kit box. Song Yan extends his hand and places it on the table. She helps him to clean it up and puts on the medicine. She asks: “Are you so busy with your work?”
“It’s okay.” Song Yan says: “Everyday there would be matters to do whether it’s major or minor.” He adds: “I’m not busy as you.”
“I am taking turn in staying in emergency medical treatment, if not I wouldn’t be busy, moreover my job is not as dangerous as you.”
He snorts: “I think your job is dangerous too.”
Xu Qin understands that he means the accident with the needle.
She wraps his wrist with a gauze: “Okay.”
Song Yan finishes three cups of tea and wipes his mouth: “Thanks.”
He doesn’t waste any time, he turns his body to leave. She follows behind him to send him off.
Song Yan goes to pick up his firefighter suit, he walks toward teh door. “You could do the cleaning by yourself?”
Xu Qin: “Yes.”
“Okay.” He goes out.
Xu Qin stands near the door and watches him leave. Suddenly inside her heart, she could hear a voice.
Be together, okay?
The elevator door opens and Song Yan gets inside the elevator. He turns his body and presses the button. Then he looks at her.
Xu Qin also looks at him.
Song Yan, be together okay?
But all along she doesn’t say anything, till the elevator door is closed and blocks her view.
The floor is so quiet likes nothing happened before. There’s no trace that there’re firefighters here.
Xu Qin closes the door and looks around. She suddenly feels that the room is so quiet that she couldn’t breath properly.
She holds her hands tight and goes to the sofa. She sits down straight there.
she just stands up and runs toward the balcony.
She stands on the balcony and shouts to the person under the building: “Song Yan!”
The yellow gingko leaves are flying everywhere.
Xu Qin couldn’t see his expression clearly.
She stops and takes another deep breath: “Tomorrow you’ll be off right?”
A second, two second, the world is silent.
In a next second, Song Yan just turns his body and leaves.