Earlier this week, I came across this piece of news as I was scrolling through my WeChat friends’ circle – a young journalist by the name of Duan Dan Feng (段丹峰), 29, jumped down from the eleventh floor of the apartment (said to be owned by her or her then-boyfriend/ fiancé), after posting her final post on her Weibo (microblog):
Yang Liu Yi (the alleged third party): I’ve never been able to understand, why do you still go after him even when you know that he’s about to get married? Are you having an exciting time being a third party? No matter how uncontrollable feelings can be, it should abide by a moral compass. If this is the kind of ending that you want, then I wish you both happiness. Pan Ao (the boyfriend), you’ve changed too quickly within the few days, and you didn’t even give me room for buffer. How did you manage to be so cruel to me? In this life, you owe me a love and a promised future. Now I’m gone, gone with our love. I cannot bear to let it fade, as (with our love) I can be around you forever. I will transform into the symbol of our love -a cat, and watch you as you eat, sleep, work and live, and watch you as you are happy. Sometimes I wonder, how much must I love, to be able to give up everything, even my life. Don’t be too upset mum and dad, and all the people who love me. I no longer have to bear with long, miserable nights, or wake up, or feel anymore pain. I am free, and you should be happy for me. I’ve tasted enough of the flavours of this life, and if there were a next life, I wish I could be treated gently. We’ve not even had the chance to sleep in our newly renovated house. Pan Pan (nickname for boyfriend), you have not answered my call for a day and two nights. I can’t bear it. I am outside our new house. Can you carry me home? I’m cold…
Heart-wrenching and disturbing read.
Before that, I was mainly drawn to the news because the titles said that the girl was a journalist, though it’s not as if her vocation mattered a lot, because we’re all fools when it comes to love, aren’t we?
I am not going to pass judgements on her actions (or her boyfriend/fiance’s) in this post. I imagine that what she had been through was deeply upsetting and what has happened has happened. I am just going to share three lessons that this incident has taught me.
1. No One Can Promise A Happy Future to Another Person
What does it mean to promise one “the future”? Is it unquestioned loyalty and lifelong care and company? Financial stability? Is it health? Is it the ability to raise healthy and happy children? Is it a comfortable retirement?
Or is it all of the above? Sounds like an awesome package.
But the question is, does anyone know exactly how the future is going to be like? And if no one has a clear idea, how is it possible to “promise” a bright/happy future to anyone?
The concept is intangible like the reflection of the moon in the river, and vague like a flower in the fog. No wonder people are so willing to believe in empty promises or sweet nothings such as “I will give you a lifetime of happiness”, or “I will look after you for life”. The emptier it is, the more flawless it seems, just like how a soap bubble under the sunlight is colourful and perfectly round, but bursts with a prick.
I think, by nature or nurture, many people have the tendency to start playing a more submissive and supporting role after getting attached, but in doing so, they often end up placing the weight of their hopes and their future on the shoulders of their partners. I wouldn’t say that they are lazy; they might just be too busy running circles around their partners.
There are also ones who make heavy sacrifices for their partners and hold the latter responsible for it. Some lose themselves in the process by giving up their freedom and discarding their individuality, but when their partners leave, they feel that the meaning of life is taken away from them too.
Don’t be these people. Be responsible for yourself.
2. Past Moments of Joy Don’t Necessarily Have to Mean Anything
As I scrolled down the poor girl’s Weibo (microblog), more heartbreaking things came into sight.
For the past week or so, she had been reminiscing the good times with her then-boyfriend. She posted pictures of themselves, their past conversations, as well as the gifts and the letters that he sent her.
Each post seemed to cry out for his attention, and also to demand: “Why so sweet then, but so cruel now? Have you forgotten about our happy times together?”
I personally want to believe in the good in people. I’d like to think that it’s not because her then-boyfriend had been lying to her all along.
Perhaps the past romantic moments had been genuinely joyful, and the confessions had been truly heartfelt, for a second or two at least.
Perhaps he just didn’t love her anymore, with November being the deadline of his show of affections.
He’s a jerk for not being transparent enough about this, but falling out of love happens, regardless of whether one is a jerk.
For some reason, this reminds me of a scene in novel/drama The Return of the Condor Heroes, in which the male protagonist (only a child then) was brought to pay his respects to the founder of the Ancient Tomb Sect.
“How come the grand master lady is so young?” asked the young boy.
“Young when the painting was made, but no longer young afterwards,” replied the female protagonist.
I guess the same can apply to even the sweetest of love. Moments of pure bliss, like youth, cannot be extended by photos.
3. Choose Self-Preservation Over Self-Obsession
To put it simply, self-obsession is tearfully saying “bless you” to the cheating partner, but never actually getting over feelings of self-pity.
Self-preservation, is saying a big “fuck you” to the cheating bastard and moving on.
Actually, on second thought, it doesn’t really matter whether you say “bless you” or “fuck you”, whichever makes you feel better. It’s the part about moving on that is important.
Sure, it’s easy enough for me to say that right now, as I’m not the one with my heart shattered into a million pieces.
If the same thing had happened to me, I too might be thinking about the next animal that I’m going to be reincarnated into.
Yes, we sometimes have uncontrollable impulses of becoming the tragic hero/heroine when love lets us down. Even young Werther put a bullet in his head, didn’t he? Such thoughts are so sad that we are moved by our own martyrdom.
But in the case of this girl, her then-boyfriend showed no sign of being moved. It seemed that he had stopped caring about how she felt, which is also what usually happens after people fall out of love.
I think this kind of person is not worth dying for.
Or maybe my survival instincts tell me that I should not be romanticising death at this point.
The more rational part of my brain, on the other hand, tells me to “cut loss”, and just dump the cheating partner like how investors dump a lousy stock. It also urges me to protect my interests, and claim back what is rightfully mine if there had been a financial collaboration previously.
Honestly, I don’t really think there is a “right” way to respond to this kind of situation. Some people back out immediately, but others may be more reluctant to do so due to some other legitimate concerns.
But just don’t keep wallowing in self pity and despair. Don’t let your dark fantasies come true.
And hope you rest in peace, Dan Feng. Come back as a kitten or something.