Wuxiaworld > A Guest in a Ghost House > Chapter 30 The Real Beauty

Chapter 30 The Real Beauty

Chapter 30 The Real Beauty
I arrived at a quiet residential area. Although it was not expensive, it was one of the nicest neighborhoods in town.

Standing in her doorway, I lit a cigarette and thought about what I was going to say to her. I was a bit stumped. Although I knew her address and name, I couldn't just tell her outright that her grandfather told me to break her up with her boyfriend because he is a junkie and a bad man. If I said it like that, she’d slam the door in my face without another word. They might even accuse me for breaking into their house and Wu Jian would have to arrest me.

I stood aimlessly at the doorway, hesitating. After a while, a tall and cheerful-looking man holding a bouquet of flowers walked past me. Seeing me glance at him, he nodded towards me with a smile.

I was quite surprised. The man was about 60 years old, and here he was bringing flowers to a lady. Age is a state of mind after all. Fine, I admit I envied him.

A voice said, “Zhang Sheng, here you are delivering flowers again.”

My eyes followed the direction of the sound. It was an old man sitting in front of a neighboring shop’s doorway.

Zhang Sheng smiled at him, “Indeed! How’s business, Brother Li?”

Brother Li nodded. “It’s OK. Look, here she comes.”

I looked in the direction Brother Li pointed. A fashionable old lady slowly emerged from the door. Seeing Zhang Sheng standing in her doorway, she looked surprised for a moment, and then smiled. “You bought flowers again? Oh, you shouldn’t have.”

Even though the old woman protested, everyone could see she was happy. She didn’t hesitate to take the flowers from his hands.

I stood aside. The two chatted with each other for a few moments before leaving for the movie theatre. Oh, as a single man, I felt heartburn.

Brother Li was a chatty one. Seeing the two old-timers walking away, he started talking to himself, "Oh, Mrs. Huang is a good lady. Why does she love that Zhang Sheng?”

I rolled my eyes. The old man had just pleasantly greeted Zhang Sheng, but he started bad-mouthing him the moment he turned his back. Was he interested in the old lady too? I was curious but I didn’t ask because I was not familiar with him.

Another old man passing by me said, "Li, I think Zhang Sheng ain’t that bad. He is still young and vigorous. He just wants to have someone with him as he grows older.”

Brother Li replied, "You don't know this, but my wife is a good friend of Mrs. Huang. She told my wife that she had a dream of her old grandpa persuading her to break up with her Zhang Sheng because he is a liar and a drug addict.”

The passerby became intrigued. He fetched a chair and sat down next to Brother Li to get all the juicy details.

I stood in the doorway with a frown on my face. Was old Mrs. Huang Grandpa Huang’s granddaughter? I thought she would be a beautiful young girl!

I expelled the disappointment in my heart and pretended not to care. Brother Li and his new buddy glanced at me before resuming their gossiping.

I stayed and listened in on their conversation for a while. Grandma Huang was definitely Grandpa Huang’s granddaughter. She was 58 years old and moved to this retirement community three years ago. Her children were successful, but they couldn't accompany her. She met Zhang Sheng, who was 63 years old, during a group dance at the square because the old man always felt lonely. Before the two knew it, they were practically dating, but because they were not young anymore, they never confirmed the relationship.

Brother Li’s wife always danced with Grandma Huang. They were good friends, and Grandma Huang confided in her. She told her she didn’t know whether to trust or ignore her dream. It was good for her to have someone close, and besides, Grandma Huang just couldn’t bear to leave Zhang Sheng. She was already in love. After being with Zhang Sheng for some time, she felt that he was not as bad as her grandpa said.

Before I knew it, my cigarette had burned itself up to my finger and fell apart. The facts of the matter were quite different from what I had imagined, and it wasn’t going to be easy to fulfill my promise. I glanced at my watch and saw it was almost 6 p.m. I thought I’d better go back to Grandpa Huang and tell him what I found out.

I grabbed something to eat and then gave Wu Jian a call. He said he was too busy to talk at the moment, but then started rambling about this and that. Meanwhile, I couldn't stick a single word in.

Eventually, Wu Jian stopped to catch his breath. I said feebly, "Brother Wu, I really didn’t get much of that? You said so much, I’m just kinda confused now.”

Wu Jian sighed, "Somebody called the police to tell them that a ten-year-old child was rummaging through their trash cans and leaving garbage all over their front yard."

"It’s just a prank. What’s the big deal?"

"No, this case is really strange. Some of the neighbors said they have been seeing a ten-year old child rummaging through the trash every year for as long as they can remember. The earliest records of this I could find are from several decades ago!"

That really was strange, when he put it like that. People wouldn’t usually call the police for such a trifle. At least I wouldn’t. However, there were dozens of cases on record, which meant this was not normal. The kid must have made a very impressive mess out of those trash cans. In any case, how could he still look 10 years old after several decades?

I didn’t say anything, so Wu Jian continued, "Check this out. An old man living there said he saw a ten-year old rummaging through the trash when he was a child himself. A lot of people were spooked by it even then, but we still don't know what’s really going on. Do you think this has something to do with ghosts?"

I was stunned, but then I realized something. It was a clinging ghost.