then proceeded to eat her already soggy noodles.
She made it a point to always wash the dishes immediately after eating, as the house is so old that any unwashed bowls can very easily attract bugs. 

She tidied the house a bit, before posting a few pictures of her finished embroideries on Weibo*.
She didn’t have many fans yet, but occasionally, there would be one or two people who liked or commented on her post.
Though, most of the time, she just posts for her own entertainment.

*Note: Weibo is like Facebook in China, only imagine if Facebook + Youtube + Instagram + Twitter + Tiktok + Reddit + etc.
are all integrated into one site/app. 

  

Two days later, as Hua Jin finished the carp embroidery, she received a text message. 

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“Miss Hua Jin.
I’d first like to thank you.
Though my family member passed away today, she loved your quilt very much.
Again, thank you.”

Seeing the text message, Hua Jin’s throat closed up a bit.
She got up to pour herself a glass of water.
She drank deeply to try to suppress the uncomfortable feeling.
She then tried to calm herself by staring at the passersby outside the window while taking deep breaths.

“Wow~ I didn’t expect embroidered bags could be so beautiful.”

 Hua Jin looked at the door of the shop as a man and a woman walked in.
The woman talking wore a corset skirt and wore a scarf around her neck.
When she smiled, the corner of her eyes also slightly curved.
She looked pretty and playful.

When she saw Hua Jin, she pointed at a bag on the shelf, “Can you show that bag?”

“Of course,” Hua Jin quickly replied, handing the bag over to the female customer.

She took the bag and tried carrying it in her hand.
She posed with it on the mirror several times.
“This bag is really beautiful.
What design is on it? It’s really rare that it’s embroidered so gorgeously without being tacky at all!”

“Peaches, lotuses, and bats are the main motifs used in the design.
We call this overall design “Fu Shou Lian Nian”, which doesn’t only mean good, but also gorgeous and excellent.” Hua Jin peeked at the woman’s fair-skin and alluring features, and couldn’t help but add, “Though your fair complexion and dazzling beauty makes any bag or accessory you wear just embellishments.”

When the woman heard this, she was ecstatic.
She couldn’t resist picking up a shawl and a painted jewelry box too.
She left the store with a big smile on her face.
When she heard that Hua Jin also embroiders other designs, she even added her to her WeChat.

 

No one can resist beauty.
It is only natural.

The man gently wrapped the urn of his wife in the dragon and phoenix quilt she had so briefly enjoyed before her death.
Before coming here to the big city for treatment, many people had tried to dissuade him from doing so, saying that it was useless anyways so why spend more money.
Even his wife was against it.

 

But for him, even if it was only a glimmer of hope, he still wanted to try everything.
Because the alternative was them just waiting for her to die.

They have been married for 20 years.
He had always been frustrated by the fact that he couldn’t let her enjoy life for all those years.
How could he even live with himself if he allowed her to suffer pain 24/7 while waiting to die… just to save money? 

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At least they could administer painkillers in the hospital.
At least they could still visit a big, prosperous city.
At least he was able to give her the dragon and phoenix quilt he had promised all those years ago before the end. 

“Big Brother, my condolences.” A young man claiming to be Internet famous came with him to the train station.
When he heard of his wife’s illness from somewhere, he came wanting to help pay for her treatment, but was refused.
Even so, he often visited them in the hospital, and even now, without being asked, he helped the widower purchase his train ticket by using his mobile phone. 

The man shook his head and held the urn tightly.
“It’s alright.
At least she’s no longer suffering.”

The young man was stunned.
Looking straight at the man’s weathered face, he was full of emotion as he asked, “Would you perhaps let me tell you and your wife’s story to others?”

“What story is there to tell for people like us?” The man asked.
His face was obviously tired and sad, but his eyes burned bright with determination.
He still had something he needed to do: bring his wife home. 

“You exhausted your entire fortune for your wife.
You went as far as only eating steamed buns and drinking water every day.
If others were told of your sacrifice, I know many people would be moved.”

“What’s so moving about a husband caring for his wife? Isn’t that only natural?” The man gently wiped the urn, even though it was pristine.
“Marriage means committing to living with another person for the rest of your lives.
Treating your better half well… what’s more common than that?” 

“Even though the medical bills were costly, it’s not like I can’t get at least some of it back through our insurance.
I would just have to work for a few more years, before I am debt free again.
Besides, I still have a house to go back to, so I didn’t actually lose everything.”

So the man returned home with his wife’s ashes.
As the young man looked at his slightly hunch back, he felt conflicted.

That very night, when he got back home, he wrote down their story and posted it on Weibo.

He wrote it without sensationalizing or exaggerating anything, because the true story was more than enough on its own.

He was a successful white-collar worker IRL, but on the Web, he was a blogger with hundreds of thousands of followers.
After he posted the story, many people commented and reposted it.

Because the characters were lovely and warm. 

The husband went all in for his wife, leaving nothing for himself.
Even though people had volunteered to help out, he was a person who couldn’t accept anyone’s charity for nothing.
But that didn’t stop the doctors or nurses, or the famous blogger, or the owner of the embroidery shop, or even the embroiderer of the dragon and phoenix quilt herself who stayed up late for days to finish it on time and didn’t charge anything extra, to offer their help in their own way. 

Some netizens have said that the story wasn’t really one about love, but really, it was the story of human warmth. 

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