**Title : Expired
**Author : @nouvevictori
**Length : Oneshoot – 15 Pages
**Language : English
**Main Character :
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Successful meeting he got. Yes, finally Lu Han’s company won the tender. He felt so happy right now and all of his partners shook his hand and congratulated him. He smiled brightly to them. Before the meeting started, they had planned to hold a little party in their office tonight, even they still did not know the result. And now, when they headed out the meeting room, they started to talk about it enthusiastically and noisily, like little kids. Some people looked at them curiously but they did not care. They just cared about tonight’s party. It would be so great, Lu Han thought gladly. He was still busy talking with others as they walked toward the elevator. He smiled and laughed when heard some crazy ideas from his partners, but seconds later his smiles were gone. His phone vibrated. He took his phone from his pocket and saw the screen. Aish.
He sighed. There was only one person who called him by that nickname. “What?” he replied with an irritated voice.
“Are you going to go home tonight?”
That was a short conversation. Short, but it did make him felt unhappy. Aish, he wished he never got a phone call.
“Hey, Lu Han, who called you? Your wife?” Zhang Yixing asked while they were waiting the elevator’s door to open. The others giggled to him.
Lu Han sighed heavily. Yes, he’s married. And he wished he never were.
Home. Lu Han had to go back home. The party was over. Actually he did not want to go home. Coming back home meant that he would be a different person. Yes, different. Lu Han in the office and Lu Han in his house were different. In his office, when he met his partners and fellowmen, he would be a nice cheerful funny happy guy. And when he was in his house, he would be an annoying guy who was always unhappy, and it was just to his wife.
He only showed that side to his wife, because, he never wanted to get married to her.
It was his parents to plan a wedding for him. He knew he was old enough to have a wife, but it didn’t mean his parents had to find a girl to be his wife. You know what? Lu Han had married to a stranger girl who he had met 3 days before the wedding.
Lu Han must be crazy at that time. He fulfilled his parents’ request to marry her. He never betrayed his parents. He was always a good son. But, at first he did refuse to marry her. His parents kept forcing him without giving any information about her, where she came from, how old she was, what her job was. Lu Han did not know anything about her. His parents just told him to marry her and seemed that they were not going to tell him anything else. That was the weirdest thing ever. He totally married a stranger.
He opened the door. There was no light in the living room. She had turned off the lights of course, he thought. It was 1:54 am. He had said to her that he would not go home, but finally he went home. He felt bad to Yixing if he stayed in his flat like days ago. Actually he often stayed in his friends’ flats. He had to remember that he was married and he had his own house. Oh, right.
Lu Han went to the kitchen and took a bottle of milk from the fridge. After singing crazily with his friends on the party, he felt so thirsty. While drinking the milk, he glanced at two doors near the dining room. Those were his room and his wife’s. Yes, they slept in different rooms. Lu Han had told her after their wedding party, he said directly to her that he did not want to share same room with her. His wife just nodded. And finally they got two separated rooms, and no one knew about this, included his parents.
He spit out his milk all over the floor as he heard a voice.
“Oh, Xiao Lu. So, you’re home?”
Out of nowhere, her wife walked toward him. He breathed heavily and gave her a death glare. “You almost make me dead!” He gritted his teeth. He then put the milk back to the fridge. His wife did not answer him, and repeated the same words.
“You’re home, Xiao Lu.”
He got irritated. “Yeah, yeah, I’m home.” He saw that his wife had reached him. She looked weird in her blue pajamas. Even it was just a dim light from the balcony, he could see her pale face. Oh, she always looked so pale.
“You said you’re not going to go home tonight.” She said.
“Uh, changing plan.” He did not like it when his wife interrogated him like this. She maybe knew it well that he often stayed in his friends’ flats rather than in his own home. He rarely went home, but he did not get it why she liked to phone him asking he went home or not. He was bored to find she called him every evening. “I’m going home or not is none of your business. It’s up to me.” he rolled his eyes, looked annoyed. His wife looked annoyed as well.
“Oh, right. That’s up to you.” she said firmly.
“And you don’t need to phone me everyday asking me go home or not. That’s so stupid, and I really hate it. Your calls always bother me. I’m always busy, you know that, right?” he crossed his hands in front of his chest. He knew that her expression bit changed when he mentioned about her calls. Oh, he did not care.
“I just wanna ask about dinner, maybe you want to have dinner at home.” she finally replied.
“You just know that I never have dinner at home. No need to ask.” He shot. He narrowed his eyes. “Don’t say that you prepare dinner for me.” he said confidently.
“Of course not.” she laughed. “You’re too confident, Xiao Lu.”
He shivered when he heard that nickname of his was mentioned by her. He did not get it why he hated that name. It was only her, the one and only in this world that called him Xiao Lu. Tsk. He did not like that fact and he did not remember when she started to call him that nickname. After their wedding party? Or when she met him for the first time?
“Listen, I didn’t know what you’re doing at this time, but you shouldn’t scare people like you just did.” He didn’t know why he got annoyed if he saw her. This was weird. He never liked his wife, also their marriage.
“I didn’t scare you. I just came back from the bathroom and I wanted to look for food.” She answered.
Lu Han sighed. “Your voice is just scared me.”
“I’m just confused to find you home, Xiao Lu.”
Aish, that nickname again. He then let out his anger. “Why did you always call me ‘Xiao Lu’, huh? Does it sound nice?”
His wife rolled her eyes. She breathed heavily, put her hand on her left chest, and raised her voice. “What should I call you, Mister Never Home?”
And again. It was almost 3 in the morning and they’re fighting. There were always fights in their home. And the final word for today was divorce.
Their divorce was still in process. Lu Han was happy about this divorce, but he was displeased because of the long process. He needed to live separated with his wife as soon as possible. He was bored to be a married guy even their marriage was only about a month. He was bored to have fights with her. Maybe this was the best for them. And it would be better if there was no marriage from beginning. He was sure he did not tell anything to his parents about the divorce, and he did not get it how they found it out. It must be his wife to tell this to his parents.
“You can’t get a divorce with her, son!” his mom phoned him hours ago, minutes before his meeting was over. He headed out the meeting room.
“Why, Mom? I bet she doesn’t want to live with me anymore. Neither do I. We have to be separated.” Lu Han tried to explain. His mom on the other line yelled stubbornly.
“You can’t have a divorce! I will never let you get divorce with her! Never!”
Aish, why was his mom like this? He knew his parents did like his wife so much, and maybe that’s why they did not want him got divorce. It would be difficult. Lu Han tried to think many reasons in order that his parents would agree with his decision. He finished his job until 10 pm, and his friends asked him for going to karaoke together. Because he had many things to think and they made him stress, he joined his friends and went home at 3 am.
He always found himself thirsty so he went to the kitchen. He was surprised to see his wife busy cooking. Seemed like she heard his footsteps, she turned around. She saw Lu Han walking toward the fridge but she did not say anything. She went busy cooking again. Oh right, they stopped talking to each other almost 2 weeks. Nothing to talk about though, he thought. Maybe Lu Han would start talking to her again as their divorce’s process was ended.
Lu Han finished drinking and his wife finished cooking. It smells good, what did she cook? Lu Han thought. He just realized that he did not eat anything since evening. He tried to not care about his wife’s dish. He turned around and decided to go to his room as his tummy grumbled. He stopped on his tracks and looked down at it. Aish. He then heard his wife chuckling, and it was the first time he heard that.
“Are you hungry?”
“No.” Lu Han lied. When he was about to leave, his wife called him.
“I cooked ramen. You can eat it if you want.” She then left the kitchen with a bowl of ramen. She went to the balcony. She sat down on the floor and saw the night city’s view. She did not say anything. She enjoyed eating while Lu Han was confused standing in the kitchen. He glanced at the pan of ramen on the dining table. His tummy grumbled even more, finally he took a bowl, poured the ramen into it, and headed to the balcony as well. His wife was confused to find him sitting down next to her. It was awkward. They never ate together. Lu Han did not understand why he also came to the balcony. He thought maybe he wanted to see the city’s view.
Silence and silence. They were in their own thoughts. Lu Han barely came home, but when he went home, he always found his wife still awake. She was still awake in this hour. Did she sleep before? And she woke up? Or she did not sleep at all? This was strange. He also found her in the kitchen, drinking or cooking something. Even he was curious, he did not want to ask.
“Oh my, I’m still hungry.” she said suddenly. Lu Han looked down at her bowl. She had finished eating. He widened his eyes.
“You.. you’re really hungry, aren’t you?” he said, still looked amazed.
She shrugged. “Well. I need another portion.”
Lu Han realized that he had taken the whole ramen from the pan. “I’ve taken it all.” He pointed at his bowl and felt bit bad. She looked down at his bowl and smiled a little. Her smile was like spoke to him that it was okay. Along their marriage, this was the first time she smiled to him, sincerely. And by the dim light, he could see her face, pale, and she had bags under her eyes. He never realized it before, but she looked thinner. Lu Han looked away as she found him staring for some seconds.
“Isn’t the view great?” she pointed at the view in front of them. Their house, their flat, was in 20th floor. They could see the city’s view clearly and it was wonderful at night. And he thought it was wonderful to have late dinner with his wife. It was just ramen and city’s view, but their simple combination was nice. He found himself talked much to her. He just found the different side from his wife. He always thought that she was completely annoying lady, but she was not. She was friendly, and funny. When she was talking, her hands started to move and gestured what things she was talking about. She was very expressive when she was talking. They talked about everything, the city, food, books, movies, music, and also some simple things around them. His parents did not tell him anything about her. Yes, that was right. But now Lu Han thought that he knew many things about her. He never thought that he would feel glad like this when he was home.
“You can cook anything you want… Oh, I will go home in an hour… Where are you?… Super market?… Okay… See you!”
Lu Han stared at his phone. He smiled slightly. He lied to his wife. He said that he was in his office, but actually he was home. He came home earlier because he wanted to give her a surprise. Yes, after eating ramen together that night, they both got along well. They were like friends. They never fought anymore. And Lu Han always went home after his job was finished and he and his wife had dinner together. His wife was a great cook. Her dishes were the best. Lu Han always liked them. He did not mind what dish she wanted to cook every day. Whatever it was, it would be always great and super delicious. She had told him last night that today she would go to super market to buy some vegetables. Lu Han would be at home at 5, but today he went home 1,5 hours earlier. He had to prepare some things. Yes.
Today was his wife’s birthday. He just remembered what she said in their long conversation that day. He wanted to give her a surprise. He bought a lot of balloons, red and blue. They were her favorite colors. After blowing air into them, he let them flying to the ceiling. Now their room was full of flying balloons. Lu Han had prepared some small papers, a pen, some box of presents he had put neatly on her bed, also a big birthday cake. He hoped his wife would like his little surprise.
He was wearing a birthday hat as he heard the door opened. He quickly walked toward it. Big smile plastered on his face. His wife looked at him with a confused look. Maybe he looked so weird in his birthday hat. He started singing ‘happy birthday’ and he sprayed the snow to her. She was frozen when he put other birthday hat on her head, she widened her eyes. Lu Han was still singing as he took the plastic bag from her hand and leaded her into their kitchen. The big cake was on the table, along with the candles.
“Now you can blow up the candles.” Lu Han said when he finished singing. His wife looked at him in disbelief. Lu Han just smiled at her. “Come on, before the candles melt to the cake.” He added and pointed at the cake. His pale wife nodded awkwardly. He then blew up the candles together with her. He clapped happily after that. She was still confused.
“What is this?”
Lu Han just smiled. “Did I surprise you?” she just nodded. “Are you not happy? This is your birthday.”
“I-it’s not that!” she said quickly. “I was just surprised. Errr… Thank you.” she said and smiled slightly. He smiled back as he held his wife’s wrist. They went to the living room whose ceiling was full of balloons. She looked more confused and surprised. She looked up with amazed lights in her eyes. She smiled widely. He glanced at his wife. Seemed like she liked the surprise he gave to her. He was so glad.
“Here.” He handed her some small papers. She looked at him. “These papers, their amount is same as your age now. So, I want you to write down your wishes in these papers.”
“Right now?” she asked.
“Sure.” He also handed her a pen. “You have many wishes, don’t you?”
She giggled like a little kid. “I do.” Lu Han ruffled her hair. “But what will I do next after I finished writing?” she asked again.
“You’ll see. Now go, write some wishes.” Lu Han patted her shoulder. She nodded and started busy writing. Some minutes passed, and she had done writing all her wishes. Lu Han glanced playfully at the last paper she was holding to see what her wish was. She laughed as she kept away the paper from him.
“What are your wishes? Can you tell me?” he said. She shook her head.
“No. If I tell you, my wishes won’t come true.” She laughed.
He frowned. “You can tell me one of them then.”
“No~” she sang. He frowned even more. “Now tell me what will I do with these papers?”
Lu Han stood up, picked the red balloons by their strings. She also stood up and still held the papers. Lu Han smiled at her when he had picked all the red balloons. “You can roll the papers up, and we will tie them in this string. Each paper will be tied up in one string.”
“What about the blue balloons?” Lu Han found his wife asked too much. But he did not mind. It was nice to hear her voice.
“We will save them for later.” he said simply and smiled.
“I wanna have them in my room.” She stated cheerfully. “But I don’t like it when they explode. That’s too much, too surprised me. I’m worried I will die if I hear them exploding.” She joked around.
After rolling the papers and tying them up to the strings, he held her hand with his free hand. “Let’s go to the balcony!”
They saw the city’s view, beautiful as always. And the sun was about to set. They looked at each other, smiling. “Are you ready?” he asked her. His wife had no idea about what he wanted to do. Lu Han loosened his grip on the balloons’ strings and let them flying to the sky. The sky was just full with red balloons. They flied so high and flied towards the sun. It looked so beautiful. And it did make his wife happy. Her eyes glued to the flying red balloons. Big smile formed on her face.
“Aren’t they beautiful?” Lu Han kept his eyes on the balloons. “They will deliver your wishes to God. So you will have your wishes come true. God always h—“ he could not finish his words. He felt a pair of arms around his waist. His wife hugged him from behind. Oh, crap. He did not know why his heart beat faster and faster.
“I never celebrate my birthday before. This is the most meaningful birthday party I’ve ever had. I’m so happy.” she told him.
Lu Han did not say anything because his heart was like going to explode. He just looked down at her hands around his waist. It felt right, and nice. Lu Han found himself smiling. He did not expect he would be this happy when she hugged him. Warm feeling came into him.
“Thank you, Xiao Lu.” She hugged him even tightly.
The result was out. They had gotten the divorce, officially. Lu Han had forgotten the fact that he submitted the divorce to the court. He really forgot it. Now it felt like the opposite. He still wanted to live together with his wife. He did not want a divorce, surely! You could say that he had fallen in love to his wife. Yes. Every single day without her was so boring. He needed her beside him, always. Everything about her always made him happy, and he was always happy if he was with her. He enjoyed his married life now and the information from the court just ruined it. He was no longer her husband. Aish.
Lu Han went home with weak steps. He was confused how to tell his wife about this. He did not even know her feeling towards him. Does she love me? He thought hard. He never found an answer. He never asked about it though. He decided to confess to her today, after that, he would tell her about the divorce’s result. And after that, he would know she still wanted to live with him or not. Oh my God, he was so nervous! He did not know how to start the conversation! It would be weird if he suddenly told her that he loved her. Oh, oh, right.
He was still thinking the other way to confess as he opened the door. His flat was so quiet. Where’s she? He thought. He called over her, but he got no answers. Maybe she just goes out to supermarket, he shrugged. He headed to the kitchen. He stopped on his tracks. He saw his wife lying down on the kitchen’s floor. His eyes widened in horror. He was frightened to death. He hurriedly approached her.
“Wifey! What happened?!” he had her in his embrace. He shook her body, waking her up. He shivered when he realized no moves from her. No moves. No beats. No breaths. She looked freaking pale. He touched her cheek with his trembling hand. His wife was cold like an ice.
No. It could not be.
Eternal mourning. Could he say it? He was in sorrow. He lost his wife. She was gone. God had taken her away from Lu Han eternally. He could not see her smiles anymore. He could not hear her laughing anymore. He could not have someone who greeted him when he came back from the office anymore. He could not have her cooking delicious dishes for him anymore. He could not have her seeing the city’s view together with him anymore. He could not have her calling him Xiao Lu anymore. Remember he always hated that nickname? Now he felt something’s missing. He really missed it, every moment she called him Xiao Lu.
He even had not said those three magic words to her yet. He was too late. And he would never know her feelings to him. It hurt him so much. Their flat felt so empty. He was completely alone. He sat down on the balcony’s floor, looking at the sunset. His face was so blank, his eyes got puffy and red. How long he had been here? He himself did not know. He had been here since he got home from his wife’s funeral ceremony. It had been four days. He sat blankly there like an insane. He had no energy to do anything. All things he did in this flat just remembered him to his dead wife. He still did not believe she was gone. It was too sudden. It was like a dream, a nightmare.
His parents also did not believe that she was gone, especially his mom. His mom cried hard in the hospital, and also in the funeral. His dad looked so sad as well. He then told Lu Han everything about her. She was a good girl. She was so kind and patient. She was so friendly and got along well with people. When Lu Han’s uncle got sick half year ago because of heart disease, that was the time Lu Han’s parents knew her. His parents always met her whenever they came to the hospital. She always greeted them well. She also knew Lu Han’s uncle, she almost knew all heart disease patients in that hospital, just because she was also heart-disease patient.
She had no parents. Her parents left her after her mother gave birth to her, seemed like her parents did not want her. She lived in an orphanage. When she found out the disease, she left the orphanage. She often went to the hospital and in these past five years her condition was in a bad scale. She lived in the hospital for long time. She always thought that her life would not be long. She could get attacks anytime. And she was afraid if she was alone when she died. That was the scariest thing to her. That’s why Lu Han’s parents wanted Lu Han to get married with her, in order that she would never be alone. Having a partner in her life maybe was the best choice for her. So, she agreed to marry with Lu Han.
“We know your marriage is not that happy, son.” His dad said at that time. “She didn’t say anything but we just knew you two always had fights. Fights and other tiring activities were not good for her heart’s health. It made her heart worked harder and harder and she shouldn’t be too tired. But, she always said to us that the fights were nothing and she was okay.”
Lu Han regretted it, why he always got mad to hear, leading they two into fights. And that’s why he often saw her putting her hand on her left chest and often breathed heavily. Maybe that was the time her heart hurt so much, and that was because of him. He did not stop blaming himself. And he just knew that because of her heart disease, she never slept well. She always woke up in each hour. She always got insomnia. Lu Han then got it why he always found her in kitchen in late hours. She could not sleep. And it made her looked pale everyday and had bags under her eyes. Everything was clear now, and it was too late for him to realize. He regretted why he could not be here beside her before she died. A tear rolled down on his cheek.
He got up with the rest strength he had. He walked with his shaking legs toward his wife’s room. Her room was so neat, she put everything properly. He walked to her desk and turned on the music player. It was her favorite song, she always listened to it. He also saw her favorite book on the desk, and a CD of her favorite movie. He unconsciously sat down on the bed and looked around the room. There was a big mirror across the bed. He looked at his reflection. He absolutely looked like a mess, pathetic. He sighed hard as he looked at the clock on the wall. It was already 6 pm. How many hours he would spend here in his wife’s room? He has not decided it yet. He scanned over the room once again and his eyes captured her phone on the bed, near the pillow. He took a look of it. He shivered as he saw a picture of they both became the wallpaper. It was when they celebrated her birthday. They took many selcas together that day, and it was the most beautiful memory for Lu Han. Seeing his wife happy, smiling and laughing, was the most beautiful thing in this world.
He just realized that the same photo was on the big calendar on the wall. Yes, there was a big calendar near the window. She often wrote some notes on them each day, and also included a photo each day. Lu Han stood up and walked up to the calendar, to see it clearly. He found the same photo on the day of her birthday. She did not put notes into it like she did to the other dates. Lu Han took the photo. He saw it for some seconds. His eyes got watered. Tears rolled down on his cheeks when he just got a note behind the photo.
Seeing this photo everyday makes me feel happy. This is my favorite. I maybe looked weird in this photo but not my husband. Can I call him my husband? Maybe I can, he’s my husband for real. Even we had much fights in the beginning, but now we’re good friends. My husband’s smile is the most beautiful, isn’t it? He’s like the sun, warm and his rays come into me, giving me power to live longer. I must live longer. I must. But I don’t know how much time I have. This disease makes me insane. I want to live normally, with normal heart. That was one of my wishes on my birthday. And other wishes, actually I don’t have many wishes. I just want to have a normal heart so that I can live longer and be beside my husband forever. Yes, forever and ever.
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