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You Look Alive

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DONT FORGET TO VISIT YOUR BROTHER TODAY

Lan Wangji stares impassively at his fridge while holding a glass of water in his hand. He found himself curving a smile before raising the glass to his lips and drained it at one gulp.

It was strangely... soothing.

For him, at least.

It happened one day. He came downstairs at that time to fetch himself something to drink. That’s when he noticed the fridge magnets spelled out a message.

GOOD MORNING

He’s the only person living in this apartment now, the one that he and Wei Ying bought years ago. He had no reaction towards it.

He was not afraid.

He just felt... empty.

Lan Wangji decided to ignore the strange thing that occur to him that day. But the fridge magnets continues to arrange themselves and formed out messages that reminds him of the certain things he needed to do. It happened to him every day and he felt comforted in some way.

Today is one of those days.

He watched in quiet fascination as the fridge magnets wiggle and slide around to form another words.

THE BUNNIES MISSED YOU

He nodded at it, no matter how strangely funny it was for him to act that way. Lan Wangji placed the glass on the sink and made his way back to his room, preparing himself for work.

The next morning,

DONT SLEEP ON THE COUCH NEXT TIME

And in the afternoon,

DONT WORK SO LATE THIS EVENING

After a stressful days,

PLAY THE SONG WANGXIAN

IT WILL MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER

Things like this–

IT WAS COLD SO

I PUT A BLANKET ON YOU LAST NIGHT

Things like this reminds him so much of Wei Ying.

It was like he’s here with him all this time.

That nothing was wrong in the first place.

That night, Lan Wangji buried his face in his arms and broke down.

One morning, the fridge magnets just says,

HEY

Then, the letters move slowly, hesitantly.

ITS OKAY TO CRY

IM HERE

I’m here...

He could only offer a small smile at those words.

He was tired; mentally, emotionally, and physically tired.

A couple of days of moping later...

I NOTICED YOU HAVENT SEEN YOUR BROTHER LATELY

MAYBE THAT WOULD HELP

He stormed directly to his room and shut himself out.

I did not want to, Lan Wangji thought as he clenched his fist. I did not mean–

He found himself glancing at the picture frame on the bedside table.

He had an argument with his brother today. He thought it would help him like what he was told the other day by the fridge magnets.

He thought–

He thought he would be okay.

It took him weeks before giving the fridge magnets the attention it was trying to get from him. His brother came over after a few days and went straight to embrace him tightly, apologizing for the argument that happened between them. He let his brother help him sort things out, he let his Uncle comfort him in his own way, he let Jiang Wanyin to visit him and accepted the red scarf.

It was... strange.

He and Wanyin didn’t get along well in the first place. He would not deny the fact that he harboured an animosity for the other male but that was soon replaced by a bit of appreciation.

“I never blamed you,” Wanyin told him during his one time visit. “It wasn’t your goddamn fault. You didn’t know what would happen that day so stop moping around and visit him already.”

Lan Wangji took a breath.

“Where were you?”

If there was anyone else with him right now, they would probably think he lost his mind. Even Lan Wangji thinks so of himself.

But...

The magnets move.

YOU SEEMED TO WANT SPACE

He did.

I DIDNT WANT TO FORCE

“Thank you,” Lan Wangji says, lowering his gaze. “and I’m sorry”

Those words.

It was those words that Wei Ying told him. That one should say those words no matter what situation. That no one should let their pride destroy them.

“Why?” He asked after a moment of silence. “Why are you here?”

BECAUSE I CARE

He offered a small smile at that.

SEEING YOU LIKE THIS

IT MAKES ME SAD

YOU KNOW

I FEEL THINGS SOMETIMES BUT IT ISNT THE SAME

“You know that feeling,” Lan Wangji closes his eyes.

ITS NOT A GOOD FEELING

No, it isn’t.

There was another long silence before the magnets rearranges themselves.

I HAVE TO BE THIS WAY

YOU DONT

The letters rearrange again in a hasty manner.

YOU DONT HAVE TO BE A GHOST

His heart clenched painfully at that.

SMILE FOR ME

Despite what he feels, Lan Wangji found himself smiling a bit at reading those words.

THERE IT IS

YOU LOOK ALIVE

IM PROUD OF YOU

“Thank you”

Every morning, every afternoon, every evening, he always stop by the kitchen and stays there for hours. Some things are hard, some things are better.

It becomes their routine now.

It feels weird but good.

He visits Wei Ying’s grave every day.

Things weren’t easy on him but he realize–

YOU LOOK ALIVE LAN ZHAN

He realize that as the months go on, the hard things feel less hard. They’re still difficult, but he find himself slowly moving on. Day by day, he realize that feeling alive is a wonderful thing.

Being alive for Wei Ying, for his family.

That’s what they want for him.

“It’s good to be alive, Wei Ying”

And maybe, just maybe, things will be okay now.

The process may be slow, but he’s happy.

He’s happy and alive.

“It feels good to be alive.”