Cheng Xi gripped her phone tightly, lost in thought. It wasn’t until the driver reminded her, “Miss, we’re here,” that she broke out of her reverie.
She quickly gave the driver Cai Yi’s laboratory’s address. “Please send me here instead, sorry.”
The driver squinted as he typed the address into the GPS. After a quick glance at the route, he started his car up again. “Alright. I’ll send you over before I go get lunch.”
Cheng Xi smiled slightly, and then turned to stare outside the window. It was almost June, and the sun had transformed into a cruel ball of fire; being outside felt like being slowly baked to death in an oven. She had visited Cai Yi’s laboratory quite often, but she had never found it as unfamiliar as now.
Ever since she had argued with Cai Yi about Chen Jiaman’s transfer to her laboratory, Cheng Xi had never returned. Even the communication between them had dwindled; the last time they had talked was during the New Year, when Cheng Xi sent a greeting to everyone on her friend list, and Cai Yi had replied with a simple, “Thank you.”
When Cheng Xi arrived at her destination, it was just past one, and Cai Yi was still taking her afternoon nap. Cheng Xi was familiar with everyone in the laboratory, and everyone behaved more or less naturally around Cheng Xi. One of her seniors even pinched her face as she remarked, “Gosh, how long has it been since you last came to see us?”
Cheng Xi smiled. “I’ve been a little busy since the new year.”
“I know. I’ve heard you’ve started taking in students now? You’re doing so well for yourself even at Renyi. It’s really impressive.”
Cheng Xi didn’t know what else to say, so after she exchanged a few more pleasantries with her senior, she asked, “Did the lab recently take in a patient called Chen Jiaman?”
“Yup.” Her senior was particularly forthright. “She was your patient before, right? Follow me. The professor said to bring you over to see her if you came, but she just got here, so her condition isn’t the greatest.”
Even though Cheng Xi was prepared for it, and even though her senior had warned her beforehand, when she saw Chen Jiaman, Cheng Xi was still dismayed by the sight.
Chen Jiaman’s four limbs were strapped to the corners of the bed, and she even had a gag in her mouth. Her saliva was dripping out of the corner of her lips, and her gaze was terrified and fearful.
“When she was first sent here, she wouldn’t stop hitting her head against the wall, so we had no choice but to strap her down for two days. While we weren’t paying attention yesterday, she even tried to commit suicide by biting her tongue off…… Even Risperidone (a medication for calming a patient’s emotions) is starting to taper off in effectiveness. It’s really strange, and even if you hadn’t come today, we would have called you sooner or later. When she was at Renyi, was she like this too?”
Cheng Xi looked at Chen Jiaman’s image on the monitor. As she watched her writhe about helplessly, Cheng Xi’s heart’s pounding sped up faintly.
“Senior, are you responsible for her?” After receiving a nod, Cheng Xi pulled out a thumb drive from her bag. “She likes listening to stories, so if you have the time, why don’t you try recording the story inside here and then play it for her? Perhaps it’ll help her get better.”
Her senior raised her eyebrows curiously. “Really?” She then smiled and took the proffered thumb drive, but didn’t make any promises.
Cheng Xi didn’t request to go inside and see Chen Jiaman. She knew the rules of the laboratory; despite her familiarity with everyone here, they still wouldn’t let her interact with their patients without a reason.
After showing Chen Jiaman to Cheng Xi, her senior ran off to perform her own tasks, and Cheng Xi was left sitting alone in her professor’s office, waiting for her to wake up from her afternoon nap. Cai Yi led a healthy lifestyle, so she didn’t sleep for very long, and Cheng Xi was able to meet with her without waiting too long.
When Cai Yi saw Cheng Xi, she smiled as she said, “You’re here.”
As if they’d never had that argument.
Cheng Xi nodded tersely. She didn’t have the same self-imposed calm that Cai Yi did, and when she recalled Chen Jiaman’s current situation, she was still a little pale.
Cai Yi also noticed her uneasy complexion. “You saw Chen Jiaman?”
“Yes. Professor, I remember telling you before that, due to Chen Jiaman’s past, she’s particularly scared of violence and of violent treatment. This sort of thing can be devastating to her psyche.”
“So I hope that you’ll reconsider her current conditions and method of treatment. After all, patients are still people, and different people respond best to different treatments……”
Cai Yi didn’t directly address her plea, and instead asked, “Do you know how many patients we’ve accepted in the last few years? A hundred twenty eight. And do you know how many of those recovered with this systematic treatment that you disdain so much? A hundred fifteen. So many people in our country suffer from maladies of the mind and heart, but for one reason or another, they can’t even get the most basic of treatments.”
“Cheng Xi, in the past, you said that systematic treatments wouldn’t be as efficient or authentic, and that psychiatry should focus on personalized treatment plans, right? But only when we’ve developed a solid set of standards can we really start working on personalized mental healthcare.”
Cheng Xi listened to her professor’s arguments carefully, nodded, and then said, “I agree with your viewpoint, and I too would like to see a systematic set of standards for dealing with patients be developed. However, professor, I still think that patients—not their relatives, but the patients themselves—should ultimately be the ones who decide whether or not they should take part in experimental or research-based studies.”
Cai Yi began laughing. “That’s paradoxical!”
While Cheng Xi and Cai Yi were debating about the ethics of psychiatric research, Baldy was at a tennis court. As he opened the door to the training room, he exclaimed, “My god! Are you getting ready to hatch an egg in here?”
Lu Chenzhou was splayed out on the ground, his whole body drenched with sweat, and tennis balls lying all around him.
Baldy squatted down by his body, and when he saw the bruises all over his face, he felt an itch to jab him, but didn’t have the guts to do so. Instead, he clicked his tongue a few times and exaggeratedly shouted, “What’s wrong with you now?”
Lu Chenzhou stared at the ceiling, not even bothering to look at Baldy.
“Li said that Donglai’s about to stop running because you’ve been out of contact for so long.”
Still no reaction.
“Dr. Cheng’s looking for you, did you know that?” Baldy noticed that Lu Chenzhou’s fingers twitched slightly when he said that, and he instantly cursed in his heart. Something clearly went wrong between the two of them! With this in mind, he asked Lu Chenzhou about it, mentally preparing to be punched and beaten up by him. However, all Lu Chenzhou did was take out his wallet, remove a slip of paper, and pass it to him. He then expressionlessly said, “Look at this. What is it?”
Baldy was speechless. “……”
He was so worried that he treated it as gingerly as a vial of lethal poison! He carefully received the slip of paper, and his face turned green once he looked at it. “Do you think I can understand something like this? As a math whiz, why’re you asking someone like me about this? Isn’t this discrimination?”
That’s right, the note had what appeared to be a very simple math question: Given x and y, find x + y + 2xy.
But what in the world were x and y? Baldy didn’t even understand what the piece of paper was trying to say!
Lu Chenzhou snatched the note back with a cold face. He had originally wanted to tear it up, but he clearly couldn’t bear to do so. He glanced at it again before finally folding it up and putting it back into his wallet.
Baldy gasped in amazement when he saw Lu Chenzhou’s actions, and couldn’t help himself from asking, “Did you and Dr. Cheng…… really break up?”
Oh my god, he even admitted it!
More importantly, “Is Dr. Cheng still alright?”
She really had some guts to dump Boss Lu!