Yifan’s most lucid memory is of the night that he lost everything, of flames licking up the concrete walls, curling onto the ceiling and leaving everything in sight ablaze.
The searing heat is unbearable, surrounding him and choking him as the thick black smoke makes his eyes water.
His lungs and throat sting painfully as he scrambles onto shaky legs, disoriented and unsure how he ended up where he was.
The back of his head hurts, and when he reaches to touch the tender area, he comes away with blood dripping down his palms.
Fear spikes in his chest when he sees his bloody hands, finally feeling the slick stickiness of it soaking up the back of his sleep shirt.
Before he can process what is going on, two men covering their mouths with rags break open the sliding doors of the burning room.
Yifan turns around quickly to look at them, brows furrowed and a question on his lips, but he finds that he doesn’t even know what he wants to ask of them.
Without even a second of hesitation, one of them easily slings Yifan over their shoulder, lanky and awkward as he was at the age of twenty-two,
and together the two men carry him out of the burning building.
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