After much hesitation, Xia Lei quashed his curiosity and did not remove the ointment on his left eye.
He re-bound the bandages on his head and returned to bed. Xia Lei kept thinking and thinking till he fell asleep at 1:00 a.m.
When he awoke, it was already past 8:00 a.m. and he felt no pain or discomfort at all in his left eye. He went to the toilet again and removed his bandages in front of the mirror.
His reflection showed a thin layer of ointment and the feeling he had of seeing through the ointment was stronger.
“What’s going on? Is my left eye fine now?” This thought made Xia Lei quite excited and he could not hold back his curiosity any longer. He used his bandages to carefully dab at the ointment and removed it from his left eye.
The dabbing made his left eye ache but the pain was bearable.
With the ointment gone, light entered his eye and Xia Lei could see himself and his left eye clearly in the mirror. The iris of his left eye was as healthy and shiny black as before the accident and there didn’t seem to be any obvious injury to his eyeball. Only the area around his eye socket had traces of burnt skin.
Xia Lei stood blankly for a while, then suddenly clenched his fists and exclaimed in excitement, “My eye’s not blind! It’s not blind! Haha, my eye’s not blind!”
At that moment, the doctor on duty walked into the ward with a nurse and saw Xia Lei dancing for joy in the toilet.
“Hey! Why did you remove your bandages?” The nurse spoke fiercely. “Are you mad? Don’t you want your eye anymore?”
Xia Lei did not seem to have heard anyone speaking behind him.
“Hey, you! If you don’t follow the doctor’s instructions we can’t care for you here.” The doctor on duty was also unfriendly. “Did you hear me?”
“Forget it. He needs at least 200,000 to completely fix his eye. You think a person like him can afford a sum like that?” said the nurse mockingly.
Xia Lei came to his senses and turned around. In that instant, his left eye throbbed ever so slightly, and he thought he saw the nurse’s perky buttocks – her bare perky buttocks. The snowy fullness of it surprised him, but when he tried to look again, the sight had disappeared and all he saw was her skirt-covered bum. She had a nice curve to her bum, but it was completely different from the bare buttocks he had seen.
“This… This must be a hallucination. Why am I hallucinating?” Xia Lei was both shocked and curious.
“Hey, I’m talking to you! What’s wrong with you?” The nurse was annoyed.
Then, the doctor realised it and reacted before the nurse did. He gaped at Xia Lei, then pointed to his left eye and asked, “Your… Your eye! What’s going on with your eye?”
The nurse reacted next and her jaw dropped to the floor.
Xia Lei smiled widely. “My eye healed by itself. I really can’t pay so much for the hospital fees so I don’t want to stay here any longer. I’d like to be discharged.”
Doctor and nurse looked at Xia Lei like he was some sort of strange creature. The one most shocked and bewildered by all this was the doctor, who had personally checked and confirmed that the eye would be blind. He had said that there would be a small chance for it to recover but that was because he intended to get more money from treatment fees. However, Xia Lei was now looking back at him with two wide open, perfectly working eyes!
It seemed only the gods could explain what happened to Xia Lei.
Xia Lei left the hospital an hour later. He had only used 1,000 of the 10,000 Chen Chuan-Hu gave him, so he was left with 9,000. The money went in his bum bag – compensation for his troubles.
The piercing sunlight outdoors didn’t suit Xia Lei’s left eye, so he gave up on his idea of going to Ma Xiao-An and took a taxi home.
The home his parents left him was modest – 75 square metres, three small rooms and a living room. He had no expensive appliances or electronics and everything in the flat was at least a few years or over ten years old. These things were old but they lent Xia Lei some comfort and held memories of his parents.
Xia Lei’s left eye felt better at home, out of the strong sunlight.
“What the heck is going on? It’s like I had a strange dream…” After Xia Lei had settled down, he started to mull over his situation.
He wanted answers but had none.
“Lei, are you home?” A female voice called from downstairs.
He was pulled out of his thoughts. Xia Lei grunted in response and went to the balcony.
A young policewoman looked up at him from downstairs. She had a beautiful face and a luscious figure. Pale peaks peeked seductively from her open collar. This woman’s name was Jiang Ru-Yi, a pencil-pushing police officer who lived below Xia Lei. Ru-Yi and Lei were childhood friends who played in the sandbox and played hide-and-seek together; they had always been close.
“Oh, it’s you, Ru-Yi. What’s up?” Xia Lei smiled as he greeted her.
“Can you help me change my water tank? I hurt my hand so I can’t lift it,” said Jiang Ru-Yi.
“Sure, I’ll be right down.” Xia Lei left his balcony.
Downstairs, a ray of sunlight suddenly hit Xia Lei in his left eye and it felt like a needle had plunged into his eye. The terrible pain made his vision go black in his his left eye and he could not see anything. Xia Lei had a stab of panic before his left eye regained sight without him having done anything.
Jiang Ru-Yi, who was not far away, was suddenly ‘pulled closer’ by his left eye. The clothes she wore seemed transparent and floated about her body like gossamer, as if her youthful energy beneath was revealing itself to him. The gossamer vanished in the next blink and she was completely naked to his eye.
A slim waist, shapely hips, amazing chest and a nosebleed-inducing… Xia Lei, who had never seen a woman’s naked body, froze in place and his body had a very natural male reaction.
Xia Lei suddenly remembered seeing the nurse’s buttocks in the hospital. That wasn’t a hallucination – it was real! What he had seen in the hospital was just a glimpse of what he could actually see now!
“Wha, what’s going on? Jiang Ru-Yi is wearing clothes but my left eye shows her naked. Is this because of the electric arc? It must be!” Xia Lei thought in astonishment.
After being injured by the electric arc, the doctor had diagnosed blindness in his eye but his eye was not only fine but it had gained this miraculous ability. It seems fortune and misfortune are co-dependant – being hit by the electric arc was a misfortune yesterday but it became his fortune today!
“Lei, are you okay?” Jiang Ru-Yi thought Xia Lei was acting strange today, especially the way he looked at her.
“Eh? I’m fine,” replied Xia Lei nervously. Naked Ru-Yi disappeared from his left eye’s sight at his nervousness.
“Lei, why are you so unsettled today?” Jiang Ru-Yi spoke teasingly, “Tell big sister about it. Do you like someone?”
Xia Lei laughed. “You’re a month younger than me! When did you become ‘big sister’, huh? Besides, I’m just a poor boy. Which woman would stick by my side?”
“Don’t sell yourself short. You’re a good man so there must be a woman out there who will like you,” Jiang Ru-Yi replied.
Their banter made Xia Lei relax and his eye moved unintentionally. He saw through Jiang Ru-Yi’s clothes instantly. This time, he saw it all close up and it was all Xia Lei could do to not spurt blood from his nose. He did not have a nosebleed but the material of his trousers was stretched tight.
Two consecutive incidents made the rules of this ability a little clearer to Xia Lei. Desires seemed to be the trigger to the ability. As long as he had a desire towards the target in his sight, his left eye would activate this X-ray ability.
Xia Lei helped Jiang Ru-Yi change the water tank of her water dispenser and when he moved the tank behind the machine, he felt strangely faint. He was dizzy and his body weak, muscles soft and lacking strength.
Xia Lei thought to himself, “I suddenly feel tired and sleepy. It’s as though I haven’t eaten or slept for two days. Is this related to me using the X-ray ability? It seems this ability can’t be used frivolously and I need to use it in moderation.”
“Lei, here’s a drink for you.” Jiang Ru-Yi walked over with a Pepsi and held it out to Xia Lei.
Xia Lei turned to look at her and a strange scene met his eye. He saw Jiang Ru-Yi in a red bikini, smiling at him with a come-hither gaze. She was more alluring than the main female lead in an adult movie.
“You…” Xia Lei was stupefied.
“What are you doing? Take the cola.” Jiang Ru-Yi gave the Pepsi in her hand to Xia Lei.
Xia Lei looked at Jiang Ru-Yi’s hand and backpedalled, horrified. What he saw was not a can of Pepsi – it was a condom.
The teeny tiny red bikini and colourfully wrapped condom were obviously not real, but it looked very very real to Xia Lei’s eye. It was not just his eye seeing things – in his mind, another realistic scenario was playing. In his thoughts, Jiang Ru-Yi opened the condom wrapper, and very tenderly put it on for him…
“Lei? Are you okay? Is there a problem?” Jiang Ru-Yi asked curiously.
Jiang Ru-Yi’s voice woke Xia Lei from his fantasy. He shook his head hard and the images disappeared. Right after his vigorous head-shake, his knees went weak and he collapsed in Jiang Ru-Yi’s arms.
Jiang Ru-Yi’s bosom was soft and smelt great. Xia Lei felt like it was a great sea that could accommodate all desires.
What made it worse was that Xia Lei’s lips had stuck to Jiang Ru-Yi’s cheek when he collapsed in her arms. Her sweet and tender face felt like a vanilla cream cake.
Jiang Ru-Yi was so nervous her face was flushed. She moved away instinctively but Xia Lei’s body leaned with hers and the feeling of those damned lips grew stronger!
“Lei, what are you doing?” Jiang Ru-Yi was flustered, nervous and her legs grew a little weaker.
Xia Lei hurriedly removed himself from Jiang Ru-Yi’s arms, his face red. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry… I tripped.”
“You did that on purpose, didn’t you? Huh, Lei?” Jiang Ru-Yi glared at Xia Lei. Her gaze was full of disgust and annoyance.
Xia Lei backed off quickly and said awkwardly, “No, I didn’t. That… It wasn’t on purpose. I’m sorry.”
He was quite sure now – using the X-ray vision would use up a lot of his spiritual energy and cause him to have strange hallucinations.
“You’re so weird today, Lei.” Jiang Ru-Yi was not satisfied with Xia Lei’s explanation.
“Ru-Yi, if you have nothing else, I’ll go back now. Um, just give me a call the next time you want me to help change the water tank.” Xia Lei did not dare to stay any longer; he turned and left.
“Thanks, Lei.” Jiang Ru-Yi saw him to the door.
Xia Lei smiled and said, “Go back. There’s no need to send me off. We’ve known each other for over twenty years so what’s with the formalities?”
A trace of a smile played about the corners of Jiang Ru-Yi’s mouth. “Can’t I pretend to be all formal with you? And! I’ve long told you to go get a regular job. Don’t go to construction sites anymore – those are not long term jobs.”
Xia Lei smiled bitterly, nodded and left.
Who didn’t want a better life? Living in a big comfortable house, driving a good car, walking around with head held high, to be respected and not have people roll their eyes at you… all these were possible only with money, and Xia Lei lacked money most.
“Chen Chuan-Hu paid 10,000 in hospital fees but I have 9,000 since I discharged myself early. This should be enough to pay for my sister’s school fees but she’s going to need more for student hostel and living expenses. These expenses are not going to be low, so I’ll need to get at least 20,000 for her. I’m still short 11,000. What should I do?” Xia Lei’s brain ached at the thought of money.
Xia Lei walked out of his neighbourhood without realising it.
Sunlight splashed across his body as cars zoomed past on busy roads in Hai-Zhu City. Strangers bumped his shoulders as they passed in the hustle and bustle.
“Hey, I have X-ray vision now. Do I still need to work at a construction site? Why not use my ability to make money? My sister and I will definitely be able to lead better lives!” At that thought, Xia Lei looked up at the southern end of Hai-Zhu City, which led to Macau. A bold plan was hatching in his mind.