The Tale of Yumen and Yihan
Chapter information
Written by

Agent Slash

Release date


This is a one-shot for Ty's competition.

Dusk was approaching Ba Sing Se as the bright, orange sun slowly set on the horizon. Most of the unhappy people in Ba Sing Se lived in the lower ring, but not the couple whose relationship had finally taken it's ultimate turn for the worst. The streets were quiet, everyone made their way inside for supper, but there were two voices that were not allowing the quiet to fully claim the area. "No! That's it! We are through!" a woman shouted. Her eyes were stinging with tears and her throat was burning as she slapped her boyfriend's hand away from her.

"I just need more time!" her boyfriend sobbed. The man was down on his knees begging for his girlfriend to stay. "I've almost overcome my addiction. I know I'll be a changed man – the man I've always wanted to be – in no time!"

"You've been saying that for over two years now, Yumen!" the woman retaliated. "We can't make this work!"

"Yihan, please!" shouted Yumen. "I can't get over this without you! Don't you understand?!"

"I think this is the first time I've seen the real you in months."

Yumen was hurt. He didn't know what to say. "I-I didn't mean for any of this to happen." He planted his face and his fists on the ground, sobbing into the floor. "All I've ever wanted for the two of us was a long, happy life together wherever we may go. If you leave, I'll have hit rock bottom. I'll have no one. I've pushed everyone else away. You're all I have left." Yihan was silent. "I need your help. I'm so close, I know it. Please..." Yumen looked up at her, his eyes red and soaked with tears.

"I'm sorry, Yumen, but I just can't deal with it anymore. You've just lost your grip on reality. You just don't know when enough is enough. Goodbye, Yumen." Whatever little composure she had left disappeared once she was on the other side of the door she slammed. She fell to the ground and sobbed for several moments more before getting back on her feet and walking home.

Immediately after Yihan left, Yumen fell apart. He bawled until he couldn't anymore. It was as if there were no tears left. Slowly, he stood up. The heartbroken man was feeling dizzy; he was nearly unable to stand. He walked into his kitchen and grabbed a drink. He ripped the lid off and drank. He knew this is exactly why she had left him, but he was so immensely depressed, he didn't know what else to do. Once he had finished half of the bottle, it fell from his hand and shattered, spilling the liquid all over the floor. Like a madman, he zoomed down to the ground and began to lick it off of the floor. He needed it so badly. Then he stopped, frozen where he was. He looked down at his tongue as it touched the floor. He saw the bits of the bottle that had shattered; he saw the liquid that now stained the floor. He stood up and, not caring whether or not he got glass shards in his foot, kicked the broken bottle to the other side of the room with the largest amount of force he had ever used. The bottle hit the wall, shattering into even more pieces. "What... have I... done?" he said, shakily. "I've-I've driven her away. She's gone." All Yumen could think about was the vision he had had for so many years. Ever since he met Yihan, he envisioned them getting married and living a quiet, peaceful life out of Ba Sing Se in an area surrounded by cherry blossoms and a house accompanied by the most beautiful lake he had ever seen. And he had destroyed it, because he couldn't let go. Now he was more determined than he had ever been in his entire life. "I'm going to change. I'm going to fix this... for the sake of our future."

One year later, Yumen left his house with the biggest and most sincere smile he had in many years. For once in his life he was genuinely happy. He was going to ask Yihan to marry him today. He was a changed man. He had dedicated his life to shaking his habits and was about to receive the pay-off. He and Yihan would live happily together in their lakeside home. It was raining, but that was not going to stop him. Nothing would. As he walked through the streets in the rain, he approached a bridge. He walked along it, almost unable to contain his eagerness any longer, until something caught his eye. He looked to the bridge across from the one he was standing and saw Yihan with another man. The man was bent down on one knee and he had a ring in his hand. With bright, blue eyes and an overjoyed voice, Yihan shouted, "Yes! Of course I'll marry you!" Yumen froze. There were no words to describe what he felt inside. Words like crushed and heartbroken would be a dramatic understatement. For a while, he simply stopped thinking and was frozen where he stood. After he finally processed what had happened, and finally mustered the strength to walk again, he very slowly walked back to his house and shut the door.

Several hours later, Yihan was running excitedly down the streets, anxious to tell her friends and family of the news when she passed by Yumen's house and saw many people gathered around it. She recognized some of them as Yumen's family members. She ran up to the house, desperate to know what was going on. She asked one of the officials present. "What happened here?" she asked, worriedly.

"Are you a friend of this man?"

"I'm his ex-girlfriend."

"I'm sorry to tell you this, but the man who lived here committed suicide earlier this afternoon."

Yihan was silent. She walked away without saying another word.

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