Judging from their postures and how they were sitting, the relationship between the two was very harmonious. It was not a hostage relationship. Deputy chief Yan was very calm. "Can you two please talk about the situation first? What’s troubling you so much that it’s come to this?”
"You tell him."
"You say it!"
"Okay, okay. Let me tell you!" The old man who had the gun pointed at him picked up the bottle of Erguotou and took a sip. "I received a pistol yesterday. I used to be a soldier before, so I could tell that it was the real thing just by picking it up. What’s more was that it came with bullets. Later, I asked Old Liu if we should commit suicide with this gun. Then, we drew straws and Old Liu chose the one that was responsible for shooting. After he’s done, he’d commit suicide.”
Old Liu took the Erguotou and took a sip. "Ah, I’m so unlucky to have drawn this straw. If it were Old Wang, we’d have fired the gun long ago. I'm afraid just holding the gun. I couldn’t pull the trigger.”
"Aiya, you should just hurry up and do it. I've been sitting for an hour."
"The police are all here. If I shoot, I would definitely be caught. That would give you the advantage you old child."
"Oh, the police won't rush over right away. Quickly kill me and shoot yourself in the head. Wouldn’t that end it all?”
"You’re making it sound so easy. My hands are shaking so much. How can I?!"
"Honestly... Aim for my head. Don't hit me in the chest. It’ll take a long time to die, which would be terrible.”
"How do I aim at this thing? No, no, my hands are shaking tremendously. Let’s take a break!"
The two of them discussed this matter and deputy chief Yan almost laughed when he heard them. He said, “I understand now. From a legal point of view, you are committing suicide together. But I don’t understand something. You two seem to be living well, so why are you trying to end it short?”
"Living well? Is this what living well is like?" Old Liu challenged, "I have advanced leukemia. He has lung cancer. The house has been sold for medical treatment and we still owe a buttload of debt. I still owe over 100,000 in surgery costs. Yet the two of us worthless sets of bones won’t die. They all say that there is no filial son in front of the hospital bed. Although the children don't say anything, we can see that it’s really hard for them to take care of us. Haii, we really don’t want to drag our children down anymore, so we decided to euthanize each other and die peacefully with content. So, don’t worry about us and go catch some real criminals."
Old Wang also waved him away and said, "Go, go. Two old coffins will just die peacefully here. There’s nothing to see here. Officer, you should turn a blind eye to this and support this last wish of ours. When it’s all said and done, you can take the gun away. As for our bodies, you can give it to our children to cremate or you can send it away for an autopsy. You can do whatever you want!”
Deputy chief Yan explained, "You two gentlemen are really open-minded about dying, but if you just die like this, what would happen to your children? They’ll get pointed at when they go out with people gossiping saying that they didn’t let their fathers see a doctor, making them commit suicide instead. They wouldn’t be able to raise their heads to face people in the future. You guys just think about dying in a clean manner and not bringing trouble to your children, but that’s just a matter of money. No matter what, money is something that can still be potentially solved. If you kill yourselves, it’ll really bring trouble to your children!”
Old Wang said, "We aren’t going to live for long anyway. Why continue to drag our children down? It’s not easy for them to make money. They still have a mortgage and car loan to repay, and their children have to go to school. We spent all the money on surgery and chemotherapy. How can they live in the future?"
Old Liu agreed. "Yes, yes, that’s right. The problem of money can be large or small. Our current situation is really a big problem. It’s better to die sooner than later."
"Hurry up and shoot!"
"My hands are numb. I need to stretch my fingers." Old Liu grabbed the Erguotou and took another sip. The spicy taste of alcohol made his brows scrunch up in the center.
The policeman huddled behind the rooftop door whispered, "What kind of weird thing is this?"
Lin Qiupu said, "Don't talk nonsense. They wouldn’t have come to this if they weren’t troubled.”
Old Zhang said, "Actually, I think euthanasia should be legalized."
Deputy chief Yan said, "Gentleman, your stomach won’t do well if you drink like that. I think it's almost noon now. Let me get you two something to eat. Whether you shoot or not, we should discuss it after you’re full, okay?"
Old Liu asked Old Wang as he didn’t feel reassured. "The police won’t put sleeping pills in the meals, will they?"
"No, the police won't do that kind of thing." Old Wang turned his head and said, "Then we’ll trouble you."
Deputy chief Yan said on the radio, "Go and get someone to buy us some food."
Lin Qiupu ordered someone to buy some chicken legs, peanuts, meatballs, and other things from the cafeteria and bring up the takeaway meal. During this period, deputy chief Yan had been chatting with the two old people and narrowing their psychological distance.
After the meal arrived, Lin Qiupu brought it over in person. He whispered to deputy chief Yan, "Do we need to use the opportunity to take action?"
"No, the safety is unlocked. It’s too dangerous."
Lin Qiupu walked over and Old Wang looked more alert and said, "Alright, just put it down there!" Then, he went over and picked it up by himself. He spread the food out and ate with Old Liu.
While eating and drinking, Old Liu put the gun next to him. Unfortunately, running over this distance would still be very dangerous. This was a small strategy in negotiating. The food and drinks given can lower their guard and gain their trust. Furthermore, people were more sensible in their judgment after eating.
The two old men were satiated with the food and drinks while sitting across from each other. The police who were looking at them eating zealously were filled with envy.
After eating and drinking, Old Liu said, "Thank you, officers. You’re really servicing the people..." Then, he said to the Old Wang, "Why don't you shoot? I can't do it. You’ve been a soldier before after all."
Old Wang waved his hands and shook his head again and again. "Why are you nagging me? We clearly said that whoever drew the short straw would shoot. Anyway, I believe in Buddhism and killing people would make me go to hell."
"Bullshit. If you believed in Buddha, why did you eat those chicken drumsticks so happily just now? Since I gave my consent, would it count as murder?”
"Stop nagging. Hurry up and shoot! We’ve had our food and drank our wine. It’s time to go on the road. May we be born as brothers when we reincarnate.”
Deputy chief Yan interrupted them and said, "Do you know how bad the wound on the face would be if you shot yourselves in the face? This gun has a large caliber. I'm afraid that half of the face would be gone. How much psychological trauma would your children have if they were to see that?”
Old Liu sighed. "Officer, I know you are trying to do what’s best for us. We can discuss this a thousand or even ten thousand times, but our problems can’t be solved. We must die."
"Yes, we must die!" Old Wang echoed.
"I see..." Old Liu suddenly brought the gun up to his temple. "Neither of us should take advantage of the other. I will commit suicide first and then you will commit suicide. This is the fairest!"
"Oh no!" Lin Qiupu screamed internally.
Deputy chief Yan also became anxious and he shouted, "Old Liu, you’re not being just! Didn't you two have an agreement?"
Old Wang said, "Yes, you aren’t being virtuous right now. We agreed that you must kill me first and then commit suicide. You can't help yourself first. After the event, if I don’t die and I was arrested by the police, wouldn’t that be a big problem?”
Old Liu cried, "Telling me to kill someone… I really can’t do it!"
1. An expression they typically use to describe people between 50 and 70 years old who still acts like a kid.
2. It’s an expression used to describe how prolonged sickness will cause detachment in your children. Even if they cared for you in the beginning, after a very long time, it’s hard to care as much.
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