My daughter is named Zhou Wangdi. She lives in Zhangji community of Xiangshui County. She got married in 1997 and gave birth to a baby girl, Tiantian, in February 1999. Her husband is named Qin Feng and worked in a cable TV service company. They lived happily after marriage and their daughter grew up healthy. In 2005, when Tiantian was in Grade One of primary school, Qin found a job for Wangdi. It was a cable TV after-sale service job. Sometimes she would be sent to the customer’s home to maintain and install cable TV. One year later, they bought a new apartment in the county town and a car. They had a good life together. All my neighbors spoke highly of my son-in-law. However, it did not last long. On the first day back at work after the Spring Festival of 2009, my son-in-law came to me in a hurry and said, “Wangdi has been missing all day. Her phone is off. We need to find her.”
All my family and friends began to search for her. We dialed all the numbers that we could think of and looked everywhere. We couldn’t find her. Qin Feng reported a missing person’s case to the police but without any result. Day after day, it was like Wangdi had simply disappeared.
Qin Feng issued missing person notices in newspapers, on TV and on the Internet. He checked cctv footage recorded by their community and company, with the help of the local police station, and found Wangdi with some strange people. She left home during the Spring Festival. After she left, she was taken by a man riding a motorcycle without license plate and disappeared after making a turn.
After Wangdi left, my husband and I moved to her apartment to take care of Qin Feng and their daughter. Time flies. Eight years passed. Tiantian has grown up and is facing college examination. She changed from an open and lively girl to a silent girl. In her primary school, when her teacher asked her to write about her mom, she always wrote about her dad. Every time when I saw on her abandoned exercise books the words “when will you come back, mom?”, I would cry. I knew how she missed her mom but she couldn’t say it.
I missed Wangdi too. I cried every day. I had wanted to go away from home to find her, but I couldn’t leave my granddaughter and son-in-law. Deep in the night, I often dreamed of her bound by demons and burnt by fire. Every time I woke up from the nightmare, I checked my phone, hoping to receive a message from her. After she left, I called her three times a day. Although her phone was always off, I still believed that she would turn it on some day. I paid for her phone regularly so that her number would not be annulled. I never turned my phone off, hoping to hear from her. Where are you, my daughter? Come home. I miss you!
After Wangdi left, Qin Feng became dispirited and distracted. Well-appreciated by his boss before, he was moved to the storage center of the company and did some simply jobs such as goods distribution. In every long holiday, he would drive around the country with bedclothes, dry food and many missing person notices, looking for Wangdi. His car was posted with the notice and photo of Wangdi. Every time he came back, we expected him to bring back our daughter. We knew each time that he had failed from his depressed face. Seeing that he became thinner and thinner, we tried to persuade him not to wait for Wangdi any longer and apply for a divorce in court. He always refused and closed himself behind doors without eating or drinking much. We knew that he missed Wangdi more than us because they had loved each other since primary school.
On the afternoon of February 28, 2017, a call woke me up. The police station asked me to go to identify my daughter. I was shocked for a moment and called Qin Feng immediately. When seeing her, we couldn’t believe that this was our daughter. She was dull and dark. Despite our expectation, we didn’t hold each other and cry. She sat there without any expression like she didn’t know us.
The police station told us that she was abnormal mentally and couldn’t express herself clearly. They also told us that she had been deceived by an organization called “Almighty God”, followed a head member called “Dailing” and went around Henan, Anhui, Hebei and Shandong to enroll members. After the head was arrested, he confessed the whereabouts of Wangdi. The police rescued her in Anhui, brought her back and found us.
Because of her mental problem, the police agreed that we could take her home. When Tiantian saw her, she couldn’t help holding her and crying, pouring out all her emotions. For Qin Feng, it was like reuniting with a long-lost lover. He wiped Wangdi’s mouth with a towel and fed her food. I cried in both joy and sorrow. I was happy that my daughter was back but I was sad because she had become a broken girl.
At night, after we cleaned our daughter and put her to bed, Qin Feng came to us and said, “I will take her to the best hospital in Shanghai to help her recover as soon as possible. I will never let her leave us and live with her forever.” His words moved us. We couldn’t speak but shed tears. My husband said to him, “We will support you no matter what you do. We will cure her no matter how big a price we will have to pay. We will let her live a good life.”
Although our daughter is mentally ill, we have our hope back and it seems that happiness is not far ahead.
(Editor in charge: Tian Ping)