The fluorescent lights in the small office flickered and buzzed as Xiang Feng nervously awaited his bosss decision. He sat perched on the edge of the hard chair, his hands clasped in his lap and the sweat beading on his forehead. His boss, Director Jiao, leaned back in his chair and regarded him with a stern expression.

”Im sorry, Xiang Feng, but Im afraid I have to let you go, ” Director Jiao said, his voice gruff yet tinged with sympathy. The words felt like a punch to Xiang Fengs stomach. He had been expecting this, yet still it was a shock to hear it. His throat felt dry as he tried to process what he was hearing. ”Its been a pleasure having you here, ” Director Jiao continued, ”but unfortunately, due to recent budget cuts, I have to let you go. Im sorry, Xiang Feng, but theres nothing I can do. ”

Xiang Feng swallowed hard and nodded. He had worked hard for this company for the past five years, and now, in the span of a few moments, it was all over. He tried to keep his composure, but he could feel himself on the verge of tears. ”I understand, ” he mumbled, his voice trembling slightly. He paused for a moment, uncertain of what else to say.

”If there is anything I can do to help you, ” Director Jiao offered, ”please let me know. ” Xiang Feng thanked him and rose to his feet. He could feel the heavy weight of the situation bearing down on him, and he wanted nothing more than to get out of the office and be alone. He shook Director Jiaos hand and made his way to the door, a lump in his throat and a heavy feeling in his heart.

Xiang Feng had just left his office building, a glass monolith that towered above the city. His heart was heavy and his fists clenched in frustration. He could not help but feel a wave of helplessness wash over him. The company had employed him for four years and had just been told that he had been laid off. His mind raced as he tried to make sense of the decision, and he was left with a sense of anger and betrayal. He had given his all to the company, working long hours and taking on extra tasks to ensure the success of the business. Despite all his efforts, it seemed they had discarded him like a piece of trash.

The emotion was too much to bear and so, in a moment of rage, he punched the office building with all his might. A trickle of blood emanating from the impact point was the only sign of his anguish. Someone from security had seen him and had approached him with a warning.

”Xiang Feng, I understand this is a difficult time for you, ” the guard said, ”but if you do it again, Ill have to arrest you. ”

At those words, Xiang Feng stared back at the building, his fist still clenched, feeling a strange mixture of regret, sadness, and helplessness. He knew that no matter how hard he had worked for the company; he had been powerless to prevent his own fate. As he walked away, he could not help but feel that the building had been a silent witness to his despair.

Xiang Feng arrived home to his old, decrepit apartment, located in Beijing, with a heavy heart. He had been living in the same dismal place for years, and the sight of it had grown even more depressing with each passing day.

The walls cracked and peeling; the floorboards creaking under his feet, and the air filled with dust and a musty smell. He opened his door to the same stale sight: a barren room with the same tattered furniture and few belongings that had been with him since he moved in. It felt like he had been living in a time warp, one that he could never escape.

Xiang Feng slumped onto the couch and tried to push away the deep sadness that had been slowly consuming him. He remembered the days, a few years ago, when he had first moved to Beijing. He had been full of hope and optimism, believing that the city would bring new opportunities and help him escape the hardships of his past. But now, here he was, in the same place, surrounded by the same loneliness and despair. He sighed, trying to shake away the negative emotions.

He closed his eyes to clear his mind, but all he could see was the darkness of his future. All he wanted was to break free from the prison of his own making. But at that moment, he did not know how to move forward.

Xiang Feng lay in bed, filled with a deep sense of nostalgia as he thought of his parents and sister, whom he had left behind when he moved to Beijing. He had been away for a while now, but he still felt the same longing for his home and family that had been a part of him since the day he left. He wished he had never left, and thought of all the time he had missed out on with his family. He knew he couldn turn back the clock, and that he had to make the best of the situation he was in, but still he couldn help but regret his decision to move to Beijing. The memories of his family were still fresh in his mind when he rolled over.

Xiang Feng still lay in bed, idly scrolling through his phone. It surprised him when his phone ringed. He quickly answered, ”Hello? ”

”Xiang Feng, its Uncle Zhao, ” a voice said on the other end. Xiang Feng felt a wave of dread wash over him. His uncle never called, and only if there was a special reason to it. He knew what his uncle was about to say, and he wante

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