Liu Wenxiu, 19, a hotel waitress in Shenzhen, has become an online celebrity for her heroic and romantic act of saving a suicidal 16-year-old with a kiss. [Provided to China Daily]
Like a real life version of Snow White, Liu Wenxiu's kiss literally saved the life of a 16-year-old boy.
Liu just passing by a pedestrian bridge in downtown Shenzhen on June 11 when she spotted hundreds of onlookers watching a young man with a knife in his hand, threatening to jump.
"I saw him get more and more excited - everybody around was just looking, nobody was trying to step up and help," said Liu, a 19-year-old hotel waitress.
"He had to be saved - because I've been there before and I knew exactly how it was," continued Liu, who had attempted suicide several times.
The boy was outside the guardrail and only one step from falling. Local police had tried without success to persuade him to give up.
Liu managed to get close to the boy by telling the police that she was his girlfriend and also the reason for his attempt to commit suicide.
Liu Wenxiu [China Daily]
"The fact is I'd never seen him before, but that's the only idea I could come up with at the time," she recalled.
According to local television, the boy's mother had passed away, his stepmother didn't treat him well and she left with all his father's money. The father and son had to take part-time jobs and start their lives over again.
Liu started to sob when she heard the story.
"He told me he didn't have a home anymore, nobody cared about him and no one trusted him. I said nothing but showed him the scars on my right wrist. I used to be suicidal - I've attempted cutting my artery, jumping from a high building and others," said Liu during a local TV interview after her successful rescue.
Born in Anhui province, Liu grew up amid quarrelling parents and the responsibility to take care of her elder sister who is a deaf-mute.
Life pressure forced her to quit high school and start working when she was only a teenager.
"Nobody in my family was happy - both of my parents spent days brawling, which left my sister and I gloomy. That boy, he was like a younger me," Liu said.
With the boy crying even harder, Liu knew he had a sense of being understood.
"He said he's hopeless, 'so don't waste your time to save me'. But I told him, 'I'm not saving your life, I just want you to realize how silly you are being. Look at me, I've been there and I'm now here,'" she said.
The negotiation on the bridge ended like a romantic comedy when Liu hugged the boy and kissed him unexpectedly. Police took advantage of the situation to take away the boy's knife and pull him inside the handrail of the bridge.
"When I kissed him and when he put his hand (with the knife) on my waist, both of us were crying so hard," she said. "But I was happy as I knew I had saved him."
Liu said she didn't think too much before she offered her kiss, only that she knew it would comfort him.
"I simply thought he has to be stabilized, so he won't do anything stupid. The police were near us and I didn't worry about being pulled down by the boy," she said.
Liu left after the rescue. Local police called her soon after because the boy refused to reveal his story without her presence.
"I didn't go but we talked over the phone and exchanged our phone numbers. I promised him that I would call him later and I will, to encourage him to lead a better life," Liu said.
Liu feels very uneasy after the accident as her mobile phone has been bombarded with calls for interviews, according to Lai Shouyan, Liu's boss at the Hepans Taipan SPA Boutique Hotel.
"Personally I hope this doesn't affect my work and normal life. I didn't want to think much of the accident just like I didn't think much when I went forward to save the boy," Liu said. "For me the most important thing is that we live and enjoy each day."
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