Living up to Summer Vacation (3)
The most important thing that they had to do within the next few days was to tour around the textile production line and exhibition area. During the entire tour, whenever Ru Ting said anything to Fang Yuke, Tan Yi would resemble a ghost. Then, he would unceasingly ask Fang Yuke questions like, “What should we look out for during the process of rinsing clothes?” These kinds of specific questions irritated Ru Ting to no end as she could not follow up with anything else.
The gossiper in me was very restless and, finally, could no longer be restrained. Finding a suitable timing, I called Tan Yi to one side, “Do you have any animosity with Ru Ting? Did she kill your father or steal your lover?”
Tan Yi maintained a relaxed expression, “There is neither animosity nor hated between us.”
I hit his head, “Finish saying whatever you want to say. You’ve wet this aunt’s appetite. Are you tired of living?”
Tan Yi could only truthfully account, “ My family and brother Xiao Ke’s family are long time family friends. Ever since I was young, I knew that Brother Xiao Ke does not like Ru Ting, but he needs to take care of Ru Ting because of family issues. Alas, Brother Xiao Ke is so pitiful……”
I shot him a glance, “How do you know that he doesn’t like Ru Ting? They are childhood sweethearts and they spoil each other to death. They’re so loving, always whispering sweet nothings to each other. By separating this couple you’re tearing them apart like Cowherd and the Weaver, y’know?”
Tan Yi arrogantly said, “ If Brother Xiao Ke really liked Ru Ting, they would have gotten together long ago. Why would they still not be together even now?”
Listening to Tan Yi’s answer, even though I didn’t know whether it was true or not, I was secretly delighted in my heart. If they were not together, did that mean that I had a little bit of hope? Sigh, when did I fall into such a despairing situation?
Tan Yi leaned over to say, “Do you like Brother Xiao Ke?”
I anxiously waved my hand, “What nonsense are you saying? I’ve told you before, your family’s Brother Xiao Ke and I are very close that’s all. We have nothing else going on……”
Then what did you have such a heated expression for? If you like him, I can help you. Overall, you’re not bad either.”
I smiled wantonly, “Really? I also feel that I’m not that bad.”
Tan Yi immediately pretended to faint, “Actually, I was just speaking randomly.”
Over the next few days, Tan Yi started to tease my by called me “Xiao Ke’s Sister-in-law”. Even though listening to this title of address made me feel satisfied, I still acted aloof. I told him to that calling me this was too low a standard. Furthermore, Ru Ting was still living, didn’t he see that she had been angered till her nose had already been crooked? Luckily, at the last moment, Wen Tao received a phone call from Beijing. He had to conduct an interview with a celebrity and had to fly back to Beijing. If not, Wen Tao would also beat this joker up.
The following night, the group of us suddenly had a keen interest and wanted to go to the food stall at the Li guesthouse not far from here. Unfortunately, upon walking out of the guesthouse, we realised that in the middle of summer, it started to rain outside. There were not many umbrellas at the guesthouse so we paired up to share an umbrella. When it reached my turn, Senior Brother Yu said, “There aren’t enough umbrellas. Xie Duan Xi, you and Zhou Lin Lin should take the umbrella and go first. The rest of them will follow me in a while and we’ll take a taxi over.”
Since it was a senior’s instruction I could find no reason to reject it and could only go off. In my heart, I just prepared for the road ahead to be awkward.
The rain drip-dropped lightly unto the top of the umbrella as Xiao Xi and I walked shoulder to shoulder. This was something that I had wished for in the past but now, aside from wanting to sigh, there was no longer that kind of imagined joy.
It was Xiao Xi who first opened his mouth, “Lin Lin likes Yuke?”
I sighed, “No, don’t I like you?”
Xiao Xi smiled knowingly, “Being able to say this now shows that you no longer like me.”
The two of us jumped over a puddle together. It appeared that I had nothing to retort because when I said “don’t I like you?”, it was the equivalent of “didn’t you eat rice with meat and vegetables today?”. Lighthearted and casual, neither warm not hot, without mixing in any moodiness.
Xiao Xi continued to say, “Now Tan Yi calls you sister-in-law, the feelings you currently have are clear for everyone to see, you’ve fallen for him. That time, when you said you liked me, do you know why I looked at Fang Yuke and then looked back at you? Because I felt that you were feuding children; you liked each other but you didn’t know and even wanted to pull me down to drown with you……”
“At that point, I really didn’t like him……” The more I spoke, the lighter I felt.
Xiao Xi smiled, “Just because you didn’t like him at that point, doesn’t mean that you won’t admit it now. Hehe. Many times, when we fall in love, we don’t even know it ourselves. We will be disturbed by many things, thinking that a heart flutter from one moment when one is emotionally moved means that they are in love. We forget the person at our side who is indulging us as our heart moves for another person. You say that at that point you had not fallen for Yuke, then why did you dislike Ru Ting from the very beginning until now?”
“Many people do not like Ru Ting because she is… too arrogant. Also, her lifestyle is too luxurious. We just hate rich people.”
“Are you certain that it’s because you hate rich people and not because she’s with Yuke?”
“Hold up, the sentence before the sentence before, did you just say “liked each other?” It looked like my reaction speed would always be slower by others by two steps.
Dimples appeared on Xiao Xi, “Yes, that’s what I said. Yuke likes you.”
When Tan Yi said Fang Yuke did not like Ru Ting, I thought he was just voicing a childish personal opinion and treated it as a joke. However, if Xiao Xi said it then it was not the same. “Impossible…… the one he likes is Ru Ting.”
“For the many things that you don’t understand, you will get the answers if you ask. Why put yourself through suffering by contemplating all on your own?”
I lowered my head and didn’t say a word. The answer that Xiao Xi had given me was too shocking. It shocked me until my heart was about to leap out of my chest.
Xiao Xi added on, “Tomorrow is the 18th, Yuke’s birthday. I’ll remind you out of friendship.”
I was like a fish in the sea, my mouth kept opening and closing but not a sound came out.
“The best birthday gift on his 20th birthday~~ you should think about it.” Xiao Xi was full of interest as he looked at my expression that was shocked dumb.
At the food stall, I urgently pulled Xiao Xi to sit down, my eyes had already looked over to where Fang Yuke was. If he liked me then he should have said so earlier. Being such a tsundere (cold outside, hot inside) as he sat so far away, how was I supposed to ask? Could it be that he didn’t like me? Was Xiao Xi actually blind?
I was at a lost as I scratched my head, my face full of grievance as I stared at the food on the table wordlessly.
Tan Yi looked at my appearance and moved closer to ask, “Sister-in-law, your face is so black. Could it be that Brother Xiao Ke bullied you?”
I boldly nodded my head.
Tan Yi ran over to Fang Yuke’s table, saying to Fang Yuke, “sister-in-law says you bullied her so she’s very troubled now.”
Fan Yuke lifted his head to look at me, then looked back at Tan Yi, “You should tell her to tidy up her hair that is standing up. Otherwise, it really looks like I’ve whipped her and bullied her.”
I glared at him. Sigh, how could he like me? Were there people who were so cruel to the ones they loved?
I turned my head to ask Xiao Xi, “Could your eyesight be blurry. We have an antagonistic relationship where we always quarrel and abuse each other. Is this what you call liking?”
Xiao Xi smiled, “Actually, if you want to achieve you goals it’s very simple. You just need to follow my lead.”
I asked, “How can I do so?”
Xiao Xi lifted his hand to tidy up the hair that was standing, “Just smile at me.”
“Won’t I look like an idiot then?”
“Do you wish to know what he’s feeling in his heart or not?”
I quickly nodded my head.
“Let’s put on a play of an illicit relationship. Ever since you said those ambiguous words to me at my house that time, this guy has ignored me. Since the jar is already broken, I shall sacrifice myself to get your two together and treat it as an achievement.”
“You don’t have to test this. If you want to talk about an illicit relationship, Wen Tao is the specialist. But he didn’t even say anything to me. Although they fought for a bit, I can’t confirm that it’s because of me that they fought.
“How can you put me and Wen Tao on the same level? I’m someone that you openly confessed to; Wen Tao is someone that you openly rejected.”
I felt that he made a lot of sense, so I smiled deceitfully, “How can we make it illicit? Hey, hey… do I have to hug you?”
Xiao Xi looked at me as if I was a pervert, “Are you trying to use this opportunity to eat my tofu?”
“Oh my, who wants to eat your tofu? Although half a year ago I did think of it……”
Xiao Xi smiled warmly, opening the peanuts shells one by one and putting the peanuts on my plate, “Begin: Illicit relationship”
I looked at him and said in a matter of fact way, “Xiao Xi, I really can’t see it. You really have an innate gift! But of course, I won’t lose to you.” I picked up the rough napkin on the table and started to clean Xiao Xi’s clean lips.
Xiao Xi harshly smiled, “We haven’t even crossed the river yet and you want to destroy the bridge?”
I laughed with a haha, “China’s Social Science culture was always built upon the word ‘destroy’, I’m merely conforming to the trend.”
Xiao Xi maintained his smiled, “Want to drink some alcohol?”
I shook my head, “I swore to Fang Yuke that I wouldn’t drink alcohol anymore.”
Xiao Xi sighed, “How can you not act in a play? If you don’t drink now, then what are you waiting for?” After saying this, Xiao Xi said to the water, “Get us two bottles of beer!”
I guiltily looked over at Fang Yuke and realised his face was was pulled into a frown that was as long as the news anchor on the entertainment show ‘Extremely 6+1’.
I immediately surrendered, “No I can’t, I can’t… I have to mean what I say.”
Xiao Xi continued to maintain his peaceful face as he used the napkin to wipe the bottle of beer, “Without destruction you cannot construct. He’ll still be able to do something later if your heart hurts.”
After he finished speaking he helped me wipe the bottle of beer, saying lightly into my ear, “No matter what, on his birthday, I must gift you away.” After listening, I couldn’t help but to continue being wanton with him? I dashed in as I laughed.
The one who ran over first was Tan Yi, “Sister-in-law, you don’t abide by the rules of a lady.”
Xiao Xi laughed as he said to Tan Yi, “I never married, she hasn’t married off, how has she not abided by the rules of a lady?”
Tan Yi pouted, he didn’t know how to retort, aggrievedly walked back to Fang Yuke as he watched him. Fang Yuke lowered his head, as if he didn’t hear anything.
I was a little bit discouraged, “Could it be that our acting is too fake?”
Xiao Xi draped his arm over my shoulder, “That’s because we haven’t increased our efforts in hurting the heart. Smile for this older brother.”
I looked at the hand on my shoulder, “don’t you feel like we look like an a-dul-ter-ous-cou-ple?
Just as I finished saying this, I saw Fang Yuke walk over, fiercely pulling open and chair and sitting at our table.
Xiao Xi blinked his eyes at me, “Lin Lin, after you cut your hair short, you’ve become increasingly pretty……”
“Really?” I laughed from the bottom of my heart. It must be because Xiao Xi was afraid that I would leak out the plan that he began to continue to battle all by himself.
“Towards a girl like you with a good personality who doesn’t bother about the trifling stuff, it’s best to marry home.”
“Flattery, flattery.” I smiled until I was grinning from ear to ear.
“It’s better for you not to be close with Wen Tao. How would he ever be suitable for a fairy like you.”
My mouth was going to curve up beyond my ears, “I won’t be close, I won’t be close. You don’t even know who I like……”
Fang Yuke suddenly stood up. He was spitting anger as he said to me, “Get over here.”
I obediently stood up, secretly giving Xiao Xi a wry smile, lowering my head to follow Fang Yuke out.
It was pouring non stop outside, Fang Yuke put out his hand to wave for a taxi. A taxi came over and he stuffed me into the taxi.
Fang Yuke told the Taxi Driver, “I’ll trouble you to go to the Cheng Cai Kindergarten on the outskirts.”
I asked, “What are we going all the way there for in the middle of the night? You want to commit murder?”
Fang Yuke nodded his head, “You guessed it. I feel that you’re too noisy. After killing you, the scenery will be clean and quiet.”
I didn’t say a word, I saw that Fang Yuke was really angry. Although that I was happy that he was jealous, I was worried and honestly a little apprehensive. To me, would he say those words that all women dreamed of hearing? Was everything real? Argh, in case of a moment of passion what would we do if we immediately rolled on the bed? I promised my mother I would bring my purity back home. However, if it was really given away, I was too embarrassed to say it. Oh no, I the underwear I wore today was not sexy enough.
I continued to twist and turn as I meditated in my own world, unknowingly reaching the destination.
Cheng Cai kindergarten was my kindergarten when I was young. I haven’t been here in so long, the kindergarten had rebuilt and extended, and it was no longer the same as the one in my memory. However, I couldn’t tell which parts of it were different specifically. After all, it had already been fifteen or sixteen years. My memory was already hazy.
I did not understand why he wanted to drag me to this place, I was also too afraid to ask.
The metal gate was locked and we could not enter. We could only stand under the roof to hide from the rain. Actually, I wanted to tell him that if he wanted to enter, I wouldn’t mind jumping over the gate with him.
He glanced at me, “Don’t think about jumping over the gate. It’s too dangerous, and a girl should not be doing this kind of things.”
I lowered my head, “Don’t you always say that I don’t seem like a girl? Why would you suddenly say that I am a lady?”
Fang Yuke looked towards the heavy rain, as if he could dig out some unknown items from the end of its blackness,” Because a long long time ago, you also did not treat me as a boy.”
The rhythm of the rain slowed down, gently pulling at our heartstrings.
Fang Yuke turned his body towards me, “We were once classmates for a month at this kindergarten. Inside this kindergarten you hugged me and on that day you also let me marry you home.”
“Do you think I am going to marry you now?”
“Tan Yi called you sister-in-law, but you also did not get angry. Just now what Xiao Xi did was intentional, you guys were testing me. Actually, you also like me, right or wrong?”
“It’s so weird that it would rain in the summer, I don’t think there would be thunderstorms right……”
“You also like me, right?”
“The peanuts back at the food stalls were really salty, I feel so thirsty.”
“I like you.”
Ever since the times of Buddha, I had to climb over countless numbers of mountain ranges, pass through countless tunnels, and wade through countless rivers. After that I had to go through smoking rain, put on lotus perfume before I could finally reach this destination.
It was at this point that time stood still. I could almost hear the faraway sound of rain dropping on the leaves in the lotus pond in kindergarten, as I looked at the meridians of the slender and lucid lotus leaves, and smelled the fragrance of a lotus that was about to bloom
Fang Yuke looked into my eyes, “Today is the night of the 17th, and it is 23:59 (TLN: So it’s 11:59 PM). I told you that I like you. Can you tell me your answer at midnight on the 18th? I’ve already given you an entire day to think about it.”
I completely blushed, squeezing out the words, “I really am thirsty……”
Fang Yuke smiled, gently drawing me into his embrace, “Is it really that hard to say that sentence for the both of us?”
As I smelled the faint smell of shampoo that was coming from Fang Yuke’s body, I closed my eyes and felt the warmth of his arms. In my heart, I could hear the sound of a clock ticking away for every year, every day, every minute, and every second. I secretly opened my eyes, as I looked towards the black night and the lightly dancing raindrops. I gently said beside his ear, “Fang Yuke, Happy birthday.”
“Also, I like you too.”