Chapter 54: A Ferris Wheel of Tenderness
Xu Tingsheng didn’t know when he managed to fall asleep. He woke up the next day to the ringing of his phone. At first, he thought that it was Fu Cheng or Huang Yaming who was calling. The two of them, along with Song Ni, had stayed the previous night at Jiannan City, and would have taken the morning bus over first thing today.
However, it was Apple on the other end of the phone, “Xu Tingsheng, I’m in Yanzhou City right now. Where are you?”
Xu Tingsheng shot straight upright on his bed, asking astonishedly, “How is it that you’re here? Haven’t classes just started for you?”
Apple said happily, “I’m here to send you to school! It just happens that my school has given us two weeks of rest and adjustment time. Hurry up and tell me-where are you right now?…You won’t let a beautiful and delicate young lady like me roam randomly about the streets, right? This one is wearing a little singlet today, and these shorts are so very short as well…how dangerous.”
Half an hour later, just after Xu Tingsheng had finished bathing and gotten himself neatly dressed, Apple appeared before the door of his room.
Having entered, Apple stroked Xu Tingsheng’s head in a very natural manner, saying, “You were just like a little kid in how panicked you were yesterday. How can a little kid possibly go to school on his own? Let me send you over.”
Xu Tingsheng moved over a stool for Apple, asking her, “It’s still so early. What time’s bus did you take here today?”
“The five o’clock one. It’s also not that far here from Shenghai. In the future…erm…if you need it, you can just call me. After you’ve finished bathing and set down some water for me, I’d already have arrived here.”
“Close thirst cannot be sated by distant water.”
“Are you thirsty? I’m very close now,” Apple teased, licking her lips.
Xu Tingsheng could only open the door, saying, “Come, I’ll bring you for a walk around the place.”
“Don’t you have to go to school?”
“Not that early. We’ll tour around the area in the morning and return in the afternoon to book out of the motel and bring my things over to the school.”
Xu Tingsheng brought Apple along in randomly touring the streets of Yanzhou City. As they walked, Apple very naturally held onto Xu Tingsheng’s arm, and he did not shake her off. Apple joyfully spoke and laughed the entire way, filled with interest in everything she saw.
However one looked at it, this was surely a blissful young couple.
This was true for Xiang Ning as well, spotting Uncle and his girlfriend through the window of the bus she was in.
“So Uncle actually has a girlfriend. And, she’s so beautiful,” Xiang Ning thought.
Still just an ignorant little girl, her feelings and emotions regarding this were not too intense. It was just that she constantly felt mildly unhappy throughout the rest of that day for some reason that even she herself could not understand.
She even took out that slip of paper in her bag on which his handphone number was written, intending to throw it away as if throwing a tantrum at him.
“Anyway, I surely won’t be giving you any calls, you big liar,” When placing the slip of paper back in her pencil case, this was what Xiang Ning ‘stubbornly’ thought.
Xu Tingsheng didn’t know that he had just brushed past Xiang Ning. He discovered that he had gotten himself and Apple lost.
“But it’s rather more interesting this way,” Apple said.
The two roamed aimlessly about like headless flies. Apple tried on clothes for an entire street, shorts skirts, tank tops and many others, trying all of them on for Xu Tingsheng to see. Still, she didn’t buy any of them at all.
While trying something on in the changing room, she pulled on the curtain, peeking her head out from a corner as she called, “Xu Tingsheng, come here for a bit.”
Xu Tingsheng went over uncomprehendingly.
Then, Apple grabbed him by the collar, pulled him into the changing room and pressed him against the wall.
Suddenly remembering that very famous video he had seen in his previous life, Xu Tingsheng hurriedly closed his eyes…
“Hahahaha…” Apple burst out laughing.
Xu Tingsheng opened his eyes to find Apple properly and neatly dressed. Alright, this really was a rather ‘pleasant’ prank.
Afterwards, the two emerged from the changing room one by one amidst the faked nonchalance of the ‘spectating’ shop employees. Xu Tingsheng’s face was completely red, while Apple was filled with exuberance at the success of her crafty scheme.
“Beautiful lady, will you be wanting this clothes item?” A shop attendant went forward and asked.
Apple had just wanted to refuse when Xu Tingsheng said, “Yes. This one, and also those three from earlier. She’ll be having all of them.”
Being that sort of girl who knew who to read the situation, Apple did not stop him. If she were to do so at such a time, it would actually make for a rather awkward situation.
After Xu Tingsheng had paid for the clothes and walked over to Apple with them, she proudly held onto his arm, saying, “Thank you, sweetheart.”
“What next?” Xu Tingsheng asked Apple after having left the store.
“I want to ride the Ferris Wheel.”
Xu Tingsheng gazed in the direction in which Apple was pointing. Far away in the distance, a massive Ferris Wheel could be seen slowly spinning within the air.
He had once ridden this Ferris Wheel before. Or to be precise, he had ridden this Ferris Wheel before, ‘in the future’ with Xiang Ning.
Still, Xu Tingsheng did not refuse Apple. From back when she had appeared this morning, Xu Tingsheng had already decided to abide by her wishes and properly pamper her today. Just because of that one phone call, just because she had detected Xu Tingsheng’s abnormal state during her phone conversation with him, she had caught a bus at 5am in the morning, hurrying over to Yanzhou from Shenghai.
In order to catch that bus, she might have had to depart from home at 3 or 4am in the morning, walking all alone amidst the pitch black streets.
There were no large scale amusement parks in Yanzhou City. This Ferris Wheel, rather obtrusively, had instead been constructed in a park. As one of the few entertainment spots within Yanzhou City, also due to the innate ‘romantic-ness’ of the Ferris Wheel as depicted in movies, it was a very popular destination for people all around.
Xu Tingsheng and Apple bought the tickets, queuing up beneath the Ferris Wheel for nearly an hour before finally getting to board it.
The Ferris Wheel spun slowly, the cabin gradually rising upwards…
Xu Tingsheng began trembling, one hand pressed against the wall of the cabin as his other hand unconsciously gripped Apple’s arm. His face grew increasingly pale as it was soon densely covered by thin beads of sweat.
The joyfully enthusiastic Apple suddenly felt a pain in her arm.
Swivelling her head and looking at Xu Tingsheng, she was taken momentarily aback, “You’re afraid of heights?”
Xu Tingsheng nodded with great difficulty.
“Idiot, why didn’t you say it earlier?” These words were just like the ones Xu Tingsheng had once heard before.
Apple reached out and hugged Xu Tingsheng, burying his head in her shoulder. This action was just like the one Xu Tingsheng had once experienced before.
“Just don’t look and it’ll be fine. Be good, I was wrong,” She said…even this was the same.
It was just that that one time, the one saying and doing all this had been Xiang Ning. It was just that that one time, Xiang Ning had kissed his forehead.
As hot tears slid down her shoulder, Apple knew that Xu Tingsheng was crying. She knew that Xu Tingsheng had definitely met with a problem, one that he was very helpless in. Still, ever since having seen him in the morning, she had known that he would not be telling her about it.
Therefore, she had refrained from asking him, nor did she intend to do so.
She hugged him more tightly now, freeing up a hand and stroking his hair. Truly, just as if she were comforting a child. And now her lips…pressed down lightly on Xu Tingsheng’s forehead.
Having descended the Ferris Wheel, Apple became that crafty, impish demoness once more, laughing merrily along as she mocked Xu Tingsheng’s fear of heights, alluringly asking if Xu Tingsheng had peeped when slumped against her shoulder earlier.
She knew that the warmth on the Ferris Wheel had not actually belonged to her, and was also not the style of interaction that there should be between them. That had merely been an accident, a happy accident.
On the bus, having insisted on helping Xu Tingsheng with one of his heavy bags, Apple complained about it all the way.
“Xu Tingsheng, are you lugging over a whole bag of coins to pay your school fees with?” she asked.
Actually, their situation could already be considered good. It was rather more tragic for the freshmen directly heading off to report from the various bus stops. Their cabins were packed like sardines, large bags and small bags pushed up against each other, people and people also squashed up against one another.
Fu Cheng could actually take out his handphone and call Xu Tingsheng amidst such a situation, he saying, “Xu Tingsheng, I have two freshmen from your course who keep on pressing against me with their breasts. Hurry up and manage them for me.”
“I told you guys long ago to come a day earlier, but you just wouldn’t listen…about that, just push back against them.”
“It’s not like I have breasts.”
“You still have XX, though!” Apple joined in as she shouted into the phone.
“The heck, Apple’s voice?” Fu Cheng howled over the phone.
“I’ll explain to you later.”
Xu Tingsheng hung up, avoiding the gazes of the entire cabin’s worth of people as he asked Apple in a low tone, “Why don’t we get off and wait for the next bus?”
“No way. This one’s almost been exhausted to death by you, and can’t move.”
Xu Tingsheng looked at everyone and pointed to the large bag by Apple’s feet, “She’s talking about my bag. It’s very heavy; it’s exhausted her.”