Chapter 153: Goodbye, my little boy
This was already the third time. Wu Yuewei knew that Xu Tingsheng had come, and also knew that Xu Tingsheng had left.
The first time was during the Lunar New Year when the Xu Family had been facing a crisis. Wu Yuewei had quietly helped to console Xu Qiuyi, not having disturbed Xu Tingsheng at all. The second time was when Xu Tingsheng had returned over Fang Yunyao’s matter. They had still not come into contact then. Wu Yuewei could still understand this.This was the third time. The university entrance examinations were drawing near for Wu Yuewei. Xu Tingsheng had hurriedly come, then hurriedly left.
“There’s no reason for him not to have come to see you this time, right? The university entrance examinations are almost here. That’s really too much,” Wu Yuewei’s tablemate said indignantly.
Wu Yuewei did not answer, gazing quietly out of the window till his car had started, driven off and vanished from sight. Wu Yuewei said nothing at all that entire evening self-study session.
When self-study had ended, Xu Tingsheng’s sister, Xu Qiuyi, came to look for her, “My brother came in a rush and left in a rush as well. He also didn’t look for me…Sis Yuewei, don’t be unhappy. Focus on the upcoming examinations with an ease of mind.”
“It’s fine, I will,” Wu Yuewei tried her best to smile.
“Oh, feeling hurt?” Xu Qiuyi smiled craftily, drawing close and leaning in to look at Wu Yuewei’s expression.
“Like real. I hate your brother,” Wu Yuewei vehemently shook her head.
Then, she lowered her head again, wanting to evade Xu Qiuyi’s gaze. She was just a girl who had always been overly sensible. She was used to encouraging herself, consoling herself. Yet, she was still just a girl at the end of the day.
What Wu Yuewei couldn’t understand was why that person, while having once dashed towards a suspected SARS victim for her, currently wasn’t willing to even pay her a little bit of concern. Meanwhile, this was when her university entrance examinations were right around the corner.
“Right! I hate him too!” Xu Qiuyi suddenly said, “Still, let me tell you one thing. My brother just called me and asked for your dorm number. But we hate him, right? So let’s just forget about him. We certainly won’t be picking up his calls…come, let’s go to the mall.”
Wu Yuewei abruptly raised her head, “Oh, but I…I’m so sleepy. I’m returning to my dorm, bye.”
Xu Qiuyi was laughing behind her, but Wu Yuewei could care less about that now. She had never run so fast in her life before, resembling a crane of fortune as she skipped through the crowds, dashed up the stairs and returned to her dormitory. Then, she stood at the entrance of her room, nervously keeping an eye on the wall phone shared by four rooms as she waited.
A girl from the neighbouring class came over and made a call with the phone. Actually, her call might only have lasted around five minutes. Still, to Wu Yuewei, it felt like the call had elapsed for an entire lifetime. She felt uneasy-if he called and found the line engaged, would he give up?
The girl finally hung up. Then, the phone immediately rang. Naturally, the girl picked up the call.
“Wu Yuewei…is Wu Yuewei here? It’s your call!” The girl turned and yelled loudly. Having long been waiting for this, Wu Yuewei immediately patted her, “I’m here.”
The girl was momentarily taken aback before she handed the phone over to her.
Wu Yuewei put a hand on her chest to calm herself down before saying, “Hello?”
“Hey. I’d been intending to see you today, but was accosted by Vice-Principal Lou. Look, it wasn’t like I could have told him: Hey, stop bothering me, I want to go see my pretty junior, right?” Xu Tingsheng laughed jokingly.
“Right,” Despite having finally received the call she had been waiting for, Wu Yuewei could not find the words to speak.
“Good luck in the university entrance examinations! Of course, you actually just need to perform to your usual standards and it’ll be fine,” Xu Tingsheng said.
“Alright,” Wu Yuewei said.
“You should do better than me at the very least? I was third in the entire city already, so you’ve got to get first.”
“Still, don’t tire yourself out too much. Remember to rest when you have to.”
“You too. I heard that you’ve been doing quite a number of things. Don’t tire yourself out as well.”
“Yeah. Alright, I’ll be waiting for your good news, waiting to be proud of you.”
“Pretty junior? Hah! What a hateful person Vice-Principal Lou is,” Wu Yuewei could not sleep that night, eventually deciding to get out of bed and study, which continued all the way till dawn.
“Waiting to be proud of me? Fine, I’ll get a first in the entire city first then,” Wu Yuewei thought.
The attitude of this kind of ultra study queen was like going to the market and saying ‘I want some vegetables’. After all, she had already consecutively scored first in the entire city several times before. This was Libei Senior High’s most hopeful Qingbei seedling of the past ten years!
Xu Tingsheng hung up in a motel of Jiannan City.
The three had left Libei in the evening. Arriving at Jiannan, it had already been rather late. Considering that Xu Tingsheng had been out driving for so long of an extended period, being really exhausted, they decided to remain in Jiannan, only returning to Yanzhou the next day.
Lying down on the other bed of the twin room, Fu Cheng asked when Xu Tingsheng had ended the call, “You’re being soft-hearted again? You’re always like this. I don’t know whether it’s a virtue or a vice, whether it’s good or bad for you and whether it’s good or bad for others.”
Xu Tingsheng smiled helplessly. He had actually already been ruthless towards Wu Yuewei. Perhaps continuing being ruthless to her was really the right thing to do. Yet, that wouldn’t be Xu Tingsheng anymore. That toast in her marriage of his previous life, that ever persisting ‘Senior’ as well as the many things that had happened post-rebirth tugged on his heartstrings non-stop.
Thus, when she would soon be sitting for her university entrance examinations, Xu Tingsheng still eventually made this call.
“Perhaps when she has gone to Qingbei with her horizons broadened, seeing more outstanding people, things will all be good then.”
The next day, Xu Tingsheng departed along with Fu Cheng and Fang Yunyao in the afternoon, arriving at Yanzhou in the evening. After dinner, he sent Fang Yunyao to a pre-booked motel.
Fang Yunyao got off the car, beginning to move her belongings, but Fu Cheng stopped her, “Let me do it,” Fang Yunyao stood obediently to the side, letting Fu Cheng take her jacket, smiling as she watched him moving down her heavy luggage with ‘a look of utter ease’ on his face…
This was the wish of a boy. He wanted to show that he could take care of someone. He would be happy that way. Thus, Fang Yunyao let him do as he liked, watching all of it. Xu Tingsheng naturally wouldn’t go and help. It was not like he was silly.
When the final piece of luggage had been moved away, Xu Tingsheng who had already been the third wheel for two days waved goodbye to Fang Yunyao before directly speeding off into the distance without so much as a word to Fu Cheng.
“Sigh, Tingsheng…this rascal actually ran off alone,” Fu Cheng complained.
“You’ve still got to help me move my things up,” Fang Yunyao said.
“Right,” Fu Cheng patted his hands, mightily heaving two large bags onto his shoulders.
Following behind him, Fang Yunyao helped to support the bottom of the bags, “Do you have lessons for the next two days?”
“Yes, but just a few.”
“Skip them then,” Fang Yunyao said unexpectedly, “Skip lessons for two days. Accompany me shopping, eating, watching movies, strolling in the park, watching sunset on top of a mountain, and…going to the seaside.”
Fu Cheng didn’t return that night, and it was the same for the next two days. Xu Tingsheng and Huang Yaming speculated very ‘dirtily’ on the events that might have transpired these two days.
Virtually oozing with happiness and bliss, Fu Cheng finally returned on that last day.
Xu Tingsheng and Huang Yaming found him after the final afternoon lesson, asking him with meaningful looks, “You can finally bear to return?”
“Ms Fang forced me to return. She says that I have to properly attend lessons every day or she’ll feel guilty. I’ve got to learn to take care of myself from today onwards, or she’ll worry…”
“Less with the mushy stuff,” Huang Yaming interjected, “What happened over these two days and three nights? Did you…”
“Scram! I’m off to find Ms Fang,” Fu Cheng got on the public bus.
“Huh, it’s still Ms Fang? Well, calling her like this could still be rather more interesting sometimes,” Huang Yaming shouted from behind him.
Fu Cheng called Xu Tingsheng half an hour later.
“Ms Fang’s missing. I’ve looked everywhere, but just can’t find her.”
Xu Tingsheng and Huang Yaming rushed over to find Fu Cheng. They found him sitting dispiritedly on a pavement outside the train station that stood by the roadside.
The two of them went over, Huang Yaming asking, “Could she just have gone out to do something? All her luggage is gone? Have you called her? Has she said anything to you?”
Fu Cheng nodded numbly to his every question before handing his handphone over for them to see. There was a message there:
“Goodbye, my little boy. To me, this risk of a lifetime has thus come to an end. The story is already beautiful enough. Promise me not to look for me. Your Ms Fang. Your Fang Yunyao.”
Huang Yaming called back. The phone was turned off.
He dialled the number with his own handphone. It was still turned off.
“Tingsheng, she actually decided this long ago, right? No wonder she forced me back to school today. No wonder she said that I had to properly attend lessons every day or she’d feel guilty, that I had to learn to take care of myself from today onwards or she would worry…I’m so silly.”
Xu Tingsheng reached out and patted Fu Cheng, not speaking. Fu Cheng was foolish, yet hadn’t Xu Tingsheng himself also realised the truth of the matter only now?
He finally understood:
Why had Fang Yunyao suddenly become so bold? Holding Fu Cheng whilst walking across the entire campus of Libei Senior High. It was because that was where their love had begun, where the rumours had spread, where she had nearly died, where Fu Cheng had finally moved her…
She had wanted to go there and draw on all her courage to prove the love in their relationship before ending their story on a good note.
Why had Fang Yunyao asked Fu Cheng to skip lessons to accompany her shopping, eating, watching movies, strolling in the park, watching the sunset on top of a mountain and going to the seaside? Because those were all things that couples would do. She had wanted to truly be Fu Cheng’s girlfriend for once, even if it was only for the span of two days.
She had given Fu Cheng some final warmth and bliss before leaving, having said: Goodbye, my little boy. This story is already beautiful enough. Don’t look for me.
Right, she had decided upon it long ago.
“Can you guys tell me? Why is it like this? Why is she doing this?” Fu Cheng clutched his face, tears flowing down through the gaps between his fingers. Having just thought that he already had happiness clutched within his hands, it had all turned to sand in an instant.
Fu Cheng asked why it had happened. Xu Tingsheng actually knew that Fang Yunyao’s eventual decision was definitely related to Fu Cheng’s parents having visited her at the hospital and talked with her for a long time back then.
This was to say that Fang Yunyao had actually already made a decision at the time. All that had happened afterwards had just been to leave behind some commemoration for the two of them.
What would happen if he told Fu Cheng? Xu Tingsheng had seen the stone-willed insistence of his parents in his previous lives. Xu Tingsheng could not say that they were wrong. As parents, they had hopes and considerations of their own.
Yet, Xu Tingsheng knew that the current Fu Cheng couldn’t possibly convince his parents to accept a woman who was seven years older than him. She was still his former teacher, a woman formerly a subject of rumours, having been swept into a major incident which had taken the entire city by storm…
Moreover, now that Fang Yunyao had already steeled her resolve, she definitely wouldn’t allow Fu Cheng to find her.