Chapter 309: Meeting in a foreign country
Xu Tingsheng received a call from Old Jin before he went to bed, saying that he and his son had already arrived back in China and that they should meet up if there was a chance. Little Jinshan yelled from the side, “I’m missing you already, Uncle Xu.”
Xu Tingsheng felt very happy.
To Xu Tingsheng, having met Old Jin and his son was actually not as simple a matter as having met new friends. To some extent, Old Jin’s personality and resolution in action had unceasingly given Xu Tingsheng cause for thought, stimulating his mind.
Xu Tingsheng usually found it rather hard to make decisions. There was just so much he was conflicted about in his life and his career. He envied Old Jin and yearned to be more like him.
This sort of person had actually never appeared in Xu Tingsheng’s life before, living in a most liberated, uninhibited manner.
Of course, Old Jin was no fool. Only a fool would think Old Jin a fool. If he were really a fool, it would have been impossible for him to succeed. For him to have a few mines in Shanxi, while it might have sounded breezy and casual when he had said it, he would surely have experienced a great deal in getting to this point.
Old Jin simply distinguished his life and other things very clearly. He acted just as he wanted to act, not letting down his life, using other aspects of himself to advance, strive, even battle. This was what Xu Tingsheng aspired towards so much.
For instance, it seemed as if he had befriended Xu Tingsheng in a very casual manner. Right now, Xu Tingsheng was just this youth he had met by chance who had hit it off well with him.
Still, if the day came when partnership and investments came into their relationship, this being something that Xu Tingsheng had actually considered as he needed funds and admired Old Jin too, things might be different then. Therefore, he had given up on making such a proposal in the end, because he was actually well aware that as soon as their relationship became like this, Old Jin might turn into another person with things becoming different between them.
This was unrelated to friendship and trust. Instead, Old Jin’s past experiences would have made him this way.
Old Jin aside, there was also another person Xu Tingsheng had met in France, Gu Ying. She was actually no different from any of the random girls whom he had walked past on campus.
If there was a difference, it would merely be that Xu Tingsheng was aware of her name.
Of course, this was from Xu Tingsheng’s point of view.
Gu Ying felt a little differently. Though not very much, Gu Ying had actually had the stirrings of something for Xu Tingsheng, also having been willing to see if this could develop. After all, the two of them were both young, the way they had met also being quite interesting. Xu Tingsheng had also left quite a good impression on her.
Adding on some feelings of being cared about and taken care of as well as a bit of a feeling of being protected…this had lightly drawn the heart of the young girl all alone in a foreign country.
Gu Ying had tried to take the initiative, first inviting Xu Tingsheng to Arles before asking him if he wanted a tour guide for his remaining time in Nice. Xu Tingsheng had refused both offers. As a result, Gu Ying had been feeling conflicted for several days running after returning from Arles.
The next day, Xu Tingsheng returned his room key early in the morning with his backpack on his back.
Thinking that his departure was related to that call the night before, the boss tried to explain this.
Xu Tingsheng smiled, showing him the plane ticket that he had booked and thanking him for the care that he had been shown over the past few days.
The boss said, “Bon voyage then. Do come again!”
Come again? Xu Tingsheng considered this before smiling, “If I come again, you’d better not let someone call my room again. I may bring along a very precious girl with me.”
The boss smiled awkwardly and repeatedly assured him that he was an honest man who ran an honest business. That sort of thing would definitely never happen again.
After leaving the hotel, Xu Tingsheng took a taxi straight to the airport.
There was actually still quite a bit of time before his flight. Xu Tingsheng decided to shop in the vicinity of the airport and see if he could find any souvenirs to buy.
Xu Tingsheng hesitated over whether to buy a bundle of small, handmade perfume bottles or some dried lavender to distribute upon his return. The former was quite heavy, and the latter lacked sincerity.
As for Little Xiang Ning, it also seemed like he could not actually carry back a basket of crabs for her. Eventually, he decided to buy a handmade necklace for her which cost just two Euros.
On the same morning.
Gu Ying was hesitantly fingering her phone just like she had been doing for the past few days.
There were few overseas students from China in Nice and even fewer reliable guys to be found amongst them…Gu Ying had never been in a relationship before. This time, in a foreign country, in a rather coincidental, rather romantic manner…she had met someone that she was attracted to somewhat, yet had had no further chance to interact with him. Currently being in the peak of her youth, Gu Ying felt this to be a real pity indeed.
People are like this sometimes. While we do not actually know how things might have turned out, letting that pass just like that is generally a real cause for regret as we feel that we might have missed out on something happy and great.
She paced around in her room, muttering to herself every once in a while.
She had actually already been in such a state for a good couple of days.
Renting the place with her was an exchange student from a Chinese university who had been in France for less than a semester. She would be studying in a university in Nice for a year, having moved in for the time being after Gu Ying’s former roommate had graduated, returning to China.
She had seen how Gu Ying had been like these past few days. Gu Ying had also previously told her about what had happened between the two as well as her tiny stirrings of something for him.
“Why’re you still hesitating, senior?” The girl asked.
“I don’t even know if he’s still here,” Gu Ying stomped her foot, “I’ve been walking the streets these past few days, wanting to coincidentally run into him, but I just haven’t met him at all. I don’t even know if he’s gone back or he’s hiding somewhere. I really regret not having asked him which hotel he’s staying in, or I could have continually passed by the place.”
“You’re so concerned about this, senior? Is that person really that great?”
“He’s the guy I’ve met who’s drawn me the most thus far, at least.”
It is always rare and blissful in life to find someone who can set your heart aflutter. Moreover, things had been so coincidental, just like the fate and destiny that were often written about in books.
The girl smiled, asking, “Well, don’t you have his number?”
Gu Ying said rather nervously, “I, I can’t bring myself to do it. It was already embarrassing enough last time…it’d still be better if it’s a coincidental meeting.”
“Alright, I’m going off for lessons then.”
“But this is the fifth day already! If we still can’t meet, he’ll definitely have left…wait a sec.”
“How about this? You help me to call him. Call him with your phone, and…pretend that you called the wrong number but didn’t realise it. Just ask him directly where he is. If he’s still in Nice, I’ll go and try to meet him by chance again.”
“It’s decided then. Hey, why didn’t I think of this earlier?!” A vexed, excited Gu Ying exclaimed, “Come on, hurry up. I’ll tell you his number.”
The girl felt rather awkward about this but could not exactly refuse. As Gu Ying recited that phone number to her, she was only able to numbly press the buttons…and dial the number…
After dialling that unrecorded number, it should really have been a string of digits that appeared. Yet, it was a name that appeared on the screen of the girl’s phone. This meant that…the person was in her contact list.
She had changed her phone and number after coming to France. Then, only the numbers of a select few people had been stored within, the numbers of people who were important to her…
“You’re in Nice?”
“Yeah, but I’ll be leaving soon. I’ll be flying off later today. Hey, sorry about that, but, you are?”
Finding this person’s voice to be kind of familiar, Xu Tingsheng knew that it was someone he was acquainted with. Also, this person knew the number of his old Libei phone and his name, also being aware that he was currently in Nice…
Xu Tingsheng knew for sure that this person wasn’t Gu Ying. Still, there was no name displayed beside the number as he could not ascertain who it was.
“I’m Ye Yingjing.”
“Hmm? …It’s been a long time. I remember that I have your number. This is?”
“This is my handphone number in France. I’m in Nice,” Ye Yingjing said, “I came over as an exchange student for my second year. No, let’s not talk about this now. You’re gonna leave already?”
“Yeah. The flight’s in another two over hours.”
“Where are you now?”
“Next to the airport.”
“I’m coming over.”
Hanging up, Ye Yingjing no longer intended to go for her lessons and hadn’t the time to change her clothes and check herself in the mirror as well as she hurriedly grabbed her bag, preparing to go outside.
Gu Ying was already stunned silly.
“You guys…know each other?”
“Yeah,” Ye Yingjing said rather awkwardly though she was also unable to hide her excitement, “We’re from the same county. We went to the same senior high, only that we were in different classes. Also, my Mum and his Mum are very good friends…”
Up to this point, Gu Ying felt that this was not a bad thing. It might even be a great thing. So he was acquainted with her roommate. The problem now was that Ye Yingjing didn’t seem to have asked her to go along…
“Do I wait for her to ask me? Or should I just request it myself?” She wondered.
“Also, we even went on a blind date once,” Ye Yingjing said.
Gu Ying, “…”
What in the world…