Chapter 243: Just for today
To a great many people, so much was entailed by the summer holidays when they graduated from senior high school. Regardless of age, this seemed to be the boundary line for parents regarding whether one had grown up, as well as when they were finally willing to let go a little, loosening the rope that they held.
Previously, you were in a cage.
Afterwards, you began to possess those wide plains on which to roam.
Boys would light up a cigarette on their graduation night, ignoring all else. The short skirts of the girls would dazzle everyone’s eyes. There were even those who would bring their boyfriends or girlfriends whom they had hidden for a long time home for their parents to look at that summer.
Wu Yuewei had virtually spent these entire summer holidays impatiently twiddling her thumbs as she counted down the days.
At the occasional class gathering, her tablemate who had accepted a confession after graduation and embarked on a new relationship would always joke, “Who asked you to like that Xu Tingsheng? Look, you’ve ended up scaring off all those boys who wanted to confess to you after graduation.”
Of course Wu Yuewei knew that the person whom she liked was so outstanding in the eyes of others, outstanding to the extent that he seemed suddenly insurmountable.
Still, she who had always been pure had actually never minded any of this, never considering things from this angle. It was the same even if she heard some negative things being said about her…she clearly knew that he hadn’t been this way yet when she had begun liking him.
Therefore, Wu Yuewei just liked Xu Tingsheng regardless of how he was.
Those three long months had really passed by far too slowly. It was with great difficulty that Wu Yuewei managed to wait it out till they were soon to meet at Yanzhou. She secretly travelled to Yanzhou a day before schedule.
She had thought that she would make use of this additional day to take a look at Xu Tingsheng’s university and where he lived and worked.
She had thought that it would be best if he was willing to lead her on a tour of his campus, the school fields, the library and classrooms, then sit down to eat together in the canteen. She would ask him, “Right, isn’t it time you changed the bedsheets in your dorm room?”
The location of Hucheng’s office could be found online. She had noted it down long ago.
From Libei to Jiannan and then to Yanzhou, the bus was jolting along the uneven roads.
However, while Wu Yuewei carried her heavy luggage and continually switched buses, she did not feel herself to be suffering at all as she was nearly bursting with happiness and anticipation.
Arriving before the riverside residence, she asked a university student she saw downstairs who worked part-time in Hucheng if Xu Tingsheng lived there.
That person told her that he usually stayed on the second floor.
“I’ve found it,” Wu Yuewei carefully adjusted her clothes and dabbed at her sweat, telling herself, “Don’t be nervous.”
Still feeling rather nervous, she raised her hand and knocked on the door.
Wu Yuewei did not see Xu Tingsheng. Instead, it was a beautiful girl who opened the door for her. There were another two of them sitting in the living room, eating tidbits as they watched television. Wu Yuewei recognised one of them as Apple, Xu Tingsheng’s classmate in twelfth grade who had later become an artiste.
Wu Yuewei knew that she too liked Xu Tingsheng.
She was currently in his house.
“So, they’re already living together now? What about the other two girls then?” Holding on to her final vestiges of hope, Wu Yuewei asked in a small voice, “Sorry, does Xu Tingsheng live here?”
The girl standing at the doorway replied, “Yes, he does. You’re…”
At this point, Wu Yuewei suddenly found that she felt very much like running away. She hastily interjected ‘thank you’ before really seeming like she was running away as she turned and left.
She had been coaxing herself all this time, saying that he wouldn’t change, that it wasn’t important…yet all this suddenly seemed to work no longer.
Xu Tingsheng could not get through to Wu Yuewei’s phone. He could only accelerate his car to its maximum speed.
The first thing he tried in his search for Wu Yuewei was looking for her along the streets leading to the bus station from the academy city.
It was best if he could find her like this. If he couldn’t, this would entail that she had most likely gotten on a public bus. Xu Tingsheng intended to drive around for a bit first. If he still couldn’t find her, he would go straight to the station to intercept her.
The academy city was located in the suburbs of the city, with only a single path leading from it to the city center.
After driving for more than twenty minutes, Xu Tingsheng found Wu Yuewei walking along a road, dragging a suitcase behind her. He hurriedly found a junction and made a U-turn before following her at a distance that was neither close nor far away.
Wu Yuewei’s slender back profile stood out so keenly as she carried a backpack stuffed full of belongings on her back while dragging along a large suitcase with her right hand, her left hand… wiping off her tears every once in a while.
Xu Tingsheng dialled her number. She stopped walking, took out her phone and looked at it, just looking at it as she refused to pick up his call.
Xu Tingsheng saw her stop atop a bridge and rest her suitcase against its banister before removing her backpack and resting it against her kneecap…
She unzipped the bag, seemingly in the midst of searching for something inside.
Wu Yuewei retrieved an intricately, meticulously wrapped box from her backpack. She looked at it for a long time, hesitated for a long time. Finally, she raised her hand, intending to throw the box out…
A hand reached over, grabbing her hand and the box along with it.
“Is this a present for me? I remember you saying that I’d get a present when you arrive,” Xu Tingsheng said, “You’re not willing to give it to me now? How have I offended you?”
Wu Yuewei turned to look at Xu Tingsheng, clenching her teeth as she started to struggle. While she uttered not a sound, she struggled with all her might. This stubborn side of Wu Yuewei’s was something she had never displayed in front of Xu Tingsheng before.
Xu Tingsheng could only hug her from behind, trapping even her arms as well.
“You’re actually stronger than you look.”
This was what a panting Xu Tingsheng said when Wu Yuewei finally ceased to struggle, smiling as he released his grip. Then, he opened the box which he had just snatched. There was a watch inside.
Xu Tingsheng took off his watch and put on his present.
Wu Yuewei said, “Don’t wear that. It’s very cheap.”
Xu Tingsheng smiled, “I’m wearing it.”
Wu Yuewei had worked at Libei’s Happy Shoppers branch for two months over the summer holidays to earn the money to buy that watch. This was something that his sister, Xu Qiuyi, had already told him about previously.
The watch that Xu Tingsheng had been wearing was basically equivalent to what Hucheng earned in an hour. Meanwhile, this one was worth two month’s of Wu Yuewei’s hard work. Therefore, this watch was really more valuable.
He dumped first the suitcase, next the backpack and finally the person herself in his car.
Xu Tingsheng said, “The air tickets were already pre-booked. You’re here a day early, so, where would you like to go today?”
Wu Yuewei did not speak.
Xu Tingsheng drove his car someplace where he could pull over, waiting for her to regain her composure. His handphone vibrated continuously. Taking a look at it, the screen indicated that three texts had continuously come in during this short while, all of them having been sent by Cen Xiyu.
The first read: Those who love you are all so fortunate, yet also so pitiful.
The second read: I’m going back to Libei. Don’t let your junior cry alone on some street in a foreign city. I’ve tried it before. That’s really too pitiful.
The third read: I trust you.
The first demonstrated her emotions. If an expression could be added to the characters, it could be imagined that one would see a bitterly smiling face. The second demonstrated her magnanimity. The third had a bit of her intentions behind it.
Sometimes, saying ‘I trust you’ has even more of an ‘inspectionary’ use than ‘you’d better not…’ as it may even serve to caution someone.
Xu Tingsheng replied with ‘Safe travels’ and put his handphone back down.
Wu Yuewei finally spoke, saying in a calm manner, “Senior, I don’t want to ask about anything. You wear this watch, just for today. I want to go take a look at your school, okay? I want you to go window shopping with me, okay?”
Xu Tingsheng said, “Okay.”
Wu Yuewi asked, “Wear some clothes that aren’t so nice, and don’t drive this type of car, okay?”
Xu Tingsheng said, “Okay.”