Editor: merahmapple 🍁
At that time, Qu Zhengyan was worrying himself about one thing. His father was about to change jobs. He was hired as the editor-in-chief of a well-known economic publication in China. Originally, Qu Zhengyan thought nothing of it until a problem arose and that the new work location was on the other side of the city. Mr Qu had to cross the river and then take a long bus journey to his new workplace.
Hence, the Qu family planned to move. At the same time, they also planned to get Qu Zhengyan to apply for the high school on the other side of the river so that it would be convenient for admission in the fall.
Qu Zhengyan didn’t know how to tell Xiao Jin. He was reluctant to separate from Xiao Jin, but Du Yongjin was undoubtedly going to attend the elevator high school. After hesitating for a long time, he decided to apply for the elevator high school and tried to talk about this with his mother.
Mrs Qu was very surprised and asked him: “It’s far away, you have to get up early every day. You’re not afraid?” Qu Zhengyan shook his head. Mrs Qu emphasized again: “High school courses are heavier and very tiring!” Qu Zhengyan stressed that he would be fine.
Mrs Qu was speechless.
Qu Zhengyan knew his mother must know the reason why he was so stubborn but Mrs Qu said nothing.
They told Mr Qu afterwards. Mr Qu didn’t object either. He only said that the son should make his own decision, but he must not give up halfway after he proceeded with the decision. He must not complain too.
One weekend, Qu Zhengyan decided to go to the Du’s family house to find Xiao Jin. On one hand, he was urged to do his homework to some extent, and on the other, he also wanted to inform Xiao Jin about his moving.
The Du’s family house was in a quiet corner of the university dormitory area. It was an old-fashioned apartment house with a small garden in front and a tall terrace surrounded by carved stone fences. On the terrace of the Du’s house, vines were planted in wooden pots. When it is hot in summer, Xiao Jin would put a rattan deck chair underneath and take a nap on it. Qu Zhengyan chanced on it once and thought the scene was as beautiful as a painting.
He walked across the path in the garden. The dense pearl plums grew to look like a small hill, with snow-white flowers covering them, obstructing the view. As he walked, he suddenly heard Xiao Jin’s voice. Qu Zhengyan thought he had misheard at first. But after a few steps, his voice was clearer.
“…How can you return something that I brought to you? I have to take it back? What’s wrong with you!”
“Didn’t I tell you already? No way!” There was another person’s voice with a hint of laziness in his words.
“I don’t like to be ungrateful.” Xiao Jin’s voice was as impatient as ever.
Qu Zhengyan suddenly realized that there was a small pavilion in the garden. Xiao Jin must be talking to people over there. He changed his direction, walked past a bunch of flowers and trees and immediately saw the person he was looking for.
Du Yongjin shifted his weight, standing arrogantly with his arms raised, his chin tilted upwards and his brows slightly furrowed. He squinted at the person in front of him with an arrogant look. The other leaned against the pillar, one leg on the railing as he sat, dangling casually. He was a boy, a little older than them.
Du Yongjin didn’t see Qu Zhengyan and still asked, “You’re about the same. This is not small!”
The boy pushed something towards him with his toes, looked up at him and smiled, “I want something else.”
“What…” When Du Yongjin was about to ask, he saw Qu Zhengyan. The conversation stopped. At this time, Qu Zhengyan also saw what was originally placed on the railing. The paper bag spread out slightly, revealing…..money.
The boy also turned his head following Du Yongjin’s gaze. His hair was quite long and messy, he appeared fairly upright, like a burst of vibrant energy.
He did not wear his clothes well as the shirt was only held up by a button and his sleeves were rolled up, revealing the strong muscles on his arms. Qu Zhengyan, with his good eye-sight, even spotted the faint tattoo on the person’s forearm.
Qu Zhengyan unconsciously pressed his lower lip and looked at Du Yongjin.
He knew Xiao Jin loved to play and he knew a lot of people in places like the skating rink in the game hall, but…this person obviously a scoundrel. When did Xiao Jin know such a person?
…Moreover, he always felt that something was wrong.
He thought, have I met this person somewhere?
The guy also noticed him and turned back to look. But Du Yongjin didn’t let him see. He kicked his foot out quickly, reminding the guy to turn his eyes back to him, and said, “That’s all for today. I will find you later if I have something to do.” Then, he walked over to Qu Zhengyan and at the same time intentionally or unintentionally, blocked their sight of each other.
“Why are you here?” Du Yongjin asked.
The two have been together for nearly ten years. Qu Zhengyan was too familiar with every subtle gesture of his expression…Xiao Jin was a little nervous. What a rarity.
Qu Zhengyan didn’t answer him and just looked at the boy over his shoulder. The guy stood up slowly, stuffing the money on the railing into his pocket quietly. He smiled at them before leaving, squinted his eyes and having his gaze fall on Xiao Jin’s back. Qu Zhengyan did not know why he felt a little uneasy.
“…Your friend?” Qu Zhengyan asked when there were only two of them left.
Du Yongyue hesitated and said, “An acquaintance.”
Qu Zhengyan nodded silently.
The two walked side by side to the Du’s house.
When walking, Qu Zhengyan suddenly stopped and turned to look at Du Yongjin. He finally remembered where he had seen that boy. To be precise, he had seen the shirt on his body with a small logo embroidered on his pocket. It was the school uniform of No. 3 Middle School.
The boy who insisted that he had an affair with Wang Bailu was from No. 3 Middle School.
Qu Zhengyan stared at Du Yongjin, panicking at the thoughts that came rushing up in his heart. How could he doubt Xiao Jin? Xiao Jin was self-willed, but, but… he won’t do something like that… He understood Xiao Jin… Xiao Jin’s heart was not bad, he is just a little spoiled without any care for rules…
He felt frightened by his thoughts and felt injustice for Xiao Jin. How could he doubt a friend like this?! He should apologize, he thought, completely unaware that he didn’t say a word.
…Du Yongjin’s face slowly changed.
His beautiful pupils reflected his anxiety and shrank. He even turned his head away from Qu Zhengyan’s eyes, speaking uneasily, “What’s the matter with you? Why did you stop?”
Qu Zhengyan stared at him blankly and his heart began to sink.
This was not Xiao Jin. The real Xiao Jin – the Xiao Jin who has never had a guilty conscience – should immediately raise his eyebrows and his chin, asking what he was thinking of and then laugh at him for being so slow1Chinese idiom: 老牛拉破车 like an old bull pulling a broken car. Then, because he was being too impatient, he would walk away instead…
- 1Chinese idiom: 老牛拉破车 like an old bull pulling a broken car