This was a coin that he couldn’t refuse.
Therefore, Chi Xueyan couldn’t stop smiling as he casually put it in his pocket.
The cold coin fell into the warm pocket, staying with the necessary keys and candy.
In addition to his origin which was still mysterious, He Qiao’s seemingly simple personality contained a bit of the unknown at some moments.
He was sometimes tactful and sometimes honest and direct.
He often did surprising things but it seemed that this should be the case. So it wasn’t too out of the ordinary.
Under the combined effect of the handwritten note and the tooth strawberry, Chi Xueyan accepted the first line and acquiesced to He Qiao’s interference in his private life.
For the following second and third sentences, there was naturally no reason to refuse.
He wasn’t too picky about food and basically ate anything. The chef in the media company’s cafeteria was also really good. It was much tastier than takeout. It was also more abundant and there were often new innovations.
The employees tacitly pretended not to notice the sudden frequency of a new guest to the company’s cafeteria. They just greeted Mr Chi warmly when they met him every day.
Compared with the initial stiffness of strangers, this greeting had a more relaxed and cheerful atmosphere.
The days were still ordinary but there were silent changes brewing.
Every night after work, Chi Xueyan would receive the same small gift box.
He discovered that strawberries could grow into so many strange shapes.
The round body and two pointed lower edges was a healthy and full tooth.
The lower edge had four sharp corners and a bulging upper body, making it look like a jellyfish waving tentacles.
The upper body was gone and left only green stalks next to the four corners, looking like a crooked butterfly.
The strawberries in each gift box had an unusual cuteness.
Every strawberry would be eaten by Chi Xueyan after he finished admiring it.
But he would take a photo before he ate it.
There were no two identical leaves in the world and no two strawberries were exactly the same.
Someone gave him a unique and weird strawberry. It seemed like a waste not to keep a souvenir.
At the same time, Chi Xueyan’s office window contained a unique scenery.
The vacant lot that was blocked off next to the high-end office building was quickly completed and the fence was removed.
It was a large billboard that had been transported late at night and stood firmly on Maple Leaf Road.
It was normal for a billboard to be built next to a media company for publicity.
This morning when Chi Xueyan walked into the clinic, he heard his colleagues talking about the latest street scene.
“Hey, when was this built? I didn’t pay attention.”
“It is the past few days. Haven’t you seen it? I was wondering with An An about what they were doing. I didn’t expect it to be a billboard.”
“But it doesn’t look like an advertisement. There is no product and just a sentence.”
“The media company in the opposite building is owned by a catering group. It might be that they will engage in some brand activities later and they are doing a warm-up.”
“Yes, it makes sense.”
The college nodded thoughtfully while staring at the billboard. Finally, he couldn’t help asking the colleague next to him, “What are you eating tonight?”
On the side, Chi Xueyan followed their line of sight.
On the brand-new billboard, on the big flashing neon screen, the first ‘advertisement’ that appeared with a monochrome background with a line of simple text.
[What do you want to eat for dinner tonight?]
It seemed to be asking every stranger who could see this billboard, leaving small suspense in their hearts with the most ordinary question. This caused countless similar and different conversations to occur on the side of the road and in front of the window in exchange for the subconscious, curious gazes that would be cast over there in the coming days.
It was also like asking the real and only recipient.
It was what an advertising agency under a catering group would do.
It was also something that He Qiao, who stuck paper on the window to leave a note, would do.
The words were the color of strawberries and the background was the same color as the gift box.
So after Chi Xueyan looked at it for a while, he walked to the office, took out his phone and sent a message to He Qiao, whom he had just separated from.
[Shahryar: Hot pot?]
He didn’t need to tell He Qiao what question this was the answer to.
[Little Eleven: Do you want to eat at home?]
He Qiao didn’t need him to ask why He Qiao came up with the idea of the billboard.
[Little Eleven: Always sticking a note on the window seems very childish.]
Chi Xueyan replied with a smile.
[Shahryar: Eat at home.]
[Shahryar: It looks more mature now.]
Although there was a childishness behind the maturity that only he knew.
Before officially starting work, Chi Xueyan took a photo of the billboard.
Then he posted it to the family group chat.
Once the morning’s work was over, he opened his phone again when he was idle and saw his parents posting a full page of chat content.
Initially, it was a simple answer to the question in the photo.
[President Chi: You can’t eat the dishes made by Aunt Ling, haha.]
[Chairman Han: In fact, I was wondering if I should go out to eat barbecue. I haven’t been to the restaurant at that intersection in a while. Yan Yan, do you want to come back and eat together? You can call He Qiao as well.]
[Chairman Han: …Wait, isn’t that the road to your clinic in the photo? I thought it was just a meme.]
[President Chi: It really looks like it. It is all maple trees.]
[Chairman Han: I remember! Yesterday, Xiaoyue told me that He Qiao’s company is planning some type of publicity activity recently. Is it actually for you?]
The warmest and most straightforward love, the most natural and subtle way.
Even Han Zhenzhen, who had a straightforward personality and was afraid of cheesy things, couldn’t say anything critical. She inwardly sighed for a long time before saying in a meaningful tone.
[Chairman Han: Tsk.]
[Chairman Han: Old Chi, you still have the nerve to laugh at your son. Look at He Qiao. Even if you want to learn, you can’t learn it!]
[Chairman Han: You actually wanted to beat him up that night. Fortunately, he didn’t see the club.]
[President Chi: ……]
[President Chi: No, I just wanted to play golf at that time.]
[President Chi: Really!]
[Chairman Han: Nonsense!]
Chi Xueyan laughed while reading it. He slid to the end of the couple’s chatter and saw that Han Zhenzhen had specially @ him to ask him a question.
[Chairman Han: In any case, it is romantic enough. This marriage is quite right.]
[Chairman Han: This made me suddenly want to see how He Qiao usually does housework. Last time, I said I would go over and guide him.
[Chairman Han: When will you do the general cleaning? How about this weekend?
[Chairman Han:@Shahryar remember to reply to me after work.]
…Chi Xueyan suddenly had the feeling of lifting a stone and hitting his own foot.
Still, he didn’t seem to resist.
[Shahryar: Then this weekend.]
He didn’t even need to ask if He Qiao was free on the weekend.
It was because He Qiao never went out to handle official matters on the weekends. At most, he flipped through documents, reports and business books at home. If Chi Xueyan found him for something then he would put it down immediately.
This was actually a state that Chi Xueyan was more familiar with.
The same was true of his parents. They agreed that as long as they were at home after work, they weren’t allowed to talk about company matters.
There was a clear distinction between life and work. Life became pure due to this.
The word ‘home’ had also become pure.
It was the ‘home’ that appeared more and more frequently.
[Shahryar: My mom said she will go home on the weekend to watch us clean.]
[Little Eleven: Okay.]
When Chi Xueyan agreed to Han Zhenzhen, he told her to come over in the after because they slept in. After all, they only got a rest day twice a week.
In fact, this was one of the rare weekends when he didn’t sleep in.
There was still a lot to do in the morning before the afternoon cleaning.
For example, dress up the deserted and empty master bedroom to create the illusion of them living together.
In the early morning, they finished eating breakfast. He Qiao tidied up the kitchen while Chi Xueyan studied the fireplace selected by Sheng Xiaoyue in the living room.
Half of winter had passed but they hadn’t used this thing. It was still as it was when they first moved in.
It was because in the days they spent today, they didn’t need a warm and peaceful atmosphere.
Today was just the right time.
Seeing the flames fluttering smoothly inside the beautiful fireplace, Chi Xueyan got up and went to his bedroom to move things.
It was the same for He Qiao.
The spacious and clean dressing room was gradually filled with two different styles of clothes, casual and serious.
He Qiao maintained his meticulous nature and habitually placed them clearly and distinctly. It was obvious that they were the clothes of two people.
The moment he walked away, these things were disrupted by Chi Xueyan in a random manner.
The high-end suit was placed with the vintage jacket. The spot watch accidentally fell into a drawer full of ties.
The indifferent sense of order was invaded by lazy chaos.
It looked more like a home they had been living in together for a long time.
He Qiao was initially stunned when he returned to the dressing room again. Then he quickly admitted that he lacked consideration with a smile, “This is better.”
Chi Xueyan felt the same.
It was better this way.
They worked together to pull up the quilt on the bed that had no wrinkles, making it look fluffy and comfortable. The pillow was deliberately pressed with marks, as if they had just spent a long night accompanied by sweet dreams.
Small bits and pieces started to decorate the beautiful but lonely furniture in the master bedroom.
There were different styles of furnishings on the two bedside tables.
Chi Xueyan’s side had a TV remote control, a tissue box and an empty, transparent vase.
It was a vase he bought recently. He had just taken it from the cabinet next to his bed.
There were also three things on He Qiao’s side.
A hypnotic-looking foreign book, a glass water cup and a delicate, ceramic candy box.
It was carefully filled with candy and it should taste good.
He Qiao didn’t like sweets very much, so he must’ve prepared it for Chi Xueyan.
Chi Xueyan stood by the bed and looked at the good-looking candy box. He actually wanted to tell He Qiao that he never ate candy before going to bed, because he would only go to bed after brushing his teeth.
He also wanted to see that he wasn’t accustomed to the position of the glass and he might accidentally break it.
But when Chi Xueyan was about to speak, he swallowed down every word in an instant.
He realized that he was becoming uncertain.
If He Qiao picked up a candy with an unknown taste from the beautiful candy box and handed it to him, he couldn’t guarantee that his bedtime self would refuse it.
In any case, the night was long and he could brush his teeth again.
They were obviously only temporarily creating the illusion of living together.
However, this was a very tempting illusion that people couldn’t help wanting to put into practice.
At this uncertain moment, Chi Xueyan realized that unlike before, he hadn’t thought about anything when he took a photo of the billboard and sent it to his parents.
He hadn’t thought about what people in love should do and hadn’t thought about what to say to sound more like a loving partner.
He simply did it.
He stood quietly while thinking of more things.
The fireplace outside the bedroom was burning with warm orange flames and there were light, crackling sounds from time to time. The light reflected the dust floating in the air and there were many gift boxes on the dining table where strangely shaped strawberries had been placed. The ordinary sweetness was renewed. It was shaped into a freshness that changed every time. The window frame was an elegant green and outside was the quiet winter.
The scenery in the house was like a flowing oil painting, exuding a smell that evoked eternity.
Chi Xueyan used to never believe in eternity. Much of the beauty he pursued were fleeting and brilliant moments. He had long been accustomed to a certain cycle in his life. He became interested in one thing and waited for it to bloom to the extreme. He would get enough pleasure from it and throw it away when it was dull.
It was precisely because a rose withered so quickly that it looked precious when it bloomed. The most unforgettable beauty was often accompanied by irreparable brokenness.
The former Chi Xueyan never thought that his future self would have the idea of spending the rest of his life with someone.
He always felt that being with himself was uniquely pleasant. It was because he knew his uncertain self best and knew where to put the glass in his hand.
Yet at this moment, he suddenly felt that the misplaced water glass was actually irrelevant and might even be better. It was a type of happiness that was completely different from the comfort of being alone.
If it was the person in front of him—
If the cup was accidentally broken by him, what would He Qiao say?
He guessed that He Qiao wouldn’t be angry or blame him. Instead, He Qiao would take the initiative to grab the cleaning tools.
When cleaning up the broken glass, would he talk about being safe and cautious like Han Zhenzhen? Or would he be frightened and complain like Chi Zhongyuan?
Chi Xueyan could guess his general reaction but he couldn’t imagine the specific details.
He had to depend on the long and dull days that occurred one after another to fill in the gaps of the description little by little.
It was a real, trivial life spent with each other.
‘No matter what—’ Chi Xueyan thought, ‘I will take He Qiao to buy new cups after He Qiao has cleaned up the glass shards.’
It was maybe one and maybe many.
He didn’t know what type of cup he would choose at that time.
He didn’t know what He Qiao would say or do at that time.
But he was imagining these beautiful unknowns that were floating in the wind.
It didn’t matter whether the relationship was short or long, broken in the end or eternal.
He wasn’t sure and it didn’t matter.
Chi Xueyan still didn’t know how to accurately determine the arrival of life.
He just imagined a scene that would occur sooner or later: the glass on the floor that had shattered, He Qiao carefully gathering the shards and him, who was about to choose a new cup.
Love was like a game that gave brilliant meaning to ordinary memories.
In a very short moment, the past, present and future were suddenly intertwined. It was so that the limited space of this moment extended into an endless ocean. On the sparkling summer sea, he sat in the middle of the boat, looking at the sea breeze blowing a beautiful flame.
It was the burning flame in the fireplace, an orange-red dancing wind.
The wind gently sent the gentle voice of the person around him.
He Qiao saw that the person on the opposite side of the bed had stopped moving and fell into a long silence. Therefore, he asked, “What’s wrong?”
After being woken up by him, Chi Xueyan blinked and retracted from his thoughts.
“I was distracted.”
His answer was always straightforward.
Therefore, He Qiao asked him seriously, “What were you thinking about?”
“I was thinking about the blue sea, the white yacht and the three wine glasses shaken by the waves.”
His mind was also always erratic.
For example, for no reason, he suddenly remembered the day when he went fishing with his friend who had a broken heart.
He Qiao didn’t ask any more questions because he knew that Chi Xueyan hadn’t finished speaking.
He stared at his lover who was shrouded in the sunlight. His vision in the morning was particularly clear and he could see the brilliant golden light parked in the dazzling ends of this person’s hair.
“Also, you called me.”
Chi Xueyan suddenly laughed when he said this and the sunlight around him disappeared.
“At the last moment of the goodbye, I told you that I would see you tomorrow and you said the same thing to me.”
As the memory flowed slowly, He Qiao seemed to be able to see his own strong reflection from these clear eyes.
It was the only reflection in there.
In the master bedroom where they had never lived together, the person with his reflection in his eyes spoke lightly while staring at him intently.
“I don’t know why but I suddenly felt that day was beautiful.”
The author has something to say:
A kiss with the taste of sea waves ^3^