The rainy night passed and the morning rising in the forest looked even more brilliant, like rosy clouds.
He had tasted what it was like to camp in an RV in a quiet forest so Chi Xueyan decided on a city as his next stop.
Go to a bustling city with diametrically opposite scenery.
Different cities had different appearances. The RV traveled all the way, occasionally stopping to pick and choose. Finally, it chose an international metropolis that was both developed and poor.
Magnificent high-rise buildings stretched out and colorful lights seemed to never go out at night. Elites in suits and leather shoes walked into high-end buildings with briefcases. Their leather shoes made clear sounds.
Across the street were the extremely crowded ‘pigeon nest’ apartments. The building was filled with densely packed windows and people with poor livelihoods hurried through narrow alleys with black wires winding above their heads like dark clouds. (Pigeon nests = apartments so small they are nicknamed pigeon nests by the media.)
Chi Xueyan and He Qiao had been here before, but this time they had a different perspective.
It wasn’t the indulgence of the rick or the ordinary people wandering around in amazement.
It was a perspective that was previously completely unexpected.
The plaza on the coast was spacious and there was a strong spring breeze. The causeway and paths were crowded with citizens, tourists and vendors.
In a place where vehicles were parked, there was an off-white rectangular RV parked and passersby occasionally looked at it.
A little girl who was taken out by her family to play looked back at it step by step. Finally, she stood after figuring it out.
“It is an ice cream truck, right?” She cheered. “I want ice cream!”
It was a type of mobile ice cream truck that was very common in the local area in the past.
Hearing this, her mother took a closer look. “No, there is no signboard and it isn’t red. This is an ordinary RV.”
“It is red!” The little girl pointed to the mini balloon man floating around on the window and said, “Besides, this must be a store. If they don’t sell ice cream then they must sell something else!”
Despite her mother’s obstruction, she ran over curiously, stood on tiptoe and knocked on the window of the car body.
The moment the window opened, she immediately asked softly, “Hello, do you sell ice cream here? When do you open?”
Once the words emerged, the little girl found that the big brother in front of her was particularly good-looking.
He wasn’t like other uncles selling ice cream.
It was just that his expression was a bit complicated.
Chi Xueyan: “……”
This was the third person to come to ask for ice cream at noon today.
If he had known earlier, he wouldn’t have parked the car here.
In the morning, he had wandered around the neighborhood with He Qiao. After lunch, he planned to go back to the car to rest for a while before going to other attractions.
As a result, before the two of them could fall asleep, they had to open the window several times in succession.
They hadn’t expected this when choosing an RV. They simply chose a simple and refreshing appearance.
Who knew that by mistake, there was such a characteristic scenery as a mobile ice cream truck.
Chi Xueyan sent the child away and closed the window after hearing an apology. Then he looked back and saw He Qiao sitting at the table, looking down and writing something.
He leaned over to see that it was a note.
It said in clear and powerful font: Not selling ice cream.
Before He Qiao went to the window to stick the note, Chi Xueyan took his pen and added an eye-catching exclamation mark at the end.
He Qiao looked at the exclamation mark that showed his mood and gave a low laugh. Then he bent down to get out of the car.
He smoothed out the note and reminded his lover who was still sitting by the window, “It is time for the lunch break.”
The habit formed during his working days made Chi Xueyan feel sleepy after eating at noon. He always needed a lunch break.
The person at the window lazily rested his head on his chin, gazed over his shoulder and looked further into the distance.
“I can’t sleep any longer. Let’s see if this note is useful.”
He Qiao returned to the car and sat beside him.
He didn’t have the habit of taking a lunch break. He was just accompanying Chi Xueyan.
Now he accompanied Chi Xueyan to look at the scenery outside the window with fascination.
A large LED screen was installed on the tall building on the other side of the square. It was showing the major local news recently.
Once the window was opened, more people looked toward the RV.
In particular, there were two people standing by the window who seemed to be doing business.
Chi Xueyan watched them walk over excitedly and prepare to speak, only to abruptly retract what they wanted to say when they saw the words on the note by the window. They turned around and walked away silently.
It was pretty fun.
He admired the similar but different reactions from passersby for a while. Then he looked sideways at He Qiao.
He Qiao didn’t have this bad taste. He was watching the news on the big screen of the tall building in the distance.
He seemed to be watching very attentively.
Therefore, Chi Xueyan also looked attentively at the person who was watching the news.
He Qiao didn’t notice the eyes staring at him until the current political news that was playing came to an end.
Their eyes met and Chi Xueyan asked him with great interest, “What is the news that you remember the most?”
He Qiao thought for a moment. “In all my memories?”
He remembered some of the news in the novel world that happened after the death of ‘He Qiao.’
Although he didn’t know why he knew about such incoherent fragments.
Chi Xueyan nodded. “Including future news, as long as it isn’t about the end of the world.”
“There is no need.” He Qiao smiled. “The news that impressed me the most was a love story.”
Chi Xueyan quietly waited for him to continue.
“There were two pieces of news. Both happened in the same place. Far from land, there were several remote islands in isolated locations with difficult conditions.
“The first news was that someone visited by chance and found that on one of the smallest islands, there was a simple artificial bridge that connected to the larger island next to it.”
“The special thing was that the bridge was built by an old man in his 70s. It is because as he got older and his wife became more immobile and unwell, he could no longer take a boat. Thus, he spent a few years building the bridge all by himself.”
He Qiao paused for a moment when speaking of this before continuing.
The beginning was the memory of ‘He Qiao’ while the later part was unknown.
“The second news came a year later. The remote island that was rarely heard about became famous due to the bridge and attracted tourists every day. The local economy developed and a company wanted to invest in building a bridge across the sea.”
“It isn’t just a bridge between islands. It is about bringing all the islands together for a richer and more prosperous land.”
It was a better and broader future.
He Qiao finished talking about the news in his memory and his tone was a bit uncertain. “This should be considered a love story, right?”
Chi Xueyan’s focus was different from his.
The most memorable news was about a bridge.
Chi Xueyan raised an eyebrow slightly. “He Qiao, bridge, isn’t this a bit narcissistic?”
He Qiao belatedly realized this and couldn’t help laughing.
“Yes, just a bit.”
The words gradually dissipated into the air.
On the screen of the tall building in the distance, the next bit of news was playing.
The passersby, confused by the RV’s exterior and open window, came and went.
There was a brief silence where they both knew the reason behind it. Then Chi Xueyan spoke first. “Will there be that simple bridge in this world?”
“According to the time mentioned in the news, it should be almost completed by now.”
He Qiao finished answering and asked him, “Do you want to go and see it?”
In a novel about the love-hate entanglement of several protagonists, there shouldn’t be such distant news that had nothing to do with the protagonists. There shouldn’t be too many trivial and unnecessary details.
This was a point that He Qiao had been subconsciously ignoring until he remembered the thorny cactus.
Now that he thought about it, these memories of varying details didn’t look like a random fictional novel. It was more like real life that happened.
If this bridge really existed…
Since there was no God in life who could reveal the only truth, doubts could only accumulate in the mind.
This was until an ordinary moment. Perhaps it was from watching the romantic comedy that caused laughter and tears or because he saw an inconspicuous and crude bridge, but the answer he secretly doubted completely overwhelmed his originally shaking balance. This determined the only truth he wanted to believe in.
Chi Xueyan’s answer was still very clear. “I don’t want to go.”
Immediately afterward, he asked for He Qiao’s opinion. “Do you want to go?”
Soon, He Qiao replied, “I don’t want to.”
He didn’t look directly at Chi Xueyan as he spoke. His eyes were fixed on the balloon man fluttering in the window.
Chi Xueyan looked at him for a while before suddenly asking, “Then do you want to learn to make ice cream?”
At the sudden change in topic, He Qiao looked at him with a surprised expression again.
A day later, the off-white RV wandered around the bustling city and parked in the same place.
On the note stuck next to the window, there was a randomly torn gap. This formed a sharp contrast with the beautiful and correct font.
Four words became three words, plus a striking exclamation point.
[Selling ice cream!]
The nameless ice cream truck soon welcomed its first customer.
It was a little boy who passed by when he was picked up by his father after school on Monday evening.
His father stood on the side of the road to temporarily answer the phone. He gave change to his son and asked him to buy it himself.
The elementary school student with a school bag on his back walked to the RV. He glanced at the note by the window, confirmed it was an ice cream truck and looked around. Then he asked in a low voice, “What flavors of ice cream are there?”
He couldn’t find any signs indicating the type and price.
The big brother with black hair in the window answered him. “There is only one flavor every day.”
“So what flavor is it today?”
Another big brother with red hair leaned against the countertop with the ice cream machine and said solemnly, “Today is cactus flavor.”
The little boy was stunned. He made sure that he heard correctly and then his eyes widened in shock. “Huh?”
The red-haired young man smiled. “I lied to you. It is vanilla flavor.”
The man on the side also smiled and picked up a crunchy cone to add ice cream.
A minute later, the little boy returned to his father with a full cone.
His father hung up the phone and asked him casually, “What flavor did you buy?”
His father was also taken aback and his eyes widened. “Huh? What flavor?”
The little boy laughed in a silly manner and copied the words, “I lied to you. It is vanilla flavor.”
As a result, his hands shook with joy. The ice cream ball fell to the ground with a snap.
One minute later, the window of the ice cream truck welcomed two guests, one large and one small.
“I want to ask for two cacti… no, vanilla flavored ice cream.”
On the way home, the father and son held a sweet con in their hands and thought that this ice cream was delicious.
He didn’t know why but they always felt it was different from the common vanilla flavor.
It vaguely seemed to have a cactus taste.
Although no one knew what cactus tasted like.
Once school was over on Tuesday, a little boy carrying his school bag and his father, who often had to answer work calls, had to pass by again.
The balloon man continued to fly with the wind. The note became shorter and the word ‘selling’ was gone. There were only two words and an exclamation mark.
They still bought two ice creams.
This time, there was a line. The little boy saw other customers quietly taking photos.
It was probably because the two big brothers were handsome and the name of the ice cream was peculiar.
Today’s ice cream was matcha flavored, although the red-haired brother said it was a Christmas tree flavor.
…What did a Christmas tree taste like?
It didn’t matter. Just treat it as the taste of matcha.
On Friday evening, the little boy finally ushered in the weekend and came here again. His steps were particularly brisk.
The note pasted on the window had been torn until there was only a big exclamation mark left.
“What type of ice cream is it today?”
“Rose flavor.” The big brother with hair like a rose said, “It is the last day of business and you can eat for free.”
He politely thanked the big brother, took the pink cone on tiptoe and seriously tasted it.
It turned out to be the strawberry flavor.
It tasted sweet.
But he inexplicably felt a trace of loss.
“Are you going somewhere else starting from tomorrow?” He asked. “Is it far from here?”
If it wasn’t far away, he wanted his father to continue taking him there to buy it.
The black-haired big brother carefully handed him a tissue and said in a gentle tone, “It is in another city, far from here.”
The person beside him casually asked, “How far is it?”
“It will take a whole day of driving,” the big brother calculated it. “It is too tiring. Let’s find another place to rest in the middle.”
“Okay,” the other person replied. “I’ll check the car later.”
“Remember to check the engine carefully. I seem to have heard an unusual noise this morning…”
The little boy ate strawberry ice cream while listening to them chat.
It was strange and new to him. It belonged to the world of adults.
He was ten years away from becoming an adult who could get a driver’s license.
It sounded as far as 1,400 kilometers.
He really wanted to grow up quickly.
Chi Xueyan finished talking and turned his head to look over, only to see the longing in the little boy’s expression.
He liked this hopeful look.
So he took the initiative to chat with the person outside the window. “I’m going to that city to see the hydrangeas.
The little boy knew about this flower and asked curiously, “Do you want to make ice cream with a hydrangea flavor?”
Chi Xueyan answered him seriously, “No, there is no such tutorial on the Internet.”
It turned out to be done by an Internet tutorial.
No wonder why there were no real cactus or Christmas tree flavored ice creams.
The little boy nodded and enthusiastically offered suggestions, “You can make blueberry flavor and call it hydrangea flavor.”
The hydrangeas he had seen seemed to be blue-purple.
The naming style of the balloon man ice cream truck had been understood by him and the two owners of the ice cream truck laughed at the same time.
Laughter escaped in the wind and even the balloon man who kept dancing seemed to be laughing.
The calm big brother told him, “Hydrangeas come in many colors, not just purple.”
The big brother with a flamboyant appearance asked him, “There is a hydrangea that can bloom from spring to autumn. What do you think its name is?”
This was new knowledge that the little boy didn’t know and he shook his head honestly. “I can’t guess. What is it?”
“It is called Endless Summer.”
Chi Xueyan said. Then he took out a stack of things from the side of the table and handed it over. “This is for you. It is a gift for the first and last customer.”
The little boy took it with some surprise.
It was a few small pieces of paper torn crookedly, each with words written on it.
They were: not, selling, ice, cream.
He remembered coming over on the first day and seeing ‘Selling ice cream!’
At this moment, the text torn off day by day lay in the palm of his hand. The exclamation point was still hanging by the window where the balloon man was flying.
Unexpectedly, there was a ‘not’ in front.
Wasn’t this an ice cream truck?
The little boy looked at them standing side by side in the window and suddenly felt that his heart was filled with an indescribable feeling.
It was as if he saw a paper airplane flying in the sky, almost bordering the high clouds. It swam lightly in the wind, never falling.
He instinctively squeezed the strap of the school bag tightly. Before he could clarify the emotions that were too complicated for him right now, he heard the nice voice of the big brother.
“Goodbye, although I probably won’t see you again.”
The owner of the ice cream truck bid farewell to the unfamiliar yet familiar little customer. Then he shifted his gaze to his companion with a clear laughter in his voice.
“Once you grow up, remember to go to spring to see the Endless Summer.”
The author has something to say:
A kiss with the flavor of ice cream ^3^