After taking the walk and returning to the door, Chi Xueyan watched He Qiao drive away. He stood on the side of the road and lazily waved goodbye to him.
Once the car engine’s sound completely faded and he had done the superficial work, he turned around and walked home.
The house was filled with the strong smell of roses. Aunt Ling moved them to the balcony before getting off work. She said that they could be dried and made into sachets. This way, the many flowers wouldn’t be wasted.
The moment Chi Xueyan entered the house, he saw his mother who was deliberately waiting for him in the living room.
Han Zhen leaned against the sofa to apply a mask while asking him in a gossipy tone, “Is the ring good?”
In fact, he hadn’t opened the velvet box yet. He could only say vaguely, “It’s okay. I will just wear it for a while and then change it later.”
Han Zhenzhen snorted and changed the subject. “The two of you look like a good match when walking together.”
Chi Xueyan knew her too well and said with a smile, “Mom, what do you want to say?”
“It’s nothing.” Han Zhenzhen’s voice was soft. “He Qiao seems to be a good boy. If you don’t get along well later, you can clean him up. Your father and I will also clean him up with you.”
She spoke quickly, as if she didn’t want to bore her son. She asked instead, “The marriage license was so rushed. Do you still want to hold a wedding? Do you want to do it?”
“Yes.” Chi Xueyan answered patiently. “We haven’t decided what style we want yet. Which one do you like?”
Given the family backgrounds of both people, the marriage naturally couldn’t proceed silently.
“I have to think about it. There are too many new tricks now.” Han Zhenzhen was finally happy and she muttered, “By the way, I have to go find someone to calculate a good day.”
Seeing the worry and reluctance behind her mother’s relaxed expression, Chi Xueyan didn’t oppose her superstitious behavior for once.
He went to the kitchen to warm up the milk. He put it in front of Han Zhenzhen and carefully inserted the straw. “Go to bed early after applying the mask. I will go upstairs to take a bath first.”
In the quiet of the night, his mother nestled in the sofa and beckoned to her son, who suddenly had a partner. “Yanyan, good night.”
Chi Xueyan’s palm held a small and sturdy ring box in his hand. His usual carelessness had faded and he responded with gentle eyes, “Good night, Mom.”
The long and special day was finally over.
Chi Xueyan took advantage of the weekend and slept until the sun rose.
Once he got up the next day, he said he was going to find He Qiao. Han Zhenzhen, who had recovered her former appearance, immediately waved and drove him out.
Walking through the familiar street, Chi Xueyan entered the SCA bar where the neon lights weren’t turned on yet.
It was before opening hours and there were no customers in the store. Traces of the party still remained. Wang Shaojing was holding a ladder and the bar employee standing on it was carefully removing the movie posters.
The hem of the villain doctor’s clothes was rolled up and put into a deep poster tube.
Wang Shaojing was a bit surprised to see Chi Xueyan coming. “It is a rare guest in broad daylight.”
Chi Xueyan smiled. “I came to take a seat.”
He had a completely different state of mind when coming to this place that once meant happiness and relaxation.
This was the starting point of an abrupt twist in his fate.
He sat down at the bar. Wang Shaojing finished the work at hand and came over to entertain him personally. “What do you want to drink?”
There was a storage box at the bar that was full of small items such as mobile phones, glasses, keys, etc. Chi Xueyan glanced at it and replied, “Whatever.”
“Then I’ll give you a glass of lovelorn special.” Wang Shaojing joked. “Generally, only people who are lovelorn can order it. You are an exception.”
He skillfully mixed the drink while gossiping about trivial matters. “I played crazily until the early hours of the morning yesterday and didn’t rest until the morning. Now that I am older, I had to sleep for a whole day before recovering. Now that I came back to work, I am like a pawnshop owner, waiting for these children to come to the door to find their lost things. By the way, you left early that day. It was the first time you left halfway in the past few years. Are you busy?”
As Wang Shaojing said that, he gently pushed the cup in front of him. He finally changed to a serious tone and greeted his old friend, who obviously had something on his mind. “Xiao Chi, what happened?”
When he heard this name, a trace of complicated emotions crossed Chi Xueyan’s face. He reached out and held the wine glass. There were no traces of a ring on his white and slender finger.
“I can’t say it,” Chi Xueyan said in a low voice.
He was just a bit dazed.
It was a type of daze that slowly grew when staring at the calm sea after avoiding the stormy waves for a while.
Chi Xueyan didn’t know when the next storm would come, let alone if it would really come.
However, his life had been irreversibly changed. He was going to move forward hand in hand with a strange lover while trying to deceive his closest family members.
He usually took pleasure in pursuing novelty. He might’ve tried to convince himself that it was necessary, but it was inevitable that a deep suspicion would arise in some moments.
Were his current actions the right thing?
Wang Shaojing observed his unclear expression and told him clearly, “Call me if you want to chat. If you want to drink more, I will remember to call a car to send you back. Try not to sleep here until dark.”
The corners of Chi Xueyan’s lips raised in a smile. “Okay.”
There was a knock on the door from outside. “Is anyone there?”
Wang Shaojing replied in a loud voice, “Are you here to find something? Come in!”
The door opened and closed. The stranger walked into the bar and said to Wang Shaojing, “Hello, I came here with my friends on Friday night. Today, he found that he had lost a string of keys to the school laboratory. He happened to have gone home, so I came to look for it first.”
Wang Shaojing pointed to the storage box on the side. “Everything is here. After you find it, you need to register your phone number and the item you took away, in case you find that you took the wrong thing later on.”
“Okay, thank you.”
Chi Xueyan stared at the glass in front of him in a daze, not paying attention to the movements around him.
This was until the other person took the initiative to call out to him. “Chi Xueyan?”
Chi Xueyan froze suddenly and belatedly realized that the stranger’s voice was slightly familiar.
He turned his head and saw the tall boy with a cold and distant temperament.
Lu Siyi saw the stunned expression on the other person’s face and paused for a moment. “…I remembered the name correctly, right?”
Lu Siyi had an outstanding appearance and was often approached by people. He basically forgot them when he turned away. Then that night, he was pulled by friends to the bar to watch a horror movie. He was looking down in the crowd to calculate a difficult formula when a red-haired stranger handed him a clipboard and exchanged a few words.
Originally, he didn’t pay much attention to it. Then after the two of them exchanged names, the other person’s expression seemed a bit lost. The conversation was hastily ended and the subtle weirdness left an impression on him.
Now seeing Chi Xueyan sitting at the bar and drinking in broad daylight, Lu Siyi frowned and asked, “Were you okay that day?”
Chi Xueyan was stunned for a few seconds before replying, “Yes, I’m fine.”
Sudden wind and waves came crashing down on the sea.
He tried his best to maintain his calm on the surface and pretended to casually ask, “Did you come looking for something?”
At the same time, Chi Xueyan gently pushed the glass in his hand toward the inside of the bar.
“Yes.” Lu Siyi nodded. “My friend lost his keys.”
Seeing the half-full glass of wine being pushed over, Wang Shaojing understood it. He immediately reached out and rummaged through the storage box. He grabbed a bunch randomly and said to Lu Siyi, “Can you check if it is this bunch of keys?”
Every time Chi Xueyan was annoyed by strangers who came up to him to chat, Chi Xueyan would give him this signal.
Lu Siyi’s attention shifted. “No, there are only two keys hanging.”
“Two… oh, I see it. It is this one.”
There was the sound of metal clashing. Lu Siyi leaned over to write down the item name and contact information on the register.
He put down his pen and asked Wang Shaojing, “Does the event of that night often take place here?”
“You mean the viewing parties for Scalpel?” Wang Shaojing smiled. “It will be held every year on the anniversary of the movie’s release and on the anniversary of the classic death scenes in the movie when I especially want to relieve it.”
Lu Siyi said succinctly, “Where can I see the event notification?”
“My Moments.” Wang Shaojing quickly took out his phone, added Lu Siyi as a friend and ridiculed him. “I have a small impression of you. I thought you weren’t interested in this movie.
Lu Siyi didn’t deny it and answered honestly, “That kind of atmosphere helps to open up my mind.”
He finished his work and politely said goodbye to the bar owner and Chi Xueyan. He took the keys and left.
After he left, Wang Shaojing shook his phone at Chi Xueyan and sighed. “Looking at his Moments, he should be a graduate student. He can still think of such things when everyone is going crazy. He is really amazing.”
“You seemed to be interested in him that day and I thought to myself that you liked this type.” Wang Shaojing was curious. “Why are you so annoyed after exchanging a few sentences today? Does your taste change so quickly?”
Along with his movements, his friend’s profile page on the screen lit up. Everything about Lu Siyi seemed close at hand and shook dangerously.
Chi Xueyan looked away almost instantly and replied softly, “Maybe.”
He suddenly remembered that in the crowded hotpot restaurant. He Qiao seriously told him the details from the novel as evidence. They were memories related to his fifth birthday and love.
Last night, he walked hand in hand with He Qiao and occasionally heard cicadas from the bushes.
The unquestionable reality and illusory future suddenly intertwined and merged into a deep, bottomless sea.
Chi Xueyan sat quietly like this. The cup of the lovelorn special in his hand was never finished, until the crystal cup was dyed with the gorgeous night scenery outside the window.
The bar gradually became lively. He got up and silently left.