Tao Xi ran back to the empty bedroom on the fourth floor with the fastest speed. Before the lights could be turned on, he ran to the balcony to open the window and looked downstairs.
On weekend nights, there were only a few street lights that were not even bright on the campus, but fortunately, the short road from the dormitory building to the school gate could barely be seen.
Tao Xi panted slightly, standing on tiptoe and sticking his head out the window to look for Lin Qinhe, but after a while, he didn’t see him.
Did Lin Qinhe walk so fast?
Tao Xi unwillingly waited for a while, and finally saw Lin Qinhe’s figure appear in the gloomy night lights.
He didn’t know why Lin Qinhe spent so long downstairs. He just looked at Lin Qinhe’s back as before, no, harder than before.
This was his most accustomed and relaxed angle, so there was no need to worry about being discovered by Lin Qinhe.
Just like when people looked up at the moon, they never worried about whether the moon cared about their gaze.
But Tao Xi suddenly saw Lin Qinhe stop, then turned around and looked up at the dormitory building.
At that moment, Tao Xi’s heart shrinked violently.
Was Lin Qinhe looking at him?
This guess made his hair tremble with excitement. He hurriedly raised his hand to Lin Qinhe and waved, but suddenly realized that he hadn’t turned on the light yet so Lin Qinhe couldn’t see him.
Tao Xi hurriedly went to turn on the light on the balcony, but when he returned to the window, he saw Lin Qinhe had already turned around and continued to walk towards the school gate.
A huge loss came over his face, followed by unwillingness that suddenly rose up.
Tao Xi took out the phone from his pocket, unlocked it quickly with his fingers, searched for Lin Qinhe’s phone number, and pressed it in a hurry.
He looked at Lin Qinhe’s figure nervously while waiting to be connected, and when he saw that he had stopped, he lowered his head as if he was looking at the phone.
The call was connected.
Lin Qinhe didn’t speak, only the sound of very shallow breathing could be heard, he turned and looked up at the dormitory building.
Tao Xi didn’t know what to say, he called him on impulse.
Lin Qinhe whispered his name and looked up at him, as if he knew which room he was in.
Tao Xi opened his mouth, looked at Lin Qinhe in the night, and plucked up the courage to say:
“Lin Qinhe, I want to say goodnight to you.”
I want to say good morning, good afternoon, and good night to you every day.
Lin Qinhe seemed to laugh, and said to him: “Say, ba.”
Tao Xi paused and said seriously:
“Lin Qinhe, good night.”
“Tao Xi, good night.”
Lin Qinhe had a soft voice.
This scene was actually a bit weird. One person was upstairs and the other was downstairs, looking at each other, not yet the time to sleep, but they said goodnight to each other on the phone.
Tao Xi couldn’t help but laugh, his eyes filled with shining stars again. It seemed that everything went really well tonight and he could sleep peacefully without any worries.
“I’m done, see you tomorrow!”
Tao Xi hung up the phone as soon as he finished, afraid he wouldn’t be able to hang up later.
He watched Lin Qinhe put down his phone, turned around and walked towards the school gate again, until he couldn’t see him at all before he returned to the room. After taking a shower as usual, he washed the clothes he changed out of and dried them on the balcony. Then he sat on the chair and started doing practice papers.
There was a rare calm in his heart.
It was as if he had gained endless courage in the hug and good night just now, even though it was just a one-sided hug.
He found that whenever he was indulged in a ridiculous fate, Lin Qinhe would always pull him out of the dark river, so that he could see that the river was full of stars and dreams.
Just thought of what he saw in the hospital at night as a dream.
When he woke up from the dream, he still had to try to live a good life.
When Lin Qinhe returned to Hannan Hospital, Yang Duole was already asleep, and the two old men were also persuaded by Luo Zhengyin to go back to rest. Only Luo Zhengyin was guarding the bed in the ward.
Luo Zhengyin noticed that Lin Qinhe came in, and made a shushing gesture towards Lin Qinhe. She got up and checked the drainage bottle on Yang Duole’s chest, and touched Yang Duole’s forehead affectionately before walking out of the ward with Lin Qinhe.
“Where have you been? Lele has been looking for you.” Luo Zhengyin closed the door and asked Lin Qinhe in the corridor.
Lin Qinhe looked at Luo Zhengyin’s red eyes and said briefly: “Send Tao Xi back to school.”
Only then did Luo Zhengyin remember that the student named Tao Xi had inexplicably come and left at night. She wondered in her heart and asked.
“Just ask Xiao Chen to send him back, why should you follow along?”
Lin Qinhe didn’t answer her question and turned to say, “You should also rest early, you have a concert performance tomorrow.”
Luo Zhengyin shook her head, raised her hand and rubbed her eyebrows. The sadness of the whole night made her really tired, and she couldn’t help but confide in her son:
“I don’t rest assured. Every time Lele gets sick, I always think of A’Sui. If I could stop her at that time regardless of everything, not letting her go nowhere, going so far away, would she have ….”
Luo Zhengyin began to choke in the middle of speaking, and the nerves that collapsed all night finally relaxed.
Lin Qinhe handed a tissue to his mother. He looked at the unmanned bench and said after a moment of silence, “It has been a long time, and Aunt Fang definitely doesn’t want you to feel guilty for her forever, she won’t blame you.”
Luo Zhengyin wiped away the tears with a tissue. In fact, she rarely mentioned Fang Sui in front of Lin Qinhe. She knew that her son didn’t like Fang Sui, but she didn’t know why tonight, and she had been a little nervous and flustered, as if to foreshadow something that she had overlooked.
“Qinhe, mother knows that you must have no way to understand in your heart, and blame me for being unable to let go of the past. Maybe when you grow up and meet the most important person in your life, you will gradually understand how I feel, but I hope you will never be like mother, because cowardice and hesitation cause regrets in your life.”
Lin Qinhe didn’t say a word. This was the first time his mother had been so honest with him about her feelings for Fang Sui. A long time ago, he had indeed blamed Luo Zhengyin and had developed a hint of hatred for the woman who had died.
He had lived in the shadow of Fang Sui since he was a child. There were traces of her everywhere in the house, and even his own name cherished her memory.
Luo Zhengyin’s extreme preference for Yang Duole was also unfair to him, but he, like his father, would not show most of his emotions. Everyone felt that he was born mature, alienated and indifferent to everything.
But a long time ago, he also had expectations for his home, expecting his home to be as normal and joyful as an ordinary family, and expecting his parents to give him all the attention and love.
Later, he gradually let go. After all, if it were not for Yang Duole, Luo Zhengyin might still be unable to get out of depression, then he would not even have a chance to see his mother.
He could only hope that his relatives were well, and no longer asked for anything else.
Lin Qinhe held Luo Zhengyin’s hand and said in a low voice, “I didn’t blame you, I just hope you can be happier. This is also my dad’s hope.”
Luo Zhengyin was slightly startled, she smiled and said: “Speaking of which, I haven’t seen your dad for a long time, how is he?”
Lin Qinhe wanted to say something but stopped. In the end, he couldn’t hold back and said: “He’s fine, and he’s always concerned about you.”
Luo Zhengyin was silent for a while. She was not completely ignorant of what Lin Zeshi did for her. She also took the initiative to ask Lin Zeshi for a divorce, but Lin Zeshi did not agree. After that, Lin Zeshi almost stopped showing up in front of her for fear of disturbing her.
She did not continue the topic, instead she said, “That classmate named Tao Xi is a bit like A’Sui. You seem to like this friend very much?”
Lin Qinhe frowned and said in a deep voice: “He doesn’t look like anyone.”
His tone was serious, but he didn’t refute the second half of the sentence. Luo Zhengyin knew that he had lost his tongue, smiled and said.
“Since you like this friend, you will have the opportunity to invite him to play at home in the future.”
Lin Qinhe stretched his eyebrows and let out an ‘en’.
Tao Xi didn’t have a good night. He had a dream all night, dreaming that he was lying on a hospital bed with cold wires in his body. His grandparents wiped their tears and called him “dear grandson”, and Lin Qinhe held his hand as if to say something.
He struggled for a long time in his dream and finally heard Lin Qinhe calling him “Lele”.
Tao Xi woke up in shock, still in a trance with the pain of being filled with a tube.
At that moment, he suddenly really wasn’t jealous of Yang Duole.
As the midterm exam was approaching, the atmosphere in the class became more and more tense. Even Bi Chengfei stopped playing basketball at noon and stayed in the classroom.
Tao Xi knew that embracing the Buddha’s feet was far better than holding Lin Qinhe’s thighs. Every day he went to Lin Qinhe to talk about various topics in a fancy way. He gradually realized that Lin Qinhe had been more and more indulgent towards him since he went to the hospital that day. At least Lin Qinhe would answer his questions every time, although the words were still pitiful.
This allowed him to start to take advantage of the situation again.Under the quilt in the middle of the night, he even asked Lin Qinhe to solve the problem and Lin Qinhe was basically responsive, like an intelligent question bank AI.
If Lin Qinhe didn’t reply, he would send out the emojis he got from Bi Chengfei, one after another, cats, dogs, chickens, gooses, like the animal world.
After sending twenty messages, Lin Qinhe finally replied to him with an ellipsis.
Lin Qinhe: What about the question?
Tao Xi: On the top
Lin Qinhe: Too lazy to scroll
Tao Xi posted the photo of the question again. It was a math problem, as difficult as Olympiad questions. He did it for twenty minutes and didn’t manage to solve it.
In less than three minutes, Lin Qinhe wrote the complete answering process and sent it over.
Tao Xi sent a picture of a rooster jumping over.
Tao Xi: Jumping sour chicken1this is the meme:
As soon as the club activities ended on Sunday, Qiao Yitang took Tao Xi straight to his grandfather Qiao Henian’s house.
The old man lived in an old red-roofed bungalow in the city center. The location was good but quiet. Out of courtesy, Tao Xi also spent a huge sum of money to buy a bunch of precious fruits that he had never eaten. Thinking about seeing Qiao Henian later, should he bow first to show respect.
When he arrived at the Qiao’s house, Qiao Henian was wearing an old gray sweater and stepping on rubber boots to grow vegetables in the garden. There was no such thing as a great painter’s immortality. Seeing the granddaughter and Tao Xi coming in, without looking up, he directly ordered: “Not going to work!”
Qiao Yitang wore a short skirt and was extremely unhappy. She went to the toilet as an excuse. Tao Xi greeted “Hello, Grandpa Qiao”, and walked after putting down the fruit. He grew up doing farm work, so his actions were quick and smooth. It didn’t take long to help Qiao Henian finish the work.
Qiao Henian raised his waist with a hoe and looked at Tao Xi, his eyes were sharp, and Tao Xi’s palms were sweating from the stare.
“What is your name?”
“Tao Xi, the stream Xi.”
Qiao Henian nodded and said, “From now on, you’ll be a student of Qiao Henian.”
Tao Xi looked at Qiao Henian in shock. He couldn’t believe that it was as simple as that. Qiao Henian walked into the bungalow with a hoe, and muttered all the way: “Finally, I’ve found someone to help me grow vegetables.”
“…” Tao Xi did not expect that he had become a student of a great painter through his vegetable growing skills.
“Not coming?!” Qiao Henian turned around and reminded him.
Tao Xi followed Qiao Henian to the studio on the third floor.
“Why do you want to learn to paint?” Qiao Henian took a few sips of water while sitting on the Huanghuali wood armchair, and finally asked a question that should be asked.
Tao Xi thought for a while and said frankly: “One is because I like it. The other is because I want to make money, make a lot of money.”
Lin Qinhe told him that his paintings should have a higher value and be appreciated by more people. His understanding was that his paintings must be sold for more money, so that they could buy a house and start a family.
Qiao Henian squinted his eyes, nodded and smiled: “Yes, honest enough, not pretending to be big and empty in front of the old man.”
“I have seen your paintings, they have a bit of charm2灵气 – literally means spiritual influence (of mountains etc), but seeing the example sentences, it can also mean charm or inspiring so I’ll just go with charm but it’s not enough to make a lot of money as you said. Come over during the holidays in the future. Help me with farming and I will teach you, how about it?”
Tao Xi nodded hurriedly and said respectfully, “Thank you, teacher.”
Qiao Henian looked at Tao Xi again, and couldn’t help saying, “You really look like a female student of mine from many years ago. It is a pity that the child looked well-behaved, but her character was very stubborn, ruining her life and a promising future for a man who doesn’t deserve it.”
He sighed, with regret in his eyes. His face became serious, and he asked Tao Xi sharply, “Are you in love?”
Tao Xi was taken aback, shook his head hurriedly and said, “Not yet.”
Qiao Henian’s face calmed down a bit, and he touched his beard and said: “Yes, not like my good-for-nothing granddaughter who only knows how to fall in love all day long. Since you are my student, you have to listen to me. Puppy love is not allowed before graduating from high school, you know?”
Tao Xi was reluctant, and Qiao Henian glared at this hesitation.
He reluctantly agreed, not understanding why the two of them cared so much about his puppy love.
Tao Xi stayed in the studio in the afternoon and studied oil painting with Qiao Henian, and only once he learned it did he realize that his natural painting skills were nothing.
It was already six o’clock after the class. Tao Xi followed Qiao Henian from the third floor down to the living room on the first floor and saw two people sitting in the living room, one was Qiao Yitang who was eating the fruit he bought, and the other was actually Lin Qinhe.
Tao Xi almost couldn’t believe his eyes, standing in place and staring at Lin Qinhe in a daze.
Qiao Henian saw Lin Qinhe at a glance and went over to him, smiling and joking: “The Lin family’s son has grown so tall. I told your grandfather several times to let you come over to play, but you didn’t come. Why did you think of visiting this old man today?”
Lin Qinhe stood up and smiled at Qiao Henian before saying in a polite tone: “Grandpa asked me to come over to give the invitation for the birthday banquet at the end of the month.” As he said, he handed the invitation card on the coffee table to Qiao Henian.
Tao Xi felt his heart like a hydrogen balloon instantly floating to the sky, he took a few steps to Lin Qinhe’s side, his eyes shining brightly at him.
Lin Qinhe looked down at him and asked calmly: “Why are you here?”
Qiao Yitang on the other side couldn’t resist rolling a huge white eye at the ceiling.
Qiao Henian closed the invitation and looked at Tao Xi. He found that as soon as his new apprentice saw Lin Qinhe, he was like a puppy that had strayed for a few days and finally saw its master. He smiled: “This is my new student. Why? Are you classmates?”
Tao Xi couldn’t help saying: “Yes, he’s even my tablemate!”
Lin Qinhe glanced at Tao Xi again, then raised his hand to check the time, and said to Qiao Henian: “It’s getting late. Grandpa Qiao, I’m going back first, you must remember to go to the banquet.”
Qiao Henian waved his hand, “Don’t worry, even if I break my leg, I will go in a wheelchair.”
Qiao Yitang dragged his voice: “Grandpa, have you forgotten about opening your mouth3To open the mouth is to say that everything is very effective. But this is just a habitual saying among the folks. It also embodies coincidence and people’s jokes?”
Qiao Henian laughed dismissively, and when he saw Lin Qinhe was about to leave, he kindly said to him: “I won’t keep you anymore. Look carefully to see if you have forgotten anything, don’t drop things here. I’m going out to play mahjong at night.”
Lin Qinhe said to Qiao Henian, “I only brought an invitation card.”
He paused, with a smile on the corner of his mouth, he said:
“But now you can take one more person with you.”
Tao Xi’s eyes, which were already sparkling with stars and brightened, looked at Lin Qinhe. Pointing at himself, he asked in a low voice, “Me?”
Qiao Yitang couldn’t help but point out, “Otherwise, can it be me? My boyfriend will come to pick me up soon.”
Lin Qinhe raised his eyelids at Qiao Yitang, and Qiao Henian stared at her furiously:
“What a disgrace! You’re talking about love at my doorstep! Look at your two xue di. They are all good-looking and don’t fall in love every day like you. They study honestly and dutifully. When will you learn from others?”
Qiao Yitang raised her hand and surrendered: “Okay, I was wrong. I was wrong. You two should leave quickly. Don’t make my grandpa angry.4可别戳我爷爷肺管子了 – lit. don’t poke my grandpa lung“
“Except for you who’s disobedient, who else can make me angry?!” Qiao Henian was furious, chasing Qiao Yitang and scolding her.
Lin Qinhe reached out and gently pushed Tao Xi’s shoulder in the midst of the chaos, and whispered, “Go, I’ll send you back.”
Tao Xi stepped on cotton and followed Lin Qinhe out of Qiao’s house.
The author has something to say:
Xiao Tao started his career
- 1this is the meme:
- 2灵气 – literally means spiritual influence (of mountains etc), but seeing the example sentences, it can also mean charm or inspiring so I’ll just go with charm
- 3To open the mouth is to say that everything is very effective. But this is just a habitual saying among the folks. It also embodies coincidence and people’s jokes
- 4可别戳我爷爷肺管子了 – lit. don’t poke my grandpa lung