“Lele, come out and have some dinner, okay?”
Luo Zhengyin knocked on the door of the audio-visual room again, but only a very light movie sound came from inside. Yang Duole remained silent, the door was locked by him. From the afternoon to the evening, he stayed inside for more than six hours without coming out.
Luo Zhengyin sighed and stood quietly at the door for a while, then sent another WeChat to Lin Qinhe.
A few days ago, Yang Duole had been staying at his grandparents’ house, but he suddenly came over at one o’clock this afternoon. Luo Zhengyin saw that Yang Duole’s face was white and his walking was wobbly, so she thought he was having health problems again and was so anxious that she almost called the emergency number, but was stopped by Yang Duole.
Luo Zhengyin asked anxiously for a long time, but Yang Duole only kept silent, his face was bloodless, and after a while, he suddenly asked her.
“Mother Luo, at the time I…where exactly did my mother give birth to me?”
Luo Zhengyin didn’t expect Yang Duole to ask this question. The birth of Yang Duole more than sixteen years ago was a memory that she and the two elders of the Fang family did not want to mention. At that time, she fell into postpartum depression as it hadn’t been long since she gave birth and was unable to follow the two elders of Fang family and Yang Zhengming to go to the place where Fang Sui last lived.
Luo Zhengyin thought Yang Duole was thinking about her mother, but she didn’t want to think about it all these years. With red eyes, she said: “At that time, it was your grandparents who received the call and went to Qingshui County to pick you up. Uncle Fang also told me later that A’Sui lived there all the time. Uncle Fang never told me specifically where it was. I only know that a kind-hearted farmer in Qingshui County took her in. ”
Fang Zuqing’s character was old-fashioned and conservative. What happened to his daughter was not only a grief for him, but also a secret. For so many years, the family had not been revealed, and she did not dare to go to that sad place.
“Qingshui County…” Yang Duole muttered with hollow eyes.
“Lele, what’s wrong with you?” Luo Zhengyin looked at Yang Duole worriedly, she had never seen this child, whom she loved the most, looked so desperate.
Yang Duole didn’t answer her and locked himself into the room. She tried to persuade him several times outside the door but to no avail, so she had to call Lin Qinhe. In the past, when Yang Duole lost his temper, Lin Qinhe was the most useful to come forward.
Luo Zhengyin came down the stairs and saw Lin Qinhe just coming in from the door, so she went over and said, “Qinhe, go and see Lele. I don’t know what’s wrong with him today, he won’t talk or eat. No amount of persuasion helped.”
Lin Qinhe frowned and walked upstairs in silence.
He stood outside the door and raised his hand to knock directly, raising his voice and said, “Lele.”
Lin Qinhe thought he would have to wait for a while, but Yang Duole quickly opened the door. The room didn’t have the lights on, only the faint light from the movie. Yang Duole looked straight at him and did not say anything, his pupils did not have a bit of luster.
Lin Qinhe walked straight in and glanced at the movie on the projection screen. It was a very depressing movie at a first glance. It was not the type Yang Duole liked to watch before.
He watched Yang Duole return to the sofa and curl up to sit down. He asked directly: “What’s going on?”
He was never as patient as Luo Zhengyin in coaxing people.
Yang Duole hugged his legs and stared at the movie on the screen, still not saying anything.
Lin Qinhe glanced at the movie again. The screen showed a seventeen or eighteen-year-old boy sleeping on a dark green bed. He seemed to be having nightmares, frowning and clutching the quilt, whispering in his sleep, and the soundtrack made people feel a little uneasy.
Lin Qinhe turned on the light and paused the movie with the remote control before he walked to the sofa and sat down. Tearing open a bag of Yang Duole’s favorite potato chips and placing it in front of him, his tone softened:
“If you feel uncomfortable, you can tell me, didn’t you always do that before?”
Yang Duole couldn’t adapt to the bright light and raised his hand to cover his eyes. After a while, he asked dumbly:
“Qinhe ge, you being good to me has nothing to do with my mother, right? Not because I am my mother’s son.”
Lin Qinhe wrinkled his brow at his words and said after a moment of silence, “There is no relationship.” After a pause, he asked again, “Why do you ask this question?”
Yang Duole put down the hand that blocked his eyes and clicked on the movie again with the remote control. He did not answer Lin Qinhe’s question, and instead whispered as if talking to himself:
“If one day, there is a person who deliberately wants to take away your things, what will you do?”
The teenager in the movie suddenly woke up from his nightmare with a big gasp and opened his bloodshot eyes in the heavy sound effects.
Lin Qinhe frowned and looked at Yang Duole’s lackluster eyes. This question was somewhat absurd when asked by Yang Duole. He replied in an indifferent tone.
“If it should be yours, others can’t take it away. what shouldn’t be yours, sooner or later will be returned.”
Yang Duole looked at Lin Qinhe quickly, and a bit of anger and hatred appeared in his dark eyes. He opened his mouth to say something, and finally held back.
He moved towards Lin Qinhe on the sofa. Tugging on his arm as if he was seeking something to rely on, he asked nonchalantly:
“Qinhe ge, will you always be on my side? No matter what I do, no matter who I am.”
Lin Qinhe threw the bag of potato chips back on the table. He suppressed the irritability in his heart. He only felt that the question was childish like this person who would always be willful, and said with little patience left:
“Lele, you are not a child anymore. There are many things in the world that are not just about right and wrong, it does not make sense to let other people stand in line.”
The phone in Lin Qinhe’s pocket vibrated as he finished speaking and he quickly took it out to see that it was Su Yun’s WeChat message.
Before he could click on the WeChat box, Yang Duole on the side suddenly stood up and said loudly:
“Did Tao Xi send this to you?!”
His tone was full of strong hostility. Yang Duole’s eyes were red, he clenched his fists and arched his back slightly, like a frightened bird, defensive and scared
Lin Qinhe pressed off the screen of the phone and stood up slowly. He wrinkled his brows deeply and his face sank. He stared at the person in front of him who was obviously not in a normal state of mind and said nothing.
Yang Duole was subconsciously afraid of Lin Qinhe like this. He took a step back, raised his hand and wiped his tears. A muffled choking sound came out of his throat, trying to get Lin Qinhe’s retreat by crying like he did when he was a child:
“Qinhe ge, I told you clearly that I don’t like him, why do you still want to get so close to him? We grew up together, could it be that our relationship of so many years is no match for the few months you’ve known him?”
He had long discovered that Lin Qinhe and Tao Xi’s relationship was getting closer and closer. The closeness was a little abnormal. Before he was just uncomfortable in his heart, and only today did he know.
That person deliberately came to Wenhua No. 1 High School and approached him and Lin Qinhe, just to take everything from him step by step!
He didn’t want to believe that vulgar man who claimed to be his father, but the facts seemed too hard for him not to believe it. This nightmare that accompanied him since childhood was waking up.
Came from Qingshui Town, looked very similar to Fang Sui, had the same talent for painting, and more importantly.
When he saw him for the first time, he showed strong hostility toward him!
He must be coming to get back at himself and steal everything from him, he must be.
Luo Zhengyin, who had been outside the door, could not help but walk in when he heard Yang Duole’s hysterical sound. Seeing Yang Duole’s chest violently rising and falling with tears on his face, she hurriedly walked over and gently patted his back, gently soothed a few words, and winked at Lin Qinhe.
But Lin Qinhe ignored it. He seemed to have been touched by some negative scales, frowning and his indifferent eyes suppressed his anger. After enduring it for a long time, he said solemnly to Yang Duole:
“Yang Duole, not everyone has to revolve around you. Who do you hate, what does it have to do with me?”
The tone of voice was almost cold.
“Qinhe!” Luo Zhengyin looked at Lin Qinhe with dissatisfaction in her eyes, “Don’t talk to Lele like that, you know very well that he is in a bad mood.”
Yang Duole buried himself in Luo Zhengyin’s shoulder and cried bitterly. Luo Zhengyin hurriedly turned her head to comfort.
Lin Qinhe looked at these two people in front of him, took a deep breath and directly turned around and walked towards the door, as if he was trying to escape from some confined space that was suffocating him.
Luo Zhengyin smoothed Yang Duole while wiping the tears from his face and whispered softly: “Okay, don’t cry, stay here with Luo’s mom for the next few days, do you want to go out to play tomorrow?”
Yang Duole just cried without saying anything. Luo Zhengyin heard Yang Duole’s cell phone ringing, so she coaxed, “Look who is calling you? Is it your grandparents calling? They definitely don’t want you to cry again, right?”
“I don’t want to pick it up.” Yang Duole choked.
“Fine, fine, don’t answer it, I’ll hang up for you.” Luo Zhengyin brought the phone over and saw that it wasn’t the call from the two elders of the Fang family, but Guan Fanyun, the lover of Yang Zhengming.
She frowned, hung up the phone and told Yang Duole: “In the future, if that woman surnamed Guan looks for you again, just ignore her.”
Yang Zhengming had countless lovers over the years. Guan Fanyun had been relatively stable in the past two years. The last time she came to the school to give Yang Duole a gift, Yang Duole was so angry that he took time off work and went home and did not eat.
Luo Zhengyin thought it was this woman again that made Yang Duole emotional today. She wanted to find a chance to talk to Yang Zhengming to make Guan Fanyun stop harassing Yang Dole.
Lin Qinhe walked back to his room without turning on the light. He sat down on the recliner on the open-air balcony. After a moment of silence, he took out his mobile phone and found out that Tao Xi had sent him several WeChat messages half an hour ago:
“Qiao xue jie told me just now I have another painting sold at the exhibition, sold for 20,000!”
“I’ll treat you to good food on the weekend. It’s okay even if it’s expensive, I’m a rich man now.”
Behind was a series of animal emoticons, cats, dogs, chickens, ducks and geese who were happily jumping around, looking very awkward.
Lin Qinhe looked at the animated pictures, raised the corners of his mouth and smiled. He glanced at the time, just after the second period of night study, so he called directly.
“Wait for me, I will leave the classroom immediately.” After the phone was connected, came Tao Xi’s urgent voice, as well as the sound of footsteps and the fading classroom noise.
“Okay, you can talk. Have you resolved the matter at home?”
Lin Qinhe looked at the shadows of the trees outside the balcony, like a huge mist locking the villa. He said, “Solved. When did you participate in the painting exhibition again, why didn’t you tell me?”
“I just gave a painting to Teacher, and he helped me in the exhibition. I didn’t know it could actually sell for so much money!”
Tao Xi couldn’t hide his excitement in his tone and continued: “I’m thinking about selling more paintings and making a lot of money in the future. I want to buy a big house, preferably the kind with a yard. We can plant some flowers and plants in the yard, oh no, you have a pollen allergy, then raise a cat and a dog… Wait, you are not allergic to cats and dogs hair, right?”
Lin Qinhe said with some laughter, “Not allergic.”
Tao Xi seemed to breathe a sigh of relief and continued to speak freely: “That’s good, and then we have to travel to a place every year. You take the picture, I will paint next to you, and I can hold an art exhibition when I come back, and I can also hold a photography exhibition for you…”
Lin Qinhe lay back leisurely on the recliner, looking at the fuzzy moon in the sky and listening to Tao Xi planning their future.
He found that Tao Xi almost never mentioned his family and past, except for the sick sister, in Tao Xi’s heart, it seemed like there was only a bright future, and him.
“What do you think of my plan?” Tao Xi paused and asked nervously.
Lin Qinhe asked, “Just one place a year?”
“If we have time, of course we can go to more places, but I think you might be very busy with your work by then.” Tao Xi said.
The two talked aimlessly about the future for a few minutes, until Tao Xi urged, “It’s time for class, I have to hang up.”
Before hanging up, Lin Qinhe said, “You haven’t given me today’s cartoon yet.”
Tao Xi said, “You left too suddenly today, I’ll make sure to give it to you tomorrow!” He said as he walked towards the classroom, muttering in a low voice.
“I’m not going to draw you a little comic for the rest of your life!”
Lin Qinhe heard this and let out a laugh, saying with certainty, “Of course.”
After hanging up the phone, Lin Qinhe opened WeChat again and only then remembered that Su Yun had sent him a message earlier. It was Su Yun’s additional information about applying for school.
He forwarded all the information to Tao Xi, then clicked on Su Yun’s dialog box again. He originally wanted Su Yun to help him buy back the painting Tao Xi had just sold, but after thinking about it, he gave it up.
There would be many people like him in the future who would buy Tao Xi’s paintings and treasure them.
Lin Qinhe got up from the recliner, went back to the room and turned on the light. He opened the locked box in the bookcase and took out a booklet inside.
This was all the cartoons Tao Xi had drawn for him so far, all of it were carefully bound by him according to the date.
When he opened the comic book, it was like opening a copy of “One Thousand and One Nights” that belonged only to him.
In fact, he had no interest in stories and comics since he was a child, but he remembered when he was very young, he also expected Luo Zhengyin to tell him bedtime stories, just like she told Yang Duole stories in his room every night.
Lin Qinhe looked down at the first page of the comic book, the first comic Tao Xi drew for him.
Moon: “Are you a star?”
Small meteorite: “I’m just a little meteorite now, but I’ll become a little star that shines one day.”
Moon: “Why do you want to become a star?”
Little meteorite: “Because then I can illuminate you in the universe like the sun.”
T/N: I’m so soft listening to Tao Xi planning their future. Also, due to sudden workload irl, update gonna be irregular until 15th Sep the latest