Li Shuo’s brain went blank. Those short lines were almost blurred by him. He pressed the return button hard but the phone was turned off unexpectedly. He kicked the table fiercely in anger. He called his assistant. The phone rang for a long time before answering. Li Shuo had long forgotten that it was midnight in China.
As soon as he connected, he shouted: “Li Chengxiu!” The assistant was ignorant. Not because he didn’t wake up. But he had been with Li Shuo for more than three years. He had never seen his boss so fierce. “What about Li Chengxiu?”
“He … he’s …” The assistant was sober. “Isn’t he at home? I will pick him up tomorrow. Help him move to the hotel.”
Li Shuo wiped his face hard. He forced himself to calm down: “Little Guo. You work hard. Now go to Li Chengxiu’s house. He may be gone.”
“Gone? I called him today and he was okay about the move.”
“Go now. Reply to me after confirmation.”
“Yes, yes. I will go now.” The assistant crawled out of the bed in a hurry and hung up the phone. Li Shuo twitched back and forth anxiously in the room. He read the message several times. Although the text is so plain, Li Shuo still smelled desperation.
In all likelihood, Shao Qun went to Li Chengxiu, threatening his own affairs … He has been worried about the accident for the past two days. As a result, something went wrong. He didn’t think that Shao Qun would go to trouble. But he thought that if he had seen Shao Qun, Li Chengxiu would be more disheartened. He will be more than willing to come to him. So he just left like this for what reason?! Where will he go? Who will he go to? Will he still contact himself? Li Shuo felt that his emotions were boiling. Worry, confusion, and anxiety all rushed out of his brain. If he was not too far away, he would not be so nervous.
He fidgeted in the room and waited for half an hour. The assistant called back. Li Shuo tried to hold a trace of expectation: “How is it?”
“There is really no one at home.” The assistant’s voice seemed to be crying anxiously. “I asked the security guard. He said that the person left in the daytime with a luggage. Mr. Li, What should I do?”
Li Shuo closed his eyes and took a deep breath: “Book me a ticket. I will go back.”
“But Mr. Xiang said you must never come back …”
“Don’t worry. Just book for me …” Li Shuo calculated the time when he could return to New York to pick up the things and get to the airport as soon as possible. “…Seven flights later.”
“… Okay, okay.”
“Go check all the traffic information that can be found immediately. Be sure to find Li Chengxiu.”
“Yes!” Li Shuo rubbed his temples twice. He threw the phone aside and he started packing.
He can’t think about it so much now. Even if Li Chengxiu wants to break up with him and would rather leave than coming to the United States, the pain and despair he read from this text message is enough for him to understand. Li Chengxiu needs his help now. At this time. How could he be safe on vacation here!
He hastily packed his luggage. He picked up the luggage and was going downstairs. Just as he opened the door, Zhao Jinxin happened to want to knock on the door. His hand is still raised in mid-air and hadn’t had time to put it down. His gaze went down. He landed on Li Shuo’s luggage: “Where are you going?”
“I’m going back home.” Li Shuo walked past him.
Zhao Jinxin held his shoulders: “What’s going on? Why are you in such a hurry?”
“I don’t want to explain. In short, there is an emergency. I want to go back immediately.” Li Shuo reached out and tried to push him away.
Zhao Jinxin grabbed Li Shuo’s arm and walked forward. Then he clamped Li Shuo’s neck with his right arm, almost embracing him. He then turned around and dragged the person back into the room.
That series of actions were too fast and too neat. Li Shuo has not recovered from his shock yet when Zhao Jinxin has kicked the door shut. Although Li Shuo doesn’t understand martial arts, he seems to feel that what happened just now was like a kind of a gentle and improved version of the grip. His neck is strangled like this will not suffocate him but he just can’t break free. Zhao Jinxin quickly let go of his hand and just stick it in front of the door. He smiled and looked at Li Shuo.
Li Shuo dropped his luggage and angrily inquired: “What are you doing ?! I’m really in a hurry!”
“You said you’ll drink with me tonight.” Zhao Jinxin said innocently.
“This matter is really important, OK?”
Zhao Jinxin shrugged and said: “I don’t know what happened in China. But did you forget that you are taking a risk if you go back to China?”
“I know. But I have to go back.”
“This matter has nothing to do with you.”
Zhao Jinxin opened his arms and smiled: “If you don’t tell me, I won’t let you go. Baby, you really can’t beat me.”
Li Shuo clenched his fists. He really has no intention to verify if what Zhao Jinxin said is true or not. He gasped heavily: “Li Chengxiu may have disappeared.”
Zhao Jinxin froze: “What?”
Li Shuo said anxiously: “I can’t explain it to you. Anyway, I’m going back to China now. Let go.”
Zhao Jinxin kept blocking the door: “Missing? Why?”
“What does this have to do with you!” Li Shuo raised his volume. “He sent a text message and the person left. The matter may be serious. Could you be sensible?!”
Zhao Jinxin’s face slightly changed: “He left? He took the initiative to leave?”
Zhao Jinxin pondered for two seconds: “He already left. What’s the use of going back then?”
“Even if you don’t go back, you can still find him. If you can’t find him then you just can’t find him.” Zhao Jinxin interrupted him. “On the contrary, if you go back, and then something happened, how much energy can you devote to find him? It’s just troublesome if you simply go back.”
Li Shuo was speechless for a moment.
Zhao Jinxin walked over and pressed Li Shuo on his shoulders to let him sit down. “You calm down first. It took more than an hour since you returned to the room. That means you received the news and made a decision in such a short time. You don’t think it’s too impulsive or too reckless? “The voice was getting gentler. It sounded reassuring.
Li Shuo looked dumbly at the carpet. His stiff spine slowly relaxed. At the same time, he sighed.
Zhao Jinxin squatted in front of him and took his hand. He smiled and said, “Actually, you should think more about it. Don’t worry. Don’t be impulsive. You’re not like yourself at all.”
Li Shuo smiled reluctantly. Speaking of which, he certainly would not understand. He really can’t go back. As far as finding the person is concerned, all he can do is spend money and find connections. Both of these can be communicated by phone. In case he is really detained when he goes back, wouldn’t it be more difficult for him? But he is very confused now that he can’t even sit properly on the stool.
Zhao Jinxin squeezed his palm: “You are so anxious. It would be good if you’re like this for me.”
Li Shuo was momentarily unable to look directly at Zhao Jinxin’s eager gaze. He avoided his sight and stood up.
Zhao Jinxin back then and now were very different in personality when they first met. The first time they met, the man was frivolous and let go of waves like a gorgeous viper, approaching step by step. So it was only suitable for farsightedness. Later, he found that this man loves to be childish, to show off, and to be sultry. But always got back in control when things almost got out of hand. It makes people uneasy. Even sometimes it feels a little cute. And as the contact deepens, Li Shuo is gradually confused and dazed by the affection he shows. He also glimpses the gentleness behind his cynicism.
His impression of Zhao Jinxin soared from the bottom of the valley. Now he feels a little guilty because he cannot respond to Zhao Jinxin’s enthusiasm. Zhao Jinxin also stood up: “I have a lot of friends in China. I will definitely find him for you. Don’t tell me off this time. Finding help is the most important thing, isn’t it?”
Li Shuo opened his mouth. Finally, he nodded slowly: “Jinxin, thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” Zhao Jinxin gently ticked Li Shuo’s chin with his index finger. “So, did you break up?”
Li Shuo is slightly stunned: “How can you think about this now?”
“Don’t avoid it. Is Li Chengxiu’s attitude not obvious enough?”
Li Shuo looked away: “It must be very difficult for him now. Whether we break up or not, I hope he is good. I will still help him.”
“You are such a nice person.” Zhao Jinxin said slowly.
He doesn’t know why. Li Shuo listened to this sentence somewhat ironically. He thought he probably just think too much. Or maybe… Zhao Jinxin was jealous.
Li Shuo shook his head: “Jin Xin. Please leave me alone for a while.”
“Okay.” Zhao Jinxin patted him on the shoulder. “You send me the information you have to my phone. I’ll go find a friend to help. Rest assured. We will find him.”
Li Shuo nodded gratefully.
Since it is still dawn in China, Li Shuo anxiously waited for the news from there. He repeatedly recalled every bit of his acquaintance with Li Chengxiu.
Li Chengxiu was a little unwilling. He asked himself to be an upright, kind, and self-disciplined person. There has never been a big deviation in doing things. He has always been popular. Why is his emotional experience always unsatisfactory? Not to mention the childish feelings in his twenties. He used to have a boyfriend he liked best and had the most like-minded thinking in college. Because of temporary conflicts, the man refused to go to Africa with him and parted ways.
No matter who he associates with in these years, he was sincere. He treated them with respect. But in the end, they all went to break up without exception. He couldn’t even determine what he was doing wrong.
There was a person who told him frankly that he was too sensible. He could not feel much love. Thinking of that man, it was a quirky little boy he used to like. He happened to be a friend of him and Li Chengxiu. He took out his mobile phone. He called the number. An extremely impatient voice came from the phone: “Who?”
“Xiaohui. It’s me. Li Shuo.”
“Hmm …” The voice was awake a bit. “Ah? Brother Li. It’s been a long time … so early. Calling. What are you doing? Waking up two hours early. Dozing off all morning.” The voice did not fall and gave a big yawn.
“Xiaohui. Did Cheng Xiu visit you again?”
“Not recently. He called me today. He said he was going to find a relative.”
“Which relative. Where?”
Wen Xiaohui clearly realized that something was wrong. He anxiously said: “I don’t know. What’s wrong?”
“He left. He sent me a text message. Then, he shut down. Now no one can find him.”
“What!” Wen Xiaohui howled and said again. “Maybe he really went to visit relatives. He sounds quite normal in his call today. Maybe the phone is out of power and it is turned off?”
“I’m afraid it’s not that simple.” Li Shuo said in a deep voice. “If Li Chengxiu contacts you again, be sure to tell me immediately. Or if you think about where he might go, tell me.”
“I, I, I, I got it.”
Li Shuo shut himself in the room in this way, looking for people through various channels with anxiety. The afternoon passed in an instant. The country is also fully awake and Li Chengxiu was still silent.
Suddenly, there was a knock at the door. Li Shuo’s emotions were pulled back from the darkness a little. He said: “Please come in.”
The door is opened. Zhao Jinxin walked in. He smiled and said, “It’s time to drink with me.”
Li Shuo said helplessly: “What mood do I have now …” He said halfway. But he changed his mind. Sometimes… the wine is really a good thing. For example, now, he really wants to get drunk.
Zhao Jinxin saw his thoughts at a glance. He blinked: “Come with me.”