The night breeze was blowing gently.
A black Mercedes-Benz business car drove into the villa area.
"We have arrived, Mr. Cheng and Miss Cheng," the driver said in a deep voice as he stopped the car.
The inside of the car was dimly lit, and Cheng Yue had half-closed eyes with a throbbing brow.
"Brother, we're here," Cheng Chu gently patted him.
Cheng Yue suddenly opened his eyes, and the newly lit car light reflected in his bloodshot eyes.
He sighed lightly, "Let's go. You've followed me for a whole day, are you satisfied now?"
"Yes." Cheng Chu nodded, relieved and smiled.
Cheng Yue rubbed his brow wearily, took a long step with his long legs, got out of the car, and said, "I won't go back on my promise. Your brother is not a person who breaks his word."
"I know, I know. Brother is the best." Cheng Chu took a few steps forward, hugged Cheng Yue's arm, and entered the door with him.
The living room was empty, with only a wall lamp casting a faint light.
Cheng Chu closed the door and felt the tension that had been building up in her mind all day snap like a string. She looked at the calendar on the wall and a relieved smile appeared in her exhausted eyes.
July 19th, the day her brother died in a plane crash in their past life, had finally passed.
Early in the morning, Cheng Chu had begged Cheng Yue not to take any flights for nearly a month. Although he was puzzled, he couldn't resist his sister's tearful plea and agreed.
He had always doted on his only sister without any principles.
The summer night in the coastal city was not very hot. Cheng Chu opened the window and looked at the night view of the garden with its flickering lights, feeling peaceful and serene in her heart.
It was so nice to have the people who loved her still by her side.
After the summer vacation, the atmosphere in the class became much more tense.
The countdown to the college entrance exam was written on the blackboard, and the numbers were decreasing day by day.
Meanwhile, the papers on the desks were getting thicker and thicker.
The cold air from the air conditioner was blowing loudly, and Gu Miao looked at the empty chair next to him. His broken heart felt like it was filled with icy wind, desolate and lonely.
There were always a lot of exams in the third year of high school. Just as he finished correcting the papers from the previous week, the next week's exams were already on their way.
The school allowed early submission of papers, and Gu Miao always wrote quickly, always the first to submit in the exam room.
Summer was still in full swing, and as he walked out of the classroom building, the stuffy heat hit his face.
With his backpack on his back, Gu Miao unconsciously walked to the outside of the music building.
The Chinese parasol tree outside Room 8 was still lush and green, and the sunlight passed through, casting fragmented shadows on the ground.
The evening breeze blew the corner of the window curtain, but the girl he had been thinking about was no longer there. The seeds of longing were slowly sown, flourishing with the passing of time.
Gu Miao leaned against the parasol tree, lost in thought. He stood there for who knows how long before finally turning to leave.
Summer nights come late, and the sky was still a clear shade of blue when he arrived home.
Gu Miao gently opened the door, greeted by the aroma of cooking mingled with the scent of fireworks.
His aunt was busy in the kitchen, while his cousin stood affectionately by her side.
"Hey, don't sneak a bite. Wait for your dad to come home," his aunt patted his cousin's hand, but with no real force.
"Mom, I worked so hard on my exams. What's wrong with having a little snack?" the young boy protested.
The middle-aged woman paused in her busy work, then said repeatedly, "Go ahead and eat, just don't eat too much. Leave some for your dad."
The boy grabbed a piece of pork rib with excitement in his eyes. "Wow, Mom, you even made crab tonight!"
"Do you think Mom doesn't remember your exam? I made crab as a reward for you."
The boy's voice was hesitant, "But, the Little Stutterer seems to be allergic to crabs."
The woman's voice was harsh, "Never mind him, we'll eat ours, he'll eat his. We're already giving him a bowl of rice, that's good enough. He doesn't get to be picky."
The cousin chuckled, "You're right."
The living room was dark, and no one noticed the boy standing at the door. He hung his head and clenched the doorknob so hard that his hand turned white.
After a moment, he turned around and left without saying a word.
His bike was still parked in a dark corner.
Gu Miao was stiff all over as he roughly dragged the bike out and pedaled into the summer night of the seaside city, not caring about anything else.
Even though he knew they never considered him part of the family, he still held a secret hope in his heart.
Through countless times of being ignored and neglected, he lay on his hard wooden bed and told himself to be grateful. Because on those nights when he lost his parents, they gave him a home.
Even though the home wasn't very warm or bright, he still felt grateful.
The long, cool summer breeze brought back memories of many things, like his cousin's commanding orders, his aunt's harsh words, his uncle's cold indifference, and the bullying and isolation he faced at school.
In the end, the only face that came to his mind was the girl's.
The only one in the world who was kind to him and showed him kindness, she was the only warmth in his heart. The young man's eyes gradually became sour, and his longing sank deep and long in his heart.
He suddenly wanted to see her.
The music school was located on the outskirts of the city. Gu Miao rode for over an hour, and by the time he arrived, the sky had already darkened.
A few lonely stars were scattered in the sky. He stood in front of the school gate, feeling a sudden sense of timidity.
Coming here without any notice, would he disturb her practice?
His pale fingers froze on his phone.
A group of boys and girls walked out of the nearby school gate, their laughter echoing in the distance.
"I'm going to order a hundred skewers of lamb, and bankrupt you," one boy said.
The other boy replied in a gentle voice, "Sure thing."
In the dark corner, Gu Miao stood alone in the cool breeze.
"Gu Miao?" The girl's voice was soft, with a hint of caution.
Gu Miao's pupils shook violently as he lifted his head in disbelief.
The warm yellow light was as gentle as water, and the girl stood not far away, her skirt fluttering in the wind, as beautiful as a painting.
"It's really you." She ran over, her peach blossom eyes shining brightly.
The faint floral scent on the girl's body made his heart tremble.
He lowered his eyes and said softly, "Mm."
"Why didn't you tell me you were coming?" Her clear little face was filled with a smile, her voice so gentle it seemed like it could melt.
Gu Miao pursed his lips and didn't say anything.
Cheng Chu wasn't angry either, she just turned her head to the group of boys and girls and said, "My friend is here, I want to accompany him, you guys go eat."
"Don't go." The leader of the boys looked at Gu Miao and his tone was somewhat unfriendly. "Today is Yan Shi's birthday, don't spoil the fun. Why don't you bring your friend along?"
Cheng Chu shook her head. "No, he's shy. Please apologize to Zhou Yanshi for me and I'll make up for the gift tomorrow."
The boy was unwilling to give up, but Ji Mingyue stopped him. "Let her go, she didn't want to come in the first place," she whispered.
"But..." The boy sighed and swallowed his words. The goddess that Zhou Yanshi secretly admired had just run away. He was going to get scolded when he got there.
Ji Mingyue waved at Cheng Chu. "Be safe, Chuchu. Go home early."
Cheng Chu smiled happily and waved at the group of people. "Sorry, everyone. I'll treat you another day and you can choose the place."
The group of people didn't blame her and left with smiles on their faces.
The small flowers on the roadside bent over in the night breeze.
Cheng Chu asked, "Have you eaten yet?"
Gu Miao shook his head.
A smile appeared in the girl's eyes, "Let's eat together. There's a really delicious restaurant near the school gate, I'll take you there."
Gu Miao watched the girl's slender figure and felt a warmth slowly seeping into his icy heart.
The restaurant was just across from the school, not big, but very clean.
Cheng Chu handed him the menu, "You can order whatever you want."
The boy shook his head, "It's my first time here, I'm not familiar with the menu."
"Then we'll have sweet and sour pork ribs, dry-fried cabbage, stir-fried beef, two bowls of rice, and mango juice for drinks."
She ordered decisively, propping her head up with both hands and saying to Gu Miao, "I remember you like sweet and sour pork ribs. You mentioned it when you had dinner at my house last time."
The server brought the mango juice over, and Gu Miao inserted the straw into one and handed it to her.
"Mm," he said softly.
The sweet taste of mango juice quietly seeped into Gu Miao's heart, and he lowered his head, his dark eyes shining.
She remembered it all, and knew that she liked mangoes.
All those mixed feelings of unwillingness, resentment, and anger melted away like ice under the sun in an instant.
His eyes drooped, inexplicably sour.
The girl opposite didn't notice, and continued, "Why did you suddenly come today?"
Gu Miao's hand trembled on the side of the table, his lips moved, but he still didn't speak.
The girl didn't mind his silence, happily drinking her mango juice.
"Do you miss me?"
The shop was not crowded at night, and the girl's voice was clear and bright, but it felt like an electric shock to Gu Miao's heart.
He tightly pursed his lips, afraid to look up at her. The girl giggled as she looked at the blushing boy in front of her, feeling her own shyness dissipate.
Someone was even more bashful than her.
The waiter approached with a dish in hand. "Sweet and sour pork."
No longer dwelling on the previous topic, Cheng Chu picked up a pair of chopsticks from the container beside him and handed them to the boy.
"Try this sweet and sour pork. It's even better than what my aunt makes at home."
The boy obediently took a piece and chewed on it for a while before muttering, "Mmm."
It was unclear whether he was responding to the dish or to her previous comment.
Throughout the meal, Cheng Chu's smile never faded from her face.
After finishing their meal and paying the bill, the two of them walked out the door.
The steps outside had just been mopped, leaving a wet residue. Cheng Chu walked ahead and, without noticing, slipped and fell with a loud "thud" on the stone steps.
Gu Miao's voice was trembling with urgency, and his stutter, which he hadn't had in a long time, came out unconsciously.
"Are you, are you okay?" He reached out to help Cheng Chu up.
The nearby shop assistant rushed over at the sound, repeatedly asking, "Are you okay? I'm sorry."
Gu Miao pulled a chair over.
"No, I don't want to sit." Cheng Chu gritted her teeth.
She had just sat on the stone steps, and now her butt was burning with pain. It was better to stand than to sit.
"Okay, okay." Gu Miao supported her and whispered, "Then lean on my shoulder and stand for a bit."
"Okay." Cheng Chu put her hands on his sturdy shoulders and groaned in pain with her head down.
Gu Miao stood stiffly, his throat dry.
After a long time, he said, "Do you want to go to the hospital?"
The nearby shop assistant was scared white. "If something really happens, I'll have to pay a month's salary!"
The girl gritted her teeth and said, "It's okay, it's okay. I feel better now. I have medicine at home. I'll apply it when I get back."
Gu Miao breathed a sigh of relief. "Can you still walk?"
Cheng Chu moved her foot and couldn't help but let out a hiss of pain. "I twisted my foot. I can't walk."
"Then I'll carry you." Gu Miao squatted down.
The lights in the store were bright. The boy was wearing a clean white school uniform, with a broad and solid back.
Cheng Chu slowly climbed onto his back and wrapped her arms around his neck.
The girl's warm breath floated by his ear, tickling him and sending electric currents into his heart.
His heart couldn't help but beat faster, and his breathing became more urgent. The lights outside spilled onto the street, leaving a warm, yellow glow.
The girl was light, as if a soft cotton candy was stuck to her back and had also crashed into his heart.
Gu Miao felt his legs were stiff, his hands were weak, and even his spirit dissipated with her warm breath.
"Gu Miao, turn right here," Cheng Chu suddenly leaned in and whispered in his ear.
He suddenly snapped out of his daze and turned around stiffly.
"Yes, sorry, I didn't hear you."
The girl's delicate laughter rippled into his ear.
"It's okay, we'll be there soon."
Cheng Chu rented an apartment near the entrance of the music annex, and Gu Miao carried her on his back into the elevator.
The elevator was fast, and she lived on the fourth floor.
Gu Miao took the key she handed him and opened the door.
The dim light in the dark room reflected the corridor, and a hurried sound of footsteps approached from far to near. Meow Meow looked up with its small head and only saw a faint figure.
That wasn't its owner!
"Woof woof woof." It ran over, pulling at its throat, its fierce barking breaking through the sky, and it snarled viciously at the approaching figure.
Gu Miao hadn't had time to react when his pants were firmly bitten.
He was so scared that he almost threw Cheng Chu off its back.
Where did this vicious dog come from!!
The author has something to say:
Gu Miao: This dog named Meow Meow is really not a good thing!
Translations during sleepless nights. I can sleep when I'm dead! ...Please let me sleep. Happy readers keep me awake, and lots of love and a huge thank you for supporting my hobby!
Give me feedback at moc.ebircssutol@ypeels.