The summer heat in Haishi was unbearable. On the day of the exam results, Cheng Chu felt calm, as if she already knew the outcome.
The leaves on the trees were curled up from the sun, the cicadas were chirping incessantly, and even the lively dog no longer wanted to go outside, spending the whole day lying next to the air conditioner with its tongue out.
A few days before the results were released, Gu Miao received a call from the admissions office at Haishi University, a rare honor usually reserved for the top few students in the city.
The good news from No. 1 High School flooded in, bringing both joy and tears to many people this summer.
Lin Qifeng's family was preparing to emigrate, but he wanted to stay. Cheng Chu suspected it was because of Ji Mingyue.
"I don't know what's going on with Qifeng. He's refusing to go abroad with his parents, and they've been arguing for days," said Fu Rong.
Cheng Chu pursed her lips. "Did his parents agree?"
Fu Rong looked at the wilted dog and lowered the air conditioning a few degrees. "They probably will. The child's grades are good, and he can go to a good university in China."
The dazzling sunlight outside shone through the French windows and into the living room. Cheng Chu lay on the sofa and let out a sigh of relief.
Recently, Gu Miao found a new job at a Western restaurant, which has become popular throughout the city thanks to a famous food blogger.
As Cheng Chu listened to Gu Miao's exhausted voice on the phone every day, her heart ached.
Fu Rong continued to chatter on, but Cheng Chu stared blankly at the ceiling, not hearing a word.
Her phone buzzed in her pocket, and Cheng Chu answered with a smile on her face.
"Okay, okay, thank you." She hung up the phone and quickly put on her shoes before rushing out the door.
"Where are you going, Chuchu?" asked Fu Rong from behind.
Cheng Chu put on her shoes and turned around, saying, "I made plans to go out to eat with friends. Goodbye, Mom."
The door slammed shut with a loud "bang," and Fu Rong sighed, "This child."
The "Thai Pear" Western restaurant had only been open for less than a year in the city, but business was booming.
Not only did this restaurant have delicious food, but they also knew how to market themselves. All dishes were limited in supply, and customers needed to make reservations a week in advance to secure a spot.
Gu Miao had just finished cleaning up spilled juice from a customer who accidentally dropped it on the floor.
"Hey, Little Fatty, did you know? A beautiful woman just sat in the corner."
"I saw her too. The one with the long curly hair, right? When I poured her water earlier, she smiled at me and my heart melted."
"Oh my god, wait a minute. Taking orders is my job, you can't compete with me."
As the restaurant manager walked by, he gave them a cold glance and sternly said, "No chatting during work hours."
The two obediently closed their mouths.
Once the manager left, they breathed a sigh of relief.
One of them nudged Gu Miao and asked, "Aren't you curious?"
Gu Miao shook her head in silence.
Could anyone be more beautiful than Chuchu?
The crystal chandelier on the restaurant ceiling reflected tiny specks of light, creating a serene and elegant atmosphere.
Suddenly, someone next to them suppressed a gasp and exclaimed, "Oh, she seems to be waving at us from the corner. Guys, guys, I'm out of here."
Gu Miao lifted her gaze and saw the girl sitting in the corner, waving at him with a smile.
His fingertips froze.
The last rays of the setting sun cast a shallow glow, transforming her originally straight black hair into wavy curls, accentuating her delicate porcelain-like face.
As the people around him grew restless, Gu Miao quickly reached out to stop them. "I'll go get her something."
"What the hell, how can you do that?" The person next to him stared in shock as Gu Miao walked away.
In the center of the Western-style restaurant stood a grand piano, its beautiful melody flowing gently.
Gu Miao faced the girl's bright peach blossom eyes, feeling a bit hot around the ears.
"Why are you here?" His low voice was filled with joy.
The girl propped up her head, the crystal chandelier's delicate light falling into her sparkling eyes.
"I missed you," she said bluntly, but with a hint of shyness in her eyes.
The young man's ears burned with excitement, and he tried to remain calm as he cleared his throat.
"What do you want to eat?"
"I don't know." The girl's clear eyes curved into a small crescent moon. "You recommend something for me."
His hand holding the pen was shaking, and he stumbled over his words. "The, the Wellington steak is very popular here."
"Okay, let's get that and add a pumpkin pudding."
"Okay, okay." Gu Miao felt his hands go limp, and the words he wrote were crooked.
The smell of strong black pepper wafted over from the steak at the next table.
Cheng Chu gestured to Gu Miao.
The young man obediently leaned in.
"Do you like my new hairstyle?" The girl's warm breath brushed against his ear like a gentle breeze, and his already burning ear felt like it could burst into flames any second.
He turned his head slightly, his Adam's apple bobbing. "It looks great."
It looked absolutely stunning.
A smile lit up her beautiful face, and she spoke with joy in her voice. "If you think it looks good, then it's good. My mom always says it's not good and wants me to straighten it."
The setting sun dyed the girl's hair chestnut brown, her slightly curled hair scattered about, coated with a faint halo.
Suddenly, Gu Miao remembered that morning in his sophomore year, when he sat behind the girl and carefully hid a strand of hair she had unknowingly dropped.
During those years, he hid in the shadows, secretly harboring his despicable feelings. Even just speaking a few words with her would leave him silently savoring the moment for half a day.
But now, she sat in front of him, laughing and chatting with him.
A warm feeling swelled in his heart, that sense of satisfaction that came from deep within.
The evening breeze blew in, lifting a few strands of the girl's hair, which gently scattered about her cheeks.
The young man lowered his eyes, his stiff hands trembling. Finally, he couldn't resist lifting them up and gently brushing the girl's cheek.
Those few stray hairs were neatly tucked behind her ear.
As he withdrew his hand, he brushed against the girl's bright, shining eyes and recoiled as if he had been shocked.
"I, I have to go to work," he said, turning around and stumbling away.
Cheng Chu watched his back, covering her mouth and unable to hold back a chuckle. Night fell quietly.
The dishes in this restaurant were indeed as good as their reputation, and even Cheng Chu, who wasn't a fan of Western food, enjoyed them immensely.
There were many fruit candies on the counter, and Cheng Chu picked one up and asked, "How much is this?"
The waiter checked the bill and said, "Someone has already paid for it."
Cheng Chu was a little confused, but then realized that Gu Miao had paid for her.
She looked down, and the small receipt on the table didn't have a price written on it.
"I'm sorry, but I still want to know how much it costs," she stubbornly asked. The cashier tapped the machine twice and said, "That'll be three hundred and twenty."
Three hundred and twenty...
Working at a Western restaurant only paid a little over twenty yuan per hour, so three hundred and twenty was several days' worth of wages for him.
Cheng Chu pursed her lips. "How about I give you the money now, and then you can give it back to him?"
The cashier was hesitant. "Well...you know, that's not really following the rules."
Cheng Chu was a little annoyed. She knew that if she gave the money directly to Gu Miao, he would never accept it. But it wasn't right to put the cashier in a difficult position either.
She hung her head in defeat. "Okay, thank you anyway."
The restaurant was filled with beautiful music, but Cheng Chu looked around and still couldn't find Gu Miao. Feeling down, she walked out the door.
The moon hung high in the sky. The restaurant closes at 9 pm, and after that, it's time for inventory.
Little Fatty and Gu Miao's relationship was okay, but today he had been picking on him.
"What's wrong with you, bro? How could you do that?" Little Fatty held a cloth in his hands, wiping the table while complaining non-stop.
Gu Miao dragged the floor with his head down, not saying a word.
"If I had taken her order earlier, even if I couldn't get her WeChat, I could still talk to the beauty for a few words." Little Fatty finished wiping a table and walked towards another one.
WeChat? Gu Miao's hand paused for a moment, his dark eyes staring at the floor, and he muttered without looking up, "I know her."
"What? You know her? Why didn't you say so earlier?" Little Fatty was shocked and sneaked over, "Then you must have her WeChat, can you give it to me?"
Although his name was Little Fatty, he was actually quite handsome, and the little girls who came to the restaurant to pay their bills often asked for his WeChat.
It was not during business hours, so only a few lights were on in the restaurant, making it somewhat dim. Gu Miao held a mop and walked heavily towards Little Fatty.
"What the hell are you doing?" Little Fatty jumped in place.
Gu Miao looked up, his black eyes hidden in the darkness without a trace of light. Little Fatty swallowed and a vague idea emerged in his mind, but before he could test it out, someone interrupted.
Someone rushed over like a gust of wind and pulled the two of them aside to talk.
"Do you know what? I just met that curly-haired beauty at the door, sitting on a chair in the waiting area."
Little Fatty curiously asked, "What was she doing there?"
"I was curious too," the man slapped his thigh. "So I asked her, and she said she was waiting for her boyfriend."
"Boyfriend?" Little Fatty's voice trembled in shock.
Gu Miao's body stiffened, her dark eyes losing their focus.
The man grabbed Little Fatty excitedly. "I told her our shop was already closed and all the customers should have left. Do you know what she said?"
"What?" Little Fatty asked nervously.
The person next to them lowered their voice. "She said her boyfriend works here."
With a loud bang, the mop was thrown to the ground as the teenager rushed out of the restaurant like a gust of wind.
"Holy sh*t..." Little Fatty watched his back disappear and felt like the world was collapsing in an instant.
The man looked at the door and then back at Little Fatty.
"Don't tell me it's what I'm thinking."
Little Fatty pursed his lips and patted his shoulder, saying confidently, "It should be just as we thought."
The night was beautiful today.
The sky was adorned with a crescent moon, and the roadside was cold and desolate.
Cheng Chu sat on the waiting chair at the door and felt a gust of wind behind her.
She turned around.
The young man stood in the dim light, still wearing his work uniform, his chest heaving violently, his eyes always filled with shyness, staring straight at her without blinking.
Cheng Chu inexplicably felt a slight palpitation.
She stood up and asked softly, "Are you off work? Why are you still wearing your work uniform?"
For the first time in his life, the young man ignored her words.
In the moonlight, his handsome eyebrows and eyes stretched out, rippling with a soft and bright light.
"What's wrong?" Cheng Chu asked.
The night breeze gently blew, and the scent of the girl's body filled every breath of Gu Miao. His heart was pounding, and his mind was overwhelmed by the words the girl had just said.
The word "boyfriend" was like a spark that ignited a fire, and it burned through his entire body.
The camphor trees on the street were stirred by the night wind, and a few leaves fluttered down.
Gu Miao stood in front of the girl, feeling the unrestrained burning of emotions in his heart almost making him dizzy.
The girl looked up, her eyes shining brightly.
Gu Miao looked at her, his Adam's apple rolling violently, before he finally found his voice.
His voice was hoarse and difficult, "Just now, they said that you, you are waiting for someone."
The night wind made his heart tremble, and he took a deep breath, his fist clenched tightly.
"They said you are waiting for your boyfriend."
The girl looked at him and smiled softly, "Yes, isn't that true?"
Fireworks exploded in his mind, and he heard his own blood momentarily stop flowing in his body.
Cheng Chu looked at the young man, and in that moment, his always dim eyes seemed to be adorned with countless bright stars.
Her heart felt a little sour, and she pursed her lips, pretending to be very unhappy, "Don't you want to admit it?"
The girl sniffled and her voice choked, "We've kissed and hugged. Don't you think that's what boyfriends and girlfriends do?"
"No, no, no." The young man was flustered and didn't know where to put his hands and feet. "It's not that. I just can't believe it."
He lowered his eyes, his pitch-black eyelashes trembling slightly, his voice filled with disappointment.
"I just can't believe it." He repeated in a whisper. He couldn't believe that such a good girl would be willing to be with someone like him.
"So, what do you mean now?" The girl pouted. "Do you want to or not?"
"I do, I really do." The boy said urgently.
The girl lowered her head, her lips slightly curved, but her tone was firm. "Well, your girlfriend has been waiting here for so long. You should go in and finish work and accompany her."
"Oh, okay." The boy's face was full of smiles. "I'll go right away. Wait for me."
"Okay." Cheng Chu stopped teasing him and smiled. "Go quickly, I'll wait for you here."
Gu Miao: She, she said I'm her boyfriend (blushes)
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.