It was early July, and the scorching summer heat was in full swing.
The Western restaurant was packed every day, and everyone was busy as can be.
Finally, after the mealtime rush had passed, everyone relaxed a bit.
Little Fatty took the water that the cashier handed him, but before he drank any, he kindly offered it to Gu Miao next to him. "Here, Miao Ge, you drink first."
Gu Miao shook his head.
"Hey, don't be mad," Little Fatty put his arm around Gu Miao's shoulder, acting like they were good buddies. "The other day, I didn't know she was your girlfriend, so that's why I said we should exchange WeChat."
Gu Miao pushed away the hand that Little Fatty extended towards him and said calmly, "I'm not mad."
"Really?" Little Fatty was half-doubtful.
Gu Miao pursed his lips and nodded.
The noonday sun shone in, and he stood in the shade, staring blankly at the clean white tiles on the ground. Ever since she came to the store to eat last week, she hasn't been back.
He's busy working and his old phone can't install WeChat, so he can only call her after work in the evening.
Is she unhappy?
The young man lowered his gaze, looking gloomy.
The store was quiet, with the sound of the air conditioning humming softly.
Little Fatty nudged Gu Miao's hand excitedly and said, "Hey, hey, hey, isn't that your girlfriend?"
Gu Miao's eyelashes trembled as he looked up.
The bright sunlight shone in at noon, and the girl was wearing a moon-white dress with wavy hair tied up with a butterfly knot, a few strands falling down, making her look delicate and charming.
She followed the manager, walking gracefully.
Everyone unknowingly stopped what they were doing as the manager cleared his throat and said, "This is Cheng Chu, our newly hired pianist. She's a newcomer, so please take care of her."
"Of course!" Little Fatty chuckled and tugged on Gu Miao's sleeve, "Right, Miao Ge?"
Gu Miao stood frozen in place, her mind momentarily blank.
As soon as the manager left, the tense atmosphere dissipated.
Little Fatty made a few suggestive gestures towards Gu Miao before tactfully walking away.
A vase of bluebells sat on the counter, and Gu Miao reached out to touch the petals.
Her delicate eyebrows arched as she said, "Miao Ge?"
Her voice was clear and crisp, like the first stream of water on a mountain top in early summer, with a refreshing coolness that made his heart tighten.
"Cough, cough, cough." Gu Miao lowered his eyes, and without realizing it, some powder had settled on his ears. "He's just shouting nonsense."
He pursed his lips, and the waves that the girl's words "Miao Ge" had stirred in his heart had not yet subsided, gently rippling.
"Can I call you Miao Ge too in the future?" The girl smiled brightly.
Gu Miao's fingertips trembled slightly.
The girl didn't know that her casual "Miao Ge" had made his heart beat faster. The feeling of pleasure that was mixed in with the tremble made him addicted, wishing to be immersed in it all the time.
A gentle breeze blew by, and the pale yellow bellflowers swayed slightly.
Seeing that he didn't answer, the girl tentatively asked, "Is it not okay?"
Gu Miao's Adam's apple rolled, and his dark eyes were filled with intense emotions. "It's okay."
The girl smiled slightly, "But I think I'm a few days older than you, so it's not appropriate to call you that way."
Gu Miao frowned slightly, "No, you're younger than me."
"Huh? But your birthday is just a few days later than mine, right?" Cheng Chu asked curiously.
Gu Miao lowered his eyes and said warmly, "I started school late, so I'm a year older than you."
"What?" Cheng Chu widened her eyes, "So last year was your 18th birthday, right?"
Her voice lowered, filled with regret, "I didn't celebrate it properly."
"It's okay." The young man hesitated and took a step forward, his tall figure blocking the sunlight outside, "You've already given me a great gift."
During the half year she attended the attached middle school, the gold-rimmed glasses were placed on his bedside table, and he always carefully wiped them before going to bed.
"You've never worn those glasses before," the girl looked up, disappointment evident in her soft, watery eyes.
"You gave them to me," the boy's heart raced, his black eyes shyly avoiding hers, "I couldn't bear to wear them."
The faint scent of lavender filled the air, and the girl suddenly laughed, "I never knew you could be so sweet with your words."
The boy's face turned red in an instant, he pursed his lips, his eyes revealing a hint of confusion.
According to Little Fatty, girls love to hear sweet words, but he was tongue-tied and his heart raced every time he spoke to her.
Did he not say the right things just now?
But those were his true feelings...
"Do you, do you not like it?" he asked cautiously, his voice low. The girl took a few steps closer and looked around. She noticed that no one was paying attention to them, so she reached out and lightly hooked her pinky finger with his.
"I like you," she whispered softly.
Their fingertips touched, sending a small electric shock through Gu Miao's heart. His heart raced wildly, almost jumping out of his chest.
The girl took another step closer, and her light fragrance mixed with the scent of lavender, filling Gu Miao's heart to the brim.
She seemed unaware of the effect her every move had on him, and her innocent smile only made it worse.
"Say something else," she leaned in and whispered in his ear, "Miao Ge."
Gu Miao's ears turned red, and he trembled as he tried to come up with something clever to say, recalling the sweet words Little Fatty had once used to charm their customers. The brain of the student who ranked in the top ten of the city's college entrance exam seemed to freeze in this moment, unable to come up with a single compliment.
He was so anxious that his lips turned white and he clenched his fists in frustration.
The restaurant was clean and bright in the afternoon sun, and the girl looked up at him with her charming peach blossom eyes, full of anticipation.
Gu Miao's breathing became rapid, he closed his eyes, and his Adam's apple rolled quickly as he thought and thought. Finally, he spoke in a hoarse voice, "You look really beautiful today."
As soon as he finished speaking, he regretted it and wished he could find a hole to crawl into.
He couldn't even come up with a decent compliment, he was so useless.
But the girl was extremely happy, her delicate features softened slightly, as if a soft halo had spread around her, making her even more beautiful.
"Very well said, you should speak more in the future." She nodded in approval, the delicate butterfly bow on her hair swaying slightly.
Is this good enough? The young man lowered his eyes, a shallow joy creeping up the corners of his mouth and eyes. He trembled his eyelashes, but the light in his eyes couldn't be hidden.
He can say many, many things in the future, making her happy every day.
During the lunch break in the restaurant, there were only two hours, and at four o'clock, many customers would come for afternoon tea.
Cheng Chu's working hours were from four in the afternoon to ten in the evening, and she earned thirty yuan per hour, slightly more than the waiters.
As night fell, the crystal chandelier on the top of the restaurant lit up, and the pale golden light accompanied by the crimson sunset reflected the entire restaurant beautifully.
Dressed in a clean white shirt, Gu Miao was a handsome and clean-cut 19-year-old with a gentle and peaceful demeanor between his eyebrows, but his back was straight as a pen.
He came out of the kitchen, carrying a plate of Italian muffins. As he passed the grand piano in the center of the dining room, his footsteps hesitated slightly.
The soothing music drifted into his ears, played by a girl who was performing Chopin's Nocturne.
A soft light fell on her, highlighting her shoulders and neck, which were as white and smooth as snow. She looked like a little fairy who had descended at midnight, her fingertips dancing as she raised her eyes and gave him a slight smile.
Gu Miao's lips curled up and his ears turned crimson. He suddenly remembered the New Year's Eve in his sophomore year, when she played this piece for him in the piano room.
It was quiet and soothing, like the wind that blew in the spring, calming his restless heart. The atmosphere in the restaurant was serene in the evening.
Little Fatty walked over and whispered, "Hurry up, table number two is getting impatient. Don't keep looking around, or the manager will scold us."
The young man snapped out of his daze and withdrew his gaze.
Cheng Chu's first day at work went by quickly and smoothly. Some customers thought she played well and even requested songs, leaving her a tip.
The moon hung high in the sky.
By the time the two of them left the restaurant, it was almost eleven o'clock.
The moonlight was bright yet gentle.
Gu Miao brought Cheng Chu to the parking lot.
"Is this your new bike?" Cheng Chu asked, looking at the cool silver bike in front of her.
Gu Miao nodded. He had left his bike at home and this shop was too far from his rented house. As a last resort, he had to borrow a month's salary from the manager and buy a second-hand bike.
The previous owner of this bike kept it in good condition. Gu Miao wiped the seat and whispered, "I didn't know you were coming today, so I didn't put on the seat cushion. Just sit on it for now, and I'll install it tomorrow."
Cheng Chu smiled and shook her head, adjusted her skirt, and sat down diagonally. "It's okay, don't bother. Your bike is already so cool, adding anything else would ruin the whole thing."
Just as Gu Miao was about to speak, a pair of hands gently wrapped around his waist.
He held his breath and almost stopped his heartbeat.
On this hot summer night, the young man was only wearing a thin T-shirt. The warmth coming from the girl's embrace almost made him lose his grip on the steering wheel.
"Let's go." The girl's soft cheek was pressed against his hard back, and her voice drifted gently into the night breeze.
Gu Miao steadied his heartbeat, stepped on the pedal, and drove into the moonlight.
On a summer night, a gentle breeze carried a hint of coolness and brushed against the young man's feverish heart. He felt as if he was being lifted by soft clouds, floating lightly in mid-air.
The shop they were heading to was very close to Cheng Chu's house, only a ten-minute walk away. The moonlight shone through the camphor trees, casting delicate shadows on the ground. The gentle breeze seemed to understand that silence was the best way to say goodbye, so neither of them spoke.
After what seemed like a long time, a loud car horn sounded behind them. They quickly moved their car to the side of the road, as if waking up from a dream. In the distance, the villa area was dimly lit, with many people turning off their lights, leaving only the street lamps casting slanted shadows.
Cheng Chu looked up and said softly, "Shall I go first?"
The young man's shoulders drooped, his dark eyes flickering like a little abandoned puppy.
Cheng Chu softened halfway and pursed her lips, whispering, "How about a goodnight kiss as a reward?"
The boy looked up, his pupils instantly lighting up.
The night was endless, and the girl closed her eyes, her butterfly-like eyelashes trembling slightly. Shyness seemed to overflow from her lightly pursed cherry lips.
A faint floral fragrance drifted over, causing the boy's heart to tremble. His drooping fingertips trembled slightly as he leaned down, reverently and cherishingly kissing her eyes.
It was the second love confession the boy had thought of all day. "You look beautiful even when you close your eyes."
Gu Miao: The moonlight is beautiful, and so are you.
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.