The room was silent, with a gentle night breeze blowing through.
Unable to contain himself, Cheng Chu burst out laughing with a "pfft" sound. The young man's tall figure stiffened.
"When did you wake up?" He didn't turn around, even burying his head deeper, his ears turning crimson with embarrassment.
Cheng Chu didn't answer, just slowly walked over and hugged him from behind.
The young man's body was hot, like a burning flame. He felt the softness pressing against his back, causing ripples of emotion to slowly spread in his heart.
"Chuchu." He called out in a hoarse voice, as if trying to explain himself, "I, I was just muttering to myself."
As if he wasn't jealous of the dog at all.
Cheng Chu tightened his grip, laughing softly against his neck. The warm breath brushed against the slightly cool neck, making the young boy's heart race. He pursed his lips and held back from speaking.
Cheng Chu rubbed against him and whispered, "Hmm, I know, my big baby always mutters to himself."
The blush behind his ear quickly spread, and the young boy lowered his gaze, looking at the hand tightly wrapped around his waist. His fingertips trembled, but he couldn't resist the temptation and slowly reached out, attaching his hand to hers.
"Mm." His voice was muffled, as if responding to the nickname "baby."
The wind tonight seemed no longer cold, but carried a hint of warmth, slowly brushing into their hearts.
The girl lay on his back, her shallow breath intentionally or unintentionally teasing him. His breathing became increasingly rapid, and the protruding knot in his throat bobbed up and down.
He felt as though he had been split in two, with his inner self drowning in the girl's love, becoming soft and melting like water, while his outer self resisted her teasing and stiffened uncontrollably.
"Chuchu," his brow twitched as he restrained himself, pulling the girl's hand away and turning his back to her. He spoke in a hoarse voice, "I'm going to cook."
"I'll help you," Cheng Chu sweetly smiled.
The girl's voice was clear, like a mountain spring in the summer, flowing into the young man's boiling heart, reflecting his dirty thoughts that he couldn't show to anyone.
He pursed his lips and looked down at the bulge beneath him, sighing in self-disgust.
He said in a deep voice, "No need, you can go play with Meow Meow outside. I'll be fine soon."
The kitchen door slammed shut with a loud "bang". The young man remained with his back turned towards her, only revealing a sturdy and upright figure.
"If you need anything, just tell me," the girl poked her head in and spoke softly.
"Okay." The stiffness beneath him made the young man too afraid to turn his head, so he simply nodded in silence.
Dinner was plentiful, even Meow Meow had a small bowl of specially made dog food, topped with canned food.
The golden dog head buried itself in the bowl and didn't emerge for a long time.
After dinner, a round full moon hung high in the sky.
The two leaned back on the balcony lounge chairs, basking in the gentle moonlight.
"Let's take a picture," Cheng Chu opened the camera function and switched to selfie mode.
The young man beside her clearly didn't take many pictures. His handsome face was cold and expressionless.
"Smile for me," Cheng Chu turned his head and raised the corners of the boy's mouth with his thumb and forefinger.
A stiff smile appeared on the boy's handsome face, but his eyes remained pitch black, making the smile seem eerie.
Cheng Chu pouted, "You need to smile happily, like me."
She raised her eyebrows and slightly curved her lips, and a smile flowed from the corners of her eyes and eyebrows. Her clear and bright eyes formed a crescent moon, shining in the warm moonlight.
Looking at that smile, Gu Miao felt like the darkness of the night had instantly brightened.
But the bitterness of life had long made the boy forget how to show a carefree smile.
The gentle night breeze brushed the girl's forehead, lifting her hair.
The boy reached out and carefully tucked the strand of hair behind her ear.
As he gazed down at the girl, a warm feeling welled up in his heart, like droplets forming a small stream that gradually merged into his rushing blood.
The moonlight shone like a clear halo, and the boy couldn't help but smile.
"Perfect, just like this," the girl exclaimed as she quickly wrapped her arm around his and took a photo.
In the picture, the girl's smile was as bright as a blooming flower, and her porcelain-like face was as beautiful as the moon.
"Can you send it to me?" Gu Miao asked.
Cheng Chu tapped her finger on the screen and asked, "Did you receive it?"
His phone buzzed in his pocket, and Gu Miao lowered his gaze to save the photo.
But as soon as he put down his phone, his fingers hesitated before unlocking the screen again and setting the photo as his wallpaper.
On this night, the young boy lay in bed holding his phone. The screen would go black and then light up again, and he stared at the girl on his screensaver for a long time before finally drifting off to sleep.
After the Mid-Autumn Festival, the weather turned cold. The winter in the coastal city was both cold and damp, with the howling wind feeling like a wet knife that sliced through skin and seeped into bones.
With winter break approaching, Fu Rong asked Cheng Chu if she had any plans.
"I'll just stay home and practice piano," Cheng Chu replied while playing with her phone.
Fu Rong glanced at her and suggested, "How about going to Switzerland for the New Year? Jinjin's family is going too."
"I'm not going," Cheng Chu refused firmly.
Thinking about it, Gu Miao would definitely be alone in that small cabin for the New Year. It was pitiful just to imagine.
"You're such a boring child, always staying at home practicing the piano and not going out to make more friends," sighed Fu Rong, but then perked up and asked, "Have you found a boyfriend in college?"
Cheng Chu's heart skipped a beat and she quickly replied, "No."
"What?!" Fu Rong almost jumped off the couch. "No one is pursuing you?"
"No," Cheng Chu replied firmly.
"That's impossible, you're lying to me," Fu Rong doubted as she touched her little face. "I remember in high school there was a boy who pursued you all the way to your doorstep."
Cheng Chu closed her mouth tightly and refused to respond to Fu Rong's words.
But Fu Rong didn't give up and continued to chatter on about the neighbor's son, Lin Qifeng, bringing his girlfriend home to meet his parents, and which daughter from which family got married last month.
Cheng Chu had originally planned to go home and rest during the holiday, but now she felt even more tired. She rushed up the wooden stairs, which creaked under her feet.
"I'm tired, I'm going to bed," she said, her voice muffled by the door to her room. The surroundings were quiet, with only the dim light from the garden casting a yellow glow. Cheng Chu lay on her bed and let out a sigh.
Her phone vibrated a few times, and Cheng Chu's mood instantly brightened. "Do you miss me?" she asked sweetly, rolling around on her bed.
There was silence on the other end for a few seconds before a low "Mm" was heard. Cheng Chu imagined the boy on the other end blushing and feeling shy, which made her happy and unable to resist smiling.
"What's up?" she asked, her heart racing and her voice light and cheerful.
There was a pause on the phone line before he asked, "Do you have any plans for the winter break?"
Cheng Chu suddenly felt fortunate for refusing Fu Rong's trip to Switzerland. She smiled and said, "No."
"Do you want to go to Pingcheng to see the snow?" The boy's voice on the phone was lower and huskier than usual, teasing Cheng Chu's heart like a small hook.
The plum blossoms in the garden were just beginning to bloom, lighting up this cold winter night.
Cheng Chu suddenly remembered last winter, when she and the boy had agreed to go to Pingcheng to see the snow together on the dimly lit streets.
She never expected that he would remember.
A smile gradually spread from the girl's eyebrows, and her heart felt like a bird leaping with joy.
She couldn't help but kick her legs in the air and replied, "Sure, I want to go."
On the other end, the boy suddenly released his clenched hand. He stood on the balcony, the distant twinkling lights piercing through the lonely night and falling into his dark eyes.
"Okay, I'll book the plane tickets and hotel now," he said eagerly, his voice hoarse.
"No, that won't do. I can't let you pay for everything," Cheng Chu quickly interrupted, sensing that he was about to hang up the phone.
Gu Miao pursed his lips and tightened his grip on the phone. He lowered his eyes, hiding the faint glimmer in them.
"Chuchu," he was about to speak, but was interrupted by the girl.
"Gu Miao, we've been going out to eat and play a lot lately, and it's always you paying. It's okay for me to pay once in a while," she said, knowing that it was his hard-earned money and feeling a bit sorry for him.
The sound of whistling wind came from the other end of the phone, but Gu Miao remained silent.
Cheng Chu suggested, "How about this? You pay for the plane tickets and I'll pay for the hotel. Is that okay?"
The young man sighed and fell silent, seemingly considering how to persuade her. But Cheng Chu didn't give him the chance. She pursed her lips and softly called out, "Miao Ge."
The breathing on the other end seemed to quicken for a moment.
The girl persisted, "Please."
Her voice was as soft as a pool of water in spring, causing Gu Miao's fingertips to tremble.
The cold wind blew on the balcony, and he was only wearing a shirt, but he felt a surge of heat rising from deep within his heart, making it impossible for him to refuse.
"Okay, okay?" The girl asked repeatedly.
Gu Miao closed his eyes and softly replied, "Mmm."
He thought of his roommate complaining about his girlfriend always wanting things, wanting lipstick today and makeup tomorrow.
But Cheng Chu seemed to understand his financial situation and never made any demands.
The chill of the winter night seeped into his heart, causing a dull ache, and he wished he could give her everything he had. He calmly opened his phone and carefully searched for the plane tickets.
Gu Miao: But it seems like I can't give her anything.
Will the trip only have one room? Ahem.
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.