The summer in Haishi was particularly hot, with the scorching sun shining through the French windows.
Fu Rong held a cup of tea, her bright red nail polish contrasting with her sparkling white fingers.
She took a sip and said, "Chuchu, I heard from Assistant Zhou yesterday that your materials aren't ready yet."
Cheng Chu sat beside her, staring blankly without saying a word.
The surroundings were silent, and suddenly there was a loud "crack" that made her eyebrows jump, almost causing her to fall off the sofa.
The glass tea cup was violently thrown onto the coffee table, still trembling with the aftermath.
Cheng Chu snapped out of her daze, "What did you just say?"
The beautiful girl's peach blossom eyes lost their luster, dimming like they were covered in clouds.
Fu Rong sighed, and the anger in her heart was extinguished in an instant.
"Chuchu," she sighed softly and said with a heavy heart, "in a few months, you will be going abroad alone. How can your parents feel at ease with your current state of mind?"
Cheng Chu pursed her lips and whispered, "Mom, I'm fine. I'm just a little tired lately."
"I know," Fu Rong placed her hand on Cheng Chu's back and patted it gently. She whispered, "I was wrong before, I shouldn't have opposed you playing the piano. Now, I realize that you were right to pursue your dreams."
Cheng Chu's drooping eyelashes trembled slightly, and she softly replied.
In the backyard, there was a mango tree that would buzz with cicadas in the summer.
Seeing that Cheng Chu was not in good spirits and unable to ask anything for the time being, Fu Rong reluctantly asked her to go back and rest.
At noon, the heavy curtains blocked out the sunlight, and the room was dim.
Cheng Chu lay in bed, unable to sleep. She had always been a decisive and courageous person, but this time, even something as simple as submitting the materials was delayed for several weeks.
The light on the bedside table flickered for a moment, and she turned over, struggling to reach for her phone from the desk.
It was a text message from Professor Lin.
The old professor was not used to using WeChat and usually sent notifications through text messages.
"Cheng Chu, the submission of materials for K University is in these few days. Other departments have already submitted theirs. If it's because your family disagrees, you can tell me and I'll try to persuade them. This opportunity is hard to come by and it concerns your future. Think carefully."
Cheng Chu's fingers hesitated.
The room was very quiet, and she could hear the ticking of the clock's second hand clearly. Time seemed to stretch out into eternity, and Cheng Chu felt her once-racing blood slow down in that moment. She blinked in a daze and looked down at her phone.
"Professor Lin, I'm sorry to trouble you. I'll give you an answer tomorrow," the message read.
Putting down her phone, she stood up and pulled open the curtains.
The noon sun was especially dazzling.
Gu Miao sat at the wooden table, with a half-drunk iced Americano in front of him.
His fingers were flying over the keyboard when the doorbell rang a few times, causing him to pause for a moment in confusion.
Who could be coming at this time?
"Ring, ring, ring."
The doorbell rang a few more times, and he stood up to answer the door.
The hallway was bathed in sunlight, and a girl stood at the door, her bright eyes fixed on him.
"Why are you here?" Gu Miao's cold expression softened, and he quickly stepped aside to let her in.
The girl had no expression from beginning to end, standing still by the shoe cabinet even after taking off her shoes.
Gu Miao's heart sank, and a sense of fear rose from deep within.
"What's wrong?" He hesitated, walking over, wanting to embrace her.
But the girl pushed him away with a blank expression.
His stiff hand lingered by her shoulder, not knowing whether to hold on or let go.
Yet the unease in his heart only grew stronger.
The room was quiet, with only the sound of the computer running on the side audible.
Cheng Chu clenched his fingers and looked up, saying, "I need to talk to you."
The boy's heart stopped for a moment, suddenly remembering a line from a TV drama he had watched with the girl, where the female lead broke up with the male lead using this exact phrase.
The wind of the summer day blew in, mixed with the heat, but Gu Miao felt as if a hole had opened up in his chest. The howling wind turned into a burning flame, causing him heartache.
He stood frozen in place, as if the blood rushing through his body had come to a halt.
Cheng Chu closed his eyes and struggled to speak, "Gu Miao, I..."
"Don't say anything, Chuchu," he interrupted, his voice trembling.
"Don't say anything," he whispered, his eyes gradually turning red. His words were shaky and broken, "Is it because I've been too busy lately and ignored your feelings? I'm sorry, I'm so sorry."
The young man's restrained and controlled black eyes began to shimmer with tears as he spoke incoherently, "Is it because I didn't answer your call in time last time? I'm sorry, I was in a meeting, I didn't mean to."
The gardenia flowers on the balcony were planted by the two of them together. The gentle summer breeze carried the fragrance of the flowers into the room.
But Gu Miao felt as though the delicate scent had turned into a sharp knife, piercing his heart with every breath he took.
He forgot about the girl's resistance just moments ago and hugged her tightly, almost crushing her with his strength.
"Cheng Chu, I'm sorry. Please don't leave," he pleaded.
The hot and humid sensation on her neck made Cheng Chu forget to breathe for a moment.
She patted the boy's sturdy back awkwardly and tried to comfort him, "I'm not angry. Why would I be angry? What are you talking about? Let go first, let's talk face to face, okay?"
But the boy held on even tighter and choked out, "You must be angry. I was wrong. Please forgive me."
Cheng Chu couldn't help but feel a mix of amusement and exasperation. The sadness and unease that had been lurking in her heart were completely washed away by the boy's tears.
She gently patted his back and comforted him, "I forgive you. But please let go of me, I can't breathe."
The boy's fingers stiffened in fear and he quickly let go of her. He lowered his gaze, his jet-black eyelashes still glistening with tears, and spoke hesitantly, "I'm sorry, Chu Chu."
"It's okay." Cheng Chu smiled, her almond-shaped eyes full of understanding.
Seeing her smile, the boy tentatively looked up at her and suddenly remembered his embarrassing behavior. His ears turned red in embarrassment.
"I-I didn't cry," he fumbled to wipe his eyes.
The cold, black depths of his eyes were now tinged with red, like a little puppy abandoned by its owner. Cheng Chu couldn't help but find his pitiful appearance extremely adorable.
She took his hand and comforted him softly, "Stop rubbing, you're making it all red."
The young man hung his head, his hands stiffly at his sides, not moving at all.
The living room was very quiet, and Gu Miao's heart was pounding violently. He didn't quite understand what the girl meant when she said "it's okay."
Did that mean they weren't breaking up?
Gu Miao pursed his lips and cautiously asked, "Chuxhu, does that mean you forgive me and we're not breaking up?"
Time seemed to stand still for a moment. His throat was dry, and the redness in his eyes had not yet faded as he looked at her so humbly and pitifully.
Cheng Chu widened her eyes, "Who told you we were breaking up?"
The young man's heart suddenly relaxed, and the heavy burden seemed to be lifted from his body in an instant. "I, I thought..."
His dark eyes hung low, trembling pitifully as he spoke in a low voice, "In the last TV drama, the female lead said 'I want to talk to you' and then they broke up."
Cheng Chu couldn't help but laugh, the dimple on his cheek appearing and disappearing, "You're so cute, always imagining things. How could I bear to break up with you?"
A shallow joy spread across the young boy's eyes, slowly flowing from his eyebrows to his lips.
The girl said, "In the future, watch less TV dramas."
He obediently replied, "Okay," but didn't mention that it was her who had dragged him into watching that drama.
The room was quiet, the floating breeze lifting the gauze curtains and casting warm yellow fragments of light.
Gu Miao softly asked, "So what did you want to say?"
The girl's smile suddenly froze, the light in her eyes slowly extinguishing.
"What's wrong?" Gu Miao frowned, his eyes still red, but he maintained a serious and cold demeanor.
Cheng Chu's heart, which had been silent, couldn't help but relax a bit. She paused for a moment before gently calling out, "Miao Ge."
Gu Miao responded with a low, hoarse, and gentle voice.
"It's just that...well..." The girl twisted her hands, her furrowed brow revealing her distress.
Gu Miao spoke softly, "What's wrong? Tell me."
As long as it wasn't a breakup, he could accept anything.
The girl took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and said, "Our school has a foreign exchange program this year. We can go to K University for two years, and the professor gave me this opportunity."
After holding in her words for so long, she blurted them out all at once.
Cheng Chu's heart was relieved, but the worry and reluctance that followed slowly crept up.
The room fell silent, and the cicadas outside continued to chirp incessantly. Cheng Chu couldn't help but hold his breath, waiting for his answer.
A low sigh drifted through the air.
Cheng Chu's heart tightened, and he only heard him say lightly, "It's about this matter."
The girl suddenly looked up and met his dark eyes, deep as the night but gentle and accommodating.
"Do you have any thoughts?" Cheng Chu couldn't help but ask.
"Chuchu." He leaned in and lovingly touched the girl's cheek. "I will always respect your thoughts."
The boy's palm was hot, as if burning with all his passion and love, making Cheng Chu's heart tremble.
She asked softly, "You won't be reluctant to let me go, will you?"
The boy embraced her, this time his embrace was light, gentle as the spring breeze in March.
"I certainly can't bear to part with you," he said in a low, deep voice, as he whispered into Cheng Chu's ear, sending shivers down her spine.
But he continued, unaware of the effect his words had on her, "But Chu Chu, if I don't agree to let you go, even I will despise myself."
"I am so selfish, despicable, and dark that I am not worthy of you," he added.
Cheng Chu's eyes grew misty as she hugged the young man, her voice choked with emotion, "Miao Ge, I can't bear to leave you."
Gu Miao patted her head and whispered, "Do you remember what I said to you when you went to the advanced class in our sophomore year?"
The girl blinked, her butterfly-like long lashes still wet with dew, "You said, 'Wait for me.'"
The young man wiped away her tears, "Chuchu, I can't go with you this time, but I will be waiting for you when you come back."
The bright moon in the sky shone so brilliantly, but he never thought of picking her down. He only quietly fantasized about becoming a star next to her, accompanying her day and night.
The author has something to say:
Gu Miao: I didn't cry, I just got something in my eye from the wind.
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.