She wouldn’t be cut off from love in the future, would she?
As soon as Song Yuan reached the bus stop, the bus she was taking just happened to arrive.
There were as many people waiting for the bus as before. Song Yuan got on the bus, and Rong Heng followed after, paying in cash.
The two found a spot in the middle and stood. There were no seats available at this point, but thankfully it wasn’t crowded.
Rong Heng did not take the initiative to make conversation with Song Yuan. Song Yuan was still immersed in her own world, at one moment thinking of her dream, and at another thinking of Rong Ting. Even if a handsome ge was standing in front of her, when she thought of the child at home, she could control the rate of her heartbeat somewhat.
It wasn’t easy being a mom! She wouldn’t be cut off from love in the future, would she?
Song Yuan resisted the urge to chat with him.
Rong Heng was very tall, and his hand very leisurely held the pull ring. Even though there were many people on the bus, he could still easily pick out her scent. It was exactly the same as it was in the past.
When they stood like this, with her by his side, he was very content even if she didn’t say a word.
Suddenly, he felt someone pull on his clothes. He looked down and saw a naughty little girl looking up at him.
Song Yuan’s attention was caught by this childish voice. She also looked down and saw a cute little girl with a bun next to Rong Heng.
Rong Heng naturally knew that Song Yuan was looking at him. He bent down, a gentle smiling expression on his face. He asked softly: “Child, what’s wrong?”
“Uncle, why do you have white hair! Just like my grandpa! But you look younger than my grandpa.” The girl must have been very curious to have mustered up the courage to ask.
The little girl’s mother was extremely embarrassed. She hurried over and pulled the girl away and said apologetically to Rong Heng: “Sorry, sorry, my child wasn’t sensible.”
Rong Heng’s expression was mild. “No problem.” He looked at the little girl, his smile growing deeper. “Child, Uncle’s white hair is dyed. Your black hair is very beautiful. Uncle is already thinking about whether to dye his black.”
Song Yuan watched Rong Heng patiently and gently speak to the little girl. For a moment, she felt deeply moved. When the little girl left with her mother, she blurted out unconsciously, “You’re so patient with children.”
“Am I? Maybe it’s because I like children.” Rong Heng looked back at the little girl. “Anyone would be more patient with children.”
“That’s not true.” Song Yuan shook her head. “Many people don’t like children and find them annoying. There aren’t many who are as patient with children as you.”
Rong Heng smiled. “Hearing your praise makes me feel like I’ve done something amazing.”
Song Yuan didn’t know whether she was looking through a filter, but she felt as though this white-haired, handsome ge truly tickled her aesthetics. She couldn’t resist this sort of warm and gentlemanly1 type.
If it weren’t for the child at home, and if those things hadn’t happened, she would have long put aside her reservations and launched an attack.
What a pity, what a pity.
Although they stood beside each other like yesterday, Song Yuan wasn’t in the mood to chat today. She had been afraid of something like this. It was easy to grow awkward with a newly made acquaintance, especially when you weren’t in the mood to chat. If it were someone familiar, they could talk if they wanted to talk, and they could be silent if they didn’t. It would be very comfortable.
Fortunately, the handsome ge didn’t take the initiative to chat with her, either.
But in the adult world, if he didn’t take the initiative to chat, it probably meant that he wasn’t interested in her.
She originally thought he had been interested in her. Otherwise, why would he drop her off last night? But on second thought, if he were interested, he would have asked for her contact information yesterday.
Ai, one truly could not fantasize too much, lest they be disappointed2.
She got off the bus, unconsciously glanced back, and found that Rong Heng did not get off.
Fine, she shouldn’t shower affections on an uninterested party. She rid herself of the thoughts she shouldn’t have and headed in the direction of the company.
Today was Christmas Eve as well as a Friday, and the amount of work she had wasn’t small. She was busy from the moment she started work and didn’t have a moment of rest until the afternoon.
The company’s front desk was very attentive. They gave each person a bright red apple3 and ordered milk tea in the afternoon.
Song Yuan drank her milk tea while she logged in to the PC version of WeChat. Replying to messages on the phone while at work inevitably gave off the impression of slacking. It was better to use the PC version of WeChat–she would look like she was working seriously while she replied to messages.
When Song Yuan saw this message, she nearly spat out her drink.
“Still bitterly waiting in the cold cave.”
She hurriedly denied the rumor. [What’s all this about bitterly waiting in the cold cave? I don’t have anything to do with him.]
Xie Ya: [Really? You two clearly went to watch the movies together. Now that he’s coming back, you can finally find yourself a damn partner.]
Song Yuan was a bit embarrassed. To say that she had no relation with Ji Junpei was like covering her nose to deceive her eyes6, but to be honest, she and he could be considered an unsuccessful romance.
She had definitely been attracted to him in college. People like her who had no talents and whose grades were average would easily adore the study god. The study god’s looks weren’t bad, and he seemed to be interested in her… it wasn’t that she wasn’t attracted, but that she had been attracted for too long. Without taking the next step, that sort of sentiment very easily vanished into smoke.
Now, it was very difficult to return to the emotions from back then, and strange things had happened to her.
Song Yuan: [Even if he comes back I won’t get out of singledom. Anyways, there’s no chance for us. Watching a movie together is a thing of the past; let’s not talk about it.]
She and Xie Ya were very good friends, but so far, no one except her parents knew about Rong Ting’s relation with her.
She didn’t know how to explain it, and nobody would believe her even if she did–they’d all treat her as a nutcase. After all, she already found it unexpected but pleasantly surprising that her parents believed her.
Let’s take it slow!
Xie Ya: [What a shame. I think Ji Junpei’s still pretty good. He’s good-looking and he’s a study tyrant. This kind of top-quality man is hard to find nowadays. Why not think it over, huh? Do you really have a boyfriend?]
Xie Ya: [If you have a boyfriend you can’t hide it from me!]
Song Yuan, helpless: [I don’t have a boyfriend, but it’s not possible between us. It’ll take too long to explain right now. I’ll tell you when we meet up.]
She wanted to talk about it, but wasn’t the crucial point to make it clear?
Coincidentally, as soon as she mentioned Ji Junpei to Xie Ya, a delivery boy came to deliver flowers.
The women in the office were all very envious. It was one thing to send flowers on Valentine’s Day, but why send flowers on Christmas Eve?
Song Yuan was very confused. Fortunately, there was a signature on the card. There was only one character, “Ji,” but Song Yuan knew who it was.
What did Ji Junpei mean by this? He shouldn’t have returned to the country yet.
Song Yuan couldn’t figure it out, nor did she want to ask him. As a matter of fact, she’d had minimal contact with him for the last half a year. Now, to take the initiative to contact him and cause a series of things to happen, all because of this bundle of flowers, was an outcome she didn’t want.
If they were lovers, then she could tell him clearly, but the key point was that they didn’t have any sort of relationship.
Although facing this kind of situation gave her a headache, Song Yuan also didn’t want to play dead. After thinking about it, she braced herself and sent him a message: [Xuezhang, I received a bouquet of flowers. I was wondering if you sent them. If you did send them, thank you. I have something that I want to tell you. If you’re free when you come back, my boyfriend and I will invite you to dinner!]
She felt relieved after sending this message.
Today was Friday, so she was originally planning to get off of work on time, but near the end of her day, something went wrong with the order she was responsible for. The customer kept calling her and asking her to contact the warehouse and factory. Seeing the customer’s impatience, it would be difficult for her to take the work home. Thus, she gave Rong Ting a call and told him that she would be working overtime and would be getting home late, so he should eat first without waiting for her.
Rong Ting was an extremely cautious child, and she was now quite assured about him staying at home.
She ordered takeout for herself and worked until eight o’clock. There was nobody left in the office.
She had already passed peak rush hour, and she unhurriedly headed for the bus stop. Snowflakes fluttered through the air again and the outside temperature had long since dropped below zero. It was a bit hard to bear the freezing cold after emerging from the well-heated company.
When she got to the bus stop, she spotted a familiar person.
In this sort of weather, people would subconsciously hunch over7, as if that would keep them warm, but he stood upright, as though unafraid of the cold, and didn’t wear many layers.
Song Yuan was a bit surprised. She walked over to him and greeted him first. “Hi, what a coincidence.”
Rong Heng seemed to have just noticed her. The surprise on his face was difficult to conceal. “What a coincidence. You’re getting off work at this hour?”
Song Yuan was already exhausted from working overtime. She smiled helplessly. “Today’s Friday, and there were a lot of things to do, so I worked overtime. And you? Why haven’t you gone home yet?”
“I just finished dealing with my business.”
Rong Heng lifted a paper bag in his hand and smilingly handed it to her. “A client gave me one, but I don’t like eating apples, and there’s no one at home to give it to, so I’ll give it to you.”
Song Yuan didn’t know what it was, but she accepted it anyway. Inside the bag were two beautiful Red Delicious apples8.
“I heard that today’s Christmas Eve.” Rong Heng paused. “I once heard someone say that Christmas Eve is about eating apples so that you will have peace.”
“Ah, thank you. But I don’t have any apples to give you.” Song Yuan was a bit embarrassed. “The company gave some, but I ate them all.”
She had some at home, but she couldn’t bring him home with her, could she?
It was Christmas Eve, and someone gave her an apple, but she didn’t give him one. It made her feel weird and awkward.
Rong Heng still had that gentle smile on his face. “No problem. I’ve already eaten one.”
“Two is too many,” Song Yuan spoke again. “I only need one.”
Rong Heng withdrew his gaze and looked up into the sky. “Take it. You should have people at home.”
Song Yuan thought of Rong Ting.
Yes, she and Rong Ting just happened to make two people. One person per apple, just perfect~
“En, thank you!”
 温文尔雅: cultured and refined
 翻车: lit. to flip/overturn a vehicle/chariot; fig. to take a turn for the worse, to go south. It also means (of a car/vehicle) to flip over/to overturn. An interesting thing about this term is that it’s often used in gaming when veteran players (called “veteran drivers”) choke and get unexpectedly demolished in matches
 There’s a tradition in China where you exchange apples with loved ones. Christmas Eve is ping’an ye (平安夜), and the word for apple, pingguo (苹果) sounds similar to the word for peace
 Wuli was written in English and is meant to be an approximation of the Korean word “우리,” which is used in the same manner as “my family’s/my X” in Chinese. It literally means “our,” but in this context it’s used to imply a close relationship with the speaker
 苦守寒窑: lit. suffering + guard/keep watch + cold kiln. This phrase comes from a legend about Wang Baochuan, the daughter of the prime minister of the Tang dynasty, and her husband, Xue Rengui. You can find an English summary of the legend here, but essentially, she waited in the “cold kiln” (the cave where they lived together) for 18 years before her husband returned in triumph from the war
 捂着鼻子骗眼睛: to deceive oneself
 猫着身子: I think it’s referring to how cats arch their bodies when feeling threatened or frightened (but in this case it’s from the cold)
 蛇果: a cultivar of apple, much like Granny Smith or Golden Delicious or Honeycrisp or Gala or Fuji or McIntosh or etc etc. Personally, I’m not a fan of Red Delicious because the ones I’ve had were all, without fail, soggy and flavorless. I had a deLICIOUS Crispin apple once and I’m now a huge fan, although I’m not sure you can get them outside of NY/the northeast
Cheese: ngl if someone handed me a red delicious id be miffed. out of all the choices you couldve made you chose a red delicious?? this house does not support red delicious lovers