The pertinent section has been marked with a row of asterisks (********************). If you are sensitive to this topic, please proceed with caution. Scroll down until you see the second row of asterisks. If you’d like a brief summary, see my note at the bottom of the page.
He became anxious and hurriedly cried out, “Empress Mother, Empress Mother, what is wrong!!”
Song Yuan spent the next few days accompanying her grandfather in the hospital and grew closer to the high school classmate, Chen Qian. Chen Qian had done her internship at the People’s Hospital and stayed to work there after her graduation. Chen Qian didn’t like eating in the hospital cafeteria. In her own words, she was tired of the food there. One day, on her day shift, Song Yuan straightforwardly invited her for a meal outside.
The hospital was near many restaurants, and the two of them had Three Sauces Braised Stew1.
The pleasure of eating braised stew in the middle of winter was only slightly inferior to that of eating hotpot. Chen Qian caught Song Yuan’s earnestly eating appearance and couldn’t help but laugh. “Yuanyuan, why do I feel like you’re getting more and more beautiful? Even more than in high school.”
Song Yuan had a small frame, with slender shoulders and a sense of litheness. Her skin was still fair, and under the lightning and heat, there were almost no blemishes on her skin, like white jade.
“Really?” Everyone liked to hear others praise them as beautiful. Song Yuan unconsciously stroked her face, chuckling. “Maybe it’s because I did some cosmetic treatment not long ago.”
She was brought by Xie Ya onto the path of aesthetic medicine. And on top of that, she originally had good foundations, and she had no stresses in life. She had money and leisure, the kind of inside-and-out leisure that allowed her to maintain the relaxed freedom of her school days. There was a clear difference from office workers who entered the devastating torment of society after graduating.
Chen Qian had always liked Song Yuan. She felt that Song Yuan, as a great beauty, didn’t have an inkling of the “I am a flower, and all of you are the green leaves that serve as my foil” kind of arrogance. She was also frank and generous, was not aggressive, and didn’t make trouble or act unreasonable. What member of the Good Looks Club wouldn’t like her? Strictly speaking, most people, even a girl like her, preferred beautiful women to handsome men.
“I have a colleague who clearly got a facelift. We asked her, and she said she was losing weight. Not honest at all.” As Chen Qian talked, she left out a laugh. “Speaking of her, there was something very interesting. As soon as Doctor Meng came to the hospital, she had her sights set on him. She wanted Doctor Meng to take the initiative to pursue her, but after waiting a few days, that Doctor Meng didn’t give any response. Later on, she asked Doctor Meng out to watch the movies, but Doctor Meng turned her down.
“Speaking of, let me show you–” Chen Qian handed over her cell phone. “This is our nurse group chat. They’re all talking about you, saying that Doctor Meng seems to be interested in you. He’s been making the rounds pretty frequently these days. Yuanyuan, is it true ah?”
Song Yuan stole a glance at the chat history and hurriedly shook her head. “There’s nothing going on!”
“I also think that Doctor Meng is interested in you.” Chen Qian couldn’t help laughing when she saw Song Yuan’s nervous look. “Nothing? You’re so beautiful and such a good person. It’s normal for Doctor Meng to be interested in you ah.”
Song Yuan recalled the Dr. Meng who looked seven or eight points similar to the elder brother from her dreams and fell silent.
Seeing that she wasn’t speaking, Chen Qian thought that she had that kind of thought and continued, “How about this ba, we’re all one hospital. I’ll help you ask about him.”
Song Yuan came back to her senses and couldn’t help laughing helplessly upon hearing these words. “There’s really no need. I don’t have any thoughts on dating right now. I have a lot of things going on, and I’ll be going back to B City after the Lantern Festival2. I’ll probably come back once a year.”
Chen Qian said with some regret, “That’s too bad, long-distance relationships aren’t great. Fine, I’ll listen to you. I’ll bring it up in the group chat later and help deny the rumors for you.”
On the fifth day of the lunar New Year, Rong Heng finally had some time for himself. With Madam Xie’s helpful intervention, he didn’t need to visit other elders’ homes to give his New Year greetings. Everyone showed understanding, as he had suffered a major event this year and hadn’t recovered physically or mentally. Therefore, Rong Heng was relatively free. In two days, he planned to go see Song Yuan and his son and thought he should buy some New Year gifts. It wasn’t yet the seventh or eighth day of the New Year, and B City’s office workers who lived outside the city hadn’t yet returned. On the contrary, some shopping malls were not as bustling as before the New Year.
Rong Heng took a stroll around the mall. Perhaps it was due to his dignified temperament, but the employees who were supposed to be very enthusiastic upon seeing him didn’t play their brainwashing-like marketing on him.
Sun Qiming had already returned and was following from behind.
Finally, they arrived at the jewelry section, where the counters displayed all kinds and manners of jewelry. As a straight man, when Rong Heng chose gifts, he usually only thought of buying jewelry, and this time was no exception. He wanted to purchase all the jewelry on display, but he considered his current circumstances and finally picked a pair of diamond-stud earrings. In a rare, unprecedented moment, he consulted Sun Qiming. “How about this?”
Sun Qiming, overwhelmed with favor, hurriedly responded, “It suits Miss Song very nicely.”
“Do you think she’ll like it?”
Although Sun Qiming knew that his boss was pursuing Miss Song, he was still indescribably astonished hearing these words.
“Miss Song will probably like it.” He didn’t dare to be too committed to his answer. After all, he’d been by the boss’s side for so long. He’d seen the boss hovering around Miss Song, and the two hadn’t even gone on a date–it was clear that the boss had kicked an iron plate3.
Rong Heng’s expression was calm. “Wrap this up ba.”
After buying the diamond earrings, he realized that he hadn’t bought a gift for Rong Ting.
Every father had different feelings towards his child. Rong Heng had brought up Rong Ting according to the standards of a crown prince and was unfamiliar with preparing a gift for his son. He pondered it. Copybooks didn’t seem too appropriate, and he had sent over many books, enough for him to read. His mind was still turning as he arrived at the first floor, where he saw a huge spherical shape in the exhibition hall. His footsteps paused. He approached the globe, looking at it thoughtfully. Finally, he turned to Sun Qiming. “This…”
Sun Qiming was stunned, for a moment not understanding his meaning. “Boss, you want this globe?”
So it was called a globe.
Rong Heng nodded. “Help me buy one.”
This world really was as Yuanyuan said. The vast earth was round.
At that time, he’d laughed at her silly words. She had stretched her hands out and moved them into a circle, her eyes full of light. She’d said to him, one day you will know that the world is bigger than you think.
Give this globe to Rong Ting ba.
He should like it very much.
At five in the afternoon, Grandpa Song urged Song Yuan to hurry back home.
Song Yuan was worried about Rong Ting, who was at home, and picked up her back to leave. Just as she was about to take the elevator to the parking lot, she heard one of the patients saying there was someone selling roasted sweet potatoes and corn at the entrance. She thought about it. Grandpa’s favorite thing was sweet potatoes. She could buy some and give him a nice surprise.
She swiftly changed her mind, and instead of taking the elevator to floor B1, she walked out on the first floor.
It was only a few steps from the elevator to the entrance of the inpatient department. She was thinking about what to buy at the grocery store and was about to reach the door when she suddenly heard someone shout, “Someone jumped off the building! Hurry! Have security evacuate the crowd!! No pictures!! No pictures!!!”
Her footsteps halted, but she had already seen the large puddle of blood on the ground in front of the inpatient building.
She had never seen such a scene before. No one had ever died right in front of her like this, jumping from such a height. Anyone who had never seen it before would never be able to imagine it.
Song Yuan’s pupils blew wide. Many people swept past her, but her legs seemed to be filled with lead. It wasn’t until someone bumped into her that she finally came to her senses. Her psychological reaction gave way to a physiological response, and she instinctively ran all the way to the bathroom and headed into one of the stalls. As soon as she closed the door, she began to dry heave.
Finally, her legs grew weak, and she leaned against the cubicle wall. The scene from just now constantly ran through her mind. Her eyes had gone red from the dry heaving, and her hands were trembling.
She didn’t know how long she’d stayed in the bathroom. She forcefully endured her fear and managed to wash her hands. She lifted her head and looked into the mirror and saw that her complexion was not well. She didn’t want to be in the hospital anymore. She dragged her boneless legs to the parking lot, but even shifting gears out of parking was difficult. She felt this was dangerous–she wasn’t fit for driving in her current state. Feeling that staying inside the car was suffocating, she simply came out and leaned against the car door as she took out her phone to call for a substitute driver.
As she was waiting for the substitute driver to come, there was suddenly the sound of a warm male voice. “Miss Song?”
Song Yuan looked up blankly and saw Meng Jingyan approaching her.
He wasn’t wearing a white coat, but rather a black mid-length down jacket. It made him look more youthful and lively. He noticed that her face was as white as paper and asked, “Miss Song, do you feel unwell anywhere?”
Song Yuan shook her head and asked him in turn, “Doctor Meng, just now, someone… jumped off the building?”
Speaking of the incident, she clasped her hands together, looking frightened.
Dr. Meng instantly understood, and he looked at her worriedly. “You saw just now? The door to the roof is usually locked, but one of the patients got up there somehow. They were just diagnosed with cancer. They probably chose this way to die so as not to drag down their family members.”
Song Yuan dipped her head. “So it was like that.”
“Are you alright?” Dr. Meng’s tone was gentle. “Your complexion is quite poor, can you still drive? Should I take you home?”
Song Yuan’s expression was a bit dazed. When she heard clearly what he said, she politely declined. “No need, Doctor Meng. I heard my classmate say that the hospital is very busy during this time, and you must be tired. You should go first ba. I called a substitute driver, and they should be here soon.”
Since she said that, Meng Jingyan also didn’t continue to insist. Before leaving, he reminded her one more time, “Your complexion is not good. There are a lot of people who are getting the flu during this time. If you feel ill anywhere, go back and rest early.”
After watching Meng Jingyan leave, Song Yuan opened the car door and sat in the back seat. After nearly half an hour, the substitute driver arrived.
When she returned home, Song Yuan had calmed down a bit. She didn’t tell Rong Ting about the incident, afraid that he would be afraid and worried. But she wasn’t in the right mood to eat and even felt nauseous when she saw Rong Ting squeeze ketchup on the chicken wings.
Rong Ting saw that she hadn’t moved her chopsticks and asked curiously, “Empress Mother, why do you not eat?”
Song Yuan could only lie. “I ate at the hospital, so I’m not hungry. You should eat more.”
“Oh.” Rong Ting was truly hungry and ate the entire plate of chicken wings by himself, eating until his tummy bulged.
He had drunk a lot of water, and the heated house was relatively dry. He woke at twelve at night by the urge to pee and got up to go to the bathroom. Just as he was about to head back, he heard crying from Empress Mother’s room. Shocked, he hesitantly knocked on the door and listened with his dear to the door for a long time. Seeing that Empress Mother did not respond, he quickly turned the handle of the door and approached the side of the bed. He saw that Empress Mother had her eyes tightly shut. She was clearly dreaming, but she cried miserably and sorrowfully.
He became anxious and hurriedly cried out, “Empress Mother, Empress Mother, what is wrong!!”
The author has something to say:
I have a friend who saw someone jump off a building to die… they vomited and didn’t eat for several days.
 三汁焖锅: English has failed me??? A healthy(?) and environmentally friendly(??) dish made using chicken wings and a variety of vegetables, though I also saw some pictures with what looked like shrimp. I gave up trying to English it, but if anyone knows the proper name lmk
 元宵节: occurs on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month
 踢到了铁板: to suffer a loss. Usually, it’s used when someone bullies someone else, thinking they’re easy to push around, but then ends up being the losing end. Here, it’s more along the lines of saying that Rong Heng has made zero progress in his romantic pursuit
Cheese: To summarize: a man commits suicide just as Song Yuan is about to go out to buy food for her grandfather. Song Yuan catches a glimpse of the aftermath and feels extremely unwell. Deciding she’s unfit for driving, she calls a substitute driver to drive her car for her. As she waits in the parking lot, she runs into Dr. Meng and declines his offer to take her home.
It’s my first time tagging TW and marking sections covering sensitive topics, so I’m not sure if I accidentally missed anything potentially triggering. Let me know if I should adjust anything.