Cheng Xi was fuming with anger, but she still subconsciously looked down at herself after Lu Chenzhou commented on her appearance.
She didn’t look that bad. After getting home, she had changed into her regular clothes. They were a little old, but not worn out or anything.
She looked back at him. This time, she wasn’t as confrontational, and her tone had softened somewhat. “Why are you out of the hospital? There are too many people roaming around outside. It won’t be good for your body.”
Lu Chenzhou responded with a single word, saying, “Long-winded,” as if she were a meddlesome mother. Cheng Xi scrunched up her face, gave up on him, and instead called the doctor on duty to ask him about the situation.
That doctor explained, “Oh, have you seen him? He took two hours to go see his girlfriend. He insisted on going, so I let him dress himself up properly and go. Part of it was because his grandmother said that he’s already thirty-something and still hasn’t been able to get into a relationship, so since he finally has someone that he likes, it wouldn’t be good to stop him from pursuing that.”
When Cheng Xi heard the word “girlfriend,” her face started to redden, but she stayed calm enough to hear the rest of the explanation before her face truly started burning up. “Were his family members there?”
“Of course. With the way his situation is, I definitely had to ask the department head and inform his family members before I could let him go. He’s doing fine outside, isn’t he?”
Cheng Xi looked at Lu Chenzhou. He was sitting there in a composed manner, his face calm and serene. As he watched her talk on the phone, he seemed even more lively than before his illness.
Afraid that the doctor would worry too much if she reported such astounding results, she could only say, “Oh, he looks just fine at the moment. I coincidentally met him outside and was a bit shocked to see him, so I just wanted to call you to confirm that everything’s ok.”
“Oh, alright. Since you’ve met him, then help him out a little bit. Make sure that he doesn’t go crazy outside, and…,” the doctor lowered his voice before mysteriously continuing, “I forgot to tell him. If he wants to do something with his girlfriend, then he should take it easy and not go at it too fiercely.”
This sort of thing was too hard to explain to Lu Chenzhou, so she hung up expressionlessly.
The chauffeur, Mr. Chen, had already come over and opened the car door for her. After thinking about it for a moment, Cheng Xi got in. Before she could settle in, Lu Chenzhou’s voice rang out from next to her ear. “You’re feeling uncomfortable.”
……She knew that this would happen. Recently, he had gotten very good at grasping her feelings.
Cheng Xi maintained her serious expression. “Why would I be?”
“Did he tell you that I came out to see my girlfriend?” Lu Chenzhou asked in an especially serious tone. Cheng Xi became visibly frantic, and he sighed. “You’re really overthinking it. What I wanted to say was that, an idiot’s unhappy, and I wanted to stare at her for a little bit.”
This tone… Cheng Xi instantly felt that her shyness and conjectures had been wasted, all gone to the dogs. She consciously ignored the first half of his reply and asked, “How do you know that I’m unhappy?”
Lu Chenzhou answered with a rejoinder. “Didn’t you want to go out on a stroll? Also, don’t women only go out and buy things if they want to feel better when they’re unhappy?”
It was so reasonable that Cheng Xi couldn’t refute it.
And so they ended up strolling around town. Cheng Xi didn’t want to be called an idiot; she really hadn’t planned on buying anything, and it had been so long since she last went out she didn’t really care much about shopping. The crowds milled about in the streets; whenever there was a holiday, regardless of what holiday it was, it always felt like everyone in China would come out. It was hard to find a place to rest even in the middle of the city, and Cheng Xi wanted to go home as soon as she stepped foot into the streets. However, since Lu Chenzhou had said that he would accompany her, he wouldn’t let them return before she bought something. Helpless, Cheng Xi ended up buying a jacket each for her mother and father, a little razor for Cheng Yang, and two small handicraft pieces for her. On the streets, there were many children “experiencing life” by selling apples and Christmas ornaments. Because their parents were accompanying them, they were particularly lively, energetically shouting out for customers. But despite how cute they tried to act, Cheng Xi didn’t buy anything from them. Instead, she bought a huge bundle of knickknacks from a girl dressed in little more than rags.
After they left the little girl’s stall, Mr. Chen asked her, “Dr. Cheng, why did you buy from that little child?” His curiosity stemmed from the fact that, amidst the huge crowd of children, that little girl wasn’t eye-catching at all; not only were her items ordinary, but she was also inarticulate, silently standing by her stall as she watched everyone pass by.
Cheng Xi turned around to look at that girl again, smiling as she did so. “Because she’s the only one out there who’s doing this in order to live.”
Hmm? Mr. Chen didn’t understand.
Lu Chenzhou glanced at him. Cheng Xi was all too familiar with that glance, having been a recipient of his disdain for stupidity far too many times to count.
But the disdained Mr. Chen didn’t seem to notice. Cheng Xi felt a subconscious desire to laugh, and she picked out a box and gave it to Lu Chenzhou. “A gift for you, as thanks for accompanying me.” And then she gave the remaining bag of items to Mr. Chen. “Do you have any kids at home? These are gifts from me.”
As Mr. Chen took the gifts with a smile, Cheng Xi explained why she chose to buy from that child in more detail. “She was dressed plainly, but tidily. Her hands had calluses, but her fingernails were very evenly clipped. She was obviously poverty-stricken, but neither helpless nor impatient, and her gaze was clean and gentle. While this child might be poor, her family clearly cares for her. The fact that she’s standing out there by herself at a stall and selling ordinary things can only mean that she’s not out there to “experience what life’s like for a regular person,” but rather because she truly wants to help her family make a bit of money.”
After hearing Cheng Xi’s extended explanation, Mr. Chen praised her. “You really have an eye for detail.”
Cheng Xi smiled. “This is nothing. You should look at your own boss.”
Mr. Chen chuckled; he didn’t dare to speak carelessly about his boss. When he noticed that the car was parked just in front of them, he said, “Why don’t the two of you wait here? I’ll drive the car over.”
Cheng Xi and Lu Chenzhou agreed and waited in place. The latter was still carrying a bright red box, which contrasted with his cool demeanor and refined clothes to create a strange atmosphere. Cheng Xi smiled at the sight. “Shall I take a photo of you?”
He didn’t object, and though his expression remained aloof, it seemed agreeable enough.
Cheng Xi considered it as him tacitly agreeing, so she took out her phone and backup slightly to take a picture. People would frequently walk by in the background, but he stood still in the middle of the moving crowd. Even before the picture was taken, the scene held the ambiance of a desolate landscape portrait: alone, but calm and lofty.
As Cheng Xi depressed the shutter, a string of gorgeous fireworks suddenly emerged from the plaza behind him. They whooshed magnificently through the skies, a long tail of sparks following behind them.
The plaza quickly became jam-packed as everyone started cheering and heading over. Cheng Xi put down her phone and also immersed herself in silently watching the sky that was being brilliantly dyed by the light of the fireworks.
Against the fireworks’ bright glare, she saw the lights in the tallest tower dim and brighten repeatedly as the lamplight mixed with the incessant splendor of the fireworks; everything seemed like a dazzling light show, almost blinding everyone’s eyes.
This sudden firework performance lasted for quite a while, only slowly dissipating after it had grabbed everyone’s attention. The sparkling lights by the building opposite them also gradually stopped blinking, slowly settingly into several clear words. “Dr. Cheng, I love you.”
Cheng Xi, who was also a Dr. Cheng, was struck speechless.
Lu Chenzhou was uninterested in the fireworks, but when he saw her unusual expression, he raised his eyebrows slightly and turned to see what the matter was. As soon as he saw those words spelled out in fireworks, his face involuntarily turned green with envy.
Upon seeing his expression, Cheng Xi actually calmed down. Good, it had nothing to do with her. With that settled in her mind, she was able to calmly watch the rest of the show, and she even took a few pictures of the glittering words in the sky.
Then, Lu Chenzhou’s phone rang. He answered the call, and his eyes revealed a trace of shock a seconds after he answered. He turned around to look at Cheng Xi strangely.
Cheng Xi noticed his gaze and walked closer.
Lu Chenzhou hung up before she could say anything, still gazing at her.
Cheng Xi somewhat anxiously asked, “What’s the matter?”
By now, everyone was swarming toward the plaza, and there was a short-lived moment of calm around them, which let Cheng Xi hear Lu Chenzhou’s words especially clearly. He slowly said, “The fireworks were from my grandparents. They said that it was to help me woo you.” After he finished explaining, his gaze landed on her glistening red lips as he asked, “Should I listen to them and kiss you right now?”