Xia Rou sat on a stone bench in front of the dorm building, catching her breath.
After a few more deep breaths, she finally calmed down a little. She ran her hands through her hair and covered her eyes, and then covered her whole face instead.
And just like that, she remained, elbows on her knees, covering her face. She didn’t know how much time she spent there before she lowered her hands, staring out into the night…
Only when the cold night wind chill her to the bone and her body began to turn numb did she get up and enter the building.
None of her roommates had boyfriends yet, so their weekend nightlife was simple as usual. When Xia Rou came back into the room, the three ladies laid on their beds and spoke to each other with the lights off.
“Yo, finally back from your date?” They teased her. Translated by The Novelst
Xia Rou forced a smile and set down her bag and headed into the bathroom. Just as she finished washing up, she heard Zhuang Xiao shout at her, “Xia Rou, your phone is ringing!”
Xia Rou went to grab her phone. It was still ringing, and Wei Qi’s face was illuminated on her phone.
Xia Rou stared at his picture before accepting the call in the bathroom.
“Xia Rou! Are you alright?” Wei Qi’s voice was a little anxious.
“I’m fine…” Xia Rou tried her best to put some strength into her voice. “I’m fine ah…”
“Erm… After I left…” Wei Qi was a little hesitant and asked tentatively, “What happened?”
Just now when he returned home he had received a call from Zou Yue.
Zou Yue had hesitated and ruminated for quite a while before finally deciding to call Wei Qi and let him know everything she had seen.
Between Wei Qi and Xia Rou, there was no question that she would be on Wei Qi’s side. But she was also a very straightforward girl, so she didn’t slander Xia Rou. She just told Wei Qi exactly what she had seen.
“…She didn’t seem like she was willing, either. She looked pretty shocked and after that she didn’t say a single thing to that man and ran back to school. And the man got in his car and left,” she had said.
“Alright, I understand. Thanks,” Wei Qi had answered.
In front of Zou Yue, he had maintained his composure.
But inside his heart, storms brewed on rivers.
Xia Rou was a very attractive girl. Though all her classmates knew she was dating him, it didn’t stop the boys from coming to her dorm with flowers and candles to propose to her.
But the most likeable thing about her was that she would never get involved in a dubious relationship with anyone. She didn’t hang a spare tire, instead always reacting calmly and coldly in rejecting these boys.
Although Wei Qi was a little jealous, inside his heart he was actually proud and rest assured.
But this time he couldn’t take it easy.
He was a smart guy. Judging from Zou Yue’s description, he had managed to discern a few points. His intuition told him that it wasn’t so simple between Xia Rou and the man who had forcefully kissed her.
Actually, he had wanted to calm down, wait for tomorrow to meet her again, and ask her about this face-to-face.
But he couldn’t hold back.
The moment he thought of another man kissing her right after he kissed her, he couldn’t retain his composure. He wanted to hear her voice and let her tell him what was going on.
When Xia Rou heard Wei Qi’s tentative voice, she knew immediately that Wei Qi knew what happened after he left.
She had no interest in knowing where he got that information.
She lifted her eyes and looked at herself in the mirror. Her face was pale and she looked very weak.
The current Wei Qi on the phone was still young, unable to maintain his composure. If it was the Wei Qi of the past, he definitely would not make this call.
He would wait until they met, look her in the eyes, and then ask her in person.
No matter how she expressed her rejection, he would have a smile on his face, his eyes shining brightly as he told her he wouldn’t give up easily.
But the younger Wei Qi… was very different to the Wei Qi that she knew.
Xia Rou suddenly felt powerless.
In the last few years, she didn’t know how many times, but she had continued to look back into her past and examine herself. She had thought she had cleared away the miasma, seen through everything, and understood it all.
She had completely rejected her past inferiority, her stubbornness, getting herself into dead ends and keeping silent. Every time in the past when she encountered a fork in the road, she would refer to her past life and took Cao Yang’s will as her direction and made a different choice.
And it turned out that not only had she made the right choices, everything had also gone well. She managed to re-live her high school days, her future becoming brighter than ever and even she herself completely different to her past self.
Not only did she become more cheerful and open-minded, she had most importantly developed confidence.
But all this had collapsed overnight.
She had thought she understood it all, but tonight she saw a Cao Yang completely unfamiliar to her. It was a Cao Yang who tore away the mark of a brother and was now purely a man.
Wei Qi’s voice still rang in her ears.
“Xia Rou? Xia Rou?” he called her.
Xia Rou closed her eyes. “Wei Qi…” she said, “I need some time…”
The other end of the line was silent for quite a while, and he replied bitterly, “Alright.”
Xia Rou sat on her toilet lid and hugged her knees.
She used to think optimistically that she had missed too many things in her past so she needed to make it up in this life.
But now she thought… in the other life, what had she… actually missed?
At night she laid on the bed, tossing and turning.
Zhuang Xiao called out helplessly in the dark, “What’s wrong? Stop tossing around, I can’t sleep.”
She responded, “Mn,” and turned over one last time before stilling.
Those messy memories flooded her mind without any order, filling her head with noise.
She remembered the day Cao Yang came to her apartment, his expression was serious and that there was something he wanted to say to her.
But due to Cao An’s interruption, he didn’t manage to speak.
And that day, he divorced. Translated by The Novelst
After that, he came immediately to look for her.
What had he wanted to tell her?
What did he… want to say to her?
She… could no longer find out.
Proofread by: Hannah
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