On the 2nd day of November, the weather is so fine. The sun is shinning brightly, the sky is blue. It looks so fine yet the temperature is a bit low.
Xu Qin is wearing a scarf today, she walks toward the Wu Fang street. She looks around.
The stores aren’t opened at this moment, the wooden doors are closed. There are only restaurants that serve breakfast open. Another day has started.
Xu Qin never observes anyone. But today she seriously observes each of people.
A couple is buying two portions of porridge, they kiss each other.
“See you at night.”
They both just separate and go to different direction. The woman is running toward Xu Qin’s direction. Her smile is so bright. The man walks few steps and then looks back at the woman and smiles. He then continues to walk away
Another woman is queueing for breakfast while she calls the driver.
Inside the store, there’s also a man playing with the tablet while eating his noodle. He is devouring it ravenously. It isn’t clear whether it’s because the noodle is too tasty or because he has no time to eat relaxedly.
There’s also a person who is holding a briefcase, while hums a son. That man is chewing the youtiao (deep-fried breadstick). He is walking while eating.
The world is marvelously diversed.
Xu Qin keeps on walking till she arrives Di family house. The front door is opened.
Di Jiu Jiu (Uncle Di) is someone that loves to wake up early. She doesn’t know whether she would meet him or not.
Xu Qin is careful when passing the front door. The courtyard is silent.
The birdcages on the tree are gone, supposedly Jiu Jiu is out and playing with his birds.
The door of the west room is left unlocked, it means that person inside it should be awake.
Xu Qin walks over and tries to take a look from the crack of the door, she could see a glimpse of what is inside. She sees the wardrobe. The wardrobe door is opened and shows several men’s sweaters and trousers.
She knocks on the door lightly. “Boom”. But no one is responding; she uses her fingers to push it open.
She looks around the room, it’s so clean.
The floor is made from wood, it’s clean without any dust. The bed sheet is in blue, there’s no even slight wrinkle on the bed. The blanket is folded neatly. Everything is in order and in place.
Xu Qin stands there for awhile, she remembers that this room is different from Song Yan’s previous bedroom. He used to have a lot of manga books, dirty clothes everywhere………
The time she is thinking, someone opens the door. Song Yan is standing behind her. “You come again?”
Xu QIn looks at him. She takes steps back quickly.
Song Yan’s hair is wet, he has a towel wrapped on his waist. He just had his shower. He frowns and says: “Move away.”
Xu Qin comes out of the bedroom and Song Yan gets into it. He closes the door and let Xu QIn stays outside.
Xu Qin looks around the courtyard. She tries to figure out his hostile attitude. He is different from yesterday.
If her eyes show a bit of remorse or love, he would be soft; but if her eyes show any hesitance or doubt, he would be very cold and harsh.
He seems could see her eyes and heart clearly.
After a while, the bedroom is opened. Song Yan comes out of the bedroom, he is wearing a sweater and trouser. He looks that Xu Qin and asks: “You are looking for me?”
It’s a rubbish sentence.
Xu Qin: “Yes.”
Song Yan: “Yesterday I helped you to clean up your apartment, it’s my duty. We carry our job completely to not give any inconvenience for the people. So I cleaned everything up.”
Xu Qin doesn’t think too much of it: “I know.”
Song Yan: “So is there anything else?”
Xu Qin: “Yes.”
Song Yan: “What?”
Xu Qin: “I want to express my gratitude.”
Song Yan exposes her lie: “How long would you want to play with this trick?”
Xu Qin is calm and shows any change in expression: “Till you accept.”
Song Yan; “……”
Xu Qin is serene, her tone is distant: “I don’t like to owe any favor to anyone. You have saved me so many times, I want to return it to you.”
Song Yan: “how would you do it?”
Xu Qin: “let me treat you a meal.”
“………” Song Yan seems to see through her cheap trick, he snorts.
Xu Qin doesn’t blush or show anything.
Song Yan doesn’t answer for short while then he takes out his cigarette. Xu Qin then speaks up: “Smoking in the early morning isn’t very good for your health.”
Song Yan lowers his head and lights on his cigarette. Then he lifts his head to look at her.
Xu Qin says: “This advice comes from the doctor.”
Song Yan asks: “From where do you get my work schedule?”
Xu Qin: “Xiao Yi Xiao’s cousin.”
Song Yan: “Huh.”
He doesn’t say anything and just smokes.
Xu Qin stands there for a while and says: “Let’s go out and have dinner.”
Song Yan says: “I’ll not go” He then turns his body to enter the bedroom again: “Go home.”
Xu Qin is still standing there.
Song Yan says: “You are not leaving?”
Xu Qin is still saying the same thing: “I’ll treat you a meal.”
He narrows his eyes and looks at her for a while. Then he snorts: “Then just stay there and wait.”
Suddenly Di Miao comes out of her bedroom with her backpack. She notices and recognizes Xu Qin.
“I just know it how could there’s so much noise in the early morning, why are you here?” Di Miao walks toward her: “I have told you to not keep on approaching my Ge. Why don’t you understand me? Why are you so annoying?”
Xu Qin says nothing.
Song Yan looks at her and then to Di Miao, he doesn’t say anything for a while.
But Di Miao wants to keep on talking, suddenly Song Yan speaks up to stop her: “Di Miao.”
Di Miao is unconcerned and continues: “It’s the truth. How could she be so shameless when she was kicked out from here?”
Song Yan frowns. “Okay, go to university now. Why are you making fuss here?”
Di Miao is unhappy: “Huh, I’ll go inside and tell my Ma………”
Song Yan approaches her and drags her to the front door to leave. Di Miao doesn’t even have time to yell “Ma” because Song Yan has covered her mouth.
Song Yan throws her out: “You still want to annoy me?”
Di Miao says: “Ge, I am afraid that you’ll be soft-hearted. I’m so worry about you. Last time she came over to find you, I kicked her out. I didn’t expect her to come again….”
Song Yan’s face changes: “Okay, I get it. Just go to the university.”
Di Miao isn’t willing to let this go, she wants to get inside the room. “You are a man but you couldn’t give her a sour face, I’ll help you to kick her out———“
Song Yan clutches her collar and pulls her back: “Enough.”
“Ge, let me and you ——“
Song Yan says coldly: “Would you go or not?”
Di Miao pouts.
Song Yan: “One, two, three ——“
Di Miao covers her head with her hands, runs and then shouts at him: “Anyway I’ll go back at night.”
Song Yan watches her leave.
Xu Qin is still standing there and waiting for him.
Song Yan gets in and doesn’t look at her: “Just leave.”
Xu Qin looks at him and says: “Let me treat you a meal.”
Song Yan: “No.”
Xu Qin says: “Okay, then you just treat me a meal.”
Song Yan: “What are you planning to do? Why should I treat you a meal?”
Xu Qin: “Yesterday I helped you and your firefighters. You are their leader, shouldn’t you come forward and thank me? I waited for you a whole day to thank me. You even didn’t call for thanking me. It’s a wasteful for me as a citizen to help. Why are you guys doing this?”
She is so indifferent yet her tone shows that she is reasonable and having evidence. She makes as if Song Yan refuses, he is neglecting his job and not respecting a good citizen.
Song Yan: “Xu Qin.”
Xu Qin: “Em.”
Song Yan: “Are people around you know that you have this kind of side?”
Xu Qin considers for a while and looks at him again. She asks seriously: “What kind of side?”
Song Yan: “………”
He seems to be unable to find a way out, finally he nods. “Okay, you are the ‘ancestor’.
He says it and walks outside the courtyard house.
Xu Qin’s hands are on her coat’s pockets. She is following behind him.
This time, almost all stores are opened. The lady boss of the spice store notices Song Yan, she calls him: “Xiao Song, you are off today?”
Song Yan smiles: “Yes.”
A lot of people are greeting him, when he passes the street. Xu Qin watches him and enjoys his bright smile. It’s so beautiful like a shinning sun.
She just remembers that last time she saw his smile, it’s been years ago.
This time his bright smile is not like hers.
The lady boss still talks with Song Yan: “Xiao Song ah, we just marinate the fish in the dark soy, tell Di Miao to come over and take it at the house.”
Song Yan: “Thank you, Zhang Shen (Auntie Zhang).”
The lady boss smiles: “No need to be so courteous ——“ Then he notices Xu Qin behind him. “Yooo, aren’t you Meng Qin?
Xu Qin answers: “Xu Qin, my family name is Xu.”
“Oh oh.” She doesn’t care about it. She is just curious to see them to be together in this early morning but she says nothing. She is busy with her store again.
That year they used to stroll around Wu Fang street, he held her shoulder and her hand. But now they are distanced by some space. It’s not obvious that they are together.
Both of them are not talking with each other.
Finally they arrive at the breakfast store. Song Yan looks at her: “What do you want to eat?”
Xu Qin says: “Soft bean curd, chili oil noodle.” These are the speciality food in this restaurant, they used to eat it together.
Song Yang pauses for a while, then he says to the boss: “Two portion for each of one, and one more basket of Shumai.”
When he is about to get in, Xu Qin says: “I also want dumpling, youtiao, and soy milk.”
Song Yan glances at her, he is doubting her appetite. But he says nothing to her and just orders it to the boss.
The restaurant is decorated in simple way. The wall is made from wood. There’s grease and dirt on the wall, it’s not really clean. The ceiling is a bit low.
They both sit down and the server just places two bowls of soft bean curd with citron daylily gravy. That year the first time Song Yan took her here, she was so surprised to see soft bean curd with citron daylily gravy: “How should we eat this? We should put sugar on the soft bean curd, how could we eat it this one?”
Song Yan raised his eyebrows: “You add sugar for the soft bean curd? Are you crazy?”
Both of them were arguing whether soft bean curd should be sweet or salty for a week. But afterwards Xu Qin could accept the fact soft bean curd could also taste salty.
Song Yan says nothing much. He just enjoys his soft bean curd. The time he finishes it, Xu Qin just finishes half of it. Then the server comes over again with two bowls of chili oil noodles.
Song Yan picks up his chopsticks and starts to eat the noodle, Xu Qin also takes a bite. She eats and eats till she suddenly speaks up: “It’s weird.”
Song Yan is unfocused, she suddenly asks: “Why?”
“The flavor is still the same.” Xu Qin says: “A lot of stores’ flavor would change after the business is good. But this one still has the same taste.”
Song Yan doesn’t answer, he just keeps on eating. After getting to the breakfast restaurant, he seems to talk with little words. Another guest of the restaurant hears her words, so she says: “We are all neighbors here, how could we cheat each other?”
“We are people of Wu Fang street, we do business based on our conscience.”
Song Yan finishes his noddle and eats Shumai. He wipes his mouth and looks at Xu Qin. She still has half of soft bean curd in front of her, half of chili oil noodle, one youtiao, one dumpling and one soy milk.
Song Yan watches her. She scoops another spoon of chili oil for her chili oil noodle.
Years ago, she also sat there. She loved to eat her noodle with a lot of chili oil.
He clicked his tongue: “You put so much?”
She still wanted more, she tasted it: “It’s very good.”
She ate it bite by bite —- In Meng house family, no one eats spicy food so she should adapt her palate to them.
Song Yan was shocked to see her eat, he giggled.
She just picked up a lump of noodle and passed it in front of her: “Try it, it’s very good.”
Song Yan shook his head: “Am I crazy? Why should I torture myself?”
Xu Qin said: “If you eat it, I’ll kiss you once.”
Song Yan said nothing and just swallowed it.
That year little girl has changed to a woman. But she seems to be the same person. She still loves to totter her chair.
Xu Qin is still eating slowly. When her hair slips from her shoulder, she raises her head and arranges it with her hand, she hooks it on her hair. It shows her red little ear.
Song Yan looks at her silently.
Her hair is a bit messy. Xu Qin puts down her chopsticks and just uses her rubber band to bind her hair. It shows her fair white neck.
Song Yan bites his lips.
Xu Qin picks up her chopsticks and continues to eat her noodle. She is not eating quickly or slowly.
“Stop pestering.” Song Yan finally turns impatient, he starts to urge him.
Xu Qin picks up a lump of noodle and stuffs it into her mouth. It makes her cheeks bulging.
Song yan frowns, then he raises his eyebrows: “Xu Qin, at this age, you are not suitable to act cute, do you know?”
“Em?” Xu Qin suddenly lifts her head and looks at him. “What is it?”
Song Yan: “……..”
He says nothing and just stands up. He goes outside the restaurant to smoke.
He smokes and watches that woman, who is still eating.
This is her trick, D*mm*t it’s only trick.