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Translator: Alfredo Poutine Soup Editor: DesTheSloth
“We can’t find anyone named Xu Xin.”
“Sorry to bother you. She entered school in 2003 and then transferred to another high school. Her name was Xu Xin. Can you please help to check one more time?”
“Sorry, sir. We have checked the entire’s school enrollment information. There was no one named Xu Xin. I think you might be mistaken.”
“Impossible. I found her data in our school’s library and it said that she transferred to this school.”
Xue Shao drove to the high school which Xu Xin attended as his head teacher suggested in the early morning.
“Sorry, sir. There is nothing we can help… I still have a lot of work to do. If there are no more questions, please excuse…”
Xue Shao left this school hopelessly.
He couldn’t understand this weird phenomenon. Why did all the classmates and teachers remember Xu Jiayi and Xu Xin… but he didn’t?
Why would he take these two girls as one person in his deep memory?
Xue Shao was sitting in his car without starting it. He was a mess—he thought that all had come to an end since he came back from the business trip.
Xue Shao enjoyed the perfect ending of his dreams to his 10-plus-years journey… Everything was good—even though his first love couldn’t come to fruition. But it was enough as he had tried his best to take time back with that kiss in that shopping mall.
Xue Shao gritted his teeth and took out the cell phone. He asked the number of Xu Jiayi from his class monitor… maybe he could know more by contacting her.
But he hesitated for a while.
How about… looking at her Facebook first—so Xue Shao opened the personal page of every moment recorded in Xu Jiayi’s life.
He saw a selfie on the first page. In this photo, a woman was wearing a yellow helmet beside the coastline. She looked quite similar with the one in his memory… unexpectedly, she had cut her hair and was a little fat now.
And she was not the one he came across in that hotel… although the time of this photo was the day when he went on that business trip.
Xue Shao reviewed the photos one by one… the photos recorded the moments when she hugged her child in her arms, when she got married, when she was together with her boyfriend… and when she went to university abroad.
Gradually, the woman reminded Xue Shao of his first love in his memory.
“Whom did I come across that day?” Xue Shao leaned on the steering wheel for a long time.
Finally, he got the courage to call her.
“Is this… Xu Jiayi?”
“Yes, I am, who is this…” The woman seemed confused.
“It’s me, Xue Shao.”
“Oh! Xue Shao! Long time no see!”
The woman smiled via phone, “Congratulations! I heard that you are going to get married. Class monitor called me a few days before. Well… I am so sorry that I can’t attend your wedding because of work.”
She said to him in polite and normal greetings.
Xue Shao felt his feet turn cold when hearing the indifferent greeting.
“It’s fine. I haven’t said congratulations to you since you married and got a child.” Xue Shao responded rigidly.
“Sorry, Xue Shao, I have something urgent to do now.” The woman said, “Sorry, let’s keep in touch, alright? I will contact you once I came back, alright?”
Doo—the phone was hung up!
Xue Shao came home and stayed alone all the afternoon until it was getting dark outside.
He turned on the TV without switching on the light. He was absent-minded when the TV frames flashed passed.
He was thinking about the days of the last semester of twelfth grade so he could not identify what the TV was playing just now.
Wan Zishan came back from work. She saw Xue Shao sitting on the sofa dazedly watching the TV when she turned on the light.
She said nothing and knead Xue Shao’s shoulders lightly behind the sofa. She said to him, “Well, is that strength suitable?”
Xue Shao touched her hands and turned around while kneeling on the sofa. He hugged Wan Zishan without saying anything.
“Are you tired today?”
“I didn’t go to work today.”
“Why… what’s wrong?”
“Just leave it. I want to hug you in this way… in this way I can feel that you are real.” Xue Shao said in a low voice.
Wan Zishan smiled gently and hugged his head.
They maintained this position for a long time and later, Xue Shao fell asleep on the sofa.
He woke up with a headache the next day and found a blanket covering his body. Wan Zishan had gone to work, leaving a note and breakfast on the table.
‘—Remember to have breakfast. Since you ate nothing last night, I applied a sick leave for you for one day. Have a good rest.’
Xue Shao sat down and ate the breakfast bite by bite. He was also wondering what troubled him.
He found that he had eaten the breakfast made by her for almost five years. But he felt guilty staying here…he couldn’t take it easy.
Xue Shao decided to walk in the street.
Unconsciously, he walked to the old house of Xu Jiayi’s home. Xue Shao was standing downstairs watching the empty house for a long time.
Then he left with no destination… he was walking the path he had taken with Xu Jiayi that semester.
At that time,
“Wow, Arcade game! I want to play street fighter! Hah!” She was waving her little fist.
‘Are you really a girl…’
“Well… this sugar-coated hawthorn is not good. I won’t buy it anymore!” She was angry.
But this was the third one…
“Xue Shao, do you want to adopt a cat? We can set up a little house for her and then we can feed her after school everyday.” She said it on the spur of the moment.
Who was going to shovel shit…
“Xue Shao, would you like to buy a piece of cake for me?”
‘This was the first time you talked to me proactively.’
Xue Shao stopped until he reached the wedding dress shop. He noticed that the guard bars were still under the banyan tree when he looked at the opposite part of the road.
It was cloudy. He had walked almost a day… now it was almost six o’clock.
“Oh, they are still there…” Xue Shao was watching the wishing tree on the opposite side of the road. There were only several yellow leaves hanging on the tree.
Xue Shao felt extremely upset.
He ran to the opposite side and dug out the box after fetching several bricks.
He removed the soil on the box and opened it again. He then ran crazily on the street suddenly.
—Xu Jiayi, I want to be with you forever!
—Xu Jiayi, which university would you like… that school is so hard. But I’d like to have a try! I can do it!
‘I want to make sure… who the one that accompanied me was.’
‘I don’t want to forget… the one l loved. I don’t want to… lose the memory of you as soon as I got old.’
The doorbell rang. Xue Shao pushed the shabby door and stood in the lobby while gasping… he found this place at a fast pace this time.
The club owner seemed surprised. He put down the book and asked, “My dear customer, is something the matter?”
Xue Shao shook his head and caught his breath. He walked to Luo Qiu… he must know the truth even if the others didn’t know.
He could give him an answer.
“The girl you showed me was not the real Xu Jiayi, right?”
Luo Qiu said calmly, “Customer, that is not important. Because you wanted to see your first love, right?”
“I need to know the answer.” Xue Shao raised his voice, “The real answer!”
Luo Qiu stood up after thinking for a moment. He walked close to Xue Shao… which made Xue Shao stepped backward.
Luo Qiu stopped but asked him, “So, are you going to buy this answer?”
Seeing Xue Shao losing his words, Luo Qiu continued, “I remember you said that you don’t want to do anything that destroys the relationship of your fiancée and you. You will give us nothing, no matter your health, longevity and emotions, right?”
Luo Qiu added, “or, would you like to break your words to get the answer? Would you like to choose your past or… your future?”
It was a hard decision.
It meant that he had to choose one, between that girl and Wan Zishan.
It was so difficult for him.
He grasped the box and took a deep breath, “I have one more thing which can be sold. And losing it won’t affect my future life… I believe I can get the answer using my happy childhood!”
“Are you sure that you want to lose your happy childhood in exchange for only one answer?” Luo Qiu asked curiously.
Xue Shao answered, “Happy memories can be created again… I trust I can. However, I need to know that answer. If not… I have no way to face Zishan.”
“You are good at scheming.” Luo Qiu smiled, “OK… deal. Customer, follow me, please.”
Xue Shao stopped talking as his words were not finished… because he was transfered onto a road now.
“Where is this…” Xue Shao looked at the road in a shocked face, “Why did you bring me here?”
The wedding dress shop… the wishing tree… the ground under the tree.
“You can find the answer here. Customer.” Luo Qiu pointed at the wishing tree, “Please put your hands on the tree, then I will show you the answer.”
Xue Shao believed what the boss said deeply. He touched the withered with his hand slowly.
Please show me the answer.
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