Xu Hui quietly waited for Bai Lu’s answer.
The summer night was hot and dry, and from time to time, people or bicycles passed outside by the house, adding a touch of dispensable sound to the silent environment.
Xu Hui at that time was emitting the patience that does not match his age or personality.
After the initial panic, Bai Lu calmed down very quickly. She thought he figured it all out, but when she realized that he was only teasing her, her worries evaporated.
Xu Hui was still looking at her, his white face, black eyes, and thin body was glowing in the incandescent light of the kitchens. His body blended well with the darkness behind the doors and windows, as if everything had become a layer of watercolour for him.
Bai Lu blinked once before replying in a soft tone.
“Because of the Lonicera flowers in this neighbourhood*.”
[T/N: The Lonicera flowers around Xu Hui’s neighbourhood is called Winter Honeysuckle. It is considered “Harbinger of Spring”. That’s why Bai Lu named him as Enduring Winter.]
Xu Hui’s gaze was unwavering as he asked, “Just because of this?”
Bai Lu nodded lightly and did not speak.
Xu Hui said flatly, “I like that Lonicera flowers.”
Bai Lu: “You like it? someone else likes it too.”
Xu Hui looked at her condescendingly “You girls like to beat around the bush so much. Is it not good to talk straight? Because I like it, you like it too, right?”
Bai Lu still smiled, slowly lowered her head without speaking, not letting other people understand what she was thinking.
Her chin was suddenly held by someone and gradually lifted upwards. Bai Lu was surprised.
His finger was cold.
Xu Hui looked at Bai Lu’s face, turned it left and right, and finally went to pick Bai Lu’s glasses.
Bai Lu quickly grasped her glasses before taking a step back to stop him.
Xu Hui did not care, slowly straightened up his back and returned Bai Lu’s phone to her. He drew a French fries from the bag and put in his mouth.
“It turned cold. It doesn’t taste good now.” Saying this, he put the bag of french fries aside, before pulling out another packet from the bag and casually tore it open. There was a toy in the bag. Because the foods Bai Lu bought was a children package, the toy was packed as a gift to attract the children.
He took the toy and shook it.
Bai Lu looked at the fat blue civet Doremon cat and the boy who was shaking it like shaking a bottle before asking, “Do you like it?”
Xu Hui smiled, “Do you think I’m a child?” His fingers were long and slender. While shaking the toy he slowly added, “I’m older than you.”
Bai Lu raised her eyebrows but said nothing.
Xu Hui was about to open his mouth when his phone rang.
He held the toy in his one hand and picked up the phone with the other.
“…… Oh, Xiao Ye? Have you arrived already?” Xu Hui took the phone away and looked at the time, “Why did you came so early?”
The girl on the other side of the phone whined, and Bai Lu, who was standing in front of him, could hear it.
Xu Hui finally agreed, “Okay, you wait at the bus-stand, I’m coming over.”
When he finished talking and put down the phone, Bai Lu spoke.
“Your friend is coming, I’ll go first.”
Xu Hui fiddled with his phone and did not look at Bai Lu, who turned around him and walked out. Xu Hui suddenly said from behind her, “Let’s go together.”
Xu Hui followed Bai Lu to the door, he did not wear socks, directly slipped his feet into the shoes. He didn’t even tied the strings, his heel was completely outside of the shoes, he just dragged the shoes like slippers.
Bai Lu knew that he had to go left to go to the bus stop. To the right was the Sixth Highschool and the dormitory building for the senior class. Since she was keeping it secret from him where she studied she quietly took her leave.
“I’ll go first.” Bai Lu waved her hand at him, “Bye.” She didn’t wait for him to return the greeting and turned around.
“Hey.” Xu Hui called out to her, Bai Lu turned back thinking that he would say a thank you, but it turned out that Xu Hui just looked at her, “Nothing……” and turned his head and walked away.
At night at the empty bus stand, a young girl was standing against the license plate. The summer night was misty, the girl was wearing a navel undershirt, outside a thin black shirt, and a super short denim skirt, het white thighs were completely visible under the skirt.
Because of frequent perming and dyeing, her hair was somewhat dry. Her blonde hair was tied high on the back of the head, revealing a slender neck.
A middle-aged man riding on a bicycle passed by the station. Seeing her, he pressed the brakes and glanced over unintentionally.
“What are you looking at?” The young girl’s voice was loud. Hearing such angry voice coming from such a pretty girl, the man shivered and quickly rode away with his bicycle.
The girl rolled her eyes, her long fake eyelashes fluttering like butterflies. When she glanced at the corner, she could see a boy coming across the road.
The young girl’s eyes glowed for a moment as a beautiful smile bloomed on her pretty face. She flung her small hand-bag behind her, ran over and directly jumped to the boy.
“Ah Hui!” Xiao Ye hung wrapped her hands around Xu Hui’s neck and whined . “Why did you come so late……”
Xu Hui humed, “Was a little busy.”
Xiao Ye pouted and asked, “Why?”
Xu Hui didn’t say answer, and Xiao Ye wisely stopped asking questions.
She knew him. She knew him better than anyone in their friend circle. He was someone who didn’t like to be asked.
Taking Xu Hui’s hand, Xiao Ye walked in front and led Xu Hui with her.
When they arrived at the door, Xiao Ye familiarly took out the key from Xu Hui’s back trouser pocket and opened the door, Xu Hui did not stop, and said faintly with his hands in his pockets, “I sometimes wonder whose house is this.”
Xiao Ye pulled Xu Hui into the house, closed the door, tiptoeing on her feet, she leaned up to kiss his lips.
She leaned too close, her weight was completely on Xu Hui. Xu Hui raised his hand to hold her, touched something, bowed his head and whispered: “You aren’t wearing it again?”
Xiao Ye’s body turned soft by his touch. Wrapping her hands tightly around his waist, she rubbed her face on his chest and said.
“You touched …… wrongly.”
“Who touched wrongly?”
“Just you …… you-” she did not finish, moved her head and kissed his lips. Pressing her face on Xu Hui’s chest, she involuntarily called his name.
“Ah Hui ……”
Xiao Ye half pushed half pulled him to the bedroom. She pushed Xu Hui down on the bed, she herself lying on top of him.
The lights in the house wasn’t turned on but it was still somewhat bright becomes of street light outside the window. Xiao Ye flushed, Xu Hui looked at her with a self-conscious look.
“Don’t look at me like that.” Xiaoye said.
Xu Hui: “How did I look?”
Xiao Ye also did not know what to say, finally pursed her lips and pinched Xu Hui.
“You are the one who is horny.”
Xu Hui laughed lightly and looked to the side.
Xiaoye leaned down, and her hands began to be open the buttons of his shirt.
“Xiao Ye.” There seemed to be an element of warning in his tone.
Xiao Ye heard, her hand stopped on the spot, and the red on her face slowly faded away. She pressed herself to his ear and whispered, “Don’t you like me?”
Xu Hui turned his head and looked directly at the girl lying on top of him.
“It’s like coming over for a meal.”
“You think it like that?”
Xiao Ye propped herself up, her well-dressed makeup looking slightly grey at the moment. She whispered slowly
“I like you ……”
Xu Hui did not react too much at her confession. Her confession was something that he heard every so often.
Xiao Ye usually was a strong-headed girl, but at this time, she also began to feel vulnerable.
“Ah Hui, I really like you ……”
Xu Hui gave a hum.
He was still so cool and dashing, the same as usual. As if nothing or no one can faze him. She was attracted to such a him and also hurt by such a him.
Xiao Ye cried out in aggravation. But his reaction was still as calm as water. She tried to ease the mood by taking a different approach.
“Ah Hui, why don’t you have me as your girlfriend?”
Xu Hui was lying on the bed, looking at the ceiling and thinking who knows what, but did not answer.
Xiao Ye sat on the bed, her makeup that was applied with great care and time was smeared. Fearing that the fake eyelashes would fall off, she did not dare to raise her hand to wipe her tears. A circle of black appeared under her eyes because of the tears.
She tried to find a breakthrough from another direction.
“Is it because of what happened at home before? You closed your heart?” Xiao Ye leaned over and said emotionally, “It doesn’t matter Ah Hui, that’s all right. I’m willing to stay with you, you and I–“
Before she could finish, she was are pushed away and fell to the ground.
He has not used so much strength.
“Go.” Xu Hui did not say anything than that, but his tone was colder than before which was a prove of his anger.
Xiao Ye inadvertently shivered and panicked a little, “Ah Hui, I didn’t mean that, I ……”
“I said go.”
He sat up and gave her a sideways glance.
Xiao Ye felt like a bucket of cold water was poured down on her head. She vaguely sensed that she had said the wrong thing. Or maybe it wasn’t wrong, but she said it so superficially that her words didn’t feel like she put her heart into it.
Such small unthinkable sentences could kill an rosy atmosphere and even a relationship.
“Ah Hui ……” she even forgot to cry. Only looking at him blankly.
Xu Hui stood up, his face black. Xiao Ye pulled Xu Hui’s hand but was shaken off by him.
He walked to the kitchen and took two bottles of wines from the refrigerator. Xiao Ye stood on the floor with her bare feet and made a last ditch effort.
“Ah Hui, I’ll keep you company, OK ……”
The bottle of wines was placed on the coffee table. Xu Hui raised his eyes, his calm eyes looking at her invisibly asking –
Why are you still here?
Xiao Ye hung her head, slowly walked to the door, and bent down to put on her high heels.
Before leaving, Xiao Ye’s grabbed the door-knob and turned her head to look at Xu Hui. Xu Hui sat on the sofa, casually opened a bottle of wine, tilted his head and drank from it.
The door closed gently, Xu Hui stabilized his mood and breathed deeply.
When he exhaled, he saw a small toy on the corner of the table, the blue Doraemon.
Xu Hui’s paused for a moment, then held the bottle and tilted his head to drink again.
The summer night in the north was a little cold. The wind blew the leaves, gently making them dancing and flying.
When Bai Lu received Xu Hui’s call, it was 11:30. She just finished a set of questions.
She took the phone and went to the window.
Her dormitory was on the second floor, and there were three peach trees outside the south-facing window, and the window sill was filled with the residual flowers, the petals of the flowers were blown by the wind.
In the summer heat, Bai Lu opened the window for ventilation. Few flower petals fell on the phone’s screen which she flicked away with her fingers.
No one spoke on the phone, only the sound of heavy breathing could be heard.
The night was too quiet, so quiet that Bai Lu felt time had stopped. No other sound could be heard, even the occasional murmur of the students who were studying late was gone. As if she were standing on a different space.
Bai Lu waited for his answer. After an unknown amount of time, a low hum came from the phone.
As soon as he opened his mouth, Bai Lu understood that he was drunk.
He was very very drunk.
“You’ve been drinking?”
Xu Hui’s thinking was much slower than usual, and half a minute passed before he gave another low, muffled hum.
“Why were you drinking?”
“I felt like.”
Bai Lu was quiet for a moment before asking, “Do you do everything because you felt like?”
Xu Hui gave another hum.
Bai Lu: “Has anyone ever blamed you?”
This time Xu Hui took a little longer before answering with disinterest, “So what if I do?” His mouth was straight to the microphone, and Bai Lu felt that she could smell the rough smell of alcohol through the phone.
“I don’t care.” Xu Hui said again, “…… I don’t care.”
He slowly entered his world, forgetting about Bai Lu, forgetting about the phone, forgetting that he was still talking someone over the phone. That the person he was talking might be his enemy and hurt him, again.
“Blame me, who will blame me ……? A lot of people blamed me, what does it have to do with me? What they want to do is their own business. If anything happens, its also their own fault, they have nothing to do with me …… “
“Nothing to do with me, no one can blame me ……”
Bai Lu held the phone and saw a tiny flying insect attracted by the lights in the house entered into the window hole but was unable to get out. It was struggling desperately, as if its life depended on it.
Xu Hui rambled on the phone, his incoherent words entering through her one ear and exiting the other.
After a while, Bai Lu stopped thinking when she heard something unbelievable and whispered.
“Xu Hui, are you crying?”