Translated by Rara of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Xia Yao was forced to have lunch with Zhao WenHua. By the time he got out of the car in front of the school gate, it was almost time for class.
Xia Yao took out his cellphone to call Zhou Du while walking back to his dorm. Zhou Du had been waiting downstairs in front of Xia Yao’s dorm for a long time. As he was about to go back, the cellphone in his pocket began to vibrate.
“Hey.” Xia Yao gasped and said, “What’s wrong, Zhou Du? I had something to do at noon so I couldn’t answer the call.”
Zhou Du gripped his phone and slowly exhaled, trying to suppress the unhappiness inside his heart, “I’m standing in front of your dorm right now. Where are you?”
Xia Yao staggered for a moment, he quickly replied to the man on the other end of the phone, “Wait for me.” Then he hung up the phone and ran faster toward the dorm.
When Xia Yao reached the dorm, he saw Zhou Du was standing idly by the roadside with his hand inside the pockets.
“Zhou Du.” Xia Yao face went red from all the running, “You, how long have you been waiting?”
Zhou Du raised his head and looked at Xia Yao. Xia Yao nervously looked back at him. Unexpectedly, Zhou Du just grinned, “Not very long. Where did you go this afternoon? It’s almost time for class.”
“I,” Xia Yao looked away with guilty conscience, “I had some business to attend.”
“Oh.” Zhou Du didn’t ask much. He turned his head aside and looked at the parasol tree next to him, then he looked back at Xia Yao and said, “I’m leaving first. You should go to class, I’ll contact you when I get home.”
Reluctance flashed through Xia Yao’s eyes. He subconsciously leaned closer toward Zhou Du, “Zhou Du, I’m sorry, I…”
“It’s fine.” Zhou Du interrupted him. “You’re going to be late.”
Xia Yao was surprised that Zhou Du was not angry with him. When he looked at the time and found out it was about time for class, so he said to Zhou Du, “Be careful on your way home, I will wait for your call.”
“OK.” Zhou Du nodded, then he turned around and left.
Looking at Zhou Du’s back, Xia Yao suddenly felt empty inside his heart. The truth was, he would go back home tomorrow. He thought, if he told Zhou Du the truth, Zhou Du would probably wait for him for one more day.
But he was also afraid. What if his mom wanted to pick him up? What would she think if she saw him and Zhou Du going together? Furthermore, when he remembered that Zhao WenHua knew about his relationship with Zhou Du, Xia Yao felt depressed and panicked.
Today’s meal was very unpleasant, because Zhao WenHua said he wanted to go back to H city with him tomorrow. He couldn’t understand that man’s intention, so he confronted him directly during lunch. But Zhao WenHua told him, he wouldn’t standstill about their relationship. If Xia Yao didn’t want to go back to H city with him, he would still go back on his own to have a talk with mother Xia about Xia Yao’s university life.
Xia Yao was infuriated, he wanted to punch the man in front of him, but he resisted. He agreed to go back to H city with Zhao WenHua tomorrow.
In the evening, while Xia Yao was packing his stuff, Zhou Du called, “Are you at home?”
“Yeah.” Zhou Du lay on his big bed, stared at the ceiling and said to Xia Yao, “Have you eaten yet?”
“How are you going to go back in two days? Since you get carsick, you shouldn’t take the bus. Should I book you an airplane ticket?” Zhou Du worried, he knew Xia Yao didn’t want him to waste money, but he couldn’t bear seeing Xia Yao suffered.
“It’s all right.” Xia Yao sat on his bed. The room was completely empty. Two of his roommates had gone back home since they both lived in the neighboring province, which was nearby. Another one was a city native, so he had already left.
“Yao Yao.” Zhou Du soften his voice, intimately called Xia Yao’s nickname, “I’m your boyfriend, Why are you always so polite to me?”
Xia Yao felt bitter. It wasn’t like he wanted to be polite to Zhou Du, but he had to go back to H city with Zhao WenHua tomorrow, and he was certain that Zhao WenHua wouldn’t allow him to go back by bus.
“I’m not. Rest assured, I won’t go back by bus.” Xia Yao gently replied, “Are you afraid your money will have nowhere to be wasted in the future? After we graduated, we will still have to buy a house together. Didn’t you say you want to have a dog?”
Hearing that, Zhou Du was completely touched.
“That’s right, I have to go to the countryside tomorrow. My grandma is sick, so I’m going back to see her.”
“How is your grandma?” Xia Yao asked with concern.
“She’s old, so it’s just some age-related sickness, but I’m not very sure on the specific situation. I might have to stay in the countryside for several days. I don’t think I can pick you up after you returned.”
“It’s fine.” Xia Yao was being considerate, “We can still meet up later.”
They continued their loving talk for a little more before hung up their phone reluctantly.
Since Xia Yao left for H city with Zhao WenHua, he didn’t tell his mom in prior about their return. Xia Yao remained indifferent when Zhao WenHua followed him back to his house. After entering the house, he didn’t even bother to invite Zhao WenHua to sit down, nor did he have any intention to pour him a drink.
Zhao WenHua didn’t excuse himself. After finding a place to sit down, he asked Xia Yao, who was tidying his belongings beside him, “Is this how your mother taught you how to entertain guests?”
Xia Yao didn’t even bother give him an eye.
Zhao WenHua crossed his legs and continued speaking, “Where is your mother? Is she still at work? You didn’t tell her we were coming back today?”
Xia Yao threw the item in his hand, he then turned around and glared at Zhao WenHua, “What on earth are you planning?”
Zhao Wenhua changed his posture and said to him, “Since you are studying in B City, naturally, I want to make plans for your future.”
His words disgusted Xia Yao immeasurably, he tried so hard to resist the urge from kicking the man out of his house. Xia Yao then picked up his bag and as he was about to go to his room, his cellphone rang. Xia Yao thought Zhou Du was calling him, so he only picked up the call after he had shut his room’s door.
“Yao Yao ah! You should come back immediately! Something has happened to your mother!” The woman on the other end of the phone shouted at Xia Yao with a heart wrenching voice.
Xia Yao stunned, he quickly asked, “Ma’am, what did you just say? What happened to my mom? I’m at home right now, I will be there right away.”
Xia Yao hung up the call and panickedly ran outside.
Zhao WenHua also stood up, asked, “Where are you going?”
Xia Yao had no intention to explain to him, Zhao WenHua had no choice but to follow Xia Yao. When they arrived at his mother’s place, Xia Yao saw his mom was lying on the ground. He felt dizzy all of sudden.
Mother Xia’s small food cart fell down in disorder on one side, while mother Xia was lying on the ground, her clothes was covered in oil stains. When Xia Yao ran by his mother’s side, he found out his mother was breathing weakly, her face was pale and part of her exposed skin was so terribly burnt, he couldn’t see the original appearance.
“Mom…” As Xia Yao tremblingly reached out to his mother, Zhao WenHua suddenly pulled him up. He shouted at the bystanders, “Did anyone call 120 yet?”
t/n: 120 is the emergency ambulance number.
The aunty who called Xia Yao quickly said, “Yes, I did.”
Zhao WenHua pulled Xia Yao next to him, said, “Don’t touch her, we should wait until the doctor comes.” As soon as his sentence ended, the ambulance’s alarm could be heard from nearby.
Xia Yao was sitting on a bench outside the emergency room of the hospital. His mind was still in a trance.
Zhao WenHua sat next to Xia Yao. He looked at Xia Yao and sighed, he touched the back of Xia Yao’s hand and comforted, “Don’t worry, even if something terrible happened to your mother, you still have me.”
Those words deeply provoked Xia Yao, he turned around suddenly and looked at the man with a pair of red eyes, “Get out, now!”
Zhao WenHua’s expression darkened. He stood up and spoke against him with an upset tone, “What’s with your attitude?”
Xia Yao lowered his head again. It looked as if he was being fixed to the bench, as his eyes stared motionlessly at the hospital corridor while no words came out of his mouth. Zhao WenHua stared at Xia Yao for a while. In the end, he sighed and sat back next to him.
A masked doctor came out of the emergency room. When he saw both Xia Yao and Zhao WenHua were waiting outside, he said to both of them, “The patient’s trachea is damaged. She need surgery immediately, which one of you will sign the paper?”
Xia Yao quickly stood up and replied, then he was taken away by a nurse.
The operation lasted until evening, when the emergency room’s door opened again, Xia Yao immediately rushed over. “How is my mom?”
The doctor took of his mask and told Xia Yao, “We have sent her to ICU, but we still need to monitor her constantly. If she gets an infection, we will have to transfer her to a bigger hospital. The burnt area is quite severe, so she might need a skin craft.”
“Can, can I go see my mom?” Xia Yao’s head was blank at the moment.
“You can’t, she is not in the condition suitable for visiting.” The doctor put on the mask again, “We will tell you the result tomorrow morning.”
It was as if all of the strength had been sucked out of Xia Yao’s body, he fell back down to his seat.
A nurse came by Xia Yao and Zhao WenHua’s side, “May I ask who will pay the hospital fee?”
Zhao WenHua looked at the dispirited Xia Yao next to him, but he didn’t say anything. The nurse asked again, only this time Xia Yao finally managed to come back to his senses.
“I am.” He said to the nurse with difficulty, “I currently don’t have that much money on me, can I go back home to withdraw some?”
The nurse nodded, and then she left. Xia Yao grasped the hospital bench and stood up.
Zhao WenHua looked at Xia Yao’s back as he was about to leave, he suddenly opened his mouth, “Do you know how much will it cost?”
Xia Yao ignored him and continued walking outside.
Zhao WenHua stepped forward, he put his hand on Xia Yao’s shoulder, “Stop your childish behavior toward me. Your mom is still inside the ICU, do you know how much ICU costs for one day?”
Xia Yao finally couldn’t stop himself from blowing up, he pushed away Zhao WenHua’s hand and shouted at him, “It has nothing to do with you!”
Zhao WenHua sneered, “Nothing to do with me? You think you can save your mother with your current situation?”
Xia Yao began to tremble. He didn’t know how much the post treatment would cost, but no matter how much it would be, even if he had to sell his house, or quit school, he would do anything to save his mother.
Zhao WenHua saw Xia Yao’s appearance, he sighed and took out a card inside his wallet, “Take it.”
Xia Yao just glanced at card, and then left the hospital without any hesitancy.