I ADORE HIM
(Little Troublemaker, I’m in Love with You (7)
After paying the check, Qin Zhi’ai and Lu Bancheng left together. Not wanting him to drive her home, she asked him to drop her off at the subway station near the hotel.
It was just past eight thirty in the evening. The city was lit up with lively hustle and bustle in all directions.
The early spring evenings were getting warmer, and winter jasmine was blooming on both sides of the street. The breeze spread their fragrance to Qin Zhi’ai.
Qin Zhi’ai’s emotions were stirred up by what Lu Bancheng had said at dinner. She stood at the entrance of the subway station for a few moments with her purse in her hands. Instead of walking into the station, though, she walked slowly along the street without any destination in mind.
With comfortable flats on, she wasn’t tired from walking even after some 30 minutes had passed. Looking around to see where she’d wandered, she realized she was just 500 feet from Old Master Gu’s hospital.
The shops across the street from the hospital were open late that night and quite busy. Qin Zhi’ai stopped among the crowd and quietly watched the entrance of the hospital for a while before she looked away. As she turned around, she saw a familiar figure across the street.
She was shocked at first but quickly regained her composure. As she was about to look away completely, Gu Yusheng, smoking with his head down, as if by sixth sense looked up directly at her.
His fingers shook yet he was frozen in place.
Qin Zhi’ai’s heart jumped, and her body froze too.
Their eyes locked together. Even as cars and people passed between them, their stare did not break.
The loud and the chattering noises around them were pushed into the background for both of them, placing them together but in a different world.
They stared at each other and did not realize how much time had passed until a loud beeping sound. Qin Zhi’ai finally blinked, suddenly realizing how sore her eyes had become from not blinking for so long.
Gu Yusheng, who had been slouching against a power pole, straightened his back, took an unlit cigarette out from his lips, and walked toward Qin Zhi’ai.
As Gu Yusheng got closer to her, Qin Zhi’ai started to look absent-minded, and she remained that way until he was within 10 feet away from her. He stopped and called her name.
Qin Zhi’ai had learned so much in the past few hours that her emotions felt like they were riding a rollercoaster, and now with Gu Yusheng suddenly standing before her she was nervous. When he called her name, she responded, “Hi, Master Gu.”
Gu Yusheng looked down at the twisted cigarette between his fingers and tossed it into the trash can near him before he looked up at Qin Zhi’ai. He stared at her and nodded. “Why are you here?”
“I was just taking a walk after eating dinner.” Qin Zhi’ai paused for a second and asked, “How’s your grandfather?”
Gu Yusheng shook his head and said nothing about his grandfather.
Qin Zhi’ai tried to comfort him, assuming he was still in his coma. “Your grandpa will wake up. Don’t be too worried.”
Gu Yusheng looked at Qin Zhi’ai, but he didn’t respond. Not knowing what to say, Qin Zhi’ai also fell into silence.
Gu Yusheng broke the awkwardness by asking, “When is your flight tomorrow?”