I ADORE HIM
(Little Troublemaker, I’m in Love with You (11)
Qin Zhi’ai watched Gu Yusheng in the driver’s rearview mirror until she couldn’t see him anymore. She pressed her mouth against her arm and bit it before she started to cry.
Once the taxi had disappeared into the traffic, Gu Yusheng fumbled a cigarette out of his pocket and with shaking hands struggled to light it.
A breeze blew at him after he inhaled his first drag, and the smoke he blew out immediately enveloped him, making his eyes suddenly become red.
The cafe behind him was repetitively playing that same song. For the fourth or fifth time he was hearing the lyric, “The best part of my life was when I met you.”
Back in high school, Gu Yusheng had been depressed one day and was leaning on a pool table while smoking deep in thought. Wu Hao had walked up with Qin Zhi’ai at his side and introduced them. “Bro Sheng, this is my wife’s neighbor, Qin Zhi’ai.”
The song continued. “You looked like a stranger but also looked so familiar as I quietly looked at you.”
Early in the summer two years ago, he’d noticed her at the entrance of his grandfather’s house. Their eyes met for a second, and she stole his heart.
“I could not embrace you even though we breathe the same air.”
Gu Yusheng looked down at his hand that had held her wrist just moments ago. He could still feel her, but his hand was empty now.
“I will be able to recognize your eyes even if the times and our lives are different.”
That lyric flooded Gu Yusheng’s thoughts with questions.
Years later, will she and I meet again among a sea of people?
Will she already be married and have a baby girl who resembles her?
Will she smile at me with a loving man by her side and say to me, “Master Gu, long time no see”?
The final lyric further mixed his emotions. “Our story is not splendid but very memorable.”
Love is never rational. I remember we laughed when we were in love, but we cried at the end.
You left, but I chose to stay.
Qin Zhi’ai took a taxi to the airport by herself at 9:00 a.m., and she had her boarding pass in hand by 10:00.
After checking in her suitcases, she went to an ATM to withdraw some cash and then waited for 20 minutes in line at the currency exchange.
When it was Qin Zhi’ai’s turn, a sharp-looking, middle-aged woman looked at her and asked, “What country? How much do you need to exchange?”
Qin Zhi’ai passed her the cash she’d just withdrawn from the ATM and told her the currency she needed.
After a moment, the woman told her, “You can exchange into a whole number if you can give me another 50.”
“Okay.” Qin Zhi’ai took her wallet out of her purse and pulled out the only two paper notes left in her wallet. She passed one to the woman and put the other one back into her wallet. As she did, she noticed handwriting on the note.
She pulled it out again and raised it in front of her: “Little troublemaker, I am in love with you.”
Qin Zhi’ai recognized Gu Yusheng’s handwriting when she saw the nickname “little troublemaker.”
“What are you giving me these for?”
“Have you play this kind of game before?”
“Write down what you want to say on the note and then spend it so it circulates. Wait and see if your note with your message will find the person you wrote it to.”
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