I ADORE HIM
(Love Comes Softly (18)
After walking into the elevator, Xu Wennuan immediately pressed the button to Lu Bancheng’s floor; she did it quickly before she had a chance to back out.
After the elevator door closed, she gripped her purse handle tighter as she stared at the numbers on the panel light up red one after the other. When the elevator reached his floor, a ding sounded, and the door opened. Xu Wennuan walked out of the elevator and walked steadily on her high heels down the hall to Lu Bancheng’s apartment.
After staring at the familiar door, she took a deep breath and pressed the doorbell. A pleasant ringtone played before she heard footsteps inside approaching the door. Her heart and lungs seemed simultaneously to stop working, and her palms started to sweat.
As soon as the footsteps stopped, she heard the doorknob twist and took half a step back as the heavy red metal safety door was pushed open. A sliver of a girl’s face appeared in the crack of the open door. “Who is it?”
Xu Wennuan was shocked. After a few seconds, her eyes focused again on her face: The girl peeking out the door was the same girl in Lu Bancheng’s car that morning. She looked like she had just showered, as she wore only a robe and her long, black hair was wet and loose behind her ears, with the tips of her hair dripping water.
It’s so late, and here she is staying at Lu Bancheng’s apartment…
Xu Wennuan froze in place. The girl was also shocked as she stared at Xu Wennuan without saying anything. The hallway was silent for so long that the sound-activated lights went off, making the hallway darker, too.
Not knowing who had rung the doorbell, Lu Bancheng called out her name after he hadn’t heard anything. “Guoguo?”
Guoguo regained her composure and responded to Lu Bancheng with a “yes.” She then smiled sweetly at Xu Wennuan and asked, “Are you here for Bro Bancheng?” She moved to the side to make room for Xu Wennuan, who still hadn’t said anything. “Come in, please.”
As she talked, Guoguo opened the shoe cabinet and took out a pair of slippers and placed them in front of Xu Wennuan, who had barely recovered from her shock. “Thank you,” she finally said and then entered and changed out of her shoes.
As Xu Wennuan followed Guoguo toward the living room, Lu Bancheng asked, “Guoguo, who’s—”
Before he finished, he looked up from his reading on the sofa as if he sensed something. He looked up toward the entrance and saw Xu Wennuan. He suddenly stopped what he was asking.
“Bro Bancheng, she is here for you.” Guoguo then turned around to Xu Wennuan, pointed at the sofa, and said, “Have a seat.”
Lu Bancheng recovered himself from his own shock that Xu Wennuan was there to visit him. He immediately grabbed a blanket next to him and placed it on his lap. As he was only wearing gym shorts, he wanted to cover his frightening scars.
“Can I get you something to drink? Coffee, juice, or water?” Guoguo didn’t take a seat, instead standing to the side as if she was the host of the house. She warmly asked Xu Wennuan if she needed anything to drink.
“No, thank you.” Xu Wennuan managed to give Guoguo a smile.