Before Xiao Li got in the car, he put out his cigarette and flung it to the ground.
The entire time he drove, only silence befriended while Qi Xiuyuan sat in the back seat holding onto to Jiang Xiaoning. The more he thought about the situation, the angrier he felt, and he couldn’t help but wish he could return to Jin Ting just to set it ablaze. Unfortunately, that was something he cannot accomplish.
As a result, a type of darkness emerged from the depth of his heart. He glared at Xiao Li as if doing that would somehow dissolve his anger.
“We’re here,” Xiao Li suddenly said when the car came to a stop.
Qi Xiuyuan opened the back door and helped Jiang Xiaoning out.
Seeing him struggle, Xiao Li walked over. “I’ll help you.”
“There’s no need.” Qi Xiuyuan retorted immediately, his tone was cold and indifferent as he placed one of Jiang Xiaoning’s arm over his shoulder to support him.
“Okay then. Please take care of yourself,” Xiao Li said opening the driver door.
Qi Xiuyuan looked at his back – still, it was broad and sturdy like the first time he saw it.
He didn’t know why but he called out to him, “Xiao Li.”
Xiao Li stopped and leaned to the side, wearing a puzzled expression.
In truth, Qi Xiuyuan did not know what he wanted to say. He could only stare blankly at him but for some reason, that blank gaze was caulked with an overwhelming sense of desperation.
Xiao Li, “Qi Laoshi, is there something else?”
Strangely enough, Qi Xiuyuan was still unable to express himself. He kept his eyes on him and simply said, “Thank you for today.”
An unintentionally sweet chuckle rushed out of Xiao Li’s mouth. He put on a light smile, “We were the ones that caused the problems, there’s no need for you to be polite.”
‘We.’ That word alone struck Qi Xiuyuan’s sore spot and discovered that he really disliked the way it sounded when it came out of Xiao Li’s mouth.
Soon Xiao Li got in the car and drove away. Qi Xiuyuan watched until the car faded into the distance and then helped Jiang Xiaoning up the stairs to his place.
“Laoshi, who was that person?” Jiang Xiaoning was weak but still asked curiously.
Qi Xiuyuan went silent at first and he eventually said, “The person that helped you get out.”
“Oh?” Jiang Xiaoning felt rather moved, “What’s his name? What kind of person is he?”
No matter what he asked, Qi Xiuyuan remained quiet.
Once inside, he gave Jiang Laoshi a call and told him that he had invited Jiang Xiaoning over for a chat but since it was late, it was best he stayed the night. Jiang Laoshi expressed his gratitude and entrusted him to watch his son.
Although Qi Susu was surprised by the unexpected guest, she quickly tidied up a room and helped her brother settle Jiang Xiaoning in before they returned to their respective room.
That night, Qi Xiuyuan suffered from another episode of insomnia.
He thought of Xiao Li again.
This time, he recalled the way he smoked. His lips were shaped beautifully – each line drawn to perfection with a thin and dry appearance as it held the crimson end of the cigarette loosely. It pursed up softly and slowly parted just the slightest: charming, seductive and enticing. The smoke slipped out of his mouth and weaved into the air and then the pair of eyes that lured him in was looking elsewhere toward the unknown.
At that time, if only he had leaned in close enough, he might’ve been able to know the flavor of the cigarette.
When he woke up, he realized that he had fallen asleep, and the clock showed that it was 5:30 in the morning.
He felt odd and looked down only to see a thin layer of sticky-like fluid below his stomach.
Now, he had breakfast to make and a pair of underwear that needed a wash, but instead, he simply searched for his cell phone and when he found Xiao Li’s contact, he stared hopelessly at that name for the longest of time.
Then he deleted the number.