“Mr.
Tang, you’re here early,” Wen Ying said as she sat down, without overly formal pleasantries.

 

Tang Xu smiled back.
“I’m used to arriving early.” Then he looked around: “Why did you want to meet at McDonald’s, Dr.
Wen?”

 

It seems like Wen Ying isn’t here to talk about anything serious at all.
After she sits down, she starts casually examining the children’s meal promotional pamphlet that’s stuck on the table.
When Tang Xu asks her a question, she smiles and asks, “What’s wrong, Mr.
Tang? Do you think this place isn’t good?”

 

“I just feel like it’s not very suitable for conversation,” Tang Xu shakes his head.
“I haven’t been to McDonald’s in a long time.
I’ll go order; what does Dr.
Wen want?”

 

Without being overly polite, Wen Ying says, “A small order of chicken McNuggets, a cup of Coke, no ice.”

 

“Just these for dinner?” Tang Xu asks

 

Wen Ying smiles, “Maintaining my figure.”


 

Wen Ying made a good first impression on Tang Xu.
Perhaps because she is a psychologist and knows a lot about people’s psychology, every action and every word she says seem to be just right for Tang Xu.
To some extent, he doesn’t like the polite and hesitant attitude, firstly because he is straightforward himself, and secondly, because he thinks it’s a waste of time to deal with trivial matters back and forth.

 

He quickly came back with the tray, and besides the two items that Wen Ying ordered, there was only one cup of Coke with ice in the tray.

 

“Don’t you want to eat something?” Wen Ying asked.

 

Tang Xu politely shook his head, “I don’t really like fast food.”

 

As Wen Ying was opening a packet of sweet and sour sauce, she only smiled lightly upon hearing his words.

 

“Mr.
Tang asked me earlier why I chose this place.” Wen Ying picked up a chicken nugget, dipped it into the sauce, “Doesn’t this place remind you of something?”

 

Tang Xu was taken aback and watched as Wen Ying put that little piece of food in her mouth and bit off a corner.

 

It was this action that suddenly triggered his memory, and a familiar scene was polished and brightened, leaping into his mind.

 

Wen Ying had been paying attention to his expression all along, and at this moment she saw that the corners of his eyebrows tightened slightly and knew that he had remembered.

 

“I don’t like to eat these things either, and I don’t let my daughter eat them either.
The first time I came here was with Si Hang.
According to professional ethics, I shouldn’t casually reveal a patient’s condition to others, but Si Hang’s situation is special.
Perhaps because I am also a mother, he feels more like my child in my heart.
I treated him for three years and naturally hope he can recover soon.
After much thought, I realised that only you can help him.
Without beating around the bush, Mr.
Tang, I have heard a lot about you from Si Hang, and I have also heard many times about why you sent him away and what happened.
But those are all Si hang’s own interpretations.
If you don’t mind, I would like to hear you personally explain the reasons for that time.”

 

The ice cubes in the cup collided twice with a slight shake and then trembled and returned to calm.
Compared to their appearance when they were just put into the cup, their edges and corners were now slightly smoother.

 

Tang Xu subconsciously reached into his pocket for a cigarette, but then remembered that he was in a public place and withdrew his hand.
He pushed the can of cola aside and folded his hands together on the table.
Wen Ying lowered her gaze slightly and noticed his small movement, but didn’t say anything.

 

Tang Xu rarely looked back on that memory.

 


He had been with Tang Cuo for over a year and always felt that, even if he hadn’t taught Tang Cuo to be outstanding, he had at least taught him basic manners and right from wrong.
He really didn’t expect that when they went on a picnic, Tang Cuo would push Shi Xi down the hill.
Even more unexpectedly, when he questioned Tang Cuo, he would shout back at him with his neck sticking out.

 

“I just hate her! She said she wants to live with you in the future! I’m the one living with you! She’s trying to steal you from me!”

 

“I did it on purpose! It’s not my fault! She stole you from me without any consideration!”

 

Every word that Tang Cuo said at that time felt like it could easily ignite the hundred tonnes of explosives in his body, making him so angry that he raised his hand, wanting to slap him hard.
However, even though his hand was already in position, he couldn’t bring himself to hit him—he had told Tang Cuo at the beginning of their time together that he would never hit him, no matter what mistakes he made.

 

He remembers that his hand was shaking when he lit his cigarette.
He was extremely disappointed in Tang Cuo and in himself.
He couldn’t understand why Tang Cuo had become like this.
He didn’t know whether Tang Cuo understood the significance of legs and feet to someone who regarded dance as their life, but he understood it.
Even then, he was afraid and wondered what the consequences would have been if the slope was steeper and higher.

 

Tang Xu’s hands tightened together as he said, “I saw him push Shi Xi; I saw Shi Xi roll down.
Later, when Shi Xi was having surgery, I asked him why, and he told me…”

 

At this point, Tang Xu paused, sifting through his memories, trying to come up with a sentence that could fully express Tang Cuo’s attitude.

 

“Because Miss Shi Xi said that she wants to live with you, Si Hang thinks that you belong to him, and Miss Shi Xi wants to take you away from him.” Wen Ying continued on from Tang Xu’s words, her tone gentle and slow but every word precise, summarising the unbelievable content that had left him speechless.

 

Tang Xu nodded and said, “That’s right.
He didn’t know he was wrong, and he wouldn’t admit he was wrong.
At that time, he was too extreme, probably because of his childhood experiences and lack of security, so he relied on me too much.”

 

Only then did Wen Ying wipe the smile off her face, looking somewhat grave as she shook her head and said, “Although Si Hang did become very extreme later on, he wasn’t like that at that time.”

 

Tang Xu looked at her with a questioning gaze.

 

“Some children have a sense of possession towards toys they really like; perhaps this analogy is not very appropriate, but I just want to correct Mr.
Tang’s viewpoint,” said Wenying.

 

“He’s not being extreme; he just understood possession before understanding what liking is.
This is also why he later despised himself and attributed his feelings towards you as a shameful mistake.”

 

1The phrase “找了个小角落靠着” (found a small corner by the intersection of two carriages) is an idiom that means to find a comfortable or secure spot2The use of “规整的小楷” (regular script) to describe the way Tang Cuo mentally traces each character in the message emphasises his careful attention to detail.

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