y heart.
No matter what he did, he had followed me for so long.”


 

This was the first time Tang Xu actively recalled what happened that night.

 

“I just thought, it’s the last time, let’s bring him to eat something he loves… and he said he wanted McDonald’s.”

 

Tang Xu’s lowered eyes flashed with a different light, only wandering for a moment before quickly hiding away, seemingly taking the original light in his eyes with it, causing his gaze to become like a deep pool of tranquilly.

 

He could even vividly recall Tang Cuo’s eyes at the time: they turned twice, then stared at him tightly, cautiously, and full of joy.

 

Wen Ying lowered her head and continued her unfinished words, “So this McDonald’s, in his eyes, also has some symbolic significance.”

 

“Initially, he brought me here.
After we ordered, he took a few bites and then ran to the bathroom to throw up.
After he finished, he rinsed his mouth and washed his face, then came back to finish his meal.
At the time, he was really extreme and pushed himself to face his most feared past.
We came here many times until he was able to calmly order his food and slowly eat it.
He told me he had accepted his past and was able to face it.
When I asked him why he pushed himself like that, he said it was because he wanted to see me again soon but was afraid of causing any trouble.”

 

Tang Xu squeezed the coke cup, which had not even been touched, and some of the coke overflowed from the opening of the lid.

 

The conversation that day was longer and more cruel than he had anticipated.

 

Wen Ying told him many things that he didn’t know.
By the end, he felt a dense pain all over his body.
Tang Cuo’s face appeared before him, both the younger version and the present one.

 

“Actually, if I were to talk to you about Sihang’s situation, there is a lot I could say.
After all, it seems that I understand his innermost thoughts the most.
But there are still many things that I don’t plan on telling you today.
I can see that you don’t dislike Sihang’s feelings, and regardless of the reason for those feelings, you still care for him.
If I may be so bold, I’d like to ask, how do you plan on dealing with his affection for you?”

 

After a long silence, Tang Xu said, “The decision I made at that time was the most wrong decision I have ever made; it was off the charts wrong1“错得离谱”: This idiom means that something was extremely wrong or off the charts wrong, as Tang Xu describes his past decision..” He forced a smile, “There won’t be a second time.”

 

Wen Ying seemed to feel relieved and nodded gently, “Then I can rest assured.”


 

Before leaving, Wenying looked at the toy the little boy had finally put on the table and asked Tang Xu as they walked out, “Does the set of toys that came with the children’s meal that night still exist? Si hang mentioned it many times.”

 

Seven years ago, McDonald’s gave out real children’s toys as gifts, not just hand puppets or keychains: a small train and a set of buildable tracks.

 

Tang Xu helped Wenying push open the heavy glass door and nodded, “Yes, it’s still there.”

 

The toy set has been sitting on the top shelf of his bookcase, unopened and untouched.
He has cleaned the room many times, and each time he picks up the toy set, he silently puts it back.

 

Standing at the door of McDonald’s, there were more people coming and going than before, and the lights had turned on, making the street more lively.
She looked at Tang Xu and said, “If there’s a chance, let him play with it,”

 

As time went by, his longing turned into a knot in his heart.

 

Actually, Tang Xu had a lot of things to do that weekend, but he was feeling quite listless and didn’t do anything.
He did smoke quite a bit, though, and when he took out the trash on Sunday, he found the garbage bag was filled with cigarette butts.

 

He threw the garbage bag into the downstairs trash can.
Looking up, he noticed that the sky had darkened and the sun was no longer visible.
Only a few rays of light remained, like the flicker of a candle, hanging on the horizon as if unwilling to surrender the world to the darkness.

 

He lit another cigarette and got into his car.

 

He hadn’t moved in seven years, but he knew that Tang Cuo had moved.
What embarrassed him was that he didn’t know Tang Cuo’s current address.

 

Tang Cuo spent the weekend at home.
His family went out to eat, and his mother took him to the mall to pick out some seasonal clothes.
The project was not over yet, and on Sunday afternoon, his parents hurriedly rushed to the capital airport.

 

Tang Cuo waited for a long time in the airport hall, and when it was almost time for takeoff, he stood at the glass window watching the huge steel monster fly off the ground and pierce into the deep sky.
Until he couldn’t see the plane anymore, even by standing on his toes and tilting his chin, he turned around like an old man with drooping shoulders.


 

Just when he came back from the airport far away, Tang Xu’s phone rang suddenly without any warning.

 

“Have you had dinner?”

 

Tang Cuo looked at the empty table and touched his nose, saying, “Yes, I have.”

 

For some reason, Tang Xu didn’t speak again.
This silence made him nervous, and his first reaction was that Tang Xu knew he was lying.

 

He quickly said, “I haven’t eaten…I was just about to eat…”

 

His voice became unnatural towards the end because he was guilty and also worried that Tang Xu would blame him for lying.

 

However, Tang Xu heard a different emotion in his tone.
He suddenly felt powerless and didn’t know how to make Tang Cuo not blame himself so easily.

 

Tang Xu sat in the driver’s seat and rubbed his eyes.
He asked, “Have your parents left already?”

 

Tang Cuo honestly replied, “Yeah, they left in the afternoon.”

 

“Then let me take you out for dinner.
Send me your location on WeChat.”

 

“Ah…” Tang Cuo stood in the living room, bewildered.
He wanted to say “no need,” but he closed his mouth tightly and finally just said, “Oh, okay.”

 

1“错得离谱”: This idiom means that something was extremely wrong or off the charts wrong, as Tang Xu describes his past decision.

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