Ch.13 – Having a puppy love cannot be told to the parents, but
PUBLISHED ON 19 June 2022
There wasn’t anything wrong with Xin Yi’s ink stone, the old man held it with both hands and looked at it for half an hour, gave it back to him in the end, and said, “It’s actually not bad.”
Xin Yi sat on a stool at the counter, foolishly lifted his head, and asked stammeringly, “Then, then is it a good one?”
The old man had a reluctant expression on his face, looked right and left at the ink stone in his arms, and still said, “Can be considered as one.”
Xin Yi looked at him confused, he didn’t understand if the can be considered as one meant it was good.
“Little kid, you want to sell it ?”
The old man sat down to drink tea and asked him in an unhurried manner.
Xin Yi shook his head in a hurry, and said in a small voice, “Not selling… This is a gift for my mom.”
The old man was stunned, “Ah it’s a gift.”
Xin Yi nodded, and let out a hm.
“My mom’s ink stone was damaged, the day after tomorrow is his birthday, I want to gift him one.”
“But I don’t really know anything about it…” He pursed his lips and smiled sheepishly, and whispered, “I want to give my mom the best.”
He said that and secretly tilted his head, and looked at Zhou MuHui who was putting the merchandise in order.
Just now, the man went back and forth and carried four-five times the goods, the clothes on his back were drenched, it was obviously very hot, but he still did not take off his face mask.
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Xin Yi was worried, and couldn’t help but sneak a glance at him.
“It’s quite good.”
The old man knocked on the table, Xin Yi was startled, and hurriedly returned to his senses.
The old man coughed, said, “The ink stone is a good one, no need to find another one.”
Xin Yi nodded blankly, looked at the ink stone in his arms, and carefully touched it, “So this is already a very good one?”
The old man was a bit awkward, because he just lied to the little kid, and teased him with the fact that the ink stone was just an average one.
“Very good, very good.”
He waved his bamboo hand fan, raised his voice, “Your mom sure will like it!”
Xin Yi let out an oh, and couldn’t help but smile, carrying the ink stone in his arms and kept looking at it, in the end, he carefully put it back into his backpack.
Zhou MuHui who was on one side climbed down from the ladder and looked at him without making a sound, Xin Yi could feel his eyes on him, and hurriedly sat up straight, not daring to turn around to look at him.
He was a bit embarrassed, and also felt a bit at loss, his clenched hands were full of sweat, he squirmed on the stool, and very quickly something else appeared.
Xin Yi was in a hurry, even the tips of his ears became red.
“Still need to go to the warehouse?”
The man’s low voice came from behind, Xin Yi’s body turned stiff, and did not even dare to move his hands.
“Not going anymore, after tidying up we’ll be done.”
The old man stretched his waist, and got up to walk, “Little kid, if you want to sell something in the future, I won’t pit you.”
Xin Yi hurriedly nodded, followed up with him, and also got up.
The ink stone was appraised, he didn’t have another reason to stay there.
After expressing his thanks, he hugged his backpack and went out, Xin Yi walked very slowly, and he also couldn’t stop himself but turned his head to look behind, it was near noon, and there were also fewer people in the antique market than in the morning, his head was wrapped in gauze, and was more eye catching than others.
Xin Yi was embarrassed by the stares, and turned onto a narrow path aside, and walked down from the lobby door, but he only walked for a section that he couldn’t walk anymore, carefully sticking his fingers in his pocket, and touching the slip of paper that Zhou MuHui gave him.
Then turned around in the next instant and hurriedly ran back.
Zhou MuHui was stunned when the door was pulled open, Xin Yi could see that pair of pretty brows slightly frowning, Xin Yi was tongue-tied, his fingers gripped the door edge on one side, and said stammeringly, “I, I don’t know the way…”
He said with a quivering voice, looking up at the man who was still wearing a mask.
“Can you lead me outside?”
It seemed to be the day Xin Yi was the most courageous, although he kept trembling.
Xin Yi was anxiously waiting for Zhou MuHui’s answer, the fingers of his other hand were gripping his pants and wiping off more sweat on them than before.
Zhou MuHui put down the thing in his hands, and said, “Let’s go.”
Xin Yi was dizzy the whole way, it was as if he lost the capacity to speak, only knowing how to sneak glances at the other party, Zhou MuHui stopped when they were almost at the door of the antique market, and said while pointing before him, “It’s there.”
Xin Yi dizzily nodded, his eyes followed Zhou MuHui’s finger, then secretly moved back on him.
He still couldn’t help it, although he kept telling himself to not look at Zhou MuHui.
“Is there something else?”
Zhou MuHui paused and asked him.
Xin Yi hastily shook his head, pinched his palm with force, and said, “Thank you.”
After saying that, he didn’t dare to look at Zhou MuHui, he grabbed the backpack’s straps and ran forward, waving his hand with his back facing Zhou MuHui, “You can go back, ‘ll get going too!”
Xin Yi stopped once he was at the gate, he didn’t dare to look back for half a day, taking advantage of the flux of people to hide for many minutes, then carefully turned around.
Zhou MuHui wasn’t there anymore, Xin Yi couldn’t even find his shadow, but he was still very happy, he turned the backpack around, hugged it tightly in front of him, pursed his lips, and secretly smiled.
Xin Yi saw Zhou MuHui three days after that, he ran to Wen Miao right after getting out of class, but he was still late, Wen Miao closed its door at five, it was almost six and a half when he got there, Xin Yi gripped his handphone, and squatted down in front of the gate at a loss, not knowing what to do.
Xin Yi originally wanted to come on the second day, but a few days ago when he got home he got caught by his father, Xin Yi wanted to avoid them, but as a result, just when he went to the courtyard, he saw his father standing at the end of the corridor, looking at him with his arms crossed and told him to get over there.
Xin Yi disappeared early in the morning, the nanny at home called him to eat and knocked on the door for half a day but didn’t get an answer, only then did she realize that he slipped out a long time ago, Xin Yi knew he was in the wrong, and hurriedly walked over there and obediently admitted his wrongs.
But he did not even get to finish speaking when his father’s face turned cold, dragged him over, and asked him what happened to his head.
Xin Yi’s family was special, not only his dad and mom were both men, but he also had two fathers, the one who dragged him was the one who doted on Xin Yi the most, and also the one Xin Yi was the least scared of, Yu TingYun.
Xin Yi carefully smiled, holding his head and spouting nonsense, and said that he wasn’t careful and bumped it himself.
He didn’t know whether Yu TingYun believed him, but Xin Yi was reprimanded for a long time, the doctor in his house came in a rush, unwove the gauze that Zhou MuHui wrapped, and cleaned it up once again, Xin Yi anxiously look at his father throwing these things in the trash can, and pinched his fingertips while feeling wronged.
And later in the evening when Xin Shao and they all came back home, Xin Yi was caught and reprimanded again, Xin Yi trembled with fear and gave the same explanation, afraid that his other father on one side, Yu NanShan, would suspect him, fortunately, after that, they only look at him stricter, and did not ask anything else.
Thus, before his mom’s birthday was over, Xin Yi did not successfully get away from home.
Xin Yi gripped his handphone and waited until eight o’clock, the curtain of the night had also fallen, he lowered his head and looked at Zhou MuHui’s number on his phone, only swiping it down after a long time, and turned off the screen.
He was a bit upset, maybe it was because he came too late, or because he got Zhou MuHui’s phone number for three days, but didn’t have the courage to give the other party a call.
He felt disheartened, squatting on the ground low in spirits, Wen Miao has already closed, but the nearby alleys were still bustling with noise, the fireworks noise there keep coming to Xin Yi’s side, Xin Yi eagerly lifted his head to take a look, feeling even more depressed.
But in the next second, his sight suddenly stopped.
Not far away was a thin and tall silhouette, his side profile facing him was hidden behind a blue mask, Xin Yi paused, till the other party was about to leave did he abruptly return to his senses, and took to his heels and chased him.
Xin Yi ran very fast, when he stopped in front of Zhou MuHui even Zhou MuHui was stunned, his eyebrows frowned, and said nothing for a long time, “How come you are here?”
He must have been buying dinner, Xin Yi saw that he was holding a plastic bag, he was stunned, he was twisting his hands hesitantly, not knowing how to explain for a moment.
He was only focused on coming to see Zhou MuHui, and had forgotten to find himself an excuse.
“I, I came here to find master Bai…”
Xi Yi stammeringly lied, and finally remembered his excuse.
“I wanted him to look at something.”
“He closes at four o’clock.”
Zhou MuHui looked at the time, and said, “It’s too late now.”
Xin Yi hastily nodded, the wound on his forehead hasn’t healed yet, the people in his family considered him as precious as gold, a small injury was like confronting a mortal enemy, Zhou MuHui saw that his forehead was still wrapped in gauze, paused, “Is it better?”
Xin Yi let out an ‘ah’ and saw that his sight was on himself, the tips of his ears were about to burn up.
He held his forehead and took a step back, and didn’t dare to look Zhou MuHui in the eyes.
Zhou MuHui did not move, but it seemed that he didn’t get what he meant by it, only nodded, and said, “En, you can come to find me if there’s anything.”
He was about to leave after saying that, and Xin Yi also forgot to stop him, until the other party walked to the opposite alley corner did he remember what he came to do, and hurriedly went to catch him up.
He spat out the name that was on his mind for three days, it made Xin Yi dizzy as if he was in a state of weightlessness, the man turned his head around, even Xin Yi’s train of thought was in a disorder, smashing down on him like a bunch of mess, and made him speak nonsense.
“Oh, I tomorrow, I will also come tomorrow.”
Zhou MuHui frowned, not knowing why he was telling himself all this.
“Then be earlier, I will tell him.”
Xin Yi put his hands behind his body, carefully held his breath, looked up at him, “I don’t know the way, I am afraid I’ll go the wrong way.”
Zhou MuHui hummed, “Number B127, ask people once you’re there.”
“The shop’s number, follow the road.” Zhou MuHui said, “If you don’t know the way just ask people.”
Xin Yi was even more confused, Zhou MuHui paused, and said, “Call me once you have arrived.”
Xin Yi widened his eyes, his hands that were twisted together unconsciously pressed tighter, and the nails hooked his palms.
He couldn’t care less about the pain, and hastily nodded, “I will come early for sure.”
He almost couldn’t suppress the smile at the corner of his mouth, Zhou MuHui gave him a cold glance, Xin Yi could feel it as if he could see the man’s poker face through the mask, he restrained his feelings in a hurry, and spun around Zhou MuHui.
“What are your name’s two characters, I want to make a note.” He lifted his hand and said in a small voice, “Is it ok?”
Zhou MuHui didn’t say anything, Xin Yi didn’t know if he should continue to ask, the other day he heard people call him this way, but he didn’t know which characters it was.
“It’s fine, it’s fine, I was just afraid of making a mistake.”
Xin Yi saw that he was still silent, hurriedly put back the phone that he had just taken out, hiding it behind him, and carefully smiled at him, “I am not very smart, I won’t be able to remember.”
“The ‘Mu’ (night) as in morning and night, ‘Hui’ (return) as in turn back.”1
Xin Yi only nodded randomly after a while, maybe the moon was too dazzling, or maybe the cooking smoke not far ago made him dizzy, Xin Yi couldn’t help but smile, exaggeratedly took two steps back, looked up, and told him, “Alright.”
Zhou MuHui was very tall, Xin Yi felt that it was almost the same as his father, but Zhou MuHui was a bit different because Xin Yi couldn’t help but look at him.
Although he has never seen Zhou MuHui’s face without his mask on.
“Then I’ll get going.”
Xin Yi waved at him, and bid him goodbye like the last him, Zhou MuHui let out a hum, and nodded at him.
Xin Yi saw it, and also heard it, it felt like his heart was suddenly hit by something, the numbness went from the crown of his head to his heart, Xin Yi panicked, and turned around in a mad rush, his back facing him.
“Oh!” He said in a loud voice, and quietly lowered his head.
It was really strange, it was as if his body got an electric shock for an instant, he looked at his chest dumbly, and tardily said, “Then I’ll see you tomorrow.”
His voice was very small, maybe Zhou MuHui didn’t hear it, because he heard the person behind him move, and asked, “What?”
“I’ll see you tomorrow…”
Xin Yi anxiously said, “Zhou MuHui, see you tomorrow!”
After saying that he ran forward in a quick trot, not daring to turn around to take a look, the crowd of people beside him was quickly thrown behind him, until he couldn’t run anymore, stopped gasping for air, then leaned next to the dim street light, drawing back the corners of his mouth in a grin.
He sneaked into his room at night, taking advantage of the dark night as a camouflage, as a result, just when he pushed open the door, he saw Xin Shao sitting on his bed, flipping a book waiting for him.
“How come you’re so late?”
Xin Yi panicked for a moment, not knowing where to put his hands and feet, but Xin Shao didn’t say anything else, only beckoned to him, and told him to get over there.
“Did you eat, your head is full of sweat.”
The scattered hair wet by the sweat on his forehead was carefully moved aside by Xin shao, Xin Yi blinked, looking at the gentle mom in front of him, and suddenly stretched his hand to grab the hem of his sleeve.
Xin Yi called him in a whisper.
Xin Shao hummed, and asked, “What’s wrong?”
Xin Yi was a bit shy, and also a bit embarrassed, he carefully swallowed down his saliva, as if he was going to tell a secret, looking at Xin Shao with a pair of shining eyes.
“Mom, I think I am in love.”
“朝暮的暮, 回头的回.” The ‘Mu’ as in ‘Zhao Mu’ (morning and night), ‘Hui’ as in ‘Hui Tou’. (turn back/turn around, also means ‘return’ as ‘returning home’)
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