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Wei Ruxia opened her eyes at dawn. She came out of her room to find Wei Zishan was still sitting in the living room. Seeing her come out, Wei Zishan got up from the sofa and said, "Let's go."
They set off very early and the day wasn't yet completely bright, the sky was white, and the sun had not yet emerged.
The weather in mid-November had become damp and cold. Wei Ruxia, who had always been unafraid of the cold, closed the car window after watching the morning sun for a while.
The car was full of early morning mist and the silence between her and Wei Zishan.
Wei Zishan drove very fast, and the sun still wouldn't come out for a while by the time they arrived at her grandma's house. The wooden gate was closed tightly. The flowers and plants of various colours were in the small courtyard, and they were full of colour, making the home seem full of life.
Her grandma always got up early, by now she should have been up. Wei Ruxia turned her head and looked at the side of her home leading to the vegetable garden and she saw the straight figure in the woods.
Li Suhe wore straight dark brown trousers with a light gray shirt on top and a beige sweater on the outside. She was holding a bamboo basket in one hand and a small iron spade in the other, walking through the forest under the morning sun. There was still morning mist on the path in the and her grandma's white hair was pierced by the sun, making her seem as if she might disappear into the faint sunlight.
When Li Suhe returned home last Monday, she took her medicine as directed by her doctor but this week, her body had become more and more tired. Regardless, she felt better when she woke up early today so she went out to the vegetable garden.
The potatoes in the vegetable garden had grown up, she went to harvest some then washed them by the stream and prepared to make crispy potato pancakes this morning. In the past few days, she hadn’t been able to cook properly because of her discomfort.
The bottom of the bamboo basket was covered with potato seedlings, and the upper layer was a lot of clean potatoes. She washed the potatoes by putting the bamboo basket in the water, so all the way back the bamboo basket pattered with water as it drained, and by the time she arrived home, the water was almost dry.
Before she reached the door of her house, she looked up and saw Wei Ruxia and Wei Zishan waiting in front of her house. The father and daughter stood on the side of the wooden fence and looked at her.
When Li Suhe saw the two had come together, although the distance they stood apart still seemed very far, she was happy. A gentle light filled the old woman's eyes, but it was fleeting.
"Child, why didn't you go to school on a Monday?" Li Suhe asked.
Hearing her call 'child', Wei Ruxia's heart seemed to be pinched and her eyes were flushed with red.
Wei Zishan walked over and took the bamboo basket from her hand. His voice was a little numb, but his expression was still calm. He just looked at his mother and said, "Mum, pack up your things, let's go to the hospital."
During Li Suhe's physical examination, they found a large area of shadow. The doctor initially concluded that it was tuberculosis. Later, the doctor approached Wei Zishan and told him that it was probably cancerous.
Wei Zishan took her for a detailed examination, and the results came out on Sunday afternoon, it was cancer, advanced lung cancer.
Together with her father, they helped her grandma go through the hospitalization procedures. Wei Zishan was called by her grandma's attending doctor and while they were discussing the operation, Wei Ruxia went to the ward.
It was already afternoon, and the sun was shining through the glass windows in the hospital corridors. The familiar smell of disinfectant made Wei Ruxia a little dazed. She'd spent more time in the hospital this year than she spent in the past 15 years, and every time she came, she was never the one who was sick.
Her mother in the first half of the year and her grandmother in the second half of the year. Wei Ruxia's heart seemed to be pulled down by a piece of iron, making her unable to walk with the weight in her chest.
Her grandma was going to live in the hospital for a long time. Wei Zishan asked a friend in the hospital for help and arranged for her a relatively quiet single ward at the end of the corridor.
The ward was facing the sun and the sun illuminated the room warmly and brightly. Li Suhe sat on the hospital bed with her head turned as she looked out the window.
She had changed into a hospital gown, even so the generous hospital gown was still meticulously worn by her, even her hair was neat and tidy, without a trace of disturbance.
The curtains were slightly moved by the wind. Li Suhe heard the door opening and turned around to see Wei Ruxia standing at the door.
Wei Ruxia looked at her with red eyes, not quite crying. She was a very strong and optimistic child, but she was still too young, and had encountered too many life changing events within her family. She could bear it for now as this time the variables were given to her, otherwise she might not be able to withstand such a series of shocks.
She was tall, slender and well-proportioned, a bit taller than when she first came to Ancheng. Obviously she was a grown child, but in her heart, would always be young.
Li Suhe looked at Wei Ruxia at the door with a smile on her lips and beckoned, "Come here, child, give your grandma a hug."
Li Suhe knew Wei Ruxia was optimistic and strong, but counter to her expectations she also seemed to be able to bear the changes this time.
Wei Ruxia lay in her grandma's arms. She was not completely tainted by the smell of disinfectant. Wei Ruxia told Li Suhe what she had just heard from Wei Zishan and the doctor, and said, "Grandma, the doctor said that your condition can be stabilised after the operation and it would be fine after it's controlled."
"That's it." Li Suhe touched her face and said with a smile, "Then I'll cooperate with the treatment and live a good life so that I can watch my baby graduate from high school, graduate from university, go to work, get married and have children~"
Luo Tang went to school by himself today. In the morning, he waited at the door of Wei Ruxia’s house for more than half an hour, then called her and texted her. She only replied, “I don’t need to go to school today.”
This was the only exchange he'd had with Wei Ruxia today.
Luo Tang went to ask his mother, but Yang Shuru said she didn't know. When he got home from school in the afternoon, Yang Shuru spoke to him during their meal.
"Ruxia's grandma was hospitalised, she is very ill and will be having surgery."
After he paused with his fingers on the chopsticks, Luo Tang looked up at Yang Shuru. Yang Shuru felt a little grim when she heard the bad news.
Li Suhe was going to be hospitalized, and Wei Zishan had used her contacts to recommend the attending doctor. Luo Tang's grandfather was a leading surgeon in China. He once served as the dean of Ancheng Central Hospital. Although he had retired, the relationships were still there.
When Wei Zishan found her, Yang Shuru knew that Li Suhe was in trouble.
She and Li Suhe didn't know each other well, but she had a very good impression of the old woman. She used to see her occasionally tending to flowers and plants in the yard. She was an old lady who lived a very delicate and decent life.
"Ruxia didn't go to school today?" Yang Shuru looked at Luo Tang and asked.
"Yeah." Luo Tang put down his chopsticks and wiped the corners of his mouth with a napkin. He just changed out his school uniform, and now he was wearing a grey jacket and a pair of black sweatpants. He originally wanted to take A'Mang out for a walk after he ate.
After drinking, Luo Tang got up and said, "I'm going out."
Luo Tang didn't go to the hospital. He put his skateboard on the side of the road where it turned into the housing community, and sat down cross-legged. Throwing the frisbee in his hand to the end of the road, he watched A'Mang run to pick it up.
When Wei Ruxia came back, she happened to see A'Mang retrieving the frisbee and returning to Luo Tang. The teenager was wearing a black baseball cap, sitting on his skateboard with his head slightly lowered. Like the first time she saw him, she could only see his tall nose and slightly pursed lips. He raised his hand and petted A'Mang, and his slender white fingers wandered around A'Mang's fur, which was very beautiful.
"Luo Tang." Wei Ruxia called.
After his fingers paused on the top of A'Mang's head, the teenager turned his head and revealed his pure and gentle face. When he saw Wei Ruxia, his dark eyes blinked slightly, and he got up and stood up.
Luo Tang took the skateboard and led A'Mang and Wei Ruxia side by side on the way home. Wei Ruxia was driven away by her grandmother. She told her to go back to rest and go to school tomorrow. With Wei Zishan there to take care of her, Wei Ruxia returned obediently.
It was already dark and the street lights on the road were turned on, casting long shadows of two people and one dog.
Luo Tang loosened the lead, and let A'Mang run wildly. The two looked at the back of A'Mang as he ran away and Luo Tang asked Wei Ruxia, "Have you eaten?"
Wei Ruxia retracted her gaze and smiled at him and said, "I've eaten but the hospital food isn't very good, it isn't sweet at all."
Wei Zishan mentioned Yang Shuru's relationship with Li Suhe when she arranged the ward. He probably also knew about her grandma's illness, so before Luo Tang asked, Wei Ruxia said it herself.
"My grandma is in good health. The doctor said that she will have an operation next week. If the operation is successful, she should be discharged after the Spring Festival."
It was almost December now, moving from autumn to winter with short days and long nights, time actually flew quickly.
The two talked with each other until they had reached the door of her house. Wei Ruxia raised her head and glanced at the courtyard in Luo Tang's house. She raised her eyes slightly, and said in surprise, "Did you already plant it?"
Luo Tang's yard was just lawn, and the infinity flowers were particularly eye-catching among the grass.
Thinking of it, Wei Ruxia thought of her own flower, but her mind was blank, she didn't know where she put it.
"I put it in last night." Luo Tang replied.
Wei Ruxia smiled and raised her eyes to look at Luo Tang. She hadn't slept all day or night, and her mind was a little sleepy. Rubbing her temples, Wei Ruxia said, "I should go home and sleep."
She turned around, put her finger on the code lock, pushing in the code with her fingertips. Wei Ruxia then turned her head and looked at Luo Tang who was still standing behind her, and asked, "Isn't everyone going to leave in the end?"
Luo Tang's face under the brim of the hat was illuminated by a street lamp, and his brows carried an affection Wei Ruxia couldn't understand. The young man's voice was clear, like a clear spring water, gurgling by, driving away her sleepiness, "I won't."
He could accompany her to school, and he could accompany her through this life.
Wei Ruxia was stunned for a moment by Luo Tang's words. When she came back to her senses, she looked at Luo Tang, her eyes curved and she smiled. She pushed the lock and said as she entered, "Good."
Even before all this had happened, he had said: Isn't there still me?
Wei Ruxia walked through the yard and arrived at the door of the house. After entering the password, Wei Ruxia opened the door and walked in. Inside the heavy door was an empty and dark home.
After closing the door, all the strength supporting her was instantly swept away and Wei Ruxia sat on the floor, leaning her head against the door, tears falling from her eyes.
After her grandmother was hospitalised, Wei Ruxia started running between the school and hospital, and Wei Zishan's work was gradually put aside. He still didn't care much for her, but compared to how it was before when they rarely met each other, they were in a much better state.
Li Suhe's operation was quite successful, but there was no guarantee that there wouldn't be a possibility of recurrence. She had been hospitalised after the operation and stayed in hospital until the winter vacation.
As soon as the winter vacation arrived, Wei Ruxia simply moved into the hospital with her things to concentrate on taking care of her grandmother. Wei Zishan asked Aunt Li to cook their meals and send them to the hospital every day. Wei Ruxia also accompanied Li Suhe in the hospital and helped her with some errands.
After the operation, Li Suhe lost a lot of weight and her hospital gown looked hollow. She was sitting on the bed as Wei Ruxia next to her was adjusting her bed up. Li Suhe looked at Wei Ruxia and asked with a smile, "Aren't you cold?"
Although winter had arrived, Wei Ruxia was only wearing a short coat with a sweater on the inside and trousers underneath. Her legs were long and slender and she looked extremely thin.
"I'm wearing stockings underneath." Wei Ruxia grabbed her trouser leg and smiled and showed her grandma the layer of cashmere inside her pants.
Li Suhe smiled and patted her leg, and said, "Is it cold in the south in winter?"
The higher humidity with the cold was indeed much cooler than the dry cold, but Dongzhen was in the far north, and the lowest temperatures were minus 30-40 degrees, so she could handle the coldness of minus 10 degrees in the south.
She was also afraid Li Suhe would be worried so she wore the cashmere stockings. In fact, she wasn't cold at all, rather she was a little hot.
"It's okay." Wei Ruxia raised the quilt for her grandma and asked, "What do you want to eat at noon? I'll tell Auntie Li."
"I really want to go back for the Spring Festival." Li Suhe said, "I haven't had a Spring Festival with my baby yet."
Her grandma brought up the topic and Wei Ruxia turned her head to look at her, pursing her lips. According to the hospital's arrangements, she would definitely not be discharged during the Spring Festival.
Sitting down by the bed, Wei Ruxia said, "We can still celebrate it in the hospital."
Reaching out and tucking Wei Ruxia’s hair behind her ears, the girl’s cheeks were white and red, and her face was much hotter than the old lady's fingertips. She felt the temperature at her fingertips and said to Wei Ruxia, “It's not the same. When I get home, I can make rice cakes, glutinous rice balls, dumplings, and take you to make lanterns."
In the hearts of the elderly, the Spring Festival was still the biggest festival of the year. She should be at home with her relatives, preparing the festivities, watching the children eat the food they prepared themselves. It would make her feel satisfied in her heart, warm.
During this year's Spring Festival it would've all been possible. Wei Ruxia was thinking about how to comfort her grandma when her mobile phone rang, and she glanced at it and her grandma asked, "Is Luo Tang?"
Wei Ruxia had few friends in Ancheng after all, and almost every call and text message she received was from Luo Tang. Wei Ruxia smiled, said, "Yes", then answered the phone.
Just after the winter vacation started yesterday, Wei Ruxia went home to pack her things and came to the hospital. She didn't contact Luo Tang at all. She thought he was looking for her but when Luo Tang called he wanted to see Li Suhe.
Luo Tang and his family didn't usually stay with their grandparents, so during the winter and summer vacations, they typically went back to the Luo family mansion. The Luo family mansion was near Anjiang to the south but not close to the city.
After visiting Li Suhe, he would return to the Luo family mansion with his mother tomorrow morning. If he wanted to meet Wei Ruxia again, it would only be after the Lantern Festival began.
Since the two had met, they had seen each other almost every day. Thinking of not seeing each other for so long, Wei Ruxia felt a little inexplicable in her heart.
Hearing that Luo Tang was coming, Li Suhe was extremely happy. She could see the weight of Luo Tang in Wei Ruxia's heart. Although the two weren't childhood sweethearts, they would grow up with each other in the future. Even if they didn't get married in the future, they would still be each other's best friends.
Not long after hanging up the phone with Luo Tang, Wei Ruxia heard a knock on the door, but she didn't expect him to come so quickly. Wei Ruxia rushed to open the door. Once the door opened, Wei Ruxia's hands were filled with something and she immediately smelled the fragrance of flowers.
Luo Tang bought a bunch of flowers. He was standing behind the bouquet, wearing a black coat and a gray and black plaid cashmere scarf around his slender neck. The teenager was wearing a baseball cap and a white mask. When Wei Ruxia looked up at him, he was pulling the mask down. As soon as the mask was lowered the white face of the teenager appeared and Wei Ruxia's eyes opened slightly.
Despite having seen it so many times, Wei Ruxia was still amazed by Luo Tang's appearance, clean, comfortable and beautiful.
He saw Wei Ruxia's light brown eyes widened. Holding the bunch of flowers, her white face was hidden behind a lily, making her appear a little dreamlike. Luo Tang's throat moved slightly, he pursed his lips and asked, "What's wrong?"
Holding the flowers, Wei Ruxia just smiled and didn't answer. She gathered herself and stepped aside and said, "Come in."
"Luo Tang is here?" Inside, Li Suhe had heard the voice at the door, and yelled with a smile.
Luo Tang entered the door, nodded at Li Suhe and slightly, and called her, "Grandma."
When she was first hospitalized, Yang Shuru had brought Luo Tang to visit once. Luo Tang called her 'Grandma Li' at the time, and later she asked him to change it to 'grandma'.
He had a good relationship with Wei Ruxia, and Li Suhe regarded him as half a grandson, so he should call her 'grandma' more cordially.
"Hey." Li Suhe watched Luo Tang and Wei Ruxia come in together, smiled and said, "Did you buy me flowers? Thank you, I like flowers the most."
Seeing Luo Tang, Li Suhe also forgot about going home for the Spring Festival. Wei Ruxia smiled and said, "Luo Tang help me peel an apple for my grandma, and I'll put the flowers in a vase."
Luo Tang replied, pulled out a chair and sat down. He took the apple and fruit knife on the small table in front of the window. Holding the apple with his fingers, his knuckles were slightly white, delicate and beautiful.
Wei Ruxia arranged Luo Tang to help with ease, and Luo Tang also obeyed her arrangements. The relationship between the two seemed to be better than during the National Day holidays.
Li Suhe looked at the young boy's profile, her spirits weren't very high, just talking to Luo Tang and Wei Ruxia seemed to have exhausted her energy.
Wei Ruxia was getting water from the washroom, and the sound of water from the draining gradually felt like the ebb of her life.
"Luo Tang, can grandma ask you something?" Li Suhe looked at Luo Tang kindly, with a peaceful smile on her lips.
The movement of his hands didn't stop, but Luo Tang raised his eyes and glanced at the old woman, then replied, "You can ask."
When Li Suhe looked at the young man's eyes, her voice suddenly lowered, as if deliberately not wanting to be heard by others.
"Take good care of Xia Xia, she has no other close friends."
Her words stopped Luo Tang's hands, he looked at Li Suhe's thin face. Then he spoke to her as if he was speaking to himself.
"It doesn't matter, it's enough for her to have me."
The author has something to say:
Tangtang: I can accompany you to school, and I can accompany you through this life.
May I ask who doesn't want a sweet like Luo Tang.
Hello, so I got the comments working again! I decided to go back to old system even though it sometimes crashes my site sometimes (mumble grumble). If you can't see them below just hit ctrl+shift+R or if you're on Android click on icon to the left of the URL, click Site Settings and Clear and Reset. Basically you'll need to clear your cache...sorry, my fault, I was stuffing around with it and broke it a little.
I feel like we need a beauty counter for Lou Tang, granny is dying on the bed but the author still needs to reminds us he's beautiful. Hahahaha~