33 - I like you
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There were no green trains into Ancheng, so the two of them took the high-speed train to Mucheng. It took more than 30 hours to get from Mucheng to Dongcheng, where Dongzhen was located. Luo Tang bought them soft-sleeper train tickets.
Nowadays, there were very few people on the green train. They pulled their suitcases through the hard-seat carriage where there were very few people, and finally reached the soft-sleeper carriage. Their cabin was in the middle and when Wei Ruxia found it, she opened the door.
The cabin was very small, with a total of four beds on the left and right, all upholstered with clean and tidy bedding. Directly facing the door was a small window. There was a small table in front of the window with nothing on it.
As soon as she walked in, Wei Ruxia felt the cool air from the air conditioner and she relaxed both physically and mentally. Luo Tang took the suitcases and put them aside. Luo Tang looked at her, looked up at the position of the upper bunk, and said, "You sleep on the top, I'll sleep on the bottom."
Today was Luo Tang's surprise for her. She didn't expect he would remember what she said the last time when they went to the basketball game. Wei Ruxia's heart was touched. Luo Tang knew her and would always give her the best surprises.
Wei Ruxia, who went along with his plans, climbed onto the upper bunk as the train started. She lay on the bed and looked out the window. Outside the window was a forest of hibiscus flowers. The pale pink flowers were too far away to see whether they were real, all she could see was a pink ocean.
She was going home, like her mother did 18 years ago, riding the slow train, experiencing the scenery of the north and south borders of her motherland. But she was different from her mother, she wasn't alone.
After Wei Ruxia climbed onto the bunk, the person below her was silent. Wei Ruxia retracted her gaze, she poked her head out of the bed and looked down. The boy was lying on the bed in his clothes, his stretched limbs were symmetrical and slender. He had one leg on the bed and one leg off the edge of the bed. His white T-shirt clung to his body, and the outline of his figure could be clearly seen.
The black baseball cap was on his face, and the boy's boney hands were pressed on the baseball cap. His skin was white and on top of the black baseball cap, they seemed a little transparent.
"Tangtang." Wei Ruxia called to him with a smile.
Hearing her call, the teenager didn't move, but amidst the sounds of the moving train, there was a 'hm' from under the baseball cap.
"This is the first time I've taken a green train." Wei Ruxia said with a smile.
There was another 'hm' under the baseball cap. It was very soft, like a drop of honey dripping into her heart. Before she could speak again, the teenager's slightly lazy voice came from under the baseball cap.
Rather than happiness, it would be more accurate to say she was excited. Wei Ruxia had a soft temperament, but there were times when she became excited. She smiled again, putting her arms under her chin, still looking at Luo Tang, and whispered softly, "I'm very happy because it's the first time I'm riding one, and because I'm going home again. But especially because I'm here with you."
The girl's voice above his head was light and clear. Luo Tang held the brim of his hat with his fingers, and pulled the brim down, revealing a pair of clear eyes. His eyelashes were thick and dark, and the eyes hidden under were like black glass beads, and on the surface, the girl's smiling face was reflected.
Wei Ruxia saw the smile in his eyes and felt her heart stir. She lowered her head and said to Luo Tang, "When we get to Dongzhen, I’ll also take you to do things you have never done before."
Doing something for the first time was often unforgettable. If someone was with you at that time, you would never forget that person.
"What will we do?" Luo Tang asked.
"Secret." Wei Ruxia laughed, turned over and lay on the bed.
The 30-odd-hour ride wasn’t as easy as imagined. It took two days and they slept on the train for two nights before arriving in Dongzhen in the early morning.
Wei Ruxia and Luo Tang's ate in the train’s restaurant. After eating, Wei Ruxia asked Luo Tang to go back first, and she went to the bathroom. After coming out of the bathroom, Wei Ruxia stood in the corridor and looked out the window. It had been five hours and the train was still far from the north to south border. Outside the train she could still see the scenery of the south.
Wei Ruxia took out her mobile phone, opened the map app, and found that she and her father had been to this city during his tour. Even though she had been there once, her impression of the city was only of the theatre, and she was still very unfamiliar with the place where the train ran.
Thinking of her father, Wei Ruxia glanced at the time. It was the evening in Austria and her father was likely performing, so she didn't bother to call.
After completing her exams yesterday, she spoke with her father on the phone. Her father didn't say when he would come back, nor did he ask her to visit. He just let her freely arrange her own summer vacation.
After finishing her exams, she wanted to apply for a volunteer position in July, then after signing up, she was going to fly to Austria to visit him.
As she thought, her phone suddenly rang and Hu Yinyin's name appeared on the screen. Wei Ruxia smiled and answered the phone.
"Xiaxia~" Hu Yinyin's cheerful voice came over.
After their exams yesterday, she went back to the classroom and said goodbye to Hu Yinyin before leaving. Hu Yinyin did a good job this time, but she still cried when she saw her.
The college entrance exams were a separation marker for high school students. Although they were in the same city, if they went to different universities in the future, they would have very few opportunities to meet in the future, and would inevitably miss each other.
After Hu Yinyin finished shouting, Wei Ruxia heard the sound of someone singing through the phone. She seemed to be in KTV. Wei Ruxia smiled and asked, "Where are you playing?"
"I’m in a KTV, with my junior high school classmates. After the exams, I can finally relax." Hu Yinyin spoke like a rapid fire gun, and finally got to telling Wei Ruxia the purpose of her call.
"Our class is going to meet at Jinyu on the 16th. You have to come."
Jinyu was an entertainment club. After the exams, most of them were basically adults and could go out to play. After hearing the date, Wei Ruxia laughed and said, "Okay, I’ll go."
"Then can you pass it onto Luo Tang." Hu Yinyin said, "Originally Han Junsong was going to ask, but his phone seems to be unable to get through."
After speaking, Hu Yinyin smiled and asked, "You two must be together? Hm? Hm? Hmmm?"
Girls' thoughts were often tacit, but those who were involved often couldn’t see the forest for the trees. Although Wei Ruxia and Luo Tang thought their standings were well understood, the bystanders were naturally clearer on the situation.
"We’re on a train." Wei Ruxia said openly.
"Wow, are you on a graduation trip?" After Hu Yinyin asked, she grit her teeth and said, "I really want to go too."
"No, we’re going back to my hometown." Wei Ruxia said to Hu Yinyin, "You can go on a trip with Han Junsong."
Hu Yinyin and Han Junsong, two happy friends, had been together since the first semester of their third year. Han Junsong's grades were average and Hu Yinyin said that if his grades after their college entrance exams weren’t satisfactory, his father was going to send him to the army.
"Don't even mention it." Hu Yinyin said helplessly, "My parents said that we weren’t allowed to meet until the results come out."
Hu Yinyin's parents were still very strict. Both of them were teachers and they were very rigid on the issue of young love. Although Han Junsong knew about their bottom line, Hu Yinyin's grades aren’t high enough, and she may not score high enough on the college entrance exam this time around. So her parents told them they couldn’t meet and must wait for the results to come out.
"By the way, what did Luo Tang's family and your father do about you two?" Hu Yinyin asked quickly.
"It's a bit early to say." Wei Ruxia said helplessly.
Hu Yinyin didn't understand for a moment, she asked, "Why is it a bit early?"
Wei Ruxia hadn't answered yet, when Hu Yinyin's surprised shout broke through the speaker of her phone.
"Has Luo Tang not asked you out yet!?"
Her voice was so loud, Wei Ruxia's eardrums were sore and she held the phone farther away. She smiled helplessly and said, "I’ll tell you about it later."
"No, impossible, hey, why hasn’t Luo Tang asked yet, Xiaxia..."
Wei Ruxia didn't listen to her, she hung up the phone, smiled softly, and thought about Hu Yinyin’s first question.
Luo Tang's family had a clear attitude towards her and Luo Tang's relationship, and she also liked Luo Tang's family. However, her father was always abroad, and he only knew that she and Luo Tang were good friends.
She stopped, she shouldn’t think too much about it.
With this on her mind, Wei Ruxia couldn't help but put her phone away and turn back to their room. Turning around, she almost ran into Luo Tang. Wei Ruxia straightened up and looked at Luo Tang not knowing how long he’d been standing behind her, and asked, "Why are you here?"
Luo Tang was standing beside her, his eyes dark. He took a deep look at Wei Ruxia and replied, "I’m going to the bathroom."
"Then you go, I’ll wait here for you." Wei Ruxia said with a smile.
"Okay." Luo Tang replied and pushed open the bathroom door.
For the remaining twenty hours or so, Wei Ruxia basically slept, and the exhaustion she’d accumulated over her third year of high school was completely reprieved. Wei Ruxia slept contentedly.
When Luo Tang woke up, the lights in the room were still on, while the scenery outside was covered in dark shadows. The speed of the train was gradually slowing down. Luo Tang stood by the bed and his height was just enough to look at Wei Ruxia who was sleeping on the upper bunk. Watching her wake up leisurely, he looked at her open eyes. Luo Tang's throat moved slightly and said in a low voice, "We’re here."
After two years, Wei Ruxia returned to Dongzhen.
As soon as they left the train station, Wei Ruxia led Luo Tang to the coach station nearby. They were still in the city and it would take another three hours' drive to get to her town.
Although it was in June in the city, Luo Tang felt that the summer in the north was different from the summer in the south. It was dry, not stuffy, and neither hot nor cold.
If this was the regular weather in summer, it was no wonder Wei Ruxia wasn’t resistant to the heat.
Returning to the past, Wei Ruxia had too many feelings, and didn't care about the temperature and weather. She took Luo Tang onto the bus and three hours later, they arrived at the bus station in Dongzhen. Wei Ruxia grabbed Luo Tang and got out of the coach.
Dongzhen was a small town on the border of Russia. The weather was cooler than in the city, and there was no summer heat at all. The town wasn’t big with either end visible from a glance. After getting out of the bus, Luo Tang looked up and saw the river Wei Ruxia mentioned and the infinity flower trees on the hillside behind the river.
"Let's go, we can visit my house first." Wei Ruxia smiled at Luo Tang and took him to her house.
Luo Tang followed Wei Ruxia, walking through the streets of the town, and turning at the end. They walked some distance along a dense grove, then when he looked up he saw Wei Ruxia's home.
Just walking along the street you could see they were filled with typical northern-style buildings, bungalows with red tiles and white walls. But Wei Ruxia’s house was completely different. It was a two-story bungalow and the exterior was very rough, like there was a layer of mud that was then painted. It looked like a cottage from a fairy tale book. A small house in the town without anyone home.
Wei Ruxia opened the door made of thick wood. The door was also very rough, but very strong, and the thick wood was bound with iron.
The wooden door was about the same height as the low wall, only reaching Luo Tang's elbow. After Wei Ruxia opened the door and went in, she found a key in the corner of the yard, and then went to open the front door.
"This house my mother designed and built by herself. My mother was a photographer, so the home was a shooting location. The subjects were all related to fairy tales. Isn't it amazing?" Wei Ruxia saw Luo Tang's expression and opened the door while smiling.
"Yeah." Luo Tang replied.
There was a lot of portrait photography around, and it was obviously created and refined here.
When Wei Ruxia opened the door, the scene in the room was unobstructed. The room wasn't big, there were two floors and the stairs were right next to the door, amd was made of mud. The stairs leaned against the wall, and there were bookshelves on the wall, climbing to the second floor.
There was also a large chandelier on the first floor and a fireplace next to it. There were chairs and blankets by the fireplace, and a piano next to the chairs.
Song Suyun was a very thoughtful person. From the design to the decoration of the whole house, it gave people a fairy tale feeling, and there was no sense of incongruence.
Returning to the fairy tale house built by her mother, Wei Ruxia was as comfortable as if she had returned to her mother's arms. Everything at home was still there. Wei Ruxia let Luo Tang live in the guest room and after taking a shower, she went to her mother's grave.
After her mother died, she was buried in the birch forest in the town according to her last wish. The white birch trees in June were snow-white all over, with dense leaves, standing high in front of the tomb, quiet and lonely.
This was the first time Wei Ruxia had come to pay homage to her mother in two years. The two years hadn't been short, but Wei Ruxia still had the deepest yearning for her mother in her heart.
She burned the paper, and the fire warmed her face, reminding her of the day when her mother died, when she was kneeling in front of the grave and crying.
Wei Ruxia once thought that she had forgotten herself at that time, but now the scenes overlapped and she felt that she was back there all over again.
She loved her grandmother and her father. She also knew that her mother wasn't a good person to her father, but her mother grew up with her. The family and companionship made her occupy the most important place in her heart forever. And that piece of heaven and earth that had collapsed, seemed to force her to grow up overnight.
When Wei Ruxia went to the grave, Luo Tang had come with her. Wei Ruxia stood in front of the tomb without saying a word. He looked down at her and asked, "What are you thinking about?"
"Nothing." Wei Ruxia smiled. After she smiled, she murmured, "My mother kept hiding from me before she got sick. She thought I didn't know. But the thing she told me the most during that time was that she couldn't stay with me forever..."
Wei Ruxia spoke mostly to herself, then she let out a long sigh of relief, smiled and didn't say anymore. The paper burned quickly, and Wei Ruxia's eyes were flushed with the smoke. She rubbed her eyes, stood up and smiled at Luo Tang and said, "Let's go, I'll take you around."
It was noon, so Wei Ruxia took Luo Tang to the main drag and led him to a restaurant where she and her mother often ate.
The northern dishes were heavy in oil and salt, and Luo Tang preferred sweeter food and didn't eat much. Wei Ruxia looked at the dishes in front of him that hadn't been touched. After eating her rice, Wei Ruxia smiled and said, "Now you know how I felt when I ate with you at that restaurant for the first time!"
Opposite him, Wei Ruxia smiled very happily. Luo Tang grabbed a piece of braised pork ribs and took a bite. His tongue was tingling from the salt. He put down the braised pork ribs and said, "I see."
Wei Ruxia laughed.
There were a lot of conversations and laughter in the restaurant, which was very different from the atmosphere in Ancheng's local restaurants. Seeing Wei Ruxia's manner she obviously liked it better. She seemed to have released her character, and her smile was much bigger than when she was in Ancheng.
Wei Ruxia said on the train that she would take Luo Tang to do something he had never done before. This was ice skating. Although she gave him a pair of roller skates on his birthday, roller skating was completely different from a real ice skating rink.
The two changed into ice skates and Wei Ruxia stood on the ice with a chill. Wei Ruxia looked at Luo Tang standing beside her and said, "Is this the first time?"
She wore a jacket with a pair of track pants underneath, which made the girl's legs look slender. She was worried that Luo Tang wasn't used to the skating rink or that the skates were too sharp. Thinking that Luo Tang could be injured, she kept holding his arm.
It was neither a holiday nor was it a weekend, so there weren't many people on the skating rink, and almost all were adults. They were the only two students.
Luo Tang also wore a jacket. The black zipper was pulled up to his chin, and his skin was cold and white. He lifted his chin slightly and looked down at Wei Ruxia, who was holding him. Under his curly eyelashes, his eyes were as dark as ink.
"Why don't I lead you to skate..." There was real ice on the skating rink, and it was very cold if there weren't many people. Wei Ruxia went to pull Luo Tang to go skating.
Before she slid over, Luo Tang stretched his arms and pushed off on his feet, causing his body to slid over instantly.
He was very beautiful when skating, especially when ice skating, his long arms and legs were restrained and neat, no less graceful than a figure skater.
Wei Ruxia watched Luo Tang slip away from her skillfully, then further and further away from her. She laughed immediately and shouted at Luo Tang, "So good, wait for me..."
Before she had finished shouting, Luo Tang, who had skated to the other side of the skating rink, raised his eyes and glanced at her. Suddenly, he slid towards her with strength under his feet.
The teenager was skating very fast. He dexterously avoided the people in the middle of the skating rink and sped towards Wei Ruxia. Wei Ruxia watched the boy's face getting closer and closer, his expression calm, and there seemed to be some emotions in his eyes that made her forget to avoid him for a moment.
Finally, she leaned back on the guardrail of the skating rink, encircled by his raised arms.
Luo Tang had just skated over and his breathing was slightly unstable. He looked down at her, and the heat he exhaled made her heart beat faster.
But that was only for a moment. Looking at Luo Tang's face, Wei Ruxia didn't know what he was going to do.
"What's the matter?" Wei Ruxia asked with a light smile.
"I'm not skating for the first time." With a blink of his crow feather-like eyelashes, Luo Tang looked down at Wei Ruxia in front of him.
She knows his mind, and he also understands her thoughts, but it wasn't enough for the two of them to have mutual understanding. He thought of Wei Ruxia in front of her mother's grave, and of Wei Ruxia who was buried in his arms when her grandmother died. He wanted more and wanted to give her more.
"Then what haven't you..." Wei Ruxia looked at Luo Tang's increasingly hot eyes, and her heart beat. As soon as she was about to speak, her words were blocked on the boy's lips.
Wei Ruxia's eyes gradually widened.
Their soft lips seemed to be charged with electricity, causing both of them to tremble. The roots of his ears gradually turned red and Luo Tang moved his lips away and said, "I haven't done that before."
Wei Ruxia hadn't seemed to have return to her senses yet. Luo Tang stretched out his hand to touch her face, and poked her forehead lightly between her eyebrows.
"Wei Ruxia, I want to be with you all the time." The boy said, "I like you."
The author has something to say:
Tangtang: Suddenly confessed.
Sorry, late again. I think my goal this week is to build a little chapter buffer, I think I have time...maybe.