Chapter 3 ◎Do you have time?◎
Xiao Lang looked at her for a while and said, “That’s good, if you need any help, you can find me.”
It was almost dinner time. After parting with Xiao Lang, Tang Xicheng walked through the campus and turned right not far from the west gate to a 7-11.
She bought seaweed rice balls, boxed rice, and coffee.
She had boxed rice for dinner, and the rice balls were for tomorrow’s breakfast.
The office workers who have a double holiday have a common experience. The happiness on Friday night is much higher than at other times. After Xicheng went back, she fell asleep without distraction.
When she woke up, it was dark, and her face and neck were all sweaty, with a sense of confusion after falling into a nightmare. She climbed up from the small sofa, groped for her phone in a daze, and glanced at the time.
It’s almost 8 o’clock.
The small floor lamp next to her was dim, and the room was silent, like a completely enclosed quiet island.
There were some unread messages in the class group, and she read them in a semi-conscious state, and then clicked on the circle of friends. The one displayed at the front was her half-sister Tang Ruoling, who posted a photo of a dinner on the set. She has played many roles since she graduated from the drama academy, but none of them are memorable.
Scrolling forward, others were similar like leisure and socializing, food, friends, and intimate partners.
Xicheng got up to take a bath and make dinner.
Liang Yuzhi left the stadium at half past seven, and the evening peak had not faded.
The weather was still good at that time, but it started to rain halfway, and the humidity hit the car window.
The car stopped on the street that was blocked into a long dragon. He was not in a hurry. He dropped half of the window to smoke, watching the water stains move down along the glass, winding endlessly.
Jiang Yao called to ask him if he really couldn’t rush over. He refused with a ready-made reason:
“I want to come too, but it’s raining and I’m stuck on the road. Please apologize to your parents for me.”
The girl’s voice on the phone was laughing, seeing through him,
—“You just don’t want to come, why pretend to me.”
She was not wrong, Liang Yuzhi really didn’t want to go.
If it’s just a home-cooked meal, it’s nothing, but his uncle’s banquet is never simple. He used to set up several blind dates, and then he brought Jiang Jinyu over. Since then, the family banquet has been used to regularly observe his emotional progress and then convey it to his parents.
As for the couple who have been married for many years in Shanghai, they have been acting in front of him for a long time. Now they don’t need to pretend to be a “loving couple”, and the “surface democracy” drama never ends.
It was past nine o’clock when the car returned.
The villa area is a bit off, but Liang Yuzhi only wants this one fixed residence in Beijing. The other often lived in is the long-term suite of the hotel.
He hasn’t been back for a few days, and there was not much stock in the refrigerator. There were a few cans of beer left, a dozen eggs, and the toast had expired for two days. The lettuce in the fresh-keeping grid is still green.
After taking a shower, he went downstairs to make something to eat for himself, knocked out the eggs, and the egg whites just formed, and the phone rang.
He freed up a hand to answer, “Don’t you need to accompany your girlfriend, do you have time to call me?” He focused on frying eggs in his hand and ridiculed the other party.
Obviously, this overseas call is not here to care about him. After speaking for a few sentences, he asked the subject:
—“How is Xixi recently?”
—“There are a lot of things in your company, is she busy?”
“What do you mean?” Liang Yuzhi smiled faintly, “Are you afraid that I will tire your people?”
It was a coincidence that he asked her that night, “She’s in a leisurely department, basically no overtime.”
Liang Boqing on the phone seemed to think about it, and then said:
—“She hasn’t taken the initiative to find me for half a month, and she doesn’t reply to emails and messages in time.”
Liang Yuzhi listened, and put the fried eggs on the plate, and said to this little uncle who was only seven years older than him: “She is twenty years old, and she has been an adult for several years. Is it necessary?”
Liang Boqing tried to explain the abnormality he noticed.
“Don’t act like a parent with separation anxiety.”
But Liang Boqing on the phone was serious:
—“Her situation is different, Yuzhi, you don’t understand.”
Alright. He really didn’t know much about it.
Fine. He didn’t understand much.
He didn’t argue anymore.
Why Liang Boqing cared so much about Tang Xicheng, he knew a rough idea, he and Liang Boqing had different experiences and situations, and he really had no position to comment casually.
Although he said on the phone that he would check on Tang Xicheng’s situation, Liang Yuzhi broke his promise.
He didn’t see her at all for the whole week.
He left after the early meeting on Monday, spent the first half of the week in Hangzhou, attended a small science and technology innovation forum as a guest at the invitation of an undergraduate senior, and then went to Suzhou to visit his grandfather.
He lived in Suzhou for many years when he was a child, and didn’t return to Shanghai until he was old enough to go to school. After that, he went abroad, and he didn’t have much chance to come back for a long stay in these years.
The old man is eighty-eight years old, living alone in the former courtyard, with only a nanny and driver who have been taking care of him for many years, and he also keeps a cat. He usually grows flowers and plants, and lives leisurely.
Liang Yuzhi stayed for one night, in the former room, on the east side of the second floor, with great morning sun.
The nanny, Zhang Ma, put two large pots of blue snowflakes at the window, which were lush and covered the entire windowsill, blooming excessively.
He leaned against the window pane for a moment and saw that his phone rang briefly.
The ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode granted him six hours of tranquility, acc*mulating numerous unread messages. The latest one was from ‘Qi’an Wang Qinru,’ inquiring if he had any interest in skiing over the weekend. Qi’an was a long-term collaborator of Xingling.
Then he saw Qiao Yi’s message: 【Go see the circle of friends! See what you missed!】
He really clicked into the circle of friends, it turned out that Qiao Xiaoer’s hosted an anniversary party to celebrate bar’s first year.”
He didn’t quite understand why a bar that was losing money had to celebrate with a party.
He shared several similar images and videos in a row, using a nine palace grid to share the noisy scene from various angles. He was completely uninterested and went straight over.
Then he saw Tang Xicheng.
The black and white simple sketch of the unicorn avatar, the WeChat name is lowercase letters xx, she posted a photo, a spherical plant in a yellow porcelain basin.
Liang Yuzhi has seen this thing, she brought it with her when she came back from Shanghai in March, and the paper bag in her hand unfortunately broke on the way, sprinkling a layer of soil in his car.
He didn’t know what it was, it looked like a Carambola.
Zhang Ma came to knock on the door at this time, calling him for breakfast.
Liang Yuzhi washed up simply, changed his clothes and went downstairs. The old man had gone out to see the flowers, and the black cat in the yard jumped over, squatting at his feet like a fur ball.
Zhang Ma made a small wonton with crepe, paired with stir-fried chicory heart, according to his taste.
Liang Yuzhi ate a lot, and Zhang Ma was happy, cutting the dead branches of jasmine on the side and chatting with him.
In the end, she couldn’t help but ask, “Did you find a girlfriend this year?”
Unlike others, Zhang Ma’s sentence was purely a concern of the elders, without urging, and without the nature of probing, Liang Yuzhi does not dislike it, just smiles and replies, “It is not so easy, no one wants me.”
Zhang Ma laughed at him for nonsense,’You’re good at everything, no one wants you. You’re gentle and easy to talk about. You’re only twenty-seven years old, not big. Take your time and find someone to agree with. Your appearance and condition are not the most important.’.
Liang Yuzhi listened while eating the remaining wontons.
On the weekend, Tang Xicheng went out, took the subway to Tuanjiehu Station, and walked to page one.
There were many people, but unexpectedly it was very quiet. There were more children reading, and she stayed until 4 pm. When she left, she met someone at the north gate of Taikouli South District.
They passed by, and Xicheng recognized it first.
Tang Ruoling was talking to the man next to her, with a gentle and complaining tone. Until she inadvertently turned her face and met Xicheng’s gaze, she froze for a moment, but soon, her expression returned to normal, and she walked away with the man.
She received a WeChat message that night.
Tang Ruoling: 【Are you at university? I’ll come to see you.】
Xicheng replied:【 Not there.】
Tang Ruoling: 【I’ll wait for you here.】
She sent a location, it’s a café near Z University.
Xicheng took a taxi to go there. Tang Ruoling was sitting by the window. She was no longer wearing the dress she wore during the day. She changed into a light-colored trench coat and jeans. Her style was simple, she looked more like her mother.
Seeing Xicheng coming in, she pointed to the opposite position.
“I ordered you an oat latte.” As she spoke, her gaze fell on Tang Xicheng’s face, scrutinizing for a moment, and then she smiled, “You’re getting prettier and prettier, are you going on a date?”
Xicheng shook her head.
Tang Ruoling laughed again: “You are also a junior, right? Are there many classes? It’s okay to fall in love.”
Tang Xicheng was expressionless and did not correct her.
Tang Ruoling talked for a few sentences and lost patience, lowering her head to drink coffee.
They sat like this for a few minutes, and she took out a box from her bag and pushed it in front of Xicheng: “This is for you. I came to audition and will leave tomorrow, so I won’t take you to dinner.”
During this period, the table on the left had frequent glances at them. At this time, seeing her getting up, he came over and asked if it was convenient to give a WeChat.
Tang Ruoling ignored him, picked up her bag and walked out directly.
The bald-headed young man was slightly disappointed, and then walked towards Xicheng, asking the same question for the second time.
“It’s not convenient.” Xicheng answered in sign language.
The other party looked surprised, stood there awkwardly and unexpectedly, and was finally called back by the person sitting with him.
“It turns out to be a mute beauty…”
“Don’t say it…”
The deliberately lowered voice.
“Xicheng opened the gift Tang Ruoling had sent, a bracelet. Its style wasn’t particularly striking, yet it certainly represented a substantial amount of hush money.”
But she thought too much, Xicheng was not interested in caring about who she was dating with an old man.
On Monday, she went to work, the morning peak was surprisingly congested, the subway had problems, and a large wave of people at Xingling were late, including Tang Xicheng. She didn’t even have breakfast.
When she arrived, she checked the data sent by other departments, put it into the prepared ma**script, and finally reviewed it and updated it to the public account. After doing this, she went to the tea room to heat up breakfast with a microwave.
At this time, the heads of all departments are holding regular meetings, a good time to slack off.