Chapter 1: Chapter 1

----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

----- THIS TRANSLATION BELONGS TO konila.com -----

----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

It was an overcast day. Wearing a black dress, Tong Jia walked in with a bouquet. Some of the people in the hall suddenly glanced over in her direction. The black dress made her complexion more beautiful than snow. Even though she had no makeup on, her eyes were bright. Zhou Heng led her to a portrait. His eyelids drooped, covering a trace of anger and sadness.

He subconsciously raised his head and glanced at Tong Jia. Her lips were very pale. Zhou Heng sighed in his heart when he couldn't tell her that she looked beautiful. Perhaps for Yanchen, as long as she could come over, he would always be very happy.

Tong Jia looked at the man in the portrait. Even though she wasn’t very familiar with the former chemistry class representative, she felt a little sad at the moment. In her memory, Zhou Yanchen's academic performance had been very good. He had always ranked first in the mock test every month. For her, since she hadn’t exchanged many words with him, he hadn’t been the type who would’ve socialized much with other people.

He had actually been quite handsome. Tong Jia put the bouquet aside and bowed three times. It wasn’t that she was feeling sorry for this man. When she had been a student, he’d been handsome and had had good grades. A few days ago, she’d heard from her best friend that he seemed to have started a company in partnership with other companies. She had heard that he’d been doing well and his future had been bright, but who would’ve known that such an unexpected accident would’ve occurred.

After the funeral, Tong Jia left with another classmate. Before leaving, she looked back at the portrait. She didn't know why the sadness in her heart seemed to increase.

"I just want to cry when I see Zhou Yanchen's parents," her classmate, who had been friends with her ever since they had attended school, said in a low voice. Fortunately, they were still maintaining a good relationship after so many years.

She wiped her eyes with a tissue whilst choking in her tears and said, “You see, their home was located in a small county. Both parents were busy working, which is why they only gave Zhou Yanchen a home where he lived on his own. Even so, he still managed on his own and had great achievements. When I imagine this kind of scene where a white-haired is sending a black-haired, my heart aches with pain. Mother Zhou fainted from crying just now. I feel really sad about this myself, too.”

[TL/N: A white-haired sending a black-haired: (of an old person) to see one's child die earlier than oneself]

As soon as she finished talking, Tong Jia couldn’t help but tear up. She had never understood something to an extent. One would never know which would come first, his tomorrow or his end.

"What happened that day? From what I heard, an accident happened when he was driving. Is that true?" Tong Jia asked.

She used to see articles and videos about car accidents on the internet. But, she never expected that someday, a person acquainted with her would encounter such a thing. Just as how it had been described on the internet, it really was a never-ending sadness.

Her classmate Xiaomi nodded with teary eyes, and said, “It happened on the day of our reunion. Zhou Yanchen said he couldn’t come because something happened, but we didn’t even know he’d participate in the class reunion so I asked. But then, while he was driving…”

Silence filled the atmosphere yet again. Even if they weren’t familiar with Zhou Yanchen, knowing that something like this had happened, they felt unspeakable depression.

In the evening, Zhou Heng went to his university with two bottles of wine. He sat in the playground, covered his face with his hand, and spoke.

“I really shouldn’t have called you that day. If I hadn’t told you that Tong Jia had returned to China, you wouldn’t have driven here. Dude, when she came today, I wanted to tell her. Just that and nothing else. I just felt like it would be a pity if she didn’t know. However, even though I was about to tell her everything, I still couldn’t say anything. I don't think you want me to tell her either. If she knew, she would feel uncomfortable. and you definitely don't want to see her sad.”

Zhou Heng cried again. He took out his phone from his pocket, trembling. He saw Tong Jia’s phone number that he had noted during their reunion a few months back. He dialed the number cruelly, still trembling.

Tong Jia felt very exhausted today. She took off her shoes and walked barefoot to the living room. When she had just sat down, her phone rang. It was Zhou Heng’s phone number. She hesitated for a while before picking it up.

She answered in an uncertain voice, “Zhou Heng?”

Based on her memory, she wasn’t very familiar with Zhou Heng and his group. Having suddenly received a call from Zhou Heng out of the blue, she would, of course, be surprised.

“En, it’s me.”

Zhou Heng lay on the ground and asked in a hoarse voice, “Tong Jia, do you remember Yanchen? What I mean is, before this… funeral, did you still remember him?”

Tong Jia, startled by the question, unconsciously held the pillow while grasping its edge.

“Remember… why are you asking? What’s the matter?”

“Nothing, I was just asking because I can’t find anyone to talk to. Did I bother you?”

Hearing Tong Jia’s reply, Zhou Heng felt a little relieved.

He hadn’t slept well these days. Whenever he closed his eyes, Zhou Yanchen’s face would appear. He felt guilty. If it weren’t for him, Zhou Yanchen would still be alive and well. And, Father Zhou and Mother Zhou wouldn’t have had to lose their child.

When she lowered her head, she was taken aback by the sight she saw. There was a pair of slippers beside her feet.

‘But, shouldn’t these slippers be by the door?’

Although it was summer, the temperature of the air conditioner of the room was a bit lower than usual, too.

She came to a conclusion wherein she had probably forgotten to put them in the shoe cabinet this morning. And so, she quickly put on the slippers.

After she came to her senses, she hurriedly replied.

“No, no, I just got home. Make sure to restrain your grief.”

[TL/N: It’s a condolence phrase in Chinese which means restrain your grief and accept fate.]

She knew that Zhou Heng had had a strong bond with Zhou Yanchen. Hearing this 1.8-meter tall man weeping sadly, she felt uncomfortable. Because of this, she was able to understand Zhou Heng’s feelings.

Zhou Heng said while wiping his tears, “Sorry, I disturbed you today. I’ll hang up first and invite you to dinner someday as an apology.”

He didn’t know what to say to her. No, actually, what was there to say? Say that Zhou Yanchen had liked you for so many years? Say that Zhou Yanchen had come here because he had wanted to see you so much to the point that he was overspeeding which, in turn, made him have a car accident? No, he shouldn’t tell her anything. Zhou Yanchen had silently liked Tong Jia during his lifetime. He had chosen not to tell her, so as a good friend of his, he shouldn’t tell her.

He hung up. Tong Jia looked at her phone, disappointed.

Of course she remembered Zhou Yanchen. How could she not remember?

A teenager who was so dazzling yet reserved. No matter whoever remembered, they would describe him as a calm person.

Speaking of which, the only time she had crossed paths with him was probably when they’d had an exam.

Although it had been an ordinary mock test, because of the parents’ meeting, all the students had considered it as something of great importance. Tong Jia, whose grades had been in the average range, had also panicked. At that time, she had been in her first bloom of love with a boy in another class and her grades dropped excessively.

During the exam, Tong Jia was in the same examination room as Zhou Yanchen, who was sitting in front of her. When she was taking the math exam, she was covered in sweat when she couldn't answer a few problems.

Tong Jia didn’t know how she had summoned up the courage to do such a thing at that time. When the invigilator lowered his head and played with his mobile phone, she poked Zhou Yanchen's back with a ballpoint pen. He turned his head, his cold eyes full of perplexion.

She whispered, embarrassed, “The last few questions… can I have a look?”

Her voice was so low that Zhou Yanchen frowned and turned his head again.

Just when Tong Jia had thought he must’ve been scorning her, a piece of note appeared. Her body reacted faster than her consciousness, and she quickly squeezed the paper tightly in her hand.

Because of his help, she’d done well in the math exam and had bagged the 15th rank in her class. After that, she’d wanted to thank Zhou Yanchen but was embarrassed to thank him for giving her the answers. So during one of her morning exercises, she went to buy a bottle of Nutri-Express and put it on his desk.

Upon waking up from reminiscing the memory she’d had with him, Tong Jia went to the kitchen, wearing slippers, and opened the refrigerator to find something to eat. But she found nothing except for mineral water. She didn’t want to order takeout food late at night either. When she finished changing her clothes and was ready to go out, an umbrella was by the door.

Tong Jia pondered. She bit her lower lip and tried to recall whether or not there had been an umbrella here when she had entered the door a while ago. However, she wasn’t a person who paid attention to small details, so she couldn’t remember anything of that sort. But when she saw the umbrella, Tong Jia remembered the weather these days. It had been cloudy all day today. Maybe it would rain later. Tong Jia turned on her mobile phone, watched the weather for a while, and found out that there was indeed a thunderstorm today. She picked up her umbrella and prepared herself to go to the supermarket outside the neighborhood to buy something to eat.

In the elevator, she took out her mobile phone once again. The signal wasn’t very good there though, so she didn’t exit her Weibo until she got out of the elevator.

She felt a bit strange, but couldn't figure out why.

When she got to the supermarket and bought some fruits, she finally knew what was wrong!

When she was abroad, she often checked her Weibo account. She didn’t have that many followers, only around one or two hundred, but one follower would always give her a like on every post she made.

But a few days ago when she had posted on Weibo, that one follower had never liked her post.

She was really curious, so she took advantage of the situation to find the man's Weibo and clicked in to read it.

Tong Jia pursed her lips. This person's Weibo page all contained forwarded financial information, which was very boring------

After thinking about it, she clicked the like button under his newest post.

When Tong Jia pushed the shopping cart towards the checkout counter, a little boy sat in the shopping cart, pointed at her, and said to his mother, “Mom, that uncle is so strange, he’s injured.”

Tong Jia turned her head and looked around. There were no uncles, only aunts. The little boy's mother raised her hand and patted him on the head saying, "Don't talk nonsense."

Children nowadays really liked to prank adults.

Tong Jia suddenly felt a cold chill on her back. She touched her arm and thought, ‘The temperature has suddenly dropped. It's really cold.’

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----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

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