It’s one thing to know, but it’s another to see it in person.
It turned out that he was really so sick, Zhang Man only felt that her heart was cut back and forth with a blunt knife. The heartache overwhelmed her, leaving her defenseless.
In the midst of endless loneliness, he had delusions of another friend besides his mother, Lin Hui.
He lived such a life, without her knowledge, for so many years.
Soon, the youth returned and he seemed to be in a good mood, as if he had just discussed an important issue with his “friend” just now.
Zhang Man tried to calm down and got up, exerting a somewhat stiff smile.
Luckily, the young man didn’t even notice.
“Zhang Man, why are you here? Don’t you have a rehearsal today?”
When she heard his question, she realized that perhaps he had been engaging in the “discussion” from the 6th to the present and thus had lost track of time.
No wonder you look that tired.
She took a deep breath and tried to calm herself down, her tone was a bit angry: “Hmph! What rehearsal, can’t you see that I’m done with the show?”
The youth looked slightly surprised and glanced at the date on his watch.
He clenched his hand and lowered his head, his voice a bit lower: “…I was having a conversation with Nick for so long that I forgot the time and thought it was the sixth.”
In his voice, there was clearly some guilt and self-recrimination.
Zhang Man pretended to be a little angry, turned away and ignored him while her heart was still in a mess thinking about what just happened a while ago.
The youth walked over with his head down, leaned down to be level with her and asked softly, “Did your… performance go well?”
“Why ask? You weren’t there to see if it went well or not.”
The youth looked at her cold look and a strong chagrin welled up in his heart as he gently clenched his fist once again.
Had I known, I wouldn’t have asked Nick to meet me on the sixth. I can’t believe we talked for so long… so long that I missed her performance.
He clearly said he would go and yet he missed his appointment and left her waiting until she found him at home.
She must be very disappointed with me, right? Then in the future, she probably won’t come back here…
The youth dropped his head and glanced at the girl in front of him.
She looks well-groomed today, bursting with astonishing beauty.
The young girl’s long hair pulled up high lined her neck more. She looked slender and beautiful. The black dress outlined with a dark pattern shows off her figure and makes her look several years more mature than usual.
—The barren physical formulas in his mind failed to articulate her beauty in any way.
In this instant, Li Wei even felt as if there were two accelerated high-energy particles colliding in his heart with a resounding ‘ bang ‘.
And somewhere inside, an irreversible qualitative change has occurred.
His heart began to beat uncontrollably, and his thoughts had gone haywire.
He couldn’t help thinking that she must have shined on stage today, more beautiful than she is now.
The youth’s gaze shifted down and his attention was drawn to the bouquet she was holding.
She has clear, almost translucent white skin and ebony black hair. The bouquet of pure white lilies contrasted with her whole person turned out to be somewhat holy, just like an angel not belonging to this world.
An emotion that is completely unfamiliar to him starts within his heart and spreads throughout his body along with the flow of blood, as though he had accidentally eaten a piece of an unripe orange.
The others have seen her beauty, but he damn well missed it! There must have been many people who were amazed by her, such as the person who bought this bouquet of flowers.
These unfamiliar emotions were dominating his words, and with a feigned carelessness he asked, “Are the flowers… from the audience? Is… it a boy?”
Zhang Man, whose emotions and mood were still immersed in the scene just now, casually responded, “Mm.”
The youth got the answer and stood there for a while without saying anything, the overwhelmingly strange emotions were even more than the ones he had just felt, sweeping his whole body and leaving him unsure of how to deal with it.
The room was suddenly quiet, and only then did Zhang Man come back to her senses.
She looked at his expression and thought he was feeling guilty for missing the appointment, so she smiled and patted his shoulder: “Li Wei, I’m just kidding with you, I’m not angry. Did you not get a breath of air for the past few days? Do you want to go out for a walk?”
The youth nodded: “Wait for me, I’ll take a shower and change my clothes first.”
The two followed the road in front of Li Wei’s house and walked to the beach.
His home is facing the west of the sea and the sunset can still be seen at this time. Layers of red haze spread across the junction of the sea-horizon and the sky. A flock of seagulls rested on the shore and flew up in fright when someone walked by, hovering in the sky.
Evening is the perfect time for a walk. It is not too hot and not too cold, and the wet air on the beach carries a hint of saltiness.
The two walked side by side on the fine, soft sandy beach, enjoying the gentle evening breeze.
As each had something on their mind, they walked quietly and remained silent.
In an effort to recall all the details of the onset of Li Wei, Zhang Man was thinking of writing it down when she got home later, so she could take it to consult the doctor in the future.
Li Wei, on the other hand, was thinking about the bouquet of flowers.
Who was it from? Was it from someone she knew? And what does it mean when she accepts the flowers…?
He thought about it for a while and failed to get an answer. The inquisitiveness screaming at the bottom of his heart made him especially eager to ask for clarification, but he couldn’t even open his mouth.
The genius youth, who is usually incredibly good at thinking and perceptive, was in trouble at this moment. He didn’t know what was wrong with him, why he was so concerned about a small bouquet of flowers that it surpassed the physics problem he hadn’t figured out in his mind.
Yet this problem, for someone who grew up near autistic like him, is almost insurmountable.
Finally, Zhang Man spoke up to break the silence: “Li Wei, let’s go over there. I’ll sing you a song, okay?”
This song was sung for him so how could he miss it.
The youth nodded, with a rare look of anticipation and tenderness in his eyes.
The two sat down on the golden sandy beach and the gentle voice of the young girl slowly rang out, without the accompaniment of a guitar, but with the evening sea breeze and the gentle sound of the tide.
“If I should stay
I would only be in your way
And so I’ll go, but I know
I’ll think of you each step of the way”
Sitting next to him like this, singing the song she wanted to sing to him, Zhang Man felt an overwhelming sense of relief. Everything she had just experienced, the scenes that made her tremble involuntarily, were now soothed by the tenderness within her heart.
Everything’s fine, she’s seen how he looks when he’s sick, and it’s not scary at all, just a little heartbreaking.
She feels sorry for the years he had no one to look after him, for his sensitive and paranoid nature, and for the little world he built for himself in his heart.
A world in which he has friends, family, and people who love him is all she prays for.
Whether it was joy or sadness, everything related to him could pull at her heart. Zhang Man realized with unparalleled clarity that she had fallen hopelessly in love with his entire being.
“…I will always love you”
I will always love you.
When the song was over, she looked at the youth listening quietly beside her and did not speak.
The youth also looked at her, gently applauded and told her, “Zhang Man, close your eyes.”
Zhang Man was a little puzzled, but still obediently closed her eyes.
The brief loss of vision made her sense of hearing unusually keen. She heard him stand up, take a few steps away and come back, and then there was a “rustling” sound around her.
It took about ten minutes or so before he let her open her eyes.
The moment Zhang Man opened her eyes and saw the ground in front of her; she covered her mouth and whimpered in shock.
On the originally empty beach, there are now blooming “roses”, dyed with a gentle warm red by the afterglow of the setting sun, and the youth, standing in the middle of a cascading sea of flowers is holding a short branch in his hand.
He raised his head to look at her, his eyes slightly curved: “Do you like it?”
“Zhang Man, it’s for you, you sing so beautifully!”
He drew roses for her on the beach, in a reverent manner as if he were writing his favorite physics equation.
The sea ebbs, gently lapping the shore, the sea breeze whistles softly as birds hover and chirp.
Within the jumbled background sounds, Zhang Man clearly heard her own heart beating wildly, the intense emotion made it difficult for her to hide at the moment. She looked at the youth in front of her and stared into his eyes almost greedily.
Emotions dictate the answer long before the brain reacts.
“Yes, I like it a lot.”
I like you a lot.
The two sat watching the sunset. On the sea level, a round of red warm sun border blurred, it was like someone had put in a halo around with watercolor, and the whole sky carried that warm hue.
Zhang Man enjoyed the quiet atmosphere, and suddenly felt a weight on her shoulder.
She turned her head and it turned out to be the youth leaning against her shoulder, asleep.
He must have been tired after not closing his eyes for two whole days.
He was sleeping heavily and the fact that he was obviously in such an uncomfortable position did not hinder his rhythmic breathing at all.
He originally leaned close, and now that the whole person is leaning on her, the messy hair sticking to her neck tickles a little. He had just bathed, and his body still carried a slight fragrance of body wash, not the strong kind but a very fresh scent of fragrance, which made her feel comfortable.
Zhang Man tried to think of how to describe the comfortable feeling — she felt like a quilt that has been basked in the sun.
She waited for him to sleep a bit more so she gently lifted his head and sat back a bit so that he could lay his head on her lap.
The youth also seems to be consciously looking for a more comfortable position in his sleep, moving slightly and turning into lying on his back on her lap. He looks really good when his eyes are closed like this, unlike his usual somber, do-not-approach aura, he looks so peaceful right now.
By this time the sun had completely set and the temperature on the beach began to drop. Zhang Man took out the blanket used in the morning in the lounge from her backpack, which was big enough to wrap up two people.
As the darkness belonging to the night fell, she stayed by his side and watched as the sky grew one or two stars.
Her heart is at peace. Many times people are really not greedy and do not need something big, like exciting love filled with ups and downs in life.
She just wants to drag him back from the desperate path a little bit and accompany him to see that other than darkness, there are still bright stars in the night sky.
Li Wei is too pure for this world!
Anyways, I have another exam on Monday, wish me luck~