33 Chapter 33 - Winter Warmth 2
One afternoon was long enough for Xia Liang to become good friends with Xiao Yi's two girls. Qi Ning and Qi Jing sat at each side of Xia Liang. They talked about interesting things that happened at school and asked some questions about college life.
"Shixiong...uh, didn't Albert tell you anything about our college?"
Both young girls shrugged.
Qi Jing twitched her mouth. "Albert seldom tells us things about his college. He doesn't talk much when he comes over."
Qi Ning held her chin in an attempt to be more mature. "Uhm, basically he treats everybody the same way. Albert has very low EQ."
Then both girls stared at her with big open eyes. "How could such low EQ Albert catch you?"
Xia Liang was startled, then blushed. She patted both children's heads. "We are just schoolmates. Don't think too much of it. How old are you."
"12!" Both girls answered in unison.
Xia Liang, "..."
Su Wei happened to walk out of kitchen with a helpless look. "Annie, Angie, don't bully Summer." She smiled and looked at Xia Liang. "We didn't eat much for lunch. We will eat lunner. It will be ready in 10 minutes. Their dad is coming home soon. Xiao Xia you go up to get Ah Yan to come down to eat."
Naturally Xia Liang was very anxious to get away from the two little girls' attempts at digging gossip out of her. She went upstairs obediently.
"Go upstairs, turn left, then go straight to the room at the end."
Xia Liang went upstairs and breathed a sigh of relief.
Two little gossiping girls.
She lightly walked to the last room on the left side. The door was closed. It was quiet inside. Xia Liang knocked on the door twice.
There was light noise inside, like somebody was rolling inside a blanket.
"Come in please." Xia Liang turned the doorknob and walked in gingerly.
The room was dark since the drapery in the room was closed tightly. She surveyed the furnishing in the room. It was pretty simple; there was only one bed, one closet, one book shelf and a desk with a chair. There was a stack of books on the desk. The book shelf was also filled with books.
She looked at the bed. Song Qiyan was still lying on the bed.
She walked over. She felt a little bit uneasy for walking too close to him and stopped around one meter away. "Well, dinner will be ready in about ten minutes. Xiao Yi asked me to tell you."
Song Qiyan seemed to have just woken up and was not quite awake yet. He opened his deep dark eyes and stared at her with his slightly misty eyes. He spoke with a strong nasal sound after a while, "En."
The half awake Song Qiyan, was inexplicably...very cute.
Song Qiyan embraced the blanket and continued to lie there. He fixed his eyes at Xia Liang calmly.
It was quiet in the room. Even the noise from the two girls downstairs could be heard very clearly.
Xia Liang bit her lower lip. "Well, are you getting up?"
Song Qiyan continued to look at her quietly. He still had the strong nasal sound, "En."
His gaze made Xia Liang's ears grow hot.
She coughed dryly. "Then I'll go downstairs. You get up."
"Wait." Finally Song Qiyan got up. He opened the blanket and sat up.
Xia Liang turned her head. She saw his wrinkled white T shirt and unusually messy hair.
Song Qiyan didn't seem to be fully awake yet. He waited for 2 or 3 seconds then took the cup from the bedside end table to drink some water. He cleared his throat and patted the bed signaling Xia Liang to sit down next to him.
Xia Liang looked at his hand and walked over slowly to sit down.
Song Qiyan was silent for a while. "Sorry, I did not tell you in advance that I was going back to China this time."
Xia Liang, "..." Why should he apologize for not telling her in advance that he was going back to China? She just waved her hands and smiled embarrassedly. "It doesn't matter."
Song Qiyan looked at her. He spoke slowly after her ears had grown red again from his gaze. "I was in a hurry to go back this time, because my grandma was critically ill." His hoarse voice began to recount his experiences in that one month in the dark and quiet room. "By the time I got back, the hospital already sent out the critical condition notice for grandma. She had been ill on and off for quite a long time. It was not surprising that she was in such a critical condition this time. She also knew that she was getting old. Though she said that I shouldn't miss my classes and go back to see her, in reality she was very happy to see me. Grandma's condition seemed to have improved about a week after I got back. She had more energy and we all thought that she had made through it again. But," He paused for a couple of seconds and drank some water. "That night, grandma suddenly passed away."
Xia Liang sat next to him and didn't know what to say.
They were all students studying abroad. The first reaction from the people who didn't understand them would only say things like, "Their family is rich," "They burn money," or "They go abroad to get gilded.", etc. Very few people understood that they were studying very hard. They studied diligently for knowledge which would pave the path for their future. They had to work even harder than many students in China. In addition, they were far away from their homes and families. They had to start their independent life earlier and tackle homesickness by themselves. Most of the time, they felt regret and worried that if a family emergency happened, they couldn't even fly back to be with their families as easily as students in China, and vice versa.
The pressure and hardship they had endured was something college students in China could not understand.
Song Qiyan continued calmly. There was not a single trace of emotion in his voice, but it still made Xia Liang feel sorry for him. "Then we had to arrange my grandma's funeral ceremony and such. It took about one month to get everything settled. I came back after almost everything was done. That's why I spent such a long time back in China."
Xia Liang listened intently. She hesitated a bit, then stretched her hand out onto his shoulder after he had finished talking and fell into silence again. She tried to organize her words. "In recent years, most of the older generation in our families has reached the age when it's impossible to escape some illness. They would be satisfied seeing us the younger generation grow up happy and healthy. It's very different studying abroad, than back home. Most of the time, we can't stay at their sides. You... have done your responsibility seeing her off on her last journey. Besides, she must have been very happy to see her outstanding grandson."
Song Qiyan curled up the corners of his lips after he heard her soft smooth voice speak those comforting words. He looked down at her hand on his shoulder and saw that she had backed out slightly after she noticed his gaze. He smiled lightly and touched her hair. "Thank you, Xia Xia."
Xia Liang almost jumped up from his bed in shock.
Song Qiyan saw her face suddenly blush. He could not help from smiling.
But Xia Liang was in state of complete shock.
This man...his smile absolutely increased his charm. He usually lacked any sort of expression. Though he was not cold, he usually looked slightly distant, but now with a soft tender smile on his face, it was absolutely...
Xia Liang felt very embarrassed in her mind. Bei Yan Da Da, please control yourself a little bit. With a good voice, a pretty face, and so considerate, she almost could not control herself!
Song Qiyan noticed that she was looking at his face absentmindedly. He felt for the first time that his 'good looks' wasn't so useless after all. He patted her head lightly. "Xia Xia, I'm not that outstanding." Then he frowned suddenly, seemingly not feeling well.
Xia Liang swallowed what she was going to say in refutation. "Shixiong, what's wrong with you?" She stood up and walked to the door to turn the light on. Then she noticed that his face was abnormally red.
Xia Liang walked back to him quickly and bent down to touch his forehead with the back of her hand. She was frustrated and worried. "So hot, you have fever!"
Song Qiyan responded slowly probably because he had fever. He raised his finger to his lips to signal her to keep it a secret. "Don't tell Xiao Yi. It's Thanksgiving. Don't spoil the fun." Then he stood up to walk outside.
Xia Liang pulled his hand anxiously. "Then what are you going to do? Your temperature is pretty high."
Song Qiyan looked at their intertwined hands. He eased his eyebrows and pinched her hand. "Don't worry. We eat, then we leave early. I have medicine in my apartment." He looked at Xia Liang's worrying eyes. He laughed lightly. "Xia Xia, I am a medical doctor."
Xia Liang inflated her cheeks and muttered. "Doctors get sick too." She didn't even notice that she was blaming him in a childish tone.
Song Qiyan winked at her. "It's dinner time. I need to wash my face now."
Xia Liang was drawn in by his dark bright eyes, it took a while before she came to her senses. "Ah", she threw off his hand and fled with a bright red face.
Song Qiyan watched her hastily run downstairs with a smile in his eyes.
He walked into the bathroom and poured some cold water onto his face. He let drops of water flow down his face. He looked at himself in the mirror and poked his own face childishly. His forehead still had a slightly cool feeling from her hand.
It was great.
: The original raws had "lunner" in English. So don't blame me if she's using it wrong. Personally speaking I'd use "linner."
TL rant: Now I'm going to argue why "linner" is correct compared to "lunner." See brunch uses the first consonants of "breakfast" in place of the first consonant of "lunch" right? Thus by this convention, you have to use "l" from lunch and "inner" from dinner to get "linner."