In the past, Xia Rou and Cao An were so close that they were like real siblings. That was why Xia Rou wanted to get close to Cao An, but this kind of thing couldn’t be forced.
She thought that her existence was probably still just like a stranger’s to Cao An, so it would be odd if she suddenly acted close. She could only push down her feelings.
Cao An and He Chengzhe, living out of the same room, mostly stayed together and appeared at the same times. She heard that the two were building their own studio and that Cao An was helping He Chengzhe house-hunt, so they were usually out until late. Although Xia Rou lived on the same floor, her chances to meet Cao An were very limited.
After having dinner with Cao Xiong, she rested a while before changing into her running gear.
The hottest season had passed so she finally returned to running. Although swimming was a good option, she still preferred to exercise outdoors.
That year, Cao Yang had disliked seeing her body so weak so he forced her to run. That was when she began to enjoy exercising outside.
She put on her headphones and listening to some cheery music, greeted the guards at the gate and ran out of the Cao Family’s residence.
She followed the main road and crossed two intersections before making a turn toward the ecological park. She hadn’t yet run even a few steps before she started to slow down.
Under the dusky yellow light, there was a familiar car stopped by the road. The car was in the shadow of a large building. Through the windshield, she could faintly see two figures intertwined.
Look at the place they chose! So bold, Xia Rou thought.
She hesitated for a while before deciding to continue and walk toward them.
The sound of knocking on the glass immediately shocked the two handsome men out of kissing in their interlocked embrace. After taking a good look at the person outside the window their expressions became complicated.
She had her headphones on still blasting the beat of the cheerful music she liked, and she greeted them while Cao An wiped at his mouth and tidied up a little then rolled down the passenger window. Leaning over He Chengzhe to speak, he smiled and asked: “Oh, it’s Xia Rou. Why are you out here?”
“I came out for a run.” Xia Rou replied. Translated by The Novelst
Then, her face became more serious and she warned Cao An: “Brother Cao Yang and I sometimes run together and we walk from here to the park.” That was why the two friends had better be more careful!
The expressions on both of the men’s faces were sheepish.
Xia Rou was very calm, acting like she didn’t notice. “I just wanted to let you know, nothing more. Alright, I’m off to run. Bye bye!”
Cao An clenched his teeth while smiling and waving his hands at her.
Xia Rou found it very amusing.
Wasn’t it just a gay relationship? She had already covered for him for ten years, what was so shocking about it?
The high school girl ran off calmly, looking like a porcelain doll in the light of the setting sun.
The two men in the car couldn’t remain calm.
After a long stretch of silence, He Chengzhe burst out into laughter with a snort.
“This little girl, she’s a little interesting!”
As he turned around to look at Cao An’s expression, the smile on his face slowly faded away.
He lit a cigarette and took a few puffs, stretching out of the car window to flick the ashes off. He comforted him: “Don’t overthink it. Since she was kind enough to give you a heads up, she probably won’t tell your father about it.”
Before, the car was filled with a sweet, romantic air, but now all their desire had vanished into the smoke.
Cao An took a glance at He Chengzhe and wordlessly started the car to drive home.
Back to the Cao Family.
Xia Rou had just taken a bath, nestling into the sofa with a good book with her hair half-dried when a knock sounded from her door.
She opened the door to Cao An leaning on her door frame.
“Have you slept?” he asked.
“I’m reading a book,” she replied, getting out of the doorway.
Her movements were so natural that Cao An was surprised into silence as he was preparing himself to ask her if he could go in to have a talk with her.
“Are you not coming in?” Xia Rou wondered aloud. If he wasn’t going to, why did he knock on her door?
Cao An was speechless as he walked into the room.
Xia Rou closed the door.
“Xiao Rou ah…” Cao An sat on the sofa, his first strategy was try to sweeten her up.
“About that thing you saw earlier…” He didn’t finish his sentence, looking at Xia Rou with a smile.
Xia Rou knew that he must have come for this.
Looking at his attitude, his ingratiating behavior, it was exactly the same as in her memories.
He didn’t have great fortitude like Cao Yang, nor was he as flexible as Cao Bin, and he wasn’t even as honest as Cao Xing. Sometimes he would be enigmatic, throwing tantrums and refusing to give face to others. Really! He was great at making others angry.
But Cao An also knew his own bad habits and didn’t care about them.
“My oldest brother and second brother are there to support the family, and even third brother isn’t bad. They’re enough to make father proud. But me? I’m just the youngest son, so I don’t have any large responsibilities. My mother is likely pleased in heaven to see me living happily.”
That was what Cao An had said to her, a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, looking exactly like a playboy.
But for all those years, was he really happy?
Xia Rou couldn’t help letting out a sigh.
The little girl in front of him suddenly let out a sigh like she had aged into an old lady; somehow Cao An found it strange while looking at her.
Then he heard her say: “Fine, I won’t tell anyone about it.”
Cao An: “…” So sensible? Translated by The Novelst
Xia Rou paused for a few moments, then continued: “If you don’t want to let anyone else know about it, you should be more careful.”
Ugh, he was being taught a lesson by a little girl. Cao An touched his nose and felt that the situation should be reversed.
Proofread by: Hannah