Chapter 1 Her Old Boyfriend's Brother
Chapter 1 Her Old Boyfriend’s Brother After class and work, it was midnight when Qian Lin dragged her tired body home. After a few bites, she crawled into bed. She was so tired and couldn’t wait to sleep. Before she could, someone’s knocking made her crawl out of bed with a frown. When she opened the door, a young and good-looking man looked at her expectantly. Lin thought he looked familiar, after losing her sleepiness, she slammed the door, then put her hands together in prayer, chanting the names of the gods she knew. Heavenly emperor, Buddha, Allah, God... it can’t be Zifeng. He’s been dead for more than a year. She was hallucinating! When Lin opened the door again, the guy was still standing there and looking at her. She was creeped out and kicked him, making him fall down with a yelp. OK, so he can make a sound, moves, and has a shadow, so he’s probably human and not a ghost. I knew it, there’s not that many ghosts around. I thought I made a ghost come out from too many ghost stories. Lin meditated. Lin watched him rub his behind as he got up, her face angry as she stared at him. “Hey kid, who are you? You’re not letting me sleep!” “Big sis, I’m Lin Zifeng’s younger brother Lin Ziqi. I finally found you!” Ziqi’s voice was crisp and melodic; as soon as he got off the floor, he held onto Lin’s arm to talk. Lin shook off his arm and backed away, her face filled with caution. He was a gorgeous guy, but he can’t use his good looks as an excuse to knock on doors late at night! “I don’t care whose brother you are, you can’t knock on doors this late. You said you were Zifeng’s...” The name was said so casually but Lin almost fell to the floor with her heart twisting and tears on her face. She stared at him, her lips moving with no sound. He’s Zifeng’s younger brother? No wonder they looked so similar. I never knew Zifeng had a brother! “Big sis, I’m so hungry!” Ziqi said as he fell toward her, making Lin give him a hand. Looking at his face in close-up, Lin’s heart beat faster. He looked like Zifeng but wasn’t exactly the same, his face was more delicate, with almost better skin than hers. How dare he be so pretty? What are women supposed to do? Lin grunted as she moved him inside the room. He seemed to be moving a bit on her shoulders, but when Lin’s hands loosened, Ziqi fell again. “Big sis, ow!” Why are you pretending to faint to cop a feel? I’m not your sister! If it wasn’t the middle of the night, she really wanted to drag him out of here. “Confess now, who are you? What are you doing here? Don’t tell me you’re so hungry you stopped in front of my door.” Lin sat on the living room sofa with her arms around her chest. Zifeng never said he had a brother. You think you can pretend just because there’s some resemblance? “Big sis, I really am Ziqi...” “Pfft, I’m not your sister! Are you really younger? Don’t use your pretty face to act like a baby.” Lin’s words made Ziqi purse his lips, he tried to talk but didn’t produce a single word. “Got anything to say? If not, get out!” “Why are you so mean? My brother told me to come here to take care of you.” Ziqi’s eyes had a pure light, as if he was Little Red Riding Hood facing the big bad wolf, or facing off a scary lady who was going to kidnap him. Does a man have to be this dainty? If he is this way, no wonder we women have to be strong now. Ugh! “Your brother is really Zifeng?” Lin still had her doubts. Zifeng was with her for a while, and has never mentioned a brother. Now that he’s been dead for more than a year, his brother shows up? It’s too fantastic to be true. “Big sis, Ziqi’s brother said good people don’t lie, so Ziqi never lies.” He came up to tug on her clothes, his demeanor one of playfulness and flirtatiousness. She had to ask. “Zifeng is really your blood brother?” “Yes, but the good die young. He’s gone, and I’m homeless now.” Ziqi used the opportunity to cry on Lin’s shoulder, making her heart hurt too. But she wouldn’t cry, because Zifeng has said he loved her smiling face. Lin straightened and held onto Ziqi, looking into his bright eyes. “How old are you? Why are you crying like this?” “Sis, Ziqi is two months younger than you. You don’t want me to cry, my brother neither, Ziqi won’t cry!” Ziqi said as he wiped his tears, each word landing on Lin’s heart. Zifeng did hate to see people crying. Lin was conflicted, was he really her old boyfriend’s younger brother? He didn’t seem to be a fake; their faces were too similar, and he knew of some things she knew. Why would anyone want to fake this? She wasn’t someone people had ideas about. An international student at Yinghua Academy, she was all alone, anything she wanted she had to work for. Well, she’d better stop wasting time with him. She had more tutoring tomorrow, she couldn’t be late again, or she would have to re-take the exam, that’d be a nightmare. “OK, I don’t care who you are, you need to leave. I need to rest now.” As soon as Lin talked, Ziqi’s eyes clouded over and his face fell, his mouth pursed in disappointment. “I’m starving, can I get something to eat?” His voice was filled with sadness, coupled with his pitiful expression, it made something inside Lin feel soft. She sighed, fine, after all, he was Zifeng’s brother and a big kid, even a homeless person deserved some charity. She could make him some instant noodles. She always did what she thought, so she got up to head to the kitchen. In moments, Lin came out with a bowl of noodles with a marinated egg. “Eat and then get out!” Ziqi didn’t say anything else as he ate up the food in big gulps, seeing his famished state, Lin felt warmth in her heart. He finished the food in an instant and stood up, instead of leaving, he headed to the kitchen. “Hey, Lin Ziqi, stop, where are you going?” He stopped and looked back. “I just wanted to rinse the bowl, my brother always told me I have to clean up.” Lin got quiet, Zifeng did always say that. Remembering made her nose feel weird; this Ziqi not only looked like Zifeng, he had the same habits too. “Fine, just wash it and put it aside.” Lin watched Ziqi as he washed the bowl and put it away in the cupboard, then he said, “No, my brother said everything needed to be put back in place.” Lin said nothing. Did he have to quote his brother left and right? Can he even live on his own without his brother around? Then she looked at Ziqi with alarm. He didn’t come here just for a bowl of noodles. “Lin Ziqi, what are you doing here?” Ziqi walked past Lin and sat down on the living room sofa. “Big sis, what do you mean? My brother died and he told me to find you, so I did. There’s no reason.” Seeing Ziqi’s innocent face and his expression of surprise, Lin felt as if she was playing tricks on children. “My brother is gone, but Ziqi is here, Ziqi will take care of you!” Take care of me? He’s just a big kid, what can he do? He’s obviously here hoping I’ll take care of him! “No need, you can leave!” Ziqi stared at Lin, whose face became stern again. He didn’t know how he offended her again. “Big sis, my brother is dead, Ziqi has nowhere to go. It’s dark outside, Ziqi is scared. Can Ziqi stay? Please?” Ziqi got up to walk outside a few steps before turning around and falling in front of Lin, tugging on her arms. Lin felt that if she threw him out now, it’d be criminal. What if this young man was harassed while wandering outside? She’d owe Zifeng. Oh well, it’s just a few hours until daylight, she’ll deal with him tomorrow. Ziqi watched Lin yawn as she went inside the bedroom and turned off the light, a smile quirked on his lips and something glittered in his eyes.