He thought that could be possible. She was only four years old when it happened, and children tended to forget things easily. It's not a bad thing to be forgetful; sometimes, people needed to forget the memories that were horrible and terrifying to keep moving on.
Zhang Zian looked at Guo Dongyue, who was sitting in the passenger’s seat. He could only see the side of Guo Dongyue’s face from the backseat. Eyes closed, stoned-faced, it was hard to tell what Guo Dongyue’s feelings were at the moment. His mother was also forgetting things; no matter if they were good or bad things, she would forget them quickly and irreversibly.
The pigeons flew above their heads, whistling. Bathed in the rising sun, the flying birds made people long for freedom.
"So annoying!" Jamie whispered.
"Oh, I don’t mean you are annoying!" she apologized to Zhang Zian. "Bird feces fell on my car again!" She pointed to a sticky lump that was white and green on the windshield.
Zhang Zian smiled, "Bad luck."
"You bet. I don’t know what’s going on, but these pigeons seem to keep flying above our car and won’t leave. Is it because you guys have something delicious with you?" she said jokingly.
"No, I don’t have any food." Zhang Zian patted his pockets to indicate he was innocent.
"Haha, maybe my new perfume has a miraculous effect?" she said cheerfully.
To steer clear of any misunderstanding, she quickly pointed to a small bottle on the center console, "I don’t mean the perfume on my body, I mean the new perfume I put in this car."
"Oh." Zhang Zian smiled.
It seemed that the group of pigeons in the sky finally gave up chasing Jamie’s car. After hovering for several minutes, they made a big turnaround. The melodious whistling faded away, and they flew in the direction they came from in the first place.
Zhang Zian turned around and looked at their trajectory until they fully disappeared from his vision.
"Right. Are there any pigeons in that Phoenix House?" He got back on track.
She thought for a few seconds and gave an uncertain answer. "I don’t remember seeing pigeons there. I’ve seen numerous parrots there, all kinds of parrots in all kinds of different colors. It’s dizzy looking at them."
Guo Dongyue opened his eyes, "Have you seen peach-faced lovebirds there?"
"Well..." She quickly glanced at Guo Dongyue, who hadn’t spoken a single word after getting in the car. This man would be a handsome uncle when his age came, and his melancholy temperament should be very popular among girls. Why hadn’t she noticed him earlier?
"I'm sorry, I’m not familiar with the breeds of parrots, so I can’t tell which ones are peach-faced lovebirds," she apologized. He had figured out that it was this man who needed to go to Phoenix House, while the pet shop owner sitting in the back was either his friend or his helper.
Guo Dongyue closed his eyes again.
Jamie stuck out her tongue. She seemed to have understood why this handsome man was easily ignored by others. He was too cool. Handsome and cool male characters were popular in novels, and for some time she was obsessed with such characters, but in reality...such men were really not her type.
"Since you are going to buy birds, shouldn’t you know more about the breeds than I do?" she said while looking forward, "I used to drive customers to buy birds there, but I don’t understand the professional terms they used."
"Well ... ... I only knew a few." Zhang Zian really didn’t know much about parrots, so he couldn’t answer for sure.
She thought Zhang Zian was just being modest. After all, he ran a pet shop, so he should be very knowledgeable about pets.
"We’re almost there," she reminded them while gazing out the windshield. She gradually slowed the car, carefully checked the rearview mirror, reversed the steering wheel, and drove away from the main road.
Zhang Zian stretched his neck to look forward. In front of him was a large, flat building sparkling under the sun.
It was about 30 km from downtown. There was no residential area, only a gas station, a small building materials wholesale market and a few rows of warehouses nearby. Looking further, there were arable lands in winter break. At the end of the horizon, there were rolling hills, which looked very desolate because it was late autumn: grass had withered and leaves had become yellow.
As they approached, the large building became clearer. Its appearance was not too eye-catching: the main body looked like a large supermarket with rows of semi-cylindrical domes that enveloped it on top. It looked like a vegetable greenhouse in the middle of a farmland from the distance. The domes were made of aluminum alloyed frames with tempered glass, and they were beautiful and strong.
"This is the Phoenix House?" Zhang Zian wanted to confirm.
Guo Dongyue opened his eyes, looking at the glass domes as a designer.
"Yes, it’s written there," the female driver pointed at the gate of the building.
The four large Chinese characters "feng ming niao she" were inlaid on the gate. Below the Chinese sign, there was a small line of English words — PHOENIX HOUSE.
The Phoenix House was surrounded by evergreen shrubs, thus creating a green environment among the desolation.
When the car stopped at the gate of Phoenix House, Zhang Zian discovered that it was actually a lot larger than it looked. Since there were no other large buildings for comparison, its size looked distorted.
Zhang Zian and Guo Dongyue got out of the car and thanked Jamie.
She waved at Fina and Snowy Lionet before driving away.
They stood at the gate for a while, but no one came to greet them, so they had to go to the entrance on their own.
The entrance was a push-pull glass door with a gauze curtain layer in the middle. They went further inside, only to find another door that looked exactly the same as the first one. When they opened the second door, extremely noisy sounds were heard, as if they had entered a vibrant rainforest!
All kinds of bird sounds penetrated their eardrums from all directions!
Birds of different colors flew past above their heads quickly.
They were caught off guard and instinctively lowered their bodies. Zhang Zian also covered his head with his hands.
Fina and Snowy Lionet were not scared at all. They threw contemptuous looks at Zhang Zian and Guo Dongyue, and then kept staring at the group of birds flying way over their heads.
A staff member wearing a light blue uniform had spotted them, so he walked over to them quickly.
"Hello, what can I help you with?" Although he was asking Zhang Zian and Guo Dongyue, his eyes were fixed upon Fina and Snowy Lionet. It was unusual for people to bring cats to Phoenix House.