Winter is the season of colds. Unfortunately, Yu Dong was no exception to this. When she woke up this morning, she suddenly felt heavy and her head was throbbing.
Ignoring it, she went back to sleep.
Until she was interrupted by the persistent calling of Xiaoyue.
"Hello?" Yu Dong answered the phone and mumbled.
"Did I just wake you up or did you just catch a cold?" Xiang Xiaoyue heard Yu Dong's tired voice and asked without thought.
"Both!" Yu Dong touched her forehead, it doesn't seem like she has a fever though.
"So can you still make it today?" Xiaoyue asked with a frown.
"Where to?" Yu Dong thought for a minute, but she didn't remember anything special about today.
"It's teacher's birthday." Xiaoyue reminded her.
Birthday? Yu Dong struggled to remember. "It's Teacher Lin's birthday today?"
"Are you actually sick? Forget it, I'll just go by myself!" Xiang Xiaoyue hung up the phone, a little deflated.
After sleeping for a couple more hours, Yu Dong felt much better. She sat up and leaned against her headboard for a while. Finally, she resolved that she wanted to go to Teacher Lin's birthday party.
After taking a hot bath, she felt a little more sober and texted Xiang Xiaoyue.
[ Give me the address of the gathering, I'm still going! ]
[ 6:00 p.m. at the Sichuan Restaurant just outside our university. ] Xiaoyue replied quickly.
Yu Dong looked towards a clock: it was 5:30 p.m. , it looks like she'll be a little late.
She never had the chance to buy a gift, so after mulling about it for a while she finally settled on a set of skincare products Xia Feng got her from America.
Driving towards her university evoked past memories. Yu Dong thought she had forgotten all this, but it seems that she just didn't dare remember.
After parking, Yu Dong who was wrapped in several layers quickly headed for the restaurant.
"How many people?" The waiter at the front asked politely.
"Ah..." Yu Dong had forgotten to ask Xiaoyue which room. "Which room is Lin Lin's birthday party?"
"On the 3rd floor!" The waiter replied.
After saying her thanks, Yu Dong walked up the wooden stairs.
As Yu Dong walked past the 2nd floor, she could already hear the lively conversations upstairs. It seems that a lot of people showed up.
"Well, look who's here!" A handsome man saw Yu Dong entering and smiled.
Everybody in the room was vaguely familiar to Yu Dong, but she couldn't remember most of their names. She should look over her yearbook sometime later.
"Yu Dong you made it." The chubby Teacher Lin came up to her with a smile.
"Happy Birthday Teacher Lin! Sorry I'm late." Yu Dong replied, handing over the present.
"It's alright, the fact that you came is enough." Teacher Lin said.
"Yu Dong you came. I guess your cold wasn't too serious." Xiaoyue had arrived minutes before.
"Yeah!" While taking off her coat, Yu Dong whispered to Xiaoyue: "Why are there so many people?"
"All of our classmates who stayed in Shanghai came, it's not a lot, maybe 10?" Xiaoyue said.
"Why do you look like you're not happy?" Peering into Xiang Xiaoyue's face, Yu Dong noticed her lack of enthusiasm.
"You'll see in a minute." Xiaoyue muttered.
Yu Dong didn't ask, instead she simply followed Xiang Xiaoyue to her table. After sleeping for most of the day, Yu Dong was very hungry and desperately wanted to just sit down and eat.
"How long since your last meal?" A female student with red-hair laughed. "Fang Hua not feeding you?"
Yu Dong looked at the woman, um, I don't remember your name. Yu Dong smiled and didn't say a word, instead choosing to continue eating.
"What do you mean Li Li?" Xiang Xiaoyue suddenly butted in.
"Nothing? I'm just saying hello to Yu Dong." Li Li pretended to be ignorant and continued, "We all know that Yu Dong and Fang Hua got married after graduated, hey I have my red packet ready, when are you going to have your banquet?"
Li Li? Yu Dong tried to remember. Wasn't she that girl that secretly had a crush on Fang Hua? I remember being on guard for a long time.
"Oh...we broke up." Xiang Xiaoyue who was about to swear up a storm suddenly quieted after hearing Yu Dong's calm reply.
"Why?" Li Li pretended not to understand.
"I heard you secretly had a crush on Fang Hua, I was a bit worried that I had the same taste in men as you for a minute there."
"You..." Li Li looked at her angrily, "Don't think that others wouldn't know, we all heard that you were thrown away in front of the Civil Affairs Bureau by Fang Hua."
"You sound like you know better than the actual person who experienced it." Yu Dong looked around to see everyone looking at them, so she said: "Look, today's Teacher Lin's birthday. Let's not talk about such things here. If you really want to butt in wait until we're alone."
"Hmph." Li Li calmed down, feeling that she was the victorious one.
Xiang Xiaoyue wanted to fight her, but at the mention of Teacher Lin, she felt that directly attacking her and making a scene might not be the best course of action.
However, when drama starts it often doesn't die down easily. Speak of the devil and he doth appear.
Fang Hua walked in as their conversation ended. After becoming a host in a TV show, he now has a more mature atmosphere.
Li Li suddenly brightened when she spotted him.
Yu Dong however had no reaction. She simply drank the corn sweet soup instead.
"Look at Li Li's face, she looks like she wants to glue herself to Fang Hua." Xiang Xiaoyue spits.
"Hey, drink this soup, it's delicious." Yu Dong served Xiaoyue half a bowl.
While the entire class studied hosting and broadcasting, few people actually managed to get a job in the city's TV station, so Fang Hua's arrival immediately caused a commotion. Many people greeted Fang Hua and urged him to sit at their table.
Fang Hua looked around. Although she had her back to him, Fang Hua immediately recognized her at a glance as they had been together for years.
A little embarrassed, Fang Hua chose a table next to hers to sit down at.
While everyone had been classmates, graduation and working changed a lot of people.
The once equal relationship between classmates was now divided into groups.
Those who earn dubbing envy the classmates who are radio DJs.
Those who are radio DJs envy those who work at a TV station.
Those who work at the TV station envy those who work the weather forecast news.
The weather forecast broadcasters envy those who host prime time.
Those with low wages envy those with high wages.
Those who earn high wages envy those with rich families.
All the conversations were about promotions, connections, houses, cars.
Yu Dong looked at Xiang Xiaoyue and she understood, but could only shrug helplessly.
At the next table, a male classmate came over to start a toast.
"Hello beautiful classmates." The male classmate smiled at them. "You've only grown prettier since I've seen you half a year ago."
People stood up one after the other to raise their glasses in reply. Yu Dong didn't want to drink and opted to toast with a cup of tea instead.
"Have my business card, if you need any help in the future, don't hesitate to call me."
Everyone accepted one happily.
Yu Dong looked at the card then at Xiang Xiaoyue who clarified: "He started an advertising company, he's been bragging about it the whole day."
Yu Dong raised an eyebrow.
While everyone continued their toasting, Yu Dong and Xiag Xiaoyue stayed on their table and continued to hoard the food.
"I wish you all the best!" Fang Hua was brief but concise when it was his turn.
Everyone gave face and drank a cup. Fang Hua lifted his head to look at Yu Dong, then walked away.
"If I were you, I would've been too ashamed to even show my face today." Li Li told Yu Dong as she sat back down.
Yu Dong glanced at her, what's this woman doing constantly looking for a fight?
"Hey this loose woman, can you go take your crap and go somewhere else?" Yu Dong coldly rebutted.
"You..." Li Li's expression turned indignant.
"Yes, pick up your broken shoes and leave. Do you want me to call someone for you?" Xiaoyue laughed.
(T/N Broken shoes is a slang? for slut/loose woman)
"Xiang Xiaoyue!" Li Li couldn't help but shout loudly, immediately making the entire party look towards her. Li Li noticed this and quickly sat back down.
Seeing nothing, they all went back to chatting and drinking.
Then the last male student at the next table came for a toast.
The man seemed to be a little embarrassed when he came over. He smiled shyly and said, "I'd like to propose a toast to you all/"
"Qin Lei? What have you been doing recently?" A classmate asked.
"I've been working at a TV station." Qin Lei laughed.
"Backstage?" Another student asked, surprised. "But you were the leader of our class."
"Real life experience is different to exams, what does the school hierarchy have to do with anything!" Another student sighed.
"Nowadays, TV stations are looking for people who's either married or has good backing." A student said, "If you came from the countryside like Qin Lei, you can only lose to other people with better looks and temperaments."
Everyone started talking over the other.
Qin Lei stood next to their table with his glass, too embarrassed to move.
Seeing this, Yu Dong lifter her tea cup to tap it against Qin Lei's glass, saying: "I can't drink alcohol since I have a cold, is tea OK?"
"Don't try to drink Yu Dong, I'll respectfully drink with you instead!" Xiang Xiaoyue also rapped her glass towards his glass.
"Thanks!" Qin Liu looked at them gratefully and ignoring the others, the 3 people drank from their cups.
"I remember Teacher Lin saying that class leader's voice was like a typhoon." Yu Dong laughed.
"Yeah, your voice is just awesome!" Xiaoyue echoed.
"Qin Lei could only laugh at their words, what use is his typhoon voice when he's only relegated to doing miscellaneous things at the TV station.
"Our society has always been like this. Some get their opportunity early, some get it late, but at the end of the day, those who accumulated their knowledge and delivered it slowly will be the ones who get the last laugh." Yu Dong said with a smile.
(T/N 'accumulated their knowledge and delivered it slowly' is an idiom meaning good preparation is the key to success)
Qin Lei mulled over her words for a while, before eventually revealing his first sincere smile since he arrived.
"We used to come here to buy milk tea as soon as we finished class." Xiaoyue mentioned, pointing to a milk tea shop.
"This one?" Yu Dong, who hadn't seen the store in 10 years, was surprised.
"Do you want to buy a cup for Xinxin?" Yu Dong said, shifting the topic.
"Oh OK, I'll go buy some." Xiaoyue agreed. "There's also some walnut crisps that was Xinxin's favorite. You go buy those and we'll meet up under the acacia tree."
Yu Dong nodded and walked towards the shop. She bought the snacks without any trouble and was at the acacia tree first.
"Fang Hua, I like you!"
Suddenly hearing someone confessing, Yu Dong realized that it was too late for her to hide: Fang Hua had already seen her.
"Sorry." Fang Hua looked away from Yu Dong, refusing to speak more.
Yu Dong didn't want to listen to other people's business so she turned around and sat at a bench farther away.
How long does it take to buy milk tea, was there a long line? Xiaoyue was late.
"I didn't tell Li Li."
Yu Dong looked back and saw Fang Hua. She didn't know why, but seeing this man again didn't evoke the usual anger.
"What do you mean?"
"What happened at the door to the Civil Affairs Bureau. I didn't tell her." Fang Hua bit his lip as he clarified.
"You ... How are you doing? " Fang Hua asked her.
"Pretty good!" Yu Dong was a little indifferent, but she nevertheless smiled at him.
"You've changed.""It's not just me, everyone's changed." Yu Dong thought about all the people she saw today, feeling a little emotional.
"I...I'm going." Fang Hua didn't know what else to say to her.
"....Can we still be friends?"
Fang Hua's expression reminded Yu Dong of the time when they first fell in love.
Under the tree for of acacia flowers, a tender-eyed teenager holding a girl with flushed cheeks. It used to be one of the happiest days in her life, but time had changer her.
Yu Dong shook her head.
"Why?" Fang Hua was a little hurt.
"I'm afraid that my husband might get jealous." Yu Dong chuckled.
"You have a boyfriend?" Fang Hua didn't believe that she actually got a marriage certificate with some person.
Yu Dong sent a slightly intoxicated Xiang Xiaoyue back to her apartment and drove directly to work.
"Did you catch a cold?" Yu Dong had just finished her live broadcast when Xia Feng called her and asked.
"Just a small one, nothing serious." Yu Dong smiled.
"I might come back home a little late tomorrow, so remember to take some medicine." Xia Feng lectured.
"Any trouble at work?" Yu Dong asked.
"No, I just have an operation tomorrow. The Director wanted me to demonstrate the new equipment again."
"So you haven't slept yet?"
"I'm fine, the operation is going to be at the afternoon." Xia Feng smiled and said, "Besides, I like listening to your broadcast."
Yu Dong couldn't help but grin as she asked: "So you like my hosting ability? Or are you just biased since you like me?"
"Before I answer that question, can I ask a question of my own?" Xia Feng laughed.
"Why is the theme of tonight's broadcast first love?" Xia Feng arched an eyebrow.
"Because I saw my first love today." Yu Dong said honestly.
"Oh? Did you feel something?" Xia Feng asked, a little awkwardly.
"Are you jealous?" Noticing that Xia Feng's voice was a little strained, Yu Dong couldn't help but ask this.
"No? So why are you asking me if I felt something then?"
"That...Even if you met him...!"
"Heh..." Yu Dong lifted a hand to catch a fluttering snowflake. "He asked if we could still be friends and I said...my husband would get jealous."
"Go home and sleep early!" Xia Feng coughed and hung up the phone.
Yu Dong frowned, then laughed. How can this older man be shyer than a woman?