“Ye Jiacheng, can you lend me some money?”
Shi Jian lowered her head, her fingers stopping on the keyboard of her cellphone. After sending the text, her emotions immediately entered a state of uncertainty. She was so cold that her teeth chattered. As she waited for Ye Jiacheng’s reply, her palms even started sweating.
She gripped her cellphone. She didn’t know how Ye Jiacheng would reply.
If Ye Jiacheng didn’t reply, what would she do? That wouldn’t do, she still had a hundred yuan in his possession! Thinking about it made her feel sad and helpless. She used to have Ye Jiacheng’s credit card and spent money as she wished. Before he got married, he had a prodigal personality. After they got married, the responsibility of being prodigal was passed onto her. She didn’t expect to have to ponder for a long while before asking to borrow a couple hundred yuan from him.
To each their own. They still had a long future together! Shi Jian stood up confidently. The phone in her pocket vibrated. Ye Jiacheng replied to her with only two words: “How much?”
The corner of her lip suddenly curved up. She typed: “Is five hundred okay?” After a moment of hesitation, she changed it to: “Is three hundred okay?”
Before she could send it, Ye Jiacheng called her. She pressed the button to answer the call, and a familiar voice graced her ear. Ye Jiacheng asked her: “……uh, how much do you want?”
Ye Jiacheng was surrounded by the racket of people moving their utensils. It was certainly a gathering of his friends, judging by all the noise.
Shi Jian felt a bit awkward and suddenly couldn’t speak. Ye Jiacheng seemed to understand her dilemma, and asked: “Where are you?”
This question made her feel as though it was a repeat of yesterday. Shi Jian quietly told Ye Jiacheng her location: the line 6 bus stop near Zongyang Street in City. The sound of Ye Jiacheng standing and pushing his chair back could be heard through the speaker. He walked two steps and continued to say to her: “You, wait for me right there. I am quite close to you…… Let’s talk about this face to face.”
“Okay, face to face.” It was indeed better to talk about borrowing money in person.
Shi Jian hung up the phone and raised her head. It was a clear city winter. The lights were gorgeous, making the city look like a scene in a fairy tale.
Ye Jiacheng actually didn’t have much money recently. Even though he wasn’t strapped for cash, he was no longer spent as lavishly as “Young Master Ye”. A few days ago, he took the privilege of being the head architect to buy three units at Junwei Park. The money was added to the project funds.
Leaving the midnight snack stall, Ye Jiacheng settled the bill for the food.
This was the first time Shi Jian wanted to borrow money from him. He didn’t know how much money she wanted. She kept mumbling through the phone as if she was embarrassed. Ye Jaicheng dialed a number inside his car. The call quickly connected. He spoke using the Qinglin dialect: “……Uncle Tian, it’s Jiacheng. Are you available? ……send me two hundred thousand…… No, no, nothing’s wrong, don’t worry…… You don’t have to tell my father…… Yes, right now. I’ll send you the account information.”
Ye Jiacheng hung up. This was his first time being a foolish spendthrift. He used to keep to the same taste. With a hum, his mouth curved up. His left hand knocked on the steering wheel twice: How big was the little fox’s appetite? Was two hundred thousand enough to satisfy her?
Shi Jian was in a great mood. She went bounced on her tiptoes and waited at the corner of the street hopefully. Ye Jiacheng was coming to find her. In this cold rainy weather, her body shivered, yet her heart thudded, and a warm feeling rose from the pit of her stomach. The music store across the street played a song. She remembered that old music was trending at this time. She hummed along: “……gains and losses are separated by a fine line, on the edge of love and hate, it’s impossible to predict who will remain by your side until the end.”
With closed eyes one can only listen, the years flew by your ear like the wind, your yesterday hurtled past…… I want to accompany you to the end.1
Her heart was warm, but her ears were frozen. Shi Jian reached out and covered her ears. Her ears had itched the past two days. It had signs of frostbite sores beginning to form.
A white car stopped behind her. The man in the driver’s seat honked.
She didn’t hear.
He honked again. The little fox nearby held her ears the same as before, as if someone had set off a noisemaker in front of her. Ye Jiacheng got out of the car. He walked behind her, reached out his arms, and took away the hands covering those two ears.
He was so strong that Shi Jian was practically turned around and enclosed in his embrace.
A head-on collision.
Shi Jian looked up and saw Ye Jiacheng with his high-collared coat. His short hair was somewhat mussed by the wind. She really wanted to hug him and never let go.
“Was someone setting off firecrackers?” Ye Jiacheng asked. He returned his hands into the pockets of his coat.
“No, my ears were cold.” Shi Jian replied, “It grew sores.”
“Oh.” Ye Jiacheng’s gaze landed on her ears. Sure enough, it looked as reddish as when he last saw her. How sad. He earnestly advised: “Covering them is no use. You have to rub them often. They will be fine when warmed up.”
He recalled that he also grew frostbite sores when he was little. His family had rubbed his ears; he remembered it well. He took his hands out from his pockets again and held them against Shi Jian’s ears. Ye Jiacheng rubbed her ears as if he was scrubbing the silk from an ear of corn. He said as he rubbed: “Just like this, forcefully, until it’s warm……”
Shi Jian’s brain was squeezed in between his large hands.
Slowly, Ye Jiacheng stopped. His hands were still by Shi Jian’s ears. The two pieces of cartilage in his palms were warm and soft, like two little butterflies. To touch them like this wasn’t to rub them, but to cherish them.
He’d just used too much force. The pain made Shi Jian tear up. Ye Jiacheng removed his hands, “Just like this…… Is it much warmer now?”
Warm? Are you kidding? It hurt so much. Shi Jian tilted her head, but she wasn’t angry with him at all. On the contrary, she felt full of love.
“Oh right, how much do you want?” Ye Jiacheng asked.
[Please read on jeytranslations.blogspot.com Do not repost to other sites. ]
Oh, oh, that’s right. The reason they met up tonight was because she wanted to borrow money from him. Shi Jian looked at Ye Jiacheng. How did it feel to borrow money from one’s future husband—— she must feign politeness!
“I recently don’t have much money for living expenses. The internship stipend was very little. I still haven’t had dinner……” Shi Jian pulled out a pile of nonsense. She finally looked up and said the amount: “Can you lend me five hundred yuan?”
Ye Jiacheng: “……” He shut his eyes and didn’t want to speak. He came all this way and she only wanted to borrow five hundred?! Was he being pranked?
At Ye Jiacheng’s reaction, Shi Jian’s fragile heart was broken…… Her most intimate loved one wouldn’t even lend her five hundred yuan. Frustrated and unable to bear it, her temper flared up. Just like how she used to be angry at him, she miserably and hurtfully glared at him. Then she tilted her head and indignantly said: “If you can’t, then forget it……”
Ye Jiacheng stood behind Shi Jian and watched the little fox stomp and huff. He had prepared two hundred thousand yuan, but she only wanted five hundred and even had the gall to think that he wouldn’t lend her the money. This taste was also hard to describe.
It all turned into a soft sound: “Ah……”
Knowing she was being teased, Shi Jian didn’t know how to dispel the awkward atmosphere. Ye Jiacheng asked her with his mouth curved: “……you haven’t had dinner? Are you hungry?”
“En.” She hadn’t eaten anything at all tonight, because of that misfortunate red bird and because she was mercilessly driven away by Yi Pei. She nodded towards Ye Jiacheng. Actually…… every time she saw Ye Jiacheng, she always wanted to hug him without restraint. She still endured it, though. She should go slowly.
“What do you want to eat?” Ye Jiacheng asked her. After a pause, he added, “My treat.”
“Okay……” Shi Jian blinked and said, “I want barbeque.”
“Barbeque……” Ye Jiacheng drawled, as if he was somewhat inconvenienced. After a long while, he lowered his head, glanced at her, heaved a sigh, and said with a helpless yet harmless smile, “Forget it. Today I will terminate my cultivation for you!”
Ye Jiacheng brought Shi Jian to a well-known coal-fired barbeque restaurant. At this time, there were very few patrons in the restaurant. The two found a spot by a window. They had a coal stove. The slices of meat sizzled as he flipped them one by one. When they were cooked, he put them onto her plate.
So, the little fox loved to eat meat.
Ye Jiacheng placed a golden yellow chicken wing onto her plate. Shi Jian was nearly unable to eat more, and she didn’t really like eating chicken. To let Ye Jiacheng understand her a bit more, she said to him directly: “I don’t like to eat chicken.”
“Oh.” Ye Jiacheng took the chicken wing back onto his own bowl. So this was a little fox who didn’t like to eat chicken……
Shi Jian sipped her cola. Her phone rang. It was Yi Pei calling. She swallowed the cola in her mouth, then answered the phone: “Hello Vice President Yi……”
Ye Jiacheng slowly set down his chopsticks and stopped barbecuing. He elegantly leaned against the back of the chair to take a break, seemingly waiting for her to finish her call.
Shi Jian didn’t leave her seat and answered Yi Pei’s call in front of him. Yi Pei asked her where she was. She lied: “I’m already back at the dorm.”
She’d gone to a meal at Yi Pei’s date today. If she told him she was eating, then it would seem as if she was deliberately shading Yi Pei.
Indeed, when she replied like this, Yi Pei didn’t say any more. If only the owner of the barbeque restaurant didn’t suddenly come over and enthusiastically say: “We have an event going today. If you spend a hundred yuan, you get a plate of beef for free! Here’s your beef!”
Shi Jian: “……”
Across from her, Ye Jiacheng shook his head. He seemed to understand her predicament and bit his lip.
“You enjoy your food, I’ll speak with you at the office tomorrow.” Yi Pei finished and hung up.
Ai, whatever! She had the most unfortunate luck today. Shi Jian set her cellphone aside and looked at Ye Jiacheng. She didn’t know if he knew about her work situation, so she explained: “Right now, I’m working in Yi Mao Real Estate’s general office. Yi Pei is my boss.”
“Oh——” Ye Jiacheng nodded as if he didn’t know. In actuality, he already knew.
Shi Jian smiled and lowered her head to continue eating. Afterwards, she narrated as she ate. She told Ye Jiacheng about what happened tonight at the date she’d planned for Yi Pei and Zhao Wenwen.
Ye Jiacheng kept laughing throughout. When she talked about being stood up, he laughed; when she talked about the lovebird dying, Ye Jiacheng was further amused. When she talked about being driven out, Ye Jiacheng collected himself, gazed at her and said: “If I were Yi Pei, I definitely wouldn’t have driven you out.”
En, is that so…… Shi Jian quieted, meeting Ye Jiacheng’s gaze expectantly. His eyes were dark and shining, and filled with something indescribable. Her heart thumped, and stopped along with Ye Jiacheng’s lowered voice.
Then, Ye Jiacheng laughed: “Because I would definitely throw you out.”
Shi Jian: “……” He confessed the wrong thing!
She lowered her head and continued to eat.
Ye Jiacheng continued to grab food for her. The feeling of being fed was nice all the same.
Tonight, Shi Jian indulged her stomach and also her feelings. Recently, she’d been suppressing her affections whenever she saw Ye Jiacheng. In the end, after just one meal, she had wasted all her efforts again.
“Hurry and pay the bill.” She winked at Ye Jiacheng and said in a honeyed voice, “Remember to get the scratch ticket, I want to scratch it off.”
“Oh.” Ye Jiacheng stood, went over, came back, and tossed two scratch tickets at her.
Shi Jian scratched them. Unexpectedly, all of today’s good luck was in here. She excitedly showed Ye Jiacheng, “One hundred yuan! Amazing, Jiacheng, my treat!”
Jiacheng…… Ye Jiacheng felt his whole body go numb! He slowly turned, and escorted the little fox out of the barbeque restaurant. Going from the inside to the street, Ye Jiacheng shivered. He gazed at the girl next to him and asked: “Cold?”
Shi Jian didn’t suppress her affections anymore and naturally nodded: “Cold.”
En. Ye Jiacheng held her hand, then put it in his coat pocket.
Only two people knew of the warmth inside the pocket.
Shi Jian spoke again: “I’m still cold.”
Ye Jiacheng: “……”
The night wind howled. It made the heart brave. Shi Jian turned and threw herself at Ye Jiacheng’s chest. She held onto him resolutely, then told him in a low voice: “This makes me warm.”
This makes me warm!
There were many couples embracing on the street. So what if they weren’t a couple? At this second, at this moment, she only wanted to hug him and never let go. She loved him, so why should she try to hide it? Shouldn’t love be unrestrained?
Just like the way he used to love her.
Shi Jian buried her face in Ye Jiacheng’s chest and wrapped her arms tightly around his back, as if she was embracing her entire universe. She could hear the heartbeats of two people beating together.
“Ahhh……” Ye Jiacheng was unprepared for her embrace. He hugged her back a beat later. Yes, hugging like this was warm. The little fox was smarter than him.
It was past ten at night. This was not a bustling street in the center of the city. There were only two or three people coming and going in the cold and quiet. Shi Jian looked up from Ye Jiacheng’s embrace. Ye Jiacheng also looked down. Then, he kissed her.
Ferociously. The two seemed to tremble together, as if their bodies were shivering from the cold.
In her memory, she and Ye Jiacheng had kissed in many places, sometimes warm like on the sofa of their home and sometimes romantic like on the terrace of the highest floor of the world’s tallest building.
But never like this moment. The two were like a pair of high school sweethearts, kissing in the city streets on a cold winter day.
It was frigid yet toasty. They trembled as they shared the warmth between their lips.
They couldn’t stop, and didn’t know how long they kissed for.
Until an annoying voice came from nearby. It was Gao Yanfei—— “Aiyo…… aiyo, aiyoyo!”2
1 «哪一站» (Which Stop) by 羽泉. Glorious 2000s blurry music video with the desynced audio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04xnXZ0Bb-o
2 Aiyo: it’s kind of like “Oh my!” I think it’s funnier in Chinese, so I left it. lol.