The dinner would start at 5:30 p.m.
After learning what Lu Chuwan had done, Lu Zhiwen and his son, Lu Chuliang, rushed back to the Lu Household from another province. Lu Jingqing went to pick them up, so he did not join them for dinner.
Xu Wei explained, “Don’t worry, Uncle Jingqing will make it up to you next time.”
Gu Yan was wearing a pink pleated skirt with a white short-sleeved top, exposing her two fair arms to the air. “It’s fine. You don’t have to feel sorry. After all, you guys took good care of me when I was in Yu City, so I understand if Uncle Jingqing has something to do.”
Memories were the hardest to erase. When Xu Wei thought about the time when they’d taken care of Gu Yan while her parents had been busy working, the tension that had gripped her faded. “Anyway, you’re welcome to stay at the Lu Mansion for as long as you wish. It has been so long since I last saw you, and I believe we have a lot to catch up on.”
“Okay.” While Gu Yan was talking, she shot glances at Lu Yushen from time to time. She put a wonderful smile on her face and said in a soft voice, “Brother Yushen, we have not seen each other in a long time as well.”
However, Lu Yushen just stared blankly at his drawing board and did not reply.
People with autism were always immersed in their own imaginary world. He had grown up like this, and no one could change him. Gu Yan was accustomed to his attitude, so she did not feel embarrassed.
“Brother Yushen. I came back this time to…”
Before she could finish her sentence, the door to the private room was opened from outside. Then, Lu Yumo, who was hugging a bunny bag in his arms, appeared in front of everyone. There was a sugar figurine clasped between his lips, and he was holding a young lady’s hand.
This was the first time Gu Yan saw Fu Zhi, and she had to admit that Fu Zhi truly was the prettiest girl she had ever seen.
Almond-shaped eyes, tiny face, near-perfect appearance… Even though she was wearing her school uniform, it did nothing to hinder her brightness. Gu Yan was certain that she would stand out the most if she was thrown into a sea of people.
She did not look at all like the poor little girl who had suffered a lot at the hands of the Zhao Family in the countryside.
While Gu Yan was immersed in her own thoughts, Lu Yushen, who was sitting next to her, got to his feet. His frown relaxed, the gloomy expression left his face, and his emotions gradually calmed down.
Pressing his lips slightly, he took the bag in Lu Yumo’s arms and wrote something on his drawing board. “Let me help you with your bag.”
Lu Yumo was speechless.
After all, they were only two steps away from their seats, so he could not fathom why his brother would want to make such an unnecessary move.
Fu Zhi shot him a glance and realized that his complexion had gotten a lot better compared to the last time she had seen him. She lowered her head again and handed a chibi-version Spongebob sugar figurine to him.
However, Lu Yushen did not show much interest in the sugar figurine. He just thought that the sugar figurine looked a lot like his sister.
Gu Yan bit her lower lip, as she was surprised by the sudden change in Lu Yushen’s attitude.
She had never seen him so happy before. Was Fu Zhi the reason? Gu Yan could not be sure, but she did not have a good feeling about it.
After Fu Zhi and Lu Yumo took their seats, Xu Wei introduced them. “This is my daughter, Zhizhi. Zhizhi, remember Uncle Gu’s daughter? I’ve told you about her before. Here she is. Her name is Gu Yan.”
Gu Yan then took a jewelry box out of her purse and gave it to Fu Zhi.
After she nodded at her, she gave Lu Yumo a gaming console that had just been released not long ago. They had grown up together, so she was very close to him. She teased him by saying, “Brother Yumo, don’t forget to give me a present in return, or I’ll get angry at you.”
“Alright, alright,” Lu Yumo replied simply.
Then, Gu Yan looked at Fu Zhi.
Lu Yumo had helped Fu Zhi open up her gift. When she saw that Fu Zhi was unfazed by the watch, which was worth more than 300,000 yuan, she did not know if Fu Zhi had not noticed the brand of the watch or she simply did not recognize the brand’s name.
Fu Zhi picked up a sweet and sour pork rib.
Lu Yushen used this opportunity to sneak the sugar figurine that Fu Zhi had placed on the table away. Then, with a careful finger, he poked the sugar figurine’s dimple. He thought nobody saw him, but he was wrong. Fu Zhi had been watching him out of the corner of her eyes the entire time, so she said, “If you don’t stop it, you’re gonna destroy the sugar figurine.”
Lu Yushen jumped up from fright. His face flushed pink in embarrassment as he lowered his head, looking like a little kid who had been caught doing something bad by his parents.
This was the second time Gu Yan saw an expression on Lu Yushen’s face. The first time had been when Fu Zhi had entered the private room.
“Forget about it,” Fu Zhi said after a short silence. She grabbed the sugar figurine from Lu Yushen’s hand and stuffed it into her mouth.
‘Well, even though it has become ugly, it can still be eaten.’
Lu Yushen, who had wanted to store the sugar figurine along with his rhinestones in his safe, fell silent.
Fu Zhi then placed a CocCola chicken wing on his plate.
She did not realize he was not happy as she said, “You’re in poor health, so you have to eat more. If you like the sugar figurine, I will bring you another one next time. How about Patrick Star?”
‘But Patrick Star doesn’t look like you…’ Lu Yushen pressed his lips firmly.
Suddenly, a pair of chopsticks came out of nowhere and took away the chicken wing on his plate.
“He doesn’t like to eat sesame seeds.”
It was Gu Yan.
“I suppose that you are aware of his condition,” Gu Yan added, her voice stern. “Don’t give him anything he doesn’t like. It will aggravate his condition and influence the effect of the treatment I’m giving him.
“Besides, he doesn’t like people interrupting what he wants to do. It might cause him secondary trauma. Since you’re living with him, as his family, you should study and learn more about his illness and condition. You have to mind his feelings and stop doing things that he doesn’t like.”
“I’m pretty sure you’re exaggerating.” Lu Yumo chimed in. In the Lu Family, he was the member who cared about Lu Yushen the least. He was not equipped with the knowledge to understand what was plaguing his brother’s mind, but he knew that Lu Yushen was not as fragile as Gu Yan claimed.
He had known Gu Yan since they were kids, and they had maintained a not-so-good-but-not-so-bad relationship. Initially, he had been quite happy that Gu Yan had decided to come back. He knew she liked Lu Yushen and everything she did was in Lu Yushen’s best interest.
However, he did not like how she talked to his sister.
“Autism is a complex illness. Even the slightest change will have a devastating effect on the patient. I’m a pro at this, and the last thing I want is to harm him.”
Gu Yan smiled at Fu Zhi. “Well, I know there are a lot of things to take note of, but—”
Before Gu Yan could finish her sentence, Lu Yushen took back the chicken wing and began nibbling on it.
“Actually, he’s not that picky about what he eats.” Xu Wei finally found the chance to speak. She smiled awkwardly at Gu Yan and added, “He will try to eat any food that he’s not allergic to. Besides, eating a bigger variety of food is good for his health…”
Gu Yan did not say anything else, but her face turned grim.
She lost her appetite, as she felt stuffy inside. She felt as though she had been barking up the wrong tree.
Before they all went to bed, Fu Zhi gave her a pot of tea.
She thanked Fu Zhi but did not drink the tea. Instead, she put the pot on her desk and took a sip of warm water from her cup.
Just as she was about to open her laptop to talk to her friends overseas, someone knocked on her door.
It was Lu Yushen, who gave her a box with 14 rhinestones.
Lu Yushen held his rhinestones dearly, and Gu Yan knew that he would not simply give them to anyone.
Her heart skipped a beat as she said, “Is this for me?”
Lu Yushen nodded but did not look at her.
Gu Yan was in seventh heaven, and she felt that leaving all her honors behind and coming back to her country had been worth it. “Thank you, Brother Yushen. I like it very much.”
“If you like it…’ Lu Yushen wrote on his drawing board. Even though people said written words could not convey feelings, Gu Yan had a feeling that Lu Yushen was feeling sad right now. “I will cooperate with your treatment and I will try my best not to let my condition worsen. Can you stop asking my sister to mind my feelings?”
Lu Yushen had known he was different from other kids from a young age. For example, he could not talk like other kids.
Xu Wei and Lu Jingqing had been worried about him, so they had taken him to many doctors and given him the best care possible.
Everyone thought that he was sick and that he would never be cured. Sometimes he found it rather hard to understand other people. The world in his eyes was different from what others saw. He liked his world very much, but many doctors kept telling him that his world was merely in his head and he should mingle with the outside world.
He knew Lu Yumo did not like him. He could feel it. After all, he took away part of the love that his parents should have given to his brother.
He had become more and more withdrawn out of guilt and self-recrimination until the moment his sister had suddenly appeared in his world.
He would talk to his sister and prepare birthday presents for her.
Then, at the age of seventeen, in the height of September, his fantasies and reality had overlapped.
All the doctors had said that he showed no sign of improvement and had to continue the treatment. However, only he himself knew that he had gotten a lot better and the urge to hurt himself had been diminishing ever since Fu Zhi had joined their family.
He did not want Fu Zhi to see the seamy side of him. He had had enough of always being the one that needed to be taken care of. He wanted to be a normal brother to Fu Zhi, and he wanted to protect her.