Cheers to MCJohnston kek (● ˃̶͈̀ロ˂̶͈́)つロ
The smile on Qi Jings face stiffened.
The tone of the voice was so serious; it scared him and he couldnt just laugh it off.
“Youre... being serious” Even though he knew the answer was yes, he still wanted to hesitantly ask one more time.
“Yes, I mean it.” The other party also replied to him very clearly and earnestly.
The voice of that person seemed to suddenly close in on him and the distance disappeared all of a sudden as if he was really whispering right by his ear. Qi Jing instinctively backed away, forgetting how to even blink.
Then, they fell into an unprecedented long silence.
Although Geese Fly North didnt say anything, Qi Jing could occasionally hear slight shuffling sounds coming from his side, like he was moving something on his table.
While Qi Jing was still stunned, he spoke again gently, “Ive just made my geolocation visible, so you can go take a look.”
Qi Jing held his breath and moved his cursor onto the other partys avatar in his daze.
The geolocation displayed by the QQ system based on the IP address indeed appeared—the same province, the same city.
A small rain cloud that came after the citys name also matched the weather outside his window. It was as if raindrops were really falling, hitting his heart with each drop, causing it to shake. He felt like what was shaken was not only his heart, but even his fingers trembled a little.
“If you say that so suddenly... Im really not mentally prepared for it at all,” Qi Jing muttered before adding a laugh afterwards to try to sound like less of a mess.
“Would you hate that” That mans voice was low and deep, yet controlled and restrained. It had a gentleness that one couldnt refuse.
“No,” Qi Jing replied as calmly as he could.
In the past, he had also met up and dined with friends from the circle.
But it was really sudden this time. Moreover, this person... was Geese Fly North.
“I really, really want to visit you,” Geese Fly North said. Every word was spoken softly, but full of emotion.
At this moment, all his meaningless struggles had become pale and weak and the final wall in his heart came crashing down.
“Alright.” Qi Jing heard himself reply still in a daze.
Very slowly, he typed out the address of his neighbourhood on the keyboard.
It wasnt that it was difficult to type with one hand. It was just that there was this sense of unreality, as if the force his fingers exerted had landed on a ball of cotton, so soft it didnt feel like he was pressing on anything.
Done and sent.
After the entire process was over, Qi Jing silently closed his eyes and took a deep breath.
Having received his address, Geese Fly North also sent him a message. The message had no words in it, just a string of numbers.
“This is my phone number,” the voice in the headphones said. He couldnt hear any emotions so he couldnt guess the other partys expression. “I have a day off tomorrow, Saturday. If nothing comes up, Ill be there around 8 AM. Ill call you when I get there.”
Qi Jing listened blankly and nodded blankly to his screen.
“Rest well tonight.” That was the last thing Geese Fly North said before exiting the voice chat.
Then, the call ended.
Even after he removed his headphones, the sense of unreality was still there.
Qi Jing felt like a man who had just been fished out of the water; even though he could take big gulps of air upon going ashore, it still took some time before his mind rebooted.
He turned off his computer and sat in front of the black screen for a while before picking up his phone and sending a text message to the new contact he had added: “This is my number. See you tomorrow.”
He got a reply very quickly: “Received. See you tomorrow.”
Qi Jing stared at those words, still dumbfounded by the situation, when another message popped up: “Goodnight.”
“Ke.” A weak smile inadvertently appeared on his face. With only a screen between them, he touched the warm word and couldnt help but lower his head while mumbling to himself, “Im already so nervous... How can I possibly have a good night”
With an uneasy heart, he lay in bed and gradually fell asleep to the pitter-patter of the rain outside his window.
The next day, the rain seemed to get stronger and the sound of running water could constantly be heard from the drainpipes.
It was probably because he had things on his mind that Qi Jings eyes were already open early in the morning. When he checked the time, it wasnt even 7 AM yet. It was quiet all around him except for the lingering sound of the rain.
He didnt continue lying in bed to rest but got right up to wash up and change.
He planned on making sure he was well-groomed so that he appeared less haggard and more energetic. He wanted to at least leave a good impression for the first meeting.
After having a simple breakfast, Qi Jing was already out the door and gone downstairs by 7:30 AM. The only things he had on him were his phone and an umbrella for the rain. The rain today was much heavier and stronger than last night so it would probably be quite inconvenient for the other party no matter what form of transportation he took.
When Qi Jing arrived at the entrance of his building, he was completely uneasy as he watched the rain pour down outside. He walked over to the corner where he had picked up the kitten and sat down. This location had the best view and there was an eave to protect him from the rain, making it perfect for waiting.
The source of this content is n/ov//el/bin[./]net'
Although he was sheltered from the rain, he was not protected from the winds. The early mornings in mid-October were chilly and even when covered with a shirt and coat, one could feel the cold. Moreover, Qi Jing still hadnt recovered from the cold from yesterday and was running a slight fever, so hes extremely scared of the cold in his current state. Yet he was sitting in a place where he was faced with the brunt of the strong winds and could only hug his knees to keep warm.
It was almost 8 AM yet the sky looked like it was still in the middle of the night.
Thick, grey clouds hung above the buildings, over the city whose vibrance had faded and washed away with the rain. Everything before him looked like a black and white photograph from a printer that had run out of colour ink or an old movie produced with traditional negative film. It was as if everything was obscured behind a layer of hazy grey.
Thats why, when that black umbrella appeared, he thought he was still in the black and white film and forgot to snap out of it.
A black umbrella and black clothes seamlessly appeared in this grey background.
Qi Jing was completely unaware that there was someone in front of him.
When his phone suddenly started ringing, he was still staring at the pea-sized raindrops that formed a line under the eaves. When he heard the ringing, he hurriedly lowered his head to answer it.
“Hello” He panted, his voice low, as he rushed to stand up with the help of the wall.
For the first time, he heard that familiar voice come out of his phone. It wasnt in front of his computer but amidst the constant pattering of the rain in the background. He could even hear the crisp sound of the rain falling against the umbrella.
And here I thought he wouldnt come... It was raining pretty heavily after all.
Qi Jing felt a little warm in his heart; he felt both touched and guilty as he said, “Youre already here”
The man on the other end of the line was silent for a moment before he replied softly, “I already see you.”
Qi Jing was stunned.
During the phone call, his eyes were kept to the ground in order to keep an eye out lest he accidentally tripped and fell. Hearing those words, he abruptly lifted his head and finally saw someone standing quietly in the rain not far away. In the faded background, that man didnt appear to have much presence as black was subtle against the grey colour.
The umbrella the man was holding was black, as were his long-sleeved jacket and pants.
As the wind blew in the rain, his umbrella was held at an angle that obscured his face.
However, just watching that man from afar gave Qi Jing a feeling of déjà vu.
Qi Jing was in a daze.
Deeply confused by his fleeting thoughts, he unconsciously took a step back.
As if noticing his movement, the man, stopped in the middle of the rain, suddenly took a step and began to approach him. Neither of them had hung up the phone yet—other than the unending sound of the rain falling, they could hear each others breathing which was captured by the microphone.
Qi Jing stared blankly as that man walked through the fallen Wutong tree leaves. As that person got closer one step at a time, Qi Jing found himself slightly overwhelmed by the ripples formed in the puddles of water.
Eventually, the person in front of him stopped less than two metres away from him.
Only when that person got closer did Qi Jing notice that the former had a tight grip on the handle of his umbrella, firmly holding the umbrella at an angle. He did not raise his umbrella so his face was still hidden.
It was raining cats and dogs and it was as if the black umbrella was covered in a fog from all the rainfall as water slid down in turn.
The continuous, loud tapping of the rain seemed to be urging them to break the silence.
“...Geese Fly North”
Qi Jing called out very softly—both into the microphone and to the person—for fear he had called the wrong person.
Fortunately, the voice that came from under the umbrella was exactly the one he was waiting for, “Yes.”
Never would Qi Jing have ever thought that they would be within reach of each other.
If Qi Jing could move his left hand, he would probably make that habitual move of touching the back of his ear.
To create a lighter atmosphere for a conversation, he laughed first, deliberately speaking to the phone rather than to the man himself. “Why dont you put your umbrella away Do you not want me to see your face that badly”
At that moment, that mans grip on the umbrella tightened slightly. His knuckles were frozen white from the cold air, but he still wasnt letting go.
“Will you promise me one thing first” He said.
“What” Qi Jing looked up blankly.
“Dont be surprised no matter what I look like.” That man said word by word, in a voice lowered like never before, to the point his voice was even beginning to sound a little hoarse.
That pleading tone sounded in Qi Jings handset and in front of him at the same time.
For Qi Jing who was soft-hearted to begin with, at this moment his smile grew all the more soothing in order to comfort the other party. “What are you afraid of I dont care about your looks at all. Put it down—Ill promise you anything.”
The man under the umbrella took a deep breath.
The call ended there. Qi Jing knew that because he saw that person put down the hand holding on the phone and gently disconnected the call.
Then, the other hand moved as well. The hand that was holding the umbrella flicked slightly to the side to reveal a mans face under the umbrella. Through the unrelenting rain that fell between them, their eyes met silently.
Eyes that were as black as the umbrella; eyes that left a deep impression on him.
How could it not
He had never forgotten them—
Its precisely because he hadnt forgotten that it hurt. It hurt so much that he couldnt even blink.
“...Geese Fly North”
Even though he could see the face, the answer to that question suddenly became foreign and terrifying.
Of course, he knew what the answer was. But perhaps, more than this name, there was another that was more suitable for the man standing before him.
The words came out like he was muttering to himself. It wasnt so much of a question as it was an answer.
In that instant, all the blood in his veins seemed to have frozen and his fingers were icy. His face was white as a sheet as he instinctively bowed his head to catch his breath; his rapid breathing sounded particularly clear in the patter of rain.
“Thats me.” The voice that answered him was that of Geese Fly North, as well as the man called Shen Yan.
His voice lower and huskier than his first two replies, but just as honest as ever.
Qi Jing felt his breathing become shaky as he closed his eyes and said nothing.
He held a death grip on his phone, pressing it against his lips so that he didnt sound too discomfited or rattled, but his knitted brows easily exposed him.
“Qi Jing,” the man in front of him said slowly, calling out his name, “you actually... saw the last email from me, didnt you”
Qi Jing did not say anything, but his silence was already in itself an acknowledgement.
The email which he never replied to was still sitting in that folder called “To be deleted” till this day. The emails were always written under the name, Dr. Shen, except for the last one.
That last email was written by Shen Yan.
He couldnt reply to Shen Yans email just as he couldnt reply to his words now.
As the rain continued to fall with no end in sight, only this small area under the eaves seemed to be isolated in a world of its own. It was a truly forgotten corner, leaving only these two individuals—all they could see was one another, all they could hear was each others breaths.
There was nothing else other than that. He didnt even register when the black umbrella had been put away. That person walked out from under the umbrella and made his way in front of Qi Jing through the line created by the eaves that clearly separated the rain from the shelter.
Something thick and snug landed on his shoulders—it was a jacket and one that still carried that mans warmth. That pair of hands gently tugged at either side of the jacket, securely wrapping Qi Jing in it without touching his cast.
—Its really warm.
Qi Jing had absolutely no strength or reason to struggle against it.
Perhaps it was because his body had warmed up that his internal systems rebooted. Once he had gone through the shock and suffocation of feeling like he was drowning, all that remained was uncertainty.
Shen Yan was well within his reach, both his person and his breaths.
Qi Jings head was lowered and several locks of his hair even brushed against the other partys shirt, causing a soft rustle. The hands that placed the jacket on him did not let go and remained on it all this while. Shen Yans strength was so light Qi Jing could barely feel it so he didnt feel any burden on his shoulders. However, this seemingly simple action restricted his movement and prevented him from turning away.
“I... want to go check on the kitten first,” Qi Jing suddenly blurted.
Little Return Date had spent the night at the clinic; Qi Jing wondered how it was doing and if it was recovering well.
He tried to raise his hand, gently placing the back of his hand against Shen Yans left hand which was grasping the jacket. He didnt make a move to push it away, just lightly touching it. It was only when their hands came into contact that the stark difference in the temperature of their hands could be clearly felt.
It seemed like Shen Yan understood the message of his action as the former released his hand and took a step back.
The cold air rushed back in from any opening it could find.
“Ill go with you.”
Qi Jing didnt look up so he didnt see Shen Yans expression at that moment. All that he could see within his range of vision was the other party picking his black umbrella up from the ground and even helping Qi Jing open his umbrella.
However, there seemed to be absolutely no intention of retrieving the jacket.
Qi Jing subconsciously pressed his hand on the spot where the other partys hand had been placed, clutching it listlessly. Before stepping out into the rain, he could still reminisce about the warmth that had been there for a moment.
A/N: _(:з」∠)_ Actually, I dont know what to do with these two either...
Lilies: And our little 🦆s (dont think theres a goose emoji lollol) identity has finally been revealed!!
Whiteflare: Qi Jing, reminiscing about his warmth Youre such a goner...