Chapter 28 — If you move, you won’t be able to see the orange cat any more.
“Why did you take the love letter?” Xia Wei raised her head to look at Tian Tian sitting across from her. “Don’t tell me that you also liked Tao Yu?”
“I don’t…” Tian Tian whispered this before belching slightly, her breath smelling of alcohol.
Xia Wei was a bit alarmed. “Don’t tell me the one you like is me? Eh, for so many years, I have only treated you as a friend…”
“…” Even if she was drunk, Tian Tian tenaciously rolled her eyes at her. “I liked Jiang Zhen Yu during high school.”
Xia Wei: “…”
Right, that handsome, very awesome basketball player on the sports committee. At least half the girls in their class also liked him.
“Then why did you take it?” Xia Wei couldn’t figure it out. Since Tian Tian neither liked her nor Tao Yu, why did she take the love letter?
Tian Tian burped again and fumbled her way back to her bed. She hugged her pillow again. “I was under a lot of pressure in our third year of high school. My parents had very high expectations for me, and at school, we had weekly and monthly exams to prepare for the midterms and finals. We never stopped taking exams. I felt as if I nearly couldn’t breathe, Fortunately, I had all of you by my side then. We all had fantasies about our lives in the future and were looking forward to the flourishing and beautiful A City. We planned to buy a villa in A City and raise a couple dogs. Each weekend, we would get together in the afternoon to drink tea…”
Xia Wei: “…”
Tian Tian’s words reminded her of something. During that time, their sole joy…was visualising these daydreams. At the moment, it seemed that they were truly foolishly adorable back then. They didn’t know the cost of housing in A City, so their fantasies included them buying a villa…
“Now that I think about it, we were very immature, but at that time, all those unrealistic dreams of ours supported me throughout all of my last year. Thinking about having that kind of life in the future seemingly gave me the strength to continue on.” Tian Tian glanced at Xia Wei, who was standing to the side, when she said this, her eyes already misty. “You might not know, but Tao Yu had already begun thinking on returning to our alma mater to teach then. Old Zhao had always considered Tao Yu as his favorite pupil, and likewise—Tao Yu had always admired Old Zhao. One time when I went to the office, I heard Old Zhao and him talk. He said that he was thinking about returning to the school to teach. Old Zhao felt that he could have a larger stage and gave him some advice; Tao Yu, however, was very resolute. He had always been a man who was firm in his thinking.”
Xia Wei silently listened. Tian Tian breathed in through her nose before continuing. “If you got together with Tao Yu, you certainly would have chosen to stay with him in D City, right? At that time, Twiggy had already decided to go abroad. If you returned to D City, then in the end, what would I have been persevering for all this time? Didn’t we agree on raising a dog together while living in a large house? In the end, would I seriously end up alone?”
Tian Tian’s tears finally began falling. Xia Wei’s eyes have also gradually turned red because of her words. Tian Tian had always been the most earnest one amongst them as well as the one who tried the hardest. Her grades were also the highest. Their teachers and parents all placed high hopes on her, so how great of a pressure had she beared? They might never know.
The small room fell silent, before Tian Tian’s voice echoed throughout. “At that time, I was very young and inexperienced. Now, when I look back at my past self, I realize that I really was stupid beyond redemption. How did things turn out after I selfishly took away your letter? Are our lives as we expected them to be? No.”
Friends naturally could not stay by one’s side forever. During that time, however, she did not understand this principle. Her seventeen-year-old self, apart from a few friends and an unrealistic dream, had nothing. She had stowed away the love letter because she believed it would not allow their futures to be as beautiful as she imagined.
“These few years, I have always felt sorry for you, especially every time I see you with a failed relationship. I can’t help but blame myself. If I hadn’t hidden that letter back then, would you have already been married to Tao Yu and have a happy family? I have always kept this letter by my side, precisely because I was thinking that I would one day confess this to you, but I never had the courage. Today, I am finally speaking about it, so whatever you decide to do, I will accept.”
Xia Wei breathed in through her reddened nose and then exhaled. “If you had confessed this to me that first summer, I certainly would have been angry enough to sever relations with you. A decade has passed, however, and so many things have changed.”
Tian Tian stared at her blankly before using the wall as support to stand. “No, I see that Tao Yu still likes you. Right now, it’s not too late. He’s still downstairs. I’ll go down and give him the letter.”
She dashed toward the doorway once she said this. Xia Wei’s eyes flashed as her hands rapidly reached out to grab her before she nearly fell to the ground. Tears were still streaming down Tian Tian’s face, so Xia Wei grabbed a tissue for her and said, “A missed opportunity is a missed opportunity. Giving him the letter now would only increase his worries.”
Xia Wei said this and also felt rather helpless. ‘Fate plays with mankind,’ was a saying that described this scenario well. “Before we left the school, Tao Yu confessed to me. At that time, I had thought of how if he had done so a decade ago, I would have said yes. Our child would have certainly been able to buy soy sauce by now. ‘If this or that happened then,’ or ‘if that didn’t happen then;’ if people keep holding on to this way of thinking, they will no longer be able to advance forward.”
She grabbed another tissue and wiped away Tian Tian’s tears. “I already like someone else now anyway, so this letter will forever be kept a secret.”
Tian Tian was a bit surprised. “Who do you like? Don’t tell me it’s Mr. Jiang from downstairs?”
Xia Wei: “…”
Was it really that obvious?
“You go rest early. I’ll go pour you another cup of water.” Xia Wei found an excuse to flee this small room and sent Tao Yu a text while she was at it.
Xia Wei: 「I’m sorry, Tian Tian is a bit difficult to deal with when drunk; she’s vomiting at the moment『smile-cry』I don’t know how long I need to stay here, so you can go back first.『smile-cry』」
Tao Yu: 「It’s very late and not safe for you to go back alone」
Xia Wei: 「If it’s too late, I can just stay over and sleep here (:з」∠)」
Tao Yu: 「Alright then. I’ll take your things and leave them with the security guard downstairs. When you leave, remember to grab them.」
Xia Wei: 「Okay, thanks 『cute』 I’ll get in touch with you tomorrow」
Tao Yu: 「Alright『OK』」
Xia Wei looked down at the black screen and sighed.
Tian Tian napped for a while, her mood having calmed down some. When she woke up, she was more or less sober. Xia Wei checked the time—nearly ten o’clock. “I’ll take my leave then. Sunshine is waiting at home for me to return.”
Tian Tian raised her head to look at her. “The stray dog you’re raising?”
Tian Tian laughed. “Living in a large home and raising a dog, you actually achieved this dream.”
“…Mn, but the apartment is rented, and the dog was picked up off the street.”
“Hahahahaha. We’re still very miserable.” Tian Tian laughed mockingly at herself and then said to Xia Wei, “I’m all right, so you can head back.”
Xia Wei examined her and replied, “If the pressure is too much, then switch jobs.”
Tian Tian muttered, “The company was just established, so the internal affairs are relatively chaotic. Enduring this phase is good, as our company has a relatively high growth potential.”
“That’s good then. Rest early.” Xia Wei grabbed her bag and stowed that love letter inside as well before leaving.
After the security guard downstairs returned the things she bought for Sunshine, Xia Wei took a taxi straight home. Just as she opened the door, Sunshine bounded up to her, barking. Xia Wei turned on the lights and followed Sunshine to the living room.
“Sunshine, look, I bought all of these things for you!” Xia Wei pulled out item after item. “This is the dog food you like!”
“And this is a dog house, very beautiful!”
Xia Wei originally wanted to set up Sunshine’s dog house in the living room, but Sunshine shamelessly went into her bedroom. She was thus forced to set it up inside there. Once that was done, Sunshine happily bounced inside and laid down with a satisfied appearance.
When Xia Wei exited the shower, Sunshine seemed to have fallen asleep already. She opened up the pink envelope that she had placed beside her bed and took out the letter.
「Student Tao Yu, I like you.」
Xia Wei laughed lightly and stared at that line for quite a while before opening her drawer and placing both the envelope and letter inside.
Probably because her mood had fluctuated too much that evening, she woke up later than usual the next morning—if Sunshine had not woken her up, she probably would have slept in till noon.
After she washed her face, rinsed her mouth, and changed clothes, she poured out a bowl of the dog food she bought yesterday to feed Sunshine. Once she gave it breakfast, she opened a cup of yogurt for herself and mixed in some oats, a simple, filling meal.
“Sunshine, you’re eating so early in the morning, but I can’t come back at noon. You’ll have to eat your second meal in the evening.” Xia Wei contemplated seriously for a moment. It was not good to have Sunshine stay at home every day. Dogs needed to walk around. She could take it on a walk before leaving the neighborhood and just go to the nail salon afterward. “I’ll return a bit early today to take you on a walk around the neighborhood this evening! Mn…although we’re moving soon.”
When Xia Wei left, Sunshine also wanted to leave. Human and dog fought in a battle of wits and bravery for a while before Xia Wei obtained victory in the end. She sighed once she entered the elevator. Sunshine was certainly lonely when staying at home every day. Should she hire another nail artist? This way, she could spend more time with it.
Just as she thought this, the elevator opened. Xia Wei saw Jiang Zhi Zhou standing outside, and her mind blanked out.
“Morning.” Jiang Zhi Zhou entered and greeted her.
Xia Wei nodded and asked him, “Why are you leaving so late today?”
Jiang Zhi Zhou instead asked, “Are you not also leaving right now?”
“Eh..I went drinking with a friend last night, so I went to sleep a bit late.”
Friend? That Tao Yu? Jiang Zhi Zhou pursed his lips and said, “I also went to sleep late last night.”
Since he saw Xia Wei and Tao Yu yesterday at Tian Xia Restaurant, he had been very contemplative in order to think about what he really cared about. Last night, he suffered from insomnia, a rare occurrence.
“Oh.” The elevator fell silent after that. Several seconds passed before she opened her mouth once more to speak. “Right, I intend to move out.”
Jiang Zhi Zhou, startled, turned to look at her. “Why?”
Xia Wei smiled and said, “This apartment originally belonged to my friends, so I can’t stay here my entire life, can I? She previously said that she intended to come back once she graduated, so I want to find a new apartment in advance before then.”
Jiang Zhi Zhou looked at her silently. If he was in front of a mirror, he would discover that his brows were furrowed again. He was silent for a brief moment and then said, “Then you’re waiting till your friend returns before moving?”
“Moving early or moving late, isn’t that still moving?”
What she said was right; regardless of when she moved, she was still moving out. Jiang Zhi Zhou’s eyes darkened a bit as he asked her, “Where do you plan to move?”
“If you move, you won’t be able to see the orange cat any more.”
“Right, I’ll miss it.”
Jiang Zhi Zhou didn’t say anything more.
When the elevator stopped on the ground level, Xia Wei said to him, “I’m leaving first. When I move, I’ll go say my goodbyes to Tangeriney.”
Jiang Zhi Zhou watched her walk farther away and suddenly felt as if he couldn’t breathe. His chest felt tight, as if a rock, half a kilogram heavy, was pressing down on it. When he reached his car, he took out his phone to look up: 「suddenly having a hard time breathing in the elevator」.
This seemed to be a fairly common thing, as many people had this problem. There were quite a lot of answers to this question as well. One talked about how he should analyze the atmospheric pressure change in the elevator, as it might have something to do with physics. Another suggested that he should go to the hospital to have his health checked. Someone else suggested that he might be claustrophobic and needed to get mental treatment.
Jiang Zhi Zhou knitted his brows. His psychological problem had yet to be solved, yet he had another one?
He set down his phone and started the car.
【Orange Cat Side Story (1)】
Hello, everyone, I am an orange cat, and today is the thirteenth day since I’ve become a stray cat.
When I came to this neighborhood, it seemed clean and beautiful. There’s also a lot of other stray cats inside. I think they chose this neighborhood because of the same reason I did—because this is a high-ranking residential neighborhood, which meant that the inhabitants inside were all very well-off.
The first day in this neighborhood, I met what appeared to be an easy-to-swindle female resident. I rubbed against her legs and showed off my cuteness. She couldn’t endure it and shouted how adorable I am.
Ah, I’m cute, you say? Silly human.
I observed her for several days and discovered that she returned home very late every day. Therefore, I decided to lie down in front of her residential building, basking in the moonlight while waiting to be fed.
My charisma is indeed really high, as she fed me some cookies and bread from the very start. After two days, she offered specialty cat food. Hmph, I’m rather knowledgeable about the human race.
She spoke a lot. Every time I ate, she liked to talk to me. I’ll listen while half-heartedly responding with a hum here and there, making her very happy.
After she was groomed into being my regular meal ticket, I felt that I should groom another one. After all, she didn’t appear to be well-off, and the cat food she fed me wasn’t very filling.
I went to the parking lot—that female resident always walked every day, so of those who drove, there should be someone more well-off, right?
This was later proven true. I really am a highly intelligent cat.
A small side story from the orange cat’s perspective; this has no set schedule for when the author will update! Treat it as a bonus for everyone~ Later, I will upload a side story from the female receptionist from property management’s perspective. A side story from Tao Yu’s perspective will probably…
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