Chapter 54 Neighbor
When Jian Chi woke up, he glanced at the alarm clock next to him, it was 9:40 in the morning.
After getting up to wash up, Jian Chengchao was no longer at home, he must have gone to the dry cleaners early to start his day’s work. In a month, it will be New Year, so every industry currently was ushering in a busy period at the end of the year.
Rather than reading and studying at home, Jian Chi wanted to help in the store, but was rejected by Jian Chengchao as soon as he proposed it. His attitude was adamant on letting him have a good rest, or to have him ask his former friends to go out to play.
Jian Chi, who didn’t have many friends, agreed in embarrassment and thought about Zhang Yang. But he didn’t expect to see Zhang Yang’s newly released location and travel photos in other provinces as soon as he boarded HS, and the idea was temporarily shelved.
In addition to doing math problems to destress, playing single player games on the mobile phone, or watching high-quality old movies from more than ten years ago, Jian Chi had no other hobbies. But it’s not all his fault, his life goals so far were only to be admitted to university and graduate to get work smoothly, which sounded many times more boring than single player mini-games.
Such a monotonous life was unlikely to last a full two months. Jian Chi went out for a few laps after his meal every day, and in two days, he had figured out the terrain of this area. In addition to this four- or five-story residential building, the surrounding area was surrounded by food stalls, small restaurants, several grocery hardware stores, and a mobile phone repair shop.
It was even more lively when he walked out of the residential building to the east. There was a small Xinhua Bookstore and a kindergarten that looked like it had been around for a while. Every time Jian Chi sat in the store reading a book, he could hear the nursery rhymes and children making noises in the kindergarten next door. Perhaps this was the reason why the bookstore’s business was not very good. Jian Chi visited every afternoon.
Saintston didn’t have vacation homework, but he couldn’t just forget his studies. Jian Chi walked into the bookstore with a few economics textbooks and sat down at the same spot every time. Just after putting on his headphones, he heard the sound of things falling from behind. A seven- or eight-year-old girl was struggling with the bookshelf. She was a small figure, wearing gray clothes and trousers, and a loose ponytail.
Jian Chi took off his headphones, walked over, and glanced at the bookshelf, “Which book do you want to take?”
The little girl was silent, her skin was darker than ordinary girls, and her eyes were as large and watery as grapes. Jian Chi waited patiently for a reply. The girl pointed to the colorful version of “A Brief History of Everything” in the third row, then carefully took the book from Jian Chi’s hand. She held it in her arms, and whispered “Thank you, brother”.
Jian Chi was a little surprised that she would be interested in “A Brief History of Everything”. He just thought this and didn’t ask more.
He picked up the book that fell on the ground and put it away, sat back in his seat, and just after focusing on the page in front of him, he caught a glimpse of a dusty and muttering shadow slowly moving to the chair a seat away from him. The little girl who got the book became the second visitor to this table.
This time Jian Chi stayed in the bookstore until evening. He had set a study time of four hours a day, and would usually be on his way home by this time. The little girl next to him was reading the book “A Brief History of Everything”. No one came to pick her up and she didn’t seem to be in a hurry at all.
Jian Chi looked at the dark sky outside, turned off the music that was playing, leaned over, and deliberately lowered his voice: “Little child, aren’t your parents here?”
The little girl looked away from the book, looking extra vigilant, “Not here.”
“Will someone come to pick you up?”
“My brother will come pick me up.”
Jian Chi calmed down a little, thinking that the bookstore didn’t have much time before closing, and asked, “Would you like me to accompany you to wait for your brother? It will be dark soon.”
The little girl hesitated for a while, then shook her head, “No need, thank you brother.”
A polite kid.
Jian Chi didn’t insist any longer. The little girl said it with certainty just now, obviously she was accustomed to waiting for her brother. Jian Chi explained a few words to the boss. After packing his things, he walked out of the bookstore. The cold air of the shop suddenly took away the warmth from the store. He zipped up his coat and heard footsteps in front of him.
In such cold weather, Wen Chuan only wore a black hooded sweater, hidden in the dark. His lower body was wearing jeans and sneakers. The denim fabric was washed and worn, it was difficult to tell whether his shoes were white or gray. He pulled the brim of his hat in front of his eyes, revealing a well-defined jawline and a few strands of black hair hanging down to his chest in the darkness. He was carrying a plastic bag that smelled of food, it looked like he had just bought it from a fast food restaurant.
This sudden sound made Wen Chuan’s figure stay in place, and after a moment of unexpected fluctuations, he moved his lips, and recovered his voice in the silent gaze with Jian Chi.
“What a coincidence.”
What a coincidence.
Jian Chi was jolted by the wind. He pulled his zipper to the top, and walked down the steps, “Are you going to the bookstore?”
“En,” Wen Chuan said, “are you too?”
“I’m ready to return.”
When Jian Chi said this sentence, a trace of strangeness arose, how could Wen Chuan come to the bookstore at this time?
The little girl’s words just echoed in his ears, and before Jian Chi could connect the two, there were footsteps behind him. The little girl ran all the way to Wen Chuan’s side, her hair scattered behind. She held the corner of his sweater tightly, and hid behind Wen Chuan, her big eyes still staring at Jian Chi.
“Jing Jing, call brother,” Wen Chuan lightly tapped the back of the girl’s head, with a cold expressionless face, his voice revealing an imperceptible tenderness, “He is your brother’s good friend.”
Jing Jing stuck her head out and called out ‘brother’ to Jian Chi obediently. The vigilant look just now was replaced by curiosity.
When Jian Chi heard ‘brother’, he didn’t expect this to be so coincidental. After a while, he remembered to ask Jing Jing: “Is he the brother you just mentioned?”
Jing Jing blinked her big eyes and nodded.
Wen Chuan noticed Jian Chi’s surprise, “Did you talk just now?”
“It was just the two of us in the bookstore today. I saw that it was dark and worried that she would not be picked up. After asking a few questions, she said that there would be a brother coming over,” Jian Chi said, “I didn’t expect her brother to be you. “
Wen Chuan pulled the corner of his lips to ease the coldness between his lower eyebrows and looked down at Jing Jing who was kicking the stones, “Jing Jing is the granddaughter of my grandmother, my sister.”
Jian Chi understood the meaning of this sentence.
The path at night was separated by a few dim yellow street lamps, some of which were no longer lit, and the gravel road underfoot was uneven. Jian Chi and Wen Chuan walked side by side, holding the quiet Jing Jing beside them.
Jian Chi thought about what he should say to break the silence, then asked, “Do you live in this area?”
“I didn’t want to see the Fu family, so I moved out.” Wen Chuan’s voice was light, especially in the silent night, and he could feel his slightly trembling chest, “Do you live here too?”
“The third floor of the building in front, the one with the lights on,” Jian Chi said. “My dad should be home now.”
Wen Chuan followed the description to look and was quiet for a long time. After walking for a while, he whispered, “I’m in the building next to you.”
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