Cactus in Distress Chapter 23

Chapter 23

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Chen Rui blew a gust of wind on the way and finally calmed down.

Or not.

He thought that, just for the sake of her liking him, he reluctantly admitted to having some feelings for her. These feelings couldn’t explain anything, who knew if it would last? You have to try it to find out.

The soft feeling around Sun Yutan’s waist still lingered on Chen Rui’s fingertips. He regretted his impulse to do what he just did. But inevitably, he thought that maybe the two of them could move out and live together after they go to college.

He thought so much, but he still couldn’t touch Sun Yutan. Unless he deliberately walked past her classroom window. She always kept her head down, constantly solving problems, as if she was focusing on studying.

Sun Yutan’s hard work had a significant effect, and her rank on the honor roll steadily improved. Her grades were already good, and now the distance between her and him was getting shorter. Chen Rui naturally thought that she was working hard to attend the same university as him.

So he didn’t go looking for her. Everything could wait until after the college entrance exam.

The day after the college entrance exam, Chen Kaisheng, for once, did not go out. He waited for his son to sleep in and then wake up on the couch.

After Chen Rui finished breakfast, Chen Kaisheng called him over with a smile and asked if he had any plans for the vacation. He suggested they go to the company and have some fun.

Chen Ting, who was playing on her phone nearby, dissatisfiedly said, “Dad, you’re going too far. Let my little brother rest after the exam.”

Chen Kaisheng said, “Then you can come with me. You can’t have just finished your exam.”

Chen Ting immediately pretended not to hear, turned around and ignored him. Anyway, one’s own life journey would carry on, even if their friends were to pass away.

Chen Rui had something on his mind and didn’t answer for a moment.

Chen Kaisheng thought his son was protesting by being silent. Fearing that he might develop a rebellious mentality, he decided to loosen the string. He resolved the dilemma by saying, “You should have your own plan, and I support you. I just mentioned it casually.” He slapped his forehead. “Right! Xiao Tan has finished her exam too. Why don’t you guys go out and have fun together?”

Zeng Xinyun said, “Come on, do you think your son is close with Xiao Tan? Don’t let both sides suffer by going out together.”

“Agree,” Chen Ting nodded in agreement, “and Xiao Tan has arranged to go to Inner Mongolia with her classmates. It seems like they’ve already arrived.”

Chen Rui asked, “How do you know?”

Chen Ting replied, “She posted it on her Moments.”

“You have her Moments?”

“Come on,” Chen Ting rolled her eyes at her brother, “Do you think I’m cold and heartless like you? Xiao Tan is so cute, I added her a long time ago.”

“Give it to me.”

“Give you what?”

“Let me see what she posts every day that you find so cute.”

“You’re so impolite, you have to ask nicely.”

“Please, my dear Big Sister.”

Chen Ting tossed her phone to him.

The screen was paused on Sun Yutan’s WeChat homepage, with a lively cartoon image as her profile picture.

The privacy settings were set to visible for three days, and Chen Rui could only see a dynamic post from a few tens of minutes ago. He clicked on each picture one by one. The first one showed four overlapping plane tickets, the second one showed the wing of the plane outside the window, and the last one was a selfie. 

Sun Yutan and Wu Junzhe each showed half of their faces in the photo, with another couple doing a peace sign behind them.

“Looks like a couple on a trip,” Chen Ting exclaimed, “I didn’t expect her family to be so open-minded.”

She didn’t notice her brother’s grimace at all, took her own phone and looked at the selfie again, commenting, “This guy looks pretty handsome, Sun Yutan has good taste.”

Sun Yutan and her group set off from Hailar and took the classic northern route.

On the first day, when they passed through the birch forest, Tang Guo insisted on taking the class monitor to make a wish. When she came back, she happily said, “I read in a book that if a couple can make a wish in the birch forest, they will live happily ever after. There are so many eyes watching.”

“Where are the eyes?”

Tang Guo pointed to the tree trunks. The class monitor countered, “Those are the derivatives of pores on the bark, they are the portals for gas exchange between the stem and the outside world.” Tang Guo went up to cover his mouth and Sun Yutan and Wu Junzhe leaned on the side and laughed. Tang Guo asked, “Do you two want to go?”

Sun Yutan and Wu Junzhe looked at each other and shook their heads.

At night, Tang Guo squeezed onto Sun Yutan’s bed and asked her in a low voice, “Are you and Wu Junzhe really not together?”

“Do you think it’s possible?”

Tang Guo was a little disappointed. “I thought something would be different this time.”

“What are you thinking? When you’re in a relationship, you hope others are in pairs too.”

“Yeah!” Tang Guo said righteously, “You guys are obviously so compatible.”

“We can only be friends.”

“How can two people of opposite sex just be friends?”

“You and Wu Junzhe aren’t together either. Fine, I’ll tell the class monitor.”

Tang Guo immediately punched her and said, “Stop it.” Feeling unsatisfied, they wrestled into a bundle and both laughed uncontrollably. Sun Yutan eventually surrendered and begged for mercy.

On the last day of the trip, everyone woke up early, came out of their tents, and sat side by side on the still damp grass. They all felt a bit reluctant to leave, and Wu Junzhe asked, “Is it worth it?”

Sun Yutan replied, “It’s worth it!”

Tang Guo felt a bit melancholic and said, “Why does it have to end?”

They had just emerged from piles of books and papers, and along the way, they had encountered undulating green grass, lazy cows and sheep, damp and lively deer. They all felt a bit at a loss in their comfortable and leisurely state.

The college entrance exam results were roughly in line with Sun Yutan’s expectations.

Sun Ping was so happy that he couldn’t stop smiling and paced back and forth in the house rubbing his hands together. Su Nan hugged her precious daughter tightly, then took her hand and breathed a long sigh of relief.

Not long after, Chen Kaisheng called, his tone unable to hide his pride. They exchanged scores and congratulated each other.

Sun Yutan sat on the side, hearing about Chen Rui’s high score and complimenting him to her mother, “Very stable.”

Su Nan said, “We are not bad either.”

Sun Yutan couldn’t help but smile. She felt that her mother had developed a strange competitive desire towards the Chen family since the incident in winter.

After hanging up the phone, Sun Ping said that Chen Kaisheng had already booked a hotel to celebrate for the two children.

Su Nan didn’t say anything, and the family packed up and went out to drive.

As they were led to the private room, the Chen family had not yet arrived. Sun Yutan kept her head down and busily replied to her classmates’ messages. At this moment, everything was settled, and everyone became reserved, cautiously probing each other’s situation, not daring to be too exuberant in their happiness. 

Tang Guo did well on the exam and was happily discussing other classmates’ scores with Sun Yutan. Some were pleasantly surprised while others unexpectedly performed poorly, and there were always some who were happy while others were sad.

Wu Junzhe sent a message, “Okay, Classmate Sun?”

Sun Yutan: “It’s okay, it’s okay.”

Wu Junzhe: “Where are you? Are you out?”

Sun Yutan sent a location.

Wu Junzhe: “Rich kid.”

Sun Yutan: “Just coming for a meal.”

Wu Junzhe: “Then you eat first.”

Sun Yutan: “What’s the matter, what are you doing out here?”

Wu Junzhe: “I have a flight tomorrow morning.”

Sun Yutan: “So soon!”

She was caught off guard, but the door of the private room opened at that moment, and she stood up with her parents, her hands still on the keyboard. She quickly typed out a message to him, “Wait for me in an hour.”

Putting her phone upside down on the table, Sun Yutan looked up and saw Chen Rui standing opposite her. He was wearing a black and yellow striped T-shirt, looking handsome and cool, but his eyes seemed cold and distant. Sun Yutan felt innocent and inexplicable, suspecting that she had misunderstood something. She tried to take a closer look, but Chen Rui had already sat down and refused to look at her. She hadn’t seen him in a long time, and her memories were still stuck on the bold and daring kiss last time. Could he still be angry? Sun Yutan felt guilty and avoided looking at him.

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