After repeated confirmations, taking apart the radicals of each word and reorganizing them several times, Zhou Jinheng had to admit that there was indeed the word ”couldn’t“ in front of ”forgive”.
From unwilling to believe to being flustered in just a few seconds, he typed some words and deleted them, going back and forth several times, unable to organize his words to send them. Instead, he received a third message from Xiao Hui Xia: But everyone is different. I can’t stand deception the most. Maybe his bottom line is not there [Doraemon smile]
Zhou Jinheng was stunned; his fingers that had just moved flexibly hung stiffly above the screen.
You are him, and his bottom line is your bottom line.
Really… can’t forgive me?
Lying on the bed, Yi Hui held his mobile phone and waited. There was no reply from Dora-hum-hum. He was a little anxious. He returned to look through their chat just now and began to reflect on whether his tone was too heavy.
But he didn’t want to lie and deceive people, and he also emphasized that it was his own perspective. It shouldn’t be too much of a blow to Dora-hum-hum, should it?
While he struggled to think about what to say, Dora-hum-hum finally sent a reply: Then what if I promise to be nice to him in the future and not let him suffer any grievance?
Seeing this line of words, Yi Hui came back to his senses. This was the first time someone confided in him. He tried to be as comforting as possible, putting himself in the other person’s shoes, but he inevitably related the troubles they encountered to his own experiences.
Be nice to me? Don’t let me suffer any grievance?
After thinking for a while, he shook his head, rejecting it. How can he be nice to me? I didn’t feel aggrieved at the time either, it was all done willingly.
After pondering again, Yi Hui filled his reply with positive energy: Give it a try, hope is always reserved for those who are prepared! [cheers]
The next day was Jiang Yimang’s birthday. Yi Hui got up early and took the bus to go to the city to buy ingredients. He was afraid that they might not be fresh if he bought them in advance. He bought fruit, milk, eggs and even the tools for making the cake from scratch.
On the way back, he carried a large bag with difficulty. He got off the bus and just transferred the bag with the tools to his shoulder, intending to reduce the burden on his hands. When he walked to the exit of the station, he ran into a man dressed as a staff member. He presented a trolley to him and diligently helped him organize all his baggage in the trolley.
Yi Hui was delighted to hear that this was a convenient service offered by the station: “This trolley is great, right? I will return it when I send the things home.”
The staff member waved his hand open-mindedly: “No need, keep the trolley.”
Surrounded by goodwill, Yi Hui returned home dizzy as if treading on cotton. He turned the trolley over and took a look and then went to a shopping website to search for the brand. It was not very expensive but it still made him feel strange. If every passenger with heavy luggage was given a trolley, wouldn’t the station go bankrupt?
The more Yi Hui thought about it, the more he worried about the station. After finishing the cake, he put it in the oven at Aunt Qiu’s house and immediately went out to return the trolley. When he arrived at the station, he looked around but couldn’t find the staff member. He ran to the service desk to ask. The person there said that the station did not provide trolley service and asked if he remembered it wrong.
Coming out of the station scratching his head, Yi Hui had doubts about his memory for the first time after he was reborn.
He originally wanted to leave the trolley at the station for passengers in need, but the station resolutely refused to accept it. Yi Hui had no choice but to push it back.
Passing by the vegetable farm stall on the way, he bought some vegetables. Today the vegetable farm stall owners were also very enthusiastic. There was buy one get one free for fish, buy one get one free for shrimp and those who bought a few scallions and garlic were all given a big piece of ginger. Yi Hui repeatedly refused and the stall owner auntie stuffed it into his trolley and said with a smile: “How can you make fish without ginger?”
Half a day had passed in the blink of an eye and although he couldn’t put his finger on it, Yi Hui felt that something wasn’t quite right, as if there was an invisible hand behind his back manipulating and influencing his life.
However, time waited for no one. Yi Hui was too busy to delve too much into it and concentrated on making the cake.
Making cakes was one of the few skills he learned in his previous life and one of the few skills he was proud of. Yi Hui ignored the reason for learning it and only recalled the process of laughing and crying when learning to bake cakes. Laughing because of all the hilarious mistakes and making enough failed cakes to circle around the globe, and crying because the cakes he made were not tasted by anyone but himself.
However, this time it was different. The birthday star, Jiang Yimang, was extremely enthusiastic. She finished her homework at school and rushed home to eat the cake. Jiang Xuemei also came back from work early to cook a table of dishes. Uncle Qiu and Aunt Qiu next door came to congratulate her with their two children. The small living room was crowded.
It was not quite dark yet and the lights inside and outside the Jiang family’s house were turned off. A lit number candle was inserted in the cake shaped as a cat’s face with blue as its main color. In the candlelight Jiang Yimang made a wish with her fingers crossed. When she opened her eyes, she puffed her cheeks and leaned forward. With a blow, the candle with the number 17 was extinguished. Everyone applauded and congratulated the Jiang family on their daughter coming of age, wishing her peace and joy, and to become more and more beautiful as she grew.
In this happy and peaceful atmosphere, Jiang Yimang didn’t forget to use her birthday for personal gain and looked at Yi Hui expectantly: “Brother, I have a wish. Can you agree to it first?”
The birthday star was the most important, how could Yi Hui refuse. After she got his promise, Jiang Yimang’s eyes lit up again: “In the future, on your wedding day, I will be the bridesmaid… a groomsman is also fine, I just want to follow the whole process exclusively, only I can take pictures, okay?”
Yi Hui was still baffled when Aunt Qiu interjected, laughing: “Your brother is still young, did he and some little girl go this far?”
Jiang Xuemei also smiled: “Wedding day? Your brother doesn’t go out of the house, if you have time to worry about that, why don’t you introduce him to someone first?”
Jiang Yimang patted her chest and said, “No problem, I’ll take care of it!”
It was someone else’s birthday but Yi Hui was happier than anyone else. At night, he heard Jiang Yimang say she wanted to eat another piece of cake. He personally went downstairs, cut a piece, delivered it to her room and, along the way, gave her his gift.
It was a portrait. In the painting, a girl looked back spontaneously, her bright face surrounded by flowers and sunlight. She smiled lightly, with a blush rising to the corners of her upturned eyes that belonged only to a shy young girl.
How could Jiang Yimang not see that it was her. She held the small painting and looked at it for a while. Two lines of tears slid down her face, causing Yi Hui to jump up in fright. He hurriedly grabbed a tissue to wipe her tears, asking if the painting was not good and saying that he would take it back and repaint it.
Jiang Yimang pressed the picture frame to her chest and refused to give it back. She shook her head like a rattle and said in a trembling voice: “It looks good, it looks so good. I only learned today that I look so good.”
Yi Hui couldn’t figure it out: “Then why are you crying?”
“I used to treat you badly. I bullied you and didn’t like to talk to you. I always pestered you and said bad things about you to Mom… You, you never bickered with me and you repaid my grievances with virtue and painted me so beautifully. Woo – brother, I’m sorry!”
After hearing the second half, Yi Hui figured out what was going on and said with laughter: “It’s okay, it’s okay, brother knows you were not being malicious.”
Thinking of the trivial dislike he felt from Jiang Yimang when he first occupied this body, it was not difficult for Yi Hui to imagine the way the siblings used to interact.
When the family moved here back then, the one who was most affected was the young Jiang Yimang. She was obviously the youngest in the family and most in need of care, but she had to say goodbye to her hometown for the sake of her brother, part with her dear friends and come to this strange town. Even if she didn’t mention it, the seeds of “I am not valued” were planted in her heart.
One of the siblings was not good with his words and the other was resentful. No one had taken the initiative to take a step forward over the years. If it hadn’t been for Yi Hui reviving in Jiang Yihui’s body and breaking this layer of ice accidentally, the two of them might still be silent all day long, one continuing to find fault with the other. The family atmosphere would stay a delicate mix of peacefulness and hidden explosions.
“Okay, be good, no more crying.” Yi Hui himself was a cry-baby and he had no experience in coaxing people. He patted Jiang Yimang’s head and patted her back for a while, “Stop crying, I will paint you more beautifully in the future.”
After hearing this, Jiang Yimang burst into tears and laughed: “It would be too fake to be more beautiful. It’s like stacking up eighteen layers of filters. I like it to be realistic.” She said, patting the painting in her hands, “Here, just like this.”
Yi Hui had heard of the word “filter”, a common term used by girls in the entertainment industry.
In the evening, he posted a photo of the cake to Weibo. After receiving some exaggerated compliments from Dora-hum-hum, Yi Hui was a little embarrassed. He held his phone and replied: How can it look so good? Your filter is too thick [Doraemon smiles]
Dora-hum-hum: Really, it looks good and it’s delicious.
Yi Hui narrowed his eyes in a smile: It’s like you have eaten it [haha]
The other end did not reply at once, as if considering it: I hope I will have a chance to eat it in the future.
Yi Hui thought he was joking and he also replied jokingly: If you come to play in the future, I will bake it for you.
Dora-hum-hum: I screenshotted for evidence.
Yi Hui: You can do that? [Doraemon is surprised]
Somehow, this ordinary word made Yi Hui’s brain imagine how it would sound. He thought of a young man, a few years younger than him, pretending to be mature, raising his head and saying “Uh-huh” in a high, level tone. After getting rid of the unexplained familiarity, Yi Hui strangely felt closer to Dora-hum-hum.
Thinking of the poor Dora-hum-hum, who was so disappointed and pitiful when he confided in him two days ago, Yi Hui was overwhelmed with affection and could not help but compliment: Dora-hum-hum, you are so cute [cute]
There was no immediate reply from the other end. Yi Hui thought that he didn’t like being complimented on being cute and was just about to change his words to compliment him on being handsome when Dora-hum-hum replied: Don’t call me Dora-hum-hum.
Yi Hui was puzzled: What should I call you?
Dora-hum-hum: Call me Hum-Hum. (hēng-hēng)
A few days later, Tang Wenxi, who had handed in his homework and was free, visited him for the second time. Yi Hui, who was new to online social networking, told him about the interesting things he had encountered on the internet recently. Tang Wenxi laughed and said, “Hum-Hum? I can’t, haha, is he lying to you? Is he actually a girl? How can a boy ask others to call him that, it’s stupid and girly.”
Yi Hui shook his head categorically: “Hum-Hum is very nice, he can’t lie to me.”
Tang Wenxi curled his lips and said, “Oh, now that you have Hum-Hum, you don’t want Xi-Xi.”
The topic surrounding the ”nicknames“ triggered Yi Hui’s laughter. Hum-Hum, Ha-Ha and Xi-Xi sounded like a family. Yi Hui laughed silently with tears in his eyes. Tang Wenxi pretended to be angry and said, ”If you laugh again, I’ll go home.” Only then did he barely manage to stop.
The two hadn’t spent time together for a while. The last time they had to rush to receive the award. Tang Wenxi suggested to go to the beach again to see what the sea looked like in late autumn.
Yi Hui went with him. Even though it was approaching winter, the average daily temperature here was still more than ten degrees. Jiang Xuemei was afraid that he would catch a cold in the sea breeze, so she found him a padded jacket and a thick woolen scarf.
This time it was Tang Wenxi’s turn to laugh. He swaggered around in short-sleeves and shorts, singing that one of them was like summer and the other was like winter and it was one kind of luck to be brothers in this life.
They say that what goes around comes around. On the way back he couldn’t sing. The sea breeze during the day was quite cool and pleasant but at night, the temperature dropped sharply and the wind was bone-piercing. Tang Wenxi was so frozen, his teeth were chattering. Trying to save his face, he insisted that it was not cold. Yi Hui couldn’t bear it. He took off his scarf and gave it to him. Tang Wenxi refused at first but finally accepted it in humiliation.
The scarf was so big that it could almost wrap his whole upper body. Tang Wenxi sat in the bus, enjoying being wrapped in the scarf by Yi Hui, while turning his head and looking around.
“What are you looking at?” Yi Hui sat upright, “Don’t move, I’ll tie a knot.”
Tang Wenxi gave a ”tsk”: “I always feel that someone is watching us.”
On the bus, Yi Hui turned his head to look at him: “No, you must have sensed wrong.”
When they got off at the station and walked back, Tang Wenxi suddenly grabbed Yi Hui by the shoulder and pulled him to his side. Before Yi Hui could make a sound, he made a gesture to keep silent: “Hush – that person is still behind us.”
Yi Hui still didn’t believe it but he couldn’t help getting nervous: “No, it can’t be?”
Tang Wenxi didn’t turn his head but his gaze moved to look around: “Let’s find a way to split up and see who he is following.”
By now Yi Hui was already familiar with the territory. The two discussed their countermeasures in low voices. At the fork of the road Yi Hui turned as if nothing happened; he had not gone more than twenty meters when he heard footsteps faintly following behind him.
His heart was beating like a drum. He took a few more steps while counting silently. He closed his eyes and turned around. Immediately afterwards, they quickly stepped forward and blocked the man in the middle of the road with him in front and Tang Wenxi behind.
“Where’s the little thief stealing chickens and dogs, see if I don’t take you… Ouch, ouch, Classmate Jiang, run, go to the police!”
Under the dim street lights, Yi Hui watched Tang Wenxi, who was the first to rush up, being caught by a tall man whose face he couldn’t see clearly and his arm was wrenched backwards. When the man reached his hand to cover Tang Wenxi’s mouth, he made a decisive move to stop him: ”You, let go of…”
The word ”him” faded away because he suddenly saw the man’s face.
Yi Hui had never seen Zhou Jinheng looking this frantic before.
Zhou Jinheng used to be confident and chic. In addition, he entered society when he was in his teens. He rarely showed immaturity consistent with his age in his gestures. But at this moment, he subconsciously dodged when their eyes met, as if he was a child caught doing something bad.
He let go of Tang Wenxi, looked away at first but then couldn’t help but glance at Yi Hui, opening his mouth to say something: “I…”
He thought he would at least have a chance to explain, but before he could say anything, Yi Hui took two steps back and looked at him with an extremely wary and resistant look: “Why are you still here?”
His raised hand froze in the air. Falling into an ice cave could not describe a millionth of Zhou Jinheng’s feelings at this time.
Perhaps it was the intimate communication over the phone these days that gave him some sort of illusion, but only now did Zhou Jinheng realize how naive he was.
Won’t let him suffer a little grievance in the future?
All the grievances that Yi Hui had suffered were caused by him personally. If Yi Hui did not want to accept it, no matter how much he did, it would be in vain.
It took him too long to think of repairing it. It was like applying medicine to a closed wound. It looked touching, but it was actually meaningless.
What’s more, the wounds he inflicted to Yi Hui were too deep and too heavy. When the blood was dripping, he didn’t care at all. Now he was dead, hung to dry with no temperature. As his executioner, looking back and saying that he wanted to make amends, who would believe him and would forgive him?