Although Lin Xian was born and raised in the city of Anjiang before she had left for college, she had rarely set foot in the southern district. In her limited memory, she only remembers that she once came here with her classmates for a barbecue at a beach during her junior high school spring trip. At that time, the section of the road around the island that she is riding now had not yet been built.
Fortunately, although it was the first time she had embarked on this section of the traffic circle, she found that the road seemed to go straight to the sea with very few turns. So she did not need to remember the way back and just needed to drive calmly.
The traffic circle road under the night, with very few vehicles, appeared a little lonely. All you can hear on the road is the cold wind whistling and the sound of the waves crashing against the shore. Thankfully the moon is beautiful this evening and the towering streetlights on both sides of the road cast a warm glow, adding a touch of warmth to the cold night.
After traveling for some distance, passing by the Music Plaza, there finally seemed to be more traffic and there were more bikers riding with either two or three person per bike on the road. While looking at the road, Lin Xian couldn’t help but watch their woeful performance as they couldn’t control their balance. She listened to those people exclaiming and laughing, feeling the gentle grip around her waist and wondered: If I have the chance, I want to try it with Aunt Xiao. I wonder if Aunt Xiao can ride a bike…
As she was thinking about it, Xiao Yuqing’s hand around her waist left for a moment, then followed by her warm and pleasant voice accompanied by her warm breath, ringing in her ears, “Xian Xian, your script is great. You will have no problem being selected. But the writing may need to be changed a little.”
Xiao Yuqing must have lifted the lens of the helmet up a bit Lin Xian thought.
Her ears, which were cold from the wind, gradually began to burn and itch as Xiao Yuqing’s warm breath blew on them. Lin Xian clenched the handlebar and sped up the moped a little.
She read it, then did she… make her sad? Did she see the note she wrote? Does she know what she wants to convey to her?
Lin Xian hesitated, not sure if she should take the initiative to bring up the topic. She had not yet considered a decision when Xiao Yuqing’s next action disrupted the rhythm of her thoughts and also the rhythm of her heartbeat.
Xiao Yuqing, behind her back, got even closer to her. Lin Xian felt as if her entire body was tightly entrapped in Xiao Yuqing’s arms.
She rested her chin gently on Lin Xian’s shoulder and playfully poked her twice. Her voice, soft and with a sincere smile, “Thank you, Lin Xian.”
It was like a firework had exploded violently in her heart.
This was Xiao Yuqing’s first time to show her kindness in such an intimate manner.
Does this mean that she has really shortened the distance between her and Xiao Yuqing in her heart? She hoped she had removed a small bit of Xiao Yuqing’s wall and melted away a bit of the ice in her heart…
Lin Xian’s heart was overjoyed. Her heart ebbed and flowed, but on the surface she did not dare to show it. She gripped the handle of the moped tightly for a long time before she could suppress her emotions and pretend to be calm. She gently tilted her head as if nothing had happened and tapped her head on the helmet on Xiao Yuqing’s head behind her, telling her, “What are you thanking me for? I want to thank you, Aunt Xiao. I’ll have to trouble you to direct me on my writing again.” There was still a bit of unconcealable joy in the voice.
Xiao Yuqing raised her eyebrows and answered her words, teasing her, “Then will you pay for my tutoring?”
Lin Xian instantly tensed her voice and feigned anger, “Ah, Aunt Xiao, with a friendship like ours, you actually weighed our friendship only in money and want to charge me. God, you’re making me mad. So angry I’m going to cause trouble!” After saying that, she took advantage of the lack of pedestrians on the road to speed up the car again and deliberately swayed left and right.
Xiao Yuqing has always been a careful driver and has always been a person who follows the rules of the road. Seeing this situation, she immediately tightened her arms around Lin Xian and begged for mercy, “Lin Xian, don’t make a scene. It’s very dangerous.”
“Xian Xian, I was wrong…”
Lin Xian laughed out loud, slowed down a little, and her mouth continued to tease her, “It’s too late. The anger has been unleashed and cannot be stopped….”
Xiao Yuqing saw her slowing down and knew that she still had a sense of propriety in her heart, so she was relieved and had the desire to play jokes with her again. Her hands that were tightly wrapped around her thin waist loosened and rested on both sides of Lin Xian’s waist instead. She smiled and said in a warm voice, “So, how about I look for the on and off switch on your body to turn off the angry mode?” After saying that, she schematically stretched out two fingers and gently poked at Lin Xian’s waist, like she was ready to start something.
Lin Xian instantly understood the meaning of Xiao Yuqing’s words and her heart immediately raised alarm bells. She twisted her waist and refused in panic, “No. There’s no button….”
Xiao Yuqng was pleased by her panic and couldn’t help but laugh from her vermilion lips. It was soft and beautiful…
Facing the cold wind, Lin Xian couldn’t help but frown.
On both sides of the road, the tall palm trees cast thin and long shadows. Quietly listening to the joy of passers-by and the ups and downs of laughter…
After a few more minutes, Lin Xian found that the people on the road began to grow more. So much that on several occasions, she had to stop the noped and wait for the passing pedestrians to walk by before continuing on.
Once again when she was forced to stop, Lin Xian glanced across the road and found that the scene across the road looked different from the one ahead. There, the lights were glorious, with a steady stream of pedestrians coming and going and the faint sound of music coming across.
Lin Xian curiously asked Xiao Yuqing, “Aunt Xiao, why does the other side seem to be very lively?”
Xiao Yuqing smiled and also looked towards the other side. In the darkness, she saw the familiar sign hanging in mid-air at the entrance of the street and her beautiful eyebrows sank ever so slightly. She answered Lin Xian in a soft voice, “This is quite famous street in the southern district, called Xiangnan Road and it is also considered a scenic spot. There are many snacks and food inside, as well as many cafes, boutiques, and bars. It’s the most lively at night and it is considered one of the must-see places for tourists who come here vacation”
Lin Xian was a little tempted. She didn’t know if she had a psyche temptation after hearing Xiao Yuqing’s words, but she even thought that she could vaguely smell the tantalizing aroma of snacks across from the street. All of a sudden she felt hungry and her mouth was full of longing for food, so she proposed, “Let’s go over and take a look, okay?”
Xiao Yuqing’s hands, which were hanging down, tightened into fists. After a moment, she agreed in a warm voice, “Okay, let’s go over and take a look.”
Lin Xian parked her electric moped by the side of the square not far away, locked it, and then followed Xiao Yuqing’s back. They crossed an overpass and quickly arrived at the opposite side of Xiangnan Road.
The novelty and excitement occupied Lin Xian’s mind, to the extent that she didn’t notice that Xiao Yuqing only had a pale look on her face and her usual warm and gentle smile was not there.
Xiangnan Road was really crowded. Just by standing at the entrance of the street, you could see that the narrow street was full of enthusiasm and everyone was following each other. In some areas, the line of people waiting to buy was even up to a meter away. The shouting of vendors and the chattering of tourists have merged into a boisterous crowd, encouraging Lin Xian to become more and more excited.
Lin Xian took advantage of the situation to reach out and hold Xiao Yuqing’s hand. She held it tightly and turned her head to slyly explain to Xiao Yuqing, “There are many people inside, let’s try not to get separated.”
Xiao Yuqing’s eyebrows softened and she did not break free. She even gently returned a grip, nodded, and answered her, “Okay.”
Lin Xian contentedly held onto Xiao Yuqing’s soft hand and walked side by side with her towards the entrance. They walked on one side and she surveyed the vendors on both sides, while asking Xiao Yuqing absently, “Have you ever been here before, Aunt Xiao?”
Xiao Yuqing’s footsteps slightly stalled at her words. She looked towards the deepest part of the street, looking at the lights before them, still as prosperous as before. Her eyes dimmed for a long time and Lin Xian only heard Xiao Yuqing’s voice say to her, “I’ve been here two or three times.”
Only then did Lin Xian notice Xiao Yuqing’s abnormality. She stopped walking and turned around to look at Xiao Yuqing and saw her staring blankly at the bustling crowd in front of her. Her eyes contained somberness and sadness that she could not understand.
Lin Xian didn’t know that this place, this street, had witnessed the splendid beginning and silent end of Xiao Yuqing’s first love.
She did not lie to Lin Xian. She did come here two or three times. The first time was when she and Wen Tong and… Yan Jia, the three people who came together in the first year of their studies.
At that time, the three of them were in the same Chinese Department of graduate students. Wen Tong was her mentor, but Yan Jia was not. Yan Jia had graduated from a number one prestigious university with a bachelor’s degree and a background of studying abroad, so once she had entered as a graduate student, she was highly valued. She and Wen Tong participated in several activities, all under Yan Jia’s leadership, and slowly they got to know each other. At some point she didn’t know when Yan Jia had started to chase her openly. From the beginning, Xiao Yuqing was incredulous, but gradually she became confused. Maybe it was Yan Jia’s enthusiasm and initiative that moved her, or maybe it was Yan Jia’s excellence that attracted her, she didn’t know when she fell in love. But she has been disciplined since she was a child, and did not dare nor could she accept that she liked the same sex. Therefore, she has been restraining herself and repeatedly and cruelly refused Yan Jia, not daring to cross the line by half a step.
This time, it was Yan Jia who begged her to give her one last chance, to give her one last good memory. She wanted to go out with her for Christmas. She couldn’t bear to refuse her, but she was also afraid that she would do something wrong. So, she had requested Wen Tong to join her and the three of them came here together.
Yan Jia was in the open-air bar deep in this alley, in front of the microphone, in full view of everyone, staring at her intently, and sang “Similar to Love ” to her. Before the end of the song, she couldn’t stop sobbing. She looked at Xiao Yuqing with teary eyes and choked up, saying, “You are scared and I won’t force you. I just wish you happiness…” and then she got up and ran outside. Xiao Yuqing’s heart was crushed in a second and then next the pain became too painful. She ignored Wen Tong and other people’s shocked gaze and chased after her, hugging her body closely to the slender and soft woman who was sobbing under the streetlight with her back turned. She finally accepted her… with her actions and no words.
At that time, she also thought that in a person’s lifetime, for there to be mutual love, was already considered a rare blessing. As long as there is love in the heart, you can overcome anything. She should be courageous for this love. For herself and for Yan Jia…
In the end, reality told her.
Innocence is not a luxury an adult can have.
The last time she came here was with Wen Tong. She was in that sane bar, from five o’clock in the evening until two o’clock in the morning, looking at the stage that once had a figure of Yan Jia. She poured herself wine after wine until Wen Tong finally got irritated and yelled at her, “Have you had enough? Whether you came here to die or live, who do you want to feel sorry for you,” and dragged her away.
Yes, what’s the use of this? That day was Yan Jia’s wedding day.
The more she walked back to the hotel, the more sober she became, and the more bitterness flooded into her heart. She stiffened her neck, bit her lip, tried not to let herself shed a tear, and told herself in her heart: If it was over, then so be it.
From then on, she had never stepped into this street again.
Xiao Yuqing does not know why, but today she has the courage to come here again. It seems that since Lin Xian came to her home, she has gradually regained something…
She thought to herself, perhaps it was the youthful vigor of young people that infected her.
She gathered her thoughts and looked sideways at the girl beside her, just in time to see that Lin Xian had also happened to turn her head to look at her. Then, the girl turned her lips slightly to her and asked her happily, “Aunt Xiao, can I have that kebab?”
On weekdays, her diet was strictly controlled by Zhou Qin, forbidding her to eat roadside stalls and all kinds of junk food. Previously, Zhou Qin had also instructed Xiao Yuqing to help look after her. But today, Xiao Yuqing looked at the girl’s clear and expectant eyes and her heart softened and she made an exception, “It’s okay to eat it once in a while, but you can’t let your mother know.”
Lin Xian instantly smiled and praised Xiao Yuqing flatteringly, “I knew you were the best, Aunt Xiao.” While jumping around, she went to the stall and ordered three skewers of grilled meat.
Beside them, there were people feeding each other with ice cream and with every bite came a puff of smoke from their mouth and nose. Lin Xian looked surprised and became interested, she asked the people out loud, “Hello, may I ask, where did you buy this ice cream?”
The other person was very kind and patiently gave her the directions to a small stall a little further in and told her, “Right over there.”
Lin Xian’s eyes shone brightly towards Xiao Yuqing and before she could say anything, Xiao Yuqing kindly said, “Go ahead and buy it. I’ll wait for you here.”
Lin Xian showed her white teeth and looked happy, “Okay, I’ll be right back. What flavor do you want, Aunt Xiao?”
Xiao Yuqing wanted to say she didn’t want it, but when she saw Lin Xian’s serious waiting look, she changed her mind and said warmly, “Plain flavor or matcha flavor.”
“Okay… I’ll be right back.” Then the girl ran away in a flash.
Xiao Yuqing looked at her lively figure, disappearing into the crowd, speechlessly softened her face.
The speed of the barbecue was much faster than Xiao Yuqing expected. When she got the kebabs she had just ordered, Lin Xian had not returned yet, so Xiao Yuqing thought for a moment and took the initiative to find Lin Xian.
Lin Xian just happened to receive the two cups of ice cream handed to her by the owner before she turned around and saw Xiao Yuqing standing behind her with a smile on her face, holding the kebabs in one hand that was out of place with her temperament.
Lin Xian couldn’t help but raise her eyebrows. She handed a cup of ice cream to Xiao Yuqing and then scooped up a small spoonful of ice cream. But not towards herself, but, towards to Xiao Yuqing’s mouth, saying warmly, “Aunt Xiao, try it.”
The young girl’s face was innocent and bright. Xiao Yuqing was mildly surprised and her eyes gradually softened. She lowered her head, her long, thick eyelashes fluttered slightly and answered Lin Xian, “Okay.”
The red lips opened and came closer and took a bite of the spoon Lin Xian handed out.
The prelude to the song in the bar in the distance ended, and a deep magnetic male voice rang out, singing softly: “She is a thirty-year-old woman who has not yet married. There are a few wrinkles around her eyes in her smiling face…”
Lin Xian’s outstretched hand stiffened and her eyes stared soberly at Xiao Yuqing. She watched Xiao Yuqing bow her head and lower her eyes, the tip of her sweet red tongue was slightly exposed, she watched her long eyelashes move, the tip of her nose was smooth like jade, and she watched her soft hair slip a little in front of her eyes. Her lips parted slightly and she gently breathed out, and in an instant, the smoke obscured her soft and beautiful face.
Everything around seemed to become still. In Lin Xian’s eyes, only the beauty of Xiao Yuqing’s eyes were revealed behind the mist, smiling at her with her lips hooked. Just like a person in a painting.
Lin Xian’s heart shuddered, she swallowed, and she gazed at Xiao Yuqing with scorching eyes as if she wanted to burn a mark on Xiao Yuqing’s heart.
Perhaps the night is really beautiful, or the first love in the young girl’s heart is too victorious, and she finally couldn’t hold back. She closed her eyes and leaned close to Xiao Yuqing and spat out her heart in a low, soft voice, “Aunt Xiao, isn’t the moon lovely….”
“I like the tenderness unique to thirty-year-old women…” The singing voice rang out along with her words…
Lin Xian saw Xiao Yuqing’s beautiful eyes staring at her and there was a flash of shock and then she opened her eyes wide….
Thank you Tiffany for supporting this novel! Hope you enjoyed it!!
The author has something to say:
Note: Isn’t the moon lovely, is a classic by Japanese writer Natsume Soseki as a confession statement. Lin Xian knew that Xiao Yuqing, a person who was in the Chinese department, must have understood it.
Lin Xian’s first confession, the puppy (adorable) kind….
Lin Xian smiling: Aunt Xiao, do you want to look for the other switches on me? (Covers face)
Translator: “Isn’t the moon lovely” means “I love you”.
Imagine someone had said that to you but your uneducated butt didn’t get it. Don’t worry, that wasn’t you but a commentor on the author’s page.