何所冬暖 何所夏凉 SEASON: Chapter 1.1

This is the first part of chapter 1. Each chapter is so long! In this section, Jian An Jie, our heroine, returns to China after being abroad for 6 years. There’s quite a few names dropped, but since they are reoccurring characters, its pretty easy to recognize them after seeing them a few times. Happy reading!

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  Returning Home 

As the plane slid slowly across the runway, the Eiffel Tower in the distant was still as bright as ever. I leaned back on the chair, looking at the name on the flight ticket. Being abroad in the past few years, I’d almost forgotten the name shown – Jian An Jie. This is the name my parents originally planned for their son. What’s unexpected is that in the end, it was an daughter who was born.

When the plane finally took off, I closed my eyes and breathed slowly. We all have to endure certain things. Such as the planes taking off. Such as going back.

– – – – – –

After a long time, I vaguely heard someone calling me.

“Huh?” Chen Qing Yu opened the door and came in. “ An Jie, You are home?”

“En”

“You’ve been in the study room this whole time? Have you eaten lunch?”

“I’ve had some.” I replied offhandedly. I hesitated whether to return to my room or wait. She might leave immediately.

Chen Qing Yu got a file from the bookcase drawer. “Aunty have to leave right now. Your father and I likely won’t be returning home for dinner.” She took one glance. “You can return to reading, don’t forget to eat dinner.”

I nodded my head. She opened the door and left.

“Xi Chen, how come you’re also home…..today, weren’t you suppose to go…..”

The noise from the outside corridor traveled into the study room. Far and near, I unintentionally listened carefully. Not being able to concentrate on reading, I simply closed my eyes and rest.

I wonder what Ye Lin is doing at this moment? He said he wanted to go watch his friends play ball. Every weekend he’s always so busy, can’t even see his face.

As I hazily woke up, I saw Chen Qing Yu standing in front of me.

Sorry I woke you up. Aunty need to ask you, have you moved a document? Similar to this, both have yellow cover and was placed over there.” She pointed at the drawer from before.

“No.”

“That’s odd. I’m certain I placed it over there yesterday. How come I can’t find it?”

I leaned over to pick up the book that slid to the floor. Planning to return to my room.

“An Jie, can you try thinking more carefully. Did you moved it and then forgot where you misplaced it?”

I shook my head. “No, I didn’t move it.”

“That doesn’t make any sense. You’re the only person in the study room today.”

When I tried leaving the room, she held onto me. “Wait. How can this child be —— Hey, Aunty really needed it urgently. Even if you’d never seen it, shouldn’t you help me find it?”

She pulled me to the point of hurting me. “Don’t pull me.”

“I say —- I’m trying to speak to you nicely, why do you always have to have this attitude?”

“You let go first….”

“Did you deliberately hid the file to cause trouble for Aunty?”

Due to the dislike of having close bodily contact with others, especially with people I don’t like, I used a bit of pressure to release my hand.

“Wait. Don’t go!”

I don’t know why she always have to find trouble with me. Clearly, she’s the one that caused my dad to abandon my mother and ruined my family.

“Stop right there!”

She ran to grab onto me and used alot of force. Ever since I was young, I’ve been afraid of sudden big movements. Subconsciously, I pushed her. What happened next was totally unexpected. Chen Qing Yu fell backwards and behind her were the stairs. I was shocked, “Be careful!” I wanted to grab onto her hand, but it was already too late!

I watched her fall. My feet were stuck to the floor, it wouldn’t move. I could only feel my whole body shivering.

I heard someone running over.

I looked at the blurry figure in front of me. I couldn’t see clearly who it was. But no matter who, can’t he help me? I didn’t do it on purpose, I didn’t think it would have harmed her……

“Pa!”

– – – – – –

“Miss, miss.” Someone was whispering something in my ears. With some difficulty, I opened my eyes.

The flight attendant leaned over, “Miss, are you feeling uncomfortable? You don’t look so well.”

“I’m fine.”

How many times have I had this dream? 10 times, 15 times, or much more?

I raised my hands to look at my palms, it had cold sweats and was slightly trembling.

Harm others, harm self. Is it referring to people like me?

I caused her child to die in the womb. I caused the death of someone who had half a blood relationship with me.  And I also received punishment. Her outstanding nephew slapped me in the face. It was the first time someone slapped me. I only know it was really, really painful. Afterwards, my father gave me a card and I went to France for six years.

After six years, I still returned.

I took a deep breath, and looked out at the cold winter scenery from inside the taxi window. This is my hometown.

I thought I would never step foot here again. Nonetheless, mother’s one phone request still brought me back.

She had hoped I would make a visit to the Jian household.

I got off the taxi in front of an old villa. I looked at the house in front of me for a moment. At the time when father bought this place, it was because the scenery here was good, the water was good and the air was good. The factions of willows and the outdated old look. Thus, the appearance of the stucco wall has only been  repaired slightly, it has completely retained its old fashioned and solemn history vibe. The red roof tiles were also made in accordance to the ancient style. — Each tile laid neatly, so that the whole house looked like a woman who hasn’t aged. It obvious it’s not young anymore, and yet, it hasn’t lost its gorgeousness.  I once loved this place. Now, it feels so unfamiliar.

I pushed open the iron gate and walked in. When I got under the eaves, I pushed the door bell because I didn’t have keys.

The person who opened the door was an elderly woman. She looked at me once over, “Who are you looking for?”

“I’m looking for…. Mr. Jian.”

“Mr. Jian is not here.” The elder wanted to close the door.

“Lin Ma, who is it?” —- A voice came through from the inner room.

I noticed that my hands were actually trembling. And involuntarily started laughing.

A slender figure walked up to the door. His expression was a bit surprised, but not overly so.

I carried my luggage and walked straight in.

“Mr. Xi?” The servant asked with a puzzled voice.

“She’s uncle Jian’s daughter.”

Daughter….I squinted my eyes. My heart could not help but feel some self ridicule.

The moment I felt my hand lighten, Xi Xi Chen walked over and picked up my luggage. I lowered my head to look at the hands that were considered slightly white for a man. “Your hands are beautiful.” I said.

Xi Xi Chen looked at me thoughtfully. I turned my head and headed up the stairs.

Opening my old room on the second floor, I saw that amongst the familiar furnishings, there were a lot of things that shouldn’t have been there. Toy cars and building blocks….on the floor, the bed, the desktop, it was everywhere.

“Yu Lin seems to really like your room.”

I turned around to look at the person behind me, “Yu Lin?”

“Your brother.”

I suddenly felt like I couldn’t breath. I thought, actually, I can go to my little aunt’s place to celebrate Christmas.

“Do you want to sleep in the guest room?” He asked desolately.

“Guest room?” I laughed. I took back my luggage from his hands and went back downstairs.

Xi Xi Chen grabbed my hands from behind. This move caused my whole body to tremble. “Let go!”

“Where do you intend to go? Back to France?” He asked urgently.

I pulled down his hand. “Rest assure, I will return to France. Not now, but very soon.”

He looked at me with a cold gaze.

I moved my head. “Tomorrow I will come to visit him.”

“Your father should be home very soon.” He said placidly. “You can wait a bit.”

“No thanks.”  This dialogue made me realize that even though I’ve lived in this house for 17 years, right now, I am just considered a transient guest. “Besides, it’s already this late, I should go find a place to live, right?”

He paused for three seconds, and said: “If what you’re implying is that you only want to live in your own room, I can ask someone to tidy it up.”

“Huh? What I’ve said before caused you to have this line of thinking?” I hummed. “Put away your self righteousness.”

Suddenly, he took a step towards me, I subconsciously went back one big step!

“You’re….scared of me.” This was a definite, affirmative line.

I glanced at him. “You are quite humorous, Mr. Xi.” Once said, I resolutely walked towards the entrance.

“Oh right, Xi Xi Chen.” When I got to the door, I turned around and laughed. “Do you have to put on such a high attitude?”

As I walked out the door, it was snowing outside.

I stopped at the bus stop I used to wait at when I still attended high school. After a while, I got on the first bus that arrived, regardless of its final destination. There weren’t too many passengers on board. When the bus started moving, it produced a unique noise. As it was nearing dusk, the street lights on both sides of the street were lit. The street lights flickered on the windows as it passed. The snowflakes from outside the windows got blown in and landed on my cheeks, it was kind of chilly.

I have a younger brother. But, no one ever informed me. Was it because they thought it was unnecessary? Or, because it was something that didn’t concern me?

“Miss, your stop has arrived.” The driver’s voice pulled me back from my thoughts.

I got off the bus and looked ahead to see a field of wilderness. Didn’t think in the city such a desolate place still existed. In the end, I dialed Pu Zheng’s phone. The phone rang for a short while and was picked up quickly. The voice on the other end was slightly angry. “I called you, why didn’t you pick up?”

“I got lost, Pu Zheng.”

After soaking in the hot water for a while, the body finally started to feel some warmth. Tighten nerves from the day also started to relax and I felt like I was in a trance.

Only after hearing a knock on the door did I realized I had fell asleep. By the time I finished dressing, Pu Zheng, who was waiting outside the bathroom, teasingly said: “ I thought you were playing suicide inside the bathroom.”

“You’re overthinking,” I laughed and said, “I’m going to sleep, tired.”

“You knew you’d be tired and yet, you still went to that place?”

I don’t know whether the place Pu Zheng’s referring to is the Jian House or that bus stop in the middle of nowhere. While thinking this, I heard Pu Zheng sighed. “The sheets and beddings in the guest room have all been changed. Is there really no medicine to cure your mysophobia?”

I helplessly replied, “Just pretend I’m someone that likes cleanliness.” After walking a few steps, I turned around to ask, “Don’t you have anything else to tell me?”

Pu Zheng pretended to think, “During check out, don’t forget to pay for the accommodation and food fees.”

My response was to immediately turn around and continued walking.

The next morning, I got woken up by a noise coming in from outside my room. The noise came intermittently and wasn’t loud. But to someone like me, even if the volume is as low as a book being flipped, it still would’ve had a serious impact on my sleep.

When I opened the door and saw the person standing in the living room, I could only stiffly stay in place.

Handsome face, tall and thin stature, accompanied with a simple beige casual wear, he really gave off an elegant vibe.

At that moment, the person also noticed my presence.

Ye Lin’s hands trembled and the documents fell onto the floor.

I’ve known Ye Lin since middle school. We’d gotten to know each other, became familiar with one another, and then, fell in love for six years.

Once, he could easily affect my emotions. But now, I hope he no longer have that ability.

 

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