Her hands and feet were numb from the cold, and her body was shaking from her cries.
Mingxi vaguely felt that she had been half-carried out of the barbecue restaurant by Fu Yangxi, and that she had vomited all over him. He squatted in front of her, re-tying her messy shoelaces. Then, he gave a few orders to Jiang Xiuqiu and the others.
The street lamp outside the barbeque restaurant shone on the ground. Tiny insects flew around in the cold.
Each breath turned into white mist.
Her tears fell on the ground.
It was terribly cold. Even the tears dripping down her neck were cold.
She had another scarf around her neck.
It was finally warm.
Mingxi hugged the warm telephone pole in front of her.
Then, Mingxi completely lost consciousness.
She fell asleep.
It is strange how a drunk person would know that they are drunk before they wake up.
She was about to regain consciousness, but it was as if a mountain was pressing on top of her, and she couldn't lift it up.
Her eyelids were also too heavy and tired. She could only feel a little flickering light.
Like a stuck projector, the only things she could remember were a few sporadic pictures of last night.
The hum of the engine and the slight shaking made Mingxi feel a splitting headache, and the weightlessness during the landing made her stomach twist. She was about to throw up everything she ate last night.
By the time Mingxi was vaguely conscious and was about to open her eyes, the first thing she noticed was how cold it was.
What’s going on?
Why is it way colder than yesterday?
Did the temperature drop by a few dozen degrees?
A whole bunch of noises kept invading her ears. The seat was bumpy all the time, and the bones on Mingxi's body seemed to be not her own.
She tried to open her eyes, her consciousness still a little slow.
What caught her eye was a somewhat dirty car window. Was she in a car?
Mingxi was shocked. She was so frightened that she was completely awake.
Mingxi looked to the left. When she saw Fu Yangxi sitting on her left, Mingxi suddenly felt relieved. Even if she was kidnapped by a human trafficker, so long as Fu Yangxi was with her, someone would pay for her ransom as well.
Fu Yangxi was sleeping out of exhaustion. His lips were pressed tightly and his eyebrows were furrowed. He had a change of clothes and he wasn’t wearing his noise-reducing headphones.
Mingxi quickly realized that the silver earphones were hanging on her ears.
She took it off. Seeing as it was out of battery, she turned it off.
Mingxi looked to the right again. It was a dilapidated and familiar station. The waiting hall was hung with the “囍”* characters that were posted last year and have not yet been taken off. The dust was fluttering, and the cries of people coming and going were very noisy. It was a shabby but thriving place.
*囍 is a common Chinese character seen and referred to in weddings.
Red, green, and even colorful advertisements were everywhere on both sides of the street.
The car was still driving forward, passing by many tricycles.
On the uneven gravel road, there were garbage dumps at a distance, and the trash cans along the road appeared like furnishings.
Mingxi's eyelids twitched. Suddenly, she was hit by a sense of familiarity.
Even the deserted soymilk stalls on the corners of the street feel familiar.
The boss advertised with an accent familiar to Mingxi, "Soy milk! Soy milk that are delicious and inexpensive!"
The aroma seemed to overtake her senses.
She stopped breathing altogether.
Her heart was pounding, her forehead involuntarily pressed against the cold car window. She felt the difference in temperature.
She didn’t know how long it took until the bumps finally stopped.
The car went around for a long time before stopping at an old alley in town. The deep and secluded alley was just like how it was in Mingxi's memory. The ground was covered with moss. It had just rained, and it was full of water.
Looking up, there was a chaotic and ragged tube-shaped apartment. Few windows were closed, most of which were wide open. One or two bamboo poles were stretched out, with faded T-shirts, school uniforms and dried bacon hanging indiscriminately.
It’s all too familiar.
Just a few steps further down the alley was the small yard where she used to live with her grandmother. There would be some gardenia trees growing inside, a few pots of sun-dried radishes, and some of her grandmother's shoes neatly arranged.
After realizing where this was, Mingxi's heart beat faster and faster, and the fingers that touched the car window were slightly trembling.
Some places have changed a little, but most things in her memory have not changed.
A group of teenagers swaggered across the city in groups, holding basketballs to play in a small open area with less rain.
When the car stopped, the driver spoke with a local accent, “We’re here. Wake up and pay up.”
Only then did Mingxi notice that there was a car following behind them.
Ke Chengwen, Jiang Xiuqiu and He Yang rubbed their eyes and got out of the car with a look as if they had yet to fully wake up.
Fu Yangxi also woke up. Once he was awake, he subconsciously glanced at Zhao Mingxi who was beside him.
He yawned and, as usual, with an impatient face, took out a few red banknotes and handed them to the driver. Then, he got out of the car and walked to her side.
He opened the door for Mingxi.
Mingxi's eyes were red and swollen. She stared at him blankly.
At this moment, she felt as if she was dreaming.
Is Alice in Wonderland or something?
How did I end up at the place where I grew up in the span of one night’s sleep? It would clearly take more than 10 hours to get here by train.
But how did she get on the train when she was sound asleep?
Mingxi suddenly remembered the buzzing sound of take-off and landing when she was sleeping— a private jet?
And there is Fu Yangxi— These people—
It was as if they had broken into her dream by mistake.
Fu Yangxi stood in front of the car door. He was holding on to the door, waiting for her to get down.
Against the morning light, his short dazzling red hair warmed the cold morning mist by a lot.
Seeing how stunned she was, Fu Yangxi leaned over slightly, curled up the corner of his mouth and smiled, “What are you still in a daze for?”
Mingxi got out of the car slowly while Fu Yangxi covered the top of the car door.
He kicked a board under the car, enough to cover the water in the mud.
“Wele home, little girl,*” he said to Zhao Mingxi.
* he said this in English.
ray’s note: yangxi for best ML ／(￣▽￣)／
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