Chapter 39: Missing You
“Xiao Lu, are you awake? Your mom has made chicken soup. Come out and have some,” Tan’s father knocked on Tan Xilu’s door.
“Okay, I’m coming.” Tan Xilu opened his heavy eyelids, pushed aside the blanket, got out of bed, and walked to the door.
The air was filled with the rich aroma of chicken soup, enticing and appetizing. Tan’s mother had always been a great cook, and the chicken was stewed to perfection, with a flavorful broth.
Tan’s father had already prepared a bowl and placed it in front of Tan Xilu.
Tan Xilu politely thanked his dad and then sat down to take a sip.
The taste was just right, very savory. He praised Tan’s mother in the kitchen, “Mom, the chicken soup is so delicious.”
Tan’s mother chuckled from the kitchen and said, “If you like it, have more. I’ve prepared several dishes, and they’ll be ready soon.”
“How’s your headache now?” Tan’s father ladled a bowl of hot porridge for Tan Xilu. “If it’s still bothering you, avoid the greasy food and stick to the porridge.”
“It’s much better.” Tan Xilu rubbed his temples. “Not as severe as before.”
Last night, the heating suddenly went out in his apartment, and Tan Xilu was awakened by the cold in the middle of the night. He had hoped to find a source of warmth next to him as he used to, where Xu Huaiming’s embrace was always warm and comforting. But after groping for a while, he realized that Xu Huaiming was gone. Only then did he remember that Xu Huaiming had already left, and he instinctively called for Beibei, only to remember that Beibei had been taken away as well.
Tan Xilu remained stunned for a while before closing his eyes again. However, the latter half of the night was extremely cold, and his health was not great to begin with. He was prone to catching colds, and the next day, he woke up with a cough and a runny nose.
When he inquired about the heating issue with the property management, they said there had been a malfunction last night and a repairman was working on it.
The apartment was too cold to stay in, so Tan Xilu had already planned to return to his parents’ place today. He packed his things early and came back.
Today happened to be the eve of the Lunar New Year, and the neighborhood was lively. In previous years, Tan Xilu would have been dragged by the children from the neighboring house to join in the festivities. But today, he was genuinely feeling unwell, so when a child called out to him, “Big Brother Tan, let’s play together,” he patted the child’s head and said, “Big Brother isn’t feeling well today. How about we play together tomorrow?”
The child looked a bit disappointed. “Okay.”
Blushing, Tan Xilu returned to his parents’ home. Initially, Tan’s mother had welcomed him with joy, but when she saw his sickly appearance, her expression changed immediately. “You, child, why didn’t you wear more clothes?”
She reached out and touched Tan Xilu’s forehead, then touched her own. “Looks like you have a bit of a fever.”
“I did wear warm clothes. I caught a chill because the heating was off last night,” Tan Xilu defended himself. He took off his coat and said to Tan’s mother, “It’s okay, the fever isn’t too bad. I’ll feel better after a nap.”
Tan Xilu had been sleeping poorly lately, and his eyes were dark and swollen. His mother felt sorry for him and said, “Alright, I’ll put my hot water bottle in your bed.”
“I have some fever-reducing medicine here. I’ll get you a cup of hot water. Xilu, take the medicine and then go to sleep,” Tan’s father said as he took out a few tablets of fever-reducing medicine from the medicine cabinet at home.
“Okay.” Tan Xilu sneezed and then walked over to Tan’s father, swallowing the pills.
The medicine made him drowsy, or perhaps it was the warmth from the air conditioning in the room, but as soon as he regained consciousness, Tan Xilu heard Tan’s father calling him to drink chicken soup.
Tan Xilu picked up some vegetables with his chopsticks. Since Xu Huaiming left, he had hardly eaten anything decent. Even this night’s sleep was stolen by the cold, allowing him to rest well.
During the Lunar New Year, Tan’s mother usually prepared a sumptuous feast with seven or eight dishes on the table. Lately, she had been emphasizing the importance of a balanced diet, and the dishes were well-prepared. It was a relief for Tan Xilu, as he couldn’t stand the taste of his own cooking.
Tan’s mother scooped a piece of boiled pork slices into his bowl and asked, “Why didn’t you invite that someone over?”
That someone referred to Xu Huaiming.
Tan Xilu’s hand hesitated as he reached for more vegetables. He couldn’t bear to think about Xu Huaiming anymore. Just the thought that Xu Huaiming was not even human made it impossible for him to accept.
How could he have a romantic relationship with an AI? Normal people didn’t date AIs.
Moreover, he had loved the Xu Huaiming from before.
“No matter what decision you make, your mother and I will support you,” Tan’s father said, patting Tan Xilu’s head. “If this doesn’t work out, then find someone else. Your mother knows many good young men.”
“Forget it.” Tan Xilu waved his hand. “Don’t tell my mom yet. She’s the type who will insist on setting me up with that Li Zhao. I really don’t have any feelings for him, and I don’t have the energy to find someone else right now.”
He just wanted to take a break and step away from this absurd relationship.
“Alright, Dad will do as you say.” Tan’s father smiled and said, “I won’t tell your mom.”
During the day, everything seemed fine. But in the middle of the night, Tan Xilu felt the fever returning. He felt hot all over, and the burning sensation in his stomach was unbearable. His pillow was damp with cold sweat, and he was getting weaker. When he was no longer fully conscious, he would start mumbling incoherently. Fortunately, at this moment, he was still lucid enough to call for his parents.
However, either they were sleeping too soundly or Tan Xilu’s voice was too weak, as he called out several times without anyone responding. In frustration, he decided to try calling on the phone.
Tan Xilu had a habit of adding an ‘A’ before the phone numbers of important people, making it easier to find their numbers quickly. However, he was feeling so disoriented that he couldn’t remember which number he had dialed. When the call connected, he weakly said, “I have a fever again, and I feel terrible, there is so much pain.”
The voice on the other end of the phone spoke up, and Xu Huaiming’s voice sounded hoarse. There was concern in his tone. “Ah Lu, where are you?”
Tan Xilu was already too feverish to think clearly. He was aware that he had called Xu Huaiming, but he couldn’t remember that they had broken up. He felt his eyelids getting heavier, and he couldn’t muster any strength. He told Xu Huaiming that he was at his parents’ place, that he had a fever, and that he felt awful.
Xu Huaiming asked for the address.
In his confused state, Tan Xilu rambled on with some nonsensical words, and he couldn’t even recall whether he had given the address or not. Just before closing his eyes, his last memory was saying something about a replica.
T/N: Wishing you all a good September and welcome to Bad End month! There is plenty more where that came from, so stay tuned! And stay healthy! Straighten your posture, so some stretches and drink some water before continuing hehe~
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Also, check out the other series we have on HoH!
If you like cats, check out Revenge of the Garfield
What about the perfect, most non-toxic male lead ever? Laws of Love
How about MC nursing ML back to health? Forced into the Deep
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