Chapter 45: Peach Blossom Promise
It seemed that going through such a life-and-death experience had made Tan Xilu rethink everything. In the past, his eyes were filled with wild pursuits, but now, lying in the hospital bed, his gaze towards Xu Huaiming had become strangely unfamiliar.
Xu Huaiming, feeling a bit frustrated after a disagreement with Lin Changyu, had gone to the hospital rooftop to smoke two cigarettes. He had a faint tobacco smell on him, not too overpowering but not pleasant either. He sat on the companion chair, peeling a banana for Tan Xilu with his head down.
Tan Xilu knew that Xu Huaiming was a smoker. Standing in a high position, there were certain pressures that forced him to do so. In the past, when Tan Xilu watered the flowers and plants Xu Huaiming kept on the balcony of their apartment, he often found many cigarette butts on the ground. At that time, Tan Xilu would clean up while joking with Xu Huaiming, “Smoking is bad for your health; your lungs must be turning black.”
It seemed that, due to the life-and-death experience, Tan Xilu had a change of heart. In the past, his mind was filled with wild pursuits, but now, lying in the hospital bed, his gaze towards Xu Huaiming appeared strangely unfamiliar.
Xu Huaiming, feeling somewhat frustrated after a disagreement with Lin Changyu, went to the hospital rooftop for a smoke. He had a slight tobacco odor on him, not too overpowering but not pleasant either. He sat on a companion chair, peeling a banana for Tan Xilu with his head lowered.
Tan Xilu knew that Xu Huaiming was a smoker. He stood in a high position, facing certain pressures that led to this habit. In the past, when Tan Xilu watered the flowers and plants Xu Huaiming kept on their apartment balcony, he often found many cigarette butts on the ground. At that time, Tan Xilu would clean up while joking with Xu Huaiming, “Smoking is bad for your health; your lungs must be turning black.”
Xu Huaiming didn’t seem to pay much attention, saying he understood, but Tan Xilu would find another pile of cigarette butts the next time he went to the balcony.
Tan Xilu always reminded Xu Huaiming of his various bad habits, even on the day before Xu Huaiming planned to move out of the apartment after getting married. But now, Tan Xilu didn’t bother anymore.
Xu Huaiming was going to be a father; he had his own family now, and Tan Xilu shouldn’t hope for anything more.
Anyway, Tan Xilu was still young. When he met someone new, he would forget about Xu Huaiming.
With this in mind, Tan Xilu said to Xu Huaiming, “I’ve told you so many times not to smoke, but you don’t listen. The smell is really strong.”
“Is it?” Xu Huaiming furrowed his brow, lifted his hand to sniff himself, and admitted, “It does seem like there’s a bit. I’ll go change my clothes when I go back.” With that, he handed the peeled banana to Tan Xilu.
“It’s not that serious,” Tan Xilu took the banana, sighed, and suddenly asked, “Have you and Shanshan sister decided on a wedding date?”
Apparently caught off guard by Tan Xilu’s question, Xu Huaiming paused for a moment and then replied, “We haven’t discussed it yet.”
“Well, you should put it on the agenda,” Tan Xilu raised his eyebrows and looked at him. “Girls like to wear beautiful wedding dresses, and it won’t look good when she starts to show.”
Xu Huaiming mumbled a dry “Hmm” and cleared his throat, “I’ll discuss it with her in the next few days.”
Tan Xilu nodded and added, “Also, I used to nag you about quitting smoking, but since you have a baby now, you must quit, even if it’s just smoking less. You need to control your temper a bit too and be more patient with the child. I listen to you because I like you, but kids don’t work that way; they can be quite naughty.”
Xu Huaiming felt that Tan Xilu was being a bit verbose. He was puzzled as to why Tan Xilu suddenly said all this. He was about to ask when Tan Xilu quickly provided the reason.
Tan Xilu said to him, “Xu Huaiming, I’ve wasted too much time and energy on you. When I was in surgery, I was actually somewhat conscious. I could feel the instruments moving inside my body. At that moment, I suddenly thought that I might have wasted too much of my life chasing after you. I should have had many other things to do. I shouldn’t have given up my own life for you.”
“So, Xu Huaiming, this time, I will truly forget you. I won’t selfishly disrupt your life anymore.”
After a pause, he added, “I wish you a happy wedding.”
Tan Xilu unilaterally declared to Xu Huaiming: he was going to start anew.
For a brief moment, Xu Huaiming’s face became very unsightly. He had never harbored feelings for Tan Xilu, but at this moment, he felt like something very important had been forcibly taken from him by Tan Xilu.
[I LOVE TXL] – was engraved inside.
I love Tan Xilu.
This was the declaration that was written inside for Tan Xilu.
It was found in Li Zhao’s coat. Tan Xilu suddenly wondered, could this be a ring that Li Zhao gave him? But upon second thought, it seemed unlikely. Given Li Zhao’s taste, he would have bought a big diamond ring, and they weren’t even in a romantic relationship. Why would Li Zhao give him a ring?
The only person left who would buy him a ring to make him happy was…
Tan Xilu took a deep breath and slid the ring onto his middle finger, fitting just right.
“Son, this is…” Tan’s mother was still puzzled, and when she saw Tan Xilu putting on the ring, she was a bit confused.
Tan Xilu didn’t say anything, but his eyes became slightly teary. He cleared his throat, suddenly hugged his mother, and began to cry quietly.
It was the evening of New Year’s Day. Outside, houses were lit up with lights, and fireworks occasionally streaked across the sky, illuminating it briefly before disappearing into the dark night.
Inside the room, Tan Xilu felt like a lost child, crying on his mother’s shoulder.
He felt heavy and unresponsive, as if in a still pond without ripples, suffocating in his chest.
It made him struggle to breathe, and amid the dim and dark surroundings, tears consumed his heart, screaming one phrase in his ears.
Tan Xilu moved his lips slightly and said to his mother, “Mom, I think I’ve lost someone who loved me very much.”
Tan Xilu fell ill again.
On the second day of the new year, Tan’s mother woke him up and found that his forehead was covered in cold sweat, his cheeks were abnormally red, and the pillow was already half wet.
This time, Tan Xilu adamantly refused to go to the hospital and insisted on going to his apartment, saying that Xu Huaiming was waiting for him there.
Helpless, Tan’s mother and father had no choice but to take him there.
The apartment was eerily quiet, and there was no sign of Xu Huaiming. After turning on the heating and helping Tan Xilu lie down, Tan’s mother called a private doctor she knew to give Tan Xilu an IV.
Perhaps in a familiar environment, Tan Xilu fell asleep peacefully after receiving the IV.
After Tan Xilu fell asleep, Tan’s mother finally breathed a sigh of relief. She stood up and started to tidy up Tan Xilu’s apartment. According to Tan Xilu, he had been living with Xu Huaiming here before. However, the apartment didn’t look like it had been shared with another person.
There was a pile of cat food scattered next to the TV cabinet. Tan’s mother squatted down to pick up the cat food. She hadn’t known that Tan Xilu had a cat.
As she thought about it, a cat’s meow came from the balcony. Tan’s mother turned her head and saw a cat jumping down from the balcony and approaching her to eat the cat food.
Tan’s mother subconsciously felt that this cat looked somewhat familiar, like she had seen it somewhere before, but she couldn’t recall where. It wasn’t until Tan’s father reminded her, “Doesn’t this cat look a bit like the one Little Lu used to have?”
“Now that you mention it, it does,” Tan’s mother said as she petted the cat. Unlike before when it would hiss at strangers, it behaved calmly, letting Tan’s mother pet it while eating the cat food, its little mouth moving up and down.
“I thought Little Lu wouldn’t dare to keep a cat after what happened back then,” Tan’s mother said.
“That’s true, but he also didn’t tell us about it these past few days. He just left the cat here without worrying that it might run out of food,” Tan’s father frowned.
“But he has that child now, right?” Tan’s mother said. “He must be coming back from time to time.”
“That’s true, but haven’t you noticed that this place looks like it hasn’t been lived in for a long time?” Tan’s father thought for a moment and said to Tan’s mother, “Actually, when Little Lu came home that day, he told me that he had a fight with that child. Think about it, even if they had a fight, he wouldn’t not come home, right? And look at this cat food on the floor, it looks like it’s been here for many days.”
Tan’s mother began to feel that something was wrong. She got up and checked all the rooms, but didn’t find anything unusual.
In the bathroom, there were indeed two sets of toiletries, and in Tan Xilu’s bedroom closet, there were several coats that didn’t look like Tan Xilu’s style. The kitchen had couple-style tableware.
But after circling around, Tan’s mother realized what was wrong. There wasn’t a single photo of Tan Xilu and Xu Huaiming in this apartment. Given how long they had been together, how could there be no photos? Tan’s mother hadn’t paid much attention to this when she visited before, but now that she thought about it, it felt strange, and a bizarre guess started to form in her mind.
Tan’s mother left the apartment and knocked on the door next door, but no one answered, so she went up another floor.
Coincidentally, she met a neighbor coming down from upstairs.
Slowly, he realized that his and Tan Xilu’s story had finally come to an end in this chapter.
When Tan Xilu got out of the taxi and returned home, it was already in the afternoon. The snow from last night had mostly melted, making the paths in the neighborhood wet. As he walked back home, the snow on the tree branches fell down conveniently, landing on the coat that Li Zhao was holding in his hand. After returning home, Tan Xilu first took the coat to the bathroom, intending to dry clean it before returning it to Li Zhao.
He changed into his home clothes in the bedroom. After spending a night at the hospital, he had a lingering scent of disinfectant on him, which wasn’t very pleasant.
Unexpectedly, when Tan Xilu came out of the bedroom after changing, his mother had already hung up the coat.
“Mom, this coat needs dry cleaning,” Tan Xilu walked over and said to his mother.
“I know, it’s Li Xiao’s coat,” Tan’s mother fluttered the coat and reached into the pocket. Before washing clothes, she would habitually check the pockets, and suddenly, she felt a ring-shaped object. She took it out and saw it was a ring. She was stunned for a moment and showed it to Tan Xilu, “Why is there a ring in here?”
“A ring?” Tan Xilu was taken aback and went to examine the ring.
The ring was a simple band with several small diamonds on the edge, shimmering faintly under the dim bathroom light. Tan Xilu took the ring, turned it around, and noticed some engraved letters inside.
T/N: Wishing you all a good October! 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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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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