For The Rest Of Our Life – Chapter 142


In the bedroom, under the dim and warm light, Lin Xian’s legs intertwined intimately with Xiao Wanqing beneath the thin blanket. She sat half upright, leaning against Xiao Wanqing’s chest, joyfully flipping through the precious gift Xiao Wanqing had given her.

“Xiao Panpan, you were so fair and tender when you were little,” Lin Xian stroked the photo of a little girl with two braided pigtails and delicate features, unable to let go.

Xiao Wanqing’s hands rested on Lin Xian’s waist, her gaze fixed on the album in Lin Xian’s hands. She bit her lip, feeling a bit shy.

For someone as reserved as Xiao Wanqing, laying out all her past experiences so openly to another person was a first. She looked at her youthful self in the photos, then at Lin Xian’s face beaming with love and joy, a smile gradually forming on her own lips.

“Yeah, my mom used to say that too. Every time she carried me out, people would praise how fair I was and ask her what she fed me,” Xiao Wanqing helped Lin Xian cover up her partially open robe, smiling as she replied.

Lin Xian turned to look at Xiao Wanqing and saw a hint of nostalgia and tenderness in her expression, but without the sorrow and regret that used to break her heart countless times.

Unable to resist, Lin Xian lowered her head and pecked Xiao Wanqing’s cheek, with a more radiant smile in her eyes. Xiao Panpan could finally bring up their past, mentioning her parents so naturally.

She continued flipping through the photos, and suddenly saw a chubby-faced four or five-year-old Xiao Wanqing holding another little girl in a photo, planting a kiss on the girl’s cheek despite her struggling and fierce expression.

Lin Xian’s brows furrowed instantly, eyes widened in astonishment. She turned to Xiao Wanqing, questioning angrily, “Who is she? What are you doing in this photo?”

Caught off guard by Lin Xian’s unexpected jealousy, Xiao Wanqing was momentarily stunned before realizing that Lin Xian was feeling jealous. She playfully poked Lin Xian’s pouting face and explained with a smile, “She was my good friend in kindergarten. I can’t exactly remember what happened in this photo. My mom said she was a particularly mischievous and playful girl. This photo was taken during a parent-teacher meeting when we were about to go to preschool, but she was transferring schools. She asked me to kiss her cheek, so I did. Then she purposely made a funny face as if I had forcibly kissed her, making everyone around laugh. Keep flipping through the album.”

Lin Xian naturally flipped to the next photo as Xiao Wanqing spoke.

“This photo was taken right after the previous one.” In the photo, Xiao Wanqing had let go of the little girl, looking at her with a pout and teary eyes, feeling wronged.

“I noticed all the parents around us laughing, so I knew she must have tricked me again. I was so embarrassed, I almost cried.”

Lin Xian looked at the pitiful little girl in the photo, her heart melting, but she couldn’t help bursting into laughter. She gently stroked the girl’s face, softly murmuring, “I wish we had a time machine.” If only she could be the little girl being kissed by Xiao Wanqing standing next to her.

Xiao Wanqing’s eyes softened even more. She tousled Lin Xian’s hair by her cheek and playfully reassured her, “The Xiao Panpan time machine is exclusively launching for Lin Xiaoxian. Please let us know which memory you’d like to revisit, Lin Xiaoxian.”

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Lin Xian chuckled sweetly and teased Xiao Wanqing, “Xiao Xiaowan, you’re getting better at coaxing people.” She still harbored some lingering feelings and asked, “So, did you stay in touch with that good friend afterward?”

Xiao Wanqing shook her head and reassured her, “We lost touch after she transferred schools. I actually don’t remember what she looks like without looking at the photos.”

Lin Xian finally felt relieved.

But as she continued flipping through two more photos, she saw many pictures of Xiao Wanqing with other children, and couldn’t help but playfully comment, “Xiao Panpan, you were so popular as a child. You had so many childhood friends.”

Even after all these years, she couldn’t resist feeling a bit jealous, which made Xiao Wanqing chuckle. She patiently and fondly explained each one to Lin Xian, telling her who moved away, who drifted apart, and all the details clearly.

The photos in the album continued all the way until Xiao Wanqing’s graduation from university, as Xiao Panpan’s time machine earnestly took her back to those moments. Xiao Wanqing answered every question from Lin Xian in great detail, leaving no stone unturned. Lin Xian gained a lot from this experience.

She finally learned about Xiao Wanqing’s childhood appearance, the kind of life she lived, the people she met, the paths she walked, the landscapes she saw, and the reasons behind her laughter and tears.

She saw how Xiao Wanqing used to be confident and popular, and she further realized how, after all the changes, Xiao Wanqing despairingly turned herself into a lonely island.

Witnessing how Xiao Wanqing could break free from the cage that had trapped her for so long, Lin Xian was moved by the courage and deep love she displayed.

Relationships are about two people, and their ability to gradually come this far, inch by inch getting their hearts closer to each other, was due to her efforts, but even more so due to Xiao Wanqing’s efforts.

During dinner, Zhou Qin asked Xiao Wanqing about her job, and learned that Xiao Wanqing had already submitted her resignation letter, preparing to join Juxing Media for employment alongside Wen Tong. Not only did her mother praise her, even her grandfather had a word of approval. This turned into an opportunity for them to slowly realize and express their satisfaction with Xiao Wanqing’s change in attitude towards life.

Lin Xian belatedly understood the real reason behind Xiao Wanqing’s sudden desire to change jobs – not just for herself, but also for their relationship.

From initially being hesitant to now actively facing the situation together, Xiao Wanqing’s response to her, and the effort she put into this relationship, were all evident to Lin Xian, and etched deeply in her heart.

“Xiao Panpan, are the stars uncle plucked for you still shining?” In one of the earlier photos, there was a picture of the starlight Xiao Wanqing’s father had installed for her that she had mentioned to Lin Xian.

“They are still shining.”

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Lin Xian embraced Xiao Wanqing, her eyes filled with tender affection as though they could drip with water. “Xiao Panpan, would you like to go back together this Chinese New Year? I didn’t get to grow up with you, but I want to see where you grew up.”

Xiao Wanqing held her close, her eyes shining with emotion. After a moment, she kissed Lin Xian’s forehead and softly replied, “Okay.”

Upon hearing her response, Lin Xian’s heart swelled with love, causing a slight tingling in her nose. In a hoarse voice, she promised, “Xiao Panpan, when you’re ready, take me to meet uncle and aunt, okay? I want to tell them that I will work hard to earn their trust. From now on, their precious daughter will have me to care for her, watch over her, and never be lonely again.”

With a young voice full of responsibility beyond her years, the girl expressed her commitment, causing tears to well up in Xiao Wanqing’s eyes, uncontrollably rolling down her cheeks.

Xiao Wanqing buried her head in Lin Xian’s neck, choked up as she said, “Okay. They will definitely, really like you a lot.” For a long time, she questioned herself, wondering if she made a mistake, if things would have been different if she hadn’t been so stubborn. After her grandmother passed away, Xiao Wanqing had avoided seeing them for a long time.

Lin Xian gently caressed Xiao Wanqing’s cheek, lightly kissing her hair and affirming, “In the future, my parents will definitely adore you as their daughter-in-law.”

Xiao Wanqing’s tears turned into a smile in an instant, lifting her head to playfully chide Lin Xian, “Lin Xian!”

However, at the moment she lifted her head, Lin Xian knelt in front of her, devoutly bending down to kiss her eyes, wiping away her salty tears. She untied the belt of her own robe, revealing a delicate nightgown, gazing at Xiao Wanqing with affection and softly asking, “Xiao Xiaowan, do you want me?”

Xiao Wanqing’s hand on Lin Xian’s back trembled with emotion. She stared at the girl, her eyes filled with deep love and hidden emotions, showing restraint and tenderness.

Biting her lip, she held Lin Xian tightly in her arms, sniffing slightly, pressing her lips to the girl’s ear, and hesitantly confessing, “Xianxian, I can’t bear to…”

She was not someone tied to tradition, but for Lin Xian, she was like a priceless treasure that she couldn’t allow herself to possess so easily.

“Xianxian, you deserve all the best. I want to give you peace and happiness, flowers and blessings, but right now, I am not worthy of that,” Xiao Wanqing explained softly.

Seeing how her beloved cherished her so deeply, Lin Xian was naturally moved but also felt a sense of helplessness. She knew Xiao Wanqing’s temperament very well. She understood that if Xiao Wanqing accepted her, it would signify a lot.

In the past, she might have been annoyed and misunderstood Xiao Wanqing’s intentions as wanting an exit strategy. But now, she was simply filled with heartache.

She gently caressed Xiao Wanqing’s cheek, sighing and saying, “Xiao Panpan, I’ll wait for you, but you need to know, you have always been worth it. From the moment I fell in love with you, everything I am and have belongs to you, and will always be yours.”

Xiao Panpan didn’t realize that for her, the greatest sense of peace and happiness was knowing that Xiao Wanqing would never leave her, no matter what. Xiao Wanqing’s willingness to be with her provided her with a great sense of security. She was even certain that if she insisted, Xiao Panpan would ultimately compromise.

(If you're not reading on, it means this has been stolen)

However, the more she understood the difficulties ahead and the awkwardness of Xiao Wanqing’s situation, the more she empathized with her and couldn’t bear to add any more pressure on her.

She smiled gently, her warm hand slipping under Xiao Wanqing’s robe, nibbling on Xiao Wanqing’s ear, boldly but shyly requesting, “But you can’t make me wait too long. I’ll feel really uncomfortable.”

A soft smile slowly emerged in Xiao Wanqing’s eyes. She held Lin Xian’s neck, kissing her lips, and whispered her agreement amidst the embrace, “Okay.”

December was perhaps Lin Xian’s lucky month, with love, career, and studies all flourishing.

In the first ten days of the month, Xiao Wanqing officially resigned from ZC Magazine and took a half-month break, waiting to start her new job at Juxing after the New Year. During this time off at home, Lin Xian felt like she was in a honey pot.

With Xiao Panpan having time now, she cooked delicious dishes in various styles for Lin Xian. Morning and evening, Xiao Wanqing personally picked her up from school, rain or shine. In the evenings, while Lin Xian studied and wrote, Xiao Wanqing kept herself busy and prepared supper for her at the right time. After supper, energized, Lin Xian would insist on exercising to burn off the calories, often needing some coaxing as there was usually no early class the next morning. On weekends, the two would drive to nearby suburbs or tourist spots for leisure activities, or head to the city center for dining, shopping, and movies.

Days passed too indulgently, and despite still going to the gym, Lin Xian found herself gaining weight, her pants feeling tighter. When she realized this, she anxiously complained to Xiao Wanqing, who teasingly pinched her belly and remarked, “Now you’re chubby.” In reality, Lin Xian was not at all overweight, but having been slim before and quitting her tutoring job to focus on writing, the stress perhaps caused her to lose a few pounds.

Seeing this, Xiao Wanqing felt her heart ache.

Pouting, Lin Xian, feeling a crisis for the first time, declared firmly, “I need to lose weight!”

As soon as the words left her mouth, she was scooped up into Xiao Wanqing’s arms. The woman held her on her lap, hands gently placed on her abdomen, softly stroking it and earnestly comforting her, saying, “You’re fine just the way you are now. You used to be too bony.”

Lin Xian looked at her skeptically and asked, “Really?”

“Really.” Xiao Wanqing’s tone was firm, leaving no room for doubt.

Feeling a bit relieved, Lin Xian toyed with her hands, couldn’t help but smile teasingly, and said, “Okay, Xiao Panpan, were you planning this all along?”

Xiao Wanqing chuckled lightly next to her ear, the warmth of her breath brushing against Lin Xian’s earlobe, making her heart melt.

In the latter part of the month, Lin Xian received payment for a short story she had submitted to a magazine, as well as being awarded one of the two sponsorship scholarships from the college. Lin Xian happily shared the good news, winning over her shy Xiao Panpan, unlocking a new level of happiness.

The only unsettling moment came when she deliberately shared a guide on same-sex marriage in her friend circle, given the current events of France moving towards legalizing same-sex marriage. As expected, Zhou Qin quickly reacted, nervously asking her not to post such content in the friend circle.

(If you're not reading on, it means this has been stolen)

Frowning, Lin Xian asked her, “Why?”

“It could lead to unnecessary speculations about you, which wouldn’t be good,” Zhou Qin replied earnestly.

Lin Xian’s frown deepened, hesitated for a moment, and tentatively asked her, “Mom, are you homophobic?”

Zhou Qin quickly responded, saying, “I don’t. I neither support nor oppose it.”

Lin Xian breathed a sigh of relief.

Zhou Qin added with a hint of suspicion, “Lin Xian, have you met some strange friends?”

“What’s wrong if I have friends who like the same gender?” Lin Xian took a deep breath, nervously typing out these words.

There was a long silence from the other end before Zhou Qin finally replied, “Lin Xian, I don’t mind you making friends, and I have no issues with this group of people. I can’t interfere with others’ choices and lives. But Lin Xian, you can be friends with them, but don’t get involved in any mischief, okay?”

Lin Xian’s heart sank to the bottom.

Although Zhou Qin claimed to have no issues, in reality, there was still a lot of bias. “Mom, I think we should take some time to discuss this topic. I feel like we have different perspectives,” Lin Xian tried to suppress her own guilt, striving to present herself as an objective and neutral individual.

“Alright, I also think we need to talk about it,” Zhou Qin didn’t think much of it, viewing it as a usual disagreement that required a democratic exploration between her and Lin Xian.

Despite Zhou Qin being strict on controlling Lin Xian’s daily life details, she was relatively respectful towards Lin Xian’s expression of self-views. Lin Xian’s debating skills were subtly cultivated under the influence of Zhou Qin and Lin Zhan’s beliefs.

After school, Lin Xian remained lost in disappointment, mechanically walking outside the classroom with Shi Man, Chen Zhi, and the others. As fate would have it, she crossed paths with Zhang Sichao, who gave her a dark look, to which Lin Xian responded with a blank expression. Tang Mo was gossiping about Zhang Sichao nearby, but Lin Xian was too distracted to pay attention.

As she walked out of the campus, Lin Xian lifted her head and spotted Xiao Wanqing’s car in the distance. In that moment, all the dark clouds seemed to dissipate for her. The mere thought of Xiao Wanqing sitting in the car filled her with energy and courage.

The obstacles were expected, so why should she panic? Although her mom had biases, they weren’t extreme. Lin Xian thought, this was just a first test, like boiling a frog slowly, gradually working towards it; everything would surely fall into place in the end.

She suddenly put on a smile, waved to Shi Man and the others, showcasing a rapid change of demeanor that amazed them.

“The power of love is truly remarkable…” Chen Zhi said with a mischievous grin.

Lin Xian playfully pushed her in annoyance, unable to hold back any longer. Ignoring their suggestive glances, she happily ran towards Xiao Wanqing, towards their firm future.

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