For The Rest Of Our Life – Chapter 64

If there are no opportunity, create an opportunity

If Lin Xian, as usual, was at home and had nothing to do after breakfast, she would typically open her computer and take advantage of the time zone without any time difference with Xu Chengjun during the Chinese New Year to ask him to take her to the gaming arena. However, when she arrived at Xiao Wanqing’s house, after she had dinner alone and sat in the empty living room, she felt somewhat dissatisfied and lacked the enthusiasm for entertainment, thinking about what Xiao Wanqing had informed her yesterday.

If Aunt Xiao continues to be busy and they can’t have leisurely mealtime like they did last year, nor can they have peaceful evenings, how can she get closer to Aunt Xiao?

In the end, this the first time she has liked someone like this, the first time she has put so much effort into pursuing someone, or even enticing someone. Lin Xian is a bit confused. How far has the gradual seduction progressed? Can she continue like this? When should she launch a thorough attack?

She furrowed her brows, her face serious, as if contemplating a life-or-death matter.

However, is the timing right now? Not to mention how much Aunt Xiao really likes her, or whether she has feelings beyond ordinary friendship. Just considering that Aunt Xiao is already overwhelmed with work, would it be inappropriate for her to approach her now? Would it only make her more agitated and unwilling to accept?

Lin Xian took out her phone, swiped the screen, and opened the calendar, looking at the marked day in June—Xiao Wanqing’s birthday. She pursed her lips, locked the screen, leaned back against the sofa, and secretly comforted herself: “Just wait a little longer.” March, April, May, there are still three months. Let Aunt Xiao catch her breath and get through this period of time.

She opened her eyes and her gaze fell on the TV in the living room, then slowly shifted downward, noticing the noticeable footprints on the floor in front of the TV cabinet.

I wonder if during the Spring Festival, after colleagues and friends visited Aunt Xiao, she only briefly swept the floor without doing a proper cleaning?

Lin Xian suddenly jumped up from the sofa, feeling invigorated. She took off her cumbersome coat and quickly ran to the utility room next to the bathroom, grabbing a cloth, a bucket, a broom, and a mop. She filled the bucket with water, returned to the living room, and began to clean energetically.

She squatted in front of the coffee table, her fair and delicate fingers, which had never been stained by hardships, dipped into the plastic bucket, scooping out the cloth, wringing it dry. With her head lowered, she meticulously wiped the glass of the coffee table, her thin lips slightly curled up. Despite the laborious task, her heart was filled with a sense of satisfaction and motivation.

She seemed to have temporarily found a new position and a new mission for herself.

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

She told herself: Lin Xian, even though you can’t help Aunt Xiao with her work, you can be her solid support behind the scenes, allowing her to have a peaceful and comfortable home to rest in after her exhaustion.

After diligently scrubbing the entire house, when she was so tired that she couldn’t even straighten her back, it was already past one o’clock in the afternoon. She stretched her waist, moved her neck, and obediently followed Xiao Wanqing’s instructions to heat up the food in the kitchen. She had a satisfying meal alone and then washed the dishes before returning to her room for a nap.

Perhaps because she had something on her mind, Lin Xian didn’t sleep soundly. However, after dozing off for half an hour, she woke up. She glanced at the alarm clock on the bedside table and felt that it was still early, so she wanted to close her eyes and doze a little longer. But no matter how she tried, she couldn’t fall back asleep, so she decided to get up, get dressed, and go to the kitchen.

During lunchtime, she already had a plan. Since she hadn’t started classes these days and Aunt Xiao was busy with work, she could take charge of preparing dinner. This way, Aunt Xiao would be able to have a delicious and warm meal right after finishing work. She imagined the joyous and heartfelt smile that might bloom on Xiao Wanqing’s gentle face when she saw the dinner. It filled her heart with a sweet and satisfying feeling, like spreading honey.

Of course, the “delicious and warm” part was her imagination… Although she had been learning to cook with her mother during winter vacation and had occasionally made simple dishes like tomato and egg stir-fry when Xiao Wanqing wasn’t available, her hands-on experience was still too limited. She wasn’t very confident that other dishes she made would turn out tasty.

Let’s give it a try. If it turns out to be edible, she can tell Aunt Xiao. But if it’s really bad, she shouldn’t trouble Aunt Xiao and instead secretly dispose of it and go to the supermarket to buy ingredients again.

She tied up her hair, took out the apron that Xiao Wanqing usually wore, rolled up her sleeves, and assumed a somewhat capable posture. She fetched some meat from the refrigerator and placed it on the cutting board, preparing to make a dish that her mother had taught her during the holidays—a relatively easy one, sliced pork with slippery noodles.

However, things didn’t go well.

She was still not very familiar with it, and the meat was taken directly from the refrigerator, cold and freezing, causing her hands to gradually lose sensation. She had only cut a few slices of meat when she accidentally cut her own index finger as well. Fresh blood immediately gushed out, dripping onto the cutting board, staining it entirely.

Lin Xian was caught off guard, clutching her finger and letting out a soft hiss of pain.

Even when she had slipped and fallen at school before, she would seek comfort with a sense of grievance. But today, she just looked at the bloodstains and slices of meat on the cutting board, furrowing her brow and rinsing her hand under the tap, sighing softly.

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

Lin Xian, how can you take care of Aunt Xiao when you’re so clumsy?

She turned and left the kitchen, rummaging through the medicine cabinet to find medical alcohol. Swiftly, she disinfected her finger and applied a bandage, then returned to her battlefield.

This time, with her injured index finger raised, she became a bit clumsier, but also more cautious. After cutting a few more slices of meat, she slowly found her rhythm and started to handle it with a bit more ease.

Thirty minutes later, the sliced pork with slippery noodles soup was ready, and Lin Xian tasted it. She immediately felt delighted! Lin Xian, you can do it after all!

She poured the soup into a thermos to keep it warm. Then, full of confidence, she began preparing the second dish, stir-fried mushrooms with meat.

At around 4:30, she went online to check how much rice and water would be needed for two people’s meal and started cooking the rice.

On the stove, two dishes that looked pretty good were already arranged. Lin Xian felt that it was almost time. She washed her hands, smiled with satisfaction, and sent a text message to Xiao Wanqing: “Aunt Xiao, dinner is ready. Don’t worry, take your time if you’re busy, drive safely.”

Xiao Wanqing was sitting upright at her desk, one hand gripping the mouse and the other resting on the keyboard. Her gaze fell on the computer screen, but her eyes seemed unfocused and hazy.

This year at the magazine company, there wasn’t really any new planning or expansion into new markets like she had told Lin Xian. She was still fortunate enough to have a regular nine-to-five job.

Now, it was almost time to finish work… She couldn’t help but start feeling anxious.

During the evening meal preparation, if Lin Xian was by her side as usual, occasionally hugging her affectionately and rubbing against her, how could she refuse such intimate contact that made her heart beat unusually fast? During dinner, if Lin Xian was joking and laughing with her as usual, how could she ignore the girl’s captivating and radiant face, and keep her own emotions in check?

Just when she was struggling to find the perfect answer, her phone on the desk vibrated twice, indicating the arrival of a text message, snapping Xiao Wanqing out of her absent-minded state.

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

Lin Xian said that dinner was ready and taken care of.

Xiao Wanqing inexplicably let out a sigh of relief.

Throughout the day, whenever she thought of Lin Xian, her mind became restless. During the morning meeting, she found herself unusually absent-minded, thinking about forgetting to remind Lin Xian to wait for the pressure cooker to cool down before opening it. In a rush, she grabbed her phone and was about to send a text message, causing all her colleagues to look at her with confusion.

Rejecting thoughts related to Lin Xian and downplaying Lin Xian’s influence on her was temporarily difficult for her. Xiao Wanqing’s desire to escape overwhelmed her anticipation of Lin Xian personally cooking for her. She gradually clenched her hands into fists, and then, as if making a certain decision, her index finger rested on the phone keyboard and she replied to Lin Xian: “Xianxian, you’re amazing. That puts my mind at ease. I have a last-minute engagement tonight, so I won’t be coming home for dinner. I might arrive home late. If you’re tired after taking a shower, go to bed early and don’t wait for me. Just leave the door unlocked.”

She rubbed her temples, relieved, and put down her phone. But deep down, bitterness filled her heart. She had always been an honest person, but she never imagined that one day she would be forced to tell lies to a child.

Little did she know, Lin Xian at home, standing in front of the cutting board, received the reply. She pursed her lips and stared at each word on the screen for a long time, looking at the green pepper that was still to be sliced on the cutting board. The bitterness in her heart grew even stronger.

After a while, the girl still managed to curl her lips and replied to Xiao Wanqing, saying, “Okay, Aunt Xiao. If you’re going to drink, remember to eat something to line your stomach first. When you come back, don’t drive by yourself, remember to find a designated driver.”

Once she received Xiao Wanqing’s brief response of “okay,” Lin Xian put her phone back into her pocket.

Feeling disheartened, she put away the green pepper, returned it to the refrigerator, and decided not to make the third dish she had originally planned. She turned around and looked at the two dishes she had already cooked and the soup in the pressure cooker. Drooping her head, a sour feeling filled her heart, overflowing with grievances and disappointment.

In her heart, she sadly realized that this was the taste of false happiness.

Still, she held onto a glimmer of hope as she waited until half-past six, but Xiao Wanqing did not return home as expected. Lin Xian stood up from the darkness, turned on the lights in the dining room, and served the meal. Alone, accompanied by the gradually desolate night, she ate the meal she had carefully prepared. The light and shadows cast heavily upon her, leaving behind a shadow that enveloped Lin Xian’s dinner in a dismal darkness.

She couldn’t taste the food.

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

Lin Xian opened the text message sent by Xiao Wanqing again and read through it one by one, savoring it as if it had more flavor than the meal. She swallowed the last bite of food with difficulty, pondering: perhaps she should learn how to drive. That way, if Aunt Xiao had a late engagement, she would be able to pick her up from work.

If there was no opportunity, she had to create one.

After Xiao Wanqing finished work, unable to go home and not feeling like eating, she aimlessly drove on the Third Ring Road for two hours. Eventually, her car ran out of gas, leaving her at a loss. She exited the Third Ring Road and refueled, then turned onto Wen Tong’s house along the way.

Wen Tong had already gone to Changze City, leaving her the keys and asking her to come and water the succulents and run some errands for her when she had free time. Xiao Wanqing stood on the balcony of Wen Tong’s house, with a dim light illuminating a small area. Feeling bored, she absentmindedly brushed the spines of the cacti on the balcony, counting them attentively: one, two, three, four… fifty, fifty-one…

As she continued counting, her mind inevitably became chaotic, and her counting became disorganized…

She counted for more than two hours. But in the end, she couldn’t count it accurately—how many spines did this cactus actually have?

Because even the cactus, after staring at it for a long time, seemed to have taken on Lin Xian’s face.

Xiao Wanqing bit her lip, absentmindedly reaching out to touch the cactus’s head. In the next instant, a sharp pain shot through her fingers, sliding across her heart.

She opened her hand and looked at the black spine that had pricked her fingertip, unable to help but laugh.

It really resembled Lin Xian…

Lin Xian was also like this, forcefully and dominantly piercing into her heart with pain as she approached.

She slowly reached out and plucked the black spine, comforting herself that it would be fine once it was removed. Just fine.

But after removing the spine from her fingertip, the red mark it left behind, accompanied by lingering pain, ironically persisted for a long time.

In a daze, the pain became even more intense than before.

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