Maybe it was because he slept long enough without dreaming, but when he got up near noon the next day, Shen Yiyou’s mood was not as bad as it was before falling asleep.
On the second day in country S, Shen Yiyou and his friends tried two restaurants which were popular, went shopping, and wandered aimlessly. This was how the day before his birthday passed.
After dinner, they went to a famous nightclub. Everyone was in high spirits, but Shen Yiyou was extremely tired and didn’t want to drink even a sip of wine.
At nearly twelve o’clock, Shen Yiyou couldn’t sit still, so he returned to the hotel early by himself.
He got out of the rental car and walked into the revolving door. It was a long walk from the hotel lobby to the room, he walked slowly by himself, passed the softly lit corridor, walked into the elevator, pressed the floor of the room, and watched the numbers go up.
This year’s birthday didn’t have Li Shu or cake or blessings, but he didn’t feel anything.
It was already twelve o’clock when he arrived in the room. Shen Yiyou put the phone on the bedside table. The phone suddenly vibrated, and the screen got turned on. The caller’s name was Li Shu.
Shen Yiyou was startled, he stared at the screen, then he picked up the phone, looked at it for a long time, and when he wanted to pick it up, the other party seemed to have hung up automatically because he waited too long.
Before Shen Yiyou began to think about whether to call back, Li Shu called again.
Shen Yiyou hesitated but picked up the call and put the phone to his ear, however he didn’t speak.
“Shen Yiyou.” Li Shu called him by his name, using the usual tone and volume.
Their time of separation was not long, but Shen Yiyou felt like he hadn’t been in touch with Li Shu for a long time. So much so that he felt unfamiliar and uneasy when talking on the phone with Li Shu.
He thought that Li Shu might not be kind enough to give him birthday wishes, so he couldn’t guess the reason for Li Shu’s call, thus he politely asked, “What’s the matter?”
Li Shu did not wish Shen Yiyou a happy birthday, instead he said, “I found what you dropped last time at my home in San Francisco.”
Shen Yiyou was stunned for a moment, and Li Shu reminded him again, “The little red cloth bag, the amulet.”
“…” Shen Yiyou knew what Li Shu was talking about, “That’s called a purse.”
“Thank you anyway.” Shen Yiyou added.
The purse with red embroidered thread was hand-sewn by Shen Yiyou when he went to high school in the UK and contained a gold-plated Guanyin amulet from Mount Putuo. A few weeks after school started, his grandmother had died in a car accident. And after that, no one in the world who really cared about Shen Yiyou was left.
Shen Yiyou was used to taking it with him whenever he went out. In the first half of last year, he went to look for Li Shu. It was still there when he set off, but he couldn’t find it when he came back. At that time, Shen Yiyou remotely searched Li Shu’s home for a long time, but he couldn’t find it.
He didn’t know why, but it inexplicably appeared after their breakup.
Li Shu politely said, “No thanks required,” and said, “Since I found it, I should give it back to you.”
“Thank you,” Shen Yiyou grabbed his phone, sat down beside the bed, looked down at the toes of his shoes, and asked Li Shu, “How can I get it from you?”
Li Shu calmed down and said, “I’ll ask the driver to bring it to you, or put it in the locker, okay?”
“If possible, I’ll let him go now.” Li Shu said again.
Shen Yiyou was stunned for a moment, then slowly shook his head, but realizing that Li Shu couldn’t see it, he said, “No, I’m not at home.”
Li Shu paused for a while and immediately asked Shen Yiyou, “Where are you?”
“I can also ask him to pick you up.”
Shen Yiyou said no more, and told Li Shu, “My friends and I are outside.”
“Shen Yiyou,” Li Shu’s voice was a little low, but he was not angry. Li Shu had never been angry with Shen Yiyou. He said to Shen Yiyou, “It’s twelve o’clock, are you still not going home?”
Shen Yiyou felt that Li Shu seemed to want to educate him, but he held back at the last moment. It was rare that Shen Yiyou was not upset about this. He just thought the whole conversation was too long.
“I’ll ask the driver to pick you up.” Li Shu said again impatiently.
“No need,” Shen Yiyou refused, “I’m traveling with my friends.”
Feeling Li Shu’s silence on the other end, Shen Yiyou proposed a compromise plan: “Can you do this, let the driver keep it for me for a few days, and then I’ll ask him to pick me up when I go back to City S? You give the driver’s number to me.”
Li Shu was quiet for a while before he said yes, he said he would send the driver’s phone number to Shen Yiyou, and then said goodbye.
Hanging up the phone, Shen Yiyou breathed a sigh of relief.
He looked at the piece of glass between the bathroom and the bed and kept staring at it blankly for a long time before slowly letting the moisture in his eyes and the sourness in his nose dissipate.
Shen Yiyou was a little happy when he received Li Shu’s call, but he hoped that he could forget this happiness soon, as it was best not to feel anything.
When he was about to take a shower, his phone screen lit up again. Li Shu had sent him a text message, it contained eleven digits and the driver’s surname. Shen Yiyou clicked the number and wanted to save it as a new number, but before he could do that, Li Shu sent a new message.
Even though it was after twelve o’clock in the middle of the night, Irene Felton was sitting in the passenger seat of a car.
The car was parked outside the community where her boss’ boyfriend lived. The boss wanted to change his assistant in S City, so she could only take the position temporarily and continue the interviews on the side.
Li Shu made a temporary decision to come to S City last night. He didn’t give a reason, but only said that he had to come. After getting off the plane in the evening, Li Shu asked her to take a rest at the hotel and took the driver out of the door, but after half an hour, Li Shu called her out again.
She arrived at the address given by Li Shu and found that it was a flower shop. Li Shu stood in front of a pile of roses of different types, watching motionlessly.
Irene walked over and helped the staff for a long time. In the end, Li Shu chose one by himself, asked the clerk to pack it, and put it in the box.
The white roses that Li Shu picked were hybrids. The stamens were pale yellow, and the petals were thick and long and narrow. But there were not many petals.
Li Shu held the flower box calmly and naturally and walked in front. Irene followed him into the car, watched him put the box on the other seat in the back, and then he turned to ask herself, “Where can I buy a cake?”
Irene Felton was an all-round secretary. She also found a nearby cake shop for her boss in S City, a place she didn’t know well, that sold cakes. They rushed over and happened to buy the last six inches berry flavor cake left.
Li Shu was very satisfied, he said, “Shen Yiyou likes the taste of berries”, and after a while he said, “Six inches is just right for two people.”
It was a bit late when they came out of the cake shop. Li Shu didn’t go to find someone directly. He took the cake back to the apartment, put the cake in the refrigerator, and took care of some business affairs. At half past eleven, he called Irene to go downstairs with the cake and get into the car.
Outside the community, Irene heard Li Shu call his boyfriend. She guessed that Li Shu and Shen Yiyou had a quarrel, but she didn’t know to what extent.
Li Shu didn’t come to S City this month. She didn’t know if it was related to the quarrel. Listening to him talking on the phone with his boyfriend, the tone seemed to be very calm, but the content was inexplicably heavy.
After hanging up the phone, Li Shu quietly typed on the phone for a while, then put the phone down.
Irene Felton didn’t look back, but she heard the ribbon being untied, the sound of the cardboard box being opened, and then smelt the rich aroma of berry cake.
It was a full-bodied scent, which contained the tartness of underripe red raspberries mixed with the mild sweetness of whipped cream.
The bag containing the knife and fork was also torn open by Li Shu. In the dead silent carriage, no sound could be misheard.
After two minutes, Irene finally couldn’t help turning her face and looking back.
Li Shu had lowered his head and was slowly eating the birthday cake he had planned to give to Shen Yiyou. The rose box on the left was very long and was teetering on the seat. Li Shu ate for a while, called Irene’s name, and said, “Do you know why Shen Yiyou broke up with me?”
It was late at night, and the car was parked under a tree, with no pedestrians or other cars passing by.
The narrow stretch of asphalt driveway and the dense camphor trees on both sides of the road almost crowded together, covering the night sky, made it feel like they were trapped in a huge, irregular cage.
Irene honestly didn’t know.
This time, Li Shu was not dissatisfied because she couldn’t answer his question, instead he said, “I don’t know either.”
T/N: The last sentence almost made me cry… No matter what u say about LS but he really seems to love SY a lot… he just doesn’t know how to express it at all….
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