An Inconspicuous Shooting Star - Chapter 13
「It’s all a misinterpretation from overthinking.」
Brother Sheng, Brother Sheng. Cheng Yan muttered in his heart repetitively.
Cheng Yan doesn’t know how many times he had repeated it. He only remembered calling out uncontrollably, making Huo Sheng look over and ask him what’s wrong.
He hastily replied, “Nothing.” And then he rushed forward, forgetting that his knee was injured.
He didn’t feel anything when he was getting on the bus, but once he sat down, Cheng Yan was in so much pain that he winced and drew in a breath.
Huo Sheng found his unexpected childish actions funny and he was unable to help but smile. Then, he watched until Cheng Yan didn’t seem to be in pain before resting on the chair.
It was another bumpy three-hour journey.
Unlike the bus they were on that was full of staff from their company, this bus they took was full of half-grown children. It was a hustling mess.
Some children couldn’t sit still but their parents wouldn’t allow them to leave the chair, so they kept looking around, asking questions to the person sitting beside them.
The child in the front row was just like that. He was standing up with his two hands grabbing the seat facing towards them. He was staring at them with his head sticking out.
The child looked left and right before calling out to Huo Sheng, “Uncle.” Then he hid again.
Afterward, a head poked out with a hand holding two fruit candies towards him.
The child said, “Uncle1, here—”
He had a nasal tone and was stretching his two little arms which occasionally shook in sync with the vehicle
Huo Sheng accepted it with a smile and wanted to thank him but he heard the mother say, “We’re getting off once you’re done.” In the next moment, the little head that was poking out was gone.
Huo Sheng smiled and said his thanks towards the front row. He then shared one with Cheng Yan.
Two sweets were placed in his open hand. Cheng Yan took one, leaving the other one on Huo Sheng’s palm.
When the bus was pulling to a stop at Rong city’s station, Cheng Yan just happened to wake up.
By the time he got off the bus, the pain had subsided considerably.
After Huo Sheng saw him stand up firmly and asked, “Do you want me to walk with you?”
Cheng Yan responded unconsciously, “Huh? I wouldn’t trouble you2.”
However, Huo Sheng smiled and didn’t take his rejection seriously. “Since I have to take a taxi too so it’s not troublesome for me.” Then he hailed a taxi and let Cheng Yan go in first.
The driver turned around and asked once they were in the car, “Where do you want to go?”
Huo Sheng remained silent, causing the driver to stare at the back for a while.
The driver asked once again and Cheng Yan quickly responded, “Linjiang, Garden District3.”
The car started and they didn’t talk.
Huo Sheng continued to close his eyes for a rest, just as he did on the bus.
Cheng Yan, on the other hand, cradled his bag in his arms and kept staring out of the window.
It was late in the day and Linjiang, being quite a prosperous place, was illuminated with bright lights everywhere.
When they were about to arrive at Cheng Yan’s house, Huo Sheng woke up. He told him once Cheng Yan was out of the car, “If your leg is hurting badly, give us a call to ask for a leave.”
Cheng Yan nodded as a response to the car window. Then he stood at the side of the road until the car was out of sight before turning around to the apartment building.
The shadows were dragged long by street lamps, and there was no shortage of couples taking a stroll on a hot summer night.
Cheng Yan walked along the road with one hand in his pocket rolling the sweets from Huo Sheng. Once there was no one else around, he couldn’t stop laughing.
After he took a shower, Cheng Yan lost all that joy and excitement once he put away the sweets in the drawer and laid down on the bed.
It was as if darkness had taken over his thoughts, filling his body with an intricate jumble of happiness and loss. It made it impossible for him to think clearly about Huo Sheng’s every action.
He couldn’t make out what he was thinking, so he went over the events of the last two days in his head again and again.
The attention and care given to him, was it real? He wouldn’t doubt it, but what was the seemingly special care given to him?
He denied his idea, thinking, you’re probably imagining things.
You’re overthinking, he told himself, it’s only natural to care about your subordinates.
He scoffed at himself. What are you expecting?
It was a restless night of sleep, with thoughts stirring in his head, disturbing him badly.
On the next day, Cheng Yan went to work. His leg was bruised and hurt a little but it was not so bad that he needed to take time off work.
With two dark under eyes, he came to work and wasn’t able to see Huo Sheng all morning.
During lunchtime, Cheng Yan hesitated before asking Liang Chen, “Is the chief not coming to work today?”
Liang Chen, who was sitting on the opposite side, said while she was looking at her phone, “I heard that his daughter is having a fever so he took his day off today.”
Cheng Yan nodded and didn’t speak anymore, but Liang Chen thought about it and stared at him with suspicion for a long time. She said with curiosity, “Ah Yan, you’re being a bit strange.”
“R-Really?” Cheng Yan expressed his denial and then said with a small voice, “Yesterday… Yesterday, he helped me so I want to thank him.”
“I see.” Liang Chen stabbed at the salad with a fork, looking less than convinced.
Cheng Yan didn’t speak anymore as he knew it would be useless to keep explaining.
Huo Sheng didn’t show up for work for the whole day, and not just one day as another two days passed with his absence.
By the time Cheng Yan saw Huo Sheng again, it was already Thursday.
For the past few days, Cheng Yan had been leaving for work early. Partly because he was afraid that his injury would be knocked against surfaces when he is raiding the train, while another part was because of the plant he bought when he was bored placed on the desk.
The office was still empty in the morning so Cheng Yan took the time to take care of his little green plant. He was finding out how much nutrient solution to use for this sort of plant when he heard a beep from the door followed by Huo Sheng coming in.
Unlike before, Huo Sheng looked weary.
When Cheng Yan saw him walking away without looking up, he didn’t miss the opportunity to say “good morning”.
Only then did he react and greet him with a simple “morning”.
At first, only Cheng Yan was feeling strange that Huo Sheng was not looking well. Then, when the afternoon came, Miao Y, who was in Huo Sheng’s office to ask about the project, asked Cheng Yan with a strange look, “What happened to the chief?”
“What?” Cheng Yan questioned.
“Well… you know, the chief is always in a joyful manner when you talk to him,” Miao Yu said, “but today, I don’t know why but he’s not smiling even a little. His complexion looks terrible.”
Cheng Yan frowned and turned his body to look towards the office at the back. He couldn’t see anything. When he was faced with Miao Yu’s puzzlement, he shook his head, expressing that he was not sure.
Huo Sheng’s state was worrying Cheng Yan, but he couldn’t find a reason to ask while he kept hesitating.
In the end, he ended up dawdling until everyone had left work before thinking about going to talk to Huo Sheng for real.
Unexpectedly, Huo Sheng’s office door never opened even when it was eight o’clock.
Cheng Yan, who had been waiting outside, even wondered if he had missed seeing the person leaving. Maybe he had already left? He was unsettled by the thought until his eyes caught sight of the small potted plant on his table. He then made up his mind and knocked on the door.
The person inside hadn’t left and quickly responded, “Come in.”
Cheng Yan gently pushed open a crack and poked his head in through the door.
When Huo Sheng saw him, he pinched the bridge of his nose with weariness and forced a smile. He asked, “What’s wrong?”
With one hand placed behind his back, Cheng Yan bit his lips. He walked in and spoke, “Um…”
Huo Sheng noticed that he seemed to be hiding something behind his back and he lifted the corner of his mouth slightly.
Cheng Yan suddenly became tense when he saw Huo Sheng’s expression. His Adam’s apple rolled twice as if he was going to swallow his tension away. After a moment, before the man could ask him, he took out a little green plant from behind his back and placed it on Huo Sheng’s table. “This is for you. It’s good for the eyes.4“
Huo Sheng froze as he looked at the little green plant and then smiled.
After a long delay, he said, “Thank you. Don’t tire yourself too much. Finish up early and get some rest.”
When Cheng Yan walked out, his hands felt a little numb. He didn’t clean up when he returned to his table as he sat there, staring into space and feeling that his leg was also hurting a little.
But after a while, he thought that he was being unreasonable.
Oh you, what are you even thinking?