An Inconspicuous Shooting Star - Chapter 8
「It’s not that I don’t want to be in a relationship, it’s just that my heart contains someone, and it’s someone that I can’t have.」
Cheng Yan usually lives in a small apartment in Linjiang to travel quicker for work and go home on a weekend.
The small apartment was ten minutes closer to the company than his house that is in Chengbei District.
Cheng Yan wanted to live at home but his mother had it tough, raising him for more than ten years on her own after his father had passed away. She had retired but as a light-sleeper and old, he didn’t want to disturb her.
As he would usually come home late from work and wake her up, he decided to rent an apartment.
The sky wasn’t completely dark when the bus arrived at Chengbei District at exactly eight o’clock. At this time, her mother would’ve had her dinner, so when Cheng Yan came in, he heated the leftover food in the microwave and sat down.
Mother Cheng hadn’t slept at this hour so she accompanied him on the table.
She hesitated to talk as she watched him dig into the food. She only spoke after seeing that he was nearly done with his food. “Ah Yan, did your auntie contact you?”
“No, why?” Cheng Yan asked as if didn’t know while he ate.
“Your auntie’s just trying to be considerate,” His mother persuaded, “She said her classmate’s daughter is the same age as you and wanted to introduce her to you.”
“Mom,” Cheng Yan stopped eating and spoke with seriousness, “I don’t have any accomplishments and I don’t want to drag them down. Don’t worry too much about this.”
“Sigh” Mother Cheng was helpless and looked at him with disapproval, “Look at you, you’re already 27. Your friends already have a family but you’re still single. Do you think I can not worry?”
Cheng Yan felt really tired of this topic. It was normal for her to know about this, and it was also true that more people were getting married in the last two years.
But Cheng Yan couldn’t refute, nor tell her why he wasn’t going to be married, or maybe this just wasn’t the right time to say that.
“I got it. I’ll be aware of that, tell auntie that I said thanks.” Cheng Yan tactfully said.
Yet, he didn’t expect her to say, “Your auntie already gave her your contact info. Remember to accept the request and chat with her. Who knows, you might like her, right?”
With that aid, he can only agree with her, and then scooped his food and ate it clean.
The week after that happened seemed to be going fast, which also means the group activity was coming.
Cheng Yan felt that he was an elementary child being excited for their spring school trip from yesterday to the next morning as he woke up very early.
When he arrived at the assembly point in front of the company entrance, there were only less than ten people there. He looked around and found that they were all from other departments, with only a few that he had scarcely talked with for work while the rest of them were strangers to him, making him feel very awkward.
Luckily, a young lady with sharp-eyes spotted him and pointed him to the direction of where their group’s people were.
Cheng Yan looked at the direction she pointed and saw a familiar face. A little smile then emerged on his face.
Huo Sheng arrived early, purely because he needed to avoid the traffic jams to drop his child at his parent’s place. But not many people were out on a Saturday morning, not even a traffic jam was in sight, nor many cars on the overpass.
Hence, without the obstruction of any traffic, he arrived here and ate breakfast.
Huo Sheng was quite pleased to see Cheng Yan as the girls from the administration department were mostly recent graduates. When they gathered around him, chattering to take care of him, it made him feel the “generation gap”.
He grinned once the person came to him, “Have you eaten anything?”
It was obviously a standard greeting that would appear in a Chinese course for foreigners nonetheless, Cheng Yan felt a slice of happiness. He quickly nodded and answered, “Have you eaten too?”
“Of course I have,” Huo Sheng smiled and then suddenly spoke again, “Speak of which…”
“Yes?” Cheng Yan looked up slightly.
Huo Sheng gently smiled, his eyes also narrowing. This topic came abruptly but he could only explain, seeing that Cheng Yan was very confused, “I just suddenly remembered your report from the meeting the day before yesterday. I forgot to say something and just remembered it now.”
Cheng Yan’s heart skipped a beat, thinking that he might’ve done something wrong. Yet, before he could contemplate, Huo Sheng praised him, “You did a good job.” Only then did he relax.
Seeing how easily nervous this person is, tensing up and easing down at his words, Huo Sheng voicelesly smiled.
Cheng Yan felt that he was just doing his job but it didn’t stop him from saying his “thank you”. “I… I was a bit worried at that time.”
“Why are you worried?” Huo Sheng rubbed his chin and looked at him with interest, “Do I look mean?”
“Hm? What?” Cheng Yan doubted what he heard.
“You seem a bit,” Huo Sheng explained, “nervous all the time.”
Cheng Yan took a peek at his eyes again and then denied, “N-No.”
Huo Sheng wanted to keep asking but Liang Chen arrived.
She was wearing a sports suit and carrying a small bag. She greeted the two first and then looked up and down at Cheng Yan, “Ah Yan, the clothes you’re wearing looks refreshing.”
“Why say that?” Huo Sheng’s attention was diverted.
“Oh, Brother Sheng, you didn’t know,” Liang Chen explained, “when Ah Yan was still in school, his body seemed a bit weak and was never out in the sun. For so many years of being his classmate, I’ve never seen him wear anything like this before.”
“And, you can see from a glance that he doesn’t usually exercise. Or else how can he be as white as me?” She even pulled her sleeves up and compared herself with Cheng Yan.
Huo Sheng compared the two with interest and undeniably sighed, “Indeed, it’s rare to see someone as white as Cheng Yan.”
That only made Cheng Yan embarrassed. He withdrew his arm quickly and bit his lip lightly.
When Liang Chen wasn’t here, it was just the two of them so he had to talk. Now that Liang Chen had arrived, the main talkers became Huo Sheng and Liang Chen while Cheng Yan quietly listened.
Soon, the time to depart was near. Cheng Yan was thinking that the two would be sitting together since they were familiar and he planned to choose a seat behind.
However, when they were getting in the car, he suddenly heard Miao Yu’s voice behind him. And before he knew it, the four people then became a row for the men and a row for the women, with Cheng Yan sitting beside Huo Sheng.
It was going to be a 3-hour journey to the nature reserve with a bus.
Cheng Yan glanced out of the window somewhat uncomfortably until Miao Yu exclaimed, “I’m glad I made it.” He turned his head and looked back.
When he turned, he could also see Huo Sheng. His glimpse captured the man with a subtle smile, looking ahead but turning back as well with curiosity.
He saw a young lady from the administration department carry a big bag, issuing something to people. The first thing that came to mind was information of some sort. When she was near them, he finally found that she was sharing a small bag of sweets to everyone, as if people on the bus were children on a spring school trip.
Perhaps the administrative department had prepared too much, Huo Sheng received three bags, to which he handed two bags to Cheng Yan.
Cheng Yan looked at the things handed to him, stumped. He took it and muttered, “Thank you.” Then he frantically bowed his head, pretending to be checking what was in the bag.
“You’re welcome.” Huo Sheng replied, and then Huo Sheng who was popular got asked if he wanted more.
He refused with a smile and asked about the trip before the girl left while Cheng Yan listened in on their conversation.
Cheng Yan was sitting on the inside, and when he looked over, he could see Huo Sheng’s nice jawline and a curved up mouth as well as his thin ears. The sight in front of him was like a sketch for a painting. It was a view that made him feel like an innocent young girl whose heart is pounding nervously, making him frustrated.
Most fortunately, Huo Sheng wasn’t looking at his side. He suppressed his thoughts and quietly watched them. When their conversation was about to end, he hastily turned his head, looking out at the window grasping the two bags of snacks.
He didn’t see many people on the street, most probably because the day was still early. When they entered the overpass the view was merely a dull, non-changing highway fence.
Cheng Yan was bored looking at the same old view so he took his phone out instead. He noticed a few unread messages.
【Are you awake?】
【It’s a bit hot this week. Are you going to be busy?】
【There’s a movie with good reviews. Do you want to see it together?】
The sender was the lady he was introduced to.
Cheng Yan cupped the phone and hesitated on how to reply to her.
The lady was very initiative and he had talked quite a bit with her this week. However, he was unable to fall in love with her nor does he have any experience to reject her. Thus he took some time to delete and edit his message.【I’m really sorry, I was out this week.】
With a “swoop”, the message was sent, and then he received another message before he could put his phone down.
【Um, if you have, like, anything you want to say, you can. I also thought this method of getting to know each other is not quite good.】
【If I’m not interested, I wouldn’t be wasting your time, but I actually really like you.】
And then she sent at least five messages continuously, making Cheng Yan really nervous. The refusal became much harder to say.
He kept editing and deleting his message for a long time before sending out a message and stared long at his words, biting his lips red.
He said, 【It’s not your fault, it’s my fault. Right now, I don’t want to be in a relationship. I’m really sorry.】
Unexpectedly, someone beside him replied instead of a message from her.
Huo Sheng raised his eyebrow and looked at him, “Your girlfriend?”
With a panic and a “bang”, he threw his phone away.
The two stared dumbfounded at each other. Cheng Yan quickly bent down, as he heard Huo Sheng laugh. Huo Sheng looked left and right for where it might be and found it
When Huo Sheng handed him his phone back, he was thinking Cheng Yan was nervous because he was right. Yet, Cheng Yan gripped his phone tight, lowered his head and said with a small voice, “N-No, it’s not my girlfriend.”
“Hm? Then is it someone you like?” Huo Sheng was puzzled thus he simply asked.
“No, no it’s not.” Cheng Yan hastily denied.
“I’m not going to date her, it’s…” His eyes hidden behind the glasses blinked, and he looked up slightly, staring at Huo Sheng, “It’s just my relative who introduced me to her, so, don’t…”
He spoke softly, “Please don’t misunderstand.”
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