When Liang Yue bent down to change her shoes, she was startled by Xu Qi who was watching TV in the living room. The room was dark and the volume of the TV news was very low. Xu Qi always liked silence.
This movement outside the TV made Xu Qi, who was sitting in a sculptural sit-in, finally react. He went to take Liang Yue’s bag and hang it on the hanger at the entrance, and then remembered to explain, “I’m afraid it’s inconvenient for you to drink.”
Liang Yue put the key in the entrance drawer and bypassed Xu Qi, “They ordered wine, but I didn’t drink it. It’s too troublesome to call a driver at night.”
Xu Qixin said, you can obviously call me to pick you up.
Liang Yue didn’t pay attention to Xu Qi’s momentary depression, she seemed to be in a good mood, and her tolerance also increased when she was in a good mood. Xu Qi returned to the sofa, but he didn’t move his hand holding the remote control, and asked in a low voice,
“What did you eat tonight?”
“Barbecue,” Liang Yue poured herself a glass of water and leaned against the chair to relax her legs, “The place was ok, it’s relatively close to the company, everyone was very tired after working all day and didn’t want to toss.”
“We can go to eat next time.”
Liang Yue turned the cup covering her beautiful face and one couldn’t tell whether she understood what Xu Qi meant or not.
The air became stiff as the water sank into the bottom of the glass, and swayed uneasily, the living room was silent for a while, Liang Yue stopped behind the sofa, bent down and kissed Xu Qi on the cheek,
“Okay, we’ll talk about it next time, I’m tired today, I’ll take a shower first, you should rest earlier.”
She closed the door and that was the end of their daily communication.
Xu Qi raised his hand and touched his cheek, and quickly retracted, without any perception other than touch, maybe because Liang Yue kissed him was insincere, naturally he couldn’t feel anything.
The only thing that wasn’t bad was that he could smell the lingering smell of grilled meat brought by Liang Yue when she approached.
No cool fragrance.
“Is it repaired?”
“It’s all right.”
Xu Qi sat up, having learned the lesson last time, but this time he moved a lot slower, his eyes from behind the lens glanced at Liao Jinxue who was sitting in front of the computer, his broad shoulders propped up his white coat, no matter whether he was sitting or standing up, his back was always straight with no fear of bending.
After filling the teeth, Xu Qi’s last reason to come to the clinic will also be lost. If there is no other accident, the connection that was finally established will be cut off.
When he found out that Liang Yue was cheating, and the reason for Liang Yue’s cheating was Liao Jinxue, Xu Qi couldn’t tell what made him feel more at loss. The only thing that was certain was that he didn’t want to divorce Liang Yue yet.
After five years of getting along day and night, Xu Qi didn’t even want to think about the trivial matters of chicken feathers after separation. He pierced this layer of window paper, and all that awaited him was the pincer battle from Liang Yue and Chen Fang. This was what he was most afraid of, and at the same time It is also the situation he was most unwilling to see.
Xu Qi has always wanted to live his ordinary life well. In an ordinary life, there is no earth-shattering option of divorce.
He was helpless against Liang Yue, and all he could do was start from Liao Jinxue’s side.
Must show interest, care, and get more information about Liao Jinxue.
“Did you go to university in Ningcheng after graduation? I haven’t seen you come to class a month before the college entrance examination, and I haven’t heard the news of your volunteering.”
Xu Qi suppressed the vibrato when he was biting, as if he suddenly remembered, so he cares casually.
Liao Jinxue’s answer was as simple as always: “In other provinces.”
“So, did you come back to work directly after graduating from college?”
“After a few months of internship, I returned to Ningcheng after the end.”
Xu Qi snorted and said after a long silence: “Have you worked in this clinic for a long time? Every time I come to the front desk, I will mention you and say that you are very popular with patients…”
“Xu Qi, do you have anything else?”
Liao Jinxue asked indifferently, his eyes were as sharp as the blade of a knife, he cut through Xu Qi’s smiling faces, and mercilessly overthrew the hypocritically established peace between them.
This blatant question is like telling Xu Qi that he has forgotten the past, and the only one holding on to it is Xu Qi.
Liao Jinxue’s life is rich enough, the intersection of those two years is not worth mentioning, but for a person like Xu Qi, there may not be such a peaceful, stable and comfortable three years in the future.
It was Liao Jinxue who was obviously cheating with his wife and Liao Jinxue was the one who did the wrong thing, but this made Xu Qi seem to be the wicked one.
“No, nothing else.” Xu Qi twitched the corners of his mouth in embarrassment and murmured, “I’m wasting your time.”
He walked away without looking back, forgetting to close the door. The assistant stepped in and saw Liao Jinxue sitting in front of the computer. He mentioned two things about the patient’s need to change the appointment time. Suddenly, he glanced at the screen and asked,
“Doctor Liao, the patient has already left, do you still need to make a record?”
Moving the mouse to save, Liao Jinxue turned her face to look at her, no matter how many times, the assistant would still speed up the heartbeat because of these eyes, and forget the doubts just now.
When she recovered, Liao Jinxue’s demeanour had returned to normal, and she asked her,
“What’s the matter?”
“Aren’t you going to eat at home tonight?”
Xu Qi came out of the kitchen, Liang Yue walked towards the porch with her bag on her shoulders. She wore a black dress tonight. She had put on make-up, and she looked very feminine. She was looking down to reply to someone’s news. She just replied absentmindedly:
“I made an appointment with a friend for dinner. It will be very late when I come back. You don’t have to wait for me.”
His fingernails sank into the flesh of his palm, and he pinched a red mark that almost bled. Xu Qi caught up a few steps and suggested palely:
“You can call me when it’s over, and I’ll pick you up.”
Liang Yue turned off her phone, her voice mixed with impatience,
“No, I’m going to be late if you drag, I’ll drive back myself.”
She didn’t look at Xu Qi. It seemed like a waste of time to do so. She bent over to put on shoes and brushed the hair behind her under the chain of the satchel, leaving Xu Qi behind with a closed door.
Liang Yue lied.
Xu Qi knew that when she saw her friends, she would not dress up so grandly, would not be distracted, and would not wear those high heels that had been idle since they were bought.
Who is she going to see? Thinking of this question, Xu Qi turned upside down in his stomach and completely lost his last appetite.
He turned around and went into the bedroom, took out the diary from the drawer under the closet, took out the camera from the other compartment, brought what he needed skillfully and walked on the road where Liang Yue left just now without looking back, the lights of the whole house went out suddenly.
The night scene in the centre of Ningcheng was prosperous, with neon lights flashing, and Xu Qi was driving behind Liang Yue with a distance of three cars. Half an hour away, she could see her parked on the side of the road from a distance. There was a long food street nearby, and you could vaguely glimpse the lively fireworks and pedestrians at the intersection.
The owner of the car at the diagonal just moved the car out. Xu Qi immediately reversed and parked in this position, turning off the car’s engine. In the dark, he and Liang Yue waited silently.
His lips were very dry, probably because he had just had his teeth filled in the morning. His tongue was always licking the tooth in the lower right row involuntarily. The rough filling material gave off an unfamiliar touch on the tip of his tongue.
The door was pushed open and Xu Qi’s eyes closely followed Liang Yue’s figure getting out of the car. She stood there and smiled at the man approaching.
Liao Jinxue, had taken off his white coat and his demeanour became more introverted, this did little to dim his original handsomeness. The cuffs of the black shirt were rolled up to the forearms, and the hem was tied into suit pants. The dress was between formal and casual. The well-proportioned and beautiful muscle lines make it difficult to imagine that this is a doctor who sits in the consulting room every day.
When Liang Yue walked over, she didn’t pay attention to the steps, her high heels staggered, Liao Jinxue held her back, and then lowered her arms in a gentlemanly manner. The lens flickered irregularly, flickering on and off.
Adjusting his breath, the shaky camera aimed at the two people walking together. Liang Yue turned her head sideways and joked with Liao Jinxue. It was rare to see her in such a good mood and her smile was gentle. Liao Jinxue still had his back facing the camera and the two figures disappeared on the street corner. .
Xu Qi failed to press the shutter once.
He lowered his arms and let the camera, which he had always taken care of, smashed into the co-pilot’s seat.
This seven-year-old car has always been scolded by Liang Yue for various reasons. Xu Qi didn’t think there was anything wrong with it before, but today for the first time he found that the air in the car was so suffocating, and the noise in the city centre penetrated The sound insulation is extremely poor, and it disturbs his splitting head every minute and every second. If he stays for another second, Xu Qi will vomit out directly.
The car drove out of the busy city and headed for the most familiar road. It was like a silent escape. The street scene outside the window was reflected in the familiar billboard, and finally there was no more heart-pounding glare.
The road was rough, and it took a lot of work every time I drove in. Xu Qi parked the car in the open space in front of the photo studio and got out of the car with the camera.
“Who is it? Don’t look at what time it is, and don’t open the store at night!”
The scolding voice got closer and closer with the sound of the slippers hitting the ground. The shutter door slammed open, and the dim incandescent light in the museum lit up an open space under Xu Qi’s feet.
Uncle Liang took off the reading glasses that were not in front of his vest, and after seeing it clearly, he called out,
“Xu Qi? Why did you choose to come here at this time?”
Xu Qi raised the camera in his hand, was silent for a long time, and answered without any confidence: “I’ll take pictures.”
Uncle Liang squeezed a Sichuan character pattern between his brows, swept him from head to toe, turned his hands behind his back, turned and walked into the museum, without asking a word,
“Don’t forget to close the door.”
Xu Qi felt the fatigue relieved from his whole body.
He pulled the rolling shutter halfway down again, took out the SD card in the camera and put it in front of the stage. Uncle Liang turned over the camera brought by Xu Qi and weighed it twice in his hand to guess the model year. He looked disgusted and scolded: “What is the age of this year, and I still use an old-fashioned camera. This ten-year-old style is sold in second-hand stores for fifty and no one buys it. The photos taken are too blurry to see, only You, and use it.”
Uncle Liang has always had a poisonous tongue, hurting people but not too harshly. To Xu Qi it sounded more like caring, and whispered to defend his precious camera:
“I bought it for 800, and the photos are not blurry, not as bad as you said. “
Uncle Liang immediately took over:
“That’s what I taught well, there’s nothing wrong with the camera.”
Xu Qi pursed his lips and smiled, without saying anything to refute, the stagnation in his heart gradually thinned and dissipated during the chat with Uncle Liang.
This small photo studio is now in its twentieth year and is on the road that Xu Qi passed through during his High School days.
Ten years ago, cameras used film to take pictures, and they had to go into a dark room to develop them. The habit left behind led Xu Qi to still say ‘photographing’ instead of ‘printing photos’. Uncle Liang said that he is not as good as an old man who keeps up with the trend. This is indeed the case. The service of the photo studio has been added and iterated all the time. Now most people have switched to taking pictures with mobile phones, and the business has been stable.
There are no other employees in the store except Uncle Liang. Xu Qi will come to help when he has time on weekends. He doesn’t get paid. The compensation is that Uncle Liang can borrow any equipment he wants, and he can come anytime if he needs to print photos.
Uncle Liang scolded Xu Qi for not going to sleep at night and came to disturb him, an old man, and printed the selected photos one by one. Xu Qi picked up photos that were still hot. He usually took pictures of the sky outside the company, the osmanthus tree downstairs, the stray cat he had only seen in the community once, and Liao Jinxue in the clinic, comforting the crying little boy.
There is no skill in the shooting angle, just because of the people in the picture, the whole photo has a strong sense of atmosphere.
The fingers pinching the edge of the photo unconsciously tightened, causing the side of Liao Jinxue’s face to blur for a moment, but quickly released. Uncle Liang finally stopped his mouth after finishing his work. He sat down and commented on Xu Qi’s shooting results one by one. What’s the ‘structure is not beautiful’, ‘This cat’s demeanour is too silly’, and when he picked up a photo of Liao Jinxue, Liang Uncle pushed the reading glasses away, frowned and looked at it carefully.
“It’s ugly, and the people are handsome.”
Before a corner of the photo touched the table, Uncle Liang picked it up again. After the second measurement, he pointed at Liao Jinxue on the photo with great certainty and said,
“Isn’t this the kid you often photographed in high school?”
Xu Qi’s wrist trembled, and the photo fell to the ground. He bent down and picked it up.
“Do you remember…”
“I’m not old enough to forget things.” Uncle Liang was the least willing to be told that he was old and had a poor memory. He pointed at the photo and vowed, “I can’t forget this face, why did you meet again?”
His throat was slightly dry, and Xu Qi whispered, “I just met when I was going to the dentist. He is a dentist now, and we have a chat together.”
Uncle Liang muttered a few words of “promising”, but did not ask any further questions, and replayed the photo.
He and Xu Qi have known each other for so many years. To a certain extent, he is a weird person like Xu Qi. One of the rules is that he will never ask about the story in the photo, no matter how strange it is, he has never only commented on the shooting technique.
But this time, Uncle Liang rarely said a word.
“I’ve never seen you photographing people, but you love photographing him.”
This sentence hit at home, making Xu Qi dizzy.
In the photo, Liao Jinxue’s profile flashes alternately with the green face ten years ago, as if to dig out those two years that he had tried so hard to hide.
Since the reunion until now, Xu Qi has been avoiding thinking about and mentioning the past that should have been sealed ten years ago during his student days. There is always a cold voice in his ear reminding him that escaping does not mean erasing it.
All the memories related to Liao Jinxue are engraved in the dark haze.