The smog outside the floor-to-ceiling windows was thick, and there was no trace of the sky in sight; the living room was quiet, only the white porridge on the stove was gurgling.

Xu Qin leaned on the edge of the open flow table, lowered her head, and a tear fell silently, just like her, quiet and silent.

Time passed minute by minute, and she did not speak.

The gushing white porridge lifted the lid again, telling her that the time was up. She was motionless, like a clay sculpture.

Silence, like a century.

The porridge lifted the lid again and again, suddenly overflowing, dripping on the stovetop.

Song Yan finally stepped forward and turned off the gas.

The boiling porridge fell silent instantly, and the rice grains rolled a few times in the rice soup and quickly subsided.

The mist stained Song Yan’s eyes.

He said nothing, turned away, and did not say a word of farewell.

At the moment of passing by, Xu Qin’s eyes suddenly surged with a wet blur, and in the crystal water flashing vision, his trouser legs flashed.

Another tear fell, and she froze in place, clutching the sink with both hands, but there was no movement at all. She heard him go to the porch, change his shoes and go out, closing the door behind him.

Silence fell.

The room was so quiet that only the sound of her own trembling breathing remained.

The tears could no longer be stopped, and the tears fell as large as beads, she covered her mouth tightly, not making a sound, only her shoulders shaking all at once.

She couldn’t help herself, her body arched down, she almost couldn’t stand upright, and when her body rose and fell uncontrollably, she suddenly stopped. Hands gripped the table, restrained.

Finally, she stopped.

Xu Qin stood in place for a while again, calmed down, and then gently raised her finger to wipe the wet mist on her eyelashes, stepped forward to the stove, opened the lid of the pot, the steam gushed up, and the fragrance of rice porridge came to her face.

She took out the chopsticks and bowl from the cupboard, rinsed it, put a bowl of porridge out, stood by the stove, scooped it up with a spoon, blew hot air, and put it in her mouth.

Mouthful after mouthful, a little hot, so hot that her tears slipped silently again.

She wiped her cheeks casually, continued to blow, and ate the porridge.

It was really strange, it was clear that no ingredients have been added, no seafood, no vegetables, no sugar and salt, just plain white rice porridge, how could there be sweetness? How could there be a natural and pure sweetness that no other porridge could match?

She sniffed, wiped the tears that kept dripping from her face again, and finished one bowl and served a second bowl.

Standing by the stove, she ate the whole pot of porridge alone.

She washed the pots and chopsticks clean, wiped the stove clean, and everything returned to its original state as if nothing had happened.

She had to go to work at noon, and the doctor’s job was so good, she was so busy that she didn’t have time to care about her mood. Whether it was good or bad, it didn’t matter, and you didn’t care.

It couldn’t be better for her.

She packed herself up and went downstairs. She met Meng Yanchen, who came to see her, and said to take her to lunch.

Xu Qin said: “I have already eaten.”

She wore a mask, couldn’t see her expression, and her eyes were as light as ever, only slightly red, revealing her emotions. Meng Yanchen probably guessed what had happened, worried that she was driving, and said, “I’ll take you to the hospital.”

Xu Qin did not refuse.

When the car drove onto the road, Xu Qin suddenly spoke: “Actually, you didn’t have to send me home yesterday, even if you didn’t remind me, I wouldn’t dare.”

Meng Yanchen drove the car without making a sound.

“What are you afraid of, Meng Yanchen? Think that if my wings are hardened, I will leave everything behind and fly away?” Xu Qin looked out the window and asked softly, “Do you know how beast trainers train beasts? – When the beast is small, beat it, lock it up, starve it; pet it, hurt it, feed it. When it grows up and has strength, as long as it sees the whip and the basin, it does not dare to resist and does not dare to go to the wild again.”

Meng Yanchen’s adam’s apple rolled, and a trace of extreme pain overflowed his face. Xu Qin seemed to be telling someone else’s story.

“You all say he doesn’t deserve me, but in fact, I don’t deserve him. With him, I feel that I will hurt him anytime and anywhere in the future, because——” Xu Qin said in a calm tone, “I am a despicable person.”

“Just like in the beginning, if I didn’t change my surname, I wouldn’t be your sister, and I could continue to like you. However, if I’m not a member of the Meng family, I will have to lose that family and become helpless. If I like you about this, I want to lose my parents, lose my family’s shelter for me, lose my beautiful room and delicious dinner, and lose the right to live a relaxed life, brother, it’s better not to like you.”

“I’m sorry, I want everything, I wanted my parents at that time, I wanted you, and now I want Song Yan, but there are some things that I am destined to get. And I, as for me, have no courage, no guts, dare not face anything, only escape. There is no ability to love, and there is no qualification to love. I don’t deserve any of you to love me. It’s true.” Xu Qin said, “I’m sorry.”

For so many years, she had never expressed the slightest emotion about her original love, and she had suppressed it all in her heart.

More than ten years have passed before there was this sentence.

Meng Yanchen’s heartache was numb, and his eyes were sour for a while, and he almost couldn’t restrain it. He quickly lowered the window, let the cold wind in, and took a deep breath with the biting wind, only to barely suppress the turbulent emotions.

But compared to the pain, another faint fear pervaded the heart. It was as if he sensed that something in Xu Qin’s body was dead. It was as if her future would be more silent and quiet than her past, dark without light.

He wanted to say something to her, but they had no more chances to communicate with her. The commute to work was very short, and they soon arrived at the gate of the hospital.

When Xu Qin opened the door, Meng Yanchen suddenly suggested: “Let’s go abroad.”

Xu Qin stopped.

Meng Yanchen said: “Qin Qin, let me take you abroad, and never return to Di City, okay?”

Xu Qin was silent for a moment, as if after serious consideration, but finally shook her head and got out of the car.

Half an hour before going to work, Xu Qin went to the psychiatric department to find her alumnus from abroad, Dr. Pan Qingqing.

Xu Qin wanted to find her to prescribe some medicine to help with sleep and mood conditioning.

Pan Qingqing refused at first, and asked her to lie down and chat for half an hour. But the alarm clock on the wall went moment by moment, half an hour passed, and Xu Qin didn’t say a word.

No matter how enlightened Pan Qingqing was, she was silent like a mute.

Pan Qingqing was helpless, and finally had to prescribe medicine to her, did not dare to give more, and asked her to come over every few days to get it.

Xu Qin put the medicine away and left silently.


Zhai Miao was called back by her mother during class, saying that something had happened at home.

She took a taxi all the way home, and when she got home, she opened Song Yan’s door in a panic, but she didn’t find anything unusual. It was nothing more than a thick curtain drawn in broad daylight, the room was dark, and Song Yan was covered with an overcoat, lying on the sofa and sleeping.

As she pushed open the door, the sunlight tore through the darkness and shone right on his face, and he woke up from the stabbing light, his face crumpled.

Zhai Miao breathed a sigh of relief and walked over: “My mother said let me come-” Abruptly stopped, she smelled a strong smell of alcohol.

Since becoming a soldier, Song Yan had not been stained with wine for more than ten years.

This was especially true after being a firefighter, even if he was on vacation, he would never drink alcohol, in case he was urgently recalled for temporary assignments.

Zhai Miao knew that he was really hurt. She was flustered, saw the fallen empty wine bottle next to the sofa, and was shocked: “You drank it all?”

The light piercing made Song Yan uncomfortable, he frowned, a painful expression passed over his face: “Close the door.”

Seeing that he was still conscious, Zhai Miao was slightly relieved and went over to close the door.

The interior was once again dark and the smell of alcohol was pungent.

Such a big man collapsed on the sofa, Zhai Miao felt uncomfortable seeing him like that.

She sat down on the ground and stabbed him cruelly: “How is it? I told you that her drinking and talking don’t count. You didn’t listen, you insisted on running to find her. Look what happened, you got dumped.”

She thought that Song Yan would choke back and scold her, at least to vent his emotions, but he didn’t; his voice was hoarse and low, and said:

“En. She didn’t choose me.”

Zhai Miao’s heart suddenly became uncomfortable, and she was about to suffocate. The brother of such a treasure of the whole family, the brother she admired so much, was spoiled like mud, and she scolded angrily: “She’s blind!”

Song Yan didn’t speak, just shook his head.

What to say, the person was too tired, covered his eyes with his arms and slept.

In the dimness, Zhai Miao saw that his lips were dry, which was caused by excessive alcohol and dehydration.

He was breathing very heavily, and all at once, he was panting extremely hard in the midst of waking up like a dream, he was really drunk and uncomfortable.

Seeing this, Zhai Miao was in so much pain that she couldn’t bear it anymore: “You should give up this time, right? Ge, if you feel uncomfortable, you can vent it out, okay? You can do whatever you want. But I beg you, you don’t talk to her anymore, okay? What’s wrong with her? I’ve never seen such a weird person like her. She looks so cold all day long. What are you dragging—”

Song Yan: “You fucking shut up.” 

When he said this, his breath was very weak, like a sleeping person tired and being woken up. He frowned tightly, rolled over on the small sofa, breathing low and deep, as if he had continued to sleep.

Zhai Miao didn’t dare to quarrel with him, and stayed on the side, thinking that he was really asleep, but listened to him dryly speaking: “She is not that kind of person.”

Another long silence.

Zhai Miao sat in the dark, not speaking or commenting, waiting for him to continue.

He turned his back to her, breathed deeply and shallowly, and whispered: “She is the most low-self-esteem and timid person I have ever met.”

“Obviously she wants to be crazy, wants to be wild, wants to be free, wants to disobey and do bad things, but she doesn’t dare. Pretending to be tough and strong, mean to people, actually strong on the outside, and vulnerable inside. Her character—” He paused for a long moment, and actually laughed, “If she really marries someone in her circle, she will be bullied to death.”

He smiled, and tears flashed in his eyes with laughter: “She will be bullied to death.”

Zhai Miao had tears in her eyes, looked up at the sky, and gritted her teeth: “Who can blame her own chosen path?”

Song Yan didn’t make a sound again.

Blame him, can’t give her the courage to choose him.

For so many years, he had never regretted every choice he made, but,

If back then, he could kneel down and beg that person…